ECHOES from EDEN, PART 30
END-TIME PROPHECY – TRUTH REVEALED
BY: J. PRESTON EBY
KINGDOM BIBLE STUDIES
"Teaching the things concerning the kingdom of God..."
MALE and FEMALE, (continued)
God is the Father of our Spirits
The Soul of God
The Great Exchange
"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." (Gen. 1:26-27)
Of all the mysteries that have perplexed the people of God throughout the ages none has proved to be a source of misunderstanding and contention among saints more than the relationship between male and female. As we pursue this subject I feel it necessary to point out that all natural things have spiritual counterparts, all physical things picture and portray higher and greater realities in the spiritual realm. The shallow understanding of the church system and the superficial teaching of its unspiritual ministry are the basic causes of the gross ignorance among most Christians of the transcendent SPIRITUAL REALITIES accessible in the realm of the Kingdom of God of which all earthly things are but shadowy types. As long as people are kept ignorant of the glorious and eternal realities of that higher realm, they will continue to toddle about in the lower realms of carnal interpretations and applications of the Word of God.
By spiritual experience and revelation one can approach God and establish a relationship with the living God who is Spirit. The one who sees and understands by the Spirit makes contact with the Creator of all and therefore comprehends the true nature of all things. Thus, there are two ways of seeing. One is by the natural eye of observation by which man sees things as they are or as they appear in the physical world. The spiritual man, however, can see the way things came to be what they are, for he understands the process of creation. The first way sees the status quo, reality as it is presented to the physical senses. The other, that of the spirit of wisdom and revelation, sees beyond that which is manifest to the senses. If a rabbit is pulled out of a hat, it is astonishing only to those who did not see how he was put in. Those who see the world only as it appears to them, as the truth and the reality of things are confronted with a world that seems full of pain, sorrow, struggle, fate, and meaninglessness; to them there is a world that is real but confusing, and there is a God who is somewhere beyond it. The eyes of the spirit, however, discerning the mind, ways, and purposes of the Lord of the universe, is able to see reality in a more transcendent way. They have become aware of another sort of reality, spiritual reality, which is merely symbolized or figured by the natural realm.
In the Garden of Eden story many people seem to think that Eve symbolizes woman as a sex and that Adam somehow stands for men as a sex, but the truth goes far beyond this. It is significant to note that in most languages of earth ALL THINGS are classified in one of the three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter. This means that not only are living things classified as male or female, but a great number of other things as well. For example, in the English language a ship is in the feminine gender and is always referred to as “she” or “her.” In the language of God, which is the language of the Spirit, everything is classified by divine revelation in one of the three genders: masculine, feminine, or neuter. For example, in Joseph’s dream of the sun, moon and eleven stars (Gen. 37) the moon stood for his mother, while the sun represented his father and the stars his eleven brethren. We learn from this that the moon in God’s economy is feminine whereas the sun and stars are masculine. In prophecy the Lord Jesus is alluded to as the Sun of Righteousness, and in the New Testament He is designated the Bright and Morning Star. In Dan. 12:13 the sons of God are presented in the brightness of the stars. A whole group of words associated with spirituality are used in a masculine connotation. The word SPIRIT, and all that pertains to the life and realm of that which is spiritual, is masculine. “When HE the Spirit of truth is come, HE will guide you into all truth.” Other words like MANCHILD, BRIDEGROOM, SON, TEMPLE, OVERCOMER, etc. bear masculine characteristics. On the other hand, the word SOUL and all that pertains to the realm of that which is soulish, is feminine. Other words like WOMAN, BRIDE, CITY, PENTECOST, etc. bear feminine characteristics. The word BODY is found to be in the neuter gender, for it may be yielded as an expression of either the Spirit or the soul, masculine or feminine.
With these principles in mind we have a better foundation from which to understand that in the Garden of Eden ADAM TYPIFIES THE SPIRIT, and EVE TYPIFIES THE SOUL. How precious and pregnant with meaning every word of the Bible becomes when seen by the spirit of revelation!
SPIRIT is masculine – the life giving force, essential being, substance, strength, as typified by Adam.
SOUL is feminine – that which proceeds out of spirit, as in the Garden we see Eve "taken out of Adam."
The King James version of the Bible says of this momentous event, "And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof; and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man." (Gen. 2:21-22) One of the stories which have excited the ridicule of the critics of the Bible is the account of the creation of woman. If a rib was taken out of man to form a woman, why, we are asked, is not one still missing? Foolish are such as objection seems on the surface (for the loss of more important members of the body is not transmitted by generation) it challenges us to look into any particular reason why a rib should be chosen for this purpose. Was it really a rib, or may the word be understood of some other part of Adam’s body? It would be well, for a moment, to consider this word "rib." It is the Hebrew word tsela which appears forty-two times in the Old Testament, and this is the only place where it has been translated "rib." In every other case it has been rendered "side," or "side chamber," or simply "chamber." It is used of a side of a man, of inanimate things such as the tabernacle, altar, side chambers, cells of the temple, etc. In Ezekiel 41:9 it is the word used for the space between the two walls of the temple, intended for these chambers.
Many Hebrew scholars have affirmed that "rib" is a mistranslation. The idea that Eve was made out of one of Adam's ribs has its origin in rabbinical lore, and indeed, many, varied, and fanciful are their fables! Paul cautioned his son Titus: "Wherefore rebuke them sharply. not giving heed to JEWISH FABLES. that turn from the truth." (Tit. 1:13-14) One Rabbi said that "Eve was made out of a tail which originally belonged to Adam." Rav., the great head of the Babylonian rabbinical school, declared, "Eve was formed out of a second face, which originally belonged to Adam." Another Rabbi declares, "Instead of a rib taken from Adam, a slave was given him to wait upon him." But Rabbi Joshua, in his commentary, has given the fable which has received the widest acceptance even among Christians. Rabbi Joshua says, "God deliberated from what member He would create woman, and He reasoned with Himself thus: I must not create her from Adam's head, for she would be a proud person, and hold her head high. If I create her from the eye, then she will wish to pry into all things; if from the ear, she will wish to hear all things; if from the mouth, she will talk too much; if from the heart, she will envy people; if from the hand, she will desire to take all things; if from the feet, she will be a gadabout. Therefore I will create her from the rib, which is not even seen when man is naked." And this is the inane fable which lies at the basis of the idea that Eve was made out of Adam's rib, whereas the Bible says God took one of Adam's "chambers," or a part of Adam's INNER NATURE, out of which He "builded" her!
Let us look at a few examples of how this word tsela is translated. "And it came to pass that he (Solomon) began to build the house of the Lord, and against the wall of the house he built CHAMBERS (tsela) round about, the nethermost CHAMBER (tsela) was five cubits broad, the door for the middle CHAMBER (tsela) was in the right side of the house, so he built the house and finished it." (I Kings 6:5-9) Tsela is translated CHAMBERS ten times in the description of the prophetic temple seen in vision by the prophet in Ezekiel chapter forty-one.
The word "rib" does not adequately describe what God took out of Adam. When we think of a rib we think of a BONE in Adam's side. But if God only used a rib – a BONE – then when He brought Eve to Adam he should have said: "This is now RIB OF MY RIB!" or, "This is now BONE of my BONES." PERIOD! But Adam said, "This is now bone of my bones, AND FLESH OF MY FLESH!" Therefore, when man and woman are united in marriage they become ONE FLESH, not ONE RIB or ONE BONE!
The late Douglas Wilson shared some precious insights into this thought. He wrote, “In Adam’s body we find both the male and the female, but he was ONE BODY. Medical science tells us that for the first five or six months of the child’s development in the body of its mother, both sets of reproductive and sexual organs are present in the child. Beginning at that time, one sex takes predominance over the other and either a male or female child is born. To us this is strong proof that the body of Adam in the beginning was a combination of both female and male organs, and he was a self-perpetuating creature. He was MAN AND WOMAN IN ONE BODY. The word rib is so translated from the fact that the Hebrew word carries with it a sense of ‘curve’ and thus, we have rib. But it literally means the side, the whole side of a person or human body. Paul says in I Corinthians 7:4 that the husband nor the wife have power of his or her own body, and the very fact that the two bodies must be one to bring forth children is proof that some very vital part of Adam’s body was taken from him to be incorporated in another body, part of his own, and to be called ‘Eve.’ In other words, Eve was literally a vital part of Adam’s body. Adam could say of Eve, ‘She is my body,’ and Eve could say of Adam, ‘He is my body.’
“We have a wonderful illustration of this in Abraham and Sarah. We read in Romans 4:19, ‘And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb.’ It seems to us that Abraham’s body was dead because Sarah’s body was dead. Abraham had brought forth Ishmael and he took other wives after Isaac’s birth and continued to bring children into the world, while Isaac was the only child that Sarah brought forth. So we can see that it was Sarah (Abraham’s body) that was dead, and because of that, Abraham’s part of Abraham’s own body, was dead, and could not have the promised son until God’s time. Such a circumstance is the direct result of the dividing of the original ‘Adam body.’
“There must have been a wondrous love spring up in the heart of this first man for this first woman. She was taken out of his own body and presented to him by the Lord in that simple ceremony and Adam took Eve to himself with a word that became incorporated in the law of God for man in all time, and for Jesus Christ unto the ages. ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife and they shall be one flesh.’ This then, was the dividing of Adam’s body to make of him two bodies and yet they were one flesh. So it was and so it shall ever be as in Genesis 2:23, ‘-she shall be called WOMAN because she was taken out of MAN.’ Adam was to love Eve as his own body for actually she was such. Eve was to return that love, for she was out of Adam’s body and was God’s fit and worthy help for Adam.”
If you picked up the morning newspaper and saw the headlines, “Man Gives Birth.” I’m sure you would double check to make certain you had not picked up THE NATIONAL INQUIRER, STAR, or GLOBE by mistake! Your first thought would probably be, “But that’s impossible!” or “It can’t happen – it is contrary to the laws of nature!” Yet God has revealed in His word that such a possibility actually existed in the genesis of the human race. When God formed mankind of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life they were one, not separated in the beginning into two persons. Within that one man were all the characteristics and potentialities of male and female, all the possibilities of fruit. Still today in the human being are traces of that dual nature in most of the organs of the body (see The Sandoz Journal of Medical Science, 1967, Vol. 8, No. 2). The angels in heaven neither marry nor are given in marriage (Mat. 22:30) because they are male and female in one as was Adam before Eve was taken from him.
On that glorious sixth day of creation, when God created them male and female, God pronounced that all He had made was “very good.” (Gen. 1:31) But after lowering these primordial spirits into the one body of the man Adam the Lord said, “It is not good that man should be alone.”
