The following Scripture passages are offered to aid beginning fellowships. The readings and commentary for this week are more in line with what has become usual; for the following will most likely be familiar observations. The concept behind this Sabbath’s selection is receiving a soul.
For the Sabbath of March 21, 2015
The person conducting the Sabbath service should open services with two or three hymns, or psalms, followed by an opening prayer acknowledging that two or three (or more) are gathered together in Christ Jesus’ name, and inviting the Lord to be with them.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. (Rom 6:1–18 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Have we—you and I—died a death like that of Christ Jesus? Have we been crucified? Islamic State thugs are crucifying Christian women and children: are these women and children the only ones in this present generation united with Christ Jesus in a death like His? Are they the ones certain to be united with Him in a resurrection like His? Or does Paul speak of another death and another resurrection, a resurrection that goes mostly unrecognized and unacknowledged?
The union of geographical landscape with its storm with mental landscape and the madness experienced by the old king in Shakespeare’s King Lear forms an educational spud around which Western Culture swings back and forth as if this culture were a bucket-line dredge digging alluvial gold from the folds and creases found in the brain … those persons who know that Shakespeare linked inner and outer landscapes should have no difficulty in recognizing that the Apostle Paul linked the inner life of Christian converts with the outer life of outwardly circumcised Israel; that the death Jesus died that is like the death we die while we continue to live physically is the death Jesus died when He as the Beloved of God entered His creation (John 1:3) as His unique son (John 3:16).
When the Beloved of God, the usually unrealized Creator of all things physical as well as the God of Abraham (Matt 22:32) and the spiritual Rock that accompanied Israel in the Wilderness (1 Cor 10:4), entered His creation as His unique Son, the Beloved no longer had life in the heavenly realm. The only life the Beloved had was that of a man; hence the man Jesus was fully “man” when in this world, His life coming from the breath Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the nostrils of the man of adamah (Gen 2:7) then placed in the Woman when He took flesh and a rib from the Man to create the Woman (v. 22).
The great lie that Christian orthodoxy has used to marginalize its critics is that Jesus was simultaneously fully man and fully God: Jesus was fully man from the moment of His conception in Mary’s womb to when the spirit of God [pneuma Theou] in the bodily form of a dove descended upon and entered into [eis] the man Jesus when John the Baptist raised Jesus from the waters of the Jordan. Then, Jesus remaining fully man had His previously “dead” inner spirit of man [pneuma tou ’anthropou] raised from its dead state that had come from entering His creation as His unique Son. Jesus was “born again” through receipt of the heavenly spirit/breath of life; through receipt of a second breath of life, this second breath of life received by the man Jesus in a manner analogous to how Elohim [singular in usage] breathed the breath of life into the man Adam (again, Gen 2:7) outside of the Garden of Eden, where the Tree of Life grew. And even with a second birth as the firstborn Son of God the Father, the man Jesus was still not fully God; for His prayer—just before He was taken—included the following: “‘I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed’” (John 17:4–5 emphasis added).
When the Father returned to the resurrected man Jesus the glory He had before He entered His creation as His unique Son, the glorified Jesus was fully God and not man—
For the duration of Jesus’ earthly ministry, Jesus was fully man with a spiritually living inner self—His spiritually living inner self created the vessel able to hold the bright fire that represents the glory of God (see Ezek 1:26–28) inside of other human persons, thereby forming the “bridge” between man and God that the first Adam did not create even through opportunity to do so was afforded him when he was placed in the Garden of Eden and had access to the Tree of Life.
The story of Adam’s creation outside of the Garden of Eden—the “E” creation account—enters into the historical record as a narrative written in the Hebrew of 9th-Century BCE Samaria … a question should come to mind: has enough Hebrew inscription from the northern kingdom of Samaria been preserved that this statement can be declared with certainty? Not really. But enough has been preserved that this statement can be made with a high degree of probability. Thus it can be declared with near certainty that the “P” creation account of Genesis 1:1 through 2:3 was written in Imperial Hebrew of the Deportation Period (6th & 7th Centuries BCE), meaning that the “P” creation is a redacted text. The “E” [for Elohim, used without the Tetragrammaton] of Genesis 2:4 through Gen 3:2 is from 9th-Century Samaria and the “J” [for YHWH Elohim] account is from 10th-Century BCE Israel. The dating is best evidence, but is not inspired. So an endtime disciple is free to ignore the dating, but not really free to argue that Moses wrote Genesis; for Moses would have written in proto-Hebrew that would have required translating into Imperial Hebrew. Hence, Moses’ writings were redacted by Imperial scribes after the Book of the Covenant was found in the dilapidated temple in the days of King Josiah (see 2 Kings 22–23). A text in the Hebrew of Samaria before this House of Israel was taken captive by Assyria would not be from Moses, but from an earlier alternative text—
Consider what the Lord told Moses: “And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword. Then [YHWH] said to Moses, ‘Write this as a memorial in a book and recite it in the ears of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven’” (Ex 17:13–14 emphasis added).
