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This is Part 2 examining the incredible potential of mankind. The world does not know of God’s marvelous Plan. Evolutionists are trapped within the boundaries of their theory. They see no greater reason for the birth of a human than a puppy or giraffe. If human beings are merely the highest animal produced by blind, dumb evolution, it is impossible for them to at the same time believe in a transcendent, God-ordained purpose for human life. No one can honestly accept two opposite positions!
Though often highly intelligent, the evolutionist’s dependence on human reasoning, accompanied by rejection of revealed knowledge, leaves him utterly incapable of knowing God’s great purpose for humanity. He has literally shut himself out of true understanding!
This Personal is for those who will consider what God reveals. God’s Word shows that man has an awesome purpose completely beyond human imagination. After hearing God’s explanation, you be the judge of whether it makes more sense than what is offered by evolutionists—and traditional Christianity.
If you regularly read The Real Truth, you know the Bible is God’s Instruction Book for mankind. It is the source of revealed knowledge and understanding that man cannot discover for himself. It answers life’s most important questions.
Recall from Part 1 that the Bible begins with Genesis, meaning “beginnings.” This book explains more about God’s Plan than I have covered. It reveals that animals were made differently, with each after “his kind.”
Men are not part of the animal kind. They do not carry the likeness of any “beast of the earth.” As part of the God kind, man was created to enter a relationship with his Creator that animals can never realize.
Think for a moment. What could be more important to understand than the purpose for your life? But most live their entire lives without even a clue as to why they are here. They drift aimlessly, unconcerned about the answers to life’s greatest questions—why life and why death? Others enjoy debating life’s meaning, but never arrive at the correct answers. Many conclude mankind is little more than a cosmic accident—luck put us here!
Genesis 1 records man’s physical creation. Adam was created so that he looked like—appeared like—God in physical form and shape. Though physically complete, Adam was left spiritually incomplete. A vital spiritual component was missing.
Adam was physical. He breathed air, and required food and water—all needed to survive.
Though Adam was made in the image of God, there was an obvious—and big—difference between him and God. Adam was made of the dust. Since God is a spirit, He is made—composed—of spirit.
An important parallel exists between Adam and Christ—the God of the Old Testament (John 1:1, 14; I Cor. 10:4). It offers another clue to God’s purpose. The apostle Paul makes this comparison: “So it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [Christ] was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural [Adam]; and afterward [at the Resurrection] that which is spiritual. The first man [Adam] is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven [Christ]. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also [by the Resurrection] that are heavenly. And as we [converted, Spirit-led people] have borne the image of the earthy [made of flesh], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly [composed of spirit]” (I Cor. 15:45-49).
Paul’s inspired statement starts with a reference to Genesis 2:7—“so it is written.” For those who will accept it, this is New Testament verification of the Genesis account! Paul knew Adam “was made” by God—that this did happen. He believed the Old Testament account.
The goal of a Christian is to receive a spirit body at the Resurrection—to “bear the image of the heavenly.” As God created animals—elephants, dogs, cats, horses, etc.—to reproduce after their kind, He (Elohim) created man after the God kind.
Grasp this. God planned His spiritual creation to be with humans—never animals. We must understand how.
Animals possess instinct. No evolutionist has ever successfully explained why this is or how it is even possible. Why do bees return to their hive day after day, generation after generation, making honey the same as they did 1,000 years ago unless they were designed to do this? Why do birds know to fly south, and at just the right time? Then, how do many know to go each year to the exact same tree in Central or South America—and then fly back north, right on schedule? Instinct!
As marvelous as is this instinctive capability, it is dwarfed by the capacity and power of human intellect. Humans can acquire knowledge. All knowledge falls into two categories: (1) physical knowledge of how to work with matter and physical things, and (2) spiritual knowledge necessary for people to develop personal relationships with both God and their fellow man. All knowledge is either physical or spiritual.
Physical knowledge is acquired through the five basic senses—sight, hearing, smell, touch and taste. People understand they must gain certain knowledge and add to it throughout their lives. The senses enable them to continually do this.
God gave Adam and Eve “dominion” over the Earth (Gen. 1:26). This meant man would be able to and need to learn and produce—to generate—much knowledge in subjugating the planet. He designed human beings with minds that could create, devise, reason, observe and experiment. Through this inherent ability, physical knowledge could be processed. This was good and right, as long as it was used within the framework God intended.
