Gun violence, what to do with the mind where evil may reside?

Recent shooting that resulted in deaths in Gilroy, CA “Garlic Festival“, El Paso Texas and Dayton Ohio re-ignited the call for “what to do“. Advocates of 2A right and gun-control groups will again surface that will fan the flame and stoke the fire on an already “toxic environment” we find ourselves in. Finger-pointing will be right-on-the-heels before the day is out. A well-known aphorism will again be quoted that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

And that begs the question: Do guns, by themselves, kill and should be banned? If so, some argue that other means to kill may have to be banned as well, like knives, cars that mowed down crowds, stones and even fists…sound ridiculous, indeed.

Taking extreme scenarios from both ends of the spectrum, history shows people kill even before there were guns. Remember, Cain killed Abel without using guns. But, at least, why not ban assault rifles? Some argue that on having the most destructiveweapons of war, during the height of “nuclear race between USA and USSR, there was no exchange of nuclear missiles against each other because of MAD (mutually assured destruction) which was an effective deterrent that led to “detente. Sen. Lindsay Graham has semi-automatic rifle for self-defense in apocalyptic scenarios” (never used it for offense), should his weapon be confiscated or banned? On the other hand, statistics show that gun violence not only increased in frequency but also in severity and lethality according to this opinion, that should give gunrights advocates an occasion to pause regarding “assault weapons and gun themselves“. Still, others maintain that realistically and urgently we need to do something.

While there are certainly measures like “universal background check” that can be implemented, still it has its own shortcomings. Likewise, “Red Flag law“, aka ERPO or GVRO can complement the preceding UBC, although it has its own unique detractors invoking violation of 2A right to bear arms and 4A right to due process. POTUS45 appears to support those initiatives. Notably, in response to the Las Vegas shooting, bump stocks have been prohibited by executive order of Pres. Trump. Others cite danger of false claim, like “swatting“, used against law-abiding persons with registered guns

Aside from the above, there are other salient proposals to reduce gun violence and promote gun-safety. With lawmakers in branches of government divided on this issue, bipartisanship is evermore needed to enact law, to be doable. Nevertheless, while humanity can do its best to find, prioritize and act on solutions, still, we have limits and boundaries.

Starts with the Mind

Inanimate objects like guns or knives don’t have life of their own to harm or not; only the person decides. Since this issue is difficult and sensitive, controversy then continues to no end.

Be that as it may, these proposals do not address the core issue of “mental state“. Notwithstanding the concerted efforts of the nation through it’s representatives, it is the “mind” of the people that decides whether to engage in or act out violence, harming others or not. Undoubtedly, it is the “mind-set” of a person that makes him/her to act out violent behavior. It can be a mental disease/disorder or the mental state of any “Tom, Dick and Harry”. And, this “mind” is a composite of what collectively the person developed from birth and matured into adulthood. It is an accumulation of what the person concludes to be the best for self-interest or self-preservation that makes the person. History is replete with examples to buttress this mental mechanism to act which requires MOM (motive, opportunity, means). Understandably, assault weapons compared to glock or knife, as “means“, have ease of use to kill more people, should their sale be banned? Culture and philosophy in politics also play a role in how the person thinks and acts.

Still, what can be done about this problem of the “mind? Behavioral health providers proposed ways and means to help alleviate this problem. But, there are myths and evidenced-based facts on this regard and statistics are incomplete. According to a Northwestern study, available gun violence data doesn’t show full picture.

Loopholes in the law are also factors. According to a new Duke Health analysis, “People with serious mental illnesses who use guns to commit suicide are often legally eligible to purchase guns, despite having a past record of an involuntary mental health examination and brief hospitalization,

With that said, Glen Geher, PhD. was pessimistic and was quoted “if the violence problem is due to mental health issues, the future is bleak“.In fact, in a powerful Psychology Today post from 2015, my colleague Jean Twenge provides a mountain of data speaking to the facts that (a) a broad array of psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, have increased in frequency since the 1980s and (b) this observed pattern is not exclusively the result of over-diagnosis. In short, our nation is getting less and less mentally healthy with time

The problem is multifactorial and not just because of mental health according to Dr. Geher. One can then argue that because of the complexity surrounding gun-violence, that this is all the more reason to favor gun-control and allow gun ownership only at home or elsewhere for self-defense consistent with 2A. Additionally, the responsibility and obligation to defend others devolve to a “regulated militia” aka, police authorities in the city, state or federal governments under subordination to or governed by civilian power.

