Archives February 2011

Bible truth

The Triune Nature of God

Bible truth
How can it be that so many, including the leaders of Israel, saw God? There are undeniable passages in the New Testament, spoken by Jesus Himself, that no one has seen God. “No one has seen God at any time,” (John 1:18). “And the Father Himself, […] You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form,” (John 5:37). In Exodus 33:20 YHWH said: “you cannot see my face, for man shall not see me and live.” How do we explain these clear passages in light of the many times that prophets have seen God including Exodus 24:9 “and they saw the God of Israel”? Do we have contradictions in the Bible?

When Jesus is saying that no one has seen God, He is referring to two things: Firstly, no one had seen the Father but they were obviously able to look upon Jesus, who was the Word made Flesh, that is, the Second person of the Triune God. This is why Jesus responds to Philip by saying: “He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?” (John 14:9).

According to Jesus, if we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father. Secondly, no one has or can see God in all of His glory. Moses came the closest to it when God hid him in the cleft of the rock and then passed by allowing Moses to see His “afterwards” (that which came after Him). Thus, it was understood that no one could see God’s face, in all of His glory. Therefore when Moses makes the request (in light of his close relationship with God) for God to show him His glory God says:

So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen, (Exodus 33:22-23).

The fact that the prophets did in fact see God’s face and live and yet Moses could not is due to the fact that the prophets saw a vision of God and Moses was in God’s very presence. The difference could be likened to a person getting in a spaceship and flying to the sun versus examining the sun through a computer screen or virtual reality. If the person in the spaceship gets too close he will burn up because the heat and energy is too great. However, the sun can be studied in great detail if one uses a camera and projects the image via television or a computer screen. In fact the meaning of television conveys the idea of what was happening for the prophet. The Online Etymological Dictionary defines television as: “the action of seeing by means of Hertzian waves or otherwise, what is existing or happening at a place concealed or distant from the observer’s eyes.” [i] Therefore, God’s face was possible to see causing Isaiah to declare: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5). However, to actually be in God’s presence was just not possible not even for someone as close to God as Moses. Therefore the prophet’s experience was very much like a virtual reality experience where the “seer” sees and can even interact with the things on the screen, but is not bodily there.

Christophanies

When God visits earth in the Tanakh (Old Testament), He comes as a Christophany – that is, Jesus is actually the one being seen and not the Father. Consider just a few examples in which the Angel of the Lord is also called God. These serve to show us that while God the Son has been seen, God the Father has not been. This is consistent with Jesus’ words: “Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him,” (Matthew 11:27).

And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire [b’labat esh בְּלַבַּת־אֵשׁ] [note: Jesus appeared in a flame and not as a flame] from the midst of a bush. […] So when the LORD saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then He said, “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father–the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God, (Exodus 3:2, 4-6).

The angel of the Lord in the Tanakh is the Second person of the Trinity, Jesus. Thus, of the many places where he makes an earthly appearance, the viewer was not seeing God the Father, but God the Son. Let’s continue our investigation with Gideon who was visited by the Angel of the Lord:

And the Angel of the LORD [יְהוָה] appeared to him, and said to him, “The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!” […] And the LORD said to him, “Surely I will be with you, […]” Then he said to Him, “If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You who talk with me. […] Then the Angel of the LORD put out the end of the staff that was in His hand, […] and fire rose out of the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened bread. […] Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the LORD. So Gideon said, “Alas, O Lord GOD! For I have seen the Angel of the LORD face to face.” Then the LORD said to him, “Peace be with you; do not fear, you shall not die,” (Judges 6:12-17, 20-23).

Once Gideon realized that he had just seen the angel of the LORD (YHWH) face to face he became terrified to the point of death. The LORD, the very one that he had just had the encounter with, then calms him stating that he would not die. Gideon did in fact see God – and in fact even saw the face of the LORD, according to the text. However, the LORD in this instance, just like in Exodus three and many other passages, is not God the Father, but is a Christophany – that is an appearance of the pre-incarnate Jesus. Thus, it was possible to see God so long as that was God the Son and not God the Father and so Jesus’ declarations are true (as He said in Matthew 11:27).

Paul elaborates on Jesus being the image of God:

Whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them, (2 Corinthians 4:4).

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, (Colossians 1:15,).

The Triunity

From these verses we see that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Understanding the triune nature of God is challenging for us and various illustrations have been suggested to understand how that can be. Some suggest the three parts of the egg: shell, white and yolk. Others suggest the three phases of water: ice, water and steam. While both of those give a minor glimpse, they break down quickly and tend to confuse the nature of God. God does not exist in different phases nor is He dissect-able.

