The Purpose of Mankind
Whenever you build... you must have a firm foundation. Scripture says that Yahshua is the cornerstone that unbelievers reject. Why did He come? What, if anything, did His coming and His life and death have to do with the basic purpose of man? In Galatians 1:6 Paul wrote that he marveled that so soon some were removed to another evangel... This is like building on another foundation.
I know that people are interested in prophecy and other speculative topics. That's all well and good as long as we keep it all in perspective; as long as we build on the right building blocks... the fundamental blocks. Peter wrote of Paul, 2 Peter 3:15-16, that he wrote some things hard to be understood and capable of being wrested.... Oh, boy! Thank you Peter! We are not crazy if we have a hard time putting some of Paul's things in the right slots.
But, whatever our interests and our speculations, we have to keep our focus on what is not speculation and what is provable. How important to your calling was the fundamental question of "Why Is Man?" Why are we here? Is there a Creator? Does He tell us WHY? Did He give us an instruction book? Everything you buy has an instruction book. How many read the instruction books? I know I usually don't read ALL of them ALL the way through. Man is much more important than any machinery man can create. Did His maker leave an instruction book? I believe He did. And I think that the reason Man is in so much trouble today is because he just doesn't read the instruction book, or does not understand that it is just that... an instruction book.
Where does the important stuff go in an instruction book? In the back? If you start reading it at the back how far will you get? How much will you miss? Our Father's instruction book starts right off with IMPORTANT STUFF: Genesis 1 starts right off with creation as it relates to man. He shows where our surroundings came from, how we got "time", how everything was prepared and put in order BEFORE man was created. From verse 20 on it shows how He made every animal after its KIND. Dogs, for example, look like dogs, act like dogs, smell like dogs... because Elohim made them after the DOG KIND. Name any animal you want and you will be able to recognize that animal by certain characteristics, some of which are unique to that animal KIND. When He came to man, He said, "Let US make man in OUR image (nlv) tselem and after OUR likeness (znc)demooth." Why didn't He just say He made man after the MANKIND? What He was saying was that He would make man after the Elohim-kind!
Some people have a difficult time with these two words. They look them up in Strong's Concordance and see little, if any difference. Look at the Hebrew word tselem. This is the word used in 2 Kings 11:18 " And all the people of the land went to the house of Ba'al, and broke it down. They completely broke up its altars and images(tselem, and slew Mattan the priest of Ba'al before the altars." This is how they appear physically and so, the use of the Hebrew word tselem translated images. One other representative place it was used of pagan idols is in Amos 5:26 "...but you took up Sikkuth your sovereign and Kiyyun, your idols (or images) (Hebrew tselem), your astral mighty ones, which you made for yourselves. In these instances, it is used of idols because a tselem is an image.
Now notice in Genesis 2:20-22 "So the man gave names to all the livestock... but for the man there was not found a helper for him, as his counterpart. So Yahweh Elohim caused a deep sleep to fall on the man, and he slept. And He took one of his ribs (same root... rib nlv), and closed up the flesh in its place. And the RIB which Yahweh Elohim had taken from the man, He made into a woman..." Do you see any significance in this use of the root of tselem (Hebrew root: nlv) in this creation process? How important was it that Yahweh took a part of the very body of "the man" to make him a fitting help?
Let's look at the etymology of this word tselem. If we consult the Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew, on page 217 under the root we find: "what appears to be, appearance." We could expect a meaning that could be expressed in modern English idiom as "what you see is what you get!"
Now let's look at this word "likeness" or in the Hebrew demooth (Hebrew root: dnc). In Genesis 5:3 we read "And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begot in his likeness and image, and he named him Seth." Notice that Seth was also in the image of his father, Adam. But more is implied here by the use of both terms. It seems we have here "an exact replica" of his father containing a special essence of him. In Genesis 4:10 when Yahweh tells Cain that his brother's "blood" cries out we find the word is (inc) from this word demooth. It appears again as "blood" in Genesis 9:4 "But flesh with the life thereof which is the "blood" thereof, shall you not eat." and in Deuteronomy 22:8 "When you build a new house, then you shall make a battlement for your roof, that you bring not "blood" upon your house, if any man fall from thence." Is this coincidence or does it have significance and relationship to the "blood" of the sacrifices and the "blood" of Yahshua? Again, consulting the Webster’s New World Hebrew Dictionary we find the following in words under this root: " dnc – demey: blood; demey 'eravon: earnest money; demoot: image; figure; character!
Daniel referred to the "images" (tselem) of Nebuchadnezzer... that's what they were! THAT'S ALL! There was nothing else to them! What appeared is what was.
But when we look at "demah" in the Etymological Dictionary of Biblical Hebrew, on page 51 we see terms and phraseslike "being similar;" "losing distinctiveness; " "intending similar action (character);" "conceiving;" "blood (essence);" and the suggestion of "losing independence".
When He says in the same chapter in verse 27, "So Elohim created man in His own IMAGE, in the IMAGE of Elohim created He." He used just the first of the two words (tselem). It would seem to me that the product was NOT finished then.
In 1 Corinthians 15:46-49 Paul agrees with that! First, earthly IMAGE; then, heavenly IMAGE!
Verse 26 said, "Let us make man after our image and likeness." I believe, since up to this verse He was speaking of each animal being in and after it's KIND, we could rightly say that Yahweh is saying, "Let us make man after OUR (ELOHIM) KIND!"
Is this the purpose for man (that is for ALL mankind)? I believe it is. 2 Peter 3:9 "Yahweh is not slack concerning His promise ... not willing that ANY should perish but that ALL should come to repentance." Toward the end of the instruction book, the purpose seems to be the same for ALL. Is this the purpose for some, but not all, man? Where is the purpose for the rest? Which ones would be included here and which would not???? If this does NOT reveal the purpose, the reason that Yahweh created man, would someone PLEASE show me where it gives the purpose and tell me what it is???
Satan knew this was the purpose and entered into the works to spoil the plan very quickly: Genesis 3:14-15 "Because you have done this... I will put enmity between your seed and her seed. He shall crush your head, and you shall bruise His heel."
So, this made it necessary to have a remedy. The rest of the instruction book is about that remedy to assure that the purpose would be fulfilled. Though it is Yahweh's will that none perish, it is apparent from some of the statements in the book that some will. But I don't think you will find that Yahweh ever changed the original purpose. Malachi 3:6! "I am Yahweh, I change NOT, therefore you sons of Jacob are not consumed." Always you will see Satan coming in to mess up the plan. Yahweh gives some remedy, some procedure, to restore progress toward the plan. We see the flood as a remedy (really, the salvation of man through Noah and his sons was the real remedy) because man had become so wicked and may have been infiltrated in some way by the instruments of Satan. Then, He chose Abraham in order to move the plan along, after giving all "mankind" (all peoples) an opportunity to participate and "mankind" as a whole failing to be faithful. So, Yahweh went to the special relationship with Abraham through a covenant and has been dealing with man through this covenant ever since. But, He never changed nor does scripture ever indicate that He changed THE PURPOSE. Psalm 82:6 "I have said 'you are elohim,' and all of you are children of the Most High." John 10:34-36 "Is it not written in your law, 'You are elohim?'" Spoken by the ONE who was the ultimate remedy.
Whatever else you study; whatever else you speculate on, if this is the Plan of Yahweh, it must fit into this Plan. NOT Paul, nor Peter, nor any other man had authority to change the purpose and plan set in motion by Yahweh. Here is the most fundamental stone to build upon.