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man's destiny to become god

Man’s Destiny
to Become God Like Jesus Christ

by Paul W. Syltie, Ph.D.

CONSIDER THESE CITATIONS FROM GOD’S WORD:

“Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God? Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed [that is, Jesus Christ], we shall be like* Him, for we shall see Him as He is(I John 3:1-2).

*Like (Strong 3664) = homoios, similar (in appearance or character).

Since Jesus Christ is like the Father (“He who has seen Me has seen the Father”: John 14:9) and is now sitting on the Father’s throne (Romans 8:34), so the saints will be like Christ, sitting on the Father’s throne in heaven (Revelation 3:21).

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal* with God but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of man” (Philippians 2:5-7).

*Equal (Strong 2470) = isos, similar, in kind or amount.

“Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal* with God” (John 5:18).

*Equal (Same as above).

“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one even as We are one” (John 17:22).

IF THESE SCRIPTURES EXCITE YOU TO REALIZE YOUR AWESOME, GOD-GIVEN FUTURE, THEN THIS PAPER IS FOR YOU!

Man’s Destiny
to Become God Like Jesus Christ

 

by Paul W. Syltie, Ph.D.

Why were you born?

Were you put here on the earth to live out your life like an animal, created out of happenstance, with no future or hope … only to exercise the senses and somehow gain meaning in life through the ignorance of worldly wisdom?

Is your destiny to transcend the physical, or does your life make no more sense than a cork floating on the ocean, bobbing up and down for a season, carried along in any pointless direction by capricious currents and winds?

Obviously, Christians believe the truth that has been hidden from ages and generations …

“… but now has been revealed to His saints, to them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:26-27).

Not only do Christians understand this basic truth of a resurrection from the dead, but even many non-Christians perceive through common sense the existence of God … and if the existence of God then the eternal spirit world as well:

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest to them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they [the unrighteous] are without excuse …” (Romans 1:18-20).

Not only is the truth of the spirit world’s — and God’s — existence manifested to all of mankind, but a future existence of the righteous is revealed as well. This truth is made known throughout God’s word, the hope of life everlasting which Adam and Eve first lost (Genesis 3:19), but which has been promised to the elect who will inherit salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ … the sacrifice of the perfect for the imperfect.

It is not the purpose of this paper to review the truth of God’s word concerning the resurrection. This subject can be easily researched by looking, for example, in I Corinthians 15, Acts 2, Revelation 19 and 20, and I Thessalonians 4. The basic focal point of all Scripture and of human history is the event of the resurrections, in particular the first one, which is a “better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35), not to minimize the importance of the second or “general” resurrection of those who have never really known God before.

The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the nature of the God Beings who will be raised to eternal life in the first resurrection. The emphasis of this entire effort will be to show that those firstfruit brothers of Jesus Christ will in no way be inferior to Jesus Himself, but will be GOD AS JESUS CHRIST IS GOD! Some may think that this is too powerful a statement, that none of the ecclesia can possibly aspire to the greatness of our Elder Brother. Yet, by this very statement the expansive truth of the matter is alluded to. A brotherhood establishes a relationship wherein each member is equally important in the sight of the father, though each is different in age and experience. As time passes, each brother becomes more and more experienced, and as capable as the eldest brother.

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

If the elect are to “… walk just as He walked” (I John 2:6), to suffer as He did and follow in His steps (I Peter 2:21), and inherit all things (Revelation 21:7) just as Jesus Christ has made all things that are (John 1:3), then what difference is the inheritance of Him or the saints? Is there any real difference? This paper will investigate the similarities — indeed the unity — of Jesus Christ and the saints with the objective of ascertaining that brothers of Christ, all Sons of the Father, carry with them an everlasting inheritance that does not vary. An outline of this paper is as follows:

I. The saints’ identity with Jesus Christ: what they are

A. Past (spirit)

B. Present (flesh)

C. Future (spirit)

II. The saints’ activities like Jesus Christ: what they do

A. Past (spirit)

B. Present (flesh)

C. Future (spirit)

Who Is Man? Who is Jesus Christ?

First of all, who is man, and who is Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of man (Mark 14:62; 15:39)? Is there any great qualitative difference between the saints and the Father’s Eldest Brother? Of course, Jesus Christ was (is) the Son of God, just as He was the son of man … but then so was Adam, our forefather, the son of God (Luke 3:38). Let us first look at a diagram of the spirit-flesh relationships of the Father, Jesus, Satan and the demons, and humans through the Adamic and other races.

Sons of God in Scripture, as depicted in the figure on the following page, are as follows:

Satan (Job 1:6; 2:1)

Sons of God [Righteous] (I Kings 22:19-23; Psalm 45:7; Job 38:6-7)

Sons of God [Evil] (Genesis 6:2, 4; Job 1:6; 2:1)

Others (Job 1:6; 2:1)

Adam (Luke 3:38; Genesis 2:7)

Jesus Christ (Luke 1:35)

Other Sons of God yet to be resurrected, the saints: Romans 8:14; II Samuel 7:14; Galatians 4:6; Philippians 2:15; Hebrews 2:10; 12:7; I John 3:1-2.

The relationships shown in the diagram above are clearly that of a family: fathers and sons in both the physical and spiritual realm. Adam was created from a spiritual template “… in the image of Elohim” (Genesis 1:27), a direct and full reproduction of the Father, from whose Being Adam directly came … formed from the Father’s own DNA which coded and organized the “dust” (elements of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, iron, zinc, and many others).

Through the male and female division of the human race (and most of the plant and animal kingdoms, for that matter), reproduction became possible, and thus children could be born through generations. Ultimately all races of man developed as God intended, before the Flood and then after it through Noah and his sons. Eventually Abraham’s line gave rise to Jacob’s sons and to the Israelite nation. Man multiplied across the earth, each nation having its “day in the sun” (Acts 17:26), until today when we are nearing the end of this age, just before the first resurrection.

To understand what and who man is requires an understanding of spirit itself … for man was made in God’s express likeness … and God is a spirit in the unseen, spiritual realm (Genesis 1:26-27). God formed Adam into a man out of the dust (elements) of the earth, using the template of a “germ cell” contained within Himself, like a conceived human grown to a child and then to an adult in very rapid fashion. The creation of an adult human occurred within minutes or moments as molecules built around an already existent “book”, or knowledge of one’s adult being written and understood within the cellular chromosomes of God’s “spiritual DNA”. That “spiritual DNA” was then converted to physical DNA, the very essence of phenotypic reality within the physical world.

