Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A Spiritual View of Homosexuality

A Spiritual View of Homosexuality

Spiritual Perspective

 Perhaps you have heard the book written about Flatland by Edwin Abbott. In it there is a story of people living in a 2 dimensional space much like a piece of paper, while a 3 dimensional sphere is passed through their world.  The 3 dimensional sphere appears as a line changing from short to long to short to them as it passes through their paper flat world.  The 2 dimensional Flatland dwellers can only see the sphere at the point it intersects their plane. To them, it is clearly a line and not a sphere.

 The spiritual realm is interwoven with our physical world and is preeminent.  Like the metaphorical realm of the sphere, the spiritual realm is one that contains within it the lower dimensions.  We see the spiritual realm’s at the point it intersects our physical one.  The spiritual realm’s interactions with our world are mysterious, incomprehensible, and indescribable.  We have trouble describing it in much the same way that Flatlanders seeing a sphere pass through their world as a line could not imagine nor describe a sphere.

 This is the marvel of the Bible.  It is in our 4 dimensional world (height, width, depth, time), describing a 5th dimension, that of the spiritual realm.  Jesus clearly made reference to the separateness of His spiritual kingdom from the physical in this passage:

John 18:36 LEB  Jesus replied, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews. But now my kingdom is not from here."

 Paul also pointed out the existence of the separate but interrelated physical and spiritual realms in this passage:

Galatians 6:8 LEB  “because the one who sows to his own flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.” 

 In the same manner that Flatlanders cannot see the sphere, but are limited to seeing the line, we also are limited by our human bodies to the 4 dimensions, and cannot see the spiritual realm.  Yet, the Paul tells us that where we “sow”, or draw our strength from, will determine if we experience decay and corruption, or abundant and eternal life.

Spiritual Instruction Through Physical Example

 Flatlanders have no concept of what 3 dimensions would be like, and do not have the capacity within themselves to comprehend a sphere.  In the same manner, humans have no concept of what a spiritual dimension is like, and do not have the capacity within themselves to comprehend it.  Paul points out this problem and its solution in the following passages:

1 Corinthians 2:9 LEB  But just as it is written, "Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and have not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love him."

1 Corinthians 2:12-13 LEB  Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, in order that we may know the things freely given to us by God,  (13)  things which we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual things to spiritual people.

 The Bible is inspired by God, and as such is written from the vantage point of the spiritual dimension.  As we become spiritually aware, through entry of God’s spirit, the words in the Bible begin to crystallize or come into focus in our hearts and minds, and the spiritual realm begins to make sense.  It is like the Flatlanders reading and learning about the 3rd dimension, and starting to comprehend what it is like.

 One of the primary ways the Bible teaches us what this spiritual realm is like is through examples called types or shadows. Jesus used parables to give us examples what the spiritual realm is like.  He used the terms “the kingdom of heaven is like…” dozens of times, and a great part of the Bible is written to reveal the spiritual realm using this means.  (cf. Matthew 13, Mark 4) The Bible writers used physical examples to illustrate what spiritual reality is like.  Like the example of “Sowing and Reaping”, they also compared the sowing of physical and spiritual seeds, compared spiritual light with physical light, spiritual darkness with physical darkness, spiritual blindness and leprosy to physical blindness and leprosy, spiritual life and death to physical life and death, and so on.  In fact 1 Corinthians 10:6-14 indicates that most of the Old Testament was recorded so as to be an example to those of “on whom the end of the ages have come”.  The Old Testament is a book of physical examples that illustrate spiritual realities.

 The Example of Physical Union and Spiritual Union

 One of these examples reveals the spiritual relationship of marriage between Christ and His Church with physical relationship of marriage between man and woman. 

Ephesians 5:31-32 LEB  "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh."  (32)  (This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church.)

2 Corinthians 11:2 LEB  For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

Revelation 19:7-8 LEB  Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself.  (8)  And it has been granted to her that she be dressed in bright, clean fine linen (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints)."

In the Bible, the physical relationship of a man and woman is a type or shadow of Christ’s relationship with His bride, the church.  Christ’s marriage with His bride is also the model for the physical marriage of man and woman. 

