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that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he
male and female created he them." Gen. 1:26, 27.
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Gen. 2:7.
The two-foldness of man's nature is clearly seen in his creation. The physical being was formed of the dust of the ground. This is the sense in which man is declared to be a little lower than angels. Angels were created entirely upon the plane of spirit beings. “Who maketh his angels spirits." But man was created with a fleshly, physical body. That part of man which was made of dust and shall return to dust again is mortal. It is “your mortal body,': “your mortal flesh.” Rom. 6:12; 2 Cor. 4:11. But while God made for man a physical body, an earthly house" to dwell in while here upon earth, the real "inner man,” the accountable part of man's being, God created in his own image and likeness.
Now this could not apply to the material body, for “God is a spirit.” John 4:24. God is not a fleshly being. IIe is a "spirit," "eternal, immortal, invisible" (1 Tim. 1:17), wholly of spirit substance. It was the moral and spiritual part of man's being that God created in his image and likeness. We repeat, God is a spirit; he is immortal and invisible. So positively teaches the Word. John 4:24; 1 Tim. 1:17. Then, to create man in his image (exact likeness) would be to create him a spiritual being, immortal, and invisible to the natural eye. And it is declared that God did make man in his own likeness—formed a spirit in man. Zech. 12:1.
Man, then, possesses an immortal part; for “there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding." Job 32:8. This spirit in man is invisible to the natural eye; it is “the hidden man of the heart." 1 Pet. 3:4. And the things not seen “are eternal. 2 Cor. 4:18.
So inside this flesh-born body lives a spirit, a hidden man, which is immortal, invisible, eternal. To deny this is to simply contradict the plain Bible. Let God be true, though men who contradict his Word be found liars.
Eternal. “Without end of existence or duration; everlasting; endless; immortal.” – Webster.
Immortal. “Having life or being that shall never end; as, an immortal soul.”– Webster.
Another thought. God is holy, and to create man in his image and likeness would be to create him morally pure and holy. This moral purity man lost through the fall. His moral and spiritual nature became defiled by sin. But through the atonement of Christ the soul is restored to the moral image of God again, into the same blessed state which it enjoyed before sin entered the world.
“Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man [depraved sinful life and nature] with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Col. 3:9, 10.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 2 Cor. 3:18.
“And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness." Eph. 4:23, 24.
You see it was both man's spiritual and moral being that was created in the image of God. It is the volitional part, hence, it became depraved by sin. Man is morally depraved. But through Jesus Christ the soul is now restored and changed back into the moral image of God again, and that is declared to be a state of righteousness and true holiness." In the work of redemption which brings us back into the image of the glory of God, it is not our body that is thus restored, but “he restoreth my soul.” Psa: 23 : 3. Halleluiah to his matchless name forever and forever!
The above is absolute proof that man possesses au immortal element, separate and distinct in substance from the body, created in the image of God, defiled by sin, and again restored to a state of purity through the blood of Christ. And the same inhabits a mortal body, mortal flesh, which is simply “the earthly house of this tabernacle," which will return to dust again, while the former will live forever.
By a careful study of God's Word, any unpreju
diced mind will be led to see that there are three states of human spirits clearly taught. The first is in union with an animal body. This state terminates at death. The second state is that in which human spirits are separated from their animal bodies. This commences at death and terminates with the resurrection of the body. The third state commences with the reunion of spirit and body in the resurrection, and continues ever after. In the following chapters we shall consider man in these three states, as taught in the Bible.
THE HUMAN SPIRIT IN UNION WITH AN
This is the present state in this life. This is why man is a little while inferior to angels. See margin Heb. 2:9. He now inhabits a fleshly, animal body, therefore he is called “mortal man.” I shall in this work use the terms “soul” and “spirit” interchangeably. It is true that there are scriptures where these terms are used out of their general order and do not signify the same thing. There are places in the Bible where the term soul is used to denote the whole being of man. And spirit is sometimes used to denote animal life, activity, etc. But when these terms are both applied to man's inward being they denote the same thing.
But some may ask, Why the two terms if they both denote the same thing--the immortal part of man's being? We answer, For the same reason that the two terms “body” and “flesh” are used to denote the physical and material part of man. Flesh and body have their distinct shades of meaning, and yet both denote the corporeal part of man. And just so the same shade of distinction exists between the two terms commonly used to denote or represent the invisible part of man. The term flesh denotes animal matter as a substance, while body refers to the organic form of that matter. So the word spirit refers to the immortal part of man as a real spiritual and invisible substance, while soul refers to the same substance in its organic form, the real inner man, or "spiritual body."
That man has a physical body, which is mortal, but few deny. In Rom. 6:12, 13; 8:11; 2 Cor. 4: 11 (which texts have been already quoted) it is clearly stated that man inhabits a physical, fleshly body. And the same is the mortal part of his being. But the same Bible teaches that a spirit being dwells inside this mortal house. “But there is a spirit in man.” Job 32: 8. God “formeth the spirit of man within him.” Zech. 12:1. “A spirit hath not flesh and bones.” Luke 24:39. “For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?'' 1 Cor. 2:11.
Without comments, these scriptures simply declare in so many words that a spirit being, a being in