Time Has An End

by Harold Camping
Family Stations Inc.


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We have learned that God has a very carefully developed timeline by which He has unfolded the history of the world. As we continue our study, we will increasingly find that the unfolding of the timeline of history is governed by the development of God's salvation plan. But God's salvation plan is intimately involved with mankind. Therefore, it is imperative that we know all that we can know about mankind. The only source that we can look to for this kind of truth is the Bible. This is so because the Bible is the only source in which God has set forth an accurate description of the nature of man whom God Himself has created. In this chapter, we will look very intently at the creation of the human race.

The first truth we discover about mankind is that he was created in the image of God. We read in Genesis 1:26-27:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

This is an exceedingly remarkable statement. Infinite God is the everpresent One who has been throughout eternity past and who spoke and brought this entire complex universe into existence. What can it mean that we are created in the image, in the likeness of God? Remarkably, the same language is used when Adam's third son, Seth, was born. We read in Genesis 5:3:

And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth.

All of us know what it means for a son to be in the "likeness" of his father. The father and the son may look alike, act alike, even think alike. Father and son may have the same desires, the same fears, the same interests. The son can be virtually a carbon copy of the father.

However, when God speaks of man being created in the likeness of God, we immediately realize that there are certain characteristics of God that can never be a part of man. God is from everlasting past, the ever-present One. Man  

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has a beginning and no pre-existence. God is infinite in His power, in His knowledge, in His wisdom, in His presence. Man, in his physical being, has very limited power and knowledge and wisdom, and can be present in only one place at a time.

Yet there are very distinct similarities between God and man.

Yet there are very distinct similarities between God and man. The very fact that God wrote the Bible and man can read the Bible indicates great similarity. The fact that man can have some understanding of concepts such as love, hatred, joy, patience, mercy, grace, forgiveness, kindness, obedience, sorrow, etc., indicates a definite similarity between God and man.

As we examine Genesis 2:7, we will learn more about the similarity between God and man. There we read:

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.

This verse states that when God created man as a physical being, he was formed from the dust of the ground. This is almost identical language to that recorded in Genesis 2:19, where we read:

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

The word "dust" is added by God in Genesis 2:7, no doubt anticipating the curse that would come upon mankind at the time they would sin. Remember, after Adam sinned, God declared to him in Genesis 3:19:

In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Because the language given in Genesis 2:19 concerning the creation of animals is similar to that of the first part of Genesis 2:7 concerning the creation of man, we need to look first at the creation of animals.  

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The Creation of Animals

Animals were created as physical beings with the physical breath of life. The energy that God uses to keep them alive comes from two sources. One source is the food they eat and the water they drink. The second source is the oxygen they breathe. If deprived of these, they will die. The Bible speaks of the animals' creation in Genesis 2:19:

And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.

Animals are formed from the ground in the sense that they totally identify with the elements found in the ground. All the minerals found in the earth are found in the bodies of animals. All of the food they eat comes from the ground. They return to the ground when they die. They were created in many shapes and sizes with varying degrees of animal intelligence. They in no sense have any spiritual nature. They are physically alive as long as they are able to breathe.

The Creation of Man

We must understand that the difference between man
and animals is enormous.

We must understand that the difference between man and animals is enormous. Of supreme importance is the fact that man is created in the image of God. Physically, there are similarities between man and animals. Many people therefore like to believe that mankind is a higher form of animal. If we did not have the Bible, this conclusion would appear to be quite true. In addition, if man were only an animal, then the Bible's teachings concerning sin, judgment, eternal damnation, mercy, etc., would be foolishness. This would be so because if we were but animals, albeit a higher form of animal, we, like any animal, would merely live out our lives and then die. That would be the whole story. We would never have to answer to God for our sins. We would never have to fear the wrath of God.

Unfortunately for those who would like to believe that humans are simply a higher form of animal, there is no truth in their conclusion. A human being is an  

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entirely different creature from animals. Beyond the similarities of their physical bodies, man and animals bear little resemblance to each other.

Who or what man is cannot be learned in any way except by careful reading of the Bible. Fact is, the whole Bible is concerned with mankind. Thus, the unfolding of God's salvation program through history constantly focuses on mankind. True, by studying the Bible, we can also learn many things about animals, but the essential and all-important message of the Bible deals with you, me, and the billions of people who live in this world.

Very quickly we will learn that each of us is a
spiritual being.

Because of the enormous importance of the teachings of the Bible that focus on human beings, and indeed, on you and on me, we are, in our study, going to spend some time trying to understand who we are. Very quickly we will learn that each of us is a spiritual being. Hopefully, as we go on, we will gain some understanding of the spiritual nature of man and how that spiritual essence impacts our relationship with God.

As we have learned, man was created with a physical body very similar to that of an animal. That is why, for example, animals can be used to test medicines that are being designed for human use. As it is with animals, all of the food we eat ultimately comes from the ground. When we die, our bodies return to the ground.

The major physical difference between man and animals is that man's brain is far more complex than that of an animal. God created man with a more complex brain because He created man also to be a spiritual being in the likeness of God. When God gave man a soul (or spirit essence), this wonderful act also impacted man's physical body so that particularly in his mind, he became different from animals in that he could learn to read and write. He could understand, to some degree, intangibles such as love, joy, mercy, justice, etc. He could have the ability to design and build complex things.

Man also would be able to communicate with God in prayer. He would understand that there is a God whom he must serve and to whom he is accountable.

Human beings were created with a soul. (As we continue our study, we will learn more about the fact that the creation of man's soul has everything to do with his being created in the image of God.) Human beings were created with a physical body together with a soul. Whereas the animal is physically alive only  

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as long as it breathes, what really makes humans physically alive is that their souls remain present in their bodies. We will examine this principle as we carefully look at Genesis 2:7. Remember, it declares:

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.

We have learned from Genesis 2:7 that Adam was created with a physical body. But then this verse says: "and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." In this phrase, five words are especially significant. They are the Hebrew words "breathed" (naphach), "breath" (neshamah), "life" (chayyim), "living" (chayyah), and "soul" (le nephesh). We should examine each of these Hebrew words very carefully. As we do so, we will reaffirm that every word in the original language of the Bible is very important. In addition, we will learn that the Bible is its own dictionary. The Bible's usage of any word helps to define the meaning of that word.

"Breathed"

Let us first examine the word "breathed" (Hebrew naphach). We read that "God breathed into his nostrils." The Hebrew word that is translated "breathed" is found several times in the Bible. It is never used in connection with breath being given to animals. Thus, by the use of this word for "breathed," God is emphasizing a distinct difference between man and animals. It is significantly used in Ezekiel 37:9 where God describes the phenomenon of dry bones coming to life. There we read:

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe [Hebrew naphach] upon these slain, that they may live.

This usage accords with the breathing of God in Genesis 2:7 where God is giving life to the dead body of Adam. It identifies with the statement of John 20:22, when God breathed on the disciples. We read there:

And when he had said this, he breathed on them and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.
 

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Christ's breathing on His disciples was a demonstration of one element of salvation, that is, a spiritually dead soul becomes spiritually alive, indwelt by the Holy Ghost (also called in the Bible "the Holy Spirit" [ in Luke 11:13 for example]). So, we see a direct parallel between the original creation of man when God created him perfect in the image of God and the spiritual re-creation of God's people when they receive a new, resurrected soul (John 3:3-8; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; I John 3:9). (See Chapter 13 of this book.)

"Breath"

The next word found in Genesis 2:7 that we should examine is the word "breath." It is the Hebrew word "neshamah." The word "neshamah" is never used in the Bible in connection with the breath of animals. The breath given to animals is the Hebrew word "ruach," which also can be translated "spirit," and is also used at times in speaking of the breath or spirit of mankind. However, God's use of neshamah in Genesis 2:7 provides a total separation between animals and man. Thus, by the means of the two words "breathed" and "breath" as they are used in Genesis 2:7, God is teaching that mankind is totally unique. We are learning that this is describing how man became a spiritual being. It is by what God describes as His own breathing and breath that mankind was given a spirit essence (also called soul). This soul proved that mankind had become created in the likeness of God because in this soul, God in His Spirit entered into and identified with mankind. This provided not only the means by which God could bring God's energy into man so that mankind might will and work to God's good pleasure, but it also provided the means by which God Himself actually works in mankind. The presence of the soul in human beings sets them completely apart from animals. Animals were not created with a soul.

"Life"

The next word we should carefully examine is the word "life" (Hebrew chayyim). It is very closely related to the Hebrew words "chay," "chayah," and "chayyah." All of these words express the concept of life or living. However, chayyim is a plural word. It should be translated as the plural word "lives." Thus, in Genesis 2:7, the phrase "breath of life" should be translated "breath of lives." How are we to understand this odd phrase "breath of lives?" A search of the Bible reveals that it was used more than eighty times by God as He wrote the Bible. It is used as God speaks of man's life, of animal life, and of God's life. We should look at examples of each of these three usages to determine more precisely what God is teaching by means of this plural word "chayyim."  

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In Genesis 7:15 we read:

And they went in unto Noah into the ark, two and two of all flesh, wherein is the breath of life.

This verse is speaking of the unclean animals that were brought into Noah's ark. The phrase "breath of life" should be translated "breath of lives." How does this plural word "lives" fit in this context?

In Exodus 22:4 we read:

If the theft be certainly found in his hand alive, whether it be ox, or ass, or sheep; he shall restore double.

This verse is speaking of a single animal being alive, that is, having "lives." How can a single animal have "lives?"

In Numbers 16:33 we read:

They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation.

This verse is speaking of unsaved men being alive, that is, having "lives." What can that mean?

In Psalm 21:4 we read:

He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.

This verse is speaking of the one who becomes saved receiving "lives" forever. What can that mean?

These sample verses show us that the plural word "chayyim" applies to single animals, to unsaved people, and also to those who are saved. How can we harmonize all of these usages?

The answer is given, for example, in Psalm 36:9:

For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.

In this verse, the phrase "the fountain of life" is actually "the fountain of lives." God is the fountain of lives, that is, He is the source of any and all life. He is the source of physical life for an animal. He is the source of physical life  

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for mankind. He is the source of spiritual life given to man at Creation. He is the source of the eternal spiritual life given to the one who is saved.

God uses the plural word "lives" also because God is a plural being. In I Samuel 17:36 we read:

Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.

In the phrase "living God," both words "living" and "God" are plural. This verse could be translated "he hath defied the armies of the God of lives." That is, God reveals Himself as a plural being. The Bible declares that God is Triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and these three are one God (John 14:26; I John 5:7). He is the source of any and all life in this world. Life emanating from a plural being, God, therefore is spoken of using a plural word, "lives." Life comes from God the Father, from God the Son, and from God the Holy Spirit. Therefore, in many verses, God employs the plural word "chayyim" (lives) when He speaks of life coming from God.

