Universal Salvation: Let Us make man in Our Image Part Three
Just to recap the last paragraph: So "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness", involved bringing about conditions that would ensure that mankind would know, by experience, that evil has no part to play inside a life of perfection.
"...in Our image, according to Our likeness." This is why people believe that Adam and Eve were created perfect. They think that, because they were created in the image and likeness of God, that meant perfection. But how could it? Malachi 3:6 says "For I am the LORD, (YHWH) I do not change..." God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; and clearly, Adam and Eve were not. So how could 'image' and 'likeness' mean being created perfect at that time? They could not possibly have meant that. And if God were talking to Jesus, as we have suggested, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...", 'Image' and 'likeness' could not possibly have meant being created perfect, because Jesus Himself, was not perfect at that time. He was going to die, and He did not have free will. Being perfect means, in part, that it is impossible to die. If someone is perfect, he can not die - that is a non starter. So whatever plans God had made to take man up to perfection, they could not, and did not, include the death of God. If death were the price that had to be paid to redeem mankind once they had sinned, then God did not have that price within Him to pay. How could He? He was perfect, and therefore eternal. He could not possibly die.
What you do not know at this time, and which we are going to show you, is that if God had personally died on the cross, as the second Person of the Trinity, that would not legally justify taking anyone up to Universal Salvation - as full truth would not have been established. But that will come in a later article. So let us look at exactly what 'image' and 'likeness' do mean. Adam and Eve obviously had to be created with the potential of being perfect, just like clay has the potential of being made into a thing of great beauty. Therefore, if man were created with the potential of being perfect, God, as the Master Potter, was not only capable of, but also responsible for, taking him up to his full potential. A thing of great beauty. Universal Salvation - Perfection.
The Hebrew words for 'image' and 'likeness' cover, between them, every situation, from the likeness of God Himself, to just a mere pattern; also of shaping and forming what is made from that pattern. Clearly, Jesus at this time was not perfect; God was. Between them, they covered the full spectrum, from imperfection to perfection.
God's intention "..to make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" was twofold:
- To create Adam and Eve imperfect, as Jesus was at that time.
- To eventually take all of mankind up to perfection, as God was at that time.
Therefore "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..." covers everything from imperfection through Jesus, to perfection through God; which meant that God was free to create Adam and Eve imperfect, and then to go on to take them, and all of mankind, up to perfection. Again, very clever. Very clever indeed. And He could do it, although at that time, that was not proven. Job 42:2, speaking of God, says "I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You." God's purpose, or His intention, to create perfection from imperfection, could not fail. It was His intention from the very start.
Is anyone going to tell me He can not do it? Well, if He can do it, and does not, we have all got problems. If some are not going to be taken up to perfection by God, when He could take all up to perfection, sentencing some to eternal torment or eternal death, what sort of a mind are we dealing with? Certainly not a perfect one. God would be guilty by breach of duty, and both eternal torment and eternal death would be illegal on the grounds of love.
But all evidence is to the contrary. We have a record of this Person's actions over the last six thousand years and more. All the evidence points to the fact that He is a genuine, caring Person, and has our best interests at heart, which is love on His part. He is eternal, therefore He cannot give anything less than eternal life, nor does He want to. That is what He has to give, and that is what He is going to give. If He gives you life, and then, by creating evil, takes that life away (His doing), that is premeditated abortion; that is, aborting your life prematurely. While there is a legal case for the taking of life on a temporary basis, as part of a perfect plan, there is nothing that could justify even God taking life on a permanent basis. He would be breaking His own commandment to "love your neighbour as yourself."
So "Let Us make Man in Our Image, according to Our likeness..." is speaking of making everyone perfect as an end result - by creating them imperfect, subjecting them to wickedness, making full truth available, and thereby eventually setting all free. It was the only way possible for all of us to be perfect. Universal Salvation - eternal life for all, that is, life as God has it, with His nature and freewill, was God's intention from the very beginning.
Oh, but what about people who will not change? There is no such thing as people who will not change. Be sure to read our next article, "Universal Salvation! For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive."