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 What Is The Image Of God?

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Manuel Posted - 02 May 2005 : 03:53:01
I have not heard Michael writting for some time, and I am glad he got back on.

From:
http://www.strongcity.com

May 1, 2005

What Is The Image Of God?

(The Believing, Yielding Expression Of His Will)

Question: My question is in regard to the image of God and what it is. I understand that man was made in the image of God and that that entails the physical, mental, moral and spiritual. I also understand that it is the enemy's studied purpose to destroy that image in every way possible. I have seen the moral, spiritual and physical image obliterated. But lately it has come to me that there is a way that it is destroyed that I have not understood before. This is how I see it:

Man was made a free moral agent. He was endowed with capabilities and intellect to be as God is. With those capabilities man was given freedom to live, create, explore and investigate as he was instructed in his innermost soul by his Creator. In this way, not only is the character of God developed in man, but the diversity of God is expanded. In today's society I see that diverse capability destroyed with all the restrictions and limitations put on it by society and the system that has been developed.

Buildings need to be all built using strict building codes. Cars must follow strict guidelines for safety, emissions etc. Cities must follow certain restrictions for sanitation, developmental guidelines etc. These laws and restrictions are put there to "protect" the people and the environment from harm. And I can see the logic and reasoning behind them. But in my mind it seems there is more than having these laws to "protect" and "serve" the people. It has come to me strongly that by restricting what is done, and how, that the freedom of expression and the creativity that God has given is destroyed. In other words I see that the image of God is destroyed by all the laws made to "protect" society. I feel that the Voice of God in the soul is killed. Man is made to be a pawn of someone else's thinking on how to create and live. Man's thinking becomes limited and put in a box of someone else's ideas. Is that how you see it? Could you expand on this in regard to other areas of life?

Altheos


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Michael: I have noticed these things for many years and felt the offense of the Spirit within me over the government of man trying to take control of the Spirit's initiative. In my last home this was the place where this was most pressing. Then recently it was the calling for jury duty which I had to decline for conscientious reasons.

The civil government has a real problem. This problem is that government recognizes that their own people are all liars and thieves. This is why government must use extraordinary means to control its citizens. How does government control a mob of evil men? It does so just as it is doing now. It does so through oppressive laws which fill entire libraries, and heavy handed police actions against heavy handed criminals. The population is in the image of Satan, so satanic means must be used to control the mob. Sin must punish sin with sin.

The problem with the state is that its laws are made and enforced for this kind of citizenry. When citizens of heaven walk into their midst it creates a problem for the state. The citizens of heaven must walk according to their conscience and according to God's initiative or they will lose the heaven that motivates them. They cannot follow state law for its own sake. Heavenly hearts cannot worship the law of man. Most laws are not a problem for the citizens of heaven. Speed limits, auto licensing requirements and such, are easily complied with. God uses the order of the state to punish evil men and to bring order out of potential chaos.

In our last community it was on our hearts to build a church. We went through the usual permits process and our church was turned down because some evil men in the neighborhood did not want a church there. We were now faced with a difficulty. Were we to yield to evil men or follow the Voice of God to our soul? The answer was obvious. We followed God and built a church in another location, but this time we did not seek county permission, and we did not care what evil men said. We did it anyway. The wickedness of that community eventually increased to such an extent that we sold everything and moved to the present land we now inhabit.

Some taxation laws, as well as forced military service, do present a problem for one who lives in heaven. The citizens of heaven do not want to pay for the unjust takeover of other countries for the money interests. When the citizens of heaven see wars that are based on lies and deception waged against the innocent, they must withdraw their support for it. This may cause them to be charged with tax evasion, desertion, or some other crime. If a soul helps pay for the bombs that destroy innocent people, that soul is guilty of a crime. He is responsible for the people he puts in office and for what they do if he helps pay for corrupt men being there. When a citizen of heaven is drafted into the military, there is an obvious conflict of interests. He must not and cannot take up a weapon against others, even though the state may require it. The image of God must simply do what God does, and God lets wicked men punish wicked men, but those who are in His image are not the punishers of the wicked.