It is also a fact that many times the Bible uses a Hebrew word in the singular tense in indicating "life." This is very parallel to the teaching of the Bible that on the one hand, as God is speaking of Himself, He uses plural language like God (Hebrew Elohim, a plural word), such as in Genesis 1:26 where He says, "Let us make man in our image." On the other hand, God insists there is only one God and uses words such as Lord, Christ, Jesus, etc., which are all singular words.

The big principle we learn is that whether it is the physical life in animals, the physical life in man, the spiritual life (soul) given to man at Creation, or the spiritual life restored to those who have become saved, all life comes from God. He is the only source of life.

We should comment on two other verses. Psalm 52:5 declares:

God shall likewise destroy thee for ever, he shall take thee away, and pluck thee out of thy dwelling place, and root thee out of the land of the living. Selah.

This world in which we live is the "land of the living." In this verse, too, the word "living" is chayyim so that it could be translated "land of lives." In this world, there exists both physical life and spiritual life. However, this verse also indicates that those who are consigned to Hell will be taken away from this "land of lives" and be destroyed forever. This truth is emphasized in connection with Jesus paying for the sins of those He came to save.  

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We read in Isaiah 53:8:

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Again in this verse, the phrase "the land of the living" could be translated "the land of lives." Thus, Christ suffered the wrath of God by becoming like those who will be cast into Hell forever.

"Living Being"

The next word we should examine is the word that is translated "living." The word "living" (Hebrew chayyah) is a noun that is used many times in the Old Testament. Frequently it is translated "life," or "living," or "living thing." Additionally, it is frequently translated as "beast." This comports with the concept that an animal has life or is a living thing as long as it has breath. Frequently, the word "living" (chayyah) is used in association with the Hebrew noun nephesh. This is the way it is used in Genesis 2:7. There we find the Hebrew phrase le nephesh chayyah. The best translation of chayyah in this verse is "living being."

"For the Dead Body"

This brings us to the next word we should carefully examine. It is actually a Hebrew phrase, le nephesh. The phrase le nephesh is the word "nephesh" connected with the Hebrew preposition "le." When the noun nephesh stands alone, as it does hundreds of times in the Bible, it is translated in a variety of ways such as "creature," "life," "soul," "person," etc. Fact is, the translators of the King James Bible simply translated the phrase le nephesh in Genesis 2:7 as "soul." 1 Thus, we see that the King James translation of Genesis 2:7 indicates that man became a living (chayyah) soul (le nephesh).


1 This does not mean that the translators were less spiritually qualified or had less intellectual ability. We must keep in mind the principle of progressive revelation. Even now, we are living in a time when God is opening the eyes of many to more and more truths of the Bible, and therefore, we can expect that, in our day, God will give a more adequate understanding and a better translation of various Bible phrases.

Additionally, there are two verses that are written using the Hebrew le khol nephesh. The word "khol" means "any" or "every." In one of the verses, Numbers 19:11, the phrase "le khol nephesh" is translated "of any man." This verse is speaking of "the dead body of any man," so in this verse, le nephesh is virtually giving the same meaning as the translation "for the dead body." Additionally, in Exodus 12:16, the Hebrew phrase "le khol nephesh" is translated "which every man."  

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The Hebrew preposition le is found over 4,000 times in the Bible. It can be translated as "to," "toward," "with," "at," "for," or "of," depending on the context in which it is found. However, in connection with the word nephesh, it is found only thirteen times. One of those thirteen times is in the verse we are studying, Genesis 2:7. To help us understand the meaning of this phrase as it is used in Genesis 2:7, we must see how it is translated in the other twelve places in the Bible.

Of the thirteen times that the Hebrew phrase le nephesh is found in the Bible, in six of the occurrences, it is translated "for the dead," "by the dead," "by the dead body," or "of the dead body." These verses are Leviticus 19:28 and 21:1, and Numbers 5:2, 9:6, 9:7, and 9:10. In each instance, a human dead body is in view. For example, Numbers 9:10 records:

Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If any man of you or of your posterity shall be unclean by reason of a dead body, or be in a journey afar off, yet he shall keep the passover unto the LORD.

In three verses, le nephesh is translated "to the soul." These verses are Proverbs 13:19 and 16:24 and Lamentations 3:25. In another verse, Numbers 35:31, le nephesh is translated "for the life."

When we examine these usages of the phrase "le nephesh," it is evident that it can be translated in the sense of "for the dead body" or "to the soul" or "for the life." Therefore, we have options as we seek to translate "le nephesh chayyah" in Genesis 2:7. It could be translated in the sense of any of the following ways:

  1. "man became for the dead body a living being."
  2. "man became to the soul a living being."
  3. "man became to man a living being."
  4. "man became for the life a living being."

The first translation listed here is the most likely. In the first part of Genesis 2:7, God speaks about the physical creation of man's body: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground." As we learned, this is almost identical language to that which the Bible uses when speaking of the creation of animals as having been given physical life.

. . . we must remember that when a man's soul is
separated from his body, he is physically dead.
 