While collectively as a nation we must endeavor urgently to find ways and means to solve domestic and foreign terrorism, at best, humanity can only do so much. Clearly, an all-encompassing solution to this “crisis in gun violence” is not in the offing. Yet, wasn’t the perfect solution alluded to, generations ago? Read on.

Man Created with Weakness

What is wrong with humans? In all of our history, there is good and evil done by humans. Governments rise and fall, wars and rumors of war all throughout, etched in memories written or not. Certainly, there are progress, advancements, peace and prosperity. A good man can do bad things and an evil man can become good, as we define for ourselves what is good/evil at any given time; no consistency in action. Also, there are many laws in the book, many are laws of morality, but not followed nor enforced, why?

This brings to mind the same problem with Israel and the Law, specifically moral laws, the Decalogue. And apostle Paul explained why we do what we do and do what we don’t like to do in Romans 7 as highlighted in Romans 7:18 (KJV)

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” 

Romans 7:14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” 

From the preceding, Paul addressed one of the 2 components of man: physical component which is the “flesh“,i.e., “carnal” that came from the ground/earthy. Obliquely, the other component was intimated: the “breath of life”, aka “spirit of man”, which is spiritual as it was breathe into Adam’s nostrils directly from God who is spirit-composed. He echoed the principle that in “flesh” dwells “no good thing” as far as God is concerned, even with “all righteousness coming from it“, rendered to be as “filthy rags“. This was understood later by Job that in spite of him following the moral Law perfectly on his own, he was still a sinner (assigned to the sin of Adam) that needs a savior; “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you”

Essentially, the Law is spiritual (moral laws) and therefore requires “spiritual/moral power to overcome the “lust of the flesh“. There is “war” between our mind and flesh and that we are incapable on our own to consistently follow the “spiritual/moral law until the Spirit-power in-dwells in the real you” to empower us.

And once this Helper/Advocate is given to human beings, it will write the laws in our heart and mind (no longer in tables of stone) to guide, teach and empower towards seeing the truth. And this Holy Spirit was given only AFTER man-Jesus was resurrected and went to the Father.

With the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, we were commanded to :

Galatians 5:16-17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please“.

Galatians 5:16-26So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Summary

Gun violence is a major and urgent problem for all of humanity. This will continue in spite of our best efforts because of inherenttemporary weakness” of our physical/material creation. Evil starts in themind” aka “spirit-of-man” which was created as a “temple”/template. It starts there, whether they be gun violence, sexual abuse, greed, pride, hatred, etc. and for that matter, any temptation or “pull of the flesh”. Yes, we can change our mind, on our own, through experiential education, like Job. However, this will not last nor be consistent as strong forces dominate self-interest and self-preservation. Our “very best efforts are like filthy rags“. Our “mind/spirit-of-man” needs an Helper/Advocate to empower it against evil as proven by man-Jesus after in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit at River Jordan. But, rejoice, as this inadequacy of man will be eventually empowered by the promised “in-dwelling” of the Holy Spirit to work with our “spirit-of-man” to follow moral laws.

Let us therefore ask and pray to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit as man-Jesus was. Our development and maturity are still in the process of “ongoing creation” to be “one” with the Father.

God bless 😊🙏😇

Original post of Hyperlink version: August 8, 2019

Updated Sept 2, 2019

Why was the offering of Abel respected and that of Cain was not ?

It boggles the mind why this happened. Both of them gave their very best, yet one wasrespected” and the other, not, why? Here is the narrative:

Genesis 4:3-5And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell”

It appears that the tradition of offering to the Lord was already established at that time. And they gave what they deemed to be the best. However, the text says that one was respected and the other was not. First off, what does “respected” in the original Hebrew mean? The root word comes from sha`ah also meaning bewildered or dismayed. From the context, the offering of Cain was not “respected” while that of Abel was. But, why? What could be the reason?

