“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you,” Job 12:7-8.


Dualism is the theory that opposites co-exist: These are opposed to and incompatible to one another. These opposites are constantly in conflict with one another. Dualism says that these opposing principles cannot be reconciled. In religion it boils down to the choice of the spirit over the flesh, abstinence over pleasure, good over evil, light over darkness, God over Satan and heaven over earth. In dualism there is neither middle ground nor shades of gray. Dualism had a strong presence in Greek philosophy and entered into the church in the form of Gnosticism in the second century.  Gnosticism blended and confused many religions and became a generic philosophy much like the current New Age movement.

With the above understanding of what dualism is, we can confidently say that the Bible does not present a dualistic view of the universe. Rabbi Gershon in his article, “Ohr Shekinah” says the Hebrew word[s] for spirit and soul do not have the implications of a disembodiment, such as are indicated by the English translation. There is no dichotomy in the Hebrew mind between body and spirit or soul. One is not the antithesis of the other. These Hebrew words have dynamic, life-giving and motor-urgent connotations. Every living being has a spirit, even the beast possesses a spirit (Ecclesiastes 3: 21). The same is true of the synonym for …"SOUL." But soul, too, is the property of all living beings (Job 12: 10), including beasts (Proverbs 12: 10). Even the netherworld is portrayed as having a soul (Isaiah 5: 14). Furthermore, every living creature, man as well as animal, is designated as souls (Genesis 1: 20, 21, 24, 12: 5, 14: 21, etc.).”

On the other hand, while the Bible does present evil as a present danger to struggle against and overcome; Satan, sin, sickness and death will not co-exist and compete eternally against God and his kingdom. They are but a temporary anomaly or disruption not the norm. God’s eternity will not allow these to exist, Rev. 21:1-5. If they did exist it wouldn’t be heaven! The bible says that Jesus “must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet … Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom of God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power,” 1 Corinthians 15:25, 24.  The old order of things: Sin, corruption, and death will pass away and everything will be made new, Rev. 21:4-5.

In place of a dualistic view, the Bible presents a holistic integrated view of reality: In other words, everything is related and connected to everything else in God. Let’s listen again to our text in Colossians 2:15-20; … All things are created by him and for him, in him all things hold together, and God will reconcile all things in heaven and earth to him! What this means is this: Because there is no dualism in God, any conflicts between flesh and spirit, good and evil, life and death, earth and heaven will be reconciled in Christ. This is the heart and soul of the Christian gospel, out of death comes new life!

The ancient Hebrew view of the world is holistic and integrated, meaning everything is related and connected to everything else in God. Furthermore animals as well as man are described as consisting of both bodies and souls or spirits. God’s creatures are not spirits trapped in bodies waiting to be released at death. God’s creatures are spirit-bodies. You are a spirit-body!  It’s for this reason that the resurrection is so central in the New Testament and the life style embodied by Jesus!


Background: Exodus 20:24and John 4:23

First let’s consider sacred places important to pagans: Since, from an animistic view, created things consist of both a spiritual and physical reality, it should be easy for us to understand why certain places are sacred. Each place, thing, human and animal has a spirit. Some of these spirits are more powerful than others: For example a dog spirit is not as powerful as the spirit of Yosemite. Sacred places therefore communicate a stronger presence and power: They are usually associated with mountains, rivers, lakes, rock formations, certain landscapes, etc. Sacred places are also identified because of an event that took place there. All indigenous people have a place of origin, the place where their tribe began!

In the Bible, there are numerous references to Canaanite high places of worship. These high places would have an altar, a carved wooded pole depicting the female goddess of fertility, a stone pillar symbolizing male fertility, other idols and some type of building, 2 Kings 3:2, 17:29, 21:3, 2 Chron 14:3, 33:19, 1 Kings 12:31, 13:32, 16:32-33. At these places people would sacrifice animals, sometimes children, burn incense, pray, eat meals and engage in sex with cultic prostitutes, 2 Kings 17:8-12, 21:3-7. Most animistic cultures were built around farming and therefore the fertility spirits were very important, or they were hunter-gathers, which connected them to animal and plant spirits.

When the Israelites came into Canaan, they were commanded to destroy all the high places of Canaanite worship lest the Israelites be tempted to worship their idols and engage in their immoral behavior, Ex. 23:24, 34:13,  Num 33:52,  Deut. 7:5, 12:3. Yahweh says that he is a jealous God not willing to share his glory with others. Furthermore, the 1st and 2nd commandments prohibit any animistic type of devotion that would be directed to an image of any kind.

The choice of sacred places for Israelites was not based upon the local resident spirits but upon the manifestation of Yahweh’s presence or some event that he did at a particular place. Before the founding of the Holy Land, the patriarchs Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses erected altars at specific sites to offer sacrifices and to commemorate some encounter or victory they had with or through God. The two sacred mountains of Yahweh are Mt. Sinai, referred to as the Mountain of God, where He revealed himself to Moses giving him the Ten Commandments, and Mt. Zion, the place God chose for his name and presence to dwell. Of course the most holy place for the three religions rooted in Abraham is Jerusalem, which means founded by God, the city of Peace and of David. The heart of this sacred city is the Temple Mount where Abraham himself supposedly offered Isaac until stopped by God and given a lamb as a substitute to kill.

In addition to these sacred places, we also believe that God promises to accept the sacrifices offered in any place where we call in mind his name, Exodus 20:24. Jesus confirmed this when he said, “a time is coming, and has now come, when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem … true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks,” John 4:23. This is so because God is everywhere present and hears the prayers of those who humble themselves before him! Furthermore it’s not the spirits of the earth that ultimately provide fruitful crops and success in hunting but God who created all things and sustains all things! In Him alone, we should depend and give our worship! Having said this it is a good idea to respect the earth and its creatures whether or not one believes these are

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“Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you,” Job 12:7-8.