Made in the Image of

God is reproducing Himself by building a Family that will become the Kingdom of God. This has been God's plan and purpose from the very beginning, before anything was ever created, including the spirit world with the angelic realm. Before God created anything, He determined how He would fulfill His plan. God predetermined that man would be made in His very image, after His likeness. This first phase was the physical phase of His creation of mankind when He (God) made his (man's) physical appearance after His image.

The spiritual creation of how God is working with mankind has been covered, in part, in the previous section. This phase of God's creation is to make man after His likeness, on a spiritual plane, by transforming the very mind of man, so that man can come into unity and oneness with God, His Word and His way of life.

This transformation of mankind is accomplished by being able to be begotten spiritually, just as a child is begotten in its mother's womb and later born into the world. After being spiritually begotten by God, He (God) and His Son are able to dwell in the one who has been begotten. It is by this process of being begotten and being in the womb (in the Church who is the mother of us all) that a spiritual creation begins. This spiritual creation continues in spiritual growth until the time it can be born (of spirit) into the Kingdom of God, into the Family of God, becoming Elohim. Indeed, mankind has been made in the image of God (on a physical plane), but once begotten, a transformation takes place in the mind until one can be born into the very likeness of God (on a spiritual plane) after becoming spirit and in the God Family.

There is so much more that could be written concerning these things about God's great plan, but only two more areas will be covered in this book. If anyone has a genuine desire to learn more, then they can go to a website where many of my sermons are posted (www.cog-pkg.org). Some of the things addressed in this chapter are covered more fully in a series of sermons (lectures) that can be found in the section entitled the "Feast of Tabernacles—2005."

From the very beginning when God created mankind, He began to reveal His purpose for doing so:

For thus says the ETERNAL ONE [Yahweh] who created the heavens, God [Elohim] Himself who formed the earth and made it, He who has established it, He who created it not in vain [Heb.-"tohoo" - in confusion, without form], but who formed it to be inhabited, "I am the ETERNAL ONE [Yahweh], and there is no one else. " (Is. 45:18) As covered in a previous chapter, the ETERNAL God created the earth in great beauty, but Satan later rebelled, along with a third of the angelic realm, and in time set out to destroy what God had created. Their attempt to destroy the creation led to a type of nuclear winter that engulfed the earth. When we come on the scene in the beginning of Genesis, we are not reading about the original creation of the universe, our solar system and the earth; but we are reading about the earth being refashioned so that it could be inhabited with life once more:

In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth, [this refers to the very beginning when the heavens and earth were first created] And the earth became without form, and void [remember that God said He had not created it this way, but it became this way because of Satan's rebellion], and darkness was upon the face of the deep. Then the spirit of God [Elohim] moved upon the face of the waters. God [Elohim] said, "Let there be light, and there was light. " God [Elohim] saw the light that it was good, and God [Elohim] separated the light from the darkness [He established the cycle of the day once again]. And God [Elohim] called the light day, and the darkness he called night. Then the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5) So God began his remolding of the earth by placing it in its perfect orbit and rotation once again. God established the first day by beginning with the sunset of one day, which is at the beginning of night, and continuing through the daylight portion to the next sunset. Biblically this is God's pattern for one complete day. That is why the seventh-day Sabbath actually begins at sundown of the sixth day and is complete at sundown at the end of the seventh day. Then God created mankind:

And God [Elohim] said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every moving thing that moves upon the earth. " (Gen. 1:26) It has been confusing to some that God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness." Some have believed He was referring to the angels who assisted Him, but this is wrong. Some have believed He was speaking to another member of the God Family, but this is wrong.

God revealed His plan and purpose by inspiring these verses in Genesis 1 to use only the word Elohim. God did this for great reason because He was showing the purpose of all that He worked to do during those first six days, and on this sixth day He created mankind. The word Elohim is used to show His purpose because the word is a uniplural word that reveals His Family and the name He has given it—Elohim. It was Yahweh Elohim who created mankind, and He was speaking prophetically of His purpose for mankind to eventually be able to be in Elohim. Man was not only being created to have a physical appearance with a likeness to God, but eventually he was to be able to be fully created in the spiritual image and likeness of God. Man was to be begotten of the spirit and grow in it until born of spirit into the God Family.