Possible Reasons

Many have written possible reasons/explanations of this narrative. It is a fact that God “commanded the children of Israel at the time of their harvests to present the first fruits of their wheat, barley, olives, and the like to the Lord, and said in Numbers 18:12-13, that the best of these things which the children of Israel offered to the Lord was to be given to the priests as their portion”. So it would appear that up to that point the offering itself was not the problem.” The offering itself was not the problem, really?

Another reason given was based on I John 3:12, speaks of Cain as that wicked one and his works were evil. “We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous.(NLT). Here, the text appears to suggest that Cain, being an “evil one”, for what he “had been doing” can not be respected.

Three things emerge from this narrative;

1. The character description of who and what was the person giving the offering. It says: Cain had “been doing evil things” while Abel was doing what was righteous“.

2. The origin of the offering itself. It says: Cain offered the fruit “from the ground“, earthy, while Abel offered firstling of the flock“(firstborn).

3. Who decides on defining 1 and 2. Only God is the decision-maker about what he “respects” and “like”.

What message was God sending?

Consider the following:

God didn’t like “fruit of the ground“. He didn’t like the fruit from “the earth“, which is related to “hades” or death. Instead, God chose living-representation as in “firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” coming from living progenitor. This presaged the future “Passover Lamb“, the firstborn among many brethren and the “fruit from above/heavenly”. This is the only true offering” that the Father planned for mankind for reconciliation of all humanity.

Meaning, YHVH/Jesus has to start the process of salvation with his incarnation, receive in-dwelling of Holy Spirit at River Jordan, develop “fruits of the Holy Spirit of power”, die at Calvary for reconciliation of humanity because of Adam’s sin. That, before anyone of us bears fruit of the Holy Spirit, this has to be given first to Jesus after his resurrection then through the in-dwelling in us of this “spirit-power”, Jesus will be “with and abide/abide with us by through the Holy Spirit in us”.

This in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us develops us to be “one” with the Father as man-Jesus became the first human to be “one” with him.

Summary

Before the beginning of time, there was already a planned offering to the Father for reconciliation of mankind; this was an unwritten covenant between the Father and Son. The narrative of Abel and Cain is futuristic. It is an expression of that plan for which the “offering of Abel was respected and Cain’s was not”. However, Abel’s offering was only s “type” and the “anti/type” was still generations later. God the Father is the decision-maker as to what, when and who that actual offering would be.

There is no better offering, a “sweet savor” to the Father but an incarnated YHVH/Creator, the man-Jesus, the one person who would give his life for mankind to pay for the consequence (death) of the sin of one man, Adam. However, while his death achieved gift of reconciliation for humanity, man-Jesus’ “fruits of the spirit” gained him reward of resurrection into eternal life to then receive the gift of Holy Spirit of power as promised to be bestowed to us for “ongoing creation“.

God Bless🙏😇

Original post (Hyperlink version): August 15, 2019.

Retirement, What one should do?

Sooner or later, the time to retire from our gainful employment comes and one wakes up to an inescapable question: What to do?

Practically all those employed have some plan for retirement. Pension plan, IRA, attending seminars prior (and even after) retirement comprise some of it. WebMD has “10 Motivational Tips to Keep You Healthy”

“Always active-Beverage better-Choose calorie wise ” on health has been written in a book.

Practically all of these address the physical and material components of man but not the “spirit of man“. the “real you“. Preparing for “this life” is laudable and necessary. But, even more critical to our life is the “after-life”. Have we done so?

To begin with, do we know our destiny and the “Bible’s bottom-line“? With these in mind to “equip” us, we will soon realize the truth of “ongoing creation“.

Clicking the links hopefully will add to our “retirement plan”? God bless🙏😇😊

Original post: July 26, 2019 Hyperlink version.

Ultimate Covenant:First and Unwritten?

A covenant is a promise for one to do to another. It maybe conditional or unconditional, unilateral or bilateral; unidirectional or reciprocal. It can be between God and man or another like earth, as in Genesis 9:13. Covenants have been made since the beginning of man’s life on earth.

