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

When we die we are buried, or “sown”, like so many seeds in the earth. We are sown, says the apostle, “in corruption”, “in dishonour”, “in weakness”, and with an animal nature; but, when we are raised to inherit the kingdom, we become incorruptible, glorious, powerful, and possessed of a spiritual nature, such as Jesus and the Elohim rejoice in. Now, a spiritual body is as material, or substantial and tangible, a body as that which we now possess. It is a body purified from “the law of sin and death”. Hence it is termed “holy” and “spiritual”, because it is born of the spirit from the dust, is incorruptible, and sustained by the ruach, or spirit, independently of the neshemeh, or atmospheric air.

“That which is born of the flesh”,

in the ordinary way, “is flesh”, or an animal body: and

“that which is born of the spirit”,

by a resurrection to life, “is spirit”, or a spiritual body. {a John 3:6} Hence, in speaking of Jesus, Paul says,

“born of David’s seed according to the flesh; and constituted the son of God in power, according to the spirit of holiness, through the resurrection from the dead”. {b Rom. 1:3, 4.}

Thus, he was born of the spirit, and therefore became “a spirit”; and, bemuse highly exalted, and possessing a name which is above every name, {c Phil 2:9–11} he is styled “the Lord the Spirit”.

Space Shuttle Endeavour orbiting in the thermosphere. Because of the angle of the photo, it appears to straddle the stratosphere and mesosphere that actually lie more than 250 km below. The orange layer is the troposphere, which gives way to the whitish stratosphere and then the blue mesosphere.

That the spiritual body is independent of atmospheric air for its support, is clear from the ascension of the Lord Jesus. An animal body can only exist in water, or in atmospheric air, and at a comparatively low altitude above the surface of the earth. Now, the air does not extend beyond forty-five miles; consequently beyond that limit, if they could even attain to it, creatures supported by breath in the nostrils, could no more live than fish in the air Beyond our atmosphere is the ether; through which they only can pass, who, like the Lord Jesus and the angels, possess a nature adapted to it. This is the case with the spiritual nature. Jesus was changed εἰς πνευ̂μα, into a spirit, and was therefore enabled to pass through it to the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens. Enoch, Elijah, and Moses, are also cases to the point.

The spiritual body is constituted of flesh and bones vitalized by the spirit. This appears from the testimony concerning Jesus. On a certain occasion, he unexpectedly stood in the midst of his disciples, at which they were exceedingly alarmed, supposing they beheld a spirit, or phantasm, as at a former time. But, that they might be assured that it was really he himself, he invited them to handle him, and examine his hands and feet:

“For”,

said he,

“a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have”.

Frans Floris - The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, ...
Frans Floris – The Sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Son of God, Gathering and Protecting Mankind – WGA7949 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Incredulous for joy, he gave them further proof by eating a piece of broiled fish and of a honeycomb. {d. Luke 24:36–43.} Thomas thrust his hand into his side, and was convinced that he was the same who had been crucified. {e. John 20:27.} What stronger proof can we need of the substantial and tangible nature of the spiritual body? It is the animal body purified, not evaporated into gas, or vapour. It is a bloodless body; for in the case of Jesus he had poured out his blood on the cross. The life of the animal body is in the blood; but not so that of the spiritual body: the life of this resides in that mighty power which suspends “the earth upon nothing”, and is diffused through the immensity of space.

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 42–43). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes and quotes:

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

b: Romans 1:3–4 (ESV): concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

c: Philippians 2:9–11 (ESV): Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

d: Luke 24:36–43 (ESV): Jesus Appears to His Disciples: 36 As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.

d 2.: this clearly indicates also that Jesus can not be God Who is a Spirit. First of all God cannot die and would have no reason to stay three days in hell as Christ did and secondly God is an eternal Spirit Who cannot be seen by man without that person falling death and Jesus was seen by many people who did not die straight away, but even got some coming out of the dead.

e: John 20:27 (ESV): 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.”

e 2: today we still have a lot of unbelieving Thomasses in Christendom. They still do not want to accept that Jesus was a man of flesh and blood who really died after he had only done the Will of God and not his own own will. In case he is God Jesus would always have done his own will and would have faked his death.

