GOD created man in the earth as a natural creature and gave him dominion over the plant and animal kingdom in which he was placed. In this station he is said to be created in the image of GOD; for, in the same fashion, in which GOD is the absolute sovereign over all creation, so man was given a measure of sovereignty over that which is natural. (see Gen 1: 26,27) In this limited fashion he can be said to be the head of that which is created, (i.e.; the crown jewel of that which is natural), and thus a “figure” or “image” of the one and only SOVEREIGN. He was created exactly as the CREATOR intended and fully completes the purpose for which he is ordained.
While we read of GOD creating man “in HIS image” we read of CHRIST being “the image of GOD” “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col 1:15) In the natural understanding it is impossible to conceive of HIM who is “invisible” as having an “image” or “visible likeness”. For this is a contradiction of terms. Yet by the revelation of HIS SPIRIT we understand that CHRIST is the “fullness of the GODHEAD bodily”. “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. (i.e.; manifested HIS PERSON)” (John 1:18) There is no manifestation of GOD, other than JESUS CHRIST, in which a man might behold the one true and living GOD. And when we behold HIM, we have seen the very face of GOD. This is the exact truth that HE taught to Philip. “Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:8-9)
Many have gone shipwreck in their declaration of the GODHEAD, by speaking of CHRIST JESUS, the SON of GOD as being created or occupying some lower level. Yet the scripture clearly declares that HE (the SON) has created all things. “For by him were all things created, 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.” (Col 1:16-17) HE is in no wise less than the eternal GOD nor is HE in anywise found to be in subjection except in HIS purpose of redemption, where HE has declared HIS desire to do HIS FATHER’s will in all things.
This forms the very basis of the message we desire to proclaim. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Php 2:5-11)
For indeed; “it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” (Col 1:19) GOD cannot be known by any other NAME; nor in any other person than HIM who has dwelt among men as the sin bearer of that people which HE has purposed to redeem. The religions which are designed and adhered to by men, describe many different pathways, names, and manners by which GOD may be worshipped, and through which men may approach unto GOD, but the declaration of the true gospel is that; “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) All who proclaim a different message most assuredly cannot be speaking of the one true and living GOD in whom all “fullness” (i.e.; perfection, completion) dwells, and the ONE who is acclaimed by the FATHER (“This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Mat 17:5)); and the SPIRIT, (“Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; ---. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.” (John 16:13-14)).
Some will surely say, “that is an extremely narrow view”. To which I would reply “it most certainly is.” The LORD JESUS, HIMSELF, spoke of it in this fashion, “Enter ye in at the strait (i.e.; narrow; restricted access) gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Mat 7:13-14) HE spoke of it again to HIS disciples; “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
Thus there can be no doubt that JESUS CHRIST, the only begotten SON of GOD, is the CREATOR and SOVEREIGN of heaven, earth, and hell. To present or represent HIM as anything or anyone less than this is to disparage HIS person and to defame HIS glory. It is the clear declaration of this truth which was hated by the Jews when HE walked among men in flesh and blood. This same message is hated, now, by all who are the enemies of the truth, as HE sits upon the throne of GOD as the rightful HEIR of that glory, and the TRIUMPHANT REDEEMER of that people which HE has purchased with HIS own blood.
HE changeth not, nor can HIS purpose be altered. HE is the same yesterday, today and forever. Yet now once in the end of the age HE has made HIMSELF known and caused the unfolding of HIS purpose to be declared in the earth to those HE has given ears to hear. HE has taken upon HIMSELF flesh and blood, being born of a virgin mother. HE has walked upon the earth being tempted (i.e.; tried) in the same fashion as all men are, yet without sin or failure of any sort. HE has been hated and reviled by mankind, demonstrating the natural desire of men to refrain from acknowledging HIS dominion over him as they attempt to preserve their own sovereignty. (i.e.; will worship) “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Rom 1:20-22)
HE has been crucified by wicked hands, laying down HIS own life, as an offering for sin. HE has had his body laid in a tomb for three days and nights, entering the abode of the dead. Yet that mortal grave could in no wise hold HIM because HE possesses the power of an endless life, being the “fullness of GOD”, and at the appointed moment awakened from the slumber of death, breaking its chains, and triumphing over it. HE passed from that tomb and had it opened for the world to see that HE is indeed the “fullness of GOD” the LIGHT of LIFE and immortality.
Just as HE told HIS disciples that these things would occur, HE met with them confirming HIS love for them, following HIS resurrection, for HE would leave, not one of those for whom HE prayed, in unbelief. HIS everlasting love for HIS elect testifies that HE is the “fullness of GOD.”
Then upon a Judean hillside, HE departed from those disciples ascending into the heavens wherein HE dwells until the time appointed when HE shall return to receive that which is HIS; even HIS Elect Bride, the church of GOD, “Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Eph 1:22-23) “That where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:3)mam