In His Image - The Three Dimensions of God
This teaching and other teachings from Reverand Carson can be found at http://www.voiceofthetrumpet.org/apps/blog/
Spiritual understanding is not dependent upon well meaning, educated or informed people. It solely depends on the teaching of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Let the Word of God be clear that no one who remains in natural understanding can receive or apprehend the spiritual. It is pure foolishness to them, because it is spiritually discerned (1 Cor.2: 14). The natural man or woman cannot stake their mind around the image and character of God, but we can come to a greater understanding.
The reality and existence of the Trinity should be made clear to every child of God. With insight of their being pertaining to how they were created in God’s image, it helps unfold the deep transforming mysteries within. "Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ". (1 Thessalonians. 5:23)
When you and I look in the mirror we see one person. Not two or three, but one. And yet, we are a three-dimensional being made up of spirit, soul and body. When God made mankind in His image, he uniquely designed us to emanate His likeness and character (Genesis 1:26). Something to reflect is how He frequently reveals His image and pattern in three’s. The Tabernacle of Moses is an excellent example of our being as it is the Tabernacle of God (1 Cor.3: 16; 2 Pet.1: 13,14 kj). What God concealed in the Tabernacle of Moses would be revealed in a Tabernacle not made with hands (Heb. 9:11).
Let’s begin with the difference between the spirit and soul. It is crucial for us to learn how to tell the difference between our spirit and our soul, and to acknowledge that the two do exist. The first thing we must recognize is we are spirit beings with a soul, and we dwell in a physical body. Apostle Peter calls the physical body a tent (Numbers 16:22; Heb. 12:9; 2 Peter 1:13,14). In the original Greek New Testament the difference between the spirit and soul is extreme. The Spirit of God and also our spirit are defined as "pneuma". The word "pneumatic" originated from "pneuma", and means "air" or "breath". The Webster Dictionary defines the word "pneumatic" as something that is "moved by or worked through air pressure". The Spirit of God made mankind, and His breath has given life to him (Job 33:4). From the time of eternity past His Spirit has moved upon the heavens and earth with creative dunamis power. It is He who imparts life to the entire earth. His Spirit is breath to all livings beings of the earth. It is God’s Spirit that imparts His Divine image to mankind and constitutes the quickened results in each ones life.
The soul (mind, will and emotions) functions as a mediator between the flesh and spirit. Our spirit operates as a protective womb for the presence and activities of the Spirit of God who abides within us. It is through our human spirit that we are able to discern and reveal what is and what is not of the Lord. Our soul only recognizes what it already knows. This is why we must “walk” in the spirit, not the soul (Galatians 5:16; 3 John 2). "God is a Spirit (pheuma); and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24) The soul (Psu-kay - in the Greek) is where "psyche" comes from, which consists of the mind (intellect), will and emotions. The root word for Psychiatrist is "psyche." A psychiatrist is a doctor to the wounded soul. The soul is the function of the rational and intellectual. God is above and beyond the most brilliant scholar. Those who live from their soul will never comprehend the wind of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). This is why so many within the Body of Christ are unable to discern God, because they generally live from the rational alone. What they think to be of the Spirit is commonly the soul, and what they think to be of the soul is often times the Spirit.
The function of the soul is to choose between the things of the spirit and of the flesh (the body). The spirit reveals truth, but it is up to the soul (our will) to allow our spirit (the real man) to manifest. There are some Christians who talk about crucifying the soul; however that’s not possible, nor is it beneficial to ponder. The soul was created to choose. It has power to opt either prosperity of Spirit and life, or the destitution of flesh and demise (3 John 2). The responsibility of the soul is to submit. When we allow Holy Spirit to bring our will, intellect and emotions to the Way, the Truth, and the Life of Christ we are refreshed and quickened before Father.
