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Thread: Does spirit world trump material world?

  1. #1
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    Does spirit world trump material world?

    My mom has given me some books to read. That's not a good thing as she and my brother are seemingly into that word of faith stuff. Anyway, I was browsing one of the books and the guy said that the spirit world has preeminence over the material world. I've heard this before but is there any biblical evidence for this?

  2. #2
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    All of creation is good. Christ died and rose from the dead to redeem our ENTIRE human nature, not just our spirits. He bodily rose from the dead, and so will we. Our humanity is not complete without every aspect of out nature being intact.

    Some of God's creation is purely spirit. Some of God's creation is purely material. But mankind is both. We are the only part of God's creation that is a mixture of both spirit and matter.

    Since we fell into sin, there has been a disunity between our physical side and our spirit side. When we are born again, it is our spirit that is raised to life, not our bodies. That will happen at the resurrection. So for right now, I suppose one could say that our spirit is "more alive" than our physical bodies and can be more directly in tune with God's Spirit.

    I don't know if you are trying to ask if the spirit is "better" than the physical. If so, my answer is no. But until the resurrection when both our spirit AND body are glorified and reunited, it is our spirit that can see/perceive spiritual truth. Our eyes of faith our from our resurrected spirit, not our physical eyes, which can only perceive that which occurs physically due to physical phenomena.

    So in a sense, I suppose that the spirit "trumps" the physical, but I don't really like pitting the two against each other.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrckBrln View Post
    My mom has given me some books to read. That's not a good thing as she and my brother are seemingly into that word of faith stuff. Anyway, I was browsing one of the books and the guy said that the spirit world has preeminence over the material world. I've heard this before but is there any biblical evidence for this?
    "It is the Spirit who gives life, the flesh profits nothing;"
    Jn 6:63

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    Paul states that in Ephesians we are 'wrestling' with 'evil' principalities, powers, seats and thrones in the heavenlies above the earth. not flesh and blood..... these are 'spiritual' in nature.. in control thru the god of this world.. satan... who has blinded the minds of those perishing... our battle is not with flesh and blood....

    Jesus Himself has risen above all these.. thru His humilitating yet Victorious Victory at Calvary... and subsequent Resurrection from the dead........ and these are MADE SUBJECT UNTO HIM NOW.....these seats, thrones, principalities.... whether they be 'visible' or 'invisible'.... visible would be in the natural world.. what your naked eye can see.. invisible would be the 'spriritual realm'... the supernatural... For God is a Supernatural God... and He operates there....

    You question as to whether the 'spiritual realm' TRUMPS the material or natural world.... I guess I don't really mean by the word trump? The spiritual realm is that realm which the carnal man cannot grasp...he is oblivious to it.. for those things revealed are 'spiritual'.. The 'spiritual man' understands them.. but to the carnal man they are foolishness.. neither can he discern them or 'it'......

    If you want to put them on a level to level basis.. for the sake of it.. the spiritual realm would be a level above the natural... however the spiritual or supernatural.. is often manifesting itself and will manifest itself in the natural or materialistic world..... you can see this by angelic intervention as recorded in the Bible... the Transfiguration on the mountain.. full devil possession of certain individuals...... etc... The spiritual realm is played out and is evident in the natural... by those who are walking in the Spirit and can discern it... the carnal man has no clue and to him/her it is foolishness... and this means even the carnal Christian...

    My guess is that they are saying the Spiritual realm trumps the material realm is because of their teaching... teaching those things in which they 'can create' their own little heaven.. on earth... whipping it up quickly by 'commanding or praying things in the spiritual realm ' to come to pass... having 'faith' to pray in a 50,000.00 Car.. or house.. or Rolex watch...or a nice bonus of 5,000.00...and if it doesnt come to pass. .then you don't have 'enough' faith.... this is just my .02...

    I used to follow that stuff in the past.. for a short time.. but when they called the Holy Ghost in me a 'devil'.. because of what I was wearing and my income.. then I found out the 'truth' behind their teaching...

    I dont want to derail this thread and just wanted to give you my experience in that type of teaching you quoted in your OP....
    Many appear Righteous and Just because they say 'yes' to Jesus Christ , yet they don't do His Will.
    ------------------------------------------------
    Verily I say unto thee, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the Kingdom of Heaven before you do.
    ------------------------------------------------
    The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying. YEA, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with LOVINGKINDESS have I DRAWN THEE.
    Jeremiah 31:3

  5. #5
    I was browsing one of the books and the guy said that the spirit world has preeminence over the material world.
    Preeminence in what sense? To be preeminent is to be superior or outstanding. In what way does the "spirit world" superior to matter? For that matter, what does he mean by "spirit world"? Human spirit? All spirits?

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    What is "seemingly into that word of faith stuff?"
    John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that HE gave HIS only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have eternal life.


