What is God?

What is God?

Sounds ridiculous? Yet surprisingly, many of us may be misinformed about what the word God is. Some may be atheist and denies existence of God. Others are agnostics and still groping for the answer. Admittedly, others know who their God is, one way or another. But, do we really know what the word God is? This question is not about the attributes of God, viz., omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, etc. Rather, it is about whether we comprehend what comprises or constitutes the word translated in English as God. Can this understanding help us in resolving the conflict between those who prove that Jesus is God and man versus those who has equally compelling proof that he is only human? Why did Jesus say in John 10:34 “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? The man Jesus classified himself as well as other human beings as gods, for which reason they accused him of blasphemy, stoned him and subsequently killed him because uof this outrageous claim. Is Jesus right in classifying humans as gods? Does it really matter, who we are and where in creation do we belong? We are not in the plant-kingdom nor are we in the animal-kingdom. Are we really in the god-kingdom as classified by Jesus for which claim, he was persecuted and eventually died? This issue maybe so basic, yet so fundamental that the answer maybe so eye-popping as to help us understand the future and destiny of man. As the Bible says, “the only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is…” Rom. 12:3(The Message, Colorado Springs, Navpress, 1993)

To know the facts, we need to get to the original word in Hebrew (for the Old testament portion of the Bible/Tanach) and Greek (for the New Testament) that was translated into the English word God. Anyone who has a comprehensive concordance will be able to compile all the original words translated as God. Afterwards, to know the truth behind those words, one then looks at the usage/context of how the original word was used and whether other text or verses can confirm the true meaning of the original word. Following this format of research, one may be surprised about discovering many things that we were taught as a child/adult may indeed be deficient and fall under the category of misinformation, not intentional mind you, but misleading and confusing, nevertheless. As we delve into this critical subject, we will know what comprises the word “God”, concepts of polytheism/monotheism, variations/levels of powers, and where is the rightful position of angels, man, sons of God, Christ and the Father. And from these, we will then appreciate the spiritual significance behind knowing this subject well, and the hierarchy of creation.

POLYTHEISM/MONOTHEISM :

At the outset, let us look at the concept of polytheism/monotheism and verses that may appear confusing yet may eventually help us in exploring this subject: The startling fact is that the Pentateuch introduces the concept of plurality of the word God.

Notice :

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.(Gen.1:1) Here, the word God translated from Hebrew is plural and this numerical concept is reiterated in (Gen.1:26) Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness, …

But also, consider the following verses:

If after all, there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),( I Cor.8:5 )

God stands in the assembly of El ,in the midst of the gods he renders judgment (Ps. 82:1)

None can compare to you among the gods, O sovereign Master! Your exploits are incomparable! (Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O lord) (Ps. 86:8)

Yes, I know the Lord is great, and our sovereign Master is superior to all gods.

(YHVH is above all gods ) (Ps.135:5),

For you, O Lord, are the sovereign king over the whole earth; you are elevated high above all gods.(above all gods ) (Ps. 97:9)

You shall have no other gods before me (Ex.20:3 Decalogue)

You must burn the images of their gods,(graven images of their gods ) (Deut.7:25),

…on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment (many deities ) (Ex. 12:12)

For thou, LORD, [art] high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods (Ps. 97:9)

The preceding verses from the Old/New Testament tell us that, indeed, there are many gods, but a Supreme Being among them is above all of them.

Traditional Christianity denies the reality of many “gods”. But, there are indeed many “gods” and with different names. To Abraham, his name was El Shaddai and to Moses, YHVH (Yahweh/Jehovah). To Muslims, the name is Allah, to Chinese and Hindus there are many names, see;

http://www.names-surnames.com/gods/864-chinese-gods-list

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hindu_deities

Although, only one, I believe,should be worshipped and others not.

These verses affirm and did not deny the existence and reality of many gods. Polytheism is a fact in as much as there are many gods, and so is monotheism, in so far as there is One Supreme Being and One Above All gods is concerned. If in fact the preceding statement is true, and using this premise as a base, it then becomes imperative to get to the original word in Hebrew and Greek that was translated God . This will then help us understand what constitutes or comprises the word God, not only from the transliteration of the word, but also its context and usage

ELOHIM:

In Genesis, the Hebrew word translated God in English comes from the word ELOHIM/ELOHIYM. This is plural and a derivative of “El/Eloah(singular) meaning strong, mighty, power, POWERFUL ONES. (Brown,Driver,Briggs, Hebrew Lexicon, pp.42-44)

Likewise, in Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance, comes the following Hebrew words:

430 ‘elohiym el-o-heem’ plural of 433 ; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:–angels, X exceeding, God (gods)(-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

433 ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; rarely (shortened) >eloahh {el-o’-ah probably prolonged (emphat.) from 410; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. See 430.

426 ‘elahh el-aw’ (Aramaic) corresponding to 433; God:–God, god.

410 ‘el ale shortened from 352; strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):–God (god), X goodly, X great, idol, might(-y one), power, strong. Compare names in “-el.”

Why is Elohiym plural ? Some think this is numerical plurality but others take this to mean multiplicity or majesty of powers, functions or rank

Which, if any, could it be?

In Gen. 1:26, “And ELOHIYM said, Let us ….our likeness…” suggest there were others of the same likeness or image during this creation narrative, hence Elohiym is a word that connotes numerical plurality , but also that a particular being (not beings) actually did the creation itself or spoke the word of creating, e.g., using he in

Gen.1:27 So ELOHIYM created man in his own image, in the image of ELOHIYM created he him; male and female created he them.

1:31 And ELOHIYM saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Gen. 2:2 And on the seventh day ELOHIYM ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

V-3 And ELOHIYM blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which ELOHIYM created and made.

V-8 And YHVH ELOHIYM planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

and using I in Gen.1:29 And ELOHIYM said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

V-30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

YHVH ELOHIYM:

The identity of this particular Elohiym, was specified as YHVH ELOHIYM in

Gen. 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that YHVH ELOHIYM made the earth and the heavens,

V-5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for YHVH ELOHIYM had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

V-7 And YHVH ELOHIYM formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

V-8 And YHVH ELOHIYM planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

V-9 And out of the ground made YHVH ELOHIYM to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

N.B. Also see chapters 3,4,5, etc. that specifies that the particular Elohiym was in fact YHVH.

YHVH is the creator in contradistinction to the other Elohiym, as in, Gen 6:2 sons of ELOHIYM. This specific and particular Elohiym is YHVH, who is the creator and the one who said “…Let us…our likeness ..” in Gen.1:26. This same person is the one who spoke to Moses and the one known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shadday. Notice the following:

Ex 6:2 And ELOHIYM spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am YHVH:

V-3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of EL SHADDAY, but by my name YHVH was I not known to them.

V-7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a ELOHIYM: and ye shall know that I am YHVH your ELOHIYM, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

Deut 10:17 For YHVH your ELOHIYM is ELOHIYM of gods, and ADOWN of lords, a great EL, a mighty, …

Incidentally, the traditional English version of this was quoted in the prayer by Col. Oliver North who was a keynote speaker at the National Day of Prayer gathering at Washington, D.C. on May 6 2004

This is the Elohiym(God) of Israel, and specifically identified and named YHVH / El Shadday

This again is confirmed in the Shema doctrine found in

Deut.6:4 Hear, O Israel: YHVH our ELOHIYM is one YHVH:

V-5 And thou shalt love YHVH thy ELOHIYM with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Micah 4:5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of YHVH our ELOHIYM for ever and ever.