The Nicene CreedWhile no illustration is perfect, we might do well to consider the sun as analogous to the triunity of God. We can think of the sun as three in one: The sphere or ball of the sun is likened to the Father, the light rays to the Lord Jesus and the heat to the Holy Spirit. The sun itself is the source of light and without which no light would emit. However, at the same it is impossible to imagine the sun without light and heat proceeding from it. If it were not for the light the sphere of the sun would be invisible. It is precisely the light which allows us to see the sphere or ball of the sun. In a parallel manner, Paul tells us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. Without Jesus, we could not see God the Father; but also as the light is generated from the sphere of the sun, so too Jesus is generated from the Father. That is not to make Jesus created, however. To carry our illustration further proves that the sun could not at any point in its history have existed without emitting light and energy. Thus, the light that comes from the sun is co-equal in origin to the sun. Of course, God has no beginning and hence neither does Jesus. The Holy Spirit represented by the heat is analogous to the light; just as the sun emits light, it also emits heat. The heat is dependent on the (ball of the) sun itself but it is impossible to divorce the ball of the sun from the heat that it emits.

The Nicene Creed codified this concept in an effort to clarify the nature of God:

We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son [μονογενη] of God, eternally begotten [γεννηθέν] of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten [γεννηθέντα], not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. […]  We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. […] [ii] Πιστεύομεν εις ένα Θεον Πατερα παντοκράτορα, ποιητην ουρανου και γης, ορατων τε πάντων και αορατων. Και εις ένα κύριον Ιησουν Χριστον, τον υιον του θεοθ τον μονογενη, τον ει του πατρος γεννηθέν τα προ πάντων των αιώνων, φως εκ φωτος, θεον αληθινον εκ θεου αληθινου,γεννηθέντα, ου ποιηθέντα, ομοουσιον τωι πατρί· δι’ ου τα παντα εγένετο· […] Και εις το Πνευμα, το Άγιον, το κύριον, (και) το ζωοποιόν, το εκ του πατρος εκπορευόμενον [coming out of], το συν πατρι και υιωι συν προσκυνούμενον και συν δοξαζόμενον. [iii]

The Greek text demonstrates this understanding by the use of the words “eternally begotten of the Father” [gennethen ta pro panton ton aionon γεννηθέν τα προ πάντων των αιώνων]. The root of the word “begotten” has to do with human fathers engendering (generating) children. So just what is meant by that in relation to Jesus? In light of the clear statement that He is “God from God” we can go back to our sun illustration to help us grasp the concept. Jesus is the image of the invisible God. It is only through the light of the sun that we can see the sun. So too with Jesus, only through Him can we see the Father. Jesus then is the eternally generated from the Father. Thus He is dependent on the Father but still without a beginning. He is co-eternal and is the image by which the Father is manifested. [iv]


[i] http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=television&searchmode=none.

[ii] International Consultation on English Texts translation as printed in: The Lutheran Book of Worship, The Book of Common Prayer (Episcopal).

[iii] The Greek Church Greek text from the Acts of the First Council of Constantinople and in The Acts of the Council of Chalcedon. Retrieved March 13, 2010 from: http://www.creeds.net/ancient/nicene.htm.

[iv] Therefore when God the Father declares concerning the Son: “You [are] My Son, Today I have begotten You” (Psalms 2:7), we can understand that God is in the eternal now and hence He is eternally begetting the Son.

The Battle in the Spiritual Realm

This is a list of the verses that speak of the current and future battle that is raging in the spiritual dimension.

The Wicked One

  • But with righteousness He shall judge the poor, And decide with equity for the meek of the earth; He shall strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked [“the wicked one” rasha רָשָֽׁע], (Isaiah 11:4).
  • The LORD has made all for Himself, Yes, even the wicked [“the wicked one” rasha רָ֝שָׁ֗ע] for the day of doom, (Proverbs 16:4).

The Defeat of the Host / Principalities

  • For the indignation of the LORD [is] against all nations, And [His] fury against all their armies; He has utterly destroyed them, He has given them over to the slaughter. Also their slain shall be thrown out; Their stench shall rise from their corpses, And the mountains shall be melted with their blood. All the host of heaven shall be dissolved, And the heavens shall be rolled up like a scroll; All their host shall fall down As the leaf falls from the vine, And as [fruit] falling from a fig tree. “For My sword shall be bathed in heaven; Indeed it shall come down on Edom, And on the people of My curse, for judgment, (Isaiah 34:2-5).
  • But the LORD [is] the true God; He [is] the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. Thus you shall say to them: “The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish from the earth and from under these heavens,” (Jeremiah 10:10-11).
  • Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him,’ (Daniel 7:27).

