THE CREATION OF MAN
Long, long ago, after God had completed the creation of the heavens, the earth and the endless number of celestial angels, He created Adam, the first human being. "The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life: and the man became a living being." [Gen. 2:7] (CCC. # 362*)
Notes: The Holy Bible translated from the latin Vulgate states, "And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul." The words "living being" are synonym of the word "soul."
* All future references from the Catechism of the Catholic Church shall be shown as (CCC. # ??).
What does it mean that God formed man from the dust of the ground, breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being?
It means that when God created man, in the Divine foreknowledge of things to come, God blessed man with three inseparable essences that form the fullness of the human being. God blessed man with a soul of the "unknown beyond", with a spirit of the spiritual world and with a physical body of the physical world. These essences, "in man, are not united natures, but rather their union forms a single nature." (C.C.C. # 365)
Diagram 1: The Creation of Man.
Note: The three circles in Diagram 1 represent the three essences of man's being that were created by God. This diagram and similar diagrams will be used throughout this book.
The first question that may come to mind is, "Where does it say in the Holy Bible that man has a soul, a spirit and a body?" Among many other places, one reference is found in Saint Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians. "May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." [1 Thess. 5:23]
THE HUMAN SOUL
For the purpose of this book, the definition of the human soul is to be understood according to the meaning that follows. While there may be other good definitions of the human soul, the defining of the soul as follows is necessary for the readers to fully appreciate this work.
What is the human soul of man? The soul is the intellectual self-consciousness of the individual. It is the "I" or the "me" as some refer to it. It is the self-awareness of one's own existence.
The soul is immortal. It does not perish when it separates from the body at physical death, and it will be reunited with the body at the final Resurrection. (C.C.C. # 366)
The soul cannot be seen because it is formless. That is why it is said that the soul is from the "unknown beyond." The human mind does not possess the capability of perceiving the soul as a formless creation. As a thought cannot be seen by the naked eye, the soul cannot be seen.
When God created the soul, His intent was for it to enjoy eternal life in His Kingdom. To have "eternal life" means to eternally share in the beatific vision of the saints in Heaven by coming to the knowledge of God.
"And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." [Jn. 17:3]
For the formless soul to make itself known in a visible way, either in the physical or spiritual worlds, it needs a body. As the souls of the heavenly angels manifest themselves through their spiritual bodies (angelic forms), the human souls manifest themselves through their physical bodies.
When speaking to someone, you are actually addressing the person's soul. When a person is speaking to you, that person is addressing your soul. Because the soul is formless, the human tendency is to generally accept that one is speaking to the physical body of the other person. In reality, this is not true because the body is merely a physical form in itself that has no intellect. But in practice, it is acceptable.
As can be understood from the little that has been said and is known about the soul, it is very complex and mysterious. But yet, its existence cannot be denied. The soul is clearly made known through its body that is either physical (human) or spiritual (angel).
THE HUMAN SPIRIT
For the purpose of this book, the definition of the human spirit is to be understood according to the Biblical meaning that follows. While there may be other good definitions of the human spirit, the defining of the human spirit as follows is necessary for the readers to fully appreciate this work.
What is a spirit? Most people believe that the soul and the spirit are one and the same! The reason that they have this belief is not difficult to figure out. They obtained their knowledge from common dictionaries that define the soul and the spirit as being the same, the words being interchangeable. Did you know that according to the teachings of the Holy Bible, the soul and the spirit are not the same? This will be explained as we continue through this chapter.
Another word for a "spirit" is a "ghost." A ghost or a spirit is the spiritual body of a being that lives in the spiritual world.
Sometimes an individual may be blessed with the ability to see a ghost while others who are present may not see it. At other times, everyone is priviledged with the ability to see the ghost that is present.
As we continue through this chapter, all references will be made to the word "spirit" rather than the word "ghost." At the same time, it should be remembered that both are the same. It is important that you keep this knowledge in your mind.
When someone claims to have had a vision that was not seen by others who were present, either of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, of saints or of angels, they experienced the vision of a spiritual form or of a spirit.
When someone has a vision of an angel, he is not seeing the soul of the angel, but rather the spiritual form of the angel. He is seeing a spirit. It is a spirit because it came from and lives in the spiritual world, not belonging to the physical world.
