Church of God, New World Ministries

Can Man Become God? (Part 1)

Is there any purpose for human life? Does life, after all, have real meaning you have never realized? You need to know!

Was humanity created and put here on the earth by an intelligent and Almighty Creator for a definite purpose? And if so, what is that purpose – and why is humanity so totally unaware of it?

Or, on the other hand, did human life develop, over a period of millions of years, from lower animal species, by the process of evolution? Did we humans come to be formed and shaped as we are purely by natural causes and resident forces?

These are the two possibilities of origins. Today the theory of evolution has gained almost universal acceptance in levels of higher learning. Yet biologists and the proponents of the evolutionary doctrine fail to show any definite purpose for the presence of the human family on this planet. Neither do they tell us why man is as he is. Man possess such awesome intellectual and production powers that he can fly to the moon and return safely, but at the same time he is utterly helpless before the onslaught of this world’s problems, sufferings and evils. For that matter, neither has religion shown man his true purpose in life.

It has suddenly become imperative that we find the answer. Suddenly humanity’s number one problem has become the question of survival. And time is fast running out on us.

Why these mounting, fast-accelerating evils? Neither the evolutionary biologists nor the world’s religions have so far given any explanation. They offer no solution. They give us no hope!

We are now in a head-on confrontation with this frightening fact any one of several heads of nations could plunge this world into the nuclear World War III that could erase all human life from the earth!

Has man progressed to the point where he is about to destroy himself? Is that the end of the evolutionary line? Is that the manner in which science and technology are about to administer the death-blow to all the world’s religions?

Is it possible there may exist a source able to shed heretofore unrecognized new light on this life-and-death question? Is it even possible there exists new evidence, vital to humanity’s survival and the peace of the world within the Biblical revelation, heretofore unrecognized by theologians, Judaism and traditional Christianity?

If so, with the imminent possibility of the obliteration of humanity and with time running out, there is no time to be lost in searching it out.

In this crisis hour of human existence, no apology is offered for turning the spotlight onto the truly startling revelation that has been rejected by science and higher education, and these viral portions overlooked by religion.

The book called the Holy Bible itself lays claim to being the revelation of basic, necessary knowledge – the instruction manual which man’s Maker sent along with the crowning product of His making – the human man!

Could this least-understood of all books reveal purpose behind the presence of mankind on the earth? Does it explain why man is as he is – at once so creative and yet so destructive? Does it explain why man is so utterly helpless before his own problems, yet with such awesome intellectual and productive powers? Does it offer solutions? Does it give us hope?

To all these vital questions, the emphatic answer is a resounding YES! But ask the same questions concerning evolution, or the teaching of religions, and the answer is regrettably NO!

Would it not, then, seem the folly of fools to refuse honest examination of these desperately needed answers? Here then, is our Maker’s crucial Message to mankind in this crisis hour of human history.

How this missing dimension in knowledge could have been overlooked these millenniums by religion, science and education is as shocking as the fact that our Creator, in the first two chapters of His revealed instruction Book, tells us clearly and emphatically that man is neither an animal nor an immortal soul! These first two chapters of Genesis refute the theory of evolution two ways:

The very first verse of the first chapter in the Bible states positively that God exists – that God created the heavens and the earth. In also states positively that man is not descended from lower animal species, and that man is not an animal. And the second chapter depicts God Himself saying positively that man is not an immortal soul – contrary to the very foundational belief of many, or most, religions!

The very first words in the Bible are: “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). No “perhaps” – no theories – just a positive statement!

Another important revelation to note at the very beginning: The human inspired to do the original writing of those words was Moses. Moses wrote in the Hebrew language. The English word “God” is translated from the Hebrew Elohim, a uniplural noun, like such words as “family,” ‘Church,” “team,” “group.”  It means one God but more than one Person composing that one God – just as a family is one family, but may be composed of two, five or more persons.

Now notice, in verse 21 of Genesis 1: “And God created great whales after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind.” Then in verse 25: “And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind.” And then verse 26:” And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

This says plainly God made whales after the whale kind, birds after the bird kind, cattle after the cattle kind, chimps after the chimp kind, but God made man after the God kind. That’s what it says!

