THE SKELETAL SYSTEM AND ITS DIVINE MEANING, Part One
By Dr. Lee Warren, B.A., D.D.
(c) September/October 1996 "PLIM REPORT"
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From antiquity, various ancient cultures, especially the so-called mystery schools among the Gentiles, knew the body was a temple. Manly Hall in his book The Secret Teaching of All Ages (© 1977 The Philosophical Research Society, Inc.) states: The oldest, the most profound, the most universal of all the symbols is the human body. The Greeks, Persians, Egyptians and the Hindus considered a philosophical analysis of mans triune nature to be an indispensable part of ethical and religious training. The Mysteries of every nation taught that the laws, elements, and powers of the universe were epitomized in the human constitution; that everything that which existed outside of man had its analogue within man (p. LXXIII).
According to the Messiah and the Apostle Paul, the physical body is the temple or tabernacle for the soul and the Holy Spirit in the earth plane (1 Cor. 6:19-20, Jn. 2:19-21). Moses saw in a vision on top of Mt. Sinai (Ex. 24: 15-16) that the physical body was made in the image and likeness of Elohims (Gods) spiritual embodiment (Gn. 1:26). He is the Archetypal Pattern (or model) of all things in the universe (Ex. 24:9-10; 25:40, Heb. 8:5).
This means that there is a correspondence between the tabernacle and temple that Israel built to worship Yahweh, and our physical bodies. All three symbolically represent the spiritual form of Elohim. There is a structural comparison between the physical body and the tabernacle. For example, there are three compartments in the tabernacle: 1. the Most Holy Place, 2. the Holy Place and 3. the Court Round About. This correlates with the 1. head cavity; 2. chest cavity; and 3. abdominal (stomach) cavity in the physical body. In the tabernacle and temple, the pillars, bars, and boards give structure to the tabernacle as the skeletal system gives the physical body form.
What is the intent of this article?
This is a two-part series on the skeletal system. The intent of Part One is to explain the spiritual reality of the skeletal systems function. This will be done by studying how bones operate naturally in the body. From a physical standpoint, the purpose of the skeleton in the body is to protect the organs, support the body, and produce red blood cells that circulate oxygen throughout the body. The physical skeletal system reflects a psychological and spiritual skeletal system. Simply put, the principle of the skeletal system is three-fold: physical, mental and spiritual (see illustrations on p. 21 and 22). This article will explain the principle in the soul that portrays the skeletal system and how it points to the Messiah. These and other issues will be addressed.
In Part Two, the article will expand on the skeletal section in Dr. Henry C. Kinleys book Elohim The Archetype (Original) Pattern of the Universe (The Institute of Divine Metaphysical Research, Inc. © 1961, 1969, Vol. 3; p. 53-57). Before we examine the skeletal system, one has to understand the significance of bones in Gentile cultures and also in the scriptures.
Did the Gentiles have a knowledge of what bones or the skeleton represent?
It must be understood that the so-called primitive cultures and pagans realized that the bones represented Spirit before Yahweh founded Israel as a nation. They thought there was some magic in bones and had many superstitions about them.
James Frazer documents this in his book The Golden Bough (©1951 Macmillan Co.), which is a study of magic and religion. He states that many cultures believe that sprinkling dead mens bones on the living, cause them to fall asleep like the dead. Other cultures believed in making a flute out of a human leg-bone; whereupon all persons within the hearing are overcome with drowsiness (p. 34-36). Dead mens bones were used as all types of charms to ward off bad spirits or bad luck and to attract good spirits or to have good luck (p. 83, 209, 233, 574).