This is an awkward translation in Genesis 1:26, and it is far from correct. The words for image and likeness refer to the word Elohim. It is simply saying, "Let man be made in the same image and after the same likeness of Elohim." The creation of man was not the complete creation that God purposed (preordained, predetermined) for mankind, but the physical creation was the beginning. The spiritual creation would come later, and it would be worked out through God's plan that included the next 7,000

years, thereby accomplishing a prophetic fulfillment of the seven-day week:

So God [Elohim] created man in His image. In the image of God [Elohim] He created him, as male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27) On the seventh day, God rested from His work of making the earth inhabitable once more. He had begun the first phase of creating His own Family (Elohim), which involved the creation of man on a physical plane, and in time, the spiritual creation would follow.

It was the ETERNAL God who created and brought forth life: Then the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them, and on the seventh day God [Elohim] ended His work which He had made, and He rested on the seventh day from all his work which He had made. So God [Elohim] blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it, because that in it He had rested from all His work which God [Elohim] created and made. This was the time when life was brought forth in the heavens and in the earth, when all [all life] was created, and it was the time in which the ETERNAL [Yahweh] God [Elohim] fashioned the earth and the heavens [the first heavens of our atmosphere]. (Gen. 2:1-4) It was the ETERNAL God (Yahweh Elohim) who created and brought forth man:

And the ETERNAL [Yahweh] God [Elohim] formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)

Clearly, it was the ETERNAL (Yahweh) God (Elohim), and He alone, who created mankind.

232 The Mystery of God Revealed The First to Enter Elohim

Jesus Christ was the first of all mankind to enter the God Family. From the beginning there was only the ETERNAL God (Yahweh Elohim). Jesus Christ, after His death, became the first of all mankind to be resurrected from the dead and enter the Family of God, thereby becoming Jesus Christ Elohim:

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of them that slept. (1 Corinthians 15:20) Jesus Christ is referred to as the "first" of the firstfruits of God, as He is the first to be resurrected from the dead, becoming spirit in composition, and the first to enter the Kingdom of God (Elohim). God reveals that many will enter His Family, Elohim. The 144,000 are referred to as the firstfruits of God's Family, since they will be the first from among the families of mankind to be resurrected and become God (Elohim). Paul went on to explain that there is an order to those who are resurrected:

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits [first of the firstfruits], and afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (1 Corinthians 15:23) The resurrection of additional billions will come at a future time beyond this.

As covered earlier, the purpose of God was not complete when He created mankind as physical human beings, but His greater purpose was for a spiritual creation. After human beings are begotten of the holy spirit, they will then grow spiritually until the time when they will be resurrected into the spirit Family of God. The apostle James spoke of this very thing:

Of His [God's] own will, we were begotten of Him with the word [Gk.-"logos"- revelatory thought of God] of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of His creation. (James 1:18)

The creation being spoken of here is the processes of creation whereby we are begotten of God's spirit, and through time, transformed in mind to unity and oneness with God. Once we have fully matured, then we can be born into God's very spirit Family—born into Elohim.

Jesus Christ was the first to be born of the spiritual likeness and image of God, the first born into the God Family. No human being, born solely of mankind, could fulfill what Jesus Christ did in fulfilling the role of Passover of all mankind. The process required that Jesus Christ's Father be God Almighty. Jesus Christ could have one physical parent, His mother Mary, but His Father had to be God. Jesus Christ would have to be born with the very mind of God dwelling in Him—the Word made flesh. When He was born into the world, He was born fully individual, as any other child, except that His Father was God, and His mind was from God (not man); and this enabled Him to have full unity of purpose and will. There is much more to this process, but this is the first step for you to be able to understand.

Paul spoke of Jesus Christ, "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation " (Colossians 1:15). Remember, God's purpose for mankind is that man be able to be born Elohim, as members of His Family. This is the purpose of all creation and Jesus Christ is spoken of here as the firstborn of all creation—the creation of bringing mankind into God's Family. Everything God created is about the ultimate purpose He is working out concerning the creation of His Family.

The very life that existed in Jesus from the beginning is the life that we can begin to have living in us (dwelling in us through the spirit) once we are begotten of God. Then, a new life begins to develop as our minds are transformed from physical selfishness to the ways of God. Now, we can share in that same life that dwelled in Christ, after we are forgiven of our sins and God begins to dwell in us after being begotten.

This has always been God's plan from the beginning, that mankind be able to be begotten of His spirit once our sins are atoned through the blood of Jesus Christ. From this point forward, we are to grow and be molded and fashioned into the very image and likeness of our elder brother Jesus Christ, so that we can be born into the God Family as He was:

For whom He [Almighty God] did foreknow, He also predetermined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)

Jesus Christ was the first to be born into God's Family. God planned from the beginning how mankind could also enter this Family in and through His Son. To understand Melchizedek is to more fully understand this process.

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