Book: Why Were You Born?

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Central to the purpose of God in creating mankind is the astonishing truth about the nature of God—that God is a Family! Prior to Jesus’ coming, this vital knowledge was “hidden from ages and generations.”

While God is eternal and composed of spirit, there is something about the fundamental nature of the Godhead that goes unnoticed by most: God is plural in nature—i.e., there is more than one Eternal Being in the Godhead. The first allusion to this fact is found in Genesis one. In creating man, God said, “Let US make man in Our image, after Our likeness…” (Gen. 1:26). Notice the plurality—who are the Us speaking here?

 

The Hebrew Elohim—A Vital Key

The first clue is found in the word “God.” The English word God is translated from the Hebrew word Elohim, which is a plural noun. This word reveals essential knowledge concerning the nature of God. 1 Like English plural nouns, Hebrew plural nouns refer to more than one person or thing. As the plural noun “men” inherently means more than one man, Elohim means more than a single God Being. A number of passages in the Old Testament confirm the existence of more than one Divine Being (Gen. 1:26; 11:7; Psa. 110:1; 45:7-8; Dan. 7:13).

In fact, the Scriptures reveal that there are two who are Elohim. In the Old Testament, one Elohim is the God Who is called “the Most High” (Gen. 14:22) and the “Ancient of Days” (Dan. 7:13). In the New Testament He is revealed as “God the Father.” The other Elohim in the Old Testament is the God Who is called the “LORD God” and the “Almighty God.” This is the God Who later became Jesus, the Christ of the New Testament.

These fundamental truths are verified by the apostle John, who writes, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not even one thing came into being. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.... [And] the Word was made flesh, and tabernacled [temporarily dwelt] among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1-4, 14). This substantiates that the “LORD God” of the Old Testament became the “Word” or Jesus Christ of the New Testament, (Matt. 1:21, 25).

The apostle Paul calls Jesus “God manifested in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16), and notes that He is actually the Creator of all things: “Because by Him [Jesus] were all things created, the things in heaven and the things on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether they be thrones, or lordships, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all, and by Him all things subsist” (Col. 1:16-17). In fact, Paul uses the entire book of Hebrews to demonstrate that Jesus was indeed the God of the Old Testament and is now the very Son of God: “But we see Jesus, Who was made a little lower than the angels [made flesh and blood], crowned with glory and honor on account of suffering the death [by crucifixion, for the sin of the world], in order that by the grace of God He Himself might taste death for everyone; because it was fitting for Him, for Whom all things were created, and by Whom all things exist, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the Author of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:9-10). 

The New Testament clearly teaches that Jesus was with God and was God before He became flesh. Thus, Jesus existed from the beginning and was the Elohim, or God, of the Old Testament Who became God manifested in the flesh. He was sent to earth by the Father, the other Elohim of the Old Testament—“the Most High God” (Psa. 57:2; 78:56).

Indeed, the God Who appeared to all the patriarchs and Who led the children of Israel out of Egypt was the Elohim Who became Jesus the Christ (Ex. 3:6-8; I Cor. 10:4). The God Who later became the Father never revealed Himself to man in Old Testament times. In fact, God the Father was not revealed until the coming of Jesus: “No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (John 1:18). Indeed, a major purpose of Jesus’ ministry was to reveal the Father: “No one knows the Son except the Father; neither does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son personally chooses to reveal Him” (Matt. 11:27).2

As we will see in greater detail later, the “Us” of Genesis 1:26 could not be understood until the time of Christ. In His prayer to God the Father, Jesus said, "That they all [the discipless of all time] may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in US…” (John 17:21). While most professing Christians believe that there are three Persons in the Godhead, there is clear evidence throughout the Bible that there are only two Beings who are God (see Appendix 4, Does the Bible Teach the Trinity?).

As we will see, this understanding of the nature of God is central to answering the question, “Why were you born?” It is vital to understand that the God of the Old Testament was made flesh and became Jesus, the Son of God. This is where the family aspect of the Godhead began! At Jesus’ birth, one Elohim became the Father while the other Elohim became His Son - thus, a Divine Family. Thus, it is written, "I will declare the decree of the LORD. He has said to Me, ‘You are My Son; this day I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I shall give the nations for Your inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel’ ” (Psa. 2:7-9).

As God in the flesh, Jesus was subjected to death—but through a resurrection, He was made spirit again, restored to His former eternal glory. As we will see in a later chapter, Jesus was in fact our “forerunner” or “trailblazer,” showing the way for man to also enter into that same glory.

 

God Is a Family

The key to understanding the awesome purpose for mankind is to understand first that God is actually a plurality of Being’s—a Divine Family— presently consisting of the Father and Christ. But God is expanding that family—and there will be others who will ultimately bear the family name! (Eph. 3:15).

When God created mankind, He said, “ ‘Let Us [God the Father and God the Son] make man in Our image, after Our likeness.’... And God [Elohim] created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him. He created them male and female” (Gen. 1:26-27). Thus, men and women are created in God’s image and likeness, to be like Him.

