Dr. Meredith Kline, Kingdom Prologue, Lecture 14
© 2012, Dr. Meredith Kline and Ted Hildebrandt
This will be bounded in the cosmos world it will emerge from that because the Spirit of God is there both as a power to do this, but also as a pattern, as a paradigm, as a model. He is the heavenly Temple. What he is going to reproduce is a replica of himself. So he is the pattern, and he is going to reproduce on earth things that are like him, including presently man made in his own image. Man is to be the temple of God. Here is the original temple and now we are made temples that’s all part of what it means.
Genesis 1:2 and Deuteronomy 32:10-11
Alright? So this reality then in Genesis 1:2 is the Spirit and here then we look over to Deuteronomy 32:10 -11. Here we find that Moses takes the language of Genesis 1:2 which is that the Spirit of God was hovering over – bird-type imagery, avian imagery – hovering over like a bird over the deep and darkness, over the tohu vavohou. Now in Deuteronomy 32, Moses casts his eyes back over the history of Israel and comes to the point where God is leading them out of Egypt and he finds them there in the wilderness and he protects them. Moses now uses two rare words that he uses only in Genesis 1:2 and in Deuteronomy 32 so there is no escaping there the connection between the two because these two rare words are used only in these two places--they are like this. But Moses says then, that in leading the Israelites out of Egypt, God was doing what he did back in the beginning: he was hovering over them and where he found them was in the tohu vavohu, in the chaos-condition.
Now what’s he referring to in Deuteronomy 32? The historical reality is that it was the glory cloud, it was the Shekinah cloud that did that. It was the Shekinah cloud that hovered over them, overshadowed them, protected them in that situation where they were in a wilderness like chaos. So virtually, then in Deuteronomy 32, Moses is saying that the Spirit mentioned back in Genesis 1:2, that heavenly reality that comes to earth as the shekinah cloud, is indeed to be identified with that cloud of glory, with the shekinah.
So that tells us that the third person of the Trinity is to be particularly identified with this phenomenon of the glory cloud. Now as a whole block of other evidence to the same effect, to identify Spirit with the glory cloud or put it the other way around, to identify this particular theophany form of God of the glory cloud with the Spirit. That block of evidence has to do with the comparison of Sinai and Pentecost.
The Shekinah Cloud, the Spirit and Sinai
At Sinai we have the glory cloud; at Pentecost we have the Spirit. Now you compare what’s going on and it will become, I think, apparent that these two things therefore are to be equated because both in form and function, there are the parallels between the two. Now at Sinai, the form of the presence of God and the cloud involved both sight and sound. The sight was a flaming consuming fire. The sound, of course, was the thunderous sound – the combination which scares the wits out of the Israelites and they prefer henceforth to have prophets mediate between them so they don’t get too close to this sight and sound anymore if they can help it. That’s what you get there: the sight and sound of the glory-presence of God. Of course, then at Pentecost, these are the same two phenomena that manifest the coming of the Spirit. So there is the sight, once again, of flames of fire and once again, there is the sound. Once again of the rushing mighty wind fills the whole place where they are. So you have that similarity in form between them.
Exodus 40 the Old Testament Pentecost: Filling presence
you have a whole series of parallels in function as well. One function in the
case of the cloud in the Old Testament we mentioned is that it comes and it fills
the Tabernacle. It fills, later on, Solomon’s temple when he has built that. Exodus
40 is an especially a good example. Exodus 40 sort of is the Old Testament
Pentecost, so you would expect to find a parallel. In Exodus 40 is where the
Tabernacle has been built and symbolically Moses portrays the coming and the anointing
and the building of this temple by anointing it with oil. Having done that,
then the reality takes place. What Moses has symbolized with the oil is
realized by the glory cloud coming and anointing the Tabernacle and filling
that house, making it the house of his presence. That function of filling then
is, of course, we know is also associated with the Holy Spirit in the New
Testament whether we are thinking of that very occasion when the sound of his
presence fills the whole house where they are or whether we are thinking of the
way in which Holy Spirit fills the church corporately or the saints
individually. There is this filling presence of the Holy Spirit within God’s
people that constitutes them a temple. Here you see is the kind of replication
of the heavenly temple that we are talking about. So there is one function then
that the glory cloud of Sinai shares with the spirit of Pentecost and the New Covenant.
