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The Origin of Man

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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.

~ Genesis 1:26-27

What they say happened

Generally speaking, Christian theology (of which there are many variations) subscribes to the notion that man was created by God in a state consisting of an eternal spirit housed in an immortal soul and body. Even though the words of the Scriptures are simple and clear, when men read that adam was created "...in our image, after our likeness..." the meaning is expanded to encompass their perception of god-like attributes. In addition to being eternal and immortal, the first man, adam, is said to have been perfect and sinless. This eternal, immortal, perfect, sinless and god-like man apparently chose to knowingly and willfully sin against God, to commit a transgression that not only caused him to fall from his state of sinless perfection, but also to lose his eternal life. Upon partaking of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, we are told that adam's eternal spirit (created in the image of God, mind you) died. His immortality was also lost and his body would one day physically succumb to death, as well. Immortal and eternal are typically presented as synonymous terms, adding to the confusion. His new and allegedly self-imposed condition of spiritual death was then passed on to all his progeny. These offspring would then be consisting of a living soul and body, and be carrying a stillborn (dead) spirit inside of them, presumably in need of resuscitation.

Over time this teaching expanded even further, alleging that God could not/cannot look upon sin, therefore sin separated man from God. Apparently adam's disobedience, the so-called original sin (which, according to most proponents of this teaching, apparently wasn't so original - for more on this see my article titled, Lucifer) had taken God quite by surprise and ruined all of God's plans; plans for mankind to frolic naked in the Garden forever and ever, feasting on banquets of seasonal fruits, nuts and seeds. God now had to make leather clothes for man prior to kicking him out of the Garden, and He was forced to go to work on a fix, a remedy, a plan of salvation. Evil had mysteriously sneaked into Paradise, all by itself. God's perfect creation had evolved itself into imperfection. Sin and death came into being like a big bang! While God could create the Heavens, the Earth and everything within them in a mere 6 days, it would take Him approximately 4000 years to implement His plan to right adam's wrong; a wrong that even God could not prevent from occurring allegedly due to something they call free will. Meanwhile, generation upon generation would live out their lives carrying dead spirits around with them.

God's fix would include sending His own Son to bridge the gap between God and formerly eternal/immortal, perfect, sinless and god-like man who had turned himself sinful and was now separated from God. Just as the first eternal, immortal, perfect, sinless and god-like man used his free will to choose to sin and lose his immortality, so sinful men could now use their free will to choose to have their immortality restored. They would all still die, of course. But afterwards they could live forever. Spiritually, that is. In heaven. Eternally.

Prior to implementing the fix (and approximately 2500 years after adam's spirit allegedly died), God introduced something of a stop-gap measure via Moses in 1446 BC called The Law. Sadly for most, this measure would only be introduced to a tiny, tiny subset of the sinful population of the Earth. This subset would not be required to share the good news with anyone outside of the group. This one-off, special arrangement would eventually result in a religion all it's own whose adherents would be utterly exempt of the fix that would one day be implemented by God and made available to everyone who was not a member of the tiny, tiny subset. Members of that religion would not require or even want the fix; membership alone (which was apparently a birthright) would suffice. Of course, they would all die, too, just like all the other mortals. But they could die richer and knowing that they were morally superior to everyone else while they lived.

The fix for the majority of mankind, those second class citizens who did not belong to the tiny, tiny and fully exempt-from-the-fix group, would somehow resuscitate and revive men's inherited dead spirits in order to make them more eager to financially support assorted religious enterprises as well as grant them pleasant afterlives. For those who were not exempted from any need for the fix, but did not take advantage of the fix, life after death would not be so pleasant, ranging from unavailable altogether to everlasting torment, depending on who is telling the story. For those exempted from the fix, there would be no need for life after death among those who did not believe in such a thing.

While the outlandish tale, above, may be familiar to many of you, it is not what is written.

NOTE: This ludicrous teaching is simply not true.

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What actually happened

The English word adam is transliterated from the Hebrew word אָדָם (aw-dawm'). It literally translates as "ruddy, to show blood (in the face), that is, flush or turn rosy." The word adam refers to mankind, and is used in multiple places that clearly reference more than just the first adam (man). For clarity, when I use the word adam in this article, I am referring to that first man, unless otherwise specified.

