The process of man going from being a physical and human creature to becoming an immortal and glorified child of the Most High, in theological terms, is called theosis. This is an ancient Christian concept that is still held by the Eastern Orthodox Church referring to the spiritual process that occurs resulting in the deification of man. The goal of theosis is to become like Elohim and to become eventually united with him spiritually. Theosis is the biblical concept of a redeemed or spiritually regenerated individual becoming a partaker YHVH’s divine nature (2 Pet 1:4), and being adopted into the family of Elohim (see verses below). It is about man becoming like Elohim — becoming part of the family of Elohim as a son of Elohim (John 10:34; Ps 82:1; 1 John 3:1–3).
This is our theosis, that as the Ruach haKodesh (the Holy Spirit) identified Yeshua as the Son of Elohim at his baptism, so we too become a son of Elohim at our baptism, when we become a new creation through Yeshua and the work of the Holy Spirit (Gal 2:20; 2 Cor 5:17). At that time, one is begotten into the family of Elohim, and when one receives one’s glorified body at the resurrection one will be fully born or adopted into the family of Elohim as a full-fledged son of Elohim, for, as the Scripture says, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is (1 John 3:1–3).
Paul refers to theosis in several places when he uses the term adoption.
For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but you have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Rom 8:15)
And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. (Rom 8:23; also 9:4)
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. (Gal 4:5)
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Yeshua the Messiah to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will… (Eph 1:5)
The apostolic writers make further reference to theosis in several other places as well.
But as many as received [Yeshua], to them He gave the right to become children of Elohim, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of Elohim. (John 1:12–13)
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of Elohim and of Yeshua our Master, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (1 Pet 1:2–4)
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of Elohim! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of Elohim; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. (1 John 3:1–2)
So, as we have seen, there are two spiritual processes going on at the same time in a person’s life as portrayed by the spiritual model of the Tabernacle of Moses. At the beginning of one’s spiritual walk, a person starts in the physical dimension in the outer courtyard and ends in the spiritual dimension in the holy of holies. This represents spiritual cleansing that brings us progressively closer to YHVH Elohim as one becomes more and more like him until we’re united with Elohim through marriage to Yeshua in the New Jerusalem. This is theosis.
At the same time, YHVH starts working in a person from the inside out by first redeeming his spirit, then his soul and finally his body. These two processes are occurring simultaneously to form a complete spiritual work in one’s life resulting in a physical human being becoming an immortal child of Elohim who has the character of Yeshua. Such a person is one that YHVH Elohim will be pleased to spend eternity with in the New Jerusalem, which is spiritually pictured by the glory cloud of YHVH’s Presence that hovers over the holy of holies of the Tabernacle of Moses.
For theosis to occur, man must be first spiritually activated by Elohim. In man’s indigenous spiritually unregenerate state, one is like an unlit candle that YHVH must supernaturally light with the divine light of his Holy Spirit through a spiritual relationship with Yeshua. We then become “sons of light” (John 12:36; Luke 16:8; Eph 5:8; 1 Thess 5:5). The Scriptures speak of this process.
But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. (Job 32:8)
Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth? (Eccl 3:21)
The burden of the word of YHVH for Israel, saith YHVH, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. (Zech 12:1)
For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of Elohim knoweth no man, but the Spirit of Elohim. (1 Cor 2:11)
Man can’t enter into a relationship with a YHVH who is a Spirit through his soul (his mind, will and emotions). To do so is merely a human attempt to earn one’s own salvation. This is called humanism and is what drives all the false, non-biblical religions of the world as well as some religions purporting to be Bible-based. Elohim is a Spirit, and one must relate to him through the Spirit.
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:14)
But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Elohim is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:23–24)
For man to relate to Elohim, he must do so through his spirit. This means that man’s spirit must be activated at the time of his spiritual birth. When this occurs, a man receives in himself the Spirit of Elohim, which activates and controls the spirit in the man, which in turn controls the soul (the mind,will and emotions), which in turn controls the body what to think, say and do.
When we are born again from above, our spirit man is activated by the Spirit of Elohim.
The spirit of a man is the lamp of YHVH, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. (Prov 20:27)
But there is a spirit in man, and the breath of the Almighty gives him understanding. (Job 32:8)
The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim (Rom 8:16)
That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Messiah may dwell in your hearts through faith (Eph 3:16–17)
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from Elohim, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by Elohim. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of Elohim, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1 Cor 2:12–14)
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things. … But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him. (1 John 2:20, 27)
And every spirit that does not confess that Yeshua the Messiah has come in the flesh is not of Elohim. And this is the spirit of the Antimessiah, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. (1 John 4:3)
The Tabernacle of Moses is a glorious picture or template of this spiritual process that occurs deep within the minds and hearts of those who willingly submit to it. Most humans refuse YHVH’s invitation to be transformed spiritually from the inside out because of their spiritual blindness, rebellion, stubbornness, pride and the deceitfulness of the pleasures of sin. For those who submit to YHVH’s plan of spiritual redemption, the process is difficult, but the end results are glorious!