Adam and Eve’s problem was they reasoned that every kind of knowledge necessary for salvation could be obtained on their own through experimentation. Once they moved off course from God’s intended way, they had no hope of reaching the destination He purposed for them—and neither does mankind, which followed their choice. Once this first couple accepted the wrong premise as their starting point—that they could reason everything out themselves—they were destined to fail!
Accumulating vast knowledge over millennia has not changed—and will never change—that mankind is headed for the wrong destination.
Every sophisticated or technical device or product comes with an instruction manual. Without it, the owner would find the object useless. He would not know how to properly operate it. Nor could he repair or maintain it.
God’s Instruction Manual—the Bible—contains vital revealed knowledge that is otherwise unattainable. Unlike the modern system of education, it teaches how to live, not just how to earn a living. It explains history, prophecy, important knowledge of doctrine, and thousands of other points and principles governing every aspect of life.
Now understand. The Bible was never intended to contain ALL knowledge. It just contains that which is essential for salvation—knowledge man could not discover through human reason, experimentation, analysis and observation. The Bible was not intended to teach mankind how to design marvels of engineering such as telescopes that can probe the outer reaches of the universe or computers that can perform trillions of calculations per second. Men were given the capacity to reason out and design these and many other highly complex, technical inventions.
Education in physical knowledge is therefore important.
Here is why. Much of Earth’s population lives in abject poverty, disease, filth, squalor and illiteracy. They lack the most fundamental education that developed “have” nations enjoy. So, basic education can bring physical improvements and advancements for civilization.
Surely 6,000 years of misery, unhappiness and every conceivable evil, ill and woe that humanity has suffered ought to tell the world it should carefully heed the Instruction Book it has ignored. Yet man continues to reject God’s spiritual revelation.
However, cut off from revealed laws and truths, man still possesses the power of human reasoning, which sadly has led to weapons of mass destruction, terror, cruelty, slavery, repression, pollution, crime, religious confusion, and so much more. Hence, man’s misery and woes compound and mount at every turn.
But remember, God’s process of spiritual creation is still in progress. It is not complete!
Let’s continue examining the bigger picture of God’s Purpose. God is fashioning, molding and building His very character in those He calls. Notice: “O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and we all are the work of Your hand” (Isa. 64:8).
Most have no idea God works within human beings He has called—or what He is doing in them. God is now actively working in the minds of only those few who have His Holy Spirit (read Acts 2:38). Humans are not born with God’s character. And, again, God cannot instantly infuse them with it. Character must be developed.
The true Christian increases in understanding and “grow[s] in grace, and…knowledge” (II Pet. 3:18). He endures a lifetime of overcoming because he is in training for a great purpose. Those called know “he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (Matt. 24:13).
Paul understood how God works in Christians. He recognized that salvation (Rom. 6:23), and even faith to receive it, are free gifts. They cannot be earned. But this does not mean God is not actively working (requiring good works) in people, as He reproduces Himself.
Consider: “By grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:8-10).
Did you catch the phrase Paul used—“we are His workmanship”? What could be plainer? The verse continued by saying Christians must “walk” in “good works.” The false notion of “just believing in Jesus” thwarts God’s Supreme Purpose of fashioning people through careful workmanship, like a potter with clay.
Salvation, though of “grace…through faith,” involves good works. This means salvation is a process, not something that happens immediately upon supposedly just “giving your heart to Jesus.”
Here is more: “If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature…” (II Cor. 5:17). Those God is working with are literally new creations! The one who serves God is being transformed in his mind. He seeks to replace his own will with God’s will in all matters. He seeks to please God—not self!
There is another crucial element of man’s potential to understand. While man is composed of flesh, he has a non-physical component, which can only be understood through what God has revealed in His Holy Word. The Bible records, “There is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty gives them understanding” (Job 32:8). This is plain. Here, God reveals men possess a kind of spirit—called the “spirit in man.”
Because man is made of physical matter, God, composed of spirit, had to have a way for Himself to be able to work with and communicate with man (flesh). Notice this: “…The Lord, which stretches forth the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him” (Zech. 12:1). God created, designed and formed the spirit of man in each human being.
