Simon Brown.

It is not my purpose to force you to agree or believe with what’s on my websites, but rather to share my research. As the record goes: I'm Just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood. I do not write to share my research because I desire to be rich, famous, or powerful, but because investigating, studying, enquiring exploring, analysing and scrutinising, helps me learn what I don’t know. I simply love seeking, searching and researching, to discover the truth that is so rare, and become full of joy, uncovering the truth of our great GOD, and His Son’s hidden treasures, which has since caused me to become trapped in GOD’s divine love, who cannot turn back. I am Simon Brown. Amen.

Adverts are not owned by me Simon Brown. I am no longer a Trinitarian, and an independent researcher in no denomination.

Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand! Matthew 11:15.

Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the
SON of God?
1 John 5:5.
NOT GOD OR A TRINITY, but as St john has said: but he that believeth that Jesus is the SON of God? 1 John 5:5.
And as Jesus has said: ETERNAL LIFE is believing His Father GOD is the only ONE TRUE GOD alone. John 17:3. Which is the FIRST commandment one MUST believe. Mark 12:29.

Trinitarians please read Hebrews 5:11-12. About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.

False Prophets and Teachers

1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. 2 Peter 2:

And Hezekiah prayed before the LORD and said: “O LORD, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are THE God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 2 Kings 19:15.

Dear friends, just to remind you, as I am a human being, I am capable of making mistakes. If you believe I am wrong, don't let it go, but please be kind and let me know. Thank you.

But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Early Church Fathers Understood the Truth! Who or What is God, the Logos, and Man? By William F. Dankenbring

WHO was the FIRST EVER 'being' who was BORN from GOD, and BEFORE GOD Almighty's creation?

Is God the Father in the process of "expanding" His DIVINE Family? Is the Christian destiny to become deified -- a "God" as God Himself is God? What does the Bible teach? What did the early church fathers of the first four centuries believe? Believe it or not, the early church leaders did NOT believe in a "Trinity"! They understood that Christ, as the Logos, was Himself originally a CREATED BEING, who BECAME part of the God-head -- just as true Christians will one day become part of the Universe-ruling FAMILY OF GOD! Here are the FACTS -- God's Plan revealed in Scripture and in history !

William F. Dankenbring

Is it the destiny of mankind that one day, when we have qualified, and "overcome," to become part of the "GOD FAMILY" -- the very children of the omniscient and omnipresent and omnipotent Creator God?
Is that the real meaning hidden in the widely acknowledged fact that when we pray, we address the Great God as "Our Father"?
This truth has been hidden from the minds of billions of human beings by a cunning serpent, Satan the devil, who does not want mankind to know or understand its true eternal potential !
The churches and religions of this world have conspired to hide this incredible truth from the eyes of curious mankind. They are, in fact, the churches and religious institutions of the devil himself, who "deceiveth the whole world" (Rev.12:9), and uses the vast majority of churches to aid him in this conspiracy against the truth of God !

It seems so incredible -- and yet so awe inspiring -- that one wonders why many more churches don't conceive of it! Are they all so blind? The Scriptures seem to be full of this teaching -- almost every verse and every chapter in the New Testament seem to have some reference or allusion to it. But the strangest thing of all, perhaps, historically, is that this doctrine was well known and embraced by all the early church fathers. It was not a novel, new idea of Herbert W. Armstrong, but was an ancient and original doctrine of the Church, well grounded and established long before the Trinitarian concept took over the professing Church in the fourth century and contrary beliefs become considered heretical and worthy of death!

