metaphor or simile.
Metaphor is a figure of speech in which one thing is spoken of as if it were another.
Simile is a figure of speech likening one thing to another by the use of like, as, etc. (Ex. Tears flowed like wine)
Notice in the meaning of both words the phrase “figure of speech” is included. What does this mean? Let’s examine the scripture.
Genesis 1:26 & 27 reads, “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. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
What is the image of God? Is the image of God a male with two arms, legs, feet and a head? Or is God a FEMALE!! Doesn’t the scripture say “in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”? God created male and female in his image. Maybe God is a hermaphrodite; having male and female sex organs. God is a Spirit.
A Spirit is life, will, thought, etc., regarded as separate from matter, a supernatural being. (Supernatural is not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature; specific, of or involving God, ghosts, spirits, etc.)
Matter is whatever occupies space and is perceptible to the senses.
Matter in this sense would be the human body. A Spirit is something that is separate from the human body. So what does a spirit look like? Does it have arms and legs with a heart, kidneys and sex organs? Or is it something that you cannot see but exists in the atmosphere?
These questions are asked to get your mind thinking about what a spirit looks like. The definition of the word spirit does not provide information as to what it looks like and it even goes as far to state that the spirit and body are separate. If a spirit is a supernatural being (something not explainable by the known forces or laws of nature) then is it possible that a spirit can live inside a human being and not have the physical form of a human being? If it is something that is “not explainable the known forces or laws of nature” then that means a spirit can be anything because it is not bound by the laws of nature.
Thus meaning in order for a body to move it has to walk but does a spirit have to walk or does it fly or does it translates (to move from one place to another) itself? If God is a spirit which is something separate from the body then what does God look like? Is the image of God in the shape and form of a human being? No! When God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” God was using these words as a metaphor (figure of speech). The image of God is Holy. The image of God is PERFECT. Perfect means without flaw; sinless. Holy means spiritually pure; sinless. Notice “sinless” exist in both definitions of the words holy and perfect. Therefore to be perfect simply means to be holy.
God is without sin. When God created Adam he was created perfect, without sin. Adam and Eve was in the image of God, they were holy. They were perfect.
Colossians 3:6-10 reads, “For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”
In these passages of scripture Paul says that saints must change from their lives of sin and come into the image of God which is holy, perfect. “…put off the old man with his deeds (sins);” stop sinning. “…put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image (holiness) of him (God) that created him (Christ).” When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit their sin caused them to no longer be perfect because no they had sinned against God. Sin is the willful breaking of religious or moral laws.
A saint is holy until they commit sin. Since the fall of man every one after Adam and Eve are born as sinners because of their, Adam and Eve’s, transgression. When a person finally becomes saved, filled with the Holy Ghost, they are a perfect individual until they commit sin. But because God is merciful he knows that it will take some experience walking with him for an individual to change from their once wicked ways. This is why he gives us grace and mercy.
Grace is love and favor of God toward man; unmerited (undeserving) favor.
Mercy is a disposition to forgive or be kind; a refraining from harming offenders.
Without grace and mercy mankind would not have a chance to be transformed into the image of God. Grace is God’s love for mankind and mercy is his way of not destroying man for their sins. Some people are destroyed by God because of their sins but this is because they refuse to turn from their sins. Mankind was not given grace so they can continue in sin but it was given so that mankind can stop sinning.
Romans 6:1&2 “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Forbid means to order (a person) not to do (something); prohibit; prevent)
“Should the saints of God keep sinning and not worry because God has given us unmerited love? God prohibits this.” This is what Paul is saying here in Romans. Grace, unmerited love, was not given to the saints to allow them to wallow in sin and still go to heaven. Grace was given to mankind to help them come into the image of God as Adam and Eve once were. It was grace that led Jesus to the cross.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
“For God so loved the world…” This is unmerited love, grace, because mankind had nothing to offer God but he loved them anyway. If mankind wouldn’t have had grace, God would not have sent “his only begotten Son”. If Jesus had not went to the cross and died for the sins of the world then mankind would be lost.
Ephesians 1:5-7 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption (deliverance from sin) through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches (abundance) of his grace;”
Mercy comes in when a person sins against God. Sin is a transgression of God’s law. When you commit sin you become a transgressor of God’s law.
I John 3:4 read, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
Transgress means to break a law, command, etc.; sin. God doesn’t like sin but his grace (unmerited love toward mankind) extends his mercy (compassion shown to an offender) and that heals you. In order for God to keep himself from destroying mankind for their sins before they can come into the image of God, he has to have mercy, without it mankind would not stand a chance.
I Peter 1:3-4 reads, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”
Here Peter says because of God’s abundant mercy that the saints are once again given hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ so that they may obtain their reward in heaven. Being perfect doesn’t come over night. You have to grow in Christ and learn how to rid sin out of your life through trial and error. Like an infant learning to walk, they will fall many times until they have mastered it. After that they can run or walk.
