SEARCHING IN THE WORD
Know ye not your own selves ...?
By J. C. HULL.
The Segullah of God
Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God, I have of my own PROPER GOOD, of gold and silver, which I have given to the house of God, OVER AND ABOVE all that I have prepared for the holy house. (1 Chron. 29: 3.)
There are two particular words which the Scriptures use when the Lord speaks about His Own people. They are what might be termed special words and are of tremendous significance for those whom He has purchased with His Own blood.
The first is an Hebrew word and is found in the 0ld Testament - it is the word SEGULLAH. The second word is Greek and is found in the New Testament - it is the word PERIPOIESIS. But the meaning of these two words are so similar that the Holy Spirit has seen fit to use them in the same sense when speaking of His Own people in both Testaments.
But first let us turn to 1 Chron. 29:1-3 in order to define the exact meaning of the Hebrew word. Here, David is speaking of his desire to build a house for Jehovah - for years this had been the constant thought of his heart - and, in each battle he won, a large part of the spoil was set aside for the future building of the temple.
Then came the day when, he thought to start upon the building. But ere he could begin - the WORD of the LORD came unto him saying, "Thou hast shed blood abundantly ... thou shalt not build a house unto MY Name ..." Now, while David was undoubtedly very much disappointed with this news - yet, he continued to set aside for the building which his son Solomon would build in his stead.
As he reflected on all these preparations (see verse 2) he comes to a decision, and in verse 3 we read:-
"Moreover, because I have set my affection to the house of my God. I have of my own PROPER GOOD, of gold and silver which I have given to the house of my God, OVER AND ABOVE all that I have prepared for the holy house."
David was a fighting man and had engaged in many battles. Each time he won a battle it netted him and his men much personal gain, and over the years he had amassed tremendous wealth. This wealth, as the Authorised Version has it was his own PROPER GOOD which in the Hebrew is rendered by the one word - SEGULLAH. The meaning of the word is quite clear here - it is one's own special treasure that delights the soul over and above all else.
Now the first time we come across this word in the Scriptures is in Ex 19:5.6:-
"Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice indeed, and keep My
covenant, then ye shall be a PECUILIAR TREASURE (a SEGULLAH )
unto Me: for all the earth is Mine. And
ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and an holy
nation..." Jehovah is
speaking here to a people He had just redeemed under blood, out of
And this is not the only time that He reminds His people that this is how He views them. Three times in the Book of Deuteronomy He speaks in this manner:-
In ch.7: 6. " ... the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a SPECIAL PEOPLE (a SEGULLAH) unto Himself, above all the people that are upon the face of the earth."
In ch.14: 2. " ... the Lord hath chosen thee to be a PECULIAR PEOPLE (a SEGULLAH) unto Himself, above all the nations ..."
In ch.26: 18. "The Lord hath avouched thee this day to be His PECULIAR PEOPLE (a SEGULLAH), as He hath promised thee."
If, you care to look up these Scriptures you will find that contingent with being the Lord's PECULIAR PEOPLE - is that they must be walking in His ways - a holy and obedient people.
But after leaving the Book of Deuteronomy - there is a strange silence on the part of Jehovah regarding His PECULIAR TREASURE. This however is not surprising if we continue to read the Books that follow Deuteronomy - for their evil and idolatrous ways, are fully described there. The 78th Psalm gives a very vivid picture of the Lord's thoughts of those whom He had called His PECULIAR TREASURE. Here are some of them:
Beginning at verse 55 (R.V.) we read:
"He cast out the heathen before them... yet they tempted and provoked the Most High God, and kept not His Testimonies... They turned back, and dealt unfaithfully like their fathers ... they moved Him to Jealously with their graven images ... He was wroth and greatly abhorred Israel ... moreover He refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim, but chose the tribe of Judah, the mount Zion which He loved."
this last Scripture we note that the
Lord has made a division among this nation whom He had chosen for His own TREASURE.
And when we come to Psalm 135:4 this is further emphasised. For or we read there that while Jehovah had
chosen Jacob unto Himself - but it is
an explanation of this we must turn to what Paul says in Romans 9: 5 " ...for they are not all
there is a difference here among the nation of
The last mention of the SEGULLAH in the Old Testament is found in the Book of Malachi. This small book contains the last words of Jehovah to His people, prior to the incarnate Son of God coming into their midst some 400 years later.
What we read there reveals to us that the spiritual state of the nation had deteriorated so far that they actually had the audacity to question and answer God back. When He said that He loved them - they answered, Wherein hast Thou loved us? When the priests were accused of despising His name - they answered, Wherein have we despised Thy name? The offerings which they offered were of polluted things - animals that were blind, lame, and sick, and oven polluted bread - and they had the audacity to ask "Wherein have we offered polluted things?"
can see from such questioning as this that they HAD NO FEAR OF THE LORD.
