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Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Purpose of Creation – Part 3: ‘Image’ means Character

  •  Genesis 1:27  So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him [JESUS]; male [ADAM] and female [EVE] created he them.
  • Hebrews 1:3  … being the brightness of his glory and the express image <Strong's 5481, Greek CHARAKTER  khar-ak-tare' from the same as 5482; a graver (the tool or the person), i.e. (by implication) engraving (("character"), the figure stamped, i.e. an exact copy or (figuratively) representation):--express image of his person (referring to Jesus.)
The whole purpose of the present creation is to form, mould, shape the consciences of God’s chosen men and women into the very character of God. Adam was not the person created in the IMAGE of God since the word image means character as in Hebrews 1:3, it is not a bodily representation, Jesus is that person. This is why Genesis 1:27 is worded the way it is; it is referring to three people – first Jesus, and then Adam and Eve. But Jesus came after Adam one might say! In the corporeal order that would be correct but in the spiritual order Jesus comes first, eternally before Adam. This is the reason why Jesus is identified as the Firstborn amongst many brethren, He was slain from the foundation of the world, He is the Alpha & Omega. This is why Jesus told the Jews, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” Jesus is the first man to have completely and fully acquired the character of God and therefore His Image – not Adam. However the creation of the man Jesus in the image of God was a process. It began before the Garden of Eden and ended when Jesus arose from the dead on the third day after His death. This is the way it had to be, character cannot be programmed into a person – it has be moulded, shaped and etched upon man’s heart. The entire history of the Bible, and of mankind is the story of God slowly and step by step, precept upon precept, line upon line etching his very own character upon the hearts of those whom he has chosen because it those who have God’s character (His Image) that are his begotten sons just like the First Begotten, Jesus.
The true Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ
 The word IMAGE as explained in Hebrews 1:3 means CHARACTER. The myth is that ADAM had the character of God in the garden before the fall - the truth as verified by I Corinthians Chapter 15 is quite the opposite.  I Cor. 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
Adam was a carnal (earthy) person - not a spiritual being. He was not even a moral person, not that he was immoral - he was AMORAL. Morality is a product of one's knowledge of good and evil. Thou Shalt Not Kill can be evaluated morally only if one knows that to kill is evil. Without the knowledge of good and evil, nothing can be evaluated spiritually, the Bible raises many questions but thankfully also provides the answers, and it does defines spirituality for us.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. Full age or spiritual maturity belongs to those who can accurately discern both good and evil. Could Adam have digested "STRONG MEAT" or was he incapable even of digesting milk? If he did not have even a rudimentary knowledge of good and evil, how could he discern between them? How could he be of full age?
 The fact of the matter is that if God could have created a man or any other creature for that matter who would have been his own "express image", someone who had his very own Character, he would have done so right from the beginning and there would have been no need for evil, sin or death to have ever arisen in the Universe. In other words God's Character cannot be programmed into a person, it has to be acquired, it has to be moulded, and it has to be shaped. But the transformation from Adam, the flesh and blood mortal man to Jesus the immortal God man was a process – it had to be done step by step, Adam was the clay from which Jesus would be moulded in God's own image. But this image has little if anything to do with the physical person. The character of God has to be etched or engraved on man's heart and this process which began in the garden when Adam ate the fruit was finally completed on Calvary when the Creator died for his creation to demonstrate His love for them. Without this demonstration, man would never have understood the love of his Creator and thus could never have acquired the Character of God for God is Love. Had Adam known and understood this love, do you think he would have disobeyed God?