And notice, please, Elohim did not say “let us make man after my kind” but “let us make man in our image, after our likeness.” It is the God Family speaking. But let us explain here that, beginning with verse 4 in the second chapter of Genesis, a new and different name for God is introduced. In the Hebrew it is YHVH Elohim. In the KJV, the Hebrew YHVH is translated “Lord” always in capital letters. It is here translated “Lord God.” There is no word in English which exactly renders the true meaning of YHVH. The Fenton translation renders it “the Ever-Living.” The Moffatt translation renders it “the Eternal.” Actually, this is the name, used in the Hebrew, for the same Person in the God Family that appears as Logo in the Greek (John 1:1-3) in the New Testament, and is translated “the Word.” Its meaning is the One of the God Family who is the Spokesman, by whom God {the Father of the God Family} created all things. It is the One who came in human flesh, Jesus Christ.

This reveals clearly, beyond dispute, that man is not an animal! Man was made in the image and likeness of God, in the very form and shape of God. Man was made to have a relation to God, to link to God, totally unlike any animal. That will become more apparent as we proceed.

But why did God make man in His own image? Why did He create the human species at all? Was there special purpose? Is there a meaning to human life unrealized by mankind?

The late Prime Minister of Great Britain, Winston Churchill, actually gave the answer when he said before the American Congress: “There is a purpose being worked out here below.” Of course, he implied a Higher Power, above, doing the working out.

But man, it seems, fails to understand that purpose.

Now look about you. Look at all the species and forms of living creatures. How many of these are able to think, plan, devise, and then bring about, by making or creating, that which was thought out, designed and planned?

By instinct, beavers build dams. But all these dams follow the same pattern. The beaver cannot think out some new, different pattern and make some new and different thing. Ants may form ant hills, gophers, snakes and rodents dig holes; birds build nests. But they always follow the same pattern. There is no originality, no thinking and designing of a new idea, no new construction.

The beaver’s dams, the ant’s hills. The gophers’, snakes’ and rodents’ holes, the birds’ nests are all made purely by instinct, not by thought and original designing.

A test was made with weaver birds. For five successive generations, weaverbirds were kept in a place with no nest-building materials available to them. The 5th generation had never seen a nest. But when nest-building materials were made possible, that 5th generation immediately made nests. And they were weaver-bird nests, not robins’ nests or swallows’ nests or eagles’ nests.

Evolution cannot account for the fact that animals are equipped with their marvelous instinct, yet with a total absence of mind power. Nor can it account for the absence of such instinct in man. Or, for the vast gulf between the powers of animal brain and human mind.

Man can design and build great dams such as the Grand Coulee. Man can build great tunnels through mountains or under rivers, such as the Hudson River, the Detroit River, the English Channel. Man can invent and build automobiles, airplanes, space shuttles, battleships, submarines. Man alone, of all God created, is capable of approaching real creative powers.

Look, however, at what man has actually done with the things he has had the intelligence and ability to devise and to make.

Thousands of years ago he learned to mine and process iron, gold, copper, and other metals. He made implements and constructed buildings, but he also made swords and spears and went out to destroy.

Man learned how to organize his kind into cities, groups, nations. But to what use did he put the organization he controlled? He organized the able-bodied of his men into armies and set out to conquer, to destroy, and to acquire by taking, not by producing and creating.

Man discovered that the powers he possessed allowed him to produce explosives, so that he could move mountains if necessary, but soon he exerted, at cost of billions of dollars, endeavoring to develop nuclear weapons faster than his enemies, and now is producing weapons of mass destruction that can blast all human life off the earth!

We need not go further. Just look about you and observe. If you are a thinker, you’ll see how man, endowed with a portion of God’s actual creative power, and the only being which has it, turns this power of devising, planning, inventing, and producing into destructive channels.

Look at the great factories of the major industrial nations. Here hums and roars the creative activity of mankind. Man has made some slight approach toward actual God powers and God activity in his tremendous industrial development. But there is one deadly fault with all this. Man has learned to exercise scientific, inventive and mechanical powers in excess of his development in ability to direct the product of his efforts into right and constructive channels.

Why did an all-wise Creator put man on this earth? Did the Creator design and make man as he is, with such tremendous intellect and powers, yet so destructive, and so helpless before all his problems?

It may come as a shock to learn true explanations of revolting world conditions, their causes, how it all came about and of the real purpose for human existence. But read with your own eyes in your own Bible, scriptures heretofore overlooked or rejected by man, yet true revelations that have been there all along! Moreover, the Bible itself tells us, if we will listen, how it came about that these foundational, basic truths have been both rejected and overlooked.

But now see it for yourself! If you do not have a Bible, buy one or borrow one without delay!