Oh, yes, on coming back from
Is it any wonder then, that when we come to the last mention of the SEGULLAH in ch.3: 16, 17 that the Holy Spirit applies it only to "those that fear the Lord"?
"Then they that feared the Lord spake often to one another, and the Lord hearkened and beard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him, for them that feared the Lord, and thought upon His name. And they shall be Mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that DAY when I shall make up My JEWELS" - and the word JEWELS is the word SEGULLAH.
What a fall - what a declension for this chosen nation - what a far cry from that day when they stood at the foot of Mount Sinai and the Lord looked down upon them and said:-
"IF YE WILL OBEY My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, THEN ye shall be a PECULIAR PEOPLE unto Me, above all people." But the nation were NOT OBEDIENT unto the Lord's voice, they had deliberately stepped out of the realm of God's blessing - and they missed the blessing. And stepping out of the realm of blessing - they stepped into the realm of God's anger - and, when it comes to sin, God is no respector of persons, let them be saint or sinner.
The PERIPOEISIS of God
know that when the Son of God came in the flesh some 400 years later; the
there were those of the nation who heard with the hearing ear and gave heed,
and in doing so found their long promised Messiah. And thus, from this small nucleus of believers
the Lord built up a new nation, and gave them the promise of - not an earthly
For the meaning of this word we turn to Ephesians 1:14 where it is rendered as PURCHASED POSSESSION and simply means "bought, with a price" - and oh, at what a price it was bought with - even the shed blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul uses this word again when writing to Titus. In ch.2:14 he speaks of the Lord Jesus giving Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a PECULIAR PEOPLE (a PERIPOIESIS) zealous of good works.
And the apostle Peter also uses the same word. And pay particular attention to the wording of this verse - it is almost word for word as that of Exodus 19: 5 - just as If the Holy Spirit had taken these words and penned them again through Peter:-
1 Pet 2: 9 "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, a PECULIAR PEOPLE (a peripoiesis), that we should show forth the praises of Him Who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."
SO THE LAST MENTION OF GODS PEOPLE AS HIS "PECULIAR PEOPLE" IS ALMOST WORD FOR WORD THE SAME AS THE FIRST MENTION BACK IN EXODUS.
Now, are there any other respects in which there is similarity between the PECULIAR PEOPLE of the Old Testament, and those of the New Testament? Gladly, we have to say there is, and sadly, we have to say there is.
Whenever the word SEGULLAH is mentioned in the Old Testament there was an integral relationship in its use, and with their walk before the Lord. We find as we read through the Old Testament that the majority of those known by this coveted title are inclined to walk in disobedience - and its the minority who walk in obedience.
In the New Testament, it is the Lord Jesus Himself Who sets forth the standard for those who would follow Him, and walk in obedience. "If any man come to Me and hate not his father and mother and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot ,be MY disciple."
Could I ask you, the reader, when you look inward to yourself, can you honestly say before the Lord that you measure up to this fully? When you look around your fellow believers do you see them manifesting such a walk before the Lord ?
Repeatedly, throughout the New Testament the Holy Spirit foresees and warns His PECULIAR PEOPLE that declension and division will take place in their midst. And this especially in the latter times - which we are undoubtedly living in, and experiencing today.
Look at the prediction of 1 Timothy 4: 1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from THE FAITH, giving heed to reducing spirits and doctrines of demons." Do we not see this happening before our very eyes today? Are we not all acquainted with some, who at one time walked in the simplicity of the truth of Christ, but who are now caught up and are embracing other strange doctrines? Take heed brethren and hold fast and cherish what you have in Christ Jesus.
As we close let me draw your attention to the panoramic view of the Church that the Lord gives us in the 2nd. and 3rd. chapters of Revelation.
After complementing the Ephesian church on their walk in SOME ways, the Lord then says "Nevertheless, I have somewhat against thee ... "
The church at Pergamos hold a good testimony in the seat of Satans power, yet they were told, "But I have a few things against thee ... "
The church at Thyatira were commended on their works, but were told, "Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee ..."
In the church of Sardis we are told, "Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments . . . "
what of the church at
Is this what we see in the Laodicean church? Most certainly it is not. No! What we do see is the Lord Jesus standing OUTSIDE THE DOOR and knocking - what an awful state for a church to find itself in. How vast a difference we see between the Philadelphian church and that of Loadicea - what a tremendous declension there is between them. And is not this what we seen happening to Gods SEGULLAH in the Old Testament
I would refer you to one final Scripture and with this, none of us can argue. It is that tremendous event which will bring to culmination the deeds done in the body in this life - and it will be the commencement of our life in the eternal state.
