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Animals know things. 
And, different animals know different things. 

Take a cat for example. In our back yard there are two large pine trees just twenty five , or thirty feet out our back door. Since the first limbs are about fifteen feet off the ground, I keep a small table with about four chairs placed under one of the trees where I will often enjoy a cup of coffee with my wife as we talk and take in the panorama of the surrounding meadows and forested hills. 

Several cats have adopted us, and have taken up uninvited residence in the buildings at the perimeter of our yard.

On different occasions, while sitting quietly, I have observed that a cat knows if it will creep stealthily toward an area on the ground beneath our bird feeder, and conceal itself beneath the rhododendron bush, chances are good that sooner or later it will be provided with an opportunity to ambush a fresh meal.

This is something the cat knows. It knew this before it left the building, and it expends the effort needed to sneak to it's hidden position. There is a spirit in the cat that empowers it's little brain to know this. Predatory instinct.

But alas, the birds have a different spirit that empowers them to suspect a cat might be hiding in the bushes, therefore they avoid landing on the dangerous ground. If they visit the ground to recover a morsel of fallen food, they do it in haste, and immediately wing it back up into the safety of the branches. Defensive instinct.

All animals have a spirit that empowers them to know the necessary things of living in their respective reality. Yes, animals know things.

Man, on the other hand, not 
only knows things, he knows that he knows. 

Man's intelligence is so overwhelming that it scares all the other life forms around him. Man is unique. He has an extreme spirit. The spirit of man.

Solomon spoke of these spirits, and differentiated between them, in Ecclesiastes 3: 21 -

"Who knoweth the spirit of 
man that goeth upward,

and the spirit of the beast that 

goeth downward to the earth?"

The apostle Paul reflected on the uniqueness of the spirit that empowers the mind of man in I Corinthians 2:11 -

"For what man knoweth the things of a man,
save the spirit of man which is in him?"

Old English can be hard to read sometimes. The word "save" in the above quoted verse can be difficult for some. It merely means "except for". 

 The verse is simply saying, if it wasn't for the fact that mankind has a unique spirit within him, he would not be unique in knowledge. He would react to the world around him like the animals do, with mere instinct. The spirit of man is special.

"For what man knoweth the things of a man,
save [except for] the spirit of man which is in him?"

What would happen if a human being 
did not have this unique spirit, 
but instead, had the empowering 
spirit of, say a cow, or a bull? 

His body might be as complete and functional as any other person's, but his "mind" would be that of a mere animal. 

The mind is what results from the combining of the material gray matter of the physical brain, and the non-physical spiritual component of what is simply referred to as "spirit".

Actually, we don't have to imagine this. We can read about it, for such a thing is recorded as happening in the book of Daniel. It happened to the great Babylonian King, Nebuchadnezzar.

Here it is in Nebuchadnezzar's own words as recorded in Daniel 4: 4-16 -

"I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house,
and flourishing in my palace: I saw a dream
which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon 
my bedand the visions of my head troubled me.

Therefore made I a decree to bring in all the wise
men of Babylon before me, that they might make
known unto me the interpretation of the dream.

Then came in the magicians, the astrologers,
the Chaldeans, and the soothsayers: and I told
the dream before them; but they did not make
known unto me the interpretation thereof.

But at the last Daniel came in before me,
whose name was Belteshazzar,
according to the name of my God,
and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods:

and before him I told the dream, saying,
O Belteshazzar, master of the magicians,
because I know that the spirit of the holy gods
is in thee, and no secret troubleth thee,

tell me the visions of my dream that I have 
seen,and the interpretation thereof. 

Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; 
 I saw, and behold a tree in the midst of the 
earth, and the height thereof was great.

The tree grew, and was strong, and the 
height thereof reached unto heaven, and 
the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: 

The leaves thereof were fair,and the 
fruit thereof much, and in it was meat
for all: the beasts of the field had shadow 
under it,and the fowls of the heaven dwelt 
in the boughs thereof,and all flesh 
was fed of it.

I saw in the visions of my head upon 
my bed,and, behold, a watcher and an 
holy one came down from heaven; 

 He cried aloud, and said thus,
Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches,
shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: 
let the beasts get away from under it, 
and the fowls from his branches:

Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots 
in the earth,even with a band of iron and 
brass, in the tender grass of the field; 

and let it be wet with the dew of
heaven, and let his portion be with the 
beasts in the grass of the earth: 

Let his heart be changed from man's,
and let a beast's heart be given unto him;
and let seven times pass over him."

