Creation of the earth and man #17 Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim #1 In the image and after the likeness

Man in the image and likeness of the Elohim

“Thou hast made him a little lower than the angels.”

Men and beasts, say the scriptures,

“have all one ruach or spirit; so that a man hath no pre-eminence above a beast”.

The reason assigned for this equality is the oneness of their spirit, which is proved by the fact of their common destiny; as it is written,

“for all are vanity”:

that is,

“all go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again”.

Yet this one spirit manifests its tendencies differently in men and other creatures. In the former, it is aspiring and God-defying, rejoicing in its own works, and devoted to the vanity of the passing hour; while in the latter, its disposition is grovelling to the earth in all things. Thus, the heart of man being

“deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know or fathom it?”

Solomon was led to exclaim,

“Who knoweth the spirit of the sons of Adam, ruach beni headam, which exalts itself to the highest, and the spirit of a beast which inclines to the earth?” {a:  Eccles. 3:19–21.}

We may answer,

“None, but God only”;

He knoweth what is in man, and needs not that any should testify of him. {b:John 2:25.}
But, from this testimony someone might infer that, as man was made only “a little lower than the angels”, and yet has “no pre-eminence over a beast”, the beast also is but a little lower than the angels. This, however, would be a very erroneous conclusion. The equality of men and other animals consists in the kind of life they possess in common with each other. Vanity, or mortality, is all that pertains to any kind of living flesh. The whole animal world has been made subject to it; and as it affects all living souls alike, bringing them back to the dust again, no one species can claim pre-eminence over the other; for

“one thing befalleth them; as the one dieth, so dieth the other”.

Man, however, differs from other creatures in having been modelled after a divine type, or pattern. In form and capacity he was made like to the angels, though in nature inferior to them. This appears from the testimony that he was made “in their image, after their likeness”, and “a little lower than the angels”, or Elohim. {c: Psalm 8:5.} I say, he was made in the image of the angels, as the interpretation of the co-operative imperative,

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”.

The work of the six days, though elaborated by the power of Him “who dwelleth in the light”, was executed by

“his angels, that excel in strength, and do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word”. {d:  Psalm 103:20.}

These are styled Elohim, or “gods,” in numerous passages. David says,

“Worship him, all ye gods”; {e: Psalm 97:7.}

which Paul applies to Jesus, saying, {*}

“Let all the angels of God worship him”. {f: Heb. 1:6.}

Man, then, was made after the image and likeness of Elohim, but for a while inferior in nature. But the race will not always be inferior in this respect. It is destined to advance to a higher nature; not all the individuals of it; but those of the race

“who shall be accounted worthy to obtain that age (αἰὼν μέλλων, the future age) and the resurrection from among the dead (ἐχ νεχρω̂ν) … who can die no more; for they are equal to the angels (ἰσάλλεγοι); and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection.” {g:  Luke 20:35, 36.}

 

The import of the phrase “in the image, after the likeness” is suggested by the testimony, that

“Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after his image, and called his name Seth”. {h: Genesis 5:3.}

In this respect, Seth stands related to Adam, as Adam did to the Elohim; but differing in this, that the nature of Adam and Seth was identical; whereas those of Adam and the Elohim were dissimilar. Would any one be at a loss to know the meaning of Seth’s being in the image of his father? The very same thing is meant by Adam being in the image of the Elohim. An image is the representation of some form or shape; metaphorically, it may signify the exact resemblance of one character to another. But in the case before us, the parties had no characters at the time of their birth. They were simply innocent of actual transgression; no scope having been afforded them to develop character. The Elohim, however, were personages of dignity and holiness, as well as of incorruptible, or spiritual, nature. The resemblance, therefore, of Adam to the Elohim as their image was of bodily form, not of intellectual and moral attainment; and this I apprehend to be the reason why the Elohim are styled “men” when their visits to the sons of Adam are recorded in the scriptures of truth. In shape, Seth was like Adam, Adam like the Elohim, and the Elohim, the image of the invisible Increate; the great and glorious archetype of the intelligent universe.

