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

From these testimonies it is manifest that the ruach or spirit is all pervading. It is in heaven, in sheol, or the dust of the deepest hollow, in the uttermost depths of the sea, in the darkness, in the light, and in all things animate, and without life. It is a universal principle in the broadest, or rather, in an illimitable sense. It is the substratum of all motion, whether manifested in the diurnal and ellipsoidal revolutions of the planets, in the flux and reflux of the sea, in the storms and tempests of the expanse, or in the organism of reptiles, cattle, beasts, fish, fowl, vegetables, or men. The atmospheric expanse is charged with it; but it is not the air: plants and animals of all species breathe it; but it is not their breath: yet without it, though filled with air, they would die.
File:Earth's atmosphere.svgThe atmosphere, which extends some forty-five miles in altitude, and encircles the globe, is styled the expanse, by Moses; and the breath of God, in Job. It is a compound body, consisting, when pure, of nitrogen and oxygen, in the proportion of 79 of the former and 21 of the latter, in 100 parts.* These are considered as simple bodies, because they have not yet been decomposed; though it is probable they have a base, which may be the ruach. This may exist free or combined with the elementary constituents of the neshemeh. Uncombined, it is that wonderful fluid, whose explosions are heard in the thunder, whose fiery bolts overthrow the loftiest towers, and rive the sturdy monarchs of the woods; and in less intensity gives polarity to light, the needle, and the brain. These three together, the oxygen, nitrogen, and electricity, constitute “the breath“ and “spirit” of the lives of all God’s living souls.

File:Rouach-goslar.jpg
Statue representing the Rouach (ruach) Holy Spirit in the church market (Marktkirche) Goslar; contemporary work

Thus, from the centre of the earth, and extending throughout all space in every direction, is the Ruach Elohim, the existence of which is demonstrable from the phenomena of the natural system of things. It penetrates where the neshermet el, or atmospheric air, cannot. When speaking, however, of the motivity and sustentation of organized dust, or souls, they are co-existent within them. In this case, the ruach Elohim becomes the ruach chayim, or “spirit of lives”; and the neshemet el, the neshemet chayim, or “breath of lives”; and both combined in the elaboration and support of life, the neshemet ruach chayim, or “breath of the spirit of lives”. Living creatures, or souls, are not animated, as physiologists and speculative “divines” erroneously imagine, by “a vital principle”, capable of disembodied existence as the ghost of a man, or the transmigrating spectres of other animal species: — ghostly things, the laws and functions of which in the animal economy physiologists are unable to discover; and theologists are nonplussed to prove the existence of from the word of God. On the contrary, “souls” are “made living” by the coetaneous operation of the ruach chayim and neshemet chayim upon their organized tissues according to certain fixed laws. When the as yet occult laws of the all-pervading ruach, or spirit, shall be known, this subject will be understood; and men will then be as astonished at the ignorance of the “divines” and physiologists of this “cloudy and dark day”, respecting “living souls”, as we are at the notion of the ancients, that their ”immortal gods“ resided in the stocks and stones they so stupidly adored. This, however, is quite as reasonable a theory as that of “immortal souls” dwelling in sinners of Adam’s race.

The ruach chayim and neshemet chayim are lent to the creatures of the natural world for the appointed period of their living existence. But, though lent to them, they are still God’s breath, and God’s spirit; nevertheless, to distinguish them from the expanse of air and spirit in their totality, they are sometimes styled, “the spirit of man”, and “the spirit of the beast”; or collectively, “the spirits of all flesh”, and “their breath”. Thus, it is written,

“They have all one ruach, or spirit; so that man hath no pre-eminence over a beast; for all is vanity or vapour.”

“All go to one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” {a}

And in the sense of supplying to every living creature, or soul, “spirit” and “breath”, Jehovah is styled by Moses,

“God of the spirits of all flesh”. {b}

Besides the ruach and neshemeh without, there are certain elementary principles, in a state of combination, within all living souls, which are related to them by fixed and appropriate laws, for the manifestation of living actions. The light to the eye, and the eye to the light; so also, the breath and the spirit of God to the constituents of blood, and the blood to them. These, acting and re-acting upon each other in the lungs of all breathing frames, cause that motion throughout their structure which is termed life. The following testimonies will throw some light upon this part of our subject.