Another very interesting one is the witness function in each case--the witness function. The glory cloud back there at Sinai was the source of the documents that we’ve been talking about. We were talking about the two tables of the covenant. Here are the documents, which are God’s witness to the fact that he has now made covenant with his people, Israel. He produces these witness documents. Here is where that imagery of the fingers that we were talking about a while ago comes into the picture. According to, for example, Exodus 31:18, it refers to these two tablets of the covenant, these two witnesses to the covenant as having been produced.
Finger of God imagery
Moses takes the tablets up there and they are written by the finger of God. So there you get that particular imagery. And, of course, here what will come to your mind at once is Jesus’ use of that language of the finger of God to describe the power by which he drives out the demons and so on. It is not by Beelzebeb. It is by the finger of God that he does so. The interesting thing is that in that comparison of two of the synoptics, Luke 11:20 and Matthew 12:28, what Jesus refers to in Luke 11 is, “if I by the finger of God drive them out” in Matthew 12:28 is “if I by the Spirit of God.” And so the finger of God is identified by Jesus with the Spirit of God. The finger of God is a thing that produced the witness documents at Sinai. That is to be equated with the Spirit who is the one who bears witness, of course, now to the new covenant. In a passage like 2 Corinthians 3:3, this becomes rather explicit. When Paul is saying, you know, that the Old Covenant was written on tablets of stone, and now the equivalent of that is that the Spirit is writing this upon the tablets of our hearts. So the spirit of Pentecost is the one who like the Spirit of Sinai witnesses to the reality of the covenant as ratified and enforced.
and New Testament as a Witness Document
Of course, in the New Testament, in a variety of ways, the Holy Spirit bears further witness. It is by the signs of the Spirit and the apostles that the apostles perform that the Spirit through them is witnessing to the reality of what has been done in Jesus Christ. Not only so, but very close then to the New Testament equivalent of the glory cloud fingers of God producing the two tablets of the Old Covenant is the fact that the Holy spirit is the one who produces the whole New Covenant, our whole New Testament, the whole canonical attestation. That’s what the Bible is. The Old Covenant is the constitution, the witness document, to the reality of the Mosaic Covenant. The New Covenant is precisely that. That’s what it is. It is a witness document of the Spirit produced by inspiration through his secondary agents, witnessing through the reality that the covenant has been ratified through the blood of Christ and through the process of enforcement it will be consummated. But functionally then the glory cloud produces a witness through the Old Covenant. The spirit produces a witness through the New Covenant.
hovering bird imagery: Gen. 1 and Luke 1
In form and function, and one other feature that we can mention in terms of function where the same thing is attributed to both is this business of the Spirit and the glory cloud hovering over – overshadowing (Gen. 1:2). Now, just think of a passage where you get this kind of language. Some of them will have to do with the cloud. Others will have to do with the Holy Spirit. One of the common linkages between the two is the use of bird imagery for the hovering. Let’s see if we can think of them. Genesis 1:2, right away, here is this phenomenon of the glory Spirit. It’s the first metaphor in the Bible for God, and it’s bird imagery. It’s the avian image. It’s the image of a bird hovering over her nest, fostering the light that is there bringing it along. That’s the way the glory spirit of God was fostering the creation along the way.
To jump right away to the other side. There’s Luke 1:35. In Luke 1:35, the angel comes to Mary, the Spirit of God is going to hover over you. He’s going to overshadow you with the power of God will do this. “And therefore that holy thing that will be born of you will be called the Son of God.” Here is a new creation in process. Here is the original creation with God’s bird-like hovering over the world to bring it along. Here is a new creation with the Son of God like the first Adam as the second Adam and the Spirit of God, the power of God like that glory cloud, is sort of hovering over. Now this hovering becomes a fathering kind of act.
Further in the experiences of Jesus, at his baptism, the bird imagery, the Spirit, descends like a dove. Genesis 1:2, the glory Spirit cloud is hovering over the creation. In the baptism of Jesus, the Spirit like a dove, bird imagery again, comes down upon Jesus at his baptism.
Some others, there’s more overshadowing--Jesus’ transfiguration. The overshadowing now is by a cloud. Here is actually that phenomenon of the glory cloud comes to the Mount of Transfiguration. Now there’s the overshadowing of Jesus on that occasion.
There is another very interesting one beginning back with the Exodus. Back in Exodus in 19:6 is it? God is telling Israelites that on eagles’ wing I bore you through the wilderness. The sort of thing that he says in Deuteronomy 32:10, 11, that the Lord hovered over them in the wilderness and carried them along. Exodus 19:4 read that for us. “You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.” So there is that bird imagery once again.