The Testimony of Justin Martyr
Justin Martyr (A.D. 110-165) was a Gentile, but born in Samaria, near Jacob's well. He was well educated, and became a strong Christian advocate proving Jesus is the Messiah and the Christ. He confronts pagan philosophers much like a Daniel, and also reasons with the Jews, proving from the Scriptures that Jesus was indeed the long-awaited Messiah.
In "The First Apology of Justin Martyr ," Justin plainly sets forth his understanding of the nature of the Godhead, and the Logos (the One who became Christ). Justin, in plain words, completely refutes the Roman Catholic-Protestant notion that God is a "Trinity," or that God the Father and the Logos were both always God, "co-equal and co-eternal."
Justin wrote:
"And when we say also that the Word, who is the FIRST -BIRTH of God, was
produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was
crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound
nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem
sons of Jupiter. . ." ("The First Apology of Justin," chap.21, Ante-Nicene
Fathers, vol.1, page 170).
Later on, in this same treatise, Justin again states very plainly:
"But to the Father of all, who is unbegotten, there is no name given. . . . And
His Son, who is properly called Son, the Word, who also was with Him and
was BEGOTTEN BEFORE 1HE WORKS [of Creation], when at first He
created and arranged all things by Him, is called Christ. . ." ("The Second
Apology of Justin," chap.6, page 190).
Later, in his dialogue with Trypho, a Jewish intellectual and scholar, Justin Martyr goes into some detail, proving the Origin of the Logos of God, who later became Jesus Christ. In clear, lucid language, in chapter 61 of his lengthy treatise, Justin declares:
"'I shall give you another testimony, my friends,' said I,  from the Scriptures,
that God BEGAT BEFORE ALL CREATURES a Beginning, [who was] a
certain rational power [proceeding] from Himself, who is called by the Holy
Spirit, now the Glory of the Lord, now the Son, again Wisdom, again an Angel,
then God, and then Lord and Logos; and on another occasion He calls Himself
Captain, when He appeared in human form to Joshua the son of Nave (Nun).
For He can be called by all those names, since He ministers to the Father's will,
and since He was begotten of the Father by an act of will; just as we see happen-
ing among ourselves: for when we give out some word, we beget the word; yet
not by abscission, so as to lessen the word [which remains] in us, when we give
it out: and just as we see also happening in the case of a fire, which is not
lessened when it kindled [another], but remains the same; and that which has been
kindled by it likewise appears to exist by itself, not diminishing that from which it
was kindled. THE WORD OF WISDOM, who is Himself this GOD BEGO1TEN
OF THE FATHER of all things, and Word, and Wisdom, and Power, and Glory
of the Begetter, will bear evidence to me, when He speaks by Solomon the follow-
ing: 'If I shall declare to you what happens daily, I shall call to mind events from
everlasting and review them. The Lord made me the BEGINNING of His ways
for His works. FROM EVERLASTING He established me IN THE BEGINNING,
BEFORE He had made the earth, and before He had made the deeps, before the
springs of the waters had issued forth, before the mountains had been established.
Before all the hills He BEGETS ME. ...When He made ready the heavens, I was
along with Him, and when He set up His throne on the winds: when He made the
high clouds strong, and the springs of the deep safe, when He made the foundations
of the earth, I was with Him ARRANGING. I was that in which He rejoiced; daily
and at all times I delighted in His countenance, because He delighted in the finishing                       of the inhabitable world, and delighted in the sons of men. . . ." ("Dialogue with Trypho,"                   chap.61, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. l, page 228).
In the next chapter, Justin goes further, proving his case. Showing that God the Father, and His first-begotten before Creation, were together the "Godhead," Justin quotes and expounds from the book of Genesis, as follows:
" And the same sentiment, was expressed, my friends, by the word of God [written]
by Moses, when it indicated to us, with regard to Him whom it has pointed out, that
God speaks in the creation of man with the very same design, in the following words:
'Let Us make man after our image and likeness. . . And God created man: after the
image of God did He create him; male and female created He them. . . . I shall quote
again the words narrated by Moses himself, from which we can indisputably learn
that [God] conversed with someone who was numerically distinct from Himself; and
also a rational Being. These are the words: 'And God said, Behold, Adam has become
as one of us, to know good and evil.' In saying, therefore, 'as one of us,' [Moses] has
declared that [there is a certain] number of persons associated with one another, and
that they are at least two. ...But this Offspring, which was truly brought forth FROM
THE F ATHER, was with the Father before all the creatures, and the Father communed
with Him,. even as the Scripture by Solomon has made clear, that He whom Solomon
calls Wisdom, was BEGO1TEN AS A BEGINNING before all His creature and as
OFFSPRING BY GOD" ("Dialogue with Trypho," chap.62, ANF, vol. l, page 228).
Why is it that the is truth is so difficult for so many people to understand, today?
Justin Martyr speaks of the Pre-existence of Christ, and of His original creation, in several places in his discourse with Trypho, a learned Jewish scholar. Justin wrote:
"For when Daniel speaks of 'one like unto the Son of man' who received the ever-
lasting kingdom, does he not hint at this very thing? For he declares that, in saying
'like unto the Son of man,' He appeared, and was man, but not of human seed. And the
same thing he proclaimed in mystery when he speaks of this stone which was
cut out without hands. For the expression 'it was cut out without hands' signified that
it was not a work of man, but [a work] of the will of the Father and God of all things,
who brought Him forth. And when Isaiah says, 'Who shall declare His generation?'
he meant that His descent could not be declared" (Dialogue with Trypho, chap.76,
Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol.1, page 236).
It should be very obvious to anybody with an open, unprejudiced, uncluttered mind, that Justin Martyr understood that in the remotest times there was but ONE TRUE GOD --the One whom we call the Father, or Ancient of Days. At some point, called "The Beginning," God the Father begat or pro-created another Being like Himself -- the Logos -- as His first-born Offspring!
In the so-called "Christian world" of today, however, these statements are considered rank heresy and utter unorthodoxy!
The Testimony of Irenaeus
Irenaeus was a contemporary of Justin Martyr. He lived from A.D. 120-202. Polycarp had sent Ponthius into Celtic Gaul at an early date as an evangelist.  Irenaeus joined him and served as an elder, having been his fellow-pupil under Polycarp.
Irenaeus also understood the nature of the Godhead, and the origin of the Logos of God. He speaks very clearly of the difference between the Father and the Son. He also alludes clearly to the supreme plan of God which He is working out with human beings. Notice some of his remarkable statements, which the modern churches have lost sight of and no longer teach, showing how far they have drifted from the original teachings of the early believers in Christ.
Notice! Irenaeus states:
"Since, therefore, the Father is truly Lord, and the Son truly Lord, the Holy Spirit
has fitly designated them by the title of Lord. ..And this [text following] does
declare the same truth: 'Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; the sceptre of thy
kingdom is a right sceptre. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity:
therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee.' For the Spirit designates both [of
them] by the name of God --both Him who is anointed as Son, and Him who does
anoint, that is, the Father. And again: 'God stood in the congregation of the gods,
He judges among the gods.' He [here] refers to the Father and the Son, and those
who have received the adoption; but these are the Church. . . . But of what gods
[does he speak]? [Of those] to whom He says, 'I have said, Ye are gods, and all
sons of the Most High"' (Irenaeus Against Heresies, Ante-Nicene Fathers, book 3,
chapter 6, vol.1, pages 418-419).
Irenaeus then goes on to show how he understood the relationship between the Father and the Son. He exclaimed:
"Wherefore I do also call upon thee, LORD God of Abraham, and God of Isaac,
and God of Jacob and Israel, who art the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the
God who, through the abundance of Thy mercy, hast had a favour towards us,
that we should know Thee, who has made heaven and earth, who rulest over all,
who art the only and the true God, above whom there is none other God; grant,
by our Lord Jesus Christ, the governing power of the Holy Spirit; give to every
reader of this book to know Thee, that Thou art God alone, to be strengthened in
Thee, and to avoid every heretical, and godless, and impious doctrine" (p419).
Irenaeus then quotes the apostle Paul in I Corinthians, chapter 8, where Paul himself discusses the nature of the Godhead, saying:
"'For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth; yet to us
there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we through Him; and
one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him.' For he [Paul] has
made a distinction, and separated those who are indeed called gods, but which
are none, from the one God the Father, from whom are all things. . ." (p.420).
Irenaeus continues:
For that all things, whether Angels, or Archangels, or Thrones, or Dominions, were
both established and created by Him who is God over all, through His Word, John
has thus pointed out. For when he had spoken of the Word of God as having been
in the Father, he added, 'All things are made by Him, and without Him was not
anything made.' David also [declared]  . . . : 'For He commanded, and they were
created; He spake, and they were made.' Whom, therefore, did He command? The
Word, no doubt, 'by whom,' he says,' the heavens were established, and all their
power by the breath of His mouth.' But that He did Himself make all things freely,
and as He pleased, again David says, 'But our God is in the heavens above, and in
the earth; He hath made all things whatsoever He pleased.' But the things established
are distinct from Him who has established them, and what have been made from Him
who has made them. For He is Himself UNCREATED, both without beginning and
end, and lacking nothing. He is Himself sufficient for Himself; and still further, He
grants to all others this very thing, existence; but the things which have been made by
Him have received a beginning. . . . so that He indeed who made all things can alone,
together with His Word, properly be termed God and Lord . . ." chap. 8, p.421-422).
In his next chapter, Irenaeus goes on to discuss further the fact that the FATHER is "the only TRUE God," in the absolute sense of the word --the origin of ALL things --and the relationship of Christ to His Father as "the God and Lord supreme." Notice!
". . . neither the prophets, nor the apostles, nor the Lord Christ in His own person,
did acknowledge any other Lord or God, but the God and Lord supreme . . . .the Lord
Himself handing down to His disciples, that He, the Father, is the ONLY God Lord,
who ALONE is God and ruler of all; --it is incumbent on us to follow, if we are their
disciples indeed, their testimonies to this effect" (chap.9, 1, page 422).
Irenaeus points out several times that the FATHER is the "Uncreated" One, and the ultimate One who created everything else. He explains:
“And thus in all things God [the Father] has the pre-eminence, who alone is
UNCREATED, the first of all things, and the primary cause of the existence of
all, while all other things remain under God's subjection. . . By this arrange-
ment, therefore, and these harmonies. . . man, a created and organized being,
is rendered after the image and likeness of the uncreated God, -- the Father
planning everything well and giving His commands, the Son carrying these into
execution and performing the work of creating, and the Spirit nourishing and
 increasing [what is made], but man making progress day by day, and ascending
 toward the perfect, that is, APPROXIMATING TO THE UNCREATED ONE. For
 the Uncreated is perfect, that is, God. Now it was necessary that man should in
 the first instance be created; and having been created, should receive growth; and
 having received growth, should be strengthened; and having been strengthened,
 should abound; and having abounded, should recover [from the disease of sin];
 and having recovered, should be glorified; and being glorified, should see his Lord.
 For God is He who is yet to be seen, and the beholding of God is productive of
 immortality, but immortality renders one nigh unto God" (p.522).
Did Irenaeus understand that the plan of God was to make mankind into God's own ultimate divine sons -- to confer divinity upon them ? This view would be denounced as utter heresy and outlandish, today, in Protestant and Catholic circles. But Irenaeus goes on, making the truth plain:
"For these [the dumb animals], bring no charge against God for not having made
them men; but each one, just as he has been created, gives thanks that he has been
created. For we cast blame upon Him, because we have not been MADE GODS
FROM THE BEGINNING, but at first merely men, THEN AT LENGTH GODS,.
although God has adopted this course out of His pure benevolence, that no one
may impute to Him invidiousness or grudgingness. He declares, 'I have said, Ye
are gods; and ye are all sons of the Highest'" (p.522).
This is a most remarkable, astonishing statement! Irenaeus knew the truth! In his time. this truth of God’s ultimate plan for man and the destiny of mankind was not yet buried and hidden under an avalanche of pagan deception and duplicity.  Irenaeus goes on:
"How, then, shall he be a God, who has not as yet been made a man? Or how can
he be perfect who was but lately created? How, again, can he be immortal, who in
his mortal nature did not obey his Maker? For it must be that thou, at the ,outset,
shouldest hold the rank of a man, and then afterwards partake of the GLORY OF
GOD. For thou dost not make God, but God thee. If, then, thou art God's workman-
ship, await the hand of thy Maker which creates everything in due time; in due time
as far as thou art concerned, whose creation is being carried out" (ibid.).

