DEIFICATION OF MAN
In the article “Destiny of Man”, one sees that God is reproducing himself. Man as an “image of God” is an earthy reproduction or replica of Him, and “God saw…it was very good.” . As other living beings capable of reproduction have developed into kingdoms of their own kind, viz., plant-kingdom and animal-kingdom, so has God planned to develop and expand membership into that God-kingdom. Unlike plants and animals that God created after their respective kinds to reproduce their own image following the laws of genetics, man was never created after the man-kind. Rather, man was created after the God-kind, after God’s image . One finds that man belongs to the highest order, the God-kind, and not to the animal-kind nor the plant-kind. Speaking of birds(animals), Jesus asked men “…Are you not of more value than they?” . Yes, humans are higher in order than animals and currently lower than angels although in the future will be higher than them .
As this conclusion that man is in the God-kingdom was deduced from the narrative in Genesis, can this truth be confirmed subsequently and unequivocally? And being in the God-kind,can man, as flesh and blood (not spiritual), be classified as god? To one’s surprise, it was Jesus himself who confirmed this concept, the very person who was there in the Garden of Eden. Notice the discourse in John 10:33-35 when as a human being, like you and I, being flesh and blood, he was questioned about his claim of being god and classification as god, accused of blasphemy and stoned. People were saying”…being man (flesh and blood), make thyself God”. They could not fathom the concept that man is in the God-kind, and can be called god as well. Looking at him being human, they could not see how Jesus could claim deity. All the while and from the beginning of time, they thought of God only as spiritual, and not flesh-and-blood. To them, that claim was blasphemy! He then answered “Is it not written in your law, I said, ye are gods?” If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.” This “word of God” is Jesus Christ as elucidated in John 1:1 as well as 10:36, “… whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world” and came to men(gods). The “word of God” came to humans and not to plants nor animals.Yes, Jesus himself validated the classification of man as in the God-kind and can be called god as well. As man, as a human being, Jesus is in the God-kind, and his claim of being god is true, even after coming to this world as flesh. Instead of an epiphanic awakening and acceptance of this concept, the people turned seething mad. Subsequently, he was accused of blasphemy and was killed   because of that claim. Since Jesus was bold and not evasive as a man and flesh to be called god and in fact faced death for it, all of us should be able to withstand criticism from people who may disagree with this concept. That humans even as flesh “…are sons(children) of God…” and in the God-kind and can therefore be called god as well, likewise was confirmed by John . This concept that man beclassified as god should not be considered ludicrous, as even angels were called”gods” (compare elohiym/aggelos: Ps. 97:7 and Heb 1:6 as well as Heb 2:7 and Ps. 8:5). The difference, though, between angels and man was explained by Paul in Hebrews 1:4-13, in that, in contrast to angels, there was a promise and plan for man to be like Christ and be part of his body. Also, angels lack understanding of God’s plan   The concept of polytheism as against monotheism is alluded to by Paul “…gods many and lords many”  and by the psalmist , “…he judges among the gods” , “but YHVH is great…above all gods” . But, most assuredly and unmistakenly “YHVH our God”  “…is God of all Gods and Lord of all Lords , and the only one to be worshipped. Most definitely, we should have no other gods before him!
As there are differences in the plant-kind and animal-kind, so are there differences in the God-kind, i.e., our heavenly Father is unique,distinct and superior to the Son Jesus. While admittedly there are many different species, order or genus, anything in the Plant-Kind can be called plant, as anyone in the Animal-kind is categorized as an animal, whether dog, cat or whatever. Likewise, an offspring of man is a son of man and called man, as an offspring of God is a son of God and called god. Yet, why is it that when it comes to the God-Kind, people have difficulty in understanding that if one is in the God-Kind, he/she is also god? No wonder, as man, Jesus who claimed to be son of God ,was accused of blasphemy, stoned and killed. We need to re-evaluate our understanding of what God is and replace it with the truth of man’s actual position in the hierarchy and context of creation, that of being in the highest order. From hereon, as difficult a concept it is to others, we need to accept and get used to classifying man as god, as Jesus did, to show the eventual “destiny of man”. This understanding that man is in the God-Kind provides a synopsis of man’s superlative path to glory, gives meaning to why we are here, and provides proper perspective of who/what we are.