“My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them” (Psalm 139:15-16).

Thus, Jesus Christ became a physical Son of God by direct impregnation of Mary by God the Father:

“The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God” (Luke 1:35).

Christ’s Father was God the Father Himself, and so was Adam’s Father — as far as we know — also God the Father. Even Satan’s Father was God the Father, and the other patriarchal Gods who have ruled through the aeons likewise have a Father. They are all related, as brothers of one another. The “Us” in Genesis 1:26 must include some other God Beings besides the One we know as the Father, since “Elohim” oftentimes means more than one God … if it is used with a plural verb. Rather than being gestated within a human woman, however, Adam was fabricated somehow directly from the elements, perhaps by some sort of holographic transmutation of sorts … elements filling in the template already existent in the spirit. Man is indeed a spirit —a human spirit — his nature given at conception. While God’s spirit is eternal, mankind can lose his physical existence through God wiping away the memory of him in the “lake of fire” (Revelation 20:15). Only when God has given His Spirit to an individual — i.e., his name written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12, 15) — does the being become permanently and irrevocably destined for eternal life.

Each person is granted the spirit of man at conception — his template of creation in conformity with his DNA — while only the predestined elect are given the spirit of God, presented by the Father at baptism and the laying on of hands (John 6:44; Acts 2:38; I Timothy 4:14). It is this spirit of God that grants eternal existence, while man’s spirit (I Corinthians 2:11; Romans 8:5-9) bequeaths animal life and human intellect … though not spiritual perception.

The science of mankind cannot discover man’s true essence because this essence is not tangible matter. Rather, it is non-material spirit —­ the spirit of man. The real “I” or “we” is clearly identified by Paul in II Corinthians 5:6:

“Therefore we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the [physical] body we are absent from the Lord.”

True selfhood is not a physical, mortal being but the spiritual image of God, His very reflection. Again, James says, “Exactly as a body is dead without a spirit, so faith is dead without actions” (James 2:26, The Twentieth Century New Testament). Adam had no real life until Elohim breathed into him the spirit of man [Hebrew ruah], which then bequeathed the physical living state (Genesis 2:7). This spirit of man, or “germ” of life, as it were, comes directly from God. Without it life could not exist.

“As you do not know what is the way of the wind [spirit],

Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child,

So you do not know the works of God who makes all things” (Ecclesiastes 11:5).

Daniel wrote the words, “But you [Daniel], go your way until the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days” (Daniel 12:13). Note that this rest cannot apply to the elements comprising Daniel’s body, for they returned to the “dust of the earth” (Genesis 3:19). Rather, it is the spirit of Daniel that rests, the “you” in Daniel 12:13, for this is what shall arise at the resurrection, not the dust that has by now returned to the soil.

Notice also the words of Solomon: “Also He has put eternity in their hearts …” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This scripture could mean several things, including that all men by their created nature sense the reality of spirit life as their ultimate destiny, which they crave to attain … even if that desire may be faint and overshadowed by day-to-day concerns of life. It can also mean that many men will be born as Sons of God — for He truly desires that none be lost (I Timothy 2:4) — that man’s destiny is to become spirit, and that the real person is the “eternity” that comprises him … not that it cannot be destroyed if God so wills, but the reality is that man’s true being is eternal spirit.

It is the spirit of God that guides the development of a child within the womb, and continues to guide the development of a human being throughout his life. As stated before, science cannot ever discover the secrets of this development, for such truths are known only through spirit discernment.

Note that Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue in Jesus’ day, had a daughter who died (see Luke 8:41-56). When Jesus healed the dead child “… her spirit returned, and she arose immediately” (verse 55). The obvious implication of this statement is that she lost her spirit of life when she died … that spirit that engendered life to her and to all beings at conception. That spirit returns to the God who gave it once a person dies (Ecclesiastes 12:7).

Further evidence that spirit life of a person is the “the real person”, within a tabernacle of “animal” flesh and its pulls, is made clear by Paul in Romans 7:22-24:

“For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man [the spirit of God placed within him]. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

The body of death, Paul’s “animal nephesh”, was not the real Paul, but rather the real Paul was the spirit in him, from which the carnal physical body was, in due time, to be separated. Paul’s physical body was the machinery guided by the true Paul … his spirit reality.

This reality of man’s true nature leads to some profound realizations. For instance, knowing that the Father is eternal spirit, and man in possession of the Father’s spirit life (John 6:44) also is spirit, then the Father through His word and through other means speaks directly to His people as to sons — spirit to spirit. Recall that Adam and all of mankind after him were (are) Sons of God physically (Luke 3:38), which flesh will perish, but the spirit of God within a person yields a God-plane relationship with the Father and Jesus Christ that is imperishable.

Also, because the spirit resides within a person, granting true spirit Sonship, the possession of that spirit will cause one to desire naturally to obey the true Father.

“ ‘But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel: After those days’, says the Lord, ‘I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people’ ” (Jeremiah 31:33).

“… I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgements and do them” (Ezekiel 36:24-27).

Because that spirit of God dwells within those people He has called out of this world, then by serving one another these saints of the Most High actually are serving the Father Himself! By stating “If you have seen Me you have seen the Father” (John 14:9), Jesus Christ merely restated the oneness of the spirit family in which “… they [the disciples] all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us …” (John 17:21). Serving those in the flesh who are in need ­— hungry, thirsty, naked, in prison, ill, or in a strange land — thus means serving the Father who is one’s true progenitor: “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Matthew 25:40).

Notice also Hebrews 2:13-14, where the spirit reality of Jesus Christ is likened to men themselves, in every way a parallel situation of Jesus and men preexisting as spirit entities with the Father (see Ecclesiastes 12:7) before becoming partakers of flesh and blood.

“And again: ‘Here am I [Jesus Christ] and the children [the saints, or ecclesia] whom God [the Father] has given Me [Jesus Christ]’. Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same ….”