The LORD [will be] awesome to them, For He will reduce to nothing all the gods of the earth, (Zephaniah 2:11a).

  • Then [comes] the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy [that] will be destroyed [is] death, (1 Corinthians 15:24-26).
  • For such [are] false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light, (2 Corinthians 11:13-14).
  • Far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come, (Ephesians 1:21).
  • and to make all see what [is] the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly [places,] (Ephesians 3:9-10).
  • For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him, (Colossians 1:16).
  • Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it, (Colossians 2:15).
  • who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him, (1 Peter 3:22).
  • And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs [coming] out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, [which] go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty, (Revelation 16:13-14).
  • The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those [who are] with Him [are] called, chosen, and faithful,” (Revelation 17:12-14).

The Principalities and the Host on High Cast into the Pit

  • He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is [the] Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while, (Revelation 20:2-3).
  • It shall come to pass in that day [That] the LORD will punish on high the host of exalted ones, And on the earth the kings of the earth. They will be gathered together, [As] prisoners are gathered in the pit, And will be shut up in the prison; After many days they will be punished, (Isaiah 24:21-22).

The Spirit of God in Adam

(Appendix to Corrupting the Image. Footnotes in final edition of the book)

Genesis chapter one gives us the overview of creation, all the way from the creation of space until the pinnacle of God’s creation: Adam. The other creatures, fish, birds, or land animals, the creeping things; all the creatures that God made are lumped together in a few verses. However, the text spends much more time on Adam and in fact, we are told that God said:

“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them, (Genesis 1:27).

Genesis chapter two then focuses solely on the creation of Adam and the privileges and responsibilities that God gave him. Concerning his creation, the text elaborates and states that God formed Adam from the dust of the ground. However, that was not all that God did. The text says:

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, (Genesis 2:7).

This verse demonstrates that Adam was made (physically, earthly) from the dust (he and we are carbon-based life forms). However, God also breathed into Adam. What we must not miss is that the animals (see Genesis 7:15) also have breath in their lungs but God did not breathe into them. There is something special about the breath that Adam received directly from God. Adam receiving the breath of God is unique and thus he is also spiritual. To put it another way, Adam had a material (physical, earthly) part, that is to say his body, and he also possessed an immaterial (soulish, spiritual, heavenly) side, that is to say his soul or spirit.

Man’s Non-material Makeup

Over the centuries scholars of the Bible have debated whether or not man consists of two parts (dichotomous – “cut in two”) just body and soul/spirit or in three parts (trichotomous – “cut in three”), body, soul and spirit. A. H. Strong in his book, Systematic Theology, articulates the essence of the essential elements of human nature:

Man has a twofold nature,—on the one hand material, on the other hand immaterial. He consists of body, and of spirit, or soul. […]Man is as conscious that his immaterial part is a unity, as that his body is a unity. He knows two, and only two, parts of his being—body and soul.

Strong notes that I Thessalonians 5:23 (“may your whole spirit and soul and body”), which is the principle passage relied upon as supporting the trichotomous view, may be better explained in that “soul and spirit are not two distinct substances or parts, but that they designate the immaterial principle from different points of view.” [i] After all, there are many verses where soul and spirit are used interchangeably. If we are to divide the immaterial make up of man into soul and spirit, then what are we to do with the heart, mind and conscience? They are also immaterial parts of man that Scripture repeatedly makes reference to. Lastly, there are verses that speak of only two parts of a man, as though it constitutes the whole of his being. The following list demonstrates how soul and spirit are used interchangeably.