 A key aspect of this example is the life giving sexual joining of man and woman, and the life giving relationship between Christ and His bride.  When a man and woman are sexually joined, they experience the ultimate in physical intimacy, pleasure, and joy.  The entry of God’s word into the heart of man has the same attributes, and we experience spiritual intimacy, pleasure and joy. 

 The fundamental miracle of this relationship however is the conception of life.  Through the physical union of a man and woman, life is conceived.  This is a powerful dynamic example of what happens when we have an intimate relationship with Christ, spiritual life emerges from the relationship.

 The life-giving example of a the joining of man and woman with conception of life in the context of marriage is a beautiful one showing the spiritual depth of the life giving relationship that Christ desires with His bride.  Christ desires to come into us, and live in us intimately, and give birth to everlasting life. 

 In another aspect of this image, we see that it is “seed” that is the agent bringing life.  The man’s seed enters the woman’s egg, and physical life comes forth.  Likewise, Jesus plants His seed in us, (Luke 8:11  "… The seed is the word of God.) and spiritual life comes forth.  The analogy of being “born again” is integral to this type.  In the same way that the union and physical seed of a man into woman brings forth new physical birth, so too does the union between God and man through the “seed” of the word of God bring forth new spiritual birth. The spiritual birth is the second birth, hence, we are “born again”.

1 Peter 1:23 LEB    … you have been born again, not from perishable seed but imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

This example of the physical union of a man and woman in its various facets is a powerful oft repeated example to us.  It is a living parable of our relationship with Christ, an example designed and created by Him to reveal His nature to us.  The conception of life coming from the joining of man and woman is a revelation of the spiritual life that comes from the joining of Christ with mankind. 

 Homosexual Relationship A Corrupt Type

 Those who legitimize the homosexual relationship have replaced the example Christ gave us of a man and woman bringing life forth with that of man and man or woman and woman, which cannot produce life.  It is a false image, an incorrect type or shadow of spiritual reality.  Since it is God who gave us the example of marriage to show the facets and depth of His desire and the results of relationship with us, it is dishonorable to corrupt this image into one that cannot produce life.  God’s very nature is that of giving life.

 Homosexual advocates attempt to explain away the prohibition on homosexuality by attempting to legitimize it through adding love, commitment and faithfulness.  But adding these things to the homosexual relationship does nothing to resolve the issue that the relationship cannot bear life, and the image or example it presents is of a Creator who cannot give life.  It is the act itself that is corrupt.  It replaces the illustration of a life-giving relationship with God one that is lifeless, thus presenting a false image of God.

 The Due Penalty of Their Error

 In Romans 1:27 we read of those who practice homosexuality "receiving in themselves the penalty that was necessary for their error".  I would like to examine this in the context of the spiritual perspective of this article.

If we turn again to our metaphorical Flatlanders, their instruction book says that if they break the line, they will experience decay and corruption in their lives.  But there are those Flatlanders who scoff at the book and decide to attempt to break the line into two lines anyway.  When the sphere that they are mistaking for the line is breached, unintended consequences being pouring out of it, and they become sick.  They will be looking at the line in perplexity; never realizing that the consequence they are experiencing is coming from another dimension, from a sphere and not a line.  Unless they become 3 dimensionally aware, they may never connect their reality of their action with the reality of the consequence.

 It is in a like manner that the “penalty necessary for their error” is manifested in our physical world.  The spiritual realm is set up a certain way, just as the physical realm is.  There is a physical “physics”, and there is a spiritual “physics”, so to speak.  When the “Laws of Spiritual Physics” are broken, there are attendant consequences, just as there are when the “Laws of Physical Physics” are broken.  In the same way that the Flatlanders reaped unintended consequences due to the error of acting as though the line was a line and not a sphere, we reap unintended consequences due to the error of acting as though there were only a physical realm and no spiritual realm.

