God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:27
God Created Humanity. God created and breathed life into mankind, first through Adam and Eve, in the perfect Garden of Eden:
Then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living person. – Genesis 2:7
Man is a created being, not the creator. We were created out of the dust of the ground, but we are also created in the image (likeness) of God – meaning we all (each of us) have an immortal spirit. Some think of this as our soul; for the purpose of this book, spirit and soul can be considered the same.
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. – Genesis 1:26-27
All came from the dust and all return to the dust. – Ecclesiastes 3:20
“Because from it [the ground, dust] you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19
We are the property and possession of the Lord; we are not our own. He owns us; all of us:
The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains,
The world, and those who dwell in it. – Psalm 24:1
Many will refuse to accept this fact and therefore deny the Lord. Please do not make that same mistake. It is only pride that leads man to take that position, and pride leads to death. The Lord is the potter, and we are just clay vessels:
But now, O Lord, You are our Father;
We are the clay, and You our potter,
And all of us are the work of Your hand. – Isaiah 64:8
Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who fear Him.
For He Himself knows our form;
He is mindful that we are nothing but dust. – Psalm 103:13-14
It is God who sustains all life everywhere; for without God, there is no life:
The Spirit of God has made me,
And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. – Job 33:4
Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
your judgments are like the great deep;
man and beast you save [sustain, give life to], O Lord. – Psalm 36:5-6 (ESV)
…yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. – 1 Corinthians 8:6 (ESV)
…one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. – Ephesians 4:6
He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. – Colossians 1:17
And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. – Hebrews 1:3
The Bible explains and teaches us the ways of God, which lead to life; all other ways (“the ways of man”) lead to eternal death. Thankfully, we serve a God of love, who “is love.” In the Bible, you will also read that God is a “jealous” God; that confused me greatly at first because I’ve only known jealousy as destructive negative human emotion. But that phrase actually means that God has zealous, burning, and passionate love for us; He desires that we seek only Him, not the things of man or this world, nor worship idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, or wood – for it is only He who provides life. He jealously guards us, and this is why we are told to seek Him with “all our heart, all our minds, and all our soul.”
Contrary to popular opinion and false teachings, you do not pass away into “nothingness” (annihilation) after death – while your earthly body will die, your spirit will live on forever! As explained in the previous chapter, this physical world is not all there is as materialists proclaim; and this life is not all there is. Furthermore, everyone who has ever lived will be resurrected in immortal bodies! The state of your spirit at death (sinful or righteous) determines where you will spend eternity. For a detailed treatment of this topic, please see another book we publish called Beyond the Tomb by H.M. Riggle (Church of God, pastor, evangelist and author, and president of The Gospel Trumpet Publishing Co., 1933-1946). It covers your eternal soul and destiny in great detail and provides solid biblical support. A snippet from that book is given below on the origin of man: 
The question was once asked, “What is man?” This is a subject which should occupy our minds and be considered with much careful study. We have acquired knowledge along nearly every line of study in God’s vast creation; therefore, it is reasonable that we should know ourselves. Man’s problems are of eternal moment, for he is destined to live long after this heavens and earth have passed away (Isaiah 65:17; Isaiah 66:22; 2 Peter 3:12-13; Revelation 21:1-4). Eternal verities are his.
It is not my purpose to undertake to solve this question from a scientific standpoint; I shall treat it purely from the Bible standpoint. The Word of God is the only Book that lifts the veil which separates this material world from the future and eternal state and gives us a clear view not only of the present but of the future. Its teaching is plain. It gives us a clear solution of what man is, and what his eternal destiny will be. Being a Divine revelation, its teachings can be relied upon and are perfectly safe to accept. Jesus said, “The Scriptures CANNOT BE BROKEN,” and what He said is authentic.
King David said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). Man is the crowning work of God’s creation. He stands upon the highest pedestal of all earthly creatures, on a much higher plane than the beasts which perish. “Thou hast crowned him with glory and honor. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands” (Psalm 8:5-6).
Physically—we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” While the elements that compose the human body are practically the same as those found in the lower animals, man in his physical organism is far superior. Our body is a congeries [collection] of wonders and mysteries, so finely, delicately, and exquisitely made that its beauty, symmetry, utility, and form places us far above the other creatures about us. But man’s superiority does not lie in this alone.
Mentally—we are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Man has the power to plan, think, reason, learn, and to know. This is the vital force back of every earthly achievement—the power of ideas, the might of reason. By it we have discovered the mysteries that surround us in earth and sky. A materialist once argued with me on this point and declared that he had absolutely no superior qualities above the other animals. I told him that if I believed as did he, I would go to the barn and take my place in a stall with the horses and cows. Or I would send the donkey to school and college and invite my dog and jersey cow into the office to keep books and do business. Why not? A moment’s reflection here should suffice.
Materialists deny that we possess a spiritual, conscious entity (eternal soul) separate and distinct from the body. They claim our life here and now is all there is and that when we die, we become nothingness.
