Creation of the earth and man #22 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #6 Spirits, spiritual bodies and illusory perception

When the Lord Jesus said,

“A spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have”,

he did not mean to say that a spiritual body had not; but a spirit such as they thought they saw.

“They supposed they had seen a spirit.”

In the received reading the same word, πνευ̂μα, is used here as in the text which speaks of Jesus as “the Lord the Spirit”; but evidently, not in the same sense. Indeed, the reading in Griesbach’s edition of the original text is clearly the correct one. The word rendered spirit is properly φάντασμα, a phantom or mere optical illusion; and not πνευ̂μα, spirit.* When Jesus walked upon the sea both Matthew {a Matthew 14:26} and Mark {b Mark 6:49} make use of the same phrase as Luke, and say that the disciples when they saw him, “supposed they had seen a spirit, and they cried out for fear”. In both these places the word is phantasma, and not pneuma.

File:Christ Walking on the Waters, Julius Sergius Von Klever.jpg

Having affirmed that man stands related to two kinds of body, the apostle gives us to understand, that in the arrangements of God the spiritual system of things is elaborated out of the animal, and not the animal out of the spiritual. The natural world is the raw material, as it were, of the spiritual; the bricks and mortar, so to speak, of the mansion which is to endure for ever. In relation to human nature, two men are presented as its types in the two phases it is to assume. These Paul styles “the First Adam”, and “the Last Adam”, or “the first man”, and “the second man”. The former, he terms “earthy”; because he came from the ground, and goes thither again: and, the latter, “the Lord from heaven”; because, being “known no more after the flesh”, he is expected from heaven as the place of his final manifestation in “the body of his glory”. Then, says John, “we shall be like him”. If, therefore, we have been successful in depicting the Lord as he is now, while seated at the right hand of God; namely, an incorruptible, honourable, powerful, living person, substantial and tangible, shining as the sun, and able to eat and drink, and to display all mental and other phenomena in perfection: if the reader be able to comprehend such an “Image of the invisible God”, he can understand what they are to be, who are accounted worthy to inherit His kingdom. Therefore, says Paul,

“As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly”, {c  1 Corinthians 15:49}

or, Lord from heaven.

This corporeal change of those, who have first been morally

“renewed unto knowledge after the image of him that hath created them” {d Colossians 3:10}

from “sinful flesh” into spirit, is an absolute necessity, before they can inherit the Kingdom of God. When we come to understand the nature of this Kingdom, which has to be exhibited in these pages, we shall see that it is a necessity which cannot be dispensed with.

“That which is corruptible cannot inherit incorruptibility”,

says the apostle. This is the reason why animal men must die, or be transformed. Our animal nature is corruptible; but the Kingdom of God is indestructible, as the prophet testifies, saying,

“It shall never be destroyed, nor left to other people; but shall stand for ever”. {e Daniel 2:44}

Because, therefore, of the nature of this Kingdom, “flesh and blood cannot inherit it”; and hence the necessity of a man being “born of the spirit”, or “he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God”. {f  John 3:5, 6; 1 Corinthians 15:50}He must be “changed into spirit”, put on incorruptibility and immortality of body, or he will be physically incapable of retaining the honour, glory, and power of the Kingdom for ever, or even for a thousand years.

But, before the apostle concludes his interesting exposition of

“the kind of body for which the dead come”,

he makes known a secret which was previously concealed from the disciples at Corinth. It would probably have occurred to them, that if flesh and blood could not inherit the Kingdom of God, then those who were living at the epoch of its establishment, being men in the flesh, could have no part in it. But to remove this difficulty, the apostle wrote, saying,

“Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep (χοιμηθησόμεθα, met. to die, be dead), but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for it (the seventh trumpet) {g Revelation 11:15, 18; 15:8; 20:4} shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible (ἱσάγγελοι, equal to the angels) {h Luke 20:36}, and we shall be changed (ἐς πνευ̂μα, into spirit). {i  1 Corinthians 15:45}For this corruptible (body) must put on incorruptibility (ἀφθορσίαν), and this mortal (body) must put on immortality (ἀθανασίαν). Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory”. {j Isaiah 25:8}

But, that the saints might not misapprehend the matter, especially those of them who may be contemporary with the seventh trumpet-period, he gave further particulars of the secret in another letter.
The disciples at Thessalonica were deeply sorrowing for the loss of some of their body who had fallen asleep in death; probably victims to persecution. The apostle wrote to comfort them, and exhorted them

“not to sorrow as the others (οἱ λοιποί, i.e., the unbelievers), who have no hope. For if we (the disciples) believe that Jesus died and rose again”;and be not like those, who, by saying, “There is no resurrection of the dead”, in effect deny it; “even so”, as he rose, “them also who sleep in Jesus will God bring forth (ἄξει, lead out, or produce), with him.” {k  2 Corinthians 4:14}

He then proceeds to show the “order” {l 1 Corinthians 15:23} in which the saints are changed into spirit, or immortalized, by the Son of Man. {m  John 5:21, 25, 26, 28, 29}.