How astonishing! Irenaeus understood that God the Father is expanding his FAMILY! He is in the process of creating many more "Gods" to .loin Him in His Celestial Family -- the Family of GOD! He is adding many SONS to His Family, literally REPRODUCING HIMSELF!
The Testimony of Clement of Alexandria
But Clement of Alexandria also understood this sublime truth. Clement lived from 153 A.D. to 217 A.D. He mercilessly exposed the errors of paganism. He wrote concerning the plan of God and mankind's future, saying:
"It is but for few to comprehend these things. For it is not in the way of envy that
the Lord announced in a Gospel, 'My mystery is to me, and to the sons of my
house'; placing the election in safety, and beyond anxiety. . . For he who has not
the knowledge of good is wicked: for there is one good, the Father; and to be
ignorant of the Father is death, as to know Him is eternal life, through participation
in the power of the incorrupt One. And to be incorruptible is to PARTICIPATE
IN DIVINITY" (The Stromata, V,10).
Think about it! These men knew --they understood --they grasped the fact that God intends for mankind ultimately, one day, to "participate IN DIVINITY!"
The Testimony of Hippolytus
Another early church leader was Hippolytus, a Greek, who was the disciple of Irenaeus. His dates are A.D. 170 to 236. Hippolyus, like Justin Martyr and Irenaeus, also discusses at length the nature of the Godhead. Obviously this was a subject of very great importance to these early "church fathers."
Hippolytus, too, shows that in his day the nature of God was still understood, and the pagan doctrine of the "Trinity" had not yet been established in the far-flung churches scattered throughout the Mediterranean region. Let us carefully review the words of this ancient Christian teacher.
In his book, The Refutation of All Heresies, Hippolytus tells us in no uncertain terms that in the original beginning there was only ONE God -- the One who became known as the "Father." As Hippolytus himself puts it:
"The first and only [one God], both Creator and Lord of all, had nothing coeval
[CO-EQUAL} with Himself But He was One, alone in Himself by an
exercise of His will He created things that are, which antecedently had no existence,
except that He willed to make them" (book 10, chapter 28, Ante-Nicene Fathers,
volume 5, page 150).
What was the FIRST thing the Father created, before anything else was brought into existence? Says Hippolytus:
"Therefore this solitary and supreme Deity, by an exercise of reflection, brought
forth the LOGOS FIRST. . . Him alone He produced from existing things; for
the Father Himself constituted existence, and THE BEING BORN FROM HIM
was the cause of all things that are produced. The Logos was in the Father
Himself, bearing the will of His progenitor, and not being unacquainted with the
mind of the Father. For simultaneously with His procession from His Progenitor,
inasmuch as He is this PROGENITOR'S FIRST -BORN, he has, as a voice in
Himself, the ideas conceived in the Father. And so it was, that when the Father
ordered the world to come into existence, the Logos one by one completed
each object of creation, thus pleasing God. . . .
". . . .God, who is the source of all authority, wished that the Logos might
render assistance in accomplishing a production of this kind. ...For as many
things as He willed, God made from time to time. These things He created
through the Logos" (The Refutation of All Heresies, book 10, chap.29,
Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol.5, p.150-\51).