2 Cor 5: 10. "We must all appear before the JUDGMENT SEAT of CHRIST; that EVERY ONE may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, WHETHER IT BE GOOD OR BAD."
Reader, are you looking forward to the return of the Lord? If you say "Amen" to that - that is good. But are you looking forward to standing before the Judgment Seat? What will your works be? Gold, silver, or precious stones? or will they be wood, hay, or stubble? Will you be numbered among Gods PECULIAR PEOPLE, who walk in faith and obedience? Or, will you find yourself with the majority and the disobedient?
May God the Holy Spirit trouble our hearts about these things - so that we will walk before Him in faith, in fear, and in obedience to His ways.
SPIRIT Study: 1
Hebrews 4: 12: "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
As a title for this study we use Pauls question to the Corinthians. The reason for doing so is, that it is so meaningful when applied to the [regenerate] believer of today, who, generally speaking accepts the Scriptural fact that he is composed of body, soul, and spirit - but that is as far as it goes. When it comes to understanding this, or if asked to explain it, there is usually a loss of words on the subject. It is essential to know and to understand ones self for it is the door to unlocking many of lifes problems: and the ONLY means we have of doing this is from the Word of God.
Hebrews 4: 12 assures us that ONLY the Word of God can distinguish that which is the activity of the soul, and that which is of the spirit, and both of which can have outward manifestations in the body. These two are essentially spirit in nature and the unregenerate man HAS NO COMMUNION with God - he is dead in trespasses and sins, and needs to be quickened (Eph. 2: 1). The regenerated man is different, he has been quickened - through conviction of sin and confession thereof, and placing his faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ: he, through the mighty regenerating power of the Holy Spirit upon his spirit, has been made alive unto God. 2 Cor. 5: 17 informs us that "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature ..." The A.V. uses the emphatic he is, but note these two words are in italics, they are not in the Greek. The margin supplies an alternative reading which says: "let him be" a new creature, and this is more in line with the truth. There is no doubt about the work of the Holy Spirit on the spirit of the regenerated man, it is a perfect work and assures that man a place among the redeemed of God, and the gift of eternal life.
The spirit and the soul both have their origin in the spiritual realm, and are distinct from the body which is of the earth, earthly (Gen. 2: 7). Unless we have a proper understanding of this verse we shall never really know ourselves. That which the Lord God Jehovah (of the) Elohim, Jehovah the Triune God, see (Gen. 1: 26, 27) breathed into the body of Adam was a breath of life from Himself - and this became the spirit of man. The effect of this breath on entering the body was immediate in that it produced soul or life - man became a living soul (nephesh). That breath of God has its own peculiar name in the Hebrew, it is called NESHAMA, and is used only twenty five times in the Old Testament.
If we turn to Job we find some very enlightening verses concerning the word NESHAMA. In 33: 4 we read: "The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath (NASHAMAH) of THE ALMIGHTY hath given me life." And in 34: 14, 15, "If He set His heart upon man, if He gather unto Himself His spirit and His breath (NASHAMAH): All flesh shall perish together and man shall turn again to dust". When comparing with Gen. 2: 7 what is said in these (and other) verses, we see that the neshamah breath that God breathed into Adam is now shared by ALL his posterity. If God was to recall His spirit which is the neshamah, or spirit of man, then we would all die and return to the dust from whence we come.
This begs the question: "If Jehovah gave His neshamah only to Adam, how did we his posterity receive it"? Was it passed on to us in the act of procreation? or is it an individual gift from God to each and every child born of woman? We believe it to be the latter. Let it be borne in mind that the creation of man was an act of unison on the part of the Godhead - "Let US make man in OUR image ..." That is why Scripture can say, "The Spirit of God hath made me ..." Undoubtedly, it was Jehovah, the second Person of the Trinity Who actually formed the body of Adam and breathed into it - but that act of creation was an act of unison by the Godhead (cf. Isa. 64: 8; Jn. 1: 3; Job. 33: 4).
Jeremiah the prophet was told, "Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee: and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee ..." The word formed is the Hebrew YATSAR and is the same word that is used in Gen. 2: 7. The Spirit of God also causes Isaiah the prophet to speak in the same fashion, "Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and He that formed thee in the womb ..." (Isa. 44; 2, 24; 49: 5). Again the word YATSAR is used, and this makes it quite clear that LIFE is all of God from its earliest stages - and man in no way contributes to it except as the vessels which God uses. The procreation systems of male and female have been so designed that, in the act of procreation they eject living sperms, pulsating with life, which match up one with the other and begin to grow. In this way God has so ordained it, that, as He formed Adams body and put His neshama within it; so also He forms the embryo and after about four months comes the quickening - the moment when the neshamah of God enters the embryo. But let not those who condone embryoatomy think there is no harm in destroying the foetus - remember, this is a work of God which, though it may not have the neshama within it, yet, it is a living thing, composed of living pulsating cells WHICH GOD IS FORMING into a living soul. If anybody thinks that this is a work of man then let him think again, for his thinking is at variance with Scripture. Listen!