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However, we must remember that when a man's soul is separated from his body, he is physically dead. He is a dead body. For example, when a true believer dies, his dead body is buried, but in his soul existence, he goes to Heaven to live and reign with Christ (II Corinthians 5:6-9; Revelation 20:4). So it was � only in reverse order � when God created Adam. First, there was the lifeless body of Adam which God had just created. Then God breathed the breath of life into that dead body. Suddenly, Adam became both physically and spiritually alive because at that moment, he was given a soul.

Therefore, Genesis 2:7 could likely be translated:

. . . God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of lives, and man became for the dead body a living being.

In whichever way Genesis 2:7 could best be translated, we can conclude that when God created man's body, he was neither physically nor spiritually alive. It was only when God breathed the breath of lives into that dead body that man became both physically and spiritually alive.

Now, it may seem that the foregoing discussion has been highly technical and tedious. But we have shown examples that demonstrate that every word in the Bible has significance (Matthew 5:18), and these examples show how in the usage of its words, the Bible explains itself and defines the terms it uses. This is a principle of Bible study that everyone should employ no matter what part of the Bible they are scrutinizing.

Man's Soul Impacted His Body

This soul or spiritual life, which became an integral part of mankind, and which was not given to animals, also greatly impacted mankind's physical body. The result was that when man was created, whatever desire he might have in his whole personality, he would want to do God's will. You will recall that in our discussion about when mankind became a spiritual being, we pondered how God might have prepared for this by giving man, as a physical being, a brain that is far different from the brain He gave to animals.

Incidentally, God links together the mind and the soul of man. For example, in Romans 7:22-25 we read:

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 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
 

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members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

In these verses, the word "mind" is a synonym for "soul." It was in man's "soul" or as a spiritual being that he was created in the image of God. It is possible that this exceedingly superior mind identified with a more complex brain because the more complex organ was required to enable his eternal soul to function properly. We have just learned that it was through man's eternal soul that God energized him spiritually, and we will learn that God actually becomes a part of him.

Because God is eternal Spirit and man was created in His image, man was created a spiritual being with a physical body. Man's soul and man's body were both created to live forever.

How Then Did Adam and Eve Fall Into Sin?

How then did Adam and Eve fall into sin? Fact is, in their soul, which was created in the image of God, they could not sin. This is so because God cannot sin. We read in James 1:13 that God "cannot be tempted with evil." And in I John 3:9 we read:

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

These verses teach that God can never sin. Thus, when mankind was created as a spiritual being, in the likeness of God, he, too, could never sin even as God can never sin.

In His Body Mankind was Vulnerable

However, as a physical being, as a human with a body of flesh similar to that of an animal, we have a different matter. Let us understand this as we examine Biblical language that speaks about the life of a true believer. We have learned that a true believer has been given a resurrected soul (he is "born again" as we learn in John 3:3-8) in which he cannot sin (I John 3:9). However, in his flesh or physical body, th situation is altogether different. We read in Romans 7:5:  

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For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.

Moreover, the Bible further states in Romans 7:22-24:

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 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. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

These verses teach that sin, which is a transgression of God's Law (James 2:9-10; I John 3:4), takes place in the true believer's body or flesh, the part of him that was created out of the dust of the ground.

Likewise, when Adam and Eve were created, in their soul they would never sin, but in their bodies they were vulnerable. This was so even though they were created perfectly sinless in their body as well as in their soul. Their body was the part of their personality that Satan attacked and was victorious. God had set up a testing arena which was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were not to eat of the fruit of this tree. They sinned by transgressing this command. The consequence of this sin was catastrophic. God had warned them that in the day they ate of the forbidden fruit, they would die. What could that have meant? At the moment of their sin, they did not die physically. They died spiritually. (Soon, we will go beyond our first parents and deal with what has happened to all of mankind. The sin of Adam has brought about the spiritual death of every human being. Adam's original sin has caused all of us to become spiritually dead at the moment of conception, the moment when God creates the body and soul of a new human being.)

The Temptation Experienced by Jesus

Understanding the principle that it was in Adam and Eve's physical bodies that they were vulnerable to the possibility of sinning underscores why the temptation of Jesus by Satan was so awful. At His incarnation, Jesus took on a human nature which included a physical body. In this physical body, He could be tempted to do evil. Satan was after Him, constantly tempting Him (Luke 4:1-13), and Satan even worked through the Pharisees, the scribes, etc. (Matthew 16:1; 19:3; John 8:6). Wonderfully, Jesus remained perfect, never falling into sin.  

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. . . it was in Adam and Eve's physical bodies that they
were vulnerable to the possibility of sinning.

On the other hand, our first parents had been given the Holy Spirit in that God had breathed into their physical bodies the breath or Spirit of God so that they had a spiritually perfect soul. But they also had a physical body that was identified with the dust of the earth. In their soul, they were indwelt by God Himself, and even as God cannot be tempted with evil, neither could they be tempted with evil in the soul part of their personality. Remember I John 3:9 where God speaks of the true believer who cannot sin because he has been born of God. It is only in his body that he can be tempted to sin. Even as Jesus was tempted with evil because He had taken on a human nature, so Adam and Eve in their human bodies could be tempted with evil.

It is truly remarkable that in order for Jesus to be the Savior, He had to go through the same experience as Adam. It is no wonder then that Romans 5:14 speaks of Adam as him "who is the figure of him that was to come." Jesus, the "last Adam" (I Corinthians 15:45), had to experience the same thing the first Adam experienced. Jesus took on a perfect sinless body; Adam was given a perfect sinless body when he was created. But unlike Adam, wonderfully, Jesus did not fall into sin when He was very severely tested.

