I was wondering the conection between the following verses in the Scriptures.
If we start in the beginning when God created everything, the Scriptures tell us that God created man and commanded him not to eat of the 2 trees in the midst of the garden (Gen. 2:15-24) and then created all the animals for man to name them, God notices that man did not have a helper and at that time God decided to give him a helper, BUT instead of creating a new body (like He did for man and for the animals) He took a part of the man and made (not created) a woman. Some may say that a woman is actually part of the man and that is why Adam (man) said ?This one, at last, is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called woman, for she was taken from man.?
You may also noticed that the woman did not become a living soul, but was already alive after God made her, Then He just brought her over to the man and the man new it was part of him. You may also notice that God said that when a man marries a woman they become ONE FLESH and no longer two. ?This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.?
3 Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?" 4 "Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female, 5 and He also said: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, man must not separate." 7 "Why then," they asked Him, "did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?" 8 He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning.)
I don?t understand the reason God has done some of the things He has done (like why allow sin to enter the world or let us suffer some of the things we have to go through), but I would like to think that He knows what He is doing and that we need to obey Him and follow His commands.
I have wonder if the woman?s soul is actually part of a man?s soul that will be reunited with that man in the new earth and that is why Jesus said that there will be no marriage in heaven, but that we would be like the angels of God. One thing I do know is that there is no mention of any women in heaven, at all. Have you wonder why?
Since this is the main point, I'll stop here.
(I don't want to argue offensively about this, I just want verses that prove it otherwise)
You have several interesting questions. Many of which I don't feel can be "proven" but more of an affirmation from God.
Quote: › One thing I do know is that there is no mention of any women in heaven, at all. Have you wonder why?
I believe that there will be no male or female gender in heaven. It's our soul and not our body that will be there.
Quote: › I don?t understand the reason God has done some of the things He has done (like why allow sin to enter the world or let us suffer some of the things we have to go through), but I would like to think that He knows what He is doing and that we need to obey Him and follow His commands.
God gave us free-will to make our own choices and sometimes those choices are not good ones. I have a kitten that loves to be adventurous. She gets into things she knows not to bother and goes places she shouldn't. I guess you could say she has free-will. She comes to me when she's hungry or wants something. She doesn't understand when I don't let her outside when it's too hot, but I understand. It's not good for her. It's not for us to understand everything God does.
Sometimes God does allow us to go through some tough times but He is always there even when we don't hear Him. Like the stars. We don't see them during the day (they are there) but we see them the brightest when it's darkest of night. It's the valleys or darkest times when you grow closer to God...maybe thats why we suffer..otherwise we might not search for Him.
"You may have the brightest thoughts by day but you have the deepest thoughts at night." ( I forgot who said that )
Ok, I'm rambling, not a theologian and I'm supposed to be working... Maybe someone who knows more than I do will respond.
I pray that you pray about this, and ask the Holy Spirit fill you, and guide you while you are.
I looked up some things on the web and found an article that kind of goes along what I have always thought about this, and it is at:
On earth, if you truly know God, then all things lead to Him. In His kingdom this becomes even more so. It reaches the divine level.
We are on this earth to experience human love with one another, but this love we know for one another, in regards to relationships, pales in comparison to the love of God.
By living, experiencing, and doing the will of God, which leads to believing in Christ, we are transformed.
We get a bigger piece of God's love. We use that love to help other's get closer to God.
In reality, that love uses us.
For we are the humble servants of the Lord.
We are to become like Christ, the only Son of God.
It is the relationship with Christ that is important, not our gender or gender functions.
It's our soul, and that thin layer of our spirit that connects us with Christ. This is a spiritual connection.
Thinking positively, you will know your loved ones in heaven, for those that make it with you. However, your soul and the part of you that you take with you, perhaps the essence of your spirit will be focused on God.
That means that God's love is a comforting blanket for all to enjoy. Because of this love, we will not have gender in the sense that we know it.
We will retain that individuality, however, in heaven, we will become all things to God, but in the same sense that Jesus, His son is.
Man does things physically no doubt. Men and women compliment one another, and are co-dependent on one another. This is true with having offspring as well.
However, in the Scriptures, when it comes to making things reproduce, the Lord referred more to plant life than any other thing.
