Clearly, when the Bible refers to “flesh” or “spirit,” we need to know exactly what is meant by both terms. If we do not know precisely what both these terms mean, we simply cannot possibly properly understand anything written in the Bible.
Since God is entirely Spirit, and since our entire salvation is spiritual, if we are not able to properly distinguish between flesh and spirit, the result can be disastrous. We must be able to delineate what is of flesh, then denounce it whenever necessary. “For the flesh strongly desires against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh. For these things oppose each other, with the result that whatever things you might not will to do, these things you do” (Gal. 5:17).
Yet the “flesh” and the “spirit” are not what the vast majority of people seem to think they are. The general view of the flesh is either too neutral or too negative. Then hardly anyone seems to even have a clue about the spirit. Some think the spirit is the seat of emotional, intuitive or rational thought. Yet, all these things are strictly from the brain of flesh, not from the spirit. Of course, pure godly love actually comes directly from the spirit. But most associate love with romance and feelings, or even sex. So they have no idea as to what the spirit and eternal spiritual love actually are.
Historically, it is also strange that church tradition has always tried to meld human flesh and human spirit into one indistinguishable thing. After all, the church has always tended to follow pagan neoplatonic teachings, which generally tried to develop an even sharper contrast between flesh and spirit than the Jews and apostolic Christians ever did. Yet, since neoplatonists always believed in a purely fleshy definition of “spirit,” because they were humanists who worshipped the intellect of human beings, I suppose this compromise was inevitable.
However, God’s true elect must now return to biblical truths, since knowing the reality God actually created will help us deal with real life situations, both spiritual and physical. Much of Christianity today is thoroughly weak and confused by ridiculous humanistic doctrines about a “sinful nature” and so on. Most Christians cling to a “fleshy” and false definition of “spirit” — everyone from the greedy leaders of the self-indulgent “Health and Wealth” movement, to the radically severe monks who starve and punish their bodies daily.
Very few Christians truly understand even the basic workings of God in real salvation because they simply do not understand what is of the flesh and what is of the spirit. Consequently, they never mature spiritually, and cannot learn to fully communicate with God in prayer. Then, without any real two-way communication with God, they can never truly learn a correct interpretation of God’s Word, directly from the one true Teacher, the living and resurrected Jesus the Christ.
When we see this kind of thing happen, we know where it comes from. It comes from a spirit who wants to mess up our relationship with God, and who wants to stop us from hearing God in our spirits. Obviously, Satan is the one who desires these things. So all these false doctrines about flesh and spirit came from Satan, through the early church fathers, and through most “great” church leaders who came after them. These Satanic heresies, which destroy man’s relationship with God, have been basically the only doctrines ever taught in the church since the second century.
Both Roman Catholics and Protestants adhere to thoroughly unbiblical and humanistic explanations concerning this matter. And it all revolves around the earliest arguments concerning the flesh and Spirit of Jesus. When the church defined the nature of Christ’s body and spirit, they also defined the nature of man’s body and spirit. And all this was done along the lines of humanistic thought, based on Greco-Roman philosophies.
Both Roman Catholics and Protestants ended up adopting the old Definition of Chalcedon (AD 451) with regards to the nature of Christ’s body and spirit. This “Definition” stated that the spirit and flesh of Christ are not actually just plain flesh and spirit, but “two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation.” Thus, after this “Definition” was universally adopted, all truth fell by the wayside, and was never picked up again.
So let us look a little closer at this “Definition” from Chalcedon, and see how it forever destroyed the biblical teachings about flesh and spirit. When we see how they derived their “Definition” relating to Christ, and “Doctrine of Christ,” we will also see how the definition of man’s nature, and the “Doctrine of Man,” became permanently corrupted too.
Of course, these corruptions began long before Christ, and actually rose with great power through a contemporary of Christ, through the humanist Philo. Philo attempted to harmonize the Greek philosophies with the Old Testament Scriptures, while placing a much greater emphasis on the “truth” of the “literal” Greek philosophies, and treating the Bible as a secondary and less accurate “allegorical” revelation of the “same truth.”
