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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-Forty-Third (Spirit)

Well, we made it through another week, didn't we?!

This week we're taking a look at something I don't think most of us focus on the nuts and bolts of. Perhaps it's because there's not a lot of nuts and bolts blatantly written of in scripture. We're going to look at different aspects of a key component of our being: our spirit. And maybe we might just learn something along the way!

To start, let's go to the beginning. While sometimes it may not be the best place to begin, in this case it's appropriate. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, as we've learned previously. This word also means breath and wind, and the first occurrence of this word in scripture is in the second verse of the whole Bible. The verse describes the Spirit of God hovering over the waters of a formless and empty earth (Genesis 1:2)

The word for God in this verse is elohim, which as we also learned previously is the plural, meaning it's talking about multiple God spirits. This is true throughout the first chapter of Genesis and is in line with how other verses of scripture tell us that the Spirit of the Father and the Spirit of the Son were present at creation (John 1:3). So, by the first reference in Genesis, we know that spirits have a spatial aspect to them, at least in the physical dimension we live in. They can hover, and in order for something to be described as hovering like the Spirit is in Genesis 1:2, it has to have a way to be related to the things that we can touch, see, hear and smell.

By looking at these first few verses of scripture, we can also see that the Elohim spoke in order to create all that we see. What we don't see is where this speaking occurred. The speaking we know best involves interactions of physical things in order to occur. Namely, we exercise our lungs to push air through vocal cords to make vibrations in that air. In the case of the Elohim, we don't technically know whether the speech described in Genesis 1 uses this same method or if something different occurred in the spiritual, in the realm that we can't see.

We can presume though, that since They made us in Their image and likeness (Genesis 1:26), there is likely something similar to our physical speech that occurs in the spiritual realm. In fact, if They spoke on day one to create light, they would have had to have some way of speaking without air, since it was not created, at the earliest, until the second day (Genesis 1:6-8). We know it at the latest, it had to be created on day three, since vegetation requires air in order to live (Genesis 1:9-13).

By all this, it's clear that spirits can have interaction with our physical realm when they choose to. The Elohim are able to speak things into existence in the physical, and YHWH is able to speak to man in the physical (Genesis 3:8-13). By speaking our universe into creation, we also know that a spirit can have the motivation, or desire, to do something. The Elohim chose to create us and everything around us. This shows a spirit has will, such that it can decide to and deliberately do something.

In a subsequent use of ruach, we find that this will goes to the point of a desire to regulate His creation. YHWH stated that His Spirit will not strive with man forever (Genesis 6:3). At least, that's what some translations say. When you look at all the translations you see a bunch of different ways it's put, but the main theme is that His Spirit will not be with man forever. This is not quite what it says, however.

In the Hebrew, the word translated to strive is din, which actually means "to judge." This is the same word Rachel used when speaking of the son her maidservant had by her husband Jacob (Genesis 30:6). She even named the son Dan, which means "judge." So really, what YHWH was saying is that He will not judge man forever, and He specified 120 years as a limitation of what seems like an age of man. This doesn't quite make sense though, since after YHWH said this many people died at over 120 years old.

My belief is that when YHWH said this, He decided when the flood would occur and that it would be 120 years after He made that statement. Either way, it confirms that a spirit can make decisions and take actions based on those decisions, even perhaps have emotions as He was sorry He created man (Genesis 6:7). This is confirmed later in scripture when man is described as having his spirit "troubled" (Genesis 41:8).

Putting this all together, we see that man has a spirit, as well as YHWH, and that these spirits have emotions, willpower, and can interact and have relation to the physical realm. Going forward in time, we see that man has the ability to be attacked and influenced by spirits known as demons (Matthew 4:24). We either couldn't, or didn't know how, to fight against them. However, that all changed when Yeshua came. He had authority over those spirits somehow (Matthew 17:18). He was even able to extend that authority to His disciples (Luke 9:1).

But where did this authority come from? If man didn't have it, why did Yeshua? Well, just like man, Yeshua had a physical part and a spiritual part. In His physical part, He was man, just like you and me. In His spiritual part however, He had to be at a higher level than man. Otherwise, He would not have a greater authority to direct demons and do things like order a fig tree to die (Mark 11:12-25). Like we saw last week, YHWH made Yeshua a little lower than Himself, meaning Yeshua is at a higher level spiritually than any other spirit YHWH made.

In other words, while Yeshua had the same connection between His physical and His spiritual that we do, His spirit was more similar to YHWH's than ours. And through that connection, His spiritual authority gave Him the abilities He demonstrated during His ministry. So as we can see, our spirits are who we really are. They are our willpower, our emotions and our authority in this universe (in the combination of the spiritual and physical). Our bodies are just the way our spirits interact with the physical realm, and it's important to recognize that in order for us to realize our true potential and purpose in Yeshua's body.

Shabbat shalom and may YHWH bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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