Change in Trading Dynamics: The Key to Successful Health System Reform

Change in Trading Dynamics: The Key to Successful Health System Reform

After $6B spent on federal campaigns, the country has chosen its leaders. Yet, problems with our health system still linger and fester. Physicians, the last bulwark of patient advocacy, have a ubiquitous role in reforming the system and must pick up the cudgels.

Even after passage of PPACA (Obamacare), issues like access to care, quality of service, insurance coverage, malpractice, over-utilization of resources, etc. continue to be at the forefront of the debate. However, all of these segmentations boil down to 3 general categories, viz., waste, fraud and abuse in the system, mired by “moral hazard” of having health insurance. Hopefully, all the preceding contending interests will be addressed with civility.

In my humble opinion, shaped by years of experience in the system, the above general categories do not constitute the root or core problem facing the entire healthcare industry. Worse yet, the proposed measures for reform will arbitrarily limit provision of services cloaked behind “evidence-based medicine” and will make future payment based on outcome that is uncertain or performance that is unpredictable. Assuming, for the sake of argument that all these issues come close to an ideal solution, these will still default to where they started due to the structural nature of the problems that rest on human nature.

People take action based on rational choice and personal interest unique to each person. The strategy then for health system reform is to accept this reality of human nature and align it to an understanding about a key flaw in the financial underpinning related to payment methodology of our current health system. Human nature being what is, the only remaining recourse is to change the structure of trading dynamics that initiates payment.

Price and Payment

To start with, our current payment system, whether public or private, healthcare or otherwise, is oblivious to the opaque pricing mechanics and corresponding arbitrary payment. Global markets thrive in such a scenario. “Buyers” have needs, wants and expectations of quality and service that have to be filled by “sellers“. Only the “sellers” determine and set the price according to modifications in demand and supply. The buyer either pays that price, wait or haggle for discount or not buy altogether. When both “seller and buyer” agree with the price, payment is made and trade is completed. Unfortunately, the nature of this trading system favors more the seller than the buyer because of “asymmetric costing” information. To illustrate, a seller may price a product or service for $100 and may discount it down by 50%. As price went down to $50, the buyer sees a 50% discount as a good deal, and pays up. If the production cost of the product/service amounts to $10, but hidden from the buyer, then he just paid the seller a 5x profit mark up. This fog in “costing” and lack of transparency in “pricing determinant” favor the seller as he is the only one who knows the production cost and the spread/profit.

Extrapolating this to healthcare product/service, exorbitant medical inflation occurs as “suppliers” mark-up the price way above their costs. Their expectation is to be paid, at least, above “break-even point”. True, it is crucial for the viability of any business to have profit. But there can be overpricing, overcharging, some call “gouging” that affects the entire spectrum of the “supply chain” in the healthcare system. Supplier-to-end-user, each along the way, marks up the price to profit from the trade. Everyone is affected as all can be buyer or seller depending upon where each one is along the throughput of the trading system. No wonder, healthcare expenditures turned exponential since private insurance came into being and in 1965 when a federal insurance, i.e., Medicare, became an mandated program.

Mechanism of fraud?

Historically, payment is made, by and large, from decision of bureaucrats in the federal or private insurance based on the price charged by the provider of the product or service. They get that money from federal income taxes or private insurance premiums. As payment comes not from their own money but from others’, public and private insurance just “opened there wallet“. As their “skin not in the game”, little effort is expended to negotiate down the price and even when done through contracting, the “spread” may still be too high. When it became apparent that the upward trajectory of spending is unsustainable, cost control measures were instituted, akin to price control. Federal responses like RBRVS and SGR for physicians and DRG for hospitals came into being. Private insurance increased premiums, tweaked qualifying requirements through adverse “selection bias” and/or exclude pre-existing conditions. Other stakeholders like pharmaceuticals, device companies and different suppliers responded in a similar fashion to maintain profitability.

