Man’s spirit or soul created in God’s image.
143. Man’s spirit or soul created in God’s image not the physical body of man: In the Bahá’í Faith we recognize that the souls of mankind are created in the image of God which is not the image of the physical body of man. God is of the spirit and far above the limitations of a physical body. Christianity: Christ tells us: John 4:24 “God is a Spirit.” This means that our souls are of the spirit as well, created in the image of our creator. Judaism: Genesis 1:26 “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:” Genesis 1:27 “And God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Christianity: 1 Corinthians 11:7 “For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God:”
BAHA’I FAITH: “All these sacred words show us that man is made in God‘s image: yet the Essence of God is incomprehensible to the human mind, for the finite understanding cannot be applied to this infinite Mystery.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 23)
CHRISTIANITY: John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Here we find that Jesus makes the distinction between flesh and the spirit. He indicates that flesh is of the body while the spirit, that which is in God’s image, is not of the body, but is a whole different entity onto itself, a spiritual entity. John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit.” Jesus couldn’t be any clearer, “God is a spirit” not an entity having a physical form we can see and observe, but a spiritual form. 2 Corinthians 3:17 “Now The Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of The Lord is, there is liberty.” Paul tells us the same thing that Jesus did, The Lord is spirit not physical, so man being created in God’s image is spiritual also. 1 Corinthians 15:40 “There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.” Paul, again, makes the clear distinction between the physical and the spiritual forms of man. He states we have a physical body or a terrestrial body and a celestial body, a spiritual body. 1 Corinthians 15: 44 “There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” Paul couldn’t be any clearer on this our physical body is different and separate from our spiritual body and he goes on further to say: 1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;” The kingdom of God is not a physical place that our physical body can go to. Paul clearly makes the distinction that the physical body or flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: Luke 17:20 “….The kingdom of God cometh not with observation” Luke 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” The Kingdom of God is, as I said earlier, not a physical place that our physical body can just go to. Christ tells us heaven is not a place we can observe with our physical eyes. We can’t say heaven is here or heaven is there, heaven is of the spiritual realm. So, if heaven is not a physical place, it is our spiritual soul that goes to heaven when we pass on out of this mortal life and it is our spiritual or celestial body that is in God’s image, because God is spirit and we are spirit because we are created in God’s image.
Lastly Matthew tells us: 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” God is perfect and the soul He created for us is perfect, but the physical body of man is not perfect, it ages, gets sick and eventually dies. These are all states of imperfection not perfection; therefore the physical body of man is not created in God’s image. The physical body is created in the image of the world, created in the nature of the animal, its weak form that of a human animal. So, the physical body of man is definitely not created in God’s image! Therefore the Soul of man is not physical. Judaism: 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.” Proverbs 20:27 “The spirit of man is the candle ofThe LORD.” Job 32:8 “But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.” Christianity: Romans 8:8 “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” Ephesians 4:4 “There is one body, and one Spirit,” Paul makes the final distinction, there is one body of man and there is one spirit or the living soul of man. James 2:26 “the body without the spirit is dead….” Matthew 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. 1 John 3:24 “And he that keepeth His commandments dwelleth in Him, and He in him. And hereby we know that He abideth in us, by the Spirit which He hath given us.” 1 John 4:13 “Hereby know we that we dwell in Him, and He in us, because He hath given us of His Spirit.”
BABI RELIGION: “AS this physical frame is the throne of the inner temple, whatever occurs to the former is felt by the latter. In reality that which takes delight in joy or is saddened by pain is the inner temple of the body, not the body itself.”
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 93)
We also find that the soul of man is spiritual created in God’s image indicated in other religions of God as well: Islam: 29. “When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My spirit, fall ye down in obeisance unto him.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 15)
ISLAM: 9. “But He fashioned him in due proportion, and breathed into him something of His spirit. And He gave you (the faculties of) hearing and sight and feeling and understanding.” “For such He has written Faith in their hearts, and strengthened them with a spirit from Himself.”
