In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. (Genesis 1:1-2)
Using the Bible as a reference, the creation described in detail beginning in Genesis 1:3 can be traced back approximately 6000 years. My calculations indicate this creation occurred 5967 years from the year 2009. Suffice it to say that 6000 years is a close approximation. Many Christians erroneously assume that "In the beginning" in verse one was thus 6000 years ago. That is, everything that God ever created was created at that time.
Therefore, let's closely consider these first two verses of the Bible. First of all, verse one defines a complete creation! In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. This marks the end of the original creation! Many believe this first verse of Genesis to be a general statement that God created the heaven and earth in the beginning and the following verses describe this same creation in more detail. However, verse two differentiates the original creation in verse one from the recreation begun in verse three. Verse two describes the earth as without form, void, and dark after it was created in verse one. On the other hand, every single item created by God beginning in verse three was seen to be "good" after being created. Likewise, beginning in verse three, God created dry ground and vegetation so the earth was not without form and void. He also created light so the earth was not dark as stated in verse two. Consequently, verse two only describes the creation defined in verse one as everything created after verse two was seen to be good by God. Good is not the same as without form, void, and dark. Verse one definitely describes a separate creation process from that begun in verse three.
We do not know exactly when "In the beginning" was. Whenever it was, God completely created the heaven and the earth originally at that time according to verse one! After that original creation, the earth was without form, void, and dark. Why would God create the earth without form, void, and dark in the beginning? Is it to prove that anyone can make a mistake? Of course not, to err is human, whereas God is all powerful. Everything created in the following verses of Genesis chapter one was seen to be "good" by God:
And God saw the light, that it was good. (Genesis 1:4)
...and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:10)
(referring to dry ground)
...and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12)
(referring to vegetation)
...and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:18)
(referring to night and day)
...and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)
(referring to sea and air creatures)
...and God saw that it was good... (Genesis 1:25)
(referring to land creatures)
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
There is absolutely no reason to believe God ever made anything that was not originally created as good! Then why does verse two state that the earth was without form, void, and dark after being created in verse one? Other translations of the original Hebrew text indicate that something occurred and the earth had reached this state. For example, the New International Version® of the Bible renders the same verses as follows:
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty; darkness was over the surface of the deep... (Genesis 1:1-2)
That is, God originally created the heavens and the earth good in verse one, and over a period of time the earth had become formless, void, and dark. Between verse one and verse two a period of time obviously occurred. Based on current scientific estimates, the time period between verse one and two was approximately 4.55 billion years. This is the current estimated age of the earth. Yes, dinosaurs did roam the earth sixty-five million years ago! The following "creation" described in detail in Genesis is actually a recreation of a decimated earth originally created in verse one. It is this recreation that can be traced back to approximately 6,000 years ago. This idea that the creation described in detail in Genesis is actually a recreation of a decimated earth is supported by other scripture verses:
So in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth as good. Now the earth had become without form, void, and dark. Notice that only the earth had become without form, void, and dark. The "heaven" remained in good condition as it was created.
Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they (mankind) are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (Psalm 104:30)
Suppose you were going to recreate something that had become "without form, void, and dark." What would be your first logical step? Would it be the same as God's first logical step? In verse three of chapter one, roughly 4.55 billion years from verse one, God performs the most obvious and logical first step in the recreation of the earth. He turns the lights back on:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (Genesis 1:3)
What caused the original wonderfully created earth to degrade to the conditions as described in verse two? Sin and rebellion against the commandments of God produced chaos.
God created everything that was ever created, and everything God created was good. However, most of us would agree that sin is definitely bad. Therefore, one might ask, "Where did sin come from?" Since sin is not good, God did not create sin. What God did create was freedom of choice. Angels and man were created with freedom of choice. Is this good? Yes, because God created it. Without the ability to choose, we would simply be robots repeating the same actions to every similar situation. God also created laws or commandments which the beings He created should obey. Are laws good? Yes, God created them. Without laws there would be anarchy and chaos. Sin is disobeying God's laws. God did not create the sins. God created angels and man with freedom of choice and gave them laws to live by. They can choose between good and evil. That is, between obeying or disobeying God's laws. Angels and man then created sin by choosing to violate God's laws.
