Church of God, New World Ministries

What Is Man's Destiny?

Why were you born? Why does God allow even dedicated Christians to go through years and decades of tests and trials and even persecution? What is the great PURPOSE for all our lives here on this planet called earth?

Most people never stop to consider their real purpose in life. In fact, most assume there is no real purpose. How about you? Is there some great purpose or reason for you to be alive? Is it possible to have a remarkable, interesting and fulfilling destiny ahead of you, no matter what your present situation? Can you be 100 percent sure of a future rendezvous with happiness, joy and peace?

Some religious teachings think that they will be wafted off to heaven to sit around for all eternity with nothing to do except, “roll around heaven” all day, so the song goes. But we should not assume anything. DO NOT be gullible, find out for yourself and prove what is you ultimate destiny!

God, our Great Creator, has left an instruction manual for humanity. It’s called the HOLY BIBLE. In the Bible, God decrees the fate of nations and empires. He prophesies of world-shaking events that are to happen, and these prophecies are unfolding before the eyes of this generation!

You and I are a living, breathing, physical organism, a unique human being whose life is sustained by air, water and food. We are in many ways a very strong, enduring organism, yet in other ways, very fragile, susceptible to sickness and disease, to accident and to death.

Most have some idea about death, but why do we believe what we believe and how did we come to believe it? Did we get our beliefs from ancient mythology, our past religious teachings, or upon the Bible, which is the handbook from the GREAT CREATOR of mankind about who we are, what we are, and WHY we are?

The Bible tells us that the “wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). It also says “it is appointed to all men once to die, but after this comes the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27). Paul writes “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23). But this self-professing Christian world says “No, that is not correct!” They say you already have an immortal life—you have a soul which will live forever, either in heaven or hell. The Bible, God’s written Word, tells us that eternal life is a gift from God through Jesus Christ; not something inherently possessed by every person.

From the beginning man was given a mind, which is remarkably distinct from any animal brain. Unlike any other creature on earth, man has creative imagination and the capacity even to analyze himself. He can laugh at himself or reason between right and wrong, enabling him to make judgments—to a limited degree like God Himself!

Man is not just another “animal” as evolutionists claim. God’s purpose for creating man surpasses anything ever conceived by the mind of man. In God’s pattern for all life, like reproduces like. And just as each created form of plant or animal reproduces after its own kind, so man reproduces man. But UNLIKE any of the animals created by God, man was created in God’s likeness. God created man after His own “image’ and “likeness”! God made man like Himself—same form and shape. And He is now creating men after HIS KIND! (Gen. 1:26-27).

One thing humans have not come to understand is that there are two different kinds of births—one is physical and the other is spiritual. The physical birth is one birth that humans can understand, but not the spiritual birth; herein lays the problem.

People understand that we are temporal; a fragile, transitory life of a physical, chemical existence which can be abruptly terminated in any number of ways. Deprive us of air, we die; of food, we die; of water, we die. The human body is a miraculous creature: we breathe, walk, talk, hear, feel, see, think, reason, react, sneeze, cough, laugh, cry, grow older and finally die. No book that has ever been written, except the Bible, can tell why we are here and what our final destiny is.

Who today has not heard about “born-again Christians?” Millions believe they have been born again. Why is it that these millions of people can not understand the plain teachings of Jesus Christ about being BORN AGAIN?

When you and I were born of our fleshly parents we were composed of flesh, but “that which is born of the spirit is SPIRIT” (John 3:6), no longer composed of flesh, but of spirit! There will be no blood in the body of one “born of the Spirit.” He or she will not have to breathe air to exist. He of she will be literally composed of Spirit, so says our Savior Jesus Christ. This new birth is not an emotional experience, but a real birth. Notice what Jesus said to Nicodemus in John 3:8. The wind bloweth where it listeth and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” In other words, when you are born again you will be invisible to mortal eyes like the wind (unless you choose to manifest yourself). The effects of the wind may be easily discernible, but the wind itself cannot be seen.

God formed the first man, Adam, not out of spirit, but “out of the dust of the ground” (Gen. 2:7). God said to Adam: “DUST thou art” (Gen. 3:19), not immortal spirit, just plain old earth! Man is mortal, physical, not yet immortal, or spiritual.

Adam, in other words, was not created complete. He was created to need a second “BIRTH”—a spiritual birth! But how? When? And why?

From the beginning man was placed over the physical creation on earth. He was given the capacity and responsibility to help direct and judge his fellow man under God (Ex. 18:13-26). Humanity was given God-like responsibilities from the beginning. Then, when Jesus Christ came to earth in human flesh to bring the Gospel, He continually preached about the coming government of God (Mark 1:14-15). This coming world-ruling government was predicted by most of the Old Testament prophets as well as Jesus Christ, Peter, Paul and John.