Lack of transparency in “true cost “

What is apparent in these arbitrary responses is a pervasive theme of a pricing structure sans openness as to production cost. Only when there is transparency in production cost in relation to price charged, can a more rational payment system develop through a change in trading dynamics. When the buyer knows the “spread” between actual cost and selling price, he is in a level-playing field with the seller and can better negotiate down the price much closer to “true cost“. This is the essence of a competitive market-based economy. Medical inflation will be replaced throughout the whole gamut of trading by deflation in prices to a more reasonable level, while profit will still be made, although lesser than before. The eventual agreed price will then be more affordable and the health system sustainable and durable. With “information symmetry” between buyer and seller, the trading dynamics will change. As in the preceding illustration when the seller priced a product or service at $100, but discounted it down to $50, now that the production cost is transparent and is actually $10, instead of the buyer happily paying $50 as before, he can now negotiate the price even lower, e.g. $11 or 10% profit from “true cost”. The ability of buyers to participate in the decision as to how much actual profit comes from the trade, brings parity to the parties involved in the trade. The seller can continue to present projected % profit for his product, but transparency gives buyer/payer additional parameter to make final decision to complete the trade.

Summary

Reform of the healthcare system is complex when all the “moving parts“, as important as they are, detract us from the core problem, which is a payment system that marginalized and ignored trading dynamics. The payers, public or private, must fulfill their fiduciary responsibility and obligation to taxpayers and premium payers by demanding information about production cost and selling price before paying up.

Knowledge of % Profit (spread) should be part of “buying drivers” for consumers to be in equal footing with the seller. The system should not limit “price determinants” to supply/demand, needs, wants, expectations and ability to pay. They should include price differential with production cost throughout the whole gamut of the supply-chain. Physicians are the only ones that have attempted costing-transparency with RBRVS which slowed down their contribution to the rate of medical inflation. Other larger components of healthcare expenditures, i.e, hospitals, allied personnel, pharmaceuticals and device companies continue to wrap themselves in mystery. Consequently, healthcare inflation continued unabated. Even when the political winds sway towards conservatism or progressivism, the moral imperative is to bridge this chiasm. The challenge to our present generation is whether to keep the same culture in “buying/selling” or develop a new one, to adopt parity vs. disparity, opacity vs. transparency in the trading system. Which world and global market do we want to create? Shall we think outside-the-box or not? Only by looking at the culture and foundation of “buying-and-selling” through the prism of impartiality and even-handedness, will the payment system in healthcare system and other markets be equitable and reformed. With more healthcare dollars saved, a new dawn is in the horizon when payment is equitable, services not curtailed and access to healthcare available to all, whether the economy is yawning or booming.

Original post: June 8, 2018

N.B.

June 2011: Condensed version of Master Thesis accepted at New England College, Master in Healthcare Administration

Pentecost, speaking in tongues a miracle?

Pentecost, speaking in tongues a miracle?

When something happens that is impossible, unbelievable and never-happened before, we call that a “miracle”. It is understood as such, because it actually happened, still unbelievable though unexpectedly and is unexplainable. It loses it “miraculousness” the moment it becomes explainable.

A case in point is the “miracle” of telephone pioneered by Alexander Graham Bell. If someone in the 19th century sees a person speaking to another, miles apart from each other, that could have been impossible and unexplainable, a miracle. Now, we know how and do not classify that as a miracle. Bell’s patent covered “the method of, and apparatus for, transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically … by causing electrical undulations, similar in form to the vibrations of the air accompanying the said vocal or other sound“(1). It was sound/vocal energy transmitted through electrical wires to be converted to sound by the hearer.

Another example is about moving vehicles that transport people from one place to another. Before this became a reality, at an era of horse-drawn carriage, for someone to see a bus, car or train, it must be amazing and miraculous. Yet now, this is so common place and explainable by switching one energy to another and conserving it(2).

Similarly, knowing and seeing how easy ships sail, planes fly, electronic gadgets respond, etc. somehow they lose their “wow-effect”. The “law of diminishing returns” also applies.

Miracle explained?