Also remarkable is the fact that because God took on a human body in order to qualify to be the Savior, God will live throughout eternity future with a glorified spiritual body exactly as true believers will live forever with a glorified spiritual body (I John 3:2).

Once again, we puzzle over what all this has to do with the Biblical Calendar of History. But if we remember that the Calendar of History is governed by the unfolding of God's salvation plan, then we can see that an indispensable part of our study must be the examination of the details of how mankind became so desperately in need of salvation. We will proceed to examine this further.

The Consequence of Man's Sin

When man sinned, he became spiritually dead, that is, God was no longer supplying spiritual energy to him. He was no longer dwelling in him. Man had become spiritually dead. However, he still retained an exceedingly superior mind which we call intelligence.

We thus can understand that when our soul is dead, our intelligence or ability to think does not disappear. Fact is, we still know that there is a God to whom we are accountable. We still know that we are under the Law of God.  

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We read in Romans 2:14-15:

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another.

No individual conceived in this world is saved until
God begins to supply spiritual energy to him.

Every individual who is conceived of their parents is spiritually dead. All are descendants of Adam. Every one is sinful (Romans 3:23) and totally ruined by sin (Romans 5:12). The Bible terms our spiritually dead state as being "in Adam" (I Corinthians 15:22). No individual conceived in this world is saved until God begins to supply spiritual energy to him. They are all spiritually dead, and they, in themselves can do nothing � absolutely nothing � to restore to themselves God's energy which has been lost (John 3:27; 6:44, 65; 15:5b; Romans 3:10-12).

An individual still can read and write and think and do many things that result from the fact that he was created in the image of God. However, in regards to his relationship to God, he is spiritually dead (I Corinthians 1:18-20; 2:14). The Holy Spirit does not indwell him and does not energize him. He actually has become the enemy of God (Romans 5:10) so that he is under the wrath of God (John 3:36; Romans 1:18). But because he was created in the image of God and was originally indwelt by God, he therefore is entirely accountable to God. That is, at some time in his future eternal existence, he must be tried by God at God's Judgment Throne (II Corinthians 5:10). This terrible event will occur when the end of the world comes (John 5:28-29; Revelation 20:11-15).

God had warned our first parents in Genesis 2:16-17:

Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

This command set the stage for the destruction of mankind and the necessity for God's Gospel plan of salvation (Romans 5:6-10; Ephesians 2:1-10). Like a city that has abundant electricity and other sources of energy to energize  

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it to make it a live city, so our first parents had received the breath of God's life and were enjoying to the highest degree the energizing presence of God Himself in their lives.

. . . they died spiritually, that is, the energizing presence
of God that gave them spiritual life was cut off.

But somehow perfect, sinless mankind rebelled against God. Eve, "the mother of all living" (Genesis 3:20), disobeyed God and ate of the forbidden fruit. Adam, too, followed the disobedient action of his wife and ate of the forbidden fruit. Suddenly, they died (Genesis 3:1-7). No, they did not die physically, but they died spiritually, that is, the energizing presence of God that gave them spiritual life was cut off. They became like a dead city that had suddenly had its sources of energy removed. Outwardly, the city may still look magnificent. People may continue to live in it. But it is a doomed city that can only fall into decay and ruin.

God employs this analogy in Proverbs 25:28 where He likens an unsaved person to a city that is broken down. We read there:

He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

This teaches us that without the energizing presence of God in our life, we are dead in our sins (Ephesians 2:1-5). No wonder the Bible declares in Jeremiah 17:9:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The Bible speaks of this sad fact of man being cut off from God in many ways. For example in Psalm 37:9 God declares:

For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

And in verse 20 of the same Psalm the Bible states:

But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall
 

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be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.

This same horrible punishment was endured by the Lord Jesus Christ as He paid for the sins of those He came to save. Isaiah 53:10 informs us:

Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Unsaved mankind still retain their soul (or spirit essence). This gives the evil spirits, headed up by Satan, opportunity to rule very definitely over them. We read in Ephesians 2:2:

Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.

The word "worketh" in this verse is the Greek word "energeo" which is used to indicate that Satan energizes unsaved mankind even as the Holy Spirit energizes those who have become saved. We read in Philippians 2:12-13:

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

The word "worketh" and the word "do" in this verse are also the Greek word "energeo" from which we get the English word "energy." Thus, this verse is literally declaring that it is God who energizes those He saves to will and to energize of His good pleasure. That is, it is the saved individual's resurrected soul or the spiritual part of him that has been energized by God to do His will. God does this by actually becoming a part of the saved person's personality. This idea is also described in Ephesians 1:11 where we are taught that it is Christ "who worketh [energizes] all things after the counsel of His own will." This same truth is emphasized in Galatians 2:20:

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I
 

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live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

All Mankind was Included in Adam

In Genesis 2:16-17, God had decreed that in the day Adam ate of the forbidden fruit, he would surely die. But before we look more at what happened in the Garden of Eden, we should examine in detail the truth that within Adam, the whole human race was represented.

. . . within Adam, the whole human race
was represented.