Because Hebrew as a Semitic language is only partially alphabetized, any Hebrew inscription must be read by a person who already knows what the inscribed text [written without vowels] is supposed to say … Semitic texts require the older generation to school the younger generation on how to read Semitic inscription. Any break or gap in this generational schooling necessitates guessing at what vowels should be inserted between consonants of consonant clusters, with these consonant clusters representing many possible words usually related as a “library” is related to a “book” as well as to a “writer.” It was for this reason that the Lord told Moses to recite [what he wrote] in the ears of Joshua so that Joshua would know what vowels to insert between the inscribed consonants that Moses wrote.
When the Book of the Covenant was lost in the dilapidated temple, the generational schooling train was derailed for apparently long enough that no Passover had been kept as Moses commanded since the days of the judges (2 Kings 23:22). Yet during the days of the Kings of Israel [the northern kingdom] the account of Adam’s creation was inscribed even though this northern kingdom was ignoring Moses and far from the Lord.
Addressing Moses as the author of Genesis, consider Genesis 12:6, “Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land” (emphasis added). The author of the previous statement was writing from a time when Canaanites were no longer in the Promised Land. This author could not be Moses; for Canaanites were in the Promised Land when Moses died. This author has to be a scribe that lived a considerable period after the children of Israel crossed the Jordan and dispossessed Canaanites.
The “E” creation account, regardless of origin, is important in establishing the modeling between the first Adam and the last Adam, but a problem exists in the modeling of the first Adam (his name probably derived from the Hebrew for dust, adamah) and the last Adam, Christ Jesus, his earthly body also made from dust; for many men, both of Israel and of the nations, lived when the Beloved entered His creation as His unique Son born as the man Jesus, humanly born without indwelling heavenly or eternal life, as in life outside of space-time.
The first Adam and the last Adam are narrative chiral images; thus, the adamah from which the first Adam was taken will form the non-symmetrical mirror image of the adamah from which the last Adam was taken, with a distinction: because Christ Jesus’ Father was the Beloved and not the first Adam, the man Jesus was not humanly born consigned to disobedience (Rom 11:32) as a son of disobedience (Eph 2:2–3). But then, the first Adam was not born consigned to disobedience but was free to believe God.
The man Jesus was as the first Adam was when placed in the Garden of God: His covering [garment] was His obedience to God, and no helpmate was found for Him among the beasts in the Garden, the temple forming the chiral image of the Garden.
The adamah from which the man Jesus was formed was natural Israel, which had both physical breath and the Law, with having the Law and outward circumcision distinguishing Israel from its neighbors almost to the degree of human species distinction … the preceding is a sensitive subject that can be misread, misinterpreted, and easily abused.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands—remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that He might create in Himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. And He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access in one spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. (Eph 2:10–21)
To observant Jews of the 1st-Century, circumcision of the flesh served as a wall of hostility that separated sons of God (from Ex 4:22) from the nations [Gentiles], thus giving to Jews ideological superiority that, as far as Israel was concerned, translated into biological superiority … from the perspective of biological Israel, there was Israel and there was the remainder of humanity as subhuman species. A similar ideological superiority influenced Tokugawa-era Japanese when Commodore Perry forcibly opened the closed country through a show of force that the Tokugawa shogunate couldn’t match.
The concept of racial superiority permitted the formation of Nazi death camps during WWII—and permitted 1st-Century CE Jews to ignore the sufferings of their neighbors. Yet there was an ideological distinction between Israel and the nations that was appropriate: Israel was not to worship its God as the nations worshiped theirs. But for centuries, there was no distinction between how Israel worshiped the Lord and how Israel’s neighbors worshiped sticks and stones and the queen of heaven, with this commonality of worship bringing upon Israel the wrath of the Lord.