While man is classified as “god” he is still a work in progress and his process of deification is not yet complete. In much the same way that we regard a fetus in-utero as human, yet it still needs to develop to full humanhood. He is at this time only a type of god, an earthy image of God and has not yet attained the fullness and glory that God planned him to be .The attribute of God, i.e., immortality is not inherent in the material composition of man ( “for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return” . One cannot claim realization of the promise of “dominion overall”  ” as we are still subject to disease and can be killed by lethal microbes as in bioterrorism. Our present life is fleeting “like a vapour”(.The kingdom (of G0D) …” to be delivered up to the Father “by Jesus Christ” I Cor.15:24, is yet future. While currently we bear the earthy image of God, we still SHALL bear the image of the heavenly . While the type, Eve, the earthy-woman, the “flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone”  already came from the 1st Adam, the woman (spiritual church, you and I, the wife in Rev.19:7) still has to come out from the 2nd Adam, Christ .
How then can completion of deification be achieved? What is the mechanism behind this? Notice the following verses:
Eph.1:5 Today’s English version, Good News Translation
“Because of his love,God …..had already decided that through Jesus Christ he would make us his children, this was his pleasure and purpose.”
Eph. 1:11 The Message;Colorado Springs,Newpress, 1993)
“It is in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eyes on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything……”
Eph 3:20 Living Bible,Wheaton Il. Tyndale House Publishers, 1979
“God…is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of..infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.”
This concept is extremely important and needs to be emphasized…that it is only in and thru Jesus that man’s deification, our becoming “children of God”, will be realized, fulfilled and completed. What does that mean? Simply put, it was not and never was in the 1st Adam, the earthy-image of God, that this deification will initiate and has never been planned like that. Rather, it was thru another man, the 2nd Adam, the one who did not come from the dust of the ground, not the earthy-Adam, but thru the man Jesus, who was heavenly , not from this earth or dust of this ground, but “from above” ,the “one and only begotten of the Father” , . The “word of God” (Jesus), as a matter of speaking, disrobed, renounced or abandoned his previous glorious spiritual body to become flesh, a human being, in a “fashion…as a man” , as planned. Imagine, being stripped of all spirituality and powers! As extremely difficult it was, he did it because of love for us. Moreover he did it on faith that his Father will restore it back to him. This gospel of love/faith goes back to the very beginning of time.Yes, from faith-to-faith, from the faith of Abraham all the way to the only faith that matters, the faith of Jesus ( , , , , that ultimately will bring man’s deification to fullness and completion. As,” it was appointed unto man once to die …”  so did the 1st Adam die and still dead and under the ground waiting for resurrection and finality of deification. But, theman-Jesus (see Paul rendering of Christ,  died and was resurrected into life everlasting, mortality changed to immortality, physical changed to spiritual, and Jesus did not need to wait longer than 3 days and 3 nights to be transformed into this glorious spiritual body as prophesied and promised. In the entire human history, it was only the man-Jesus who died and rose spiritual , eventually completing the fullness of his deification. And only after Jesus reached and attained back his glory, i.e.transformed/resurrected into his glorious spiritual body, after the last/2nd Adam “became a life-giving spirit”  can he”..bring many sons to glory”. . He is the precursor and has proven himselfthat deification of man will be initiated and completed in Him and finally for other humans, as well. “Death, where is thy sting?..grave, where is thy victory?”  is now only applicable to the resurrected Jesus who now has a spiritual body, but will materialize for humans in the future when there physical body changes to spiritual. As the earthy-Eve came about from and after the 1st Adam (flesh), so shall the spiritual-Eve(wife in Revelation, church) come aboutfrom and only after the 2nd-Adam’s spiritualization (resurrected Jesus). Remember what Jesus said that he has to be glorified and go to the Father, so that the Spirit will be sent . Yes, Jesus the first of firstfruits and after that, the rest of the firstfruits and subsequently the latter-fruits, thru the action of the Spirit. While human beings in their present state of flesh-and-blood are classified in the God-kind and can therefore be called “…gods”, they have not yet attained the fullness of deity or spiritualization which will come only thru and after Christ’s death and resurrection, by the works of the Holy Spirit.
In the garden of Eden, notice the narrative surrounding the temptation posed to man by the serpent, ” Don’t you know that when you eat the fruit of the tree of good/evil, you will be like GOD, knowing good and evil?”( . “…And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” . Careful evaluation of this event leads us to the following facts:
1. While man is classified IN the God-kind, he has not attained his full potential as GOD has planned for him, as it was still future.