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 32 and 58)
Islam: “What! Has (Allah, God) taken Daughters out of what He Himself creates, as a likeness to (Allah) Most Gracious; they (become) females angels who themselves serve Allah.” Don’t think because she’s a female she is not made in Allah’s image, like man; that, according to Muhammad, would be a foolish assumption.
(The Qur’an (Yusuf Ali tr), Surah 43)
(Islam, Hadith, Bukhari Vol 6, Book 60, # 236)
(Islam, Mathnavi of Rumi (E.H. Whinfield tr), The Masnavi Vol 6)
(The Zend-Avesta, Khorda Avesta – Book of Common Prayer pt. 1)
Zoroastrianism: “The soul survives even after the body has been burnt to ashes, it is mere obstinacy to deny the fact of the survival of the soul after the death of the body; based on the accumulation of evidence on this point.” (Zoroaster, Hymns of Atharvan p. 642)
Zoroastrianism: Denkard. Zoroaster, “The spirit or the soul of man is invisible and intangible and its abode in this world is the perishable (human) body. The body is sustained so long as it is united with the invisible spirit. The growth and development of the body is due to the progress it makes through (the presence of) this invisible spirit.
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapter 2)
Hinduism: “Holy souls see Which strive thereto. Enlightened, they perceive That Spirit in themselves.” “Yea! in its bodily prison! Spirit pure, Spirit supreme; surveying, governing, Guarding, possessing; Lord and Master.” “For I am That whereof Brahma (God) is the likeness!”
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapters 13, 14 and 15)
Hinduism: “Krishna speaketh in this wise! Yea, and whoso, full of faith, Heareth wisely what it saith, Heareth meekly, when he dies, Surely shall his spirit rise To those regions where the Blest, Free of flesh, in joyance rest.”
(Hindu, Bhagavad Gita (Edwin Arnold tr) chapter 18)
BUDDHISM: “Seeing your body as no better than an earthen pot, make war on Mara with the sword of wisdom, and setting up your mind as a fortress, defend what you have won, remaining free from attachment.” “Before long this body will be lying on the ground, discarded and unconscious, like a useless bit of wood.”
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))
Buddhism: “The lotus will grow sweetly fragrant, delighting the soul, so also among those who are like the wise student of the truly enlightened Buddha shines brightly.” 3. “Knowing that this body is like a jar,” When the jar is broken the soul is set free from the body to wing it’s flight to God.
(Buddhist, Dhammapada – Sayings of the Buddha 2 (tr. J. Richards))
Buddhism: “Our physical body consisting of flesh and skin, etc., is nothing more than a tenement or an inn; it is no place of refuge.” (Buddha, Sixth Patriarch) It is a place where the soul of man rests temporary until the soul passes on out of this body.
SABEANISM: “Incense that is fragrant! yea, for the lives of the men who were our ancestors, of righteous and believing men who rendered up (their souls) and departed from their bodies.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 8)
Sabeanism: “The assembly of souls which proceeded from Him, on the Last Day, when they leave their bodies, will rejoice in Him, will embrace Him and will rise up and behold the outer Ether and the everlasting Abode.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 9)
Sabeanism: “Be ye my witnesses on the great day of departure (from the body)” “When this the soul casteth off her bodily garment, she shall put on the dress of life and become a facsimile of The Great Life (God) in light.” “In the likeness of The Life (God).” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapters 17, 51 and 73)
Sabeanism: “Go, soul, in victory to the place from which you were transplanted, the place of joy, in which the face shines. The face shines in it, the form is illumined and does not grow dim. The soul has loosened its chains and broken its fetters. It shed its bodily coat.” (Sabeanism, Bliss and Peace)
Sabeanism: “First Life! (Haiyi/God) Lift up Thine eyes upon these souls called upon, raised up and signed in this masiqta and (the souls of) our father, brothers and sisters who have departed the body, and of those who still tarry in the body. Deliver them, save them and protect them from this world of the wicked and from those watch-houses (purgatories).” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 58)