Nothing in this Universe happens by accident - everything is planned and serves the plans and purposes of God including evil, including sin, including death. And Adam had to eat that fruit! It was purposed that way for God himself said in Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: until this time man was little more than a robot for even a robot can be programmed with all kinds of physical knowledge but he cannot be programmed with morality and without the knowledge of good and evil it is not possible to be moral. It was after he ate the fruit that the real education of Adam began and it continued until Calvary – Adam as a physical carnal being was never meant to inherit Eternity that has always been reserved for the sons of God, those who have been moulded and shaped into His Image, His Character. It is only these creatures, who are the "begotten" children of God. And it is only the begotten sons who have been transformed form evil to good, from darkness to light, who have gone from being weak mortals to immortals like their Creator. It is these ‘begotten’ sons that are INCAPABLE of doing or ever becoming evil again, just as their Creator God is incapable of being evil. God is never again going to give the rule of the new heavens and the new earth to creatures who are capable of evil as the ‘Anointed cherub was, as Lucifer was, as Adam was? At the end of this age, evil having served God’s purposes will be eliminated forever from God’s creation. In order to once and for all eliminate the possibility of evil ever arising again, God had to allow Adam to be infected with evil so that he might make him immune to evil FOREVER, and thus a fit Heir of the kingdom which is to come. Adam the man of earth was not fit for this position nor could he be but Jesus the resurrected King is certainly fitted to be the heirs of God’s Kingdom as are those who will be resurrected with him. This is the reason why God must make a New Heaven, a New Earth, and New Heavens since the entire present Universe has been contaminated by evil but no place will be found for it in the new heavens and new earth.
 God knew that at some point in time evil would arise in the Universe if he gave his creatures the freedom to choose rather than make them robots. At the same time God was not interested in having robots as his subjects, the paradox is that until his creatures chose to exercise their freedom of choice, that's exactly what they were – robots. It was only by allowing evil to arise and then conquering it, could it be eliminated forever and the Universe be prepared for a race of beings who like God himself are incapable of evil. The person created for the very purpose of bringing evil into the universe was the ‘Anointed cherub’. Please read Part 2 of this series, and Part 2B of ‘The Mystery of the sons of God’ series for detailed information on the iniquities of the ‘Anointed cherub’, and the birth of evil in the Universe. When evil came, so did sin and when sin came so did death. When Jesus conquered death on Calvary by dying and being resurrected from the dead, he conquered evil and thus became "PERFECT" in that He in now incapable of ever doing or becoming evil. But this conqueror from heaven had to come as a man of clay who was capable of dying. Can you see the omnipotence of God in this amazing story of the gospel of Jesus Christ? Evil had to arise and thus the existence of ‘Anointed cherub’, of Lucifer and of Satan is understood, God knew what the ‘Anointed cherub’ would do but the ‘Anointed cherub’ did not know that God had created him knowing exactly what he was going to do. Once evil was present in the universe, God created the man of clay, Adam and made him subject to mortality or corruption.
Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, 21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The erroneous and common view here is that Adam became subject to corruption after the fall whereas the truth is that had he not been subject to corruption before the fall, he could have never died.
 When Adam opened the door to sin and death, he also opened the door to the CONQUEST of sin and death which was already present in the Universe even before Adam appeared upon the scene. After the ‘Anointed cherub’s’ rebellion the only choices God had were:
1)      Judge the ‘Anointed cherub’ and send him off to punishment but hope that no one else ever followed in his footsteps since all of the angels were capable of doing evil even if they had chosen not to do so till that time.
2)      Use the sin and death that had been brought in by the ‘Anointed cherub’ to destroy sin and death forever.
As God had originally planned even before anything or any one was created He not only judged the ‘Anointed cherub’ and his angelic followers but he also used that which the ‘Anointed cherub’ had brought in, evil, sin, and death to make known to all of creation both his omnipotence and his Character. Other than God’s power displayed in the physical Universe, the angels knew nothing of his other characteristics such as mercy, kindness, gentleness, patience, forgiveness and above all Love. To them He had great knowledge and ability in creating heavenly bodies and life forms but they only understood it in a biological sense not in a spiritual sense. And here is another paradox, the angels including the ‘Anointed cherub’ and Lucifer who are spirits were not in the least bit spiritual in that they knew God only externally and knew nothing of that which was in His heart. And another paradox is that they though themselves were “LIGHT” beings they knew not what “Light” meant until darkness came. A person who has always dwelt in the light and has never seen darkness can never comprehend what light is. But let him be exposed to darkness even for a minute and will he instantly come to understand the meaning of light. This is the meaning of the verse – “Let There Be Light”: God is Light so for God to say Let There Be Light is like saying Let There be God, it seems to have no meaning. Let there be light meant that light was now comprehensible to his creation, that is because darkness had arisen in the Universe, light could now be made visible. The creatures of God could now begin to see the Character of God.
