As to mankind, the Bible says God formed man from the “dust of the ground” and made him a living soul. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Genesis 2:7. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul;.... 1 Corinthians 15:45.
Furthermore, mankind was originally created in the image and likeness of the Almighty God. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. Genesis 1:26-27. The phrase “let us” in Genesis 1:26 refers to God as a trinity (see Module 1) being the Father, who makes Himself known to us according to His will, His Word being the profession of His love and statement of His will, and the Holy Ghost being the Spirit of Truth of His Word unto creation.
As to sex of the individual more specifically, the Bible says the flesh of the first woman called “Eve” was created from the flesh of the first man called “Adam”. See, Genesis 2:22-23 and 1 Corinthians 11:8-9. In the context of procreation, God made the first man and woman as a first instance of procreative capability. He equipped them to reproduce more living souls of their kind as offspring. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. Genesis 1:28. Thus, when mankind became a living soul, all of its offspring to follow, both male and female in body, would become living souls of like kind thereafter. (The phrase “dust of the ground” should not be problematic. It can easily refer to the Periodic Table of Elements defining the natural world by its physical elements.)
As the flesh of the first man was created from the dust of the ground, and the first woman was created from the man, all of mankind has flesh and bones, but a spirit does not. ...for a spirit hath not flesh and bones,…Luke 24:39. The difference is as significant and distinct as the colors black and white, or as light and the complete lack thereof. If the term likeness cannot mean men and women are created in the nature of God as a Spirit, how then is man created in the “likeness” of God ? What does God, as the Spirit, say about His own image, identity, and nature so that we may come to know Him and ourselves better?
As we know, the Father is part of the trinity of God (the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost), and the Father is also the “soul” of God. God said: Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Matthew 12:18 (Emphasis added); see also Isaiah 42:1. As explained later in detail, "my servant" refers to His Word. The reference to “my soul” defines the life in God just as the soul defines the life in man, thereby making their respective souls the “likeness” between them by design. (Man’s soul will be explained in more detail, however, it is crucial to know that our soul will live forever in heaven or die forever in hell because our soul is eternal!) Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. Ezekiel 18:4 (We have all sinned, but there is "salvation" from the death of sin. The later modules of this course will explain and prove this salvation thoroughly.
Stated another way, the soul is the life of each person (Genesis 2:7) created in the “likeness” of the life of God which is also attributed to His soul–the Father! By way of reproof, as the life of each person (and God) is attributed to their own soul, so too is the life of every living creature on land and in the sea attributed to its own soul and procreation of its kind. For example, and by way of indirect reference, …and every living soul died in the sea. Revelation 16:3.
For the sake of completeness, we should also consider man in the context of being created in the “image” of God. We know the image of God is the trinity of presentations of the Holy Spirit–the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost. Not surprisingly then, every person is also constructed as a trinity of one. As a trinity, every person has a body, a soul, and a “spirit of man”. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (Emphasis added). (Please note, there are many other combinations of verses proving man’s body, soul, and spirit (of man) composition, but 1 Thessalonians 5:23 is cited here for conciseness. Likewise, there are many other combinations of verses proving God is a trinity of the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, but 1 John 5:7 is cited for conciseness.)
As the Father is God, the Father's spirit is the Holy Ghost and also God. The Bible calls the Holy Ghost the "Comforter" (John 14:26) and the "Spirit of Truth" (John 15:26). Thus, the Spirit of Truth bears witness to the truth of the Word of God and confirms the Father's will (i.e., God's will). Similarly, "man’s spirit" also confirms man's own will. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:11. The spirit of man is recognized as that which bears witness to man's words and confirms man's will. It is here where mankind has but one choice, to do those things pleasing to man's own flesh self, or be "born again" by the Spirit of God and live to please Him. Stated another way, mankind's ability to choose our own lifestyle, whether it be of God's design or of man's own design, shows the representation of the love in our heart for something of ourselves (i.e., our own design by our choice/will), or for that which is of God (i.e., His own design by our choice, therefore, choosing His will by which to live).