In the model producing Adam and the last Adam, the adamah from which Israel and the nations came is the same adamah from which the first Adam came and from which came the fleshly body of the last Adam. This model permits the question to be asked: in what form was this adamah when the first Adam was formed? Was this adamah in a form of garden soil, or in the form of pre-Adamic hominids? The model doesn’t privilege garden soil, but rather, pre-Adamic hominids such as Neanderthal or Homo erectus that, according to the model, will lack an inner element that bridges the gap between animal nature such as King Nebuchadnezzar had when given a “beast’s mind” (Dan 4:16) and the fleshly body of the person, a body akin to that of beasts created from the dust of this earth.
The invisible inner element that first Adam received when Elohim breathed into his nostrils causes humankind to be tri-part in construction, with Paul writing, “‘Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit [pneuma] and soul [psuche] and body [soma] be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ’” (1 Thess 5:23). And this tri-part construction of human persons differs from what King Solomon wrote,
Moreover, I saw under the sun that in the place of justice,
even there was wickedness,
and in the place of righteousness,
even there was wickedness.
I said in my heart,
God will judge the righteous and the wicked,
there is a time for every matter and for every work.
I said in my heart with regard to the children of man,
God is testing them that
they may see they themselves are but beasts.
For what happens to the children of man,
what happens to the beasts is the same;
as one dies, so dies the other.
They all have the same breath,
man has no advantage over the beasts,
for all is vanity.
All go to one place.
All are from the dust,
and to dust all return.
Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward
and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?
So I saw that there is nothing better than
that a man should rejoice in his work,
for that is his lot.
Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
(Eccl 3:16–22 emphasis added and indented lines are spiritual portions of couplets)
In Solomon’s wisdom, man and beast were dust [adamah] and spirit: man was a soul, and didn’t have an immortal soul. Man as humanly born does not today have an immortal soul—and it is here where wisdom and spiritual understanding is required; for a “soul” as understood by Moses differs from “soul” as understood by ancient Egyptians or early Greeks …
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul [nephesh — Strong’s word #H5315], and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? (Deut 10:12–13)
To Moses, the heart of the children of Israel to whom he was speaking was the inner self of each Israelite. Nephesh represented the fleshly body, and whatever wasn’t inner self; thus, in the time of Moses a distinction between inner and outer selves was made, but there was no dissection of the inner self as Paul does when he separates the spirit of the person [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] from the soul of the person [psuche tou ’anthropou].
The soul of the person had been inside a person all along—at least since Adam—but this soul was “dead” for the spirit of the person in the soul was dead because of the first Adam’s unbelief.
The perishable fleshly body of a person will not be glorified when saints are resurrected from death. Rather, the non-physical soul of the disciple will put on a glorious new body when the disciple’s change occurs, with Paul writing,
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable [body], and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (1 Cor 15:50–56 emphasis and doubled emphasis added)
What the first Adam received when Elohim [singular in usage] breathed into the nostrils of this man of adamah was a soul that could have received indwelling eternal life if this man of dust had eaten of the Tree of Life, the reason why, after Adam ate forbidden fruit, the Beloved told God,
Then [YHWH Elohim] said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—" therefore [YHWH Elohim] sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the Garden of Eden He placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen 3:22–24)
If it had not been possible for Adam to acquire eternal life by eating fruit from the Tree of Life, there would have been no reason for the Lord to station a cherubim and his flaming sword at the east entrance to the Garden to prevent Adam or his descendants from eating of the Tree of Life.
In the days of Noah, humankind grieved the Lord:
[YHWH] saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And [YHWH] regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart. So [YHWH] said, "I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them." (Gen 6:5–7 emphasis added)
The use of the linguistic determinative YHWH as a proper name is characteristic of the redaction undertaken by Imperial Hebrew scribes during the Deportation and therefore places the first portion of the Noah material into the “P” narrative with its creation account in chapter one. However, beginning in the middle of chapter seven, evidence of the earlier account begins to surface as seen by the use of <Elohim> translated as “God” used in the alteration with YHWH. Chapters eight and nine use <Elohim> for the divine and are from the “E” account source text.
An author doesn’t usually change how he [or she] names God or addresses God when assigning action and/or words to the divine. In Medieval English alliterative poetry, rhyme was by the first letter of a words so as many as a hundred words are used for “man” in some Romances. In modern English writing, to keep prose “sounding” fresh different words are used to name the same referent. But this wasn’t the case in oral cultures: one naming noun was enough for a referent. Thus, in the first ten chapters of Genesis, the variation in words used to name the divine strongly suggest the merging of different source texts to produce a single narrative. However, this merging is not without seams and even a few contradictory passages, such as the Hagar material.