He especially used grain in regards to spiritual growth. This is the most important type of growth to have. We are reborn through Christ.
Christ gave us insight into this gender problem, by telling a parable of the Sower.
We reap what what we sow. When we plant the seed of God. Then come harvest time, we have born the fruit of the Spirit, ready to be sowed.
From the voiceofjesus.org we find that:
Quote: › "Gospel of Luke, Chapter 8:
5 The sower went out to sow his seed, and in sowing it some fell by the road and was trampled, and the birds of heaven ate it. 6 And other fell on the rocks, and grew, was withered because of not having moisture. 7 And other fell in the midst of thorn bushes, and the thorn bushes growing with it choked it. 8 And other fell on the good land, and grew produced fruit hundredfold.
11 Now this is the parable. The seed is the word of God. 12 Now that by the road are those hearing, then comes the devil and takes the word from their hearts, in order that not having believed they [not] be saved. 13 And that on the rocks are they who when they hear receive the word with joy, and these do not have root, who for [a] time believe and in time of trial fall away, 14 so that falling in the thorn bushes, these are those hearing, and proceeding under the cares and riches and pleasures of life they are choked and do not bear fruit. 15 But that in the good land, these are those in [the] good and sound heart who having heard the word hold fast and bear fruit in patience.
We need consider primarily the fourth category, which is the only one to survive and bear fruit. The seed is the Word of God (as uttered by Jesus) and, when it falls into a good and sound heart, it lives, survives, and bears fruit. The life is in the seed, which is the Word of God as uttered on the earth by Jesus. The good and sound heart is the one that, receiving the seed into the heart, comes to life and bears fruit. The life in every case begins with the receiving of the seed, confirming the point of origin as the time when one receives and believes the Word because zoe-life is in the Word and that is the time when the zoe-life begins in the individual.
The Lord's preferred figure for illustrating spiritual reproduction is therefore that of the wheat or the barley plants. It is a figure that is just as enlightening to the gardener as to the farmer. Indeed, it will be difficult to find a person of adolescent age or over who does not know and understand this pattern.
The process of spiritual reproduction is therefore according to the pattern of the reproduction of plants -- specifically of grain. Although we now know that this process of plant reproduction has it's own male and female gender, those to whom Jesus spoke immediately did not know that and did not associate the sowing, growing, and harvesting of grain as a gender related process. The simple pattern is this:
1. Sow seed in the ground.
2. The living plants spring up.
3. The plants grow.
4. Each plant multiplies the seed many times over.
5. The sickle appears to harvest.
6. The harvest is gathered into the barn.
All with no reference to gender or to a gender based reproduction process. There is no mother. There is no sperm (seed, but no sperm). There is no egg, there is no womb, there is no embryo and no fetus. There is none of that! The produce appears to be all the same -- grains of wheat or barley without gender distinctions. This is the process of spiritual reproduction from the perspective of Jesus and of heaven. At the risk of insulting your intelligence, here are the corresponding steps in the spiritual reproduction process:
1. Sow the Word in the earth.
2. Those who hear and believe become zoe-alive; they are born of the Spirit.
3. Each one grows up.
4. Each one also sows the Word in the earth and multiplies it.
5. The Lord puts in the sickle and harvests the earth.
6. He gathers his children into his house, where he now prepares a place."
Here are some more thoughts...
"For whoever does the will of my father in the heavens, he himself is my brother and my sister and my mother." - Matt. 12:36
Luke 20: "And Jesus said to them, The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, for they cannot die any more, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection."
In Luke 20, we are firmly grounded in Christ when we make it to heaven.
It's a simple process since the Holy Spirit is already in us, thus Christ is in us, and we in Him.
Once we have become reborn, we note that we have had to abandon our concept of relationships between family, and friends, and man and wife.
We must see one another on a spiritual level, one having God's love, and not just human love.
Luke 14:25 "If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. 27 "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." (NASB)
I suggest using www.biblegateway.com, with the NASB version, in order to use the cross-references to terms, and the summary of passages, in order to get a good idea of this.
While here on earth, man and woman must place themselves in an abiding faith with the Lord. Only then will they come close to becoming one flesh. Which is only a small understanding of how we are to become one with Christ, God, and the Holy Spirit in heaven.