We will see shortly that man was created during the Genesis recreation and given dominion over the earth. God then provided man with commandments or laws which man should obey. Sin is the transgression of God's laws:
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: ...for sin is the transgression of the law. (I John 3:4)
After his creation, man sins by choosing through his freedom of choice to live his way over that of obeying God's commandments:
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man; but the end thereof are the ways of death. (Proverbs 14:12)
Under man's rule and rebellion against God, the earth will reach a state of great tribulation:
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. (Matthew 24:21-22)
Due to the same reason, sinning by rebelling against God, the good earth as originally created had reached a state of no form, void, and darkness before the Genesis recreation begun in verse three! But who was on earth to rebel against God before the creation of man? After God originally created the heavens and earth in the beginning, He did not abandon it to its own fate. He placed a caretaker and a host of subordinates to care for the earth. That caretaker was given dominion over the earth. So who was this caretaker? It was the archangel Lucifer who became known as the devil or Satan after his rebellion. How do we know that Lucifer was the earthly caretaker? In the book of Luke, when Satan tempted Jesus for forty days in the desert, Satan offered Jesus power over all the kingdoms of the earth:
And the devil, taking him up into a high mountain, showed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whosoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. (Luke 4:5-7)
Notice that Jesus did not question the devil's authority to give him power over the earth. He knew that Satan did indeed have control over the earth and could give or share this power with whomever he pleased. Jesus' immediate response was:
Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. (Luke 4:8)
Once God makes a covenant, or testament, or promise, He always keeps it. Although Satan rebelled against his creator, God did not and will not violate the agreement. Satan was given rule over the world and a ruler must be defeated and overthrown! This is one of the reasons Jesus is coming to the earth, to defeat Satan.
So the ruler of the earth is Satan, and he decided sometime between the first two verses of the Bible to rebel against God. The ultimate results of his rebellion and rule are the conditions of chaos described on the earth in verse two. Satan was an archangel, and his staff was a host of angels:
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelation 12:9)
Although we do not know the exact number under Satan's authority, it was one-third of the total number of angels. Satan and the angels who joined his rebellion against God were exiled from the Kingdom of God and restricted to ruling the earth:
And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth... (Revelation 12:4)
"Stars" is symbolism for angels in the book of Revelation. Satan was an archangel since he had angels under his control. Today, we might consider him to be middle management. Being omnipotent, God could have created beings which had no choice but to worship and love him. However, of what significance is it if a being has no choice but to love someone? Not much, they would simply be robots. Therefore, God created the angels and man with freedom of choice. Satan and some of the angels under his authority at some time chose to rebel against God. Why did he rebel? It was a grab for power:
How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!... For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God... I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. (Isaiah 14:12-14)
Lucifer, also known as Satan or the Devil, was not content in his position. He wanted to be like the most high God. He wanted to exalt his throne above the stars, or angels, of God. As a result of their rebellious nature and their dominion over the earth, the good earth had reached the chaotic and unacceptable condition of formless, void, and dark. Satan did not rule the heaven so it remained good. Although Satan ruled the earth, God can and does intervene on occasions. One such intervention was the recreation of the earth described in Genesis which occurred approximately six thousand years ago.