Clearly, Hippolytus understood that the Logos was created --from the essence of the Father Himself! He understood that the Logos had a beginning, as the FIRST-BORN of all the creation of God the Father.
But furthermore, Hippolytus understood God's purpose with creating human-kind, as well. Notice his remarkable words, as he discussed the creation of man. Says Hippolytus:
"The Creator did not wish to make him [man] a god, and failed in His aim;
nor an angel, --be not deceived, --but a man. For if He had willed to make thee
a god, He could have done so. Thou hast the example of the LOGOS. His will,
however, was, that you should be a man, and He has made thee a man. But if
thou art desirous of also becoming a god, obey Him that has created thee, and
resist not now, in order that, being found faithful in that which is small, you
may be enabled to have entrusted to you also that which is great.
"The LOGOS ALONE of this God is FROM GOD himself; wherefore also the
Logos is God, being the substance of God. Now the world is made from nothing,
wherefore it is not God" (ibid.).
How plain! Hippolytus understood! There is an ORDER in Creation. The Logos is the first-born Son of God from the earliest times, from the beginning of Creation! God the Father is the "Uncreated God," the One who has always existed. Then He brought into being the One called the Logos, or Word, of God --the One who became Jesus Christ!
But what about mankind? What about bur true potential destiny? Hippolytus concludes his treatise, with these awesome words:
" And thou shalt receive the kingdom of heaven, thou who, whilst thou didst
sojourn in this life, didst know the Celestial King. And thou shalt be a ,"'
COMPANION OF THE DEITY, and a co-heir with Christ, no longer enslaved
by lusts or passions, and never again wasted by disease. FOR THOU HAST
BECOME GOD . . . because thou hast been DEIFIED, and begotten unto
immortality. . . .
" And God called man His likeness from the beginning. . . And provided thou
obeyest His solemn injunctions, and becomest a faithful follower of Him who
is good, thou shalt RESEMBLE HIM, inasmuch as thou shalt have honour
conferred upon thee by Him. For the Deity, (by condescension,) does not
diminish ought of the dignity of His divine perfection; having made thee
even GOD unto His glory!" (chapter 30), page 153).
How amazing! Reading these words reminds me of when I first began to understand this awesome truth of God --the truth that God is reproducing Himself, and that we will someday "resemble HIM," because we will become His literal DIVINE CHILDREN -- literal SONS OF GOD -- by means of the resurrection from the dead, and being made immortal and incorruptible, even as God Himself, is! I first learned this truth as it was being taught by Herbert W. Annstrong of the Radio Church of God back in 1958-1959!
The Testimony of Theophilus                                                                    
Another early Christian teacher, one of the early "church fathers," was Theophilus of Antioch. He lived from A.D. 115 to 181. Eusebius the early church historian lavishes praise upon Theophilus for his unwearied labors to protect the flock of God from the incursions of Satanic doctrines and heresies.
Theophilus was one of the earliest commentators on the Gospels, if not the first, and seems to have been the earliest Christian church historian of the Church o the Old Testament. Theophilus was one of a long line of faithful teachers of God's Word in Antioch, where Christians were first called "Christians. II
In his writings, Theophilus also confirms the truth that God's purpose in dealing with mankind is to elevate the humankind to the God-kind. He declares in plain words, for those who are willing to listen, in his treatise written to Autolycus:
"But some one will say to us, Was man made by nature mortal? Certainly not.
Was he, then, immortal? Neither do we affirm this. But one will say, Was he,
then, nothing? Not even this hits the mark. He was by nature neither mortal nor
immortal. For if He had made him immortal from the beginning, He would have
made him God. Again, if He had made him mortal, God would seem to be the
cause of his death. Neither, then, immortal nor yet mortal did He make him, but,
as we have said above, capable of both; so that if he should incline to the things
of immortality, keeping he commandments of God, he should receive as reward
from Him immortality, AND SHOULD BECOME GOD" (Theophilus to Autolytus,
book 2, chap.27, Ante-Nicene Fathers; vol.2, page 105).
When we think about it, of course, it is no small wonder that Satan the devil has cleverly hidden this awesome truth from mankind, and corrupted the teaching in the mainstream churches in the world. He does not want mankind to know or to discover his potentia1 incredible destiny! Satan wants to keep mankind blinded, contused, and in total ignorance and darkness --in order to thwart and frustrate the plan of God.
The Testimony of Origen
Origen was perhaps the greatest shining light of the Alexandrian school of the early church, the pupil of Clement, and was noted for his brilliant scholarship. He put together the Hexapla, a combination of six early translations of the Scriptures, including our modem copy of the Septuagint. At one point in his career, Origen was demoted and stripped of all ministerial authority by the bishop of Alexandria, out of jealousy and a vengeful spirit, but he was still admired and accepted by the Asian churches. He moved to Caesarea, and completed his life's work there. Origen lived from A.D. 185 to 254, we are told.
In his treatise “Against Celsus,” Origen tells us that God's purpose is for mankind to rise to the level of the “divine.” This noted authority and scholar of the early church, wrote in clear and powerful words:
“. . . so, according to our view, it was the Logos God, and Son of the God of all
things, who spake in Jesus these words, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life'; and
these, 'I am the door'; and these, 'I am the living bread that came down from heaven';
and other expressions similar to these. We therefore charge the Jews with not
acknowledging Him to be God, to whom testimony was borne in many passages
by the prophets, to the effect that He was a mighty power, and a God next to the
God and Father of all things. For we assert that it was to Him the Father gave
the command, when in the Mosaic account of the creation He uttered the words,
'Let there be light,' and 'Let there be a firmament,' and gave the injunctions with
regard to those other creative acts which were performed; and that to Him also were
addressed the words, 'Let Us make man in Our own image and likeness'; and that
the Logos, when commanded, obeyed all the Father's will" ("Origen Against Celsus,"
book 2, chap.9, Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol.4, page 433).
Notice that the Logos is plainly shown to be subordinate to the Father --under His control and direction --that the Father commanded, and the Logos carried out His commands. This fact itself disproves the common teaching that the Father and the Son are "co-equal." Obviously, although both are God, One is subject and under the authority of the Other!
Origen goes on later to explain in plain terms the incredible destiny of mankind:
"But both Jesus Himself and His disciples desired that His followers should believe
not merely in His Godhead and miracles, as if He had not also been a partaker of
human nature, and had assumed the human flesh which 'lusteth against the Spirit';
but they saw also that the power which had descended into human nature, and into
the midst of human miseries, and which had assumed a human soul and body, contri-
buted with faith along with its divine elements, to the salvation of believers, when
they see that from Him there began the UNION OF THE DIVINE with the human
nature, in order that the human, BY COMMUNION WITH THE D/VINE, MIGHT
RISE TO BE DIVINE, not in Jesus alone, but IN ALL THOSE who not only BE-
L/EVE, but enter upon the life which Jesus taught, and which elevates to friend-
ship with God and communion with Him every one who lives according to the
precepts of Jesus" (Origen Against Celsus, book 3, chap.23, Ante-Nicene Fathers,
volume 4, p.475).
To "rise to be divine" can mean only one thing --to become God, as God is God --yet to remain subject and under the authority of the One True God, the Father! In other words, we are to become part of His expanding divine FAMILY of God-Beings!
Origen also tells us that the Logos is intermediate between the Father and all created things. He declares:
" Jesus. . . has recalled our minds from all sensible things, as being not only corruptible,
but destined to corruption, and elevated them to honour the God who is over all with
prayers and a righteous life, which we offer to Him as being INTERMEDIATE between
the nature of the uncreated and that of all created things, and who bestows upon us
the benefits which come from the Father, and who as High Priest conveys our prayers
to the supreme God" ("Origin Against Celsus," book 3, chap.34, Anti-Nicene Fathers,
vol.4, page 478).