Yes, there is no other specific Elohiym known and introduced to Israel to be worshipped but YHVH / El Shadday who is ONE. The One and ONLY ONE above all gods.

From the preceding, one can see that the plural word Elohiym is a generic or common name for a powerful being and that it includes the creator as well as others of like image or likeness. But to specify the identity of this particular Elohiym as a creator of heavens and earth and the being who dealt with Abraham, Isaac,Jacob,Moses and Israel , the proper name YHVH / El Shadday was used.

Angel as ELOHIM:

To confirm this concept that Elohiym/God is generic/common name, notice the following:

Worship him, all ye gods (430, elohiym)Ps.97:7 and juxtapose this with the reference…angels (32 aggelos {ang’-el-os} of God worship him in Heb 1:6

The elohiym/gods in Psalm 97:7 is definitely referred to mean aggelos/angels. See also the scene when Jesus told an angel (Satan) to worship him and speaking of himself towards Satan :

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matt.4:10

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.Lu. 4:8

And to identify which of the elohiym or angels is specifically referred to:

…. for Satan himself is transformed into an angel (32 aggelos {ang’-el-os} of light.

II Cor.11:14,

…prince of this world be cast out John 12:31

… god (2316 theos) of this world (Satan) II Cor 4:4.

See also Ps. 8:5 angel(elohim, Strong’s #43)

Yes, even angels are classified in the Elohiym/God. This could be the reason why “us” and “our” are used in Gen.1:26 as angels were there during man’s creation, as the “serpent” (Lucifer,Satan) was in the garden of Eden

Man, Jewish leaders, Judges as ELOHIM:

Following the same concept of commonality of the word Elohiym/God, notice these verses:

John 10:31 The Jewish leaders picked up rocks again to stone him to death.

V-32 Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good deeds from the Father. For which one of them are you going to stone me?”

V-33 The Jewish leaders replied, “We are not going to stone you for a good deed but for blasphemy, because you, a man, are claiming to be God.”

V-34 Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’?

V-35 If those people to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ (and the scripture cannot be broken), 10:36 do you say about the one whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

Ps.82:6 I have said, Ye are gods (430 elohiym); and all of you are children of the ELYOWN (God).

N.B. Children of Elohim/God are classified gods as well, as Jesus, the man, the son of God is God, as other humans who were stoning him are called gods as well. Jesus classified “…those people to whom the word of God came …as… ‘gods’ in v-35. The word of God came to humans, you and me, and not to plants nor to animals. That’s why we are gods ! See also, Ex. 21:6; 22:8-9,28 where judges are called elohim (Strong’s#430)

MOSES reckoned Elohiym:

Ex.4:16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of ELOHIYM. See also, Ex. 7:1

Kings of the House of David likened to Gods:

Zech.12:8 In that day shall YHVH defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as ELOHIYM, as the angel of YHVH before them.

Yes, even men/women are classified in the Elohiym/God. Notice also that in Zech. 12:8 both man(house of David) and angel are classified as elohiym.

Again, looking at the facts and deducing the truth from the usage and context of the verses quoted, there is no doubt that Elohiym/God constitutes and comprises:

1.YHVH/El Shadday – the creator ,above all gods, one and only god to be worshipped by Israel , and by extension all gentiles.

2. angels(including Lucifer),

3.and man/woman

.

This specific and inclusive concept is not “pantheism”. It is not that “God is all and all is God” and not “all reality is infused with divinity”(Who made God? Ravi Zacharias,pgs.41-43,2003 Zondervan). Christ was specific and excludes plants, animals and innanimate beings. Distinction among the “gods” is maintained,i.e. there are levels and ranks of powers. Moreover,Elohiym is a word that connotes numerical plurality but may also mean multiplicity or majesty of powers, function or rank, as in Adonai in Gen 42:30,33, Isa. 22:18; 51:22; Ezra 10:3; Malachi 1:6

THEOS:

This same concept in the Old Testament is carried through in the New Testament. Notice, that in Greek, the word God is translated from “theos” This word is singular, masculine, and in the nominative case (The New Analytical Greek Lexicon ,p. 201)

And yet, THEOS , by context and usage, is a composite and includes:

1. God the Father: When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God(theos,Strong’s#2316), and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. John 17:1-3

2. God the Son/Jesus: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God(theos,Strong’s#2316), and the Word was fully God.(theos,Strong’s#2316) The Word was with God(theos,Strong’s#2316) in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.John 1:1-3;

She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: “Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,” which means “God(theos,Strong’s#2316) with us.” Matt. 1:21-23

For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel Isa. 7:14

Isa.7:14 Therefore the ADONAY himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

3. angel:

among whom the god(theos,Strong’s#2316) of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. … theos,Strong’s#2316 of this world (Satan) II Cor 4:4

4. man/woman:

Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’(theos, Strong’s #2316) ? If those people to whom the word of God (theos,Strong’s #2316) came were called ‘gods’(theos, Strong’s #2316) (and the scripture cannot be broken), do you say about the one whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’(theos,Strong’s #2316)? John 10:34-36

N.B. Jesus was human and was made in the image of the invisible God as we all are 2Cor 4:4. Jesus as man incarnate is God as He is also God in the pre-incarnate and post-incarnate state

The preceding verses show that “theos”, while singular, is a composite word as the plural “elohiym” is. Now comes the question, why is Elohiym plural but can be singular, while Theos is singular but maybe plural? This is because by usage/context the Elohiym/Theos maybe specific or generic. When the word is specific then it is described and identified, e.g. YHVH / El Shadday or Father, Son, angel, man.

This contextual usage is equivalent to the rendering of “ekklesia”(plural) as exemplified in:

I Cor. 12:12 For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body—though many—are one body, so too is Christ.

Col 1:18 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 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church

CoL 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which (is) in his house.

1Thes. 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which (is) in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Tim. 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which (is) the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which (are) written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect

Notice that when the plural word is modified by a singular verb, it coalesces the plural into singular connotation. Ecclesia , while plural, is one but composed of many members; as our body is one, yet made up of many members. This usage is akin to the United States is one country but composed of many states; as Israel is one nation but with 12 tribes and with the grafting of the gentiles could be even more.

Summary:

1.Elohiym/Theos refers to a composite of powers, the sum of divine and powerful beings, the totality of all attributes of deity. It is a generic term that may apply to a particular being. When it does, the specific name of that Elohim is identified, as in YHVH Elohim

2. Most of the time, Elohiym in the Old Testament refers to a specific YHVH Elohiym and Theos in the New Testament refers specifically to God the Father. At other times, it refers to those others in the generic Elohiym/Theos, i.e. Jesus, angels, humans.

3. In general, Elohiym/Theos is collective and not a selective term; common and not a proper name; inclusive and not exclusive; generic not proprietary; composite and not specific.

4. The usage and/or context of the word explains the intended meaning, whether plural/singular or numerical plurality/multiplicity of power, rank or position/function.

5. The word God/Elohim, as originally written,, includes different species, levels, class or rank. At the highest level is the Father, followed by Son(s) of. God, then angelic rank, and the lowest is man. However, man will be transformed into “sons/children of God”, spirit-composed at resurrection and higher than angelic-class.

SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE:

Why know what the word “god” is ? Now that you know the facts and the truth behind the facts, the screaming spiritual significance of this truth can out-decibel anything ever heard of before! This has not been emphasized in traditional Christendom. Man is planned and classified by Jesus himself, to be categorized in the Elohiym. This classification of man in the Elohiym has far-reaching potential, seriousness and gravity that Jesus risked being stoned, charged with blasphemy and eventually gave his life for us to comprehend the magnitude of our destiny. Human beings are in the Elohiym/Theos, not in the plant-kind, nor in the animal-kind. We did not “evolve” from plants nor animals! In Genesis, you can see that after plants were created, they were planned to reproduce after their own kind. Likewise, when animals were created, they were to reproduce after their own kind. But, notice, after plants and animals were created to reproduce their own kind, God said, in Genesis,

1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness, .”

1:27 God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.

Yes, humans are in the image of God, as Jesus the man, was in the image of the invisible God.( “… Christ, who is the image of God… 2 Cor 4:4) God is reproducing and multiplying the numbers that compose the Elohiym, aside from angelic beings. We are created in the Elohiym/Theos. We are in the GOD-KIND ,the God-Kingdom ! This is the context of the gospel of the Kingdom Of God. Kingdom of “man” was not planed. In fact, all human kingdoms from the Tower of Babel through the succession of human kingdoms represented by the ” image of Nebuchadnezzar”, will all perish. While in the class of Elohiym, as man ,like Jesus was, we are currently below the level and rank of angels(see Heb. 2:7) But as Jesus is now in the right hand of the Father as “Son of God”, our High-Priest, man will also be in that position, higher than the angels(Heb. 1:4; 2:10), as we will be in Christ, as “Son of God”, who will bring ” many sons to glory”. The head, who is Christ, has to be with the body, which is the ecclesia, composed of many members. When this kingdom of God, the ecclesia, the priests of Melchizedek are finally composed and is delivered to the Father, then all of us, including Jesus, will bow down before the supreme God of all…the Father, as in:

And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all. 1 Cor.15:28

Thank God, this human destiny was decided even before man’s creation, and before man has done anything right or wrong. Being in that category or class of Elohiym is a gift, not of works, but of grace through faith and out of the love of God.

Brethren, the spiritual meaning of this concept that man is in the class of Elohiym is of enormous significance worthy of praise and glory of the Father. For centuries, we were distracted from this concept and now, through the blessing of the Spirit, the time has come for all of us to see our direction and destiny.

Complementary Articles:

Destiny of Man, Deification of Man, Passion of Christ

CONTACT:

For any questions, comments, or article contribution for publication, please e-mail foundationacts@yahoo.com

Original Post : June 17, 2004

Revised: June 29,2014

Reposted: September 15,2018

Dilemma, Finally Solved; The Whole Reveal

Dilemma, Finally solved; The Whole Reveal

All of us encountered a situation where whatever we do may either be right or wrong depending on its effect on us, vis-a-vis others. There is a very strong self-interest and self-protection/preservation innately woven in our DNA that make us like a “deer freeze in headlights because they can’t see”. The hurdle that faces us may prove insurmountable and it leaves us with a dilemma in making a choice.

Ethical dilemmas, also known as a moral dilemmas, are situations in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in an ethically acceptable fashion. In such cases, societal and personal ethical guidelines can provide no satisfactory outcome for the chooser.” (1).

Human dilemma

Examples of dilemma for all humans are on line to see(2). The dilemma in the movie “Sophie’s choice” is heartbreaking (3), an awful experience of Sophie Zawistowska in Nazi concentration camp choosing between which child she would give up to face death under the hands of evil. The movie Les Miserables (4) is a primer on diverse human dilemma. Jean Valjean’s decision to steal a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s children vs 19 years of horrible prison term; stealing silverware from Bishop of Digne who took him in for food and shelter; breaking parole and leaving his identity as prisoner #42601 to be free and have a new life; to expose his true past to save an innocent person mistaken for him vs abandoning his comfort as factory owner and Mayor of Montreuil, Pas-de-Calais; giving himself up vs hiding in a convent, etc. The cast, viz., Javert, Fantine, Cosette, Éponine, Marius, the Thenandiers, Enjoiras, Gavroche, also have their own unique competing challenges.

As in the secular world, the same is true in the religious society. Stephen, the first martyr after Pentecost post-resurrection of Jesus narrated in Acts 2, was faced with either to preach the truth about Christ or be stoned to death which he eventually opted for (Acts 7:54-60). The rest of the early Christians also chose death over abandoning their faith. Revelations 6:10 heard their cries to God to avenge their blood.

Personally, we all have experienced dilemma. Even if one makes a choice and opts for what is best morally or ethically, the aftermath may still have physical consequence, including death. What then is the solution?

Paul’s dilemma,

The apostle Paul encapsulates this experience and was referred to, in Romans 7 where he found the truth about our composition(Genesis 2:7), mind and flesh, and the choices to be made as to which to follow. Contextually, here was Paul with the gift of “in-dwelling of the power of the Holy Spirit”, guiding his “mind”(breath-of-life/spirit-of-man) to do good, while he struggled with the pull of his “flesh” to sin. As written in:

Romans 7:15-25,

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin”.

Galatians 5:17 (English Standard Version):

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

In the preceding verses, Paul discovered “the inward man”(5), aka “mind/breath-of-life”, where the gift of the Holy Spirit is in-dwelling, to bear the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” . Yet, still wrestling with the “flesh” to do the “works of the flesh”(Galatians 5:19-26) and his admonition to “walk in the Spirit” instead, as in:

Galatians 5:16-17“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want”.

As wretched a man he is, Paul asked “Who will deliver me from this body of death? “. His answer: “I thank God(the Father)—through Jesus Christ our Lord! “.

Paul knew that were it not for the gift of the Holy Spirit’s in-dwelling, he would have been lost. He chose to depend on God’s will instead of his own, remembering as a scholar taught by Gamaliel that “my thoughts are not your thoughts “(Isaiah 55:8-9). He learned from Jesus how to respond to dilemma and how his body has to change as in: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

As he stated in Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Garden of Gethsemane dilemma for Man-Jesus

The narrative in Matthew 26:36-46 takes us to Jesus who was confronted with a dilemma that took him 3 times convincing himself to finally accept the “will of the Father”. His solution was to succumb his personal will to that of the Father’s, whose plan it is for Jesus to sacrifice himself voluntarily as a Passover Lamb(1 Corinthians 5:7). He is our “trailblazer”, “captain”, “pioneer” (Hebrews 2:10-11) towards the way to eternal life. As his “sheep”, let us heed the example of our “shepherd” (John 10:11; Isaiah 40:11) and follow the “will of the Father”, by the power of the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in us.

Why God does not consistently intervene?

We know of instances where God, in his omniscience, can see the person facing sure death, be violated or suffer major injuries, and yet he does not intervene. Some may wrongly argue that God’s failure is tantamount to being an accomplice of evil, albeit passive that may be. We know he can in many instances, like in the book of Daniel, where Daniel was facing fierce lion and fiery furnace and was saved. As narrated in Exodus 12, the Israelites, fleeing the bondage from Egypt were saved from Pharaoh. Indeed, the Holy Bible is replete with many examples like these of God’s intervention. Altogether though it may either be, God exercises wisdom in everything he does even when we are blinded as to reasons. Remember, Ecclesiastes 9:11,”…time and chance happen to all”.

Solution for human dilemma

Notice that in all of these examples, the predicate is always because of our mortal bodies, our mortality because “all have sinned” and merits “death”(6,7). See, also Romans 3:23 and 6:23. And because of risks embedded in our physical composition, we factor this in, consciously or subconsciously, in our decision-making, leading to dilemma.