Now an astonishing verse: “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 Cor. 2:11).
Do not try to interpret this verse. Accept it for what it says. It identifies two different kinds of spirit—the “Spirit of God” and the “spirit of man.” Each provides a different function in acquiring knowledge. This verse identifies how.
Human knowledge (“the things of a man”) is acquired because God has given men a human spirit. Paul makes clear that spiritual knowledge (“the things of God”) can only be acquired by the presence of the Spirit of God. Even this very knowledge—that these two spirits exist and how they work—is in itself truly amazing! Virtually no one has the knowledge about how either physical or spiritual knowledge is acquired!
All human beings were created by God to receive two entirely different spirits. One comes at conception. The other by repentance and baptism. Without God’s Spirit, people are incomplete. Their existence remains limited to what they can acquire on their own without God’s help. Thus, vast amounts of spiritual knowledge remain beyond reach. Though the human ability to acquire physical knowledge is beyond animals, men cannot attain any of this other marvelous understanding.
Proverbs offers important insight: “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (20:27). Think of this verse in the following way: God can work within a physical brain—communicating with and inspiring it—by means of, or through use of, the non-physical component of this spirit.
In the converted mind, both the Spirit of God and spirit of man are present. They work jointly: “The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Rom. 8:16). This is fascinating to know. The converted person differs from animals in two distinct ways.
At the end of the converted person’s life, God returns the human spirit to Himself. In it He has preserved a detailed record of all that pertained to the life of that individual. This is the plain statement of scripture: “…I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thes. 5:23).
The spirit, soul and body represent all that was the person. The personality, experiences, accumulated knowledge, and character of each human being is reflected in the human spirit.
Next is the capstone verse that explains the preservation of all human spirits and exactly where God keeps them: “You are come unto mount Zion [in prayer, is the context], and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:22-23). This is an incredible passage. The God of “all spirits” (and of all “just men made perfect”) keeps them with Him until the Resurrection.
It is in heaven—specifically heavenly Jerusalem—where the spirits of all God’s saints since Creation are preserved, awaiting the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (I Thes. 5:23).
The spirit in man neither changes nor resurrects the person. This comes from God’s Spirit, first working in the mind. We saw that, at the Resurrection, the spirit in man will unite with the Holy Spirit. We will be exactly the same, except made of spirit and therefore will no longer have human nature or the pulls of the flesh.
Think of man’s spirit like a cassette tape of everything we have ever learned or done—the very mold of the mind for our coming spirit body, containing the memory, character and experiences of each human being. In a sense, like any cassette tape, it can be played back. Yet it cannot have or give life, or function by itself. It must be connected to a physical brain—or a spirit mind at the Resurrection.
Like one working with a computer, the spirit in man works with the brain to form the amazing human mind!
Science will never discover this knowledge. What you have just learned almost no one knows!
It is supremely important—absolutely vital!—to grasp that Christians only grow through being connected to Christ. The Bible often speaks of “Christ in us” (Gal. 2:20; 4:19; Col. 1:27; Eph. 3:17; II Cor. 13:5). The Christian does not do the character-building works. Christ, at work in him, does them. The Father guides the process as a person remains in contact with Him through the Spirit of Christ (and God) in him.
Keep this clear. It is not anything you do of and by yourself that produces works of righteousness. Some do not understand God’s role in building character and righteousness: “They being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10:3).
It is a complete waste of effort to build your own character, your own works of righteousness. They gain you nothing with God. All spiritual growth comes from Him! But you must do your part in yielding to God.
Paul wrote, “We are laborers together with God: you are God’s husbandry [meaning tillage or crops], you are God’s building” (I Cor. 3:9). This is profound knowledge. God is a husbandman—a farmer. He is building a Family. True Christians are the product of His husbandry—His workmanship.
God, not any man, is building His Church. Jesus said, “I will build My Church” (Matt. 16:18). No wonder Paul wrote, “You are God’s building.” Yes, God is building something very special within those He calls.
Of course, every stable building has a proper foundation. This helps it remain solid. Paul adds, “Other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ” (I Cor. 3:11). May your life come to be built on the stable, solid foundation of the true Jesus Christ at work in you!