Just as Jesus Christ was a spirit conceived by the Father to live a physical life among mankind ­— born of the Father through Mary, of the lineage of Adam who was the son of God (Luke 3:38) — so the predestined saints (Romans 8:29-30; Ephesians 1:3-12) were spirits before they were conceived by the Father (John 6:44) as flesh and blood. Jesus Christ Himself stated virtually the same thing as Paul did in Hebrews 2:13-14. In John 17:18, He stated,

“As You [the Father] sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.”

Here, the Greek apostello (Strong 649) is translated sent, which means to “set apart, i.e. (by implication) to send out, as on a mission.” Thus, as the Father sent His Son Jesus Christ on a particular mission here on earth, so we, the brothers of Jesus, have been sent into the world on a mission. Adam Clarke in Adam Clarke’s Commentary, Volume 5 (Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tennessee, 1832), said of this verse,

“The apostles had the same commission which Christ had, considered as man — they were imbued with the same Spirit, so they could not err, and their word was accompanied with the same success.”

Exactly what we were before we were sent into the world is not entirely clear, but having preexisted with the Father as a spirit (Ecclesiastes 12:7) could mean that, like Jesus Christ (John 17:5; 16:28; 1:1-2, 14), we were Sons of God.

The reality of mankind is spirit, and from it his progressive development from an egg and a sperm, through the blastula, gastrula, various fetal stages, and finally to a developed infant ready for birth and life within the outside world can be perceived as elucidated in Psalm 134:13-16.

Having established that the “real person” is a spirit designed as the unseen “holographic” template of God’s spirit-image — and that this spirit identity applies to not only Jesus Christ but to all of the saints possessing God’s spirit — then one may search the Scriptures for the identities of Jesus Christ and the saints. The unity of the lives of the saints with Christ’s life is more than skin deep. That unity is total. This totality of unity points to the incredibly wonderful destiny that the saints have, caught up in Christ’s own destiny and priesthood. As Christ will reign in heaven and on earth, so will the saints reign as younger brothers, and in no way being inferior to their elder brother … in terms either of their intrinsic value in their Father’s sight (all having the same Father, who is no respecter of persons: Acts 10:34), or in terms of their original existence with the Father, who gave them physical life, and will ultimately bequeath eternal spiritual life. True, Jesus Christ’s direct Father was God the Father through conception within Mary (Luke 1:35), so He had no imperfections passed down through generations of sinful men. However, mankind, from whom the saints derive their existence, passed down from Adam, a direct Son of God .. . albeit imperfections have accumulated, and the degree of virgin God-plane energy and sinless perfection to ward off the temptations of Satan in a sinful world are lacking. Yet, we must recognize that the sacrifice of that perfect elder brother has made up for these inherited and acquired deficits within God’s called-out elect. It was (is) not their fault or desire to be brought into a sin-sick world, but rather the purpose of our Father to thus carry out His plan:

“For the creation [including man] was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:20-21).

The destiny of the saints is in no way inferior to that of Jesus Christ. Jesus said it, the Father said it, and they both meant it.

Identities of Jesus Christ with the Father’s Elect

1. WE HAVE AN ETERNAL NATURE.

See John 16:28: “I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father.” For an Old Testament scripture, see Psalm 8:5: “For thou hast made him [man] a little [while] lower than the angels [Elohim = gods; Strong 430], and hast crowned him with glory and honor.”

Since God, in Ecclesiastes 12:7, indicated that physical man’s spirit reality came from God — who fabricated the physical being around a spirit template — and man at death goes back to God in heaven (“… and the spirit shall return unto God, or Elohim = gods; Strong 430], then one can see that Psalm 8:5 is referring to the same thing. There is no reason that “angels” should have been the translated word for Elohim in this verse when in about 2,590 other places it is translated “gods”. Even though Paul used the word “angels” when he quoted this Scripture in Hebrews 2:7, there is no linguistic reason that Elohim should mean anything but “gods” in Psalms. Thus, this scripture in Psalms is relating the same message as for Jesus Christ in John 16:28, and for the brethren and Christ in Hebrews 2:14. For “a little while” the Elohim Beings have been made flesh and blood, but they will soon return to the spirit realm following God’s calling, choosing, and resurrection. (This is not saying spirits will not be able to manifest themselves materially in the coming age.)

PAST ETERNAL EXISTENCE —

Jesus Christ

He was with the Father (a Spirit), in heaven before becoming flesh and blood.

“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 were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made …. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” (John 1:1-3, 14).

“No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13).

Heaven (Strong 3772) = ouranos, the sky (elevated in height); by extension, heaven (as the abode of God).

No man having ascended to heaven refers not having entered the heavenly Zion, which is elevated in great height above the earth’s surface in the spirit realm (Revelation21:2, 10-21), for heaven is extensive and in the same space as the earth and its surface. On the surface of the earth the dead, as spirit, rest and reside until the resurrection (see Matthew 24:31; I Corinthians 15:50-52).

The Son of Man [Jesus] being “in heaven” refers to His direct access to the Father in heaven, which exists in the same space as the physical realm. He, like us, is (was) thus in both realms at once — they occupy the same time and space, but have different “frequencies”, for lack of a better term — but He had such close links to the spirit world that He actually lived in both, and could see into the spirit and commune with it.

“He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me [the Father in heaven, where Christ was also] …. For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command …” (John 12:44, 49).

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:44).

The Elect

The elect were with the Father in heaven before becoming flesh and blood.*

“Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it” (Ecclesiastes 12:7). [Thus, the spirit, the “real person”, was once with God who is in heaven.]

“And again: ‘Here am I [Yahweh = Jesus Christ] and the children [the elect] whom God [the Father] has given Me [Jesus Christ; quoted from Isaiah 8:18]. Inasmuch then as the children [the elect] have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself [Jesus Christ] likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil …” (Hebrews 2:13-14.)

Just as Jesus Christ became flesh and blood, but before was a spirit, so the elect were first eternal spirit with God before they became flesh and blood. The analogy between Christ’s and the elect’s state is unmistakable. Adam, from whom all of mankind has descended (Acts 17:26), came directly as a “spirit germ” or template from God’s express image (Genesis 1:26-27, 2:7), a Son of God (Luke 3:38). The elect, physically speaking, have come from Adam through generations of procreation, carrying his genes … which are exact copies of God’s spiritual form (now converted to physical).