One that I would like to bring to your attention and we could spend a while if we had time which we don’t have time, has to do with what has mistakenly been called the Passover. Alright. On that occasion, there are couple of things that happened. There’s the Hebrew word, Pesach, Passover, or the verb pasach. And there’s a verb ‘aver which means “to pass through” or “to pass over.” Our customary understanding of the thing is that on that occasion that God passed over the houses of the Israelites that had been smeared with the blood of the lamb but that he then attacked the houses of the Egyptians but that he passed over the houses of the Israelites. The word ‘aver does mean “to pass over.” But that’s not the word that’s used to describe what God did on that occasion. That’s the word that’s used for what the angel of judgment on that occasion was doing. The angel of judgment was passing over the land in Egypt striking here and there. What God did is described by the word pasach which confusingly gets translated “Passover” which is not its meaning. It’s a difficult phrase, which just doesn’t appear all that often.
God as a shield at Passover
Two years ago, again in that magazine JETS that we referred to recently. I wrote an extended article on this. I argued that this is more of that bird imagery. What that verb really means is “to hover over” or “to cover over.” The picture is this: that the Israelites then were commanded to take the blood and to sprinkle it upon the entryway to their houses. And what God did was to come and it’s the exact opposite of the usual view, he doesn’t pass over them, he comes and stations himself right there at the entryway as a shield. So while the angel of judgment was going over, God is there like the blood itself is the covering, you see. The presence of God is there as a shield over the entryway to keep the angel of death from striking and entering into those houses. So the name of the feast should not be the Passover but the “Coverover” or the “Hoverover.” Neither of which is about to take over any more than the idea that two tables of the Covenant being duplicated will win the day. It’s a much better picture, isn’t it? It’s a much more eloquent picture. It’s all part of that avian imagery. As a matter of fact, this rare word has an Egyptian etymology. It’s a rare word in Hebrew but it’s based on the Egyptian terms that had an idea of a booth or an arbor. A covering especially associated with an entryway. The way it turns out then is that both the first and the last of the Israelite feast was really Feasts of Booths, cover-over, sheltering-type things. So you want to get a different name for this first one where God was sheltering. So all of the imagery of being under the shadow of his wings, under the protection of his wings, is just beautifully expressed there in it’s original.
What can we
do with it? I call it the pascal event, and so the Passover is the pascal
event okay? It’s the pasach event. pasach means an arbor,
shelter, a booth, it’s a covering. (Question) it’s just a transliteration of pasach.
It doesn’t do anything for you here, just reproduces the sound. The question
still is what does original word mean. Jesus is our pasach lamb. The
New Testament concept is going to be what the Old Testament originally was. So
of course, Jesus is our cover over. It’s beautiful. You see the ideas come
together. The blood is the covering, and the presence of God is the covering.
The theology here is great. Maybe I could bring that article in– it’s a long
one. Could we reproduce that one? It makes for great preaching.
Well let’s see. I lost myself in the midst of the Passover.
Oh yeah, right. It’s the same sort of thing then you’re saying there. Sure. So what’s going on there is the same thing as what was going in the houses and the idea of the wings being present there, definitely.
This then is right at this point, at this Pascal event, that you get the re-introduction into the biblical history of the glory Spirit. It is right here once again that you begin to read about that the glory-Spirit once again. It’s very easy then to conclude that a particular presence of God whereby he was engaging in the pasach-act of hovering over was in the form of conceivably glory-Spirit. But in any case, this is then part of the evidence for equating, this is what we’re trying to do if we’ve forgotten where we were. This is part of the evidence then for identifying the glory-spirit with the spirit the idea of hovering over being associated thoroughly with both of them.
us closer to our real point which is man being made in the image of God. By the
way, there are various places in the Bible such as Haggai 2:5, Nehemiah 9:19, 29,
Isaiah 63:11-14 and so on. My book, Images of the Spirit will spell them
out for you. There are various passages where it is describing the glory
cloud’s role in connection with Israel where it is referred to as the Spirit.
So this equation the glory-cloud equals Spirit is thoroughly established.
Man made in the image of God
Now when we
come back to what we were talking about all the good things that God did for
men. The beginning, the call of his love and gratitude including that he made
him in his own image, now my contention is what we’ve just been talking about, this
Glory-spirit, hyphenate the two as a way of summing it all up without repeating
all of this. The Glory-spirit says it all. What I’m arguing now is that man is
made in the likeness of the Glory-spirit who is this heavenly reality of God
and throne in the midst of divine council. How do we go about showing that?