2. Adam/Eve lack attributes of God, i.e., (a) wisdom to know good/evil on their own and (b)immortality. Much like a human newborn/child that is entirely and fully man but has not attained many things inherent in adulthood and needed time to mature to be fruitful. Remember,” to every thing there is a season ” We all started as spiritually-deprived infants, and Adam when he was formed from the ground was no exception. Christ welcomes “little children”  as a start of subsequent development into adulthood and maturity. Currently, we are in a developmental stage, some “newborn babes” , “babes in Christ” and need spiritual “milk”( , while others may tolerate “strong meat” . The same principle applies to plants and animals that they need to mature before becoming fruitful.
3. In Gen. 2:17 Adam was admonished from eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good/evil, why? This is the fruit that when eaten will give them the ability to “know good and evil”. So, why is it such a “forbidden fruit”? What’s so bad about “knowing” good and evil? Certainly, it is not that God prohibited Adam/Eve to know good from evil, as before that verse, He already defined and taught them and let them know what was prohibited and what was allowable, i.e., the fruit of the tree of good/evil is bad and the rest were good, including the fruit of the tree of life. Neither, is it the act of choosing between good/evil that is prohibited as we are asked and encouraged to choose and do what is good. It is therefore not the knowledge or choice of good/evil per-se that was prohibited but, rather, from the context it appears to be about man/flesh making ajudgment on what is good and evil. What is forbidden by God is the judging or deciding for ourselves what constitutes good/evil. This is a prerogative of God. Deciding what is good and evil is within the purview of GOD and not man’s, not in his yet infantile beginning. Adam, on his own, and by his choice, has usurped this attribute of God even when he was spiritually deprived. Moreover, the fruit of that forbidden tree is death. And from the beginning, the 1st Adam was prohibited to “eat” (the fruit/death) as it was not the 1st Adamwho was destined and planned to “eat”, i.e.. experience or suffer death for mankind but the second Adam, Jesus Christ. Yes, it was the man-Jesus who was planned to suffer death for mankind, be resurrected, be restored to his previous glorious spiritual body and rank, completes his deification from flesh/blood, thereby receiving that attribute of ” knowing good and evil”, the prerogative of decision-making as to what constitutes good/evil, as well as immortality. Being “like him”(God), is a gift, but Adam/Eve wanted to get it thru their own efforts(works), i.e., eating the fruit, which is wrong.These, I believe, are the reasons why God forbade man to eat that forbidden fruit. The gospel ofgrace/gift and not works is interwoven in this narrative.
4. Having eaten the forbidden fruit, is a de-facto choice by man himself to decide what is good and evil . On his own efforts(works), instead of as a gift thru grace, he wanted to get that attribute of God and became “one of us”  to make judgment on what is good/evil. He chose to decide, on his own, on what constitutes good/evil, even while he was still flesh.This, to his peril as “my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor my ways, your ways”  thereby excluding him from staying in the Garden of Eden. He disqualified himself from continuing to live his mortal and finite life in the garden of Eden. That violation of God’s commandment is a major sin that was imputed to all mankind. As “by one man, all died…so with one man, (Jesus), all will live” .
Taken in context and factoring in what actually happened subsequently, the narrative in the garden of Eden about the temptation/prohibition for man to “eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good/evil”, to be “like God” and Adam/Eve getting barred from the garden and “tree of life”, can be summarized as follows:
A. To be “like God” is a gift and cannot be achieved by anyone’s own works,but Jesus’ works. Adam/Eve was tempted to do it, on their own, did it, “eat the fruit” and failed miserably.
B. The man-Jesus, the 2nd Adam, was the person planned to eat(experience, take-in) the fruit(death) of the tree of knowledge of good/evil and not the 1st Adam. Jesus Christ fulfilled all the requirements of the Law, did all good works, then died/resurrected and received back his spiritual body/immortality as well as the attribute of deciding what is good/evil(knowledge of good/evil). This occurred out of Jesus’ love for us and his faith in the Father, not of our works, but Jesus’ works ! His works and his faith then is imputed to all of us, indeed an undeserved gift to us from the Father.
