Trichotomy

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by freeatlast, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. freeatlast

    freeatlast
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    This past Sunday we got into a discussion which actually involved the trichotomy of mankind. Frankly I took exception to the path it took. It was stated that we are made up as body, soul, and spirit which makes us a trichotomy.
    That being said someone suggested that when we die our spirit goes to be with God. Here is where I take exception. The scripture reference used was;
    Ecc 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

    I feel that the passage is totally missunderstood. The suggestion was that everyone who dies will have ether spirit return to God. I totally disagree. I do not believe that any part of an unbeliever will be with the Lord. I am convinced that there is a serious amount of confusion about the lines of differences between the spirit and soul of men.

    I would like to hear some discussion on this. I realize that this can get deep and that no one can fully understand how we are made as human beings, but perhaps some sort of better understanding could come about at least for me. I personally do not believe that the lost person has a living spirit, but one that is dead. This being the reason for the need of the new birth. While I think that we can be called a Trichotomy it needs to be done with understanding that one part of us is dead and that part is the spirit until we are born again.
    I will be looking for others input. Thanks.
     
  2. Phillip

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    I don't think it is as deep as some people try to make it.

    I must say that I agree with you concerning a non-believer. We know that a non-believer (OBviously spirit, soul, whatever and I know there are deep discussions about differences) will have to face judgement BEFORE God. I believe this will be the only time that the unbeliever faces God.

    This is strictly an opinion on my part, but I honestly feel that standing before God without salvation will be worse than anything hell can provide, except possibly for the seperation between man and God.
     
  3. Phillip

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    I think part of this theory may have originated in some of the cult denominations such as LDS.
     
  4. freeatlast

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    Phillip some of what i listened to does come from the JW's. One person in the class has spent many hous with them and sadly has confused sound doctrine with their cultish teachings.
     
  5. Dr. Bob

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    And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I Thess 5:23

    Unless Paul made a mistake, we ARE trichotomous beings . . .
     
  6. freeatlast

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    Bob,
    while the question does cover the aspect of us being a tichotomy it really is about does everyones spirit retuning to the Lord at death, the saved as well as the unsaved. Perhaps that was not real clear.

    This issue has, without a doubt, some confusing and conflicting understandings that have risen up through the years. The questions that arise are what are the differences between these three and what part do they play in the human experience?

    We must keep in mind that the terms spirit and soul overlap in how they are used in scripture at times. However they do have different aspects to what and how they are. What is the difference between the spirit and the soul? Mankind is made up of many different aspects. These aspects are divided into two facets, the material and the immaterial. This division is described from the very moment that God created Adam. In Genesis 2:7, God made man from the dust of the earth. These particles, therefore, make up the material part of man. Then God breathed the breath of life into Adam. This is then the immaterial part of man.

    The word "spirit," refers only to the immaterial facet of man. Mankind has a spirit, but we are not a spirit. It is very easy to confuse this. If we do not understand that having a spirit and being a spirit is different then we will not be able to understand the role of the spirit and soul. However, in Scripture, only believers, those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (born again), are said to be "spiritually alive" (1 Cor. 2:11; Heb. 4:12; James 2:26). Unbelievers are "spiritually dead" (Eph 2:1-5; Col 2:13). In Paul's writing the "spirit" was pivotal to the spiritual life of the believer (1 Cor. 2:14; 3:1; 15:45; Eph. 1:3; 5:19; Col. 1:9; 3:16). The spirit is the element in man which gives him the ability to have an intimate relationship with God. Whenever the word "spirit" is used, it refers to the immaterial part of man including his spirit and soul. However in the case of the lost their spirit is dead and cannot understand the things of God. Their bodies are alive because of the life of the soul, but the spirit that indwells them is dead to God, thus the need for the new birth or spiritual birth;


    Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and [of] the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."
    (John 3:5-7)
    Each man and woman born into this world is a being made of three (3) distinct components:
    And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    (1 Thessalonians 5:23 KJV)
    Notice that this only happens AFTER we are sanctified (complete, wholly without defect)
    1: The BODY. This is your PHYSICAL component of being. It is flesh made from a collection of unremarkable mineral elements (but is mostly water) and is in harmony with the nature and spirit of this world. It grows, matures, begins to deteriorate, eventually dies, and then decomposes back into its constituent elements and remains a part of the dust of the world. The body is a part of you but is NOT ALL of what defines who YOU are.
    The SOUL. This is who YOU are; it is the life that is in you from God and it is a part of your SPIRITUAL component. This when combined with our spirit is what makes us totally separate from the animal population. Although your individual soul did not exist before your mother and father procreated you, it will exist forever. It cannot be killed by man:
    "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."
    (Matt. 10:28 KJV)
    When your body dies your soul (YOU) will leave the body of flesh:
    "And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin."
    (Genesis 35:18 KJV)
    The place that our soul resides in is dependent on what we did through our heart or mind. We either received or rejected the Lord Jesus Christ as our Lord and savior. If we accepted His offer he then gives us the rebirth and our spirit is then alive from the dead. If not our spirit remains dead and we will continue to be as souls without any spiritual life in outer darkness and suffering for all eternity.

    To sum this up is an account in ECC 12
    Ecc 12:7
    Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
    The passage comes with great difficulty in its translation. The term translated “spirit” is ruwach in the Hebrew, but the translators actually added several words to the text and in my humble opinion caused more confusion then anything else. The added words are “as it was: and the” (spirit). The same Hebrew word is used in Gen. 1:2 and is translated as follows;
    The confusion I see is that some feel that is one assumes it is speaking of the spirit of the man then one might think that this part of the man returns to God even if the man remains lost. Sadly this gives some a false hope and a new false doctrine is sprung up. The only way to understand this passage is that it is speaking of the Spirit of God that gives the spirit of life, not a literal spirit that man has within himself and becomes separate from him at death. I will discuss this further in this paper.
    Gen 1:2 And the earth 0776 was 01961 without form 08414, and void 0922; and darkness 02822 [was] upon the face 06440 of the deep 08415. And the Spirit 07307 of God 0430 moved 07363 upon 05921 the face 06440 of the waters 04325.

    In this text the English word “Spirit” is the same word as translated with a small “s” in ECC and the added words. I am convinced that the tern “spirit in ECC should have a large “S” and in doing so makes the passage more clear. He will one day remove His Spirit and it will return to Him. It is not speaking about the spirit of man, but of Gods Holy Spirit which gives life eternal.

    I base this in another passage in Gen that reads;
    Gen 6:3 And the LORD 03068 said 0559 , My spirit 07307 shall not always 05769 strive 01777 with man 0120, for that he also 01571 [is] flesh 01320 07683 : yet his days 03117 shall be an hundred 03967 and twenty 06242 years 08141.

    The “My Spirit” is the same word that is translated in ECC as a small spirit. What God is saying in ECC is that He will remove the Spirit which gives life and man will return to the dust. The Spirit that gives life is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does not dwell in lost man thus making the spirit that is in those men dead. He has had the spirit of his earthly mother and father passed on to him and that spirit is dead. Only when he is born again does he receive the life giving Spirit of God and become a child of the King. So if we want to claim to be a Triohotomy it is fine if we understand that one part of us, our spirit, is not alive to God making us totally without any ability to commune with Him as He is Spirit and the true worshippers must worship in spirit and truth, which is only can be done if the spirit is made alive, by His Holy Spirit.

    Other times the Hebrew word is translated many other things. The word’s concordance number is 07307 and can be seen in many passages in many different ways of translating it.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

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    The whole problem is solved if you just accept the biblical teaching of dichotomy :D ... Man is material and immaterial. There is no mysterious third part.

