Soul and Spirit
Wade E Taylor
"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" Gen 2:7
Notice that man was formed of dust. Had he been formed of
"clay," his creation would be more understandable,
as dry dust cannot be molded. The natural man would like to
think that God took clay and molded him, complete and independent
However, for a very important reason, God FORMED dust, then
BREATHED into him. This speaks of an impartation of Spirit
which caused the cohesion of the dust so Adam could be molded
into the image of God. Thus, there was something (spirit)
that had to be added to man, so he could function in the realm
and purpose that God intended. He was formed so as to be dependent
on the Lord for his spirit life.
Man was created to live and to function on two levels. Therefore,
the Lord breathed into him the breath of "LIVES."
This word is plural in the original. He was "formed"
(Soul) and then "breathed into" (Spirit). When Adam
partook of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, this
Spirit part died. "But of the tree of the knowledge of
good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat
of it, you shall surely die" Gen 2:17 NKJ
Without this impartation of Spirit that had been breathed
into him, man was but "dust" (Soul) and could not
"cleave" to anyone or to anything, nor could he
enter into the purpose for which he had been created, apart
from a redemptive act by his Creator.
This is why the natural man, who has not received this impartation
of Spirit, acts as he does - he cannot cleave. There is something
that has to be added to him so he can become functional in
the purpose for which he had been created. God must breathe
Spirit into him. "And when He had said this, HE BREATHED
ON THEM, and said to them, RECEIVE the Holy Spirit".
John 20:22 Now, that which Adam had lost was restored. This
happens when we repent and receive Jesus into our life as
our personal Saviour.
After our redemption, there is a new consciousness of these
two realms within our being: the earthly (Soul realm) and
the heavenly (Spirit realm). The first relates to our natural
life. "And as WE HAVE BORNE THE IMAGE OF THE EARTHLY..."
I Cor 15:49a This is essential, for in order to live in and
communicate with our environment, we must have a means whereby
we are compatible with this environment.
We put a seed in the ground and cover it over. It grows,
then we pick it, put some salt on it and eat it. We do not
understand how brown soil can produce red tomatoes, white
onions and green peas. These come from the earth, then we
partake of them and receive nourishment, because we are of
We must relate to the earth realm, which is the place of
our natural environment and life. But there is more; our creation
did not end there. The "BREATH OF LIVES" had been
breathed into man. This is the other aspect of creation. We
were created not only for the earthly realm, but also for
the heavenly realm. However, we must come to the Lord to receive
this. "We shall also BEAR THE IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY."
I Cor 15:49b
Man was created Soul and Spirit so he could live and function
in both the natural and in the spiritual levels of life. The
Lord had a purpose in mind, so He placed within man a capacity
for his development and growth in each of these different
realms. This is a marvelous thing: the finite (man) can relate
to and commune with the infinite (God) in the heavenly realm.
We differ in our soul life both in personality and in potential.
Many are born with natural gifts, such as a special ability
in music. A person who has a talent such as this should consecrate
it to the Lord and as a "good steward" use it for
the purposes and Glory of the Lord. There should be an inner
desire to cultivate and use these natural gifts, and not depreciate
or take for granted what the Lord has created or placed within
our lives. Those who have these gifts should be encouraged
in their development.
We relate to and communicate with our environment through
five senses. (taste, touch, sight, hearing, smell). Should
we lose one of these, the others become more intense and we
are still able to communicate with our environment. If we
lose two or more of our senses, it becomes more difficult,
but if all five were lost, there would be no means of communication
These natural senses operate in the earthly realm of both
the natural and the redeemed man. But there is a higher order
of life available to the redeemed. In our redemption makeup,
we are given spiritual senses. These are a counterpart of
our five natural senses and are just as real as natural taste,
touch, or sight.
Our spirit is recreated through the new birth; then newborn
spiritual senses begin to function within us. As these spiritual
senses are cultivated and developed in our lives, we can sense
and feel His anointing, His presence, and His Holy Spirit.
"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."
II Cor 4:18
A natural person can only relate to the earthly realm, but
a spiritual person can relate to both the earthly realm and
to the heavenly realm. The spiritual person also has gifts
or abilities in his new creation makeup. These are counterparts
of natural gifts and abilities. They can and should be cultivated
and developed. "Now concerning spirituals, brethren,
I would not have you ignorant." I Cor 12:1
"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after
our likeness: and let them have dominion." Gen 1:26 There
are three things here - the "image" and "likeness"
of God and then "dominion". "Image" (the
created potential within our being) and "Likeness"
(the development of our spiritual capacity) results in "Dominion"
(the result of testing, or probation).
Man was created with the potential, or capacity for every
function of both natural and spiritual life within him, but
his spiritual life and function was lost in Adam's transgression.
Only in redemption is this restored. Then, as we respond in
obedience to the workings of the Holy Spirit within us and
begin to cultivate a personal relationship with the Lord,
a greater sensitivity is developed to our new life in the
realm of spiritual reality.
The Word says that we have "the mind of Christ."
