Man’s Dual Nature in God’s Eternal Purpose
Similarly, God’s aim, purpose and goal for our race is based in a being who is eternal in nature. Man himself has both the eternal nature and the temporary nature.
For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; 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 (2 Cor. 4:16-18).
Man has an inner nature and outer nature. His outer nature is temporary. His inner unseen nature is eternal. The Pharisees were blind to the eternal inner nature of man. No doubt they knew the inner man existed, but they were blind to its eternal importance. Jesus rebuked them for their blindness saying: “Ye fools, did not he that made that which is without make that which is within also?” (Luke 11:40). They had made their outward man, their actions, righteous. Inside they were full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Jesus told them that they (like some today) had it backwards.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt. 23:24-28).
Man’s Eternal Nature
God’s plan for man is centered in the greatest command: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:36-38). Man’s inner nature is comprised of at least three separate parts: a heart, a soul and a mind. They are unseen and thus eternal (2 Cor. 4:16-18). What is the heart of man? How does the mind of man differ from his heart? Some do not discern the difference between the heart and the mind. The Lord’s command is not redundant; he does not command us to love him with all of the heart, the heart and the heart. They are three distinct parts of man’s unseen nature. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit…” (Heb. 4:12). The New Testament scriptures can discern the different parts of the inner nature of man (1 Cor. 14:24, 25).
Because the Pharisees were spiritually blind they did not value the spiritual things which God wants us to have in our spiritual mind and heart.
Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone (Matt. 23:23).
The Pharisees could see the value of material things, but they could not see the value of spiritual things of the spiritual heart.
Many powers can, and do abide inside the spiritual heart. The Lord calls it the treasure of the heart – evil and good (Matt. 12:35). It is from the abundance of what is inside of the spiritual heart that our mouth speaks (Matt. 12:34). Faith abides inside the spiritual heart. “For with the heart man believeth…” (Rom. 10:9). The capacity to understand is the heart. Jesus said that he spoke in parables “. . . lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Matt. 13:15). Many evil powers can abide in the heart, like “. . . evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matt. 15:19). The heart of man is truly an eternal reality. These evil works listed here come from what abides in the heart. Though what is in the heart may not manifest itself at all times, it remains in the heart and does manifest itself in our actions in the different situations. If we put these evil things to death (Col. 3:5) they will be permanently removed from the heart. If we put on “bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering,” etc. our hearts will be filled with the eternal good ways of God (Col. 3:12). “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (1 John 3:3). We do this by putting off the evil things out of our hearts (Col. 3:8). How many today, like the Pharisees, can not see the power of the heart?