And YHWH elohim formed adam of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and adam became a living soul. Genesis 2:7

God's breath animated the man formed of the dust of the ground, the soil. That breath caused him to live. One breath gives life to all. Grammatically in both Hebrew and Aramaic, the word life is plural: חיים (Khayim) in Hebrew and חיא (Khaya) in Aramaic. Thus we have, literally:

...and breathed into his nostrils breath of lives... Genesis 2:7

That first man became a living soul. In Hebrew the word for soul is נֶפֶשׁ (neh'-fesh), and refers to a breathing creature. Adam was a living soul having a body made directly from the ground, the dust of the Earth.

And YHWH elohim formed from the Earth every animal of the wilderness, and every bird of Heaven, and he brought them to adam to see what he called them, and everything that adam called them, each living soul, that is its name. Genesis 2:19

All the animals were also living souls (neh'-fesh - breathing creatures) having bodies.

  • Question: Do animals have souls?
  • Answer: Yes, according to the Scriptures.

Uniquely, adam had been created to resemble (look like) his creator. This is quite a spectacular thing, and is not said of any of the other creatures:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness... Genesis 1:26

Proponents of the spiritual man theory take this account off into the weeds claiming that in our image, after our likeness must mean something more mysterious, more complicated. This likely stems from the need to overcome an apparent Biblical contradiction and is arrived at via reverse engineering:

You see, God had told man he would die in the day he ate from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. And yet, as the Serpent told the woman, man did not die but remained alive after the transgression.

Not only did adam not drop dead upon eating of the fruit he was commanded not to eat, he lived to be 930 years old. Up until the flood, all men lived much longer lives than they did afterwards, when God set a limit of 120 years to a man's life (Moses died when he was 120).

My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years. Genesis 6:3

To begin with, nowhere in the Scriptures is it written that God made adam immortal. Nor is it recorded anywhere that perfect, sinless, immortal adam started physically dying as a result of his transgression, only to breathe his last breath at a ripe ol' 930 years of age, all due to the fact that his perfect self had deteriorated as a result of the loss of his immortality. Methusaleh, born seven (7) generations after adam, thereby allowing for seven generation of deterioration, outlived adam by 39 years - right up to the flood. So much for the entropy theory. God set the 120 year limit to man's life; otherwise mens lives would still be nearly 1000 years long.

We know God means what He says:

God is not a man that He would lie, neither a son of man to be advised; He says and He does and his word stands for eternities. Numbers 23:19

God said that death would accompany the eating of the fruit:

...in the day you eat from it you shall surely die. Genesis 2:17

So what happened?

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Inventing the story

In an attempt to reconcile God's statement with adam's longevity, a story was constructed to satisfy an obvious contradiction. By blending some TRUTH with a lot of invention someone (or several someones) came up with the following line of reasoning (see if you can identify all that is NOT written, but added in):

  1. God is an eternal Spirit and is invisible.
  2. God made everything perfect.
  3. God created adam in His image, after His likeness.
  4. Adam MUST therefore also have an invisible, eternal spirit, identical to God.
  5. Adam was immortal, there was no such thing as death, and God never planned on adam dying.
  6. God warned adam he would die (even though we just said there was no death) in the day he ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil).
  7. Even though there was no death, adam perfectly understood what God meant regarding him dying.
  8. Even though there was no death, the Serpent (also immortal?) knew enough about death to tell the woman that she and her husband would not die if they ate the fruit.
  9. Even though there was no death, the woman perfectly understood what the Serpent meant regarding her not dying.
  10. Adam did not physically die that fateful day, which evidently proves God actually meant that some other aspect of adam would die.
  11. Adam did not die that fateful day, which implies the Serpent spoke the truth. But that can't be, because Eve was deceived, so we know the Serpent was a liar. And "that ole' Serpent" is the father of lies, so we know the Serpent lied to Eve.
  12. Adam lived to be 930 years old because he was immortal a few minutes earlier, right before he missed the mark / strayed from the path. It just took around 900 years or so for his body to degrade enough to die.
  13. God had said adam would die, and adam's body didn't die for a long time; therefore, adam's spirit (his eternal spirit, just like God) must have died instantaneously. God meant that adam would only lose his immortality, not his mortal life (Whew! Apparent contradiction resolved!).
  14. Adam still went to heaven once his body died, even though his eternal spirit died the day he ate the fruit.
  15. Death of invisible, eternal spirits had just occurred, but death you can see and feel, like death that kills people, would not occur until later, when adam's son Cain killed adam's other son, Abel. And, for adam, the death that kills people would not occur for another 900 some-odd years. Unless some animals or bugs died, first.
  16. Sin separated adam (and, subsequently, all mankind), who was now spiritually dead, from God.
  17. Since God cannot look upon sin, God kicked adam out of the Garden.