These rebellious caretakers will need to be replaced after God seizes control of the earth back from Satan. In the original creation the caretakers were created with spiritual bodies which live forever. In the recreation God did not create more spiritual beings and risk being stuck with more rebels for eternity. He created a mortal being called man a little lower than the angels:
What is man, that thou art mindful of him?... For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, (Psalm 8:4-5)
Angels are immortal spiritual beings. They cannot be hurt or killed as physical bodies can. Although mankind is a little lower than the angels, we were made after their likeness:
And God said, Let us make man after our image, after our likeness... (Genesis 1:26)
Well, what are some of the characteristics of spiritual beings? The main characteristic of spiritual bodies is that they are immortal. They will never die after being created. Describing Christians who will be born again as spiritual beings, the Bible proclaims:
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21:4)
The former things that are passed away are their physical bodies and all associated physical characteristics. These include death, sorrow, crying, pain, etc. Christians will become spiritual bodies equal unto the angels when born again at the Second Coming. "And there shall be no more death," is future tense. As presently created, man will die. That is, he is not immortal. Additional characteristics of spiritual bodies include:
The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
We are certainly not like that. Do spirits have arms and legs like we do? Yes and no. Spirits are not restricted by physical laws as are humans. If they want to look like humans with arms and legs they can do so. Do they have wings? Wings are needed only to propel physical bodies through the air. Spirits do not need this propulsion because neither air nor any other matter restricts them. So spiritual beings are somewhat like the wind. We might be able to sense what they do, although generally we cannot see nor hear them.
So how are we in the likeness of God and the angels? We know both man and angels have freedom of choice. Satan and some angels under his authority rebelled against God, thus proving they could choose. Man and woman disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, thus proving they had freedom of choice. So in this way we are alike. As we will see shortly, angels and man were both created to have dominion over and care for the earth under the auspices and authority of God. God and man both possess a creative nature. God created everything that was ever created. Within his environment man is also very creative and inventive. He has progressed from living in caves to walking on the moon. Sadly, many of man's inventions were initially created for vile purposes such as war.
The most important way in which man is made in the likeness of God is that man is the only animal which has the capability of becoming equal unto the angels. Speaking of those who shall inherit the Kingdom of God in the world to come, Jesus states:
Neither can they die any more, for they are equal unto the angels... (Luke 20:36)
So man and angels are the same in that both possess freedom of choice, man and some of the angels had the responsibility of caring for the earth, and man is the only animal which has the capability of becoming equal unto the angels.
How were man and spirits created differently? Man was created only a "little lower than the angels." In fact, man was created originally with only two differences between him and the angels! These two differences between men and angels are described in the book of Genesis. They are body type and knowledge of good and evil. Trees in the Garden of Eden represented each of these differences:
Tree Result of eating this tree's fruit
1) Tree of knowledge Ability to distinguish good from evil
of good and evil
2) The tree of life Eternal life -- A spiritual body.
God created man and angels with the freedom to make choices. Just as Satan and his angels were given control over the entire earth, man was given dominion over every other physical being on earth:
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)
Man is the only animal that can reason, learn, and make choices. Other animals do not make cognitive choices as humans do, but perform actions based on instinct. That is, other animals do not know right from wrong. Originally, mankind did not either. Adam and Eve had access to the fruit of two very special trees among the many in the Garden of Eden:
And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (Genesis 2:9)
However, God did not create mankind to sit on his duff and eat fruit:
And the Lord God took the man, and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and keep it. (Genesis 2:15)
Now whose job was that originally? It was the job of Satan and angels under his supervision, as the Garden of Eden is on the earth which Satan rules. However, the original caretakers failed in this assignment. It stands to reason that any earthly caretakers will be required to make choices. Whatever occurs, they must be capable of choosing the best response to maintain the earth in good condition as it was created. Aside from the angels, the only other being created by God and given freedom of choice was man. Therefore, man was created to eventually replace the original rebellious caretakers:
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth... (Genesis 1:28)
Replenish indicates to make full or complete a second time! From The Random House College Dictionary, replenish is defined as:
replenish -- to make full or complete again.
Thus man was charged with completing the work in which Satan and his angels so miserably failed.
The angels created originally to care for the earth are spiritual bodies which live forever. This makes sense, as the job of caring for the physical and natural wonders created by God is an infinitely ongoing process. Consequently, the new caretakers being created will need to live forever also. Therefore, these mortal men and women who qualify for the job will be upgraded to immortal spiritual bodies when they are born again at, or after, the resurrection. These former humans will then replace the original caretakers under the new leader who defeats Satan. That new leader will be Jesus Christ. Not all men will qualify to become immortal caretakers. Those with the character flaw which caused the original caretakers to fail in their duties will not qualify. That flaw was sin. These men and women who do not qualify will perish in the second death!