"Then the word of the Lord came unto me saying. BEFORE I FORMED THEE in the belly I KNEW THEE ..." (Jer. 1: 4, 5).
In the mind of God EVERY person is known to Him, even BEFORE they are formed in the womb, and a life time - let it be long or short - is the God given entitlement of that soul. Who then dares to deny this life whom God already foreknows? Will not this be regarded in the sight of God, as taking a life? Murder? Hiding behind the excuse that, by destroying the foetus, a life of suffering is prevented in many cases. If God knows that person before they are even formed, surely He also knows what kind of life lies before them - and this is borne out if we continue to read the rest of the verse:-
"... and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations."
Yes. God does know and is not unmindful of what kind of life may stretch out before that person. Do we not have this question answered in the healing of the blind man? Here a babe had come from the womb and had grown to manhood. In all that time he had never been able to see out of his eyes or to understand the wonders of sight. The reason he was blind lay not at his parents feet, rather it lay at the feet of his fore-parent, Adam, who brought sin and its deficiencies into the world (Rom. 5: 12). But the answer to it all is found in the words of the Lord Jesus, when He said to His disciples, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: BUT THAT THE WORKS OF GOD SHOULD BE MADE MANIFEST IN HIM" (Jn. 9: 1-3; 11: 1-4).
As there was a time lapse in the womb between conception and quickening: so also is it in the spiritual realm. When the unregenerate man hears the Word of God and comes under conviction of sin (this is the spiritual conception). The gestation period in this case may be long or short and ends when he is quickened, or born from above. Now, it is obvious that while the unregenerate man is "dead in tresspasses and sins" (Eph. 2: 1), yet physically he is alive and living, and this part of his life equates with the foetus period to the quickening. His development also follows a similar course after his (re) birth. First he is fed on the milk of the Word, and this is followed by the meat as he progresses, and thence unto the strong meat (1 Cor. 3: 1, 2; Heb. 5: 14). If God so permits (Heb. 6: 3).
Note the context of Hebrews 5: 14 (dismiss the break of chapter 6) deals with the milk of the Word i.e., the (first) principles of the doctrine of Christ, and from which we are urged to go on unto perfection; - perfection being the Greek TELEIOTES, meaning consumation or finisher - consider 2 Tim. 4: 7 where Paul uses a cognate of the same word when he speaks of having "FINISHED the course". This is the will of God for ALL His people that they come to completion. Alas, however, so few of us do, and this lies within the realm of the spirit of man. Our intimate AND ONLY contact with a holy God is by means of a regenerated spirit, or pneuma. The soul (psuche) is of no avail to us here, and indeed can often be a hindrance. The soul in essence is spirit but, it is so interwoven with the senses of the body that it could almost be termed a worldly spirit. The soul quite literally feeds upon every emotion that the bodily senses pass to it: let it be through the sight, hearing, feeling, tasting or smelling. The functions of all these HAVE THEIR DESTINATION IN THE SOUL (cf. Gen. 27: 4, 19; 34: 3; Deut. 12: 15, 20; 2 Kg. 4: 27; Ps. 35: 9, 13, etc.: but we shall deal with this subject on our study of the soul.
The spirit of man, that neshamah breath, which is a third part of our trichotomous form, is all important to the soul and the body - in fact they cannot exist in their present form without the presence of the spirit. James tells us (2: 26) "For as the body without the spirit (pneuma) is dead ..." And Job (34: 14, 15) " ... if He gather unto Himself His spirit (ruach) and (which is) His breath (neshamah); all flesh shall perish together, and man shall turn again to dust." And Daniel (5: 23) " ... God in Whose hand thy breath (neshamah) is." The Scriptures do offer illustrations regarding the essential importance of the spirit to the soul and body in man. In Ecclesiastes 12: 7, we are told "Then shall the dust (body) return to the earth as it was: and the spirit (ruach) shall return to God (Elohim) Who gave it." Consider also Numbers 27: 16.