This story isn't simply non-sensical; it is patently false, according to the Scriptures!

What is written is that, prior to adam's transgression, death had not yet entered the world...

For just as by the agency of one man, sin entered the world, and by means of sin, death, in this way death passed by this sin unto all the children of men, because all of them have sinned. Romans 5:12

"See!", the theologians gleefully exclaim. "There was no death prior to the man's transgression, therefore we know adam was immortal."

Nowhere is it written that death didn't exist in the Earth; that there was no death.

If there was no death in the Earth until after adam's transgression then what, exactly, was God expecting adam's understanding to be when He told him "in the day you eat of it you shall surely die?"

If there was no death in the Earth until after adam's transgression, and adam had no concept of death, God might just as easily have told adam, "In the day you eat of it you shall surely drive a Lamborghini." and it would have had as much meaning or impact.

If there was no death in the Earth until after adam's transgression then what, exactly, was being discussed by Eve and the Serpent, with Eve echoing adam's words "you shall surely die" and the Serpent countering with, "no, you won't die". How would either of them have known what death is if there was no death in the Earth?

If there was no death in the Earth until after adam's transgression then every plant, every animal, every bird, every sea creature and every bug would have been immortal, too. None of them sinned against God. They didn't partake of the tree they were told not to partake of. Did they all survive up until the flood? Those who survived the flood should all still be with us, today.

The popular Christian teaching that, as with adam, "sin separates us from God" is immediately found to be problematic should we ever forsake what I refer to as "pamphlet Christianity" and read what is actually written. We discover from the Scriptures that God had more conversation with adam after his transgression, the transgression that apparently made adam a sinner that God could no longer tolerate, than He ever did prior. In fact, it was God who came looking for adam, the sinner. It wasn't adam who longed to draw near to God, but since sin had separated the two of them, poor adam had no hope. Consider all the men and women with whom God has conversed throughout the ages. Since "all have sinned" we are forced to acknowledge that God most certainly converses with sinners.

What is NOT written in the Scriptures becomes every bit as significant as what IS written in the Scriptures when men begin to "fill in the gaps" with assumption, speculation, reasoning, and theory, and then present the resultant story as though it, the story, is the Word of God.

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Dismantling the story

It is written that death, by means of sin, entered the world. Do not mistake the world for the Earth; God did not create "the heavens and the world." He created "the heavens and the Earth." As we will explore, the world is something distinct.

It is so much easier to simply accept what is written. There is no need to make up fairy tales about what is not written. For example, nowhere is it written that God made adam immortal.

Even more important: There is no mention of God not intending for this entire event to occur. Nowhere is it written that any of this caught God by surprise.

God did not say, "Adam, I'm warning you... IF you eat of that fruit you will die." God prophesied, "Adam, in the day you eat of that fruit you will die". It was not a case of if, but when!

Nowhere is it written that God created adam as spirit, soul and body. Nowhere is it written that adam's spirit died. God did not say to adam, "...in the day you eat of it your spirit will die, but you will live on, for 930 years!" It is written that God said, "...in the day you eat of it you will die."

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The trees

We are told of two exceptional trees God had planted in the Garden, specifically, in the midst (middle) of the Garden:

And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:9

Often overlooked, it is written that God had given adam not one, but two commands:

...From all of the trees that are in Paradise you shall eat, and from the tree of knowledge of good and of evil you shall not eat from it... Genesis 2:16-17

  1. Thou shalt: EAT from ALL the trees, including the tree of Life
  2. Thou shalt not: Do NOT eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil

Most who are familiar with the story know that adam ate of the one tree he was told not to eat:

...Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’... Genesis 3:17

Were you also aware of the fact that adam did not partake of a tree he had been commanded to eat, the tree of Life?

...lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live to eternity... Genesis 3:22

God removed adam from the Garden, terminating his access to the tree of life. Why?