Adam could have generated a heavenly kingdom out of himself, without intercourse or pain… Eve was within Adam as a pure, chaste, virginal power. He could then generate a virginal state, and procreate by means of his will, and out of his own substance. The scientific word that describes this state is androgynous from andros meaning man and gyne meaning woman. Webster defines androgynous as “Hermaphrodite: a person or animal with the sexual organs of both the male and female.” It is able to reproduce from within itself without an outside mate. There are still such things on this planet as androgynous animals and plants. For example, one of the tiny relatives of the jellyfish lives in quiet fresh-water ponds. It is only as thick as a heavy thread and as long as an eyelash. But a magnifying glass reveals its unusual shape. Its thin, hollow body is topped by a half dozen or more arms, or tentacles. The biologists call this transparent little monster hydra. There are no male and female hydras – for they are androgynous – both in one. And they reproduce out of themselves. The results of some of the experiments performed with these animals are almost unbelievable. For example hydras can be minced up into a jelly-like paste and stuffed into tiny holes drilled in a block of plastic. After a few days in a water bath, each little mass of hydra paste is ready to regenerate a new animal, complete with head and tentacles. The creatures are almost indestructible! Hydras may reproduce in another way. Sometimes a bud starts to grow out of the side of the adult. After a while the bud separates from the parent and forms a new hydra. The common earthworm is also an interesting animal. He, too, is equipped with a primitive type of internal fertilization, or union of egg and sperm within the animal’s body. You actually see a true hermaphrodite every time you plow the earth or go fishing with a cane pole!
When God separated Eve from Adam the record states: “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;” (Gen. 2:21). God could have just touched Adam and brought Eve out of his side, or spoken one word and she would have immediately stood there whole at his side, but instead He caused a deep sleep to come on Adam. Could we not say that this was the first surgery ever performed and that the Creator Himself was both Surgeon and Anesthetist? This record is one of the most remarkable of the internal evidences of the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. For, you see, this ancient scene reveals the modern techniques of anesthesia long millenniums before it was discovered by medical science! My encyclopedia says that local anesthesia is the loss of feeling in only a part of the body; general anesthesia is a deep sleep in which there is no feeling at all. Since ancient times, doctors have tried to do something about deadening the pain during operations. Many kinds of drugs and medicines were tried. Almost all of them did as much harm as good. Some doctors used to get a patient drunk before an operation. Others have even knocked the patient out by beating him over the head with a club. The first real use of anesthesia by which a deep sleep was induced came during the years 1842 to 1846. These are some arguments as to who were the first men to use anesthesia successfully. Three names stand out above the others. Dr. Crawford W Long performed an operation in Georgia in 1842 and used ether as an anesthetic. In 1844 a dentist, Dr. Horace Wells, inhaled a gas called Nitrous Oxide. Another dentist then pulled one of Dr. Well’s teeth. In 1846 Dr. William T. G. Morton of Boston used ether in several operations. Since that time, many anesthetics have been discovered and many improvements have been made in anesthesia. Yet the almighty Creator knew and applied the science of anesthesiology 6,000 years before Dr. Long discovered the use of ether! And yet some scientists have the audacity to laugh at the Genesis record as being totally unscientific and mythological!
Here again we need to look behind the story of the truth God is seeking to convey to man. When Jesus died on the cross we read that the Father caused a “deep sleep” to fall on Him, too – the sleep of death. Just as Eve was in Adam from the time when he was formed of the dust of the ground, so we were in Christ from before the foundation of the world, and more especially when He came into this earth realm in human flesh. He came as the second man, and the last Adam. And just as Adam was a self contained creature, with his wife in his side, so Christ bore His wife in His side. His body was a very vital and significant thing, part of which was to become His “other body” the church or the bride of Christ. Because of this there must come to Him, as to the first Adam, the DIVIDING OF HIS BODY that He, the second man, might become two bodies. Eve was in the body of Adam all the time. God simply brought her out of Adam’s body and gave her a body of her own. So was Christ’s wife in Him all the time and she must also be brought out of the Christ and become the church, the bride of Christ. Just as Eve was taken out of Adam’s side after a deep sleep had been put upon him, so we were born out of the blood that flowed from Jesus’ side when the deep sleep of death was put upon Him by His Father. Now today, we see how the words of Adam “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh” are picked up by Paul in his letter to the Ephesians and applied to the church. “For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph. 5:23, 25-32) Did you ever wonder why the church is call the “BODY” of Christ? That’s why – because she is His Bride and the two are joined in one flesh.
As in Adam’s body the life giving organs were retained, so they are retained in the Christ’s body – and in all the sons of God who grow up into Him to be the body of the Bridegroom – and he has life in Himself. And just as the life receiving organs were given to Eve, so the spiritual life-receiving organs are given to the church, the bride of Christ. As Eve became the body for bearing Adam’s children, so the church became the body for the bearing of the children of the Christ. (Heb. 2:12-13) As neither Adam nor Eve had power of their own body, so does neither the Christ nor the church have power of their own body. As Adam’s two bodies must become one in order to perpetuate the human race, so much the Christ’s two bodies become one to perpetuate the spiritual race. This then, was the dividing of Christ’s body, to become two bodies and the joining again of those two bodies for the purpose of perpetuating the spiritual race in God’s Kingdom.
And just as Eve looked forward to the bringing forth of that one particular and special seed, the Christ, who would crush the serpent’s head and bring deliverance from sin and death to all of Adam’s race, so does the church, the bride of Christ, look forward to that particular and special seed which is the manchild, who is to rule all nations with a rod of iron and bring the Kingdom of God to pass in the earth. As one has written: “In his great vision on the Isle of Patmos, John the Revelator, as he describes it to us says: ‘I saw a woman clothed with the sun, and with the moon under her feet, and a crown of twelve stars upon her head, and she brought forth a manchild, who was to rule all nations, who was caught up to God and to His throne.’
“To understand John’s vision you must understand that when the New Testament speaks of a woman, it is not speaking of a natural woman but is always speaking of the many-membered Woman, the Church. To understand what John meant when he said, ‘I saw this woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,’ we need to understand the mystery of the heavenlies that God had revealed in this end-time move of the Spirit. That is that the physical heavens in their every aspect are only a type of God’s spiritual heavens, which spiritual Heavens we are. The sun that you see in the sky each day is a type of Jesus: just as the sun is the natural light of the world, so Jesus is the supernatural Light of the world. The moon that you see in the physical heavens each night is a type of Church: just as the moon has no light of its own, but only reflects the light of the sun in the earth; so the Church has no light of its own, but only reflects the Light of Jesus in the earth.
“Therefore when John said, ‘I saw a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet,’ he was not talking about the natural sun and the natural moon; but he was talking about the True Son, Jesus – and the moon, the old order denominational Church system. When he said, ‘I saw a woman clothed with the sun,’ he was talking about a segment of the woman, the Church, in this end-time move of the Spirit; who is at this hour not being clothed with the light or the truths of the Moon – the old order denominational Church system; but is being clothed with all the Light and Truth of the Son, Her True Husband, Jesus. She is being clothed with mysteries and light and Truth that have never been taught in the old order denominational Church system, the Moon. In fact, before it is over She shall be clothed with all the Light and Truth that Jesus, Himself, knew when He was here on the earth; and therefore She is being lifted up to a higher place in Light and Truth than the Moon, the Old order Church system; and therefore in these last days, the Moon is going to be under Her feet. Through being clothed with all the Light of the Sun, She is going to be brought into a spiritual union with Jesus, Her Heavenly Husband, that will grow us up to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, and change us into incorruptibility; so that out of this Woman clothed with the Son shall come forth a many-membered Manchild through whom Christ will rule and reign over this earth – Who shall have been caught up to the Throne of God, to rule all nations with a rod of iron.
“Certainly this Manchild will not be made up only of individual, natural men; but also of those members of the Body of Christ who wear dresses: but through receiving all the Light of the Son, Jesus, they will have grown up out of the natural characteristics of their woman-flesh nature, and will have taken on those spiritual attributes of the Nature of Christ, the Eternal Man: faith, spiritual strength, agape love of God, patience, long-suffering, and all those spiritual fruits which are strictly the attributes of the Spirit – the only Eternal Man – of which all individual, natural men are only a type.” – end quote.
What God actually did, of course, was to remove from Adam a VITAL PART of his being, one of the CHAMBERS of his innermost nature, and out of that which was formerly concealed within man God built an EXTERNAL EXPRESSION AND MANIFESTATION. Eve was thus "taken out of Adam," from his inner nature, from that region of the heart, where lies the seat of all that is within man, where the heart's throbs are felt, and the fount of life wells up, the conceded dwelling place of the appetites, desires, will, affections, and emotions. From thence, from within the man, came forth the woman, so that the appetites, desires, will, affections and emotions which lay hidden deep in the inner recesses of his nature now became revealed and expressed – IN EVE! This is why Eve was FIRST TEMPTED and first fell. Eve is Adam's inward and invisible constitution, character, quality, temper, disposition, mood, desire, emotion, mind, will, and affection BROUGHT FORTH INTO AN OUTWARD AND VISIBLE MANIFESTATION. Ah, yes, Eve is Adam's SOUL! We need no greater evidence than this of the certainty that Eve represents the soul, as Adam represents the spirit, for spirit is BEING and soul is EXPRESSION.
For the sake of understanding, the soul can be said to have five senses just as our physical body has the five senses of touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing. The soul comprises your INTELLECT – that is your mind with all its mental capacity for knowledge, understanding, and reason. Then you have your WILL – the mental power to choose and the forces directly urging you to action. Then there are the EMOTIONS – strong forces of personality and passion with many aspects such as love, hatred, joy, peace, grief, anger, fear, etc. Then come the DESIRES – the ability to wish or long for, to want or crave something above and beyond what is already possessed or experienced. Finally, there is the AFFECTION – heart attachments, the power to search out and cleave to that for which we have a natural feeling, passion, predisposition, or propensity.
The Greek word for SOUL is psuche, which means MIND. It is the root word from which we get all our English words dealing with the psychic, i.e. the human soul, the mind, the mental life. Psychoanalysis, psychology, psychiatry – all these words come from the same root – psuche. Proverbs 2:10 suggests that the soul needs knowledge. "Knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul." Note also Prov. 19:2 and 24:14. Since knowledge is a function of the mind, this shows that the mind is a part of the soul. All three of these verses from Proverbs tell us that we need to have knowledge in the soul. Then Ps. 139:14 says that the soul knows. "I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are Thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." To know is something of the mind, which again shows that the mind is a part of the soul. Ps. 13:2 says the soul considers, or counsels, which refers to the mind. Lamentations 3:20 indicates that remembrance is of the soul. That is, the soul can remember things. From these verses we can see that there is a part in the soul that knows, considers, and remembers. This part is called the mind.
