Since Jesus died, how could God die?

A puzzling question, indeed.

The earthly life of Jesus and that he died by crucifixion have been authenticated by secular and religious sources (1). But, since we were taught that God is eternal, how could he have died? Some argue that it was not really Jesus who died but a substitute (2). Even some during Paul’s time denied his resurrection from death (1 Corinthians 15:12).

This is confusing and at least stultifying depending on one’s concept of:

1. What is God?

2. What is “death”?

3. What are we being saved from?”.

3. Incarnation

After reading the preceding hyperlinks, hopefully one’s “spiritual eyes and ears” will see and hear today. In essence, these links highlight that there is no “upper case” in the original Hebrew word “elohim” translated from Old Testament to an English word that starts with capital letter “G” as in “God“. Moreover, the word “elohim” beginning in Gen. 1:1 and on, is a generic or common name. It can refer to the only true God the Creator that we have to worship, false gods to be avoided, god as angels (like Lucifer the god of this earth/world), rulers like kings , even ordinary man: see Concordance on “elohim“.

Much like the common name Smith, the proper name John Smith identifies which particular Smith is referred to. In Genesis 1:1, the “common name” of the Creator God is “Elohim” and was specifically identified with a “proper name” in Gen. 2:4 as “YHVH ELOHIM” or Lord God in English. To Abraham (Exodus 6:3), he was El Shaddai Elohim, to Moses he was YHVH Elohim, but to John, he was Logos (John 1:1). This YHVH ELOHIM is numerically one, and “above all gods” (Ps. 95:3; 135:5), the only Lord God commanded to Israel to be worshipped and not any other; this became the basis of Israel’s SHEMA doctrine (Deut. 6:4). No one knew about the Father God, as Father/Son relationship was not yet introduced until the baptism at River Jordan(Matthew 3:17). This follows the principle in Isaiah28:10 , as in “…precept upon precept,… here a little there a little…

The immortal Creator God “elohim” or YHVH ELOHIM/Lord God is also named LOGOS in John 1. He incarnated into a human, (with 2 components same as any human, although unique to one another) thus recognized by Paul as man-Jesus(1 Tim. 2:5), to die for Adam’s and mankind’s sin to reconcile us to God the Father. This particular Elohim was the God referred to in the Old Testament. Whereas, the Father was the God referred to, in general, in the New Testament. They are indeed different, unique, yet “one“, as we are all different, yet will be “one” (in mindset, not different from) with our Lord God Jesus and our God the Father (I Cor. 12:12; 12:20).

Without this incarnation into “mortal flesh-composed flesh” like Adam, the “spirit-composed and immortal Creator Godwould not have died. This is an absolute and profound expression of love(John 15:13) and faith “of” Jesus (Rom. 3:21-22) for him to “give up his divine/spirit composition” (Phil. 2:7) and be human to die. Indeed, there is no greater love than for one “to give his life for another”(Jn.15:13). As man-Jesus, a mortal flesh, he is still “god“, as in John 10:34.

Regarding death, the mechanism can be understood by going back to the “creation of man”. Remember that Adam was formed “from the ground, and it was good” but became “living” or alive only after the “breath of life” was breathed into him (Gen. 2:7; 7:21-22). Presence of this “breath of life” in “mortal fleshdefines life or death. Functionally, we observe this among newborns; unless there is spontaneous or artificial breathing, they are dead.

This is why death happens when the “breath of life”, (the “spirit of man”) leaves the “mortal flesh“, goes back to God the Father and our physical body becomes “dust“(Eccl 12:7). What happens to that “breath of life/spirit of man” depends on what the Father decides. Without that “breath of life” given or restored into another body, “physical or spirit- composed”, for practical purposes, the person is dead,i.e., non-functional because it has “no-body“. Consider, all “data” in the computer can be downloaded into a “thumb-drive” and you can take that anywhere you go. The computer may be buried/ destroyed but the “data/ memory” in the ” thumb-drive” can be “restored“, “accessed“, can express its contents/memory, in a “new” computer(new body) thus like being “resurrected“.

With the context laid out in the preceding prolegomenon, Jesus is the Creator God YHVH ELOHIM, Logos and eternal, the “same yesterday, today and forever(Heb. 13:8). As a Creator God and Logos, being “spirit-composed“, he is immortal. But, as incarnated “mortal flesh“, yes god “died” for our reconciliation to the Father and to save us from 2nd death, an eternal death.

Summary

Jesus was El Shaddai/YHVH/Logos and as such was spirit-composed, immortal and “above all gods”. Yet, out of love for his creation, he incarnated to be flesh-composed human with 2 components as other humans, and as such died by crucifixion. And his death was counted, as promised by the Father, as substitute for death of mankind due to Adam’s sin(Romans 5:12-21).

Power is so important and comes only from the Father God. There is mechanical/electric power without which no engine will function; solar, nuclear, gravity and other powers came from God. Our body will not function without the “energizing power“, “the breath of life”, given by God. In Genesis creation, the Creator/YHVH/El Shaddai/Logos created the angels, the universe, plants-animal kingdoms and humans with a “creative-power”. After Jesus was resurrected by the Father, then and only then, was he given this new and distinct creative power”/Holy Spirit” as a reward to Jesus for his “fruits of the Spirit“, to create us into (Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18 ; Romans 9:21) a God-Kingdom, all spirit-composed. The Holy Spirit given to us as a gift for us to “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit”.(See Ref. 3,4,5).