Do you believe that God was nervous that adam, the formerly eternal, immortal, perfect, sinless and god-like man who had become imperfect and sinful and mortal of his own free will, the same adam whose eternal spirit died, would suddenly now obey God, eat of the tree of Life and subsequently become immortal again, while still retaining a dead eternal spirit? But this time would be different: adam would be immortal in his new sinful condition; you know, an immortal sinner (which he wasn't, before)? Naturally, God could not permit such an unthinkable act to occur, thus He had to act quickly and kick adam out of the Garden before adam could become some unstoppable, wicked creature who could never die, who might even grow in power to be beyond even God's control?

In a conversation with the Father, Maryah Yeshu Meshika (our LORD Jesus Christ) had said:

But these things are eternal life: 'They shall know you, for you alone are The God of TRUTH, and Jesus the Messiah whom you have sent.' John 17:3

Did Jesus say, "Eternal life comes as a result of eating the tree of life?" What else do we know about this tree?

Jesus revealed the following to John:

He who has an ear to hear, let him hear what The Spirit is speaking to the assemblies, and I shall give to the victor to eat of the tree of life, which is in The Paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

Regarding the holy city, the bride, which descends from heaven (see Revelation 21:2), John said:

In the midst of the wide street of it, and by the river here and there, was the tree of life which produced twelve fruits, in every month giving each one its fruit. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more falling away. Revelation 22:2

Finally, Jesus had this to say:

And if any one shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his portion from the tree of life, and from the holy city, which are described in this book. Revelation 22:19

Listen to what God said to adam after he ate of the fruit:

In the sweat of your face you will eat bread, until you return to the Earth, for from it you were taken, because dust you are and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19

Eternal life, life in eternity, was not available to adam. Adam did not possess eternal life. Period. He lived until the age of 930, died and returned to the dust from which he had come. What is written is what is written.

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The deception

Paul wrote to the assembly at Corinth, expressing his concern for them:

I fear lest, as the Serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, that your minds may also in this way be corrupted from the simplicity that is in The Messiah. 2Corinthians 11:3

To Timothy, Paul wrote:

...the woman was deceived... 1Timothy 2:14

What was this deception that Paul was referring to? In the classic interpretation explored above, the Serpent informing Eve she wouldn't die is what constituted the deception. While they tend to focus on adam, when pressed, they admit that according to their teaching both adam and Eve died spiritually that fateful day.

In the Garden, the Serpent had asked the woman about this whole fruit eating thing:

...Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’? Genesis 3:1

This was not a harmless question, spawned by a genuine desire on the part of the compassionate Serpent in his role as the first investigative journalist to get answers:

Excuse me...Ma'am, excuse me... Hello, I don't think we've met. I am the Serpent, and I represent the Garden Dwellers Association here in Paradise. There has been a rumor circulating recently that God has tried to starve you and your husband, saying you can't eat of any of the trees of the Garden. Is this true? Is there anything to this rumor? Would you like to go on record to confirm or deny this?

Notice how the Serpent had not asked the woman if God had prohibited them from eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Instead, the Serpent asked two things:

  1. Did God actually say...
  2. ...You cannot eat from any tree?

In order to better understand what constituted the deception of the woman, let's review the actual sequence of the events of Creation, not the fairy tale version:

  1. God formed adam of the dust from the soil, and breathed into his face the breath of life (or lives, plural), and adam became a living soul (not spirit).
  2. God then planted Paradise eastward in Eden and there he placed adam whom he had formed (adam was originally created out West, somewhere outside of Eden).
  3. God made to grow from the Earth every tree that is desirable to see and good to eat.
  4. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, along with the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
  5. God commanded adam saying, "From all of the trees that are in Paradise you shall eat: and from the tree of knowledge of good and of evil you shall not eat from it, because in the day that you eat from it, you will die."
  6. God said, "It is not good for adam to be alone. I shall make a helper for him like himself".
  7. God formed from the Earth every animal...
  8. ...and for adam there was not found a Helper like him.
  9. Then God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.
  10. Adam says, "This is now bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman because she was taken out of man."
  11. Both adam and his wife are naked, but not ashamed.
  12. The Serpent begins a conversation with the woman asking, "Has God truly said...?"

Point 5, when God commands adam regarding the fruit of the trees, occurs prior to God even creating the animals, let alone the woman. When she is created, notice that no gap occurs between points 11 and 12. Point 11 is the last verse of Genesis chapter 2, and point 12 is the first verse of Genesis chapter 3, in which we are told that the Serpent is asking the woman what God has said.

