The first chapter of Genesis narrates about how God created the birds after the bird kind, the cattle after the cattle kind, and so forth—and even plants reproducing after their own kinds (Genesis 1:11, 21, 24). When a person gives a speech, as all good speech instructors will teach, giving a specific purpose statement near the beginning is vital to focus the speech, not just for the speaker, but also for the audience. God gives His specific purpose statement less than one-tenth of one percent of the way into the Bible, when He says in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness." The word for "God" in this verse is elohim, a Hebrew word that is plural in form but can be used in a group sense like the English word "church" or "team," which describe a number of people forming one unit. Elohim, we could say, is a "kind." According to God Himself, mankind was created "after the God-kind."
Adoption can be a wonderful thing, but humanity is much more than adopted. God has actually sired us! Luke writes in Luke 3:38 that "Adam [was] the son of God." Some say that adopted children are special because they were chosen by their parents, but the Bible says that more than being just the physical offspring of God, Christians have been chosen by God before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4). That is an incredible idea to consider.
The human body has between 50-100 billion cells. Almost all of them are duplicates of the original fertilized egg, although some are specialized to perform certain tasks. Nevertheless, through a process called mitosis, the mother cell divides, forming two daughter cells, a process that occurs over and over and over again. However, with reproductive cells, the egg and the sperm, the process is different. In meiosis, when the cell divides, it forms four new cells instead of two. Each of the new cells has half of the chromosomes of the original mother cell, and additionally, when the new cells form, the number of their possible chromosomal combinations is more than 8 million! And that is only with the egg; the same is true for the sperm. This means that who we are, specifically, works out to be a one-in-64-trillion possibility! How is that for selective breeding?
Returning to the original thought, nothing produces offspring that is destined to be something different from its parent; it is a law of nature. In fact, Webster's Dictionary tells us that one of the definitions of reproduction is "the process among living organisms by which new individuals of the same kind are generated."
In John 3:3-8, Jesus relates a Christian's life, upon spiritual regeneration, to the process of being born into a new life. He says that in order to enter into the Kingdom of God, we must be born again. The apostle Paul, writing about the same thing, says that we become a new creation (II Corinthians 5:17). In I Corinthians 15:47-49, Paul writes that, as we have borne the image of the first man, Adam, "we shall bear the image of the heavenly man," Jesus Christ.
Job knew that he needed to be changed, saying in 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." This hope helped him to have the patience and faith to endure his many trials. David knew that he would be resurrected in the likeness of God, as he writes in Psalm 17:15: "As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness." And of course, the apostle John says that although we do not know exactly what we will be like, when our change comes, "we shall be like [Christ], for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2).
Quoting Psalm 8:4-6, Hebrews 2:5-9 says that man was made for a little while (margin) lower than the angels. In the Hebrew of Psalm 8, the word "angels" is elohim, which indicates that David referred, probably not to angels, but to God. After stating this, the apostle goes on to remind us that Jesus Christ is the "Captain" of our salvation (Hebrews 2:10). This word "captain" is archegos, one who leads the way so that others may follow the same path. In an army, is the private, corporal, or sergeant any less of a human being than a lieutenant, captain, or even a general? Of course, the answer is "no." The soldier has less skill and authority than his superior officers, but they are just as human as he is. What is more, in keeping with the analogy, the soldier has the potential of someday becoming an officer.
The place of my employment is another example. I work in a hospital, with doctors, nurses, nurse's aides, secretaries, housekeepers, and a myriad of other staff. At work, the doctors, nurses, and just about everybody else has more authority than me, but that does not make me one drop less of a human being. This is the way it will be in the Kingdom of God. God has and will always have supreme authority, and at His right hand, Christ is second-in-command. Everybody else will fit perfectly somewhere into the framework of how that Kingdom functions—but we will not be anything less than elohim—of the God-kind—any more than one human being is less than another.
Jesus Christ is the King of kings and Lord of lords. The prophecy in Revelation 5:9-10 says that God has made men to be kings and priests to God and that they shall reign on the earth. Christ gives the most conclusive proof that we will be much more than angels when He says in Revelation 3:9 that He would make those who persecuted the faithful members of His church to worship before their feet. To worship anything less than God is idolatry, and certainly Christ is not condoning that, something He condemns elsewhere in the same book (Revelation 22:15).
God's Kingdom is a Family. God is the Father, Jerusalem above is our Mother (Galatians 4:26), Jesus Christ is "the firstborn among many brethren" (Romans 8:29), and we are His sisters and brothers (Mark 3:31-35). When we are changed to spirit at the resurrection from the dead, we will be fully members of the God Family, Elohim. Truly, this is the highest expression of "like father, like son."
- John Reiss
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