Surely an intelligent God would have a purpose and meaning for making mankind — and He does! He is currently executing it as we speak and you have a part to play in it!
Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.
Job 14:15 You shall call, and I will answer You; You shall desire the work of Your hands.
Kind after Kind, but …
Genesis 1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind (mı̂yn meen) cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind“; and it was so.
Genesis 1:25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image (tselem tseh’-lem shade, a phantom, resemblance; we are a shadow or form of God, but not after His kind), according to Our likeness (demûth dem-ooth’; shape, resemblance); let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Genesis 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
In the Hebrew different words are used to describe the way that animals were created after their own kind, man was created in the form and shape of God, but not after His kind. Man was made out of flesh and blood and not like the God kind in that way (God is Spirit [John 4:24] and we are made decisively different from that [John 3:6]).
Man is Physical
Man was made of physical material:
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Nephesh – soul in KJV; creature in Genesis 1:24 that we just read
Genesis 1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so.
Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned (see definition below) and fall short of the glory of God,
1 John 3:4 Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness [breaking of the law].
God as our creator knows what is good for us as our loving Father whether we realize and understand it or not. He gives us rules or the law to live by for our benefit.
2 problems here that conflict with most of modern christianity: 1. We do not have a soul; we are a soul 2. The “soul” is not immortal; we die because we all have sinned.
In other words we do not automatically live forever.
The Spirit in Man
As a part of the His plan God had to give us more than instinct. We had to have the ability to reason and think and understand. This distinct difference between man and animals which Job gives us insight into:
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man, And the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding.
Man has been given an intellect of far greater capacity than the animal kingdom. The most infantile of humans begins outstretches the mental and creative capabilities of animals at a very early age. This is just the beginning and incomparable to the sonnets of Shakespeare, music of Mozart and drawings of DaVinci.
But there is still a missing component. God’s creation was not finished!
Genesis 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Genesis 2:8 The LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed.
Genesis 2:9 And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
They had the opportunity to choose a way of life: one with God in it, helping them and guiding them or one in which they decided what was right and wrong. One way that leads to life everlasting and one way that leads to eternal death. This is the eventual destination of both ways. Many are fooled simply because they do not see the effects immediately.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
These are the only 2 options that we have:
Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live;
Deuteronomy 30:20 that you may love the LORD your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”
Now whether that death is permanent or not depends on a few factors.
We see this in action from the very beginning:
Adam and Eve Sinned
Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
Genesis 3:2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden;
Genesis 3:3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ”
Genesis 3:4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die.
Genesis 3:5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Genesis 3:6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate.
It was appealing to decide right from wrong, which was God’s prerogative. This is what Satan tempted them with – you get to be just like God deciding what is good and what is evil.
The key to understanding what happened back then, is to realize that the same exact thing is going on today. Mankind has come up with many different ways to explain the truth with many different and mutually exclusive religions; many philosophies; many sciences. Their commonality is the rejection of the one and only source of truth – the Bible. This is because they do not have the key to unlocking it.
Genesis 3:11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
Genesis 3:12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life
Genesis 3:18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field.
Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.”
They had rejected God and rebelled against His ways and the result is death.
This was just the physical side of the equation
The Key to Understanding the Bible and Life
Here is what was missing this first and necessary element
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “EYE HAS NOT SEEN, NOR EAR HEARD, NOR HAVE ENTERED INTO THE HEART OF MAN THE THINGS WHICH GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
1 Corinthians 2:10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
The only way to begin to fully understand the Word of God is by God through the holy spirit. This is the foundational knowledge that we need to live the best life. It does not contain all information, but the basics and that which we cannot glean ourselves.
Not Yet Born Again
John 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
John 3:2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
John 3:4 Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?”
John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
John 3:7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
We are Begotten Now
It is analogous to conception, we have conceived by the spirit of God and we are now growing and are on a path towards being born of fully of spirit.
2 Corinthians 1:21 Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God,
2 Corinthians 1:22 who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
Guarantee of a future promise….
God is Working in Us
Isaiah 64:8 But now, O LORD, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.
2 Corinthians 5:16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Becoming Like God
Philippians 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
1 Peter 2:21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:
Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Romans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We are to Do Works
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
Ephesians 2:9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
James 2:17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.
James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Works Demonstrate our Faith
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’
We are to practice lawfulness or in other words simply the law.
Towards What End?
And as we do:
2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Family of God
Ephesians 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Ephesians 3:15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Currently family in heaven: Father and Son
Earth: us now, those with His spirit within them.
1 John 3:1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.
1 John 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
We are begotten now, conceived with a small portion of His spirit, yet nonetheless His sons, just as we would call our child at conception our child.
Still flesh and blood mostly, awaiting to become born-again, fully spirit, glorified into a new body as a part of the Family of God, NOW after His image
1 John 3:9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.
This is why in the beginning we were not after His KIND … YET! This is the marvelous truth of the plan of God that He is working out NOW! The process of creation that was from the beginning, is continuing in us, until we are eventually born-again after the God-kind!
Philippians 3:21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
1 Corinthians 15:47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—
1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Revelation 20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
Kings and Priests
Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”
What an incredible opportunity we have now to become a part of the God Family – to be glorified and become God as God is God, partaking of the unimaginable future that awaits us!