Man from Heaven

And in the same way as we have taken on us the image of the man from the earth, so we will take on us the image of the one from heaven.

1Co 15:49

What is the Image?

We will take on us the image of the one from heaven. Well, right in the beginning of this all, we actually have been created in the image of him.

This does not only apply to our body. If Jesus died on the cross before the foundation of the earth, he had a body then which we were modelled after. On the other hand, if that were all, we would have been after his image all along. But we had taken on the image of the man from the earth.

Thus, taking on the image of Christ has to do with much more than the body. It is about character, spirit, soul, thinking, feeling, communicating. Short, about our whole being.

The question now is when we will take on this image.

The possibility has been restored at the cross. It has been facilitated when the Spirit was given.

History

Historically, the church has put every attainable good in the future into a time after Jesus’ return or even eternity. All bad will culminate here on earth, and all good will concentrate in heaven.

In medieval times, people did not believe in personal development. Once a poor farmer, always a poor farmer. Once a noble man, always a noble man. Things were determined by birth, and change was going to happen after death. Purgatory or hell, depending on your life, and in the first case, eventually heaven.

But then, there was the reformation. God restored the truth that a personal relationship with God was needed. This made it necessary to understand the notion of the individual and therefore brought about the possibility of individual growth.

Calvin had the boldness to proclaim that blessings were not limited to heaven, but could be experienced here and now. His successors made the mistake to privatize faith, disallowing to question one’s faith. Blessings became the indicator of right living. The notion of the individual and this new measurement of faith sparked the industrial revolution and thus modern society.

So much more

Think of it: God only restored the first feast to man in 1515: Easter. He gave us back the understanding of the cross, in part. And it brought about so much. Much of it does not align with the Bible.

Up to Luther and his friends, there was one philosophy, if you want to call it such, that dominated the western world: catholicism. Reform contained a danger of abuse: it opened the people up to the thinking that there might be alternatives. And since the reformation did not follow through and quenched God’s plan mid way, those alternatives took hold of many. Humanism being the big one.

Humanism had existed for some 400 years in the drawers and heads of some intellectuals, and had no chance of mass distribution.

Interestingly enough, it helped spark the reformation, as many of the people Luther was influenced by had in turn been influenced by humanism.

But think of what could happen when the two other feasts are restored.

Pentecost and Tabernacles

Pentecost has been restored to us in Wales and Azusa Street. The big influence of Easter in the reformation took about two hundred years to noticeably change humanity. We still have to see the big influence the outpouring of the Spirit will have. The possibilities are mind blowing.

But it is not even going to end there.

If Easter restored the possibility of relationship with him, Pentecost brings potential cooperation between God and man, opening, upgrading communication means by him living within us through his Spirit, and Tabernacles will give us the dunamis, the power of sons.

If Easter brought about the avenue of personal development, Pentecost gave us all the tools necessary to change man kind, and Tabernacles will give us the authority to save creation.

If Easter saved our spirits, Pentecost continually saves our souls, and Tabernacles will save our bodies. The full image of the one in heaven.

All of this from one man’s death, Jesus Christ.

Attainable only if we take on his image fully, traveling all three feast seasons personally and as church.

The way

I am going to make a bold assumption now:

The two first feast seasons happened here on earth, implemented at the cross and in the outpouring of the spirit 50 days later, restored in the reformation and again the outpouring of the Spirit. Their consequences on earth had been expected only in the afterlife before, and history since has restored so many possibilities and so much potential to us here on earth, what if Tabernacles and its consequences will happen here too?

Could it be that Tabernacles took place when the old world, the old covenant was destroyed in 72 when the temple was destroyed? God living in us, in our midst, visibly not being confined to a building and a system any longer? Are we waiting for it’s restoration only?

There has been the tendency and still is for the church to preserve, manage, even enshrine the attained. Even a desire to go back to the good old times—as if there ever were such. But everything around us tells us that God is a God of growth, a God of development. He set us on a trajectory, from toddler to teenager to mature son. From 30  to 60 to 100-fold. From good to acceptable to perfect. He even tells us that he who puts his hands on the plow and looks back is not fit for the Kingdom.

God does not want us to put in stone his teachings as he taught farmers and fishermen 2000 years ago, but carefully and under the leading of the Spirit bring it to the stage of development, the point in human history we are at. If not, I dare say that Jesus will not return. He came the first time as the time was fulfilled. The law had done its deed. People had learned that the law in itself will not save. There were three reactions to that fact:

  • Giving up, living a life after one’s own pleasing, adjusting to circumstances, giving in to pressures. Matthew served the oppressors  as tollkeeper.
  • Stubbornly holding on to outward motions, trying to restore former glory, just working harder to attain salvation by doing more of the same. The pharisees lived Einstein’s definition of insanity; doing the same-old same-old over and over again and expecting a different result. And if it does not work, try harder, inventing even more spiritual exercises and programs, setting in place even harsher laws, mourning the state of the world.
  • But some had a cry in their heart, a hunger and thirst for more. They accepted change when God brought about change, and recognized the new when it came.

This again is a season to hunger and thirst for the new whine that God is giving. And he saved the best for last. Let’s allow ourselves to take on the full image of Christ.

Are you hungry?

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Categorized as Kingdom

By Ralph Rickenbach

Accompanyist | Pastor in Exile | Iconoclast — I am a Gallup certified CliftonStrengths coach and a Spiral Dynamics practitioner.