The Evangelical Universalist Forum

An Inhuman God

In the beginning God created man- in His own image. Yet we know that God is a spirit, so we were created after His inward image, the image of His character and His nature. All of the most beautiful expressions of humanity we have ever seen were reflections of God.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Rom 1

People are without excuse because they can see, even in themselves, what they ought to be as human beings. The love of a mother for a child. The joy of a young father in his stumbling little boy. A true love between a man and a woman. An act of kindness between strangers…

All of these things are reflections of who God is- His inward character and eternal power- and we were created in His image.

When religious people speak of the power of God they often focus on the power He has to shake the heavens and the earth, but this is certainly the least of His power, and shows little of His character.

It was the kindness of God in Jesus the Messiah, reaching out to a lost and confused world from the cross, showing them how human He is.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation (2 Cor 5)

Jesus was the most human of all who have ever lived. No greater love has a man than to lay down His life for His friends, to cry out after enduring such immense agony, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”.

And Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father”. When He spoke the words, “If I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all men unto me”, it was because He knew that that one human act would reveal God to the human race in such a way that it will eventually gather every human being into Him, so that God willd become “all in all”.

All we who believe in Him are supposed to be the most human of human beings. I know, it is a paradox. To be like God is to be human and to be human is like Christ, and we have been given all this negative press about what it means to be human. We are so"holier than thou" sometimes, and too “spiritual” for our own good.

Like the disciples who would not let the little children through “the ropes” to see Jesus, even though they of all people could see Him most clearly.

And He says we must become like them if we are to enter the kingdom of God, and they are so quintessentially human, and yet so also like God. If we are to be “ambassadors” for Christ, and conitue the work of Messiah, we must become like them and get off our “high horse”.

It is not our great religious themes that draw people to God and reveal His nature, it is the freedom, the love, the affection and the laughter of a little child.

And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Cor 5

We have this treasure in jars of clay. “What treasure?” The treasure of the divine nature. The inward image of the truest human being, Jesus. When He is shining in our hearts the gospel is good news to all people, a ministry of reconciliation.

When the god of this world blinds people to the light of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ- it is the word of reconciliation that is veiled to them. They cannot see the love of God in the face of Jesus Christ. They cannot see that the beauty of humanity is that it carries about within it the incredibly diverse expression of the love of God, and that God can only be realized in mankind, among and between the community of humans by the minstry of reconciliation, and the hand of kindness and practical love.

In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. 4 So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.Heb 1

Preachers and priests and religionists love to say the words, “In the beginning was the word and the word was God.” Then they use their words and lack of humanity to terrorize people into accepting their inhuman God. A god who cares more about buildings and organizations and doctrines than people. A god who loves only those who accept Him. A god who would torture people in hell forever, men women and children, for their ignorance and yes, their stubborness.

But Jesus was the radiance of the Father’s glory and the exact representation of His nature, and He prayed from the cross, “Father forgive them, they don’t know what they are doing”, this Jesus who said “If you have seen me you have seen the Father” WAS the very word(expressed thought) of God. The Logos. A seed of true humanity sown in the earth to reveal that the inhumanity of men was due to their failure to recognize the love and tenderness of God through all that He has made and given freely to them. A fully realized human being is a precious thing, a thing more glorious than an angel.

But we have it all turned around now. We are almost ashamed of our humanity. I hear all the time people young and old saying we, humans, are the virus that is destroying the earth. But humanity is not a virus. There is a virus in humanity that is destroying all the beauty He created so that in the loss of it they might realize who he is and what He gave them. A virus of decay, delusion and bondage.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it,** in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.**
Romans 8

The glory and freedom of the children of God is what we carry in these clay vessels. Human clay. Weak and in bondage to decay without but full of the joy and kindness of a little child within. it is not our great theological understandings and deep spiritual sayings that will draw people to God, cause them to see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ… it that glorious freedom and that word of reconciliation…

For God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their transgressions against them and He has given to us that ministry of reconciliation.

And while most “so-called” Christians run around casting the whole world into hell forever and imposing the fear of God as a justification for their religious excesses- Jesus said that on the day when men stand before Him, and He looks into their hearts, the questions will be very human ones.

When I was thirsty, where were you. When I was sick, what did you do. When I was naked, did you hide your face from me? When you called me Lord, did you really have any clue to who I am?

“Father forgive them they dont know what they are doing”.

Those who preach Christ today are not as far from those who crucified Him as they would like to think, but that is alright, God will get through to them someday. When multitudes of people who never knew His name but walked in simple human kindness stand up in the presence of those who knew His name but did not know Him hear God say, “Come on in, let’s rejoice”, the ones unto whom He says, “Depart from me, I never knew you” will discover that the fire of God is the light that penetrates into the center of your heart and divides asunder soul and spirit, bone and marrow, and makes manifest the thoughts and intentions of the heart. When they get to the center, when they get to the innermost part… they will see God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their sins against them, and they will weep and they will bow their knees and they will rejoice in the glory of God streaming from the face of Jesus Christ and they will rise up from their knees and they will rejoice with all creation in the praise of the glory of His grace and they will love one another and embrace- and they will laugh like little children, free at last from that binding inhumanity that weighed them down and the blinding religion that deceived them.