The preceding discoveries bring me to the issue of the so-called miracle of “speaking in other tongues “ at the time of Pentecost narrated in Acts Chapter 2. This event was indeed unbelievable, first-time occurrence and unexplainable as far as mechanism of how this happened. There is “ongoing debate as to whether the apostles spoke an angelic language and the miracle included the understanding of an angelic language by the crowd, or if the miracle was simply the apostles speaking in foreign languages that they themselves had never learned(3), but was heard in the language of their foreign-birth origin by the Jewish crowd who were born and raised in different parts of the world.

But could this phenomenon be explained? Recent observations on auditory science led to social media craze on how different people hear audio recording of “yanni or laurel” (4,5). Personally, I heard “yanni” but others heard “laurel”. This difference appears to be reproducible by changes in pitch, whether low or high and depending upon prior experience of the person.

Additionally, when someone you know who is monolingual suddenly was heard bilingual, was there an infusion of the ability to speak another language? Did the apostles at Pentecost actually spoke different languages(infused in their brains as in Matrix movie phenomenon), or spoke their native tongue but the audience was enabled to hear their own respective birth languages? At that time, those who heard did not yet have “spirit-baptism” to have this capability, although afterwards some were baptized (Acts 2:38-41; Acts 10:46). Could the apostles have spoken (Acts 2:1–16) Galilean but heard/perceived differently by people in the languages of their birthplaces?

As narrated in Acts 2:5-14, there were Jews in Jerusalem for the Pentecost who came from different places where they were born and spoke also their birth-languages (bilingual). So, could the apostles have spoken actual Hebrew language but was perceived to be speaking other languages of those Jews in attendance. This appears to be so in:

Acts 2:7-8 King James Version (KJV)

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?”

Notice that “every man”, meaning every apostle, was “heard” by people/foreigner Jews in the “tongue, wherein (they) were born”. If the apostles, whose language was Galilean-Hebrew, actually spoke different languages suddenly, then they were not only bilingual but multi-lingual and each speaking in multiple languages at the same time. For emphasis, those who heard them understood them to be speaking their native languages all at the same time making it sound “gibberish” or “drunk(Acts 2:13,15).

Recent observations in speech science have acknowledged, thus,

A lot of research has shown that bilinguals are pretty good at accommodating speech variation across languages, but there’s been a debate as to how,” said lead author Kalim Gonzales, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Arizona. “There are two views: One is that bilinguals have different processing modes for their two languages — they have a mode for processing speech in one language and then a mode for processing speech in the other language. Another view is that bilinguals just adjust to speech variation by recalibrating to the unique acoustic properties of each language.“(6).

So there was a plausible explanation that the apostles did speak their own Hebrew/Galilean language (not angelic) but was perceived by the hearers (foreigners-Jews) in their own birth-country, all at the same time. There is therefore a mechanism involved in this phenomenon of “speaking in tongues” but not in the way most people were taught for years in churches.

Summary

The mechanism of how “speaking in tongues” can plausibly be explained, understood and therefore may not be called now as a “miracle“. However, the why, when and where it happened can still be considered a “miraculous event”. An energizing power of the Holy Spirit came about and actually caused this to happen at that particular point in time as promised and prophesied. See also 1 Cor 12:10, 30; 13:1;14:5, 13, 26–27;Joel 2:28-32;John 7:39,16:7; Acts 1:8;19:6.

References

1. Alexander Graham Bell. Retrieved 5/22/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell

2. Vehicle. Retrieved 5/22/2018 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle

3. Robert Alan King. Pentecost of Tongues. Retrieved 6/20/2018 at

https://biblecommentator.com/tongues-pentecost-miraculous-hearing-gift-languages/

4. Neuroscientist explains. Wired. Retrieved 6/20/2018 at

https://youtu.be/3km896XZ-J0

5. Yanny or Laurel. Retrieved 4/22/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanny_or_Laurel

6. How bilinguals switch between languages. Retrieved 5/20/18 from

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130520163859.htm

Original Post: June 4, 2018

Nature of God, Christology, the Holy Spirit…. History, Why and How they Developed and What to learn from it.

Nature of God, Christology, the Holy Spirit…. History, Why and How they Developed and What to learn from it.

