The Crucible

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The Soul and the Life.

"The Word of God is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword", and cuts far deeper than we can ever perceive,
even as we shall find out through God's Word in Leviticus:

For the Life of the Flesh is in the Blood”.

 

 

The Orthodox Jewish Rabbis', hold to the belief that the seat of life is in the blood, where it is thought that the soul essence of a person resides.  I am very much in agreement with the Rabbis, for the Holy Word of God declares: For the life (nephesh) of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls (nephesh): For it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul (nephesh). (Leviticus 17 verse 11).   In the natural science of things, it is understood that the life of the physical body is absolutely dependent upon a healthy heart in concert with the body that circulates throughout the body, the strength of the blood with its multitude of physical properties.  In this context, it is obviously understood that the life of the body is synonymous with the blood.  However, in view of the above Levitical scripture, we would like to extend our thoughts beyond the obvious association of blood with life, and incorporate the Jewish Rabbis' understanding of God's Word. 

What we want to do is make a distinction between the natural life that is associated with blood, and the spiritual life or soul of a being, which we believe from the Word of God is the very essence of man that is within the flow of blood from a beating heart.  We note immediately that the completely formed body of Adam, with all of its wondrous detail, including the yet non circulating blood, did not make Adam a living soul, until the Lord God breathed His Breath of Life into Adam's nostrils. (See Genesis 2 verse 7.) It was at that point of time that the blood of Adam was infused with the spiritual essence of his God given soul and the heart began to beat and transfuse the essence of life throughout Adams' body.  Both of the English words 'life' and 'soul' are transliterated from the solitary Hebrew word 'nephesh'.  Hence, the words 'life' and 'soul' are synonymous to each other, as translated from the one Hebrew word 'nephesh'.  For contrast, the English word for 'blood' in Hebrew is 'dam', as distinguished from the Hebrew word 'nephesh'. If we put the translated words in Leviticus 17 verse 11 into expanded English thought, then we would have: For the life, (which is the very soul) of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given the blood to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your soul, (which is your very life)

While we are reasoning together, then we will continue to shed light on the heart of the matter and the logic of it all.  The beating heart is essential for the life of the body to be sustained, and without a beating heart then life ceases to flow within the body, and the body dies.  Jeremiah says: The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (See Jeremiah 17 verse 9 thru 10.) The physical heart organ is not evil because it may forget to beat.  The physical heart does not think on its own, but is dependent upon the organ of the brain and its connection with the vagus nerve to dictate the heart's timely rhythmic functions.   What then is Jeremiah saying about the heart if not metaphorically speaking about the inner man that is at the very core of man's thinking and emotions?  In the very next breath Jeremiah makes scripture clear.  I the Lord search the heart: I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.  The Lord God Almighty sees into the mind of the inner man, and He will strive with the nature of the soul of a  person to reward that person according to their minds chosen paths of good or of evil.  If the mind of man is pliable in the hand of God, then well and good, for the Almighty Lord God will straighten the way of the man, according to the Way of the Lord of Salvation.

Now, with every beat of the physical heart, there is the flowing of blood, and its multitude of physical contents that together, are the enabling force for the natural life of the body.  However, as we have already posited, the person's unseen soul or essence of life, as in 'nephesh', is also residing within the blood.  As such, the  unseen soul would be a separate entity in the blood, analogous to the many physical factors in the blood.  What is known of the physical matter can generally be isolated and separated from the whole blood. But there are thousand of blood factors that are undiscovered, and what of the unseen soul that is the life that is in the blood.   It is our contention that the blood should be considered to be the physical, as well as the spiritual medium for the lodging of the soul 'nephesh'.  Simply put, the blood is the unseen soul's home, within the confinements of the body of flesh and bone.

The end point we are making, is that because of the beating heart, and the circuitous flow of the blood throughout the body's thousands of miles of conduits of arterial vessels and venules, then it is more than plausible for the soul, the Hebrew, "nephesh", with its spirit for life, to imprint, not only on the blood, but because of the circulating whole blood with its plasma, to touch, to know and to imprint on every cell of the body, including the elemental brain and the electro-chemical substances of every thought, engendered within the mind of man.  In other words, the soul knows the complete body and the spirit of a man, for even as a man thinks within his heart/leb, being the core depths of the thoughts of his being, so then his life=soul (the Hebrew nephesh) becomes the expression of self, with its experienced mixture of good choices and evil choices. 