God Bless 🙏😇

References:

1. Early Secular Sources support Bew Testament Accounts of Jesus. Retrieved 3/7/2019 from https://christian-apologist.com/2018/02/17/early-secular-sources-support-new-testament-accounts-of-jesus-divinity/

2. Jesus didn’t die on the cross and a substitute was used?. Retrieved 3/8/2019 from https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081007204424AAE76m8

3. Ongoing creation. Retrieved 3/8/2019 from https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation

4. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 3/8/19 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/

5. What is the kingdom of God? Retrieved 3/8/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/09/12/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god-2/

Original post: 8/21/2015

Revised and reposted with Hyperlink:3/8/2019

Jesus, author, finisher of our faith

To understand this verse, let us examine the original Greek translation from the verse, get the other English rendering of the words in question, parallel that with other writings of Paul for context and then get through the historic effectivity of what has happened on our “way to salvation“(John. 14:6).

Hebrews 12:2Looking unto Jesus the author (archegos) and finisher (teleiotes) of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

The English translation “author” connotes “originator” and may not be accurate. It appears that the essence of “archegos” may actually be the “beginner” and not with connotation as an “author”.Author” comes from Greek word “archegos” which also means chief leader; one that takes the lead in any thing and thus affords an example, a predecessor in a matter, a pioneer or trailblazer.

While the Son started it, a well-established truth is that it was the Father who planned all and the Son that executes the plan. This truth is proven by :

“But when the fulness of the time was come, God (Father) sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”(Galatians 4:4-6).  

The Father did not just do the “sending” but also established the “time” when the Son will be sent or incarnate through ” a woman“(Mary). 

Even all creation, while actually done by the Logos/Creator God/YHVH (just saying the “word“) was also because of and planned by the Father (I Cor. 8:6; John.1:3; Colossians . 1:16)Moreover, Peter and Jude confirmed that it was the Father who orchestrated salvation in the covenant. Election, and foreknowledge (I Peter 1:2), and Sanctification (Jude 1) refer to the initial act of God whereby He chose those whom He loved and set them apart to salvation before the foundation of the world.  God(the Father) foreknew people,”For whom He did foreknow…” (Rom. 8:29). God’s choice of a people before the world began was based on His own initiative to establish a covenant relationship with those whom He loved: “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God…” Those whom He loved and chose, He also set apart for Himself, that is, He sanctified them (Jude 1). 

Similarly, the Father “sanctified” the Son (i.e. set Him apart in the covenant of grace) and sent Him into the world (John 10:36, He also sanctified His people (again, He set them apart in the covenant as His own special people) and “sent redemption” to them: “He sent redemption to His people: He hath commanded His covenant for ever: holy and reverend is His name ” (Psalms 111:9). It was precisely this group of people, i.e., those set apart in the covenant, who were redeemed by Jesus Christ: “For by one offering He hath perfected forever them that are sanctified” (Heb. 10:14)

The Galatians passage presents God the Father as the great Choreographer of salvation, dispatching (sending) the Son (v.4) and the Spirit (v.6) at the precise and appropriate time, in order to bring us into his family as His adopted sons. The Father who initiated the covenant also orchestrates and deploys the covenant requirements for salvation (Eph. 1:5).
As to “…finisher (teleiotes) of our faith“, consider the following:
While it was Jesus who started/began, as in  “And I am sure of this, that he who began (enarchomai) a good work in you...”

He will also “bring it to completion (epiteleo) at the day of Jesus Christ.“(Philippians 1:6)

enarchomai: to begin,commence

epiteleo:to fulfill further; to complete,to bring to an end, to make perfect.

Jesus is the firstborn among many brethren (Rom 8:28-30), and through Him we receive the promise of the Spirit (Galatians 3:13-14).
Finisher” is from “teleiotes“:a perfector; completer, consummater, one who has in his own person raised faith to its perfection and so set before us the highest example of faith.
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 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,    Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.    And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.” (Hebrews 2:10-13)

And being made perfect, he became the author (aitios) of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”(Hebrews 5:9aitios: that which is the cause of anything resides, causative, causing;source

Summary

The Father planned everything and the Son concurred willingly (not forced) with the strategic plan and executed his Father’s will. This occurred even before creation of “invisible and visible things”. The promise of the Father to Jesus from the very beginning (because of the “faith of Jesus”) has come true, viz., 

1. Jesus’ death, as a consequence of Adam’s sin, would  be imputed as mankind’s death to reconcile mankind to the Father. 

2. That Jesus, as promised, would be resurrected by the Father and rewarded for his “works” to receive the Holy Spirit for us.

3. That the Holy Spirit will imbue or in-dwell in us, being a template or temporary temple (as it did man-Jesus at river Jordan) to seal us and sanctify us, so all of us will be “one” with the Father(yet many) through his Son,…us being the “body of Christ”

4. That as the “flesh is weak” it needs the Holy Spirit “written in the fleshy tables of our heart” for all of us to be empowered to follow the Law of Love which summarized the Ten Commandments ,”written in tables of stones”.

At their own time and dispensation, those predestinated, called, eyes/ears spiritually opened and who have faith in Christ and bearfruits of Holy Spirit/works” will reign with Jesus in the Millenium and in the “new heaven and earth” with the Father.