And God who created human beings, knew this all along and planned for the solution, from the foundation of the world. The long and short of it all, is that our mortal bodies have to change. Humanity has to go through a regeneration process and be “born again”(8), not of mortal bodies that decay in “hades”(grave), but of “immortal, spirit-composed bodies”, the necessary composition to “eternal life” without dilemma.

God instituted this process even before the world began. As humans, through Adam, were counted as all sinners (Romans 5:19) so that with one man Jesus, our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) all will, at time appointed (Ecclesiastes 9:11), be on track towards reconciliation with the Father (2Corinthians 5:18) and subsequent in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit to bear “fruits” (Galatians 5:22-23) toward eternal life.

Summary

Dilemma is nothing new to humans, whether in secular or religious society. This is a fact of our life, being composed of “flesh+spirit” that wrestle with one another. While our “spirit is willing” to do good, the physiologic mechanism to act is hindered by the “pull of the flesh” and tempts it to go the opposite direction. As such, the flesh is truly “weak” and to “finally solve dilemma” our body has to change to another body. This is the solution to our dilemma that is predicated on our “flesh-composed body”.

The gift of the Holy Spirit was then given by the Father to the resurrected Jesus to usward, to dwell in us, as a “Helper”(John 14:26,NASB). This will then develop in us a new body, spirit-composed, immortal and will manifest in a “twinkling of an eye” at the “last trump”(1 Corinthians 15:52), on the day of our “delivery” from a long “pregnancy (Revelations 12:1-2). As prophesied in Jeremiah 18:4, our current “spirit-of-man“, (the real you, Ref. #5) has to be reworked into another vessel, as in;

And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”

Much like the physical body develops from a single cell zygote, so with a “spiritual zygote” that forms through the binding of the “spirit-of-man” and the “in-dwelling Holy Spirit”, the process of spiritual development into a “spiritual body” will follow.

But, this will complete itself by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a life of “overcoming”(Revelations 3:21). Follow the Holy Spirit to bear spiritual fruits, for its rejection will tantamount to “uterine rejection” of a developing “spiritual fetus” in the “church womb” (Revelations 12:1-2) towards “spiritual abortion”(9).

God bless 🙏😇

Original post: September 13, 2018

References:

1. Ethical dilemmas examples. Retrieved 9/2/18 from http://examples.yourdictionary.com/ethical-dilemma-examples.html

2. Ibid.

3. Sophie’s Choice. Retrieved 9/8/18 from https://g.co/kgs/EcpVEu

4. Les Miserables. Retrieved 9/8/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Misérables_(2012_film)

5. Who and where is the “real you”? Retrieved 9/10/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2018/08/30/who-and-where-is-the-real-you/

6.Salvation Series 1. Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

7. Death, What is? Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is

8. Born again. Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/03/12/born-again/

9. Roe vs Wade. Retrieved 9/13/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/07/19/roe-v-wade-why-the-controversy/

What is the kingdom of God?

What is the kingdom of God?

Basic Christian doctrine teaches that the “kingdom of God” is not of this world, it is still future when Jesus returns, it is a kingdom where God rules.

But, to a student of Botany and Zoology, one is taught about the plant kingdom and animal kingdom. Consider therefore that when God created living things, he created angelic-kingdom, plant-kingdom, and animal-kingdom.

But, when it came to “man“, he started in Genesis with “an image of him and after his likeness”(Gen. 1:26). Adam was composed of matter (dust) and “breath of life”(spirit of man) and was created perfectly but “weak“(Matt. 26:40-43). There was a missing component that man needed that Jesus had to die and go back to the Father to get this gift to in-dwell in us (John 16:7;14:16-26). The Holy Spirit is key to finishing the work the Potter has planned for man (Jer. 18:1-6).

God was not creating a “human kingdom” or merely after an “image/ likeness” of him, not just “dust of the ground” (body). In fact, the dust-body will rot and we will be given another but “immortal body“.

Instead, God was creating a kingdom composed of “spirit beings like him“, a “Kingdom of God” above angelic kingdom. The kingdom of God is more than just a “government of God” and a place. It is a “new creation” (II Cor. 5:16-17) composed of immortal spirit-beings higher than angelic beings (Heb. 2:5) and unique to one another, yet “one” with the Son and the Father, all in the “God-Kingdom“, with the Father above all and the Son, our Elder Brother “For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren (Heb 2:11).

Note:

The preceding is only a “thumbprint“, a concise summary, of a process started from the foundation of the world and came to fruition because of the “faith, trust and hope” of Jesus on the Father’s promises to the “seed“(Galatians 3:16).

For further and deeper principles, please access:

https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation/

https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/

https://fact-s.net/2018/08/30/who-and-where-is-the-real-you/

Original post September 18, 2018

Labor Day, always remember who?

Labor Day

The message of Labor Day is diverse and consistent with how a person views it one way or the other. But historically,

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” ..,”The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.”(1,2).

While the American worker did the actual work,(which is their function in the schema of manufacturing), what was marginalized was the role of the entrepreneur/owner who risked his own money to bankroll production of any product. Without this role, will there be anything manufactured? While history proves a strained relationship (3) between management(owner) and labor, at its’ worse, nothing is produced without this cohesion to reach their goals. Indeed, they have to work together.

The ONE we should not forget, the real “creator” of the product?

While all of us pay tribute on Labor Day to the American worker , “did so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — “ really come from them?,

Or, from management/owner or both?

On this Labor Day, are we forgetting to include and fathom in this celebration the real origin of everything that led to our progress?

Undoubtedly, everything that is ever manufactured was created by someone or a group of people. All of them cannot produce except from something that was already made. Clothing, chairs, tables, houses, tools, gizmos, computers, cars satellites, to name a few, have to be made from materials that were already created. Yet, many are still persistent in being atheists or agnostics questioning the existence of an Intelligent-Designer who made all, the “visible and the invisible”. As it says in Colossians 1:16, recognizing Christ Jesus:

“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.(NIV)

On this Labor Day, we should always be mindful of the Creator-God, (4) the one who created “the heaven and the earth” including everything on it(Gen. 1:1-25), the one who said “…Let us make man …after our likeness ..” in Gen.1:26. This same person is the one who spoke as YHVH Elohim (Lord-God)to Moses and the one known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shadday. Notice the following:

Ex 6:2 And ELOHIYM spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am YHVH:

V-3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of EL SHADDAY, but by my name YHVH was I not known to them.

V-7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a ELOHIYM: and ye shall know that I am YHVH your ELOHIYM, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

Deut 10:17 For YHVH your ELOHIYM is ELOHIYM of gods, and ADOWN of lords, a great EL, a mighty, …”

Working now and into the Future

As a “builder/carpenter/tekton, (Mark 6:2-3; Matthew 13:55)Jesus has not stopped “working”, even now. More pioneering work is happening now and in the offing being done, through the power of the Holy Spirit, by Jesus, the “captain/trailblazer/author/forerunner

(archegos)of our salvation, as in Hebrews 2:9-11:

“But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain (forerunner/trailblazer)of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren

From the day of Pentecost in the beginning of the 1st century A.D. through this day and beyond, “work “ continues (5,6) by this Creator-God in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. But before all of these could have been realized, this YHVH-ELOHIM has to incarnate (7) into man/Jesus as in:

Exodus 3:14

“And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.”

John 8:58:

“Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.”