  • Question: How would the woman possibly know what God had said?
  • Answer: God had commanded adam regarding the trees prior to Eve existing. Nowhere is it written that God had an additional, separate conversation with the woman. We assume she got her information from adam, but we know she didn't hear God say it - she wasn't existing when God commanded adam.

In the Garden the woman answered the Serpent's question, revealing her understanding of the situation:

...We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ Genesis 3:2-3

It is not recorded anywhere that God told adam not to touch the tree, it's fruit, the leaves, or anything else in the Garden for that matter. That 'no touch' clause was either added by adam and echoed by his wife or she just made it up, herself. Either way, God didn't say it. If you can hear it, this establishes precedence for the religions of all mankind.

And the Serpent said to the Woman, "You shall not really die: because God knew that in the day that you eat from it, your eyes are opened and you are like God, knowing the good and the evil". Genesis 3:4-5

It should be perfectly clear to anyone reading the story after-the-fact that the Serpent wasn't wrong. The man and woman didn't die. Their eyes were opened. They became as God, knowing good and evil.

NOTE: The god-like attribute presented to us in the Scriptures, what is actually written as opposed to what is invented, is knowing good and evil; not immortality, sinless perfection, having an eternal spirit, etc.

  • Question: So what was the deception?
  • Answer: Why didn't Eve refer the Serpent to her husband, the one who had firsthand information, the one God had spoken directly with, the one who, alone, could answer the Serpent's question? Why did Eve take it upon herself to personally engage with the Serpent, especially when asked about something she only had secondhand knowledge of? She stepped out from under her only protection. She filled in the blanks with what made sense to her, with what she believed, regardless of whether it was true, or not.

Thus Paul wrote:

I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not adam who was deceived, but the woman being quite deceived, fell into transgression. 1Timothy 2:12-14

The serpent had explained something quite astounding about the particular fruit tree in question. The fact that it would be necessary for adam and Eve to first partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in order to gain the knowledge of good and evil demonstrates that neither adam nor Eve had been created with an inherent knowledge of good and evil. For that, they would need to rely entirely upon God. But the serpent had an understanding of the consequences that would result from eating this particular fruit; an understanding that the woman did not share.

On the surface, gaining the knowledge of good and evil such that one could decide for oneself what is right and wrong, up and down, left and right, good and bad, etc, etc, appears to be enticing enough, all by itself. But partaking of the fruit would constitute transgression, not deception. How, exactly, did the Serpent deceive the woman?

But each man is tempted from his own desire, and he lusts and he is seduced. And this desire becomes pregnant and gives birth to sin, but sin, when it has matured, gives birth to death. James 1:14-15

The woman was enticed to exercise her independence from her husband and engage with the Serpent directly! The Serpent told her she could also be independent from God, no longer needing to rely on Him for His definition of good and evil, right and wrong.

...the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise... Genesis 3:6

What was the significance of these three (3) particulars?

...all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life - is not from the Father... 1John 2:16

Comparing Genesis 3:6 to 1John 2:16, let's map the details of Eve's temptation to all that is in the world (world - not the Earth):

  • was good for food - the desires (lust) of the flesh
  • was a delight to the eyes - the desires (lust) of the eyes
  • was to be desired to make one wise - (boastful) pride of life

If you have ears to hear, the foundation of the world was thusly established.

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The spirit of man

Popular Christian reasoning:

  1. Since God is spirit
  2. And God made man in His own image, after His likeness
  3. Therefore, man must have a spirit - just like God

If this were the case then, since God made man in His own image, after His likeness, the reverse would also be true: God would have a soul and body and be made from the dust of the Earth - just like man who was made in God's image. God would also have the same propensity to exercise His free will to transgress His own law, just as His eternal, immortal, perfect, and sinless creation did. This whole course of reasoning utterly falls apart when we consider all that God is and man isn't.

At first glance, most English translations of the Scriptures are seemingly not without support of the idea of adam (as in, mankind) having a spirit, though a little scrutiny will shed significant light on this. A commonly quoted verse in support of the popular theory is:

The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. Proverbs 20:27 (KJV)

In this passage the phrase the spirit of man can be literally translated from Hebrew into English as the breath of adam. The Hebrew word translated as spirit in this verse, נְשָׁמָה (nesh-aw-maw'), is translated as breath is most every other occurrence.

The Peshitta presents the verse above a bit differently, and provides more insight:

The soul of the children of men is the lamp of the LORD...

You may recall that God breathed into adam the breath of life, and adam became a living soul. Soul = life. Soul life. Alive.

But there are other verses in which we find the English phrase spirit of man, verses that use a different Hebrew word for spirit. Here are two:

Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? Ecclesiastes 3:21

The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Zechariah 12:1

In both of these passages the Hebrew word רוּחַ (roo'-akh) is translated into English as spirit. This is the same word that is used in Genesis 1:2, where we read, "...And the Spirit (roo'-akh) of God moved upon the face of the waters."

Strong's Concordance offers the following information for the Hebrew word:




From H7306; wind; by resemblance breath, that is, a sensible (or even violent) exhalation; figuratively life, anger, unsubstantiality; by extension a region of the sky; by resemblance spirit, but only of a rational being (including its expression and functions): - air, anger, blast, breath, X cool, courage, mind, X quarter, X side, spirit ([-ual]), tempest, X vain, ([whirl-]) wind (-y).

  • Question: From these verses can we not simply conclude that man has a spirit, just like his creator?
  • Answer: No. Read on...

The Hebrew word רוּחַ (roo'-akh) is also used in Genesis 2:7 where it is translated into English as breath when God breathes into adam the breath (roo'-akh) of life. Of the 378 occurrences of this word רוּחַ (roo'-akh) in the KJV, more than 30 times it is translated breath.

In Genesis 8:1, we read that when God brought the flood to an end he made a wind (roo'-akh) to pass over the Earth. Of the 378 occurrences of this word רוּחַ (roo'-akh) in the KJV, more than 100 times it is translated wind.

Wherever the Hebrew word רוּחַ (roo'-akh) appears throughout the Scriptures, the Aramaic word רוחא (Ruu-KhaA) is used. Both words can be (and are) translated into English as breath, wind or spirit - depending upon context / interpretation. While the meanings may appear to be ambiguous at times, breath, wind and spirit are not synonymous.

The New Testament was not penned in Hebrew, so we will not find the Hebrew word רוּחַ (roo'-akh). But we can read both Old and New testament texts translated into English from Aramaic...

God is Spirit ... John 4:24

And who is the man who knows what is in a man except only the spirit of the man that is in him? So also a man does not know what is in God; only The Spirit of God knows. 1Corinthians 2:11

In the Peshitta we find the word רוחא (Ruu-KhaA) used for spirit in both passages, above.

When Peter walked on the water, the wind (Ruu-KhaA) was creating quite a chop, such that he grew fearful and began to sink... see Matthew 14:22-33

Another time Jesus rebuked the wind (Ruu-KhaA) and there was a great calm... see Mark 4:35-41

God had breathed into adam's nostrils the breath (Ruu-KhaA) of life... See Genesis 2:7

In the various Greek manuscripts we typically find the word πνεῦμα (pneuma, pnyoo'-mah) used for the Hebrew רוּחַ (roo'-akh) or Aramaic רוחא (Ruu-KhaA). While this Greek word typically translates into English as spirit, were you aware that it can also be translated as both breath and wind? Thus we find that whether we are reading Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek texts of the Scriptures, the Hebrew word רוּחַ (roo'-akh), the Aramaic word רוחא (Ruu-KhaA), and the Greek word πνεῦμα (pneuma) all may be translated into English as breath, wind and/or spirit.

1Corinthians 2:11 may just as easily read, "...who knows a person's thoughts except the mind of that person..."

What we can conclude is that an issue of interpretation exists. It is not as simple as translating the word for the color red from one language to another. Spirit, breath, and wind can all derived from the same Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek word. But they don't all have the same meaning, especially not in English. Look at two translations of this popular passage:

The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 (KJV)

The Spirit breathes where He will, and you hear His voice, but you do not know from where He comes and where He goes; thus is everyone who is born from The Spirit. John 3:8 (FCAB)

  • KJV - The wind blows
  • FCAB - The Spirit breathes

There is a considerable difference between an amorphous, random breeze blowing in a given locale on a given day and the Spirit of the Living God breathing life into a person. Which do you think Jesus was referring to when He was teaching about the Kingdom of God and being born again, born a second time, born of the Spirit?

For more on this topic, see my article titled, "Born Again".

We can readily see that, regardless of which original language we begin with, the Scriptures inform us that man has breath; he is a living being, as are all the other creatures. This is what we refer to as soul life.

