THE CREATION OF MAN
Genesis 1 and 2 are very strange, wonderful, and mysterious in the revelation of God’s creation of man. This is a marvelous step in God’s history. God’s creation of the universe, with the heavens, the earth, and millions of items, is not as strange, wonderful, or mysterious as His creation of man. We need to consider a number of the mysteries related to God’s creation of man.
God Creating Man in His Image
and after His Likeness
First, God created man in His image and after His likeness (Gen. 1:26). This means that God made a duplication of Himself. He made a copy of Himself. He took a "photo" of Himself. We need a definite and accurate definition of God’s image and God’s likeness. God’s image refers to God’s inner being, and God’s likeness refers to God’s outward form. Since God is invisible, how could He have a form? This is very mysterious.
In Genesis 18 God appeared to Abraham in the form (likeness) of man. Three men came to Abraham, two of whom were angels, but the third One was Jehovah (vv. 1-2, 22; 19:1). Even at Abraham’s time, long before His incarnation, God came in the form of man. Abraham talked to God, and God had a meal with Abraham. That meal was cooked by Abraham’s wife Sarah. Abraham even served water to this wonderful Man for Him to wash His feet. God was there in the form of a man. According to our "legal" mind, we would wonder how this could happen. God did not become incarnated to be a man until much later, as recorded in John 1:14. But about two thousand years before Christ’s incarnation, God appeared to man in the form of man already. This is a mystery. This shows us that no one can thoroughly understand the person of God in His Divine Trinity, but we can see all the points concerning Him in the divine record.
God has an inner being and an outward form. His inner being is actually His image constituted with all His divine attributes. God is love; God is light; God is holiness; God is righteousness; God is many items. All these items are the divine attributes. Man was made according to the inner image of God’s attributes. Even after the fall, we human beings still have the image of all the attributes of God.
God’s likeness is His outward form. Abraham saw God in the form of a man. Ezekiel and Isaiah also saw Him in such a form, sitting upon the throne (Ezek. 1:26; Isa. 6:1). God appeared in the form of man. Man’s form is a copy of God’s form. God’s form is the original, and man’s form is the duplication, the xerox copy, of God’s form.
This is a part of the history of God, with which man is involved. In God’s history, He made a duplication of Himself, a copy of Himself. This duplication of God is for the expression of the invisible God. Genesis 1 and 2 are not merely the story of man’s creation, but a full record of God’s history in making Himself a duplication.
(The History of God in His Union With Man, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)