And this incarnation is necessary because, as Romans 3:23 says,

all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”

After incarnation, he has to fulfill his prophesied function as “Passover” (I Cor 5:7) to take the penalty of death for his created beings. Without being incarnated as man-Jesus(a human being/mortal) he would not have died. Death of this specific man the 2nd/last Adam

(1 Corinthians 15:45-49) leads to reconciliation with the Father as in

Colossians 1:20

“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.”(NIV)

The Spirit-of-Man is willing but the Flesh is weak

The breath-of-life (spirit-of-man) that was breathe into our nostrils was activated from potential to kinetic energy that sustained our life processes(8). But this “spirit-of-man” maybe “willing” but the “flesh” is “weak” (9). The fact and truth to acknowledge that the flesh is weak and needs a “Helper” is in itself even difficult for man-Jesus to accept who shed “tears like blood flowing” praying in the garden of Gethsemane . But after the 3rd time seeing his disciples sleeping, exhausted as a sign of limits of the flesh, Jesus then took “the cup”, (voluntarily following God’s will instead of his’) convinced that he had to be crucified and die, so the Helper would be given at his resurrection by the Father(10). As John 16:7 says:

“Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”(ESV)

The Holy Spirit dwells in you at the appointed time

The Holy Spirit of power is the most important gift to Jesus and to us-ward. This is a power not given before to “dwell in” anyone (except in man-Jesus; Matthew 3:16-17; Isaiah 61:1)and more powerful than any power as gravity, mechanical, electrical, nuclear, solar ,etc. This power is “potential” but becomes “kinetic” to work in us. This is then given and received directly by Jesus only after his resurrection and then reciprocally given in turn to those at their own appointed time. First, to the “firstfruits(I Cor. 15:23; Rom. 8:24; Rev. 14:4) then to the latter-fruits at their own time to bear the “fruits of the Holy Spirit”(Gal. 5:22-23). It is mandatory, although not “forced down our throat” but still voluntary, for us to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit “written in the “tables of our heart and mind”(Jeremiah 31:33; Hebrews 10:16). Those who do not bear fruits will be cut/off (Matt 7:19).

Summary

For emphasis, the sine-qua-non in manufacturing is that their have to be materials and labor. The entrepreneur/owner provides the materials and labor (workers) does the work. But where do they get the materials? Nowhere but what was already created on earth. And that comes from the Creator-God, the YHVH-Elohim. Through his work and sacrifice, he got for us this Holy Spirit of power and he is still “working in us” through this power.

Let us acknowledge with humility his role from the very beginning of time. This is the YHVH-Elohim/Lord God, the Word/Logos, Jesus-Son-of-God, that we should also remember as we celebrate “Labor Day”.

God Bless🙏😇

Original post 9/4/18

References

1. Origins of Labor Day. Retrieved 9/1/18 from https://www.pbs.org/newshour/economy/business-july-dec01-labor_day_9-2

2. Labor Day History. Retrieved 9/1/18 from https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history

3. Labor vs Management. Retrieved 9/1/18 from http://www.ushistory.org/us/37b.asp

4. What is God? Retrieved 9/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/

5. Ongoing Creation. Retrieved 9/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation/

6. Kingdom of God in a Human Anatomy. Retrieved 9/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/

7. Incarnation. Retrieved 9/3/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2017/01/12/incarnation-questions-and-controversies/

8. Who and Where is the Real“You”. Retrieved 9/3/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2018/08/30/who-and-where-is-the-real-you/

9. Garden of Gethsemane. Retrieved 9/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/07/26/garden-of-gethsemane-a-teaching-tool-for-all/

10. Crucifixion/Resurrection. Retrieved 9/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/04/21/crucifixionresurrection/

Who and where is the “real you”?

Who and where is the “real you”?

Sounds spooky?

These questions maybe weird to begin with. But, knowing the “real you” will guide us to our ultimate destiny. And here lies the key: what are we composed of and where we really are in that structure?

In the secular world, man is composed of matter. Everything in it is made of organ systems, tissues and cells, which in turn have sub-cellular components and myriad other substances. This structural design comports with the narrative in Genesis except in major details as follows:

In the Genesis account, man was described as having come, not by evolution(1), but as a “created being”. There was a Creator named YHVH-Elohim/LORD-God(Gen. 1:1; 2:4); otherwise known as Jesus the Word (John 1:2; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2. And this particular created man, was formed by God, the “potter” (Isaiah 64:8;Jeremiah 18:1-4) from “the ground”(2) and was placed in the garden of Eden.

This man traced the lineage of Jesus (Matt. 1:1-16; Luke 3:23-38; Genesis 5:3-29). See also Reference (3) for meaning of these names and (4). Specific emphasis should be made on his “human lineage” as the “totality of him”, his spirit and flesh, actually came from above (John 6:38; Ex. 3:14; John 1:1), heavenly and not from earth(5). Please allow this brief digression that after the human Jesus, there were no more “flesh”(matter) offspring from him as he was the beginning or precursor of the “new creation”, of spirit-composed(6,7), immortal beings built into a “new kingdom of God”.

Now back to the main topic: In creating Adam, the Creator-God(Lord God/YHVH Elohim) revealed that the matter-composition came “from the ground” (earth) and was not initially alive. While it was perfectly made, it had no life in it for the cells to function. Notice the description in Gen 2:7 (NIV):

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath (nshamah/spirit) of life, and the man became a living being(nephesh).”

The matter-composed man was derived from the ground, i.e., earthy. There was no life in man when it was created until the breath-of-life was breathe into his nostrils. The life-giving power came directly from the spirit-composed God-Creator and therefore “spirit and heavenly”, the “spirit-of-man”. This potential energy (like any power-energy), the breath-of-life, was activated by God to kinetic energy for the matter-composed man to be alive. It was only after this action that all the life-processes of our cells then started. That “nephesh”(breathing or living being) is composed of “flesh”+ “breath of life”/spirit-of-man. Still, are these 2 components the “real you.”?

Temporary dwelling

The concept of “temporary dwelling” leads one to compartmentalize and point to the “real you”. And, this principle is based on progressive revelation(Isaiah 28:10), viz.,

1. Temples are prototypes where the specific God (the Father) makes his appearance known.

Going back to the history in the Old Testament, notice that YHVH Elohim/Lord God had shown his presence to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob in many instances and to Israel even as he took the Israelites to the promised land. And this he did in a visible way but never in a particular/specific place in a structure, sanctuary, tabernacle or Temple. And yet, the holy Bible states that this specific God manifested his presence to Israel in a tent/tabernacle/sanctuary (Exodus 25–31 and 35–40) and subsequently in the first Solomonic temple (8), which was destroyed during Nebuchadnezzar II era after the Siege of Jerusalem IN 587 BCE. After coming out of captivity, the temple was rebuilt in the 6th century BCE. and was destroyed again during the Roman era in 70 CE(9).

Notice that these dwelling places have compartments and that only in the “holy-of-holies” (10),the specific place with the highest sanctity in these structures and no other part in it, was where this particular God showed his presence. Also, all of them did not last suggesting they were all temporary structures. This specific God did not permanently dwell there at all for a reason explained later in the book of Acts and in Revelations.

But who is this particular God that appeared in the “holy-of-holies”? As YHVH Elohim(the Creator God/Word/Jesus) showed himself in a different, open and visible way, this appearance has to refer to Father God (11) and that it foretells his future in-dwelling.

2. God does not dwell in temples made by human hands.

Notice that all these tabernacle/temples were “temporary” and were made by ”human by hands” and merely a “type”. Here is what was revealed to us later:

Acts 17:24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands

Acts 7:48-49 “However, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me? says the Lord. Or where will my resting place be?”

The preceding means, that he manifested himself in temporary structures but he did not “live, rest or stayed” in there.

3, The living being is the “temple of God”. and not a dead one.

