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We find that both these words Image and likeness are used interchangeably in the scriptures. In Gen.1:26 we find both words, yet in vs.27 we find only Image. In Gen.5:1 the word likeness is found. Gen.9:6 uses Image alone, and then when we come to the NT. we find in 1 Cor.11:7 Image alone is used and in Jms. 3:9 likeness is used.

What are the features that man was created in, that reflect his creator to be made in his image and likeness?

God is Spirit (Jn.4:24) he is invisible. When it states we were created in his image it does not mean that God is a physical being and that we are like him in that manner. This is unfortunately the misunderstandings of the Mormon church and even some evangelicals. In the Hebrew language Image tselem- is related to nature, the immaterial part of man. It means we have a spiritual nature like God in a finite way. likeness- Heb. Demuth does not mean in a physical sense. This means we have a spiritual nature like God, God is Spirit. The similarity is we have finite qualities like God.

Man has an eternal Spirit which can live on after the physical body dies. If mans image was physical, made in the image of God, Jesus would not have had to take the form of a man, he would have already possessed it. If man is an exact image, than is God both male and female ? Since man and women were both made in the image of God. Does God have a literal body as we, does he also have reproductive organs and bodily functions as we do! Does this mean Christ was a literal offspring of his Father as we also conceive children! Taking terms in their solid literal sense can sometimes make no sense at all. Especially when they are not intended to be interpreted that way.

“when Gentiles, who do not have the law , (moral) do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show the requirements of the law written in their hearts...” (Rom. 2:14-15). how are they able to do this? Because they still have the image of God in them , it may be distorted but there is enough alive for it to still operate.

Image means a personal likeness. God is a personal being so is man. There is also a moral likeness we were created in. God is Holy. Man, like his creator, had what is termed unconfirmed creature holiness in his original state in the garden. If Adam had not sinned this would have been passed on to his offspring. After Adam sinned the same nature of sin was passed on to all. When we experience the new birth the nature of holiness is instituted back again alongside the old nature. Being made in God's image also means communication with others. As God communicates within the Trinity, likewise man does with other people. Just as he exercises authority over the universe. God gave man authority over the earth and animals. There needs to be balance in understanding just how man was to reflect his image. D.E. Trueblood said “To say God is completely different from us is as absurd to say that he is completely like us”.

The new version of what Image means

Today we have many popular teachers who take this phrase” in his image” in a solid literal sense. These are the same Tele-evangelists who have a distorted teaching on Christ’s pre-existence and how he became man.

B.Hinn “…If you say , I am, your saying you’re a part of him, right ? Is he God ? are you his offspring? Are you his children? You can’t be human! You can’t, you can’t!” (Our position in Christ #2 1990 audio side 2)

“God came to earth and touched a piece of dust and turned it into a God. …Are you a child of God? Then you're divine! Are you a child of God? Then you're not human!” (Benny Hinn TBN, Dec 1, 1990).

“What was the appearance of God the Father? Like that of a man...God has the likeness of fingers and hands and a face.” (Good Morning Holy Spirit, p. 82, Benny Hinn, Word, 1991) 

“What does God the Father look like? Although I've never seen Him, I believe - as with the Holy Spirit - He looks like Jesus looked on earth.” (Benny Hinn, Good Morning Holy Spirit, p.87, Word, 1991) 

Copeland repeats the same misunderstandings, God is a “spirit-being with a body, complete with eyes, and eyelids, ears, nostrils, a mouth, hands and fingers, and feet.” (Kenneth Copeland ministry letter, 21 July 1977.) The Mormon Church has been teaching these doctrines for years. I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form- like yourselves, in all the person, image and very form as a man…. (J.Smith History of the Church vol.6 p.305)

“The image being that he was a copy, looked just like, if you stood Adam upside God they look just exactly alike...Now a lot of people have missed that...but that's exactly true...The image is that they looked just alike. But the likeness, is that they act alike, and they are alike...Now here's Adam in the image of God, and in the likeness of God. All of God's attributes, all of God's authority, all of God's faith, all of God's ability, was invested in that man.” (The Authority of the Believer IV, Tape #01-0304)

Creflo Dollar “When God made Adam all He did was make an exact imprint of Himself.  He duplicated Himself.  He was the image and from His image, came Himself....You are an exact duplicate of the image of God and God is a speaking spirit....God took a reflection of Himself and put it in a physical body formed out of the dust and gave him authority of all physical  things on the planet. So that like He was God in heaven, now He’s made Adam god of the earth... God wanted a god on the earth like He was God in heaven. And God said, I tell you what I’m going to do this time.  I’m going to have to reproduce Myself.  Like I’m God up here in heaven.  I’m going to make Me a god and put Myself in the physical body so that he can guard the earth and keep out all intruders in the earth. (speaking of Adam) he was all God.  He was just like God.” (Our Equality with God Through Righteousness 1/21/2001)  