If A = God’s spirit germ [DNA] that became Adam’s physical being, shaped by DNA, and B = Adam, then A = B; each is comprised of the same DNA. All people have descended from Adam’s DNA, and out of these descendants have come the elect. If the elect are C, then B = C. If A = B and B = C, then A = C; the elect, descendants of Adam, are equal to God in genetic makeup, taking on His image of the original spiritual genetic code made physical.

Thus, if man’s DNA is equivalent to God’s DNA, both have had eternal spirit existence. Today’s human beings made in God’s image — as for Adam — is verified in James 3:9 “With it [the tongue] we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse man, who have been made in the similitude of God”.

[For additional information on the unity of God’s and man’s genetics, see “An Understanding of Oneness: The Father in Christ and the Brethren, Christ in the Father and the Brethren, and the Brethren in the Father and Christ, a Spiritual Application of God’s Genetic Code” in the book Understanding God’s Government, by this author.]

*This fact explains why God could know beforehand — before converting the spirits of Elohim into flesh and blood — those who were predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, walking in His footsteps and inheriting salvation. To predestine them He had to know them beforehand, and indeed He did, in the heavenly spirit world. This explains why He could call them “brethren”, and how he “knew” them, for they were of His same spiritual genetic family, Sons of God [Elohim] in heaven before becoming flesh. Once in receipt of God’s spirit they were in totality His Sons, prepared to be once again perfected spirit Sons of God as Jesus Christ was.

“For whom He foreknew [before being made flesh and blood, as spirits in the spirit world], He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, them He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He [The Father] chose us in Him [Christ] before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will … that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him, in whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him …” (Ephesians 1:3-5, 10-11).

Jesus Christ therefore, as relatives [“brethren”] of these predestined adopted Sons, knew them in the spirit realm before they became flesh and blood, as He said:

“And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice” (John 10:4).

“I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own …. And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd” (John 10:14, 16).

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27).

“You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? …. Therefore by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7: 16, 20).

“Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: ‘The Lord knows those who are His’ …” (II Timothy 2:19).

David acknowledged his memory of this preexistence of the “real David” — his spirit — in the heavenly realm when he wrote Psalm 84:1-4:

How lovely is Your tabernacle,

O Lord of hosts!

My soul longs, yea, even faints

For the courts of the Lord;

My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.

Even the sparrow has found a home,

And the sparrow a nest for herself,

Where she may lay her young —

Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,

My King and my God.

Blessed are those who dwell in Your house;

They will still be praising You”.

Whether David ever viewed heaven before he wrote this Psalm is a question that may never be answered in this age. In any case, it is clear from this song that the innermost perceptions of David understood that heaven is indeed beautiful and wonderful beyond fleshly comprehension … a perception that is impossible unless one’s “real person” — the spirit that preexisted in the heavenly realm — revealed that truth. One’s spirit cannot long and faint for the dwelling of the Eternal unless it has a reasonably clear perception of its reality. That realization can come only from that spirit having been there in heaven to perceive it in its fullness and glory.

Jesus Christ made plain that those people who were of Satan’s spiritual lineage before becoming flesh and blood were not known to Him. They were not close to him, were of a lawless lineage, and did not carry the mark of the Eternal God. These individuals Christ claimed He never knew:

“But He answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you’ ” [the other virgins who failed to bring enough oil] (Matthew 25:12).

“But you [the antagonistic Jews] do not believe, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you” (John 10:26).

“Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels’ “ … (Matthew 25:41).

The demons knew Jesus Christ, for they had lived in the heavenly realm before being cast down to earth (Revelation 12:4, 9), where they occupied the bodies and minds of those individuals who gave over their own will to another entity (Matthew 12:43-45):

“Then he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him” (Mark 1:34).

Thus, both the righteous and the evil preexisting spirits are shown to have known Jesus Christ, for all were in the heavenly realm sometime before.

A question may arise as to why God first made flesh and blood human beings — and angels in the flesh during an aeon before them — if the Elohim beings never die. The key is that only flesh and blood can reproduce and not spirit with spirit (spirits are both male and female together), and if God’s plan is to populate other worlds and increase His government continually (Isaiah 9:6), then the beings to populate that enlarged government must increase as well.

God’s elect and Jesus Christ were, are, and will be Sons of God … and since God is eternal spirit, so His Sons are eternal and spirit. Recall that the reality of man is spirit, and with God’s Spirit in man he has eternal spirit.

As a closely related aside,consider that it is very likely that as Spiritual sons such as Jesus Christ and the saints grow in the Spirit realm, they will become Spiritual Fathers some day. The analogy in the world in which we live is clear: physical sons grow in stature and maturity to become physical fathers themselves. The analogies between the physical and Spiritual realm are unmistakable, placed in the material world for the saints to view as a true depiction of Spiritual realities, like the depiction of heavenly realities within the Tabernacle in the Wilderness (Hebrews 8:1-6). The created world, of which we are a part, is also a depiction of heavenly realities. The reality of Jesus Christ to become a Father is shown in Isaiah 9:6:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Here Jesus Christ is prophesied to be called “The everlasting Father”! Note also Matthew 5:45, which states, “… for He [the Father] makes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good ….” This statement implies that the sun of this solar system is indeed the Father’s, but does this mean that other solar systems in the universe belong to others of equivalent character to our Father? Without in any way limiting the power and authority of our heavenly Father (for we our our lives to Him), I believe this to be the case.

Note also Isaiah 14:12-14, where Lucifer tries to ascend above the stars (Spirits) of God [Hebrew el j(Strong 410), any deity]. He wanted to “… be like the most High” in a forcible way, but failed to recognize that God’s government operates by love and service, not by “lording it over” others (Matthew 20:25-28). To “… be like the most High” indicates that Lucifer knew one could become like the Father, but God’s way is to call and choose those who may eventually be as Him, guide and nurture them to grow in the Spirit, resurrect them to Spirit, and then eventually give them jurisdiction and power to rule as the Father now rules the solar system. He also implies giving redeemed mankind — as for Jesus Christ — the ability to create an ecosphere, animals, birds, fish, people, and other creatures upon planets elsewhere to multiply the realm of the righteous … for how else could there be endless increase of His government and peace (Isaiah 9:7)?