“For”

says he,

“this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we, the living, who remain at the Lord’s coming, shall not anticipate them who are asleep. For the Lord himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise FIRST: after that we, the living, who remain, shall be snatched away together with them in clouds to a meeting of the Lord in the air: and thus we shall be with the Lord at all times. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” {n 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18.}

– Thomas, D. J. ; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 43–45). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes & quotes

* The R.V. retains pneuma, spirit; but in Matthew and Mark renders phantasma, apparition.

a Matthew 14:26 (ESV): 26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.

b Mark 6:49 (ESV): 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,

c 1 Corinthians 15:49 (ESV): 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

d Colossians 3:10 (ESV): 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

e Daniel 2:44 (ESV) : 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,

f1 John 3:5 (ESV): Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

f2 John 3:6 (ESV): That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

f3 1 Corinthians 15:50 (ESV): Mystery and Victory  50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

g. Rev. 11:15, 18; 15:8; 20:4.

g1 Revelation 11:15 (ESV): The Seventh Trumpet 15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”

g2 Revelation 11:18 (ESV): 18  The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”

g3 Revelation 15:8 (ESV): and the sanctuary was filled with smoke from the glory of God and from his power, and no one could enter the sanctuary until the seven plagues of the seven angels were finished.

g4 Revelation 20:4 (ESV): Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

h Luke 20:36 (ESV): 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

i 1 Corinthians 15:45 (ESV): 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

j Isaiah 25:8 (ESV): He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.

k 2 Corinthians 4:14 (ESV): 14 knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

l 1 Corinthians 15:23 (ESV): 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

m John 5:21, 25-29 (ESV): 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, so also the Son gives life to whom he will. … 25 “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.

n 1 Thessalonians 4:13–18 (ESV): The Coming of the Lord 13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

 

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Preceding

Creation of the earth and man #21 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #5 Spiritual and animal body

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Further reading

  1. Which Life?
  2. Thousand Deaths
  3. Bible study: Was the resurrection body of Jesus spiritual or physical?
  4. The Filling Of The Holy Spirit
  5. Life Series Part I
  6. John 3:5-8 (Spirit Wind)
  7. Sermon: Pentecost 2015
  8. Was Jesus a Yogi?
  9. The Spirit speaks from the depths to the deep…
  10. This same Breath
  11. The Breath of God
  12. That’s the Spirit!
  13. What if God Were One of Us?
  14. Pneumosophy: The Breathing Blog
  15. Pneuma: Breath of Life, Sigorta+Akbil Tam Zamanlı Tanrı

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Creation of the earth and man #16 Formation of man #8 Dust, flesh, blood,breathing and life

Flesh, be-nephesh-u, with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat.”

This teaches that blood is the nephesh, or life of the flesh; hence it continues,

“and surely your blood, lah-nephesh-tikam, for your lives will I require”. {1. Gen. 9:5.}

We often find life put for blood, and blood for life, as elsewhere in the context.

“Be sure that thou eat not the blood, for the blood is the nephesh or life; and thou mayest not eat the life, nephesh, with the flesh.” {2  Deut. 12:23.}

File:Grafik blutkreislauf.jpg
The human circulatory system. Red indicates oxygenated blood, blue indicates deoxygenated.
File:Example of a pig carcass in the dry decay stage of decomposition.jpg
Example of a pig carcass (Sus scrofa) in the dry/remains stage of decomposition. All that remains is skin and bone and the surrounding vegetation is beginning to grow over the carcass.

But, to this it might be objected, that if the blood be the life, then so long as it is in the body it ought to live; on the contrary it dies with the blood in it. True. Moses, however, does not teach the dogma of an abstract vital principle; but life, the result and consequence of the decomposition and re-combination of the elements of certain compounds. The blood abstractly considered is not life; yet relatively, it is “the life of the flesh”. The following testimony will show the sense in which the phrase “the blood is the life” is used.

“I will set my face against that soul that eateth blood. For the life of the flesh is IN the blood itself. I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for nephesh-tikem, your lives: for it is the blood that atones, be-nephesh, for the soul” or life.

“Whosoever catcheth any fowl that may be eaten, he shall even pour out the blood thereof, and cover it with dust. For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof. Ye shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh; for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof.” {3.  Lev. 17:11–14.}

Nothing can be plainer than this.

There are three kinds of living manifestations, which are characterized by the nature of the organization, or being, through which they occur. Hence, we have vegetable life, animal life, and incorruptible life. The last is immortality: because the body through which the life is manifested, being incorruptible, never wears out; so that being once put into motion by the spirit of God, it lives for ever. Vegetable and animal life, on the contrary, is terrainable or mortal; because the materials through which it is revealed are perishably organized. Mortality, then, is life manifested through a corruptible body; and immortality, life manifested through an incorruptible body. Hence, the necessity laid down in the saying of the apostle,

“This corruptible body must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality”,

before death can be

“swallowed up in victory”. {4 . 1 Cor. 15:53, 54.}

This doctrine of “life and incorruptibility” (ζωὴ χαὶ ὰδθαρσία) was new to the Greeks and Romans; and brought to light only through the gospel of the kingdom and name of Jesus Christ. It was to them foolishness; and is to the moderns incredible, because they understand not the glad tidings of the age to come.

