Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move on the earth.” God created humankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.
We have shared on this earlier. Is God in the ‘image’ of Man? The answer is DEFINITELY NO!!!
Does Man look like God? How does God appear?
The Bible says that God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ:
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14).
This is the only time God became flesh and lived with man. Previously God had assumed a temporary physical form. There are eight recorded appearances in the Old Testament where God took upon Himself a physical form for a short duration. Three times He appeared as a man, once in a burning bush that was not consumed, and four times as the Angel of the Lord. Each time that this occurred it was in an extraordinary situation.
He Appeared To Hagar (Genesis 16:9-13)
Hagar was Abraham’s mistress, the mother of his son Ishmael. Hagar and Ishmael were banished from Abraham into the desert. As they were dying of thirst the Angel of the Lord appeared to Hagar to provide water for the survival of her and her young child. The Angel of the Lord that appeared to Hagar was God Himself:
Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, You-Are-The-God-Who-Sees; for she said, ‘Have I also here seen him who sees me?’ (Genesis 16:13).
God had a plan for Ishmael and his descendants. Therefore, He personally appeared to spare Ishmael.
God Appeared To Abraham And Sarah At Mamre (Genesis 18:1-33)
Three men appeared to Abraham and his wife Sarah at the plains of Mamre. They had come to inform Abraham and Sarah concerning two matters. The son that God had promised them would be born to Abraham and Sarah the next year, and the evil cities of Sodom and Gomorrah would be destroyed. One of the three visitors who gave them this information is designated as the Lord:
Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day (Genesis 18:1).
In this same passage this person is called the “Judge of all the earth” (Genesis 18:25). This is a title that belongs to God alone.
God Again Appeared To Abraham On Mount Moriah (Genesis 22:11-14)
God told Abraham to bring his son Isaac to Mount Moriah to be sacrificed. Abraham obeyed and was about to take Isaac’s life when God intervened. The Angel of the Lord stopped Abraham saying:
Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, seeing that you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me (Genesis 22:12).
He called a second time to Abraham:
By Myself I have sworn says the Lord (Genesis 22:15).
In this instance the Angel of the Lord, who called out to Abraham, was God.
The Lord Appeared To Jacob At Peniel (Genesis 32:24-43)
This account has the patriarch Jacob wrestling all night with a man who finally disabled him. The next morning Jacob realized that it was God Himself whom he had wrestled:
And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved (Genesis 32:30).
He Appeared To Moses In The Burning Bush (Exodus 3:2-4:17)
When Moses received his call from the Lord to lead the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage he saw a bush that was burning but not being consumed. A voice came from the bush identifying God’s presence:
God called to him from the midst of the bush and said . . . I am the God of your father-the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob (Exodus 3:4,6).
Because of the magnitude of the task Moses was about to undertake, God personally appeared to him by means of the burning bush. There is, however, no indication, one way or the other, whether the Lord assumed some type of physical form in the burn.
God Appeared To Gideon (Judges 6:11-24)
Gideon was a man who was called by God to raise an army to defeat the innumerable Midianites. Because Gideon was a timid person God paid him a visit to assure him that all would go well. After the encounter Gideon realized who had visited him:
Now Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord. So Gideon said, ‘Alas, O Lord God! For I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face’ (Judges 6:22).
He Appeared To Samson’s Parents (Judges 13:2-23)
The angel of the Lord appeared to a Jewish woman to announce the birth of a son who would deliver the people of Israel. Because of the importance of the mission God personally appeared to her.
When the Angel of the Lord appeared no more to Manoah and his wife, then Manoah knew that he was the Angel of the Lord. And Manoah said to his wife, we shall surely die, because we have seen God (Judges 13:21,22).
The Lord Was In The Fiery Furnace (Daniel 3:23-29)
The last recorded Old Testament appearance of God in a physical form was to the three young Hebrews in the fiery furnace. Nebuchadnezzar threw the three young men into the furnace because they refused to worship his golden image. God miraculously spared their lives. Nebuchadnezzar was astonished.
Look! he answered, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God (Daniel 3:25).
Scripture records that on eight different occasions during the Old Testament period God took on a human-like form. Some of these appearances were as the Angel of the Lord. They include an appearance to Hagar – the mistress of Abraham. The Lord also appeared to Abraham and Sarah at Mamre. There was also an appearance to Abraham at Mount Moriah. Scripture also records an appearance to Jacob at Peniel. The Lord made a special appearance to Moses in a burning bush. On this particular occasion Scripture does not speak of any physical form – merely that the Lord appeared. The Lord did appear in a human-like form to Gideon. We also find him appearing to the parents of Samson. Finally, the Lord appeared with the three young Hebrews in the fiery furnace.
These eight brief appearances of God in a physical form teach us several things: When an extraordinary situation occurs God is willing to personally appear. These occurrences set a precedent. Since God appeared on these occasions for a short duration during the Old Testament period it set the stage for Him coming in the person of Jesus Christ to live upon the Earth.
Many questions arise. Were those God? or messengers of God?
What even complicates this further is that in the same Scripture it says
“No one has ever seen God, but the One and only Son, Who is Himself God and is in closest relationship with The Father, has made Him known.”
“No man hath seen God at any time. If we Love one another, God dwelleth in us, and His Love is perfected in us.”
1 John 4:12
Can God be seen face to face (Genesis 32:30; Exodus 33:11) or not (Exodus 33:20; John 1:18; 1 John 4:12)?
At first, one might think this is among the greatest of alleged contradictions, for its form mimics the Law of Non-contradiction. A contradictionist may say, “We’ve got a good one on you because Acannot equal not-A, and these verses show that God can both be seen face to face and not.” But sometimes people fail to realize the rest of the Law of Non-contradiction that states, “A cannot equal not-A at the same time and in the same relationship.”
Usually, when I see two verses allegedly in contradiction so close together in context, e.g. Exodus 33:11 and Exodus 33:20, then the context will be significant in helping us reveal there is a different time or relationship, hence not in contradiction. And this is exactly the case here. Between Exodus 33:11 and Exodus 33:20, Moses and the Lord are speaking, but a change in relationship occurs in verses 18 and 19. The greater context of this is shown:
At this point, the relationship has changed to signify that Moses asked to see the Lord in His glory! Not the typical face to face as revealed to sinful humans and as had already been revealed to Moses. Then, the Lord informed Moses that if any man saw Him face to face (in His glory), then they would die (see also 1 Corinthians 1:29).
The context of John 1 reveals a similar situation of God in His glory:
John discusses God’s fullness (hence, His glory) in verse 16 and points out that no one has seen God (in this fullness), but Christ, who declares Him (who was God in humbled flesh, according to Philippians 2:8 and the earlier context of John 1). The verse in 1 John 4:12 restates John’s previous statement and is, thus, not in contradiction, but consistent as well.
Hence, there is no contradiction, as God can speak face to face with men, but not while in all His glory; otherwise, sinful man would die.
The Bible provides us with many signs that reveal where are we are on the biblical timeline. A previous study titled, “Prophecy of The Future”provides a summary of the future, but here is a brief overview of the future events. In brief, the Bible reveals that the universe is quickly approaching the end of time and the removal of Christians from the earth (the Rapture) is the next major event. The rapture occurs before the Tribulation. Following the Rapture is the Tribulation Period, seven years that end with the Second Coming of Christ which will usher in a 1,000 year kingdom on the earth. The Rapture occurs when Christ comes to remove Christians. Next comes the Tribulation Period which begins with 3.5 years of peace followed by 3.5 years of terror. Then the Second Coming of Christ occurs, followed by a worldwide 1,000 year kingdomwhich will be ruled by Christ.
Signs of the End Time – Given by Christ
In Matthew 24:3 Jesus’ disciples asked what are signs of His return and the end of the age.
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” Matthew 24:3 (NASB)
Then in verses 4-28 Jesus gave them a long list of signs. Verses 4-8 are the initial signs. Verses 9-14 provide us with more serious signs that will occur before the rapture.
Verse 5 – Individuals claiming they are Christ
Verse 6 – Wars and rumors of wars
Verse 7 – Famines and earthquakes
Verse 9 – Christians will be persecuted
Verse 10 – Christians will be betrayed
Verse 11 – Many false prophets will appear
Verse 12 – Lawlessness will increase and people will become more unloving
Verse 14 – The gospel will spread to every part of the earth
Verses 15-28 give us signs of things that will occur in the last half of the Tribulation Period.
Verse 15 – Abomination of desolation occurs.
Verse 21 – Great tribulation is in process
Verses 29-30 describes the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
Signs of the End Time – From Other Parts of the Bible
There are ten other signs that are given in Scripture that either agree with those given by Jesus or are in addition to those given to the disciples. The following chart summarizes these signs or prophesies.
Destruction of Jerusalem
One of the earliest signs was the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army because they had rejected Jesus Christ. This prophecy was given by Jesus.
