The image of God
This is the Preview Page of the book, where You can read a good portion of it. It will show you why the Church is in the condition it is today, and how it can regain the initial image the Lord created it to be in. For direct orders of paperback copies or computer ones, please visit the Bookstore link.
1. God’s image in us
2. What happened with God’s image of dominion in us?
3. The Solution
4. From Glory to Glory
6. Some Comparisons
7. The Image of the beast
8. Image of the beast / Image of God comparison
9. Spirit of Power, Love and Sound Mind
10. Global Images
11. How To Acquire God’s Image In Us
12. Historic Progression of God’s Kingdom
13. The 5-fold Ministry
14. The Church Structure
15. Revival, Reformation and Transformation
16. Summary of Image Progressions
17. Closing Words
To you, that do not know the Lord
About the author and his family
What Happened with God’s Image of Dominion in Us?
Well, that’s a good image, don’t you think? Everybody knows though, that almost none of us are walking in that spiritual stature.
We all know how Adam and Eve fell from God’s grace and the original image the Lord had given them – to be rulers with Him on the Earth.
Since that time, all throughout the Old Testament the people of God (and the people of the world as a whole) had been subjects to the demonic systems of the world, and to the environment around them, all being operating under satan’s control. Even children know the story of how Adam and Eve gave the authority invested in them, to satan and how he began to have dominion in every sphere of human existence – he corrupted the spirits of men, he contaminated their souls, messed up their emotions and bodies with all kinds of sicknesses and deceases, got into their economic, social and political life. All in all, satan took the dominion and subdued all under his power.
But that was what all was about, right? Dominion and Rulership! See? That’s the original purpose of God for man. satan knew that and thus, he used all his strength towards gaining that dominion. And through his cunning treachery, he succeeded.
The Lord though, promised to send His Son that would one day crash satan’s head and regain man’s authority and dominion with God back.
That’s exactly what Jesus did on the Cross through His sacrifice. He took the keys of death and hell from satan, “having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Colossians 2:15). He took upon Himself all our sins and sicknesses and provided salvation, healing, deliverance, protection, prosperity, complete wholeness and total victory for us. This actually is the sevenfold meaning of the Greek word soteria, which we use for salvation.
So, Jesus paid the price for our sins, sicknesses and failures. He provided the way for us to become new creations:
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:17)
The whole point is that every favorable condition for us regaining our place and stature of authority and dominion is in place right now. What then is missing?
Let’s go back to Genesis 1:26, 27. The Bible says that God made man in His own image and gave him dominion. Spiritually speaking, we can not have dominion without being made.
What does that mean? Basically there are two ways to have authority and dominion.
The first is to use the worldly systems and methods of acquiring dominion. Sadly enough, many Christians are constantly using the world’s ways and methods for promotion. They are climbing the ladder of success by making compromises with their spiritual values, moral qualities, family life, children and even their own life. Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong in being successful – on the contrary – but they are doing it in absolutely the same way the world is doing it, with all the world’s passions, desires and lusts (cravings). Their career is their God and they have not even begun to stir up the love and passion that’s shed abroad on the inside of them by the Holy Spirit, for fulfilling God’s purposes and intentions for their life in their generation.
Maybe the best Scripture passage that should stir these Christians can be found in Haggai 1:2-11
“Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built. Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.”
This passage shows us that we all have a tremendous responsibility and it is to always put God’s purposes, vision, plans, and House before our own houses and agendas. That leads us to the second way of acquiring dominion – by allowing the Lord to make us – to form us, mold us, produce us, and shape us, so we can become vessels fit for the Master’s use (2 Timothy 2:21).
You see, the Lord is much more concerned about molding us into His image, than He is for our ministries, activities and visions. So, we must allow the Lord to place His image in our lives – spirit, soul, body, socially and financially. Then and then only can we express God’s dominion in the Earth.
How do we do that? By doing Romans 12:1-2
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Some people say there are 3 wills of God – good, acceptable, and perfect. Then they can easily say, “Right now, I am not in the perfect will of God, but I am still in His good one”. Not so! This is an excuse for not walking in God’s best.