Manly Hall in his book The Secret Teaching of All Ages states that the views of the Mysteries Teachings on bones were more elevated in primitive cultures than thought possible and are remarkably correct even from a scientific viewpoint. He states: Since the bones are the frame work that sustains the corporeal structure [physical body], they may be regarded as a fitting emblem of the spiritthat divine foundation which supports the composite fabric of mind, soul, and body (p. XCVII). He goes on to discuss the 13th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, Mem, that is often depicted as a skeleton on tarot cards [used by fortune tellers], which corresponds to Psa. 119:97-104). Mr. Hall states: The skeleton is the proper emblem of the first and supreme Deity because it is the foundation of the body as the Absolute is the foundation of creation (p. CXXXI). Clearly, Elohim (God) is the foundation of the universe in its totality (Jn. 1:1-4). The Gentiles understanding of bones was further perfected by the scriptures for they were symbolically used to convey the powers of the Holy Spirit.
Are bones mentioned in the scriptures?
The word bone is often mentioned in various contexts in the Old Testament. The Hebrew word for bone is čtsem. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible #6106 states that bones mean essence, substance. The Old Testament gives numerous examples of bones being used in analogies to convey the essence of a man (his soul) in both a negative and positive sense.
The word bone is first mentioned in the scriptures when Eve was created from Adams rib (Gn. 2:21-22). In this context, Adams rib or bone confirms that the woman was made from the same substance and essence as the man, which is Spirit. Adam said: This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man (Gn.23:23).
Now the woman was taken out of the man to show that the male and female principle existed in Elohim (God) and Adams for He was made in His image (Gn. 1:26). Here the bones explain the duality of Elohim.
Do bones typify a mans soul?
There are other instances in the scriptures where bones are mentioned. Joseph asked his brothers not to leave his bones in Egypt when they returned to the promised land (Gn. 50:25). Also Ezekiel had a vision of dry bones in a valley (Ezk. 37:1-11). In both of these circumstances bones have a deeper meaning than just physical bones. In this context bones spiritually mean the soul.
So, when Moses and Israel took Josephs bones out of Egypt (Ex. 13:19), this typified the resurrection of a mans soul. Likewise, the valley of dry bones symbolically represented Israel. Ezekiel spoke to these bones, they rose on their feet, Spirit entered into them, and they became alive. These bones represented the resurrected souls of Israel (Ezk. 37:11-4), which the Messiah fulfilled at His death, burial, and resurrection (Mt. 27:51-52).
Are there other Biblical references to bones?
Other instances in the Old testament verify that human bones have a spiritual meaning. For example, a man died and was buried in the prophet Elishas graves. When the mans body touched Elishas bones, he was made alive again (2 Kgs. 13:21). Clearly, Elishas bones typify the Spirit of Yahshua (Jesus) who is the resurrection that can make a mans soul alive (Jn. 11:24-25).
Job referred to bones as being full of sin (Job 20:11). Anyone knows that natural bones do not have sin dwelling in them, even though they are a storage place for the bodys minerals. David stated that his bones were vexed (Psa. 6:2). In both cases, one can see that bones are being used here as an analogy to refer to the state and condition of the human soul. Even the Master himself referred to teachers and leaders of Israel as being liken unto dead mens bones. 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 mens bones, and of all uncleanness (Matt. 23:27). Clearly, these mens souls were spiritually dead.
Thus, the bones of a man or skeletal system symbolically represent the invisible soul because bones remain long after the flesh rots away. The long lasting nature of bones proves that the soul is the immortal part of humans that will continue to exist after physical death. This is also confirmed by the Apostle Paul. It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (1 Cor 15:44).
What are the functions of the skeletal system?
The tabernacle patterns three compartments correspond to the three levels of human consciousness: 1. body-physical, 2. Mental, 3. Spirit (I Thess. 5:23; see illustration below and on p. 21). One can see the skeletal system in the physical body, but may not be able to see the principles of the skeletal system on the mental/psychological or spiritual levels. Before this article explains these two higher levels, it will examine the physical skeletal system and its five basic functions in the body. Bones:
Support the body and organs,
Cause movement, such as walking and running,
Protect the organs,
Produce red blood cells in the body (hemopoiesis),
Detoxify the body and serve as a mineral reservoir.