The word "heart' used here, is from the Hebrew word "lebab", defined as one's mind and is not referring to the fleshly organ that pumps blood through one's body. 

The spirit of man was taken from Nebuchadnezzar and he was given the spirit of an animal. This gave him the mind of an animal and he reacted as an animal. This continued for seven times, which refers to seven years.

This was done for a reason. Previously, Nebuchadnezzar had a golden statue fashioned as a god and commanded that all show bow before it. 

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refused, saying they worshipped only the true God of heaven; and because of this they were thrown into a furnace from which they were miraculously rescued by God.

God decided to show Nebuchadnezzar just Who was Who in the universe. 

He snatched the spirit of man from Nebuchadnezzar's body and replaced it with the inferior spirit of an animal. 

Talk about an attitude adjustment! Look at Nebuchadnezzar's attitude once God restored his spirit of man seven years later:

Verses 33-34: 

"The same hour was the thing 
fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar:

and he was driven from men, 
and did eat grass as oxen,
and his body was wet with the 
dew of heaven, till his hairs
were grown like eagles' feathers, 
and his nails like birds' claws.

And at the end of the days 
I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine
eyes unto heaven, and mine 
understanding returned unto me,

and I blessed the most High, 
and I praised and honoured him that
liveth for ever, whose dominion 
is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom is from 
generation to generation:"

There is even a Bible account of the inverse Nebuchadnezzar's experience. 

 It's a scientific fact that animals see light and hear sounds of different frequencies than man can. Some can see into the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, and they can hear ultrasonic frequencies also. In short, they can see and hear things that might be  present but we could never detect.

The Talking Ass.

Balaak, the king of Moab, wanted a prophet by the name of Balaam to pronounce a curse on the people of Israel. So, he sent messengers to get Balaam. But God did not want Balaam to go with them. Nevertheless, when the morning came, Balaam saddled his donkey and started his journey. 

As Balaam traveled he approached an area where an angel stood with sword drawn to prevent their passage. The donkey saw the angel up ahead, but Balaam couldn't. So the donkey walked off the path and entered the field to circumnavigate around the angel.

Balaam smacked the donkey with a whip and to turn it back onto the path. It occurred in the area of a vineyard where the trail had a wall on either side, so in an effort to avoid the angel, the donkey swerved to one side and crushed Balaam's foot against the wall. Balaam smacked the donkey again.

The angel then went down the trail further to a narrow place where there was no way Balaam and the donkey could pass on either side. 

As the donkey approached the angel, it stopped and laid down on the trail with Balaam on it's back. Again, Balaam whipped it. God then worked a miracle with that donkey. It turned to Balam and began to do a very human thing. It began speaking!

"And the LORD opened the mouth 
of the ass,and she said unto Balaam, 

What have I done unto thee,
that thou hast smitten me 
these three times?"  

Numbers 22:28

Spirit is important! 

 In fact, James 2:26 says a 
body without a spirit is dead.

When a person dies, the spirit of man returns to God and he keeps it, takes care of it, and can return it to that body, which has been restored to excellent physical condition through a resurrection, anytime He wants to. Just like He did for Nebuchadnezzar.

And, there are different kinds of spirit that empower the brain to have different kinds of minds just as the experiences of Nebuchadnezzar and Balaam show.

Adam was formed (not created) of the dust of the ground. At that instant, his body existed, but he was not living yet. He was a dead body without a spirit. Just as James referred to.

Next, God did not merely breathe a breath of air into Adam, but the "breath of life." 

This puff of air had "life" in it! There was spirit in this breath of air.

Remember, James did not say a body without "air" is dead, he said a body without "spirit" is dead.

But, God did not personally breathe this spirit (breath of life) into you. Did He?

He did not breathe it into me either. In fact, He did not breathe it into anyone after Adam. This spirit, this "life" is passed on from Adam, from generation to generation, as a component part of the human sperm cell.

The human egg, on the other hand, has no life of its own. If it is not fertilized by human sperm, it is not given life. It passes out of the female never having begun the growth process. 

The spirit of man you have within you now has come directly from God Himself, but it was passed on to you from generation to generation. 

The air, however, is different. You gulped it in yourself the instant you were born.

This is one of the wonderful acts of God.

"The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel,
saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens,
and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth
the spirit of man within him." 

Zechariah 12:1

Think of the things the mind of man deals with: Rockets, computers, planning a garden, driving a car, constructing artwork, building a building, developing a substance called concrete, writing a book, inventing a microscope that peers down into the inner workings of a living cell. 