After describing the four great, world-ruling kingdoms that would govern the world until the end of this age, the prophet Daniel stated: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people; it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever” (Daniel 2:44).

Most of Jesus’ parables concern the Kingdom of God. Read Mark 4:30-32 and Luke 19:12-19 and Luke 22:29-30. If we believe that Jesus meant what He said, then we know that the Son of God specifically promised that “overcoming” Christians will join Him at His Second Coming in Ruling over the cities and nations on this earth.

If flesh and blood can not enter the Kingdom of God, then just how does a person become a part of that coming government or kingdom?

Jesus Christ was the very first human being to be begotten of God—“BORN AGAIN.” Paul wrote that Christ was “…the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” (Col. 1:15-17).

Christ is the Author of Salvation; the first human being, God in human flesh, who had the indwelling presence, without measure, from the time of His birth, of the Holy Spirit of God the Father.

Not only was Christ the first human begotten of The Father, He was the first born of God. “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept [died]” (I Cor. 15:20-23).

Following His resurrection, Christ manifested Himself to His shocked, bewildered disciples many times. He walked through walls and suddenly materialized before their startled eyes (John 20:19). Just like He told Nicodemus, He was now “like the wind,” with Divine Power--able to become invisible. He had been born of God. He had been changed by the power of God, through His resurrection, from human flesh to Divine Spirit.

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Behold I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible and we shall be CHANGED” (I Cor. 15:41-52).

As Christ told Nicodemus, you and I have been born of earthly parents. We are weak, subject to physical debility and death. But when we are born of the Spirit, we shall become Spirit—shall become composed of Spirit! So says your Bible.

How do we become a Spirit Being? What is the process of becoming a member of the Family of God and the soon coming Kingdom of God?

God says only “overcomers” will be in His Kingdom. Only “overcomers” will join Christ in ruling this earth. We are told throughout the New Testament to become like God. Jesus said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4). Again, Christ instructed, “Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48).

The Apostle Peter instructed Christians: “But as He who has called you is Holy, you also be Holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be Holy, for I am Holy’” (I Pet. 1:15-16). True Christians are to overcome their own human vanities and passions, overcome the world and its temptations, and finally resist Satan himself. Peter concludes his last letter with this searching admonition, ‘But GROW in the GRACE and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen” (II Pet. 3:18).

Now in the human flesh, we are subject to all sorts of weakness and sin. But by regular, diligent study of the Holy Bible; by constant fervent prayer on our knees, and by continually yielding and actively surrendering ourselves to God, we are to overcome our sinful ways and let God, through His Holy spirit, build within us the Holy, Righteous Character of God.

Just how does a person receive the “Gift of the Holy Spirit” in order to obey God’s laws and way of life? The Bible tells to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).

To repent means to be deeply contrite and heart-broken over one’s sins. It means self revulsion and the desire to be absolved of guilt through Christ’s sacrifice. But repent of what? To repent of SIN. What is sin? “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law; for sin is the transgression of the LAW” (I John 3:4).

Christ magnified the Ten Commandments and lifted the “letter” of the law to a spiritual plane, showing that the law is binding not only on human acts, but on human thought. Where it had been a sin to kill, now Christ said it was the equivalent of murder if you hate a fellow human being (Matt. 5:27-28).

Unless one repents, with the mind and intellect as well as with the “heart,” or the emotions, unless one realizes, fully, WHY we are to repent; to repent of doing What—then it is absolutely impossible to receive the Holy Spirit of God!

Baptism is another thing God requires of us after repenting. The Greek word baptizo means to “plunge into,” or “to immerse.”

Paul wrote, “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized [plunged into water; immersed] into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death. Therefore we are BURIED with Him by baptism into death; that like as Christ was raised up form the dead by the glory of the Father even so we also should walk in newness of Life” (Rom. 6:3-4). Notice carefully that baptism is a symbol of burial of a dead person, and the repentant sinner is lowered into water, completely covered by water, even as a body is buried in the earth.

When we repent of sin, we realize the wages of sin is death; that we have become worthy of the death penalty because of sins (breaking of God’s Laws). We then look to Christ in heartbroken contrition, calling out to God the Father in self revulsion and repentance, asking God, in His limitless mercy, to allow the shed blood of His precious Son and our Savior to be applied to us. We come to realize our sins caused the death of Christ; that He died because of sin; that He died in our stead, so that we do not have to die.

We then willingly approach the baptismal pool in the most sober repentant manner; aware that the rite of baptism pictures our human life “forfeit” being "covered up,” but only with water as a symbol, not with six feet of earth.

On the Day of Pentecost, following Christ’s resurrection, Peter witnessed powerfully of the fact that Christ had indeed risen from the dead. Those who saw and heard the miracles were deeply convicted. The scripture we are analyzing (Acts 2:38) as a formula for salvation is Peter’s command to those thousands who heard him on that day.

