Who resurrected Jesus and why?

As proof that Jesus is the Messiah, he was resurrected in 3 days and 3 nights (Matt. 12:40 ). Similarly in John 2:18-21 “Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.” Read also Matt 16:21; Matthew 26:61; 27:40;Mark 14:58; Mark 15:29; Acts 6:14

Also, while it is true that his resurrection gives the “adulterous generation”(Matt. 12:39; 16:4) proof that Jesus is the Messiah, the reasons for his resurrection may even be more far-reaching. Aside from being a proof, the following verses give us an inclination as to why:

Rom. 5:6-10″For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”
The preceding verses show that the purpose of his death is to reconcile us to the Father since “all sinned“, as in:

Rom. 3:23-26“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.”

Jesus, being dead means exactly that… dead completely, not alive. And, without him being resurrected or be alive he would still be dead and would not have received the promise by the Father of the Holy Spirit to in-dwell in us, meaning “saved by his life” (Rom.5:10).

And, John 16:7 is clear that Jesus has to be resurrected, be alive, to go to the Father to get this promise of the Holy Spirit and subsequently to dwell in us. Notice, “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.
As to the question who is that God who resurrected Jesus? Was he the Father or the Son or the Holy Spirit? In New Testament times, when the word “God” is mentioned, it refers to the Father to differentiate it from Jesus, the Son of God (the Father). Consider then the following:
Galatians 1:1 “Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.”
The apostle Peter stated in his first sermon on the Day of Pentecost: “This Jesus, God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses” (Acts 2:32). Subsequently, in Acts 3:15, he told his audience that they had “killed the Prince of life, whom God raised from the dead, of which we are witnesses”.

The apostle Paul also testified in Acts 13:33; compare verse 37: “God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus”. Continuing now in Acts 17:31“Because He [God] has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man [Jesus] whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead”.

Ephesians 1:20 ” …he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,”

But what about John 2:19; see verse 21 also when Jesus said, “Destroy this temple [referring to His body being slain], and in three days I will raise it up [implying His resurrection]”. If Jesus meant by this that He would come back to life on His own, he contradicted other testimonies. Rather, after God the Father brought life back to him while in the tomb, He would stand up and “raise it up” himself from his lying down to then get out from the grave.

Similarly, the same mechanism will apply to us. The Spirit of God gives power. The Father gives the Holy Spirit that brings about life. And by so giving that spirit of life, this is the power we will then be resurrected with. As Paul tells us, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he (the Father) who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you” (Romans 8:11, NRSV).

Clearly, it was God the Father who did it as promised by him to YHVH/Creator before the foundation of the world and before the latter incarnated into man-Jesus. The “faith of Jesus“, as referred to in Rom. 3:22, Gal.2:16, 3:22, and Phil. 3:9, is faith “in” someone. There is nobody else to whom the Son can defer to (I Cor. 15:24-28) but to his Father who knows everything(Mk. 13:32). This faith “of” Jesus is faith “in” his Father who he knows will deliver everything he promised. Everything was planned by the Father and was/will be executed by his Son(I Cor. 8:6). They are “one” as they are together in everything, as we will be “one” with them(Eph. 4:6).

Will the Anti-Christ be a Muslim?

To begin with, an anti-Christ is an adversary. And the ultimate adversary is Satan.
1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Revelation 12:9 – And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Also, an adversary can be smart and be an antitype, a fitting substitute to the real one. In fact, the end times antichrist that comes onto the scene prior to the second coming of Christ, will be a man who will sit in the Temple and institute the Temple rituals.
2 Thes 2:3-4 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God”

This man is described in Daniel 7:8,20,21,24,25 …”I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

These ten horns are ten kings and represent the ten toes of the image of Nebuchadnezzar described in Daniel 2. At the time of these ten horns/toes, a little horn will appear and “pluck out” 3 of the 10, leaving 7 horns, and this is the 8th and was the 7th beast.

From the preceding, it appears that it does not matter whether the “man of sin”, the “end-time beast” is a Muslim or not. Rather, whether the man fits all the descriptions.

Faith vs hope or wishful thinking?

My understanding on this subject is referenced in Heb 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The original Greek for faith is “pistis” which means assurance; substance/”hypostasis” or support;hoped/”noieo” or considered/understood; evidence/”elenchos” or proved.

From the above original derivations, one sees the context has symmetry and consistent with proof; something real, present and seen; not future as in hope or wishful thinking. Paul differentiated faith from “hope” in Rom.8:24 “…hope that is seen is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees?” Salvation is future and hoped for as in “the hope of salvation“(I Thes. 5:8).

Faith without proof is dead and can only be proven or shown with “works“(James 2:14-26). Faith in Jesus means proof of Jesus and his power. Being the Creator YHVH, he can deliver what he promised to us, from whence we hope to receive actual salvation in the future when we are changed from “mortality to immortality in a twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:51-53). Notice that the personhood and historical reality of Jesus serve as the evidence, the anchor and substance of our hope. Having faith means having proof or evidence from which one derives conviction. Faith in the Father means proof of the Father, his existence, All-powerful, that being so, in itself is evidence that he can deliver.