The Lord does not have 3 wills. He has only one will. God’s will is always good, it’s always acceptable, and it’s always perfect. Jesus said: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)
The will in this verse, is God’s will – that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
God has a will for all of us. He has a purpose, an intention, an inheritance, a strategy, a plan, a work, a vision, and a destiny. But we can never walk in all this if we still have our old patters of thinking and behavior. We must change. We must renew our mind. We must present our whole life as a living sacrifice, holy, committed and willing to serve the Lord.
A separate chapter on some definitions is needed here, so it can help us in the overall study of the subject of God’s image.
Definition of the Hebrew word for image in the Old Testament, as defined by Strong’s Concordance and Dictionary:
- to shade; a phantom
- (figuratively) illusion, resemblance; hence a representative figure,
- An idol (idolatrous figure).
Definition of the Greek word for image in the New Testament, as defined by Strong’s Concordance and Dictionary:
- Likeness, i.e. (lit.) statue, profile
- (fig.) representation, resemblance
Vine’s Dictionary explains that the word “image” involves the two ideas of representation and manifestation, and indirectly, the idea of perfection. God is perfect and we are made in His image. We are His representation on Earth and we must be manifesting His perfect image in our lives to the point we have received it. In this train of thought, the word image carries several shades of meaning:
- While on Earth, Jesus Christ was the visible representation (image) of the invisible God the Father. (“Who (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature” – Colossians 1:15, also 2 Corinthians 4:4). Jesus was absolutely the perfect representation of God the Father on Earth. He said: “he that hath seen me hath seen the Father;” (John 14:9).
- In the same manner, we are not just meant to be God’s resemblance and likeness, but actually His representation, because His image is in us (Genesis 1:26). As Christ, so we should be a perfect representation and manifestation of God’s and Christ’s image (Romans 8:89) in the area of character, morals, standards, values, words and deeds (Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24)
- Eventually, since perfection is reachable as an eternal process, because it is a work of God’s grace (Grace being defined as: God’s influence upon the heart, and it’s reflection in the whole life), we will all, in our glorified state, be clothed more and more with the fullness of God’s Heavenly image and serve as a bright representation of God’s Glory and Power (1 Corinthians 15:49; Matthew 13:43).
The Webster’s Dictionary defines image as:
1. A representation or similitude of any person or thing, formed of a material substance; as an image wrought out of stone, wood or wax. (Whose is this image and superscription? Matthew 22).
2. A statue.
3. An idol; the representation of any person or thing, that is an object of worship. The second commandment forbids the worship of images.
4. The likeness of any thing on canvas; a picture; a resemblance painted.
5. Any copy, representation or likeness. (The child is the image of its mother.)
6. Semblance; show; appearance.
7. An idea; a representation of any thing to the mind; a conception; a picture drawn by fancy.
8. In rhetoric, a lively description of any thing in discourse, which presents a kind of picture to the mind.
9. In optics, the figure of any object, made by rays of light proceeding from the several points of it. Thus a mirror reflects the image of a person standing before it, as does water in a vessel or stream, when undisturbed.
Image, v.t. To imagine; to copy by the imagination; to form a likeness in the mind by the fancy or recollection.
Interestingly enough, the definition of the word image can be practically found inside our own bodies. We know according to the latest scientific researches, that our bodies consist of approximately 100 trillion cells. We also know that there is a DNA molecule structure that works like a computer software program in each cell, only much more complex. In the DNA is stored all the genetic information needed for our bodies, and much, much more. Actually, according to scientists, even before our hands, legs, and other organs materialize and grow, there is a projected image of them inside our cells, with the exact information how they should grow in every stage of their existence. Isn’t that amazing? No wonder the Psalmist wrote:
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Psalm 139:14
“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” Daniel 2:31-35
King Nebuchadnezzar saw this unique vision in a dream. And as the interpretation shows, it revealed all the global kingdoms that have and are still influencing our world. All these kingdoms represent different images, in that they have their set of spiritual, political, economic and moral patterns which would rule the thinking, behavior and actions of their subjects. Those images (except the last one), are actually world systems, all ruled by demonic principalities, powers and rulers of darkness (Ephesians 6:12).