Don’t permit anyone to tell you as a Philadelphian that Moses wrote Genesis: the text itself argues for at least three source texts plus later redaction by Imperial Hebrew scribes—and since this is the case [and it is the case], the Genesis material about the sons of God—Seth’s sons—saw that the daughters of men [of the adamah from which Adam was created] were attractive can be legitimately reread to have these daughters of men not be unnamed daughters of Adam and Eve or daughters of Cain:
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then [YHWH] said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?" And [YHWH] said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground. And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it shall no longer yield to you its strength. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth." Cain said to [YHWH], "My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, you have driven me today away from the ground, and from your face I shall be hidden. I shall be a fugitive and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me." Then [YHWH] said to him, "Not so! If anyone kills Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold." And [YHWH] put a mark on Cain, lest any who found him should attack him. Then Cain went away from the presence of [YHWH] and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain knew his wife, and she conceived and bore Enoch. When he built a city, he called the name of the city after the name of his son, Enoch. To Enoch was born Irad, and Irad fathered Mehujael, and Mehujael fathered Methushael, and Methushael fathered Lamech. And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah. Adah bore Jabal; he was the father of those who dwell in tents and have livestock. His brother's name was Jubal; he was the father of all those who play the lyre and pipe. Zillah also bore Tubal-cain; he was the forger of all instruments of bronze and iron. The sister of Tubal-cain was Naamah. Lamech said to his wives: "Adah and Zillah, hear my voice; you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say: I have killed a man for wounding me, a young man for striking me. If Cain's revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold." And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and called his name Seth, for she said, "God has appointed for me another offspring instead of Abel, for Cain killed him." (Gen 4:8–25 emphasis and double emphasis added)
If Cain feared that he would be killed when condemned to being a wanderer, then other hominids capable of reading the mark with which he was marked occupied the lands through which Cain would wander, specifically the land of Nod east of Eden, apparently from where Cain took his wife … either Eve was cranking out unnamed daughters at a high rate, or the adamah from which Adam was created were already hominids. This does not mean that the earth is of great antiquity, but that part of the story is missing and not retrievable from inscription.
Remember, the Word of God is not the Bible but the living Logos that entered His creation as His unique Son, the man Jesus the Nazarene. Textual difficulties exist in the Bible, but these difficulties or mangled texts don’t greatly distract from the glorified Jesus being the Word unless the reader permits them to do so—and the “E” creation account isn’t well translated or is only partially incorporated into Holy Writ. And without the original source text, which apparently no longer exists, what’s missing is not externally recoverable.
Whatever the case was with the first Adam, the Lord made a distinction between Noah, chosen for his righteousness, and other men—the distinction between the living and the dead … in the days of Noah, all nephesh [souls; i.e., breathing creatures made from adamah] were baptized in water and unto death, with Noah also being baptized into death but saved physically alive so a remnant population of what had been could be continued but with shorter lifespans that hastened sexual maturity and the production of offspring. Apparently, the Lord realized that it doesn’t take centuries to determine whether a person will obey God: a hundred twenty years is enough time. Plus, while the number of generations needed for genetic change to occur remained the same post-Flood as pre-Flood, the number of generations that would come into existence post-Flood would exceed by a factor of ten the number of generations that would have lived if Noah and his sons were not also baptized into death.
The work pacifying humanity began through selective breeding, with Noah, his wife and sons and their wives forming the breeding pool—and it is for this reason that the Siberian silver fox breeding program of The Institute of Cytology and Genetics at Novosibirsk interests me.
As Lyudmila Trut wrote in her article, “Early Canid Domestication: The Farm-Fox Experiment,” for American Scientist, March-April 1999, Volume 87,
When scientists ponder how animals came to be domesticated, they almost inevitably wind up thinking about dogs. The dog was probably the first domestic animal, and it is the one in which domestication has progressed the furthest—far enough to turn Canis lupus into Canis familiaris. Evolutionary theorists have long speculated about exactly how dogs' association with human beings may have been linked to their divergence from their wild wolf forebears, a topic that anthropologist Darcy Morey has discussed in some detail in the pages of this magazine (July–August 1994).
As Morey pointed out, debates about the origins of animal domestication tend to focus on "the issue of intentionality"—the extent to which domestication was the result of deliberate human choice. Was domestication actually "self-domestication," the colonization of new ecological niches by animals such as wolves? Or did it result from intentional decisions by human beings? How you answer those questions will determine how you understand the morphological and physiological changes that domestication has brought about—whether as the results of the pressure of natural selection in a new niche, or as deliberately cultivated advantageous traits.
