ls Man Merely an Animal?Since man does not have an immortal soul, does this mean he is just an animal — here today and gone tomorrow? Not at all! What is it that makes man different from the animals? Let’s understand the amazing truth!
- Were animals created in God’s image — or were they created each after its own kind? Gen. 1:21, 24, 25. But was man created in the “image” and “likeness” of GOD? Gen. 1:26-27. Was man to rule over all other creatures? Verse 26.
Notice again that God said “Let us make man in our image. . . .” The Hebrew here indicates more than merely the outward form and shape of God, His likeness — far more. “Image” refers to mind and character! God intended for man — to Whom He gave the gift of a thinking, reasoning mind — to develop the very mind and character of GOD! Each animal was created with a brain suited for each animal kind. But animals do not have the potential of MIND and CHARACTER which God gave only to man. No animal was ever given the gift of mind power!
It is this very SPECIAL ATTRIBUTE OF MIND AND CHARACTER that separates men from animals!
Animals do not have reasoning, self-conscious minds. Animals follow instinctive habit patterns in their feeding, nesting, migration, and reproduction. God has “programmed” their brains, so to speak, with particular instinctive aptitudes. Thus beavers build dams, birds build nests, etc. These aptitudes are inherited — they are not the result of logical cognitive processes.
For example, thousands of birds ﬂock south each year as winter approaches in the northern hemisphere. They don’t stop to “reason” why, they don’t ask themselves whether they should, they don’t “plan ahead” an itinerary for the trip.
At a given signal — like the preeset alarm of a clock — they leave their summer grounds in the north and travel thousands of miles south. Scientists don’t fully understand why — they merely observe the operation of this animal instinct.
Each species or kind of bird, builds different nests. feeds on different foods, and migrates in different ways at different times to different places. But none of these actions is planned by the birds. They are merely the capability and productivity which Almighty God built into the instinct of each kind at creation.
But man is vastly different. Man is able to perceive and understand various ways to do any one thing. Man can reason from memorized facts and knowledge, draw conclusions, make decisions, will to act according to a thought-out plan.
Each man may build a different house, eat different foods —— live an entirely different Way of life — from every other man. If a man wants to change his way of life — he can! Man is not subject to instinct. He is not governed by a set of pre-determined habit patterns as animals are.
Man can choose — he has free moral agency. He can devise codes of conduct and exercise self-discipline. Man can originate ideas and evaluate scientiﬁc knowledge because he has a
MIND which is patterned after G0d’s own mind! Man can devise, plan, and bring his plans to fruition because he has been given some of the very creative powers of God! Man alone can wonder, “Why was I born? What is life? What is death? Is there a purpose in human existence?” Man, unlike the animals, not only “knows” how to do certain things, but he also KNOWS he knows — that is, he is aware that he has “knowledge.” He is conscious of the fact. He is self-conscious, aware of his own existence as a unique being.
The attributes of mind and character make man God’s UNIQUE physical creation. God has shared some of His own qualities with man and expects him to develop the “image” of GoD’s perfect mind and holy character!
What Makes Man's Mind Unique?Many animals have physical brains as large, or even larger than man’s brain, and with similar cerebral cortex complexity—but none has the powers of intellect, logic, self-consciousness and creativity.
What gives man’s brain these unique abilities? And what will God use, after the death and complete dissolution of the physical body and brain, to reproduce each individual at the resurrection‘?
1 . Since man has no immortal soul within him which enables him to live on apart from his body after death (remember man is a MORTAL soul), does the Bible speak elsewhere of a "spirit IN man”? I Cor. 2:9-14. Notice especially verse 11.
Is this spirit “in” man clearly distinguished from the Holy Spirit of God? Same verses.
NOTE: This spirit is not the man — it is something that is IN the man. Joined with the physical brain of the man, it forms human MIND. It imparts to man’s brain his unique powers of intellect and personality -- the ability to think rationally and make free-will decisions. It imparts the ability to learn mathematics, languages or any type of philosophical knowledge.
But that’s all. The spirit that is IN man has no consciousness of itself. It is not an “inrnortal soul." This spirit is not the "man."
Because of this spiritual element, the Bible often uses the word “spirit” simply to mean man’s mind, intelligence. attitude. And it is apparently from the pattern locked up in this “spirit” (comparable to a tape recording) that God, at the resurrection, will re-create each individual with exactly the same mind. personality and general appearance he had at death.
Why haven't you heard this truth before? Simply because the whole world has been DECEIVED !
2.Can the human mind—having only this human spirit of man — understand the spiritual things ot God? I Cor. 2:11. What must be added before a man can comprehend spiritually revealed knowledge? Same verse.
NOTE: Spiritual things cannot be seen with the eye, heard with the ear, felt with the hands. The human mind, which can receive knowledge only through these physical chan- nels, can never really comprehend spiritual concepts and principles without the Holy Spirit of God. The greatest minds — scientiﬁc, philosophical minds -— cannot really come to know and understand SPIRITUAL truths with their natural minds.
Just as surely as no animal brain — such as that of a cow, for example — can comprehend or understand human affairs, so no human mind can have comprehension of spiritual things on the divine plane unless and until it has received the Holy Spirit of God!
Origin of the "Big Lie” .The truth about the “spirit in man” is so important that Satan tried to twist and warp and pervert it long ago. He clouded the minds of man and got them to believing_his “big, lie” as far back as the time of Adam and Eve.
In the Garden of Eden, Satan deceived Eve. Notice what happened: 1. What did Satan tell Eve? Gen. 3:4. Note; Here was the origin of the
“immortality of the soul” doctrine preached today! Satan told Eve she would “not surely die” — in other words, she had an “immortal soul” that would live forever. Eve swallowed this lie, hook, line and sinker!
2.Has Satan deceived the WHOLE world? Rev. 12:9.
NOTE: The devil has deceived the whole world on nearly every point of God’s Truth! And virtually the entire world today believes some variation of the ancient “big lie.” Millions have been deluded to believe in reincarnation or the transmigration of souls as a result of the false doctrine of an ever-living soul.
Satan has deceived the world with a COUNTER- FEIT doctrine — a doctrine which perverts the truth about the “spirit in man.” With his cunning counterfeit, Satan has withheld from the minds of MILLIONS the truth about the “spirit in man,” and the need for a resurrection from the dead!
Only GOD ls Immortal!We have clearly seen that the Bible does not teach the immortality of the soul. But what, then, does the Bible teach about immortality?
1. According to I Timothy 6:15-16, who alone has immortality inherently?
2. Is God also incorruptible? I Tim. 1:17, and see comment.
NOTE: The Greek word translated “immortal” here is aphthartos, meaning “incorrup- tible.” God is incorruptible. Man is not.
3. Now turn to I Corinthians 15:53 and 54. Do these two verses say that man is already immortal? What must man put on? Verse 53. When will man be “clothed” with immortality? Verse 52. Does this happen at the time of the resurrection? I Thes. 4:16.
4. Who brought to mankind the knowledge of how to receive eternal life and immortality (in- corruption)? II Tim. 1:10. Doesn’t this verse plainly show that immortality is something man does not already have? Then is the Gospel also the good news about how to receive immortality? Same verse.
5. Is immortality to be sought for? Rom. 2:7. Is eternal life a free gift bestowed on those who seek immortality? Same verse and Rom. 6:23.
6. Was David still alive as an immortal soul after he died? Acts 2:29, 34. Will David, King of Israel, be raised from the dead? Jer. 30:9.