March 26, 2008

Christ Gospel Church on Mankind

(Christ Gospel Church is an international sect with affiliate churches in half a dozen African countries and shortwave broadcasts to many others. You can read the previous posts in this series here: What Does Christ Gospel Church Teach?, Christ Gospel Church on Scripture)

II. Mankind

While CGC's Articles of Faith does not have a section devoted to the nature and beginning of mankind,[1] these beliefs are an essential component of their faith.

A. The Nature of Mankind

Confirming Our Faith in What the Bible Teaches About MankindHick's understanding of the nature of man is explained with the language of a wheel. She supports this concept by referring to James 3:6, noting that in the phrase "course of nature," the Greek word for course means "wheel."[2] Thus, humanity's being is to be understood as a wheel of nature. Moreover, mankind consists of three substances. "Although man is an entity, the different substances of man's spirit, soul, and body retain their distinct identities at all times; therefore, he rightly can be called a threefold being."[3] In light of this distinction, the wheel of humanity's being is divided into three realms: body, soul, and spirit.

Additionally, ". . .in order for man's threefold being to function as an entity, God equipped it with a communication system composed of five sensory channels that run as spokes through all three realms of his being. . . . The five channels or spokes that make up man's communication system are his five senses: sight, taste, smell, hearing, and touch."[4] Each sense communicates through the three realms of man.[5] Working together, all of these spokes join at the hub of man's being. "During man's lifetime, the wheel of his threefold nature revolves on the axle of his will that is located in the heart or hub of his being. . . . Man's senses come together as one in the center of his heart or will."[6] Together, the wheel functions, revolving around man's will, and this wheel summarizes the nature of mankind.

B. The Beginning of Mankind

How and when did mankind begin? According to Hicks, "In Eternity-Past, present mankind had a grand and glorious beginning as a spirit and soul in God's creative Loins."[7] This state of mankind is in seed form, before they gained bodies. As preexistent beings, the wills of humanity were tested. "While mankind's living spirits and souls were still in Seed form in the invisible, spirit realm in Eternity-Past, they were tempted by Lucifer."[8] Some of mankind sided with God while others chose Lucifer's path. "The Seeds of mankind, in spiritual and soul form, were subjected to a choice for or against God while dwelling, as it were, in the Body of the Glory of God or in the Loins of God. In this stage, some Seeds won victory over Lucifer's temptation by making a choice for God. But some Seeds failed and were defeated by making a choice against God."[9] This choice was the first test that humanity faced.

Later, in the creation account of Genesis, God joined man's spirit and soul to a body. "God also begot the spirits and souls of mankind; however, man's body was formed by God's Hands. After God had created Adam's terrestrial body, God breathed a begotten spirit and soul into Adam's created body. Thus, man was partly begotten (spirit and soul) and partly created (body). Man is a triune being."[10] From the first man, two individuals were separated. "When God first created Adam-male and Adam-female, they were one. The female was hidden inside the male. Then, God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam-male and took Adam-female from his side."[11] Hicks continues to describe Adam-male and Adam-female as originally created:

God intended to cover Adam-male and Adam-female with all the fullness of His own Glory, so He created them without a physical, natural covering. . . .

Adam-male and Adam-female's original covering, then, was a God-given gift of spiritual Light whose brightness emanated from within and surrounded them with a glowing, shining covering for their physical nakedness. Whether or not man would keep this glorious covering of Light depended upon his obedience to God's Will.[12]
The beginning of man is essential to understanding the theology that will follow.

[1]As I noted in my introduction, since Hicks uses "mankind" and "man" in her works, this series will follow her terminology to remain as close to her language and thought as possible
[2]B. R. Hicks, Confirming Our Faith in what the Bible Teaches about Mankind, 2003 ed. (Jeffersonville, IN: Christ Gospel Press, 2003), 44-45.
[3]Ibid, 45.
[4]Ibid, 55.
[5]For the way in which each sense communicates through the three realms of man, see Ibid, 58-75.
[6]Ibid, 55.
[7]Ibid, 82.
[8]Ibid, 84.
[9]Ibid, 113.
[10]B. R. Hicks, Confirming Our Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, 2004 ed. (Jeffersonville, IN: Christ Gospel Press, 2004), 8. Emphasis in original.
[11]Ibid, 124.
[12]Ibid, 125.