Domestication has produced common traits across species, suggesting that domestication has not come about through intentional selection for size, conformation, or reproduction, but for the ability of the animal to interact with human persons. And the Russian geneticist Dmitry K. Belyaev set about to produce domestication in a previously undomesticated species—Vulpes vulpes, silver fox, the dark color phase of red foxes—through intentional selection for one trait, behavior, specifically “tame-ability” or amenability to domestication.
In a then forty year study of silver foxes (now fifty plus years) that began with thirty males and one hundred vixens obtained from a commercial fur farm in Estonia—these foxes already familiar with capture, caging, and isolation and therefore tamer than their wild cousins—Belyaev selected breeding foxes from tameness alone, and to ensure that the breeding stock’s tameness results from genetic selection, human interaction with the foxes is limited: time dosed, as if human interaction were a drug.
Trut’s article is online if a person wishes to read more about the study that by 1999 had more than 45,000 kits born and graded according to their tameness. And what was found was that after six generations changed behavior was noticed and thirty-five generations later, the researchers have created a population of tame foxes different in temperament and behavior from their wild cousins, with this population of tame foxes also possessing dog-like changes in physiology, morphology, and behavior … their foxes have become dogs not descended from gray wolves.
If God were to select human persons by one genetic trait—behavior: specifically, love for neighbor and brother—would He create a domesticated species of hominid in six, eight, ten generations? Would He create a strain of hominid that differed from wild strains by as much as, say, modern humans differ from Sasquatch?
Something happened about six thousand years ago with the creation of Adam; something happened about two thousand years ago with the creation of the last Adam. And about the creation of the last Adam we actually know quite a bit: the man Jesus who was without sin received a second breath of life, the breath of God [pneuma Theou] that is the glory of God, thereby becoming the Firstborn Son of God the Father, the First of many firstborn sons.
It isn’t necessary to know exactly what happened six thousand years ago when Adam was made from the same adamah used to construct the beasts of the field. The person who wants or needs to believe in pre-Adamic man can do so without running headlong into Scripture for the “E” creation account has been borrowed from ancient Samaria, and probably borrowed when the scroll was found in the dilapidated temple during the days of King Josiah: the outer wraps of the scroll should have been damaged, thus requiring Josiah to go to Samaria and take from its temple any copy of the scroll found there—and 2 Kings records that Josiah went to Samaria and cleaned out its temple.
In animals, domestication has brought to every species “strikingly similar changes in appearance and behavior: changes in size, changes in coat color, even changes in the animals' reproductive cycles” (Trut) … domestication of humanity should have brought to humanity changes in size and skin color, as well as bringing regularity to human ovulation, changing ovulation from a light sensitive [sunlight determined] period to a monthly or bimonthly cycle independent of day length.
Domesticated animals if neglected by human persons become feral, reverting to wild traits and reacquiring fear of human contact.
In the course of human domestication by God, skin color equates to the color of coat hair, as does the quality, color, and nature of cranial and facial hair—and as in the case with once domesticated rabbits, dogs, cats, poultry, swine, or horses, when humans lose contact and regular interaction with God, they become a feral population that reverts to wild behavior. They become “animals,” preying upon their own species.
A staple of endtime Christian explication of Scripture, the Genesis account of the creation of Adam and Eve (Gen 2:4–25)—each a singular individual and therefore making the account different in scope and type from the creation account of humankind, male and female of Genesis 1:26 through the end of the chapter—is familiar enough that if much time is spent rereading this account, eyes will dim and shoulders will slump as auditors fall asleep. But the problem that Christian reformers have tried to “fix” (as in fastening down so that the truth cannot move) for the past five centuries has its roots in Genesis 2:17 …
And [YHWH Elohim] commanded the man, saying, "You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen 2:16–17 emphasis added)
Adam believed the Lord, and even went so far as to add to the Lord’s warning when he relayed this warning to Eve, apparently adding a prohibition against even touching the tree. But the serpent knew an important detail that Adam did not know: Adam’s belief of God and obedience to God would “cover” [as in garmenting] the woman because Adam was the head of the woman through having a head that entered and penetrated the woman, who was otherwise without a head for purposes of procreation. Thus, when the serpent heard the woman speak of touching the tree, he knew deceiving Adam, not Eve, would be as simple as stealing candy from a baby, a trite expression for a trite act.
The serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So 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. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Gen 3:4–7)
Without knowing that his obedience garmented the woman, when Adam saw Eve eat forbidden fruit and not die—did he even know what it meant to “die”; apparently he did—he ceased to believe God and he ate forbidden fruit about which the Lord God had said, In the day that you eat, you shall surely die.