Perfection is nothing more than holy living through trial and error of living in God. Just as a child that grows into an adult you learn to stop drooling on yourself and putting things in your mouth and become an adult. This is what perfection is no longer living in sin; do you still act as an infant child and cry for food and urinate on yourself, then why act as if you are a child in God when you know sin is not tolerated?
As Jesus prayed for the disciples (they were called disciples until after Jesus died then they became apostles) hours before his capture he said that people can only believe in Him (Jesus Christ) through the teaching and preaching of the apostles. "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world (these men are the disciples): thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
I pray for them (the disciples): I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. And all mine are thine and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition (Judas Iscariot); that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 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." John 17:7-21.
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;" Jesus says here not only does he pray for the disciples but he prays also for anyone else who believes on him through the word of the apostles." Since the disciples believed Jesus was the Son of God, the teachings of Christ were given to them to tell to the world. This is what makes the "Apostles Doctrine" the true way to learn how to serve the true and living God Jesus Christ. This is why Jesus spoke in parables around the Scribes and Pharisees because the church was going to be established by the apostles. "And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you (the apostles) to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not." Matthew 13:10-11.
"Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle." II Thessalonians 2:14-15. This is Paul (the last named apostle) writing to the church in Thessalonica. Notice Paul says, "Whereunto he (Jesus Christ) called you by our gospel (the usage of the word "our" shows ownership of oneself or others). The word gospel means the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. This is also proof that the only way to learn true worship of Jesus Christ is through the word of the Apostles.
There are several other scriptures that make reference to following the Apostles Doctrine and they are:
Acts 2: 38-42 - “Then Peter said unto them, 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 Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word (Peter’s word) were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
II Corinthians 4:3 - "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost;” (This is Paul speaking to the church in Corinth.)
I Thessalonians 1:5 - “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost.” (This is Paul speaking to the church in Thessalonica)
II Thessalonians 2:14 - “Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.” (This is Paul speaking to the church in Thessalonica in his second letter.)
Ephesians 2:19-20 - “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (This is Paul speaking to the church in Ephesus.)
II Peter 3:2 - “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment (request) of us the apostles of the Lord and Savior:” (Here Peter is saying to the church to remember the words spoken by the prophets and by them, the apostles.)
This is why some churches are called “Apostolic”. Apostolic means of the Apostles, their teachings, work, etc. Jesus put the responsibility of laying the foundation and setting the rules governing the church in the hands of men, in the hands of the Apostles. God gave men the gospel to spread among the people of the earth. He did this in the Old Testament with the prophets and in the New Testament with the apostles. When the angel of the Lord visited Cornelius the Italian, the angel instructed him to go and seek Peter to find out what was needed for him to be saved.
Acts 10:1-6 - “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian band, A devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway. He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying unto him, Cornelius. And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa, and call for one Simon, whose surname is Peter: He lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side: he shall tell thee what thou oughtest to do.
Why would the angel send Cornelius to see Peter? Why didn’t the angel just tell Cornelius himself? Don’t the angels know how to serve God? The reason the angel did not tell Cornelius is because the gospel was given to men to preach and teach in the world, not the angels. How do we know that the word the apostles spoke was by God? “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." II Peter 1:20-21. Here the scripture says that no scripture written is of any man’s own thought but by holy men of God as they were inspired by the Holy Ghost. You’ve already read what Jesus said concerning the matter. Therefore, all of the New Testament was written by man but only as God instructed man as what to write.
This is not to say that what Jesus said was wrong but let's take a closer look at what Jesus said. Jesus said baptize in the name of the Father; (whose name is Jesus); and of the Son; (whose name is Jesus); and of the Holy Ghost; (whose name is Jesus). When you baptize using (to put into action or service) the name of Jesus you are baptizing in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Ghost. What does it mean to be baptized in the name of? In and of are preposition words as in, by, to, etc. that connects a noun or pronoun that has many different meanings according to the use of the word.
The word in used in this sentence means using; example: speak in English means to speak using (to put into action or service) English. A name is a word phrase by which a person, place, or thing, or class is known; a title. Of is a preposition word which means belonging to. The word and means also; in addition to. The name of the Father is Jesus, the name of the Son is Jesus, and the name of the Holy Ghost is Jesus. What Jesus is saying is baptize everyone using the title that belongs to the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, which is Jesus. Jesus uses the terms Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost because he is all of these things. To baptize someone in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost means to baptize using the name of Jesus. I John 5:7 reads, "For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word , and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." Here in John it says the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost are one. The Word is Jesus because when Jesus came he brought the Word. Since Jesus is the Son and the Word is Jesus that makes the Word and the Son the same thing.
