By: J.T. Haywood
Man is a threefold creature, consisting of Spirit, soul, and body. All that is visible is the body. Man is the masterpiece of God’s workmanship, and is “wonderfully and fearfully” made. Nothing like him has ever been brought into being.
The body was formed from the dust of the ground. God breathed into his nostrils the breath (spirit) of life, and he became a living soul. The union of the Spirit and the body apparently produced the soul. (Gen 2:7.)
The soul is never separated from the body. It is the seat of affections. It is the subconscious realm of human activity. On it is impressed the desires, or affections gathered by the spirit through the mental realm, and
afterwards carried into actions by the body. The soul is to the body what the records are to the phonograph. (See Rom. 1:20.) Whatever is imprinted on the soul will be acted out unconsciously by the body.
When the spirit of man begins to reach out after evil things, evil impressions are stamped upon the soul, thus resulting in evil deeds, wicked works and practices. The Psalmist says man is “estranged from the womb; they go astray as soon as they are born, speaking lies.” Psa. 58:3. The soul is often spoken of as the “heart”. (Gen. 6:5; Psa. 51:10; 84:2.)
The preaching of the gospel stirs one’s spirit seek after righteousness. Though the spirit may be inclined towards righteousness, yet it cannot do the things they desire to do on the account of the soul being, as it were, filled with evil engravings of past affections. Hence there is a struggle between the spirit and the body, because the body is inclined to fulfill deeds recorded on the soul, while the spirit endeavors to perform the works of righteousness. (Rom. 7:9-24.) This is genuine conviction unto godly sorrow, working repentance unto salvation.
There is nothing that can remove those evil records engraved upon the soul, or heart, but faith in the blood of Jesus, the Bishop of our souls. The true cry of a penitent spirit is, “O wretched man that I am! who shall
deliver me from the body of this death?” “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me!” “What must I do to be saved?” When a soul reaches that state he should be taught full faith and obedience in the command of God, “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit,” and God will confirm His word.
When the soul is cleansed the Holy Spirit comes in to help the spirit to place new records on the soul, that the body might perform the will of God, walking in the newness of life. Through the Holy Spirit He will “put My laws in their minds (spirit), and write them upon their hearts” (soul). See John 14:26; 16:13; Heb. 8:10. The mind is the realm of the spirit’s activity, while the heart is the seat of the soul’s affections. Thus by having new records on the soul it becomes as easy for a man to walk and live righteous as it was for him to live wickedly in his former life. Many are cleansed and filled with the Spirit, but fail to get God’s truth
hidden, or engraved in their hearts. Psa. 119:11; Hos.4:6. They need the TRUTH, and not tradition! John 8:32; 17:17.
The modern purchasing plan beautifully illustrates the purpose of spirit, soul, and body, and their final disposition. Whenever an article is purchased the salesman writes out the place, date, and description of the article on two bills at one writing, an original and a duplicate bill. When the goods are delivered the duplicate goes with the article purchased, while the original is signed aud returned to the Company that gave it. Should any question arise over the goods they are returned with the duplicate, which is immediately compared with the original, and judgment is rendered according to the records of the two bills. Thus it is with the spirit, soul and body.
The body is the article of purchase. The spirit and the soul are the two bills, original and duplicate, respectively. The records of bodily action originate with the spirit, and are duplicated on the soul. When the body is delivered up to death and the grave, the deeds of the body are still imprinted on the soul. The soul and body enter the grave together. (Job 33:18,22,28,30; Psa. 16:10, and Acts 2:2-7,31. Psa.49:14,15.) But the spirit returns to the God that gave it. (Ecc. 3:21; 12:7; Lu. 23:14, and Acts 2:31; Acts 7:59,60.) The dead know not anything that is transpiring in this life after their departure, but they do know what is transpiring in the realm wherein they are confined. The spirit of the wicked is tormented by remorse, being conscious of his future destiny. His soul is harassed while sleeping, like a man with wicked, horrible, tormenting dreams, but unable to awake. And when he awakes on the morning of the second resurrection (Rev. 20:10-15), he will awake expecting relief, but will find that his punishment has in reality just begun. (See Luke 16:22-31.)
As for the righteous their spirit departs to be with Christ in Paradise (Phil. 1:23), while the soul is at rest sweetly sleeping in Christ like “one who has folded the drapery of his couch about him and laid down to
pleasant dreams.” And in the resurrection morning he “shall be satisfied when he awakes with His likeness.” His spirit and soul will be united in “a glorious body” and shall enter into that realm of life eternal, where there shall be no death, no night, no sleep, no sorrow to break in on the feast of unending joy in the presence of the Lord. (See Psa. 17:15; Isa. 26:19; Dan. 12:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:49-55; 1 Thes. 4:13-17.
(The above material was published by The Voice in the Wilderness, Detroit, MI.)
Christian Information Network