Kingdoms represent governments, authorities, ways of ruler ship. There have been many worldly empires and kingdoms that have had world dominion and that have and are still influencing the lives of millions of people. Nobody can deny the enormous influence of the cultural, political, religious, traditional and ideological patterns of Empires like Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, etc., even on our world today. All these have affected the world in a global way and have set the “standard” for others to follow. Those are global images of the devil, that are trying to keep the world in bondage. Yet, we see that …
“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.” Daniel 2:44-45
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” Revelation 11:15
The Lord’s image will prevail! We must not bow down to the world’s systems and ways of doing things (Romans 12:1-2).
Some time after this interpretation, King Nebuchadnezzar made a golden image of himself, representing his mighty kingdom Babylon, meaning confusion. He demanded that everybody bowed down to this image. All did, except 3 brave Hebrews – Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
The king could not believe his eyes and ears when he found out about that. He was furious and demanded that the fiery furnace be heated 7 times hotter than usual and he threw Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire.
The Lord though, sent His Angel and rescued them to the point that they didn’t even smell like smoke when they came out. Whew! The king was completely blown away and recognized the fact that the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego is the MOST HIGH GOD and that His image was greater than Babylon’s one (Daniel 3).
What is my point? We are living in a time when there are kingdoms and empires – both spiritual and natural – that are trying to set up their images high above God’s image. They also demand worship from everybody, including believers. There are so many places in our so called “industrialized, hi tech, civilized, 21 century” world, where Christians are persecuted and even killed for their faith.
Yet, if we know the image of God in us and stand strong in those turbulent times, the Lord will rescue us from the fiery furnaces of this world. We may go through them indeed, but the Lord’s Angel will be with us and will preserve us wholly – spirit, soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23). We will not even have the smell of smoke on us and not only that – we will be used by God to be mighty witnesses to these rulers and systems of this world. They will recognize the fact that our God rules and reigns above all.
“For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Romans 14:11
How to Acquire God’s Image in Us
The Lord has a pattern in His dealings with His people. It goes like this:
First, the Lord always finds a man (woman). He places His image on the inside of that man or woman. Then He raises them up to the place (point) where they themselves can reproduce that same image of God in them (that has already become their own image) – in others after them – their spiritual sons and daughters, their followers, students, etc. Then these sons and daughters reproduce themselves until we have a whole company of believers, made (molded, formed) into God’s image and that is the Church – the Body of the Lord Jesus Christ.
You can see that pattern everywhere in the Scriptures and in every revival and reformation in history. Let’s see it in detail:
First, the Lord always finds “an Abraham” that will be willing to break the old image, formed by the world system – political, economic, religious, occult or whatever it might be. This person becomes the father of a new season for God’s people, because he is willing to let go of the old and receive God’s image instead. Abraham is called: “the father of faith”.
Moses is a very good example too. He brought a whole new season in the life of God’s people, leading them from slavery to freedom – something they had not experienced for more than 400 years. Moses became the initiator of a mighty move of God, in unseen proportions by then and maybe even after that. He is still considered by many non-Christian Jews as the greatest Hebrew person that has ever lived.
We can see the same pattern in Samuel, who became the father of a great multitude of prophetic people, even to this day. He was the initiator and the father of the first School of prophets and prophetic ministers, and thus – the pattern for the prophetic movements that would follow in every generation after him.
We can also see that in Jesus, Who came to bring a New Testament for God’s people.
Apostle Paul became the father to the Gentile believers that the Lord birthed and added to the Church.
Martin Luther became the father of a new reformation that literary raised the Church from the dead, after its Dark Age period of more than 1000 years.
There are so many such examples and I don’t want to take any more space in this book about that, because there are hundreds of books that depict the stories of all the great men and women of God that have shaped our history in every area of existence. All those are fathers, reformers, and pioneers in their spheres of expertise.
Second, all the fathers, reformers and pioneers must reproduce themselves in sons and daughters, followers and students; otherwise the image of God will be lost in the next generation.