During visions, the Divine soul of Jesus or the souls of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the angels manifest themselves in a visible way by allowing visionaries to see them in their spiritual forms. Through this manifestation, visionaries can identify who is speaking by seeing the form of those who are appearing to them.
Because there are two kinds of spirits, of man and angel, when reference is made to the spirit of man, it shall be referred to as the "human spirit." Before going too far, may I assure you that the term "human spirit" is very biblical. It is found different places in the Holy Bible. The following passages are examples:
"The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord, searching every inmost part." [Prov. 20:27]
"Who knows whether the human spirit goes upward and the spirit of animals goes downward to the earth?" [Ecc. 3:21]
"Thus says the Lord, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the - human spirit - within." [Zech. 12:1]
"For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within?" [1 Cor. 2:11]
The next question may be, "Why did God bless man with a human spirit?" There are two reasons that are known as to the Divine Wisdom of God that called for the creation of the human spirit within man.
First of all, the human spirit gives life to the body. This truth is found in the Letter of James,
"A body without the spirit is dead." [Jas. 2:26]
"It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless." [Jn.6:63]
Secondly, knowing in advance that sin would enter into the world, God blessed man with a human spirit to secure the Divine Plan of Redemption. Through the newly created human spirit during the Sacrament of Baptism, the soul obtains its assurance of eternal life in the Kingdom of God. This will be explained in detail as we proceed.
To ensure your peace of mind on this subject, we will now review a few Bible passages that teach the truth that man does enjoy a human spirit.
1) When Jesus died... "Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.' Having said this, he breathed his last." [Lk. 23:46] (CCC. # 730, 2605) This Bible passage tells us that when the human spirit leaves the physical body, the body dies. (Remember James 2:26 above.)
2) When St. Stephen was stoned... "While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.'" [Acts. 7:59]
(Note: In both of the above passages, neither Jesus, nor Stephen, referred to their souls but rather to their spirits. Why is this? When someone refers to another person, although the limited capability of the mind is to visualize the physical body, the reference always includes the soul of the person. Equally, when Jesus commended His Spirit into the hands of God the Father and when St. Stephen gave up his spirit to the Lord Jesus, their spirits included their souls that were manifesting themselves in their spiritual bodies, their human spirits.
Many readers of the Holy Bible get confused when reading about the "soul" and the "human spirit." They cannot tell the difference between a "soul" and a "spirit." Sometimes the Holy Bible is very clear when it speaks of the soul, specifically referring to the word "soul." Other times it refers to the word "spirit" to mean only the "spiritual body." At other times it includes both "the soul and its spiritual body" in the usage of the word "spirit." To complicate the matter, the word "spirit" has many other meanings that do not refer to either the human soul, the human spirit or to an angelic spirit.)
3) When Jesus appeared to the disciples, He said, "Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have." [Lk. 24:39] (CCC. # 644-5) This Bible passage teaches us that a human spirit, or a ghost, does not have a physical body. It also tells us that in the days of Jesus, the disciples also believed in spirits as we believe in them today. Therefore, the usage of the word "spirit" today has the same meaning as the words "spirit" or "ghost" had two thousand years ago.
4) When the Blessed Virgin Mary recited the Magnificat, she said, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour..." [Lk. 1:46-7] It is apparent from this passage that the Blessed Virgin Mary perceived the difference between the soul and the human spirit. When it is said that the soul magnifies the Lord, this represents the spoken words of praise and glory that the intellect of the soul elevates towards the Lord. When it is said that the human spirit rejoices in God, this represents the human spirit's joy of being present before the Lord God. In other words, the human spirit of the Blessed Virgin Mary rejoiced while in the presence of the Lord God, her soul, speaking words of praise and glory to God the Father. Remember what was said earlier, the soul is the intellect of the person while the spirit is the spiritual form.
5) Jesus said, "What is born of flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit." [Jn. 3:6] This Bible passage is in reference to those who must be born of water and Spirit in order to qualify to enter the Kingdom of God. [Jn. 3:5] (CCC. # 720, 1215, 1225, 1238, 1257, 1262)
Through the Holy Catholic Church Sacrament of Baptism, by the grace of God the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit in the Most Holy Name of Jesus, you are truly born again through Christ. Your first human spirit died and was buried. [Rom. 6:4-6; Col. 2:12] (CCC. # 537, 628) You rised with a newly created human spirit of the seed of God, free of all traces of the original sin, being assured eternal life through the new human spirit. [1 Jn. 3:9, 5:18] (CCC. # 2852) As Saint Paul said in the Letter to the Galatians, "The new creation is everything!" [Gal. 6:15] (CCC. # 1214) "So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!" [2 Cor. 5:17] (CCC. # 1265, 1999)
6) Having been born again through the birth of a newly created human spirit that is free of the origin sin and personal sins committed prior to receiving the Sacrament of Baptism, Catholics are called to walk in the Spirit of Christ. Through their new birth, Catholics have been freed from the death that awaits those who are not baptized. Their souls have received the first installment in their adoption as children of God.
