Jim Brandt

Feast of Tabernacles - Seaside, Oregon

Day 6: October 6, 2012

I am going to read a definition before I tell you the word that this is the definition of:

The word which you may have already guessed – is "amnesia."  What better way to describe the state of mankind, throughout all of history?

In the Genesis account of the creation, God clearly states:

Genesis 1:27:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 

Yet our adversary the god of this world has so obscured mankind’s vision including man’s view of himself that our true identities as being potential sons and daughters of God have been lost, just as if we are all amnesia victims.  Mankind in general is, for the most part, clueless as to its origins and its destiny; and, just the same, the modern day descendants of the lost tribes of Israel don't know their true identity.  But how much more are we, the Body of Christ, still recovering from that state of amnesia that we were called out of? 

Acts 9:
7:  And the men who journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice but seeing no one. 
8:  Then Saul arose from the ground, and when his eyes were opened he saw no one.  But they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus. 
9:  And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank. 
10:  Now there was a certain disciple at Damascus named Ananias; and to him the Lord said in a vision, “Ananias”.  And he said, "Here I am, Lord."
11:  So the Lord said to him, "Arise and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus, for behold, he is praying. 
12:  And in a vision he has seen a man named Ananias coming in and putting his hand on him, so that he might receive his sight."
13:  Then Ananias answered, "Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he has done to Your saints in Jerusalem. 
14:  And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on Your name." 
15:  But the Lord said to him, "Go, for he is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel. 
16:  For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name's sake." 
17:  And Ananias went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit." 
18:  Immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he received his sight at once; and he arose and was baptized. 

Paul, as part of his conversion process, was blinded, and then had his eyesight restored to demonstrate how blind he was to God's truth.  He had to have his eyes opened by Christ in order to be used by God. 

In my message today, I hope to present several thought-provoking points to show that we are more like our Creator God than we may think.  The title of my sermon is "God-like."

If we take a closer look at this subject, we will see a clearer picture of how familiar God really is to us.  My intention here is to present a positive
and hopefully inspiring view of who we are, as God has truly made us after the "God-kind."  

In addition, I will also present a few of my speculative points of view; but I will make sure that I make clear that these are just some of my thoughts on the subject.  Still, there are a lot of scriptures that will pull all this together.

Isaiah 11:
6:  "The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. 
7:  The cow and the bear shall graze; their young ones shall lie down together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. 
8:  The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole, and the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den.
9:  They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. 

This millennial picture is not here yet.  The world that we have now is the exact opposite of this.  Our earthly atmosphere is not filled with the knowledge of God yet.  Rather, it is filled with a very negative spirit.

Ephesians 2:2:
In which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.

No one can safely handle cobras nowadays.  I personally believe that the nature of the animals is also being affected by Satan's broadcast. 

Every time I turn around, I hear about another deadly spider!  I thought there were just a few of them; but from a public television documentary I watched a few years ago, I learned that, in Australia there is one called a Funnel Web Spider, which is quite common
common enough that the local hospitals have to keep up with their stocks of anti-venom. 

In order to collect that anti-venom, they have to capture these Funnel Web Spiders and keep them in little beakers.  I noticed that, when they collect the venom from this little spider, it became very aggressive. 

Where in the world did this natural part of God’s creation get this aggressive spirit?  I have come to the conclusion that the prince of the power of the air also broadcasts his negative spirit to animals.  I also believe that, once Satan and his henchmen are put out of commission and taken out of the picture, this will result in the change of nature in the animals. 

This is one thing in particular that I look forward to, that once our adversary has been taken out of the picture, and his Satanic spirit broadcast has been put out of commission, I believe that the air itself will be different.  It may be that we are so used to the world being this way, that we won't see a difference until that day arrives. 

It is much like this anecdotal story that I have often heard:
  In a small town every night at 2:00 am a train goes through the town and shakes the houses; but everybody sleeps right through it.  But then one night the train didn’t come through and everybody sat up in bed! 

The community of mankind throughout all history has simply not been aware of who God really is, even though various religions over time have had some of truth here and there.  Also, the great minds of the world around us have little or no understanding of the Creator.  One of the great minds of the world, a man who was very highly respected was Carl Sagan, who was responsible for a very excellent PBS series called "Cosmos."  He was quoted as saying, "I see no evidence of an anthropomorphic God."