“And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, and after his image; and called his name Seth” Genesis 5:3
“Be ye followers of me (from Greek – imitators of me), even as I also am of Christ.” 1Corinthians 11:1
See? Adam got his image from God and Adam’s son got his image from his father Adam, who actually represented God’s image. That’s the natural side.
The spiritual is in the second Scripture – Apostle Paul had received the image of Christ in himself to the point that he could say: “I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20). Now he says to his spiritual sons and daughters: “Imitate me”. What an example!
“For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.” 1 Corinthians 4:15-16
We can see:
- Abraham reproducing himself in Isaac- Moses reproducing himself in Joshua- Samuel reproducing himself in David- Jesus reproducing himself in the apostles- Apostle Paul reproducing himself in Timothy
Remember Elisha? He was a student of the great prophet Elijah. Elijah reproduced himself in Elisha. Then Elisha had a servant – Gehazi. He was not faithful though. He was meant to be a son that would continue to carry the Spirit of Elijah and Elisha, but instead, he became leprous because of his sin. Now Elisha died with the entire anointing still resident in his dead body. How do I know? Read for yourselves:
“And Elisha died, and they buried him. And the bands of the Moabites invaded the land at the coming in of the year. And it came to pass, as they were burying a man, that, behold, they spied a band of men; and they cast the man into the sepulchre of Elisha: and when the man was let down, and touched the bones of Elisha, he revived, and stood up on his feet.” 2 Kings 13:20-21
I personally don’t know many people that are alive and that have resurrected somebody from the dead. Do You? Yet, there was so much anointing in Elisha’s dead body that when the dead man came in contact with the dead bones of Elisha, he got resurrected from the dead. Elisha didn’t take any part of that resurrecting process; he couldn’t have involved his faith for resurrection because he himself was dead. Can you believe that?
That’s a tragedy though. That spirit and power of Elijah and Elisha should have been carried on and on in every generation so the Lord would not have to promise in Malachi 4:5-6 that He would again sent the spirit of Elijah to turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers. Again, it was meant to be carried in every generation until a great company of believers were manifesting it all over the world, confronting the powers of darkness, doing extraordinary miracles, and preparing the way for the Lord. But it all stopped with Elisha.
Prophet Samuel’s sons were evil and could not continue their father’s image and anointing, just like Gehazi could not continue in Elisha’s ones. Samuel though, found David and poured himself into David, transferring all His grace and anointing as priest and prophet. The Bible says that David, when he was running from Saul, went to Samuel, and spent several years with him, which gave Samuel the opportunity to teach David all about the prophetic anointing, so David later functioned successfully as a king, priest, prophet, musician and psalmist.
Third, Isaac, Abraham’s son, became the father of Jacob and thus starting the nation of Israel through Jacob’s 12 sons.
Joshua, Moses’ son, became the father of a whole new generation that took the Promised Land and established God’s image nationwide and God’s Glory and fame spread internationally – all the nations of the world heard of the great things the Lord had done for Israel and all feared them.
David, Samuel’s son, became the initiator of a totally new way of worship that was so pioneering in its nature, that “pioneering” is a weak word to describe it.