Without any of these functions, the body would die or be severely handicapped. All of these basic functions of the skeletal system have their correspondent principles in the mind and soul.
On land, humans could not exist without a skeletal system for they would be unable to walk or stand erect. In fact, man belongs to a class of mammals called vertebrates that have a backbone and skull. Other classes of vertebrate are: fish, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. The human skeleton is an endoskeletonmeaning it lies within the soft tissues of the body and not outside as in the case of a lobster. Most people do not realize that bones are a living tissue within the body because they are hard and appear unyielding. Bones are not soft like the majority of tissue within the body. The coral in the sea likewise is alive although many people do not realize it. In fact, coral is very similar to bone tissues.
What do physical bones do in the body?
The bones of the vertebral column, the rib cage, and the legs and thighs, along with the muscles, allow humans to stand, sit, and walk. So the skeletal system is the basis of motion.
The skeletal system serves as the protector for many of the bodys important organs. For example, the skull and the spinal or vertebrate column enclose the brain and the spinal cord, respectively (see above illustration). These are the two main parts of the nervous system. The skeletal system serves both as a protector and supporter of this system. The rib cage provides protection and support for the vital organs in the chest region, such as the heart, lungs, urinary bladder, etc., (see illustration on p. 23).
The skeletal system is the source of the red blood cells in the blood, which carry the oxygen to every cell and tissue within the body. It is the red marrow in certain bones that produce these blood cells.
The skeletal system is a reservoir for mineral deposits. Calcium, sodium, potassium, and other minerals are stored within the bones of the skeleton. When the body needs these minerals, they can be mobilized and distributed by the blood. For example, if a mother is pregnant and does not have enough calcium in her system from the foods she eats, calcium is drawn from the mothers skeletal system to develop the babys bones.
Now another important function of the bones is that they protect the body from various poisons. For example, if the body receives a radioactive substance, arsenic, or any poisonous substance in blood, these toxins are eventually removed from the blood and deposited in the bones. So the bones act as a detoxification center for the body.
Understanding the functions of the skeletal system in the physical body will enable one to grasp the principles of the skeletal system within the mind on both the psychological and spiritual levels.
What is the skeletal system on the psychologically level?
Now the mind does not have a physical skeletal system, but everyone knows that it must have some framework or support so that it can operate. The support and framework on a psychological level is our belief system or world view that we obtain from our parents culture.
The human or infant mind develops much the same way as the skeletal system. The bones in the infants body develop by the process of ossification, which turns cells and cartilages into bone. Initially, infants bones are very soft, then eventually become hard and rigid as they mature into an adult.
Likewise, the mind of an infant is pliable or malleable. The babys mind is very moldable at this stage of human development. The infants mind mirrors or models itself after the environment of its formative period. This is why an infant raised in a French family speaks French or children exposed to abuse often abuse their mates and children later in life. The Messiah said a good tree bears good fruits and a corrupt tree bears corrupt fruits. In this analogy the tree symbolizes the parents and the fruits are their children (Mt. 7:16-20). Simply put, the parents or caregivers setup basic patterns for the child that are with them throughout the childs life.
These patterns consist of images and human responses to various situations that mold the infants mind during this formative stage. These patterns are the basis of the infants world view or belief system. Hence, these patterns are analogous to the skeletal system and will become hardened as the bones in the physical body.
What gives shape, form, and support to the mind?
Every human has the same sensory system (seeing, hearing, touching, etc.), but our cultural roots or concepts, ideas, thoughts, and delusions direct these senses to observe what they do. Now Joseph C. Pearces book The Crack in the Cosmic Egg points out that we see, taste, hear, and feel according to a selective program of the mind (p. 4). He states: Our mind directs our sensory apparatus every bit as much as our sensory apparatus informs the mind (p. 4).
This belief system gives shape, forms, and supports the mind just as the physical skeletal system gives shape to the physical body. Our belief system determines our emotional state, feelings, outlook on life, etc., which aid in forming our personality.