We were not born with this, but as we wait upon Him, we partake
of new creation life and develop a mature expression of the
mind of Christ through both our natural, and our spiritual
senses. These spiritual senses are further developed and matured
through our obedience to a process of testing designed to
draw us up into a higher realm of spiritual awareness, understanding,
As the Lord tested Adam by placing the Tree of Life and
the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in his presence,
so we must face a process in which we are tested to determine
the outworking of God's purpose for us. Therefore, these two
"trees" are placed in our pattern of life. The tree
of life (spirit) represents our utter dependence on, and trust
in His provision for us. The tree of the knowledge of good
and evil (soul) represents our desire to be independent and
choose for ourselves what is right or wrong.
"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for
food and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be
desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and
did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her, and he did
eat." Gen 3:6 This appealed to every aspect of man's
soul, but the Lord had said "NO", and established
a penalty for disobedience.
What about the tree of life? Isaiah 53 gives a clear picture
of it in a prophetic description of Jesus. By changing one
word, the "tree of life" can be seen as a type of
Jesus. "For (it) shall grow up before him as a tender
plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: (it) hath no form
nor comeliness; and when we shall see (it) there is no beauty
that we should desire (it)." Isa 53:2
Why did the Lord do this? Had I been the Lord, I would have
made man out of clay, beautifully formed him and then reversed
these two trees. I would have made the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil ugly and the tree of life beautiful. But
His ways are different than ours; there is a reason for their
being as they are.
The tree of life was as a root out of a dry ground. The
other was a tree with beautiful, luscious fruit in full color.
And a "friend?" was there, saying, "Hath God
said? Does He really want to take all this away from you?
Does He want to deprive you? Would God really do that to you?".
It appears that the Lord has made it easy for us to make the
wrong choice at this point, because He is looking for a people
who desire His presence and Glory more than they desire their
own self-centered soul satisfaction.
Therefore, we must make a choice concerning these opposite
pulls upon our being. We can choose to satisfy our soulish,
sensual desires, as expressed in the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil; or we can choose the higher realm of spiritual
desire, as expressed in the tree of life. If we think more
of our "soulish" desires, which are much more appealing
to our earthly realm of life than our "spiritual"
desires are, and then choose to satisfy these soulish desires,
the development of our spiritual life and perception will
Because the Lord has given man so much, there is a penalty
if he makes the wrong choice. "But of the tree of the
knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day
that you eat of it, you shall surely die." Gen 2:17 NKJ
Adam failed and "died," as the Lord had said. This
affected his ability to stand in the presence of God. "And
the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art
thou? and he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I
was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself." Gen
3:9-10 This had nothing to do with clothes, but with the loss
of the covering of Shekinah that had been upon him.
When Adam lost this covering of Shekinah, he could not stand
the presence of God, and hid from it. "Shekinah"
speaks of His Glory upon man; it is the covering, or anointing
that allows man to come into, and then abide in His manifest
presence. Now, the Shekinah that had been upon Adam as a covering
was external, apart from him. As a flaming sword before the
tree of life, it became an "enemy" to keep him from
the spiritual life that he would have gained by partaking
of the tree of life.
Then the Lord took an animal, slew it, and covered Adam
with its skin. This involved the shedding of blood as a type
of redemption. Now, Adam was "covered" and brought
back into the possibility of relationship. "Unto Adam
also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins,
and clothed them" Gen 3:21.
This covering was a substitute for the Shekinah that had
been lost, and gave him acceptance, but man was still prevented
from coming back into the realm of spiritual life that he
had once known. "So he drove out the man; and He placed
at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubim, and a flaming
sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree
of life." Gen 3:24.
Jesus died on Calvary's cross and became our covering for
sin. But there is more in our redemption. On the Mount of
Transfiguration, Jesus demonstrated that the Shekinah had
been embodied in Him; it was no longer separate from Him.
The veil has been rent and a way of entrance made for us into
the place of His abiding Shekinah glory. The flaming sword
is no longer a hindrance to our entering into this experience
of knowing His manifest presence.
We can abide in the covering for sin that Jesus provided,
knowing His forgiveness, but never come back to the place
that Adam (we) lost of being clothed upon with His Glory and
having his (our) spiritual senses quickened. When God came
to walk with Adam in the cool of the day, Adam HID FROM HIS
PRESENCE. Then, the Lord said, "Adam, where are you?".
Adam answered this question and talked with the Lord. Notice
that we can commune with the Lord in the realm of our soul
and never come back to the place of full and open fellowship
Many are satisfied with only the redemptive covering that
has been provided for them through the atonement of Jesus
on the cross, and feel comfortable to stay there. However,
the Lord greatly desires His people to come beyond this to
a full Redemption of all that had been lost. This includes
not only the provision of a covering for our sin, but also
the restoration of the original covering of Shekinah to make
a way for His abiding, manifest presence in our lives.
Our spiritual senses only function as they are quickened
or sensitized in His presence. Their development must be cultivated
and this takes time. When we experience a time of fellowship
with our Lord in His manifest presence, or when we come into
a "moving" of the Holy Spirit and respond to it,
our spiritual senses begin to develop and function.
The Lord is looking for a people who desire a full restoration
of all that was lost. We have experienced forgiveness, but
this must give way to the greater victory of life in the Spirit.
The Lord is restoring His Glory to His people. He greatly
desires to demonstrate this through the lives of an overcoming
people who have chosen the higher realm of spiritual life
and have rejected the pull of their soul.
There will be a people who will walk with Him in the covering
of His "Shekinah Glory", and witness His manifest
presence and power to the world in this last day.