Notice especially Isaiah 53, which prophecies of Jesus Christ but at the same time speaks directly and intensively to each of the saints. Verse 1 says, “ Who has believed our report?” The saints have believed God’s report: “… blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). “… to whom is the arm of the Lorn revealed?” It is revealed not just to Jesus, but to each one of His people: “… but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you” (John 15:15).

FLESHLY EXISTENCE ON EARTH —

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ came to earth as flesh and blood. “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).

“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh …” (Romans 8:3).

The Elect

Man is a “nephesh” on earth, a “living soul” as stated in Genesis 2:7. Possessing the human spirit that imparted intellect and gave him form and being in God’s image, man reflected the human life in the material world that continued the motile power under control of the spirit reality which he is.

Nephesh (Strong 5315) = a breathing creature, i.e. animal or (abstract) vitality.

“Inasmuch then as the children [the elect] have partaken of flesh and blood …” (Hebrews 2:14).

Our physical creation is through the spirit of man in coordination with (perhaps part and parcel with) the egg and sperm, which give rise to the physical being; see Psalm 139:13-16:

“For You have formed my inward parts; You have covered me in my mother’s womb.

I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

Marvelous are Your works,

And that my soul knows very well.

My frame was not hidden from You,

When I was made in secret,

And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.

Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.

And in Your book they all were written,

The days fashioned for me,

When as yet there were none of them.”

Future Eternal Existence—

Jesus Christ

“And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was” (John 17:5).

Jesus Christ is now at the right hand of God the Father in heaven, to live eternally with Him (Acts 2:33-34; 5:31; 7:55-56; Ephesians 1:20; Colossians 3:1; Hebrews 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; I Peter 3:22).

“Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!’” (Revelation 11:15).

The Elect

“And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him …. And they shall reign forever and ever” (Revelation 22:3, 5).

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed — in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible” (I Corinthians 15:51-52).

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord” (I Thessalonians 5:16-17).

“And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one even as We are one” (John 17:22).

In a nutshell …

God’s elect and Jesus Christ were, are, and will be Sons of God … and since God is eternal spirit, so His Sons are eternal and spirit. Recall that the reality of man is spirit, and with God’s spirit in man he has eternal life!

Jesus Christ The Elect

Past —

Present —

Future —

2. WE ARE DESTINED TO RECEIVE RULERSHIP OVER THE

NATIONS AS SPIRITS.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ has received power to rule over the nations, just as will the saints (Revelation 2:26-27).

“And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron …. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:14-16).

“You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).

“… Jesus Christ … the ruler over the kings of the earth” (Revelation 1:5).

The Elect

“Arise, shine:

For your [the elect’s] light has come!

And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.

For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,

And deep darkness the people;

But the Lord will arise over you,

And His glory will be seen upon you.

The Gentiles shall come to your light,

And kings to the brightness of your rising” (Isaiah 60:1-3).

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations —

‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron;

As the potter’s vessels shall be broken to pieces’ [Psalm 2:9] —

as I also have received from My Father …” (Revelation 2:26-27).

“… For you were slain,

And have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

And have made us kings and priests to our God;

And we [the elect] shall reign on the earth” (Revelation 5:9-10).

3. WE ARE TO INHERIT ALL THINGS.

Jesus Christ

“ ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine’, says the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:8).

“All things were made through Him [Christ], and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3).

“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him” (John 1:10).

“Of old You laid the foundations of the earth,

And the heavens are the work of Your hands” (Psalm 102:25).

“I have made the earth,

And created man on it.

It was I —

My hands that stretched out the heavens,

And all their host I have commanded” (Isaiah 45:12).

“… which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 3:9).

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist” (Colossians 1:15-17).

“… Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands… (John 13:3).

The Elect

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be my son” (Revelation 21:7).

“Blessed are the poor in spirit

For theirs is the kingdom of heaven ….

Blessed are the meek,

For they shall inherit the earth” (Matthew 5,3, 5).

4. WE RECEIVE GOD’S SPIRIT BY BAPTISM AND THE

LAYING ON OF HANDS.

Jesus Christ

“Then Jesus, when He had been baptized, came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him” (Matthew 3:16; see also Mark 1:10 and Luke 3:21-22).

Jesus was baptized along with a number of other people; see Luke 3:21. Like the elect, God’s holy spirit was given at baptism, for it is pictured descending as a dove, a dramatic demonstration of the Father’s spirit-impregnating power. Such signs seldom accompany the baptism of the saints, but God’s spirit is granted nonetheless. Jesus Christ’s sinless life resulted from His strength of mind, body, and human spirit, in touch with His Father, bequeathed through direct birth from the Father, without the inherited faults of sinful preceding generations of fathers and mothers.

The Elect

“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

“And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit’. Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized” (Acts 9:17-18).

“Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized” (Acts 18:8).

“When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied” (Acts 19:5-6-).

“Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery” (I Timothy 4:14).

5. WE ARE SPIRITUAL BROTHERS, WITH THE SAME

FATHER, FAMILY, AND POTENTIAL.

Jesus Christ

“Then one said to Him, ‘Look, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside, seeking to speak with You.’ But He answered and said to the one who told Him, ‘Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, ‘Here are My mother and My brothers!’ ” (Matthew 12:47-49).

“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren: (Romans 8:29).

“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father” (John 16:28).

“… Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead …” (Revelation 1:5).

As an Elder Brother whose mission it was to live a sinless life, and pay the penalty for men’s sins as the pioneer or forerunner of the saints’ salvation, Jesus Christ is the mediator between the elect and the Father (I Timothy 2:5), a function the elect could never perform at this time.

The Elect

“… that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (John 17:21).

See also “An Understanding of Oneness: the Father in Christ and the Brethren, Christ in the Father and the Brethren, and the Brethren in the Father and Christ” in Understanding God’s Government, by this author.

“And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Colossians 1:18).

“For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of me, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren … And again, ‘Here am I and the children whom God has given Me’ [Isaiah 8:18]” (Hebrews 2:11, 13).

Recall the discussion earlier where it is contended that it is very likely that, as physical sons grow in stature and maturity to become physical fathers themselves, so will spiritual sons such as Jesus Christ and the saints grow in the spirit realm to become spiritual Fathers someday. The analogies between the physical and spiritual realms are unmistakable.

6. WE ARE SENT TO EARTH BY THE FATHER.

Jesus Christ

“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him …” (John 6:44).