When you call your natural mother do you say, "Hey mom, sister, aunt, grandma, friend and wife can you take me to the store?" Why not? Isn't she all of these things? Then why can't Jesus be the Father; your father, the Son; God's son, and the Holy Ghost; his spirit that lives in you all at the same time just like a mortal man or woman can be an aunt, uncle, sister, brother all at the same time? Jesus' name is the only name for salvation (deliverance from sin and from the penalties of sin). Acts 4:10&12 reads, "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this name stand here before you whole." (12) "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven whereby we must be saved."
There is no other name except Jesus that a man can be saved by. Baptism in (using) Jesus' name is the only way to become a true saint of God. Peter said this also in Acts 2:38, which reads, "Then Peter said unto them, 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 Ghost." Baptize everyone in (using) the name of Jesus Christ. Many people will say but this is what Peter said to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ, but Jesus said baptize in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. But Jesus said before he was crucified that anyone who shall believe on him will have to do it through the word of the apostles.
Neither pray I for these alone, but for them (the followers of Christ) also which shall believe on me through their word; (the Apostles' word) 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." John 17:20. This is Jesus praying for the apostles, then disciples, before he was taken away to be crucified. Jesus is the only name for salvation, if Jesus' name, and Jesus' name only, is not used during the baptism then you go down a dry sinner and come up a wet one.
John 16:13 reads, "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth (Holy Ghost), is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
One great misconception about what it takes to receive the Holy Ghost is telling someone that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is God then you are saved. Whereas this is a fact but it is not the complete formula to receiving the Holy Ghost. Let’s take a look at the scriptures.
Romans 10:9-13 reads, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Here you see that Paul is saying that if you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart then you will be saved. Although this is one of the steps it is not the first step toward receiving the Holy Ghost. Just because you say you believe does not mean that you believe. You cannot believe unless a preacher, man or woman of God, has preached or taught you about God.
Romans 10:14 reads, “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?”
Paul is saying how is it possible to call upon God if you’ve never believed in God or heard of God? Everyone that comes to Christ in the beginning did not believe in Christ until someone told them about Christ. Then, after hearing, is when they started to repent; feel such regret over (an action, intention, etc.) as to change one’s mind. Remember Acts 2:38 says, “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 Ghost.” You can only have a heart to repent when you hear from a preacher about God. Hearing these things from a preacher will help you to know that you are living a wicked life and without God your soul will be lost. This is what causes you to be saved, filled with the Holy Ghost. But you can only receive this information from an approved man or woman of God. Everyone that preaches does not mean they are an approved man or woman of God. Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
The formula is hearing the word of God from a preacher. Once you have heard the word of God then you can believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Once you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God this will cause you to repent. Once you repent then you will receive the Holy Ghost. Four easy steps:
Hearing the preacher, an approved man or woman of God
Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God
Receive the Holy Ghost.
There are several examples of this process in action in the scriptures.
Acts 8:6-17 reads, “Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed with them: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed. And there was great joy in that city. But there was a certain man, called Simon, which beforetime in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God. And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries. But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John: Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost.”
We see here in these passages of scriptures that hearing the word of God came first, then belief in the word of God which equals repentance, then comes the Holy Ghost.
Acts 8:26-39 reads, “And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Once again we see that Philip preached the word first, the Eunuch believed that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he was baptized. If you pay close attention to this particular passage of scriptures the Eunuch was reading the book of Esaias (Isaiah) when Philip came. How come the Eunuch could not have believed from reading the word himself? Without the man or woman of God to give clarity of the word of God he could not understand it. Acts 8:30 &31, “And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? This is evidence that the formula for receiving the Holy Ghost is correct and it is proven through the scriptures.
Once you have heard the word of God from an approved man of God, believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and repent you will be filled with the Holy Ghost. This is the correct way, outlined by the scriptures for someone to receive the Holy Ghost. “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17. Without the Holy Ghost mankind cannot come into the image of God, which is perfection.
The Apostles (formally the disciples) were true followers of Jesus Christ. Therefore it is with them that the word of God for the New Testament church was left with to teach and to preach. "Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen." Acts 1:3. Since the apostles were given command by the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ they were the only ones God instructed to lay the foundation and set the rules governing the church.
The Name Above Every Name.
Some churches baptize people calling the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. When you are baptized this way you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus. Churches do it this way because of the scripture in Matthew 28:19 which reads, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" People do it this way because it is the direct words of Jesus Christ before he died.
To receive the Holy Ghost you must repent first. Acts 2:38 reads, "Then Peter said unto them, 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 Ghost." Repent means to feel such regret over (an action, intention, etc.) as to change one's mind. Once you have repented you will be filled with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is your guide to help you fight sin in the flesh. With the power of the Holy Ghost you can stop committing sin because the Holy Ghost will guide you and lead you in all things.
Jesus has called the saints to be perfect. Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Remember this is Jesus speaking directly to the disciples. What does it mean to be perfect? When God created man He created man in his image and likeness. Many mistake this passage to mean that man's physical appearance is the image or likeness of God because of the words image or likeness means a copy of. But the word image can be used as a
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