Who is really made in the image of God?

In Focus on the Family’s article How Can Woman Be Made in the Image of a Male God? the following question is posed:

How is it possible for both men and women to be made in the Divine Image when the Bible speaks of God primarily in masculine terms? I’m wondering if all the talk I’ve been hearing about the biblical basis for equality between the sexes is just an attempt on the part of liberal theologians to “feminize” God.

Focus on the Family answers this question thus,

according to the language of Scripture, it takes both man and woman – or, to put it another way, mankind as a whole – to reflect God’s Image in a complete way.

How does this not make God out to be a bifurcated man/woman, masculine/feminine God? The writers at the same time attempt to reassure us that God is not bifurcated,

Although it’s true that God has revealed Himself in the Bible as a Father who has many masculine traits, this isn’t quite the same thing as saying that He is a “male” God in the style of Zeus, Apollo, or Hermes. If you have trouble grasping this, remember that while the Lord is a personal God, He is neither human nor sexual in nature. There’s an important sense in which “masculine” is not necessarily the same thing as “male” – at least not when we’re talking about God.

Those sentences reflect the writing of someone who has not fully thought this through. We are told that God is a “masculine person” but that “women bear his image” and He is “not human” (while maintaining that Jesus, a man, is God).  The statement is so conflicting and confusing that it leaves the reader hopelessly forced to assume ambiguous, abstract meanings to the words, FATHER, MASCULINE, FEMININE, MAN, WOMAN, etc.

There’s also Paul’s text regarding the image of Jesus (a male) being the image of God which is completely left out of their discussion (Col 1:15). This too would be explained subjectively.

Here, and in most other complementarian resources, we are told to assume that MAN/WOMAN reflect the the IMAGE of God while at the same time told to believe he is a FATHER and not a MOTHER. This is the doctrine we are taught: God’s image is both masculine and feminine. There is absolutely no sense in this. But we’ve lived a long time under a fear of straying from such a doctrine so as not to reap the repercussions of getting burned at the stake. It became taboo to even question this. And so truth becomes squandered by our submission to fear.

The idea that “everyone is made in his image” is old…

In the Epistle of Barnabas (not authentically written by the Apostle Barnabas) written in around 100 A.D. we read this:

There is yet this also, my brethren; if the Lord endured to suffer
for our souls, though He was Lord of the whole world, unto whom God
said from the foundation of the world, Let us make man after our
image and likeness
, how then did He endure to suffer at the hand
of men?

Barnabas 5:5

It would seem that blindness came over Christianity as soon as the Apostles left the building. It is not said anywhere, by Jesus, nor by the Apostles in the New Testament that everyone is made in the image of God. In fact we find the opposite: that one must be made into the image of God (Rom. 8:29).

Enigma time:

The first man is out from earth, dust; the second man out from heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:47)

In v.15 Paul was caught mentioning two Adams.…from Adam, back to Adam…

Queen Esther vs. Queen Vashti

Is this story a macro end-time parable? Esther the Chosen Lady and Vashti is the one she replaces?

The story has been viewed as though the King and his guests were a bunch of drunken partyers and that he was some sort of misogynist. The irony is, the very attacking of his character and actions by women today would seem to prove the whole teaching of the parable. That women really have turned against the men.

Because they don’t care about finding truth and only pushing their agendas, they never stop to think or look more closely to see if it’s true what they preach and teach. The King was not drunk.

כְּטֹ֥וב לֵב־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ בַּיָּ֑יִן

when good was the heart of the king in the wine….

Esther 1:10

The Hebrew word for merry happens to be good (Strong’s #2896). Yes, the same word used for:

it was very good. Genesis 1:31

the tree of the knowledge of good and evil Gen. 2:9

the gold of that land is good Gen. 2:12

It is not good for the man…  Gen. 2:18

we are not able to speak unto thee bad or good  Gen. 24:50

The King had seven eunuchs, seven princes, and ruled over 127 provinces which happens the be the “age” of Sarah at her “dying”. Is Vashti the Church that is sent away because she does the same exact thing? Esther is the maidservant that rises from lowest places, and saves the people.

Garments of Menstruation

כַטָּמֵא֙ כֻּלָּ֔נוּ וּכְבֶ֥גֶד עִדִּ֖ים כָּל־ צִדְקֹתֵ֑ינוּ

the whole of us are like the unclean, like garments of menstruation is the whole of our justice…

Isaiah 64:6 TNCLT (truthful, non-contrived, literal translation)

Since our righteousness [justice] has to do with faith, this is a call to repentance from our unbelieving hearts….and our faithless high-school crap-happy translations.