Men try to copy God. The pomp of a pope is evidence of this. Men think God sits on a throne with a high hat and everything is shiny and glittering all around. Men worship the pope and other religious figures all adorned in their golden majesty. This is not the image of God. Jesus gave the principle behind our "copying." "...Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise." John 5:19. This is also true for the devil's kingdom. The devil's children simply do what they see the devil doing. They cannot help it. This is why the New World Order continues on, even though its supporters die off over time. New leaders come who are led by the same spirit of control and deception and there is no interruption in the goal of the universal control of men. This was the purpose of the tower of Babel, so God broke that purpose up as He will do with this generation of men also. When men are made into the image of Satan by force, then God must intervene.

The Scriptures reveal that the tower of Babel was conceived so that men would have a way to escape another flood. They hoped to be able to get high enough above the waters so that they would not be washed away. The professed purpose behind the United Nations is the same. The nations hope to escape another universal flood of world war by abiding in this tower. This tower will come to its end just as the first tower of Babel did.

You mentioned how many laws and ordinances stifle initiative. There is a quote from The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion that shows this very principle and the reasons for it:

The second secret requisite for the success of our government is comprised in the following: To multiply to such an extent national failings, habits, passions, conditions of civil life, that it will be impossible for anyone to know where he is in the resulting chaos, so that the people in consequence will fail to understand one another. This measure will also serve us in another way, namely, to sow discord in all parties, to dislocate all collective forces which are still unwilling to submit to us, and to discourage any kind of personal initiative which might in any degree hinder our affair. There is nothing more dangerous than personal initiative: if it has genius behind it, such initiative can do more than can be done by millions of people among whom we have sown discord. We must so direct the education of the Gentile communities that whenever they come upon a matter requiring initiative they may drop their hands in despairing impotence. The strain which results from freedom of actions saps the forces when it meets with the freedom of another. From this collision arise grave moral shocks, disenchantments, failures. By all these means we shall so wear down the Gentiles that they will be compelled to offer us international power of a nature that by its position will enable us without any violence gradually to absorb all the state forces of the world and to form a super-government. P5.11.

Modern man has been completely disoriented by the forces introducing the super-government into the affairs of men. Our present "global economy" is only the vehicle to eventually take the last of men's freedoms from them, and turn them all into obedient little servants of a super state. But God's Sons cannot so yield up their personal initiative and internal Voice to cooperate with the will of evil men. They cannot; they will not. This is the root of the Battle of Armageddon. It is the battle between the will of man and the will of God in the soul. It is the war of the false sabbath where one trusts in men only, and the true Sabbath where one trusts in God only. The conclusion of this war between the image of God and the image of Satan is right before us.

This is one reason I have been very vocal in regard to everyone listening for the Voice within them and obeying it, rather than getting instructions from men on how they should proceed. A religious leader can have the same effect on the soul as state law, if the natural man wants to follow a visible god in hope of finding salvation. I encourage people to be free to do what the Father says to their own heart and not to follow the god of their own carnal imagination. I have shared with the people the way, but the people must themselves find the expression of it within themselves. I share principles, but the soul must find the Voice himself. This is what creates the image of God. It is when God is imaged back to Him in His creation. God moves, and His creation moves, as He is imaged by that creation. We copy the Father by the Spirit that is within, and we only do what we see Him do. The Sons of God will not bow the knee to Baal, and the sons of Satan will not bow the knee to God, but this will change. The word of God has decreed, "I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear." Isaiah 45:23. Soon, the evil kingdom will cease to exist, for evil men will destroy themselves. They take themselves in their own net. God's Sons have already bowed the knee to Him, and this is the source of their deliverance. Evil men will be raised from the dead to see the full extent of their evil ways and they too will then bow the knee, but that bowing will be too late to save them. They will perish in the very light that they resisted in their probationary time on earth.

3   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Jim Posted - 22 Nov 2015 : 15:25:06
Image and Likeness of God

What does it mean to say that human beings are still created “in the image of God”? How does “the image of God” relate to the views known as dichotomy and trichotomy? Why is that idea of humans being in “the image of God” still important for our contemporary society? (Chapter 6)

We do not know from Scripture specifically what it means, after Adam and Eve, to be “in the image of God”. We get hints at its meaning from looking at the condition of our first parents who had some resemblance to God’s attributes of intelligence, morality, relationship, and immortality. These are the hints that we get. Overall and since the Fall, man has a tarnished, imperfect, sinful image of His Maker. Man has intelligence as demonstrated, for example, by his efforts in the sciences. Man seems to have morality for only the briefest of prayerful moments (Hebrews 4:16), but his character is no longer moral (Matthew 15:19; Matthew 19:16-17; 1 Corinthians 2:14). Man has - needs - relationship with other people and with God. However, these relationships are marred by our sinful nature. We must pray over our interactions with other people that we reflect Jesus’ character, and we must pray for help in retaining our belief in Jesus’ saving work (e.g., example in Mark 9:24). Man has immortality in the large sense that he was born into eternity, will have physical death on earth, but will then be raised to the rest of his eternal life.

