This subject matter is being built upon what God’s entire purpose, plan, and creation is all about – Elohim. Now, just before Jesus Christ is sent back in his role as the Messiah, God is clarifying and magnifying more about His Family. This too is very much about a stronger Seventh Thunder.
We are actually building upon what has virtually been lost and ignored in the Ten Commandments, although it has always been right there in plain sight (physically). That which has been completely ignored is the first sentence of that First Commandment.
“I am the Eternal (Yahweh) your God (Elohim – Family), who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house (Heb. – household, family) of bondage. You shall have no other gods (elohim) before Me” (Ex. 20:2-3).
The Eternal God IS our Family! Those begotten by Him into that family are the Church and God desires we be faithful to Him and His Family (the Church) above all things. Failing to do so is to break the First Commandment. If our relationship is not right with those in this family, then we are raising up something else that is of greater importance to us (whatever that is), which is idolatry. In this world, especially in this end-time of mass technology and highly intrusive communication (i.e. the Internet, Facebook, cell phones, blogs, twittering, etc.), it is easy to betray brethren and spread true and untrue information far too easily and far too quickly.
It is easy to pass something along about another member of the Body that does not contain all the facts – all the truth of a matter. Even when something is stated to others outside the Body (a previous member or in the world) that is fully true, it does not mean that it should be communicated to others, especially to those who have left the fellowship or have been officially disfellowshipped. There are many today who seek to perversely “feed” upon everything they can in order to pass it along to others in a twisted and negative manner.
The people who “feed” upon the Church are not only past members, but are often relatives or others who are still “friends” (although truly questionable) who take every little morsel they can glean (or tear away) in order to “pass it along” to others who are also desirous of “feeding upon” the Church.
As Christ was telling the disciples about events that would lead up to His coming, he gave a description of a period of time for the Church in which it would be considered “dead” by those who have hated it. We are in that very specific period right now. Even as a prophetic description of how the Church, the Body of Christ, would be looked upon and treated just before final end-time events, Christ stated that, “For wheresoever the carcass (Gk.- corpse) is, there will the birds of prey (best understood as ‘vultures’) be gathered together” (Mat. 24:28). This describes well (spiritually so) those who seek to feed upon the Body of Christ, seeking to pick away at anything they can tear away in order to consume in a perverted, foul, and stinking manner.
Any in God’s Church who pass along ANY information about anyone else in the Body (which may seem totally innocent) are foolish to do so, and by doing so very often betray faithfulness to uphold and protect God’s Family. Being foolish and irresponsible like this can easily break the First Commandment and cut oneself off from God spiritually, although they may still be physically convening with the Church. In the first few centuries of the Church, and even beyond, the spreading of any information about another in the Church did lead to the literal death of others. We live in a serious time in this end-time and need to take it seriously as part of our calling and duty toward one another to not be careless in writing or in speaking. To do so can mean being fully cut-off from God. This is how important true fellowship is to God.
We have covered this material in this inset in order to help magnify the spiritual importance of what God is giving us. To understand what has just been covered it to learn “how” to judge many of the matters that will yet be covered toward the very end of this series once we get there.
We are now going to continue from where we left off in Part 8 as to what God gave through Paul concerning the phrase, “so that the spirit might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” It is important to understand God’s purpose and love (carried out and administered by everyone God’s way) toward most all who become disfellowshipped from Him.
The Spirit Mind
Although some of the following knowledge has been given to God’s Church in the past few years, there is more to be built upon it, as God gives us more understanding of how He is creating Elohim.
To build upon what God has given His Church, it is necessary to start in the beginning. The angels were created of spirit essence – fully spirit in composition. They were not created to be robotic in nature in the sense of being programmed or given instinctive responses to various conditions in life, even as mankind was not created in such a way. The angels were made free moral agents, but unlike mankind, they were fully spirit in composition, including the makeup of their mind.
It also needs to be fully understood that while the angels were fully spirit, they were not of God’s holy spirit – of His mind or word (logos). God did not and does not “dwell in” them through His holy spirit as with those who are begotten of Him among mankind.