This lends to deep thought regarding the Church as a “faithless harlot bride”. What is the prophet saying through the nature of the monthly period? Anybody?

<dead silence overtakes the congregation>

Anyone?

2 Peter 3:12 Prophecy on the Heavens

waiting for and hasting to the presence of the day of God, by which the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements with burning heat shall melt;

2 Peter 3:12 YLT

Many translations render this interpretively under the bizarre thought that the Heavens could be destroyed. Really? I’ve thought many a time, how in the world planets and stars might be “set on fire and destroyed” or “burn up and be dissolved”. Never figured it out. Then I read it for myself in the Greek. The YLT is the most faithful, recognizing the present participle of pyroumenoi, inflamed, glowing, purified, on fire. The Greek lythēsontai is not “dissolved”. It means loose, untie, unleash. Stoicheia means elementary principles, the basics, the A-B-Cs of the World. Everything everyone thought they knew about “God”….will melt (tēketai) like wax into liquid. The very “heart” of men will melt……

Therefore, all hands do fail, And every heart of man doth melt. Isa. 13:7 YLT

Toward the hearing, for she comes; and the whole heart has melted, and the whole hands has slackened, and the whole spirit has weakened, and the whole knees are walking waters. Behold, she comes, and SHE HAS BEEN BROUGHT ABOUT... Eze. 21:7 literal

The oracle concerning Egypt. Behold, Yahweh is riding on a swift cloud and is about to come to Egypt; The idols of Egypt will tremble at His presence, And the heart of the Egyptians will melt within them. Isa. 19:1

The right reading is this,

expecting and hastening the coming of the day of Theos, through which the heavens, inflamed, shall be unleashed, and the elementary principles will melt with burning heat.

The End of the Tongues Mystery

The working theory is that “tongues” involves a group effort to enclose secrets within the common man’s language (both Hebrew and Greek). This means if you didn’t know one (like Jesus) was “speaking in a tongue” you would mistake his sayings for something that seemed to apply to normal colloquialism, culture, or social constructs. When colloquialism, culture, or social constructs become the prevailing basis for the translation/interpretation process the tongue itself will inevitably be erased and no one will be able to even attempt to interpret it. Such a basis is a very sandy one anyway because who of us can really know what constituted cultural constructs and colloquialisms or not unless we were there?

I thank God, I speak more tongues than you all;

1 Cor. 14:18 YLT Literal

The literal rendering of the verse is I thank God, than all of you more tongues I speak. It wasn’t that Paul spoke in tongues more than everyone but that he spoke more tongues than everyone. The word “in” is not found in the Greek and is added by all the translations except Young’s Literal. The same applies to the other verses

and I wish you all to speak with tongues, and more that ye may prophesy, for greater is he who is prophesying than he who is speaking with tongues, except one may interpret, that the assembly may receive edification.

1 Cor. 14:5 YLT Literal

Paul spoke more tongues than anyone because he knew the Scriptures better than anyone.

The writers of the Bible have apparently combined many symbolic themes (tongues) into categorical ways of speaking about the same truths. Consider that speaking a parable is “speaking a tongue”.

Here are some lists of such “tongues” with some of the more obvious words. They are roughly categorized, not to be taken as precise. Some tongues appear to be more like sub-languages easily confused such as the Face and the Body. Most people who have spent time in the Church will recognize the symbolic nature of many of these words. But how to interpret?

the Plant tongue the Animal tongue the Building tongue the Family tongue the Body tongue

seed

grass

herbs

shrubs

trees

leaves

fruit

tares

chaff

grain

seed

fish of the Sea

crawling creatures

wild animals

domesticated animals

sheep

goats

cattle

birds

man and woman (the only creatures who walk upright)

etc.

ivory

precious stones

gold

silver

brass/bronze

ivory

wood

hay

stubble

etc.

seed

son

daughter

sister

brother

son-in-law

daughter-in-law

mother-in-law

Father

Mother

uncle

aunt

Baal

Beulat

Bethulah

Bachurim

orphan

widow

etc.

head

neck

shoulders

arms

hands (and fingers, and even nails)

belly

loins

thighs

feet

The Face/Head (sub-tongue)

eyes

ears

cheeks

nostril

mouth

lips

teeth

tongue

beard

hair

etc.

the Weather tongue the Musical Instruments tongue the Water tongue the Ground tongue the Numerical tongue
lightning

thunder

hail

rain

snow

clouds

whirlwind

drought

fall

winter

summer

spring

etc.

trumpet

harp

lyre

lute

pipe

cymbals

tambourine

bells

etc.

spring

fountain

cistern

well

mist

stream

river

pool

sea

rain

tears

saliva

deep

etc.

good soil

rocky ground

wayside

thorny ground

sand

rock

mire

etc.

one

two

three

four

666

seven

twelve

twenty-four

seventy-seven

one thousand

ten thousand

etc.