Philo’s methodology became very popular, since worldly Jews and Christians could fancy themselves to be “deep” and “spiritual,” even though they remained entirely worldly and carnal. Consequently, even before the end of the first century, so-called “Christians” and “Christian” apologists adopted Philo’s methodologies. Thus, the Bible began to bear much less respect in the eyes of the whole humanistic church, and they respected the Greek philosophies much more.
Now not all the doctrines they taught were entirely heretical. Some things were relatively biblical, but with a humanistic flavour — since all their “spiritual” teachings were “figurative” or “allegorical,” and they thought “spiritual” things came from the “rational intellect” of the brain of flesh. Still, as confused, foolish and contradictory as their understanding of flesh and spirit really was, they did come up with some relatively true statements. So we should look at those first, before we can see how these things turned into a totally humanistic heresy.
The Council of Chalcedon illustrated their humanistic view of Christ with three Greek words: “hypostasis,” “phusis” and “prosopon.” The first word, “hypostasis,” refers to an “actual thing, real being, essence, reality.” This word mostly relates to Hebrews 1:3, which states that Jesus is “an exact representation of the hypostasis,” or “an exact representation of the real Being” of God, just like an image made by a stamp. God has three of these “Hypostases” or extant spiritual Persons. But all three exist as only one Godhead.
Then “phusis” indicates “nature” — natural, inherent, or physical characteristics. So this word is used with reference to Christ in two ways: (1) Jesus clearly possessed a human body like our human bodies, and was physically in a natural body like ours; and (2) the Godhead bears only one consistent and immutable nature, only one “phusis,” though He is three “Hypostases.”
Lastly, “prosopon” refers to the “face” or “real and personal presence of a being in a place.” In the Definition of Chalcedon, “prosopon” was a synonym for the word “person.” While it spoke of the three “Hypostases” of the Godhead, it also spoke of the three “Prosopons” or “Persons” of the Godhead, emphasizing the real presence of each Person of God in His creation. God chooses to function and work and communicate with His creation as three Persons, each Person being truly and really and actually present in His creation — as God the Father, as Jesus the Son, or as the Holy Spirit.
So far, some interpretations of these doctrines regarding the three “Hypostases” (realities) and three “Prosopons” (immanent Persons) of the one Godhead, as well as the “phusis” (nature) of God, can be fairly biblical and good. But then the views based on the Greek philosophies get involved, and the real heresies begin, all because the church brings the “fleshy” definition of “spirit” into the picture.
The argument in Chalcedon, as it was with the Council of Nicea (AD 325), basically rose between those who preferred the teachings of Aristotle in the east (and in Alexandria), and those who preferred the teachings of Plato in the west (and in Athens). First, there was Nestorius, who said Christ had “two natures and two persons,” one human nature and one divine nature. He wanted to make the distinction between the two very clear, but in a very Platonic way. Yet, his idea of two natures and two persons for one Jesus actually does imply two beings. And that was simply not acceptable.
From a biblical perspective, if Nestorius had understood the real definitions of flesh and spirit, he would have been fairly close to the real truth. Yes, Jesus had God’s Spirit inside a very human body with a very human brain of flesh. So Jesus did actually have two natures, a “phusis” of spirit and a “phusis” of flesh. But Jesus did not have two “persons” or “prosopons.”
So the Aristotelians declared that Christ was “of one substance with the Father” but could never be “of one substance with us.” In other words, Jesus was of one nature or “phusis,” and man was of another “phusis” or nature. In the spirit, this could not be more true. However, in the flesh, this idea could not be more wrong. Jesus came to suffer and die with us, in a way which directly shared real human experiences with us. Though our spirits are created spirits, and Jesus’ Spirit is the Creator Spirit, we share something which not even the greatest angels can share with God.
Now the adherents of the two Greek philosophies fought bitterly, and sometimes even physically, for some years, until an emperor died. Then his sister, Pulcheria, called the Council of Chalcedon. After a round of discussion, they came up with the widely accepted compromise, the “Definition.” This was somewhere between Aristotle’s views and Plato’s views. It was actually Tertullian’s view of “two natures in one Person,” espoused at the beginning of the third century.
This is actually biblical, if taken the right way, since Jesus did bear a spiritual nature and a physical nature. However, it was totally confused with a bunch of meaningless babble based on the Greek philosophies, indicating that these two natures harmoniously exist “without change, without division and without separation.”