“The image of God” relates to the views known as dichotomy and trichotomy in this way. Dichotomy is a view that man is a two-part union composed of a body and a soul. The idea is that the body dies an earthly death, the soul lives on and is eventually joined to a new, perfect body in the resurrection a the end of the world. Trichotomy is a view that man is a three-part union composed of a body, a soul, and a spirit meaning that Christians have the holy Spirit (Called to Believe, Teach, and Confess pp. 137-139). This appears to be an attempt to equate the “image of God” in man to God’s triune essence.

The idea of humans being in “the image of God” is still important for our contemporary society to maintain the sanctity of human life (e.g., as God mandated in the law of Moses; c.f., Exodus 20:10). When society loses a sense of the sanctity of human life, then we bring on abortion on demand for convenience, euthanasia, withholding medical services for those no longer productive in society (e.g. “Obamacare”), and similar aberrations to what God wants for us.

NOTES:
“In rabbinic literature, the contrast was often made of man, made in the image of God, compared to idols and statues made in the image of earthly kings. One rabbi said that ‘A king mints a thousand coins with his image on them, and every one is exactly the same. But the Lord makes multitudes of human beings that all bear his image, and they are all different!’ It shows the infinite glory of God that he can represent himself in so many ways.” (Lois Tverberg, “To Be the Image of God”)


Bibliography
Lois Tverberg, “To Be the Image of God”, accessed November 11, 2014, http://www.egrc.net/articles/director/articles_director_0806.html.
Called to Believe, Teach, and Confess, Stephen P. Mueller, Ed., (Wipf and Stock, Eugene, OR, 2005), Chapters 7 through 10.
Edward W. A. Koehler, DD, A Summary of Christian Doctrine, “The Divine Attributes”, (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 2006) 58-63.
John Piper, Desiring God, “I AM WHO I AM”, accessed August 5, 2013, http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/sermons/i-am-who-i-am--2
Theopedia, “God’s Known Attributes”, accessed November 11, 2024, http://www.theopedia.com/List_of_God’s_known_attributes.
Dr. Timothy Maschke, REL 204 Video lecture 2.3: “Law and Gospel”
Book of Concord, The Small Catechism, “III. The Lord's Prayer”, accessed November 12, 2014, http://bookofconcord.org/smallcatechism.php.
Erik Rottman, One Truth, Many Lies, (Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis, MO, 2011), 20, 34-39, 72-75.
The Christian Cyclopedia, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, “Arianism”, accessed November 12, 2014, http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=A&t2=r.
A Brief Illustrated Guide to Understanding Islam, “What Do Muslims Believe about Jesus?”, accessed November 12, 2014, http://www.islam-guide.com/ch3-10.htm.
Jehovah’s Witnesses, “Do You Believe in Jesus?”, accessed November 12, 2014, http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/believe-in-jesus/.
Dictionary.com, “state”, accessed November 13, 2014, http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/state.
Christian Cyclopedia, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, “Christ Jesus”, accessed November 12, 2014, http://cyclopedia.lcms.org/display.asp?t1=c&word=CHRISTJESUS.
Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, “Exaltation”, accessed November 13, 2014, http://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionaries/bakers-evangelical-dictionary/exaltation.html.
Athanasius, On the Incarnation, Trans. unidentified, (Fig Classic Series on Early Church Theology. Publisher’s location not available), 9-29.


Jim
Manuel Posted - 05 May 2005 : 09:37:48
Yes I. Scriabin,
I remember about a year ago, Michael re-minded that when Father is to come through the clouds, with fire in His eyes, the fire is His Light which shines our way, not no figurines, or faces on old french-toast, etc...
I. Scriabin Posted - 04 May 2005 : 22:36:38
Wonderful point of discussion Manuel. Thanks for providing the link also - I'd not heard of Michael but after reading his thoughts on the web site find it very interesting. Bookmarked it is!

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