The second part of the soul is the will. Job 7:15 says the soul chooses. "So that my soul chooseth death rather than life." To choose something is a decision made by act of the will. This shows that the will is a part of the soul. Job 6:7 says the soul refuses. To choose and refuse are both functions of the will. I Chron. 22:19 says, "set your soul to seek." Just as we set our minds to think, so we set our souls to seek. This is, of course, the soul making a decision, which shows that the will is a part of the soul. Then in Numbers 30, "bind his soul" is mentioned ten times. When we read this chapter, we understand that to bind the soul is to make a decision. It deals with a vow that is made to the Lord. To make a decision to bind the soul is to make a vow to the Lord. Thus, it is demonstrated that the will is a part of the soul. In Ps. 27:12, 41:2, and Ezekiel 16:27 the Hebrew word for "soul" is translated "will." This again reveals that the will is a part of the soul.
The emotion is the third part of the soul. With the emotion there are many aspects: for example, love, hatred, grief, joy, peace, fear, etc. All of these are expressions of the emotion. References to the fact that the soul loves are found in I Sam. 18:1, S. of S. 1:7, and Ps. 42:1. These verses show that love is something of the soul, proving, therefore, that within the soul there is such an organ or function as the emotion. II Sam. 5:8 says, "Whosoever getteth up and smiteth the Jebusites that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief." This passage shows that hatred is something of the soul. See also Ps. 107:18 and Eze. 36:5. Since hatred is an expression of the emotion, these verses also prove that the emotion is a part of the soul. Joy, an element of the emotion, is also a part of the soul, as seen in Isa. 61:10 and Ps. 86:4. Then there is the matter of grief, mentioned in I Sam. 30:6 and Judges 10:16. Grief is another expression of the soul.
The fourth part of the soul is the desire. We read in I Sam. 20:4, "Then said Jonathan unto David, Whatsoever thy soul desireth, I will even do it for thee." This verse shows that desire is found in the soul, making it a part of the soul. See also Deut. 14:26. This verse and many others show desire to be in the realm of the soul.
The affection is the fifth part of the soul. We read of Abraham's nephew, Lot, who, though he lived in Sodom, his heart affection was toward the Lord, and the record states, "For that righteous man dwelling among them, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds." (II Pet. 2:8) Lot vexed his righteous soul because his affection was not upon the things they were doing. From his prison cell in Rome the apostle Paul penned these immortal words, "Set your AFFECTION ON THINGS ABOVE, and not on things on the earth." (Col. 3:2). Hear now the inspired words of Jesus as He teaches His disciples, "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy SOUL, this is the first commandment." (Mk. 12:30) This quality of love – agape – means in the Greek "to have affection" (see Strong's Concordance). Thou shalt HAVE AFFECTION for the Lord thy God! What magnificent words these are, describing as they do the affection that we should have for the Lord with all our SOUL. This proves that affection is a function of the soul.
There is a constant interplay between soul and spirit in scripture so that there are times when the words seem synonymous, although they are not. This same kind of interplay also exists between blood and breath for the life is in the breath and the life is in the blood. When either breath or blood depart the body, the life-principle departs simultaneously. The interchange of terms for man as both soul and spirit are seen where Job in characteristic Hebrew parallelism says: “I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.” (Job 7:11) He cannot restrain his mouth because the totality of his inner being is distressed, and all that he is as a person cries out for relief. Paul makes a definite distinction between man’s soul and spirit. “I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (I Thes. 5:23) Furthermore, it is stated emphatically by the writer of Hebrews that there is a divisible difference between soul and spirit. He declares that the Word of God is sharper than any two edged sword for it pierces “to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit” which are as closely related, and as distinctly different, as the joints and marrow which form parts of the skeletal structure of man (Heb. 4:12).
On a day in the long ago an apostle by the name of Paul penned these telling words: "For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent BEGUILED EVE through his subtlety, so YOUR MINDS should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (II Cor. 11:2-3) In this significant passage Eve in the Garden of Eden is contrasted with two things: the bride of Christ and the mind. The mind is a function of the soul. The vision of the bride of Christ pervades the whole of scripture, from Eden onward, with ever-increasing clearness. Eve, the mother of the human race, is the first type of this great mystery. Let us not underestimate this remarkable woman from whom the whole human race has sprung!
We also read, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies IN YOUR MIND by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled.” (Col. 1:21) The final analysis will shew that all sin originates in the mind. Deeds are but thoughts expressed. And it was because “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5), that He sent the flood to bring a halt, a restraint, to this degeneration. In due time, when again the mind of man was exalting itself with the building of the city and a tower, God said, “and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” (Gen. 11:6) So He promptly confounded their language and scattered them abroad. He knew the power of the mind, the tremendous capability of the mind to scheme and imagine, and He has to constantly bring restraints against men, lest there be no end to their ways of rebellion and self-exaltation. So there is vital necessity of the RENEWING OF OUR MIND to “put on the mind of Christ.”
In that ancient shadow, on the individual plane, Adam stands as a type of the spirit, Eve is a type of the soul, and the Garden of Eden is a type of the body, which Adam was to "dress and keep." Thus we see our tripartite being symbolically portrayed in the Adam-Eve-Garden story. The Garden was the earth, the land, the locale; and Adam and Eve were its inhabitants, in the same way that our spirit and soul are the inhabitants of the physical body. It is through our "Eve," our soulical desires, will and emotions, that we who have been espoused to Christ the Bridegroom in our spirit, can be "beguiled" and turned from our single and pure devotion to Christ, entering into intimate associations with the flesh, the world, the spirit of Babylon, and the devil, thus disqualifying ourselves from being presented to Christ as a chaste virgin. Paul shows that just as Eve was beguiled from her singleness to God, so those espoused to Christ can be corrupted IN OUR MINDS from singleness to Christ.
Ray Prinzing has written: "The 'spirit of man', leaving the eternal realms of HIS SPIRIT to become encased in a tabernacle of flesh became 'a living soul', literally A BREATHING ONE on this earth plane. The MIND is the connecting link between the spirit within and the flesh realm without. 'They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded (that is, minding of the flesh) is death; but to be spiritually minded (minding of the Spirit) is life and peace.' (Rom. 8:5-6) As one living and breathing on this earth plane, we will either mind the flesh, or the Spirit. When we take the word 'soul' over into the Greek of the New Testament, we find it expressed in the word PSUCHE, which literally bespeaks of the mind. One is not always conscious of their inner spirit, nor are we always conscious of our flesh body – for we live in the realm of THE MIND, and it is active twenty-four hours of the day, whether we wake or sleep. The soul, mind realm, bespeaks of the mental power to reason, of those mental forces that urge us into action, of the exercise of the will. If this is directed towards the things of the flesh, it means death – for all this flesh realm shall pass away and come to nothing. If our mind is directed towards the things of the Spirit, it means life and peace, for in Him alone are the eternal realities" - end quote.
Let us meditate deeply upon the soul-bride that Eve reveals to us. I must remind every reader of these lines that there is an essential and radical distinction between the spirit and the soul. God is the Father of spirits, but He is the Former of souls. I know not why this has been forgotten by the church world, and I know not why men claiming to be Christian scholars have never told you that the soul is not the spirit, and the spirit is not the soul. It seems to me a remarkable thing, that that which God has so clearly revealed, the distinction between the soul and the spirit, men have, through their ignorance and devotion to a false platonic philosophy, been unable to see. If you read your Bible carefully, starting with the first chapter of Genesis, you will find that what the apostle says in the epistle to the Hebrews is true; that the Word of God is living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword, dividing asunder, separating soul and spirit. It is not the philosophy of Socrates or Plato that does this. It is not the philosophy of Kant or Hegel or Strauss that does this. It is not the philosophy of the Hindu or the Buddhist or the Transcendentalist that does this, but it is the Word of God that separates. In the same way that God separated Eve from Adam, the Spirit of God separates between the soul and the spirit of man.
What is this thing called the spirit? How can we know the spirit? How can we touch the spirit? To speak of the body is very easy, because we can see it and touch it. To speak of the soul is also not difficult because we can feel it and know it by its functions and actions, such as thinking, reasoning, determining, and being pleased, angry, fearful, sorrowful, and joyful. But it is not as easy to understand and speak of the spirit.
Romans chapter eight speaks of the spirit and gives us a wonderful clue. In verse two the apostle refers to "the spirit of life." In verse six he says, "to be spiritually minded is life." In verse ten he adds, "the spirit is life." In these three statements he shows us that the spirit is the spirit of life, the spirit is related to life, contains life and belongs to life. When a man's spirit is quickened by the Holy Spirit, God enters into man by His Spirit, so that man may have the life of God inwardly. At this time He enters into us as the Spirit of life, the Spirit of the life of God. Notice! He enters into us with the life of God as the SPIRIT OF LIFE. When He enters, He enters into OUR SPIRIT, not into our soul – our mind, emotion, or will. He enters into our SPIRIT, puts the life of God in our SPIRIT, and dwells in our SPIRIT; thus the Spirit of life is joined together with our spirit so that God and us are joined as one and never be separated.
If we desire to have true spiritual growth in life we must be able to discern what is the spirit and what is the soul, and what is spiritual and what is soulish. Paul has declared without equivocation, "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God, but the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." (I Cor. 2:12, 14) These inspired words speak of two classes of man: one is the soulish man (the Greek text for "natural man" is "soulish man"), and the other is the spiritual man. This shows us that man can live by and belong to either of these two different realms, the soul or the spirit. Man can either live by the soul, thereby becoming a soulish man; or he can live by the spirit, thereby becoming a spiritual man.
The soul is our individual personality, our ego; therefore the soul is our self. That which is included in the soul, analytically speaking, is the mind, the emotion and the will – these three parts. The mind is the organ of man's thinking. It is what we usually speak of as the brain; physiologically it is the brain, but psychologically it is the mind. It is the dominant part of the soul. Man's thinking, reasoning, memorizing are all functions of the mind in the soul. The emotion in the soul is the organ of man is love, hatred, sorrow, joy, etc. Man rejoices, mourns, is excited or depressed these are all functions of the emotion in man's soul. There are many people who are emotional, easily stirred to be ecstatic or sad, animated or depressed. They often deal with matters by their emotion rather than by careful deliberation. The will of the soul is the organ of man's decision making, deliberation and determination. Man decides judges, chooses, accepts, rejects – these are all functions of the will in man's soul. These three parts are present in every man, for every man has the quality of soul.