Surely, when the body of Jesus died, there was indeed a “change” of His body’s nature, and likewise when He ascended into heaven. For we know His body must have been transfigured into a spiritual body, since “flesh and blood is not able to inherit the Kingdom of God.” And, at least during the time Jesus’ body lay in the tomb, there definitely was a division and a separation of spirit and flesh. In fact, all the time Jesus walked on earth, there was a clear division between His almighty Spirit of God and His finite body of flesh.
Why, in all history, have so few people ever desired to take up the biblical view of spirit and flesh? It has always been about Plato and Aristotle, though very few will truly admit it. In reality, they argue one Greek philosophy or the other, but almost none argue for the views of Jesus, the Jews, and the Jewish apostles. Church thinking has been so indoctrinated by humanistic principles that very few even realize they are denying the teachings of God’s Word.
So some Christians and churches have always leaned towards the intellectual babble of the Plato-like “two natures.” Others have adopted the more down-to-earth Aristotle-like view, that a person can only be one person at at time. Then most have taken up the compromise of Chalcedon. And, in all this, almost none have even thought of looking in the Bible, to find out what Jesus and the apostles were talking about when they spoke of flesh and spirit.
In reality, the Bible has absolutely nothing to do with either Plato or Aristotle. In fact, a closer look at things like the first chapters of John’s Gospel and First Corinthians, as well as many other New Testament Scriptures, reveals an extremely strong denunciation of Greek philosophies, and especially the Platonic philosophies of Athens.
The Bible is about the real reality created by God. And it never speaks about things like an enemy of God creating physical existence, making all physical things repulsive and entirely useless to the spirit. Nor does the Bible ever mention that all things emanate from God, where physical things are farther from God than rational and spiritual things. Those are all ideas of men, all of which proved to be deadly and stupid in practice. Those ideas have always caused men to ignore the real suffering of their brothers and sisters, while justifying their wars and murders as “spiritual” matters, through the use of their carnal intellects from their corrupt brains of flesh.
So let us face facts. The Bible never pits Christ’s “humanity” against His “divinity,” as two natures of two persons. However, it does speak about Christ’s flesh and His spirit. His flesh is not His “humanity,” because “humanity” involves both a created body and a created spirit. So Christ had no spiritual “nature” of human beings. Rather, Christ only bore the “nature” of human flesh, of a human brain and body of flesh, of the chemicals which stir up thoughts in a brain of flesh, of the same kind of flesh shared by all human beings on earth.
Then the Bible speaks of spirits. These are not simply “rational” parts of a man, as humanists tend to think. The “rational” thoughts and principles, which the Greeks and Romans called “spiritual,” were actually what the Bible calls entirely and purely “carnal.” And they came straight from the brain of flesh. That which the Bible calls a “spirit” and “spiritual” are entirely different.
Greeks and Romans were never spiritual or just. They were entirely carnal in every way. So Plato and Aristotle never really grasped any concept of anything spiritual. They could not even define what a spirit truly was, much less distinguish between what is spiritual truth, what is carnally neutral, and what is spiritually a lie. Only the truly spiritual Jews and early Christians ever showed any signs of being able to do that.
The prophets of God and apostles of Christ, along with many other spiritual Jews and Christians, knew that their spirits could use their flesh for either good or evil. They also knew their spirits were capable of thinking thoughts far beyond anything the brain of flesh could even begin to comprehend, even things which could never begin to be expressed by the flesh on any level whatsoever.
So the Greek philosophers were not more “literal,” and did not find truth in better ways than the Jews. In reality, the Greek philosophies were just ignorant little delusions of men, which have done nothing but cause devastation, darkness and death through the devil. Only real truth from God, revealed through the prophets and apostles who wrote down God’s words in the Bible, are able to lead us towards real, useful effective wisdom for life, benefiting all.
Now what are the consequences of believing the real biblical definitions of flesh and spirit? Well, first of all, we know enough not to expect much from the flesh. Therefore, we do not punish the flesh ignorantly, since no amount of discipline can make the flesh any more pure or holy. It is thoroughly corrupt and cannot be made holy. It can be set apart for the use of God, but not as a “spiritual” thinking “person.” The flesh can only be a “carnal” thinking tool. So too much fasting and discipline, like that of the Stoics and some Roman Catholics, is futile.