There are many of these tongues. And obviously it requires work to figure them out. We don’t just start babbling like a maniac. Sit down and do your homework. Don’t be lazy, be importunate. The more we learn, the more ability we have to decipher the mysteries which often appear to make use of a combination of tongues:

We hanged our harps Upon the willows

Psalm 137:2

The pictures painted by the authors of the “poetic” scriptures are especially “nonsensical”. Who the hell hangs a harp in a tree? What? The Hebrews were clearly obsessed with speaking/writing enigmatically.

Try to count how many “tongues” are packed into just this one vision:

As I looked, behold, a stormy wind came out of the north, and a great cloud, with brightness around it, and fire flashing forth continually, and in the midst of the fire, as it were gleaming metal. And from the midst of it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had a human likeness, but each had four faces, and each of them had four wings. Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the sole of a calf’s foot. And they sparkled like burnished bronze. Under their wings on their four sides they had human hands.

Ezekiel 1:4-8

Yikes!

Hades, Death, Abyss, Gehenna, Outer Darkness, Tartarus, Lake of Fire

At least seven different words, yet traditionally consolidated into one–hell.

The word “hell” was engineered in this way from the 8th century Anglo-Saxon pagan word that spoke of an abode or nether world of the dead. It was not the same as what it came to be defined as. The word is not ever used in the Bible. Instead what you will find behind the translation is a lot of different words.

There are few Biblical words that have been so stretched, morphed, engineered, and entirely screwed up as these. It was thought that people were too stupid to think for themselves and learn to differentiate between the meanings of seven different concepts and so learn wisdom. So they created Hell. “Their fear of me is a commandment of men” (Isaiah 29:13).

The great revelation of the Bible is one of justice. It is said when all is fulfilled in the Day of the Great Consummation, the Judgement, people will marvel. Heaven’s justice will be unbelievable, perfect, and marvelous because it is based on true equity or evenness. It levels the field, straightens the plumb line, and makes straight the way. All those robbed, oppressed, down-trodden, etc. are repaid.

…and the whole of the people him-who-hears [participle masculine singular], and the tax collectors, justified the God, they-who-have-been-submerged [participle masculine plural] by the submerging of John…

Luke 7:29 literal

(Notice how the text switches between a masculine singular participle and a masculine plural participle for “the people”.)

and himself is judging the world in justice, he is governing the peoples in equity [evenness, uprightness, equity #4339].

Psalm 9:8 literal

The world at last obtains true equity. If God meant to say “He will damn all the peoples to eternity in hell” he sure did miss the opportunity right then. Or maybe the Psalmist didn’t read the gospel tract quite right.

There is nothing about the modern concept of hell that evens out or makes anything level. Being conceptually lost in an abstract concept, it is impossible to see anything just about the current contrivance of hell. But we are forced to swallow it regardless and everyone is committed thereafter to ambuscade the hell out of their neighbors, seeking the most efficient, streamlined, mass-conversion methodology ratio and engineering possible.

Every penny is said to be repaid in the coming age (Matt. 5:26). How can anyone stuck in a torture chamber forever repay anyone anything? There is nothing marvelous about that. It is in fact an atrocious form of justice that no one wants to think about. Genocidal perpetrators who are forced to repay every single one of his victims down to the last penny taken, sounds more like a real display of justice and equity one could marvel at.

The Kingdom is inside “her”?

nor shall they say, Lo, here; or lo, there; for lo, the reign of God is inside you.’

Luke 17:21 YLT

Translators and scholars don’t want to hear what it really says. A better word could not be chosen to express inside. The Greek word is entos. And is also used by Jesus here, and mind you,

Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside [entos] of the cup, so that the outside of it may also become clean.

Matt. 23:26

The real question then is who? He spoke to them in the plural, you all. If we were to think of it as an enigma—them also being called “mother” by the same Jesus—we could entertain the idea of a womb………and Isaiah 66 would be much more interesting, where we read that Zion “gives birth” to a nation….

But why speak so darkly?