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

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Additional reading

  1. How are the dead?
  2. Is there an Immortal soul
  3. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #1 Intro
  4. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #2 Psyche, the word
  5. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #3 Historical background
  6. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #4 Psyche, According to the Holy Scriptures
  7. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #5 Mortality of man and mortality of the spirit
  8. Mortal Soul and Mortal Psyche #6 Summary
  9. The Soul confronted with Death
  10. Jesus three days in hell

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Further reading

  1. Incorruptible
  2. Incorruptible things
  3. Incorruptibility
  4. The Incorruptible Promise
  5. God of Radiant Light
  6. 1 Corinthians 9
  7. With Love Incorruptible
  8. Nagging question to Pretribbers…
  9. Glorified, Incorruptible Bodies Vs. Immortal Bodies
  10. The Soul and its Material Lump: 1
  11. The Soul and its Material Lump:2
  12. What Is Our Spirit Man Part 2
  13. A World with a Soul

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

Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim

“Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.”

Men and beasts, say the scriptures,

“have all one ruach or spirit; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast”.

The reason assigned for this equality is the oneness of their spirit, which is proved by the fact of their common destiny; as it is written,

“for all are vanity”:

that is,

“all go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again”.

Yet this one spirit manifests its tendencies differently in men and other creatures. In the former, it is aspiring and God-defying, rejoicing in its own works, and devoted to the vanity of the passing hour; while in the latter, its disposition is grovelling to the earth in all things. Thus, the heart of man being

“deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know or fathom it?”

Solomon was led to exclaim,

“Who knoweth the spirit of the sons of Adam, ruach beni headam, which exalts itself to the highest, and the spirit of a beast which inclines to the earth?” {a:  Eccles. 3:19–21.}

We may answer,

“None, but God only”;

He knoweth what is in man, and needs not that any should testify of him. {b:John 2:25.}
But, from this testimony someone might infer that, as man was made only “a little lower than the angels”, and yet has “no pre-eminence over a beast”, the beast also is but a little lower than the angels. This, however, would be a very erroneous conclusion. The equality of men and other animals consists in the kind of life they possess in common with each other. Vanity, or mortality, is all that pertains to any kind of living flesh. The whole animal world has been made subject to it; and as it affects all living souls alike, bringing them back to the dust again, no one species can claim pre-eminence over the other; for

“one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other”.

Man, however, differs from other creatures in having been modelled after a divine type, or pattern. In form and capacity he was made like to the angels, though in nature inferior to them. This appears from the testimony that he was made “in their image, after their likeness”, and “a little lower than the angels”, or Elohim. {c: Psalm 8:5.} I say, he was made in the image of the angels, as the interpretation of the co-operative imperative,

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”.

The work of the six days, though elaborated by the power of Him “who dwelleth in the light”, was executed by

“his angels, that excel in strength, and do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word”. {d:  Psalm 103:20.}

These are styled Elohim, or “gods,” in numerous passages. David says,

“Worship him, all ye gods”; {e: Psalm 97:7.}

which Paul applies to Jesus, saying, {*}

“Let all the angels of God worship him”. {f: Heb. 1:6.}

Man, then, was made after the image and likeness of Elohim, but for a while inferior in nature. But the race will not always be inferior in this respect. It is destined to advance to a higher nature; not all the individuals of it; but those of the race

“who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that age (αἰὼν μέλλων, the future age) and the resurrection from among the dead (ἐχ νεχρω̂ν) … who can die no more; for they are equal to the angels (ἰσάλλεγοι); and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection.” {g:  Luke 20:35, 36.}

 

The import of the phrase “in the image, after the likeness” is suggested by the testimony, that

“Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth”. {h: Genesis 5:3.}

In this respect, Seth stands related to Adam, as Adam did to the Elohim; but differing in this, that the nature of Adam and Seth was identical; whereas those of Adam and the Elohim were dissimilar. Would any one be at a loss to know the meaning of Seth’s being in the image of his father? The very same thing is meant by Adam being in the image of the Elohim. An image is the representation of some form or shape; metaphorically, it may signify the exact resemblance of one character to another. But in the case before us, the parties had no characters at the time of their birth. They were simply innocent of actual transgression; no scope having been afforded them to develop character. The Elohim, however, were personages of dignity and holiness, as well as of incorruptible, or spiritual, nature. The resemblance, therefore, of Adam to the Elohim as their image was of bodily form, not of intellectual and moral attainment; and this I apprehend to be the reason why the Elohim are styled “men” when their visits to the sons of Adam are recorded in the scriptures of truth. In shape, Seth was like Adam, Adam like the Elohim, and the Elohim, the image of the invisible Increate; the great and glorious archetype of the intelligent universe.

