TWO MEN, TWO IMAGES
BY: MAX ENDE
Greetings in the name of the Lord. An image is a representation of a person or thing – a type or embodiment. The spiritual man of Genesis 1 was made in the image of God. Christ is the exact representation of God; He is the image of God. (2 Cor. 4:4) And we are to be conformed to His image. Jesus Christ, the Word, was God! (John 1:1) And the Word became flesh! (John 1:14) So He was also man. But He was NOT a man-God; humanity and divinity were distinctly separate in Jesus Christ!
The Word became flesh. Jesus Christ, in His body of flesh, manifested God perfectly. He revealed God to mankind through His words, actions, nature and His very being. His physical body veiled His true being, so people could not see beyond it. (Heb. 10:20) The veil that was over the hearts of the people kept them from seeing spiritual realities! The things God has prepared for man cannot enter the natural mind. (1 Cor. 2:14) The soulish or Adamic man does not understand the things of the Spirit; they are meaningless to him and do not reach him.
Jesus came with two witnesses, the natural and the spiritual. The natural was expressed through His physical body, and the spiritual through His words spoken in the vernacular of the day yet His “words are spirit and they are life”. Though humanity heard the words and understood the language, it did not get the message. So they killed Him! However, through the grace of God, we now have the Holy Spirit. He has given us the mind of Christ that we might understand the things that were happening in Christ, and the things God speaks through the Spirit. The Son is born in us and we bear an image.
In the scriptures we see two images of God – two representations, two humanities. Two men are mentioned – one is formed from the dust of the earth, and the other is from heaven. The scriptures tell us that Christ is the image of God, and that the Son is the image of the invisible God. “…that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Cor. 4:4) Speaking of His beloved Son it says, “And He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation.” (Col. 1:15) Since both Christ and the Son are the image of God, they must be the same!
Peter received a revelation of who Jesus actually was in Matt. 16:16. He said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” (v.17) The Father had shown this to Peter! Later on it became apparent that Peter had not really grasped this. Not long after this, when Peter was in the courtyard of the high priest where Jesus was being judged, he was asked, “Aren’t you one of His?” Peter denied it. This happened a second time. After about an hour a third one said, “Certainly this man also was with Him, for he is a Galilean.” And Peter cursed and said, “I don’t know the man.” How could he deny Jesus after he had heard the living Word of God? It was because he had not heard it spiritually. Peter was not endowed with spiritual understanding until Jesus breathed on him for the remission of sins. (John 20) At Pentecost he received the Spirit. God became his dwelling place! This dwelling place is symbolized by the feast of tabernacles, and it was built in him through the Spirit.
Jesus Christ is the Son of the invisible God. He is also the image of the living God. In 1 Cor. 11:7 it says, “Man… is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man.” One translation reads, “The man is inherently the image and glory of God.” But we have two men. To better understand this, turn to Genesis 1. Here God says, “Let us make man in our image.” He did not say, “Let us make an image and call it a man” or “Let us make man and call it an image.” When God said, “Let us make man in our image”, He knew what the image of God was like and how to make that image. This image He called man. Here the image is the important thing. Man is essentially an image or representation of God. He was given dominion over the fish, birds, animals and every living thing that moves. God said that everything He had made was very good.
Then we are surprised to find that there wasn’t any man to cultivate the earth in Genesis 2. Then God formed a man out of the existing creation. These are two different men, two different images of God. For many years the earthy man has had dominion in us, but now that Christ has come, an exchange of dominion has taken place from the natural to the spiritual. Now the dominion of the first man of Gen. 1 is being exercised in us.
Let’s take a closer look at these two men, the two images of God. Paul talks about the natural and the spiritual in 1 Cor. 15. Let’s see what Paul is saying. “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body.” (v.42) The perishable (corruption) does not inherit the imperishable (incorruption). (v.50) Incorruption comes out of the incorruptible seed of God, which He has placed within us. Incorruption and corruption do not have anything to do with each other, because they are separate!
