Genesis 1:27-28 So God created man in His own image, in the image of God create
He him; male and female created He them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
These verses are not merely referring to the creation of mankind. They are also prophetically speaking of the spiritual man God is in the process of creating. After God created the heavens and the earth and ended His work which He made, He rested (Genesis 2:1-2). But Jesus said, when He was persecuted for doing work on the Sabbath, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work (John 5:17). It is this present creative work that we are interested in.
God is creating a man, a corporate man. This man is being created in the image of God. He is being created male and female, so he is a “them” (verse 27). This “man company” will consist of men and women who together are created in the image of God. They will be fruitful and multiply, for the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:7). And they will have dominion over every living thing that moveth upon the earth (verse 28).
Psalm 102:16,18 When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.
18 This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.
The Lord will appear in glory when He comes forth in the people who are created to glorify Him. The Hebrew word for “created” (bara) in verse 18 is the same word used in Genesis 1:27. It means “to create something from nothing.” Natural man was formed of the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7), but the spiritual man that God is creating is created from nothing. Peter, speaking of the people who make up this “man company,” says: [they] in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God (I Peter 2:10).
Psalm 102:16 When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.
Without Zion being built up, without this “man company” being created, the Lord will not appear in His glory. His appearance has to take place within them. When He comes to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe. II Thessalonians 1:10.
Psalm 102:18 This shall be written for the generation to come…
This generation is the same generation Jesus spoke of in Matthew 24:34-35. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away. “This generation” will not pass away, because they are created by God and shall share in His eternity.
His “words” that shall not pass away are the same created people as “this generation,” for this “man company” will be the “Word made flesh.” They are the “born of God” described as “the Word made flesh” in John 1:12-14. But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name: which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.
In Psalm 102:16,18 the “man company” is called “Zion,” “the generation to come,” and “the people which shall be created.” In Matthew 24:34-35 they are called “this generation” and “My words.” In John 1:12-14 they are called “the sons of God,” “born of God,” and “the Word made flesh.”
I Corinthians 12:12,27 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all
the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
27 Now ye are the Body of Christ, and members in particular.
The “man company” God is creating is the Body of Christ, and Jesus is the Head of that Body (Colossians 1:18). Christ is no longer an individual. He is a many-membered Body. Jesus alone was the Christ before His crucifixion, for in Him dwelt the fullness of the Godhead (Colossians 2:9). But now Christ is a mystical Body, and the fullness of God is coming forth in it. Christ, you might say, is a new creation.
Though we have known Christ after the flesh, we now should know Him after the Spirit, for He has become a mystical Body, a new creation of God. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. II Corinthians 5:16.
In the next verse Christ is called a new creation. (Note: the word “creature” should be “creation,” and the words in brackets are not in the original; they were added by the translators.) Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. The literal Greek reads: “If anyone in Christ a new creation,” that is, when others are incorporated in Christ so that Christ is no longer an individual, then Christ is a new creation.
It is obvious that the Body of Christ is not yet all that it must be. It is presently under the creative hand of God. It is a process, and the reason for that is because God is allowing man to become co-creators with Him in creating the “man company.” Even though that is true, the creative work is entirely of God. Man will work with Him, but there will be no input of human energy or intelligence. It will not be by the might and power of man, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord (Zechariah 4:6).
Ephesians 4:11-13 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
The Body of Christ must be built up until it becomes the “perfect man” that God wants. The ministries of verse 11 are the builders that God works through in this creative work. Without them the work will never be done.
Most churches today are not under the ministry of apostles and prophets, and that is why they are not maturing to the “perfect man” of verse 13. They have ministers called “pastors, teachers, and evangelists,” but they are not the same ministries as those by the same name in verse 11. The evangelists, pastors and teachers of verse 11 work with and are under the authority of the apostles and prophets, for the apostles and prophets are the foundational ministries of the Body, Jesus Christ being the chief Corner Stone (Ephesians 2:20).
The house built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets is the house built by God. They are the “wise man,” which builds his house upon the Rock (Matthew 7:24). The houses that are not built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets are built upon the precepts and commandments of men (Mark 7:9,13). That is the house built on the sand by the “foolish man” (Matthew 7:26). People can claim the teachings of the apostles and prophets of the Scriptures as their foundation all they want to, but until they have real apostles and prophets to open up those Scriptures they won’t really understand what is written.
Christ the individual becomes Christ the many-membered Body, and the Body matures until it becomes “a perfect man.” From One comes many, and from many comes One. The Body of Christ must mature until the Lord Jesus Christ is glorified in it. Churches under the organization of man will never mature and become the “man company” God wants. There is no getting around it, the ministries of Ephesians 4:11 are the channels through which God creates the “perfect man” in His image as was spoken of in Genesis 1:27.
Copyright © 1996 by Henry DuBose