From the beginning, the angelic realm knew only God’s way of life. They were created in unity and complete harmony with God. They knew no other way and they rejoiced in all that God shared and taught them. We know well the story of what followed. Lucifer, one of the three archangels, decided (freely chose) to oppose God by determining for himself that He was not in agreement with all of God’s purpose, plan, and only true way of life. Lucifer turned away from God and His way to embrace “his own way” of pride, jealousy, envy, lust, greed, lying, hatred, etc. It was the way that is fully opposite of God – against God. Lucifer then became known as Satan the Devil – the Adversary of God.
When Lucifer first made the choice to oppose God’s word, his spirit mind became corrupted and defiled. That is exactly what God told him concerning his sin.
“Your heart (the most inner being reflecting will and purpose) was lifted up (pride) because of your beauty (taking unto himself the greatness God had given him). You have corrupted (Heb.- cause ruin, destroyed) your wisdom (the mind God had given him) by reason of your brightness” (Ex. 28:17).
Once Satan infected (damaged, began to destroy) his own mind (thinking and reasoning) through the choice of opposing God – through sin – his spirit mind became “permanently set” on his own course (way) of life. He became permanently opposed to God, as did all of the angels who followed him and became demons. Satan did destroy (fully corrupt) what God had given him. Nothing can change such corruption to a “spirit mind.” This was Satan’s own free choice. He did not want God’s ways – permanently so. Once a fully composed “spirit mind” sins (makes the choice to oppose God), there is no reversal nor desire or will to reverse such a course. The mind becomes “set” on some other course of one’s own thinking, but never again on God’s one true way – never again in any agreement with God.
This is sometimes difficult for people to understand or accept, as the mind of mankind is made differently. God made mankind different for a different purpose – so that mankind could be created into Elohim. The human mind is composed of a physical brain along with a spirit essence in it – the “spirit in man.” This is what Paul was referring to when he asked, “For what (does) man know (understand, see) of the things of man (the physical world around him), save (except by) the ‘spirit of man’ which is in him? Even so the things of God (all that is spiritual) no man knows, but (but by) the spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:11).
By creating the human mind to be composed of both a physical component (the brain) together with a spiritual component (the spirit in man), the spirit essence of the mind can potentially be created into something new (a new creation) – something different from what it was before a person is begotten. This is just as Paul explained concerning those who dwell in Christ (those begotten of God’s spirit): “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (Gk.- creation)” (2 Cor. 5:17).
The “spirit in man” can be changed (transformed) into something different. This spirit essence in the mind is not “set,” but can potentially be changed in thinking and purpose from that which before begettal is only motivated by selfishness, the way of get, and pride. Such a change can only happen as a matter of free choice once God calls a person, offers repentance of sin and forgiveness, and then gives the transforming power of His holy spirit to anyone who has been begotten who earnestly desires such help to be changed.
Cut Off From God’s Spirit
There are similarities between the human “begotten” mind being likened to a spiritual embryo and that of a physical embryo. They are both similar in the likeness of having a beginning stage of life that is not yet actually born, but they are able to have life (one physical and the other spiritual) because of the nourishment that is continually coming into the embryo and giving it the means to develop and grow. In a physical embryo, the umbilical cord carries nourishment for life to it through the blood. In a spiritual type of embryo God supplies nourishment for “spiritual life” (His holy spirit), which is accomplished because of the blood of Christ as our Passover. So there are similarities of design, but differences in function.
There is also likeness in how the embryo is connected by the umbilical cord, as it not only carries nourishment to the embryo, it also carries waste away. On a spiritual plane, as one is nourished spiritually, it is the blood of Christ that carries away the waste of that which is rejected that is harmful (hurtful) and worthless to the embryo. It is as John stated, “and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin” (1 Jn. 1:7).
However, there is a big difference in how this embryo is nourished. A human embryo must have a continual flow of blood through the umbilical cord in order to receive nourishment to develop and grow and to have life sustained until actual birth. If the flow of the blood through the umbilical cord is cut off, the fetus will cease developing and soon become aborted. This is not the same for how the “spirit begotten essence” (the spirit in man begotten of God’s holy spirit) actually develops and grows.