Hyperlink version posted: 3/7/2019

Original post: May 16, 2015

In Search of an Ideal Government?

Throughout history, this search is on-going.  
From the narrative in Genesis, Adam & Eve did not subject themselves to a theocratic government by disobeying God and were subsequently driven out of the “government in the garden of Eden“. Nimrod (the rebel), in a way, wanted to substitute his autocratic reach to the heavens (Genesis 11:1-9) through the Tower of Babel to make a “name for themselves”.

Saul, David, Solomon, etc. also had a government that appeared to be aligned with God’s government. Yet, even these biblical patriarchs, supposed to be chosen by God, had a fleeting loyalty to him and “their kingdoms” succumbed. And throughout history, men of high esteem had leadership and moral compass yet these attributes were not durable nor lasting. The Egyptian and Assyrian empires did not last. From the successive Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greco-Macedonian and Roman Empires, the common denominator they all share is disintegration and short life span. The 15th through the 20th century saw the demise of Spain, France, Germany and England as a world power. In WW II, Nazi Germany attempted to dominate Europe and even Russia. While in the Asian continent, Japan tried to sell a propaganda of Greater Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. All over-extended themselves and failed. Coming out of the ashes of WW II, the League of Nations did not see the “light of day” and was replaced with the United Nations. Will the latter succeed? In Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC/Common Market) was originally established as an economic integration by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, became European Community(EC) in 1993 by Maastricht Treaty, and eventually transformed into more than economic alliance, the European Union (EU) by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. In the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant (ISIS/ISIL), came into being and is a threat to global peace. Will these human geopolitical collaboration for dominance succeed or end much like the Tower of Babel and the “image of Nebuchadnezzar” that will “break in pieces” as prophesied in Daniel 2?

Now remains the U.S.A. as an undisputed world power with the $US as “reserve currency“, money held to pay international debts, since 1944 Bretton Woods agreement setting exchange rate of 1oz. of gold to US$35. Yet, in spite of this currency advantage over other countries, fiscal and monetary policies to address mandatory and discretionary demands took the US to an unprecedented $18T (now $22T) debt and social programs like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid to an unsustainable trajectory. Is the U.S.A over-extending itself, like others historically, to suffer through this vicious cycle towards oblivion? With additional socio-political unrest, racial division, illegal immigration within an atmosphere of terrorism and wars in multiple fronts, it becomes questionable whether the best form of government, a Constitutional Republic, will also be “transitory“.

These successive events should make one wonder. Did God really plan for us to have the best form of “human government” (aka “human kingdom”) as the ultimate in governance? Are there indications that point otherwise? Are humans, in their present composition,”the pinnacle of creation” or just “an image or likeness of him”, perfect yet temporary? What role are humans destined to play in eventual “world government“? It may take a suspension of disbelief, for one to reconsider traditional teaching of biblical verses written millennia ago.

Consider that governance started off in the Genesis account, as a “theocracy” and not a democracy, not even a Constitutional Republic. One may argue that a supreme and powerful leader, answerable to no one, maybe the answer. Yet, history belies that even a benevolent king, or a charismatic dictator could be the answer. There is still something missing in a human leader. Undoubtedly, God is the best leader. But, why did it not work with Adam & Eve? After all, didn’t God have the power for theocracy to work by force at the garden of Eden? Puzzling indeed !

But is it really an enigma wrapped in mystery? It is clear that God did not use force for compliance and man’s “free will” prevailed or allowed as planned at the garden of Eden. But why did Adam’s disobedience occurred ? Could that have been prevented or was that a “given” and expected by the Creator? Could the reason be that man himself, his nature, when and how he was originally and purposely created, was perfect yet temporary? After all, the omnipotent and omniscient God knows the limits of his creation.

Going back to the narrative in Genesis about the creation of man, may help answer this question. Gen. 2:7 states that he was formed from the “dust of the ground”, meaning that his composition was “material“, not spiritual. Continuing the verse, Adam was not alive when created from dust, but became alive only when the “breath of life” was breathed into him by God. Therefore a “living person” is now composed of “dust + breath of life” to become a “living soul/person”. The “dust” is the material part of man that came from the ground, earthy. But what about the “breath of life“? Is this like the “air” we breathe? Remember, that without this “breath of life” the dust-body has no life, i.e., dead. In James 2:26,the body apart from the spirit is dead”, suggesting that this “breath of life” is the “spirit of man”, therefore “spiritual” and given directly through breath by a spirit-composed God. This “breath of life” is not the material gasses that we breathe like oxygen,nitrogen, etc. Rather, it could be a God-given “component” of man that “initiates life”, the spiritual component that “energizes” all human functions, like breathing, heart pumping, thinking, moving, feeling, etc. A “spirit-energy” much like the mechanical, electrical or nuclear energy that provides power for things to function. A living man/person or a “living soul” is thereby made up of “material and spirit components”, the body which is material and the spirit(breath of life) which is spiritual. Zechariah 12:1 attests that God formed this spirit in man. This spirit in man imprints the memory of everything one experienced through the 5 senses(1 Corinthians 2:11). It can be parallel to the “operating system” in a computer, without which all components are defunctionalized.
Death of man happens when this “breath of life”, this spirit of man, leaves the body. The two can be divided (Hebrews 4:12); “the soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Also, Ecclesiastes 12:7 explains that when man dies, “Then the dust (our body) will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit ( breath of life) will return to God who gave it.” Having thus stated, and that while man was created “perfectly” like God’s image (Genesis 1:27), it was nevertheless created only from “matter” (dust) and therefore “weak“. Notice what Jesus said, “ truly, the spirit (of man) is willing but the flesh is weak…(Matt. 26:40-43). Not only is man “weak” (the body), but also only “a temporary dwelling”. Remember that the “tabernacle” in the Old Testament is a “temporary dwelling” of God. Read through Exodus chapters 35-40 about the tabernacle of God. See also the temple during Solomon’s time (1 Kings 8:11-12), the Temple rebuilt under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:12; 6:15, 16). By Jesus’ time, the Temple had become a den of thieves. In A.D. 70, the Roman General Titus destroyed Herod’s Temple.

