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Conformed to The Image

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Conformed to the Image

But all of us, with open faces, behold the magnificence of YHWH as in a mirror, and we are being changed into that likeness from glory to glory as by the Spirit of YHWH.
(2Cor. 3:18) see 1Cor. 13:12; Ex. 33:18-34:8; 1Cor. 11:7

And from the first he knew he knew them and marked them out [to become] in the likeness of the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn of many brothers.
(Rom. 8:29)

And put on the newness that is renewed by knowledge, in the likeness of his Creator.
(Col. 3:10)

And like we have worn the likeness of the one who is from the dust, thus we will wear the likeness of the one who is from heaven.
(1Cor. 15:49)

What is this likeness of YHWH which we see in the mirror and are being changed into?

We were created in the image of YHWH (Gen. 1:26-27; 1Cor. 11:7).  Which is an invisible image of attributes which make up the godhead (Col. 1:15; Rom. 1:27).

The Torah tells us that G-d is eternal (Dt.33:27).From this we understand that G-d is infinite or boundless. In Jewish mysticism the term Eyn Sof is used to describe G-d as being eternal, infinite and boundless. Eyn is a Hebrew word meaning "there is not" or "without", while Sof is a Hebrew word meaning "end, termination, border or definition." Since G-d is Eyn Sof, G-d is without definition. This creates a basic problem. The minute we attempt to define G-d we have given him borders and are no longer talking about Eyn Sof. There is no way that we can define Eyn Sof, moreover we cannot even comprehend Eyn Sof since we would have to have an infinite number of bytes in our brain to comprehend the infinite. This creates a natural gulf between man and G-d. Being finite we cannot even comprehend Eyn Sof, much less have a personal relationship with Eyn Sof.

Nonetheless the Scriptures do assign attributes to G-d.  In Judaism these attributes are seen as being part of the godhead in the form of emanations called sefirot (shining ones).  These attributes can clearly be seen in the Tanak in the following passages:

The Spirit of YHWH shall rest upon him,
The Spirit of Wisdom (Chochmah) and Understanding (Binah),
The Spirit of Counsel (Atzah) and might (Geburah)
The Spirit of Knowledge (Da'at) and of the fear (yirah) of YHWH
(Is. 11:2)

Yours, O YHWH, is:
the greatness (Gedulah)
the power (Geburah)
and the glory (Teferet)
the victory (Natzach)
and the majesty (Hod)
…Yours is:
the Kingdom (M'lakah)…
(1Chron. 29:11)

…I YHWH lay in Zion for a foundation (yesod), a stone, a tried stone, … a sure foundation (yesod)…
(Is. 28:16)

…his [YHWH's] mercy (chesed) endures forever…
(2Chron. 20:21)

These list out as follows:

  1. The Spirit of YHWH (called Crown (Keter))
  2. Wisdom (Chokmah)
  3. Understanding (Binah)
  4. Mercy (Chesed)  (also Gedulah and Atzah)
  5. Severity (Geburah)
  6. Harmony/Beauty (Teferet)
  7. Victory (Natzach)
  8. Power (Hod)
  9. Foundation (Yesod)
  10. Kingdom/Kingship (Malakut)

Now in Romans 1:19-20 we are told that:

"what may be known of G-d is manifest in them [mankind]  his invisible attributes are clearly seen,  being understood by the things that are made,  even his eternal power and G-dhead [or divine nature]..."

Then in Rom. 1:26-28 we are told that those who fail to perceive these things may fall into the errors of Homosexuality and Lesbianism. So when in creation were G-d's invisible attributes manifested in man and made clearly seen. The answer is in the Torah, in Gen. 1:26, 27 where we read:

Then G-d said, "Let Us make man in Our image,  according to Our likeness...  So G-d created man in His own image;  in the image of G-d He created him;  male and female He created them.

Now following the parallelism of the passage, "Our image"; "Our likeness" and "male and female" appear to be parallel terms.

These feminine and masculine attributes are represented in the Tanak by the Father (Jer. 31:9; Mal. 1:9; Is. 63:16; 64:8 ), the Mother (Is. 66:13 ) and the Son (Prov. 30:4; Ps. 2:2, 7, 12).

If we arrange the attributes under three columns according to their characteristics as Mother (feminine), Father (masculine) and Son (feminine and masculine in perfect balance) they lay out as follows:

Father

Son

Mother

 

1. Keter

 

3. Binah

 

2. Chochmah

5. Gevurah

 

4. Chesed

 

6. Teferet

 

8. Hod

 

7. Natzach

 

9. Yesod

 

 

10. Malkut

 

The middle column expresses the other two columns in perfect harmony. Note that attributes 1, 6, 9 and 10 make up this middle column and 1+6+9+10 = 26 Which is the numerical value of YHWH.  This therefore is the invisible image of YHWH.

This is the Image of YHWH which is the Messiah:

…the Messiah, who is the likeness of G-d.
(2Cor. 4:4)

[his Son] who is the image of the invisible G-d…
(Col. 1:15)

[the Son] who is the radiance of his glory, and the image of his being…
(Heb. 1:3)

That these are emanations is affirmed by Heb. 1:3 which equates "the image of his being" with "the radiance of his glory" and Jn. 1:5 which describes him as "a light shining in the darkness" (Jn. 1:5).

Ok so lets go back to our original passage:

But all of us, with open faces, behold the magnificence of YHWH as in a mirror, and we are being changed into that likeness from glory to glory as by the Spirit of YHWH.
(2Cor. 3:18)

The word for "magnificence" here in the Aramaic is "teshbuchta" the same word which appears in the Peshitta Aramaic Tanak for "tefret" in 1Chron. 29:11.  Therefore it may be understood as:

…behold the teferet of YHWH…

Teferet is the focal point of all of the attributes, one of its meanings is "harmony."  

"from glory to glory" the Jewish New testament has "from one degree of glory to the next"

We were made in the image of YHWH but we are out of balance/harmony.   The object is to harmonize the feminine and masculine attributes in ourselves from one degree of glory to the next until we conform to that harmonious image.  This is a process.  The final result is obtaining crown (keter):

Blessed is the man that endures temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown (keter) of life, which YHWH has promised to them that love him.
(Ya'akov (James) 1:2)

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown (keter) of righteousness, which YHWH, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them that love his appearing.
(2Tim. 4:8)


 


 

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