  • his spirit was troubled, (Genesis 41:8)
  • my soul is cast down within me, (Psalm 42:6)
  • now is my soul troubled, (John 12:27)
  • he was troubled in the spirit, (John 13:21)
  • give his life [soulpsuekhen ψυχὴν] as a ransom for many, (Matthew 20:28)
  • yielded up his spirit, (Matthew 27:50)
  • And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. (Matthew 10:28 emphasis mine)
  • spirits of just men made perfect, (Hebrews 12: 23)
  • I saw underneath the altar the souls of them that had been slain for the word of God, (Revelation 6:9)

The Place of the Holy Spirit

What we are observing is that man was created as a three part being. God created Adam to be a three part being; the material (body) and immaterial (soul/spirit) were uniquely his and the third part was the “compartment” for the Holy Spirit. At the time of Adam’s creation, God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, actually indwelt Adam. However, when Adam disobeyed God through sin, he lost the Spirit of God that had up until that point indwelt him. Thus he truly began to die physically; corruption (data loss) of his genetic code (on a physical level) began and the spiritual connection that he shared with God was immediately broken. Thus, the Holy Spirit that was to that point dwelling in Adam departed, leaving him spiritually empty and dead; therefore man was left as a two-part being with a “God-shaped hole in his heart” (cf. Pascal). The Holy Spirit is the one who comes and dwells in us when we turn from darkness to light and receive the Lord Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins. Let’s go back to our text and understand how that could be possible.

When God Breathed the First Time

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed [vayipakh וַיִּפַּ֥ח] into his nostrils the breath of life [nishmat khayim חַיִּ֑ים נִשְׁמַ֣ת]; and man became a living soul [l’nephesh khaya לְנֶ֥פֶש חַיָּֽה] (Genesis 2:7).

The obvious feature to note is that God Himself did the breathing. What beautiful imagery: After having created the universe with the stars, sun, moon, animals, vegetation etc., God bent over Adam’s body which he had just formed, (like a potter molds the clay), and breathed into Adam’s nostrils. Both the Hebrew word yatzar (יצר) and the Greek word plasso (πλάσσω) carry the idea of forming or fashioning wax or clay. [ii] This may have taken God but a moment – however, if we consider the fact that God could have created the world and all therein in less than a microsecond but decided to go slowly and create in six whole days, then when it came to the creation of man He would have given the greatest care! In fact, we could envision the Word of God [iii], Jesus the Son, in His preincarnate state [iv], carefully taking the dust (carbon atoms and such) of the earth in His hands, pushing, shaping and molding Adam as a potter would do. Once Adam looked like God, that is to say he resembled the image (shadow) of God, He then gently leaned over this beautiful but still lifeless formation. Opening His mouth, God breathed deep into the nostrils of Adam and then Adam opened his eyes to see the tender but glorious face of the One who had just made him!

This breath of God animated Adam’s body in a manner similar to the animals in that they also have breath (neshama [v] נשׁמה) in their nostrils. But it was also so much more, for we know that God did not breathe directly into the animals. Thus the breath that God breathed into Adam must have been so much more than the mere animation of the body (spark of life). It was also the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. [vi]

When God Breathed Again

To see evidence of this picture we must fast forward approximately four thousand years to just after the resurrection of Jesus. We find the disciples after the crucifixion behind closed doors for fear of the Jewish leadership. Jesus makes a sudden appearance and walks through a wall in his resurrected body. “And when he had said this, he breathed (literally “inbreathed”) [enephusesen ενεφυσησεν] on [vii] them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit,’” (John 20:22).

The Greek word enephusesen (stem: emphusao ἐμφυσάω) used in the passage above is the same exact word and form of the word that the Greek Septuagint in Genesis 2:7 uses to translate the Hebrew word (vayipakh וַיִּפַּח root naphakh נפח). This correlation is noted in Thayers Greek Lexicon:

This word used only once by the LXX translators in Gen 2:7 where God breathed on Adam and he became a living soul. Just as the original creation was completed by an act of God, so too the new creation was completed by an act from the Head of the new creation, (Thayer’s ἐμφυσάω entry).

The same root (emphusao ἐμφυσάω), though slightly modified, also shows up in Ezekiel 37:9 (37:8 in Greek) and is the same exact Hebrew word as in Genesis 2:7.

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath [ruakh הָרוּחַ]; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord GOD: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe [naphakh נפח, Greek ἐμφυσάω emphusaw] on these slain, that they may live,” (Ezekiel 37:9).