Those are thoughts...As scrambled as they are...
Pray, and believe that the Holy Spirit is there, and He is.
Unfortunately, MAN (and Woman) were much like the kitten in the above posting.
Here is my problem with this myth.
Adam and Eve were without the knowledge of the difference of good and evil until AFTER they both ate of the forbidden fruit.
Like a baby, or an animal, they did not KNOW that what they were doing was EVIL. They did not know that disobeying God was BAD. God, on the other-hand, KNEW that they WOULD disobey his instructions. And with all this being true they were BOTH still punished.
[b]Why does God permit Suffering?[/b]
The Bible assures us that the suffering we see around us is not caused by God. For instance, the Christian disciple James wrote: “When under trial, let no one say: ‘I am being tried by God.’ For with evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” (James 1:13)
To remain in God’s favor, Adam and Eve would have to refrain from eating from “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad.” (Genesis 2:16, 17) If they had obeyed God’s law, there would have been no suffering to mar human life. By obeying God’s command, they would have demonstrated their love for God and their loyalty to him.
Satan was attacking God’s position as the Most High. By saying, “You positively will not die,” the Devil contradicted God’s words, “You will positively die.” Satan’s further words implied that God was keeping Adam and Eve ignorant of the possibility of becoming like God, thus not needing Him to decide what was good and bad. Satan’s challenge therefore brought into question the right and validity of God’s position as the Universal Sovereign.—Genesis 2:17; 3:1-6.
Satan the Devil also insinuated that people would remain obedient to God only as long as obeying God was to their advantage. In other words, human integrity was brought into question. Satan charged that no human would voluntarily remain loyal to God. This malicious claim by Satan is clearly revealed in the Bible’s account about Job, a faithful servant of God who underwent a great test sometime before 1600 B.C.E. When you read the first two chapters of the book of Job, you can gain insight into the reason for human suffering and why God permits it.
Job, “a man blameless and upright,” came under Satan’s attack. First, Satan imputed bad motives to Job by raising the question, “Is it for nothing that Job has feared God?” Then, the Devil cunningly maligned both God and Job by charging that God had bought Job’s loyalty by protecting and blessing him. “But, for a change,” Satan challenged God, “thrust out your hand, please, and touch everything he has and see whether he will not curse you to your very face.”—Job 1:8-11.
Was Job serving God simply because of all the good that he received from God? Could Job’s integrity stand up under test? In turn, did God have enough confidence in his servant to allow him to be tested? These questions could be answered if God would permit Satan to bring upon Job the severest of tests. Job’s faithful course under the test allowed by God, proved to be a thorough vindication of God’s righteousness and man’s integrity.—Job 42:1, 2, 12.
What happened in the garden of Eden and to the man Job, however, has a deeper implication. The issues Satan raised involve all mankind, including us today. God’s name was maligned, and his sovereignty was challenged. The uprightness of God’s creation, man, was called into question. These issues had to be settled.
Soul of man (Heb., ne′phesh [?פנ]; Gr., psy·khe′ [ψυχή]) a different point of view
If you read again Gen 2:7 “the man came to be a living soul.”
We [U]are[/U] a soul-we do not [U]have[/U] a soul
Matthew 10:28 states that God “can destroy both soul [psy·khen′] and body in Gehenna.” This shows that psy·khe′ does not refer to something immortal or indestructible. There is, in fact, not one case in the entire Scriptures, Hebrew and Greek, in which the words ne′phesh or psy·khe′ are modified by terms such as immortal, indestructible, imperishable, deathless, or the like. (See IMMORTALITY; INCORRUPTION.) On the other hand, there are scores of texts in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures that speak of the ne′phesh or psy·khe′ (soul) as mortal and subject to death (Ge 19:19, 20; Nu 23:10; Jos 2:13, 14; Jg 5:18; 16:16, 30; 1Ki 20:31, 32; Ps 22:29; Eze 18:4, 20; Mt 2:20; 26:38; Mr 3:4; Heb 10:39; Jas 5:20); as dying, being “cut off” or destroyed (Ge 17:14; Ex 12:15; Le 7:20; 23:29; Jos 10:28-39; Ps 78:50; Eze 13:19; 22:27; Ac 3:23; Re 8:9; 16:3), whether by sword (Jos 10:37; Eze 33:6) or by suffocation (Job 7:15), or being in danger of death due to drowning (Jon 2:5); and also as going down into the pit or into Sheol (Job 33:22; Ps 89:4 or being delivered from (Ps 16:10; 30:3; 49:15; Pr 23:14).