Genesis Adam

The proximate Creator God, the El Shaddai/YHVH-Elohim/LOGOS promised, as planned, to make man “in our image, after our likeness” and so He did without any precondition, (Genesis 2:26-27). And, this was only as a start for man in his destiny as the promise to have “dominion… over every creeping thing…on earth” (like disease-causing organism) has not yet been achieved; and that requires immortality. As a “created template” it projects into the future for in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in his ongoing creation of His body, the church.

Covenant at time of Noah and on

While Noah followed the direction of God, he was still a sinner deserving death but he, and representative animals found grace to live without precondition, as in:

Genesis 6:5-8 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Genesis 6:12-13 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth”.

With Noah, Genesis 9:11 states God’s promise:

I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth“.

Instead of all life ending, some were saved based on grace. This has no pre-condition and there is a sign/proof of covenant as in:Genesis 9:13,

I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

On reviewing verses with covenants, one sees the promise for one to do to another maybe conditional, unconditional or general; unilateral or bilateral; unidirectional or reciprocal.

Moreover, for completion, these promises/covenants are prospective and ultimately referred towards one, “the seed“, as in

Galatians 3:16The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ.“(NIV).

More importantly, as the covenants are prospective to man-Jesus(anthropos-Jesus), it retrospectively reverts to the Creator-God/El-Shaddai/YHVH-Elohim/LOGOS, “before the beginning of time” as in:

2 Timothy 1:9-10He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.

Unwritten covenant between Father and Logos and How of salvation

While all covenants were between God and man(or earth), the “first unwritten covenant” was between the Father and Son “before the beginning of time. Consider this:

2 Timothy 1:9He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,”

The preceding verse tells us that our salvation was not because of our “own works” (we were still sinners)but was purposely planned and by the grace of the Father. And, this “grace was given us, in Christ Jesus”, meaning because and through him. Moreover, this was an unwritten covenant between the Father and LOGOS(Jesus) “before the beginning of time“. Yes, before Genesis, prior to you and I, or anything else, were created,i.e., before sun, moon and stars (the universe).

But, the actual meaning/interpretation, the good news/gospel, was not revealed prior to Paul’s ministry until after Jesus was resurrected to life as proof of the Father delivering what was promised;

2 Timothy 1:10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”

Salvation, a sine qua non to immortality, is the goal in the creation of the God-Kingdom. But, how did we get saved? And when did we get saved? Was it when it was promised? And, when was this promised? Was it conditional or unconditional ? Was it written or unwritten? These are questions that eluded many prior to, but revealed through the ministry of Paul, whose knowledge was by the teaching of Jesus through the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in him.

As important as our faith (in) him is, of and by itself, it is nothing without the faith (of) Jesus in the Father. The Father has to promise, before faith is summoned in his ability to fulfill what was promised. Jesus’ faith in the Father started and initiated all that has been subsequently promised. His faith in the Father is absolute, having been the only one who was with him even before creation (John 1:1-3).

This is the faith-to-faith principle as in: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. – Romans 1:16-17

The so-called “father of the faithful” is Abraham (Gal. 3:6-8) as we are the children of Abraham. But, the faith of Abraham was in El Shadddai, YHVH Elohim, Jesus the Creator, the God that he knew, to deliver his promises. But before Abraham’s faith, his Creator/Jesus also has faith in the Father who no one has seen (but Jesus). So from the faith originally (of) Jesus/Creator in his Father, it transcended from YHVH ELOHIM’s promise to Abraham and to others. Indeed, from faith to faith.

This faith (of) Jesus is based on a covenant. As there were covenants between Abraham and God, Israel and God, new Israel and God, all of these covenants were after the unwritten covenant way before creation, between YHVH ELOHIM/Jesus and God the Father.

But, what was covenantly promised by the Father to Jesus, even before the creation of the worlds? This promise was not preached as a specific unwritten covenant and has not been understood as such until this time, in this generation. This covenant, way before all other covenants that followed, essentially is for YHVH ELOHIM to die (Rev. 13:8) as incarnate Jesus, as payment in full for the sins of YHVH’s creation(imputed to first Adam), to reconcile us to the Father. In return, the Father would resurrect Jesus to receive the promise of the Spirit to dwell in the “fleshly tables” of our heart. This will then transform us into the “body of Christ” as an eternal salvation, and be “higher than angels”(Heb.2:5-18). The Father is creating not a plant- kingdom, not an animal-kingdom and not even a human-kingdom.

