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Vol.  10  No. 10 October 2008  Page 5
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D. Gene West

Man in God's Image

By D. Gene West

In Genesis 1:26-27, we read these words from the pen of Moses, “Then God said, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; 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. So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” It is insisted by one large cult in America today that because man was made in God=s image, as is set forth by the use of the plural pronoun “our” in these verses, it must be true that is God made of flesh and bones as well. If God must be a mere physical creation because man is, we have some real problems, do we not?

There is a fundamental rule of biblical interpretation which says that we are most likely to interpret correctly when we allow the Scriptures to interpret themselves. If Genesis 1:26-27 teaches that God is a flesh, blood and bones creature because man is, then we have a real contradiction in Scripture for Jesus said in John 4:24, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” Jesus unequivocally said, “God is Spirit...” He did not say that God has a Spirit, but “God is Spirit.” Spirits do not have flesh and bones. How do we know this? Again, we will allow Jesus to answer.

In Luke 24:36-43 Jesus, after his resurrection from the dead, made an appearance to his apostles. Of their reaction Luke wrote, “But they were terrified and frightened, and supposed they had seen a spirit.” Jesus knowing their thoughts said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” Now, let us think together for a very little while. If God is Spirit, and He is, and if spirits do not have flesh and bones as Jesus had after his resurrection from the dead, what is the conclusion to which we come? That God does not have flesh and bones like a man! Therefore, we must come to the conclusion that there is a spiritual part of man that is made in God=s image, and not that God is or ever has been human. Actually, what this rather large cult is teaching is that God is made in man=s image rather than the other way round!

However, this is not the end of their cultist heresy; they insist that God once lived on the earth. They teach that Adam was God and later entered heaven to become the eternal Father. If that is the truth, then what we really have is God creating himself, do we not? However, the Scriptures are very clear in pointing out that God is not and never has been a man.

Let us look at some passages that refute such an idea. In Numbers 23:19, we have a statement made in the midst of a situation that God had with Balaam, a prophet of Israel turned bad, and Balak, king of the Moabites. Here is what God told Balaam to tell Balak, “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?” This passage plainly says that God is neither man nor the descendant of man. That is very clear to the truth receiving mind.

In Hosea 11:9, God caused his prophet to quote him writing, “I will not execute the fierceness of My anger; I will not again destroy Ephraim. For I am God, and not man, The Holy One in your midst; And I will not come with terror.” Notice again the forceful words, “For I am God, and not man…” While these two statements alone should suffice, we will notice one in the New Testament, this time from the pen of the apostle Paul as recorded in Romans 1:22-23. Here we read of the Gentile heathens, “Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four‑footed animals and creeping things.” Notice what they did; they “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man.” If God were man, or if man were God, would it not be the case that both would be either corruptible or incorruptible? God is not man—never has been and never will be!

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