Do not be confused by the “Spirit of God” and “spirit of man”. Simply know they are different as to the source thereof, i.e., God is all Spirit, and man is of the flesh. Most importantly, remember the association of the “will of man” and “will of God” as the pathway to eternal life. The spirit of man (i.e., our own will of mankind) chooses to live by and according to the will of God or the will of the flesh. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13. The will of man choosing to live according to the will of his own flesh or the will of God, is covered in much greater detail in a later module. (Please note, the “will of God” is not specifically mentioned in John 1:13 above, but the concept is well accepted, easily understood, scripturally evidenced elsewhere, and addressed below. The “will of man” (spirit of man) chooses the will of God or the will of the flesh to live by or die by, respectively.)
By way of comparison, man is carnal by nature. Mankind is NOT of the Spirit of God by nature. Therefore, Man’s version of love is as temporal as he is temporal. Man’s love cannot sustain him unto eternal life without God’s love (His Spirit). In fact, our brand of love perishes when our carnal body perishes. By contrast, God’s love is eternal as He is eternal, and although He is full of compassion His will may not feel compassionate in the sense of the “warm fuzzies” we like our flesh to feel. Therefore, mankind’s version of love cannot be “true” in the sense that God’s love is true. Recall, God is love so God's Word is love and true, and the powerful witness of the Spirit of truth–the Holy Ghost is also God's love. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: John 15:26 (Emphasis added). (Please note, the phrase "...testify of me" means "...testify of the Word". And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14. As a prelude to the coming modules, we come to know the Word is the spirit of Jesus and the statement "...testify of me" (John 15:26) was spoken by Jesus who also said: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. John 14:16 (Emphasis added). As the Spirit of truth (and the spirit of God the Father in the certainty of His will) bears witness to His Word (explained in detail later), He gives eternal life to those who receive Him in Spirit and truth.
As to man, there is nothing in us that can stave off the death of our flesh and the certain destruction of our own brand of love. What is ours in respect of our own body and state of heart is limited to the extent of our fleshly life. However, if we were able to receive His love, we would receive His eternal Holy Spirit which makes Him God as He shares Himself with us by His Word witnessed in truth by the Holy Ghost (i.e., the Spirit of Truth), and we would find eternal life and serve Him in love for Him. Accordingly, God is concerned with our eternal life forever in heaven, not our fun and entertainment here on earth. We should share His same concern. Thus, He shares Himself with us in the truth by His love (“true love”) through the power of the Holy Ghost-“spirit of truth” to save us from death.
Man’s spirit (i.e., mankind's individual will of man) is closely associated with and governs the eternal disposition of man's own soul as he chooses to live by the Word of God unto eternal life, or by that which pleases man’s own flesh, according to what he loves most. Similarly, the will of God is also closely associated with His soul–the Father who is the giver of all life from the beginning! Thus, mankind can only set the terms by which he lives in this temporal world. Mankind cannot set the terms by which he may find eternal life. As the source of eternal life, God alone sets the terms for eternal life for mankind. He does this by and through His Word, and the Spirit of Truth bears witness to His Word in everlasting power of the Father's will. For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Hebrews 4:12 (Emphasis added).
As explained later in the course, the human soul is not eliminated when the body dies. It doesn't just disappear. Our choice to live by the will of God or the will of our flesh shall determine our soul's eternal life or eternal death respectively. The issue is not complicated. Therefore, as to the terms and conditions of eternal life, man may only choose that which God establishes as the pathway to eternal life according to His will, i.e., as He decides. By accepting His terms and conditions only He establishes, we receive the power to become sons of God as noted previously. We begin our pathway to eternal life by receiving the love of God. His love is first communicated to us in His Word (i.e., a true "first love"). Hence, we start with the Word as the first place we find interaction with Him. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God...But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,... John 1:1 and 1:12. Therefore, only we can choose an everlasting life by first desiring the “power to become” a son of God, and we do so by His Word–desiring Him according to what he says! There is no other beginning or pathway. The Word cannot be avoided for eternal life, but if it is, man has made his choice to avoid eternal life with Him, and so man receives an eternal death instead.