Throughout history, there has been many challenges that people at each particular point in time have to overcome. Some, they did peacefully, diplomatically, others by sheer force and mandate. It was no different, whether secular or religious. From the time Adam was created as narrated in the book of Genesis, humanity has gone through ups and downs, one upheaval or controversy after another. Dichotomy in understanding of God’s will by human beings continued into the time of Jesus on earth confronting traditional beliefs of the Sanhedrin, through the apostolic era, early centuries and up to this day.

Truly, there is nothing new under the sun as written in Ecclesiastes 1:9-10,

“The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

The focus of this article is on the historical development of religious teachings, through thick-and-thin, that became today’s beliefs and to critically compare them with what actually were the core foundational teachings of man-Jesus. This will also explore the growth of the church, through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the original apostles and beyond.

Cases in point are the understanding of the nature of God, the Shema doctrine, and the Holy Spirit. As we delve into these subjects, a number of “isms” will be covered. First and foremost in our task is the controversy about the nature of God(1) leading to development of the Trinity Doctrine(2).

Nature of God

In essence, this controversy hinges on 2 unequivocal facts, coupling them with how the “church fathers” resolve their issues, viz.,

1. God is Spirit ( Christology, Trinity Doctrine, Holy Spirit)

There is no dissension that God is spirit-composed and those who worship him has to do this “in spirit and in truth”, as in John 4:24

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

As far as the Father is concerned, being spirit-composed, there is unanimity in calling him God. But this poses a problem for flesh-composed man-Jesus(described by Paul as “anthropos-Jesus”), as to how he could be called God when God is a spirit. Athanasius and Arius, both pillars of Christian religion in the 4th century, Alexandra Egypt, have different beliefs, especially on Trinity Doctrine imposed by Constantine in the Council of Nicea 325 AD. The Holy Spirit as God-person was added in 381AD. Their conflict was mainly on the nature and relationship of the Son to the Father, whether homoousios (of one or same substance) and homoiousios (of similar/like but not the same substance).They excommunicated and prevailed over each other depending upon who the Roman emperor (specific Constantine) was in power. Along the way, there were rapprochement among different factions and shades of beliefs, including the anhomoiosians. In spite of Ecumenical Councils and Synods, their differences did not get fully resolved to this day and were in fact adopted by mainstream Christianity.

For quick review of the history, please access references # 3,4,5,6,7. And for an exhaustive history of the Trinity Doctrine, see reference #8. Other religions have Trinity, as in:

The Hindu trinity was made up of the gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The Greek triad was composed of Zeus, Athena and Apollo. These three were said by the pagans to ‘agree in one.’ One of the largest pagan temples built by the Romans was constructed at Ballbek (situated in present day Lebanon) to their trinity of Jupiter, Mercury and Venus. In Babylon the planet Venus was revered as special and was worshipped as a trinity consisting of Venus, the moon and the sun. This triad became the Babylonian holy trinity in the fourteenth century before Christ.”(Ibid).

Specific to the subject Athanasian, Arianism, Unitarianism, Calvinism, Anabaptism, Adventism, Wesleyanism, Lutheranism, etc. please access reference #9

My personal take on these subjects is posted in: What is God?(1);

Trinity Deconstructed(2) and will be in my Summary.

On Holy Spirit, two schools of thought render it to mean either a “person” in the Trinity/Triune or that it is a unique power coming from and given by the Father to us through his Son-Jesus to enable us to follow the “law of the spirit” (Romans 8:2-4 ) to bring forth “fruits of the spirit”(Gal. 6:22-26).

Much like any gift, the Holy Spirit is indeed a gift and specifically a “gift of power” as in:

Luke 12:13 “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? “

As parents, we give gifts to our children which maybe toys, special food, clothes, money, etc. But, with God, he gave as natural laws, like power from gravitational force, mechanical-electrical-nuclear-solar, etc for our own “empowerment”. They were given as “static energy” that became “dynamic power” the moment we got the knowledge. But, the “ultimate gift” he promised to give through Jesus, is the “Holy Spirit of power”. It is available asstatic power” that will become “dynamic power” as we receive it “in the fleshly tables of our heart” (Jer. 31:33; 2 Cor. 3:3) and learn how to use it. And this gift of power is needed by humans because, as Jesus convinced himself 3 times (Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 22:39-46; Mark 14:32-42), we are “weak“ and needed this power from the Father to enable us to overcome temptation. Even Jesus needed it and was “baptized “ with this power to ward-off Satan who tempted him in the wilderness.