With all this testimony of the early conviction and belief that the Logos was Himself created as the “first-born” of all Creation, by the Father, and is also Himself a reigning member of the Godhead at this time, and of the early teaching that the ultimate destiny of mankind, made righteous, is to become part of that Divine Family, what need we of further witnesses?
This truth was known to the early Christians! Yet today, in the view of the overwhelming majority, even of the remnant generation of the true Church of God believers, it is still considered “blaspheme” to believe that Christ -- the Logos -- was at one point Himself created and brought into existence by the Father! And the concept that mankind has the potential to literally become God, is also relegated to the dustbin of discarded doctrines, even by the very Worldwide Church of God, which was founded by the late Herbert W. Armstrong, just a few years after his death!
Just as the early church soon began to lose this vital knowledge, so in this end-time generation many of God's people have quickly lost this supreme and tremendous understanding of the plan of God!
How remarkable! How cunning is our Adversary, the devil!
A Final Witness -- The Testimony of Athanasius
Athanasius was born between A.D. 296 and 298 and died in 373. During his life, the Arian controversy broke out in the church. Arias challenged the belief that the Father and Son were co-equal and co-eternal, pointing out that if the Son were truly a Son He must have had a beginning, and that therefore there had to be a time when He did not exist. Apparently Arias also taught that the Son was created "out of nothing," and therefore was not created from the Father's essence, and was not "true God." At least, these were the claims put forth by many of his accusers in the church. During this time the church was rocked with controversy over many things, and the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325, called by Emperor Constantine, sought to unify the church in doctrine and teaching.
Where did Athanasius stand in this controversy? He wrote against some of the concepts put forth by Arias, namely that the Logos was created from nothing, and was not truly therefore IIGod," or divine. Nevertheless, from his own writings we discover that Athanasius did share in the belief that the Son or Logos was true God, but that He came forth from the Father.
Athanasius wrote:
"But God possesses hue existence and is not composite, wherefore His Word
also has true Existence and is not composite, but is the one and only begotten
God, Who proceeds in His goodness FROM the Father as from a good Fountain,
and orders all things and holds them together. ...
". ..He guides and settles the whole Creation by His own Word, Who is Himself
also God, that by the governance and providence and ordering action of tile Word,
Creation may have light, and be enabled to abide alway securely. For it partakes
of tile Word who derives true existence from the Father, and is helped by Him
so as to exist, lest that should come to it which would have come but for the main-
tenance of it by the Word, -- namely dissolution, -- 'for He is the image of the
invisible God, the FIRST-BORN OF ALL CREATION, for through Him and in
Him all things consist, things visible and things invisible, and He is the Head of
the Church,' as the ministers of true teach in their holy writings " (" Against the
Heathen," 41, Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, vol.4, page 26).
Notice that Athanasius tells us that the Word "derives true existence from the Father, and is helped by Him so as to exist. " Does this sound like he believed the Father and the Son were "co-equal" OR "co-etemal"? Not at all!
Athanasius later writes of this relationship:
"Or who was with Him when He made all created Existence, except His Wisdom,
which says: 'When He was making the heaven and the earth I was present with
Him ?'  But in the mention of heaven and earth, all created things in heaven and earth
are included as well. But being present with Him as His Wisdom and His Word, look-
ing at the Father He fashioned the Universe, and organized it and gave it order; and,
as He is the power of the Father, He gave all things strength to be, as the Saviour says:
'What things soever I see the Father doing, I also do in like manner.' And His holy
disciples teach that all things were made 'through Him and unto Him'; and, being
the good Offspring of Him that is good, and true Son, He is the Father's Power and
Wisdom and Word. ..but He is the very Wisdom, very Word, and very own Power
of the Father, very Light, very Truth, very Righteousness, very Virtue, and in truth
His express Image, and Brightness, and Resemblance. And, to sum all up, HE IS
unchanging Image of the Father" (" Agajnst the Heathen," 46:6-8, ibid., page 29).
Athanasius, however, disagreed with Arias and others that the destiny of mankind was also to become "God. " The truth, by his time, was already beginning to become lost!

The Supreme DESTINY of Man!
It seems incredible that all of mainstream and orthodox Christianity becomes apoplectic and goes into a spasm of volatile fury whenever the subject of the apotheosis of mankind is brought up. No teaching enrages them more, or is considered more "heretical" by the Roman Catholic Church and its minions and off-shoots over the centuries.
And yet --the early church fathers all recognized that man's true destiny, if we prove faithful, is to become VERY GOD -- members of the divine family of GOD!
How did this incredible knowledge become lost? When did the visible church begin to reject this astonishing truth ?
The beginning of the end of this truth began with the Arian controversy, which swirled around the Nicean Council in 325 A.D. This was the time the Emperor Constantine began to seek to establish "unity" in the professing Christian Church scattered throughout his empire. He wanted religious unity so as to help cement and consolidate his weak and tenuous hold on the Empire itself, which was in danger of breaking up.                                                                                            
One of the major issues at the Nicean Council was the issue of the nature of God. Was God a "Trinity," as many bishops were beginning to teach? Or was the Godhead other than Trinitarian, with three Persons? Was God ONE, as the Jews taught? And what was the true nature of Christ, as the pre-existent Logos?
A Historical Perspective on the Trinity Doctrine
The doctrine of the Trinity, first formulated at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., and later at the Council of Constantinople in 381 A.D., and finally at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 A.D., claimed that Jesus Christ was equal with and of the same substance as God the Father in a sense that human beings could never attain. This doctrine was developed to counter the teaching of Arias who taught that Jesus Christ, even though having attained the full glory of divine sonship through obedience, was nonetheless subordinate to the Father. Arias further said that because of Christ, human beings could now attain to the same divine stature or status of Christ, along with Him!
According to the Trinitarian view, God in the form of the Son temporarily descended to take on human limitations to redeem mankind, and, to them, the possibility that Christ could have failed was deemed unthinkable heresy. Arias, however, declared that Christ, as the first of God's primeval creations, acted as a perfect example for the rest of God's creation, and that Christ could have failed --but through His faithfulness He prevailed, making it possible for the rest of mankind to attain to divine status as well.
The Arians, of course, were branded as "heretics" by the Catholic Church, and were persecuted and many were martyred -- slain for their beliefs.

Joseph T. Lienhard, in The Arian Controversy: Some Categories Reconsidered, tells us that what is known of Arian beliefs comes to us through the highly filtered lenses of their fourth century opponents. It was only in 341 A.D. that Eastern bishops of the church even learned that they were being called "Arians."
As Gregg and Groh point out in Early Arianism -- A View of Salvation, the real issue was how mankind became saved. The Arians believed that salvation meant that we became deified like Christ who paved the way and made it all possible. To them, "divine sonship differs in degree but not in kind; therefore the Christ was representative as the Son, but by no means only possible Son" (Gregg and Groh, p.30, emphasis theirs).
Athanasius, the prime exponent of Trinitarianism, branded Arians as heretics and accused them of blasphemy and arrogance. Athanasius ridiculed, "Thus hearing that men are called sons, they hold themselves equal to the true and natural Son. . . . They are so arrogant as to suppose that as the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son, so will they be" (Athanasius, Or.c.Ar.3, 17).

Arias, a bishop in Alexandria, Egypt, taught and believed that God the Father was and is supreme, and that aeons ago He created the One who became Christ, the Messiah. Until recently, little was really known of his beliefs and writings -- most of it has come down to us in the writings of his enemies, who opposed his beliefs.
However, an original letter written by Arias has been found. Notice the amazing insight it provides us as to the real beliefs of Arias an his followers.
A New Look at the Arian Controversy!
In The History of the Church of Christ, volume II, which discusses the fourth and fifth centuries, written by the late Joseph Miller, with additions and commentaries by Issac Milner, D.D.F.R.S., dean of Carlisle, and the President of Queens College, Cambridge, London, published by Luke Hansard & Sons, for T. Cadwell and w. Davies, in the Strand, 1819, we read on page 53 the following account of a letter written by Arias to Eusebius. The author states:
"I shall give the reader the epistle at length, that he may judge for
himself, though some parts of it are of no consequence with respect
to the controversy [the famous" Arian Controversy" over the nature
of Christ]. I believe it is the only fragment we have of his writings,
and it is therefore the most authentic of all records, to decide the
question, what Arianism is. "
The letter follows:
"The Epistle of Arias to Eusebius, Bishop of Nicomedia