In order for each person to be able to receive the power to become a son of God, i.e., for God to be one God for all, God Himself must be indiscriminate as in no respecter of persons. …Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: Acts 10:34. Therefore, the love of God unto eternal life is available for all who want it, and God does not force Himself on us. He makes Himself available! If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13. In short, we must want Him. When we do, we accept His will as the pathway to come to know Him as our Father. This pathway begins with the Word as stated previously. Thus, receiving Him is both voluntary on us, and conditional according to Him because of His will. Only He decides how we are able to live forever. Still, a lot of people confuse “indiscriminate” as properly used in the context of being “no respecter of persons” with “unconditional” meaning “without condition or prerequisite.” Receiving God’s Holy Spirit (His love) is most definitely conditional on us. We must want Him sincerely of our heart. This is where the spirit or will of man chooses his heart’s desire, to live by what pleases his own flesh or by that which is pleasing to God instead.
Simply stated, living forever can only be according to the will of God which is communicated to us in His Word as we come to know Him as a Father. We serve Him in power of the truth of His Word by the Holy Ghost in obedience to the Holy Spirit–the Father (by His will), the Word (as the statement of his will), AND the Holy Ghost (the power in the spirit of truth of his Word being the statement of his will), and NOT by conformance to the world or its religions. This rule is fundamentally clear and reproved throughout the remainder of this study course.
What about the Devil? Be warned, in opposition to the supreme God there is a god of this temporal world known simply as “the devil”. The devil is evil. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. 2 Corinthians 4:4. (Emphasis added). Thus, despite what some people choose to believe, God the Father in heaven is not the “god of this world”. With that said, we should properly consider the enemy of God, but not fear the enemy.
Curiously, some people incorrectly say God almighty in heaven is universally in control of everything including our enemies and the devil, when saying so would mean the Father is a God of both good and evil, which cannot be. Moreover, those of us that are His disciples are the “‘saved” and live here in this world doing His will as His obedient children. As such, we have been given all power and authority over the enemy, but we have no power over God. Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. Luke 9:1.
Why then would the Father retain control of the enemy in contravention of the authority over the enemy He has given us? Does He intend to render our authority over the enemy meaningless, or simply toy with us? God forbid, neither! The Word says the devil and his demons (i.e., all evil) are doomed to hell as part of death per se (by definition) in the end. Any assertion saying God controls the enemy, including the devil and his demons as they make evil an option in this world, would render God in heaven a God of the dead which cannot be. Also, how could the devil ever be an enemy of God if God controls the workings of the devil? He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err. Mark 12:27. Clearly, the enemy of God Almighty can do nothing against God. Hence, the use of the term “enemy” should not be understood as a “threat” to God the Father, the Word, the Holy Ghost (Spirit of Truth), or His supremacy.
What then is the enemy–the devil? The enemy of God (the devil) is a spirit in the nature of an antagonist to the will of God and is the presentation of the “spirit of error” and evil. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:6. Simply stated, the [d]evil opposes God’s will which is always Good. As the antagonist of the will of God (i.e., the anti-Christ or “anti-Word of God” as discussed later), the will of the devil is evil and the enemy of God. Thus, the devil and evil have a will that work against and through the flesh making the opposition to God indirect via humankind and worldly events. ...if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will. 2 Timothy 2:25-26. How does the devil do this? The enemy tempts us to choose to live by the “will of the flesh” pleasing the flesh, instead of the will of God pleasing God. Therefore, the enemy of God cannot harm us or infringe on us, UNLESS we give in to the temptations of the devil (evil) that lead us away from God’s will and thus the protections of God. For completeness, God almighty is a Spirit and does not tempt anybody! Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: James 1:13.
By way of example, the New Testament covenant for salvation says mankind is a “carnal” creation. Our carnality hopelessly subjects us to the temptations of the god of this world-the devil (evil) and the enemy of God. More specifically, the devil works against us through the “lusts of our flesh” and the weakness of our carnality by tempting us to disobey God’s Word (and therefore His will). Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:2-3. In accordance with the original notes of the King James Bible, the “prince of the power of the air” is the devil. The term “lusts” is not limited to sexual desires, but any and all desires (physical, mental, emotional,...etc.) regarded by man as more important than living according to God's Word and His will.