“It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (v.43-44) People who believe in metaphysics say there isn’t a spiritual body, while others say there isn’t a natural body. We understand that Paul was speaking to people who knew about their first experience in Adam – the natural man. Our first experience is always in the flesh, in the natural. We can understand that we have a natural body, but to have a spiritual body is beyond the comprehension of anyone who is not regenerated in Christ. It is probably the most difficult thing to believe, because we have been so anchored in the natural.
But there is a spiritual body! Actually the body of Christ is spiritual. The body of the man Jesus was visible; it was in the likeness of sinful flesh. He was made in all points like we were. Jesus Christ had to bear both witnesses – the natural and the spiritual! If He had come bearing the witness of the spiritual only, He would not have been able to reach people, because the first witness comes to us in the natural. If we reject the natural testimony, how are we going to get the spiritual testimony? We have to believe there is something beyond the natural, and that is a spiritual testimony.
“So also it is written, ‘The first man, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.” (v.45) To us Adam is the first man and the first image of God, but actually he was not. The first one was Christ! But Adam is our first humanity, our first representation of God, our first image of God, creation, everything! So the first man, Adam, was made a living soul, and the last Adam was made a quickening Spirit. The reason He is called the last Adam here is because He ends. Now I don’t think it was a sin for Jesus Christ to be identified with Adam because the Adam representation alone was not a sin.
The Old Testament temples, lamps, sacrifices, days, seasons and times, people land, were types, examples, or shadows of things to come. Only God knew what was to come except so He alone knew what those things represented, right? Satan didn’t know because he does not know truth! So only God knows the fulfillment! Humanity cannot know, for it is anchored in the natural and it loves darkness rather than light! So when the purpose of the law was revealed and the spiritual realities of these shadows and types came into being and fulfillment in the coming of Christ and the Holy Spirit, humanity retained all its earthly concepts! It still has an earthy concept of God, of self, creation, the earth, the world, etc. That now becomes sin to them; not only sin, but also an obstruction to receiving what God is doing in Christ; they become anti Christ and are led by the spirit of this world – that is Satan. They are not governed by the kingdom of God!
The coming of Jesus Christ brought the kingdom of God to us. He is God’s rule in the Spirit! It’s as simple as that. Jesus Christ said, “Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.” God’s rule in us will bring tremendous changes in us! We need to understand that we can receive the Holy Spirit; unless we can hear from Him, God’s rule falls on empty ears – like it did on Peter and the Jews.
“The first man is of the earth, earthy.” This is the man of Gen. 2; he can only give us a consciousness in the earthy realm. This is the consciousness we are born with. We have that before we receive a spiritual consciousness. We weren’t spiritual, and then earthy. We were only that in the mind of God – for there was a spiritual man before Adam was formed of existing materials! Only God knew that; but we all emerged in our identification with Adam.
The second man is the Lord from heaven. Jesus said, “The Son of Man came down from heaven. (John 3) How can a man come down from heaven? In the natural, we think of a man in his fleshly body. We’d have a terrible time imagining Jesus coming down from heaven like that! And of course, He didn’t; He came down through Mary. So that is not what He meant! Jesus meant that His representation of God came down out of heaven where God is; it came out of the Spirit. The Christ, the reality of who He was, the essence of His being was an exact image of the invisible God. So He was called the second man, the last Adam. He is the second representation of God; He is the last Adam because Adam’s image of God disappears in Him! His image of God, His representation of God actually destroys that which was in Adam! The first Adam becomes superfluous, because he is only a type, a shadow! This it is not sin until we hang on to it – then it becomes our God and we become anti Christ!
Earthy concepts try to bring spiritual concepts into the seen realm. Since spiritual concepts cannot be seen, this brings false concepts of spiritual realities. Retaining earthy concepts brings a physical Jesus sitting at the right hand of God. However God doesn’t have a right hand because He is omnipresent; that is a figurative way of speaking! The scriptures declare that Jesus is sitting at the right hand of God, He has His body, He will return, and some day all the evil people of the second resurrection will stand before the great white throne of God. Some will be cast into the lake of fire. “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10) We must all appear before Him!