Incorruptible life might with equal propriety be styled spiritual life, as indicative of that with which spiritual bodies are endowed. But here I use not the word spiritual, lest it should be confounded with that intellectual and moral life a man possesses when the “incorruptible seed” of the kingdom takes root in his heart; and when, in “obedience of faith”, he passes from under the sentence of death to the sentence of justification unto life eternal. But, at present, we have to do with animal or natural life, which is all the life the fleshly sons of the first Adam can boast of. Enough, however, I think has been advanced to show the scriptural import of the text already quoted, that

“the Lord God formed man, the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and man became a living soul”.

The simple, obvious, and undogmatic meaning of this, is, that the dust was first formed into “clay”, which was then modelled by Jehovah Elohim into the form of the soul called “man”, as a potter shapes the substance of his vessels. Thus, Elihu said to Job,

“I also am formed out of the clay” {5 Job. 33:6.}

and again,

“We are the clay, and thou our potter; and we are all the work of thy hand”. {6Isaiah 64:8.}

 

The fashioning of the clay being accomplished in all its component parts, which in the aggregate constitute man; that is, the dust being animalized, and then organized, the next thing was to set all the parts of this exquisite mechanism into motion. This was effected by the inrush of the air through his nostrils into his lungs according to the natural laws. This phenomenon was the neshemet el, or “breath of God”, breathing into him; and as it was the pabulum of life to all creatures formed from the dust, it is very expressively styled “the breath of lives” in the plural number. Some imagine that Jehovah Elohim placed His mouth to the nostrils of the as yet clay-cold man-soul prostrate before Him, and so breathed into them. Be this as it may; of this, however, we are without doubt, that God breathes into every man at his birth the breath of lives to this day; and I see no scriptural reason why we should deny that He breathed it into Adam as He hath done into the nostrils of his posterity, namely, by the operation of the natural, or pneumatic, laws. Hitherto, man, though a soul formed from the ground, had been inanimate; but, as soon as he began to respire, like the embryo passing from foetal to infant life, he “became a living soul”, not an everliving, but simply nephesh chayiah, a living breathing frame, or body of life.

– Thomas, D. J. Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 35–37). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes and Bible quotes:

1. Genesis 9:5 (ESV): And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

2. Deuteronomy 12:23 (ESV): 23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.

3. Leviticus 17:11–14 (ESV): 11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. 12 Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, No person among you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger who sojourns among you eat blood.

13 “Any one also of the people of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among them, who takes in hunting any beast or bird that may be eaten shall pour out its blood and cover it with earth. 14 For the life of every creature is its blood: its blood is its life. Therefore I have said to the people of Israel, You shall not eat the blood of any creature, for the life of every creature is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.

4. 1 Corinthians 15:53–55 (ESV): 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55  “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”

5. Job 33:6 (ESV): Behold, I am toward God as you are; I too was pinched off from a piece of clay.

6. Isaiah 64:8 (ESV): But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

 

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Preceding:

Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man

Creation of the earth and man #13 Formation of man #5 Living soul

Creation of the earth and man #14 Formation of man #6 The Uncreated One, neshemet ruach chayim and nephesh

Creation of the earth and man #15 Formation of man #7 Living creatures of the natural world

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Additional reading:

  1. Two states of existence before God
  2. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  3. What is life?
  4. Human Nature: What does the Bible teach?
  5. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  6. Is there an Immortal soul
  7. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  8. Dying or not
  9. Decomposition, decay – vergaan, afsterven, ontbinding
  10. The Soul not a ghost
  11. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell

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Further reading

  1. Life-form
  2. Mortality
  3. Causes of Mortality over Time
  4. Heartless Immortal
  5. Uneasy Feelings
  6. Death demands a reality
  7. You are Gods
  8. We are all sinners and will always be sinners
  9. Look Up And Shout!!
  10. Memento Mori
  11. Its not the end..-mortal..immortal
  12. Christian Confusion: Two Degrees of Sin
  13. Beauty and eternity
  14. Living Life
  15. Meditation 12: Remember Death (memento mori)
  16. Fully Alive
  17. Freckled Jack O’Lantern
  18. into the darkness
  19. Incorruptibility
  20. on incorruptibility
  21. John Chrysostom: “For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven”
  22. Athanasius of Alexandria: God has made man, and willed that he should abide in incorruption
  23. Irenaeus of Lyons: What other visible fruit is there of the invisible Spirit than the rendering of the flesh mature and capable of incorruption?
  24. Irenaeus of Lyons: The breath of life rendered man an animated being, and the vivifying Spirit caused him to become spiritual

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