It is worth pointing out, the term “desires” in Ephesians 2:3 above is properly and correctly rendered “wills”. Thus, the phrase “desires of the flesh and mind” is properly understood as the “wills of the flesh and mind”. The Bible uses the singular phrase “will of the flesh” to mean the collective “wills of the flesh (and mind)” simply because the flesh and mind form a kind of “joint enterprise” as they act and do things in concert proving our carnality. Stated another way, with respect to man’s fleshly body and carnal mind thereof, the “will of the flesh” is the joint enterprise of the carnal body and mind collectively defining human carnality as a whole. This “joint enterprise” pursues a lifestyle fulfilling the lusts of the natural body according to the carnal desires of the flesh (and mind) as the will thereof (“will of the flesh”). By analogy, the flesh body is the “vehicle” for the will of the flesh, and the carnal mind is the driver within that vehicle. Together they go places and do things in this world displaying man’s carnality.
Of course, we eat, sleep and do those things we must do in order to care for our flesh, and on the other hand, there is self-indulgence and excess in this world desiring our friendship of it. As a form of “joint enterprise”, the will of the flesh and the carnal mind are at odds against the will of God and produce a disregard for God’s will. Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 1 Peter 2:11. Not surprisingly then, because this world is the domain of the god of this world, any friend of the world is also the enemy of God. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4. (Please note, the phrase adulterers and adulteresses is not directed or limited to mankind's spousal adultery, is it directed to mankind's adultery with things that separate mankind from God.)
Thus, the Bible also says there are children of light (Luke 16:8, John 12:36, Ephesians 5:8), who are the children of God and children of the night or darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5), who are the children of the devil as the damned. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God,... 1 John 3:10. Because we have no sense of righteousness without Him, here again we begin by His Word in righteousness because we cannot expect God the Father to be a father to us unless we are desirous of His will as His child. (We cannot expect God the Father to be a father to us unless we are desirous of His will as His child. As His child, we must seek God’s righteousness in His Word because we have no sense of righteousness without Him. )The Word starts us on the path to loving everyone as we quickly learn that every human is in the same predicament. By doing what we want instead of what God wants, we give life to the enemy in our lifestyles, thereby proving whose child we are. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? Romans 6:16. In short, without human action in accord with the will of the flesh and contrary to the will of God, there is no manifestation of evil. However, people become the captives of the devil when they give in to the temptations of evil actions of the flesh and the lusts thereof. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James 1: 14-15.
By way of continued proof, the Bible says every good and perfect gift is from above. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17. For all intents and purposes today, the god of this world (the devil) is NOT from above as a good and perfect gift from God almighty. With respect to the “children of light” as the children of God born of the Spirit as discussed in detail later, the Father turns around the evil workings of the enemy to work good for His children. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.
With respect to “evolution” as it relates to adaptations of the flesh of animals which Charles Darwin observed and wrote about generally, the combination of the flesh of man as a natural body and his “will of the flesh” do have analogous similarities in other creatures on earth. The bible says: All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 1 Corinthians 15:39-41. Common sense tells us that the flesh of a camel has desires and behaviors like a camel, and the flesh of a penguin has desires to do penguin things, etc.
All living creatures including man, adapt and evolve to live in synergy with their environment as a whole. As the environment changes, including the species present in the population, the changes produce more changes inducing reactions by the flesh to cope. This is the response associated with the will of the flesh of all creatures to survive through adaptation, but we should take great care if we attempt to extrapolate a scientific theory to explain mankind. ALL living creatures have a “will of the flesh”, but ONLY man has a “will of man” which IS the spirit of a man (person) in them capable of choosing between the will of their flesh and the will of God!
Stated another way, mankind is the only living creature with a spirit/will capable of choosing eternal life, and there is no “spirit of man” in an ape making an ape like a man even if the ape walks upright. As such, the spirit/will of man separates us from all other living things, and we didn't get it from an ancestor or another creature. God gave it to us! But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 (Emphasis added). Thus, as evolution is a theory not without plausibility to explain the morphology of the body (flesh) of all living creatures as an adaptation to their environment and other living conditions overall, evolution does nothing to acknowledge, address, explain, or disprove, the spirit/will of man (or God)!
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