|The Incredible Human Potential
HOW God Planned to Reproduce Himself!
I have covered the reason WHY God decided to create MAN and put the human family on the earth. But HOW could so AWESOME an undertaking ever be brought about?
Few, indeed, have the slightest concept of what was involved. Few humans today have the slightest realization of the magnitude of miraculous occurrences and divine planning required so that this HUMAN LIFE each of us enjoys could be made possible.
In the previous chapter I mentioned that the question might be asked, "Could not God have known, in advance, what Lucifer would do?" The answer was NO! But assuredly God did know Lucifer's rebellion and the sin of the angels on earth was a possibility.
And, knowing of that possibility, did God wait until after that earth-wide cataclysm occurred before any thought of creating MAN entered His mind? And again the answer is a definite NO! He did not wait until that tragic cataclysm to begin planning the reproduction of His own kind.
Let me give an illustration. I fly in a Gulfstream-II jet aircraft. Its human designers realized the possibility of different parts or systems failing. So they designed and installed what is called a "fail-safe" system. If a certain part goes wrong, another part or system takes over immediately — and in some cases, even a third part or system. If human designers plan ahead in case of a mechanical failure, how much more would the GREAT CREATOR GOD have planned ahead in the event Lucifer and the angels sinned! Undoubtedly God planned ahead. He knew, before the creation of the earth, that angels, with independent powers of thinking, reasoning, choosing, forming opinions and decisions, could rebel and turn to iniquity. His great PURPOSE required Him to allow this!
Perhaps that was a reason why He created MATTER — the entire physical universe. Matter, with its many properties — such as organic and inorganic matter, force, energy, inertia, gravity, etc., provided material by which He could form MAN in a mortal state, as the means by which He might reproduce Himself.
At this point, we need to KNOW STILL MORE about our Creator GOD! And we need to know WHY almost no one today has had the faintest idea of such a colossal, supremely AWESOME project going on!
Only ONE God — More Than One Person!Let me try to make this most wonderful truth of all time PLAIN!
First, go back once again to the very first words in God's revelation of knowledge to us: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."
God inspired Moses to write those words in Hebrew, not in the English words above. I repeat, the Hebrew name translated "God" is Elohim. It is a uniplural word, like the words family, church, group, team. One family, but composed of more than one person. ONE church, but composed of more than one member. ONE group, but unless composed of more than one person, it would not be a group. One athletic team, but composed of two, five, six, nine, eleven or more players — besides a number of substitutes.
This former Lucifer, who became Satan, has so cleverly DECEIVED all humanity that almost no one today knows that God is, actually, a Divine FAMILY. One Family. God IS a Family. That Family is ONE GOD.
Satan has deceived people into almost every other belief. Perhaps the largest number have been deceived into believing God is a "trinity" — God in THREE persons — LIMITING God to three persons and misrepresenting the HOLY SPIRIT, which flows from God and from Christ, to be a single person.
Others think of God as ONE PERSON ONLY.
But notice, again, in the New Testament, John 1:1-5, 14:
"In the beginning was the Word." Sounds similar to Genesis 1:1, doesn't it? In Genesis 1:1, it is: "In the beginning God." But the English name GOD in Genesis 1:1 is translated from the Hebrew Elohim, meaning more than one person forming ONE God. In John 1, the word "Word" in English is translated from the original inspired Greek word logos, which means "word," "spokesman," "revelatory thought," as a being or person.
The next words in John 1,''... and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (verses 1-4).
This "Logos" was a person. This person existed "from the beginning" the same as God. He ALWAYS self-existed. He existed with God. And He, also, was God. He is and was a person. God, whom He was WITH, is also a person. They both coexisted forever. "All things" (words elsewhere translated "the universe") were made by Him — the Word — the Divine Spokesman.
But now notice verse 14: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." This, of course, is speaking of Jesus Christ. In the human flesh, He was begotten of God the Father, the only one ever so begotten (before human birth).
At the time of this begettal and human birth "the Word" became the Son of God.
The Father, from heaven, said of Jesus, "Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." Jesus, praying, called God "Father" — "Father and Son" — a FAMILY relationship. The Church, at the resurrection to immortal SPIRIT life, is to MARRY the resurrected and glorified Christ (Eph. 5:25-28). So we have here a FAMILY relationship — father, son, husband and wife. And the "wife" is to be composed of born children of God.