“I came forth from the Father and have come into the world. Again, I leave the world and go to the Father” (John 16:28).

“… Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hand, and that He had come from God and was going to God …” (John 13:3).

[Note the discussion under “1. Their Eternal Nature”.]

The Elect

“It is written in the prophets, ‘and they shall all be taught by God’ [Isaiah 54:13]. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me” (John 6:45).

“And again: ‘Here am I and the children whom God has given Me’. Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same …” (Hebrews 2:13-14).

[Note the discussion under “l. Their Eternal Nature”.]

7. WE WILL REIGN WITH THE FATHER ON HIS THRONE.

Jesus Christ

“But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21:22).

“… We have such a High Priest, who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens …” (Hebrews 8:1).

The Elect

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

8. WE WILL BE WORSHIPED [only Gods can be worshiped].

Jesus Christ

“For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God” (Romans 14:11).

“That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth …” (Philippians 2:10).

“And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, ‘All hail.’ And they came and held Him by the feet, and worshiped Him” (Matthew 28:9).

“And Jesus said unto him, ‘You have both seen him, and it is He that talks with you.’ And he said, ‘Lord, I believe.’ And he worshiped Him” (John 9:37-38).

The Elect

“Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your [the saints’] feet, and to know that I have loved you” (Revelation 3:9).

“And kings shall be your nursing fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers: they shall bow down to you with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of your feet; and they shall know that I am the Lord …” (Isaiah 49:23).

“The sons also of them that afflicted you shall come bending unto you: and all they that despised you shall bow themselves down at the soles of your feet …” (Isaiah 60:14).

9. WE PRAY DIRECTLY TO THE FATHER.

Jesus Christ

“Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come’ ” (John 17:1).

“He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, ‘O my Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will but as You will’ ” (Matthew 26:39).

The Elect

“In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name” (Matthew 6:9).

“But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6:6).

10. THE FATHER SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO US.

Jesus Christ

“And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ ” (Matthew 3:17).

“While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!’ ” (Matthew 17:5).

The Elect

God the Father speaks to the elect through the Word, the Scriptures.

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness …” (II Timothy 3:16).

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God …” (Ephesians 6:17).

11. WE ENDURE TRIALS, SUFFER, AND OVERCOME

AS LIVING SACRIFICES.

Jesus Christ

“For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

“To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne” (Revelation 3:21).

“If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish [typifying Jesus Christ]: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord” (Leviticus 1:3, and similar references elsewhere).

“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from Him; he was despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5; see also I Peter 2:21-24).

“… and when he (Pilate) had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified … And they [the soldiers] stripped Him, and put on Him a scarlet robe. And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon His head …. And they crucified Him …” (Matthew 27:26, 28-29, 35).

The Elect

“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:17-18).

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (I Peter 1:6-7).

“… and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:17-18).

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son” (Revelation 21:7).

“I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1).

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

12. WE ARE MINISTERED TO BY ANGELS.

Jesus Christ

“Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him” (Matthew 3:11).

“ ‘Father, if it is Your will, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but yours, be done.’ Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him” (Luke 22:42-43).

The Elect

“But to which of the angels has He ever said,

‘Sit at My right hand,

Till I make Your enemies Your footstool’?

Are they not all ministering spirits sent forth to minister for those who will inherit salvation?” (Hebrews 1:13-14).

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Hebrews 13:2).

13. WE FORGIVE THE SINS OF OTHERS.

Jesus Christ

“… and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the palsy; ‘Son, be of good cheer; your sins be forgiven you.’ And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, ‘This man blasphemes’. ‘Wherefore think you evil in your hearts? For whether is easier to say, “Your sins be forgiven thee”; or to say, “Arise, and walk?” But that you may know that the Son of man has power on earth to forgive sins (then saith He to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up you bed, and go unto your house’ ” (Matthew 9:2-6; also in Mark 2:3-12 and Luke 5:18-26).

“Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

“Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9).

“I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake” (I John 2:12).

“But if her father disallow her in the day that he hears; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she has bound her soul, shall stand: and the Lord shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her: (Numbers 30:5).

“For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon You” (Psalm 86:5).

The Elect

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors …. For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:12, 14-15).

“So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if you from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses” (Matthew 18:35).

“And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have aught against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:25-26).

“… forgive, and you shall be forgiven” (Luke 6:37).

“Take heed to yourselves: If your brother trespass against you, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns again to you, saying, I repent; you shall forgive him” (Luke 17:3-4).

“So that contrariwise you ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow” (II Corinthians 2:7).

“To whom you forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ” (II Corinthians 2:10).

14. CHRIST AND THE ELECT ARE EQUIVALENT

AT THE RESURRECTION.

Jesus Christ made no distinction between Himself and Mary — and all of His ecclesia — at His resurrection. He stated, “I ascend unto My Father and your Father; and to My God, and your God” (John 20:17). A special point was made to emphasize that He considered Himself no greater than one of the brethren in terms of the true Parent for each of us. He considered Himself, in fact, a part of the brethren by this declaration. Besides, He acknowledged that the true Parent of each of us is the Father, and the only wellspring of hope we have — just as He had — is the resurrection from the dead to eternal life.

The Greek words used in John 20:17 for Father and God are as follows:

Father (Strong 3962) = pater, a father (lit. or fig., near or more remote).

God (Strong 2316) = theos, a deity, esp. the supreme Divinity, fig. a magistrate.

“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God [the Father’] bring with Him” (I Thessalonians 4:14).

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He is” (I John 3:2).

“… who [Christ] shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself” (Philippians 3:21).

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the spirit of the Lord” (II Corinthians 3:18).

“For whom He did foreknow He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:29).

“And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly” (I Corinthians 15:49).

“When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall we also appear with Him in glory” (Colossians 3:4).

“… whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (II Peter 1:4).

15. THE LAW IS WRITTEN IN OUR HEARTS, WE DO THE FATHER’S WILL, AND WE HAVE HIS MIND.

Jesus Christ

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do, for whatever things He does, these also do the Son likewise’ “ (John 5:19).

“That they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You have sent Me” (John 17:21).

“The Lord is well pleased for his righteousness’ sake; He will magnify the law, and make it honorable” (Isaiah 42:21).

“Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:17-18).

“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, says the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Jeremiah 31:33).

The commandments and fruits of the Spirit codify for God’s way of love to the Father and love to one’s neighbor (Exodus 20:2-17; Galatians 5:22-23; Matthew 22:3;6-40).

The Elect

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

“For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16).

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

See the reference to Jeremiah 31:33 in the adjoining column (also quoted in Hebrews 8:10).

“And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, I will pour out of My Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; and on my servants and on my hand-maidens I will pour out in those days of My Spirit; and they shall prophecy” (Acts 2:17-18).

“But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness” (Romans 8:24; righteousness is defined as keeping the commandments in Psalm 119:172).

16. WE ARE GIVEN A NAME THAT NO ONE ELSE KNOWS.

Jesus Christ

“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; and He had a name written that no man knew, but He Himself” (Revelation 19:12).

The Elect

“He that has an ear let him hear what the spirit says unto the churches: to him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in that stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it” (Revelation 2:17).

17. WE ARE TO BE EXAMPLES OF GODLY LIVING TO THE WORLD.

Jesus Christ

“In the mean while his disciples prayed Him, saying, ‘Master, eat’” (John 4:31).

“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, ‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do: for what things soever He does, these also does the Son likewise’” (John 5:19).

“I can of Mine own self do nothing; as I hear, I judge: and My judgment is just; because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father which has sent Me” (John 5:30).

“I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while it is day: the night comes when no man can work” (John 9:4).

“For I have not spoken of Myself, but the Father which sent Me, he gave Me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak” (John 12:49).

“Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwells in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake” (John 14:10).

The Elect

“For even hereunto were you called; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: who did not sin, neither was guile found in His mouth: who, when He was reviled, reviled not again, when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judges righteously …” (I Peter 2:21-23).

“He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk even as He walked” (I John 2:6).

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides for ever” (I John 2:15-17).

“Come unto me, all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

“For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (John 13:15).

“He that speaks of himself seeks his own glory: but he that seeks His glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (John 7:18).

18. THERE IS HOPE OF GREAT GLORY IN THE SPIRIT REALM

AFTER PHYSICAL DEATH

Jesus Christ

… looking unto Jesus the Beginner and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the stake, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

joy (Strong 5479) = chara, “cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight”.

The Elect

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).

But as it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him” (I Corinthians 2:9).

19. WE HAVE BEEN SENT INTO THE WORLD

Jesus Christ and The Elect

As You have sent Me into the world, even so have I sent them into the world” (John 17:18).

20. WE ARE NOT OF THE WORLD

Jesus Christ and The Elect

I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world…. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14, 16).

21. WE ARE TEMPTED WITH EVIL

Jesus Christ

For we have not a High Priest who cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15).

The Elect

Blessed is the man that endures temptation, for when he is tried he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love Him…. but every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed” (James 1:12, 14).

22. WE WERE ORDAINED BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD TO BE SONS OF GOD

Jesus Christ

He [Jesus Christ] indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you” (I Peter 1:20).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:1-2, 14).

The Elect

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to HImself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:3-6 ).

For whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover, whom He predestined these He also called; whom He called these He also justified; and whom He justified these He also glorified” (Romans 8:29-30).

Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed [tasso = ‘to place in order, appoint’] to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48).

23. WE WERE MADE A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS

Jesus Christ

But we see Jesus, who was made a little [while] lower than the angels, for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that He, by the grace of God, might taste death for everyone (Hebrews 2:9).

The Elect

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him? For you have made him a little [while] lower than the angels, and you have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; you have put all things under his feet …” (Psalm 8:3-6).

For He has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: ‘What is man that you are mindful of him, or the son of man that you take care of him? You have made him a little [while] lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.’ For in that He put all in subjection under him, He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.” (Hebrews 2:5-8).

Here we see that both Jesus and the elect have been made lower than the spirit plane for “a little while,” meaning that they are on equal terms in this sense, both flesh and blood which can die. Jesus Christ came from the spirit realm, where he preexisted, and lived as a human being in the image of Elohim just as the physical descendants of Adam have been doing for about 6,000 years. Jesus has been raised from the dead, the “firstborn of many brethren” (Romans 8:29), and the elect will be raised at the resurrection and likewise be given eternal life (I Thessalonians 4:16-17). Please refer to point 1 to review the fact that humans, made in Elohim’s image, also prexisted in the heavenly realm as did Jesus Christ.

24. WE WILL BE RAISED BY THE SPIRIT OF THE FATHER IN US

Jesus Christ and The Elect

But if the spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit which dwells in you” (Romans 8:11).

We are well aware that we, as saints, will be raised to eternal life at the resurrection, and be with the Father and Jesus Christ forever (I Thessalonians 4:13-17 Revelation 20:4). This is the same promise given to Jesus Christ, who is presently at the Father’s right hand (Acts 2:33; Romans 8:34; Luke 22:69; O Peter 3:22), where the saints will also be after being raised (Revelation 3:21).

25. WE ARE JOINT HEIRS OF SALVATION

Jesus Christ and The Elect

The spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs — heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17).

There are many more identities of Jesus Christ with the elect which one could explore. Note some comprehensive scriptures that clearly denote the same pathway which Jesus Christ and the saints walk.

Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted” (Hebrews 2:17-18).

He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (I John 2:6).

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. and the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have love Me” (John 17:20-23).

Of special interest is II Corinthians 3:18:

But all of us who are Christians have no veils on our faces, but reflect like mirrors the glory of the Lord. We are transfigured in ever-increasing splendor into his own image, and the transformation comes from the Lord who is the spirit” (Phillips translation).

What a magnificent rendition of the truth that we, as called and chosen disciples of Jesus Christ, over time become more and more like our Savior … transformed into His very image! We reflect the Eternal’s glory like mirrors! This is referring in part to our becoming like Him in character as we put down the pulls of the flesh and live by His spirit (Galatians 5:22-24), but the ultimate conclusion of the matter is to become very God in spirit conformation at the resurrection, even as we now are made in His image while fleshly beings (Genesis 1:26-27; I Corinthians 15:42-54; I John 3:2: “… when He shall appear, we shall be like Him …”, and when you have seen Christ [who looked like us] you know what the Father looks like in the spirit realm: see John 14:9.