By virtue of the circulating blood, a person's whole life/soul (nephesh) is inclusive of their personality with the good and the evil thoughts and emotions, having been influenced by surrounding circumstances that brought forth actions and reactions to the stimuli, both in the body and outside of the body, all of which their mind's processed and would be imprinted upon their soul that is in the blood.  And so, even the spirit of our minds are intertwined within the soul of our being of flesh, and how then would you separate them as being distinct from each other?  Witness in your own thinking that the spirit of a man is within his thinking mind, and is projected outward by mankind's speech and or actions.  The admonition of the Spirit of God is: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man (the old self), which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man (the new person born again of God in Christ Jesus), which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. (See Ephesians 4 verse 22 thru 24.) The heart or the inner man is at the core of our being, where the spirit of our minds is intertwined with the soul of our being.  God, with His Spirit, moves on the spirit of our thinking minds, to change the direction that our souls are goings, and redirects the whole of our being toward the path way of new birth in Christ Jesus.  With the new birth in the Christ of God we are to follow the Lord in right thinking which leads us to righteous acts within His Agape Love that abides in Son Christ Jesus.  

Nothing of our being is lost of who we are in our souls, including an imprint of our distinctive human genetics that originally made us unique, "for even the very hairs of your head are all numbered".  (Matthew 10 verse 30.)  Spiritually, the unseen soul with the spirit of the mind of man have become as one, and would be the spiritual embodiment of who a person really is, as seen and known before the Almighty God with Whom we are subject to.  For the sharpness of the Word of God will pierce and even cut asunder the soul from the spirit of person and reveal who we are with out the Almighty God of the Living.  (See Hebrews 4 verse 11 thru 13.)  Without the Holy Spirit of the God of the Living abiding within our souls, then we are dead in our souls with its spirit of our thoughts being dead to the only God and Creator of all things.

In the following passages, we hope to give some insight into the real spiritual possibilities for the soul of man, which is in the blood, so as to give further testimony to how great a God we serve.  For with His Infinite Majesty, there is nothing impossible, and nothing is hidden from His eyes, for the Lord looks upon the heart/lebab, the inward faculty of our thoughts and emotions. (1st Samuel 16 verse 7.) (See also Luke 1 verse 37).  From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, and the abundance of the thoughts of the heart of every man whether for good or bad is recorded on the soul of the man.  Indeed, the Infinite God Almighty can read us like a book. Perhaps then, we might consider that the soul of man would be somewhat analogous to a read write medium of a CD disc, where the old useless information is exchanged and overwritten with that which is eternally important, and is there to keep us in remembrance of Christ sacrificial Love.  God's sanctification of the soul and spirit of humankind is though His Spirit that is One with the Life Blood of Jesus Christ, for in the midst or the core of our thinking souls, we would have the mind of Christ, as the Spirit of God abiding within our redeemed souls.  The natural man does not accept what is taught by the Spirit of God; for him, that is absurdity.  He cannot come to know such teaching because it must be appraised in a spiritual way.  On the other hand, the spiritual man can appraise everything, though he himself can be appraised by no one.  For, "Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct Him?" but we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NAB)  For the Spirit we have received is not the world’s spirit but God’s Spirit, helping us to recognize the gifts He has given us.  We speak of these, not in words of human wisdom but in Words taught by the Spirit, thus interpreting spiritual things in spiritual terms. (1 Corinthians 2:13-14 NAB)  The old thinking of the mind of our soul is to be changed and renewed with the Spirit of the Word of God IN Christ Jesus.  (See Romans 12 verse 2.)

When the redeemed, of the Faith in Christ Jesus, are receiving the Communion Blood of Jesus Christ through God's Holy Spirit of Grace, then that Redeeming Blood is always speaking to the depths of our minds, too bring the spirit of our minds into the remembrance of God's mercy and forgiveness toward the repentant believers in Jesus the Messiah.  God's Spirit of Grace is ever faithful towards us repentant believers, for He is Present to bring about the washing and the renewing of the soul's mind, in accord to the mind's singular dependency upon God's Covenant of Love and Life within the same mind of His Beloved Son Christ Jesus. 