The flow of God’s spirit can be slowed and even cease, but the “spirit begotten essence” (begotten portion of the spirit in man) does not cease to exist as a human fetus would if cut-off from a continual flow of blood. Without a continual flow of God’s spirit into the begotten portion of the spirit in man, that spiritual type of a fetus simply becomes dormant with no activity and no life coming into it. This is true for someone fully (totally, 100%) cut-off from any of God’s spirit. When this occurs, the spirit in man reverts back to only having the ability to function as before begettal on a purely physical plane, with no ability to “see” or function on a spiritual plane. That spirit essence (the original spirit in man) now contains certain knowledge about God and the truth that it did not have before being begotten, but it cannot deal with that knowledge on a spiritual plane– only a physical one. That is why some people may continue in some form of observance of a seventh-day Sabbath, or tithing, and/or will not eat unclean food, etc., but they do not grasp God’s truth on a spiritual plane.
Today, we can better grasp some of these concepts because of the computer age in which we live. We have far greater ability to understand much of this more clearly now than in 1972 when God first revealed through Herbert W. Armstrong this function and truth of a “spirit (essence) in man” that is connected to the human brain.
The “spirit in man” is a spirit essence that has no life of itself. Since it is spirit in composition, it cannot be measured or seen by anything that is physical. This spirit essence gives mankind the ability for learning, memory, creativity, individual thought (thinking and reasoning), etc., that makes mankind different from the animal kingdom. Mankind was created to be a free moral agent – free to make individual choices in life. There is no such ability within the animal kingdom, as it has been “programmed” by God to instinctively react to various conditions in life and to have specific characteristics as God has created in each species.
God has miraculously designed the human brain, which is totally physical in composition, to be connected to this spirit essence so that the mind in mankind is fully unique in all His creation. God has designed and created the mind in this manner in order to accomplish an even greater creation – Elohim.
Everything about an individual is stored within and functions within the “spirit in man” that each person has in them. All that a person has ever experienced and learned (although unable to recall it all) is contained in this spirit essence. Yet, for the human mind, the “spirit in man” can only work with things within a physical world on a physical plane. There is NO spiritual knowledge, function, or insight whatsoever.
When a person dies, that specific “spirit essence” (spirit in man) is retained by God. It contains no life in it, but simply contains “everything of a person,” a kind of storage of the individual it was in. It is that same individual spirit essence that will be put back into a human body of a person who is resurrected in the second life when that life is given on the Last Great Day. The exact same person who died hundreds or thousands of years before will have life again, except they will have a new and fully healthy body and brain with the same “spirit (spirit essence) in man” placed into it that was in them at death. They will have the same thinking, the same mind, and will be the same person as before.
The Spirit Begotten “Spirit in Man”
It is within this “spirit in man” that one can be begotten of God’s holy spirit after one has been baptized, forgiven of sins, and then had hands laid upon them. It is at this time when one is able to receive the impregnation of God’s holy spirit that a “new mind” begins to develop and grow together within this spirit in man. This new portion of “spirit essence” is a component that is spiritual in nature as it is of the “holy spirit” of God. Of itself, the basic spirit in man only allows for physical interaction in life, but this “begettal spirit,” or newly added spirit essence of the holy spirit allows for spiritual interaction and fellowship, as well as spiritual insight and understanding.
This new “spiritual” component (the holy spirit) that becomes attached to the “spirit in man” has no life in itself, just as the “spirit in man” has no life in itself. Only when it is in the mind of a living individual is it able to function. But this too is unique in the way God created it to be (exist and work), as it cannot function on its own within the individual through that person’s own ability. That spiritual essence (of spiritual begettal in the spirit in man) can only function when connected to God and His Son through a continual flow of God’s holy spirit into it.
It is only by a continual flow of God’s holy spirit into the begotten spirit in man that a transformation of the mind is possible and can be actively worked upon. It is important to understand that the flow of God’s holy spirit to the begettal spirit is not always the same. This has much to do with the response of each individual (through personal choice) to God. This is affected by prayer, fasting, reading or listening to spiritual material, holy day observance, spiritual growth, fellowship, how a person is living at any moment in time, attitude, wrong thinking, sin, spiritual sluggishness or lethargy, etc.
This begettal portion of the holy spirit works to merge (to grow and develop) with the spirit in man in order to change (transform) the mind from one that only functions physically (on a physical plane) to one that functions spiritually on both a physical and spiritual plane. Yet in all this, such a mind can only function on a spiritual plane when God’s holy spirit is flowing into it. This “new mind” that is being created by God can only be developed, actually grow on a spiritual level, and actively function spiritually when connected to a good flow of God’s holy spirit into it.