One of the very first things we need to realize, that has been utterly overlooked in the Bible is this: “Adam’s creation was not completed! The first chapter of Genesis, called the “creation chapter” actually does not record the completed creation at all! Man’s creation was not finished!

Read that amazing truth again! Be sure you understand!

What was created, as revealed in Genesis 1, was the physical creation, the mortal, physical man and woman, the physical material with which to create the spiritual creation!

The Bible plainly reveals this, as we shall see. What God actually is creating in the human family is the crowning, supreme masterpiece of all His works of creation! And that will be, when finished, millions or billions of humans converted into perfect spiritual character. This spiritual creation is still in progress!

As covered above, God created Adam and Eve in God’s own image, after God’s likeness. He created animal life, each animal after its own animal kind. But He created man after the God kind. That is, as to form and shape. But not of spirit composition.

In Genesis 2:7, it is plainly stated: “And the Eternal God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man (physical matter) became a living soul.”

When God caused breath, air to be breathed through man’s nostrils, man composed of physical matter from the ground became a soul. The soul is composed of matter, not of spirit.

That’s not what most people believe. But it is what the Bible says! Further it says: “The soul that sins, it shall die’ (Ezk. 18:4) That is so important it is stated twice for emphasis: “The soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezk. 18:20).

God is composed of Spirit, not of physical matter (John 4:24). But nowhere does the Bible say man is a spirit. Nowhere in the Bible can you find the expression “immortal soul,” or “immortality of the soul.” In Genesis 1, animals are called souls, that is, Moses used the word nephesh which in Genesis 2:7 is translated into the English word “soul,” while in genesis 1:20, 24; 2:19 it is three times translated “creature.”

But now continue with Genesis 2:8, “And the Eternal God planted a garden eastward in Eden: and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Eternal God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, the tree of knowledge of good and evil” (v. 9).

“And the Eternal God commanded the man, saying, of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eats thereof thou shalt surely die” (vs. 16-17).

Notice for disobedience, God said, “Thou shalt surely die”! Man is mortal, and shall die! God said so!

Now what have we seen? God made man mortal, composed of physical matter. In Genesis 3:19 God said to Adam “for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” He was speaking to the conscious man, to the human mind.

Notice what is symbolized and revealed here. The tree of life symbolized eternal life. They did not, as yet, possess immortal life: This was freely offered to Adam and Eve as God’s gift. But they were required to make a choice.

Also in the garden was another symbolic tree, the tree of “the knowledge of good and evil.” To make the wrong choice of taking of that forbidden tree would impose the penalty of death.” Thou shalt surely die,” said God, if they chose to disobey and take of that tree.

In other words, as we read in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life.” This clearly shows that God revealed the Gospel to them. And what is the Bible definition of sin? “Sin is,” it is written in I John 3:4, “the transgression of the law.”

Actually there exists, overall, only two basic ways of life, two divergent philosophies. They travel in opposite direction. We state them very simply. One is the way of give, the other of get. More specifically, the one is the way of humility, and of outgoing concern for others equal to self-concern. It is the way of cooperation, serving, helping, sharing, of consideration, patience and kindness. More important, it is also the way of obedience to, reliance on, and worship solely toward God. It is the God-centered way, of love toward God and love toward neighbor.

The opposite is the self-centered way of vanity, lust and greed, of competition and strife; of envy, jealousy, and unconcern for the welfare of others.

Few realize this vital fact. The “give” way is actually an invisible yet inexorable spiritual law in active motion. It is summarized in principle, by the Ten Commandments.

It is a law as real, as inflexible relentless as the law of gravity. It governs and regulates all human relationships!

Why should it seem incongruous that man’s Maker, the Creator of all matter, force and energy, the Creator of the laws of physics and chemistry, gravity and inertia, should also have created and set in motion this spiritual law to cause every good result for man?

If the Creator is a God of love, if our Maker is a God of all power, could He possibly have done otherwise? Could He have neglected to provide a way, a cause to produce peace, happiness, prosperity, successful lives, abundant well-being?

We repeat: There has to be a cause for every effect. If there is to be peace, happiness, abundant well-being, something must cause it! God could not be God without providing a cause for every desired good.

Isn’t it about time we realize that in love for the mankind He created, God also created and set in motion inexorably this spiritual law to provide the cause of every good result?

Now let’s recapitulate: death is the penalty of sin. Sin is the transgression of this Law! To transgress this law is to reject the way that would cause the good all humans want, to turn to the way that causes every evil result. God forbade Adam and Eve to take the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, under penalty of death!

