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.

*

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 #18 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #2 Assimilation of character

Seth was also “in Adam’s own likeness”. While image, then, hath reference to form or shape, “likeness” hath regard to mental constitution, or capacity. From the shape of his head, as compared with other creatures, it is evident that man has a mental capacity which distinguishes him above them all. Their likeness to him is faint. They can think; but their thoughts are only sensual. They have no moral sentiments, or high intellectual aspirations; but are grovelling in all their instincts, which incline only to the earth. In proportion as their heads assume the human form in the same ratio do they excel each other in sagacity; and, as in the monkey tribe, display a greater likeness to man. But, let the case be reversed; let the human head degenerate from the godlike perfection of the Elohim, the standard of beauty in shape and feature; let it diverge to the image of an ape’s, and the human animal no longer presents the image and likeness of the Elohim; but rather, the chattering imbecility of the creature most resembling it in form. Adam’s mental capacity enabled him to comprehend and receive spiritual ideas, which moved him to veneration, hope, conscientiousness, the expression of his views, affections, and so forth. Seth was capable of the like display of intellectual and moral phenomena; and of an assimilation of character to that of his father. He was therefore in the likeness as well as in the image of Adam; and, in the same sense, they were both

“after the likeness of the Elohim”.

But, though Adam was “made in the image and after the likeness” of the “Holy Ones”, the similitude has been so greatly marred, that his posterity present but a faint representation of either.
The almost uncontrolled and continuous operation of “the law of sin and death”, {a: Rom. 7:23.} styled by philosophers “the law of nature”, which is an indwelling and inseparable constituent of our present economy, has exceedingly deformed the image, and effaced the likeness of God, which man originally presented. It required, therefore, the appearance of a New Man, in whom the image and likeness should re-appear, as in the beginning. This was “the man Christ Jesus”, whom Paul styles “the last Adam”. He is

“the Image of the invisible God” {b Colossians 1:15.} (εἰχὼν του̂ Θεου̂);

“the effulgent mirror of the glory, and the exact likeness of his person,” {c: Heb. 1:3.} (ἀπαύλαδμα τη̂ς δόξης χαι χαραχτὴορ τη̂ς ὑποστάσεως αὐτου̂).

Hence, in another place, Paul says, he was

“in the form of God” {d:  Phil. 2:6, 7, 8.} (ἐν μορφῃ̂ Θεου̂)

and also

“made in the likeness of men, and in the form of a man”.

Please, mister, take my likeness, by Purviance...
Please, mister, take my likeness, by Purviance, W. T. (William T.) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being thus the image and likeness of the invisible God, as well as of man, who was created in the image and likeness of the Elohim, he made himself equal with God in claiming God for his Father, {e: John 5:18.} though born of “sinful flesh”. Though thus highly related in paternity, image and character, he was yet

“made a little lower than the angels”;

for he appeared not in the higher nature of Elohim, but in the inferior nature of the seed of Abraham. {f: Heb. 2:16.} This was the first stage of his manifestation, as the present is of the saints who are his brethren. But he is the appointed

“heir of all things, on account of whom” (διʼ ου̂̔),

“the ages were rearranged (χατηρτὶσθαι τοὺς αἰω̂νας) by the word of God, so that the things seen exist not from things apparent”. {g:  Hebrews 1:2; 11:3.}

But, says the apostle,

“we do not yet see all things put under him: but we see. Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that by the grace of God he should taste death for every man”. {h: Hebrews 2:8, 9.}

Having been thus laid low, and for this gracious purpose, he is no longer “lower than the angels”. He is equal to them in body: and made so much superior to them in rank, dignity, honour, and glory,

“as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they” {i:Hebrews 1:4.}

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 39–40). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

*

Notes and quotes:

a: Romans 7:23 (ESV) 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

b: Colossians 1:15 (ESV): 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.

c: Hebrews 1:3 (ESV): He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

d:  Philippians 2:6–8 (ESV): who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

e: John 5:18 (ESV): 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

f: Hebrews 2:16 (ESV): 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he helps the offspring of Abraham.

(IEHE): For certainly (it needs hardly to be said) not of angels does he take helpful hold, but of Abraham’s seed he does take helpful hold.

g 1: Hebrews 1:2 (ESV): but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.

g 2: Hebrews 11:3 (ESV): By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.

h: Hebrews 2:8–9 (ESV): putting everything in subjection under his feet.”
Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

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Preceding

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

Creation of the earth and man #17 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #1 In the image and after the likeness

Gone astray, away from God

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Additional reading

  1. Inner feeling, morality and Inter-connection with creation
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham

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Further reading, from not connected or not always like-minded organisations

  1. In the Image of God?
  2. The Image of God
  3. The image of God, by  from Your success inspire
  4. Q&A: “Are we a part of God?” (In His Image)
  5. Likeness of God
  6. God being made in the likeness of men?
  7. What has ‘Being made in the likeness of God’ to do with Freedom of Speech?
  8. The Image is the vision
  9. Assumptions?
  10. Your Identity: Back to the Image of God – Dan Mohler
  11. Favorable Death – In the Beginning 2
  12. being human, part 1
  13. being human, part 2: on suicide
  14. What difference does the doctrine of humans being in “the image of God” make?
  15. A Passage to a New World, with Conditions, That Must Be Met!
  16. Life and Conduct