This language concerns family. Indeed, Genesis 5:3 says that Adam “begot a son in his own likeness, after his image.” It was after creating plants and animals to reproduce each “according to its kind” that God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness.” This shows that man was created according to the God kind. So God is essentially reproducing Himself through humanity!

God has given mankind attributes like His—of the “God kind.” David was inspired to write, “O LORD our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth.... When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have ordained, [I am compelled to ask,] What is man, that You are mindful of him? ... You have made him a little lower than God [Elohim]...” (Psa. 8:1-5).

Many translations of the Bible, includubg the King James Version, render this verse as “a little lower than the angels.” However, the Hebrew word Elohim, as used in this verse, refers to deities—not to angels. This word is used countless times in the Hebrew text in reference to the true God and to false gods. In every other occurrence in the KJV, Elohim is correctly translated “God” or “gods.” In Psalm 8:5, Elohim is clearly referring to the true God and should be translated accordingly. Green’s translation conveys the correct meaning of the text: “For You have made him lack a little from God.” 3

The correct translation of this verse reveals the tremendous potential of mankind! God made man in His image and likeness—but, as we have seen, of an inferior nature. We are a “little lower” than God—but only for a time!

Through direct creation, Adam was a son of God (Luke 3:38). Therefore, since we are descended from Adam, through procreation we are also the offspring of God. In the New Testament God reveals that on a spiritual level we are His children. He tells us, “ ‘I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,’ says the Lord Almighty” (II Cor. 6:18). Just as both men and women are God’s children through physical creation, so both can become God’s children through a spiritual process that results in them literally becoming spirit beings—composed of spirit through a special spiritual creation.

Although made of flesh, which is subject to sin and corruption, man has the potential—according to God’s plan—to receive the Holy Spirit of God. And as Jesus tells us we are to become holy and righteous as God is (Matt. 5:48). As we will see in a later chapter, all who attain to the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus the Christ will—by the resurrection from the dead—be born into the family of God as immortal spirit beings, composed of the same substance as God.

Indeed, just as all life was made to reproduce after its own kind, God patterned man after the “God kind.” It is God’s plan and desire to add to Their kind—to bring “many sons to glory” (Heb. 2:10). This is the ultimate purpose for which you were born!

In the following chapter, we will see that Jesus, the promised Messiah, came as God in the flesh. We will learn how and why the Eternal God—in the person of Jesus—died for man! 

 

Chapter 6 Notes:

1. Additional attributes of the nature of God: God is Spirit (John 4:24). God is eternal, ever-living and self-existent (Deut. 33:27; Isa. 40:28). God is holy (Isa. 57:15). God is love (I John 4:6, 16). God is truth (Deut. 32:4; Psa. 31:5; 33:4; Jer. 4:2; John 14:6). God is Light (I John 1:5). God is Creator (Gen. 1; John 1:1-4). God is Lawgiver and Judge (James 4:12; Isa. 33:22). God is a consuming fire (Heb. 12:29). God is the Savior of all (Psa. 106:21; Isa. 43:3; 45:21-22; 60:16; Hosea 13:4; John 4:42; I Tim. 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Tit. 1:3-4; 2:10, 13; 3:4, 6; I John 4:14). God is our Redeemer from sin (Psa. 19:14; Isa. 41:14; 49:26; I Pet. 1:18; Rev. 5:9). God is merciful (Psa. 103:8-18; 119:64). God is gracious (Psa. 86:15; 111:4; 112:4; 116:5; I Pet. 2:3; Rom 2:4). God is long-suffering (Rom. 2:4; I Tim. 1:16) and abundant in goodness (Psa. 31:19; 33:5; 107:8, 15, 21, 31). God is forgiving (Psa. 103:1-4; Acts 2:38; 3:19; Rom. 3:23-25).

2. These plain statements show that the God Who manifested Himself to men and women in Old Testament times was not God the Father. John adds to the evidence by recording these words of Jesus: “And the Father Himself, Who sent Me, has borne witness of Me. You have neither heard His voice nor seen His form at any time” (John 5:37).

The God Who walked and talked with Adam and Eve was not the Father. The God Who delivered the Ten Commandments to Moses and the children of Israel was not God the Father. The God Who spoke through the prophets was not the Father. No man has ever seen the Father, except Jesus: “And no one has ascended into heaven, except He Who came down from heaven, even the Son of man, Who is [now] in heaven [John recorded these words around 90 AD]” (John 3:13).

The Scriptures make it absolutely clear that the Lord God Who appeared to the patriarchs and the prophets of old was Jesus the Christ - not the Father. The words of Jesus Himself reveal that He preexisted as God before He became human. In His prayer to the Father after His last Passover, Jesus said: “I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self, with the glory that I had with You before the world existed” (John 17:4-5). 

3. J. P. Green, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English Bible

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