Did Adam die that day? He, along with Eve, were driven from the Garden before they could of the Tree of Life, but what does Scripture say about Adam living or dying?
This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, He made him in the likeness of God. Male and female He created them, and He blessed them and named them [again, Adam for adamah, Hebrew for “dust”] when they were created. When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died. (Gen 5:1–5)
As endtime disciples, we can take an informed reading of the “P” creation account and realize that the dark portion of Day One of the poetic “P” account lasted from when the heavens and the earth were filled [bara] (Gen 1:1) to when the man Jesus entered His creation as His unique Son (cf. John 1:1–3; 3:16); that the light portion of Day One ended at Calvary with what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:6 supporting this reading. This will now have Adam dying in the day when he ate forbidden fruit, with the first Adam being superseded by the last Adam on this same day, the dark portion of this Day One given to the first Adam and the light portion given to the last Adam. But this will also subjugate the word “day” to being used for the seven spiritual days of the Genesis “P” creation account, when this is not how Adam would have understood the word day.
Pause and reflect on the previous clause: in order for Adam to have any concept of what a day meant, Adam had to be capable of abstract thought, and have had the language skills not only necessary to name the beasts of the field but necessary to comprehend both <death> and <day>, with day differing from yesterday or tomorrow.
When Adam saw Eve eat forbidden fruit and not die, he had to know that death was the sudden ending of life, something he had not seen in the Garden of Eden. He would not have thought about Eve dying tomorrow because she ate forbidden fruit today. It was in the day that forbidden fruit was eaten that the eater would die—this is the only way that Adam could have understood both death and day. But apparently this is not the way that the Lord God understood death; for in the day when Adam ate forbidden fruit, Adam was driven from the Garden and thereby separated from the Tree of Life.
Evangelical Christians speak of “death” as separation from God; Sabbatarian Christians usually do not. For Sabbatarian Christians, <death> is the absence of life, with both <life> and <death> being linguistic absolutes. A person is either alive, or the person isn’t. The person isn’t almost alive, or partially alive, or just about alive. The person who isn’t alive is dead.
Adam was physically alive for nine centuries after he was driven from the Garden of Eden. Yes, he was separated from God through his unbelief of God on the day when he ate forbidden fruit. But even after eating forbidden fruit, if he hadn’t taken the time to make for himself an apron of fig leaves, he could have gone to the Tree of Life and eaten its fruit and acquired eternal life … the Adversary as that serpent would then have created for himself human offspring that, although still mortal, would have lived forever in a physical type of the Highlander concept.
Man is creative, capable of not only abstract thought and sophisticated language use but also of worship of either God or of the Adversary, with most of humanity worshiping the Adversary, the present prince of this world and still reigning prince of the power of the air. And as creative creatures, man can go beyond where even man has previously gone; for man has the capability of creating worlds over which man is God, these virtual worlds still being physical things that reveal the invisible things of God.
If humanity had immortal souls, Adam and Eve would not have needed to eat from the Tree of Life: they would have already had indwelling eternal life.
The Temptation Account as a narrative [Genesis chapter 3] declares that humanity when humanly born has no indwelling eternal or heavenly life, but has been condemned to death—and is dead—even though the fleshly body of the person lives, the fleshly body being to God as a computer-generated graphic is to man. And yes, even without possessing the mind of Christ, human persons are capable of understanding that God uses this physical creation as programmers use software, with God writing into the minds of living creatures “programs” we identify as human nature, or dog nature, or cat nature, with housecats having similar natures to Bob Fiebert’s ligers [lion tiger crossbreeds]. And as a human programmer can rewrite or overwrite that character the programmer has given to a virtual-reality creation, God can also overwrite human nature or angelic nature.