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Reverse Engineering

Let's revisit the theory that man, at his birth, comes pre-packaged with a spirit (albeit a dead one) in order to get to the TRUTH regarding body, soul and spirit. And let's look at what all of this has to do with sin and righteousness.

In Genesis 3 we read that the serpent deceived Eve, who then gave to her husband to eat. (For details on an erroneous Christian teaching regarding the serpent, see my article on Lucifer .)

Another Hebrew word for mankind is אֱנוֹשׁ (en-oshe'), a plural word often translated as men. In Hebrew, one man is an אִישׁ (eesh). Adam referred to his helpmate, who had been created from his own body, as an אִשָּׁה (ish-shaw'), a woman.

  • English: man / wo'-man
  • Hebrew: eesh / ish-shaw'

Later, adam called her name חַוָּה (khav-vaw'), transliterated into English as Eve. The word means lifegiver - the mother of all.

NOTE: We are never supplied with a proper name for that first man, such as Fred or Bill; he is simply known to us as man or adam.

From the Scriptures, actual elements of the account of the "Garden Incident" are thus:

  • God commanded adam, "...from the tree of knowledge of good and of evil you shall not eat from it, because in the day that you will eat from it, you will die..."
  • God formed the rib that he took from adam into a Woman and brought her to adam.
  • They were both naked, adam and his wife, and they were not ashamed
  • The Serpent was craftier than every animal and said to the Woman, "Has God truly said that you will not eat from all the trees of Paradise?"
  • The woman said to the Serpent, "...from the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of Paradise God said, 'You shall not eat from it and you shall not touch it, lest you shall die.'"
  • The Serpent said, "You shall not really die: Because God knew that in the day that you eat from it, your eyes are opened and you are like God, knowing good and evil."
  • When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
  • Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.
  • God said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
  • Adam said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
  • God said to the woman, "What is this that you have done?" And the woman said, "The Serpent deceived me, and I ate."
  • God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”
  • God said to the woman, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”
  • God said to adam, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
  • Adam called the name of his wife Khawa (Ava, Eve), because she was the mother of all living.
  • God made for adam and for his wife garments of skins (pelts, leather) and clothed them.
  • God said, "Behold, adam has become as one of us, to know good and evil; now, lest he reach his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat and will live to eternity..."
  • God sent him out from Paradise of Eden to cultivate the Earth, the place from which he was taken.
  • God made revolve, from the East of Paradise of Eden, Cherubim and the point of a sword, that turns to keep the way of the tree of Life.

Notably, adam was not created having innate knowledge of good and evil. For that, he would need to rely upon God.

Further, God's commandment to adam included both eating and not eating:

YHWH elohim commanded adam, "From all of the trees that are in Paradise YOU SHALL EAT... Genesis 2:16

Thou shalt eat!

God commanded adam to partake of the tree of life, something adam obviously refused. Adam's fate was back to dust, not life eternal!

... because dust you are and to dust you shall return. Genesis 3:19

God commanded adam NOT to partake of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, which is exactly what he did partake of.

... and from the tree of knowledge of good and of evil YOU SHALL NOT EAT from it, because in the day that you will eat from it, you will die. Genesis 2:17

Thou shalt NOT eat!

From now on man could decide for himself what he thought to be good and evil, what he thought to be right and wrong, what he thought to be true and false.

Instead of submitting to God in all things, including God's last word on what is good and what is evil, let alone possessing eternal life, adam opted out of the whole program in order to feel that empowering sense of control whereby every man, woman and child can now argue with one another over their own opinions regarding any and every thing. Every disagreement between husband and wife, parent and child, neighbor, village, city, state and nation stems from this independent knowledge of good and evil. And this is apparent in all mankind.

Adam and his wife ate of the fruit of the tree and they did not die, just as the serpent had told Eve.

  • Question: Did God lie?
  • Answer: Of course not.

God is not a man that He would lie... Numbers 23:19

Two attempts are made to explain the apparent discrepancy between what God had said, "in the day you eat of it you shall surely die" and the fact that they did not die:

  1. It is written that "a day with the LORD is as a thousand years." Adam died when he was 930, 70 years short of 1000. Therefore, figuratively speaking, adam died within the "day" he ate of it.
  2. Some aspect of adam died; namely, his spirit.