– Thomas, D. J.; Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 37–39). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Notes & Bible quotes:

a: Ecclesiastes 3:19–21 (ESV): 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity. 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return. 21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

b:John 2:25 (ESV): 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

c: Psalm 8:5 (ESV): Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

d: Psalm 103:20-21 (ESV): 20  Bless the Lord, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 21  Bless the Lord, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!

e: Psalm 97:7 (ESV): All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!

{*} *. Paul’s quotation is verbatim from Deuteronomy 32:43 (LXX)—not Psalm 97.

Deuteronomy 32:43 (ESV): 43  “Rejoice with him, O heavens; bow down to him, all gods, for he avenges the blood of his children and takes vengeance on his adversaries. He repays those who hate him and cleanses his people’s land.”

Psalm 97:9 (ESV): For you, O Lord, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.

f: Hebrews 1:6 (ESV): And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.”

g: Luke 20:35–36 (ESV): 35 but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36 for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.

h: Genesis 5:3 (ESV): When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.

Children of Adam and Eve: All we are told about Adam’s offspring is that the first son was named Cain, the second son named Abel [Genesis 4:1-2 ], then after Abel’s murder, another son named Seth, who may not be confused with the beneficent god in predynastic Egypt, associated with darkness and later identified as a god of evil and the antagonist of Horus. Adam’s son Seth was “begotten when Adam was 130 years old.” After that, Adam “begot sons and daughters” [Genesis 5:3-4]. This same passage also tells us that Adam lived for 930 years [Genesis 5:5]. Therefore, according to Scripture, Adam and Eve‘s family consisted of sons Cain, Abel and Seth (who be came 912 years old), plus a minimum of two other sons and two daughters, giving a total of seven children. However, accepting that Adam, and likely Eve, lived for 930 years, seven children would be the minimum number.

In gnosticism, Seth is seen as a replacement given by God for Abel, whom Cain had slain. It is said that late in life, Adam gave Seth secret teachings that would become the kabbalah. The Zohar refers to Seth as “ancestor of all the generations of the tzaddikim” (Hebrew: righteous ones).

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Preceding:

Creation of the earth and man #16 Formation of man #8 Dust, flesh, blood,breathing and life

Continues

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Additional reading:

  1. The World framed by the Word of God
  2. A viewpoint on creation
  3. Created to live in relation with God
  4. Creator and Blogger God 2 Image and likeness
  5. Creator and Blogger God 3 Lesson and solution
  6. Creator and Blogger God 5 Things to tell
  7. An anarchistic reading of the Bible (2)—Creation and what follows
  8. Al-Fatiha [The Opening] Süra 1: 4-7 Merciful Lord of the Creation to show us the right path
  9. Equal?
  10. God’s wrath and sanctification
  11. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  12. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  13. Angels
  14. Who are the Angels?
  15. Why did God Create Angels?
  16. The “Sons of God”
  17. Man Made Lower than the Angels
  18. The “Mighty Ones”
  19. Angels in Old Testament History
  20. “The whole family in heaven and earth”
  21. Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army
  22. What is life?
  23. Atonement and the race been bought
  24. First man’s task still counting today
  25. The I Am to explore
  26. There can only be hope when there is a will to be and say “I am”
  27. Looking at three “I am” s
  28. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  29. Not bounded by labels but liberated in Christ
  30. Jesus spitting image of his father
  31. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor

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Further reading

  1. The Image of God
  2. Assumptions?
  3. What difference does the doctrine of humans being in “the image of God” make?
  4. What Is Man?
  5. What it Means to be Made in God’s Image
  6. Image and Likeness
  7. The Image is the vision
  8. You Are God’s Mirror-Image
  9. What Is Your Image of God?
  10. Image of God: A Design Gone Wrong
  11. Image of God: A Design Restored
  12. Favorable Death – In the Beginning 2
  13. being human, part 2: on suicide
  14. What is the most important thing you can do for your child?
  15. A Passage to a New World, with Conditions, That Must Be Met!
  16. Why Jesus Was So Unrecognizable – Dan Mohler
  17. Living Out the Nature of Jesus
  18. being human, part 1
  19. Unique
  20. The Root of Free Will
  21. Generosity: There is Enough. I am Enough.
  22. Theology of the Body Thursday #32: When Consent Is Not Enough
  23. Encountering Another and Breaking Free into the Love of God
  24. The box splits
  25. A reflection on reflection
  26. With Thy Likeness
  27. The Jesus that people see in us
  28. Love for Rich and Poor Alike
  29. Dust and Divinity
  30. B’Reshith: Seeing the Image of God
  31. God isn’t hard to find when you know how to look for Him
  32. Capital punishment and the image of God
  33. The Glory of God, Filling the Earth, Part I
  34. The Psychology of The Image of God: A Grand Purpose
  35. Declaring His Plan
  36. You were made in the image of God not a monkey
  37. Abortion and the Perspective On Persons
  38. Made for relationship with God; made in the likeness of God; made of God…
  39. holistic vision of the human’s role in creation

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Necessity of a revelation of creation 13 Getting wisdom

To the Bible, then, all must come at last if they would be truly wise in spiritual things. This is a great truth which few of the sons of men have learned to appreciate according to its importance. A man may be a theologian profoundly skilled in all questions of “divinity”; he may be well versed in the mythology of the heathen world; be able to speak all languages of the nations; compute the distances of orb from orb, and weigh them in the scales of rigid calculation; he may know all science and be able to solve all mysteries, — but if, with all this, he be ignorant of “the things of the spirit”; if he know not the true meaning of the Bible; he seemeth only to be wise, while he is, in fact, a fool. Therefore, the apostle saith,

“let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, He taketh the wise in their own craftiness. And again, the Lord knoweth the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain. Therefore let no man glory in men”.

If our contemporaries could only attain to the adoption of this great precept,

“let no man glory in men”,

they would have overleaped a barrier which as a fatal obstacle prevents myriads from understanding and obeying the truth.
But while God lightly esteems the wisdom of the reputed wise, there is a wisdom which He invites all men to embrace. This is styled “the wisdom of God in a mystery”; it is also termed

“the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the world which none of the princes of this world knew”.

It is said to be hidden in a mystery, because until the apostolic age, it was not clearly made known. This will appear from the following texts:

“Now to him that is of power to establish you according to the revelation of THE MYSTERY, which was kept secret (χρόνοις αἰωνίοις) in the times of the ages, but now (in the time, or age, of the apostles) is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets made known to all nations for the obedience of faith.”

“By revelation God made known unto me, Paul, THE MYSTERY, which in other ages (former ages under the law of Moses) was not made known unto the sons of men as it is now revealed unto the holy apostles and prophets by the spirit, that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.”

English: Wisdom of God interior Basilica-like ...
Wisdom of God interior Basilica-like interior. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here is “the knowledge of God”, in which are contained “exceeding great and precious promises”, the understanding of which is able to make a man wise, and “a partaker of the divine nature”. Now, although these hidden things have been clearly made known, they still continued to be styled the mystery; not because of their unintelligibility, but became they were once secret. Hence, the things preached unto the Gentiles, and by them believed, are styled by Paul, “the mystery of the faith”, and “the mystery of godliness”, some of the items of which he enumerates; such as,

“God manifest in the flesh, justified by the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory”.

Thus an intelligible mystery characterizes the once hidden wisdom of God, and becomes the subject matter of an enlightened faith. This, however, is not the case with regard to religious systems which are not of the truth. Unintelligible mystery is the ultima ratio for all difficulties which are insoluble by the symbols of ecclesiastical communities, whose text of universal application is, that

“secret things belong to God, but the things which are revealed, to us and to our children”.