BRAIN WASHED FOR HIS GLORY
Our intellect must be renewed by the Word of God daily so that we can better understand what Holy Spirit is saying (Romans 12:2). Some people would adversely call this brain washing, but that is exactly what the spirit of God desires for us. There is a spiritual brain washing that must take effect in order for our whole being and all things in our life to spiritually prosper (Ephesians 5:26; 3 John 2). "For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil". (Heb. 5:12-14)
Discernment is something we should not take for granted. Those who exercise this valuable gift will grow in spiritual strength. It develops by practice and it only comes as we take in the WHOLE counsel of God through His Word. If we only drink the milk of the Word we will not be able to discern fully. In fact, did you know that too much milk could cause brittle bones? And so it is with the spiritual. Too much spiritual milk has caused many Christians to remain stagnant, frail and tenuous spiritually. There is both milk and solid spiritual food. We don’t forsake the milk of the Word, yet we must move beyond so that we mature as sons of God. (1 Pet.2: 2; Heb.5: 12,13; Rom.8: 14)
In 1 Cor. 15:44-46, apostle Paul points out that we are no longer of the first Adam, but now of the last Adam (Jesus). There is a natural body (soulish), and there is a spiritual body. There is the receiving of the resurrection life that God is looking for in His people. Oh, how He longs for us to know who we are and Whose we are!
My prayer for each of you is to eat and digest God’s Word: "Your words were found and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts". (Jer.15: 16)
Let’s take a few moments to look at the characteristic and purpose of God for mankind as we flow in oneness with Him:
THE TRINITY (oneness) OF GOD:
“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26)
“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30).
“Go therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. (Matthew 28:19)
“The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14:26)
“And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1: 1-18)
“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” (1 John 5:7-8)
“For in him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” (Colossians 2:9)
“For there are three who bear witness in heaven; the Father, the Word (Son), and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one…” (1 John 5:7; Gospel of John 1:1-18)
... Something else for us to ponder. Father God is Spirit, Jesus Christ is the very soul of the Father, and Holy Spirit is the manifest presence of both. Whenever we see the physical manifest presence, the power of God, the visible and physical presence, these are the acts of Holy Spirit. Later on in this study I will address the manifestation of our physical body and how it is the direct result of our soul in or out of Divine order.
THE ONENESS OF MAN IN THE LIKENESS OF GOD:
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18-23)
“And the two shall become one flesh; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh.” (Matthew 10:8)
“… Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
“What? Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6:19)
“… For you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk among (in) them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”. (2 Corinthians 6:16-18)
“And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
WE ARE HIS BODY!
Our body and soul are here on this earth, but through the resurrection power of the Holy Spirit, our spirit has been brought into direct fellowship with Christ in heaven (Eph.1: 20-23; 2:6,10). From the heart and passion of God, the entire Body of Christ was recreated after Jesus was crucified, buried, and resurrected - we ARE the Body of Christ!
"And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (all who receive and believe Him." (Eph.1: 22,23)
“… As He is, so are we in this world. “1 John 4:17
In Genesis 1:26-27, we see that God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them and called them both Adam (Genesis 5:2 KJ).
God is in unity with Himself. He is not divided, nor prejudice against Himself. He made the man (singular) and then referred to man as “them” (plural).
“This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman, because she was taken out of man. (Genesis 2:21,22)
DIVINE PRINCIPLES AND STRUCTURE
The female nature was already in existence within Adam. Both male and female reflect God’s character. Man is mentioned singular and plural, just as God is also mentioned both singular and plural. Before I go on, let me make clear that God is God, and out of Him both male and female came. From Him we have our essence, and from Him we are together complete. Together we reflect His nature and glory. This is why lone strangers and humanistic mindsets can never come into their full purpose, because they are incomplete. We need one another, and we need to be in His Divine principles and structure! It’s the whole counsel of God, not just one sentence or two taken out of context.
TURN WITH ME TO EPH.3:4:3-6 "...endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all". (Eph.4:3-6)
So there is "all" in the Body of Christ, and there is "three" within the Trinity. The "all" must work together as one, just as the "Trinity" also works together as one. Since the Trinity has no problem with this concept, and has successfully flowed in this "unity" from eternity past, we must know and understand God's desire for His people to flow in this image as well.
The Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) is characteristically different, but yet there is unity between them as they work as one. One does not work against the other, for a house that is divided shall surely fall (Luke 11:17). There is a unity that we cannot form outside the Spirit of God. It is made for us in Christ. We can only live in it by the Holy Spirit, who is "the bond of peace".
Throughout Scripture we will see various passages that bring bewilderment to us; however if we read through the eye of the Spirit the mystery is unlocked and understanding is enlightened (Ephesians 1:18).
“And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that seeing they may see and not perceive, and hearing they may hear and not understand… (Mark: 11,12)