 When the Bible warns against immorality, including homosexuality, it is for our protection, not to ruin our fun.  The preponderance of sexually transmitted diseases and broken hearts is a red flag for mankind that alerts us to the presence of spiritual “physics” that are exercising unseen influences from the spiritual realm in our physical realm.  Like the Flatlanders who were perplexed at the consequence of breaking the line into two, and not understanding where the consequence is coming from, we also are perplexed at the consequence of immorality, and not understanding where the consequence is coming from.  This is spiritual blindness of the sort illustrated by physical blindness.  What is worse, we ignore the red flag that the consequence is waving in our faces.  It is unfortunate that humanity is more in love with their sexual desires and activities of all sorts than hearing what God has to say about it, and we are reaping decay and corruption because of our inability to perceive the spiritual realm.


 There is an interesting passage in Romans that states:

Romans 1:19-20 LEB  because what can be known about God is evident among them, for God made it clear to them.  (20)  For from the creation of the world, his invisible attributes, both his eternal power and deity, are discerned clearly, being understood in the things created, so that they are without excuse.

 That the sexual relationship between a man and woman in the context of marriage is life giving is clear.  It is also clear that this is an example through which we can discern God’s invisible attribute of being a life giving Spirit who wishes entry into our very being.

1 Corinthians 15:45 LEB  Thus also it is written, "The first man, Adam, became a living soul"; the last Adam (Jesus) became a life-giving spirit.

 The red flag of disease resulting from immoral activity is clear as well.  Our ignorance or rejection of the spiritual realm brings down on our heads decay and corruption.  This passage reveals that given such clear types and examples, we really are without excuse.  If the book says don’t hit your thumb with the hammer, and you scoff and rebel and hit your thumb with the hammer anyway, you are without excuse when you reap pain and suffering.

 Homosexual behavior cannot be condoned; the examples and consequences illustrate the foolish nature of such a path.  Yet, we must love those who through ignorance or rebellion are in the path of consequences coming from a place they know not where.

John 6:63 LEB  The Spirit is the one who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.

 In closing, I would like to echo John’s words:

1 John 1:1-3 LEB  What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and our hands have touched, concerning the word of life— (2)  and the life was revealed, and we have seen and testify and announce to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was revealed to us— (3)  what we have seen and heard, we announce to you also, in order that you also may have fellowship with us, and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ.

Monday, July 28, 2014

God's Separate Plans For Jews and Gentiles

God's Separate Plans For Jews and Gentiles

God's Unconditional Covenants For His Names Sake

God has some covenants that are unconditional. He keeps these covenants for His names sake. This passage below tells us that His covenant with Abraham will not be broken regardless of what the Jews do. This passage is foretelling the return of the Jews to their homeland, not for their sake, but for His name.

Eze 36:22-24 LEB "Therefore thus say to the house of Israel, 'Thus says the Lord Yahweh: "Not for your sake am I about to act, house of Israel, but for my holy name, which you defiled among the nations to which you went. (23) And I will consecrate my great name, which was profaned among the nations and which you have profaned in the midst of them, and the nations will know that I am Yahweh!"' a declaration of the Lord Yahweh, when I show myself holy before their eyes. "'And I will take you from the nations, and I will gather you from all of the lands, and I will bring you to your land.

The following two passages talk about the unconditional nature of the Abrahamic Covenant even if Israel should reject Him:

Psa 89:30-34 LEB If his sons forsake my law and do not walk in my judgments, (31) if they defile my statutes and do not keep my commandments, (32) then I will punish their transgression with a rod, and their guilt with wounds. (33) But I will not break off my loyal love from him, and I will not be false against my faithfulness. (34) I will not defile my covenant, or alter what proceeded from my lips.

Jer 33:20-21 LEB "Thus says Yahweh: 'If you could break my covenant with the day, and my covenant with the night, so that day and night would not come at their time, (21) then my covenant could be broken with David my servant, from having a son who could rule on his throne, and with the Levites, the priests, my ministers.

The Effect of Sin

The Jews lost the land for a time, starting at the time "the anointed one [was] cut off" (Dan 9:26) even though they were given it in an everlasting covenant. They lost the land because they did not recognize the time of their visitation by their Messiah.

Luk 19:41-44 LEB And when he approached and saw the city, he wept over it, (42) saying, "If you had known on this day—even you—the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. (43) For days will come upon you and your enemies will put up an embankment against you, and will surround you and press you hard from all directions. (44) And they will raze you to the ground, you and your children within you, and will not leave a stone upon a stone within you, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation."

