>> Library >> "Bible Readings" contents ..

Bible Readings
for the Home

Bible Readings for the Home

Chapter 103

What is Man?

In what condition was man created?"
"What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels." Heb. 2:6, 7.

What is the nature of angels?
"But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." Luke 20:35, 36.

What are angels called?
"And of the angels he saith, Who maketh His angels spirits, and His ministers a flame of fire." Heb. 1:7.

What is the difference between the two Adams?
"And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit." 1 Cor. 15:45.

Adam was made a living soul; but was he not a spiritual man?
"Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual." 1 Cor. 15:46.

When does man become a spiritual being?
"It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body, There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." 1 Cor. 15:44.

To what does the sowing refer?
"That which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die." 1 Cor. 15:36.
NOTE: Man does not have the undying, spiritual nature of the angels until the resurrection. Then, if righteous, he cannot die anymore (Luke 20:36), because he is "equal unto the angels."

How is man's nature defined?
"Shall mortal man be more just than God?" Job 4:17.
NOTE. - Mortal. "Subject to death." Webster.

What is God's nature?
"Now unto the King, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen." 1 Tim. 1:17.
NOTE: Immortal. "Exempt from liability to die." Webster.

Of what was man formed in the beginning?
"And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground." Gen. 2:7.

What act made him a living soul?
"And [God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Gen. 2:7.
NOTE: The living soul was not put into the man; but the breath of LIFE which was put into man, made him -- the man; made of the earth -- a living soul, or creature.

The original word for "living soul" in this text is nephesh chaiyah. On the use of this word in Gen. 1:24, Dr. A. Clarke says: "A general term to express all creatures endued with animal life, in any of its infinitely varied gradations, from the half-reasoning elephant down to the polyp, which seems equally to share the vegetable and animal life."

Are others besides man called "living souls" in the Bible?
"And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea, and it became as the blood of a dead man; and every living soul died in the sea." Rev. 16:3. (See Gen. 1:30, margin.)

Do other creatures besides man have the "breath of life?"
"And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of foul, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man; all in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died." Gen. 7:21, 22.

Is theirs the same breath as man's?
"As the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast; for all is vanity." Ecc. 3:19.

The breath of life from God was breathed into man's nostrils in the beginning. What does Job call that which is in the nostrils?
"All the while my breath is in me. and the spirit of God is in my nostrils." Job 27:3.

When man gives up the spirit, what becomes of it?
"Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Eccl. 12:7.
NOTE: That is, the spirit of life by which man lived, and which was only loaned to him of God, goes back to the great Author of life. It is His, and man can have it eternally, only as a gift from God, through Jesus Christ. (Rom. 6:23.)When the spirit goes back to God, the dust, which was in the beginning made a "living soul," goes back as it was, to the earth.

Can one have the spirit of life with him eternally. unless he has Christ?
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." 1 John 5:12.
NOTE: The veriest sinner and reviler of Christ has this temporal life; but when he yields this up, he has no prospect that eternal life will be given to him, as that can be received only through Christ.

Why were the first guilty pair driven from the tree of life?
"And now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever." Gen. 3:22.

What was done to keep man away from the tree of life?
"So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden cherubim, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." Gen. 3:24.

How are all men in the natural state regarded?
"We all... were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Eph. 2:3.

If the wrath of God abides on a person, of what does it deprive him?
"He that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." John 3:36.

Through whom is the sinner saved from wrath?
"Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." Rom. 5:9.

When the sinner has been converted, what then is his prospect for life?
"For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." Col. 3:3, 4.

The word immortal occurs but once in the English Bible (1 Tim. 1:17), and is there applied to God; is any other said to have immortality?
"Who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords: who only hath immortality." 1 Tim. 6:15, 16.

How is this desirable boon brought to light?
"But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel." 2 Tim 1:10.
NOTE: Then without the gospel one cannot have immortality, but the death penalty must abide on him.

How does man obtain immortality?
"To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life." Rom. 2:7.
NOTE: One does not need to seek for a thing which he already possesses.

When will the faithful receive immortality?
"Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed." 1 Cor. 15:51, 52.

What is then to be swallowed up?
"So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." 1 Cor. 15:54.

How is this victory gained?
"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15:51.

SUMMARY: We have found that man was made of the dust of the ground, and caused to live by the breath, or spirit, of life from God. The clay thus animated, not the breath of life, is called a "living soul:" or creature, according to the original text. Other creatures live by the same process, and some of them, at least, are plainly called living souls. When man dies, he knows nothing until he lives again, simply because the vitalizing element that caused him to live and move and think has been taken from him, and gone back to its original Possessor. Unless that were brought back to man, he would be forever unconscious in death. But Christ, who is the believer's life, is to appear, and bring back to those who seek for it, that life which they forfeited through sin. It is thus that man obtains immortality.

Copyright © 1988 Research Institute for Better Reading, Inc., used by permission by Project Restore, Inc. at www.projectrestore.com
Created: 07/18/02 Updated: 02/15/05