Welcome to 2023! As I looked over the blogs on this website, I came to the realization that I hadn’t posted in two years. Ouch! Lots of things have happened over this time period. I will be more regular in my “blogging,” now that things have a somewhat predictable pace.
For the foreseeable future, these blogs will focus on the concept of image. Image can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. Though I am not given to contemporary attempts at improving or altering one’s self-image (narcissism, dysphoria), I am keenly aware that the truest concept of image is tragically misunderstood and even missing in Christendom today. My goal is to make us all aware of the schemes of the enemy and how we can stand firm against him by understanding the reality and power found in image.
Part One and Two of this series will be an expert taken from a book that I am writing in the light of “What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world but lose his own soul.” Matthew 16:26
(and, yes, this blog is copyrighted for all the pirates out there…smile).
IMAGE IS EVERYTHING
In the 1990’s, Canon initiated a cleverly designed commercial campaign for its new Rebel camera. Their spokesman, the famed tennis star and cultural heart-throb, Andre Agassi, brought a new meaning to the phrase, “Image is Everything.” With Agassi’s great looks, star power, and athletic success, America bought into the pronouncement hook, line, and sinker. “Image is Everything” was stamped on clothing, quoted in the marketplace, and written about in popular psychology journals. This opened the door to the self-awareness, self-worth movement. Though Canon profited greatly from this philosophy, the concept wasn’t new. In fact, it actually predates history.
Lucifer, “son of the morning,” was the “seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” (Ezekiel 28:12). According to the writings of Ezekiel, Lucifer was the anointed guardian cherub. He walked in splendor in the presence of God. It appeared that nothing created was as beautiful. When you read Isaiah 14:13-14 there is evidence that the “morning star” wanted to ascend to the throne of God and be like the Most High. This was quite lofty and arrogant at best. *It is worth noting that the passages referenced in Ezekiel and in Isaiah refer to the king of Tyre and the King of Babylon respectively. Many Bible scholars see a dual reference to the king and to the demonic power behind the king, that of Lucifer.
Using the dual reference model, it is clear that Lucifer (and the king) was in search of a greater power only found in the image of the Most High. His desire was to sit on the throne of the Creator. He wanted to be like God. Though angels were part of God’s design, they were not made in His image. Lucifer wanted this image. He wanted the power that came with it. When he was denied this pleasure he was thrown out of heaven and cast to earth (Ez. 28:17). Has his goal changed from that time to this? Read on and make your own conclusion,
“Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” (Genesis 1:26, 27)
God created man in His image. Through that image man was to rule over God’s creation. God would rule from heaven; man was to rule from earth. It is a safe assumption that God intended man to have power through image – His image. Satan (aka: Lucifer) would benefit from the fall of man as he would usurp man’s power through having Adam and Eve question their own God-given image. By putting a seed of doubt in their mind, Satan was able to begin a questioning process in the innocent lives. Is it possible that the Garden pair questioned that they were made in His image – in His likeness? The enemy tempted Eve with this, “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5
Satan went after their image by having them question whether they were fully like God. God looked at them and proclaimed as a loving Father, “It is good.” But, was there something missing? Did God short-change them? Is not knowing good and evil a detriment? Does it take anything away from their God-likeness? God was protecting their innocence, not cheating them from the full expression of who they were.
Satan is cunning. He knows what buttons to push. There was purpose to his line of questioning. His question struck at the very heart of what he, himself, was after…..God’s image. Get man to question God!
To be continued in Part Two