Simply put, the human world view or belief system governs the powers of the mind, such as will, reason, emotions, memories, etc. Mr. Joseph C. Pearces states in his book: it is impossible for us to divest ourselves of culture, for it has penetrated to the roots of our nervous system and determines how we perceive the world. We cannot act or interact except through the medium of culture (p. 57). So our reality conforms to what we believe (Prov. 23:7) and we tend to believe what the group thinks.
What allows the mind to move?
As the human skeletal system allows humans to movesit, walk, and runit is the belief system that programs the mind to move in certain directions. This movement is not literal or a movement from point a to b. But the belief system moves both the human developmental process and thinking along a certain line of thought. For example, in human development, there is a movement or evolvement of the thinking process. A child moves from thinking autistically or daydreaming to a logical form of thinking, which is reality based. What shapes this process are the parents ideas and thoughts, along with the childs desire to communicate with others.
Being part of any culture restricts our thinking to certain considerations, possibilities, and conclusions (see "Darkness Resists Light" article in "Spiritual & Psychological Highlights" section on p. 5 of this issue). For example, Columbus was told that the earth was flat and sailing to the east to get spices was foolish for one would fall off the earth. Many wondered why Columbus would even consider the idea. Clearly, we see our culture can limit our thinking process because of its own biases. Another example is that modern medicine does not accept miracles, yet they know that science has no way to explain many extraordinary recoveries. They know that according to their medical diagnosis it would be impossible for near death situations to change for the better.
Is the belief system the protector of the mind on a psychological level?
It is self evident that bones protect many of the organs of the body, but it is not obvious what protects the mind. Some may ask the question: Does the mind need protection and from what? The answer to these questions is yes; the mind needs protection from various ideas and concepts.
According to Dr. Joseph C. Pearce, the belief system or world view, along with particular social pressures, allow humans to entertain certain possibilities within their culture and also serve as a screening mechanism. He sates the following: This world view is then the screen allowing only related data in, as well as the synthetic process determining the final cognitive shape of that admitted material (p. 57).
Our previous beliefs not only screen any new ideas, but they determine the shape of this new information as it is admitted into our belief system. This can led to new possibilities or it can undermine ones belief system for the worst. This is why the belief system serves as a two edged sword. It both protects the mind that can deny new ideas and also brings it new possibilities or ideas.
What supplies the mind with life?
The skeletal system reproduces red blood cells that carry oxygen to every cell in the body. Now the correspondence in the mind is the belief system that produces ideas that gives the mind life. (See How Do You Invoke the Power of the Holy Spirit? in the July/August 1993 issue.)
Minerals deposited in the skeletal system correspond to ideas placed and formed in our minds from our belief systems and past life experiences.
How does the Law of Moses correspond to the skeletal system?
Yahweh created a nation of people from the loins of Abraham, who were called out of Babylon to worship him. Yahweh gave these people laws that structured their mind, just as the skeletal system supports the physical body. These laws told Israel how to worship Yahweh, identified sin, provided rules to atone for it; specified what to eat and wear; and instructed them on whom they could marry. Thus, these laws directed Israel's world view which was very different from the Gentile nations' view of the world since they worshipped many deities, such as trees, the sun, stars, etc.
The purpose of the law was to cause Israel to walk in the principles of Yahweh. The problem was that they took these laws literally and began to think that salvation was in the rituals, feast days, and ceremonies (Isa. 1:13-15; Col. 2:14-18; Gal. 4:9-11).
As long as they were obedient to these laws, they were protected from the wrath of Yahweh and their enemies, just as bones protect the soft tissues of the body (Ex. 23:20-21).
Israels obedience to this law brought about blessings and life (Deu. 30:1) which compare with the red blood giving life to the body.
All the deliverances that Yahweh provided for Israel were supposed to be stored as memories in their hearts, just as the bones store minerals for the body. Now Yahweh was constantly telling Israel to remember the former things of old that He did for them (Isa. 46:9-10). These things were to strengthen their faith in Him.