The message in all of these is God showing that these tabernacle and Temples are temporary dwelling of God. But notice that these temples are merely “types” of us and we are the actual temples that God planned to dwell in. Read Acts 17:24,God who made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.” Also, Acts 7:48, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands”. But it was prophesied that God, through the Holy Spirit will dwell in us. Read “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit …” (Matthew 3:11); and “…you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38); [See also Acts 5:32; James 4:5; Rom. 5:5; Eph. 5:18.]

Essentially, man needs another component that was already planned by God from the beginning to imbue in us to assist the “weak flesh”, to be “strong” to overcome evil. “What is man that God is mindful of him?”, so asked David in Psalm 8:4-6 and repeated by Paul in Hebrews 2:6. God, as a Potter, has desired to work on his “clay” again as in Jeremiah 18:4, with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Clearly, God desired to dwell in us, the temple not made by human hands, through his Spirit. This Spirit will again “energize and empower” our “weak flesh” by working with and guiding the “spirit of man” ( breath of life) which was already given before. This is another vital component, a new “operating system” that is given by grace and as a gift that can empower us to overcome evil. The first operating system” that initiated life to Adam, the spirit of man/breath of life, needs this add-on new O.S.

The Holy Spirit teaches that one must believe (Hebrew 11:6), repent (Acts 2:38), and be baptized for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16). Also, the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, will “seal, sanctify, guide, teach, and give us power” to have the “mind of Christ”(Rom 12:2; Phil 2:5-11; 2 Tim 1:7) and be “conformed in the likeness of his Son Jesus”(Rom 8:29). Yes, we shall be like “his Son“(I John 3:2-3), different from each other and unique, yet “one” with Jesus(I Cor 12:12 ; Rom 12:4), as we will be “one” with the Father.

God has a timetable and a purpose for man. And that purpose is for the “Spirit of God” to dwell in us, the temple (I Cor.3:16). The spirit of man with the Spirit of God. In fact, Jesus died and resurrected, for us to receive this Holy Spirit of God. See John 16:17, Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Also, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

Summary

All human governments will fail as they have never been the plan of Almighty God who knows what is best. In taking the Genesis creation of man into consideration, God has initially created an “image and likeness of Lord God (YHVH ELOHIM”). This “image” however was temporary, just a “temple or template” and therefore “weak”. As presently composed, man can not govern “self“, much less govern others with consistency of goodness. The “missing link” is for the Holy Spirit to in-dwell and proven after first in-dwelling in Jesus at the river Jordan. Eventually, God planned for mankind not to stay as “an image” only and not to stay “weak”. Instead, we will be “empowered” like man-Jesus in our current state. Eventually, in the future, to receive a spirit-body, “put on immortality“, “one with him” as the “future world” will not be subjected again to angels but to us (Heb 2:5). As in I Cor. 2:12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God” (the Father). Also, Eph 2:22 “…builded together for an habitation of God(Father) through the Spirit.” After creating the universe, plant and animal kingdoms, however with man, God is not creating a “human kingdom”, but a “God-kingdom” , all with immortal bodies, with Jesus as the Head and us with him as one. At the end of time, the Father will be over all and in all.

This world government will be a “theocracy“, a God-Kingdom. The theocracy in the garden of Eden did not work because of man’s deficient composition. Humans will have a role but only after having been transformed by the Holy Spirit working with the “spirit of man“, and be “one” with Christ, in an “immortal” state (not physical), at resurrection., with immortal bodies as God. He that has “eyes to see and ears to hear”, may he be blessed to recover from blindness and deafness.

God Bless 🙏😇

Original post:7/26/2015

Revised and Reposted: 3/6/19

with Hyperlink

Basic Statements

VISION:
For the whole world to understand the centrality and uniqueness of Jesus Christ in the ultimate destiny of Man towards the creation of the God-Kingdom.

STRATEGY:
That everyone through the medium of cyberspace, can have an interactive exchange of ideas, tempered by humility, individual inadequacy and respect for one another’s revelation given by none other than God himself.

MISSION:
1. To gather facts, seek the truth, establish the spiritual meaning thereof for the ultimate enhancement of faith to the glory of God.
2. To seek out the first-fruits, and witness for the latter-fruits.

AIM:
To share the knowledge that we are privileged and blessed to know and understand, for evaluation by each other, to educate and not to pontificate.

VALUES:
Galatians 5:22,  Fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

MOTTO:

Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might. Eccl.9:10

Do all the good and the very best you can, by all the means and ways you can, at all the time and places you can, for as long as you ever can, even through eternity.

