Human Beings, in general, are so wrapped up with their animal bodies that they can’t see the spiritual person within. “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” Evidence of the spiritual person within is everywhere if you really stop and ponder it. Humans are so much more than any of man’s close animal relatives. Man is a spirit being that lives within an animal body. That is why a Homo sapiens person looks out at the world from within. It is as though God has put is within a Homo sapiens avatar at the moment of our conception, or at some point soon afterward.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. (NIV84)
When I was a teenager, I had a German Shepherd dog that I used to play a game with. The game was me on my hands and knees, facing her in anticipation. Then I would reach out, as fast as I could, and try to grab one of her front arms. I could never win. She was always faster. I would move first, and she would always move her leg out of the way before I could grab it. Later in life, I understood what was going on. I was inside my body, working it for all I was worth, and she was her body. I have to work my body through some interface that God has devised, and that takes thought and time. Now, people, through many hours of practice, can get really fast with things like this. Through thousands of hours of practice, I can mold my brain into a hardwired dog-leg-grabbing-machine, but the average person isn’t going to bother with such a thing.
The point that I’m trying to make is that the Bible is speaking to your inmost being, the real you, and so its words are not for the edification of your brain, but rather for the enlightenment of your soul. Your body does not exist past its biological life, but you do. Let me show you an example.
When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (NIV84)
Jesus was speaking spiritual words, and the woman above was thinking natural thoughts. She was thinking in terms of her animal needs. Almost always, the Bible is speaking to your inner person and not to your outer person. The text goes on to say…
He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus declared, “Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.” (NIV84)
When Jesus told the woman intimate details of her life, she then recognized that the words were spiritual (having come from God) which is why she called him a prophet.
The point of this passage is that the revelation that the Christ was to bring was to be spiritual and not natural. Jesus tells us that God is spirit and that we must worship him in spirit from our enlightened souls. When the brain gets confused at the Bible’s words, we need to calm down and listen with our hearts. God uses the natural world as figurative examples to show us spiritual truth. The Bible frequently uses poetry to express spiritual truth. We must look beyond the literal words. (By the way, this woman, a woman that had five previous husbands and was currently living out of wedlock, was the only person Jesus ever told he was the Christ. I find that interesting.)
… the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (NIV84)
Poetry is the primary language of much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament. This verse is conveying vital information to you through poetic imagery. Genesis 2:7 tells us that God formed the man from the dust of the ground, but doesn’t tell us how. People tend to imagine in their minds that God made a mud-man much like one might make a snowman, but this passage does not say it was done in that way. Information in the Bible is usually very condensed. It usually tells us only what we need to know. Evidently, we don’t need to know how to form a body from the matter of the earth. Poetry, good poetry, uses words very carefully to express information in its accurately selected words.
You might be wondering why the Bible expresses so much information in this subtle poetic form. God usually expresses information in ways that require his presence to grasp it accurately. God fully informs those that are his, while hiding the truth from those that are not truly seeking him.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. (emphasis mine NIV84)
Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. (emphasis mine NIV84)
At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. (NIV84)
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
11 He replied, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you [those that are seeking God], but not to them [those that are not really seeking God]. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“ ‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. 15 For this people’s heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’ (everything between [ ] is or are mine (NIV84)
If you will not open your heart and seek God in truth, then you will remain ignorant. God does this so that those that do listen to him will recognize each other so that they might better know who should be listened to and those that we must not listen to. Often rich and famous people appear to have all the answers but being a celebrity is not an indication of having a true and living relationship with God. When rich and powerful people show their ignorance of Scripture through their words and actions, we can know not to listen to them, or imitate them, nor should we desire for ourselves the things that they boast of.
So, in Genesis 2:7 God says that he formed the man from the dust of the ground and so we must look into the Scriptures and receive from God what that means. Divine revelation occurs first in your heart, and then afterward, the mind understands. Only after you see the spiritual truth can your brain put it together.
The first part of Genesis 2:7 is not to be taken as a literal statement. It is not really the words that are talking to us, but rather the spirit revealed within the words. As a human born and living on the earth, your brain is limited to what it can see and understand. Your brain is pretty much limited by what it already knows. When reading a poetic verse, you must open your heart to see more. Your heart is literally infinite. Biblical poetry uses what things you know to show you more than you know. You that is the spirit-person within your body is watching your brain think and can see beyond the mere words. Your spirit-person can actually see God; a thing your brain can never do. Even if God were to reveal himself to your eyes, your brain would not be able to understand unless first, you understood in your heart.
We can break the above verse (Genesis 2:7) into two parts. The first part deals with the body of a man and poetically says that the Lord God formed the Homo sapiens from the dust of the earth. God did not literally make a mud-man as one might make a snow-man, rather he formed man by some undisclosed method. To understand what I am saying let us back up just a bit in Genesis and look at a previous verse…
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day. (emphasis mine NIV84)
This is the account of God creating all of the plants of the earth. Remember that this is being conveyed to you poetically. This verse says that God commanded the land to produce vegetation. This does not mean that the land was to grow vegetation as we understand the normal growth of plants. We are seeing the actual creation of the plants here. This point becomes clearer when we look at this next passage.
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. (emphasis mine NIV84)
Now in this passage, we see the creation of the animals. When we look at this verse along with the previous verse, we can understand that it doesn’t mean that the plants and animals grew out of the earth, but rather what they are made from is the earth, that is from matter. These passages do not mean to say that the plants and animals spontaneously popped into being suddenly. It is evident from what we can see in the fossil record that the land produced the plants and animals over a long period of time. Now I know that the text says that it took one day to create the plants and another day to create the animals, but how long is a day to God? Science tells us that time itself didn’t even exist until the universe was created, and the speed of time is related to the speed of expansion of the universe. None of this is revealed in the Scriptures. The Days of creation are meaningful, but not as literal segments of time for each stage of creation. The understanding of these passages does not come through a literal meaning of the words but rather how the words fit into the whole Bible. As you look further into the Bible, you will see that the literal Plan of God takes place over a seven thousand-year period, and each day represents a thousand actual years.
2 Peter 3:8
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (NIV84)
Don’t try too hard to make every verse in the Bible a literal truth. Christianity today still undergoes criticism, worldwide, because people claim that we Christians practice symbolic cannibalism because of what Jesus said concerning the eating of his body and the drinking of his blood. Every word of the Bible must be understood spiritually. We Christians must take Christ into us for him to transform us from death to life, but it is Christ’s spirit that we partake of and not his literal body and blood. Jesus is not his body, and never was he so. He is and was a living spiritual being that temporally lived within a body of flesh—just like us. In the same way that I want you to see your true spiritual self, I also want you to see Jesus’ true self. Because ultimately, we are just like Jesus if we believe in him.
I don’t want to get into the seven-thousand-year plan at this time because it is not part of what this article is about. This article is about you and what you are.
… the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (NIV84)
Looking back to Genesis 2:7, we see that God formed man from the dust of the ground. Again poetry. This passage is saying the same thing as Genesis 1:11-13 and Genesis 1:24-25 above, that is, that the land that produced our animal bodies, with God actively driving every step. God used the land to form every living organism.
The choice of the word dust I find very interesting. Dust is a form of land, but it carries a subtlety different meaning. Look at the word dust used in this passage…
Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales; he weighs the islands as though they were fine dust. (NIV84)
The chosen word dust tells us that God is revealing to us that our bodies are a lesser important part when compared to the other part as seen in the next half of the sentence, and [God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Now I want to point out that before God breathed the breath of life into the man, the man, was a man—not a mud-man—he was a living man, that is he had animal life, but not spiritual life. The passage refers to “his nostrils” and says that he is a man, both before God breathed the breath of life into him. Man is the only animal that God breathed his life into. He did not breathe the breath of life into any other animal; man is unique. When God breathed into the man, the man became a spiritual being; a living soul.
There are two kinds of life revealed in the Bible. There is natural life, which we all know about, and there is spiritual life, which is not so easy to see. The man had natural life before but did not have any spiritual life until after God breathed into him. This is a critical point. This is one of the most important pieces of revelation in the whole Bible. You are a spirit being that resides in an animal body. You will continue to live in an animal body until the body’s death.
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. (NIV84)
God is not a man. He does not have flesh and blood. He is spirit as we see in this next verse.
God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (NIV84)
Now let us look at what God says man is.
Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (NIV84)
This passage says that God created man in his own image and in his own likeness. God is spirit, and so must man be. The body made from dust is only the vessel that holds the godlike person. It is so very important that you understand that you are not your body. Your body will never go to heaven. You are a spirit being that may, or may not go to heaven and live eternally with him.
By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV84)
After man broke faith with God, his spirit nature died, then God said the above to him. Spiritual death is similar to natural death, but only similar. When we are spiritually disconnected from God, we are disconnected from spiritual life, then we dominated by our natural animal body, but when we are alive in God, and God is alive in us, we are alive through our connection to God and are His eternal children. You are an eternal spirit-being called a soul. You are a soul. That is you. It is your soul that lives forever. It is your soul that goes to heaven if you belong to God when your body dies. It is this dual nature of man that makes man unique. The angels are spirit, and the animals are natural elements of matter animated with a spark of God’s self. Man is a hybrid of the two. We, temporally, have both natural life and spiritual life. I say temporarily because according to the Plan of God, as it is seen in the Bible, the world will be removed at the end and then only those living souls, souls connected to God, will remain alive.
All of the promises of God are focused on the spiritual man and not on the natural. If when you read the Bible, you think that it is speaking to your flesh, you are most likely wrong. The flesh is frequently used as a metaphor to teach of the spirit, but the words of the Bible almost always speak of the spirit and to the spirit.
1 Corinthians 2:6–16
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9 However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen,
no ear has heard,
no mind has conceived
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. 14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment:
16 “For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ. (NIV84)