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 34–35). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes:

  • *. Since this was written argon and other rare gases have been discovered; but all scientific research favours the hypothesis here laid down.—Publisher.
  • {a} Ecclesiastes 3:19-20 (ESV):19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.

  • {b}: Numbers 27:16 (ESV): 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, appoint a man over the congregation

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Preceding article:

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

to be continued

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Further readings:

  1. The In-Between
  2. 10 September ― 3 ‘Izzat
  3. Contemplation
  4. Our Place
  5. Saints and Souls and Fairies
  6. The Petition For Souls
  7. What awakens our soul?
  8. Divinity of man.
  9. Time of Souls aka Halloween in Estonia
  10. Transhumanism in Light of the Bible
  11. Your Soul Is The Prize

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

In the previous articles we saw that God breathed in the nostril of beings and they came into life.
We also saw that Paul did say that “There is a natural body and there is a spiritual body”. From the living beings we have the Quadrupeds and the ones walking on two limbs, “living souls”  which are vivified by the same breath and spirit, having man being able to use his brain or making his spiritual body at work.

The original condition of the animal world was “very good”. Unperverted by the production of evil, all its constituents fulfilled the purposes of its existence. Begotten of the same power, and formed from the substance of a common mother, they were all animated by the same spirit, and lived in peace and harmony together. Formed to be living breathing frames, though of different species, in God they lived, and moved, and had their continued being; and displayed His wisdom, power, and handiwork.

But, to return to the philology of our subject, I remark that by a metonymy, or figure of speech in which the container is put for the thing contained, and vice-versa, nephesh, “breathing frame”, is put for neshemet ruach chayim, which, when in motion, the frame respires. Hence, nephesh signifies “life”, also “breath” and “soul”— Life, or those mutually effective, positive and negative principles in all living creatures, whose closed circuits cause motion of and in their frames. These principles or qualities, perhaps, of the same thing, are styled by Moses Ruach Elohim, {a} or Spirit of Him “who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, which no man hath seen, nor can see”,{b} and which, when the word was spoken by “the Holy Gods”, {c} first caused a motion upon the waters, and afterwards disengaged the light, evolved the expanse, aggregated the waters, produced vegetation, manifested the celestial universe, vitalized the breathing frames of the dry land, expanse, and seas; and formed man in their image and likeness. This ruach, or spirit, is neither the Uncreated One who dwells in light, the Lord God, nor the Elohim, His co-workers, who co-operated in the elaboration of the natural world. It was the instrumental principle by which they executed the commission of the glorious INCREATE to erect this earthly house, and furnish it with living souls of every species.
It is this ruach, or instrumentally formative power, together with the neshemeh or breath, which keeps them all from perishing, or returning to the dust. Thus,

“If God set His heart against man, He will withdraw to himself ruachu veneshmetu, i.e., his spirit and his breath; all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust”. {d}

In another place,

“By the neshemet el, or breath of God, frost is given.” {e}

Speaking of reptiles and beasts, David saith,

“Thou withdrawest ruachem, i.e., their spirit—they die; and to their dust they return. Thou sendest forth ruhech, i.e., thy spirit—they are created”. {f}

And again,

“Whither shall I fly, meruhech, from thy spirit”. {g}

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 33–34). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

* Bible quotes:

a:

Genesis 1:2 TLV  Now the earth was chaos and waste, darkness was on the surface of the deep, and the Ruach Elohim was hovering upon the surface of the water.

Genesis 1:2 (ESV): The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

b:

1 Timothy 6:16 (ESV): 16 who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see. To him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

c:

Daniel 4:8 (ESV):  At last Daniel came in before me—he who was named Belteshazzar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods—and I told him the dream, saying,

d:

Job 34:14–15 (ESV): 14  If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, 15  all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust.

e:

Job 37:10 (ESV): 10  By the breath of God ice is given,  and the broad waters are frozen fast.

f:

Psalm 104:30 (ESV): 30  When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.

g:

Psalm 139:7 (ESV): Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence?

 

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Preceding articles:

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

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