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

BIBLE REFERENCES:
King James version unless otherwise specified.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS:
All contents belong to the Foundation for the Advancement of Christian Truth and Spirit unless acknowledged to be contributed by others.

Posted 09/24/2001

Revised 12/25/2010

ARE WE SAVED NOW or STILL BEING SAVED?

ARE WE SAVED NOW or STILL BEING SAVED?

Traditional Christianity teaches that we are now saved. And, coming from “the elect”, this may take a willing suspension of disbelief. To their peril, some preachers even extended the concept to nowonce saved, always saved”’(1), (2).

Accordingly, no one can lose salvation, so they say. But, then how could we already have been saved when we are still in our flesh-composed bodies”? The answer lies in our understanding of what salvation really is and what “born again” means. Please access this link for hermeneutics on the subject of salvation and born again: (3),(4).

Because we are currently “flesh-composed“, we have “expiration date” from which we will be resurrected from. This is the first death which is reversible. Those who died will participate in the “first or second resurrection” and their death can be called “sleep“, meaning temporary. Essentially, salvation is defined as and referred to “saved from eternal/2nd death”(5) or attainment of “immortality” having been changed “in a twinkling of an eye” into “spirit-composed body”. Being”born-again” has achieved this goal. Obviously, no man has attained this state except the “man Jesus”, hence called “trailblazer/author/captain/source/pioneer of our salvation.

He is the only human who was resurrected with “immortal body” as a path and a “trail blazed” for all humans, the “first of the firstfruits”(Ezekiel 44:30;1 Corinthians 15:20), the “wave sheaf offering” (Leviticus 23:11).

What does “saved” then refers to?

Everything about the use of the word “saved” is about “how” we are saved; not timing of salvation.

Saved by faith now is a mechanism of salvation and in fact has been established from the beginning. But salvation per se is still future, when our mortal flesh-composed body has been changed in a ”twinkling of an eye” to a “spirit-composed body “.Death where is thy sting? is relevant only after resurrection where it will have “no sting”. We are indeed “saved from eternal/2nd death”.

Can we lose our salvation?

The way or mechanism of “saved by faith” still holds. But our salvation can not be lost since we do not have “immortal bodiesyet. Only Jesus has “immortal body”, being the “first of the firstfruits”. As such, his salvation is secured and cannot be lost. What we do not have, we can not lose. But, we will have salvation in the future. Paul’s advice was: “work out your own salvation(Philippians 2:12). “Work out” suggests “towards the future” and notnow”. In the ” book of life“, a person written there, still”can be removed”(Exodus 32:33; Revelations 22:19). See also the principle laid out in Matthew 25:14-30.

Mechanism of salvation

Jesus’ faith was what initiated salvation. It was the “faith of Jesus” (Galatians 2:16 KJV) in the Father that what was promised to him would be fulfilled. As promised, YHVH/ElShaddai was incarnated into a human-Jesus, whose death was accounted and imputed by the Father to all mankind as he had also reckoned all mankind as sinners because of Adam’s sin. As Paul said, “one man sinned…all sinned” and on death… “one man’s death accounted for all”(Romans 5).

This is the law of evidenced-based faith (Hebrews 11:1) towards our reconciliation with the Father, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, all promised while we “were yet sinners”(Romans 5:8). However, it was “works/fruits of the Holy Spirit” that brought reward (See gift/reward) of resurrection towards immortality for man-Jesus. Same track will other humans go through, including suffering, of having faith and good works through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. As Jesus was “perfected through suffering”, so shall we suffer in overcoming the “pull of the flesh” for our sanctification.

Summary

For by “grace are we saved through faith”(Ephesians 2:8) is the mechanism, then and now, by which we are saved. But, the actual salvation is still future because it requires a process of “being saved”. Now, we are not yet “saved” and what we don’t have we cannot lose now. The only human that reached immortality, free from eternal/2nd death, was Jesus who has shown “the way, the truth and the life”(John 14:6). He is indeed the “trailblazer, pioneer, captain leader and author of our salvation”(Hebrews 2:10)

Jesus (YHVH/El Shaddai in Genesis) created us all as a template, a “temple” for the Holy Spirit to in-dwell at an “appointed time and chance”(Ecclesiastes 9:11). We are still undergoing a process of “being saved”(6).

The actual salvation is when we are “born again” at resurrection reflected in Revelations as a product of the “woman/church in labor towards delivery.”(Revelations 12:2). Having been delivered, we will be “spirit-composed” bodily, thus, immortality. At that time, indeed, “Where,O death is thy sting?”(1 Corinthians 15:5).

God Bless😇🙏

References:

1. Once saved always saved? Retrieved 2/2/19 from http://enrichmentjournal.ag.org/201203/201203_070_Once_saved_always_saved.cfm

2. Once saved always saved, teaching refuted. Retrieved 2/2/19 from http://www.christianissues.biz/pdf-bin/miscellaneous/charlesstanley_oncesaved.pdf

3. Salvation Series 1. Retrieved 2/2/19 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

??4. Born Again, how and when? Retrieved 2/2/19 from https://fact-s.net/2019/02/22/born-again-how-and-when/

5. Death, What is ? Retrieved 2/2/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/12/06/death-what-is-2/

6. Ongoing Creation. Retrieved 2/3/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation/

Original Post: 3/5/19

Born Again, how and when?

Born Again?