This is true; but, then, these things which were secret in the days of Moses, have been revealed by God to the apostles and prophets for our information.
No one has any right to set up his own ignorance as the limit of what God hath revealed. A thing may be unknown to such a man, but it doth not therefore follow that it is either absolutely unintelligible or a secret. He may not know of it, or, if explained to him, he may not have intellect enough to comprehend it, or his prejudices, or sectarian bias may darken his understanding—this by no means makes the thing unintelligible or mysterious to other people. All that such persons have a right to say is,

“We do not know anything about it”.

They may confess their own ignorance, and resolve to look into the matter, or not; but they are presumptuously overstepping the bounds of propriety to venture to do more. Those who have no secondary interests to subserve apart from the truth only desire to know that they may believe and do. But where to know more would jeopardize the “vested interests” of a sect, and extort the confessions of its leaders and members that they were in error and knew not the truth, investigation is discouraged, and the things proscribed as too speculative and mysterious for comprehension, or, if understood, of no practical utility. In this way mankind infold themselves as in the mantle of their self-esteem. They repress all progress, and glorify their own ignorance by detracting from things which they fear to look into, or apprehend are far above their reach.
Beside glorying in men, this unfortunate peculiarity of the human mind has developed the organization of a system of things impiously hostile to the institutions and wisdom of Jehovah. It is a system of many subordinate parts. It is animated by one spirit which, under various modifications, pervades and actuates the whole. It is an evil spirit, and may be detected wherever the dogma of unintelligible mystery is at work. The name of this system is “MYSTERY”. Its baneful effects began to be visible in the apostolic age. It was then styled, “the Mystery of iniquity”, which, as was predicted, has, like a cancer, eaten out the truth, and submitted in place thereof a civil and ecclesiastical constitution, styled “Harlots and the Abominations of the Earth”, such as we behold on every side.

“Wisdom”,

say the scriptures,

“is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding. Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her. She shall give to thy head an ornament of grace; a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.”

If thou wouldst, O reader, get this wisdom, happy art thou if thou findest it.

“For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain thereof than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all things thou canst desire are not to be compared to her. Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is A TREE OF LIFE to them that lay hold upon her; and happy is every one that retaineth her.”

Before the Son of God sent forth his apostles to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom in his name,

“He opened their understanding that they might understand the scriptures”.

If thou wouldst gain the knowledge of the wisdom of God which is so inestimable, and which is contained in the word they preached, thou must also be the subject of the same illumination. This is indispensable; for there is no obtaining of this commodity except through the scriptures of truth. These

“are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. For all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for conviction, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”.

What more dost thou want than perfection, and a crown of life and glory in the age to come?

– #13 + 14: Thomas, D. J. (1990). Elpis Israel: an exposition of the Kingdom of God (electronic ed., pp. 3–9). Birmingham, UK: The Christadelphian.

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Preceding articles:

Necessity of a revelation of creation 1 Works of God and works of man

Necessity of a revelation of creation 2 Organisation of a system of things

Necessity of a revelation of creation 9 Searching the Scriptures

Necessity of a revelation of creation 11 Believing and obeying the gospel of the Kingdom of God

Necessity of a revelation of creation 12 Words assembled for wisdom and instruction

To be continued: Necessity of a revelation of creation 14 Searching the scriptures

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Additional reading:

  1. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  2. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  3. Looking for Answers
  4. Sharing the depth of God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge
  5. God’s forgotten Word 1 Introduction
  6. God’s forgotten Word 3 Lost Lawbook 2 Modern scepticism
  7. God’s forgotten Word 4 Lost Lawbook 3 Early digressions and Constantinic revolution
  8. Raising digression
  9. Hellenistic influences
  10. Politics and power first priority #2
  11. Missional hermeneutics 5/5
  12. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  13. Perishable non theologians daring to go out to preach
  14. Words in the world
  15. Scripture alone Sola Scriptora
  16. Actions to be a reflection of openness of heart
  17. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  18. Determined To Stick With Truth
  19. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  20. A rebellious movement founded on a fake?

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