Regardless of whether a man is in the mind, the emotion, or the will, he is soulish. Every man that lives by these senses apart from the mind, will and emotion of the spirit, is a soulish man. Therefore it is very easy to discern whether a man is soulish. I would be remiss if I did not point out that the soul can be moved upon to act religiously – and what a fine act it is able to perform! But forget not for one moment, precious friend of mine, that in spite of its "religious" appearance, it is still the soul! The soul can be taken into a meeting where a religious atmosphere is created by a man at the pulpit; with a suave and dynamic personality he tells you to stand up, clap your hands, sing, raise your hands, praise the Lord, say Amen, etc. The emotion of your soul is stirred and takes on the appearance of spirituality. Now, there is nothing wrong with standing, clapping, singing, raising the hands and praising the Lord. There is nothing wrong with religious activities, good works, good behavior, etc. The real issue, however, is the SOURCE of these things. Are they a spontaneous outflow of HIS LIFE IN THE SPIRIT, or are they merely contrived actions of the soul? Ah, better that the soul behaves than that it misbehaves! Better that it sings the songs of Zion, than the perverted music of the world! Better that it praises the Lord than that it utters vulgarities! But we do not want to mistake that which is soulish for that which is spiritual. If none of these "good" things are motivated from within by the spirit, it is still naught but the vanity of the flesh.
We noted previously that Adam and Eve, though existing in two bodies, were nonetheless ONE FLESH. "From the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and the TWO shall become ONE FLESH, so that they are NO LONGER TWO, but ONE FLESH. What therefore God has united – joined together – let not man separate or divide." (Mk. 10:6-9 King James and Amplified) As Adam and Eve were ONE, dwelling together as a complement to one another without hostility, division, inequality or duplicity, so were the spirit and the soul ONE in the beginning. Spirit is BEING and soul is EXPRESSION, the TWO were ONE, the spirit was the source of the soul's expression, and the soul expressed perfectly the nature of the spirit! As Adam and Eve were SET TOGETHER over all the earth and every living thing that moved upon the earth, so were the spirit and the soul SET TOGETHER over the "earth" in which they dwelt – the body realm. "Spirit," of the masculine realm, and "soul," of the feminine realm, were UNIFIED in their "earth." In Eden's blest Garden the spirit did not rule OVER the soul, but WITH her. The body served as a base of operation for the invisible realm of spirit and soul. The spirit was LORD over the body and the soul was ONE WITH THE SPIRIT. THEY were the king and the queen REIGNING TOGETHER IN JOINT DOMINION in the "earth" of the flesh in which they tabernacled! What a Kingdom was that, the body was adapted to the glory and beauty, to the harmony and life and wisdom and power of its rulers, and there was no pain, neither sorrow, nor tears, nor death anywhere throughout that blest domain!
I have been greatly inspired by the following words from the pen of Ray Prinzing: “Now, apart from all of its corporate aspects of the whole body of Christ, there is also that individual inworking which will bring us to the MARRIAGE SUPPER OF THE LAMB, when our SPIRIT – this unified His-our spirit, is fully joined to the ‘wife made ready’, i.e. our soul fully renewed into His mind. ‘Which things are an allegory.’ Paul writes in Galatians 4:24. Things of this natural realm being used to speak of far greater truth of spiritual nature. Groom and bride – our spirit brought to maturity in Christ, to be one in Him, and our mind fully renewed and prepared to be joined to this spirit realm. And then we’ll have an individual application for this marriage supper celebration.
“With this spiritual transition complete, there will also be a totally new manifestation to manifest this new state of Eve restored into Adam. We have a Greek word for this also – monecious, meaning: ONE HOUSE. In biology it means male and female contained in one. When Adam was first brought forth he contained his wife Eve within, a pure, chaste, virginal power. Thank God for the hope of restoration when all shall be restored to its original state, and become even better than at its beginning.
“‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For HE shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and spreadeth out HER roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but HER leaf shall be green: and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.’ (Jeremiah 17:-7-8)
“Through this new creation species will come forth all the strength, the life-giving force of the masculine, along with all the compassion, tenderness, nourishing capabilities of the feminine realm. HE is the tree with HER roots! Thus we have a prophetic word for this restoration into ONENESS, both in one. Then shall this unified HE-HER bring forth to the praise and glory of God. A continuous increase unaffected by heat, drought, etc. for it has a sufficiency within itself. Then, ‘As the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the son (and the sons) to have life in himself.’ (John 5:26)
“God is ONE, and He brought forth Adam in His image and likeness. Then there was a division made – an outward portrayal in the physical realm, of the turning away of the soul from the mind and will of God, to go its own way, do its own thing, having fallen into self-will and rebellion. But as our soul returns unto Him, to be fully one in Him, then shall He also being forth a new body to reveal this ONENESS, and Eve will return into her Adam, and there shall be a sense of completeness once more.
“‘The Lord hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant. And did not He make ONE? Yet hath He the residue of spirit. And wherefore one? THAT HE MIGHT SEEK A GODLY SEED. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.’ (Malachi 2:14-15)
“Herein is the challenge for the greater spiritual realities to come. How we need to take heed to our spirit, not joining our spirit to the world, nor any other spirit, but only to Christ, to be one spirit in Him. And then to be joined to the wife of our youth – that celestial virgin, that prepared bride, a soul that is ready to become fully ONE with our spirit. And why this union? To bring forth a GODLY SEED. That every word, action, might be to His praise and glory. Yes, that IN US He might be well pleased. In His image, in His likeness, with a body like unto His glorious body, restored into ONENESS. How glorious is this redemption He has purposed!” – end quote
There is only one way for the soul to be perfectly fulfilled – and that is in union with the spirit, in the union of love – a true marriage. For example, two aspects of man’s being are the understanding and the will. When these two parts act in unity, they are called one mind. The understanding is predominant in man, and the will in woman; but in the marriage of minds there is no predominance, for the will of the wife becomes also the will of the husband, and the understanding of the husband is also that of the wife; because each loves to will and to think as the other wills and thinks, and thus they will and think mutually and reciprocally. Thus, by the conjoining of the faculties of spirit and soul, the soul overflows with the sweetest peace and the grandest purpose, the most interior delight. The conjunction of the two is the heavenly marriage, to which the Lord compared the Kingdom of Heaven; and He says that it is not here, nor there, but within us. Under the symbol of marriage and love, the regeneration of the soul is continually described in the Word; and the meeting of Jacob and Rachel at the well, when “Jacob kissed Rachel,” and for very joy, “lifted up his voice and wept,” beautifully typifies the meeting of soul and spirit, and the gladness resulting from their union.
When Adam was created
His “womb” was in his side,
But one day Father took it
And from it built his bride.
When man was first created
There were two sides to his nature;
One side: female – one side male…
Nothing lacking in his stature.
Then man was as an eunuch…
Satisfied to be alone,
For he felt no LACK WITHIN himself,
He was contented with his own.
Not once was Adam heard to say,
”I wish I had a mate,”
For he then was “as the angels”
As our Lord was heard to state.
It was God Who said, “I never planned
That man should live alone,
I’ll build for him a help that’s meet
Of his flesh and of his bone.”
For in the beginning of creation
The Lord God said to man:
”I bless you; now be fruitful,
Multiply, and fill the land.”
How can a man be fruitful
And reproduce his life?
Why, in this earth, he cannot
If he doesn’t have a wife!
Male and female, two in one,
United through and through,
But by His Will He altered man
And out of one made two.
And this He did by causing man
To fall into a sleep
And while man slept, He took form him
A chamber from the deep.
The Word of God is powerful
As a sharp, two-edged sword
And by His Word divided He
The Spirit from the soul.
Then builded He the woman
According to His plan
And when the maid was finished
He brought her to the man.
Eve came forth from Adam
Knowing not from whence she came
But Adam knew she came from him
And so he gave her name.
And Adam called her Wo-man
Because she was taken out of man
And soon “his side” would be his bride
And mother of his clan.
The woman came forth as a babe
She had to learn from man
She did not hear from God “direct”
But she heard “second-hand.”
So Adam tried to teach her
The things that God had said,
But without HIS revelation
It won’t stay in your head…
The woman represents THE SOUL
That was taken out of man
The man the SPIRIT BEING Son
Who came forth by God’s own Hand.
For the FIRST a Spirit
THEN he became “a soul”
And if you’ll hearken to these words
The Truth will soon unfold.
The soul, outside the Spirit,
It easy to deceive
But the soul that’s IN the Spirit
A lie will soon perceive.
So let our souls be subject
To the Spirit of the Lord
For if we do, we’ll rule our flesh
And not lose our reward.
- Lora Huston
Think of the momentous tragedy when spirit and soul, made in the image of God, commissioned to rule over the body and have dominion over all the bestial realms of the flesh, entered into transgression at the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil (sense knowledge, body senses) and consequently into the realm of death, thus losing their glory and their dominion, together with their ONENESS. There is a most enlightening statement made by the apostle Paul in II Cor. 11:3 where he admonishes, "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds (soul) should be corrupted from the SIMPLICITY that is in Christ." The whole purpose of the serpent's beguilement was to CORRUPT THE MIND (SOUL) FROM THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST. The word "simplicity" actually is the Greek word for "singleness," from the same root as used in the verse, "When thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light." (Lk. 11:34) The singleness which the spirit and the soul enjoyed was the unity they had in being ONE IN GOD. The spirit had been birthed out of God into a divine state of being, and the soul, in blessed harmony, expressed the inmost nature of the spirit. Wonderful union! Together they ruled over the body, the body was the stage, spirit and soul the actors, and there was wondrous peace and divine life throughout all the realms of the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. While spirit and soul dwelt IN the flesh, they were not to allow themselves to be moved BY the flesh. Now, by the flesh, I do not mean merely the desires and appetites of the flesh, but I mean the SENSE-KNOWLEDGE which is derived from the world through the five senses of the body.