In continuing with our train of thought, it is vitally important that we understand the vast difference between the unloving souls of fallen humanity, compared to the Agape/Love that abided in the Soul of Jesus Christ.   Mankind's love of God was displaced by a self absorbing love within the soul of human kind that is directed by sin's enslavement of our already corrupted flesh.  But Christ Jesus, is the last genetic son of Adam, begotten by His Father from the seed of a virgin WoMan, and His soul essence in union with the essence of His mind's spirit, was centered within His Eternal Love for His Father, and His Father's Will to save the lost of humanity.  God's Perfect Love was and is manifested to lost humanity with God's Perfect Sacrificial Offering of His obedient and beloved Son, for They are One; and the One God, --- is Perfect Love.  O righteous Father, the World has not known You, but I have known You, for You have Loved/Agapeo Me before the foundation of the world, and these have known that You have sent Me.  I have declared unto them Your Name, and will further declare it; that the Love/Agapeo wherewith You have Loved Me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17 verse 24 thru 26). "Nevertheless it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief when Thou shall make His soul (nephesh) an offering for sin, [Then] He shall see His seed". (Isaiah 53 verse 10). Yes, the Christ of God shall see His seed.  For if one is born of the Word of God, then they are of the Seed of Christ and of the Faith of Christ Jesus.  Sin brought death to our souls, and the Christ of God was crucified for our sin, and in His resurrection from the dead, our souls are birthed as a brand new child of God by faith in the Word of God that gave them Life in His resurrection from the grave. (See John 12 verse 24.)

Next, it is imperative to note the disciple John's testimony at the cross, for he testifies of the Blood and the Water flowing from the pierced side of the now dead Body of Jesus.  But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced His side, and forthwith came there out blood and water (John 19 verse 34 thru 35.)  The red color of Blood is derived from the red blood cells, with its hemoglobin and iron content.  Physiologically, what John is describing is the result of the accumulation of the platelet clotting red blood cells and other solids, that had separated from the blood plasma, both of which, upon separation, had pooled together in the pleura of thoracic cavity of the Lord's body.  When the soldier pierced the side of the Lord with his spear, both the semi-clotted red blood cells, and the separated clearer fluid came gushing out together upon the ground. The blood in John's mind, which is being associated with its color of red, was actually a mixture of semi-clotting red blood cells, being carried by the clearer fluid of the whole blood.  The Water, that John reports of seeing, is the serum or blood plasma, that had separated from the whole blood, and it was this fluid along with the forming clotted blood cells that both flowed together, from the pierced side of Jesus' Body and on to the earthen ground.  Hence, John saw the Blood of Jesus Christ flowing from the pierced side of Jesus in its separated forms of solid and liquid.  It is all Blood.

Our Spiritual analogy is simply to evaluate the natural blood, as we know of its working in the natural body, and then to compare it to the spiritual Blood of Jesus Christ, working in its sanctifying grace within the members of the spiritual church body of Jesus Christ on earth.  In our natural bodies, the blood plasma is the complex fluid that carries the suspended red and white blood cells, platelets as well as a myriad of complex organic compounds, and unknown factors throughout the vascular network of the body.  The red blood cells carry the life giving oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body, and then the oxygen depleted red blood cells remove from the blood the released carbon dioxide as a result of the natural cellular metabolism of the body.  But it is the serum and the lymph fluid of the whole blood that bathes each and every cell of the natural body, as it transfuses necessary nutrients into the interstitial spaces between the differentiated cell walls, and deep within the individual cells proper.  By way of the blood serum, life giving nutrients are carried into the cells, and the waste metabolites are carried out of, and away from the cells, to be disposed of through the elimination organs.  The whole of the blood and plasma also provides for the natural immune defenses for the natural body.  The armies of white blood cells, being composed of the same DNA as the rest of the body's cells, are designed to protect all cells of the body, which have the same DNA signature. That which is foreign to the body's genetics is seen as an enemy of the body and when discovered by specific white blood cells, they will isolate an enemy within themselves, and then chemically alert the immune system to search out and destroy that which is foreign to the well fare of the whole body.  How remarkable is the complexity of the life sustaining whole blood, as it courses through the vast network array of arteries, arterioles, capillaries, venules and veins and, lymphatic tissue, and then arriving back at the heart after being renewed in its vitality, through the appropriate vital organs of the body.

Continuing deeper within our natural and spiritual incites, we should understand that the New Covenant Communion Blood of Jesus is for the unified Life of His Body on earth, and without the unimpeded flow of that Blood there is no Life to the members of the body. (See John 6 verse 53 thru 56.) Even as the natural flow of our genetic blood courses through our earthly body, nourishing, cleansing and protecting the body from harmful foreign intrusions, so then also is the Communion Blood and the Serum Water of the Word of God, in union with the Holy Spirit, actively cleansing, nourishing and protecting with Love every individual cellular person, who is joined together in God's Love/Agapao within the Body of Jesus Christ. (See 1st John 5 verse 8.) Even as the life blood of all flesh has an innate understanding of the genetics of the species, and then through a healthy immune system, the immune forces will seek out to destroy invading organisms that do not meet the genetic requirements of the body: So then likewise, the Spirit of the Blood of Jesus Christ is already in motion to cut off or kill the intrusion of sin that is destructive to the spiritual health of His Body of believers on earth.  God is Love, and because Jesus Christ is the Living Word of God, then God's Signature of His Holy Love is in the Blood of Jesus Christ, and the Love of God is the antithesis of sin and death, and will mitigate sins strength little by little, if not immediately destroy sin at its source within the flesh of our yielded minds. In God's mercy, what is good for the whole body, is good for the one cellular person, and vise versa.  What is evil and will not change will be completely cut off, like a branch in the vine that is withering away in rot and decay. (See John 15 verse 1 thru 6.)