    The word "spirit" and "soul" are interchangeable quite often in Scripture. The fact that they appear sometimes in the same verse does not mean that they are different parts. Remember, that Christ told us to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. No one argues that we are quatrachotomos (can you mispell a word you make up????) The word "soul" in Scripture is sometimes used for "person." To try to build a trichotomous theology off of that is tenuous, it seems to me.

    In the end, man has a material part (body) and an immaterial part (soul/spirit). The Bible does not consistently distinguish the soul and spirit and neither should we.

    But more importantly, it just doesn't matter. People can differ about it; there is nothing at stake and nothing to get upset about. This is way down on the list of important doctrines.
     
  8. freeatlast

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    Larry,
    I would direct you to the same thing I wrote to Bob. The question is really not about the teaching you spoke about. it was more about the idea that everyones spirit goes to be with God once they die. That in my opinion is a false teachig and VERY much not small potatoes in doctrine.
     
  9. Craigbythesea

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    I agree with Dr. Bob, and VERY strongly disagree with Pastor Larry. The soul is the part of man that allows him to be aware of those things that pertain to the natural realm; the spirit if the part of man that allows him to be aware of those things that pertain to the supernatural realm. In the case of the unregenerate man, his physical body is virtually identical to that of the regenerate man (studies have been done by Psychiatrists on reported physiological changes in the brain upon regeneration by the Holy Spirit); his soul may be so close to that of a regenerate man that the differences are very difficult to detect; but his spirit is very different from that of a regenerate man. The spirit of the unregenerate man may be very sensitive to the spirits of darkness, but it will not be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit due to a chasm between him and the Holy Spirit caused by sin. However, when the unregenerate man becomes regenerated by grace through faith and is cleansed of sin, the chasm is gone and his spirit may become very sensitive to the Holy Spirit.

    When the unregenerate man dies, his physical body enters into the process of decay, but what becomes of his soul and his spirit? A very good question with no easy answers. His soul has made sinful decisions and cannot enter the presence of God except for judgment. But his spirit, has it sinned? Is the human spirit even capable of sin?

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Pastor Larry

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    False teaching for sure, but I don't know what that has to do with trichotomy or dichotomy. That is true no matter what you believe.

    But Scripture never makes this distinction. Scripture routinely conflates the soul and spirit. It is a reference to the immaterial part of man. And the work of regeneration cannot be detected by any medical means. As Christ told us in John 3, it is like the wind ...

    That has a very easy answer. The unregenerate man goes to hell when he dies. He is separated from God for all eternity becuase of his sin.

    The Bible makes no clear distinction between the soul and spirit, and using the words of Paul's metaphor for the complete person to try to find a distinction is not sound, IMO.

    But again, there is absolutely nothing at stake here.
     
  11. michelle

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    I have always understood it to be this:


    spirit = heart
    soul = mind
    body = body


    Love in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour,
    michelle
     
  12. michelle

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    Upon salvation:


    spirit = heart = cleansed by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ = indwelling of the Holy Spirit = born again experience/sealed (where faith comes from)

    soul = mind = being renewed daily into the image of Christ, whereby the Holy Spirit moves up from the heart to the mind to which also transforms our bodies through change of heart then mind.

    body = transformed by the renewing of the mind from the heart in a continual/gradual process until the day of redemption, where we recieve our glorified bodies, but still in sin and decaying destined for the grave until the resurrection of eternal life.


    Before salvation:

    spirit = heart = dead, but not yet hardened (still hope of salvation) = emotions of: faith, love, hope, hate, jealousy, lust, envy, covetedness, etc.

    soul = mind = dead and corrupt, full of knowledge of good and evil = sinful thoughts stemming from the emotions of the heart

    body = full of sins, and dead, continually in this state and in decay reserved for the resurrection of damnation = actions performed or manifested = what the thoughts of the mind produce which stem from the emotions of the heart.