If someone is totally cut-off from all flow of the holy spirit, then we should understand that there is NO function taking place on a spiritual plane and that the spirit begotten portion of the spirit in man has NO activity. It is simply 100 percent stagnant spiritually.
This varying flow of the holy spirit has everything to do with where someone is spiritually at any moment in time. This should magnify for each individual that which Christ said, “We can do nothing (spiritually) of ourselves (Jn. 15:5).” Such understanding should remove all attitudes of spiritual pride concerning how someone can take spiritual knowledge and understanding to themselves by being lifted up over others for how one thinks of (sees) themselves spiritually. This is exactly what Satan did. He became lifted up in what he believed was “his own greatness” and was not of a humble spirit, as he failed to reflect an absolute knowing that all that he had was from God. Even the Church during Laodicea (after Herbert W. Armstrong’s death) became lifted up with spiritual pride (spiritually rich and increased with goods), and it did not grasp that ALL was from God and not because of any spiritual greatness of oneself.
The context of what we have been covering concerns the statement God inspired through Paul of anyone who is fully (100 percent) cut-off from God and the flow of His holy spirit into them. This statement is key to understanding the primary reason for “what is best” for any begotten individual who is “fully” disfellowshipped: “so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5).
The reasons for disfellowshipping someone in order to protect, edify, unify, sober, and cleanse the Church are separate issues which were covered in large part before beginning to focus on this aspect of “what is best” for the actual individual who has become disfellowshipped. Even when someone must be disfellowshipped, God reveals that He still has a plan in which there remains a potential means to save such a person. This is based on His love for the one disfellowshipped. This involves “saving the spirit.” So what does this mean? It means that this is about “saving” the new portion of the begettal of God’s holy spirit within the spirit (spirit essence) in man that is not yet fully “set” (completed, finished, transformed).
Although portions of this “newer understanding” were given in recent Feast sermons, it would be good to repeat some of that and then add to, build upon it.
We know that in the beginning God created a spirit realm composed of spirit essence (spirit elements, spirit matter), but not of His holy spirit. This is just as God, in a similar fashion, later created a physical realm (the universe) composed of physical matter (physical elements). Our minds can only minimally grasp such a thing. There are places in scripture that describe some of that spirit creation and how it appeared. Then God later went on to create living spirit composed beings – angels. They were created of spirit essence (spirit elements, spirit matter), and their minds were composed of a spirit essence that gave them the ability for learning, memory, creativity, individual thought (thinking and reasoning), etc. But their minds were not composed of or connected to God’s holy spirit. God did not and does not “dwell in” angels as He does “in” those who are begotten of His holy spirit. So similar to the spirit creation of angels in a spirit realm, God created living physical life from physical matter within the physical realm. With mankind, God created within the mind a portion of spirit essence (spirit matter, spirit in man) to be connected to the brain.
It has already been mentioned concerning angels that if they choose any other way than what God has shown (revealed) to them that their mind becomes permanently “set” against God. That is simply the makeup and reality of such spirit created life. God’s entire purpose for physical created life is vastly different from spirit created life. His purpose is to provide the means whereby a “spirit (essence) in man” that is connected to a physical human brain can be changed (transformed) in a creative process that is “not yet fully set” in spirit. This is the only way Elohim can be created.
With the “spirit in man,” along with the begettal from “God’s holy spirit,” a literal creation of God begins on a spirit plane. This creation is not something that is instant, but rather, it takes much time and interaction (spiritual fellowship) between God and the begotten individual. This creation – the only one of its kind – is the development of a spirit mind that is “holy” in nature – fully of God and of His mind, His being, His word within the mind of the one begotten. This also enhances understanding of the unique creation of “one Son” as part of God’s plan and purpose to create Elohim in which the “word” (logos of God) was made flesh. There is much more about this awesome marvel (wonder) that will be magnified during the Millennium, but God has given us much already – the building blocks of it all.
(It is necessary to strive to digest what has been covered in this post thus far before continuing to build even more upon what is being given. That will follow in Part 10.)