The faith of Abraham is evidence-based as he was talking to EL SHADDAI/YHVH himself. He knows that this person is Almighty and can deliver what he promised. While our faith is essential for salvation, the initiating event is the faith “of” Jesus in the Father, without which, our own faith is meaningless. Jesus has faith in the Father because as YHVH Creator of Genesis, he was with the Father from the beginning; a definite proof.


Summary

Because of evidence or substance of things hoped for, i.e., faith, we then trust that what God promised, he will fulfill.  The apostles did not just “trust“; in fact they were skeptical at the end, abandoned and marginalized him as others before him, who claimed “messiah” and died at crucifixion. Until they found evidence, by his resurrection, that he was what he claimed to be and will fulfill his promise to them, that they trusted and  believed. Faith in God, of all those before the apostles was evidence-based, then they trusted in his promises and believed in him. Faith is not hope nor wishful thinking. Rather, it is evidence-based and substantive, i.e., can be substantiated with facts.

Is the parable of talent referring to good works needed to get to heaven?

Regarding Matt. 25:14-30, the short answer is, Yes they are required.

But, these good works must not emanate from us. They should not be “our” works per se, like atheists doing good. But works or “fruits” that come through the Holy Spirit that we merely expressed through and shown by “our works”.

As such, no one will boast (Eph. 2:9). By faith of Jesus, it took his death and resurrection for us to receive (Jn. 14:16) the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is a great gift, by the grace of God, to have and we must show “fruits of the Spirit”(Gal. 5:22-23).

Any good work that anyone can do by himself is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and not consistent or reliably sustainable as our “flesh is weak”(Matt.26:41).
Eph. 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Notice the example of Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane:
“He withdrew about a stone’s throw and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done'” (Luke 22:41-42). Matthew records Jesus as making his request of the Father twice: “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will'” (Matthew 26:39) and “He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done'” (Matt. 26:42). Mark records his prayer in a positive way, “‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).

While not “his will”, he expressed the “will of the Father” through his works empowered by the Holy Spirit. Similarly, we are the “vessel” through which the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” will be manifested. The “fruits/works” are of the Holy Spirit, even if we did those “works” ourselves.

Beware, we might be cut off as in:
Matt. 7:19 “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Dan. 4:14 “He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches”

See also Matt. 3:10; Lu. 3:9, 13:7; John 15:2, 6;

We need to be overcomers, as in Rev. 3:5 “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life

Is being a good person enough for one be saved?

Doing good works, i.e., following the Law, is not a monopoly of God-fearing people. Rom.2:4 “Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it.”(NLT). Even people from godless societies, like atheists, do good to their neighbors. Goes to show that good works can be done by anyone, if they so choose.

But, even our ultimate good works and what maybe the very best to us may not necessarily be so, as far as God is concerned. Notice how the prophet Isaiah included himself in:
“All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (Isaiah 64:6). The word filthy is from Hebrew word iddah, which literally means “the bodily fluids from a woman’s menstrual cycle.”

It is God who defines what is good and pleasing to him. In the narrative offering of Esau and Cain:
“And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto Jehovah. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And Jehovah 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” (Gen. 4:3-5).
“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he had witness borne to him that he was righteous, God bearing witness in respect of his gifts: and through it he being dead yet speaketh” (Heb.11:4).

Notice that both gave an offering but Abel was by faith, and Cain was not. His offering was rejected because it was offered according to his own presumption of what is best for him that is acceptable and pleasing to God. The “fruit” that he sacrificed for, turned out to be as “filthy rags” because it was not by faith. This narrative suggesting the “righteousness of faith” and not of works.

Similarly, the narrative in Genesis about Adam to become like YHVH,(to be His body/church) had to come not from Adam’s work by himself eating the forbidden fruit. That “oneness with YHVH” can only be achieved, not through man-Adam but through the faith and work of the second-Adam, the man-Jesus.

In summary, good works, i.e., righteousness, is defined by and has to come from God. In fact, the fruits of the Spirit require that they had to come from the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us. We could not receive this promise of the Holy Spirit unless by grace and faith, through the death and resurrection of Christ. In Eph. 2:10 and 2 Cor. 3:5, the expression of these fruits of the. Holy Spirit as in “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”.
There is only one way for anyone to be saved, and that is through the sacrifice of one person, the Creator YHVH, who incarnated to Christ Jesus, as in “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

Calvinism, 5 points/TULIP

On the 5 points of Calvinism, please consider my personal position on each one of them.
1. Total Depravity – The consequence of sin is eternal death. And this extends to all humanity since the sin of Adam, with eternal death as punishment, was imputed to all human beings (Rom 5:12-13). Even a newborn that did not sin yet has death as a consequence of sin. Not anyone’s particular sin but all sin “devolved” from that specific sin of Adam in the book of Genesis. Whether or not there were people before Adam’s creation (according to anthropologist), is immaterial as imputation still goes back to Adam’s sin. Also, this imputation commenced when the Law was given to Moses, even when “sin occurred before the Law”(Rom. 5:13); not unveiled until then so that sin will be amplified and defined (Rom. 5:20). This imputation to one man was done so that the death also of one man, i.e., man-Jesus, will also be imputed to all mankind. There is no other person’s death but Jesus’ that this consequence of sin can be paid for(Rom. 5:6-21). Indeed, a total depravity. See also, Rom. 3:10, Gen. 6:5, Jer. 17:9.