Daniel's 70 Week Message to the Jews

Dan 9:24-27 LEB "Seventy weeks is decreed for your people and for your holy city, to put an end to the transgression and to seal up sin and to make atonement for guilt and to bring in everlasting righteousness and to seal vision and prophet and to anoint the most holy place. (25) And you must know and you must understand that from the time of the going out of the word to restore and build Jerusalem until an anointed one—a leader—will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be restored and will be built with streets and a moat, but in a time of oppression. (26) "And after the sixty and two weeks an anointed one shall be cut off, and he shall have nothing, and the people of the coming leader will destroy the city and the sanctuary, and its end will be with the flood and on to the end there shall be war; these desolations are determined. (27) And he will make a strong covenant with the many for one week, but in half of the week he will let cease sacrifice and offering and in its place a desolating abomination comes even until the determined complete destruction is poured out on the desolator."

Daniel is speaking to Jews. He is saying that from the command to rebuild the temple following the Babylonian Captivity to the end of this age is 70 weeks. The Jews here are to understand that there are 70 weeks of years in which God will bring them to the completion of His plan for them.

At the end of the first 69 weeks, the anointed one, Jesus, is crucified. At this point, time stops for the Jews.... but we know this is temporary because there is still one more unfulfilled week in Daniel's prophecy. That week was spoken to the Jews by Daniel. So they have to come back as a nation to fulfill that 70th week. These are exciting times, because the return of Israel to their land portends the coming of the fulfillment of Daniel's 70th week.

God's Dealings With the Gentiles

The time period between the 69th and 70th week is a pause in God's dealings with Israel. The following verses indicate that God's focus has changed from Jews to Gentiles due to Israel's rejection of their Messiah. This time period will conclude

Act 13:46 LEB Both Paul and Barnabas spoke boldly and said, "It was necessary that the word of God be spoken first to you, since you reject it and do not consider yourselves worthy of eternal life! Behold, we are turning to the Gentiles!

Rom 11:25 LEB For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own sight, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in,

The passage above is quoted from Isa 6:9 is spoken in reference to the blindness and deafness of the Jews in Jesus' time.

Mat 13:13-15 LEB For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand, (14) and with reference to them the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says, "You will listen carefully and will never understand, and you will look closely and will never perceive. (15) For the heart of this people has become dull, and with their ears they hear with difficulty, and they have shut their eyes, so that they would not see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them."

Additional passages speaking of the changing of times from Israel to the Gentiles follow:

Mat 21:42-43 LEB Jesus said to them, "Have you never read in the scriptures, 'The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the cornerstone. This came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes'? (43) For this reason, I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and will be given to a people who produce its fruits.

Rom 11:7-11 LEB What then? What Israel was searching for, this it did not obtain. But the elect obtained it, and the rest were hardened, (8) just as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that do not see and ears that do not hear, until this very day." (9) And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, and a cause for stumbling and a retribution to them; (10) let their eyes be darkened so that they do not see, and cause their backs to bend continually." (11) I say then, they did not stumble so that they fell, did they? May it never be! But by their trespass, salvation has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy.

God's Dealings With The Jews Again

So the time period between the crucifixion and the commencement of the 70th week is directed at the Gentiles. But when the 70th week commences as the Tribulation, the focus will be returned to Israel. This supports a Pre-Trib rapture view, since the rapture will remove the church from earth, returning to the focus of Daniel's prophecy, the Jews.

This passage in Luke speaks to the time of the Tribulation, and that the Jews will be trampled. But we see that the trampling will only occur until the "times of the Gentiles are fulfilled."

Luk 21:22-24 LEB because these are days of vengeance, so that all the things that are written can be fulfilled. (23) Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing their babies in those days! For there will be great distress on the earth and wrath against this people, (24) and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations, and Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.

At the conclusion of the Tribulation period, the Jews shall see Christ coming in glory and power, and recognize in sorrow their Messiah, Jesus:

Zec 12:9-10 LEB And then on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations coming against Jerusalem. (10) "'I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look to me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn over him, as one wails over an only child, and they will grieve bitterly over him as one grieves bitterly over a firstborn.