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

Now, if it be asked, what do the scriptures define “a living soul” to be? — the answer is, a living natural, or animal, body, whether of birds, beasts, fish or men. The phrase living creature is the exact synonym of living soul. The Hebrew words nephesh chayiah are the signs of the ideas expressed by Moses. Nephesh signifies creature, also life, soul, or breathing frame, from the verb to breathe: chayiah is of life — a noun from the verb to live. Nephesh chayiah is the genus which includes all species of living creatures; namely, Adam, man; beme, beast of the field; chitu, wild beast; remesh, reptile; and ouph, fowl, etc. In the common version of the scriptures, it is rendered living soul; so that under this form of expression the scriptures speak of “all flesh” which breathes in air, earth, and sea.

Writing about body, the apostle says,

“There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body”.

But, he does not content himself with simply declaring this truth; he goes further, and proves it by quoting the words of Moses, saying,

“For so it is written, the first man Adam was made into a living soul—εἰς ψυχὴν ζω̂σαν;

and then adds,

“the last Adam into a spirit giving life, εἰς πνευ̂μα ζωοποιου̂ν”. {1 Corinthians 15:44, 45}.

Hence, in another place, speaking of the latter, he says of him.

“Now the Lord is the spirit—ὁ δὲ χὺριος τὸ πνευ̂μἀ ἐστιν. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into his image from glory into glory, as by the Lord the Spirit—ἀπό χυρίου πνέυματος”. {2 Corinthians 3:17, 18.}

The proof of the apostle’s proposition that there is a natural body as distinct from a spiritual body, lies in the testimony, that

“Adam was made into a living soul”;

showing that he considered a natural, or animal body, and a living soul, as one and the same thing. If he did not, then there was no proof in the quotation, of what he affirmed.
A man then is a body of life in the sense of his being an animal, or living creature nephesh chayiah adam. As a natural man, he has no other pre-eminence over the creatures God made than what his peculiar organization confers upon him. Moses makes no distinction between him and them; for he styles them all living souls, breathing the breath of lives. Thus, literally rendered, he says,

“The Elohim said, The waters shall produce abundantly sheretz chayiah nephesh, the reptile living soul”;

and again,

“kal nephesh, chayiah erameshat, every living soul creeping”.

In another verse,

“Let the earth bring forth nephesh chayiah, the living soul after its kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth”,

etc.; and

“lekol rumesh ol eretz asher bu nephesh chayiah, to every thing creeping upon the earth which (has) in it living breath”, {Genesis 1:20, 21, 24, 30}

that is, breath of lives.
And lastly,

“Whatsoever Adam called nephesh chayiah, the living soul, that was the name thereof”. {Genesis 2:19}

Creation of Adam and Eve The murder of Abel-MB...
Creation of Adam and Eve The murder of Abel-MBA Lyon D312-IMG 0643 0644 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Quadrupeds and men, however, are not only “living souls” but they are vivified by the same breath and spirit. In proof of this, I remark first, that the phrase “breath of life” in the text of the common version is neshemet chayim in the Hebrew; and that, as chayim is in the plural, it should be rendered breath of lives. Secondly, this neshemet chayim is said to be in the inferior creatures as well as in man. Thus, God said,

“I bring a flood of waters upon the earth to destroy all flesh wherein is ruach chayim, spirit of live”. {Genesis 6:17}

And in another place,

“They went in to Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, in which is ruach chayim, spirit of lives ”.

“And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing, and every man; all in whose nostrils was neshemet ruach chayim, Breath Of Spirits Of Lives”. { Genesis 7:15, 21, 22}.

Now, as I have said, it was the neshemet, chayim with which Moses testifies God inflated the nostrils of Adam; if, therefore, this were divina particula auræ, particle of the divine essence, as it is affirmed, which became the “immortal soul” in man, then all other animals have “immortal souls” likewise; for they all received “breath of spirit of lives” in common with man.
From these testimonies, I think, it must be obvious to the most unlearned, that the argument for the existence of an “immortal soul” in “sinful flesh”, hereditarily derived from the first sinner, predicated on the inspiration of his nostrils with “the breath of lives” by the Lord God, and the consequent application to him of the phrase “living soul”, if admitted as good logic, proves too much, and therefore nothing to the purpose. For if man be proved to be immortal in this sense, and upon such premises as these, then all quadrupeds are similarly immortal; which none, I suppose, but believers in the transmigration of souls, would be disposed to admit.

– Thomas, D. J. Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 31–33). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding article: Creation of the earth and man #12 Formation of man #4 Constitution of man

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Additional reading:

  1. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  2. Fragments from the Book of Job #6: chapters 38-42
  3. The Soul not a ghost
  4. Is there an Immortal soul
  5. Looking at three “I am” s
  6. Elul Observances
  7. A philosophical error which rejects the body as part of the human person
  8. The chief function of the body is to carry the brain around
  9. We all are changed into the same image from glory to glory

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