    love in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour,
    michelle
     
  13. michelle

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    Soul = mind = conscience= to which is in a state of guilt before salvation, and cleansed upon salvation through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the heart/spirit to which transforms the mind. Our consciences are guilty before God, but upon salvation, our conscience has been cleansed by the cleansing of our heart. Our spirit and soul are connected, to which our bodies react from, or our bodies can also influence our spirit and soul. They are all interconnected, but the body is physical, and the spirit and soul is spiritual. Emotions (spirit) and thoughts(mind) to which influence the body, or the body can influence them. The spirit and soul and body are separated from God, until redemption. When the physical body dies, the spirit and soul when separated from God remain separated from God and remain in Hell. The regenerate spirit and soul upon physical death, remain with the Lord, as the Spirit of the Lord has cleansed us, and united us with God. The physical bodies, whether saved, or unsaved, await the resurrection to either damnation, or salvation, because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has brought all things unto himself. He is the second Adam.


    love in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour,
    michelle
     
  14. HankD

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    Body - earth consciousness.
    Soul - self consciousness.
    Spirit - God consciousness.

    HankD
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    But does anyone want to try to make a biblical case for that? These constructions are all the product of logic, not revelation. Scripture does not declare these things to be so, and in reality, they don't make a lot of sense, IMO.

    And if you are going to divide man into three parts, why not four? Or why not five? Scripture gives many statements about man: body, soul, spirit, mind, heart, strength, will, etc. No one is recommending these divisions. The fact remains that all of those things fit into material and immaterial. That is the only distinction Scripture makes.
     
  16. HankD

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    I take the following as a proof text of the tripartite nature of man: in Paul's benediction of 1 Thessalonians

    1 Thessalonians 5
    23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    whole
    3648 holokleros
    Meaning: 1) complete in all its parts, in no part wanting or unsound, complete, entire, whole 1a) of a body without blemish or defect, whether of a priest or of a victim 1b) free from sin, faultless 1c) complete in all respects, consummate
    Origin: from 3650 and 2819; TDNT - 3:766,442; adj
    Usage: AV - whole 1, entire 1; 2

    Paul had possibly been there only two or three weeks according to Acts 17.

    His teaching to them was probably very rudimentary.

    Chafer's Sytematic theology, Vol II Anthropology, Pgs 146-149 discuss and support the tripartite nature of man with what are given as the supporting Scriptures and various authors who have written in it's defense.

    Strong's Theology is dichotomous, Pgs. 486-487, as well as Thiessen, Pgs 226-228.

    My view is tripartite.

    Personally, for this particular doctrine, I will just disagree and not debate the issue with those who hold another view than the one I have made my own.

    HankD
     
  17. michelle

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    What about this also:


    Genesis 1

    26. And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
    27. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    28. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.


    Genesis 2

    7. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.


    20. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
    21. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
    22. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
    23. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
    24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh
    .
    25. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.


    I see the triune God expressed in the creation account, along with the account of Christ and His church. God created man in his own image. What is the image of God?


    love in Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour,
    michelle
     
  18. HankD

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    Yes that is a good and valid point michelle.

    Thank you.

    HankD
     
  19. Pastor Larry

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    Hank,

    If you take 1 Thess 5:23 as proof of the tripartite nature of man, then why not take Matt 22:27 as proof of the quatrapartite nature of man? You see, in order to be consistent, I would think you have to. What Paul was saying is that your "whole person" will be preserved. HE is not making a distinction between various parts. As I say, the distinction between soul and spirit is nowhere discussed or defined.

    Michelle,

    The image of God has nothing to do with material vs. immaterial. The image of God means taht we partake of the characteristics of personality, the mind, will, emotions, etc. That verse cannot be legitimately used to argue for trichotomy. It says nothing about that.
     
  20. HankD

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    I disagree that there is not a distinction between soul and spirit. 1 Thessalonians can be interpreted that there is such a distinction as some theologians have as well as in the following passages:

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    1 Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Matthew 22:27 And last of all the woman died also.

    Typo?


    HankD
     

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