 Using man's knowledge of evil as a reference point, God step by step, line upon line, precept upon precept taught man what GOOD means through the Law, the psalmists and the prophets and finally by sending his only begotten Son to bring us the knowledge of the Father, I John 5: 20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true. This understanding came not only in written form such as he tablets of the ten commandments but more importantly God taught us by example, both in his merciful dealings with Israel and Judah and more importantly through the sacrifice of His only begotten Son Jesus on the cross of Calvary. On the cross the very heart of our Creator was ripped open for all to see inside it; besides man, this demonstration was witnessed by the angels and other creatures in the Universe. And what we all saw in that heart was LOVE for it is love that put Jesus on the cross in the first place. The bottom line is that without sin and death, Jesus would not have needed to die for man and man would never have understood the full measure of God’s love for him.
Since this demonstration of infinite Love was made for man, it is man alone who is capable of being perfected in love not the angels or any other creature. Thus the Psalmist query is answered, ‘What is man that thou art mindful of Him?’ Now ask yourself, was Adam capable of understanding the love of God in a perfect place such as the Garden of Eden? What opportunity did he have to peek inside God's heart? Was there any need for God to comfort him, to be merciful to him, to be forgiving and kind to him? Was it not a sterile existence in that garden that Adam and Eve had? And unless Adam saw these characteristics of God, such as mercy, kindness, generosity, patience and above all His Love, how could he acquire these characteristics himself?  Do children not acquire the character of their parents through observation? If character could have been programmed into any created being, God would have done so right from the very beginning. But once this character has been acquired and we have been made perfect in Love, then we can do no evil because Love is incapable of evil? The constant struggle is to achieve this goal while we are yet in this body as the apostle Paul strove to do at all times.
 In a perfect world it is impossible to demonstrate love, at least not the full measure of love one might have for another person. Adversity is necessary for love to be demonstrated. The ‘Anointed cherub’, Lucifer and the angels, who lived in a perfect universe, never understood the love of their Creator – had they done so they would have never rebelled against him. This is why the angels desire to look into the things that we can see, which is the love of God. Do angels desire to look into things that Adam saw in the Garden of Eden such as the fruit trees and animals? Or do they desire to see what we have seen on Calvary, infinite love, immeasurable love? This scripture has to refer to Jesus in Genesis 1:27 – ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them’. The male and female referred to in this scripture are Adam and Eve; the one created in the "EXPRESS IMAGE" (the character) of God would come much later. We think that creation is always instantaneous but it is actually a process and in the process of time God finished the work of begetting to himself "Sons" who have his very own character. That journey which began even before the Garden of Eden will finally end when "His begotten Sons" are revealed to the entire universe in the age which is yet to come.
 I understand that most of these teachings will be new for many readers, therefore I urge all who read and listen to search the scriptures for themselves, to see if these things be so; it is only in understanding the purpose of creation that we can understand the purpose of our own existence. Whether we like it or not, our eyes were opened in the garden and we did become as gods, knowing good and evil. Therefore it is imperative that we do not stick our heads in the sand and wish that this knowledge would go away but rather let us become those who need strong meat because we can fully DISCERN between good and evil. Let us not be novices or babes calling evil that which is good and calling good that which is evil. Adam had a choice whether he wanted this knowledge or not – we do not. We have to learn the difference between the two and learn it accurately using the only guide we have, the Word of the Living God.
To be continued…

1 comment:

  1. Wow. Very insightful and very well reasoned.

    This seems to be a good primer on the purpose of God's Way, as best as we can decern here in spacetime, but it still needs a bit more refinement to incorporate the purpose of grace and salvation. As it reads now, the plan almost seems a works and effort based plan. (Not to be critical. This is a very good start to a very important insight.)

    Thank you,