The expression ‘deceased or dead soul’ also appears a number of times, meaning simply “a dead person.”—Le 19:28; 21:1, 11; 22:4; Nu 5:2; 6:6; Hag 2:13; compare Nu 19:11, 13.
For the sake of clarity; note that nephesh is only one of five Hebrew words that can be rendered "soul", nephesh is the "animal soul" which does indeed perish with the physical body. It is associated with the blood...hence the Levitical prohibitions on drinking blood.
The other four Hebrew words are assigned specifically to humans and not animals demonstrating that we are the pinacle of creation.
Regarding the original questions and subsequent responses; the kitten analogy fails precisely because animals do not posses free will, but act on instinct and conditioning alone.
Adam and Eve knew that evil existed in potential, they were not naïve…rather they simply had not exorcised their free will in actualizing that potential until the incident with the forbidden fruit. Free will cannot exist unless the potential for evil is legitimate; hence God allows suffering temporarily because the end result will be far greater than if He did not. The fact that we are allowed to suffer and choose evil is part of the necessary process that will ultimately bring humanity into a true relationship with God, though we could have used that same free will to avoid sin and suffering.
God remains in complete control, good is eternal, evil is not and cannot endure beyond God’s essential tolerance for our benefit.
Please give me the other Hebrew words for soul so I can do my research on them.
I will try to find you the strongs numbers to help you locate them easily in scripture.
Nefesh 5315 (from 5314) - soul
Ruach 7307 (from 7306) – breath or spirit
neshamah 5397 - breath
Chaya 2418 (usually translated live or life)
Yechida 3173 singularity or unity
Etymological research in scripture alone may not reveal much, it is more in the conceptual links of the Hebrew language that we can find the significance of these words as they relate to the human soul. Each of the five words indicates an increased level or ascending degree of intimacy with the creator. The first three (nefesh-ruach-neshamah) are in common usage throughout scripture, the last two less so as they are considered, in Hebrew oral tradition, to be primarily relevant to humanities relationship with God in the world to come, rather than in this one.
Nefesh is the animal soul or instinctual consciousness irrevocably tied to the physical realm
Ruach describes an awareness of spirituality
Neshamah is actively engaged in spiritual awareness
Chaya is living spiritual vitality on a level rarely experienced this side of heaven
Yechida is a binding of wills with the creator beyond anything we can currently comprehend
Adam was initially created a completed soul in perfect unity with God, but God allowed the potential for evil within him because without comprehension of the opposite of God’s nature, that perfect nature could never truly be understood. We best comprehend something by comparison with it’s opposite.
God then divided Adams soul into male and female in order that he could experience “relationship” on an equal level apart from God, something he could not have with the lower animals. The potential for sin left the universe in an unfinished state so that mankind could be directly involved in completing it. Again…relationship has value only when we are directly involved with the process.
Evil and suffering, at least in potential, are necessary but TEMPORARY components of the process of bringing us into a perfect relationship with God. We have free will, but are never able to completely override the will of God. He remains in complete control though occasionally (from our temporal perspective) this seems not to be the case.
I hope this provides some food for thought regarding the original posters excellent questions.
The same Hebrew phrase used of the animal creation, namely, ne′phesh chai·yah′ (living soul), is applied to Adam, when, after God formed man out of dust from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, “the man came to be a living soul.” (Ge 2:7) Man was distinct from the animal creation, but that distinction was not because he was a ne′phesh (soul) and they were not. Rather, the record shows that it was because man alone was created “in God’s image.” (Ge 1:26, 27) He was created with moral qualities like those of God, with power and wisdom far superior to the animals; hence he could have in subjection all the lower forms of creature life. (Ge 1:26, 2 Man’s organism was more complex, as well as more versatile, than that of the animals. (Compare 1Co 15:39.)