Here then we can begin with Genesis 1:26, 27. This is very familiar of course. The fiat is verse 26: “and God said let us make man in our image, in our likeness. Let them rule over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, livestock over all the earth, over all creatures that move on the ground. So God created man in his own image; in the image of God created him; male and female he created them.” Alright so what we said in our introduction now, what we’re trying to do, is to develop by exegesis passages that specifically speak about man’s likeness to God and so on, the concept of image of God. Here, of course, is the most obvious one right at the beginning. Man is now to be made in the image of God.
As God does so, he says, “let us.” There is that question. Again this is something which in our earlier overview, some place along the line I seem to remember that we did say already something about that, “let us.” So my contention was you may recall that the “let us” is the language of this heavenly reality. So everything is moving along in the upper register there. Heaven, the glory-spirit, the fiat of God which come of course from his throne, you end up with the Sabbath, which is the heavenly picture of the whole account here.
The Mount of Assembly: Armageddon
Genesis 1 is moving there with a focus on the upper dimension, the upper register, the heavenly reality where God is enthroned. Isaiah 6, with all of the angels around him. Revelation 4 and 5 with all the angels around him. Heaven is the mount of assembly. This is the mount of assembly. On earth the reproduction of that scene, is called the ohel mo’ed, the tent of meeting. Mo’ed from the verb ya’ad. The “tent of meeting,” is the earthly reproduction of the heavenly reality which was the original place of meeting. In addition to that expression, you also get the har mo’ed. If ohel mo’ed is the tent of meeting, what’s the har?--mountain. The mount of assembly, which is a term that is used for example in Isaiah 14:14. It’s describing heaven and among the terms there that they use is the har mo’ed. That’s what heaven is, the mount of assembly, the mount of meeting place, the council frame. It’s royal palace imagery. God on his throne with the angelic councils gathered around him. It’s the har mo’ed. Then rendering that, har mo’ed in New Testament terms is rendered into mageddon. The -on just would be the nominal ending. The gamma in Greek being the equivalent of the ‘ayin in Hebrew. As for example, in the name of the location, Gaza, which would be spelled with a gamma in Greek and in Hebrew ‘azah with an ‘ayin. So here we’re talking about the real idea of Armageddon. It’s the har mo’ed. It’s the mount of assembly. Armageddon is heaven. It’s the mount of assembly where as the Bible constantly pictures it, whether it’s talking about he Garden of Eden or the mountain of God or whether you come to Revelation 21. Where does John see the heaven and the New Jerusalem? It’s on the great high mountain. The concept of heaven in terms of the glory presence of God enthroned on the top of the mountain in the midst of the council. That’s the fundamental biblical concept. That’s why the next book I’m writing I’m trying to work out a lot of this cosmology in these ideas of God, Heaven and Armageddon. It’s all the same thing, alright?
“Let us make man”—Support: Gen. 3, 11, 18
saying here then is that in Genesis 1:26, 27, when God says “let us make man in
our image,” the picture is that God is there on mount of Assembly, har mo’ed.
Heaven is addressing the members of his council, the other Elohim
type creatures. Psalm 82, we should look at that in a second, there the angels
are called Elohim. There God stands in the midst of the Elohim.
So that’s the same thing as in Genesis 1:26, 27. In other words, I am saying it
isn’t the idea of the persons of Trinity communicating with one another, the
Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit saying, “let us make man in our image.”
That simply doesn’t seem to be what is in view. The question is to look
elsewhere in the Bible for this plural of action “let us do something.” It’s
not just the plural of a noun or the nouns like Elohim itself, where the
plural is described as the plural of majesty. We are not talking about the noun
like that. We are talking about the verb “let us do something.” It’s not all that
common. It’s very rare. The key point is, and this is what seems to convince
more and more exegesis of this passage, that wherever you get this plural,
there are angels to explain it.
So here’s one, Genesis 1:26, 27. The next one that you encounter is just couple chapters later, in Gen. 3:22. Just flip over a page in your Bible to 3:22. This verse has certain questions that we won’t try to answer them all at this point but the main thing is good. It’s after the Fall. Man is disqualified now for continuing in his original capacity and function as a priestly guardian of God’s sanctuary. So the Lord God said “the man has now become like one of us.” Here’s the concept we’re dealing with: man’s likeness to God. “Man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. And he must not now be allowed to reach out his hand and take from the tree of life and live forever.” The Lord God banished him and after he threw the man out, he placed in east side of the Garden of Eden a cherubim. So here’s the occasion of man’s dismissal from the Garden of Eden and his replacement by the cherubim. And God says, “man has now become like one of us.” So he can’t stay here so now. You cherubim take his place and you become the guardians of the sanctuary. So this passage is of interest because it includes the very idea of the image of God along with the plural thing and it explains the plural quite clearly I think in terms of the presence of cherubim on this occasion.