What better example is there of not being able to see the forest for the trees?  If we could only have talked to him and told him to take a look in the mirror;  because we are definitely the evidence of God's creation.

I have three main points that I am going to present right now: 

Point 1: We have God's DNA

II Timothy 2:
20:  But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21:  If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.

I grabbed this thought out of scripture because of the phrase “meet for the master’s use.”  It is very similar to the old English term "help-meet," which we are very familiar with in the Old Testament.

Mr. Armstrong once pointed out that, in the creation account in Genesis, God created each life after its own kind:

Genesis 1:26:
Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; 

Or, in other words, as Mr. Armstrong used to like to say, God made man after the "God kind." 

Genesis 2:
19:  Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them.  And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 
20:  So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field.  But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him. 
21:  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 
22:  Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 
23:  And Adam said: "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man." 
24:  Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 

Ephesians 5:
25:  Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 
26:  that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 
27:  that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 
28:  So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 
29:  For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 
30:  For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. 
31:  "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh."
32:  This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 

By using all of these scriptures, it is very apparent that just as Eve was created for Adam so that he would have a mate of "his own kind," so was mankind created to be suited as God's own kind. 

Next, I would like to present several descriptions of God:

Revelation 1:
12:  Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands,
13:  and in the midst of the seven lampstands one like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band.
14:  His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire;
15:  His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters;
16:  He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. 

When God appeared to Abraham He appeared as a man just like one of us: 

Genesis 18:
1:  Then the LORD appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.
2:  So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground,
3:  and said, "My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant.
4:  Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree.
5:  And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts.  After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant."

Here Abraham extended the hospitality that he would to any guest; but this was God!

I am raising this next example as a question for us to ponder.  This has always made me wonder about the God-like qualities that God created within us, and makes me wonder:

Exodus 34:
29:  Now it was so, when Moses came down from Mount Sinai (and the two tablets of the Testimony were in Moses' hand when he came down from the mountain), that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him.
30:  So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. 

What human attribute was happening here when Moses’ face glowed after being near God.  Do we all in fact have that very quality?  Would we glow in the same way if we were in the presence of God?

Also, another reference about our state of being God-like is a reference which Christ made when He referred to us as being "gods" in the present tense when He was talking to Abraham’s descendants:

John 10:
31:  Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.
32:  Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father.  For which of those works do you stone Me?" 
33:  The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone you, but for blasphemy, and because you, being a man, make yourself God."  
34:  Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods."'" 

With all of this in mind, I think it should be no coincidence that we responded to God's calling.  I believe that, in effect, we recognized God's truth because we identified with it – and because, when God created us, He wired us in advance to recognize the God-kind just as we recognize each other in that sense.

Point 2 - Has God given us the ability to do the impossible?

We often hear about people with exceptional abilities.  It seems that, even in this world, there are those who develop incredible talents.  Mozart was a child prodigy.  His father was a composer and, as a child
– at three or four years old Mozart told his parents after hearing a piece of music, “I am going to go and play that.”  And he did play it from memory!

Another case in which this happens in human beings is if we are affected in some way.  One case is that of emotional trauma, which can cause someone to withdraw; but then develop perfections in certain areas of their being.  Another similar case often happens with autistic people who often develop incredible abilities.  There is a YouTube video of an autistic person named Dennis, who has an incredible musical talent in which he can play anything from memory after hearing it just once. 

To me, these are shining examples of the great abilities that God created within us, and which we rarely or never use.  In the Kingdom of God we will excel and shine beyond our wildest expectations.  In the scriptures we find plenty of examples that there seems to be an untapped potential in mankind.  These examples make us wonder what the extent of that potential is.

Judges 14:
5:  So Samson went down to Timnah with his father and mother, and came to the vineyards of Timnah.  Now to his surprise, a young lion came roaring against him. 
6:  And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he tore the lion apart as one would have torn apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand. 

