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The Three Dimensions of God (part one of three)

(written in 2005, released in 2008)
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ".
(1 Thess. 5:23)

The Lord often times reveals his purpose in threes. As one studies Scripture they will begin to see there is a three dimension process to God's Salvational work. Our spirit is automatically saved when we receive Christ as our Savior, but our soul is progressively being saved, and the body follows (3 John 2; 1 Thess.5:23; Heb.10:39; 1 Pet.1:9; James 1:21 - James is speaking to the church, not the world).

The Tabernacle of Moses is an excellent example of our whole being (spirit, soul and body) as it (our being) is the Tabernacle of God - 1 Cor.3:16; 2 Pet.1:13,14 okj). What God concealed in the Tabernacle of Moses would be revealed in a Tabernacle not made with hands (Heb. 9:11). Christ, who lives within those who have received Him is revealed as we grow unto full stature in Him (Gal.2:20).

Before we really get into this teaching I would like to begin with the difference between the spirit and soul. The first thing we must come to realize is that our spirit is the real man. We are spirit beings with a soul, and we dwell in a physical body (Numbers 16:22; Heb. 12:9).

It is crucial for us to learn how to tell the difference between our spirit and our soul, and to acknowledge that the two do exist.

In the original Greek New Testament the difference between the spirit and soul is extreme. The Spirit of God, and also our spirit is defined as a "pneuma". The word "pneumatic" originated from "pneuma", and means "air" or "breath". The Webster Dictionary defines the word "pneumatic" as something that is "Moved by or worked by air pressure".

The function of the human spirit is generally a passive or inactive one. The soul however is always active. Our spirit operates as a protective womb for the presence and the activities of the Spirit of God who abides within us. Our spirit is connected with our heart and our conscience. It is through our human spirit that we are able to discern and reveal what Jesus does through the Holy Spirit.

"God is a Spirit (pheuma); and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." (John 4:24)

The soul (Psu-kay - in the Greek) is where "psyche" comes from, which consists of the mind (intellect), will and emotions. The soul is the function of the rational and intellectual. This is why we MUST NOT live from our soul, but from the spirit. Our soul will never comprehend the wind of the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). This is why so many within the Body of Christ are unable to discern God, because they often times are living from their soul alone. What they think to be of the Spirit is often times the soul, and what they think to be of the soul is often times the Spirit.

The soul as I pointed out is a combination of our mind, will and emotions. Its function is to work and choose between the things of the spirit and the things of the flesh (the body). The spirit reveals the truth, but the soul has to choose whether to follow the spirit or the promptings of the carnal flesh, the world, and the trickeries of satan. It is up to the soul (our will) to allow our spirit (the real man) to manifest enough to win the battle that we face from day to day.

The most powerful source that man has is his will. God gave us the power to choose. He didn't want a people who were like puppets on a string; He wanted a people who would choose Him and His ways on their own. And yes, there are consequences to the way that we choose. So, He advises us to choose life, and not death. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death (Deut.30:19; Prov. 14:12).

The responsibility of the soul is to submit itself to the Holy Spirit. When we allow our soul to do this, it will take us in the ways of the Spirit of the Living God. When we allow God to bring our will to a point where it has no more fleshly desire than we can truly say we have submitted to the ways of God. Our emotions will be healed and quieted before Father so that we can hear that still small voice that abides within us.

Those who are bound by demonic oppression or past hurts are unable to discern the quiet voice of God, because their emotions are screaming so loudly that the presence of the Lord is overpowered by the presence of the flesh.

Our intellect must be renewed by the Word of God daily so that we can better understand what the Holy Spirit is saying (Romans 12:2). Some people would negatively call this brain washing, but that is exactly what the spirit of God desires for us. There is a spiritual brain washing that must take place in order for our whole being to come in align with the Spirit of God (Eph.5:26).

"For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil". (Heb. 5:12-14)

From God's point of view, discernment is not something we should take for granted. Discernment comes by exercising that gift. It is likened to a muscle. Those who exercise that gift will grow in spiritual strength. It comes by practice and it only comes as we take in the WHOLE counsel of God through His Word. If we only drink the milk of the Word we will not be able to discern correctly. There is both milk and solid food. We use the milk of the Word to wash down the solid food of the Word that God desires for us (1 Pet.2:2; Heb.5:12,13).

The Word of God clearly states that we should practice discernment. God has given ALL His people the ability to discern. We need to practice discernment in every situation of our life, and when we discern it, we should then follow it as it aligns with the Lord.

How then do we discern between the Spirit and soul?

Spirit ("Pneuma" ) means breath, wind, and spirit. Now the Greek word for soul is "Psuche" (Psyche came from the word "psyche" from which we get Psychological or psychiatrist or psychosomatic. A psychiatrist is a doctor of the soul.

It is God's design that His people move on from the fall of the first Adam, and on into the resurrection power of the second Adam (Jesus - 1 Cor. 15:45). Of course we know this is a process that we must allow in our lives. If we continue living in the flesh by making excuses as to why we are living in the flesh, by blaming it on the first Adam than truly we do not know what Christ has done for us.

In 1 Cor. 15:44-46 Paul is pointing out that we are no longer a part of the first Adam - we are now a part of the second Adam (Jesus). There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. There is the soulish and there is the spiritual.

There is the receiving of the resurrection life that God is looking for in His people. His desire for us is to bring our soul into subjection to our spirit man, the real man, wherein we exercise our senses (our mind (intellect) will and emotions). By doing this we are living and moving in the Spirit.

Prophet Ezekiel saw this in the first chapter of his writing (Ezek. 1:12). When we read about the cherubs we clearly understand that they have spiritual bodies. They go wherever the spirit wants to go. Wherever the spirit went, they went because the spirit went there. A spiritual body is directly motivated by the spirit, not the soul. The natural man will not receive this, but the spiritual man will grab hold of it because they have, are, and will continue to exercise their spiritual senses (1 Cor.2:14,15). The soulish person cannot be in one accord with the Spirit of God because they constantly must have ample reasoning to every happening. He is unable to receive the things of the Spirit because he cannot understand them (Mark 4:13-20).

Have you ever talked with a person of worldly intelligence? A spiritual person can attempt to explain the things of the spirit, but the worldly educated person will not understand because they are operating in the realm of the soul. All the intelligence in the world cannot compare to the wisdom and ingenuity of our God (1 Cor. 3:19; 2 Cor. 1:12).