Are you certain that the Scripture clearly states that God told adam he, adam, would die? The TRUTH is much simpler. Consider the following:

What is the Biblical definition of the world (what does the world consist of)?

...all that is in the world - the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life - is not from the Father... 1John 2:16

What were the particulars of the temptation of Eve (what was the significance of these particulars)?

...the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise... Genesis 3:6

Let's revisit mapping Eve's temptation to ALL that is in the world:

  • was good for food - the desires (lust) of the flesh
  • was a delight to the eyes - the desires (lust) of the eyes
  • was to be desired to make one wise - (boastful) pride of life

...they worshiped the Dragon that gives authority to The Beast, and they worshiped The Beast... all the inhabitants of The Earth will worship it, those who are not written in The Book of Life of The Lamb SLAIN from the foundation of the world. Revelation 13:4,8

  • Question: When was the Lamb of God slain?
  • Answer: From the foundation of the world.

NOTE: The creation of the Earth is distinct from the foundation of the world.

Now try this:

...in the day that you (adam) will eat from it, you (the Lamb of God) will die. Genesis 2:17

The script was written long before its debut upon the world's stage.

...in due time (at the right, appointed time) Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:6

  • Question: Did God intend for His Son to die prior to adam's disobedience, prior to death even entering the world? In other words, did God plan all of this from the beginning?
  • Answer: Yes!

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A tale of two Adams

Thus also it is written: 'adam the first man was a living soul; the last adam, The Life Giver Spirit'. 1Corinthians 15:45

Contrasting Jesus the Messiah with adam (the first man): adam was a soul in a body. The Messiah was a Spirit (also having a soul, and inhabiting a body). Two distinct versions of man: one being Earthy, the other being Heavenly.

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What's sin got to do with it?

For all have sinned...

Penned in BC, quoted in AD. Don't let the timeline get you. All means all. Have sinned is a past participle. It is not written that all will sin, someday, after they are born, after they reach a certain age or breach a certain threshold of knowledge.

  • Sin is that which a sinner is enslaved by (see Romans chapter 7)
  • Sins (plural) are that which a sinner produces, regardless of whether it is perceived by others as being good or bad, right or wrong

For the righteous, freed from sin, their product is either the works of the flesh or the fruits of the spirit, not sins. (see Paul's letters to the assemblies, especially to the Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians, along with John's first letter)

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Eternal or immortal?

Eternity is outside of space and time, as we know space and time. A linear timeline, having a starting and stopping point, is contained within eternity. Yet the timeline does not constrain eternity. Eternity cannot be measured with time.

For we do not rejoice in those things that are seen, but in these things that are unseen. For things seen are time related, but those things that are unseen are eternal. 2Corinthians 4:18

"Things seen are time related." Time is a construct and is measured using light; light that God created:

And God said, "Lights shall be in the firmament of Heaven to distinguish between daytime and night and they shall be for signs and for times and for days and for years. Genesis 1:14

Lest we be too certain of our newfound understanding of time, Peter warned his readers to not disregard the following:

One day is to the LORD as a thousand years, and a thousand years is as one day. 2Peter 3:8

Created light is also temporal, and will one day be replaced. When John was shown the holy city of God, New Jerusalem, the bride, he wrote:

I saw no Temple in it, for the LORD God Almighty, he is its Temple. And The Lamb and The City do not need the Sun or the Moon to illuminate it, for the glory of God illuminates it, and The Lamb is its lamp. And the nations walk in its light and the Kings of The Earth bring glory to it. And its gates shall not be shut by day, for there shall be no night there. Rev 21:22-25

The words eternal and immortal are not synonymous. The popular understanding of immortality is more a mythological notion than a Scriptural teaching. It refers to living forever, as in: never dying. It infers having a beginning, a starting point, but no ending. According to this definition a timeline is involved. Therefore, immortal is not eternal. Unlike the Greek and Roman gods, the Living God is eternal, not immortal. He is alep and tau. The beginning and the ending are within Him - He is not subject to them.

Jesus has offered mankind eternal life, not immortality (at least, not the mythological version).

And this is the Promise which he has promised us: Eternal Life! 1John 2:25

Men were not intended to live on and on:

...Just as it is appointed to the children of men to die once, and after their deaths the judgment, in this way also, The Messiah was offered one time... Hebrews 9:27-28

Men are "...appointed...to die..." Not to be immortal.

Grace and Peace be with you,