God defined the criteria whereby mankind could become spiritual beings and be spared from the second death in a testament or will. However, no one could qualify under the original testament. God then created a New Testament, at which time the original became the Old Testament. These two testaments combine to form today's Bible and define our path of salvation from the second death through believing in Jesus Christ.
Although man was made a little lower than the angels he was made in the image of God. In scientific worldly terms, man is at the top of the food chain. That is, man was given dominion over every other animal on the earth. Mankind is being groomed to assume the responsibilities of the original earthly caretakers and was made in their image. The original differences are that man does not understand good from evil and man is mortal. At this point, man does not have a spiritual body and thus does not have eternal life. However, all he has to do is reach out and eat of the tree of life and he will become like the angels and live forever. But the ever present Devil intercedes and causes man to sin by choosing to disobey God:
And the Lord God commanded the man saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. (Genesis 2:16-17)
Notice that God did not suggest or recommend that man not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He commanded it! Since man was not created with the knowledge of good and evil he could not sin until God gave him this first commandment. What exactly is sin? Sin is the transgression of the commandments of God which are also called the law:
Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. (I John 3:4)
So sin is transgression of the law. But what if there is no law? Then there is no sin:
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (Romans 5:13)
That is, sinful acts could be committed before the laws were given and understood. However, committing the act does not constitute a sin until by God's law we recognize the act as a sin. Originally, man did not know good from evil as he had no law. At this point, man has one, and only one, law or commandment: do not eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil! Man was now set up to commit one, and only one sin. It was the only commandment he knew, and thus the only one he could violate. Satan saw to it that man did indeed violate this first commandment that God gave him:
Now the serpent was more subtile than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:1-5)
When Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil both did immediately know right from wrong. That part of Satan's statement was true as we see below:
And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (Genesis 3:7)
They had become as gods in that they recognized good and evil. At this point there is only one difference remaining between man and the angels. That difference is that men have mortal, physical bodies whereas angels have immortal, spiritual bodies. Only two body types are described in the Bible, natural or terrestrial and spiritual or celestial:
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. (I Corinthians 15:44)
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. (I Corinthians 15:40)
Celestial means heavenly or spiritual and terrestrial means natural, earthly, or physical. There are only two body types, celestial and terrestrial, and they are different. The glory of the celestial is one and the glory of the terrestrial is another. In other words, they do not mix. There is no hybrid being consisting of a spirit or soul living within a physical body described anywhere in the scriptures! Man is a terrestrial body, and angels are spiritual bodies. Therefore, man remains lower than the angels.
"Ye shall not surely die," was a lie. How do we know Satan lied? God told Adam and Eve if they ate fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil "thou shalt surely die." God does not lie! Therefore, Satan's contradictory statement that "Ye shall not surely die," was a lie. Mankind has believed that lie ever since! Man believes he has a part of himself that lives forever. Man thus equates himself with God!
Although they did not die immediately, they were not spiritual bodies and had sinned and would sin again as they now knew good from evil, and:
...the wages of sin is death; (Romans 6:23)
Until Adam and Eve ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil they would not die. Once they violated this first law that God gave them, they had sinned, and would die because the wages of sin is death. Additionally, they opened up the knowledge of good and evil for all humans which followed them. That is, all humans from that point forward could sin as they understood good from evil thanks to Adam and Eve:
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed unto all men, for that all have sinned: (Romans 5:12)
All humans except Jesus will choose evil over good sometime in their life:
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; (Romans 3:23)
Therefore, all humans except Jesus will be sentenced to die the second death. Up to this time God had not yet implemented the physical laws whereby man's body died of natural causes. Shortly after man sinned, God created the physical laws whereby human bodies could not live past one hundred and twenty years of age:
And the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be a hundred and twenty years. (Genesis 6:3)
After Adam and Eve sinned the tree of life was still available in the garden for them to eat from and thus live forever. They would then be equal unto the angels. Why were Adam and Eve evicted from the Garden of Eden? Most people believe it was because they sinned. That's incorrect. It was to prevent them from eating of the tree of life!
