The Gods of the Bible, Part 5
- MAN CAN ALSO BE ONE WITH GOD
Many see Jesus as being a God in an exclusive way because of this pronouncement: “I and my Father are one.” This statement so shook the Jews that they took up stones to throw at him and said: “Thou, being a man, makest thyself God.” John 10:30-33
Even though Jesus was one with the Father he did not declare himself as God and did not want to be thought of as such more than any other man: “And behold, one came and said unto him (Jesus), Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why callest thou me good? THERE IS NONE GOOD BUT ONE, THAT IS GOD.” Matt 19:16-17
If Jesus was God more than you or I am then why did he say that? Instead of acknowledging himself as a God over others and saying: “Yes, you can call me good because I am God,” he said “Why callest thou me good?” Only the God who is in all things is good. The truth is that God was in the man asking the questions just as he was in Jesus.
“There are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.” I Cor 12:6 When God works in us we become one with him and manifest God. In this way Jesus and the rest of us become Gods “manifest in the flesh” (I Tim 3:16) because God is in us showing himself to the world.
Most Christians accept the fact that Jesus and the Father are one, but few seem to be able to consider that any man or woman can also be one with God in the same way that Jesus was. Nevertheless, this fact is taught beyond dispute in the Bible.
Jesus said: “Keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one AS WE ARE…As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word (you and me); THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE; AS THOU, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me (‘The glory as of the only begotten of the Father.’ John 1:14) I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.” John 17:11, 18-23
We are told in the scriptures that “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
Notice that this statement was spoken by Jesus who was at that time NOT a Spirit, but a tangible “son of man”. How then could Jesus be a God if “God is a Spirit”?
The answer was given by Jesus. He said: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.” Luke 4:18 Also John said: “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove and it abode upon him.” John 1:32
Jesus had a body of flesh and bones, even after he was raised from the dead, but in that body dwelt the Spirit of God; consequently, God was in Jesus. Thus he was called “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is God with us.” Matt 1:23 This name is from the Hebrew IMMANUWeL which can also be interpreted in the English as “God IN us” or “God LIKE us”.
We are told plainly in the scriptures that there is only “one” Spirit. “There is one body (of Christ), and ONE SPIRIT, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” Eph 4:4 “For by ONE SPIRIT are we all baptized into one body (of Christ)… and have all been made to drink into ONE SPIRIT.” I Cor 12:13
The body of Jesus was no God, but the “one Spirit” that dwelt in him was. However, when he manifested that “one Spirit” he manifested God and identified with God to the extent that he claimed to be “one” with God. If he was one with God and manifested that oneness, then he was literally God, Emmanuel, not a drop, but a manifest wave, as we mentioned earlier.
On the other hand, any man or woman can manifest the Spirit of God in the same way and become “heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom 8:17), or “an heir of God through Christ.” Gal 4:7 Therefore we become as much of a God as Jesus was. “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one (one Spirit): for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren.” Heb 2:11
John again makes this clear that God dwells in man: “Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, GOD DWELLETH IN HIM, and he in God…God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and GOD IN HIM.” John 14:23
What difference is it between the way that God can dwell in an ordinary man and in the way he dwelt in Jesus? What difference is it between the way that man can manifest God and in the way that Jesus manifested him? What difference is there between the way that Jesus was God and in the way another man can be? According to the Bible there is none excepting the fact that Jesus was the first to manifest God in fullness hence he was called “the firstborn of MANY brethren.” Rom 8:29
Is it not clear that Jesus was the first of “many brethren” to manifest Christ and that we are to “be filled with ALL the fulness of God”? Eph 3:19 John reinforces this when he says: “Beloved now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear WE SHALL BE LIKE HIM; for we shall see him as he is.” I John 3:2
It is beyond Biblical dispute that man can obtain the Spirit just as Jesus did: “For through him (Christ) we both have access BY ONE SPIRIT unto the Father.” Eph 2:18 “Hereby know we that we dwell in him (God), and HE IN US, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” I John 4:13
Joel and Peter carry this principle much farther and talk about a universal reception of the Spirit: “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out my Spirit UPON ALL FLESH: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” Acts 2:17 Also see Joel 2:28-32
Paul tells us that we are temples of God: “Know ye not that YE ARE THE TEMPLE OF GOD, and that the Spirit of God DWELLETH IN YOU? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple YE ARE.” I Cor 3:16-17
We are also told that “The manifestation of the Spirit is given to EVERY MAN to profit withal.” (I Cor 12:7) thereby fulfilling the scripture “that God is no respecter of persons.” Acts 10:34
What are the scriptures saying here? We are clearly told that God is no respecter of persons and his Spirit is given to every man. It is true that every person may not be sensitive to that Spirit, but it still dwells in us making us all potential Gods just as much as Jesus was. Is it any wonder that Jesus quoted to the unbelieving Jews: “YE ARE GODS.” John 10:34
Paul said: “For ye are dead (to carnal things), and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, WHOM IS OUR LIFE, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Col 3:3-4
In speaking of God which is synonymous to speaking of Christ he also said: “In him we live and move and have our being.” Acts 17:28
Thus the Spirit of God or Christ is “hid” in every man and woman. When we discover that Spirit and manifest it we become as Jesus was and are even capable of doing “greater things” than he did.