Because God is not inhuman enough to leave people in hell forever. God only wants us to see ourselves as we are, so that He can turn us into little children and bring us into the kingdom of God- a kingdom of light and love and life.

Thats what the lake of fire is for. It where every selfish person will see themselves as they are. The lake of fire and the crystal sea before His throne are one and the same- a mirror, yes, a very intense mirror to the soul of man. A mirror where a human being sees his or her own inhumanity in the light of the precious humanity of the Lord Jesus Christ who died once, for all, not as, in His mind- “A GREAT SPIRITUAL DEED”… because he was a humble servant. He was His Father’s child. He was the friend of sinner’s, and “No man has any greater love than this, than to lay down His life for His friends”.

God desires truth in the innerman and he will teach us truth in our innermost beings and when we have that truth we will be messengers of the word of reconciliation- “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God”.

The stone which the builder have rejected has become the chief cornerstone- but it is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense. It is the message that Jesus, the Messiah, did not come to judge the world, but to heal and deliver the world through love and forgiveness in the blood of His cross.

it is written, “The life is in the blood” and the life blood of Jesus was the divine nature of God revealed in the face of Jesus Christ in all His glory of love and forgiveness, willing to lay down His life for His friends even before they knew He was their friend, even when they were His adversaries.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.Phil 2

Jesus reigns because He loves. He leads because He serves. He saves because he will reach down into the hell of self delusion and draw us out by the revelation of His true humanity and set us free into the glory of our own.

For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
1Cor 15

He reigns because he suffered, and if we suffer we will reign with Him in life and love-Now. Today. Forever. Wherever we are as ambassadors of a ministry of reconciliation, bearing precious treasure in earthen vessels- we are to be as he was in the world… “For God was in Christ reconciling”

And when we have finished our course we will be raised to an inheritance, reserved in heaven for us, a salvation ready to be revealed in the last times as a kingdom of priests, a nation of little children, a laughing singing army of reconcilers laboring through ages to come to gather all things into one in Christ, whether things in heaven or things in earth, for He must reign until every adversary is subjected, reconciled and gathered into one so that God becomes all in all.

With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. Eph 1

These verses in Ephesians, so often quoted, so little understood, reveal the glorious truth of the gospel, God’s EUAGGELION, His evangel- the Good News.

Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

A ministry of reconciliation that will continue until God is ALL IN ALL.

The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19** For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.**Col 1

All the fulness of God dwelt in Him. All the fulness of God ran down that cross. The Son’a agony was shared by the Father because their love was greater than anything the world could break so the father felt it all and His love ran down because His Son was just like Him. He had His Father’s heart, and as that blood ran down to the earth from His head and His hands and His feet and his heart he cried out WHAT WAS IN HIS HEART, “FATHER, FORGIVE THEM…”

And we have this treasure in earthen vessels, and this treasure will REIGN until every knee bows before the Lordshp of His love and every tongue confesses that is is so in glorious praise.

No, our God is not an inhuman god. He is a good God, who knows how to give good gifts to His children, and disciplines them according to their need, so that they will learn the ways of righteousness, humility and love- so that He can set them over His estates, and share with them the joy of His bounty in times of refreshing from His presence- sitting at the table with His friends all as friends, with wine and song and laughter and seet fellowship, for our God is a human God. His very word is the beauty of creating humanity intoa “dwelling place of God in the Spirit” so that He can walk among them and live among them, “For I will be their God and they will be my people”.

Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago…

On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The Lord has spoken. Isaiah 25

It is time Christians knew who they were, what they are called to be, and how great His love is within them.

The Fountain and the Fire

Love is a fire
That will burn all the earth
And love is a fountain
Springing up in new birth
And life is the offspring
Of the fountain and the fire
With light spread through all the gathering

And the darkness burns
And the flames rise high
Into the heavens above
Into the deep below
And the fountain flows
Rivers running to the sea
Till all the dead are living
All their dying is done
When the shed blood of Messiah
Has reconciled every one

Then all will stand in the fire that
purged them
And Praise
the very light Himself
Who sought them,
and set them free-
every soul ever in the world

Jesus reigns because He loves. He leads because He serves. He saves because he will reach down into the hell of self delusion and draw us out by the revelation of His true humanity and set us free into the glory of our own.

Eloquent and so true, EW.

Poetry in prose. The irony of the above, in human terms; the incredible truth and beauty of it, in God’s terms.

Emmanuel…God is with us. It brings us, who understand, to our knees…and, one day, will bring all mankind to their knees.

‘And He says we must become like them(children) if we are to enter the kingdom of God, and they are so quintessentially human, and yet so also like God. If we are to be “ambassadors” for Christ, and conitue the work of Messiah, we must become like them and get off our “high horse”.’

I think the reason that so many people shy away from this is because in this fallen world, to be childlike, is often to have to take the brunt of ridicule and bullying. This world likes sophisticated, worldly, powerful, sexy, and so on. That is what so many strive for. If you have any doubt, look at some commercials or advertisements. What is the allure?

We prefer the facade to the really real. But, one day…that will all fade away and only the real will remain.

Galatians 6:9
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

And, my favorite line:

‘We have this treasure in jars of clay. “What treasure?” The treasure of the divine nature. The inward image of the truest human being, Jesus. When He is shining in our hearts the gospel is good news to all people, a ministry of reconciliation.’