"To my most desirable lord, the faithful man of God, the orthodox Eusebius, Arias
persecuted by father Alexander unjustly, for the sake of truth, which conquers all
things, of which you are the defender, joy in the Lord! My father Ammonius
coming to Nicomedia, it appeared to me my duty to address you by him, and at the
same time to inform your rooted charity and kind disposition, which you have
towards the brethren, for the sake of God and his Christ, that the bishop harasses
and persecutes us greatly, and moves every machine against us, so as even to expel
us from the city as Atheists, because we agree not with him who publicly says,
'Always God, always the Son; at the same time the Father, at the same time the
Son; the Son co-exists with God without being begotten: he is always begotten, yet
unbegotten: God does not precede the Son in thought, not for a moment: always God,
always the Son: the Son exists from God himself.
"And when Eusebius your Brother in Caesaria, and Theodotus, and Paulinus, and
Athanasius, [not the famous Athanasius] and Gregory, and Aetius, and all the bishops
in the east, said, that God who had no beginning, existed before the Son, they were        condemned, except only Philogonius, and Ellanicus, and Macarius, heretical
unlearned men, some of whom call the Son an eructation, others a projection, others
begotten together with him, We cannot bear to hear these impieties, though the heretics
should threaten us with ten thousand deaths, But what we say and think, we have
both taught and do teach,' That the Son is not unbegotten, nor a part of the unbegotten,
by any means, nor of any subject matter, but that by will and counsel he existed before
the times and the ages, full God, only begotten, not mixed with anything heterogenous,
and before he was begotten, or created, or defined, or founded, HE WAS NOT; for he
was not unbegotten. We are persecuted because we say THE SON HATH A BEGIN-
NING: but God is without beginning. For this we are persecuted, and because we say,
that the Son is from NON-EXISTENCE, and thus we said, because he is not part of God,
or of any subject matter: for this we are persecuted; the rest you know. I pray that you
may be strong in the Lord, remembering our afflictions."
Notice carefully! Arias did not teach that Christ the Son was not divine, or not "God," as his critics and the gainsayers of the Church alleged. He taught that Christ was indeed divine, or as he put it, “FULL GOD, ONLY BEGO1TEN.”  That is, he taught Christ existed "before the times and the ages," but even so, "he was begotten, or created, or defined, or founded" -- that is, He had a beginning! Therefore, He was not "co-equal" or "co-eternal" with the Father, and did not exist for all eternity --but at a certain juncture, He was "begotten," or came into existence. There was a time when He did not exist, but was brought into existence -- or "created" -- by the Father, and He was the FIRST of all His mighty works.
It appears that the enemies of Arias put words in his mouth, or misunderstood or misinterpreted some of his basic, underlying teachings! Human nature being what it is, this is to be expected. I have found many people misunderstand some of my own teachings, and misrepresent them, and enemies often cast them in a deliberately "negative light," in order to mock and ridicule them. Human nature, it seems, never changes (Rom.8:7; Jer.17:9).
However, the fact is that the Scriptures really teach that the Logos had a beginning! Furthermore, the Scriptures really do teach that God's purpose ultimately is to DEIFY mankind -- that is, those who obey Him and keep His commandments! Notice the truth!
Was Christ CREATED?

There are several Scriptures in the Bible which Trinitarians find very difficult, if not totally impossible, to explain. These Scriptures, when carefully analyzed and examined, totally destroy and refute the doctrine of the Trinity. But at the same time, they also destroy and refute the doctrine of a "Dual" Godhead, or what some have termed a "Binitarian" Godhead of Two members!
According to the Trinity doctrine, there is One God who is expressed in Three "Persons"  -- who are all combined into "One" actual Being -- not three different Beings! These three are supposed to be "co-equal, co-eternal," and "uncreated." They are supposed to have no bodily form whatsoever (it would be "anthropomorphic" to think of them as in human form, as the Bible so often declares!).
Another common theory is that originally there were Two Beings in the Godhead --who existed all eternity.  According to this theory, these two Beings -- the Father and the Logos, or Son -- were themselves "co-equal, co-eternal," and uncreated. They are two Beings, yet act in unison as One. They have shape and form, and it is they who said, "Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness" (Genesis 1:26).
But are either one of these concepts really true? Does the Bible teach a Trinitarian or a Binitarian Godhead?
In What Way Is God "ONE"?
In the Old Testament, God reveals Himself to Israel in the famous "Shema" which every Jew is taught to repeat daily: "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD" (Deut.6:5). This, however, is not precisely the meaning of the original Hebrew expression. The actual original Hebrew for this verse literally translates:
"The LORD our God, the LORD is one."
What does it mean that the LORD is "One"? The Hebrew word for "one" in this verse is echad and has a very interesting meaning. The Companion Bible says of this word:
"One. Heb. 'ehad -- A COMPOUND UNITY (Lat. unus), one made
up of others; Gen.l:5, one of seven; 1:11, one of four; 2:21, one of
twenty-four; 2:24, one made up of two; 3:22, one of the three: 49:16,
one of twelve; Num.13:23, one of a cluster. So Ps. 34:20, etc. It is
not yahid, which is (Latin) unicu.s, unique -- a single or only one. . ."
Thus we know there is ONE GOD --but what does that really mean? Polytheism, the
worship of many gods, is pagan and demon worship. The pagans worship many gods !
The apostle Paul tells us something very interesting about the true God, however, in contrast to pagan gods. He wrote:
"For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but ONE GOD, THE FATHER, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (1 Cor.8:5-6).
Now this is very interesting. Here we see that ultimately God the Father is the ONE TRUE GOD. Jesus here is not referred to as "God," but as the "Lord." Yet we know that He also is God, because, in Hebrews we read of Him:
"[Jesus] Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by
INHERITANCE obtained a more excellent NAME than they. For
unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art MY SON ,
this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a FATHER,
and he shall be to me a SON? ...But unto the SON he saith, Thy
throne, O GOD, is for ever and ever. . ." (Heb.l :4- 7).