National Israel in the Millennium

Following the Tribulation, Jesus will come to national Israel:

Isa 59:20-21 LEB "And a redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn away from transgression," declares Yahweh. (21) "And as for me, this is my covenant with them, says Yahweh: my spirit that is upon you, and my words that I have placed in your mouth shall not depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your children, or from the mouths of your children's children," says Yahweh, "from now on and forever."

We know this speaks of Israel, because Paul refers to the "partial hardening" that happened to them until "the fullness of the Gentiles". He then quotes Isaiah 59:20, clearly correlation it with the post tribulation salvation of the Jews, who still exist as a people. He finishing up by stating that although they turned away from the gospel "for our (Gentiles) sake", they are still dearly beloved, and that He will still honor His irrevocable Abrahamic Covenant regardless of their behavior.

Rom 11:25-29 LEB For I do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, of this mystery, so that you will not be wise in your own sight, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, (26) and so all Israel will be saved, just as it is written, "The deliverer will come out of Zion; he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob. (27) And this is the covenant from me with them when I take away their sins." (28) With respect to the gospel, they are enemies for your sake, but with respect to election, they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. (29) For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Israel has a prominent position following the Tribulation. Isaiah speaks of Israel during the millennium in the following passage, showing that Israel exists as a nation and location, and that Jesus will rule from there (v3):

Isa 2:1-5 LEB The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem: (2) And it shall happen in the future of the days the mountain of the house of Yahweh shall be established; it will be among the highest of the mountains, and it shall be raised from the hills. All of the nations shall travel to him; (3) many peoples shall come. And they shall say, "Come, let us go up to the mountain of Yahweh, to the house of the God of Jacob, and may he teach us part of his ways, and let us walk in his paths." For instruction shall go out from Zion, and the word of Yahweh from Jerusalem. (4) He shall judge between the nations and he shall arbitrate for many peoples. They shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. A nation shall not lift up a sword against a nation, and they shall not learn war again. (5) House of Jacob, come and let us walk in the light of Yahweh.


There are those today who teach that God does not have a separate plan for the Jewish people apart from the church. This article clearly shows that is simply not true, and that God does have separate plans. But it is important to distinguish between the individual people of Israel, and the entity of national Israel.

Although Paul taught that Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ, he is speaking here of individuals, not national entities.

In the following passage, Paul clearly says that Gentiles who were apart from Christ, have been made one with the Jews through His death and resurrection, and we now both have access by one Spirit to the Father.

Eph 2:11-18 LEB Therefore remember that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, the so-called uncircumcision by the so-called circumcision in the flesh, made by hands, (12) that you were at that time apart from Christ, alienated from the citizenship of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, not having hope, and without God in the world. (13) But now in Christ Jesus you, the ones who once were far away, have become near by the blood of Christ. (14) For he himself is our peace, who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of the partition, the enmity, in his flesh, (15) invalidating the law of commandments in ordinances, in order that he might create the two in himself into one new man, thus making peace, (16) and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, killing the enmity in himself. (17) And coming, he proclaimed the good news of peace to you who were far away and peace to the ones who were near, (18) because through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.

Individual Jews have and do accept the New Covenant through Jesus, but as a nation, they have and are continuing in rejecting Him. So while the path is open to both Jew and Gentile, there is still the rejection of Christ by national Israel to deal with separate from the Gentiles, and that is the entire purpose of Daniel's prophetic 70 Weeks.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Man's Inner Being

Theology - The Doctrine of Man
(Foundations of Pentecostal Theology - Duffield, Van Cleave)

Man Created a Living Soul (Being)

Man became a living soul - (Gen 2:7)  As a result of the creative combination of an earthly element and a heavenly element, man became a living being in the image of his Creator.

