B. W. wrote:Good question. I order to understand things a bit, we must recall that the bible declares that God and man are not the same and that God is Spirit.
This is true without doubt but... then how can man be created in the image of God if in fact man didn't reflect his image prior to sin?
Gen 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness...
These are Gods words right? and the scripture cannot be broken. So when man was created his initial form was in the image of the creator and God further states made "after our likeness". When God describes the origin of man he spends a fair amound of words describing how they are formed.
God has purpose in all he writes to us. He knows and emphasizes that we should live by "every word of the mouth of God".
B. W. wrote:What does a spirit look like? We don't know and neither do we know what God in his total being looks like either.
That is quite true in fact you don't know what I look like either but the final outward observable part is only part of the story God relates to us in those scriptures. God describes the connection between two beings in that account and how their relationship came to be. When God spoke on the subject he used the words us an our and then proceeded to form Adam and then Eve two unique and separate beings... one of which came directly from the other. If there was no significance here then why not simply form Eve the same way as Adam... from the dust of the ground? Why proceed further and define the significance of their relationship as being considered one even though they were both independantly free willed beings? God describes himself as one and yet we observe that he also describes himself in the plural.... often. Christ states he was with the Father before the world was, he also states his father is greater than he is which is the same place woman was placed relative to man having less authority in Gods view.
1Cor 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Do you see the governing organisation that God himself has formed? Woman is to man as Christ is to the Father... This is a spiritual refection.
Isa 48:16 Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me.
Who is the speaker here?
Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.
Heb 1:5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?
Christ is described as the express image of the Fathers person. Eve is the express image of Adam person;
Gen 2:23 ... because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24 ... and they shall be one.
B. W. wrote:The image and likeness humanity was fashioned to reflect was God's image of dominion and the intelligence to use it appropriately. In other words to be a reflection of his rule here on this earth - not a exact duplicate. The context of Genesis 1:26-28 verifies this.
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 creepeth upon the earth.
Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
Note when describing mans dominion he says "let 'them' have dominion. When decribing them being formed in his image he states "in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them". God clearly defines his image as multiple entities who were both given dominon.
Us, our, them... all these terms speak of multiplicity and uniqueness and yet God has also made sure to point out again in the new testament;
Mat 19:4 Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
Mat 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
Mat 19:6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh.
They are considered as one. Why?
birds of a feather flock together... cut from the same cloth... like father like son...
When God created man both Father and Son performed the creation and that creation reflected them and their relationship. A unique individual came directly from another unique individual and they consider themselves one. Mankind reflects that spiritual arrangement in its initial formation. At least the scriptures tend to give me that message as I read it.
B. W. wrote:Also, as you pointed out, as Eve proceeded from Adam, we have that same concept in found in Jesus' own words in John 8:42 and of the Holy Spirit in John 15:26. This brings us back to the concept of God's self existent nature as being of three distinct parts, each able to self exist independently, and thus each is a person within the total Godhead essence. They speak to each other and each appears throughout human history in the Old Testament in what we term as theophanies because of what God revealed in Exodus 33:18, 19, 20 Does this help provide food for thought?
You assert three distinct parts and each being distinct entities but three was not used to descibe the image of God when man was formed. In the first verse you reference we see what?
Joh 8:42 Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
We see the Son talk of his Father... only two unique beings not three.
When we look at your second reference I see;
Joh 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
Christ describes the spirit of truth that "proceeds from the father". If Christ and God are actually one and the same spirit in a sybil like fashion then why isn't the HS described as coming from them or us as it was used in the forming of man? What I see is two unique and different beings joined together by the spirit of truth which we are promised to also have dwell within us.
Have a look at these scriptures that reference the HS;
Act 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.
Act 2:33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.
Christ was given the HS too.
Some people never really notice this point. So if Christ was in fact just another sybil like face of God then he could not give himself the HS. He would inherently always have it. Thus it appears to me that Christ is as different and unique from the Father as Eve was to Adam and the HS is the unifying force that all of Gods creation will be unified with.
I have also noted that the HS is considered different with respect to Christ in this verse;
And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.
Notice that things may be said against the Son and be forgiven but not against the HS. Thus it seems that the HS is of a higher estate than Christ and if I read things right this can only be God the Father. In many places God says that he will be the one dwelling within us;
2Co 6:16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them...
oh 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Joh 17:22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
Joh 17:24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.
To me I see the HS as a pure part of the Father himself since The Father has defined that he will dwell within us as himself and in this way we will all be considered one with God and God will be all in all;
1Co 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
1Co 15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.