The Holy Spirit is not a person in a “triune God”.

Various positions on this question are well documented (10,11) and needed to be evaluated by all seekers of truth.

2. Shema Doctrine as in

Deut. 6:4 שְׁמַע, יִשְׂרָאֵל:  יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, יְהוָה אֶחָד

Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one”

This Shema had to be harmonized by Athanasians within the concept of Trinity/Triune, for which controversy again takes its root. For how could the Father, Son and Holy Spirit , being three persons, still be consistent with the Shema teaching that the “Lord is one”?

אֶחָד – Hebrew: “echad” can signify either a compound unity (Trinity) or one alone. So, how can one tell which definition is operative when studying a verse? The answer lies in the context, which is always determinative. Clearly, the word(echad) is referring to one alone, not a “compound unity”, and is unsullied monotheism (12;13) from Jewish point of view.

Could the interpretation of the word “one” be “lost in translation “?

Summary

After reading all the referenced citations, one cannot ignore the inescapable fact that the God of the Old Testament is the God Creator in Genesis, the El SHADDAI ( Almighty God; Ex. 6:3) to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the YHVH-Elohim(Lord God; Ex. 3:14; 6:2) to Moses, the Word according to apostle John (Jn. 1:1). This spirit-composed God of the Old Testament incarnated into flesh-composed man-Jesus(anthropos-Jesus according to apostle Paul; I Tim. 2:5; Rom. 5:15). As such, man-Jesus was divine and “from above”(John 3:31), heavenly. The Father that was introduced in the New Testament was actually the “Ancient of Days” in the Old Testament (Daniel 7:9,13-14).

The timing and proper introduction of the Father/Son relationship, in the New Testament, which was never done before, was after Jesus came out of John the Baptist’s water baptism at river Jordan(Matt. 3:16). By saying “This is my Son…”, he was identifying himself as the Father and expressing this relationship being pioneered by man-Jesus for the first time. And rightly so, for them to identify themselves as such, since they knew each other “from the beginning”. Although, they did not have that relationship beforehand , this was planned that way for the future. This relationship extended to “bring many sons to glory”(Heb. 2:10) in fulfillment of the promise made to YHVH ELOHIM by the Ancient of Days and expressed by El SHADDAI to Abraham and his “seed” (Gal. 3:16,29; Gen. 12:2; 13:14-17;15:5). This sequence of events discredits the belief that the word “God” is limited to a “triune”, but extends to innumerable more as the stars in heaven . This encapsulates the “gospel of the God-kingdom”, a kingdom of immortal beings of “first fruits” at the second-coming of Jesus on earth, who were “born again” ( John 3:1-21) after human birth. This is not a spirit-composed angelic kingdom, nor matter-composed plant kingdom, animal kingdom or human kingdom. In fact, no “human kingdom” will last as in Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2:1-45).

This God-kingdom is being built by the “carpenter-builder” Jesus, from flesh-composed to become spirit-composed beings, all “one” in spirit -composition and in following the wisdom of the Father. All will be distinct and separate but, hierarchically, with the Father at the top, followed by the “firstborn” Jesus-Son-of-God (the pioneer and Head of the churchbody) and everybody else under him.

As a man, Jesus had 2 components when conceived and delivered by surrogate mother Mary, viz., flesh + spirit of man and he became a “living being”. As a young man (Luke 2:41-52), he was ahead in the knowledge of spiritual things. He was “sinless” (2Cor.5:21; Heb. 4:15) and followed the Decalogue, much like Job who was “perfect in the eyes of God”(Job 1:8). But coming from a man, this “perfection” was “as filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6)and not acceptable to the Father. It has to be “righteousness of faith” (Rom. 3:22; Phil. 3:9) of Jesus (Rev. 14:12( Rom. 3:22; Gal. 2:16). Being the first to receive the promised gift (Acts 2:38)of the Holy Spirit, he was “baptized “ into (and by) at river Jordan(Matt. 3:16). Imbued with the Holy Spirit, he was empowered to overcome Satan’s temptation in the wilderness even after fasting 40 days and night(Matt 4:1-11). With this power of the Holy Spirit, he performed the first miracle turning water into wine in the wedding at Cana(John 2:1-12). He manifested in his life “fruits of the Holy Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23) which are “righteousness of works”(Matt. 5:20; James 2:14-26) acceptable to the Father as they are products of the Holy Spirit. He was then rewarded to be an immortal “first of the firstfruits” (I Cor. 15:23), the “Son of God”.