Historically and futuristically, all human kingdoms will be destroyed. There will be a fulfillment of the “dream of Nebuchadnezzar” (Daniel 2). It will no longer be “an image/template“, but a God-kingdom, a “new creation” within the “body/church of Christ“.

Jesus’ faith is in the Father whose promise is for mankind to be “in the body of Christ“. This will be fulfilled. His faith in the Father is on solid grounds, as our faith in Jesus is

Summary

The unwritten covenant that trumps and preceded all covenants is between the Father and Jesus before the beginning of time. This was then re-promised by El Shaddai to Adam, Noah, Abraham and others. This is UNconditional as we were not yet in existence and definitive because he is assured that the Father will keep his promise that is faith-based on grace and love of God.

God bless 🙏😇

Original Post: June 16, 2019 .A hyperlink Father’s Day Dedication

Equip, What, When and How?

In any organization, the leader has to be well-equipped, as well as the members to achieve the goal they are purposely meant to be. Each member has to be similarly equipped with “mind and actionable power“. With empowerment of the “team“, together everyone achieves more.

Team and group dynamics are essential. This principle is basic if anyone seeks and expects to reach success. What we learned as key to success in the secular world is a predicate to what is primordial also in the “spirit-realm“. An “equip student-seminar 2017″ highlights the importance of being “equipped”.

What to be equipped with?

What to be equipped with, depends upon the goal. In the narrative between Nicodemus and Jesus , undoubtedly, the goal after humans are “born of water” (after having been born into this world) is to be “born of the spirit”, is the creation of a “God-kingdom” from our human anatomy. And, this key ingredient has to be a Helper, aka Holy Spirit, in-dwelling in us to empower our “weak” though perfectly-made composition(Genesis 1:31). We need this empowerment to help our “willing spirit/mind to overcome our weak flesh“(Matthew 26:41) to do God’s will, as Jesus did in Luke 22:42 and as advised for -us in:

Hebrews 13:21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.(NIV).

Notice that it is through Jesus Christ who got this Holy Spirit/Helper/Advocate/Comforter only after his death and resurrection as in John 16:7ESV. And with that power, he now is giving the Holy Spirit of empowerment to whomever he will, as a gift, at their particular time of “calling” to be readied for “harvests“.

When and How equipped?

As already indicated at the outset, the leader has to be equipped first. In human history, all humans failed as a leader until the prophesied true human leader came into being by the process of incarnation of the EL SHADDAI/YHVH Elohim I AM/Creator God/Logos; see Exodus 6:3; Exodus 3:13-14; John 1:1. He was the first human equipped with in-dwelling gift of the Holy Spirit of power directly from the origin, the Father, at River Jordan as in John 1:32

Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.

From then on, this power was first manifested by overcoming the “god of this world/age”, aka Satan, then followed the miracle in the wedding in Cana turning water into wine. There was no proof in the Bible of miraculous power done by Jesus prior to those events, whether in infancy, childhood or adulthood.

But, then, it took his resurrection and for him to be alive to receive this Holy Spirit from God to give as a gift to mankind. He could not receive this at death. His death brought reconciliation of mankind with the Father. As the Creator God, Jesus breathe into Adam’s nostrils the life-giving but temporary breath-of-life. Conversely, his resurrected life will bring to mankind an eternal life-giving power. Temporary in the sense that even with that life-giving power given in Genesis by the Creator God, we still die; in contrast, this life-giving power from the Holy Spirit that was received by resurrected Jesus from the Father is for our immortality. With that power, he could then give it as a gift to whomever he planned as “called” in preparation for “spring and fall harvests”. Pentecost was the first time in-dwelling occurred to other human beings.