2. Unconditional Election – Election and predestination are unconditional and planned for all by God from the beginning. His love covers all. He planned this even before anyone of us did anything right or wrong. While that is so, the end-point or outcome of these is still dependent on man’s free will and response. Free will defines the right choice of man-Jesus to follow to become the “Son of God” and for Lucifer to become an adversary, Satan.

Romans 8:29-30 , 9:11, Eph.1:4-6,11-12, speak of a group of “predestinated, called and justified”, from where God provides the “chance” to be “glorified” or saved. There is that “chance” being given that will result in and bear out “firstfruits” at the “first resurrection” to start the Millenium. And, there is a “chance” to be given after the Millenium that will result in “latter fruits”. This is not about “second-chances” but a matter of “election”. There is a “timetable”, for everyone, as in Eccl. 9:11 “for time and chance overtake them all”. And these “chances” are referring to the time of offering the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. With the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the person given that chance still have to choose, whether to follow the will of the Father or not. Even Jesus has shown free-will in the garden of Gethsemane to follow the Holy Spirit, (in-dwelling in him from river Jordan,Matt. 3:16), as in “not my will but yours”( Lu.22:42;Matt. 26:39); so, should we all who are called, follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. From these groups that had “election, predestination, calling” and justification” given “unconditionally” through Christ, will come out the “firstfruits” and “latterfruits” depending on their “oneness” with God.

3. Limited Atonement – The Creator YHVH who incarnated to “man-Jesus” (anthropos) died for the remission of all mankind’s sin and atoned for all. Atonement is for everyone and is not limited by God himself. However, it is limited by each person, depending upon whether he/she believes in this atoning sacrifice of Jesus. It is also limited to those who are “called” at a particular timetable; those partakers in the first resurrection, then those in the second resurrection. This is the context of Matthew 1:21,John 10:11,17:9, Acts 20:28,

4.Irresistible Grace – this is a gift that is so supreme and sublime that will not be “forced down our throats”. It can be resisted. The Father wants “free will” and Jesus as an example in the “garden of Gethsemane” knew this all along and concurred willingly with “his will”.

5. Perseverance of the Saints – They have to, but not all will “persevere”. In fact, even those written in the “book of life” and have been “predestined”, “elected”, “called”, “justified” can still be removed from that “book” as in Rev. 2:19. We need to endure, to be saved, as in, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”(Matt. 10:22).

Since God knew that Adam would sin and Satan would be an Adversary, why create them at all? Also, why not create another Adam?

The creation of an angel Lucifer that turned to be an “adversary” (Satan) is known to an all-knowing YHVH. Similarly, he knew that Adam would sin because his flesh-composition is “weak”, i.e., no wisdom to choose between good and evil. Why not create another Adam? Actually, the “other Adam” has been created in the person of “man-Jesus” (anthropos) as in Rom. 5:14″…the figure of him that was to come.” But, it begs the question, why then create them in the first place?

Their creation is part of an overall plan to have a “new creation” of “sons of God” that are “one” with and “like” YHVH. The presence of both man and Satan is important. From a man, God will create “sons of God” and therefore needed to be created as an “image” or “temple/tabernacle”, being temporary until the in-dwelling of the Spirit of God. In the same vein, Satan, being a Deceiver and Tempter, is needed for man to develop the “mind of Christ” i.e., “wisdom” to choose, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, what is good over evil.

This plan from the book of Genesis is the “gospel of the kingdom of God”. Consider the following verses:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV

“For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.…I Cor.12:12-13

“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.…”Rom. 12:4-5

“He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.” Col.1:18

“…concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,…”Rom. 1:3-4

“…But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” Heb. 2:9-10

In summary, creation of man and Lucifer(who became Satan) is consistent with the plan from the beginning. Their creation is necessary to achieve God’s goal. Salvation from eternal death requires mortals to be changed to immortals. And this, through a process that means a Passover has to be killed for “remissions of sins”. Resurrection of man-Jesus has to occur as we are to be “saved by his life” which enables him, being alive, to receive the “promise of the Holy Spirit” (Jn. 16:7) from the Father. Jesus can then send the Holy Spirit to in-dwell us for “renewing of our mind”(Rom. 12:2) into the “mind of Christ”(,I Cor. 2:16; Phil. 2:5). God the Father is creating “the body of Christ” with many members, Jesus the head of that “body” and “bringing many sons to glory”. All spirit-bodied as the “Son of God” and “one” with him, and by extension, “one” with the Father. All in the “kingdom of God”.