I personally have been the father of a FAMILY. My family name is Armstrong. My first wife and I lived together fifty years until her death. I have a son, Garner Ted. My son is also ARMSTRONG, just as Jesus, the Word, was God, and yet He was with God. Our family name is ARMSTRONG. All members of the family also were named Armstrong. When our daughters married, they started each the forming of another family, and they took the name of the husband who became the father of that family. But each family is only ONE family.
Likewise, there is but ONE God — but GOD is the family name, and there is more than one person in the ONE Family.
CHRIST the Maker of AllGOD is CREATOR. But GOD is the divine FAMILY. How can the Father of the Family be Creator, and Christ also Creator? In Ephesians 3:9 it is written that God the Father "created all things [the UNIVERSE] by Jesus Christ." And Christ is "the Word" — the Spokesman. Speaking of Him, we read in Psalm 33, "By the word of the Eternal were the heavens [universe] made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.... For he spake, and it was done" (verses 6, 9).
I will illustrate. In January 1914, I was sent by a national magazine to interview Henry Ford in Detroit When I first saw him, he was just outside the door of the huge Ford factory. He was wearing a business suit, not workman's overalls. He was the MAKER or manufacturer of the Ford cars. He made them BY his thousands of employees, whom I saw in overalls at work inside the factory. The employees used machinery and the POWER of electricity. Likewise, God the FATHER is CREATOR. He created BY Jesus Christ, the "workman" who SPAKE, and it was done by the POWER of the Holy Spirit. But Jesus said plainly that He "spake" only as the Father commanded Him.
Notice Colossians 1: Speaking of the Father (verse 12) and "his dear Son" (verse 13), "who is the image of the invisible God that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things consist" (verses 15-17).
Jesus Christ, prior to human birth, had existed with the Father — ALWAYS, ETERNALLY!
Just HOW Did God Plan to Reproduce Himself?From eternity the Father and the WORD who became Jesus Christ had co-existed. They had created angels — probably many millions of them. A third of them, under Lucifer, were put on the earth at its creation. God set His GOVERNMENT over them, with Lucifer on the throne. Lucifer rejected God's government. He and the angels became DISQUALIFIED — the GOVERNMENT OF GOD was no longer being administered on earth — and the earth had become waste, empty, in decay, and in darkness.
Were there, prior to this, more than just the TWO — God and the Word — in the GOD FAMILY? God reveals no more. Was the "Word" the Son of God, and was God His Father at that time? They are nowhere referred to as that.
To have been the Son of God at that prehistoric time, God would of necessity have existed prior to the Son's birth. The Son, had that been the case, would have come into existence at time of such birth. But the "Logos" — the Word — had, like God, eternally self-existed.
Consider, now, the truly AWESOME project God set out to accomplish — to REPRODUCE HIMSELF!
It is probable that, prior to this time, no form of life had ever been created with the reproductive process. Probably the very first example of reproductive life was that of plant life — at the time God was renewing the face of the earth (Gen. 1:11-12).
God had created the physical universe before placing the angels on the earth. God had created MATTER containing properties so that marvelous things may be done with it. There is both organic (living) and inorganic (inert — dead) matter. In matter are such properties as energy, gravity, inertia. Awesome powers, such as the hydrogen bomb, may come from it. The existence of MATTER offered God what He needed to reproduce Himself. After creation of reproductive plant life, God created animal life with the reproductive process, each reproducing after its own kind — cattle after the cattle kind, horses after the horse kind, etc.
But now God (Elohim) said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness [form, shape] ..." (Gen. 1:26), in other words, AFTER THE GOD KIND.
God had created angels out of SPIRIT. But now, for His own reproductive purpose, MATTER offered God the properties He needed.
And so....the ETERNAL God formed man of the dust of the ground" — out of MATTER (Gen. 2:7).
IF and WHEN Man SinnedAt this point we must consider a basic principle of GOD'S GOVERNMENT. The state can never be without a head. God placed Lucifer on the throne of the earth. He was no longer administering the GOVERNMENT OF GOD — he was now disqualified — but he (his name now changed to Satan) must remain on that throne until his successor has qualified and also been inducted into office. The very fact that Satan was there to tempt the first humans — that he is, even now, "the god of this world" (II Cor. 4:4) and "the prince of the power of the air" (Eph. 2:2) — is sufficient evidence of this basic principle of the GOVERNMENT OF GOD.