Was Samson some kind of super-developed, perfect human specimen?  I am beginning to wonder if he was just some ordinary guy.  He may have been short and kind of "roundish"!  Who knows?  I am not sure that he was the equivalent of Jack LaLaine or Arnold Schwarzenegger of his day!  The real  source of his strength was God and His instruction to his mother that he live by the conditions of the Nazarite vow:

Judges 13:
2:  Now there was a certain man from Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren and had no children.
3:  And the Angel of the LORD appeared to the woman and said to her, "Indeed now, you are barren and have borne no children, but you shall conceive and bear a son.
4:  Now therefore, please be careful not to drink wine or similar drink, and not to eat anything unclean.
5:  For behold, you shall conceive and bear a son.  And no razor shall come upon his head, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines." 

Other than this, there was no indication that Samson had any extraordinary abilities of and by himself. 

I have often wondered about this as well.  We will see some examples of how Christ exercised power by simply speaking words:

Mark 4:
37:  And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 
38:  But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow.  And they awoke Him and said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" 
39:  Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, "Peace, be still!"  And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. 
40:  But He said to them, "Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?" 
41:  And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, "Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!" 

John 11:
39:  Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." 
40:  Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" 
41:  Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 
42:  And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." 
43:  Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 
44:  And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

Matthew 8:
1:  When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. 
2:  And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." 
3:  Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed."  Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 

These three scriptural references are reminiscent of our Saviour when He was the Creator of all things:

Genesis 1:
1:  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 
2:  The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3:  Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light. 

So, as the creation account continues, God created each day, by commanding with His voice by speaking His words:

Psalm 33:
6:  By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 
7:  He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. 
8:  Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 
9:  For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. 

God the Father and the second Being in the God Family, who later became Jesus Christ, envisioned and thought out the Creation in every detail.  Who knows how many years this took?  It existed in their minds until the day came that they spoke and it came into being.  They have that ability; but do we have the ability to speak in the same way? 

Acts 16:
16:  Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 
17:  This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation."
18:  And this she did for many days.  But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her."  And he came out that very hour.

I feel that this is another example of our Godly potential.  Do we have the same Godly abilities if we have the faith to exercise them?

Matthew 17:
14:  And when they had come to the multitude, a man came to Him, kneeling down to Him and saying, 
15:  "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and suffers severely; for he often falls into the fire and often into the water. 
16:  So I brought him to Your disciples, but they could not cure him."
17:  Then Jesus answered and said, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you?  How long shall I bear with you?  Bring him here to Me." 
18:  And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. 
19:  Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" 
20:  So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. 
21:  However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting." 

How many mountains or better yet, obstacles in our lives would we like to be able to move?  Perhaps we have the potential within us, if we only knew how to exercise the right kind of faith!

Another thought on our God-created potential:

Matthew 14:
25:  Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 
26:  And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, "It is a ghost!"  And they cried out for fear. 
27:  But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, "Be of good cheer!  It is I; do not be afraid." 
28:  And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water."
29:  So He said, "Come."  And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 
30:  But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!"
31:  And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" 
32:  And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 

Was Christ using His Godly supernatural abilities here?  Or was He simply utilizing the human potential that He put into His own creation?  The fact that Peter could have continued to walk on water, if his faith had not faltered, makes one wonder.

There is, of course, another vitally important ingredient here: 

John 5:
18:  Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. 
19:  Then Jesus answered and said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. 

And, once again from the Apostle Paul:

Philippians 4:
11:  Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 
12:  I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound.  Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 
13:  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 

And let's not forget God's promise to all of us:

John 14:14:
If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 

Point 3 - Think Like a Child

Matthew 18:
1:  At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 
2:  Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 
3:  and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 
4:  Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 
5:  Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me. 

What are the childlike qualities that are so important to God?  I have a few that I would like to present here.

For one thing, children are dependent.  We, as newborn babes, were totally dependant upon our parents.  Think of this in Godly terms
we should be completely dependant upon God. 

When you really stop to think about it, every breath of air, every beat of our hearts, every sustaining moment of our lives is provided by God.  It may be all too easy to lose sight of this fact
just as our parents lovingly provided our every need.  God is also the sustainer of our lives:

Deuteronomy 8:3:
So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.

It is interesting that in this scripture the word "word" is not in the original text.  It was added.  So, in effect the scripture implies that we live by the entirety of everything that comes from God. 

Another childlike quality, which I feel is a very strong God-like quality, is that children have trusting and believing hearts.  They also naturally use their imaginations and are not limited in their thinking. 