Are you a “born-again Christian”? Many in today’s world, claim now to be so (1). That, because we are “saved by faith“, and since we now have faith, that we are saved now and “born again now“. But, is this a tenable teaching? When, really, can one be “born again and when are we saved”?


A Must, to see the Kingdom of God

The critical significance of being “born again”cannot be overemphasized. Jesus himself alluded to this principle when Nicodemus approached him “at night”. Notice the narrative in John 3:1-8 (NIV):

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Jesus affirmatively without equivocation and emphatically, that the only way to see the kingdom of God, and by common parlance be saved, is to be “born again. For anyone who was already born, it can be puzzling to be born again. And Nicodemus, a learned and member of the Jewish ruling Council, carried the same doubt. Continuing on:

How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

From the above narrative, one sees that Jesus acknowledged the difference between the 2 births as far as the original makeup and end-product, i.e., “flesh gives birth to flesh” but the “Spirit gives birth to spirit“.  It originates with flesh/matter and the finished product is flesh; and so does the spirit starts it and finished with spirit-product. There is a physical birth that manifests as flesh-composed and a spiritual birth that manifests as spirit-composed. Also, a flesh-composed birth is visible, whereas, “everyone born of the Spirit” …”you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going“. Spirit-composed person is “invisible” as Jesus is , although with the capacity and power to be seen, as in the narrative between Him and Thomas post-resurrection(John 20:24-29).


Birthing is a Process

As a common knowledge, being born of water in a physical birth is a process. Biologically, it takes a process of fertilization of the ovum by the sperm (both matter) to develop into a zygote, then development into maturity for about 9 months in the womb of a mother before delivery as a full-term newborn flesh-baby, i.e., “flesh gives birth to flesh“. Similarly, and by extension, being born of the Spirit is a process that follows the same stages, spirit to spirit, i.e., the “spirit of man” (psyche/mind, the spirit-component of man) has to be “fertilized” by the spirit of God(baptized by), goes through the process of mind-development in the “womb of the church” through sanctification and guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, develop wisdom, bear fruits shown in action, be an overcomer before delivery into “full-term” immortal glorious-spirit body at resurrection; i.e., “spirit gives birth to spirit”. This spirit-birth is yet future as in:

 For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God”(Rom. 8:19). (at the resurrection of the firstfruits.” ( Notice that they “manifest” as spirit-composed sons of God at resurrection as flesh-composed humans “manifest” themselves at birth).



As physical development in the womb may not come to maturity and can “abort“, so can spiritual development in the church may not come to fruition (by not being overcomers) and although “written in the book of life” (Rev. 3:5; 17:8; 20:15; 22:19; Phil. 4:3) may not “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit” and miss out.


Why the need for the Holy Spirit in us?

Man is “weak” as far as the “flesh” is concerned because this “flesh-body” is ephemeral and will die and decay as it was formed from matter, dust, ground, earthy and will go back thereto, as in:

Eccl. 12:7″ and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

It did not come directly from God, unlike the “breath of life” (spirit of man) that made the body a “living being” (compare Gen. 2:7, Jer 18:1-6 and Rom.9:21). But this “spirit of man” gets all its influences from the physical senses and stores them in memory; it becomes a composite of all the flesh experiences.This “spirit of man” (psyche/mind) needs conversion, re-education through the guidance, direction and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, to be strong, be “one” with God, before a “glorious body” will be formed. Jesus alluded to the weakness of man’s flesh in:

Matthew 26:40-45 “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? . See also Mk. 14:38-40

It took Jesus 3 times to see the weakness and limits of flesh-composed humans to be convinced that he had to die for mankind and and be resurrected to receive the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit from the Father. Our flesh-composed bodies have limits, not only about “sleep-deprivation“, but also on “pull of the flesh” and “appointed towards natural death”.


How will man be strengthened ?

Prophesy has been made to achieve this event of empowering man. Consider the following:

Jer. 18: 1-4 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. (Man sinned and became marred so God remade the clay to be better)

Isa. 29:16 “You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding “?” (we were made clay but marred and incomplete and God has planned for this).

Isa. 64:8 “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (God is still working in us through the power of the Holy Spirit).

Isa. 45:9 “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?”



Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” (Whether  young  and vigorous, strength was future, but now is developing, as the Holy Spirit has been given)

Jeremiah 31:25 “For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes”

Rom. 9:20 “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” ( we were made flesh + “breath of life” and God planned to empower him in time).

The preceding verses proved that while man was made as such, God will re-visit him to be transformed and “be made again”.


Why make man weak in the flesh and the Ultimate End?



The answer lies in Heb 2:6-18:

But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. 

But now we see not yet all things put under him. 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 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, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.      

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.For in that he himself hath suffered “.

While the above verses refer directly to man-Jesus, being the precursor for humans(author/finisher not only of faith, Heb 12:2), the indirect reference was to humans in general. Essentially, man (same as man-Jesus) was created lower than angels, flesh-composed (weak) but with the “spirit of man” in him. Yet, humans (as man-Jesus) is the best of creation and destined to “reign or have dominion over all” (Gen. 1:26). Even so, he is vulnerable to sickness and natural first death. As Heb. 9:27 states:

it is appointed for man to die once and after that the resurrection“.