Man Is Given a Body 
    1. The Greeks and many of the ancients thought of the body as a prison of the soul and the source of all evil.  Gnostics held this low esteem of the body to the extreme of denying that Jesus had a physical body.  John countered this:  (1 Jn 4:1-3)
    2. Scriptures teach us to honor and respect the body as God's creation  (Gen 9:6)
    3. The following are ten facts about the body important for the believer to know:
      • It is a mortal body that will return to the dust out of which it was fashioned   (Gen 3:19; Gen 18:27)
      • Man is made of mere dust; but that dust, in the hands of God, became something wonderfully made.  (Psa 139:14-16)
      • Man's natural, physical body is only a temporary tabernacle for the real person who inhabits it   (2 Pe 1:14; 2 Cor 5:1)
      • In the resurrection, man will have a new house not made with hands; however, that new body will have a relationship to the present natural body.  (1 Cor 15:44; 1 Cor 15:53; John 5:25; 1 Thess 4:16)

        Paul says that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom (1 Cor 15:50, but Jesus in the resurrection had a body of flesh and bones, but not blood (John 20:27; Luk 24:39).  The new body is related to the old as the new plant is related to the seed from which it came (1 Cor 15:44)
      • The body is redeemed man is a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Therefore it must not be an instrument of sin. (1 Cor 6:19-20)
      • Man's body, when dedicated to Christ's service, is reckoned a living and holy sacrifice.  (Rom 12:1)
      • The redeemed man may employ his body as a weapon against Satan.  (Rom 6:13)
      • Redeemed man enjoys certain benefits of Christ's redeeming work in his body, even in this world  (Mat 8:16-17)  Also (Jas 5:14-15; Rom 8:11)

        That this redemption pertains to the present experience, and not just the future is seen in these facts:
        • Paul is speaking of believers present  victory over the flesh (Rom 8:9)
        • He refers to our mortal bodies, not dead bodies.  Moral means "subject to death".
        • Before the quickening of the resurrection, the bodies will be dead in the grace, not "moral".
        • The argument in this verse clearly pertains to the present walk -->  (Rom 8:12)
        • If the Spirit delivers from carnal domination through faith, so also can the Spirit deliver from bodily infirmity through faith.
      • The believer will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ on the basis of things done in the body.  (2 Cor 5:10)  Also (1 Cor 3:11-15; 1 Cor 9:27)
      • Man's body of "dust" which he inherits from Adam, bears the image of Adam as well as the image of God  (1 Cor 15:45-49)

Man Is Given an Immaterial Life

A man's immaterial life and personality are derived from God's creative breath and our life's breath depends upon the sustaining grace of our Creator  (Gen 2:7; Job 12:10; Psa 33:6; Isa 42:5; Act 17:25)

  • The Immaterial Elements

    Each of these  refers to the immaterial self from a discernibly different point of view, or describes different functions of the self.  John describes the Spirit of God as "wind" that "blows".  (John 3:8)  This could also say, "The Spirit breaths where He wills".  See also (John 3:8; John 3:4)
    • Life (Mark 8:35)
    • Soul (Mark 8:36)
    • Spirit (Psa 31:5)
    • Mind (Rom 7:25)
    • Heart  (Eph 6:6)
    • Strength (Luk 10:27)
    • Self (1 Cor 4:3-4)
    • Will  (1 Cor 7:37)
    • Affections  (Col 3:2)
  • Scripture attributes both soul and spirit to animals (Ecc 3:21; Psa 104:25-30)  Man is distinguished from the lower creatures by the quality of his faculties, not the number of them.
  • Errors include:

    Unregenerate man has only a body and soul, spirit imparted at new birth. This confuses the human and Holy Spirits. Ungodly men also have spirits (1 Chr 5:26)