Just stop and consider what the mind of man has accomplished. He ransacks [searches through] the galaxies above; tells us the number of the stars and unlocks the mysteries of the heavens. He delves into the strata of the rocks and in the stone-book [geologic record] of nature he reads the history of the ages. He blasts the rocks unshaken by ages and hurls their ponderous masses into the air as easily as a child tosses up a tennis ball. He tunnels the mountains, bridges the mighty streams, builds great ships that plow the briny deep, and circumnavigates the globe. He flies around the world and over the top of the earth like an eagle. He girdles the earth with a belt of wire, and as swift as thought flashes his messages from pole to pole, and even without the wire on the waves of the ether [air, e.g. radio, satellite] he accomplishes all this. He discovers the forces of nature, harnesses them, and starts the wheels of machinery all over the world. He is capable of intermingling with all wisdom, and of receiving continuous supplies of advanced knowledge. All this positively differentiates us from the brutes [beasts or animals, the word is not derogatory, just the language of that time] and allies us with Deity. But above all this—
Morally and spiritually—we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). The first man Adam “was made a living soul” (1 Corinthians 15:45). We are moral as well as physical beings. We stand associated with two worlds. Through our physical nature we take our place in the material world and we are affiliated with the things of earth, while through our moral and spiritual nature we are associated with the environments of the spiritual and eternal world.
Thus, we are beings accountable to God, who is the Creator of all things in heaven and in earth. These natures of ours are distinguished through a moral sense, a perception of right and wrong; and we shall never be divested of this to all eternity. We are capable of choosing the evil or the good, of understanding the difference, and this choice is our own act, making us wholly responsible. Our life here and our destiny hereafter are determined by a choice and a course, and the consequences. “To whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom you obey” (Romans 6:16). We choose our master and the service we render. We are blessed with astounding possibilities for time and eternity, and this lays upon us a fearful responsibility.
These facts distinguish man from the other creatures of this lower world. And such a wonderful being could not possibly be the result of mere chance. He must be the work of an infinite, independent, all-wise Creator. Life cannot generate itself; it must come from pre-existing life. The Bible testimony on this point is clear: “Know ye not that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:3). “For in him we live, and move, and have our being. … For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28). “Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us?” (Malachi 2:10). “Let us kneel before the Lord our maker” (Psalm 95:6). “The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all” (Proverbs 22:2). “For thy Maker is thine husband; the Lord of hosts is his name” (Isaiah 54:5).
Now, the opposite of this reasonable truth is the modern materialistic teaching of [the theory of] evolution that links man to the lower forms of life and makes him a lineal descendent [direct line of ancestry] of the brute. These guessers who base their belief on what they themselves style a mere “hypothesis,” would have man come up through hundreds of millions of years from a common ancestry or blood relationship with the spider, elephant, toad, horse, lizard, cow, worm, ape, hummingbird, cat, dog, snail, monkey, giraffe, and what not. It is a thousand times easier to believe the Bible account of creation that we are “THE OFFSPRING OF GOD.” How plain and simple is the language! “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:27).
Jesus taught this truth in the clearest manner: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28). “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Luke 12:4-5). If the body were the soul men could kill that. If by soul is meant merely the physical man, men can kill him. If by soul is simply meant physical life, man can take that from us. But here Jesus plainly taught that the soul of man is indestructible by material forces. Man can kill the body, but “he CANNOT KILL THE SOUL.” So, when the body dies the soul still lives. Then it is immortal.
This clear teaching of Christ’s announcing the separability of the soul from the body and of the fact that the death of the body does not involve the extinction of the soul, has troubled and perplexed our materialistic friends not a little, and it is surprising how much time and space they devote in their writings to explain away the force of its meaning. But with all their labor, Matthew 10:28 stands unshaken and mocks their efforts. One of their own materialistic writers, J. P. Ham, in his work Life and Death, says, “Nothing more is implied than that the soul is distinct from the body.” Good for Ham. While he denies its immortality, he admits what is fatal to the whole materialistic teaching— “the soul is distinct from the body.” And, may I add, Matthew 10:28 as clearly teaches that the soul survives the death of the body. Uriah Smith in Here and Hereafter (pp. 109-116) argues that soul here means “the life which is to come.” He quotes Matthew 16:25, “Whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” That is, we may lose our present life in martyrdom or death for Christ’s sake and gain it again in the resurrection. That would make Matthew 10:28 read, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the life which is to come in the resurrection.” This is certainly a new definition of the term soul and does not at all give a correct exegesis of this scripture.
I quote Dr. Adam Clarke: “We find that the body and the soul are distinct principles, for the body may be slain and the soul escape; and secondly, that the soul is immaterial [spirit], for the murderers of the body are not able, have it not in their power, to injure it.” The import of Christ’s words cannot be mistaken. He expressly asserts that man consists of both soul and body, and that the soul survives the death of the body and continues in a state of consciousness when separated from the body. The soul and body do not perish together at death. Jesus taught that all of us possess souls which come not under the power of men but are subject to the power of God alone.
The next chapter will help you understand more about God, humanity, and sin and also explain the fallen world we see all around us today.
FALSE TEACHING(S) YOU WILL ENCOUNTER:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.” Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him. So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man 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.”
For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. – Genesis 2:18-24
Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. – Zechariah 12:1b
O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty! – Psalm 8:1-5
For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them. – Psalm 139:13-16
O Lord, how many are Your works!
In wisdom You have made them all;
The earth is full of Your possessions. – Psalm 104:24
 Riggle, H.M. (1929/2018), Beyond the Tomb, (The Gospel Trumpet Company/Holy Spirit Prints).