Genesis 1:26-27 “…let Us make man in our image, after our likeness and let them have dominion…”
I would like for you to consider the words image and likeness.
What is the mysterious image of God? The Hebrew word for image is tsehlem – meaning to shade, a phantom, illusion, resemblance, representative figure. The Hebrew word for likeness is demooth – meaning shape, model, manner, similitude. Putting these together man is therefore - a smaller sized, three-dimensional representation of his Creator in structure, created to be His inseparable companion. Like His shadow. It does not denote a physical body, but rather the QUALITY OR standard of something as measured against other things, the degree of excellence of something. So, we are made in his quality or standard which is excellency. In comparison to all the other things that He created, man was/is the crown of His creation.
In Acts 11:26 the word Christian is used. This word or Christians is only used three times in the New Testament. This word Christian when thoroughly studied and researched literally means, “little Christ’s” or more appropriately “little Messiah’s “, little “anointed ones”. In other words, we were created to be exactly like our heavenly Father, just as Yeshua was an exact image of His Father. He said “if you see me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:10) and again, “I and the Father are one”(John 10:30)
This means we are supposed to live our lives exactly the way that Yeshua lived his life, since He was the anointed one and was the physical embodiment of God Himself. He was the Word made flesh, and He, Yeshua, told us to follow Him.
So, what did Yeshua look like? What did His Father look like? What was their image?
The Father (Yahweh) is Holy: Leviticus 11:44-45, Isaiah. 6:1-3, Psalms. 22:3, Ezekiel 39:7 and Yeshua is Holy: Hebrews 7:25-26, Revelation. 3:7; 4:8. So, if we are to look like Him then we are required to be Holy. See also Leviticus 20:26, I Peter 1:15, Romans 12:1, I Corinthians 3:17, Titus 2:14, I John 3:2-3.
So, we are HOLY as HE is HOLY. This is what being made in HIS image means. Out of all of God’s creations, MAN is the only creation that has the ability to be HOLY, as HE IS HOLY. It has nothing to do with body, soul, and spirit or mind, will and emotion; although we certainly do have mind, will and emotion as created beings, but this is not the image that sets HIM or Man apart.
The word Holy in Hebrew is kodosh. Synonyms (From the root word kadash) are: saint, cleanse, consecrate, apartness, sacred or sacredness, holy ones, The Holy Spirit, set-apart, sanctify, sanctification, pure, purify. The literal meaning in Hebrew (and the Greek takes you back to the Hebrew word Kodosh) is used to denote someone or something that is sacred. It means to set-apart or to hallow. It is used to describe Yahweh and Yeshua. It is the very essence of who HE is. Evil and uncleanness is no where to be found in HIM. There is only one word which can describe HIM and that is KODOSH –HOLY, meaning to hallow, that which belongs to the sphere of the sacred, it is ALWAYS DISTINQUISHED FROM THE COMMON OR UNCLEAN. We have been set-apart for a special purpose.
Repetition is the Hebraic way of giving or placing emphasis on the thing being said. Hence scripture often says Holy three times. ( HOLY, HOLY, HOLY)
Everything that surrounds Him is Holy and everything used in sacrifice or worship to Him had to be holy, to His specifications. The priests who ministered before Him had to be holy. Offerings to Him had to be without spot or blemishes. Hence, the bride of Christ, is said to be holy, having made herself ready to meet Him, not having spot or wrinkle, or blemish. He will not accept a bride that is not holy. See Ephesians 5:25-27 and Revelation 19:7-8. If anyone thinks that Yeshua will have a bride who is not holy, then they need to read the Bible again, or if they think He will accept you the way you are, you need to read the Bible again. HIS BRIDE WILL BE HOLY just like everything else that surrounds HIM has always been HOLY.
Notice that scripture states that the bride gets herself ready (holy) in Rev. 19, and she accomplishes this by the washing of herself in the Word (Ephesians 5:26) Being washed by His blood and following His Word (commandments) are what will make us HOLY.
He is the image to which we are being conformed, and at His return we will finally be like Him. In seminary I was taught that it was an “already not yet” scenario, just like we do not already have salvation. (Hebrews 9:28) When Yeshua returns He will be bringing salvation with Him.
How do we become HOLY or sanctified or set-apart? There are two steps:
1. By accepting the more perfect sacrifice – Read The book of Hebrews
2. Through the life that we live. This life requires “learning” thru God’s Word, what is required for us to become Holy, sanctified. It is a life-long journey. Through faith, obedience, yielding to the Holy Spirit, prayer, and studying His Word, we will learn to eradicate from our lives those things which are not pleasing to Him. We will learn what is expected of us. We are not to be common or unclean.
Read II Corinthians 6:17-18.
The Apostle Paul told us that we were betrothed (engaged) to one husband in II Corinthians 11:2.
THE WORD chaste here is hag-nos in Greek (Strong's Concordance) and it sends you back to the Hebrew word for being HOLY.
Interestingly, the ancient Hebrew wedding ceremony had a betrothal period which was called in Hebrew “Kiddushim” which again comes from the same word, meaning sanctification or set-apart. During this time the couple sets themselves apart for a season to prepare themselves to enter the covenant of marriage with each other. This word “kiddushim” is also used for the word saints. We are in this period now as we are preparing ourselves to meet our bridegroom.
One last thing to consider: the ancient Israelites defined an image as the physical representation of the divine on earth. The ancient pagan nations surrounding them put images of their gods in their temples so that worshipers could bow down to an earthly representation of the deity being worshiped. These were supposedly the "bodies" that the "gods" inhabited. The idol was said to be the "image" of that god. When the God of Israel created humans in His "image" He placed physical representatives into His created world (Temple). Although we are not diety, we are to be in His "image" which is "holy". We are to represent Him in the earth as a "holy" people. This "holiness" was lost in the Garden of Eden, but Yeshua came to restore that which was lost. (1)
Luke 6:40 states that a perfectly trained disciple will be “like his teacher”. Yeshua is the teacher, are we following His instructions? Are we striving to be "holy" and making ourselves ready for His return?