Sabeanism: “Hail to thee, hail to thee, soul That hast departed from the world! Thou leavest corruption and the stinking body In which thou hast been: (thou leavest) Its abode.” “I lifted mine eyes to heaven and my soul waited on the house of life. and the life who heard my cry sent toward me a deliverer. the deliverer who came to me brought me that which was lovely; he opened out a robe and showed me its radiance and cast off the stinking body. He grasped me with the palm of his right hand and led me over the waters of death . over the waters of death he brought me and led me onward; in the likeness of life he supported me. Life supported life, life found its own. Its own self did life find and my soul found that for which it had looked. Renowned is life and victorious and victorious the man who went hence.” (Sabeanism, Ginza Rba- chapter 94 and 96)
BAHA’I FAITH: “Man — the true man — is soul, not body; though physically man belongs to the animal kingdom, yet his soul lifts him above the rest of creation. Behold how the light of the sun illuminates the world of matter: even so doth the Divine Light shed its rays in the kingdom of the soul. The soul it is which makes the human creature a celestial entity!”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks, p. 84)
BABI RELIGION: “Since this physical body is the throne whereon the inner temple is established, God hath ordained that the body be preserved to the extent possible, so that nothing that causeth repugnance may be experienced. The inner temple beholdeth its physical frame, which is its throne. Thus, if the latter is accorded respect, it is as if the former is the recipient. The converse is likewise true; therefore, it hath been ordained that the dead body should be treated with the utmost honour and respect.
(The Bab, Selections from the Writings of the Bab, p. 94)
BAHA’I FAITH: “Know thou that the soul of man is exalted above, and is independent of all infirmities of body or mind. That a sick person showeth signs of weakness is due to the hindrances that interpose themselves between his soul and his body, for the soul itself remaineth unaffected by any bodily ailments. Consider the light of the lamp. Though an external object may interfere with its radiance, the light itself continueth to shine with undiminished power. In like manner, every malady afflicting the body of man is an impediment that preventeth the soul from manifesting its inherent might and power. When it leaveth the body, however, it will evince such ascendancy, and reveal such influence as no force on earth can equal. Every pure, every refined and sanctified soul will be endowed with tremendous power, and shall rejoice with exceeding gladness.”
(Bahá’í Faith, Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 153)
Baha’i Faith: “Man must comprehend the oneness of divinity. He must come to know and acknowledge the precepts of God and realize for a certainty that the ethical development of humanity is dependent upon religion. He must get rid of all defects and seek the attainment of heavenly virtues in order that he may prove to be the image and likeness of God. It is recorded in the holy bible that God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ It is self-evident that the image and likeness mentioned do not apply to the form and semblance of a human being because the reality of divinity is not limited to any form or figure. Nay, rather the attributes and characteristics of God are intended. Even as God is pronounced to be just, man must likewise be just. As God is loving and kind to all men, man must likewise manifest loving-kindness to all humanity. As God is loyal and truthful, man must show forth the same attributes in the human world. Even as God exercises mercy toward all, man must prove himself to be the manifestation of mercy. In a word, the ‘image and likeness of God‘ constitute the virtues of God, and man is intended to become the recipient of the effulgences of divine attributes. This is the essential foundation of all the divine religions, the reality itself, common to all. His Holiness Abraham promulgated this; His Holiness Moses proclaimed it. His Holiness Christ and all the prophets upheld this standard and aspect of divine religion.”
(Abdu’l-Baha, Foundations of World Unity, p. 92)
Baha’i Faith: “If no fruits of the Kingdom appear in the garden of his soul, man is not in the image and likeness of God, but if those fruits are forthcoming, he becomes the recipient of ideal bestowals and is enkindled with the fire of the love of God. If his morals become spiritual in character, his aspirations heavenly and his actions conformable to the will of God, man has attained the image and likeness of his Creator; otherwise, he is the image and likeness of Satan. Therefore, Christ hath said, ‘Ye shall know them by their fruits.’”
(Bahá’í Faith, Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 335)