In the Garden of Eden the serpent bespeaks the bestial spirit of the world, which tempts the soul, seducing it by the lower sense and emotion of the animal faculty of sense-knowledge, together with the passions, emotions, and lusts of the flesh which seem to offer a whole new realm of happiness and fulfillment. In allowing the appetites of the flesh to penetrate the soul, the soul became contaminated and became itself as sensual as the body. As the soul was enticed to join itself to the flesh, a division was wrought between soul and spirit. The affections, mind, will, desires and emotions of the soul BECAME ONE with the five senses of the body and thus were transferred from the imperishable things of an eternal realm to the perishable things of a dying world. The soul became darkened in its intuitive aspects as it was drawn away from REVELATION KNOWLEDGE received from the spirit and received its impressions from the bodily senses. The soul forsook the SPIRIT OF THE WORD for the LETTER OF THE WORD, it abandoned the SPIRIT OF TRUTH for the outward FORM OF TRUTH, it deserted REALITY for RITUAL, and now served the CREATURE rather than the CREATOR.
The soul died to the eternal and incorruptible things of the Spirit of God to become alive to the worldly things of the spirit of this passing age; dead to the Spirit of holiness and alive to dirty mindedness, immortality, uncontrolled passion, self-seeking, evil desire, pride, worldly wisdom, lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, abominable idolatries, witchcraft, contentions and strife (I Pet. 4:3; Col. 3:8; Gal. 5:19-21). In receiving the testimony of the five senses of the body, the soul was lowered into that lesser realm. Entering into an adulterous union with the flesh, the soul became DIVORCED FROM THE SPIRIT, was MARRIED TO THE BODY, thus BECOMING THE SOUL (WIFE) OF THE BODY rather than the soul of the spirit! Soul and body are now ONE FLESH – and "flesh" is ALL THEY ARE!
GOD IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS
There is coming a glad and wonderful day when spirit and soul shall be unified again into true oneness, restored to that realm which Adam and Eve knew in the Garden. United in one they shall once more rule in splendor and authority over the body and the bodily manifestations will again become the expression of the image of God unto the physical creation. This is already blessed reality to many, in the measure that His redeeming and transforming power has been experienced.
It takes the SPIRIT OF GOD within our life to awaken us out of sleep and work the necessary transformation. This is quite a process, for far too long our minds have been given over to the flesh, to be "dominated by the very spirit of this age of this world system." But we shall be "transformed by the renewing of our mind" (Rom. 12:2) until the soul and the spirit become one, to rule over the body, a NEW CREATION. When man, responding to the call of the Spirit, is willing to acknowledge the LORD as his HEAD, and seeks to be led of the Spirit in all his ways, "casting down imaginations (carnal reasonings), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ." (II Cor. 10:5), then there is a spiritual development of the new creature within.
This brings us to a very important thought. Not only did the soul fall, being joined to the body as the soul of the body, but the spirit followed the soul into transgression and died. This is why there must be a SECOND BIRTH – for the first birth resulted in a MISCARRIAGE. When Adam (spirit) was born as a Son, he was an ABORTED SON – immature – an unripe fruit. In order then to come into that fullness and permanency of Sonship life, we must RETURN AGAIN TO THE WOMB (of God) and be born out again, this time FULLY DEVELOPED. That is why Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the SPIRIT IS SPIRIT. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be BORN AGAIN." (Jn. 3:3-7) And that is also why the Greek indicates that the manchild of Revelation 12 is born a FULLY DEVELOPED MAN. The first birth produced an ABORTED CHILD – the SECOND BIRTH produces a FULLY DEVELOPED SON!
The spirit of the unregenerated man is DEAD, not non-existent, but UNRESPONSIVE to that sphere from which man fell, which is the sphere of life in the Kingdom of God. The natural man is a lamp that is not lit, lacking the essence-life of God. A fallen man, dead as he is in spirit, can only live by the corrupted soul of the body realm. But we who have been begotten again from above have a quickened spirit, are made alive to that higher dimension, and can live by the spirit. God has quickened us so that we can return to the spirit and live by the spirit.
The reverent heart is made to wonder at the unmistakable simplicity of the ways of God. Long centuries ago the apostle penned these meaningful words, "We have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the FATHER OF SPIRITS, and live?" (Heb. 12:9) This verse tells us that GOD is the FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS! Ah, He is not the father of your empty religious rituals and static creeds; He is not the father of your denomination; He is not the father of your flesh; He is not the father of your carnal mind and all your outward activities. You can never meet God in any of those realms – He is not there. God is the God of your spirit, you must be in your spirit to be with God and touch God. Today I am sitting in my office in El Paso, Texas. If you go to Dallas you will miss me. If you go on any other street, you will miss me. If you stand outside my house on the street corner, you will miss me. You must come to the door and enter my dwelling to be where I am and know me. God is the God of our spirits! We all need to turn to the spirit. From thence is the fountain of all life!
THE SOUL OF GOD
Beloved reader of these lines, ponder, if you will this solemn inquiry: Has the Holy Spirit ever revealed to you the SOUL OF GOD? Have you even considered that the God who lives in your spirit HAS A SOUL? Here we must ask the Lord to lift the hidden things from before our understanding and reveal the things that since the world began have been kept secret. Listen to the words of the Lord as He presses this golden truth home to the heart of the prophet Jeremiah: "Yea, I will rejoice over them (His people) to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with My whole heart and with MY WHOLE SOUL." (Jer. 32:41) Notice that God speaks of HIS SOUL and says that He will REJOICE with His SOUL. Rejoicing is an emotion. Emotion is a part of the soul. If we were to say God has no soul, we would say that God has no emotions! In this verse God reveals that He has both emotions and a soul. Again, "Your new moons and your appointed feasts MY SOUL HATETH: they are a trouble unto Me, I am weary to bear them." (Isa. 1:14) Is hatred an emotion? Is emotion a part of the soul? Certainly! Does God have hatred for anything? Does not God therefore have a soul? The Lord Himself declares that He does! "Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, MY SOUL shall have no pleasure in him." (Heb. 10:38) See also Jer. 6:8 and 9:9.
Mind is a function of the soul. Does God have a mind? "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! For who hath known the MIND OF THE LORD? or who hath been His counselor?" (Rom. 11:33-34) If we say God has no soul, we say that God has no mind! The will is a part of the soul. Does God have a will? "Be ye transformed by the renewing of your MIND, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect WILL OF GOD." (Rom. 12:2) "I delight to do THY WILL, O my God." L,KKKKKKK God has desire, therefore He has a soul. God has affection, and so it is clear that He has a soul. Scripture could be piled upon Scripture, but I do not have the ability to make this truth any plainer than the Lord Himself has made it in the prophecy of Isaiah where the Spirit declares, "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 show judgment unto the Gentiles." (Mat. 12:18) All the fruits of the Spirit are manifestations of the soul of God: ".love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance." (Gal. 5:22-23)
Someone has well written: “Such documents as the Anglican Communion and Westminster Confession declare that God is ‘without body, parts or passion.’ Can a God without passions feel our pain? Admittedly, theologians over the centuries have largely concluded that God does not feel passion or suffering. God is apothos, or apathetic, with no disturbing emotions whatever. Bible passages describing God as angry or grieved or rejoicing were dismissed as anthropomorphic or metaphorical. Yet, here is a strange thing: if someone with no background in philosophy and theology simply picked up the Bible and started reading it, he or she would find a startlingly different picture. The Bible gives overwhelming emphasis to God’s passionate involvement with creation. It is virtually a catalog of His emotions in the position of an anxious Father who has let His children go free. Each key event in the Old Testament tells of God sharing the pain (or, less frequently, triumph) of His people. He heard the cry of the captives in Egypt. For thirty-eight years He pitched His tent among the shifting tents in Sinai, joining Israelites in their punishment by tabernacling among them. ‘In all their distress he too was distressed,’ concludes the prophet Isaiah (63:9). The prophets seem to compete in describing the depth of God’s emotional attachment to His people. The books of Jeremiah and Hosea swell with the cry of a wounded God. ‘Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight?’ God asks (Jer. 31:20), ‘Thought I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore, my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him.’ (Luther translates that penultimate phrase, ‘My heart is broken.’) In Hosea God declares, ‘My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.’ (11:8) ‘Why did you forsake me?’ He asks often. ‘My people have forgotten me,’ He laments. In Isaiah the boldest figure of speech used by any prophet compares God to a woman undergoing labor: “‘For a long time I have kept silent. I have been quiet and held myself back. But now, like a woman in childbirth, I cry out, I gasp and pant.’ (Is 42:14)
“Clearly, events arouse in God either joy or sorrow, pleasure or wrath. The Old Testament portrays a God who is not ‘wholly other’ or remote, but One involved with creation. He goes with His people into exile, into captivity, into the fiery furnace, into the grave.”
When he that readeth can grasp the truth we have shared in previous articles on this subject, that God bears within Himself both the characteristics of male and female, then he can better understand that God is SPIRIT, masculine, and also SOUL, feminine. As YAHWEH, the "self existent One," He is masculine, having life in Himself. But as EL SHADDAI, the "Breasted One," He is feminine, the pourer and shedder forth of life as a woman bears her child and then feeds and sustains it with the milk from her breast. God as SPIRIT is the divine being, omnipotent, omniscient, complete within Himself. God as SOUL is divine expression, God revealed, manifested, giving out of His own life as He begets His Sons and Daughters and feeds and sustains them with the "milk" of His Word from His own bosom.
Would God that all the saints might see not only that God has a soul, but that "He that is joined unto the Lord IS ONE SPIRIT." (I Cor. 6:17) The soul of God is rooted in the Spirit of God, whereas the soul of man is rooted in human flesh. The soul of God is the outward expression of divine nature, while the soul of man is the outward visible expression of carnal nature of his flesh. A correct knowledge of this sublime truth will enlighten the eyes of our understanding to see that when a man receives into his spirit the Spirit of God, HE IS ALSO MADE A PARTAKER OF THE SOUL OF GOD. As the wonder and majesty of this truth breaks upon our consciousness we will find it impossible to separate between the Spirit of God and the soul of God, or between the Spirit of God and the spirit of the regenerated child of God, or yet between the soul of God and the soul of the NEW CREATURE IN CHRIST JESUS!