It is true that the account says that ‘God proceeded to blow into the man’s nostrils the breath [form of nesha·mah′] of life,’ whereas this is not stated in the account of the animal creation. Clearly, however, the account of the creation of man is much more detailed than that of the creation of animals. Moreover, Genesis 7:21-23, in describing the Flood’s destruction of “all flesh” outside the ark, lists the animal creatures along with mankind and says: “Everything in which the breath [form of nesha·mah′] of the force of life was active in its nostrils, namely, all that were on the dry ground, died.” Obviously, the breath of life of the animal creatures also originally came from the Creator.
So, too, the “spirit” (Heb., ru′ach; Gr., pneu′ma), or life-force, of man is not distinct from the life-force in animals, as is shown by Ecclesiastes 3:19-21, which states that “they all have but one spirit [u·ru′ach].”
I do not wish to argue. We seem to see and understand things differently. We may have to agree to disagree.
Quote: › The same Hebrew phrase used of the animal creation, namely, ne′phesh chai•yah′ (living soul), is applied to Adam, when, after God formed man out of dust from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, “the man came to be a living soul.” (Ge 2:7) Man was distinct from the animal creation, but that distinction was not because he was a ne′phesh (soul) and they were not. Rather, the record shows that it was because man alone was created “in God’s image.” (Ge 1:26, 27) He was created with moral qualities like those of God, with power and wisdom far superior to the animals;
hence he could have in subjection all the lower forms of creature life. (Ge 1:26, 2 Man’s organism was more complex, as well as more versatile, than that of the animals. (Compare 1Co 15:39.)
It is true that the account says that ‘God proceeded to blow into the man’s nostrils the breath [form of nesha•mah′] of life,’ whereas this is not stated in the account of the animal creation. Clearly, however, the account of the creation of man is much more detailed than that of the creation of animals.
Both Man and animals were created a living nefesh, yes…I specifically identified the nefesh as “animal soul” meaning purely physical life (Chay) as applied to both animals and humans, but animals were not given a neshamah, Adam alone received that when God breathed into his nostrils. You mention that man was given greater moral qualities…but then proceed to discuss man’s more complex physical organism. Is man’s moral elevation merely the result of greater physiological complexity? Perhaps then mankind will one day invent an artificial intelligence of significant enough complexity to rival human consciousness. Is our being alive merely a physical phenomenon? Do we cease to exist if our physical bodies are destroyed? Surely not. You must follow your reasoning to its logical conclusions, at least in potential, to see if they are compatible with your theology.
Is not the context of 1cor 15:39 that in being raised from corruptible physical flesh is transformed to incorruptible as spiritually based rather than merely physical? The subject of the passage is the resurrection and the contrast between physical and spiritual is the primary focus.
1Co 15:44 It is sown4687 a natural5591 body;4983 it is raised1453 a spiritual4152 body.4983 There is2076 a natural5591 body,4983 and2532 there is2076 a spiritual4152 body.4983
1Co 15:45 And2532 so3779 it is written,1125 The3588 first4413 man444 Adam76 was made1096 a(1519) living2198 soul;5590 the3588 last2078 Adam76 was made(1519) a quickening2227 spirit.4151
1Co 15:46 Howbeit235 that was not3756 first4412 which is spiritual,4152 but235 that which is natural;5591 and afterward1899 that which is spiritual.4152 This is not a reference to human vs animal souls but a discussion of the contrasting states of the human body pre and post resurrection…in that the physical body will be raised to an incorruptible level to match the already incorruptible soul - assuming we avail ourselves of the neshamah rather than living a life rooted merely in the physical.
You mention that the Genesis account is more detailed regarding mankind than of the animals…is that not to be expected since it was specifically recorded for mankind’s benefit (animals can’t read), and is not the entire cosmos (including animals) created specifically for man; the crown of creation and the very reason for it?
Quote: › Moreover, Genesis 7:21-23, in describing the Flood’s destruction of “all flesh” outside the ark, lists the animal creatures along with mankind and says: “Everything in which the breath [form of nesha•mah′] of the force of life was active in its nostrils, namely, all that were on the dry ground, died.” Obviously, the breath of life of the animal creatures also originally came from the Creator.