I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven. He proclaimed aloud and said thus: 'Chop down the tree and lop off its branches, strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the beasts flee from under it and the birds from its branches. But leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, amid the tender grass of the field. Let him be wet with the dew of heaven. Let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth. Let his mind be changed from a man's, and let a beast's mind be given to him; and let seven periods of time pass over him. The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will and sets over it the lowliest of men.' This dream I, King Nebuchadnezzar, saw. And you, O Belteshazzar, tell me the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you. (Dan 4:13–18 emphasis added)
[Daniel/Belteshazzar says,] This is the interpretation, O king: It is a decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king, that you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. You shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and you shall be wet with the dew of heaven, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom He will. And as it was commanded to leave the stump of the roots of the tree, your kingdom shall be confirmed for you from the time that you know that Heaven rules. (Dan 4:24–26 emphasis added)
In taking the mind of a man from the king and in giving to the king the mind of a beast, Nebuchadnezzar became in his mind an ox even though his body remained that of a man:
At the end of twelve months he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon, and the king answered and said, "Is not this great Babylon, which I have built by my mighty power as a royal residence and for the glory of my majesty?" While the words were still in the king's mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, "O King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: The kingdom has departed from you, and you shall be driven from among men, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field. And you shall be made to eat grass like an ox, and seven periods of time shall pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will." Immediately the word was fulfilled against Nebuchadnezzar. He was driven from among men and ate grass like an ox, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven till his hair grew as long as eagles' feathers, and his nails were like birds' claws. At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored Him who lives forever, for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and He does according to His will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay His hand or say to Him, "What have you done?" (Dan 4:29–35 double emphasis added)
Nebuchadnezzar was “compelled” to live as an ox and to eat grass as an ox eats grass so that he would be the chiral image of the spiritual king of Babylon, the Adversary, being cast from heaven and given the mind of man … the angelic host of heaven have received natures as Nebuchadnezzar had a received human nature that could be taken from him when he was given the mind of a beast—the nature of a beast—for seven years.
The first Adam was a man made from dust [adamah] and the spirit of the man [to pneuma tou ’anthropou] in the soul [psuche] of the man … Bob Fiebert’s ligers were large cats composed of dust plus the spirit of cats—but cats do not have souls, a controversial statement supported by Solomon’s wisdom.
Cats have a spirit within them that gives to them the minds of cats, the feline nature that differs from the nature of canidae … and back to the silver foxes: my mother kept a pair of red foxes for pets that she had reared from about the time their eyes opened. She said they never really became dog-like; they never could be trusted. However, they accepted being petted and handled, came when called, but as they aged, they lost their juvenile traits. They were not dogs—
The Christological debates that occurred within greater Christendom in the 2nd through 5th Centuries produced a synthesis of orthodoxy that embraced Jesus as being fully man [to take from Ebonite Christians their reason for separation from the collective] and fully God [the argument of Marcionite and Gnostic Christians]. But those who argued either side or the middle ground of these Christological issues were without spiritual understanding, regardless of how brilliant the person was. For it was Paul’s writings that stymied all—and in particular what Paul wrote about, if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. The only resurrection of Jesus that these early debaters knew occurred post-Calvary. And this was the resurrection of the outer self: Jesus’ fleshly body being raised from death, with Jesus receiving a glorified Body of spirit from the Father. Therefore, the resurrection like His for the early Church was the transformation of the disciple’s fleshly body into a glorified spiritual body, with Paul having written of this transformation:
But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words. (1 Thess 4:13–18 emphasis added)
I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. (1 Cor 15:50–53 emphasis and double emphasis added)
Return now to Romans chapter six: will we walk in this world as outward spirit beings as slaves of obedience that leads to righteousness? Will we be spirit beings before we walk in this world as slaves of obedience? Will we be spirit beings as slaves of sin, having chosen to serve sin rather than obedience? No! We will not become glorified sons of the Adversary. Nor will physical bodies—that which is “perishable”—inherit what is spiritual, or imperishable. Rather, the inner self of the human person that is not physical [the soul, psuche, in which the spirit of the person dwells] shall receive a glorified spiritual body in a resurrection like Jesus’ post-Calvary resurrection. And as glorified sons of God, we will be outside [beyond] what Paul wrote when he said, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, for we will no longer have mortal bodies that can obey passions of the flesh.
In the simplest terms, the resurrection about which Paul writes when he says, We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life, is the resurrection of the man Jesus’ inner self—the indwelling spirit of the man Jesus, the spirit of Christ [pneuma Christou]—from death, the “death” that came upon the first Adam when he was driven from the Garden of Eden before he could eat from the Tree of Life (Gen 3:22–24).