    The soul is a human element, and the spirit is the divine element, again confusing the human and Holy Spirit.  (Rev 6:9; Heb 12:23) Soul and Spirit are both attributed to God the Father and Son (Mat 12:18; Isa 42:1; Mat 26:38; Isa 53:11-12; Luk 23:46)
  • Arguments for Trichotomy  (Body, Soul and Spirit)
    • Gen 2:7 - The combination of a body of dust and the breath of God resulted in a third part, the soul.
    • 1 Thess 5:23 - specifies three parts of man.
    • Heb 4:12 - declares that soul and spirit are capable of being divided.
    • 1 Cor 2:14 to 1 Cor 3:1 - Paul speaks of men as "carnal", "natural"  (soulish), and "spiritual", referring to three parts.
  • Arguments for Dichotomy  (Body and soul/spirit)
    • Gen 2:7 - only 2 distinct parts are mentioned, the body of earth and the breath of God.  The living soul is not a third part, but the result of body and spirit.  It does not say that man had a living soul, but  "became" a living soul.
    • John 12:27 - The terms soul and spirit are used interchangeably.  See also (Gen 41:8; Psa 42:6; Heb 12:23; Rev 6:9; Rev 20:4)
    • Ecc 3:21; Rev 16:3 - The terms soul and spirit are both used of animals and men.
    • Jer 9:9; Isa 42:1; Isa 53:10-12; Heb 10:38 - The term soul is attributed to Jehovah.
    • Mark 12:30 - The highes spiritual exercises are atributed to the soul as well as to the spirit.  See also (Luk 1:46; Heb 6:18-19; Jas 1:21)
    • Mark 8:36 - According to Jesus, to lose the soul is to lose everything.  See also (Mark 8:37; Mat 16:26; Mat 10:28)
    • 1 Thess 5:23 - The dichotomist says that Paul does not imply that body , soul and spirit are three distinct and separable parts of man, but uses the terms similar to how Mark does in Mar 12:30, as attributes.
    • Heb 4:12 - The dichotomist answers this passage by saying the passage doesn't speak of dividing the soul from spirit, but penetrating into the deepest recesses of one's being, even to "the thoughts and intents of the heart.

      W. E. Vine - "The Word of God pierces through all the lies deepest in human nature, not actual separating soul from spirit and joints from marrow, but piercing and laying bare the inmost being, cutting through the most secret recesses of the spiritual life, penetrating the soul, and deeper still, the spirit as through joints to their very marrow.
    • The dichotomist does not say that there is no difference whatever between the words soul and spirit.  Although they are frequently  used to designate the same immaterial part of man,  more precisely, they refer to man's inner-self in different relationships.

      When the words are distinguished in meaning, the soul faces earthward, and the spirit heavenward.  The soul is man in his earthly relationships, the spiritual is man  in his spiritual and immortal relationships.

Man Becomes a Living Soul (Being)

The two views, tri and di chotomy  are not greatly different, and no other major doctrine is affected by the difference.
  • Man as a Unity

    There is a strong tendancy among conservatives to think of man as a unity rather than divisible parts. The soul is separated from the body at death, but only until the resurrection. Paul speaks of the soul as naked without the body (2 Cor 5:1-4) See also (Rom 8:23; 1 Thess 5:23; Mark 12:30)
  • The Origin of Man's Soul or Spirit
    • Preexistence -  A theory of Transmigration of souls is the position held by Hinduism, Theosophy, Rosicrucians, and many occult religions.
    • Creationism -   held by  Roman Catholics and many reformed theologians.  Holds that the soul is created directly from God in each newly conceived person sometime between conception and birth, only the body is propagated by the parents.  Scripture quoted in defense are (Zec 12:1; Isa 42:5; Isa 57:16; Ecc 12:7; and Heb 12:9)

      It is urged against this position  that it makes God the creator of sinful souls or represents God as putting a pure soul in a depraved Adamic body.  It can also be shown that the scriptures in support of  direct creation of each soul would with equal force support the indirect agency of God in procreation.
    • Traducianism - (The preferred theory among conservative scholars.)  The human race was created in Adam, and from him, both body and soul were procreated by natural generation.  (Job 14:4; Job 15:14; Psa 51:5; Psa 58:3; John 3:6; Eph 2:3)

      Dr. Strong - "Traducianism holds that man, as a species, was created in Adam.  In Adam, the substance of humanity was yet undisturbed.  We derive our immaterial as well as our material being, by natural laws of propagation, from Adam - each individual man after Adam possessing a part of the substance that was originated in him.

      Arguments in favor of Traducianism:
      • There is no biblical record of God's creating a human being more than once.  (Gen 2:2)
      • It best explains the inherited sinful nature  (Psa 51:5)
      • Strongly supported by a vital statistic of Jacob's family  (Gen 46:26)
      • Seth was begotten "in the likeness" of Adam  (Gen 5:3)
      • It explains personality likenesses between children and parents.

        The traducianist, however, does not posit a purely natural origin for new souls; he maintains that all souls since Adam are indirectly created by God as the Sustainer of the process of procreation  (Heb 1:3; Col 1:17)