For many years my prayer has been that God would put HIS thoughts, HIS understanding, HIS will, and HIS wisdom into MY mind. My prayers has been that He would somehow transform MY emotions, MY desires, and MY affections that they might become like HIS. Good as such a prayer as this may be, it is no longer the prayer that fills my heart. Paul told us of something higher far when he said, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 2:5) Good as it is that God would stoop to put His thoughts in the human mind, let it be known to all who partake of His Spirit that He has purposed something greater far when He told us that, as His children, we could know the unspeakable wonder of HIS MIND DWELLING IN US. Those in whom the mind of Christ is permitted to dwell will discover that they are thinking in the Spirit, yea, thinking with the mind of Christ. Because a NEW MIND is born within them, it need not be amazing that understanding like unto that of the Most High should be continually with them. The mind of the Most High dwelleth IN THEM. The SOUL of the Most High becomes truly THEIR SOUL as the Spirit of God becomes the life of their spirit. And while I prayed that MY emotions, My desires, MY will, and MY affections might somehow be transformed to become like His, the Spirit of the Most High one gladsome day whispered gently into my inquiring heart this wonderful message, "Strip yourself of your former nature – put off and discard your old unrenewed self – which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be constantly renewed in the SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND, and put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, Godlike in true righteousness and holiness." (Eph. 4:22-24, Amplified) Our mind is that part of us which thinks and is the seat of our consciousness; it is our intellect and in it dwells our ability to reason. When we are born of the flesh, as Jesus describes our natural birth in John 3, we are born with a natural mind. We enter this world with five senses: sight, hearing, smelling, taste and touch. These are natural physical and psychical (soulish) senses, and feed information to our mind. Peter writes about our new birth in I Peter 1:23. “Being born again not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.” This new birth is by an incorruptible seed. It is by the Word of God. This is the Word which is Jesus Christ. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 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 1:1, 14) This incorruptible seed is Jesus Christ who comes to abide within us at the time of regeneration. He is the author of eternal life. “Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?” (John 5:12) When we are born of the Spirit, God gives us these same five senses on a higher plane that operate in the realm of the Spirit, in the inner man body. In the natural no one has ever been able to see unless they have been born. It is the same in the spiritual realm. Jesus speaks of spiritual sight in Jn. 3:3, “Except a man be born again (born of the Spirit) he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
A brother has written: “After we have been born again we have two minds. Paul speaks of the fleshly mind. ‘Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.’ Col. 2:18, 19 We also read of the carnal mind in Rom. 8:6-8. The fleshly mind and the carnal mind are the same mind and it is the mind that we were born with in the natural. As Paul says here, it is the enemy of God. It is not subject to God and it can’t be subject to Him. This does away with all benefit of self reformation. We must have a new mind to be able to change and this only comes with a spiritual birth. The result of walking according to the carnal mind is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. ‘I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.’ Rom. 12:1, 2 God’s will is that our minds should be renewed or changed. Up until our new birth we have been controlled by the fleshly carnal mind. At our new birth another mind is born within us and as we are transformed by the exercise of this new mind, as it is led by the Holy Spirit, we are changed into the likeness and image of the Son of God. There will continue to be a raging battle between the two minds. The Apostle Paul speaks of this experience in Rom. 7. He says, ‘I will find then a law, that when I would do good, evil is present with me.’ His new man delighted in the law of God. ‘But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.’ It seemed that in desperation he cried out ‘O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ The answer he found is our answer. ‘I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ Through Him we can receive a new mind and also through Him the new mind can win the battle and overcome the carnal mind. ‘For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.’ Rom. 8:2
“The natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit. They sound like foolishness to him because they are only understood by the Spirit. Paul explains to us that only the Spirit that is in man knows what is in his mind. Likewise only the Spirit of God knows the mind of God. Because we have received of the Spirit of God we can know the things that are freely given to us of God. The spiritual man has insight into everything, and that bothers and baffles the man of the world who can’t understand Him at all. How could he? For certainly he has never been one to know the Lord’s thoughts, or to discuss them with him, or to move the hands of God by prayer. But strange as it seems, we Christians actually do have within us something of the very thoughts and mind of Christ.’ I Cor. 2:16. Phillips. Another translator puts it this way, ‘The spiritual man has insight into the meaning of everything.’ Because God’s people have shared of His mind by the moving of the Holy Spirit within them this thing is possible. The renewed or new mind is able to partake of the thoughts and mind of Christ. We must allow the Holy Spirit to lead us according to God’s mind. The man who tries to ride two horses at once is asking for trouble. If we try to follow the carnal mind and the spiritual at the same time we will make shipwreck of our life and ministry. James says, ‘A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.’ James 1:8 By His fellowship and presence we will come to know His mind and purpose. We will be transformed by the renewing of our mind.”
In the book of Second Kings it is written that King Ahaz of Jerusalem, going to Damascus to meet Tiglathpileser, the king of Assyria, saw the altar that was in the pagan temple in that place. He was so impressed that he sent the specifications of it to his high priest in Jerusalem with instructions that a replica be built and installed in the Temple. “And the brazen altar which was before the Lord he removed from the front of the house… and put it on the north side of the (pagan) altar. And King Ahaz commanded Urijah the priest, saying, Upon the great (pagan) altar burn the morning burnt offering, and the evening meat offering; and sprinkle upon it all the blood of the burnt offering, and all the blood of the sacrifice: and the brazen altar shall be for me to enquire by.” (II Kings 16:14-15) This is a picture of the two altars within the inner spiritual court of our lives, wherein the altar of the Lord is set off to one side. Ahaz still had a superstitious awe concerning it and specified that at times he would personally enquire by the brazen altar of the Lord. This double-mindedness or double-souledness is a grotesque spiritual tragedy. Elijah speaks to our condition when he demands, “How long will you halt between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” (I Kings 18:21) And the Lord says, “If therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be double, thy whole body shall be full of darkness.”
To be double-souled is to have more than one personality. A common modern term for this problem is schizophrenia. We tend to think of schizophrenia in its most extreme forms: those in which drastic personality changes occur – a split personality. But there are degrees of double-mindedness found in all who have not been transformed and unified from the carnal nature of fallen man by the renewing of their minds in Christ. These have two minds, trying to mind the world and mind the spirit at the same time, and constantly vacillating back and forth between the two. Such instability is the very opposite of those who are made ONE IN CHRIST. If we tend to have one personality at home, another at the office or job, one personality at church, and another under pressure, these are symptoms of double-souledness. Man was created in the image of God and can only know his true identity when he is unified in God. Schizophrenia, or split personalities, is perpetuated by a frustrated sense of identity. Only as we draw closer to God in whose image we have been created can we come to see clearly who we really are. As we enter into union with Him we become the most sane, consistent, decisive, stable people in the world. External pressures and social situations will no longer affect and shape us. The soul of the One who lives within us will be the constant expression of our life. The control of the God who dwells within us will become greater than all the pressures the world can possibly bring to bear. GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN YOU THAN HE THAT IS IN THE WORLD!
THE GREAT "EXCHANGE"!
With this exhortation fresh upon our minds let us meditate briefly upon the difference between the TWO SOULS – our soul and God's soul. I Cor. 2:14 says, "The SOULISH (Gr: psuchikos – soulish) man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God. and he cannot know them." These words speak clearly and thoroughly concerning the condition of the human soul as to the things of the Spirit of God. The soul "receiveth not" the things of the Spirit of God and "cannot know them." The soul does not desire the things of the Spirit of God, nor can it receive them; even if it wants to receive them, it CANNOT, because it cannot know or understand them. The nature of the human soul is not in accord with the things of the Spirit of God; therefore it neither wants nor receives the things of God. Moreover, it also has no ability to know the things of God. Therefore, as to things of the Spirit of God, a man living by the soul has no feeling, no interest, no desire; neither does he seek them, receive them, or even understand them. For this reason God must deliver us from the human soul so that we do not live by the soul!
This means an EXCHANGE – we must PUT OFF the human soul and PUT ON the soul of God residing in our regenerated spirit. We have been regenerated in our spirit, but now there is a problem with the soul. Our spirit has been reborn and regenerated with Christ as life by the Holy Spirit, but what about our soul? What about our mind, will, emotion, desire, and affection? In our spirit we are entirely different from the people of the world, but in our soul we are still exactly the same! Regeneration has been accomplished in our spirit, but after regeneration, there must be a dealing with the soul, for the newly regenerated man is TWO-SOULED, being that DOUBLE MINDED man who is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8). To be double minded is to actually possess two minds. Two minds necessitates two souls. The two minds are presented in Rom. 8:6: "Now the mind of the flesh is death. but the mind of the Spirit is life and SOUL-PEACE both now and forever" (Rom. 8:6, Amplified). This verse should prove to any open mind that the MIND OF THE SPIRIT is in the SOUL OF GOD. There are TWO KINDS of manifestations of MIND: one from the spirit, the other from the flesh. There are likewise two wills, and two sets of emotions, desires, and affections. So then, when a man is first regenerated he has TWO SOULS! He is the DOUBLE MINDED, TWO-SOULED MAN!
In the first study on this subject we pointed out that in the realm of imperfection and duplicity, as a result of the fall, the husband is given headship over the wife. The voice of God announced the terrible sentence to mother Eve, "And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and HE SHALL RULE OVER THEE." (Gen. 3:16) "Thy desire (soul) shall be to thy husband" should be better translated, "Thy desire shall be SUBJECT to thy husband," that is, thy desire shall be subjected to the WILL AND PLEASURE OF THY HUSBAND. One ancient translation reads, "The direction of thee shall be with thy husband." ". and he shall RULE OVER thee." Another version says, ".and he will DOMINATE you!" Spiritually, this means that as long as we walk in imperfection and duplicity, being two-souled, THE SPIRIT IS GIVEN HEADSHIP AND DOMINION OVER THE SOUL. The soul is commanded to be under obedience and is to be subjected under the authority of the spirit. Ah, but the headship of the man over the woman was never part of God's original order in the heavenly realm of the Kingdom of God in Eden where man and woman walked and reigned together in the mind of Christ. There, in the glistering glory of that celestial realm, Eve was in no way subordinate to Adam, for the TWO WERE ONE. In God's grand and glorious plan, when redemption is complete, fully inworked into our lives, and all duplicity is swallowed up, man and woman, male and female, SPIRIT AND SOUL shall both be so quickened by the Spirit that in the pure nature and holy mind of Christ the two shall again BE ONE. SUBMISSION shall have been swallowed up in UNITY!
Armed with the understanding that Adam represents the SPIRIT and Eve represents the SOUL, can we not see that after a man is regenerated in his spirit, while yet he lives in a state of duplicity, "the flesh warring against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh," the divine order for this man is THE HEADSHIP OF THE SPIRIT OVER THE SOUL.
In his third anointing (II Sam. 5:3), David became king over all Israel. But between his second and third anointing, we read, "There was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker." (II Sam. 3:1) The house of Saul stands in type for the realm of the human soul minding the flesh, while the house of David stands for the minding of the spirit. There is a LONG WAR, often waged hot and furious, before we no longer mind the flesh, and are totally given over to the minding of the things of the Spirit. Praise God, it does read that the one realm gets steadily weaker, while the other waxes stronger and stronger. We are to be "changed into the same image FROM GLORY TO GLORY, even as by the Spirit of the Lord!"