The Council of Trent affirms that Adam's disobedience not only transfused (physical) death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but also sin which is the death of the soul. Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin. (C.C.C. # 403; Council of Trent: DS 1514)
"Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul". [Council of Trent: DS 1512] Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.[Council of Trent: DS 1514]" (C.C.C. # 403)
"2. If any one asserts, that the prevarication of Adam injured himself alone, and not his posterity; and that the holiness and justice, received of God, which he lost, he lost for himself alone, and not for us also; or that he, being defiled by the sin of disobedience, has only transfused death, and pains of the body, into the whole human race, but not sin also, which is the death of the soul; let him be anathema: -- whereas he contradicts the apostle who says; By one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned. (Council of Trent; The Fifth Session; Celebrated on the seventeenth day of the month of June, in the year 1546.)
7) In fulfillment of the promise of Jesus, as new creations, the human spirits are called to worship God in spirit and in truth. "But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." [Jn. 4:23-4] To worship God in spirit, the believer must first receive the new human spirit through the Catholic Church Sacrament of Baptism so he can walk in the truth. Such is true worship in spirit and in truth.
Saint Paul worshipped God in spirit and truth by serving Him with his human spirit. "For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers." [Rom 1:9]
8) God is the Father of the new human spirits that He creates during the Sacrament of Baptism. He is the Father of the chosen children who have been called to inherit eternal life. "Moreover, we had human parents to discipline us, and we respected them. Should we not be even more willing to be subject to the Father of spirits and live?" [Heb. 12:9] In view of the fact that everyone has a (human) spirit, it cannot be denied that God is the Father of the human spirits.
9) What kind of human spirit did you receive at your new birth? "For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline." [2 Tim. 1:7] Walking in the human spirit, the souls are called to live by the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Note: The Catechism of the Catholic Church interprets the "soul" as "the spiritual principle" in man. (CCC. # 363) Accordingly, when the Catholic Church refers to the word "soul", such reference includes the "soul" and "spirit" of man, both being spiritual, as is defined in this book. This is supported by CCC # 365 where it states "ie., it is because of its spiritual soul that the body made of matter becomes a living, human body; spirit and matter, in man..." In other words, the Church affirms that for the physical body of man to become a living being, it must enjoy both, a soul and a spirit.
THE PHYSICAL BODY
At first glance, it would appear that there is not much to be said about man's physical body since anyone can claim to be an expert in that knowledge.
The physical essence of the physical body is but one of three inseparable parts of the whole human being. The physical body, visible to the eye, receives its life when it receives from God its invisible human spirit of a spiritual essence. When the human spirit departs from the physical body, the physical body literally dies. [Jas. 2:26]
What one needs to understand is how the formless soul makes its presence known through the physical body. This knowledge reveals the infinite Divine Wisdom of God who foresaw the fall of man and planned a means of redeeming mankind without having to destroy the entire physical world to start all over again. This knowledge also reveals the battle that is presently taking place in the spiritual world that coexists with the physical world.
When God created man, He blessed him with a mind and a brain. For the soul to manifest itself to others in the physical world, it needs to manifest itself through the mind of its physical body. The mind, also formless in essence, not being the same as the human brain, is nested in the brain of the physical body. Therefore, it must be said that while man has a physical body, a spirit and a soul, he requires a mind and a brain in order for his soul to successfully manifest itself in the physical world.
In the following quotes, St. Thomas Aquinas affirms that the soul needs a form, physical or spiritual, to manifest itself.
"In virtue of its specific nature, the intellectual soul is meant to be united to some body as the latter's form; the body even enters into the definition of the soul. For this reason, souls are numerically differentiated according to the relation they have to different bodies, which is not the case with separate substances."