How this Holy Spirit became available was through a process that started with a covenant between the Father and EL Shaddai/YHVH Elohim/Logos which entails a creation of a God-kingdom. For the Creator-God(Jesus) to do this , he had to create an “image or template” of God (Genesis 1:26), the creation of man(Genesis 2:7). But, while Adam was created perfectly, he was still “weak” to overcome evil, like temptation from Serpent/Satan, and sinned despite God’s admonition againsteating the fruit”. Being a sinner, he will suffer “eternal/irreversible death”, for which a Passover Lamb Christ had to be sacrificed for reconciliation with the Father. And for that to happen, the Creator God had to incarnate, grow and develop to maturity before receiving to himself the promised in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit at River Jordan. With his crucifixion and death that paid for mankind’s sin accounted to Adam’s sin, he was then resurrected (as promised to this human trailblazer) to achieve the reward of immortality and receive the gift of Holy Spirit for others paving the way for their salvation/immortality.

This Holy Spirit becomes figuratively the “spiritual sperm DNA” that “fertilizes” the “spirit-egg DNA, aka our mind”, to become a “spiritual zygote“. This is a “token/deposit” that establishes the “seal as adopted child of God” that will guide, nourish, develop to maturity and will “declared/appointed/manifest as “born again” at time of resurrection. The process by which the Holy Spirit in-dwells in us is through Jesus giving to whomever the Father called towards Jesus.

Summary

As a predicate to spiritual, secular success depends on equipping. The first to be equipped with the Holy Spirit of power was man/anthropos Jesus, our leader, captain/author of our salvation, the trailblazer, the author and finisher of our faith. This power in-dwelled in him at River Jordan. It was a “Helper” to his “weak” human composition that he used to overcome Satan and to show miracles to his disciples at that time. He then died for our reconciliation and after resurrection received the Holy Spirit of power to be given to us to strengthen our “human weakness“. Having been equipped by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, what we do with or how we use this empowerment will determine whether we will continue to grow and mature.

For those who were given the privilege to partake in the “first/spring harvest“, those who were called to receive the Holy Spirit to partake in the “first resurrection, take heed not to “quench the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19) or “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30). Worse if we return to our “vomit“, as in: 2 Peter 2:22

“Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Any tree has to be planted, fertilized, taken cared for, prior to growth/development and bear fruits. Same with those “seeded” and “sealed/deposited” with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us therefore be empowered by the Holy Spirit, use it as in:

Galatians 5:16.”So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Moreover, bear fruits, as in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

Remember:

John 15:2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful

Matthew 7:19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

God Bless 😇🙏

Original post: June 4, 2019

Why was Man created “flesh-composed and weak”?

What is wrong with humans? In all human history, there is good and evil done by humans, not only to others but practically everything else. Governments rise and fall, wars and rumors of war all throughout memories written or not. Certainly, there are progress, advancements, peace and prosperity. A good man can become bad and an evil man can become good, as we define good/evil. Why is there no consistency in goodness and in eschewing evil?

Man has Creator and Composition

For anyone to understand why human history is what it is, one has to go back to man’s origin and composition. From Genesis creation, after non-living and inanimate elements were created, a perfect God created living and animate things. Lastly, his supreme creation was a human being (Genesis 1:27-31). A Creator made man; no evolution in how he/she got to be.

Notice, though, man’s composition in Genesis 2:7 Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.“(NIV)

The matter/flesh-composition of man came from the non-living “dust/aphar” of the ground, earthy. The other component, “breath/nshamah” of life” was “breathed ” into his nostrils and he became a “living being/nephesh”. Without that “breath of life”, man was dead. This “breath of life” came directly from a living Spirit-Being, the Creator, and therefore heavenly. This breath-of-life is otherwise known as “spirit/of-man or mind” as in:

Job 32:8 “But it is the spirit in a person, the breath of the Almighty, that gives them understanding”.

So man is composed of “aphar” + “nshamah“= “nephesh“.

From dead to life, in the same way that humans futuristically will be resurrected to life. But notice the capability of these 2 components, as in Matthew 26:41

Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.(NIV)

These components differ in function, i.e., the “mind“is to will, analyze and decide; the “flesh” is to execute and act; the mind has to act through the flesh. Aside from this, both can actually be pulling each other in different direction or be in conflict as in;

Galatians 5:17For 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(NIV).