If Christ is my life and consciousness, I’ve already passed through judgment, and there is no condemnation or judgment in that sense. Let’s read 2 Cor. 5:10 in the Concordant Literal translation. “For all of us must be manifested in front of the dais of Christ, that each be requited for that which he puts into practice through the body, whether good or bad.” It says we shall all stand in front of the dais of Christ. This is not a judgment seat; a dais is a raised platform; there we shall be presented to Christ. The Greek word that has been translated JUSGMENT, is BEMA. The Greek words for judgment are KRISIS and KRIMA; a place of judgment KRITERION. The word BEMA means STEP, STRIDE or LENGTH. However, in Greek literature if also often means tribunal. This is not a seat where Christ is going to judge us. However our works will be judged for compensation. Christ wants to recompense us for our good works! It is so important to understand correctly!
Another figurative concept is the holy city coming down from heaven, having golden streets, etc. Having an earthy concept of it causes people to think it is a city with many mansions, which we are now building by our good works and by winning many souls for Christ. Yet it plainly states that it is the bride of Christ; it is His wife. Christ reproduces Himself through her, because He is the Word of God. Gal. 4:20-31 compares the two covenants. The Jerusalem above is called our mother; it is called the new covenant, which is the mother of us all!
Jesus said, “Who is My mother, sister or brother? Notice that He did not include “My Father” in that question! He said, “You have one Father – one Father who is in heaven!” We are not to call anyone in the flesh our father. This illustrates the truth that spiritual realities have to have a spiritual realization! People’s problem lies in retaining it in the natural; this is not evil in itself but it becomes evil when man retains it after he has by faith received a new dimension of understanding in Christ.
Retaining earthy concepts of the rapture, Jesus coming down, the rebuilding of the temple in the present Jerusalem, etc., is not going to work. It won’t happen that way! The problem begins when we won’t put away our natural ideas. If people try to die to self, on the one hand, they try to suppress their self, and on the other hand they try to raise it up to be righteous, to obey the law, to be good in God’s sight, and to have their sins forgiven. All that effort is wasted because it still deals with the same man, the same image, the same identification! This is true whether you are trying to die to self or trying to be good. It is not the Christian message at all!
The Christian message proclaims that we have to be awakened out of our sleep of Adam; we have been quickened by the Christ who is in us; we are a new creation in Christ Jesus, a new man, a new representation of God! If we are a new man now, it means there was also an old man. How do you get from one man to the other? In one man (Adam) all die. In the other man there is a quickening spirit and all are made alive. Passing from Adam to Christ has to take place in my own realization and consciousness! When this happens, I have been raised from the dead! I have been resurrected from the death that is in the carnal mind (the Adamic consciousness), and I have been put into Christ.
As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall bear the image of the heavenly. The image we bear is very important! We are to portray the image of the heavenly and to represent it correctly! People can have the same flesh, yet represent either the earthy or the heavenly. Jesus wants us to be a true representation of God. For in John 14 He said, “I am going to prepare a place for you, that where I AM, you will be also.” That where I AM – who is the I AM? This is the I AM who was before Abraham. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection, I am the Christ”, etc. When He said these things He was still in His earthly body, but He was living in a relationship with God which He wanted us to have also! He would make it a possibility and a reality! Where He was living in relationship to God, we will also be even while we are in a fleshly body! We have to understand that in our union with Christ we are everything He is! In this union we are the I am of the resurrection, the I am of all this. We are not this in entity, but in our union with Him it is part of our nature, part of our understanding, part of our representation of God.