  Charles Capps “God said, Let us make man in our image after our likeness. The word likeness in the original Hebrew means an exact duplication in kind...Adam was an exact duplication of Gods kind.”(Authority in three worlds pp.15-16)

Originally, God made the earth and the fullness thereof, giving Adam dominion over all the works of His hands. In other words, Adam was the god of this world.” (The Believer's Authority,p.19 2d ed. [Tulsa, OK: Kenneth Hagin Ministries, 1991])

Copeland speaking of Adam “his body and Adams were the exactly the same size.” (Holy bible K. Copeland Reference edition p.45)

K. Copeland speaking of God “A being that stands somewhere around 6-2 , 6-3 that weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of a couple of hundred pounds or a little better, has a span of 9 inches across (relating to his own hand span) (Spirit, soul and a Body 1985 audio # 01-0601 side 1)

Now lets look at those outside the evangelical church to the Mormons, a cult. “First God himself, who sits enthroned in yonder heavens, is a man unto one of yourselves, that is the great secret.” (J. Smith jr. Times and Seasons vol.5 p.613 Aug.15 1844)

“First, we believe that God is a being with a body in form like man's; that he possesses body, parts and passions; that in a word, God is an exalted, perfected man” { Brigham H. Roberts conference of the Mutual Improvement Associations of the Salt Lake Stake of Zion, August 18,1901, published in both the Deseret News and the Improvement Era}

Kenneth Hagin states, “[Man] was created on terms of equality with God, and he could stand in God's presence without any consciousness of inferiority...God made us as much like Himself as possible...He made us the same class of being that He is Himself...Man lived in the realm of God. He lived on terms equal with God...[The] believer is called Christ...That's who we are; we're Christ” (Zoe: The God-Kind of Life,   pp. 35-36, 41 1989)

K. Copeland “Gods reason for creating Adam was his desire to reproduce himself.” I mean a reproduction of himself. And in the garden of Eden he did just that. He was not a little like God, he was not almost like God, he was not subordinate to God even…Adam was as much like God as you can get, just the same as Jesus . Adam in the Garden of Eden was God manifested in the flesh.” (Following the faith of Abraham #01-3001 Audio side 1)

This sounds to similar to Brigham Youngs statement “Adam is our father and God.”( Brigham Young, Deseret News, 6/16/1873) “when our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body and brought Eve,… He is our father and our God and the Only god with whom we have to do. (Brigham young Journal of  Discourses, vol.1 p.50)

“God and man are of the same race, differing only in their degree of advancement” (Mormon Apostle, Dr. John Widtsoe Gospel Through the Ages, pg.107). All of these are distortions by Christians and Mormons are based on a misunderstanding of what image means. Cultic interpretations will continue to flourish in the fertile soil of misunderstanding. What is the most damaging is that it is accepted as a replacement for the truth the church has always believed.

Copeland states “Am I God? Man was created in the god class. not created in the animal class. He's in the god class. He has a uniqueness about him that even angels do not have. ...Now Peter said, by exceeding great and precious promises you become partakers of the divine nature. All right, are we gods? we are a class of gods.” (“Praise the Lord” (TBN), recorded 2/5/86)

Hinn says, “This spirit-man within me is a God-man. Say after me, he’s born of heaven, he’s a super-being…Say I’m born of heaven - God-man. I’m a God-man. I’m a sample of Jesus. I’m a super being. Say it! Say it! Who’s a super being? I walk in the realm of the supernatural. ( quoted in “Joel’s Army,” by Jewel van der Merwe, Discernment Ministries).

It seems to me that if Joseph Smith or Brigham Young were around today they would be well accepted by the Charismatics who teach likewise. Does teaching matter? We find that it is teaching that distinguishes Christianity from the cults.

Looking at who’s image Christ is in, Col.1:15 “He is in the image of the invisible God.” Christ alone is this image. Man will not be  what Christ is in his nature, even when we are glorified.

The Greek word for image is eikon indicating a perfect image. It is related to his nature and substance, It is a spiritual image. Meaning he is the very substance and nature of God. In Jn.14 when Jesus used the expression “if you have seen me you have seen the Father” he is meaning that as the Son he is expressing his nature. Making the Father known. Meaning he is the very substance and nature of God. An exact reproduction we can see, because before that he states no man has seen the Father.

Heb.1:3 “who's being the brightness of his glory and express image of his person .

He is the perfect representation of another person therefore he too is a person of like nature. Jesus is the exact image, the word used is an illustration of an engraving tool that would stamp its impression on a coin or seal. It bears the image produced by it having the exact reproduction of the original. Yet the image is not the same identity as the seal. Neither is the Son the identical person as the Father except in his nature.

In Rom. 8:29 we are told that we are “to be conformed to the image of his Son.” This is a continual process even though it was started the time we were born again. When we a renewed we don't become God nor will we be exactly like him in the resurrection. We are creatures and will stay this way. We shouldn't strive to be something we clearly are not . If the faith teachers would learn from the mistakes of the cults they wouldn't be so prone to repeat them!


I'm rich!    



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