Friday, July 11, 2008

A Better Mouse Trap

What Did You Say the Flesh Is?

We should not misinterpret the cravings of the flesh as mere physical desires such as hunger or thirst. The cravings of the flesh are the illegitimate physical and psychological desires that we experience. The difference between the longings of the body (the satisfying of physical need) and the desires of the flesh are moral differences. There is nothing at all improper or immoral about feeling hungry for instance. This is a physical need. The illegitimate fleshly craving that parallels this would be gluttony or the desire to consume beyond the satisfying of any reasonable physical need. This is the characteristic of all Satan’s activity in the world. The evil one cannot create anything new; he can only mutate what God has created.

Furthermore, the flesh is not a collection of inanimate desires or cravings. The flesh is, in reality, a personality. The flesh is the personality of Satan in our physical bodies. (
If you limit your view of the flesh to the one meaning of the Greek word sarx translated “meat” you will have difficulty interpreting this verse. Hamburger cannot lust. It requires a conscious being to engage in lust or hate or envy. Yet often in Scripture the flesh is attributed with having active functions and desires such as these.

The only possible explanation for the way the Bible uses this concept of “flesh” is that it refers to an attribute beyond our physical bodies. As we have stated before, Scripture uses the word flesh to refer to both physical tissue and to something that is an active and living personality in our bodies. Further, the Bible often uses the “flesh” to indicate something that is in active and ongoing opposition to God. The only entity in creation that fits the characteristics assigned to the flesh is Satan. (
From the verse in 1John above, I believe that it is clear that the personality of the flesh comes from Satan. It is Satan who is the “prince of this world”
Pride was the sin that led to Satan’s downfall and is one of principal character traits (see
Ezekiel 28:17). I am quite convinced that the flesh, when spoken of in Scripture as an active force, is the evil one residing in our physical bodies. It is my belief that when humanity fell in the Garden of Eden, this allowed Satan to infest our bodies or allowed God to exile him there. The part of our physical being that was corrupted by the devil’s indwelling became “the flesh.”

An additional indication that Satan was allowed to indwell our physical bodies at the fall comes back to the issue of the redemptive status of our physical bodies. Paul states in several places that our physical bodies are not redeemed but replaced: (

Our souls and spirits are made immortal by salvation but our bodies are considered by the Father to be unrecoverable. The only person that Scripture shows to be beyond redemption is Satan. The only reason I can see for God’s refusal to resurrect our physical bodies is that they are spoiled by the presence of Satan: (
1Corinthians15:42). I believe that it was the Father’s intention from the beginning to use the body as a trap for the evil one. This is why the physical body was designed from the beginning as a temporary part of us. We are raised with a body but it is a different kind of body from the one we have now. I believe that it is a body without “flesh.”

From the flesh, the evil one now tempts, condemns and accuses us. It is from his perch in our flesh that Satan wages war on our minds and emotions in an attempt to gain influence over our thinking and thus lead us into doing that which is harmful to God, destructive to ourselves and harmful to those around us.This is the principle method Satan employs to try to oppose God and His working in our lives and in the physical world. This is the way that Satan attempts to hurt the Father by corrupting His creation and harming His children. Interestingly, this is also the way that God chose to deal with Satan in this world.

Next Part, “Exiled to the Flesh.”


1 comment:

Free Spirit said...

Great stuff Rich!!
YOu've been busy lately. I've got lots of catching up to do!