"In virtue of its specific nature, the intellectual soul does not possess the body as a part of itself, but has only an aptitude for union with the body. Therefore it is numerically differentiated by its capacity for union with different bodies. And this remains the case with souls even after their bodies have been destroyed: they retain a capacity for union with different bodies even when they are not actually united to their respective bodies."
(Extracted from: "The first part of 'LIGHT OF FAITH: THE COMPENDIUM OF THEOLOGY' by St. Thomas Aquinas"; # 85. Unity of the possible intellect.)
It is through the formless mind that an individual is able to perceive that he has life in himself.
When a person suffers a physical injury that results in brain damage, while the soul is still present, it is deprived of the ability to manifest itself through the mind of its physical body. Without the effective function of the mind, the individual is unable to perceive his self-existence.
To have a better understanding of the function of the mind and the brain, let us consider the creation of angels who are spiritual beings. As the soul of man requires a mind and a physical brain to manifest itself in its physical body, the soul of an angel also requires a mind and a (spiritual) brain to manifest itself in its angelic spiritual body. As a body without a soul would be unable to manifest itself physically, nor have any self-awareness of its own existence, the spiritual body of an angel would also be deprived of self-awareness of its existence if it was deprived of a soul. The spiritual body of the angel would simply be a spiritual form or an empty shell. This would be similar to someone who has suffered brain damage and who is unable to perceive that he has life in himself.
Diagram 2: The soul manifests itself through the mind of the body.
Note: As is seen in Diagram 2, the soul, spirit and body coexist as one. For the soul to manifest itself in the physical body, it needs the mind of the physical body.
MAN IS DOUBLE-MINDED
The Holy Bible teaches us that man is double-minded.
"For the doubter, being double-minded and unstable in every way, must not expect to receive anything from the Lord." [Jas. 1:8](CCC. # 2737) "Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded." [Jas. 4:8] "A body without the spirit is dead." [Jas. 2:26]
From the words that are stated in these two Bible passages, it appears to say that man literally has two minds! Is this possible? Yes, it is and it is supported by other Bible passages.
From the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans, we learn that the Holy Spirit bears witness with our human spirit that we are children of God.
"It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God ..." [Rom. 8:16]
Like the angels who are spiritual in essence, for the soul of man to be able to bear witness through its human spirit that is also spiritual in essence, the human spirit of the soul must be a living being that has life in itself and it must enjoy a spiritual mind and brain of its own as part of its spiritual creation.
In the First Letter to the Corinthians, it states,
"For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God's except the Spirit of God." [1 Cor. 2:11-2] (CCC. # 152, 687)
This Bible passage reveals to us that the human soul reasons through its spiritual mind that is rooted in the spiritual brain of its human spirit. Therefore, the human spirit, having a mind of its own apart from the physical body, must also have life in itself as the physical body has life in itself.
There are many other Bible passages that refer to man's minds of the physical and the spiritual bodies. Saint Paul said,
"For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit." [Rom. 8:5]
In this Bible passage, Saint Paul was referring to those who walk their living faith with the spiritual mind of their human spirits versus those who walk in the darkness with the worldly mind of their physical bodies.
Regarding the physical and worldly mind versus the spiritual mind, the Bible teaches us to:
"Be renewed in the spirit of your minds." [Eph. 4:23] It speak of "fleshly minds" [Col. 2:18], "men of corrupt minds" [1 Tim. 6:5; 2 Tim. 3:8], "spirit of sound mind" [1 Tim. 1:7] and defiled minds. [Titus 1:15](CCC. #2518)
There are even references to God putting His Divine laws into the mind of man. [Heb. 8:10, 10:16](CCC. # 1965) God writes His laws in the mind of the newly created spirits at the time of their new birth that takes place during the Sacrament of Baptism to ensure that His children will know His laws and obey them.
These passages and many other testify to the inner battle that is taking place within the human being, between the mind of the physical world and the spiritual mind of the human spirit that was newly created by God during the Sacrament of Baptism. In Saint Paul's own words, experiencing this battle, he said,
"I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate." [Rom. 7:15] "For I do not do what I do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do." [Rom 7:19]
One might consider saying, "Well, make up your mind!" But it is not that easy. The physical mind is influenced by the human essence and the physical laws of the world while the spiritual mind of the newly created human spirit during the Sacrament of Baptism, because of its spiritual and holy essence, is drawn towards God and the spiritual laws. The two minds oppose one another! As such, they will never be in harmony. As long as man dwells within his physical body, he will never enjoy the harmony of his two minds. The soul will never be perfectly in harmony with God until it is free of its physical body, mind and essence. The battle is ongoing, everyone being required to persevere until the end.
"Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." [Mt. 26:41; Mk. 14:38] (CCC. # 2849)
Yes, indeed, deep inside, the soul wants to love, serve and obey God in complete submission by manifesting its holy ways through the mind of its newly created human spirit. But the human essence and its many learned worldly habits draw the physical mind towards the worldly ways, too often the soul permitting the worldly ways to conquer by allowing the physical mind to gain control over the entire human being.
Diagram 3: Man is double-minded.
Note: As seen in the Diagram above, man is double-minded. The soul manifests itself through two minds, the physical mind and the spiritual mind, both being in conflict with each other.
The Diagram shows how the soul is influenced by both, the physical and the spiritual bodies.
At this time, there is one point that should be made. For those who do not accept that the soul and the human spirit are two inseparable essences of the human being, how can they explain the following passage in the Letter to the Hebrews? This passage reveals the power of the Word of God.
"Indeed, the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing until it divides soul and spirit..." [Heb. 4:12]
Now, if the soul of man and his human spirit were both the same, why would there be a necessity for the Word (Jesus) of God to divide the soul from the human spirit? Surely, no one can accept this Bible passage unless they accept as the truth that the soul and the spirit are two inseparable essences of the human being.
To understand this passage, it is necessary to review the miracle of the new birth that takes place during the Sacrament of Baptism in the Most Holy Catholic Church. When the priest baptises a person, God separates the soul from its original human spirit without allowing the physical body to die. Remember what was said earlier, a physical body without a human spirit is dead. During this miracle of being born again, God the Father blesses His newly adopted child with a newly created human spirit of the Godly seed. This is achieved through Jesus, the Word of God that is living and active, sharper than any two edged sword. There is nothing in this world that any human being can do to separate the soul of a person from his human spirit. Only God can achieve this miraculous wonder!
THE MOMENT OF CONCEPTION
Based on what has been learned until now, contrary to the belief of those who support abortions, human life begins at the moment of conception!
When the human spirit leaves its physical body, the body dies. This is a Bible truth that was proven earlier! Therefore, for the embryo or the fetus to have life in itself, it requires its own human spirit.
Some may claim that the embryo or the fetus receives its life support from the human spirit of the mother, not requiring a life giving human spirit of its own at this phase of life. If this was the case, how do they explain the sudden death of the embryo or the fetus while the human spirit of the mother is still alive? If the human spirit of the mother maintains the life of the embryo or the fetus, the embryo or the fetus would not die as long as the mother lives and her human spirit continues to coexist within her.
And how do they explain the continued growth of the unborn child within a mother who died and her body was kept functioning by the machinery of modern technology until such time as the unborn child was delivered? At the physical death of the mother, her human spirit departed from her physical body. If this is the same human spirit that gives life to the embryo or the fetus, surely, the embryo or the fetus would have died at the same moment as the mother died. Obviously, it is not the human spirit of the mother that gives life to the embryo or the fetus, but the real presence of the human spirit of the unborn that is growing within the womb of the mother.
The human spirit gives life to the physical body. A human spirit without a soul is a dead spirit. It has no self-awareness and cannot give life to the physical body, being a dead spiritual form. Therefore, for the human spirit to have life in itself, it requires a living soul. From this progressive presentation, it is concluded through sound and logical means that the child to be born at a later time receives its soul, spirit and body at the moment of conception and no later.
This truth is further supported by the teachings of the Holy Bible. At the moment when the Holy Spirit came upon the Blessed Virgin Mary [Lk. 1:35], conception happened. The Holy Spirit, "the Spirit of Jesus", [Phil. 1:19] was present within the Blessed Virgin Mary.
THE SEVEN PHASES OF MAN'S CREATION
What follows is the seven steps to God's progressive Divine Plan for man to become in His image. In each step, a Diagram will be presented to reflect the condition of the soul, the human spirit and the physical body of man. Each step will be explained. It would be beneficial to compare the Diagrams to each other.
When God created Adam, He gave him a body, a spirit and a soul, all three being in perfect harmony with each other.