On the other hand, our redeemed spirits keep a fence around our rebellious flesh, establishing clear limits and boundaries as to what we permit it to do. From that point on, we pray with our spirits to our God. We seek the spiritual impressions upon the heart, which God speaks to us. But we are careful to separate those from mere feelings, since feelings come from the brain of flesh. And with some practice, we begin to distinguish the “voice” of our Lord from all other “voices.”
After Jesus grants a spirit a new birth, with a seed of faith, that spirit must grow through prayer, through the study of God’s Word under the Great Teacher Jesus, and through life experiences in general. Just as a new-born baby knows nothing, so also does a new-born spirit, at first. So the renewed spirit does produce very new inner desires, with a longing for the true and real things of God. But the baby spirit does not know much or have much power until it has been fed good food from God, and has even learned to chew on the more wholesome and solid food for awhile.
This is where we see so many failures. People assume the fleshy teachings of men, which they get only through their brains of flesh, are good for them. But those carnal and worldly teachings keep them spiritually stunted and small and weak. Their flesh might sometimes feel good, but their spirits are shrivelled and limp. A spirit cannot ever cease to exist entirely, but it certainly can remain almost powerless and emaciated, if it is not properly fed.
The most those fleshy teachings of the church can do is puff one up in pride, and make one feel artificially good, giving one artificial carnal hope, which will turn to disaster in the end. The children of the devil thrive on such food, and become strong heads of those false churches. But God’s true elect fade and languish. For we must realize, everything which is of men is ultimately from the prince of men, that is, from Satan. Therefore, all the teachings of men are designed to enslave souls in sin. Even good feelings and pride from a pastor’s carnal sermon end up being nothing but forms of enslavement, causing souls to unwittingly submit to the manipulations of the devil, like puppets on strings.
The people in our churches are impressed by all kinds of evil and superficial things. Jesus forbade His true and real disciples from being addressed with titles of respect, like “rabbi / pastor” or “father.” Yet the people are impressed by titles. The bigger and more vain the title is, the more they are impressed. Then Jesus also forbade the wearing of special robes to distinguish clerics from lay persons too. Yet the people practically bow before a priest or pastor in a clerical robe. And Jesus condemned many other very common “churchy” practices as well, because they are all for the flesh, not for the spirit. (See Mat. 23.)
We see almost every church requiring fleshy “qualifications” for their teachers, rather than allowing the one Head of the church, Jesus, to raise up His own teaching elders by His own personal training of their spirits. Then we see these foolish and ignorant pastors and priests, sent by men, actually think of themselves as spiritual leaders. Thus, they teach the people pure garbage, which Jesus thoroughly condemns in His Word. But the people still respect these fools, because of their clerical clothing, pretentious titles, and fleshy accolades given to them by other carnal men.
Now it is time to begin to clearly distinguish between flesh and spirit. The days are growing more and more difficult, with many more deaths. And there is not going to be any “pretrib rapture” to deliver anyone from the worse times coming, since that doctrine was just a 19th century lie to appease the flesh of carnal men. Therefore, we need to become spiritually much stronger during the coming days. At the same time, we will also need to care enough for the flesh of our people to allow our spirits to effectively use that flesh in God’s service — yet while denying all useless and harmful desires of the flesh at the same time.
We must remember what Jesus taught, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. Indeed, the spirit is eager to serve [God], but the flesh is weak [in its ability to serve God]” (Mat. 26:41). So we must no longer emphasize the intellect of the flesh as though it were spiritual, while we totally ignore truly spiritual matters from God. And we must cast aside our infatuation with the charm and eloquence of flesh, the emotions from the flesh, the outward appearances of the flesh, and just about everything else of the flesh. Then we must act with haste and urgency, on a truly spiritual level.
In almost all churches today, I can safely say that the things of the flesh are definitely infinitely more prominent than any truly spiritual things of God. In fact, extremely few even seem to know the real difference between what is spiritual and what is of the flesh. And when they do delve into spiritual matters, they are usually being completely manipulated by demons, not by the Holy Spirit of Jesus. So they are not being watchful at all!