And, so will those who he “called” (Matt. 22:14) to have “faith in Jesus” (Heb. 11:6; John 3:16) receive the gift (Acts 2:38-39; Luke 11:13) of the Holy Spirit of power to “chose” the will of God (not their own will; Luke 22:42), overcome and endure to the end (Rev. 3:21; Matt. 24:13), will also be rewarded (Rom. 2:7), like man-Jesus, with immortality, eternal life…”salvation from eternal death”.(14;15).

The word “god” is not just “lost in translation“ , but the interpretation was. It should be understood to mean the only one to be worshipped and others are “false gods”, although called“gods” nevertheless. Anyone with power is classified as “god”, viz., angels(like Satan the god of this world), kings and humans, although these “gods” should not be worshipped. Only YHVH ELOHIM, the only known true God in the Old Testament who incarnated to man-Jesus and who then directed us to worship the Father in the New Testament era and beyond. Deification of humans will be completed (16) as planned through a process and a path started by the “pioneer and perfecter” ( Heb. 2:1-18; 12:2) man-Jesus. From a flesh-composed man, Jesus became spirit-composed, manifested at resurrection as “Son of God”(17).

Hopefully we can now see that the Holy Spirit is indeed a gift of power, not a person, although, by grammatical usage, a person pronoun was used in the Bible. This is such a critical power in creating the “God-kingdom” that Jesus had to receive this directly, at his resurrection (John 14:16; 16:7), from the Father to then be given to those “called”. Without this gift, we would not be empowered to be like him. Adam in Genesis tried to be “like God” with wisdom to know good and evil ( Gen. 3:5, 22) but failed because he did not have this power that was planned to be given as a gift by Jesus. Adam wanted to have this power on his own “works” and not “on faith” which is the principle intimated in the narrative that makes it a gift.

The long and short of it all is that the summarized analysis of history when harmonized with the Holy scriptures as we may be able to piece together at this time, (“here a little, there a little”; Isaiah 28:10) can indeed lead to the development of the true concept of a “God-kingdom” that was promised gospel from the narrative in the Genesis creation. The Father planned for us to have a “father-son” relationship, pioneered by Jesus Christ; this is an awesome gift that was implemented with the “gift of righteousness by faith of Jesus” and the gift of the “Holy Spirit of power” baptized into us for our empowerment.

May God bless us to “hear and see” the truth.

References

1. What is God? Retrieved 5/11/18 at https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/

2. Trinity Doctrine Deconstructed. Retrieved 5/11/18 at https://fact-s.net/2014/08/06/trinity-doctrine-deconstructed/

3. Theology, Arius and Athanasius. Retrieved 5/12/18 at https://www.ukessays.com/essays/theology/arius-and-athanasius-theology-essay.php

4. Athanasius vs Arius. Retrieved 5/12/18 at http://www.cnjonlinehosting.com/historyandspirituality/2013/08/29/53-athanasius-vs-arius/

5. Early Christian Dispute. Retrieved 5/12/18 at https://www.google.com/amp/s/calvinlawson.wordpress.com/2008/05/15/arius-and-athanasius-early-christian-disputes/amp/

6. Arian Controversy. Retrieved 5/12/18 at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arian_controversy

7. Athanasius of Alexandria. Retrieved 5/12/18 at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athanasius_of_Alexandria

