Creation of the earth and man #20 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #4 Spiritual body

The Spiritual body

“There is a spiritual body.”

The subject of this section is the second member of the apostle’s proposition, that

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

It is contained in his reply to some of the Corinthian disciples, who, to their shame, had not the knowledge of God, and therefore foolishly inquired,

“How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?”

English: Plant of Prosartes smithii in cultiva...
Plant of Prosartes smithii in cultivation at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Birmingham, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

He showed them that the animal body had a similar relation to the spiritual body that naked grain has to the plant produced from it according to the law of its reproduction. He explained, that before a plant could be reproduced from a seed, the seed must be put into the soil, and die, or decay away. By the time the plant is established, all vestige of the seed is gone from the root; yet, the identity of the seed with the plant is not lost, inasmuch as the same kind of seed re-appears in the fruit of the plant. The plant is the secondary body of the seed-body, which is the first. There are different kinds of vegetable seed-bodies; and also of animal seed-bodies. These classes of seeds are terrestrial bodies, and have their glory in the bodies produced from them. But there are also celestial bodies, whose glory is of a different character. It is a light blazing and sparkling in the vault of heaven, as may be seen by every eye. Such is the apostle’s illustration of the resurrection of the dead; or, of how they are raised, and for what kind of body they spring forth.

“So also”,

says he,

“is the resurrection of the dead.”

Resurrection of the Dead vision
Resurrection of the Dead vision (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are in this state of the naked grain. We die and are buried, and go to corruption; leaving only our characters behind us written in the book of God. When decayed, a little dust alone remains, as the nucleus of our future selves. When the time comes for the righteous dead to rise, then

“He that raised up Christ from the dead will also make alive their mortal bodies by his spirit”,

operating through Jesus upon their dust, and fashioning it into the image of the Lord from heaven. {a  Rom. 8:11; 2 Cor. 4:14.} Thus, as the Elohim made man out of the dust in their own image and likeness; so, the Lord Jesus, by the same spirit, will also re-fashion from the dust, the righteous of the posterity of the first Adam, into his own image and likeness. This is wonderful, that by a man should come the resurrection of the dead. {b  1 Cor. 15:21.} Truly may he be called the “Wonderful”. {c Isaiah 9:6.} Once a babe fondled at the breast, and hereafter the creator of myriads, now only dust and ashes, but then equal to the angels of God; and “sons of the resurrection”, of which he is himself “the First Fruits”.

Having shown “how”, or upon what principles, the righteous dead are raised, the apostle gives us to understand, that their “glory” will consist in brightness; for he cites the splendour of the celestial bodies as illustrative of theirs. This reminds us of the testimony in Daniel, that

“They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever”. {d Dan. 12:3.}

This is repeated by the Lord Jesus, who says,

“Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father”, {e Matt. 13:43.}

which assurance Paul also revives in his letter to the saints at Philippi, saying,

“Our commonwealth (ἡμω̂ν τὸ πολίτευμα) has a beginning {f  Dan. 2:44; Luke 19:12, 15.} (ὑπάρχει) in the heavens (ἐν οὐρανοι̂ς), out of which also we wait for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who will transfigure the body of our humiliation, that it may become of like form with the body of his glory, by the power of that which enables him even to subdue all things to himself.” {g  Phil. 3:20, 21.}

– Thomas, D. J. ; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 41–42). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

 

Bible quotes

a1. Romans 8:11 (ESV): 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

a2. 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.

b. 1 Corinthians 15:21 (ESV): 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

c. Isaiah 9:6 (ESV): For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

d. Daniel 12:3 (ESV): And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

e. Matthew 13:43 (ESV): 43 Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.

f1. 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,

f2. Luke 19:12,15 (ESV): 12 He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. … 15 When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business.

g. Philippians 3:20–21 (ESV): 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

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Preceding posts:

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

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

Creation of the earth and man #19 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #3 Beholding image and likeness of the invisible God

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Additional reading

The Cares of Life

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Further related writings on the net

  1. A Bit of Hibernation
  2. Shedding This Body Part 1 of 2
  3. There are various kinds of people living in this world. – Part 2
  4. “Let’s Get Physical, Physical….”
  5. Chapter 6: Rebuilding Your Understanding
  6. Do you know that you have a natural body and as well a spiritual body?
  7. Imperishable
  8. This Is What Happens When Your Body Is Healed
  9. Meditation detaches you from Inside, While Physical-Exercise Outside.
  10. 365 Days of Gratitude – Day 122: Your Spiritual Body

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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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