It would truly seem that when Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples, He was in fact doing the same thing that He had done to Adam those many thousands of years ago, (the text in Ezekiel 37 will ultimately be fulfilled in the resurrection of the dead – to be discussed in my next book.) Thus, while Adam consisted inherently of two parts, material and immaterial, Jesus Himself breathed not only the life force but also the Holy Spirit; the point at which Adam sinned is when the Spirit departed leaving him all alone. Josephus, the first century Jewish historian, appears to document that as well: “Concerning the formation of man, says thus: […] God took dust from the ground, and formed man, and inserted in him a spirit and a soul. This man was called Adam,” (Josephus Antiquities, Book 1, Chapter 1:2, emphasis mine). The notes from the NET Bible also give a hint at this:

The Hebrew word נְשָׁמָה (n’shamah, “breath”) is used for God and for the life imparted to humans, not animals (see T. C. Mitchell, “The Old Testament Usage of N’shama,” VT 11 [1961]: 177-87). Its usage in the Bible conveys more than a breathing living organism (נֶפֶשׁ חַיַּה, nefesh khayyah). Whatever is given this breath of life becomes animated with the life from God, has spiritual understanding (Job 32:8), and has a functioning conscience (Proverbs 20:27), (NET Bible Notes Genesis 2:7, emphasis mine).

The Targum of Onkelos (Genesis 2:7) also hints at the idea that the Spirit indwelt him: “And the Lord God created Adam from dust of the ground, and breathed upon his face the breath of lives, and it [“the breath of life”] became in Adam a Discoursing Spirit.”

John in his Gospel makes an interesting observation “Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified,” (John 7:39). Thus, because Jesus had not yet been crucified and risen from the dead (glorified), no one as of then had received the Holy Spirit. We have seen already that Jesus showed up and inbreathed the Holy Spirit (in) the disciples.

When the Spirit Comes On and Not In

However, just before Jesus ascends to the Father, He tells them “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon (ἐπί) you,” (Acts 1:8). We know that the Spirit came upon men of the Tanakh (Old Testament) for specific times and purposes. The Spirit came upon Jephthah for a time in order for him to route the Ammonites (Judges 11:29). He came upon Samson (Judges 14:6, 19) to defeat the Philistines but left due to Samson’s sinful life (Judges 16:20). The Spirit also came upon David (1 Samuel 16:13) and others. However, the imparting of the Spirit before Jesus’ death and resurrection was a temporary and transient experience. The Spirit was not actually in the ancient men. He came upon them but not in them; the Lord came upon them for a specific job, but not to indwell. [viii]

Adam a Son of God

Remember that Adam was the only person who was created directly as a son of God. John stated that the Holy Spirit had not yet been given, but those who would believe would receive Him. By believing in the name of Jesus one can become a son of God (John 7:39 and 1:12). Thus sons of God today are marked by those who have the Spirit:

  • For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, (Galatians 3:26).
  • You received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:15-16).
  • Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, (1 Corinthians 2:12).
  • And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” (Galatians 4:6).
  • Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you, (Romans 8:11).

Paul says that we have become a new creation in Christ. As new creations we are adopted by God becoming sons of God. The down payment of the Holy Spirit is evidence that we are new creations and are now waiting for the “full package” when we get to heaven. Therefore we conclude that the Holy Spirit must have indwelt Adam prior to his fall because he was classified as a Son of God. We are sons of God because we are direct creations of God “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation,” (2 Corinthians 5:17). “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but a new creation,” (Galatians 6:15). We share that feature with the angels, whom we shall be like in heaven. However, God did not form them from the earth, nor did He breathe into the angels and so we possess something that sets us apart from them as far as being sons of God is concerned.

The work of the cross was the correction of what had been lost 4000 years before. The Spirit was breathed into Adam, the first (earthly) son of God, he lost it and now the Spirit dwells in the sons of God who we have become by believing in Jesus’ name. The Spirit is the guarantee or down payment of what is coming. The other thing that Adam apparently lost and we shall gain is a covering of light.


A Narrative of Adam’s Creation and Fall

Author’s Note: The following vignette is the essence of part one of Corrupting the Image in a narrative form at, (all points of the narrative are proven in the chapters of Corrupting the Image!)

“Adam, where are you?” Adam could hear the voice of the one who not long ago created him and his wife Eve. Adam found himself out of breath and a strange sense of terror flooded his body at hearing that voice – the voice that once had only brought him tremendous delight.

Adam could remember well that first moment when he opened his eyes and beheld the very one who had taken the dust of the ground and with His own hands had formed him and then breathed His Spirit into him. The beauty of God’s face was indescribable. The glorious light radiated off of His face onto the visage of the newly formed man. His eyes seemed to go on forever and spoke of the depth of love that God had for him. Even though Adam had just taken the first few breaths of his life, he understood the tender care that his Father had for him. Adam could see that God’s eyes gleamed for him, his son.