What we need to come and understand is that repentance and baptism are gifts from God. These people that had killed Christ, God, in His limitless mercy, was offering them repentance! Repentance is not something we produce out of our own sorrow, or our own goodness, it is a gift, granted by God.

Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said, if you will repent and be baptized, you would receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Just what is the Holy Spirit, and how does it work?

Most professing Christianity today assume that God is a “Trinity” composed of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Is it possible that this is true? Just what does the Bible have to say about the Spirit of God? “Ah Lord God! Behold thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee.” (Jer. 32:17). Also, “Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created; and thou renewest the face of the earth.” (Ps. 104:30).

It was by the Spirit of God that the Eternal (YHWH)—the Logos (Christ)—created the entire vast universe. Invisible spirit energy was literally transformed into the material creation we see all about us.

Just how did the Eternal God utilize His Spirit of power to bring His various creations into being? Psalm 148:1-5 (also Psalm 33:8-9) says “Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.” God, the ultimate source of all power, willed that spirit energy emanating from Him be transformed into physical energy and matter. God Almighty sits at the controls of the entire universe—He rules and sustains everything by the POWER of His Spirit!

God’s Spirit is not a “third person” in the God Family. It is His divine power that emanates from Him and permeates the universe.

The professing Christian world as proof that God is a trinity refers to I John 5:7. “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these three are one.” This verse is left out of most modern translations of the Bible—and for a very good reason! It is spurious—a fraud! History reveals the trinity concept is a pagan invention and belief found in many ancient countries. The Egyptian trinity consisted of Isis, Osiris and Horus; the worship of the trinity traces back to the worship of Nimrod, Semiramis and Tammuz soon after the flood! The plain fact of the whole matter which few have ever realized is that the commonly accepted “trinity” doctrine attempts to limit for all time the size of the Family of God. It denies the very purpose for which Elohim created mankind!

One of the great differences between the God Kingdom and the human kingdom is that God is composed of invisible spirit, while man is mortal flesh and blood—made of the dust of the earth.

Just before He was taken to be crucified, to what state did Christ ask His Father to restore Him? “And now, O Father, Glorify thou me with thine own self with the “GLORY” which I had with thee before the world was.” (John 17:5). Just what does it mean to be glorified? See Rev. 1:13-16. To be glorified means to have Great Power and Brightness! The power of the Father and Christ is so great that it makes their Spirit Bodies shine as bright as the sun in full strength.

Another shocking revelation that this self-professing Christian world doesn’t understand is that before Christ was conceived in Mary, He was not the “Son of God.” He was one of the two original members of the God Kingdom. He, like the one who became the “FATHER” had existed eternally, but He is nowhere in God’s Word referred to as a Son of God prior to His conception in Mary. His (Christ’s) human birth was His first birth. He gave up the glory He had shared with the other Divine Being, who became His “FATHER,” in order to be born into the world as a human being, live a perfect life, and then give His life to pay the penalty of all the sins of mankind.

And so Jesus was begotten within His human mother Mary. But unlike all other men, He was miraculously begotten by the One who became the Father, through the agency and power of the Spirit of God. See Matt. 1:20 and John 1:14. Here is further proof the Spirit of God is not another person. Christ thus became the “Son” of God, and He called the other person of the God Kingdom His “Father.” And so began the “Father-Son” relationship, which is a Family relationship.

What is salvation all about? It is the revelation the Great God is REPRODUCING HIMSELF. Our destiny is to become the literal “Children” of God—members of His own divine Family!

What God created at the time described in the first chapter of Genesis was a physical creation. Man, made of the dust of the ground, was the material being which God planned to mold, shape and form into a perfect spiritual creation. He pictures us as the clay, Himself as the Master Potter—forming us into the spiritual image of Him!

Those people that God has called must begin developing spiritual character and grow toward spiritual adulthood “during this life”—not after being born of God at the resurrection! Our vile, carnal nature (Rom. 8:7; Jer. 17:9) must be gradually changed NOW! This spiritual growth comes by feeding on the Word of God, through prayer and wholehearted participation in the Work of God.

Then, when the glorified Christ returns to earth the second time, we shall be resurrected, or instantaneously changed, into bodies that will be like His (I John 3:1-2)—full grown—adults! At that instant, our present physical bodies will be made like His glorified body—“BORN AGAIN” as members of God’s own Family—as God’s own glorified offspring, with eternal life inherent within ourselves—as His immortal sons to reign along with Jesus Christ our elder Brother!

That, according to your Bible, is the “Destiny of Mankind,” and what is means to be “Born Again.” God help you to comprehend this glorious truth, and become one of His spiritually begotten children.

 
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