Paul, the hardest code to crack

for myself indeed, him-who-is-away-from the body, yet him-who-is-near the spirit, even now, as him-who-is-near, have judged the-one, thus working out this-one in the name of the Master of ourselves Jesus Christ — those-who-have-been-gathered of yourselves, and of myself of spirit — with the power of the Master of ourselves, Jesus, to hand over such a one the Satan into the ruin of the flesh, so that the spirit may be rescued in the day of the Master.

1 Corinthians 5:3-5 literal

Paul is a wildly controversial figure because of how he has been traditionally interpreted. He spent the entire previous chapter explaining how he was the refuse of all the earth. Garbage. Filth. Mistreated. Dishonored. Fool. Buffeted. Reviled. Persecuted.

Imagine a writing of your own being treated by the world like his? The horror.

As is evident from this verse, Paul seems to speak through time to the end times, judging a man “who has his father’s wife” that he be “delivered up” so that the flesh (which is against the spirit) may be destroyed and the spirit (which is Life) may be rescued. It sounds oddly similar to Jesus’ words about the end times in Mark 13:20

“And if Master had not mutilated those days, the whole flesh would not have been rescued; but on account of the chosen, whom He chose, He mutilated the days.”

Mark 13:20 literal

The enigmas just pile up in this book. There is nothing plain in this speech, and it is on purpose, whatever it means.

Many write of his words as “pertinent to the culture he was in”. But, consider, maybe it was the exact opposite? Being away from body, yet “as being near” the spirit. For a man who called himself a “steward of the mysteries of God” who apparently knew the mysteries of the Bible far beyond any of us, it becomes counter-intuitive to be dogmatic with regard to anything Paul says. Consider that Paul is not haphazardly writing his letters, but is carefully choosing each and every word, words which themselves may have far deeper meanings…

For if you may have ten thousand guardians [paidagógos, boy-tutors] in Christ, except not many fathers; for in Christ Jesus through the good news myself has begotten yourselves. 1 Cor. 4:15 literal

עֶ֫צֶם, Bone

Hebrew has a lot of figurative usage for different words. “Bone” happens to be one of those. It is pronounced, etsem. Look at these Proverbs:

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prov. 16:24

The light of the eyes rejoices the heart, and good news refreshes the bones. Prov. 15:30

A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot. Prov. 14:30

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Prov. 3:7-8

Isaiah uses it here:

You shall see, and your heart shall rejoice; your bones shall flourish like the grass; and the hand of the LORD shall be known to his servants, and he shall show his indignation against his enemies. Isaiah 66:14

Zophar uses it:

His bones are full of his youthful vigor, but it will lie down with him in the dust.  Job 20:11

Elihu uses it:

Man is also chastened with pain on his bed, And with unceasing complaint in his bones; Job 33:19

It’s an interesting and unique thing to think of bones in the sense of “flourishing” , “healing”, and being full of “vigor”. What are they talking about exactly? Jobs words seems to give the best definition:

“And now my soul is poured out within me;
days of affliction have taken hold of me.
The night racks my bones,
and the pain that gnaws me takes no rest.
With great force my garment is disfigured;
it binds me about like the collar of my tunic.
God has cast me into the mire,
and I have become like dust and ashes. Job 30:17-19

The context of this is Job’s soul which is being poured out within him. It apparently relates to the substance of the soul. The figurative expression carries over into English. When we say something like, “there’s fire in my bones,” we speak about feeling within the deepest parts of our being.  Jeremiah says exactly this,

If I say, “I will not mention him, or speak any more in his name,” there is in my heart as it were a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I am weary with holding it in, and I cannot. Jer. 20:9

Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones is an entire word of the Lord based on…bones…

Then he said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are indeed cut off.’ Eze. 37:11

Looking at Prov. 14:30 again we see that the author was saying that a tranquil heart is good for the body while envy rots the soul. Envy doesn’t do anything to your real bones. So, the interpretation fits. With this in mind, what happens if we apply this to the poetry of Adam in Genesis 2:23?

Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”

What we find is that Adam wasn’t being redundant but instead saying that the woman was of the same substance as his flesh and the same substance as his soul. This yields insight, I believe, to the act of God “removing one of Adam’s ribs” as taking a piece of Adam’s own soul and generating it into a woman. This presents to us a deeper truth that Adam and Eve were not separate egalitarian creations like the animals but of one and the same substance in flesh and soul. And why would this not also carry over into marriage when the two souls unite to make one flesh? The whole picture is truly enigmatic and prophetic in every way.