With very simple faith, all mature men of the church must urgently seek Jesus to teach them directly. Women will not be able to do this, since God created women to concern themselves with things of mankind. A mature elect man’s spirit is able to use his brain of flesh to serve God in a way which distinguishes between things of God and all else. A mature male, if He is God’s elect, and trained by Jesus to be honest, is able to separate God’s truth from the words of men and devils. Although only one man in a thousand ever becomes truly wise, almost all men are capable of some wisdom sometimes. Yet a woman’s spirit is never able to use her brain of flesh to do this. Her kind of wisdom deals only with things of mankind, and she cannot physically go beyond that.
Yet there is no such thing as a female spirit or a male spirit. Only their bodies of flesh are made differently. Spirits have no sexual identity. “The living thing having been born out of the flesh is flesh, and the living thing having been born out of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6). Only God’s Spirit ultimately creates and “gives birth” to a human spirit. Because human spirits do not create or “give birth to” other human spirits, they do not have male and female identities. Only their bodies are male and female, in order to produce bodies of flesh, and to raise children in family units.
Therefore, when churches even think of making women into pastors or teachers, we know they have reached the point where they have become nothing but carnal, fleshy, secular social clubs. They are no longer churches at all, simply man-made organizations entirely focused on things of the flesh, while ignoring all matters of the spirit. They are just unspiritual and ungodly institutions of men. But most churches which now accept female pastors were thoroughly carnal and unspiritual long before they started ordaining women anyway.
Yet these things will not do for us, for the men and women who truly know our God in our spirits. We know that, if God grants us a tiny seed of faith through a spiritual rebirth, that new-born spirit needs to be fed in order to grow. Even if almost no one else is learning this lesson, we will. When we are reborn, God give us new desires for Him and His truth, so we must follow those spiritual desires.
“Thus, as many as received Him, He gave them the decision-making authority to become children of God, to those continuously putting all their confidence into [the power and authority represented by] His name” (John 1:12). How many have used this “decision-making authority to become children of God”? Some have become respected by men or by certain groups of men. But who has actually exerted their right to become true “children of God,” to become those who are truly pleasing to the Father?
In our day, we see so-called “Christians” getting into all kinds of spiritual things, even witchcraft. They have always done things like this. For instance, the Roman Catholics pray to dead saints. But that is impossible. The flesh and spirit of a human being living on earth are both so bound and chained together, that the spirit of a living human being can only communicate directly to the Spirit of God. A human spirit, while in a body of flesh, cannot speak directly to another human spirit, whether that other human spirit is alive or dead — at least not unless God Himself allows it, since God can make anything happen.
So our human spirits can hear directly from God’s Spirit. If God wills to “speak” to us, our spirits can receive His ideas, concepts, principles and truths as whole units or packages, some small and some large, instantaneously. Our spirits suddenly become of aware of what He says to us, although it is usually difficult to “translate” God’s spiritual “words” into that which our brain of flesh can comprehend. Not only this, but our flesh normally does not want to know what God says to us, since our flesh has its own will and mind which opposes the spirit’s will and mind. But after God “speaks” one of these chunks of information to our spirits, our spirits simply know that information completely and instantaneously. Yet we cannot hear directly from any other human or non-human spirit in the same way, unless God allows it.
Until we die and are released from our bodies of flesh, we can only communicate with the spirits of other human beings through the flesh, through our mouths and ears, with everything filtered through our brains of flesh. So we cannot communicate with dead saints or loved ones who have lost their bodies of flesh. It is also impossible to communicate with other kinds of spiritual beings, like angels and devils, unless God allows it. And even when God allows it, God often produces a manifestation of flesh, to enable the communication event, so the angel can talk to us with a mouth to our ears of flesh, not directly to our human spirits.
Yet, we must also realize that God normally allows a sort of one-way communication from Satan and his demons, sent directly to most human spirits. And, when Satan speaks directly to most human spirits, their human brains of flesh normally do not consciously even realize their spirits are being manipulated, and are receiving false knowledge from Satan. Only some spiritually aware individuals consciously know when Satan is speaking to their spirits.