Thus we see at death, that the spirit of man - the neshamah breath, which God gives to all men, returns [immediately after physical death] to Himself. This is clearly seen in the case of the Lord Jesus when He gave Himself up to death. First, He offered His spirit unto the Father (Matt. 27: 50; Mk. 15: 37; Lk. 23: 46; Jn. 19: 30): the unified testimony of the Gospels is that He dismissed or bade His spirit depart; and this He done breathing it out and which returned to the Father. Then He (i.e., His soul - psuche) departed to that part of Hades described as PHULAKE (I Pet. 3: 19). This word carries the thought of isolation i.e., a ward or prison within Hades, but isolated from the rest of its occupants. There He proclaimed - not the gospel - but rather the proclamation of triumph in the blessed work He had just carried out upon the cross. His hearers were those angelic beings who had not kept their first estate and were imprisoned there (Gen. 6: 2, 4; 2 Pet. 2: 4; Jude 6). Peter, in 2 Peter 2: 4 uses the word hell which in the Greek is TARTARUS or deep pit and Jude in verse 6 terms it as a place where they are reserved in everlasting chains under darkness - all these Scriptures refer to the one and same place. Back on earth Joseph and Nicodemus were tenderly taking the body of Jesus to lay it in the tomb. We have abundant proof from the Gospels that His body remained in a sealed tomb for three days - a body that was pronounced dead by those who slew Him (Jn. 19: 33).
If we turn to Luke 16: 19-31 we read there of a certain rich man who had much of, and relished the things of the world. There was also a certain poor man whose name was Lazarus. Nowhere is this referred to as a parable, and we take this to be a look into the lives of two specific persons whom the Lord had knowledge of. The poor man died and was carried away by angels to Abrahams Bosom, this being equivalent to the Old Testament sheol the abode of the dead. The death of the rich man is then described, it says of him that he died and was buried, that is, his spirit was recalled by God, his body was put in the tomb, but he, his soul, went to Hades (the Greek word for the abode of the dead, cf. Acts 2: 27 with Ps. 16: 10), and was in torments. He also sees Lazarus [in Hades] in the company of Abraham - but there was a great gulf fixed between himself and them which none could cross. By this time Abraham had been in the abode of the dead for almost 2000 years as Gen 25: 8 tells us, he was gathered to his people. Job 30: 23 informs us that there is a house appointed for all the living who die. For some it is a place of torment and for others it is a place of comfort (cf. Lk. 16: 25 with Job 14: 10) where grave is sheol.
Certainly then, the teaching of Scripture is that the neshamah breath which is the spirit of man, when, either it is recalled by God; or through a fatal accident departs from the body, IT MUST ALWAYS RETURN TO GOD WHO GAVE IT.
Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, PIERCING EVEN TO THE DIVIDING ASUNDER OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
In truth, it must be acknowledged that generally speaking, we do not know our own selves, and great is the controversy that rages among those who give thought to express themselves upon the subject. This is true both in the spiritual and the physical aspect of man.
Those who in their wisdom place our beginnings in a slimy pond, some millions, or trillions of years ago (they can't really decide which) are so far away from the truth of knowing themselves, and are in fact, blinded by their own 'wisdom' (cf. 1 Cor 1:19-21). Those however, who in simple faith accept the TRUTH of Genesis chapters 1-3, will find in the following pages of Holy Scripture, a clear and concise description of man - not only of his physical, but also in his innermost (spiritual) concept.
Now, while the truth of this must be acknowledged, yet the vast majority of those who accept the Scriptures as the infallible Word of God, and read it as such, do not fully understand what that Good Book has to say on the subject. This results in misunderstanding which so easily loads to misapplication and false doctrine. The reason for this being that in many instances the English rendering of the Hebrew and the Greek are accepted at face value (and without query or investigation of the original word), and this rendering is then propagated as truth to others, which often finds widespread acceptance. Thus, in this simple way, we find the church today a mass of differing doctrine and confusion. viz. Millenialism, Non-millenialism, A- (Anti)Millenialism, Raptureists, Non-raptureists, Tribulationists, Mid-tribulationists, Non-tribulationists, Arminianists, Calvinists, etc. etc. And even within the ranks of those who hold to one or the other of the above, there are differences of opinions - and we speak only of those who know regeneration by the Spirit of God in their SPIRITS.
We emphasise that last word because we are concerned about the teaching which is the accepted thing today, namely, the salvation of the soul and the tremendous confusion surrounding it. It is spoken of as if the regeneration has already taken place IN THE SOUL. THIS IS NOT SO, and the Bible makes this quite clear and plain in its teaching. The anchor verse on this matter is John 3:6: "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit." When speaking of the soul, the Bible is clear that the salvation of the soul is AT THE LATTER END OF OUR FAITH. Consider the following Scriptures:-
"But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition: but of them that HATH FAITH TO THE SAVING OF THE SOUL."
JAMES I: 21:
"Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness. and receive with meekness the engrafted word, WHICH IS ABLE TO SAVE YOUR SOULS."
1 PETER 1:5
"Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation READY TO BE REVEALED IN THE LAST TIME. And in verse 9: "Receiving the END OF YOUR FAITH, even the SALVATION OF YOUR SOULS."