There’s a passage of Scripture I would like to share with You about David. It’s found in Acts 15:13-17“And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up: That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things”
You see, the Lord said in other words: “If the residue of men, and all the Gentiles are ever going to seek after Me, that will happen only after I build again and set up the Tabernacle of David”. David did an amazing thing in his time. As you know very well, the Old Testament way of reaching God was through the means of all kinds of animal sacrifices. You just could not approach The God of Israel without a sacrifice in Your hands. And these sacrifices had to be offered in the “Tabernacle of Moses” area, not anywhere else. Anybody who went to approach God without the proper sacrifice, or sacrificed anywhere else than in the tabernacle area, would have received the death punishment. At the time of David, the “Tabernacle of Moses” was still in place in Gibeon, and was still fully functioning with all its sacrifices, etc. Interestingly enough though, the Ark of the Covenant (which was a symbol of God’s presence) was not there, because it was captured by the Philistines. Now here comes David, and takes the Ark of the Covenant, but to the amazement of all, he does not return it to Gibeon, where the Tabernacle of Moses was, but decides to build a new Tabernacle in Zion, Jerusalem, and calls it “The Tabernacle of David”. Then he puts the Ark of the Covenant there. Then he appoints priests, musicians, singers, etc, and commands them to offer God sacrifices, but not animal sacrifices. The Bible says he even made instruments for the musicians, and he commanded them to offer the sacrifices of singing, praise and worship, praying, and playing on the instruments before God. See? He didn’t offer animal sacrifices in his Tabernacle (except on the dedication day), but he appointed courses of musicians (thousands of them), so they can Praise and Worship the Lord God of Israel 24 hours a day. Whew! Whew! Whew! That was so revolutionary! If somebody does that today, it would be a great thing, but please notice that David did it in the Old Testament. The “Tabernacle of Moses” was still there, and priests still functioned there, and offered animal sacrifices for the sins of the people, but David saw much ahead of His time and saw that the Heart of God desired and yearned for something more of His people, and that was their heart Praise and Worship! That’s the symbol of The Tabernacle of David. He lived at least a 1000 years ahead of his time, and he managed to see God’s heart. That’s what the Lord meant in Acts 15, when He said that He wanted to build up again the Tabernacle of David (not the Tabernacle of Moses). That means God’s biggest desire still is His people to seek Him, to Praise and Worship Him, to Adore Him, and to give Him the Glory 24 hours a day. Every breath we take comes from Him, and we must Praise and Worship him for that! Only when we do that with our whole hearts, the residue of men and the Gentiles will turn to God, and say: “We want that Glory as well”.
Again, Psalm 85:9 says that the Lord has saved us, so that His Glory may dwell in our land. That’s the purpose of our salvation on this side of heaven – to spread His Glory. But for us to be able to spread it, we must first experience it ourselves, and that only comes by focusing on His will, purposes and priorities for our lives, and by opening our hearts before Him in Praise, Worship, Adoration, and True Love.
The Apostles, Jesus’ spiritual children, turned the whole world downside up, spreading the Gospel to the entire known to them world then. In just about 300 years, the whole Roman Empire was Christianized, and Christianity became the official state religion.
Timothy and all the other spiritual children of Apostle Paul continued his work among the Gentiles, establishing God’s Kingdom and God’s order everywhere.
Can you now see the pattern clearly? That’s how the image of God is being acquired – from the Father, the reformer, the pioneer, the leader – to his sons and daughters – the first fruits of his labor and then from them to their ones and on it goes. That’s why it’s extremely important the generations to work together hand in hand and to carry God’s image from one generation to the next, until eternity.
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” 2 Timothy 2:2
Summary of Image Progressions
I think it’s very important to summarize the progressive image of God in the different areas of our life, so there be no misunderstandings. Because altogether, there are several types of progression the Lord is moving in, and we should be going from Glory to Glory in each of them, at the same time:
1. Historic Progression. That’s the progression of God’s image in each and every move of God that we examined briefly. The way to progress in this type of God’s image is to examine closely the moves of God, be open to hear the Lord’s voice through His progressive leaders and pioneers, and upgrade in the present truth that the Lord is restoring. A very precious knowledge in this area can be gained from the books of pioneers, leaders and authors like: Peter Wagner, Bill Hamon, John Eckhardt, Jonathan David, and Kevin Conner, to name just a few.
2. Ecclesiastical Progression. That’s the progression of restoring the 5-fold ministries and several other ministries, like the ministry of Praise and worship, prayer and intercession, spiritual warfare, marketplace ministry, so that the Church (From Greek- God’s Ecclesia) can acquire the fullness of God’s image. The way to progress in this image of God is to learn to be a servant to the man or woman of God above you. In other words, learn to walk under authority and accountability. Then, you will receive from the spirit, grace and anointing of your father or leader.