The word “Spirit” in the New Testament comes from the Greek word PNEUMA which originally meant “breath” or “breeze”. In the Hebrew it transliterates from a corresponding word NeSHAMAH. This is often translated “breath” as well as Spirit. RUWACH is another Hebrew word that is similarly translated. When the Old Testament speaks of the “Spirit” of God and the word RUWACH is always used.
Job seemed to have a good conception of the fact that there is one universal Spirit from God that is also in man. He spoke of God “in whose hand is the soul of every living thing and the BREATH of ALL mankind.” Job 12:10
In this verse “breath” comes from RUWACH. So we could say that Job is speaking of a Spirit from God that all mankind shares.
“If he (God) set his heart upon man, if he gather to himself his Spirit (RUWACH) and his breath (NeSHAMAH); ALL FLESH shall perish together, and shall return to the dust.” Job 34:14-15
Here we can see that ALL men, both the righteous and the wicked depend upon the Spirit of God for life. This Spirit that dwells in all men is so powerful that it can even effect a resurrection as in the case of the two witnesses who are prophesied of in the Book of Revelations. After they will be killed it is written: “And after three days and an half THE SPIRIT OF LIFE FROM GOD ENTERED INTO THEM, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them which saw them.” Rev 11:11
The Spirit which inspired the prophets of the Old Testament is called “the Spirit of Christ” by Peter: “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the SPIRIT OF CHRIST WHICH WAS IN THEM did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.” I Peter 1:10-11
The Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God are all one for there is only “one Spirit”. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost (Spirit) WHICH IS IN YOU, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your Spirit, WHICH ARE GOD’S.” I Cor 6:19-20
Paul calls our body both “the temple of God” (I Cor 3:16) and the “temple of the Holy Ghost.” In other words, within the human body lives God. That Spirit which is housed in this holy temple called our body is “God’s”. A few verses later in the quoted context it is written: “But he that is joined unto the Lord is ONE SPIRIT.” I Cor 6:17
Obviously there is only one universal Spirit that works through us all. Since there is no place where God is not, it is available for each person to tap into. Even the Father of Jesus Christ whom the Bible indicates was a Christ on another world, has to manifest God by recognizing this One Universal Life and manifesting it on the same principles that we do. Interestingly, the scriptures often differentiate between God, or the One Spirit, and the Father.
Paul talks about “the mystery of God, AND of the Father, AND of Christ.” Col 2:2 He also speaks of “Giving thanks always for all things unto God AND the Father in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph 5:20 “Now God himself AND our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ direct our way unto you.” I Thess 3:11
It is true that the Father is usually called God. In speaking of the Father Jesus was referring to his Master who was “greater” than himself who was a God to him and the rest of us, but this entity taps into the one Spirit and becomes one with it in the same way that we have to. Thus the Father is usually referred to as God in the Scriptures, but when the prophets speak of the Universal Spirit they sometimes differentiate between the two.
This principle is verified by the scripture: “For as the Father HATH LIFE IN HIMSELF; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” John 5:26
If we substitute “One Spirit” for “life” we would have an accurate statement: “For as the Father hath the One Spirit in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have the One Spirit in himself.” This is fitting for “the Spirit giveth life.” Because they both share the one Spirit, the Father and the Son are “one” and we (ordinary men and women) can be “one as they are one.”
It is the destiny of every man and woman to manifest God just as Jesus and his Father did. Indeed, the oneness of God is already manifest in our physical bodies which are called temples of God in the scriptures. We have many different parts which are living and working together to create something greater than themselves. We have our brain, heart, liver, kidneys, glands – all very complex organisms cooperating together with no conscious effort on our part. Within these we have billions of cells, one of which is more complex than the greatest computer on the earth. Yet it takes no concentrated effort on our part to keep them living and multiplying and keeping our form intact.