Gen 7:21 And all3605 flesh1320 died1478 that moved7430 upon5921 the earth,776 both of fowl,5775 and of cattle,929 and of beast,2416 and of every3605 creeping thing8318 that creepeth8317 upon5921 the earth,776 and every3605 man:120
Gen 7:22 All3605 in whose nostrils639 was the breath5397, 7307 of life,2416 of all4480, 3605 that834 was in the dry2724 land, died.4191
Gen 7:23 And (853) every3605 living substance3351 was destroyed4229 which834 was upon5921 the face6440 of the ground,127 both man,4480, 120 and5704 cattle,929 and5704 the creeping things,7431 and5704 the fowl5775 of the heaven;8064 and they were destroyed4229 from4480 the earth:776 and Noah5146 only389 remained7604 alive, and they that834 were with854 him in the ark.8392
Here you have simply misread the text in asserting that neshamah is applied to both animals and humans…not so if you understand the Hebrew sentence structure (and the English also if you look more carefully). It says that “all flesh died” (animals) INCLUDING man (in whom resides the neshamah) “and every living substance was destroyed” (both man and animals). It applies neshamah only to man, not animals.
Quote: › So, too, the “spirit” (Heb., ru′ach; Gr., pneu′ma), or life-force, of man is not distinct from the life-force in animals, as is shown by Ecclesiastes 3:19-21, which states that “they all have but one spirit [you•ru′ach].”
Ecc 3:20 All3605 go1980 unto413 one259 place;4725 all3605 are1961 of4480 the dust,6083 and all3605 turn to dust again.7725, 413, 6083 Keep in mind that the context of Ecclesiastes is the vanity of worldly (not spiritual) pursuits and not the nature of human vs. animal souls. Also note that it only applies ruach in a general sense and does not use the word neshamah which is exclusively applied to mankind regarding the breath of God as imparted to Adam. Thank you though, for pointing out this use of ruach as applied to the physical realm.
The entire reason for human existence is that we might elevate ourselves, and in the process complete the creation itself, by pursuing the greater spiritual aspect of our nature. Physical and Spiritual are co-existent components of the same creation and part of the greater whole. Focusing on the physical alone or as a separate or independent element of that whole is the very error propitiated by the fall of mankind (succumbing to purely physical instincts and urges)…like Eve in stating that the fruit “looked pleasant to the eyes”. It is our task to discover the intended purpose of our physical nature (an all of creation) as part of the greater spiritual whole by willingly and actively conforming our nature to that of the Creators.
Quote: › I do not wish to argue. We seem to see and understand things differently. We may have to agree to disagree.
I am content that you and I can agree to disagree, but I am also content to note that the texts you offer do not contradict the view I espoused. Furthermore, my own view is supported by several thousand years of Hebrew oral tradition rather than merely a personal conviction or attachment to one particular theological bent.
I can see that it is talking about both man and animals but I do not see where it "applies neshamah only to man, not animals."
Everything in which the breath [form of nesha·mah′] of the force of life was active in its nostrils, namely, all that were on the dry ground, died.” Obviously, the breath of life of the animal creatures also originally came from the Creator.
As noted, the Scriptures refer to the ru′ach, or life-force, as being not only in humans but also in animals. (Ge 6:17; 7:15, 22) Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 shows that man dies in the same manner as the beasts, for “they all have but one spirit [weru′ach], so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast,” that is, as to the life-force common to both. This being so, it is clear that the “spirit,” or life-force (ru′ach), as used in this sense is impersonal. As an illustration, one might compare it to another invisible force, electricity, which may be used to make various types of machines operate—causing stoves to produce heat, fans to produce wind, computers to solve problems, television sets to produce figures, voices and other sounds—yet which electric current never takes on any of the characteristics of the machines in which it functions or is active.
