Since the beginning of time, all of humanity has wondered what God looks like and what it means that we were made in the image of God, as first mentioned on page two in the Bible. And understandably so, seeing as there have been billions of imagers of God (humans) who have walked this earth since the dawn of creation—all being completely unique from each another. So if we all (humans) are imagers of God, and we all look so vastly different from one another, then how can we possibly begin to know what God looks like?
“God said, “Let Us make mankind in Our image, after Our likeness, and let them have complete authority over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, the beasts, and over everything that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God He created him; male and female He created them.” From reading Genesis 1:26-27 we know that God’s pronouns include: Us, Our, He, and His. Right here we see that the term God refers to One “He” comprised of multiple beings. It is the Christian understanding that the “Us” refers to the three-fold doctrine of the trinity; namely, the Father, the Son (Christ Jesus), and the Holy Spirit. Likewise, humans are also comprised of this three-fold Pattern (SPIRIT, SOUL, BODY) since we are indeed His imagers. In these two verses, we see that males and females equally bear the image of God, and that this given Divine image constitutes authority over all the animals God created.
THE NUMBER 3
There is something Divinely special about the number three. It is the number for completeness, as it takes at least three lines to complete any plane figure. On the third day of creation, God completed all of the fundamental creation-work (days four, five, and six correspond as the counterpart and repetition of the first, second, and third days of creation). Therefore, the number three is significant of Divine perfection and completeness. Three also references the resurrection in that on the third day of creation, the dry land (earth) rose up from the deep waters, and fruit rose up out of the earth.
So the number three is a profound number for many reasons in the Bible, and also to God as it pertains to creation, resurrection, and HUMANS who were created in His three-fold image (that is, One image comprised of three Parts/Beings). And in the beginning, we see the One true God creating ALL things after Himself, but especially the man and the woman; God was the Pattern for everything that He created.
GOD’S PRESENCE IN THE TABERNACLE
One of the reasons why God commanded Moses (Exodus 20:4-6) and the people He brought out of Egypt to not make an idol in the likeness of anything/a graven image, and that they should not bow themselves down to them or serve them (idols/graven images), because humans were supposed to be God’s personal representatives on earth for Him—God had already made images of Himself whenever he created Adam and Eve, but they compromised this Pure Image in the fall of mankind (Genesis 3), when they handed over their authority to an animal in that they were fooled by the serpent’s lies. But because our God is a God of mercy, He never abandoned or gave up on His people through the ages. He never failed to keep His Word.
But God’s promise “to walk among us and be our God” (Exodus 6:7) would not change just because humans had compromised His image in the fall. So God gave to Moses the Ten Commandments (one being that they should have no other gods before the One True God), and He also commanded Moses to build a Tabernacle and all of its furniture according to this same three-fold Pattern (Exodus 25:8-9), so “that I [God] may dwell among them.” And in that Tent of Meeting, the God of our fathers manifested Himself as a cloud of glory within the Holy of Holies (the inner most part of the sanctuary) behind the veil (Exodus 40:34-35).
“In all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not journey on until the day when it was taken up. For throughout all their journeys, the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and there was fire in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel (Exodus 40:36-38).”
Fast forward a couple thousand years more, and we see this same God Who created the heavens and the earth step down from glory, put on human flesh, and walk among us in His own creation. His name: YESHUA (Hebrew for Jesus), the MESSIAH KING. His purpose: to save that which was lost (humans lost to sin + death). His crowning glory on earth: the cross. In the New Testament, we see Scriptures such as 2nd Corinthians 4:4, which state that Jesus Christ is the image of God, Himself; also we see in Colossians 1:15, that Christ is the exact living image of the unseen God (because God is Spirit, see John 4:24).
God is a complex three-fold spiritual being, and we, His imperfect imagers have an exemplary Pure Image of God that we can look to in the Person of Christ Jesus. In 1st Corinthians 3:16, Paul bluntly asks the reader, “Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple, and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” And Hebrews 10:16 says “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days,” declares the LORD. “I will put my laws in their hearts, and inscribe them on their minds.” The human body, therefore, can be physically and spiritually likened unto the same three-fold Pattern of the Tabernacle. And not only the human body, but also everything in it as well—every cell, tissue, and organ also follows this same three-fold Pattern. Cells, being largely comprised of a nucleus, a nucleolus, and a cell body. These cells are then differentiated into one of three layers (endoderm, mesoderm, and ectoderm), making up tissues. Next, tissues make up entire organs which also are three-fold (depending on the type of tissues composing them). And finally, organs harmoniously work together within nine (three sets of three) distinct organ systems: (1) nervous, endocrine, reproductive (2) respiratory, circulatory, excretory (3) digestive, skeletal, muscular. The human being, therefore, is a three-fold being (SPIRIT, SOUL, BODY) from start to finish and is ABSOLUTELY MADE IN THE VERY IMAGE, SHAPE AND FORM OF THE ETERNAL YAHWEH HIMSELF. Even the human gestation period—nine months—is three sets of threes. And if one were to read these stories from Exodus 20-40, the Scriptures clearly show that it took Moses exactly nine months to build and erect the Tabernacle. What a beautiful symbolism this was compared to the Tabernacle of the human body, which requires nine months to be built by God in the womb!
In fact, the entire universe in its totality was fashioned after this three-fold Pattern of God, being comprised of invisible atoms. Each atom containing THREE parts: a proton, a neutron, and an electron corresponding to the three-fold Pattern of the fullness of the Godhead (the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit). And I could keep going on and on, but I’ll save more for next week (Lord willing!). My mind has been officially blown AGAIN by God, and waking up each day to the reality of His Presence in my life has brought all of the world’s distractions to a standstill. Our God is indeed a consuming fire.