A careful reading of the context of these verses reveals that they speak to the regenerated man. If, as many proclaim, that the regeneration we now possess in Christ is that which has taken place in the soul, why do the above Scriptures speak DIRECTLY of the soul being saved AT THE END OF OUR FAITH?
Let it be clear that when regeneration takes place in the spirit of man. he is " ... SEALED with that Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the PURCHASED POSSESSION, unto the praise of His glory." (Eph. 1: 13, 14). The sealing, takes place in the spirit of man, and this is an earnest (Greek - ARRABON, is a word borrowed from the Phoenicians meaning to pledge something as part of the whole, and paid beforehand in regeneration, our spirit is born again - that which was dead to God is given new life through which we are made alive unto God, and brought into communion with Him. Galatians 5:25 makes it quite clear in which realm of our trichotomy we are made alive. "If we live in the spirit, let us also walk in the spirit." The A. V. rendering gives the impression that it is the (Holy) Spirit that is spoken of here, but not so, we have here the same thought as that of Romans 8: 1, 13, and various other places. Look also at Romans 8: 10. "And if Christ be in you, the body is DEAD because of sin, but the spirit is alive because of righteousness", (or, it has been made) righteous (through faith).
The above verse is quite emphatic that the body in which the believer dwells is DEAD, BECAUSE OF SIN. In other words, it remains in its natural state even though the spirit has been regenerated. And it will remain in its corruptness until at resurrection it puts on incorruption; or, at the return of the Lord it will be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, and death will be swallowed up In victory (1 Cor 15: 50-58). If then, the Scriptures confirm that one part of our trichotomy, the spirit, is alive unto God; and that a second part is yet to be made alive at some future date, either while we are in the death state, or alive in the natural state. The Scriptures thus confirming the state of the spirit and the body, what then of the third part of our trichotomy, the soul?
We noted in our last study (Spirit Study:1), that at death the spirit returns to God (Eccl. 3:1; 12:7; Lk. 23:46; Acts 7:59). And, on the spirit vacating the body it [the body] dies and goes into the grave (James 2: 26; Lk. 23: 52 53; Acts 8:2). Also in Luke 16: 22, 23, we were enlightened further about the death state. There it was revealed what happened to the third part of our trichotomy, the soul. Now it does not mention the word PSUCHE (soul) specifically in the context. But having knowledge from [what] the other Scriptures mention above, concerning the, body and the spirit, Luke 16:22, 23 must then reveal the state of the soul at death. It says of Lazarus the beggar that he died, " ... and was carried by the angels into Abrahams bosom." And of the rich man, that he died, and was buried; " ... and in hell [Hades] he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom". (see also 12:20). The soul then, DOES NOT RETURN TO GOD [in Heaven] AS THE SPIRIT DOES AT DEATH. It goes to a place, prepared for it (Job 30:23) - the unregenerate to one part, and the regenerate to another (see Note 2). There the soul will remain until either the first resurrection when it will be united once again with its now glorified (spiritual) body indwelt by the already regenerated spirit which had returned to God at the death: or, in the case of the unregenerate - [and alao many of the regenerate not worthy to attain to the resurrection [out] from the dead (Luke 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11)] - in the second resurrection (which is a thousand years later) and to stand before the great white throne in judgment (Rev 29:4, 5, 11, 12). The re-uniting of body, soul, and spirit of the regenerate person completes the redemption of the PURCHASED POSSESSION
In the Old Testament we have NEPHESH - soul, and RUACH and NESHAMAH - spirit, and on the surface there appears to be no difficulty with this. It is in the English rendering of these words that complications set in for these words are given a variety of meanings i.e.; Nephesh rauch neshamah
soul 428 spirit 240 breath 11
life 119 wind 90 blast 3
person 30 breath 28 spirit 2
self 19 side 6 soul 1
mind 15 mind 6 breatheth 1
Plus 14 other Plus 5 other Plus 5 other renderings.
In the New Testament we have only two words to contend with, but the possibly even more complicated situation. They are the Greek word PUSCHE = soul and PNEUMA = spirit.
soul 58 Spirit (Holy) 141
life 40 Ghost (Holy) 89
mind 3 spirit 151
heart 1 life 1
It can at once be seen that accepting at face-value the English rendering of any of these Hebrew or Greek words: without a thorough scrutiny of the context, could well lead one into a misapplication of the meaning of the original.