Each and every human being, in principle, was in the loins or body of Adam. This principle is shown to us in a number of ways. In Hebrews 7:9-10 we read:

And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

In this citation, God is teaching us that even though Levi would not be born until more than 100 years after Abraham, nevertheless, he was already in the loins or body of Abraham because he was in the bloodline of Abraham. This is parallel to the concept that we who are living today were in a sense already in the bodies of, for example, our great-great-grandparents. The whole human race in this sense was in the bodies of Adam and Eve because they were our first parents. Moreover, we read in Romans 7:9:

For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.

Using himself as an example, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is teaching that there was a time when he, and every human being, was spiritually alive in Adam before Adam sinned. That time long ago was the only time in the history of the world when there was no law. That time was the brief period between the day when Adam was created and the day God gave him the command of Genesis 2:15-17, where we read:  

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And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Now we get a better understanding of another Bible verse, John 1:9, where we read:

That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

When God created Adam, in principle, He created the whole human race. When God made Adam a spiritual being by breathing the breath of life into his nostrils, at that time, every human being, in principle, was given a soul. At the beginning, before sin came, the soul of mankind was perfect. It was spiritually energized by God and in-filled by God. Thus, at the beginning, every human being who would ever live, in principle, was energized or "lighted" by Christ the Light of the World. Mankind was created in the likeness of God in that God's energizing presence in his life made him in many ways like God. Remember that every human being, in principle, was in the loins of Adam at the time Adam was created.

. . . the life that was originally given to mankind was conditional
in that it demanded perfect obedience from them.

However, though man began as a perfect man in the likeness of God, God placed man in a very critical situation. If he were to rebel against God, the image of God within him would be ruined and distorted with no hope of ever being restored to his once-perfect condition. In other words, the life that was originally given to mankind was conditional in that it demanded perfect obedience from them.

Only God, in the person of Jesus Christ, taking on the nature and likeness of mankind and specifically taking upon Himself the sins of those whom the Father had given Him (John 17:1-2, 20-24), could rescue these rebellious sinners from their seemingly irredeemable state (Romans 8:1-4; Philippians 2:6-8). Only the saving work of Christ could restore His people to the perfect image of God (Colossians 3:10).  

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Therefore, when God moved Paul to write in Romans 7:9 that "sin revived and I died," He is teaching what happens when any and every individual is conceived. He is conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5; 58:3). He comes under the Commandment, the perfect Law of God, and the Law of God condemns him (Romans 7:11).

Thus, at the moment of conception, every individual has sin upon him � he has spiritually died. Now, he is urgently in need of salvation. His only hope is for God to rescue him from his desperately hopeless condition (Ephesians 2:12- 17).

But that is the glorious theme of God's salvation plan � unfolded throughout history � that we are examining. God saves lost helpless sinners through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the perfect God-Man. God works His salvation in many (Mark 10:45;Romans 5:15, 19), in order that He might have a people for Himself and bring Himself ultimate glory throughout the eternal ages yet to come! How can this be? How can it be that any of us should be included in God's amazing salvation plan!

But make no mistake, this wonderful undertaking by Almighty God will be accomplished by His infinite power (Acts 15:14; Ephesians 1:9-10; Hebrews 12:2).

God as the Supreme Ruler of everything throughout eternity has established laws by which He governs all those over whom He rules. These laws must be perfectly obeyed by all who are subject to them. These laws are set forth in God's Law Book, the Bible.

Remember, as we learned earlier in our study, even God is subject to the Laws of the Bible. That is why when God, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, took upon Himself the sins of those He planned to save, He, too, had to be judged by the Laws written in God's Law Book, the Bible.

. . . when God, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, took upon
Himself the sins of those He planned to save, He, too, had to be
judged by the Laws written in God's Law Book, the Bible.

Since God Himself is subject to the Laws of God, mankind, who was created in the image of God, is also subject to the Laws of God. That is why at the end of time, every human who has not had his sins covered by the Lord Jesus must stand for trial before Christ who is also the Supreme Judge of the earth (Matthew 25:31-46; II Corinthians 5:10).  

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Thus, the all-important critical need in every human life at any time in history�and especially in our day when it appears that we are so near the end� has to do with his eternal destiny and whether or not Christ has become his sinbearer.

Physical Death of Man

When Adam and Eve sinned, what caused them to eventually experience physical death? The same question can be asked concerning the death of animals following the fall of Adam and Eve into sin. Why did they begin to die?

. . . physical death is not in itself a part
of the punishment for sin.

Although it is a consequence, physical death is not in itself a part of the punishment for sin. We know this for certain, because at the end of the world, there will be billions of people who have never died physically, and yet they will experience the full penalty of God for their sins by being cast into Hell (II Timothy 4:1; I Peter 4:5).

Physical death came to all creatures including humans because God cursed the ground following Adam's sin (Genesis 3:17-19). Thorns and thistles, earthquakes and hurricanes, poisonous and carnivorous animals, viruses and harmful bacteria, etc., became evident throughout the world. These in time are fatal to all physical creatures.

For thousands of years, mankind could attain life spans of more than 900 years. But as man's genetic makeup was assaulted by various life-threatening forces, human life expectancy gradually has shrunk to that which is being experienced throughout the world in our day (Psalm 90:10).

Biblical Principles We Learn from Genesis 2:7

1. Animals and all creatures, exclusive of mankind, that have the physical breath of life, are alive or living, but they in no sense have spiritual life or are spiritual beings. They are dead when they stop breathing and because they have no spiritual life, they have no continuing existence after death.