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 37–39). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes & Bible quotes:

a: Ecclesiastes 3:19–21 (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. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

b:John 2:25 (ESV): 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

c: Psalm 8:5 (ESV): Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

d: Psalm 103:20-21 (ESV): 20  Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21  Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!

e: Psalm 97:7 (ESV): All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!

{*} *. Paul’s quotation is verbatim from Deuteronomy 32:43 (LXX)—not Psalm 97.

Deuteronomy 32:43 (ESV): 43  “Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.”

Psalm 97:9 (ESV): For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

f: Hebrews 1:6 (ESV): And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

g: Luke 20:35–36 (ESV): 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

h: Genesis 5:3 (ESV): When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.

Children of Adam and Eve: All we are told about Adam’s offspring is that the first son was named Cain, the second son named Abel [Genesis 4:1-2 ], then after Abel’s murder, another son named Seth, who may not be confused with the beneficent god in predynastic Egypt, associated with darkness and later identified as a god of evil and the antagonist of Horus. Adam’s son Seth was “begotten when Adam was 130 years old.” After that, Adam “begot sons and daughters” [Genesis 5:3-4]. This same passage also tells us that Adam lived for 930 years [Genesis 5:5]. Therefore, according to Scripture, Adam and Eve‘s family consisted of sons Cain, Abel and Seth (who be came 912 years old), plus a minimum of two other sons and two daughters, giving a total of seven children. However, accepting that Adam, and likely Eve, lived for 930 years, seven children would be the minimum number.

In gnosticism, Seth is seen as a replacement given by God for Abel, whom Cain had slain. It is said that late in life, Adam gave Seth secret teachings that would become the kabbalah. The Zohar refers to Seth as “ancestor of all the generations of the tzaddikim” (Hebrew: righteous ones).

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Preceding:

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

Continues

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Additional reading:

  1. The World framed by the Word of God
  2. A viewpoint on creation
  3. Created to live in relation with God
  4. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  5. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  6. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  7. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows
  8. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  9. Equal?
  10. God’s wrath and sanctification
  11. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  12. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  13. Angels
  14. Who are the Angels?
  15. Why did God Create Angels?
  16. The “Sons of God”
  17. Man Made Lower than the Angels
  18. The “Mighty Ones”
  19. Angels in Old Testament History
  20. “The whole family in heaven and earth”
  21. Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army
  22. What is life?
  23. Atonement and the race been bought
  24. First man’s task still counting today
  25. The I Am to explore
  26. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”
  27. Looking at three “I am” s
  28. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  29. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  30. Jesus spitting image of his father
  31. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor

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Further reading

  1. The Image of God
  2. Assumptions?
  3. What difference does the doctrine of humans being in “the image of God” make?
  4. What Is Man?
  5. What it Means to be Made in God’s Image
  6. Image and Likeness
  7. The Image is the vision
  8. You Are God’s Mirror-Image
  9. What Is Your Image of God?
  10. Image of God: A Design Gone Wrong
  11. Image of God: A Design Restored
  12. Favorable Death – In the Beginning 2
  13. being human, part 2: on suicide
  14. What is the most important thing you can do for your child?
  15. A Passage to a New World, with Conditions, That Must Be Met!
  16. Why Jesus Was So Unrecognizable – Dan Mohler
  17. Living Out the Nature of Jesus
  18. being human, part 1
  19. Unique
  20. The Root of Free Will
  21. Generosity: There is Enough. I am Enough.
  22. Theology of the Body Thursday #32: When Consent Is Not Enough
  23. Encountering Another and Breaking Free into the Love of God
  24. The box splits
  25. A reflection on reflection
  26. With Thy Likeness
  27. The Jesus that people see in us
  28. Love for Rich and Poor Alike
  29. Dust and Divinity
  30. B’Reshith: Seeing the Image of God
  31. God isn’t hard to find when you know how to look for Him
  32. Capital punishment and the image of God
  33. The Glory of God, Filling the Earth, Part I
  34. The Psychology of The Image of God: A Grand Purpose
  35. Declaring His Plan
  36. You were made in the image of God not a monkey
  37. Abortion and the Perspective On Persons
  38. Made for relationship with God; made in the likeness of God; made of God…
  39. holistic vision of the human’s role in creation

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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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