Submitted Lives in God's Keeping

On an individual basis, we each need to heed our Chief Physician's instructions to daily deny our own selfish desires that are initiated within our fleshly minds, and thereby learning from the afflictions of the cross while we follow the Lord.  ( See Matthew 16 verse 24 thru 25.) Even with our failures to comply to His instructions, when we have submitted our lives to God's keeping, He will jealously protect what is His, for the Blood Covenant of Jesus Christ shall not permit sin to have dominion over those who are joined in His Spirit's unity to each other within the risen Body of Jesus Christ.  When our minds become encumbered with the burdens of idolatrous sins of the flesh, and if we have not hardened our heart to the Spirit's prompting, then when we come together in His Body, we should humbly call upon the Lord our Physician, and give to Him our sincere confession of our hearts infidelities, confusions and weaknesses.  We know that our God is Faithful, and through the Life (Nephesh) sustaining infusion of His Covenant Blood, He will forgive and permit the Communion New Covenant Blood to cleanse the gross impurities that are foreign to His good will, and which does not conform to the new creation born of the Word of God.  Because there is Eternal Life in the Covenant Blood of Jesus Christ, then the refreshment of that Life, through His Holy Spirit of Grace, is given to His members as assurance to our minds, of God's faithfulness to His Covenant, and To Be the only source of nourishment for the soul and spirit of all believers within His Body. 

However, there are warnings to be heeded in God's amnesty program:  If sin is not sincerely repented of by a member of the Blood Covenant and the person continues to practice the sin so that the member becomes corrupted or hardened by the sin, then the power of the Blood of Jesus Christ through the Word of His testimony, will isolate the member for severe correction. If there is no compliance, then God may destroy that cellular member as alien from the Life of the Body and for the sake of the Body of Jesus Christ.  Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. (1st Corinthians 3 verse 16 thru 17.) Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. For he that sows to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that sows to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap Life everlasting. (Galatians 6 verse 7 thru 9.) If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the Blood of the Covenant that sanctifies him, and who has insulted the Spirit of Grace? For we know Him Who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people." It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.  (Hebrews 10 verse 26 thru 31.)

Just suppose if we, who are saved by the Grace of God in Christ Jesus, could miraculously view our souls in a mirror, what would we see? Would it still be a soul hidden in the shadows of self indulgence or would it be a liberated soul of great faith in Jesus Christ, which is continually being clarified by the Love and Light of God, through the Fountain of the Spirit of the Water of the WORD of GOD?  It would be wonderful if our souls looked like the latter image, however the revelation would undoubtedly spoil us, and we would still have the same everyday need of our Savior, just as He is needed for the former mirrored image of the soul still struggling with self. (See 2nd Corinthians 3 verse 17 thru 18). We can do nothing to justify our selves, apart from the Sanctifying and saving Grace that is in the Sacrificial Life Blood of Jesus Christ. Our souls and spirits have the infinite need of the Life (Nephesh) in the Covenant Blood of our Savior, clarifying within ourselves, just Whom we really do belong to.  When God looks upon the soul of an individual who has faith in the Covenant Blood, God sees and knows the imprinted soul of that person is of His own Seed, because He sees the very same Life Blood of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ, not only covering, but infused into the heart and soul of the person who is born of His Perfect Love. The Communion Blood and the Water of God's Word, imprints over the confessed gross infidelities of our old nature with its flaws, and leaves the imprint of God's WORD and Son Jesus, upon the soul of the new creation.  Because of the Blood of His Only Begotten Son Jesus, God does not see the flawed imprints of sin on the soul of the old man of sin, but He sees the new man being regenerated through and by God's Gift of Faith, maintained within the New Covenant, in the Perfect Life Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, Who was and is, and is to come as the Son of God Almighty.

To proceed to the next chapter, please click on God’s Covenant in the Blood.

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Robert Glenn Pratten