Retaining the earthy image of God will actually oppose God. This is very serious business. In Eph. 2 we learn that we were dead in our trespasses and sins, and we walked according to the power of the air – in this delusion. Then Paul goes on to say, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus…” (v.10) We have been created IN Christ – not by Him! He is not making something out of us. Being created in Christ means we have been put into the consciousness that is in Christ! We have been “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
“Therefore remember, that formerly you, the Gentiles in the flesh, who are called `Uncircumcision’ by the so-called `Circumcision’, which is performed in the flesh by human hands — remember that you were at that time separate from Christ, excluded from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.” (v.11-12) Why? Because we cannot have God without Christ. Without Him we had no conception of God, as illustrated by Israel. Israel opposed Jesus because of His exact representation or image of God. They did this because they had a different image of God, and they didn’t want to give them up! That is where the trouble begins with all of us.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” (v.13) Again, it is IN Christ – not by Christ. How do we get into Christ? Well we are baptized into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. Being in Christ is being in the consciousness or spiritual realization that He came to bring us in the Spirit! Christ has to be in us; there is not other way! Then the Spirit within us will cause us to cry Abba Father! (Rom. 8:15 and Gal. 4:6) He conveys the sonship spirit to us!
We cannot portray God as Father unless we are sons. In praying to “our Father” we are identifying ourselves as His sons. But we cannot truly pray that unless Christ is in us as the Son; then we can say “our Father”. We don’t pray to Jesus and then to God. We are to pray in the name of Jesus – that is according to His nature! In John 16 it says, “And in that day you will ask Me no question. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you in My name. Until now you have asked for nothing in My name…” (v. 23-24a) As sons, we ask the Father!
Back to Ephesians 2. “But now in Christ Jesus you who formerly were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” The soul is in the blood, so the blood of Christ is the consciousness that was in Christ. “For He Himself is our peace, who made both groups into one.” This takes care of everybody – the divisions that are in natural humanity, in the Adamic man, both the circumcision and uncircumcision. “And broke down the barrier of the dividing wall by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the law of commandments contained in ordinances.” He abolished them and gave us a completely new way of living. “That in Himself” (not by Himself) “He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace.” (v. 13-15) In Christ there is one new humanity, one new representation of God, one new image of God! Making peace – with who? Obviously it makes peace with God! We are in conflict with Him when we represent Him in the flesh – in an earthy image. Then we are in conflict. Those that love the world become an enemy of God!
“And might reconcile them both in one body to God” (the body of Christ) “through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity…”Being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” (v.16; Eph. 4:18) Paul is talking about natural humanity being alienated from the life of God through ignorance. Jesus Christ is the treasure and the wisdom of God revealed to us! Ignorance dwells in the natural man. Amassing knowledge – biblical, natural or scientific – and degrees – cannot get us out of our ignorance of God unless we are operating in spiritual realization! Without the Holy Spirit’s teaching we remain in ignorance.
“That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self (the former realization or citizenship), which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.” (Eph. 4:22) So there is an OLD self or an OLD man! He is old because we have a NEW self or a NEW man. The old self is the old image, the earthy image that we carried. The old man has an earthy image of self and an earthy image of God. This old man with his earthy images is to be put off! Our old image of God brought us a natural concept of Jesus, temples, heaven, the New Jerusalem, lands, peoples and hell.
We are to be renewed in the spirit of our mind! “And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” (v.23-24) Think of the wondrous thing God has done! This new self is NOT the Adamic image of Genesis 2 which was formed of the earth! This new self has been CREATED! This is the image of God that was created in Gen. 1! This new self has been created in the likeness image of God for it comes out of God! It is created in us in righteousness – a right demonstration of God – and in true holiness – that is, it is separated from all the contamination other messages bring!
This is who we are! We have been born again in Christ – we are new creatures, a new humanity, a new man who carries a new image of God! We are a new representation of God – one which is righteous and holy – and it comes to us by the Spirit! It does not come through the existing creation, not through the body, not through the Adamic man, not through our sensual faculties, etc., nor through any person. This is a universal truth but it has to be accepted individually. We must release ourselves to God so He can change us! If we hang on to our old ideas and traditions, the new representation of God will not be evident in us, and we will continue to manifest a wrong idea of God to the world! Therefore we have to be renewed in the spirit of our mind, and put on the new self! Only then will we speak truth!
“Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you the understanding.” Amen!
TWO MEN, TWO IMAGES [Max Ende] 1