What were the drawbacks of the Law?
The Law of Moses became a stumbling block to Israel (Rom. 11:9-10). In much the same fashion, our world view or belief system obtained from our parents and culture limit us. The advantage of our culture is that it serves as a foundation for this world. The disadvantage is that it limits us in accepting new ideas and possibilities, such as having total faith in Spirit. Our belief system screens out any ideas that do not mesh with it.
This is precisely what happened to Israel when Yahshua (Jesus) came. They rejected the Messiah and His words. Yet the same laws that they believed and cherished, prophesied the Messiahs coming (Deu. 18:15; Isa. 9:6; Jn. 5:45-46). Clearly, they had their own interpretation of the law that caused them to reject and crucify the prophet (Isa. 53:3-4), which the law also said they would do. Simply put, Israel had more faith in the law of Moses and their traditions than in Yahweh.
The Messiah demonstrated a new world view (Mk. 2:22) to Israel by the miracles He performed. His method encompassed faith, which is the chief principle under the New Covenant (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:27), that makes the power of the Holy Spirit effectual within mankind. The Messiah told His disciples: If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you (Mat. 17:20). Let us proceed to examine the principle of the skeletal system on a spiritual level.
What is the skeletal system on the spiritual level?
On a spiritual level, there are spiritual bones or a skeletal system. Paul correlates the human soul with the bones in the Messiahs spiritual body. He wrote: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones (Eph 5:30). The bones and flesh here are not physical, but spiritual.
Understanding how the physical skeleton and the belief system support us on a physical and psychological level, enables us to understand how the invisible Holy Spirit supports the soul on a spiritual level. As our physical parents guided us in the ways of this world, likewise the Messiah, our spiritual parent, leads us spiritually (Jn. 14:6). Clearly, Yahshua (JesusJn. 14:26), supports the human soul in its spiritual growth and development. His Spirit enables the soul to perceive on a level higher than the intellectual and emotional ones (Jn. 9:24-26).
The Great Master said He was the light of the world. He meant that His ideas and words expanded (Jn. 6:63) and changed Israels and the Gentiles current belief system. Yahweh said to Israel: For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the (Yahweh) LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa. 55:8-9). Clearly, the problem with humans is that our thoughts are very limited.
The Master told Israel to open up their minds to receive new possibilities. He told them that they could accomplish this by having faith in the Holy Spirit. The Master said unto the Israelites: If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth (Mk. 9:23; see Mt. 19:26). This is how the soul is able to walk and run in the Spirit.
On a spiritual level, the Holy Spirit is the protector, sole supporter, and life giver of the soul and mind (Jn. 14:6). There are many problems and crises in life that cannot be resolved by a humans belief system, intellect and will. Job said: Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble (Job 14:1). These problems result in some type of internal conflict within the mind that can bring about mental disorders if not resolved. It is this 'dis-ease' that modern humans face due to the stress of today's life (Job 3:26). The Messiah said to His disciples that He came to give them peace, but not as the world gave false hope for peace. The Messiahs peace would be free of trouble or fear (Jn. 14:26-28). This state of mind is predicated on what Isaiah wrote: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee (Isa. 26:3).
As the skeletal system is the depositor of minerals in the body, so the soul is the depositor of the fruits of the spirits (Gal. 5:22) which will take one to higher heights in the spirit. Thus, the Spirit causes us to move from darkness to light.
It is hoped that one can see that the physical skeletal system in the natural body is a reflection or shadow of both the mental and spiritual support systems. On a psychological level, our world view or belief system, although very limited and biased, is our initial framework to our environment and people. Eventually, we have to transcend our beliefs which limit and constrain us.
It is only through the Spirit of Yahshua (Jesus) that we can expand our belief system beyond their current limitations to a point where all things are possible. Our prayer is that we are all exercised in this principle for this is eternal life (Jn. 17:14). Truly, this spiritual belief system in the Messiah has no limit.
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