That sixth day of creation – the day when God created Adam in His own image and His likeness – the day when Adam first gazed at his Creator – oh how sweet and wonderful it was! God had provided everything for him: trees, shade, delicious food and a beautiful garden. God brought the animals to Adam, which He had created hours before making Adam who then named them. However, there was none like him and then his Father did something most wonderful. He caused him to fall into a deep, deep sleep, removed one of his ribs and then with the marrow of the bone took the building blocks, the base of who Adam was to the core, and formed one like Adam, but different – a complement to who Adam was. She was perfectly suited for Adam and Adam loved her.

His heart was racing and his hands were shaking as he tried to sew the vine through the leaves to make coverings for Eve and himself. With just a few more knots his new covering would be ready. The fig leaves were nothing like what they had had but they would at least provide something to cover them. The moment that they had eaten the fruit the light which had until then emitted out of their bodies was suddenly gone. The serpent said they wouldn’t die but that eating from the tree would simply make them like God. The words made sense at first. After all, God created everything and said that it was good. That tree was part of the creation which God had made. It was even in the middle of the Garden. The knowledge of good and evil was clearly something that God desired man to have, yet if they ate from the tree God said they would surely die. The fruit had appeared so luscious and by eating it they would gain the knowledge of good and evil and be like God.

Adam hurriedly placed the makeshift coverings of fig leaves on himself and Eve. What had happened? Where was the light that once clothed them? What would God say once He saw them? How would he explain? Their eyes certainly were opened and now he realized that they had been deceived. The serpent promised them to become like God when they already were! They had been clothed in light like God. They had been filled with the Spirit of God. Now those things were lost. Could they be regained? Adam now understood the point of the tree was simply a choice; to choose either to follow God, which was good, or to disobey and choose the evil. Either of those two options would make them like God more fully. He could have just resisted the tempting of the serpent and become like God as well and have retained what God had given him: the light and His Spirit. Choosing to obey God would have opened his eyes as well and made him like God without the guilt because he would have made a choice, but for the good. Adam now understood what it was to choose the good and follow God’s commandment – that was what had been required of him – but now it was too late – oh it was too late! He had made the wrong choice! He considered that he had indeed gained the knowledge of good and evil. Oh had he chosen to obey and been proven and remained alive forever. But now – death! He wiped the moisture away from his forehead. Already he could feel his body in ways that he had never felt before. Was this death?

God was walking his way as he did every day. Adam could see Him getting closer and would soon no longer be able to hide. In a frightened tone Adam called out in response to God’s question: “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” God’s gentle voice became inquisitive as if He were probing. “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Adam thought quickly of what to say. What could he say to the one who loved him? How could Adam explain this betrayal, this unfaithfulness?

His eyes quickly glanced at the woman as she too stood motionless and pale. “The woman whom you gave to be with me,” he said sensing that he was betraying her as well, “she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” It worked, or so it seemed, for the Lord God, now standing in front of them, turned his face to the woman and asked with what sounded like a broken heart, “What is this that you have done?” Adam looked at his frightened wife whom he had exposed who pointed her finger to the serpent who was still present in the Garden and said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Adam then noted a definitive change in God’s countenance. In fact, he had never seen this side of God. Until today Adam had only known God to be loving and tender. But now with a voice of judgment, He declared to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.

” God’s words were good and brought a measure of comfort. There might be hope for Adam and his wife after all. Adam mused on the words even though he didn’t fully understand all that they entailed.

Shortly after this time of judgment, God did something much unexpected. He took one of the animals, which Adam had named, and then killed it! Oh, how immediate death was and dreadful. Why did that animal, which had done nothing wrong need to die? After all, Adam thought, he was the one that had disobeyed God, not the animal. God then removed the skin from it, cleaned it of the blood and then placed it on him and his wife Eve. The skin of the animal would be instead of the raiment of light which they lost. How pathetic it was in comparison to what they had! Adam longed for the day when the promised one, the Seed of the Woman would come and destroy the serpent that had beguiled them and restore what they had lost; God’s spirit, and the glorious light that flowed from them. Adam sighed, and thought of the day when this state called death, which now ensnared them, would be removed. How would the Promised One remove the corruption that touched every fiber of their being? How would He be from the woman’s seed and yet have the power to restore them? To be free of that was his heart’s desire. Oh for the day when the promised One would come!

Upon hearing the sentence Satan began to plot his scheme to overcome the prophecy. Satan too would provide a savior for mankind but in his own image and not God’s and perhaps if he could destroy the image of God, in the process his own destruction would be averted.

Click here to read The Master Image (chapter one of the upcoming book)