Jesus also, then, is "God." But it should be obvious that He is not as great as the Father! Just as a Son is under the authority of his Father, so Jesus learned everything from His heavenly Father, and is like Him -- but under Him!
Who Is Greater -- the Sender, or the Messenger?
Jesus Himself acknowledged this fact. He said, "I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the WILL OF HIM that SENT me" (John 5:38). Jesus said in another place, "I am not come of myself, but he that SENT me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him: for I am FROM him, and he hath SENT me" (John 7:28-29).
Notice again. In another place, Jesus said, "I proceeded forth and CAME from GOD; neither came I of myself, but he SENT me" (John 8:42). Jesus here clearly shows that the Father exercises supreme authority, and SENT him to do a .lob --to be our Saviour! In another place, Jesus said plainly, "For my Father is greater than I" (John 14:28). He acknowledged the overall supremacy of God the Father, and was subject to Him in all things!
In His final prayer for His disciples, Jesus said, " And this is life eternal, that they might know THEE the ONLY TRUE GOD, and Jesus Christ, whom THOU hast sent" (John 17:3).
Clearly, Jesus worshipped the Father, prayed to the Father, and loved the Father, and obeyed the Father! He acknowledged the Father as "the ONLY true God," and that He was sent by the Father. It should be obvious, then, to anyone with an open and sincere mind, unclouded by false doctrines and long-held false beliefs, that in the God Realm, the Father is GREATER than the Son!
After His resurrection from the dead, Jesus appeared to Mary , and said to her:
". . . Go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto MY
GOD" (John 20: 17).
Do you see? Jesus looked upon the Father as HIS "God"! That is, He WORSHIPPED the Father! Now if He was a co-equal part of the Trinity, this would make no sense at all. Would One equal part of the Trinity WORSHIP another Part which was only EQUAL? You worship that which is GREATER in authority and power -- you don't worship EQUALS! Jesus calls the Father His own GOD!
Clearly, there is something direly wrong with both the "Trinity" doctrine, and also the doctrine that the "Word" or "Logos" is CO-EQUAL with God the Father and existed from all eternity, "co-equal" and "co-eternal"! What is the answer to this mystery? What is the TRUE ORIGIN of the Logos, or Word, of God? What is His real relationship to God the Father!
Here is the astounding truth! Here is the TRUE REVELATION of the Word of God!

"The FIRSTBORN of Every Creature"
In the book of Colossians we find an incredible passage of Scripture which bears upon this question, and the true nature of the pre-existence of the One who became "Christ." The apostle Paul wrote of Christ Jesus, and His pre-existence before His supernatural human birth of the woman Mary:
"[The Father] Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness
and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son. ..Who
CREATED, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and
invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities,
or powers: ALL THINGS were created BY HIM and FOR him:
And HE is before all things', and by him all things' consist. And
he is the HEAD of the body, the CHURCH: who is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead that in all things he might have the
preeminence" (Col.l:12-18).
When we read this passage in context, it seems to clearly suggest outright that the One who became Jesus Christ was originally made, created, or fashioned in "the IMAGE of the invisible God" -- and that He was "the FIRSTBORN of every creature" or creation of GOD the Father!
The word translated "firstborn " in Colossians 1:15 is prototokos, derived from protos, meaning "foremost" in "time, place, order or importance," and is translated "before, beginning, best, chief, first, at the beginning." It is the superlative of pro, which means "in front of, prior to"; and tokos derived from tikto and teko, meaning, "to produce, (from seed, as a mother, a plant, the earth, etc.) -- bear, be born, bring forth, be delivered" (see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, #4416,4413,5088).
Now, for this Scripture to be LITERALLY TRUE, and for the One who became Christ to have been the "FIRSTBORN" of every creature, He would literally have to have become the 'FIRSTBORN" BEFORE ANY OTHER CREATURE WAS BORN OR CREATED! He would have to have been FIRST!
The Greek word translated "creature" in this verse is ktisis (Strong's #2937), and means "original formation," "building, creation, creature, ordinance." Thus when we examine this verse carefully, we find that Jesus Christ BORN FIRST, before every other "original formation," "creature," and "creation" and "ordinance" (or law) of heaven and earth!
That is, after God the Father, He came FIRS7: and was' "FIRSTBORN"
This statement is made, in Colossians 1:15, right before the following phrase: "For by HIM were ALL THINGS CREATED. . . all things were created by him and for him" (v.16).
Thus, after the Logos, or One who became Christ, was born, or "created," He participated in the creation of EVERYTHING ELSE in the Universe!
Thus we read in John 1 the following clarification of His creative role:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. The same was in the beginning WITH God. All things
were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was
made" (John 1:1-3).
In the book of Hebrews, Paul adds this insight:
"God. . . hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he
appointed HEIR of all things, BY WHOM ALSO HE MADE THE
WORLDS; who being the brightness of his glory, and the express
image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,
. . . sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high" (Heb.l: 1-3).
The Logos, then, was and is the "brightness" of the glory of God the Father. He is the "Heir" of the Father. It was by Him that the Father "made the worlds" -- the Universe!  And now He sits at the Father's right hand in heaven!
What do these things tell us? Before we attempt to put the picture together, notice a few more clear and fascinating Scriptures.
"The Beginning of the CREATION of God"
In the book of Revelation, in the seven letters to the seven churches, Jesus Christ said to the Church in Laodicea:
"These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, THE
The Greek word translated "beginning" here is arche and means" A COMMENCE- MENT, or (concrete) chief (in various applications of ORDER, TIME, PLACE or RANK); beginning, corner, first, magistrate, power, principality, principle, rule. " Adds Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon --
" 1. BEGINNING, ORIGIN; a. used absolutely, of the BEGIN-
NING OF ALL THINGS. . . b. in a relative sense, of the BEGIN-
NING of the things spoken of. . . 2. The person or thing that
the leader. . . 3. that by which anything begins to be, the ORIGIN
. . . 4. THE EXTREMITY of a thing. . . 5. the first place, princi-
pality, rule, magistracy. . ."