The story is told of a young boy who, on a certain occasion, was walking with his father through the streets of Manchester, England. His attention was suddenly drawn to a man standing before the door of a building, announcing loudly, "Come in, ladies and gentlemen, and see the great American Pig." Having his curiosity aroused, he paid his penny and entered the building. There, sure enough, was an amazing pig performing feats and giving evidence of an intelligence no pig had ever exhibited before. At the command of his trainer, he would pick out, from the alphabet lying on the floor, the letters "G-O-O-D P-I-G". He would also walk on his hind legs and shake hands with those who stepped up to greet him. This pig had been washed and scrubbed until he was perfectly clean and he was dressed in a beautiful garment. Of course, he commanded the highest admiration and no one could deny that he was well-educated and well-behaved in every respect. But in spite of his remarkable culture and his attractive appearance, HE WAS STILL A PIG – better off, perhaps, than most other pigs – and yet, after all, only a pig and by nature a pig to remain, however advanced his learning. Put him back in the pig pen and he will again wallow with all the other pigs!
Ah, I do not hesitate to tell you, beloved, that the great American Pig is a perfect picture of the human soul! Good that it can be commanded by the spirit, wonderful that it can be kept in check and made to behave very respectably, great that its offensive nature can be subdued and it can be trained to put on a very fine act, but forget not for one moment that in spite of its "righteous" or "religious" appearance, it is still the Pig! Oh yes, the human soul can be suppressed, subdued, brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. It can be taken to the meeting where a religious atmosphere is created by a man at the pulpit, with a forceful personality he tells you to stand up, clap your hands, sing, raise your hands, praise the Lord, etc. Your soul obeys. There is nothing wrong with standing up, clapping the hands, singing, raising the hands and praising the Lord. There is nothing wrong with religious activities, good works, good behaviour, etc. The real issue, however, is the SOURCE of these things. Are they a spontaneous outflow of HIS LIFE from within because of a deep moving of the Spirit of God within our spirit, or are they actions of the subjected soul? Ah, better that the soul "behaves" than that it misbehaves! Better that it sings the songs of Zion, than the perverted music of the world. Better that it does good, instead of bad. The headship of the spirit is designed to control the conduct of the pig (soul) for a season, but God ultimately is not after the headship of the spirit over the soul, rather, God has purposed to unify the two again into TRUE ONENESS. Soul and spirit shall be joined in one – one in mind, will, emotion, desire and affection – a marriage to be celebrated indeed!
The allegory of lover and beloved, bride and groom, union of marriage, gives to us one of the best examples of the ONENESS which we desire to share with the Christ, and which we desire in our own selves, the union of soul and spirit. We are weary of the realm of duality. We are tired of speaking in tongues one minute and flying off the handle the next. From the time when Christ came into our lives we have battled this dualness. Our mind often pulled to the direction of the flesh, our spirit yearning after that life from above which alone would satisfy. And to quote it once again, "There has been a LONG WAR between the house of Saul (type of the flesh) and the house of David (type of the spirit)." Thank God, the Spirit of Christ within is gaining the ascendancy as the soul becomes more and more subdued. But the prayer remains, "that they all may BE ONE." (Jn. 17:21)
Never in the annals of human history was there so much soul-power in manifestation as today. Too many are interested in the great blessing, the great religious excitement, the great signs and wonders, the great happenings, the great crusades, the great personalities, the great crowd, and the great experience. It was soulish to live in the “great” realm as the world and the church systems, including the Pentecostals and Charismatics, promote it today. It is a land in fantasy and fable and superstition.
Adam was created innocent and sinless, and possessed tremendous powers of soul. When he fell from that realm of glory, his soul fell with him. Because the soul was in a fallen state, God bound up and hid that power within man’s mind, leaving active only that minute portion of mental ability which the Creator, in His wisdom, knew was safe and profitable for fallen man to have. I believe it was Albert Einstein who said that man at his height uses no more than 10% of the capacity and potential of the human mind. Most of us use only 1% of the capacity and potential of the human mind. Watchman Nee wrote a book called THE LATENT POWER OF THE SOUL. I recommend it highly. If you have not read it you should visit a Christian Book Store and have them order you a copy (if it is still in print). The word “latent” is defined thus: “Present or potential, but not visible, apparent or realized. Dormant. Lying hidden. Quiescent, veiled.”
Sister Alma McClure has given a very timely word along this line in her publication, THE WINNOWER. She writes: “There is a tremendous hidden power in the human soul. In these days there is an increasing interest in releasing that dormant power within. This is what the “Self-Realization” and “Self-Improvement” teachings are all about. This is what the various occult and psychic practices base their activity on. Eastern religions, transcendental meditation, fortune telling, horoscopes, etc., work through the releasing of the power dormant in the human soul. And Satan seeks to gain control of this power and work through it to attain his own goals of control of people and the world. Very cleverly, the destroyer presents soul power disguised as spirit power! And how closely we must follow our Captain, and be sure we are yielding to the Holy Spirit, and operating only in that legitimate realm, and NOT in soul power, or a mixture of spirit and soul! Notice what is written in Rev. 18:11-13. It speaks of the merchants of the earth dealing in many kinds of MERCHANDISE, including the “souls of men”! And it is Satan, the god of this world, who is behind it all!
“There are those who are entering into spiritual realms, but not by the HOLY Spirit, nor through JESUS, but through cultivating and releasing their dormant soul power! Yes, they are having “spiritual experiences”, and many think these are of the Holy Spirit, when they are actually using PSYCHIC, OCCULT, SOUL POWER! There are “spirits” in these soulish realms, but not the HOLY Spirit! I would call your attention to the fact, in the midst of Christian groups, churches, and assemblies, there are many who are operating in the soul realm rather than in the Holy Spirit! Or in many cases there is mixture! Much of this is done by sincere people, unaware of what is going on. It is not the simplest thing in the world to distinguish always, unfailingly, between soul and spirit! Which one of us can claim to have always, immediately and without fail, discerned all these things perfectly?
“However, if we have been walking with the Lord, earnestly hungering for HIM, and HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, submitting to His dealings and processings, then we ARE LEARNING TO DISCERN, more and more! We are not focusing on experiences, but keeping our eyes on Jesus, and allowing Him to correct us whenever self (soul) begins to come to the fore. His Word in us is more and more dividing between soul and spirit! And we are humbly grateful for that! We confess that the process is not yet competed, but that we are closer to that goal than we were! We say that by faith, for so many times are we temped to “feel” otherwise. But HE is doing the work, and we seek to be continually yielded and cooperate.
“Now I want to share with you some things I heard on a tape of a certain ministry. Not to single out this man, personally, for there is such mixture of soul and spirit in much of Christendom, in varying degrees, and in different ways. But perhaps what I share will help you to recognize and discern soulish “techniques” infiltrating groups or individual ministries and teachings with which you have had contact. Thus recognizing the error of soul power and soul activity, we can turn from it, asking God to use His sharp Sword to separate us totally unto Himself, and His PURE TRUTH. Recently I have had opportunity to listen to some tapes of meetings attended by sincere believers, those desiring to go on with God, to be full overcomers, to be conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the past I had read some writings of this minister (called an apostle), and had listened to earlier tapes. My spirit was troubled, and even though’ much truth was spoken, there were in my spirit, “warning flags” and danger signals flashing! However, later I wondered if I were judging wrongly. Was I imagining things? Was I prejudiced? God knew my heart that I did not want to be persecuting or condemning one of His true messengers! So I was glad when I had opportunity to borrow a couple of more recent tapes in which the same man ministered. The first one sounded quite good, and I was saying, “Amen” to much of it. (Also, thinking that I might have been mistaken in my earlier “discernment”!) Then, I listened to the message on the second tape!
“Let me say this! I believe that the man I was hearing on the tape really loves the Lord, and that he does not realize that he is moving, at least partly, in the psychic realm! I believe he thinks it is all truly of the Holy Spirit. (At least I want to give him the benefit of the doubt.) But my heart aches to realize many dear saints are being led onto a side path, to climb up another way into spiritual realms! This man talked about the need to separate mind from spirit, but then in this “workshop”, he was surely using “SOUL POWER”! I don’t think he realized it! I MUST quote some of the things he said in that meeting (as recorded on the tape I heard). I do it only for the purpose of alerting you, and by the grace of God, to help you discern between soul and spirit!
“Quote: ‘There are techniques we have to learn and use. I want to teach you some techniques.’ (Editor’s note: A technique is a specialized procedure and method, esp. in an area of applied science. Technical skill.)
“Quoting again: ‘… how to open your mind and spirit to God. You have to exercise your will with faith; exercise your imagination. You have to visualize things are happening in your conscious mind, opening up this physical man, opening the door that you go out. Let’s play that game! Concentrate! Forget these people. Just open up, now in your inner man, … now push in that elevator up to God! PUSH! Do you feel that? … Do you want a little workshop? Do you want to try this? Now I have no Scripture for this. But what if it works?’ (Ed. Note: Many things that are not of God “work”! But by what power?)
“Quoting: ‘Now I want you to put your thumbs back here, and your fingers tips right here on your temples. And I want you to concentrate from right here… Like you are just opening up and peeking and moving up into God! PUSH… that inner man! PUSH that inner man! PUSH him into His presence! How many feel it? … I’m trying to teach you how to be free of you!’
“Still quoting from the tape: ‘Now the occult do this to get in union with devils, and they will put you and I to shame! If you and I are afraid to practice it and execute it and exercise it, in union with the Holy Spirit, to develop supernatural ability to know all things as He knows…’ Paul wrote ‘Being absent from you in the body, but present with you in the spirit, beholding your order and joy…’ Paul was able to develop his awareness in another place. Now if this is too far out for you, you many never ask me to come back!’ (And then, in a loud, challenging voice), ‘BUT ARE YOU GOING TO BECOME SONS? Jesus saw Nathaniel under the fig tree. Elisha saw his servant, Gehazi, as that servant went after Naaman to ask a reward. Elisha said, ‘Did not my spirit go with you?’’
“Brethren, I am convinced that this teaching is using and advocating SOUL POWER, although it is called being spiritual! As for Paul, Jesus and Elisha, did they ‘develop’ this spiritual awareness by ‘techniques’? Or were these simply Holy Spirit operations which the Lord chose to work through them? Why would we need to use ‘soul techniques’ the same thing that the occult realms use, in order to become ‘spiritual’?? God gives the gift of knowledge, and visions, and other Spiritual gifts and operations AS IT PLEASES HIM! We need not ‘climb up another way’, borrowing the ‘techniques’ of the occult, seeking to release our ‘soul power’, which is our life which we have laid down for Christ’s sake! If we are SEEKING THE FACE OF GOD, AND KEEPING OUR EYES ON HIM, submitting to His processing in our lives, there is no need to strive to enter into EXPERIENCES! When we are ready and prepared, the Lord will give us each experience or gift or attainment AS IT PLEASES HIM!