And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. (Genesis 3:22-23)
If they had been allowed to eat of the tree of life and become spiritual bodies which live forever, the recreation effort described in Genesis might have resulted in adding more rebellious spirits to Satan's gang for eternity! After all, these new beings had already exhibited the same tendencies as the original caretakers. They had sinned! Therefore, mankind was separated from the tree of life so they could not eat of its fruit and live forever. Obviously, at this point, neither man nor any part of man is going to live forever! He had the opportunity. Man was never commanded not to eat from the tree of life! He could have eaten freely from the tree of life but he chose poorly. At this point, man is closer to being like the angels because he knows good from evil. The remaining difference is body type, physical versus spiritual. Man was expelled from the Garden of Eden so he could not eat from the tree of life and live forever! Few Christian clergy believe this verse.
There is additional confirmation in the Bible that the only remaining difference between man and the angels is body type. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and thus a spirit that lives forever. A spirit cannot be killed. That being the case, how could He die for our sins? The answer is in the Bible:
But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (Hebrews 2:9)
Jesus Christ was made to be "a little lower than the angels," exactly as man was created!
What is man, that thou art mindful of him? ...For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, (Psalm 8:4-5)
Both Jesus Christ and man were made "a little lower than the angels." However, we are given the one, and only one, reason that Jesus was made lower than the angels for His thirty-three years on earth. He could not die as a spirit! He was made lower than the angels so He could suffer death! That was the only change required for Him to become a human being! That is, His spiritual body could not die as it is immortal. He had to become a physical human body so He could die for our sins. It will always be a mystery to man as to how this was accomplished. That is, where was His spiritual body while He was on the earth? We will not understand this until we become members of the Kingdom of God. Regardless of how it was accomplished, the only change required for Jesus to become a human was a body type change from spiritual to physical. Conversely, the only remaining difference between humans and Jesus and the angels is a physical body versus a spiritual body. When Jesus was asked how men could enter into the Kingdom of God, Jesus gave only one requirement which man had to accomplish:
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. (John 3:5)
Jesus is addressing living men who have already been born of water. Human bodies are approximately 70% water and were carried in the womb in water. Man is the only animal which may gain eternal life since he is the only animal created with freedom of choice. One must choose whether or not to accept Jesus as their Savior. Thus to enter the Kingdom of God, one must first be born of water as a man and not some other animal. Our human birth of water gets us into the animal kingdom as homo sapiens. If one chooses to accept Jesus as his Savior, his second birth after Jesus returns to the earth will be a spiritual birth into the Kingdom of God. It is a real event, not simply some emotion! You are born a second time as a spirit, or born again.
Therefore, the one remaining requirement for any existing man or woman to enter the Kingdom of God is that they must be born again as a spirit! Flesh and blood physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God:
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; (I Corinthians 15:49-50)
Each of the two body types defined in the Bible, physical and spiritual, require a separate and distinct type of birth:
That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6)
Dualisms occur throughout the Bible. God created angels and some sinned due to their desire to be like God. God then created man lower than the angels and man sinned for the very same reason. The pursuit of power lures beings to sin. Both the rebellious angels and man desired to be as, or more powerful, than God. Is the "tree of life" ever encountered again in the Bible? Yes, several times in Revelation:
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God. (Revelation 2:7)
Man will individually be allowed to eat of the tree of life and live forever if he chooses to meet the requirement of the New Testament. The requirement of the New Testament in order for one to become an heir to salvation is a belief in Jesus Christ:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)
Those who are allowed to eat of the tree of life will be born again as spiritual beings which live forever. They will then, and only then, be equal unto the angels. Those who never eat of the tree of life are not born again as spiritual beings. They are resurrected as mortal beings. Obviously, we all die the first death. So what does eating of the tree of life save us from? It saves us from the second death described in Revelation:
He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. (Revelation 2:11)
How does eating of the tree of life protect us from the second death? When we eat of the tree of life we are born again as spiritual bodies which live forever and cannot die:
Lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever: (Genesis 3:22)
When will we receive this reward or gift of eternal life? At the Second Coming Jesus is bringing our reward:
Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him... (Isaiah 62:11)
And behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me... (Revelation 22:12)
When Satan told Eve, "Ye shall not surely die," he lied. However, Satan is the current ruler of the world. When the ruler makes a statement we accept it as truth uncritically. Since then, all mankind has an innate belief that some part of them, their spirit or soul, lives forever. Stories or beliefs accepted uncritically to explain basic "truths" are called myths. This immortal soul myth is not only believed by most Christians, it is a universal myth. Virtually all religions believe in some sort of life after death.