More than this, once the earth became inhabited by those in rebellion against the government of God — once that government ceased to function — it became necessary for someone to qualify as successor to Lucifer (now Satan) — and in order to qualify to restore the government and WAY of God, the successor must actually reject and/or turn from Satan's WAY!
More, those who are to reign WITH Christ, must also qualify by turning from or rejecting Satan's way, overcoming that way, and actually living under the WAY of God's Law.
Knowing this, God knew the inevitability that Satan would tempt the first created MAN to disbelieve God and commit sin. If the super archangel and all his angels had been led into rebellion, how much more certain that man, made lower than the angels, would also sin!
Can you visualize God and with Him the Word (also God — of the God FAMILY) planning this supreme feat of their creative power? The Word volunteered to give up temporarily the supreme POWER and GLORY He had possessed always (John 17:5), to divest Himself of all that, to be begotten by God, born in human flesh for the purpose of death (Heb. 2:9). Since God delegated the actual MAKING of man to the Word, He, when physically born as a human being, for the purpose of death, would, in that death, be giving a life of greater value than the sum total of ALL HUMAN LIVES — since He was their MAKER. And, being DIVINE as well as human — being God as well as man, He in the person of Christ, would be able to avoid sinning. Then He, who NEVER sinned, although tempted in all points just like the rest of us humans, in death could PAY in our stead THE PENALTY WE HAVE INCURRED.
By creating MAN out of physical matter, being mortal, man could DIE. So man's penalty for sin was DEATH. ("For the wages of sin is DEATH; but the GIFT of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" — Rom. 6:23.)
God the Father would have power to resurrect Christ to immortal life from the dead — thus making a resurrection to immortal Spirit-composed life possible for humans.
So, God's master plan for accomplishing His PURPOSE took form and shape. IF man sinned — as all but Jesus have — it could thus be possible for him to REPENT — to turn FROM sinning to be reconciled to God and to live GOD'S WAY OF LIFE. In other words, to turn to the GOVERNMENT OF GOD, accept its rule over his life, accept Christ as his Savior and coming KING. And He, Christ, would qualify to REESTABLISH the GOVERNMENT OF GOD ON THE EARTH!
But what if sinning man refused to repent — to turn FROM Satan's way and to let the GOVERNMENT OF GOD rule in his life? Then there would be the second death for any or all such (Rev. 20:14) — when they would cease to exist — be as if they had never been (Obadiah 16).
But was this, that I have just covered above, all that God (in the persons of God AND the WORD) had to consider? No. Far from it!
The plan was to make MAN out of physical substance. But how would God reproduce Himself or bring perhaps millions upon millions into the GOD FAMILY?
This necessitated that God's very own LIFE — Divine GOD-life — be imparted. God IS a Spirit — composed of Spirit.
And yet this is made possible only after God's own holy, righteous and perfect CHARACTER has been wrought in each human — by that human's repentance and faith — during this earthly mortal life.
What a marvelous plan God conceived. He would form man of physical MATTER — So that, if man totally failed, he could be as though he had never been. So God made man of PHYSICAL substance, formed and shaped like God so that man could be converted — changed from matter into Spirit composition at a resurrection — a Spirit-composed member of the GOD FAMILY.
Can your mind grasp what matchless wisdom, power of designing and planning, made our transcendent human potential possible?
God first formed PLANT life — the flora. This was living matter reproducing itself, but without self-consciousness — without brain. Next God created the fauna — animal life, in which He placed BRAIN, with a certain consciousness, yet without the thinking, reasoning, decision-making processes. But MAN, to be reproduced into the GOD FAMILY, was designed to have a GODLY type MIND, ability to think, reason, make choices and decisions — develop God-like CHARACTER.
How could all this be done? Actually the brain of an elephant, a whale or a dolphin is virtually equal in complexity, design and quality and larger in size than human brain. The chimpanzee's is also virtually equal, but slightly smaller in size. WHY, then, is the human MIND so transcendently superior to animal brain?