Another one is Isaiah 6, no I jumped over – still in book of Genesis. In the book of Genesis, Genesis 11 and Genesis 18. Put those two together. They are similar passages. Each one involves this idea of God on his heavenly throne. As we said, his eyes going through the earth’s for surveillance. What needs my attention down here? In Genesis 11, the Tower of Babel needed his attention and in Genesis 18, the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah needed his attention. Both of these chapters have to do with God having seen the problem on earth. He descends to earth to engage in judgment whether on Tower of Babel or Sodom and Gomorrah. I forget which passage is which, but you have the alternating of the singular and plural where this coming of God for judgment is connected to sometimes it’s I will go down and sometimes it’s let us go down. I forget which is which. Interestingly, in the second one, in the 18th chapter, when God says I will go down now and judge Sodom and Gomorrah. Whom does Abraham see? He sees not just one figure but he sees the Lord with a couple of other angel figures. Here is what it means when God says, “let us go down.” Who is he talking about? He’s talking about himself with his angels. Sometimes, the angels are members of his council and that sort of consultation is going on. Other times the angels are executives of his judgment and this is one of those. But the singular and plural alternating in a place where it’s clearly the presence of angels that explains the plural.
“Let us” in Isa. 6
Now we can
to turn to Isaiah 6. Here again, we look at the context. God on his throne,
surrounded by all kinds of heavenly beings that are emphasized there. And God
says with respect to Isaiah: “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Same sort
of alternating of singular and plural. Ultimately, of course, he is the one who
is the authority, who does it. Yet he does it in connection with in his condescension
he takes the angel beings into company with himself whether in consultation or
sending. “Who shall I send? Who will go for us?” This is not the persons of the
Trinity talking. Here is the Lord on his throne in the midst of har mo’ed,
So now, that’s about it. There only these few passages that have this plural and in every one the angels explain it and that is surely what’s is going on in Genesis 1:26, 27.
Psalm 82: three uses of Elohim
Kline’s response: For that let’s turn now to Psalm 82. Yeah, that’s right through the word “condescension.” It isn’t that he needs the input of these people. But the biblical evidences suggest that as a matter of fact, he does it. It’s a fascinating passage there where God is sitting there with his angels asking for suggestions as to how to deal with this particular problem. Remember where is that passage in Kings. One angel suggests this and another angel suggests that, finally one says “I will go down and be a lying spirit” (1 Kgs. 22:22f). He doesn’t need their advice. That’s the biblical picture of that. So it seems that God gives them some sense of involvement with his purposes and we’re trying to do justice to that.
Now I have a passage that sort of shows the dignity of the angels as joint rulers with God here in Psalm 82. This is fascinating especially for its threefold use of the term Elohim. Alright? Elohim you know means “God.” And the first and the last uses in Psalm of the word Elohim do refer to the God, capital G. So I’ll be reading here from this NIV. It says “Elohim presides, stands, in the great assembly,” translated into Hebrew as in the assembly of ‘el [God]. And God takes his stand in the Assembly of God, ‘el. In parallelism, it says, “he gives judgment among the Elohim.” So the picture is of God standing there as the supreme figure in the midst of Assembly of God, and the other members of the assembly are here called them “angels.” There in the midst of them, he is pronouncing judgment in the midst of the Elohim. So Elohim is used for God, capital G. It’s used for the Elohim-like creatures--the angels. So here’s the answer to our question. Are angels the image of God as well as man? Yes, there are three types of Elohim beings--there’s God, angels, and man.
The third usage
of Elohim presently will be in reference to men. The point of connection
among them all, is especially this first point, where it belongs to the image
of God idea, the glory of dominion. The exercise of dominion is God and the angels
share with him, as members of his council, and also human beings, made in this
image are given the dignity of being kings as well. So as we read along, God then
takes his stand in the Assembly of ‘el. In the midst of other Elohim
creatures, he pronounces judgment.