Some are of the opinion that that house spoken of In Job 30:23, and which we undoubtedly see in Luke 16:22-31, has now been emptied of the souls of the justified. It is believed that when the Lord descended into hell [Hades] (Acts 2:32; 1 Pet 3:19) which, place is located in the centre of the earth (Eph 4:9.10). On His return He brought with Him the souls of the justified saints, and led them into an abode called paradise - this theory is based on Eph 4: 8-10. The phrase leading captivity captive is assumed to refer to the Lord leading those justified souls out of the captivity, of Hades. This however could not be so if we are to follow the law of first mention. Leading captivity captive is a phrase we meet with in the Old Testament, and in the first instance in Judges 5:12. After Baraks victory over Sisera and his army, Deborah sang a triumphal song unto Barak (5: 1) for his victory. In verse 12 we come across the first mention of this phrase " ... arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive..." Now as the type is, so must also be the antitype, but this would not be so if we regarded Ephesians 4: 8 to be the antitype of Judges 5:12 - unless of course we change the meaning of one to suit the other. In the Judges passage Barak is the conqueror OVER VANQUISHED ENEMIES, but in the Ephesian theory THIS IS NOT SO. The theory built upon Ephesians 4: 8 makes the captives FRIENDS of the conqueror instead of ENEMIES - a meaning which is entirely foreign to the first mention. To be true to the type the Lord would have had to lead the unregenerate souls out of Hades, for truly they were (and are) the real captives there - and we know that the Lord did no such thing. It is our considered opinion that the true antitype of Judges 5:12 (and also Psalm 68: 18 where it is mentioned in connection with "The chariots of God ..." verse 17), is to be found in the words of Colossians 2: 15 where, after the victory of the Lord on the cross, it is said. "And having spoiled principalities and powers. He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in Himself."(margin). This then, was Christ's triumphant victory parade, and the antitype of that seen in Judges 5: 12.
SPIRIT Study 3
Hebrews 4:12: "For the Word of God is quick, and, powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and, spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
It is useless for man to try to define that which is of the spirit, and that which is of the soul; for our text Scripture clearly states that the division of these can only be determined by the Word of God. Both are spirit in nature and belong to the spiritual realm; and yet being so, they can be poles apart in their activities.
In the unregenerate man these activities quite often are indistinguishable, for though separate and apart their desires and aspirations seem to have the same goals. In the regenerate man, who has a new spirit within him, there is (or there should be) distinguishing traits, for he is the possessor of two natures - that of his spirit which is now regenerated, and that of his soul which (like the body in resurrection), finds its salvation at THE END OF OUR FAITH. (cf.1 Pet 1:9 with 1 Cor. 15: 44, 52). This then is why we have a constant battle going an within us. The new nature which is the regenerated spirit with its strivings after the things of God: and the soul combined with the body, (and which combination Scripture terms the flesh(Gr. sarx). This constant battle, which every believer is aware of within himself, is nothing less than the spirit striving god-ward, and the flesh striving after the things of the world: and which, after all, is the only environment it has known in the life of the man (Gal 5:17, where Spirit should be "spirit"; and consider also Romans 7:15, 19-23).
Having distinguished between the spirit and the flesh, let us now look at that which the Scriptures term the "spiritual" and the "carnal" man - and both of these terms, let it be noted, apply to the man who has experienced regeneration. The spiritual man is he whom his strivings are god-ward, while the carnal man is he whom, to a greater or lesser degree, finds the satisfaction for his soul in the things of the world. We read in Proverbs 25: 28 "He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city, that is broken down, and without walls." We see in this an explanation of the carnal man in contrast to the spiritual man. Having said this however, it is important to define exactly who the, he is referred to in the text, before we can arrive at an understanding of what is meant. We believe the meaning here referrs to the whole man in unison. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5: 23 prays, "... and I pray God that your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." The trichotomy of the spiritual man must work together in complete unison. The spirit must sustain the soul with the good things from the Ward of God, and thus keep it fully satisfied and occupied; this it can do through the medium of the bodily senses i.e. the eyes to read, the ears to hear and the heart to love and respond to the Word when it is read and ministered. This unison of the whole man is what is termed by Scripture as the spiritual man. The contrast to this is the regenerated man who has no rule over his spirit - he is "like a city that is broken down, and without walls" - with the result he lives in a carnal condition, an easy pray for Satan and his ministers of righteousness (?).
Let us now define exactly what the carnal mans condition is. He is a man who has come under conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit, and confessing, his sinful condition before God, and embracing the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, the only means of salvation. Faith, thus exercised, his spirit is reborn, born from above, by the mighty work of the Holy Spirit; and at the same time is gifted with the promise of eternal life in Christ. So it is by grace through faith that he sets forth in this new walk of life, and, at this point in time the whole blessings of God is set out before him. He is now a new creation in Christ.