These are things the mind of man deals with. Compare that to the mind of a cat, a frog, or a chicken. What a VAST difference.

Now, as you think on that difference, realize that a similar difference exists when comparing the mind of God to the mind of man!

Near the beginning of this article I quoted I Corinthians :

"For what man knoweth the things of a man,
save the spirit of man which is in him?"

That was only the first part of the verse. Now, let's see the last part:

"even so the things of God knoweth no man, 
but [by] the Spirit of God."

Now a new subject is brought up. 
The spirit of God. 

Without this spirit, mankind cannot understand the things of God. Even with the incredibly unique spirit of man, an atheist (though he be a rocket scientist) simply cannot fathom the existence of intelligent life beyond the physical realm of things he can see, hear, and touch. 

It is beyond his comprehension. Hearing the religiously deceived speak, he perceives their beliefs for the fairy tales they truly are. For even many of the doctrines of the "religious" are formulated without the divine influence of the spirit of God.

The real truth of God lies beyond the reach and understanding of those who lack the spirit of God. 

Rather than try to explain it further, once again it is better if I let the recorded scripture do it. Here it is in verses 12 through 14:

"Now we have received, 
not the spirit of the world,
but the spirit which is of God; 

that we might know
the things that are 
freely given to us of God.

Which things also we speak, 
not in the words which

man's wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost

teacheth; comparing spiritual 
things with spiritual.

But the natural man 
receiveth not the things

of the Spirit of God: 

for they are foolishness unto him: 
neither can he know them,

because they are spiritually discerned."

Physically, you started out as a human egg with the potential to have life of your own. 

However, that did not occur until life was imparted to it by sharing in the spirit of man carried by the life-giving messenger of the human sperm cells carried down to you from Adam.

In like manner, when you were physically begotten, the spirit of mankind within you itself had the potential to have a life of it's own as an individual spirit being .... an entirely new creation. 

Once begotten and born, it would begin to grow. You would be able to learn, and understand, of the things of God. At first, like a physical baby, you would have needed to feed on the milk of the word of God. The basic precepts. 

Later, sometimes a considerable time later, you would have matured to the point of even understanding the deepest mysteries of God.

There are different views as to what being born again means, and when it happens. It is a very tricky subject. 

One that I personally have understood and believed two different ways at different times. 

The basic questions is this: Can one be born again, that is, born of the spirit, now? Or, does being born again mean being changed into a spirit being at the resurrection?

I will not try to change your mind here. And the reason for that couldn't be said any more succinctly than Yogi Berra put it:

“There are some people who, if they don’t
already know, you can’t tell them”

However, here are a few reasons why I believe a person who is born again, is born again now.

1) The apostle Peter said Christians are "born again" by the word of God 

 I Peter 1:22-23

"Seeing ye have purified your 
souls in obeying the truth
through the Spirit unto 
unfeigned love of the brethren,

see that ye love one another 
with a pure heart fervently:

Being [past tense]born again
not of corruptible seed,
but of incorruptible, 
by the word of God,
which liveth and abideth for ever."

This statement means to be born again, and not merely "begotten" in this life, as some have tried to teach. This is made clear in Peter's next statement in I Peter 2:1 - 2 -

"Wherefore laying aside all malice, 
and all guile,and hypocrisies, 
and envies, and all evil speakings,

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk
of the word, that ye may grow thereby:"

The analogy cannot be a simple "conception" within the womb, as one who is begotten. 

Rather, the Christian is as a "newborn babe" that needs to be fed on the milk of the word. 

The context of these verses shows that Peter considered Christians as already "born again." 

A person simply cannot take of a mother's milk until AFTER they are born.

Furthermore, just think, if we are to be born again at the resurrection, are we then to be spiritual infants at that time? 

No, we are a new creature NOW. We are born a new being NOW. We need to do our growing NOW. That new creature needs only to be changed at the resurrection. 

Unlike a newborn baby, it needs to already be mature and ready to serve in the purpose of God's great plan.

The apostle Paul comments:

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, 
he is a new creature:
old things are passed away; 
behold, all things are become new."

And so does the apostle John:

"But as many as received him, to them gave he

power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name:

Which were [past tense] born, not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man, but of God."

Much more could be cited here, but I don't want to belabor the point. 

My main objective is to point out that the spirit of man elevates the mind of man to an unfathomable position above all other forms of life on earth. 

And just like that, the spirit of God recreates mankind as a new creature.

 A creature able to understand the things of God to an unfathomable position far above even those who have the spirit of man,  but lack the Spirit of God.

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