"The Lord God formed man from dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being." [Gen. 2:7; NRSV]
"And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a - living soul -." [Gen. 2:7; Latin Vulgate]
During the first phase of the progressive creation of man in the image and likeness of God, Adam's body, spirit and soul were in perfect harmony with each other. Adam was also of one mind and in harmony with God. The following Bible passages support that Adam and Eve were in harmony with God in the Garden of Eden, enjoying God's Divine Presence.
"God brought all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air to Adam to see what he would name them; and whatever Adam called each living creature, that was the name." [Gen. 2:19] "Then Adam and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as He was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden." [Gen. 3:9]
These passages demonstrate that the Divine Presence of God was physically present in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. They heard the Lord walking. Had the presence of the Lord God been spiritual, Adam and Eve could not have heard Him walking.
Diagram 4: Man at creation.
Note: As is seen in Diagram 4, the inseparable essences of the human being's creation, the body, spirit and soul, are white to symbolize their righteousness in God. The whole creation of man is of one mind, in perfect harmony with God.
During the second phase of God's progressive Divine Plan of creation of man, when and after Adam sinned, all three parts of his human being, his body, his spirit and his soul that previously enjoyed perfect harmony with God were instantly transformed. His whole being was now in agreement with his sinful inclination that opposed God's ways. (See Diagram 5 below.)
Because of his disobedience, Adam was cursed by God.
"By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken, you are dust, and to dust you shall return." [Gen. 3:19]
As defined by the Council of Trent in 1546, Adam's disobedience brought the curse of death upon his entire being, his body, spirit and soul. Adam and his wife, including all their descendants, were condemned to experience physical and spiritual death.
When Adam disobeyed God, he lost the harmony and Divine Presence that he previously enjoyed with God. He corrupted his body, his spirit and his soul. All three were now condemned to experience death. Not only did Adam lose his harmony with God, but he also lost the harmony within himself. The minds of his physical body and of his human spirit began to conflict with one other. His human spirit of the spiritual world that previously knew the holy ways of God was now opposing his physical body which was of the physical world. Adam became a double-minded person. Now you know how the history of the double-minded person had its beginning!
Reviewing the following two Bible passages, we see a major difference between the creation of Adam and the birth of his son Seth.
"So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." [Gen. 1:27]
"When Adam had lived one hundred thirty years, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his own image; and named him Seth." [Gen.5:3]
Notice that before sin entered the world, Adam was created in the image of God, therefore being in harmony with God. After sin entered the world, the son of Adam was born in the image of Adam, not in the image of God. Therefore, he did not have harmony with God but rather with the worldly ways of man. All those who were born afterwards of the seed of Adam, including ourselves, are born of the sinful nature. Nobody is perfect anymore. Goodness cannot be born from sin. Sin produces more sin.
Diagram 5: The dying body, spirit and soul.
Note: Looking at Diagram 5, all three, the body, spirit and soul of man are now coloured dark grey. This represents that they have all inherited the sinful nature and they will eventually experience physical or spiritual death. Being born in the sinful nature, the human being cannot enter the Kingdom of God.
Based on the teachings of the Bible, the soul of those who are not baptized shall not enter the Kingdom of God. Such is the spiritual death of the soul, being eternally deprived of the Divine Presence of God. Jesus said,
"Very truly, I tell you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit." [Jn. 3:5-6]
To receive the new human spirit from the Spirit of God, one must be baptized. Unless one is baptized and receives the new human spirit as will be shown later in this chapter, his soul shall experience spiritual death, being denied the eternal joy and peace in the Kingdom of God. This is supported by the following Bible passages:
(Note: The soul and the spirit are not interchangeable words. If one was to receive a new soul from the Spirit of God during the Sacrament of Baptism, the person would not be that person anymore. Having a new soul, he would have a new self-consciousness and have no recollection of his former life in the previous soul. But this is not the case. Through the Sacrament of Baptism, one receives a new spirit, maintaining his previous soul.)
"Who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water. And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you - not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ." [1 Pet. 3:21]
"The soul that sinneth, it shall die." [Ezek. 18:20; Latin Vulgate]
"My brothers and sisters, if any one among you wanders from the truth and is brought back by another, you should know that whoever brings back a sinner from wandering will save the sinner's soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins." [Jas. 5:19-20](CCC. # 1434)
"The Lord will destroy, both soul and body, and it will be as when an invalid wastes away." [Is. 10:18]
The aforementioned passages are very clear, the soul and the body shall be destroyed, experiencing physical and spiritual death.
