Man is not in the image of God! Jeremiah said the heart of man is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Paul said there is none righteous (Romans 3:10). Again, in Romans 3:11, he said there is none that do good. Then in verse 23 of the same chapter: All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. These are just a few of the many passages in the Bible that speak of the corruption of manís nature. Man in his present state is not in the image of God. Thus, we understand the need for a new birth. We must be born of God!
Forgiveness for sins committed is a step in the right direction, but being born of God involves much more than forgiveness. It involves a change of nature. As Paul also said: As we have borne the image of the earthy man, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. I Corinthians 15:49. The earthy man is man in his natural state. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the earth. Genesis 2:7. To bear the image of the heavenly is to bear the image of God, which means to be born of God. And being born of God is a creative work of God. When Jesus was persecuted by the Pharisees for working on the Sabbath, He said, ďMy Father is still working; therefore I am workingĒ (John 5:17). The work God is doing is the creation of man in His image. He is bringing forth many sons unto glory (Hebrews 2:10).
The first chapter of Genesis holds a mystery. Hidden within it is Godís work of creating man in His image. It is a creative work that is going on now. If you only see the creation of the natural heavens and earth, you are missing the mystery underlying the surface information.
We are going to Genesis but our route will first take us through the Book of Revelation. Genesis and Revelation have a lot in common. Genesis is the first Book of the Bible and Revelation is the last. I donít know that Jesus had these books in mind when He said the first shall be last and the last first, but it fits very nicely.
Revelation 12:1-2, 5 And
there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the
moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars;
2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne.
Do not substitute sky for heaven here. The great wonder appearing in heaven means that it is a heavenly or spiritual work, and the great wonder is the creative work of God in creating man in His image. We see the same type of word-picture in Revelation 21:1-3. The holy city New Jerusalem is those in whom God dwells. Jesus said that we would be ďa city set on a hill that cannot be hidĒ (Matthew 5:14). This city of men is seen coming down out of heaven because it is built by God and not by man.
Now, who is the woman who gives birth to the man child? There are two women of note in Scripture. One is the bride of Christ, the true Church seen in Revelation 19:7-8 and Ephesians 2:19-22. The other woman is Mystery Babylon, the mother of harlots (Revelation 17:5). Out of the true Church is birthed a man child who is to rule and reign with the Lord. The false church, on the other hand, produces harlots. Thus, we see that this woman and man child is speaking mystically of the creative work of God in creating man in His image. The throne of God is not a throne up in the literal heavens somewhere. God is not a man who sits on a throne. He is not a spirit; He is Spirit. To be caught up to the throne of God is to become as He is, to take on His divine nature Ė this is sonship. This is a true rapture and you donít have to leave earth to experience it. Being created in the image of God, then, is the same as being caught up to the throne of God. We have one more stop-over before going to Genesis chapter one.
Revelation 1:4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before His throne.
What is meant by ďthe seven Spirits before His throneĒ? God is Spirit and He is one. The Holy Spirit is not many spirits; He is one. There is one SpiritÖone LordÖ one God and Father (Ephesians 4:4-6). We have already established that the throne of God is not a literal throne off in space somewhere. The throne of God speaks of His royalty as King of kings. It is also a spiritual place of His habitation. Letís look at just a few passages of Scripture that will widen our understanding of His throne. Heaven is My throne (Isaiah 66:1). Godís throne is the spirit realm. Your throne, O God, is forever and ever (Psalm 45:6). His throne is eternal. God sits upon the throne of His holiness (Psalm 47:8). Godís throne is holiness. Therefore, His throne and His divine nature are the same. Righteousness and judgment are the habitation of His throne (Psalm 97:2). His throne is a place of habitation. It is the place of habitation for God, for Jesus Christ, and for those who overcome. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne. Revelation 3:21. So, you see, to inhabit His throne is to dwell in Him; it is to be created in His image. The man child being caught up to the throne of God is in the process of being created in His image.
The man child being caught up to the throne of God is not an event that takes place is a skinny minute. Hebrews 4:14 says that Jesus passed through the heavens, and that will be true for those who are caught up to the throne of God. Now we can answer the question: What is meant by the seven Spirits before His throne? It is not seven individual Spirits before Godís throne; it is seven spiritual realms the man child must pass through as he is caught up to the throne of God. Jesus Christ as the Man Child passed through the heavens to Godís throne. The overcomers will be a man child company who will also pass through the heavenly realms as it is caught up to the throne. These heavenly realms are the created stages we go through as we are created in Godís image.
His throne is as the days of heaven (Psalm 89:29). A day is a time increment in the world of man and there is no time in Godís world. Godís world is eternal, which means an absence of time. Days, months, years, etc., in the heavenly world of God are not periods of time; they are levels or realms of spirit. Passing through the seven spiritual realms to Godís throne can also be expressed as passing through the seven days of the creativity of man in Godís image, which brings us to the first chapter of Genesis. As you will recall, I mentioned earlier that the first chapter of Genesis holds a mystery, the mystery of God creating man in His image. Each day in Genesis chapter one represents a spiritual stage toward Godís throne. This should be enough to help you see the first chapter of Genesis in a new light.
Copyright © 2006 by Henry DuBose