“I quote again: ‘Now if you are going to be prophets and sons, you’d better wise up! There are spiritual mechanics, spiritual exercises that you can do. Ezekiel was gone all the time! Always in the spirit! The occult calls it out-of-the-body experiences. The occult calls it teleportation and a lot of other words. I’m telling you that what they (the occult) do with an unregenerated spirit, to be in union with evil spirits, we can do in union with the Holy Spirit, to be totally effective, knowing no limitation of being anywhere that God wants us to be at any time, to hear, to see and to perform!’ Oh, beloved! Why should we look to the COUNTERFEIT REALM, the occult, for our example to teach us how to move in the Holy Spirit??? CLIMB NOT UP ANOTHER WAY!! God will bring us into supernatural transportation IF and WHEN He so desires! I want to wait on Him, not running ahead, trying to make it happen by SOUL POWER, and by the methods and ‘techniques’ that the Occult use! Philip, in Acts 8:39,40, was found at another place after being caught away by the Spirit of God. But there is not the slightest indication that Philip did this on his own, having ‘learned the techniques’ of such things! God is not waiting or depending upon our learning methods!! Instead He is processing us that we may DIE to the SELF LIFE, DIE TO THE SOUL LIFE AND SOUL POWER, that we may be totally moving in HIS SPIRIT, and be completely yielded to HIS WILL! Our will is part of our self and soul life! So is ‘imagination’! It is not by our will or imagination or striving that we come into the higher realms of the Spirit of God!
“He is doing the work! Let us be patient for Him to do it HIS way and in His timing, and not be like Saul, who ‘forced himself’ and did that which was forbidden to him to do! (I Sam. 13:12-14) God is concerned in bringing His own to complete nothingness in self, that HE may be all in all in them and through them! He is increasing in us, and we are decreasing, along with all our own SOUL POWER and SOUL STRENGTH! We need not fear that we shall miss out because we fail to learn ‘techniques’ of rising into spiritual realms! We need not climb up another way, the ways used by the occult, the ways of ‘soul power’!!” – end quote.
Now the question arises: WHICH soul is to know this blessed oneness with the spirit – OUR SOUL, or GOD'S SOUL? Certainly not our soul, for we are exhorted to "lose" our soul. In Mat. 16:24-25 the Greek word for "life" is the same word for "soul." "Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever shall save his soul shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his soul for My sake shall find it." Four things are emphasized: first, "deny himself;" second, "take up his cross;" next, "follow ME;" and finally, "lose HIS SOUL." We are not to cross out others and put others on the cross, but put our own soul on the cross. If any man will follow Christ, he must first deny his soulish life, then put his soulish life on the cross, and finally, LOSE IT by death! When the soul has been put to death, only the SOUL OF GOD IN THE SPIRIT remains! You see, the spirit is designed to rule over the human soul only long enough to complete the warfare victoriously – as we then learn to walk only and wholly in the soul of God in the spirit the marriage takes place, SPIRIT AND SOUL ARE JOINED ETERNALLY in the blessedness of the ONENESS OF HIS LIFE.
There were no mistakes in Eden. Every detail was in harmony with a master plan for the working out of an eternal purpose. The only bride Adam had was the one "taken out" of his own inner life. The anti-type of this is that the only SOUL that can ever be adorned as a bride to be joined to the bridegroom, the realm of the SPIRIT, is the soul which is rooted in the spirit – HIS SOUL, not ours! It must be the woman, the wife, the soul taken from the spirit of the SECOND BIRTH, not the fallen, adulterous soul of the first Adam! His (God's) must be PUT ON, while ours must be PUT OFF. "Whosoever loseth his soul shall find it," Jesus said. It is not the human soul itself that is "saved," but the realm of the soul. After losing "yours" you gain "His," thus the possession of the faculty of soul is preserved so that you do not become "soul-less"!
Jesus is the pattern. Jesus said, "I lay down my life (Gr: soul) that I may take it again. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." (Jn. 10:17-18) The word POWER used here literally means "the right, the privilege," while the word LIFE is psuche on the Greek, meaning the SOUL, the soul realm with its mind, will, emotion, desire, and affection. Thus, to use Jesus' words, "I HAVE THE RIGHT TO LAY DOWN MY OWN SOUL-LIFE, die out to all the flesh appeal which would bring me into bondage to the world's system; and I HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE UP MY SOUL-LIFE IN A HIGHER SPHERE OF THE SPIRIT." The end of this is, "Not my will, but THINE be done." (Lk. 22:42)
The Adamic man can never lay hold upon sonship, life, glory or immortality. The word is sure: “Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.” (I Cor. 15:50) That which is corrupt is continuing in its way of corruption, for corruption is a downward spiral. Incorruption has never had corruption. Corruption is not changed into incorruption. The corruptible can put on incorruption, but the incorruption is something outside of, apart from, and beyond corruption. When the corruptible “puts on” incorruption there is the introduction of something entirely new and different, an ingredient that was not there before. Since the Adamic mind is not subject to God and neither indeed can be, since the Adamic mind is enmity against God, and since the Adam man suffered corruption physically and psychically, something completely new, and which will not corrupt, and which is of the nature of God, has to be put on. It is not a restoration of the old man, or the reformation of the Adamic soul. Our delusion, our corruption is not going to be changed to incorruption. Truth has never been error. Rebellion has never been unity. Light has never been darkness. Evil has never been purity. Immortality has never been mortal. When this mortal, sinful, and carnal puts on immortality, holiness and spirituality, it puts on something completely new, something which has never died, and never had a lack of life.
Adam and Eve were chastised by God and had to leave the Garden. That means that in the state of corruption and delusion in which they now were, they could not live in a place which God had prepared in life, purity, and power. The man of Genesis One is not formed out of the earth; he is a man from heaven, a heavenly man, a spiritual man, so his destiny is spiritual. When Jesus came He began to show us these things, He revealed again the heavenly and spiritual man in the image of God as God created him in the beginning. That is why He is the second man and the last Adam. We have passed from death unto life, from Adam to Christ. We have been baptized into Christ’s body. We are bone of His bone, flesh of his flesh. He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. We are a new creature in Christ Jesus. Therefore we have a new mind, a new soul, a different food. We need spiritual things, heavenly realities. Adam is not to be consecrated to serve God. When people are asked to consecrate their life (soul) to God, it is a useless endeavor in the sense that our Adamic life (soul) cannot serve God. It will only serve God in its own interests or to get some reward. Its subjection to God would be factitious – for the purpose of justifying itself, soothing its conscience, or for earning some kind of relationship with God with its own hidden ulterior motives in view. Christ is the last Adam, so the old Adam ends when Christ appears.
In the process of being joined to the Lord as one spirit, is the process of putting on His soul, so that there are not two wills, His will and our individual will, and not just our will SUBMITTED to His will, but ONLY HIS WILL! Not two minds, nor two sets of emotions, desires, and affections, and not ours SUBMITTED to His, but, thank God! only HIS. In the marriage union of spirit and soul there is one new creature, Christ, with one mind, one will, one emotion. Blessed union! It is not His mind controlling our mind, but it is our possessing HIS mind. This is CHRIST IN YOU the hope of glory. It is more than just a "fill me" with more of God, but a being swallowed up into Him, that henceforth it is "no longer I, but CHRIST liveth in me." (Gal. 2:20) This is what we are yearning for – that we might have a constant outflow of our true inner nature. As Paul wrote, "Stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being." (Rom. 12:2, Wuest)
How can this change be wrought? Permit me to share with you some precious words of exhortation penned twenty or more years ago by a brother whom I now quote: "The same trust and the same faith that brings salvation to the believing heart is that which also brings every other blessing of redemption into the believer's life. O how often men have said to me, 'I am praying that God will give me the mind of Christ.' Frankly, my brother, I do not think you should pray that way. As Christ offers justification from all sin, free of charge, without money and without price, saying to all who seek, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved," even so now He says by the Holy Ghost, "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.' (Phil. 2:5) Consider the significance of this word LET, for the Spirit says, 'LET this mind be in you.' While the Christian in his traditional unbelief is begging God to give him the mind of Christ, the Lord is asking him to accept it. He is saying, 'LET THIS MIND be in you.' The only way I can receive a gift is to reach out my hand and take it. The only way to receive the mind of Christ is to believe that, when Christ gave me Himself, He also gave me His mind, and now, by my faith in such utter completeness, I LET that mind become operative in me. Believing that the MIND OF CHRIST dwells in me, I can now attain much through prayer, as I seek to have no mind of my own, casting down every human imagination to bring every thought into obedience to the mind of Christ.
"I am well aware that, since I have said these things, many carnal men with carnal minds, will boldly proclaim that they have the mind of Christ; but give neither attention nor heed to them, for I say through the grace given unto me that men who walk in the glory and light of the mind of Christ will never be found sounding a trumpet before them. They will rather walk in humility and in the sanctifying grace of the Holy Spirit."
From earth's teeming millions of all ages there is a people rising in the image of Christ. There is a nation rising in the earth who is seeking ONLY THE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. There is a people rising from the dust of the earth-realm to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Though they live on the earth and walk in bodies of clay and dwell among men, they are strangers and foreigners in the earth, for their true citizenship is in the heavenlies. Here they have no continuing city, but are being built up as living stones in that glorious city which comes down from God out of heaven. Because they are strangers in the earth, they never FEEL AT HOME with its inhabitants. Their speech does not agree with the accent of those who are of the earth earthy. Because they are foreigners, they are pilgrims. Therefore they pause not to build mansions and monuments to be acclaimed by this world system, but daily pitch their tent toward that better country.
These blessed ones are the Sons and Daughters of the Most High. Prefigured by Adam and Eve in Eden, these are the PERFECT MAN, male and female, spirit and soul, the image of God, to whom is given dominion over all things. These are rising from the confusion of religious Babylon, returning from the far country of sin and self, to be united again as one in the Spirit of God. These shall rule and reign gloriously, first over the domain of their own individual "earth," and in due time over all the endless vastnesses of infinity forever! Dearly beloved brethren, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us and, forsaking all else, cleave only to Him. The marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife hath made herself ready!