Being matter/flesh-composed, Adam would die a natural death, “as appointed“, which is the 1st death. In general,  all flesh deteriorates, ages and dies, a natural death. The consequence of sin of Adam in Genesis is death, eternal death or 2nd death, not natural death. Since Adam sinned and his sin in the garden of Eden was “counted” or imputed to humanity, this resurrection  referred to for all is towards “damnation” or “eternal or second death” in “Gehenna fire” (John 5:29) unless this eternal/second death has been paid for, and Jesus did.

This is why the Creator YHVH(Jesus) became human to suffer death by crucifixion, (a natural first death being flesh-composed but also to be delivered as promised by the Father from second/eternal death for sins of mankind) so that through his natural death and on his faith, he can “deliver humanity from the fear of (second/eternal) death“. And this, by having his imputed “eternal/second death”, as a promised substitute (Passover-lamb) for mankind’s consequence of sin. Accepting this promise on faith(evidence-based, from which trust and hope emanate) then reconciles humanity to the Father. With the resurrection of Jesus, he was then given the “gift of the Holy Spirit” (by the righteousness of faith of Jesus) to be subsequently given to us. The Holy Spirit in us then “sanctifies” those who follow instead of rejecting his will.

This prophecy that God will re-shape and strengthen man found the start of its general fulfillment for mankind on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit of God was sent. Read this event in Acts Chapters 1 & 2 when this power was given. The same power that dwells in the “spirit of man”, in the holiest segment of the temple (the holy of holies) which is in us, has been guiding, teaching, nurturing the “spiritual zygote” being developed in us during this “period of sanctification“. Remember that God does not dwell in a “temple made by hands” (Acts 7:48). The Holy Spirit is the power that is writing the Ten Commandments, “not in tables of stones but in the fleshly tables of our heart”(2 Cor. 3:3); yes, while still in these flea have-composed bodies. Paul continued to affirm that this is the power that helps our weakness and strengthens us, as in:

Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;”




How and to whom this Holy Spirit was given?

For us to answer the question, one has to be clear about the effect of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Specifically, Jesus’ imputed  “second/eternal death” is substitutionary for our second/eternal death” that came about because of Adam’s sin at the garden of Eden. The consequence of being flesh-composed is “natural first death that all humans are appointed to, including man-Jesus. Whereas, the consequence of sin is “second/eternal death“. Jesus died a “natural first death” by crucifixion, having an ephemeral flesh-composed body.  But, because of Jesus’ faith in the Father’s promise that he trusted and hoped for, he did not stayed dead in the tomb or die a “second/eternal death”  which is a consequence of sin; instead he was resurrected to eternal life as promised. All mankind’s sin was imputed to one man Adam (and all died)so that being delivered (as promised) from  “second/eternal death” of one man-Jesus would be imputed to all. The “natural first death” was not the one imputed as we are all appointed to die , being flesh-composed that has “expiration date“, so to speak. Jesus’ trust and hope that is faith-based to be delivered from”second/eternal death” reconciles us to the Father. Again, “faith of Jesus” (not his natural death) was reckoned and imputed by the Father as payment for the consequence of Adam’s sin (representing mankind’s sin) so that we will be reconciled to the Father. As necessary as that natural death is, his natural death did not finally save us. Rather, we are saved by “his life” (has to be resurrected from natural death to life) as in Rom. 5:10 ,

For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!” 



Notice that we were reconciled to the Father through ( not by) the natural first death of his Son, but by the “faith of Jesus”. He needed to die a natural first death, be resurrected to life to go get this Holy Spirit from the Father, as in John 16:7:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you”



Summary:

From the beginning, we were originally composed “flesh” out of clay/ground/earthy, on hope of future change. As such, “the flesh is weak but the spirit is willing“. The “spirit of man” is the “breath of life“(psyche) that did not come from clay but came directly THROUGH “breathing in his nostrils” from a spirit-composed God/YHVH, therefore “heavenly, not earthy“. The flesh is “weak” being mortal and needed change to an “immortal spirit-composed body“. But, before this change, the “spirit of man” needs to be fertilized/baptized/immersed by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the “holy of holies” (our mind), the temple not made by hands but by “breathing through” directly. And this event, like in Pentecost,to be guided on choosing “good from evil” through a process of sanctification that takes time, writing in the fleshly(not stony) tables of our heart, like being nurtured/developed in the “womb of the church”.

To be “born again” is to manifest as a “glorious spirit-composed body” which can only happen at resurrection, not before and not now; it is still future. Much like flesh-birth that the zygote has to develop before actual birth, spirit-birth is also a process that takes time to develop before it actually happens in a”twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:52). Jesus’ faith on imputed “second/eternal death, reckoned by the Father, paid for the sin of humanity as a consequence of Adam’s sin that reconciled us to the Father. On the faith of Jesus, he was then resurrected as promised by the Father to go to heaven and receive the promise of the Holy Spirit of power. Jesus then subsequently has been giving this power to those who believe,i.e., “the faithful”. Through a process of “sanctification” by the Holy Spirit of God, we then become “one” with the Father. Any “good works, decision or righteousness” that come from us, our “flesh“, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit are as “filthy rags” and as “dung” to God (Isa. 64:6;Rom. 3:10; Phil. 3:8-9). Good works as “fruits of the Holy Spirit“, not “fruit of our own flesh” , are still “our works” but a product of the “gift of God” which is the power of the Holy Spirit. Even Job has to be “lectured” by God that while “perfect” on his own,  he was still dirty in the eyes of God. (Read the whole book of Job).