What energy or mind engineers this complex procedure? Our conscious self certainly does not, but the Spirit of God does, for our bodies are the temple of God and God dwells in them and keeps them functioning whether we be good or evil. No matter how evil we become that Spirit is still within us and available to be contacted. There is no place where the Spirit of God is not.
No wonder Jesus quoted the Psalms and said: “Ye are Gods.” If we have the Spirit of God in us and he is the principle by which “we live and move and have our being” then we can certainly manifest God. If we are one with that Spirit then we are “one” with God, or Gods – that is we assume the consciousness of God. After all the Son (Jesus) said that he and the Father are one and: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9 Similarly, if we are one with the Spirit of God within us we can also say: “He that hath seen me hath seen God.”
- MAN IS ALSO MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE
The scriptures definitely teach that Jesus is in the image and glory of God. Paul says that he “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” Col 1:15 We also read of Christ “being the brightness of his (glory), and the express image of his person…” Heb 1:3 and “Christ, who is the image of God…” II Cor 4:4
We are told that Jesus was “raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” Rom 6:4 “And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father.” John 1:14 Also Jesus said: “And now O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” John 17:5 Paul said: “For it pleased the Father that in him (Jesus) should all fulness dwell.” Col 1:19
Orthodox Christians read these passages and in them see Jesus as God in a way they can never be. They seem to overlook the many scriptures that say similar things about regular humanity.
For some reason people seem to delight in giving Jesus a corner on the God market. This relieves them of all responsibility to find the kingdom of God within and to become as Jesus was, and perhaps to do even “greater things” than he did. It is much easier to “let Jesus do it” and try to glide into heaven on a broad and easy path. It is as if they want to rely on a fairytale magic rather than the miraculous within the realm of natural law
No matter what people think we all have a responsibility to seek the God within and manifest him. The scriptures certainly bear this out for they tell us that man is in the image of God more frequently than we are told that Jesus was.
The most familiar scripture on this note is found in the first chapter of the Bible: “And God said, Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, after OUR likeness: and let them have dominion…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” Gen 1:26-27
Similarly in the New Testament we are told that man “is the image and glory of God.” I Cor 11:7 Also man is “renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.” Col 3:10
“Image” comes from the Old Testament Hebrew word TSELEM and the corresponding New Testament Greek word of EIKON. The precise meaning of the word is “to make an exact duplication.” In fact the diminutive form of EIKON which is EIKONION is the closest ancient word we have to our modern word “photograph”. When the Greeks drew a picture of themselves they called it a EIKONION. When the scriptures tell us that man is in the image of God it is like saying that man is an exact copy or photograph of him. The meaning, however, goes deeper than this. The word not only implies physical representation but also image in quality. It is if a man is an extension of God rather than a duplication.
We are also told that man is in the image of Christ which is essentially the same as saying that he is in the image of God since Christ was in the image of God: “For whom he did foreknow (people like you and me), he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image (EIKON) of his Son (Christ), that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Rom 8:29
The word “conform” here comes from SUMMORPHOS which literally means “jointly formed”. “Predestinate” comes from PROORIZO which means “to determine in advance”. In other words, those whom God “foreknew” were jointly formed with Jesus and it was determined in advance that they would have all the attributes, powers, and privileges that he has.
James even tells us that men who are cursed are made after the similitude of God: “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are MADE AFTER THE SIMILITUDE OF GOD.” James 3:9
“Similitude” here comes from a different Greek word: HOMOIOSIS. This word is derived from HOMOS. From HOMOS comes the English prefix “homo”. Most are aware that in English this means “the same”. Homogenized milk, for instance, is the same throughout. So we see here that James is saying that man’s true being is in the true reality exactly like that of God. No wonder John said: “Whosoever is born of God doeth not commit sin; for his (God’s) seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born (“begotten” in the Greek) of God.” I John 3:9
If we are begotten of God and his seed is in us, who then can doubt that we are children of God with a destiny to manifest the fullness of our creator? Paul seemed to believe this: “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass (Greek: ‘mirror’) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Cor 3:18 If man is indeed in the “image” of God then it is only natural that he would reflect or “mirror” the God of us all.
It is also written: “And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the IMAGE OF THE HEAVENLY.” I Cor 15:49
David also wrote: “As for me I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake WITH THY LIKENESS.” Psalms 17:15
We learn from these scriptures we have quoted that man was first created in the image of God, but since the fall he seems to have to regain that image for some of the God in man is veiled or “lost” to his view. To see God man must look “with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord.” II Cor 3:18 This is more accurately translated as “With uncovered face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord.” Paul tells us that there must be an “uncovering” of the God self within us before we behold it. When we uncover our true face we see “the glory of God.” In our “fallen” state we do not see God when we see ourselves because we have covered him up with our own limiting thoughts.