Knowing good and evil makes a person like God:
But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." …
Then [YHWH] God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. (Gen 3:4–5, 22)
What separates man from the beasts of the field is knowing good and evil—in having the ability to believe God [good] or not believe God [evil]—for the beasts of the field do not know God nor know of God. To them, the pack leader or whichever beast they follow is as God to them, which introduces a complexity that most Christ gloss-over when they read Moses or Paul’s epistle to the holy ones at Corinth:
Then the anger of [YHWH] was kindled against Moses and He said, "Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. Behold, he is coming out to meet you, and when he sees you, he will be glad in his heart. You shall speak to him and put the words in his mouth, and I will be with your mouth and with his mouth and will teach you both what to do. He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth, and you shall be as God to him. (Ex 4:14–16 emphasis added)
For I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank from the spiritual Rock that followed them, and the Rock was Christ. (1 Cor 10:1–4 emphasis added)
All of Israel was baptized into Moses because Moses was as God to Israel; Moses was God to Israel, when the Hebrew is properly read. And Moses was God to Israel as the alpha male is god to a pack of wolves, with wolves being beasts of the field not knowing good and evil. Moses was God to Israel as Christ Jesus was God to His disciples, who followed Him as Israel followed Moses and as a pack of wolves follow its alpha male. … The division that separates fleshly men from the fleshly beasts of the field is men knowing good and evil, with Moses codifying what is good and what is evil for Israel so that Israel could be figuratively returned to the Garden of Eden and to when Adam, knowing good and evil, hid himself from the Lord.
When the Law is written on the heart of the person and placed in the mind [nephesh] under the Second Passover Covenant, the “heart” is not the physical heart that pumps blood, but the inner self of the person, circumcised through no longer being stubborn (Deut 10:16), not by any sort of an edged tool. The mind is now the spiritual equivalent to the fleshly body.
Physical circumcision when eight days old makes a male Israelite naked before the Lord while still too young to know good from evil; too young to know the Lord or to really believe the Lord. Hence, the eight day Israelite is psychologically as Adam was before he ate forbidden fruit. Whereas a wolf pup is bound by having the mind/nature of a wolf with its inherited instincts, a human infant is bound by having the mind of man with human instincts that inevitably cause man to think symbolically, thus enabling humankind to use complex language as well as to make art and jewelry; to make tactical war against other men. The mind of a man permits this physical creature to think in abstract thoughts, a trait apparently shared to some degree with the great apes with whom humanity shares most of its DNA.
A raven can solve problems such as how to retrieve a piece of meat suspended by a string from a bar. In a test of whether ravens can “think,” a raven was observed to land on the bar, reach over the bar and grab the string with its beak, pull the string up, stand on the string and reach over to get another purchase on the string, and another purchase until the piece of meat could be reached with the raven’s beak. All of the ravens in the control group had contact with human persons, and all solved the problem although some took substantially longer than others. Of wild ravens [no previous human contact] half solved the problem, and this half took longer than any raven in the control group. Apparently ravens “learned” from human interaction, with this learning permitting ravens to consider solutions to a problem rather than simply giving up.
Apparently, Neanderthals prior to contact with Homo sapiens could think abstractly and made both art and jewelry. And while dating of Neanderthal sites can be controversial, old European sites date to times prior to when scientific consensus has Homo sapiens entering Europe. Thus, to make a distinction between Neanderthals and Homo sapiens on the basis of mental capacity leaves the person on shaky ground—and leaves the Genesis “E” creation account with an inherent dating problem: how long ago was Adam created?
If Paul is correct in saying that the visible physical things of this world reveal and precede the invisible spiritual things of God (Rom 1:20; 1 Cor 15:46), then approximately six thousand years ago an event occurred that is outside of the domain of scientific investigation. Elohim [in the “E” creation account] breathed His breath into the nostrils of a man [Adam] made from adamah, the name “Adam” being derived from the Hebrew word for ground or dust. (Likewise, the name “Eve” seems to come from the Hebrew word for living.) And this man of mud became a breathing creature that had offered to him eternal or heavenly life through having been created outside the Garden of Eden then placed inside the Garden where the Tree of Life grew. The man Adam could have eaten from the Tree of Life at any time before he ate forbidden fruit, but he didn’t.
Assuming that Neanderthals are not descendants of Adam but early hominids that were biologically related to Homo sapiens with a near enough degree of kinship that Neanderthals could crossbreed with modern humans, what exactly happened when Elohim breathed His breath into the nostrils of Adam? A moment in history occurred that foreshadowed the human birth of a second or last Adam, the man Jesus of Nazareth … the creation of the first or natural Adam precedes and reveals the creation of the last or spiritual Adam as the left hand is the chiral image of the right hand, the first Adam represented by the left hand and the second Adam represented by the right hand. And what seems to have happened is that Adam received a soul, thereby giving to Adam the means to acquire indwelling eternal life without being consumed by this non-oxidizing fire that is the glory of God.
A lot of human persons were born, lived, and died between the first Adam and when Israel was chosen as the firstborn son of I AM. Even more physical Israelites lived and died between Moses and Christ Jesus, the last Adam …
Whatever happened in the creation of Adam happened again in its non-symmetrical mirror image in the creation of the last Adam. About this, we can be certain.
"Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."