Our righteousness is the “righteousness of our faith” that started with faith “of” Jesus for which he received from the Father, reconciliation and the promise of the Holy Spirit then given to the faithful to bear “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, not fruits of our flesh. It has to be God’s fruits in us and not our fruits that come from flesh. One can deny or reject the guidance of the Holy Spirit, (be aborted) because freedom of choice is key to the development of wisdom and to be “one” with the Father. Even Jesus with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has to correctly choose between “his” will and that of the Father’s (Matt. 26:39; Lu.22:42) to be “one” with Him.


May God continually bless us all. 

References:

1. History of born again:

http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/Born-Again-Christians-Christianity-Evolution/2015/02/06/id/623238/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_again
http://www.giveshare.org/churchhistory/born%20again.htm
http://about-i-am.net/bornagain.html

Original post:March 12, 2017

Who to worship and who are the “true worshippers“?

Who to worship and who are the “true worshippers“?

From the time of Genesis, people have been worshipping God(1). While there are “gods many and lords many”(1 Corinthians 8:5), the only true God commanded to be worshipped at that time was the Almighty God(El Shaddai), Lord (YHVH), Word(Logos) who incarnated to Jesus Christ (see Exodus 6:3; 20:3; John 1:1, John 1:14). Then, the Father God was not known as Father-Son relationship was first officially introduced at baptism in River Jordan (Mark 1:11; Mark 9:7; Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5; Luke 3:22; Luke 9:35; 2 Peter 1:17). Father/God was described as “Ancient of Days” (Daniel 7:13). Moreover, at that time, and prior to Pentecost (Acts 2), the “living beings/soul” (nephesh in Genesis 2:7) were worshipping God with the components they were made of. Then, the Holy Spirit/Helper/Advocate was not yet given and therefore they cannot “worship him in Spirit”. It was only given after Jesus was resurrected(John 14:15-17, John 14:26;Acts 1:8). And now, the same Jesus, the Son of God, is directing us to pray and worship the Father (Matthew 6:6-13; John 14:6; John 14:13-14; John 16:23-24; Ephesians 3:14-17) in his name.

This is based on:

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)

That being said, who are the “true worshippers?

John 4:23-24

“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth: for the Father is seeking such to worship Him . GOD is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth .”

Indeed, “is coming, and now is”…”will worship”.., being futurist. This was prophesied to come only when the Holy Spirit was given to in-dwell in the “spirit-of-man”, (breath-of-life)the holy-of-holies” the temple not made by hands, in our “mind”. True worship that God acknowledges is from those He in-dwell the Holy Spirit to. The key element to identify “true worshippers” is the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. Without it, we are like the “devil who believes” (James 2:19) and classified as “false worshippers”(2 Kings 17:33; Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 15:8-9; Mark 7:6-7; John 4:22; Philippians 3:3). There are many who actually worshipped the God of Abraham at that time and followed him, but not the Father who was prophesied to be worshipped “in spirit and in truth”. However, before in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, there worship was like “dung” (Philippians 3:8) as “goodness of “man’s works”, did not come as “fruits of the Holy Spirit and as such, are like “filthy rags”(Isaiah 64:6). Read my posts(2,3).

And, currently people claim they now “worship the Father”. But, is that “in spirit”? Unless, they have in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, any claim may not be true. Especially in the last days, there will be many who claim that they are “Christians” and may show fakefruits of the Spirit. Even the “Beast” will show miracles and restore Temple sacrifices (Matthew 24;15-16, Matthew 24:21; Daniel 9:27; Daniel 8:11-12; Daniel 11:31) and will deceive many.

The point being is that only Jesus himself knows who are in his “body/church” i.e., who he gave the Holy Spirit to. Much as “works” express “fruits of the Holy Spirit“, atheists and non-believers can feigngood works”. Job who actually followed God “to a tee”, did not have yet the Holy Spirit, was “perfect and upright” following the Commandments. The only human who was imbued with the Holy Spirit was the man-Jesus at River Jordan. The take-home message is that one cannot be absolutely sure and therefore not to judge one whether Christian or not, but leave that determination to Jesus himself. While we can only use our personal and unique good judgment, nevertheless let us not be “judgmental“. Let us look up and not down or sideways “judging one another“. Instead, let us do the best we can and focus on our one-to-one relationship with God. We can “trust-and-verify” but still the reliability of our verification process may still be flawed.

Summary

Before, El Shaddai(God Almighty), Yahweh/YHVH(Lord), Logos(Word) aka Jesus was the one known to be and was worshipped. Since the advent of Jesus, he himself commanded us NOW to worship the Father, in his name. The “true worshippers” are identified as those with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the key from which “true worship” emanates. We can follow the advice : ” by their fruits you shall know them”(Matthew 7:16). Yes, indeed, but we can be misled. Still, only Jesus himself knows who are in “his body/church” and no one among us can absolutely be certain of the veracity of claims as many are deceivers, especially in the “last days“.

God bless 😇🙏

References:

1. What is God? Retrieved 2/2/19 from https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/

2. Incarnation, are we missing the ultimate purpose? Retrieved 2/4/19 from https://fact-s.net/2019/01/04/incarnation-are-we-missing-the-ultimate-purpose-for-it/

3. Ongoing Creation. Retrieved on 2/4/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation/

Original Post/Hyperlink: February 5, 2019