Meaning, that while the mind may decide one way, the needs of the flesh, i.e., hunger, pain, self-interest for self-preservation, etc., may overtake and oppose the mind. How often do you see people whose mind says it is wrong to kill or steal or cheat but did that anyway because of “lust of the flesh” (Romans 13:14;Romans 7:18)

Man as created needs a Helper/Advocate

Without question, God from the beginning wanted us to follow him. From the 1st Adam until the last/2nd Adam, we were advised, guided to follow him, his Commandments and his direction. But, history shows we all failed. We all did until the “trailblazer/archegos” the captain/author of our salvation came to earth (Hebrews 2:10) and showed us the “way, truth and the life“(John 14:6). God was not wrong in telling us to follow his commandments; that was his plan and desire. The problem was us being created temporarily incomplete, a mere image/template, being weak and needs a “Helper“, as planned.

As Jeremiah 18:1-4 , Isaiah 29:16; Isaiah 64:8 ; Job 4:18-19; Romans 9:19-21 say, our Creator has a plan for this temporary creation to be reworked or remade and we should not question his plan.

All of what happened to humanity centers on what the Creator planned to do after his incarnation through the man/anthropos Jesus (Timothy 2:5). There is an “ongoing creation“.

Made weak on hope:

Because God is perfect, it is difficult to accept this proposition that we were created imperfect, weak, incomplete, temporary, an image and a template. But that is exactly a perfect creation as it was and became “marred clay” for a purpose. It centers on Jesus as the “hope of mankind“. Notice the following:

Romans 8:20For the creature was made subject to vanity(frailty-depravity), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is the LORD:

Romans 15:4 ESVFor whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Yes, we were created such and subject to weakness by reason of him ” who subjected the same in hope”. And this, to direct us to the only man who was planned from the foundation of the world…our “hope IS THE LORD” (Jesus).

Jesus is the trailblazer, captain author (archegos) of our salvation/immortal life, the carpenter/builder. He is our “hope of eternal life” as in Titus 1:2

In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.

The Father promised to El Shaddai/YHVH/LOGOS before incarnating into man-Jesus that when he takes on the role of the Passover for mankind, that he would receive the reward of the Holy Spirit to be given to him and subsequently give it as a gift to empower us. His hope, trust in the Father was on faith in the Father and is evidence-based.

With this hope, let us do our part by “walking and following” the guidance of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 3:3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure

Any tree has to be planted, fertilized, taken cared for, prior to growth/development and bear fruits. Same with those “seeded” and “sealed/deposited” with the power of the Holy Spirit.

The gifted Holy Spirit will empower us, so that this hope of eternal life will see fruition.

Summary

We were created perfect by God as we were composed from the ground + breath/of-life. Still, as perfectly-made we were, our history shows how incomplete and “weak” we are on our “own power“. We were formed as an “image/template” of our Creator.

It took the incarnation of EL Shaddai/YHVH ELOHIM/LOGOS into man-Jesus to remake the “marred clay” using the empowerment of the Holy Spirit which he was gifted/received for himself at River Jordan and subsequently for us only after his resurrection.

Let us then heed the advice in Hebrews 5:16:

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh

God bless 🙏😇👍😊

Original post: June 3, 2019

Wedding in Cana, First Miracle or What and Why?

It is commonly taught that the first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine. Actually, going through the events that followed the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in him, he “went straight way” (Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 4:1) out of the water, empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome Satan in the wilderness. That was the first miracle to subdue the “god of this world/age”. It was only after this that the narrative surrounding the wedding in Cana took place. So, rightly put, the water-to-wine miracle was “first of the signs through which he revealed his glory” (John 2:11) to the disciples who then believed in him, and not the actual first miracle.

Moreover, observationally, one sees that in the life of Jesus, prior to this in-dwelling, there was no miracle recorded, suggesting exactly that. There was no miracle at all performed by man/anthropos-Jesus as the Holy Spirit was not given yet to him. One can therefore discredit the claims of others about”miracles” performed by Jesus as a child.