The “walk” that Jesus Christ and the saints experience is the same, differing only in terms of specifics relevant to the age in which one lives. We follow Christ’s example, walking in His footsteps (I John 2:26; I Peter 2:21). Just as Jesus would do only the will of the Father (Luke 1:49; John 5:19), so the brethren are to do the exclusive will of the Father (Matthew 6:10; Mark 3:35). The only difference between Jesus and us is that He was directly born of the Father and sinless, while we are indirectly born of the Father — through Adam — and have sinned … though we are now washed clean by His perfect sacrifice!

Not only that, but the saints have God’s spirit to know all things, just like Jesus Christ has all knowledge because of His intimate contact with the Father.

But as it is written, ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for them that love Him.’ But God has revealed them unto us by His spirit: for the spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so the things of God knows no man, but the spirit of God” (I Corinthians 2:9-11).

In Conclusion …

The preexistence of Jesus Christ as one of Elohim, His life on earth as a human being, and His eternal life in heaven, are a picture of each one of the elect of the Father. We, the elect, were foreknown to be Sons of God. How? Because we beforetime lived in heaven (the spirit realm) with Jesus Christ and the Sons of God.

We are born, live, suffer, and die, and finally will be raised from the dead as was Christ. Recall that Jesus Christ “… came unto His own …” (Strong 2398 = idios, “one’s own, by implication private or separate”), and although these predestined people of Israel for the most part did not recognize Immanuel when He came, yet “… as many as received Him, to them He gave power [the right or privilege] to become the Sons of God” (John 1:11-12). The others of Israel who rejected Him the first time will surely be given the opportunity to accept Him as Messiah once the veil of disbelief is lifted from their understanding. They will be a part of the second resurrection, for God has declared that all of Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26; Jeremiah 3:18).

There are differences between Christ and the elect, of course, in that the preexisting Spirit from which each one is derived is unique. Jesus as Yahweh of the Old Testament (see I Corinthians 10:4) is obviously a powerful, mature being; such is not be the case for the elect, but even so God has forgiven and paid the price for such deficiencies, such that even the weak are to be granted eternal, scintillatingly rewarding and stupendous positions in the Kingdom after the resurrection.

In My Father’s house [the heavenly Zion} are many mansions [Greek mone, or residences and responsibilities]; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you” (John 14:2).

And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work” [Greek ergon, or the effort or occupation he will enjoy in the Kingdom] (Revelation 22:12).

Those positions are already allotted for the elect; see I Corinthians 12:18:

But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased.”

God’s called-out elect so vigorously are implored to develop the character and qualities of Jesus Christ, to in every way become like Him. Man’s ultimate destiny is to become like Jesus Christ, to become very God, in the Father’s image! Yet, only the firstfruits — known as the “elect” — will be raised in the first resurrection, with the rest raised later:

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming [the first resurrection]. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father [at the second, general resurrection], when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power” (I Corinthians 15:22-24).

The spirit of God which dwells within His people allows the Father to raise the individual to eternal spirit life (Romans 8:11). The life the saints now live is in Christ’s footsteps (I John 2:6), the flesh now dead and their lives “… hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3), enduring the sufferings He endured (I Peter 2:21), and gaining the character of God through trials (Galatians 5:23-23; James 1:2-5). It is a life of faith towards the Elder Brother of a vast brotherhood, to walk after Him as one crucified, living by faith and not by sight (Romans 12:1; Galatians 2:20; II Corinthians 5:7). Things regarding God’s desire for us that seem impossible will be possible … but not only possible, reality indeed! This will be true for a goodly portion of all people who have ever lived:

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (I Timothy 2:4).

Even Judas Iscariot will likely be among those resurrected and brought to the timeless heavenly Zion, for he repented of his evil deed of betraying Christ (Matthew 27:3), although Jesus did say that it would have been better that he had never been born (Matthew 26:24), and that the son of perdition (Judas) was lost (John 17:12). This scripture may mean, however, that Judas was lost as a disciple amongst the twelve, not lost from eventual Sonship. The beast and false prophet, however, are condemned to die an eternal death along with Satan and the demons (Revelation 19:10; 20:10).

To realize that one’s eternal future holds joys, fulfillment, position, glory, and accomplishment no less vivid than those of Jesus Christ is a most astounding realization. Since the increase of God’s government is endless (Isaiah 9:7), it is highly likely that planets in far flung galaxies will become inhabited by God’s saints and new creations. This is the type of future that our Father has promised for each of His creatures,

… that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they may also be one in Us …. And the glory which You gave Me I have given to them, that they may be one just as We are one …” (John 17:21-22).

The family model about which humankind — and most of the animal and plant world — revolve is placed here for no small reason. The family pictures the very progression of man from conception, to gestation, to birth, to growth to adulthood — progressing from being a son (or daughter) to becoming a father or mother. This progression continues through generations, increasing the number of those who can be raised as Sons of God, increasing the government of God endlessly … or at least as long as reproduction and families continue. Recall that God said through Paul that “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” (Romans 1:20).

God says that what He has created in the physical realm shows clearly the pattern of the unseen spiritual realm. Fathers and mothers in the flesh produce sons. These sons become fathers. On and on continues the progression of God’s increase and government, revealing His eternal power and heavenly family organizational structure — His Godhead — so evident to the discerning eye that Paul states the pattern is clearly seen; scoffers against God and His design of families are without excuse. One merely has to look at the creation and to see the truths of Him.

Have you ever wondered why mountains seem so majestic and beautiful to you? Could it be that a deep-seated memory is being stirred from your previous existence within the spirit realm, a realm of perfection and beauty, of the Heavenly Zion stretching upwards in regal majesty, clothed with gems which are beautiful and glistening beyond comprehension? The spirit which comprises the saints must indeed possess that memory of its heavenly tenure, a realm that it longs to recover in its fullness, an existence that is promised to those in whom that spirit dwells. Thus, the indefatigable zest of God’s called-out ones to withstand suffering and abuse from Satan’s realm here on the earth, even martyrdom by being sawn in two, burned alive, or torn limb from limb on the rack, can be understood. Achieving life eternal within heaven’s indescribable beauty is worth every bit of suffering this world and Satan can dole out..

Let us withstand earth’s pain and suffering. Let us be in the realm of heaven soon!