The apostles Paul intimated this concept as he addressed the “living body of believers” in Corinth.

I Cor. 3:16-17

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

I Cor 6:19

What? do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

4. The kingdom of God is “in you”,i.e., “in the living body”.

As the tabernacle and temples made by “human hands” of Israel have compartments, and that God specifically manifested only in the “holy-of-holies” , where exactly is this in the living human body?

In Luke 17:21, it says “…the kingdom of God is within you. “

The English word “kingdom” comes from the Greek word “basilea” meaning realm or territory. This is the place where the Father God will dwell. Whereas, English word “within” comes from the Greek word “entos”, meaning “within or in the midst” of you(not among), the “living person”.

Clearly, the place where Father God will dwell is within the living person. But since the “living being”(nephesh) has 2 components, viz., the flesh body + breath of life(spirit of man), which one typifies the “holy-of-holies” in the living person? Where “in youwill God dwell?

5. God does not dwell in earthy place made by hands.

Recollecting how man was created, the flesh-part was fashioned by the hands of the “potter” from “clay or ground” and therefore “earthy”. On the other hand, the “breath of life”(spirit of man) came directly from the spirit-composed Creator himself, and therefore not earthy” but “heavenly”. This was not made by “hands”, but instead was directly breathe out from a heavenly Creator into the lifeless body and activated it into a “living being”(nephesh).

This “spirit of man”, not the “flesh” is the dwelling place of Father God, his abode, the “holy-of-holies” in the “nephesh”/living being.

Why the need for God’s Holy Spirit in man?

Humans were created with “weak” flesh and a “helper” (John 14:26) has to strengthen the “willing spirit-of-man” (Matthew 26:41). The “spirit-of-man” is willing but has to be empowered by God’s Holy Spirit of power to overcome the “the weak flesh”. Indeed, as Paul said in Galatians 5:17 (English Standard Version):

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

This “helper” was given by the Father to his Son after Jesus’ resurrection. (John 16:7:).In the “spirit-of-man”, God is still building us “to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”

Ephesians 2:19-22

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

1 Peter 2:5

you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Nicodemus dilemma

In the narrative found in John 3:1-8, the dilemma of Nicodemus was addressed (12). After we were “born of water” through natural birth from our mothers, we have to be “born of the spirit” to be saved from eternal death(13). And, this prophesied nd precisely-timed process starts in the “mind/spirit-of/man” to guide and nurture it in the ways of God to be “one” with him. The “promised spirit-of-God” takes abode in the “spirit-of-man”/mind empowering it to overcome the “pull of the flesh” thereby “writing the Law” in the “tablets of our heart”(2 Corinthians 3:3; Hebrews 8:10; Jeremiah 31;33). Through voluntary spiritual growth and development, we will develop wisdom and become “overcomers”(Revelations 2:7-11;v-17; v-26; 3:5-12) of the flesh (not bear its fruits but of the spirit as in Galatians 5:19-26) to subsequently be “born again” (John 3:3-7) as “spirit-composed beings”, immortal, in a “twinkling of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52) at our resurrection.

Summary

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). This includes even humans before and after the Adam in Genesis(14). Because of sin, the created living beings became “enemies”(Romans 5:10) and had to be reconciled by the Creator God/Lord God/YHVH Elohim, the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) Jesus/the Word who took on the penalty of sin through his death at the cross. After his resurrection, he was given the “promised helper”/the spirit(power) of Father God that was then given at Pentecost and still being given now. And this, to take abode in our “spirit-of-man”, the “holy-of-holies” of our living body/nephesh for empowerment of the “willing spirit” towards growth/development and “overcoming “ to be “one” with the Father.

This “spirit-of-man” is the “real you” in the living person/nephesh. This is the “inner man” that Paul referred to in Romans 7:22-23; 2 Corinthians 4:16; Ephesians 3:16. Our flesh-composed body is the “clothing” that will rot in the grave as the “spirit-of-man goes back to the Father at death(Ecclesiastes 12:7), waiting to be “clothe” (1 Corinthians 15:54) on the appointed time with immortal-spirit-composed body at the “last trump”(1 Corinthians 15:52).

The Genesis account of Adam “clothed” with lamb-skin “sacrificed” for him to “cover” his “nakedness” (15) is a prototype of the future.

This reminds me of the movie Karate Kid III: Miyagi said to Daniel La Russo that while the Bonsai tree is broken, “inside you” (the root is willing) must be empowered “to grow” and will recover/heal. The “best karate” is still “in him”. In the ending scene in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, shortly before the Battle of Yavin and destruction of the Death Star, Obi-wan-Kenobi said to Luke Skywalker, “may the force to be with you“. He then closed his eyes and trusted “the force”.

The spirit of God given at Pentecost is the building block for the “spirit-of-man” to grow and be “one” with the Father. While the “spirit-of-man”, the “breath-of-life” is the “dwelling/abode” of the “promised spirit-of-God”, the permanent dwelling place of the Father will come in the future when all become “one” with the Father through the “builder” Christ(Zechariah 6:13; Matthew 13:55;Luke 2:49;Acts 20:28; Eph. 2:13; 1Cor. 3:9-11; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:6,7). The Father will come down from “first heaven” to dwell permanently in the “new heaven and earth” as in Revelations 21:1-3

“Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,”for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God (Father) himself will be with them and be their God”.

Notice that “Spirit-power of God” is “in us” while the Father himself will be “with us” in the “new heaven and earth”

God Bless🙏😇☀️

References

1. How Evolution Flunked the Science Test. Retrieved 8/23/18 from https://www.amazingfacts.org/media-library/book/e/33/t/how-evolution-flunked-the-science-test/laststatus/mobile/mrtype/mobile/postback1387/1?skinsrc=[g]skins%2famazingfacts%2faf-mobile

2. Adam, the First Human? Retrieved 8/23/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2016/12/10/adam-the-first-human-what-difference-does-it-make-2

3. Genealogy from Adam to Noah. Retrieved 8/23/18 from http://thetruthgroup.com/genealogy-from-adam-to-noah/

http://www.africa-israel.org/hidden-genealogy-from-adam-to-noah

4. Family tree of Noah. Retrieved 8/22/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham%27s_family_tree

5. Incarnation. Retrieved 8/23/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/01/12/incarnation-questions-and-controversies/

6. Ongoing Creation. Retrieved 8/23/18 from
https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation/

7. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 8/23/18 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-Anatomy/

8. Solomon’s Temple. Retrieved 8/24/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solomon%27s_Temple

9. Second Temple. Retrieved 8/25/28 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Temple

10. Holy of Holies. Retrieved 8/28/18 from http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7830-holy-of-holies

11. What is God? Retrieved 8/29/18 from https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/

12. Born Again. Retrieved 8/40/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/03/12/born-again/

13. Death, What is? Retrieved 8/30/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is/

14. Adam, the First Human? Retrieved 8/30/18 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/10/adam-the-first-human-what-difference-does-it-make-2/

15. What does Naked Mean? Retrieved 8/30/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2018/04/11/what-does-naked-mean-and-why-were-adam-eve-afraid-and-ashamed

Original post; August 30, 2018

Belief, the mechanism, timing of and meaning what?

Believing is a must-have for anyone to be saved. We have to believe in God and his promises. By believing, we recognize his sovereignty. Without believing, no one comes to the “kingdom of God”(1). It is a critical key that opens the door to salvation (2). This principle is based on:

Acts 16:31”They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Romans 10:14 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

Believing is indeed a sine-qua-non to salvation. We have to believe that God is who he says he is; that what he promised he has the power to fulfill and that his Son-Jesus is the only “way, the truth and the life”(John 14:6). And, this belief only comes after hearing of evidenced-based proof/faith(3). Moreover, it necessitates someone to preach the true “gospel” before one can hear it.