2. Mankind was created with a body similar in many ways to that of animals. Whereas an animal requires only breath to be physically alive, a man  

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requires a soul. Without a soul, man's body is physically dead (James 2:26). To have physical life, a human being has to have a soul as an integral part of his personality. At Creation, God breathed the breath of life into the dead body of Adam, and man became a living being. That is, he was given a soul and thus became both physically and spiritually alive. We see the opposite in a corpse. That corpse is a dead body without a soul.

3. We know absolutely that mankind was created with a body and with a soul. In II Corinthians 5:7-8 the Bible indicates that those who walk with Christ, the genuine believers, leave their bodies at the time of physical death. At the moment of physical death, their souls are received into Heaven where they live with Christ as spirit beings (Psalm 73:24; John 14:2-3). At the end of the world, they come with Christ (I Corinthians 15:42-44, 49-54; Revelation 19:14), and are united again with their bodies, their new resurrected spiritual bodies. (See also Philippians 1:21-24; Revelation 6:9; 20:4.) Psalm 115:17-18 indicates that when an unsaved person dies, his soul leaves his body but because his soul was not saved, it cannot go into Heaven. Instead, it goes down into silence to await the resurrection of the last day. (See also Matthew 10:28; John 12:48.)

4. By virtue of the fact that Adam had been given a soul which was energized and occupied by God, he was created in the image of God. Because all mankind was created in Adam, every human being is also created in the image of God. In principle, each and every human being, who is the seed of Adam, was in the body of Adam at Creation. This is so because all human beings descend from Adam. To say it another way, we all have inherited his genes. Every person has a soul which makes him a spiritual being, even as his body makes him a physical being. Mankind was not made in the image of God in his body because at Creation, God did not have a human nature. Later, Christ Jesus would take on a human nature.

5. In his soul, Adam could not sin because God cannot sin (James 1:13; I John 3:9). However, in his body, man was vulnerable to sin (Romans 7:5, 22- 23).

6. Thus, when Jesus took on a human nature (a physical body), He became vulnerable to sinning. For that reason, the Bible declares in Hebrews 4:15 that He was tempted (tested) in all points as we are. Praise God, He did not fall into sin!

7. When Adam sinned, even though he remained a spiritual being, his  

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soul became spiritually dead because he was no longer energized by God. In addition, his body became corrupted by sin. In other words, Adam's body also became spiritually dead! In his flesh, he could no longer please God (Romans 8:8). And Adam remained physically alive, but he no longer had the capacity to measure up to God's standard of perfection (Matthew 5:48; Romans 3:23). His every thought, word, and deed would be shot through with sin (Psalm 53:2-3; Isaiah 1:4-6; 64:6; Romans 7:18).

8. Before anyone becomes saved, even though he is a physically-alive spiritual being, he is spiritually dead. Because of Adam's disobedience, and because all mankind were created in Adam, the infection of sin has become inherent in the whole human race. Hence, every individual has become spiritually dead. This was Adam's condition the moment after he ate the forbidden fruit. Likewise, every individual now has a spiritually-dead soul. This means he still is a spiritual being, but his soul is not energized or occupied by God. It can be energized and occupied by evil spirits headed up by Satan. He also has a body which is spiritually dead. His body lusts after sin (Romans 13:14), is the servant of sin (Romans 6:12, 17), and hates any exposure of its evil deeds (John 3:20).

9. When a man becomes saved, he is made spiritually alive even though he still lives in a spiritually-dead body which is physically alive.

10. A man becomes spiritually alive in salvation when God spiritually breathes on that spiritually-dead person's soul so that the person is given a new soul. The Bible speaks of this as a resurrection (Colossians 3:1; Revelation 20:5-6), as being born again (John 3:3-8), and as having been regenerated (Titus 3:5). His soul is once again energized by God, but his physical body remains spiritually dead because sin still reigns in his physical body.

11. Because Adam sinned, all mankind and all animals became subject to physical death because the whole creation was cursed. Even the source of physical energy (food, water, and oxygen) became increasingly contaminated, thus causing physical death.

12. At the end of time, the true believers, those who are physically alive at that time and those who have physically died at any time in the more than 13,000 years of human history, will receive resurrected spiritual bodies in which they will be forever spiritually alive (Job 19:25-27; I Corinthians 6:14; 13:12; 15:12-13, 16-23, 35-57; II Corinthians 4:14). They will live eternally with Christ in the "new heavens and a new earth" (II Peter 3:13-14; Revelation 21:1-4).  

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And as a whole personality, that is, both in body and soul, they will again have become perfect in the image of God. We know this because Christ also now has a body (a perfect spiritual body which He received as a requirement to become the Savior), and all the true believers will be like Christ at His coming (I John 3:2).

13. At the end of time, all of the unsaved, those who are physically alive at that time and those who have physically died at any time during the more than 13,000 years of the history of the world, will be cast into Hell where they will exist under God's wrath with Satan and the fallen angels forever (Matthew 25:41, 46).

The Bible's Focus: God Saves Sinners

With the preceding principles in mind, we can now more clearly understand the grand panorama of how God imparts His salvation to an individual. Adam was created both as a physical being and as a spiritual being. He was a perfect individual created in the image of God. In his soul, he was spiritually energized by God Himself. Fact is, he was indwelt by God. And because both his soul and his body were an integral part of his personality, he, as a whole person, was completely obedient to God's laws. This perfect situation was conditional. As long as he remained perfectly obedient to God, he would be energized by God and be both physically and spiritually alive.