    My testimony: http://bibleforums.org/forum/showthread.php?t=137007

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrckBrln View Post
    I was browsing one of the books and the guy said that the spirit world has preeminence over the material world. I've heard this before but is there any biblical evidence for this?
    Certainly.
    In Christ......
    By faith,
    In heavenly places,
    Not in the natural,
    Not the carnal minded.
    For sin shall not have dominion for ye are not under the law, but under grace. -life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension of Christ, with you in Him.

    Scripture says the angels have more power than we do (2Pe 2:11) but do not interfere with God's plan of faith.
    How are the sick healed?
    Demons cast out?
    Seas calmed and storms silenced?
    The barren given seed?
    Sparrows fed?
    All things in heaven and earth upheld?

    ..because the material world is left to itself?

  8. #8

    No.

    You live in the world that God Created. It is both spiritual and material.

    I suppose that, as a priority, the spiritual is more important than the material, but, as humans, the material is necessary to survive in the manner that is intended by God.
    JER 14:13 Then said I: 'Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them: Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.'
    JER 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me: 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name; I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke I unto them; they prophesy unto you a lying vision, and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their own heart.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by BrckBrln View Post
    My mom has given me some books to read. That's not a good thing as she and my brother are seemingly into that word of faith stuff. Anyway, I was browsing one of the books and the guy said that the spirit world has preeminence over the material world. I've heard this before but is there any biblical evidence for this?

    Yes, you've heard it in Plato, Marcion, proto-Gnosticism, and full blown Gnosticism. However, you haven't heard it in Scripture.

    You should have them read Heaven is a Place on Earth as a retort to what they are currently reading (you should read it yourself).

  10. #10
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    I always try to be careful when reading scripture, to not impose modern, Western concepts on words which have been translated and retranslated, and probably had slightly different meanings when they were written.

    The strict division between mind and body, spirit and flesh, are very Modern ideas. And by modern here, what I mean is Descarte and other early enlightenment figures. I think that we should be cautious of words like "spirit" and "flesh", because I don't think they imply a clear divide between the two.

    For example, when "the spirit fills you", it does not push your own mind or spirit out of your body, nor does it replace your body and give you some sort of an out-of-body experience. So what, then, is the "spirit"? It clearly does not fit into our modern mind-body dualism. This alone has made me reexamine a lot of things I took for granted in the Bible.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by jonahthebold View Post
    I always try to be careful when reading scripture, to not impose modern, Western concepts on words which have been translated and retranslated, and probably had slightly different meanings when they were written.

    The strict division between mind and body, spirit and flesh, are very Modern ideas. And by modern here, what I mean is Descarte and other early enlightenment figures. I think that we should be cautious of words like "spirit" and "flesh", because I don't think they imply a clear divide between the two.

    For example, when "the spirit fills you", it does not push your own mind or spirit out of your body, nor does it replace your body and give you some sort of an out-of-body experience. So what, then, is the "spirit"? It clearly does not fit into our modern mind-body dualism. This alone has made me reexamine a lot of things I took for granted in the Bible.

    This is a very astute observation. Most people unwittingly buy into Cartesian duality. However, make no mistake that there were many Platonic philosophies during Paul's time that made a major distinction between 'spirit' and 'flesh.'

    However, what Paul is referring to in "flesh" isn't the material world, but instead to a sinful nature. Thus, "flesh" doesn't actually mean "physical flesh," but rather a sin nature.

  12. #12

    I disagree.

    Quote Originally Posted by jonahthebold View Post
    I always try to be careful when reading scripture, to not impose modern, Western concepts on words which have been translated and retranslated, and probably had slightly different meanings when they were written.
    If the Bible is written for the End Times, and if it's true that we are in those times now, God could have made it plain in our terms:

    IS 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

    ACTS 13:40 Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets;
    ACTS 13:41 Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

    What better way to show that He is in control?
    Last edited by dan; Mar 9th 2009 at 08:38 AM. Reason: content
    JER 14:13 Then said I: 'Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them: Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place.'
    JER 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me: 'The prophets prophesy lies in My name; I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spoke I unto them; they prophesy unto you a lying vision, and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their own heart.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrckBrln View Post
    My mom has given me some books to read. That's not a good thing as she and my brother are seemingly into that word of faith stuff. Anyway, I was browsing one of the books and the guy said that the spirit world has preeminence over the material world. I've heard this before but is there any biblical evidence for this?
    Not sure what you mean by preeminence. But I do know that we are to focus on the eternal more than the temporal.

    2 Cor 4:16-18

    16 Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 17 For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, 18 while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
    NASB

    The entire chapter of 2 cor 4 is a good read on the subject.
    Matt 9:13
    13 "But go and learn what this means: ' I DESIRE COMPASSION,AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
    NASU

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