For emphasis, no one believes unless he first “hears”. And, no one hears unless God opens “spiritual ears” nor “see” unless God opens “spiritual eyes”(Job 42:5; Isaiah 35:5; Matt. 11:5). And the power that brings this about is through the Holy Spirit. Notice the special blessing that comes with believing without seeing with our material eyes:

John 20:29,

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me(visibly), thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen(except with spiritual eyes), and yet have believed.

Moreover, spiritual message is preached of and about God and his promises. Additionally, how can someone preach unless sent to preach? Notice:

Romans 10:15

And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!

Indeed, God has to send preachers or messengers of the gospel:

Hebrews 1:1-2

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 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”

As in the Old Testament times with truth expressed in Isaiah 28:10

“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

And, in these “last days” in the New Testament era, the Father had to send his Son, the “pioneer” (Hebrews 12:2), the YHVH-Creator of the universe, to testify for the finality of the “good news”.

Time for the gospel to be preached has come as in his start of Galilean ministry:

“…Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15

Luke 4:21

And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

All of these steps have to initiate in the “past and in diverse manners” but have to be finalized and completed when the incarnated YHVH Creator has been sent as man-Jesus, again at a particular time, after Spirit-baptism at river Jordan, not before. Then the Father will “draw to him” those who were predestined and called at each dispensation era(4).

John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

When did this mechanism start?

Altogether, the mechanism started even before the foundation of the world as in Ephesians 1:4

“ For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Romans 8:29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Moreover, Romans 8:30

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”(NIV).

Ephesians 1:4-5 “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,”

Ephesians 1:11 “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”

Matt. 22:14

For many are called, but few are chosen.(Those with garment ready to attend the wedding).

From the context, truly “many are called” but “few are chosen” suggests that comparatively only few will have chosen to “attend the wedding with appropriate spirit-composed garment”.

Belief is not enough ?

One does not to have to do any personal “works”, which at best, are “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6-8; Philippians 3:8-9) to God. The Holy Spirit is given to those predestined to have their eyes and ears open spiritually at their own time, for them to “believe”, (accepting the “gospel”).

The mechanism of getting this gift of the Holy Spirit is different from what others have taught on the process of salvation, as in(5):

To use an analogy, if someone offered to send you a $100 bill if you would send him a self-addressed stamped envelope, he would be offering you a gift. Simply believing that he would send you the money would not actually get you the money. And if you failed to send the envelope, you likewise would not receive it. You might complain, but you still would not receive the gift because you had not met the conditions. On the other hand, if you sent the required envelope and received the $100 bill, you did not earn the gift. You simply met the necessary conditions. The fact that conditions are attached makes it no less a gift”.

The big difference from the preceding analogy is that there is no pre-condition attached to this gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a matter of “election “(Romans 8:29, 9:16; Acts 13:48; 2 Thes. 2:13; 2Tim. 1:9; I Peter 1:2), a predestination. Election is unconditional as it does not depend on anything outside of God, such as good works or faith. Whether the person likes it or not, the gift of the Holy Spirit for our “ears and eyes to open spiritually” has been planned and given to the predestined for a predetermined dispensation era and that decision was made “from the foundation of the world”. Notice that anytime the Holy Spirit was given, whether to do miracles or guide people, it always depended on no one else’s decision but God’s. This is sovereignty on display. Remember it was God who chose the time(Acts 2:1-47) to show his power in a most amazing way, on the day of Pentecost? This is how we should look at what “gift” means. What one does whether to accept or reject the in-dwelling of this gifted Holy Spirit is the person’s responsibility and of free will. Those who were not predestined to get this gift at this dispensation, will have their time in the future and after the Millenium rule of Jesus on earth.

Summary

For justice and fairness, “time and chance happen to all”(Eccl. 9:11) thereby foreknowing and predestinating all at their own time to “be called”; first the “firstfruits(Romans 8:23) then the “latterfruits”(Rev. 20:4-5). The prequel of this gospel was given through the prophets of old and in the “latter days” given directly by the Chosen One himself, Jesus. And, with the Father sending Jesus (the captain, pioneer, trailblazer), as predestined, to preach the gospel. Preachers, like disciples and apostles, of this “gospel of Jesus “ then have to be sent to those “called” (the predestined ones) during this era. The gift of the Holy Spirit will be given to those predestined to “hear and see” spiritual truths at their appointed time. With ears able to hear and eyes able to see by and through the Holy Spirit, we then believed voluntarily; others may reject to their peril. Belief is a “mental acceptance” that is the aftermath of giving this gift of the Holy Spirit that opens spiritual ears and eyes. No other action yet has been done by the “believer” when the Holy Spirit was given. No “works” yet, hence, a gift. But, with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the predestined (at time appointed), called-out, justified person, then comes sanctification to be “one” with the Father through the end; persevere as overcomers with Jesus, the Elder Brother(Heb 2:11). Only those who persevere in “bearing fruits of the Holy Spirit” will be rewarded and glorified with the promised spirit-composed garment/clothing consistent with immortality and salvation from eternal death. Then, we say: 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 King James Version (KJV)

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God bless🙏😇

References

1. What is the Kingdom of God?Retrieved 7/29/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/07/20/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god/

2. Salvation Series-1, What? Retrieved 7/29/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

3. Faith vs hope, wishful thinking, trust?Retrieved 8/2/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/27/faith-vs-hope-or-wishful-thinking/

4. Resurrection. Retrieved 8/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/18/resurrection/

(5) Is Belief All That’s Required for Salvation? Retrieved 8/4/18 at

https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/you-can-have-living-faith/is-belief-all-thats-required-for-salvation

Original post: August 5, 2018

Garden of Gethsemane, a teaching tool for all ?

Garden of Gethsemane, a teaching tool for all ?

The story of Jesus on the night prior to his crucifixion has been written in the synoptic gospels in Mark 14:32-41, Matthew 26:36-45, Luke 22:39-54 and in John 18:1-12

This narrative is historically poignant as this is the first time in the life of man-Jesus when it was recorded that he prayed so fervently that he “sweated blood”, as in:

And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Notice that it was not exactly blood that Jesus was sweating; instead it was “like great drops of blood”. Otherwise, if it was real blood, he would have had hemorrhagic shock, no pun intended.

One can deduce from this description that the context must have meant “to sweat profusely”, like “bleeding out” sweat “falling down to the ground”. Such degree of diaphoresis suggests the intensity and severity of Jesus’ dilemma. For him, that night was a turning point with cosmic proportion, but why?

Jesus’ life of risks

What is so different at this time? His life has been in danger before, as in:

John 7:1 “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for: he would not walk in Jewry, because, the Jews sought to kill him.”

John 8:59 “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

John 10:31 “The Jews took up stones again to stone Him.”

In all these instances, he slipped away and was not injured. They were like “no brainer” to split from these. These risks were predictably escapable and no harm would come to him. It was not yet his time to be sacrificed.

Also, the first time he was tempted to hurt himself or commit suicide was directly from Satan himself. This narrative was recorded in Matt 4:6; Mark 1:12-13 and Luke 4:9-12. He did not succumb to Satan and overcame him with wisdom with help of the “Helper”(John 14:26;Holy Spirit). Satan knew people, before Jesus, claimed to be the Christ, yet died and gone they were. Nonetheless, Jesus did not divulge his identity to Satan who needed proof that he was the “chosen one”(Isaiah 42:1).