Paul was considering this principle when he said: “For now we see through a glass (mirror), darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know (the Spirit of the God within) even as also I am known.” I Cor 13:12
As we are now we do not see a correct reflection of God in a mirror, but the time will come when we will. When we see correctly with uncovered faces then we will truly see that we are in the image of God in every way.
Consider this. If we are in the image of God then our minds are in the image of God. Within us is the mind of God that is perfect and incapable of error or condemnation. The mind of God performs the many millions of flawless functions that are necessary to keep our bodies operating. Mistakes are only the illusion of the carnal or false mind that “covers” the God mind.
If we are in the image of God then our emotions and feelings are the perfect expression of the glory and love of God. The love of God is always in us, but its expression is often prevented or “covered” by carnal desire. Selfishness hides the perfect love of God that is each of us. It is always there, but in many of us it is “covered”.
If we are in the image of God then our bodies are habitations of God, temples of God. The body is a symbol of God’s intelligence and activity in the world of form. Those who are called Gods always take the form of a man for man is the form that most highly expresses the Spirit of God.
If man is in the image of God then man’s Spirit is God’s Spirit and is one with him. Therefore the Kingdom of God is within because the Spirit of God is within.
Thus it is the destiny of ordinary men and women as well as Jesus to reflect the image of God. Paul indeed said that if we are filled with the “love of Christ” we will be “filled with the fulness of God.” Eph 3:19
All this correlates with the testimony of John: “And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, behold, the tabernacle (from SKENE: can also be translated as ‘habitation’) of God is with (or ‘in’) men, and he will dwell with (or ‘in’) them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them (or ‘in’ them), and he will be their God.” Rev 21:3
Concerning the inhabitants of the New Jerusalem John also said: “And they shall see his (God’s) face; and his name (Christ) shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there (no darkness within); and they need no candle, neither the light of the Sun, for the Lord God giveth them light (enlightenment from within): and they shall reign for ever and ever.” Rev 22:4-5
Not only is man in the image of God as was Jesus (who was also a man and called himself the ‘Son of Man’), but we can also attain the glory of God. This only stands to reason since he is in the image of God. How could man be in the image of God and not express his glory?
The word “glory” is an interesting word. It comes from the Greek DOXA which is derived from DOKEO which means “to think”. Thus we could say that to have the glory of God is to think as God or to have the mind of God.
After all the scriptures tell us: “LET THIS MIND BE IN YOU, WHICH WAS IN CHRIST JESUS: who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Phil 2:5-6
This is another way of saying: “Let the glory of God be within you that was within Jesus.”
Again the scripture says: “For we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23
The word “sinned” here comes from the Greek HAMARTANO which literally means “to miss the mark”. “Out of harmony” would be another way to put it. If we read this passage in the light of Greek meaning we obtain an interesting translation. “For we have all missed the mark and have come short of thinking as God does.”
Now the scripture correlates with Philippians 2:5 which commands us to have the same mind as Christ, or God. When we do not attempt to have the mind or the glory of God we are indeed “missing the mark”.
Many other scriptures reinforce this idea. In this light the following scripture does not seem to contradict: “He (man) is the image and glory of God.” I Cor 11:7 At least this is what man is if he does not miss the mark in seeking to be one with God. Paul also told the saints to “rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.” Rom 5:2 He also talked about “Christ IN you, the hope of glory…that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.” Col 1:27-28 “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Col 3:4 Paul also tells us that if we are justified we shall be “glorified”. Rom 8:30
Perhaps the most powerful statement on this doctrine comes from the Master himself: “And the GLORY which thou gavest me I HAVE GIVEN THEM; that they may be one, even as we are one.” John 17:22
Who can believe the Bible and deny that the destiny of men and women to manifest the image and glory of God, and how can man do this if God is not in him? How can God be in man and man be one with God, and man not be God? Why do men refuse to believe the quote of Jesus: “Ye are Gods.” John 10:34 Why do men delight to sell themselves short and miss the mark? Perhaps it is because they do not want the responsibility that the glory (thinking) as God entails. They do not understand that the realization of Emmanuel or “God in us” brings greater freedom rather than burden as the Christ said: “My yoke is easy and my burden light” Matt 11:30
Copyright by J J Dewey
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