Since man is at the top of the food chain he has no physical being to look to above and see as his creator. Consider your dog or cat. They look to you for their shelter, food, medical help, life or death, etc. They do not worry about where they came from. On the other hand, man cannot understand his existence. Thus, early religions generally worshiped something they did not understand which gave them continued life such as the sun, the moon, or a river.
The effort to explain man's existence has taken two branches, religious and secular. The most widely known secular attempt at an explanation is the "Theory of Evolution." The religious branch has produced many religions. Of course, yours is the only true religion. Most of us would defend our religion to the death, and many have. On the other hand, the poor slob in the jungle worshiping the river truly believes his religion is the only true religion. Why? Because it's what he's been taught since birth. He was born into his religion, as were most of us!
The scriptures form the most amazing book ever written. The answers to man's every question are placed into a book which is brilliantly sealed from his understanding! Satan immediately sets man off on the totally wrong path when he instills in man the concept that, "Ye shall not surely die." After the first few pages of Genesis, Satan has successfully sealed the Bible from man's understanding.
This initial false belief that man is born as an immortal soul living within a physical body seals the remainder of the Bible from man's understanding. The remainder of the Bible must be incorrectly "interpreted" to support this original error! Consequently, secondary myths are created to support this initial myth created in the first few pages of Genesis. With a little assistance from Satan, man seals the scriptures from his own understanding!
An example of a secondary myth is the "bodily resurrection" theology. If you believe you are born with an immortal soul, you are forced to misinterpret the definition of Christians being born again at the resurrection in First Corinthians:
So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. (I Corinthians 15:42-45)
This scripture is not complicated. The Christian body that is sown is corruptible, dishonored, weak, and a natural body. This is the physical body which is buried like a seed, or sown, when we die. At the resurrection, Christians are raised up as incorruptible, glorified, powerful, spiritual bodies. This is exactly what the above verses state! Read them again several times if you must to confirm their simple truth.
Those humans who died believing in Jesus Christ will be born as spiritual bodies at the resurrection. Since this is their second birth, they are born again. The first man Adam was a living, breathing being or soul. The last Adam was made a quickening spirit or spiritual body. Perhaps use of the word "soul" is confusing. Let's cover that in chapter 14 - Poor Word Choice.
People who believe they are born as an immortal soul inhabiting a physical body will tell you this verse means the soul is rejoined with an incorruptible physical body which will never die. This is known as the bodily resurrection doctrine. This false interpretation is forced upon them once they believe Satan's lie that they already possess an eternal spiritual body, "Ye shall not surely die." Since Christians already have a spiritual body this scripture cannot mean what it states. Therefore, it must be interpreted to mean that the already existing spiritual body, which they believe all men to be born with, is merged with an incorruptible, immortal physical body at the resurrection! After all, if you already have a spiritual body, or soul, why would you need another one? Thus, they would have born again Christians remaining a little lower that the angels, since they are handicapped by a physical body.
This secondary bodily resurrection myth does resolve the problem of punishment for the nonbelievers and it is good news for all sadists. It is now possible to punish nonbelievers twenty-four hours a day for eternity in hellfire since their physical bodies can experience pain but never die! What a wonderful "Christian" concept! When Jesus Christ sees His followers believing He created a system to torture nonbelievers with the pain and terror of burning alive for eternity, what might His reaction be? My guess is that:
Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
Is it any wonder that Christian parents can worry themselves sick regarding the future "eternity" of their children?
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