From here onwards, his walk will determine his [entrance and] position in the coming kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. If he walks worthy of his calling Eph. 4: 1; Col. 1:10; 1Thess 2:10 ; Rev 3: 4); he shall receive a reward according to his walk (i.e. his works, see Matt. 16:27; 1 Cor. 3: 8; 13-15; 2 John v. 8). Second Corinthians 5: 10, says of those works that they can be good or bad, and the word rendered bad is not the Greek PONEROS which is used of outright evil or wickedness - it is even used of Satan himself (Matt. 6: 13; Eph 6: 16) - the word used here is KAKOS a much lesser form of evilness which attributes harm more to oneself rather than to others. In some English versions this word is rendered worthless. The bad here can only refer to a Christian walk that has been unworthy of his calling i.e., that such an one had satisfied the desires of the flesh with worldly things, and at the expense of a close and spiritual walk with God. SELF (or soul) will be the uppermost thought in the carnal Christians life; and yet at the same time he will render lip-service to God on Sundays at church (if other things permit).
Thus, in this twilight environment the carnal Christian lives, and is a reproach to himself before the unsaved. Which of us have not heard the world say of such believers, "well, if thats what being a Christian means, I want nothing to do with it? Not only are they a reproach to themselves, but also to the Lord Who bought them; such living before the world is what Scripture says as having " ... trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace." (Heb 10:29). Such a man would do well to ponder the gravity of these wards, and also those which precede them and those that follow them. The preceding words speak of a much sorer punishment that he will be worthy of, and this in its context of vv. 30, 31, "For we know Him that hath said, Vengance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge His people.''
The Lord shall judge His people ... - In the end this will be the criterion factor in the lives of all God's [redeemed] people - the judgment Seat of Christ. The question there will not be whether they are saved or not, for all who stand at the Bema of Christ will have been previously been granted the gift of eternal life, and such as are unsaved have no part in this judgment. What then is the question to be answered here? The answer to this (as we have said above) is found in 2 Corinthians 5: 10. Ratherham in his "New Testament Critically Emphasised" renders this verse as, "For we all must needs be manifest before the tribunal of Christ, that each one may get back, as to the things (done) through the means of the body, corresponding with the things he practised, whether good or corrupt."
The importance of having a strong spirit in the Christian life cannot be over emphasised, for herein lies the difference between the spiritual and the carnal believer. John in his first epistle says (1 John 2: 15, 16), "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." The exhortation of these verses are in the context of John writing to those who have experienced salvation in Christ. In verse 12 it is to "You little children ..." - not children in age, rather a term addressing the readers generally, who have experienced sins forgiven for His names sake. In verse 13 it is to "the fathers ..." thus indicating age and authority, who had known (GINOSKO = by experience, or become acquainted with) "Him that is from the beginning..." (see 5: 20). The "young men who have overcome" (NIKAO = to conquer, the same word as the Lord uses of Himself in John 16: 33). Such then are those whom John exhorts to, "Love not the world, neither the things in the world... " To love the world and the things in it, is nothing less than to transfer our love (diminutive as it is) from God and the things of God, unto the god of this world and the unholy things that he has to offer. This is a situation that all believers should fear and guard against, for the devices of Satan are many and varied in order to delude and entice, even the strongest believer. This he does by transforming himself into "an angel of light ..." (2 Cor. 11: 14 and see NOTE 1): as does also his "ministers of righteousness". In this way plausible theories which are in themselves evil, but when sprinkled with a little truth to make them acceptable, they are easily imbibed by the unsuspecting and unwary believer. And thus many Christians are seduced from THE FAITH (1 Tim. 4: 1; Rev 2: 20), and which, once departed from can lead to all forms of sin and deception.
This seduction by the soul (for it is nothing less than this) of the regenerated spirit, quenches the spirit (see 1 Thess 5:19 where Spirit should be (spirit), the result of this is that one becomes weak in spirit, and is ruled over by the strong desires of the soul for satisfaction through the bodily senses. He who would persist in living in this fashion manifests a spirit that is weak.
2 Corinthians 11: 14 - The word "transform" is a rendering of the Greek METASCHEMATIZO, which according to "Lexicon to the New Testament" by Spiros Zodiates: is, "best illustrated in this way: If one were to change a Dutch garden into an Italian one, this would be metaschematizo. But if one were to change a garden into something wholly different, as into a ball-field, it is metamorphoo. It is possible for Satan to metaschematizo, transform himself into an angel of light, i.e., he can take the whole outward semblance of such, but to any such change it would be impossible to apply the metamorphoo for this would imply an internal change, a change not of appearance but of essence, which lies beyond his power. In the metaschematismos, a transformation of the bodies (Phil. 3: 21; 1 Cor. 15: 53) there is to be seen a transition but no absolute dissolution of continuity. The outer physical transformation of believers at the end of the days (1 Cor.15:44ff, 51f) is called by Paul in Phil 3:21 metaschematizo, but such transformation has already begun in this life from within."