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In the Likeness of Elohim
Note the following Scripture:
    Then Elohim said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule [#7287, which means “to tread down” or “subjugate”] over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So Elohim created man in his own image, in the image of Elohim he created him; male and female he created them. Elohim blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground,” Genesis 1:26-28.
    The phrase “own image” is the translation of the Hebrew tselem (tseh’-lem); meaning to shade; a phantom, i.e. (figuratively) illusion [an impression, appearance], resemblance [similarity, having a relationship]; hence, a representative figure [an envoy, delegate or agent], especially an idol [an icon, statue].
    The word “likeness” is the translation of the Hebrew demuwth (dem-ooth’); from OT:1819; meaning resemblance; concretely, model, shape; adverbially, like. While the Hebrew OT:1819 damah (daw maw’); means to compare; by implication, to resemble, liken, consider.
    Now, I find it interesting that Elohim created mankind in His image, but He commanded us that we should not make an image of Him – or anything in Heaven, or upon the Earth or under the sea,
    You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below, Ex 20:4-5 NIV.
    And especially, we should not worship any image. It seems that there are a lot of character traits that we demonstrate that are just like the Father’s. However, some of those character traits are forbidden for us to express.
    One of the characteristics of both Yahweh and man is jealousy.
    You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, Yahweh your Elohim, am a JEALOUS El, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, Exodus 20:5;
    For you shall not worship any other el, for Yahweh, whose name [whose character] is JEALOUS, is a JEALOUS El, Exodus 34:14.
    What IS jealousy? Synonymously, it is envy, covetousness [greed, acquisitiveness, avarice, selfish, meanness, miserliness], resentment, protectiveness, suspicion, distrust.
    In the Old Testament jealously is the translation of qanna’, to be zealous, i.e. (in a bad sense) JEALOUS, envious or angry.
    In the New Testament jealous is the translation of zelo’o; to have warmth of feeling for or against, heat, “zeal” (in a favorable sense, ardor; in an unfavorable one, JEALOUSY, as of a husband [figuratively, of Elohim], or an enemy, malice); to be hot, i.e. (figuratively) be fervid (earnest).
    Let me paint a picture of jealousy that may be closer to home so we can understand some of the dynamics of this emotion. You remember when you were a teenager? Remember the first person you fell in love with? How you shared your deepest – and most cherished thoughts – with them? How you bore your soul to them about things that were important to you? How you fantasized about marrying this person? About devoting your whole life to this person? About raising a family. About all the plans to go to college, get a good job, play with your kids? Did you ever do that? What excitement we felt! Just thinking of our “one and only” brought a warm feeling.
    Remember when you saw your “one and only” flirting with someone else? Remember being turned down for a date because he or she was … “busy”? Remember getting that “Dear John” letter? Remember that warm feeling that preceded those dangerous thoughts? THAT’s jealousy. But, what exactly was going on in your mind? Were you not imagining that you were losing someone very valuable to you? Was it not a catastrophe for you? When we imagine any catastrophe, what do we FEEL?
    I remember seeing the images on the TV on September 11, 2001. What a catastrophe! Seriously, I began to pack my belongings to head for the hills. I felt afraid. Does Yahweh ever feel afraid? Are we valuable to Him? Would it be a catastrophe for Him to lose us? Isn’t jealousy the fear of losing someone you love? Why should it be any different for the One who created us in His image?
    Now therefore, if you will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then you shall be a peculiar treasure unto me [a treasured possession] above all people: for all the earth is mine, Exodus 19:5.
    For Yahweh’s portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance, Deuteronomy 32:9 NASU.
    Blessed is the nation whose Elohim is Yahweh, The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance, Psalm 33:12 NASU.
    Israel is the tribe of His inheritance; Yahweh of hosts is His name, Jeremiah 10:16 NASU.
    Many nations will join themselves to Yahweh in that day and will become My people. Then I will dwell in your midst, and you will know that Yahweh of hosts has sent Me to you. Yahweh will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem, Zechariah 2:11-12 NASU.
    He also delivered His people to the sword, and was filled with wrath at His inheritance, Psalm 78:62.
    For Yahweh thy Elohim is a consuming fire, even a jealous Elohim, Deuteronomy 4:24.
    Thou shalt fear Yahweh thy Elohim, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other elohim, of the elohim of the people which are round about you; (For Yahweh your Elohim is a jealous Elohim among you) lest the anger of Yahweh your Elohim be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth, Deuteronomy 6:13-15.
    When Yahweh chose His People for His own BRIDE, and they vowed to honor Him, to keep His covenant, to be FAITHFUL to Him; and then they flirted with other peoples and made covenants with them and took up their ways; and they abandoned their first love and broke His covenants, was Yahweh angry? Now, was He JUST angry? Or, did He imagine LOSING His inheritance? Was He catastrophizing? Did He feel betrayed? Discounted? Is it reasonable to believe that Yahweh FEELS? Afraid? Powerless? … Yahweh?
    Remember when YOU felt afraid, powerless, discounted and putdown … and even ashamed – when the one you loved said, “Good-bye, I no longer love you, my heart belongs to another”?
    I remember a couple who came in for marriage counseling. They came in together; she sat next to him; she had bruises on her arms, neck and face; a split, swollen lip. I knew what happened, nevertheless I asked them the obvious and inevitable question, “What happened?” I knew what had happened, which they proceeded to explain; but I knew something that they didn’t know - the answer to which their very presence in my office was begging, “Why did this happen?” It happened for the same reason that Yahweh brought down destruction onto His own People. Why? Because He LOVED them! How similar we are to our Creator!