For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation. Luke 19:43-44 (NASB)
In Daniel 12:7 the prophet prophesied that Israel would be shattered. This is the identical prophecy that Jesus gave.
Kingdom Is Still Future
In A.D. 90-100, the apostle John writes,
And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 1 John 2:28 (NASB)
It is clear from His words that Christ has not yet come. He wrote this verse after Jerusalem was destroyed and the nation of Israel was shattered. Those who are Preterists claim that Jesus came at the destruction of Jerusalem, but both Scripture and the early church disagree. Also in Luke 17:22 Christ told the disciples that they would not see the kingdom.
And he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will desire to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. Luke 17:22 (NASB)
This further reveals that the rapture, tribulation, Second Coming of Christ and the kingdom did occur before A.D. 95.
Israel Must Return to the Land
Isaiah 11:11 reveals that the nation of Israel was prophesied to return to the land and that occurred in 1948.
In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. Isaiah 11:11 (NASB)
There are many other prophesies about Israel returning to the land in the minor prophets and especially in the book of Zechariah (Hosea 3:4-5; Micah 2:12; Zephaniah 3:20; Zechariah 2:6-13; 10:1-8; 12:1-9; 14:1-21).
Knowledge Would Increase
For example, Daniel 12:4 prophesied that knowledge would increase.
But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase. Daniel 12:4 (NASB)
It is obvious to any adult that knowledge is not just increasing today, it is exploding.
Peace In Israel
The major sign that we are waiting for is peace in Israel. This must occur according to the prophecy of Daniel 9:27.
And he shall make a strong covenant with many for one week, and for half of the week he shall put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall come one who makes desolate, until the decreed end is poured out on the desolator. Daniel 9:27 (NASB)
The tribulation period will occur after the peace treaty of Daniel 9:27 occurs. It is important to note that a peace treaty might occur in the Middle East that is not the peace treaty described in Daniel 9:27. Once this peace treaty occurs, the temple in Israel can then be built. Then Christ’s prophecy (Matthew 24:15) and Daniel’s prophecy (Daniel 9:27) about the abomination of desolation can occur since a temple will exist.
In summary, we are waiting for a peace treaty to occur in the Middle East that includes peace for Israel. That was prophesied by Daniel 9:27. Once this occurs, the rapture will occur and the tribulation will start. It is possible that the rapture occurs before the peace treaty since it comes like a thief in the night. Either way, the world will be a miserable place in which to live as all the demonic forces and the nations of the earth literally attack Christians and the nation of Israel.
This brings us to the question: Why are we?
The answer to this is key to very many revelations.
This question has both plagued and challenged mankind for generations. Is there an ultimate answer, or is it all about mission statements and self-determination? If we are willing to accept the Bible as truth, then we know the answer to “where did we come from?” According to Scripture, we were created by God. So the next question is…why? After all, He is God, and as such, He certainly doesn’t need us for anything — so why did He create us?
Why Are We Here? What the Bible Says
“Why are we here?” is a question that can best be answered by looking at how the Bible explains it. Beginning in Genesis Chapter 1, we read that after each phase of creation, God “saw that it was good.” According to Scripture, once He completed creating the heavens and the earth, the plant life and all the animals, He created man:
So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them (Genesis 1:27).
This tells us what God did, but still doesn’t explain exactly why He did it. We read on and discover that He spoke well of the male and female and showed His pleasure by entrusting them with His creation:
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth,
As part of His blessing, He gave us stewardship over the earth and its other life forms:
and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so (Genesis 1:28-30).
At the end of Genesis Chapter 1, we read how He felt about his completed creation:
And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day(Genesis 1:31).
Why Are We Here? The Logical Conclusion
Why are we here? God created us because it pleased Him to do so. This message is consistent throughout the pages of Scripture, and nowhere said more succinctly than by the Apostle John in Revelation 4:11, where he has a vision of Heaven and witnesses the four elders prostrate before the Lord of all Creation, saying:
Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
We are created for His pleasure. From the first page of Scripture to the last, that message is clear. We are created for His pleasure. Further, the Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 1:16: For by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him.
If we accept that all this is true, and that any other answer is both illogical and devoid of hope, then the next question to ask is – what do we do about it? Or more to the point, what do you and I do about it?
Why Am I Here? Making it Personal
Having concluded that mankind exists to please God, the challenge becomes personal. What do I do about it? How can I, me, one person – possibly please such a big, huge, infinite God? The Bible gives us those answers too. For now, we can rest in this truth – none of us is here by accident. We were planned and wanted by our Heavenly Father from before the beginning of time (Psalm 139).