With that said, let us now visit the wedding in Cana which was was narrated in John 2:1-11,

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”

Consider John 2:4Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come Here, Jesus was questioning his mother Mary why involve him now and answered himself to emphasize that his “hour has not yet come”. What was that hour that has not come yet? It has to do with water and wine, but what?

Also, John 2:10Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now Here, Jesus was referring to himself bringing out the “best wine after guests had too much to drink.Regarding wine, it had to be precious and the best.

Symbols of water and wine?

With that laid out as a preliminary, one can see the connection between water and wine.

The principle of Isaiah 28:10 applies as in:

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

Regarding “water” as a symbol and used in a figurative sense referring to the Holy Spirit, consider the following verses:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

There is a difference between “born of water” from the womb into flesh-composed human beings and born of the Spirit which is spirit-composed.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Clearly, water represents the “Holy Spirit.

Regarding “wine” as a symbol and used in a figurative sense referring to the “blood” of Jesus, consider the following verse:

Matthew 26:28
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Blood has to be shed first as a consequence of mankind’s sin for remission and reconciliation with the Father. This death of Christ is key before the Helper/Advocate will be given by the Father to Jesus, then subsequently to us.

Why turn water into wine?

The key to answer this question lies in:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

As the preceding verse intimated to us, this is about the process of how to “enter the kingdom of God”, i.e., the ultimate creation of the God-kingdom from human anatomy. What is planned to be created is not a plant-kingdom, animal-kingdom or even a human-kingdom that is destined to end and replaced as prophesied in Daniel 2.

As everyone understands, first, we have to be “born of water, i.e., from the womb of our mother filled with amniotic fluid/water for protection, growth and development. Thereafter comes being “born of Spirit”. Jesus was “turning what was born of water into “born of Spirit. But, for humans to be born of Spirit, the Holy Spirit of adoption has to in-dwell in the person as a Helper/Advocate for nourishment, guidance, protection, growth and development.

The timing for this in-dwelling was “not yet” until the crucifixion. Jesus has to die first before we can be considered “crucified/died with Christ”. Blood has to be spilled first for Jesus to die and receive (John 16:7) the Holy Spirit from the Father to empower our “weak flesh. Water baptism signifies death and Spirit-in dwelling is spiritual baptism towards life. It is not the symbolic waters of baptism that cleanse and reconcile us to the Father but Christ’s blood (Hebrews 9:22) and the thereafter receipt of God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, symbolized by water, has cleansing power; it quenches a person’s spiritual thirst, cleanses him from his spiritual filth and facilitates his spiritual birth, a stage of being “born again”.

Summary

“My hour has not yet come refers to the time of his death. “Turning water into wine” suggests that after man has been “born of water” from the mother’s womb, there is a process to be “born again through the Holy Spirit”. That process requires, water to turn to wine as in “blood of Christ as a Passover” sacrifice and payment for the sin of one man imputed to all mankind. That “wine” was the best and given only at a particular end-time and people. This then reconciles man to the Father for him to give the reward of the Holy Spirit to Jesus who will then give the gift of the Holy Spirit to us. Through the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in us, we received and were sealed with the Spirit of Adoption, and empowered us to have the Ten Commandments “written not in tables of stones but in the fleshy tables of our heart” as a “new covenant” with spirit-commandments to bear the “fruits of the Holy Spirit“. As what was written in tables of stone had commandments so does the one written in fleshy tables of our heart to follow. The difference between these covenants is the empowerment through the Holy Spirit which was not in-dwelling previously.

For those who were given the privilege to partake in the “first/spring harvest“, those who were called to receive the Holy Spirit to partake in the “first resurrection, take heed not to “quench the Holy Spirit(1 Thessalonians 5:19) or “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30). Worse if we return to our “vomit“, as in: 2 Peter 2:22

“Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Let us therefore be empowered by the Holy Spirit as in:

Galatians 5:16.So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Moreover, bear fruits, as in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Remember:

John 15:2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful

Matthew 7:19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Out of his love for us, Jesus died for our reconciliation with the Father. More importantly was to receive the Holy Spirit from the Father to empower us against the “pull of the flesh“. Let us use this creative power wisely.

God bless 😇🙏

Original post: June 1, 2019

Hyperlink version dedicated to those celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Hopefully … in Cana.