The basic, underlying meaning of this word is simply "BEGINNING," or "FIRST," that which "COMMENCES" OR BEGINS -- as the first automobile in history, the first airplane, the first wheel, the first planet, the first fire, the first house built, etc.
These Scriptures give the "COUP DE GRACE" to the doctrine of the "Trinity, " "Binity, " or another similar doctrine about the Godhead!
Incredibly, by foisting off upon the world the doctrine of the "Trinity," Satan the devil has completely blinded mankind as to his true potential and has completely deceived mankind as to his true purpose for being created and placed upon this earth! ! ! If you have not read them, write for our articles: "Is God a Trinity?", "The Trinity Doctrine: Fact or Fable?", "Who Or What Was Jesus Christ Before His Human Birth?", "Was Christ Created?", and "The Origin of the Logos."
A Modern Scholar Speaks Out
James D. Tabor, Professor of Religion at North Carolina State University in Charlotte, published an excellent paper in 1984 entitled "Firstborn of Many Brothers: A Pauline Notion of Apotheosis" (Society for Biblical Literature 1984 Seminar Papers). Tabor wrote:
"In [I Thessalonians, Galatians, I-II Corinthians, Romans, and Philippians] Paul refers
to Jesus as Son of God (Greek, "huios") 15 times. On the other hand, he speaks of
believers. sons of God (plural, "huioui") 10 times. . . 'for in Christ Jesus you
are all sons of God through faith' [Gal.3:26] ...'For those whom he foreknew he also         predestined to share the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born of many
brothers' [Rom.8:29] . . . The identification of the exalted heavenly state of Jesus with
that expected by believers is exact. . . . 'But we all, with unveiled face, beholding the
glory of the Lord, are being transformed into his image' [II Cor.3:18] . . .'
Tabor continues:
"My point. . . is that all which is included in the idea of 'Christ as the image of God' is
applied in the most direct way to the anticipated future of those who believe' the
message. . . . Such a relationship involves a suffering with him, which in turn leads
to a 'co-glorification' . . . 'firstborn' implies more than preeminence, it points to those
'later born' . . . Jesus as the preliminary figure of God's plan is representative of the many
to follow. ..The identification of Jesus the Son of God with the many glorified sons of
God which follow is direct. The idea is that God is bringing into existence a family
(i.e., 'many brothers') of beings, the Sons of God. . .  Jesus, then, stands at the head of a
new genus of cosmic 'brothers' who now await their own exaltation at his parousia                                                [coming] "Heb.2:5-8 . . . offers a fascinating parallel to I Cor.15:20-28 as well as Rom.8:29-30.
The emphasis there is that the future 'world' belongs not to angels but to humankind,
and that Jesus is the 'pioneer' man who has inherited 'all things' and offers the same to
the 'many sons' that God is bringing to glory. . . .
"I would relate the Pauline concept to what Nilsson calls a 'new cosmology' which
emerges in the Hellenistic period. . . .the great gulf is increasingly transcended by a
more general idea of apotheosis as potential not only for heroes, emperors and rulers,
but for anyone and everyone. More specifically I would relate Paul's concept of many
sons of God to a host of Jewish texts in and around the Second Temple period which
speak of the destiny of both individual and select groups in terms of heavenly trans-
formation, glorification, or even enthronement. I have in mind texts like Dan.12:3 which
speak of those resurrected to eternal life as shining 'like the brightness of the firmament'
and 'like the stars forever and ever' . . ."
The Destiny of Man
It is the destiny of mankind, if he overcomes the base pulls of human nature, and lives a life of obedience to God's laws and commandments, through the power and inner-working of the Holy Spirit, and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, to become -- once and for all -- very divine members of the Universe-creating and ruling Family of GOD!
We will become among the divine "Elohim." We will become El Shaddai, "God Almighty." We will become equal to and one with YHVH, the "Yahveh" of the Old Testament, who in most places was the One who became Christ, the Logos or Word of God (see my article "Who Was Jesus Before His Human Birth?").
The classic, Greek static concept of God is erroneous. God is not an ephemeral " ghost" which fills all and knows all (even the future) and has done everything and so has nothing further to do -- therefore He is "static," stationary, and monolithic. That is not "God." Rather, God is a very active, growing, expanding FAMILY --and the Father Himself grows and learns as He watches His creation in operation. He has limitless ability to grow and learn, and to continually expand His Creation and creative works. That is one reason He has brought into existence His divine Family!

Isaiah tells us about this unique Hebrew concept of the true God. The prophet writes, "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the INCREASE of his government and peace [prosperity, abundance, goodness] there will BE NO END" (Isaiah 9:6- 7). The Kingdom of God will grow and expand and "INCREASE" forever and ever --there will be no end to its growth and expansion, development and multiplication. It will go on and on, greater and greater, forever and ever, throughout space and time into infinity.
"After HIS Kind"
Human beings are even now in God's image and likeness. In the book of Genesis, we read that God created plants and herbs of the field on the third day, and created them to reproduce themselves, each "after his kind" (Gen.l:11-12). On the fifth day He created birds, and fish, and created them "after their kind," and "every winged fowl after his kind" (verses 20-21). He commanded them to "Be fruitful, and multiply" (verse 22).
Then, on the sixth day, God created animals of the land, "the living creature after his kind" (Gen.1:24), and "the beast of the earth after his kind" (verse 25). Notice that every living thing reproduces "after its kind." This is the law of reproduction. Each species or type of creature reproduces its own species, type, or Biblical "kind."
But then, on the sixth day, God also said, "Let us make MAN in OUR IMAGE, after OUR likeness: and let them have DOMINION . . .” (Gen.l:26-27). Do you see? God created mankind after His own GOD-KIND! But, the difference is, He created us out of physical dust (Gen.2:7). We are not Spirit as He is Spirit. We are not yet fully, completely, after His kind! We are still being programmed, processed, and developed!
Nevertheless, the Biblical revelation clearly shows that it is God's ultimate purpose to bring us as full-fledged SONS into His glorious KINGDOM!
We are even now called "the children of God" (1 John 3:1). God's invisible nature and deity are known and revealed by the things He created (Rom.l:20). He has revealed much of His likeness and image in the creation of man in His image. God desires that we become perfect -- like Him in character (Matt.5:48). Eventually we are to become changed, and made into His spiritual likeness and image (Phil.3:21; I John 3:2).
Says the Phillips translation, " All who follow the leading of God's Spirit are God's own sons. have been adopted into the very FAMILY CIRCLE OF GOD and you can say with a full heart, 'Father, my Father.' The Spirit himself [or, itself] endorses our inward conviction that we really are the children of God. THINK WHA T THAT MEANS. If we are his children, we are his treasures, and all that Christ claims will belong to all of us as well! Yes, if we share in his sufferings we shall certainly also share in his glory" (Rom.8:14-17).
God is literally our "Father." We have become partakers of "the divine NATURE" (II Pet. 1 :4). Phillips has this, we "share God's essential nature." How could we do such a thing, unless we are also DIVINE? For God's nature is DIVINITY itself! ",
Think of it! Think what all this really means! How cleverly the devil has hidden the eyes of the world from this beautiful, sublime, glorious truth!
You and I have a chance -- an opportunity -- to become members of the DNINE UNNERSE-RULING FAMILY OF GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF! We will be just like Jesus Christ Himself, our pioneer and captain of our salvation, only we will be lesser in rank and power and position in the God Kingdom !
Will we create, or colonize, new universes? Will we be sent out to create new worlds and new peoples, and introduce them, also, to "God the Father"? And will these, in turn, in time, also go out to create new worlds, new universes?                                                                                                           
Will Wonders Never Cease?
Will the creation of God thus continue forever, throughout infinity? Is the capacity to create and rule the ultimate, most fundamental reality?

In all these things, "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known" {1 Cor.13:12). Phillips has this verse: " At present we are men looking at puzzling reflections in a mirror. The time will come when we shall see REALITY WHOLE and face to face! At present all I know is a little fraction of the truth, but the time will come when I shall know it as fully as God now knows me!"
Today, we have about as much knowledge and comprehension, comparatively, spiritually speaking, as an unborn child still in its mother's womb has of the outside world! Yet, by the grace and mercy of God, we have seen things -- wonderful things -- which God is preparing for those who love Him. Glimpses of wonderful things which can hardly be put into words.
Things beyond the ability of human tongue or pen to describe.
Glorious things.
We look up at the stars at night, and marvel. We look at the mysteries and marvels in the
earth -- the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Glacier, Zion -- and wonder. We look at the way of a human family, with a little baby, and the love between a woman and a man -- and are amazed. Life is so thrilling, so exciting, so incredible. And God is giving us an opportunity to enjoy it with Him, with divine pleasures forever more!
David wrote, "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasure at your right hand " (Psalm 16: II ). And I --in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake [at the resurrection], I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness" (Psalm 17: 15).

Yes, then we will see God face to face as His own divine Sons -- we will receive His very own divine LIKENESS! And we will not be ashamed! We will be GLORIFIED, and share in God's own eternal Glory and Godhood!

Thank GOD for His sublime, celestial, incredible TRUTH!