The moment he would disobey God, he would become spiritually dead (Genesis 2:17). That is, the energizing spiritual power of God would be taken from him, and God would no longer indwell him. Thus, when our first parents sinned after being tempted by Satan, the fallen angel Lucifer (Isaiah Chapter 14), they remained physically alive, but instantly, they became spiritually dead. They were no longer spiritually energized by God.

Now, remember, in principle, every human being was in the loins (or body) of Adam. Therefore, what happened to him when he sinned is echoed in each and every human being who would ever come into this world. Every human being is conceived as a spiritually-dead individual and is under the wrath of God (Psalm 51:5; John 3:36; Ephesians 2:1-3). He is desperately in need of salvation.

When an individual becomes saved, the dreadful consequence of his sin is nullified. By nature, every human being before salvation is spiritually dead. However, because he has a soul, he is therefore still a spiritual being, even though he is spiritually dead. As a spiritual being created in the image of God, he is under the Law of God, and therefore, eventually must stand for trial for his sins. And for certain, without God's salvation, he will be found guilty and receive the sentence of eternal damnation as payment for his sins.  

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But if by God's mercy, God is pleased to save him, God in the Person of Jesus Christ, becomes his Substitute. Jesus Christ bears the wrath of God in the place of the sinner. Jesus Christ takes the sinner's sins upon Himself, and God pours out His wrath � equivalent to eternity in Hell � upon Jesus as punishment for those sins, and Jesus, because He is infinite God, fully endures the demand of God's Law that every sin requires eternal damnation in Hell. Because of what Jesus Christ accomplished, the sins of all those God would mercifully choose to save are forgiven. For the true children of God, God rectifies the damage done in the Garden of Eden. He breathes the breath of the life of God into spiritually dead individuals. He washes away all their sins. The Bible says God remembers those sins no more (Isaiah 43:25). Thus, a physically-alive but spiritually-dead person again becomes spiritually alive. He again is indwelt by God and again is spiritually energized by God. The saved individual has become a true believer in that he trusts only and completely in God's work to have accomplished his salvation. He comes to understand that God's promise of salvation is firmly recorded in God's infallible Word, the Bible (II Timothy 1:12).

Because the demands of God's Law for all of the newly-saved individual's sins (past, present, and future) have been satisfied by his Savior, Jesus Christ, the spiritual life that God breathes into him is eternal. It is not conditional in any sense. God has done all the work in the saved individual, and God takes an oath upon His own perfect faithfulness that His promise of eternal life for the true believer shall never fail (Hebrews 6:16-20).

. . . in no sense is the life conditional which God
breathes into the newly-born again individual . . .

To accommodate the changes effected by God's salvation in an individual who was, both in soul and body, totally infected and corrupted by sin, God gives him a brand new soul. The Bible uses terms like "born again" and "raised with Christ" and "regenerated." The spiritual life that is given to a born again individual is eternal in character unlike the spiritual life that Adam and Eve were given when they were created. Their spiritual life could be lost by disobeying God. The individual who becomes saved has received eternal life because Christ, their stand-in, perfectly obeyed God. As was noted above, in no sense is the life conditional which God breathes into the newly-born again individual. Therefore, when sinners become saved, they are infinitely more blessed than Adam and Eve were before they sinned. True believers can never fall into spiritual death as did Adam. John 10:27-29 says:  

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My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

Furthermore, saved man, within his new soul, has become alien to sin. We read in I John 3:9:

Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

In his new resurrected soul, he never again can sin,
but in his body, the potential to sin still exists.

But we must also understand that this individual, who has become a new creature in Christ because of his new resurrected soul, still has a physical body. That body is still infected by sin. It is still in rebellion against God. Therefore, the true believer is subject to two opposing forces. In his new resurrected soul, he never again can sin, but in his body, the potential to sin still exists. And because in his new soul he delights in the Word of God, he feels terrible when he sins. He is far happier when he is living obediently before God. Wonderfully, he is indwelt by God who works in him to will and to do of His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:27). He, therefore, can constantly pray to God, asking for help to keep him from sin (Hebrews 4:15-16). The Bible speaks of this in II Peter 3:18 where God says His people are to "grow in grace."

In addition to all these amazing acts of God, He has also made provision for the eventual redemption of the sinful bodies of the saved. When Jesus returns at the end of time, every true believer will instantly receive an eternally-alive resurrected body (I Corinthians 15:51-57). As an eternally-alive personality with a perfect body and soul, the true believer will live complete with Christ for evermore.

His attributes are exalted by His amazing plan
for the salvation of rebellious sinners.
 

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It is impossible to comprehend the fullness and majesty of God in His infinite design, creation, love, goodness, and truth (Romans 11:33)! His attributes are exalted by His amazing plan for the salvation of rebellious sinners (II Timothy 1:8-10).

In this chapter, we have spent considerable time trying to understand more clearly who we are. This is exceedingly important because the entire history of the world is focused on the Lord Jesus Christ who became like unto us in order that He might save sinners.

Hopefully, we have learned some things about what it means that we were created in the image of God. We have learned something about what happens to an individual's personality when that person becomes saved. Hopefully, we have a better understanding of why the timeline of history is so important. It puts on display the unfolding of God's salvation plan!

Now, we should continue our pursuit of the wonders of God's Calendar of History by examining the next major milestone in the unfolding of God's magnificent salvation program.


Chapter 3 Table of Contents Chapter 5