Why? Because He wanted them to choose the way of every desired good, because He wanted them to avoid causing evils, sorrows, pains, suffering, unhappiness. Therefore, taking this fruit was symbolic of transgressing God’s spiritual law!

To have taken of the tree of life was merely symbolic of receiving the gift of God’s Holy Spirit, the very love of God (Rom. 5:5) which fulfills this Spiritual law (Rom. 13:10) and which God gives only to those who obey His law (Acts. 5:32).

Consider further:  A just God could not have warned the first humans of the death penalty without having fully revealed to them the spiritual law, the law codified as the Ten Commandments, the transgression of which carried that penalty. Remember, the details are not written here, only the highly condensed summary of what God taught them.

So God had explained fully to Adam and Eve His way of life, the “give way,” His inexorable spiritual law. God had already set in motion the law that causes all good. He had explained also the way that causes evils, the transgression of that law, else He could not have told them that for transgression they would surely pay the penalty, death.

More clearly stated, God gave man his own choice. He could choose to cause every good and to receive eternal life in happiness. Or, he could choose to cause evils. It is humanity, not God that causes all the evils that befall man. The choice is man’s. What man sows, that does he reap.

Yet here’s the crucial point: It was necessary for them to take His word for it, the spiritual law is as invisible as the laws of gravity and inertia! They could not see this law. But God had told them the way of good, and the way of evil.

Now come to Genesis chapter three. “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Eternal God had made” (v. 1).

Much of the Bible is in symbols, but the Bible explains its own symbols. It is, of course, very out-of-date to believe in a devil today, but the Bible plainly speaks of a devil, named Satan. In Revelation 12:9 and 20:2, the symbol serpent is plainly explained to represent the devil.

Notice now, the temptation. Satan subtly went first to the woman. He got to the man through his wife.

“And he said unto the woman, yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, we may eat of the fruit of the tree of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods; (margin, God), knowing good and evil” (Gen. 3:1-5).

The narration here attributes astute subtlety to the devil. First, he discredited God. In effect, he said, “you can’t rely on God’s word. He said you are mortal and can die. He knows better than that; he knows your minds are so perfect that you can be God.”

 It is the prerogative of God alone to determine what’s right and what is sin, what is good and what is evil. God has not delegated to man the right or power to decide what is sin, but He compels us to decide whether to sin, or to obey His law.

To rightly determine what is good required the creative power to produce and set in motion such in exorable laws like the laws of physics and chemistry and this spiritual law, a law which automatically causes good if obeyed, and evils when disobeyed!

Adam and Eve had only God’s word that they were mortal and could die. Now Satan disputed this. He said they were immortal souls.

Whom should they believe? They had no proof, except Gods’ word. But now Satan discredited that, and claimed just the opposite. Satan said their intellectual powers were so great they could determine for themselves what is good and what is evil. That is a God-prerogative. “You can be God!” said Satan. Thus Satan was appealing to their human vanity. Remember, they had just been created, with perfect human minds. Not God minds, but perfect human minds. They allowed the thought to enter their minds that they possessed intellectual powers so great that they could assume the God-prerogative of producing the knowledge of what is good and what is evil.

Intellectual vanity seized them! They were thrilled, enthralled, intoxicated with vanity at the grand prospect. How after all, could they be sure God had told them the truth?

They saw (v. 6) – they used observation, that the forbidden tree was good for food, pleasant to their eyes, and desired to make them wise. Intellectual vanity was stirred. In the ecstasy of this vanity they used human reason. They decided to reject revelation imparted by God, and to make the very first scientific experiment! They took the forbidden fruit and ate it!

They took to themselves the prerogative of deciding what is good and what is evil. In doing so, they rejected the God-centered way of God’s spiritual law, and, rejecting it, of necessity they chose the way that transgresses it!

They pioneered in deciding for themselves what is right and what is wrong, what is righteousness and what is sin. And humanity has been doing what seems right in its own eyes ever since.

And how did they do it? They (1) rejected revelation, (2) used observation, (3) used experimentation, and (4) used human reason. And that is precisely the “scientific” method used by modern science today!

And the result of that experiment? They died! They produced the first juvenile delinquent, the first criminal and murderer! The most vital dimension of knowledge was missing from their “scientific” procedure!

Be watching for the next part of this intriguing subject—Can Man Become God?

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