At this stage, we review the birth of Jesus. The body, Spirit and Soul of Jesus were in perfect harmony with each other.
This phase is the preparation stage at which time God will begin to reclaim the souls that Satan had taken away from Him when he encouraged Adam to disobey. God never intended to abandon His creations. (CCC. # 410) God sent His only beloved Son Jesus Christ to die for the sins of everyone.
"For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly." [Rom. 5:6]
"But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." [Rom. 5:8](CCC. # 604)
Showing His abounding Divine love, Christ died for us who are sinners, ungodly people. He knew what we were like and He still died for us.
Christ knew that we were ungodly, our old inherited inclinatin seeking to do everything that goes against His Divine goodness> Yet to save us, He died for us. The body, Divine Spirit and Soul of Jesus were in perfect harmony, within Himself and with God. The Father and Jesus were One. [Jn. 10:30](CCC. # 590) Jesus was perfect, "having committed no sin and no deceit was found in his mouth." [1 Peter 2:22] He was full of the Holy Spirit. [Lk. 4:1] He was of the seed of God, not of Adam. "Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God... but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness." [Phil. 2:6-7] He did not have to die for us, but He chose to do so, becoming obedient to the point of death - even death on a cross. [Phil. 2:8](CCC. # 908)
Jesus paid the price for our sins so we could receive life in His eternal Presence, that being God's gift that Adam had lost through sin. "Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us..." [Gal. 3:13](CCC. #580) As an act of love, Jesus died for each and everyone of us. "We know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. [Rom. 6:6] We are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. [Rom. 5:1] He provided us with the opportunity to become adopted sons of God. (CCC. # 1265) [Gal. 4:5-7] "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." [Jn. 15:13](CCC. # 609, 614)
Diagram 6: The body, Spirit and Soul of Jesus.
Note: In Diagram 6, we see that the body, Spirit and Soul of Jesus are pure white, being in perfect harmony. They have no trace of sin because Jesus was sinless in nature. He was born of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
In the fourth stage of God's Divine Plan, the body, Spirit and Soul of Jesus enjoy the glorified harmony. Jesus died, was buried, was resurrected and glorified by the Heavenly Father. The prayer of Jesus was answered,
"So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed." [Jn. 17:5]
"Jesus is the reflection of God's glory and the exact imprint of God's very being, and he sustains all things by his powerful word. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high." [Heb. 1:3](CCC. # 241, 2502)
Consider the glory that awaits those who persevere to the end.
"So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power." [1 Cor. 15:43]
God planned for us to become in the image of Jesus Who was the first of many to follow. "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." [1 Col. 1:15] (CCC. # 241, 299, 381, 1701) Jesus is the image of God. That is the glory that awaits those who persevere in their living faith.
Jesus "is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything" [Col. 1:18] "Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords." [1 Tim. 6:15]
Diagram 7: Jesus glorified.
Note: In Diagram 7, we see that the fullness of Jesus is glorified.
In the fifth phase, the fulfilment of God's promises that are found in the Old Testament begin to unravel.
"I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. A new heart (heart=mind) I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances." [Ezek. 36:25-7] (CCC. # 1287)
Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." [Jn. 14:6](CCC. # 459, 1698) He also said, "Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born of water (baptism) and Spirit." [Jn. 3:5] (CCC. # 720, 1215, 1225, 1238, 1257, 1262) Through faith and Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism, we are born again. We receive our righteousness in the eyes of God. Our new birth is not a physical birth. It is a spiritual birth, the birth of a new human spirit of the seed of God. This gift is our doorway to eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
Note: For a greater spiritual understanding and knowledge of the new birth of the human spirit, please read the Bible course text on this website that is called "Baptism in the Catholic Church"
At this stage of the progressive Divine Plan of God, we are not instantly transformed. Rather, we begin to be transformed in the likeness of Christ, to become a child of God. Rebirth through the power of the Holy Spirit makes us a child of God, of His seed and family.
"You have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of God." [1 Peter 1:23]
Over and above receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit, we received a new sinless human spirit and a spiritual mind of the seed of God.
"Thus God has given us, through these things, his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of lust, and may become participants of the divine nature." [2 Peter 1:4](CCC. # 460, 1129, 1265, 1692, 1721, 1812)
Through our new Divine nature, we are equipped to qualify in the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven as a child of God through the perseverance of our faith.