Man’s allotted time under Satan will soon be over, and all human beings will be taught about their incredible potential. The terrible suffering, misery and insoluble problems of a world cut off from God will no longer exist. His mercy will soon end all of this forever.
But why has such terrible suffering been necessary—and for so long? What purpose has it played in God’s Master Plan?
Much! Jesus, as “Captain of [our] salvation,” was made “perfect through sufferings” (Heb. 2:10). It is crucial to understand why Jesus had to suffer. Hebrews explains clearly: “Though He were a Son, yet learned He obedience by the things which He suffered; and being made perfect, He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey Him” (5:8-9).
What a big verse to grasp. Suffering kicks the spiritual learning mechanism into gear. When people suffer—encounter adversity—they learn (read Ecc. 7:14)! They gain experience—learn crucial lessons. This is critically important to the character-building process—to fulfilling their purpose for being!
Though sinless, even Jesus learned through suffering. This allowed Him to “captain” salvation for many sons God will add to His Family.
Mankind’s suffering is no accident. When seeing the terrible, random, mass suffering around the world, many ask: Why do so many people, including innocent children, suffer so horribly? I repeat. This world is cut off from God (read Isa. 59:1-2 and Jer. 5:25).
Again, God is only working with a tiny few today. He is not delivering, protecting and working with the masses—yet! Man is being given time to learn his ways do not work—his governments, religions, philosophies, values, educational systems, and cultures do not work, and God is for now keeping hands off. Man is learning the slow, painful lesson—for when God calls all mankind later—that when you keep God’s holy, spiritual Law, it keeps you, and when you break it, it breaks you.
Can you now understand why the world must suffer? Can you better see that it is through difficult, painful experience that people will eventually understand life’s deepest lessons?
Suffering is actually one of the most marvelous tools in God’s Plan of reproducing sons with His character in them. Adversity is tied to character-building. Since God is longsuffering, no person is complete in the development of His nature and character until he has learned the value of suffering!
Every person God calls is presented with the same choice Adam and Eve faced—yielding to God and His government or to Satan and his nature.
God is a Father. He has one Spirit-composed Son, but we saw He will later have many more sons (Rom. 8:19). As little children grow up to look like their physical parents, so do God’s children slowly take on the spiritual likeness of their Parent, in holy, righteous character. The apostle Peter described Christians as “partakers of the divine nature” (II Pet. 1:4)—the nature of God. There is the physical nature of creation, human nature, and God’s nature. God is refashioning corrupt, carnal human nature into wonderful, glorious, perfect, spiritual character—His divine nature!
Character is understanding—knowing—right from wrong and doing what is right instead of what is wrong! God reveals what is right, but it is through the power of free moral agency, deciding to DO what is right, that righteous character is built.
Character is consciously choosing the right way against resistance. It is not the easy way. It is swimming against the current rather than drifting lazily wherever it is going. It is building love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (self-control), wisdom, knowledge, understanding, humility and more. This takes time, because character is built through experience.
God has perfect character in all respects. For instance, He is love (I John 4:8, 16). Love is fulfilling the Law, which requires yielding to God (Rom. 13:10; I John 5:3). It is outgoing, outflowing concern for others, putting them first—instead of self-interests. Satan’s nature is selfish, inward and concerned only with what is best for self and how to get more for self. This is what he injected into Adam and Eve upon eating the forbidden fruit.
My free book The Awesome Potential of Man will open your eyes to so much more about man’s incredible future. Revealing the truth of salvation, it will expand your thinking beyond what you have ever dreamed. Not a book of mere helpful hints or tips for life, every chapter is loaded with real meaning—straight from God’s Word!
Recall God has allotted 7,000 years—seven millennial days—to work out His Plan. We are nearing the end of the sixth day allotted to man under Satan. Jesus Christ will soon return to establish God’s government and perfect spiritual law on Earth. Satan will be bound (Rev. 20:2) and no longer able to sway this world to evil and rebellion against God’s revealed knowledge. Then, only a few will reject and refuse to obey God.
While God made man in the form and shape, physically, of Himself, we saw it does not end there. God is creating children that will look and BE just like Him! To build the very character of God is the reason you exist—it fulfills your awesome potential!