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Responses to a christian friend. Part 1


This is what the friend wrote: 
"GENESIS 1:26 AND JOHN 1:1-5 AND HEBREWS 5:7 AND JOHN 14:30-31 JOHN 17:1-8 . WHAT DO THESE SCRIPTURES MEAN? THEIR ARE MORE BUT I DON'T WANT TO OVER LOAD MY BRAIN."
How does one respond to this because it is a loaded question, but if you were asked, and you had the time to give each one some thought what would you say. Although I cannot swear to it, my understanding of computer chat speak tells me that writing in all caps is like yelling. If that is the case I think there is a lot going on in the background that I don't know about.
I prefer to think that God is exciting and passionately in love with us. This might motivate him to give us information that drives us in our desire to find out more about him. Tearing apart verses does that for me. I may not do the best job of it, and I cannot stand relaying my explanations in words so big that few can understand, let alone me, but I try; plus it gives me a tremendous sense of satisfaction. 

With no frame of reference as to what puzzles my friend about these passages I opted to look at them with a questioning eye. What would bother me about them? For example "God said, let us make man". Having been around the church for a long time that has some meaning to me, but in truth I have grappled with the concept of plurality also, not so successfully at times. So then the added benefit that I always find is that I gain a deeper understanding of God, and fall more deeply in love with him.

Let's dive in -
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.

And God said - The word used is elohym. It is seen as elohim in our English bibles. It implies  plurality, but when specifically used with the article means the supreme God. The word pops up throughout the OT and is also used when referencing the lesser gods of the nations that surrounded Israel. The word elohym is a derivative of the word eloahh the singular word for God. The word 'elohym occurs 2605 times in the bible. 2366 of those times it is translated as "god".
Elohim is also translated as gods, but not to be confused with the triune God as we might understand. In Genesis 3:5 Satan told them "that in the day you eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and you shall be as gods, knowing good and evil,". Where they to suddenly become plural entities themselves, not hardly, but having all knowledge. They did not know how to sin, that was Satan's invention and his first attempt at killing them, therefore Satan's use of the word on Adam and Eve has to refer to a god as a common thing.
Israel was told repeatedly not to worship the god's of the nations around them, and the word used was elohym. It merely, in these cases, meant the multitude of useless objects, and characterizations that people substituted for God. This, by the way, seems to really piss God off when we substitute other things for him.

Let us make - The concept of a triune God is not exclusive to the New Testament. This is our first introduction. God is a spirit, Jesus made that clear (he ought to know), and those that worship him must do so in spirit and in truth. I suppose that means an all encompassing belief in him, much like throwing your entire heart into something. 
 
How would you define a spirit? Undefinable? 
Perhaps because we work so hard at putting a body on God is why we struggle so to understand Him. 
We learn from scripture that there is God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and yet they are one. Jesus was able to function on earth as a man while praying to the Father in heaven, and yet He was God. The book "The Shack" did a pretty good job of defining them as being in perfect communication and harmony and yet separate, but not independent; a condition we humans cannot do because we always have to be in control.
Because we have seen them in operation, through God's word and experience, we know they exist, have an impact on our daily lives, and hopefully believe that they are. True our minds do not want to wrap around the concept of who and how, but that does not make them less real. While in fact they are reality and we are the ones living in a phony world.

make man in our image - The word translated make is asah, and means to do or to fashion. That seems simple enough, but God is a spirit, therefore the man would have had to have been a spirit too. Following the path in Genesis you will find that God eventually puts a body on the man.
The word translated man is adam, and can also mean mankind or human being. This will have a strange twist in a moment.

in our image, after our likeness - Remember that God is not singular in being, therefore "our likeness" can take on a whole new meaning. This has to imply that every aspect of God was put in man. Do not think singularly here. The Holy Spirit comforts, teaches, and causes fruit to bear in our lives. Jesus the great Raboni (teacher), discipler, healer, and lover of the broken, and God is supreme in every way and yet loves us with an everlasting love, one that we have no way of comprehending the depth of. And yet this was his creation, an image of Elohim. 
Man, having no sin, had no thought of taking control and using all this power for evil purposes. If this was man in its purest form, and apparently God's traits invested in man were "genetic" in nature, then imagine what men were like after the fall, all they seemed to do was to attempt to dominate each other, one of the main reasons for the flood of Noah.

and let them - Here is where our train tends to fall off the tracks. We believe that God made man, Adam, one guy, and yet here is a plural word "them". What is up with that?
Consider the Hebrew word adam, and that it means man or mankind. God did not make all of mankind at one shot (at least I don't think so), but it appears that there were at least two entities in the image of God here on earth, and they were both considered adam. There is the possibility that the persons we call Adam and Eve walked in unison, as gods, on this earth, without sin, expressing all the aspects of God, perfectly.
It is also possible that this is God projecting a future population, but then that would have to have been a perfect world, and we can assume that we might not have been here at this point. Not that sex is an outcropping of sin, but without a body (I assume) there would be no need or thought of that happening. If that is not the case then God looked forward and saw us, and desired for us to have dominion over the earth, not people.

have dominion - This does not say anything about people having control over people, and really just needs your imagination and a good  medium steak to understand the dominion concept. You cannot deny that dinosaurs roamed this earth, but having dominion over them. An interesting concept that has no clear answer. I truly do not believe that he wanted us destroying this earth considering that he made it beautiful for us. It would appear that man's greed and corruption had a direct relationship to earth's destruction. I suppose that would be why God is going to destroy it all and make us a new one.

I will explore some of the other verses in the future.  

As a side note. Why do we seem to be so dismayed at having to believe that God is, and that He is a rewarder of those that love Him. The muslims are pressured to believe also. They must believe that one man (Mohamed) received the words from Allah, while the insanity of that notion is duly noted in the Quran, yet few dare to refute him. They must believe that Jesus will return again only to support the anti-christ, the awaited Mahdi, and demand that people bow in worship of Allah or die. 
I mean really is our believing so difficult. So many of this American nation put their faith in Obama, electing him President, because he claimed to be the man of change. Faith is not that difficult. Believing that there is no God when there are so many proofs that He exists is the difficult part.


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