Thus, Psalm 146:3, 4 says that when man’s “spirit [form of ru′ach] goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts do perish.” The spirit, or life-force, that was active in man’s body cells does not retain any of the characteristics of those cells, such as the brain cells and their part in the thinking process. If the spirit, or life-force (ru′ach; pneu′ma), were not impersonal, then it would mean that the children of certain Israelite women who were resurrected by the prophets Elijah and Elisha were actually in conscious existence somewhere in the period during which they were dead. So, too, with Lazarus, who was resurrected some four days after his death. (1Ki 17:17-23; 2Ki 4:32-37; Joh 11:38-44) If such had been the case, it is reasonable that they would have remembered such conscious existence during that period and upon being resurrected would have described it, told about it. There is nothing to indicate that any of them did so. Hence, the personality of the dead individual is not perpetuated in the life-force, or spirit, that stops functioning in the deceased person’s body cells.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 states that at death the person’s body returns to the dust, “and the spirit itself returns to the true God who gave it.” The person himself was never in heaven with God; what “returns” to God is therefore the vital force that enabled the person to live.
Quote: › I am also content to note that the texts you offer do not contradict the view I espoused. Furthermore, my own view is supported by several thousand years of Hebrew oral tradition
Agreed, I am content to note that the texts that you offer do not contradict the view that I espoused. True I do not follow the teaching of any man, I follow the teaching of jesus and his apostles.
Like it is stated we are her to share our different understanding. It is interesting and I am sure it give us both something to think about.
So your contention is that since Lazarus et al are not recorded as having reported remembering anything from beyond the grave…we must therefore be “unconscious” in death? You advocate some form of the “soul sleep” doctrine then? Perhaps it would help if you actually explained what you DO believe occurs after death so I am not left guessing where you are coming from on this subject.
Note that just because scripture did not record testimonies from the individuals you mention does not prove there was none, only that it wasn’t recorded. For a genuine example of consciousness after death I refer you to Jesus account of Lazarus and the rich man; note that this is not a parable but an actual account. When Jesus issues a parable He clearly states it as such and is subsequently recorded as offering the interpretation to His disciples. The context of the account of Lazarus and the rich man offers no suggestion of being a parable and contains no interpretation thereafter.
Quote: › Everything in which the breath [form of nesha•mah′] of the force of life was active in its nostrils, namely, all that were on the dry ground, died.” Obviously, the breath of life of the animal creatures also originally came from the Creator.
Yes life comes from the creator…but the bestowing of the neshamah was clearly a special circumstance, the image of God, given only to man. While all creatures have a “breath of life” only mankind truly has free will.
Quote: › As noted, the Scriptures refer to the ru′ach, or life-force, as being not only in humans but also in animals. (Ge 6:17; 7:15, 22) Ecclesiastes 3:18-22 shows that man dies in the same manner as the beasts, for “they all have but one spirit [weru′ach], so that there is no superiority of the man over the beast,” that is, as to the life-force common to both. This being so, it is clear that the “spirit,” or life-force (ru′ach), as used in this sense is impersonal. As an illustration, one might compare it to another invisible force, electricity, which may be used to make various types of machines operate—causing stoves to produce heat, fans to produce wind, computers to solve problems, television sets to produce figures, voices and other sounds—yet which electric current never takes on any of the characteristics of the machines in which it functions or is active.
Surely there is a difference in how the ruach functions within humans and animals? Rather than forcing the intended meaning of scripture into a narrow box based on a single word, and in this case the single instance of ruach being applied to animals, would it not be more prudent to examine it in the broader perspective of scripture as a whole and the contextual potentials of the word? You tend to use isolated passages as a means to force a preconceived interpretation rather than actually examining the deeper potential of said passage. I believe this to be a serious flaw in your approach to hermeneutics. You tend to employ isogesis rather than exegesis.
Ruach alone does not prove humans are spiritually elevated compared to animals, but rather the potential to experience all five levels of the soul.
When the Psalms speak of man’s thoughts perishing, or Paul stating that “the dead know not anything” this offers no valid argument for total oblivion in death…rather it simply indicates that we are separated from the physical realm both physically and mentally until the resurrection. None of this proves that we experience nothing at all in death, or that man is merely a physical being animated by a temporal “wind” also irrevocably tied to the physical. Hebrew tradition outlines four distinct “worlds” of which the physical realm is only one…and in fact the lowest.
Quote: › Ecclesiastes 12:7 states that at death the person’s body returns to the dust, “and the spirit itself returns to the true God who gave it.” The person himself was never in heaven with God; what “returns” to God is therefore the vital force that enabled the person to live.