3. Global Economic / Governmental Progression. That’s the progression of the world around us as a whole, according to the images revealed to us predominantly in the books of Daniel and Revelation. Of course, there are many demonic influences as the world is progressing, but also, the Lord is above all, and He is in control, leading the world to a place of consummation of all things and the salvation and restoration of the Earth. The way to progress in this area is to follow closely the events happening in the world, passing them through Biblical perspective. In this way we will always be adequate in the world we are living in, because we can not be effective witnesses to a fast moving world with old mentality and methods.
4. Character Progression. That’s the personal growing in maturity in God’s image for our life, until we become what the Bible calls: “of full age”, so we can enter into our inheritance in every area of our life – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, bodily, socially, politically, economically, etc. The way to progress in this image of God is to always seek and obey the Lord, pray, fast, read the Bible, go to Church and be actively involved in ministry, listen to wise counsel, surround ourselves with positive people, full of faith, moving forward in God, and so many other things that will help our personal growth.
5. Charismatic Progression. That’s the progressive development of the gifts and talents the Lord has placed in our lives. The Lord has deposited creative gifts, abilities, and talents in us, and we are required to produce with them. That’s why; we must grow every investment the Lord has done in us. The way to progress in this image of God is to never be passive, lazy or apathetic. Always use everything the Lord has given you to develop it, increase it, grow it, distribute it, and prosper it. Then, you will be given more.
6. Church Structure Progression. That’s the progression towards the understanding that we all are One Body of Christ, that must be functioning just like a physical body is functioning – each member and each cell contributing to the life of the Body and not staying separated as an inactive part, just going to Church and keeping the chair warm. The way to progress in this image of God is to start understanding the incredible responsibility each and every one of us is having, for the common good of the whole body. The inactive parts of any human body are only the paralyzed parts. May we all be alive, understanding the cell concept!7. Revival, Reformation and Transformation Progression. This image progression shows the process of God’s work in and through us. We must always strive for more of His life, His love, His character, His power, His purification, His circumcising, His order, His commandments, His standards, His values, His righteousness, His holiness and His building Himself in us.
So, in order that we be vessels of honor, fit for the Master’s use, and well equipped for every good work, we must always strive to progress in each of the above image progressions. We must develop each of these image areas in parallel (at the same time). Even when we are reading our Bibles, we must read them in the context of what the Lord is doing in us and our world today, because only in this way we will always be up-to-date, and will not be deceived. Because surely the devil will offer his imitations in each area, but the ones …
“…which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Revelation 20:4
I would like to close this book with a final word of encouragement and challenge. It’s found in one of the most unique passages of Scripture:
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39
The Lord has chosen us even before the foundation of this world. He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son. He called us with a holy calling. He is holding us in His hand and nobody and nothing can take us out of there. He gave us His best and He will sure give us all the rest. If He is for us, who can be against us?
Please don’t allow anybody or anything to separate you from the image the Lord has for you! Don’t allow anybody or anything to discourage you, to tell you that you are worth nothing, to accuse you, to condemn you, to defeat you.
You are born with a purpose. You are no mistake. I feel very strongly in my spirit to tell the people that think they are a mistake – You are not a mistake!
You may be thinking all this, because you may have been born as an unwanted child or whatever other reason, but God wants you. Your father and mother may have made a mistake indeed (according to what they thought in their own plans and purposes), but I want you to know that the Lord does not make mistakes. Life comes from Him and Him alone. He has seen you in His plans and purposes myriads of years ago.
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee…” Jeremiah 1:5
He has not only seen you, but also called you to be a carrier of His image. You are an image of His image, a spirit of His Spirit, because in order for you to be born, the Lord had to breathe of Himself in you. So, you are an eternal part of Him. That’s why you are an eternal being as well. Otherwise, you would only be a lifeless body.
So, you are no mistake! You are an extension of God’s image on Earth instead. Will you decide to receive and walk in that image? The choice is yours!
All the other chapters of the book you can actually read in the Article Directories and web sites, such as www.EzineArticles.com; http://SearchWarp.com; www.ArticlesBase.com; www.IdeaMarketers.com; www.Amazines.com; ArticlesFactory.com; and www.SelfGrowth.com. (Search by Author Name)