Notice that in all of these risks in his life, he knew fully well that his “time was not yet”, as in John 7:6:

Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime.”

Notice that while his life was in real jeopardy in many instances, he knew that he would not be killed. It was not his time yet.

In contrast, that night in Gethsemane was very different. It was only on that night that it finally dawned on him the anguish of definite death that would come to him by crucifixion towards the end of that day. His life was on the line.

It was the night of Nisan 14 when before the day was over, that he was destined to be killed as a Passover. That night was a very agonizing moment for him that he sweat profusely. And, rightly so as he was in the crossroad of an earth-shaking dilemma, i.e.,to follow his “own will”, praying for the Father to spare his life or succumb to the Father’s will to die for mankind. A wrong choice on his part will spell eternal disaster to everything and everyone that was created, “visible or invisible” (Col. 1:16). His decision carries repercussions of infinite proportion. He understood from the experience of others and from what he saw about death by crucifixion, how this torture leads to excruciating pain, exhaustion and asphyxiation.

Jesus reached the crossroad

So, what decision would he make?

Considering that he is the “only way, the truth and life”(John 14:6) and that “no other name given …by which we must be saved”(Acts 4:12), took on an even compelling pressure on him to make the right and only decision. The wisdom that comes from Luke 17:33 (“he who loses his life will preserve it“) reverberated in his ears. Jesus knew that while he was imbued with the Holy Spirit at river Jordan (Luke 3:22) the Father will “not spare his own Son” (Rom. 8:32; Matt. 4:17).

This was the night that he genuinely recognized his “spirit is willing but the (his) flesh is weak”(Matt 26:41). Although if he chooses, he could be empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome the “pull of his flesh” but at the expense of his life. Indeed, he has to die to “condemn sin in his flesh” as in:

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Romans 8:3)

He had to “condemn sin in his flesh”, not by surviving and living through this dilemma, but by death through crucifixion. This is the only path as planned by the Father for his “flesh” to die before being resurrected with an immortal body. His choice did not come easily nor in a snap. And, him being composed of flesh, he realized that on his own, he was “weak” and needed to summon the strength that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit given to him at river Jordan. He had to “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh(Gal. 5:16).

Teaching moment for Jesus and for us?

On that night, his trust in the Father’s plan that there was no other way but to die, was shaken by the urgency of the reality that he has to finally decide to be a “Passover”(I Cor. 5:7)). He would not be forced into submission and he has to take it voluntarily and with conviction.

What then convinced him of the only correct choice? Reading Mark 14:41, Matthew 26:44 and in Luke 22:39-54, it took him the 3rd time seeing his disciples sleeping, reminding him that like him, the disciples’ “spirit is willing but flesh is weak”. This optic of similar weakness of his fellow-flesh, finally made Jesus to realize that “human flesh is weak” and he had to die for mankind, i.e., “take the cup”. By his own personal experience, and even with the Holy Spirit imbued in him, he in fact was initially preferring to stay alive instead of dying a horrifying death,i.e., “let this cup pass from me“. His spirit is willing to die, but his flesh was telling him otherwise. The spirit and the flesh were at odds, at war with another, as expressed by Paul (Rom. 7:15-25).

After the 3rd time coming back praying in Gethsemane, Jesus said,

Truly the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41-45; Mk.14:38-42).

Finally, on that night in the garden of Gethsemane he decided,

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”(Luke 22:42, NIV)

For emphasis, man-Jesus’ personal will (being drawn to the flesh) was not to die as a Passover for mankind. His weak flesh was battling against his spirit. But, without “taking the cup” he would not have been resurrected by the Father, nor subsequently gifted with the power of the Holy Spirit to us-ward. The Holy Spirit baptized into him at river Jordan was specifically for him. He had to get that same power, but this time after his resurrection, for him to give to us. The fact is, that he subjugated the personal pull of his flesh, to the will of his Father by the power of the Holy Spirit that guided him with wisdom. And that decision was no simple feat but rather a major one with eternal ramifications. He chose voluntarily to follow the will of the Father and said, “…not my will, but yours be done.” They are indeed, “one” with each other.

He restored his trust in the promise of his Father to be resurrected after his death. Again the emphasis in this story in the garden of Gethsemane is trust and the reality of the warring components of our body, i.e., flesh and spirit-of-man (1).

Subsequently, history shows that 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, he was “manifested/declared as Son of God by resurrection from the dead”(Romans 1:4). Indeed, he was declared or called or named as “Son of God” after resurrection, went to heaven and received the Holy Spirit directly from the Father to be given to us (John 16:7). And, on the day of Pentecost it was gifted with openness and grandeur to the apostles and others(Read Acts Chapter 2) with the purpose of creating “many sons and daughters of God” as in:

Heb. 2:10 “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffering.

Heb 4:15

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” (NIV)

Summary

Death by crucifixion was the preferred torture and common during the Roman Empire. That night of Nisan 14 in the garden at Gethsemane was a seminal event that led to a major decision of Jesus. It was the turning point of colossal proportion in the road to salvation for all of us. A horrifying night to the “captain of our salvation“ who faced, not an escapable risk, but with his actual death through the horrifying anguish of crucifixion. Sweating profusely “like great blood” flowing down the ground, he emoted the gravity and intensity of his prayer and supplication to the Father to “spare the life” of his Son. But, there is only “one way” and “truth” towards eternal life and that the Father will not “spare the life” even of his only son. Jesus has to be the “Passover Lamb”, chosen specifically by the Father, for a “sweet offering” (Eph. 5:2) to reconcile man to the Father, to die rather than live (Luke 17:33). And this destiny, Jesus had to accept willingly and voluntarily, not mandated nor forced down his throat. And Jesus did accept the Father’s will, meekly and reverently!

The teaching moment was for all of us, including man-Jesus, the “pioneer” (trailblazer, author) of our salvation (Heb. 12:2). We all have to “live by faith” , follow the Holy Spirit that guides us to correct decisions and not succumb to the “pull of the flesh”. While we may have the Holy Spirit residing in us, we will still be tempted, like Jesus was, and undergo sufferings because of the “weak flesh” that man was composed of (1). Also, like what Jesus did, we have to follow (especially at the “last days “) the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pray always that we will not be subjected to crucifixion which was replaced historically by “waterboarding” or any “enhanced interrogation techniques”(2,3). But, even when we do, just remember to “walk in the spirit” so as not to follow the “pull of the flesh”. And apostle Paul followed the example of Jesus, too.

To Paul, whose life seemed to be round-the-clock risk, the scriptures state:

Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea” (2nd Cor 11:25) and very often “in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” (2nd Cor 11:27)

Finally, the strength to overcome the risk and pain of losing one’s life in this world or pull of the flesh is trust, anchored on faith that is evidence-based, and hope in the promise (4) that he who loses his life in this world will save it for the age to come. The optic of Jesus crucified on the cross is the epitome of trust in the Father that all of us must learn.

May God bless us all.🙏😇

References:

1. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy, Retrieved 7/26/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/

2. Eric Weiner. Waterboarding: a Tortured History. Retrieved 7/28/18 from https://www.npr.org/2007/11/03/15886834/waterboarding-a-tortured-history

3. Waterboarding. Retrieved 7/28/18 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/waterboarding

4. Faith vs hope, wishful thinking, trust. Retrieved 7/28/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/27/faith-vs-hope-or-wishful-thinking/

Original post: July 28, 2018