Now the judgment that he pronounces has to do with the fact that once again, he’s been surveying the earth and he finds that there are human beings on earth who have been dignified and invested with prerogative of God-like judgment in the earth. They’ve been guilty of malfeasance in their office and now they are carrying out things unjustly. But they are perverting justice. Now God’s word of judgment is: “How long will you defend the unjust and show partiality to the wicked.” What you should be doing is defending the cause of the weak and the fatherless, maintaining the rights of the poor and oppressors? But the indictment is this: they know nothing, they understand nothing, they walk about in darkness, all the foundations are shaken, that institution that God has set up for stability and justice on earth is perverted and with it the very foundations of the earth are shaken.
Then you get the language that Jesus quotes in the New Testament telling us that this is referring to human beings. We’re not doing guesswork; Jesus quotes this and applies it to human beings. “I said you are gods,” you human judges, down there on earth. “You are Elohim.” Here’s the third use of Elohim: God, capital G, the angels are called Elohim, and now those earthly human beings who engage in the god-like activity of judgment. So in terms of the legitimacy and dignity of your office that I have appointed you, you are god-like. You are all sons of the most High. So Elohim, they are the image of the sons of the Most High.
But now He confronts them with the fact that although they are god-like and it has gone through their head. They’ve acted as if they were super-gods themselves. Nevertheless, you are all going to die like mere men. Yes, you are all Elohim in terms of your god-like office. But you’re still all mortal beings, fallen sons of Adam and you’re all going to die just like any other men. You are going fall like every other ruler. In fact, throughout the Scripture, wherever you encounter, what you seem to encounter here, is where human beings adopt the ideology of divine kingship, where they are not content with the dignity of being god-like under God but where they then get led away with themselves and they would act autonomously as if they were super-gods, divine kingship, wherever you get that, every time God counters that by confronting them with the fact of their mortality. You are going to die. When you die, it’s going to be perfectly obvious that you are not super-gods; you are just mortals like any other.
So the Psalm ends with the Psalmist’s prayer that time may come when evil is put down when God rules. “Rise up O God. Rule, judge the whole earth, for all the earth is your inheritance.” So it’s a wonderful Psalm, for its portrayal of what the heavenly reality is like and for this whole system of relationships we are concerned with of God making man and his angels. Along the way we encounter that angels are also made in the likeness of God, which is brought out, for example, in the citation of Psalm 8 in Hebrews where it says that “man was made a little lower than the angels” instead of in the likeness of God--let us make man in our image, there in the likeness of God. The Hebrews quote shows that man was made in the likeness of God equals he was made a little lower than the angels who are also made in the likeness of God. So this is what we are trying to establish.
Image of man and the Glory-Spirit: Gen. 2:7
So Genesis 1: 26, 27 is our first indication that the Glory-spirit is on the scene, the one enthroned in the midst of the angels. Armageddon council is that model for man being made in the image of God. That glory that involves dominion, moral excellence, and physical luminosity. Those are the three features that presently we want to see are found over and over in the biblical passages that speak about man as the image of God.
Just another passage that shows the connection of man being made in the image of God and man being made in the image of the Glory-spirit. That’s Genesis 2:7. Now we have this sort of harking back to the creation process in the midst of Genesis 2. We come to the point there where it says that God was creating man and what it does say then God breathed. Let’s read it. “The Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And man became a living being.” Alright. So here’s the passage that forbids any macro-evolutionary development that would involve man at the end of the process as the product of some biological process involving the best hominid form then God does something here that develops that life into a human being. What the passage is saying is the precise opposite of that there’s a life continuum going right up to this point. What the text says is that God is dealing with something which is not alive, which is dead, dust. That is dust. So whatever form we are talking about, it’s not alive. It’s something which is dead. Here’s the act whereby God vivifies, gives life, to something which had no life before. So here is a special creation; there’s no evolutionary life continuum that’s allowed by this verse.
We are interested in the act of breathing. What our minds leap to is, of course, the New Testament counterpart. Here is God creating man in the first place. Now we come to Jesus who is involved in the recreation of his people. Standing with his disciples where’s the passage I’m looking for where he breathed on them--John 20:22, is it? That should be it. In John 20:22, where Jesus sort of repeats this action of God breathing and bringing men to life and now Jesus said, “Peace with you, as the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them. Then he interpreted his action by saying, “receive the Holy Spirit.” So this fathering, creating type of act is the one that involves a bestowing of the Holy Spirit. So along with Genesis 1:26, 27, Genesis 2:7, also then points us to the presence of the Holy Spirit as being involved.
by HanByul Chang
Rough edited by Ted Hildebrandt