As explained earlier, because of sin, the body, spirit and soul of man are called to experience physical and spiritual death. For the soul to overcome its spiritual death, its eternal condemnation, it needs a new human spirit that is free from the stain of sin. That is achieved through the Church Sacrament of Baptism. Death awaits those who are not baptized. Without God's gift of a new human spirit through the Sacrament of Baptism, the soul is eternally condemned.
At this point, the importance of Christian living should be mentioned. For it is through Divine righteousness that the soul receives its salvation. By living its faith in Christ, the soul's righteousness will be accredited to it through the Blood of Christ when physical death occurs. Baptism only erases the traces of the original sin and the sins that were committed before receiving the Sacrament.
"Jesus did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed." [Rom. 3:25](CCC. # 433)
The soul that continues to live an immoral life in its physical body after having received the Sacrament of Baptism and the gift of the new human spirit of the godly seed will be severely punished. Remember the Parable of the Talents.
"For to all those who have (spiritual work), more will be given (heavenly reward); but from those who have nothing (sinful life), even what they have (new human spirit) will be taken away." [Mt. 25:29]
"For to those who have, more will be given; and from those who do not have, even what they seem to have will be taken away." [Lk. 8:18]
Some falsely believe that because they have been baptized and have received the new human spirit of the godly seed, that they are now free to sin because God's gift is their assurance of eternal life in the Heavenly Kingdom. Regarding this, it may - seem - to some that they are saved, but they will lose everything if they do not live their living faith by allowing the Holy Spirit to sanctify them by the grace of God.
To maintain one's righteousness, it is necessary to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on an ongoing basis in order to be in a state of grace. Once in a state of grace, it is also necessary to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, the Bread of Life that assures us our eternal life in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life." [Jn. 6:35, 48] This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.... Whoever eats of this bread will live forever." [Jn. 6:50-1] (CCC. # 728, 1355, 1406, 2837)
Diagram 8: Faith in Jesus and the Sacrament of Baptism.
Note: In Diagram 7, we see that although the physical body remains corrupt, is sinful in nature and faces death, the human spirit of the first birth is gone. It died and was buried with Christ. A new human spirit of God's seed was created and was raised with Christ. Those who are baptised now enjoy the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They also have a new spiritual mind that is inclined towards God. The soul now has the power through Jesus to overcome the sinful nature of the physical body.
Those who have not been baptised are called to experience eternal damnation. When their physical bodies will experience physical death, their souls and spirits experiencing spiritual death. Not having received the seed of God, the newly created human spirit born of water and Spirit, they will be denied admission to the Kingdom of God for having rejected the grace of the Lord.
Diagram 9: The death of the unbaptized.
Note: In Diagram 9, when the unbaptized person experiences physical death, his soul and human spirit experience spiritual death, which is eternal condemnation. "The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude." (Mk. 16:16; Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1257)
But it is different for those who have been baptized. Providing they have maintained their righteousness through the Sacraments of Confession and the Holy Eucharist, their souls and spirits will return to God to inherit the Heavenly Kingdom of eternal joy and peace in the ongoing Divine Presence of the Almighty.
"And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath (the human spirit) returns to God who gave it." [Ecc. 12:7](CCC. # 1007)
Diagram 10: The soul and spirit returns to God.
Note: In Diagram 10, we see that the soul and human spirit of those who were baptized, returns to God, finally being free of their physical body.
In this last phase of God's Divine progressive Plan, at the final resurrection of the physical bodies, the soul and the human spirit of the believer will be reunited to the physical body. Those who deserve an eternal reward will receive it. Those who rejected the righteousness of Christ during their lives will lose their reward and be cast into Hell.
At this stage, man will once more be in perfect harmony with God and himself, in body, spirit and soul. He will be in the perfect image and likeness of God.
The two minds, of the human spirit and of the glorified physical body, will once more become of one mind as Adam was originally created. Man will no longer die, having been raised imperishable. [1 Cor. 15:42] He will become a son of God. That is the final plan of God.
Diagram 11: The resurrection of God's children.
Note: In Diagram 11, we see what we will look like on the day of the resurrection of the physical bodies. We will be in the image of God, our body, spirit and soul being in perfect harmony as the three Divine Presences of God are in perfect harmony.
As Saint Paul said to the Ephesians,
"I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him..." [Eph. 1:17]
"May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters." [Gal. 6:18]
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