Again, to emphasize the centrality of the man-Jesus to the whole plan of ultimate deification, please consider the concept of Father/Son relationship. When was this concept first introduced? All the while, we see man called “son of man”. But for man to be categorized as “son of God”, this did not start until the man-Jesuscame into the scene. While there are hints as in :
“The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” Ps. 110:1 and,
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou canst tell?” Prov. 30:4,
this Father/Son concept did not materialize or came to realization until the man-Jesus was manifested. Notice the narrative in Matt. 3:13-17 and Matt. 17:5. when the man-Jesus was introduced officially as “…my beloved son, …in whom I am well pleased” The Holy Spirit even was a witness in the form of a dove and descended upon him. Also, in John 1:18 and 3:18, Jesus was called “the onlybegotten Son”. The qualifier, only, because he was the only flesh-and-blood who had that distinction at that particular point in time. Jesus, the onlybegotten son and after him, thru the works of the Holy Spirit, “…many sons…”.As Jesus was begotten by the Father , confirmed and authenticated by the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, we are also begotten and witnessed by the Spirit who comes into man after having been sent by the Father after Jesus’ death/resurrection 
In a nutshell, one can glean from Genesis thru Revelation, that the mechanism of deification is as follows:
1.Creation of a template.
This earthy-image of God, 1st Adam, a “temple” of God has to be formed for God to get into, as He will not enter nor dwell spiritually into a temple (physical edifice) made by man   . Through the physical 1st Adam, humanity came about for the Spirit of God to take abode.
2. The “Word of God” has to become flesh , and be conceived or enter intoa human, Mary, also a temple not made by man, but by God. This man-Jesus,has to receive (or be entered into by) the Holy Spirit of God and he did, do all the good works, die and be resurrected back to his previous glorious spiritual body for the Holy Spirit to be sent.
3. After Christ’s death and resurrection, the Holy Spirit was sent  to get intoman, a “temple” made by God, for development into maturity, bear fruits of the Spirit, die/sleep  and eventually change from mortal to immortal, from physical to spiritual, as what happened to the man-Jesus onto to the heavenly-image of God.
Brethren, the concept that man is in the God-kind, an earthy-image of God, a type of god and is called god, predetermines the ultimate destiny of humanity. This is essential and critical in understanding the awesome future God has planned for us, even before we were born, much less have done anything to merit this gift. By grace did we receive this glory. God, the Father, is expanding membership into His kingdom. Indeed, this gospel of the GOD-KINGDOMstarted with Jesus and He will bring it to completion. The “kingdom of God is at hand” was trumpeted only after the man-Jesus came to this earth. He is the”beginning of the creation of God” , the “author and finisher of our faith” . He is the “firstborn over all creation”  and “created” by the Father ( . He is the “cornerstone” of a spiritual temple that we are a part of and “fitly framed together”( .The Spirit of God is currently working to ” bring many sons to glory”. Those who now have the spirit of God as a token, bears a token image of the heavenly and are called “children of God”. In a “twinkling of an eye, at the last trump” , when Christ returns at his second coming, our physical bodies will change to spiritual, the first-fruits of Christ’ first harvest. After that, at a time certain, will follow the latter-fruits of Christ’ second harvest. Everyone, “in his own order”  first was the man-Jesus, thefirst of first-fruits, who became immortal, then the rest of the firstfruits, and lastly the latter-fruits. The “fullness of the Gentiles”( , “…fullness of God will manifest and man’s deification will be completed for them, as well. When our physical body changes to spiritual, then will be fulfilled the covenant made in Genesis between the Father and Christ that man who was made in the image of God will have “dominion overall”( . Gen. 1:31  Gen.1:26  Mat. 6:26  Heb.1:4-13  John 19:7  Matt. 26:63-66  I John 3:12  I Pet. 1:12  Eph. 3:10  I Cor. 8:5  Ps. 82:1  Ps. 37:9  Micah. 4:5  Deut. 10:17  Eph. 3:20  Gen.3:19  Gen.1:26  James 4:14  I Cor. 15:49  Gen.2:23  I Cor. 15:45  I Cor. 15:47  John 8:23  Heb.1:5  Heb.5:5  Phil. 2:8  Rev.14:12  Heb. 12:2  IITim.3:15  Phil. 3:9  Heb 9:27  I Tim.2:5  Acts 16:23  I Cor. 15:45  Heb. 2:10  ICor. 15:55  John 16:7  Gen. 3:1-6  Gen. 3:22  Eccl.3:1  Lu.18:16  I Pet.2:2  I Cor.3:1-2  Heb.5:12-14  Gen.3:22  Isa.55:8  I Cor.15:21-22  I Pet.1:3  Acts 17:24  I Cor 3:16  II Cor 6:16  John 1:14  Ps. 104:30  I Cor 15:51  Rev. 3:14  Heb.12:2  Col. 1:15  I Cor. 3:10  Eph. 2:20-21  I Cor 15:52  I Cor. 15:23  Rom.11:25  Eph. 3:9  Gen. 1:26
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