John 1:
10:  He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. 
11:  He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
12:  But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: 

The original Greek word used for the word "believe" is used 247 times in the New Testament.  I would say that is a pretty important word to God.  The original Greek word, is "pisteuo" (Strongs 4100) and it means to entrust (especially one's spiritual well-being to Christ); to believe; to commit (to trust); to put trust in.

I have an insert to my notes that just came to mind this morning.  I really believe this although it is speculation.  I believe that youth is a part of that childlike quality.  Youth spans longer than just childhood; it goes on as long as someone is still young. 

Proverbs 20:29:
The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the gray head.

I will read that same scripture in the New Living translation:

The glory of the young is their strength: and the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old.

As you walk down the check-out aisle, you will see a barrage of glamour photos on every cover of every magazine.  There is big business in late night infomercials selling products to ladies of all ages to help them stay young-looking.  There are similar products for guys; but it is not the same thing!

Everyone wants to hang on to their youth; and I really believe that God created youth as a very special and significant thing.  Our youth wanes; we yearn to go back to it; and we would like to have it again.  I personally believe that when we are changed, we will get our youth back.  Christ was a young man.  He didn’t live a long lifetime; He stayed a young man.

Ecclesiastes 11:9:
 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment.

Youth is indeed a specially blessed time to God.

Another Godlike quality of children is that children are teachable:

Hebrews 5:8:
Though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 

This scripture proves that being teachable is definitely a Godly quality, 

I would like to read an excerpt from a book written by Mark Kryn, who is a "Paul Harvey" kind of guy.  The title of the book is “How to be as Terrific as Your Dog Thinks You Are.”  He comments that his dogs are teachable and that, to be as terrific as your dog thinks that you are, you too must remain teachable!

When Albert Einstein was along in years he found himself seated next to a young college student at a dinner party. The student failed to recognize the great scientist; and to make conversation he asked, "What would you say is your profession?"  Einstein replied, "I devote myself to the study of physics"; to which the student replied, "You mean you are still studying physics at your age?  I finished that last semester."  Unlike the naďve student, Einstein,
one of the greatest minds in the twentieth century understood that one can never know everything about anything.  Even a brilliant scientist has to continually study and learn.  So teachability is definitely a Godly quality.

Another quality that children have
and and one that is very strongly favoured in God’s eyes is that children have a fervent enthusiasm for anything that they become seriously interested in. 

When I was a kid, whatever I had a strong interest in, I used to drive my parents up the wall!  That is all I thought about and talked about.  My Mom always commented, "You eat, drink, sleep, dream… fill in the blank, whatever the thing was that was my interest at the time!"  And I am still like that today!  A counsellor once said to me, "So you completely immerse yourself in whatever your passion is?"  That was so true; I rather liked the way that he put that!  That word "immerse" really describes it well.  God loves that kind of dedicated, fervent zeal
being on fire for all things Godly: 

Matthew 11:12:
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force. 

I think that this is an awkward translation.  Perhaps a better translation is how it is rendered in the Amplified Bible:

And from the days of John the Baptist until the present time, the kingdom of heaven has endured violent assault, and violent men seize it by force [as a precious prize--a share in the heavenly kingdom is sought with most ardent zeal and intense exertion.]

God does everything with purpose.  I absolutely believe that every part of His creation was designed to teach us about Himself, His great plan, and His purpose. 

Our life now is, no doubt, similar to an infant’s gestation in the womb.  The fetus is aware of the outside world through sounds.  However, in the womb, we don’t really see our parents.  We hear them; and we can hear music.  I like to think that our spiritual birth into the Family of God will be very comparable to our physical birth. 

I would like to relate a personal experience that I have never forgotten
about the birth of my first son.  My wife was going through thirteen hours of labor; and we had been up all night.  Then the moment arrived.  I was doing my best to coach her; but then something completely unexpected happened!  They said, "Your son is born" and they handed him to me.  I never  anticipated this; but we looked right into each other’s eyes.  It was an incredible thing and I didn’t know what to make of it, as I had never anticipated it.  But I have never forgotten that.  Based on that personal experience, I cannot help but think that this is what it is going to be like when we are changed into Spirit and we see God face to face:

I John 3:2:
Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.