After man sinned, God made Satan into the prince of the air, with the right to rule and command all human beings below him — although that evil prince must still bow before God our King, who is Jesus, and who is One with the Father. So when very unbiblical so-called “Christians” supposedly hear messages from dead saints, or from deceased loved ones, that message is almost always fake. But on the rare occasions when the message itself is real, it is actually a message coming from demonic spirits who are familiar with the dead person being addressed. God allows demons to deceive the wicked, as a punishment for their sins of turning away from Him and towards men.
And when foolish and unbiblical souls tell us they talk with angels or a “christ,” if they are hearing something real in their spirits, they are usually hearing from demons. If they were hearing from the real Christ, and receiving God’s real words, then they would become much more biblical in their thinking, and would do so very quickly. But none can hear from spirits of dead saints, angels or any other spiritual being unless God allows it. And we must remember that God might punish those who seek to speak to dead saints or deceased loved ones, by allowing them to hear from disguised demons instead.
But the point is that the vast majority of so-called “Christians” in this world are purely carnal, even in almost everything they call “spiritual.” Then, when they are occasionally truly spiritual, they are often demonically spiritual, not spiritual in a good way. The vast majority of people in the church have almost always been spiritually dead in this way. In all history, the church has only received a few bright lights sent from God. And those bright lights have almost always been prophets and teachers ignored by the vast majority of the church. Throughout history, the church has even persecuted or killed most of those who have been truly sent from God.
But, naturally, it is also true that most spirits born as God’s true elect children are also those who do not consciously know, in their flesh, when God is speaking directly to their spirits. Many live in lands where they have never physically heard the name of Jesus or the words of the Bible. Those true elect children of God who hear the real truth about Jesus and God’s Word will come to Jesus, while they live in bodies of flesh on earth. And they learn to listen, until they can detect the Good Shepherd’s voice. But other elect childrent do not have this gift from God, not while they live on earth.
This means two things. First, all the spirits born of God, as God’s true elect, will eventually be with God eternally in heaven. And secondly, it also means that, even though almost all churches and almost all God’s individual members of churches have been false and unfaithful, ever since the days when God first created His church through Abraham, none of the truly elect in the world, whether or not they have been in those churches, have ever been entirely without the “words” of God.
Still, God allows some to know when He is speaking, and calls those to serve Him consciously, through His real church on earth. These can have two-way conversations with God. We can speak, reverently, and wait for a reply. Although God’s reply to any particular question may not come for years, or may be a physical action rather than spiritual “words” spoken directly to the human spirit, it is still a two-way conversation. We can and do “hear” from God in a way which the meaning of God’s “words” or reply to us is consciously perceived by us. And most of the time God replies immediately to our prayers, responding directly to our spirits, when we speak directly from our spirit to His Spirit.
Now we definitely need much more of this kind of two-way conversation to happen inside the church. We need our spirits themselves to be taught directly from Jesus’ Spirit. Yes, our brains of flesh will serve God too, but our service to God must begin with our spirits. We must worship, thus serve, in spirit and truth. The spirits of God’s people must learn to hear directly from God’s Spirit, in order to serve God directly by God’s commands. In all matters of life and faith, we need better prayer. And that means we need a better understanding of spirit and flesh, with a far more effective application of the human spirit towards the things of God.
Remember what Jesus said: “The [human] spirit is what is always making [you] alive. The flesh never ever profits [you] anything. The words which I have effectively spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some out of you who have not believed…. Because of this, I told you that none is able to come to Me unless it might be thoroughly and effectively granted to him out of the Father” (John 6:63-65). For those who read this in the Greek, note the perfect passive subjunctive periphrastic construction in the last clause. Our Father God Himself absolutely must “thoroughly and effectively grant” us the ability to go to Christ, or it simply cannot be done.
These are spiritual matters, not physical matters. Carnal churches and individuals, who focus on the ability of man, cannot possibly ever make any spiritual progress. Only those who look to God the Father and God the Son, can ever make any spiritual progress, and mature spiritually.
Praise God. For He is Lord, ruling all things. And I pray He will soon “wake up” His elect children all over this world. For the devil’s children seem to be becoming more “spiritually” aware in these dark days, and work more directly for their wicked master. Surely we must now pray for a real, biblical type of revival, full of true teaching from God directly to our spirits, resulting in the calling and works of God upon this earth. Amen!