So we are just puppets of the breath of God then? Mere illusions perpetrated by a deceptive puppet master who got bored? Please elaborate.
I do not dispute that the body decays, nor even that the nefesh and possible ruach remain dormant in death, rather it is my contention that the neshamah persists and the last two levels remain potentially accessible in death. This all provides a perfect rational for the necessity of the resurrection, wherein the transformation of the physical into imperishable perfection enables us to finally come to the full realization of nefesh, ruach, neshamah, chaya and yechida simultaneously and in perfect and irrevocable unity!
Quote: › Agreed, I am content to note that the texts that you offer do not contradict the view that I espoused. True I do not follow the teaching of any man, I follow the teaching of jesus and his apostles.
Yet you offer no convincing support for your views beyond the fact that you disagree with me (and a vast historical tradition amongst God’s chosen people) and that you choose to maintain your personal interpretation regardless. You do indeed follow the teachings of a man…yourself in particular. I feel compelled to ask if you are in any way affiliated with a particular group or denomination, as many of your views are indeed consistent with those of Jehovah’s witnesses and one particular offshoot of that following.
I remain pleased to consider you a friend of course, certainly no less, I do not choose friends based only on whether we agree with each other. I would, however, encourage you not to be too quick to run from our discussion when we do not concur with our respective conclusions. Interpretation is a process, not a destination.
Failure to relate one doctrine to others results in confused thinking and the accepting of error without recognizing it as such. For instance, many religious persons acknowledge the Bible teachings that “the wages sin pays is death,” that Jesus died and “gave himself a corresponding ransom for all” and that there is to be a “resurrection of the dead.” (Rom. 6:23; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1 Cor. 15:42) But at the same time they profess belief in the immortality of the soul. Not only is this idea out of harmony with what the Bible teaches about the human soul—that man is a soul, that the soul dies and that the dead know nothing (Gen. 2:7; Ezek. 18:4; Eccl. 9:5-10)—but the teaching that the human soul is immortal is in direct conflict with the Bible teachings mentioned above. If the soul were immortal and death were but a doorway to some other life, then death would be no penalty for sin. And for what purpose did Jesus die? From what does he ransom men, if not from sin and death? If man’s soul were immortal and he did not cease living at death, we would really have no need for Jesus’ sacrifice, would we? And what need would there be for a resurrection, if there were no dead to resurrect?
On the other hand, the Bible teaching on the subject is logical and consistent. Man was created as a living soul. He sinned and was sentenced to death, to lose his life on earth, the only life he had. Unable to pass on life now to his offspring, he could only pass on to them sin and death, and, without the provision of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus, death would have been the complete end for all of us. Now, on the basis of Jesus’ sacrificial death, God can justly deliver man to everlasting life, and for the dead this can only be by a resurrection. How simple and logical! Accurate knowledge of this right pattern of Bible teaching causes false doctrines like that of the immortality of the soul to be rejected from the mind.
One last example from many Biblical accounts to show how the facts behind the words bring clarity. The Bible speaks of the incorrigibly wicked being everlastingly punished in “hell fire” or a lake of fire. Not only does this seem fiendish, but it contradicts the statements that “the soul that sinneth, it shall die” and that “the wages sin pays is death.” (Ezek. 18:4, AS; Rom. 6:23) When the King James Bible speaks of “hell fire,” as at Matthew 5:22, the original Greek is géhenna tou pyrós [“gehenna of the fire,” Yg]. It has no reference to any lake of fire inside the earth, but means the valley of Hinnom to the west and south of ancient Jerusalem. In Jesus’ time it was the dumping place and incinerator for the filth of the city. Fires, to which sulphur or brimstone was added to assist the burning, consumed the refuse. Here the bodies of not only dead animals but occasionally the bodies of executed criminals were thrown. When a human body was thrown there it indicated a person too wicked to deserve a resurrection; hence no memorial tomb was used for him. Hence the place became a symbol of a destruction or punishment that was complete and everlasting. The Jews of Jesus’ day understood this symbol, so Jesus used it to indicate the everlasting punishment in death for the willfully wicked.
Just as there are modern expressions that would be meaningless to persons living in ancient times because they would not know the background of our age, so there are words from Bible times that are meaningless to us unless we learn the facts behind them.
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