"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me."          Matthew 5:3-11

God has always wanted to establish His society here on the earth. He has always wanted a people, a community, a nation, a family that would show who He is, visibly in this physical world. He has always wanted a visible expression of who He is. Even though He is Spirit, and invisible, He wants to have a visible expression of Himself.

In the Beginning

You can see this desire to have a visible expression in the very beginning with the creation of man in the Garden of Eden. God wanted to have an image, a picture, a reflection of Himself, that would show who He is in all realms. Now, of course, in order for God to have an image or picture of Himself, that image would need to be an exact representation of Himself. You could say that it would be like a mirror or a photograph of God. If you take a photograph of yourself, then you know that it will look just like you. If you look at yourself in the mirror, then you know that the image you see in the glass is an exact representation of you. The photograph is not you, but it is an image of you. God wanted His image to look just like Himself, yet He wanted more than that.

More than a Picture

When we think of an image, we think of a picture, photograph, or reflection which is something that is detached from the person and is only two dimensional. This image is not the person and does not contain the life of the person, it is merely an inanimate, two dimensional object that shows us what the person looks like. A photograph is not alive. We can see what the person looks like through that photograph, but we cannot really touch them or get to know them through that photograph because it does not contain the actual life of that person.

God does not want to have an image like that. His idea of an image is something that has more substance to it. Something that is alive. Something that can communicate not only appearances, but the very life and personality of God! In order to do this, He would have to create an image that was actually capable of containing His very life. He wanted a living photograph: one that would walk, and talk, and touch others with divine life. This image would be much more than just a reflection; it would be the offspring of God!

Why a Society?

The question arises: why would God want to have His own society? Why not just create one individual being who would show the visible and invisible realms who God is? Why did God create two people in the garden? For that matter, why did He create two sexes for each species? Certainly, He could have created just one sex for each species that was capable of reproducing itself. Why did He create all of life with the need for interdependence, interaction, and intercourse? The answer is quite simple. Because that's the way that God is! He wanted Adam and Eve to be the beginning of a society because He is a society.

"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.'"     Genesis 1:26

God's image must be a community because God is a community. He is a fellowship of three Persons; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. These three are one, yet they are individual personalities who interact with one another. God's purpose for His image was not only that they be a community, but that they also be a society that would interact with the rest of the world. In order to show who He is, they would need to be in the world, not isolated from it. The individuals in this society would need to have the capability of containing God's life within them in order to fully express the nature and character of God.

The Image to be a Society, Not an Individual

The problem with me writing down the word society is that when you read that word, your mind immediately tries to interpret that word according to your own experiences and paradigms. You will automatically think in terms of the societies of this world or the particular culture and country in which you live. However, the societies of a fallen world are mutated perversions of God's original thought. His society is nothing like this world system. His society is THE society.

His image must be a society (or community) in order to accurately represent who God is within Himself. The society would need to be made up of individuals who contain His life and share that life as their common bond of unity and oneness. When God created Adam, He placed within him a spirit. God's intention was that this spirit be a "container" for His divine life. Then He extracted part of Adam and built Eve out of Adam. This shows that they would be one, and would be interdependent and interactive. God's intention was that each individual would live by the divine life within them and that life would be the motivating factor in everything they think, say, and do. Their lives together would be the corporate expression of that One life. In other words, their life together, their community life, their society life, would be the outworking of the image of God. Just as the three Persons in the Godhead share the same love, life, communication, and purpose so would His society here on earth. As it is in heaven, so would it be here on earth. The society would actually be the expansion of the fellowship of the Godhead into this realm. Except for deity, every other element of that fellowship would be shared and lived out in the society. Since the Godhead would actually live inside of the society; corporately and individually, this would not just be some two dimensional representation. But rather, the society would be an incarnation.

In the next article, we will take a look at the beginnings and growth of the society of man and see how it differs from the society that God has in mind.

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