    “I AM! … angry with you, My Bride, because I LOVE you, because I CARE about you; if you weren’t SO important to me, if you weren’t My treasure, I wouldn’t be so upset! But, when you promised to love Me, when you said with your mouth that you will obey Me; and then you abandoned Me and rejected Me, I felt disconnected from you, and alone. When you disobeyed Me, I felt powerless. When you left me for another and committed adultery, when you had union with another who pretended to care for you, it looked to Me like I was not important to you and that you were not in My LIFE, and I felt worthless and ashamed. It looked to me like I didn’t MATTER to you, and I felt discounted. And, when I thought that you would never be in My life again, I felt afraid to think that I am losing you forever. And, I’m still angry! But, I’m not angry to push you out of My life. LISTEN! I’m angry at you so you know how important you ARE to Me, so you will come back to Me, so you will once again set your heart to obey Me and honor the vows you made to Me, so we can be One, again; and live forever in the home which I have prepared for Us. And, I’m acting out My anger so that My anger will come to an end – so that I do not destroy you completely; so that, when you finally have nowhere to go but to return to Me, you will embrace Me. Only then will I feel hope for the intimacy I long for. Then, I will feel hope to be honored and found worthy in your sight. Then will there be hope for peace between us. Then will I want you with Me.”
    When I spoke these words to the couple sitting in front of me, as the husband to the wife, they realized WHY the husband had done this horrible thing to his wife. … And they cried for a while, understanding that they did love each other. They began to feel a sense of hope – to RENEW their vows and RESPECT each other. I cried, too, knowing the task now set before me. For, I knew that there would be set-backs. I knew they had a lot to learn about themselves, who they were, what a relationship requires, how to express anger so that the relationship is not destroyed but raised up. Now, did they live happily ever after? No. Did they continue to work on their relationship, discovering ways they could express their anger, openly and honestly, out of mutual respect, accepting the other’s right to think and feel according to their own process? Yes, they did. They came to realize that love is not an idealized sense of happiness and not a sense of infatuation that exists in the beginning of new relationships. Love is to act in such a way that one’s partner feels safe and secure, satisfied, innocent, worthy, empowered, courageous and bonded. These are the feelings of love.
    The keys to the creation of these feelings are HONESTY and ACCEPTENCE. Honesty requires an understanding of how we create our feelings, especially our anger – to the extent that we simply cannot blame others or hold others responsible for it. Honesty is the process of describing to others how we are creating our anger at them.
    Acceptance of another person comes from understanding ourselves. Once we know that others don’t make us angry, we come to understand that we don’t upset others, either. If someone is angry with me, it is invariably something going on for them. Now, does that mean we can be as mean as we want to others and thereby avoid any responsibility for their pain? Yahweh forbid! We are commanded to sacrifice for others.
    Then Yahshua said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake [or, figuratively, ‘expose himself to death’], and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works,” Matthew 16:24-27 NKJV.
    Honesty and acceptance are the two rules or qualities of good communication. Bad communication, contrarily, is filled with dishonesty and rejection; lies and judgment; threats and discounts; and pride and silence. Honesty is manifested when we can display our anger without that fleshly NEED to cause the other to feel afraid, guilty, ashamed, disappointed, powerless, disconnected or guilty. In other words, honesty must be devoid of blaming, threatening, judging, shaming, commanding, demanding – or removing the right for another to think, feel and act according to their own desires.
    Acceptance is manifested when we can listen to another, no matter how judgmental, threatening, blaming, sarcastic or demanding they may be acting – and NOT take it personally. I know. That’s asking a lot. But, is this not the ultimate respect we can pay to someone?
    It’s interesting to me that we were created in the image of Yahweh. I see that we have all the same feelings and character of our Creator. His character was manifested in His Son, Yahshua, and we are commanded to love others to the degree that He loved us. I mean, He died for us! What on earth could be so important that we find ourselves making the lives of others miserable so that we can have OUR way? When we fight to have our ways, are we not saying that “Getting what *I* want is more important than eternal life”? In my professional opinion, that’s crazy!
    He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal, John 12:25.
    In addition to the prohibition of making anything in the image of anything in heaven or on earth, there is another characteristic of Yahweh that we have been given, but are forbidden to display. And, that characteristic is Judgment, in the form of condemnation or, if you will, vengeance.
    For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says Yahweh. And again, “Yahweh will judge His people.” (Hebrews 10:30-31 NKJV)
    And, here we are, mankind puffed up with the leaven of jealousy, pride, envy, anger and fury, standing before Yahweh, set-apart as His inheritance. Tell me! Just how merciful and longsuffering is our Elohim?
    After all the destruction He brings upon us, His people, there is yet hope.
    Therefore thus saith the Almighty Yahweh; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole House of Israel, and will be JEALOUS for my holy name, Ezekiel 39:25.
    Then will Yahweh be JEALOUS for his land, and pity his people, Joel 2:18.
    Elohim is JEALOUS, and Yahweh revengeth; Yahweh revengeth, and is furious; Yahweh will take vengeance on his adversaries, and He reserveth wrath for his enemies, Nahum 1:2.
    For I am JEALOUS over you with Elohim-like JEALOUSY: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to the Messiah, 2 Corinthians 11:2 [Paul speaking to Believers].
    Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of Yahweh; and every one that loves is born of Yahweh, and knows Yahweh. He that loves not knows not Yahweh; for Yahweh is love. In this was manifested the love of Yahweh toward us, because Yahweh sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. Herein is love, not that we loved Yahweh, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if Yahweh so loved us, we ought also to love one another, 1 John 4:7-11.
    Praise Yahweh. In the name of His Messiah, Yahshua, HalleluYah!
-Elder John Fisher

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