8. Trinity History. Retrieved 5/12/18 at https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html

http://www.christadelphia.org/trinityhistory.php

9. On the specific “ism”. Retrieved 5/12/18 at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/

10. Doctrine, Holy Spirit. Retrieved 5/13/18 at

http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d910201.htm

11. Is the Holy Spirit a person or a force?Retrieved 5/13/18 at

https://billygraham.org/answer/is-the-holy-spirit-a-person-or-a-force/

12. Trinity-Shema. Retrieved 5/13/18 at https://outreachjudaism.org/trinity-shema-prayer/

13. The Shema. Retrieved 5/13/18 at

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-shema

14. Salvation Series 1, What?  Retrieved 5/16/2018 at https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

15. Death, What is ? Retrieved 5/16/2018 at https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is/

16. Deification of man…Completion. Retrieved 5/16/2018 at https://fact-s.net/2014/07/12/deification-of-man-3/

17. Son of God. Retrieved 5/16/2018 at https://fact-s.net/2016/12/23/son-of-god-what-does-it-mean/

Original post: 5/16/18

Destiny of Man

The Destiny of Man

Why am I here? Did I exist because of evolution or creation? Why was I born? Is there any purpose in my life? These are questions people are asking themselves for guidance and direction in seeking self-worth, value and introspection.

Since the average lifespan is about 70-72 years, is that all there is to our longevity? Is our life on earth limited to a finite duration of time? Do telomeres predict our death? After death, then what? Should one care about whether there is life after death?

Different religions, whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim, Judaism, Christianity , etc., profess that there is an after-life, although they differ in details. Knowing what the future has in store for us, brings perspective to how we value our present life and helps us understand our responsibilities and obligations, as well as what attitude and behavior we all need to adopt and express.

Creation or Evolution?

Since time immemorial, philosophers, seers and thinkers come and go. Yet, no reliable answer from them to these questions is forthcoming. Granted, they are all intellectually endowed and respected by the society and era that they lived in. Nevertheless, they are all farther from the truth for reasons that are obvious. Introspection and use of their own judgments and human abilities to search for answers, only left them with more questions. Answers to these pivotal issues are not forthcoming if we anchor our existence on evolution. Logic and wisdom lead us to a Creator. Had they turned to their Maker, their eyes could have been opened to the truth. For “…my thoughts are not your thoughts…. my ways are higher than your ways..Isa:55:8-9. Also, isn’t it logical to listen to the Creator, as described in Job Chapters 38 and 39? We listen to others and believe their writings, scientific or not, yet why is it repulsive to believe in those who personally witnessed God?

Source of Education:

Learning comes either passive or active. The active mechanism to learn is via our sensory somatic experience, viz., fire burns or heat is hot, when one touches a burning wood or the light of a candle. Also active learning comes from what we see and hear from a primary source and/or personally experienced. Passive learning on the other hand is when what we see and hear are from secondary sources, e.g., being instructed/lectured that an item is in fact hot and does burn, without actual personal experience. This is a first lesson in faith/trust in God who tells us the truth, instead of relying on our own finite brains, feelings, sight or hearing. Adam/Eve chose to learn the hard and active learning way by an actual experience of eating the “forbidden fruit, instead of heeding the verbal admonition of God against it, via the passive learning process. They both paid an ultimate and heavy price of eternal death for their bad choice. Sometimes, it is wiser to learn from an instructor than experience the aftermath of a bad choice and decision. Whether one believes it or not, there is a living God who is our Creator, who totally and completely knows us and has plans for us from the very beginning. As this subject is about destiny, it is vital to go to the instruction book of our Maker, the Holy Bible, for an eye-opening reality. And, there is no better place to start than from the beginning.

Sequence and Pattern:

In the book of Genesis, it is essential to consider the pattern being set by GOD/YHVH-ELOHIM in the process of creation, viz.,

1. That first, there was darkness followed by light… non-living things were created, then living things, as after death will follow life.

Notice, that….darkness was upon the face of the deep…” [1] then there was light. He first created non-living things, e.g. the planets and stars of multiple galaxies, then the living things, e.g. plants and animals. These are facts as narrated in the Holy Scriptures. But, what is the truth behind these events? It appears that this narrative has spiritual and functional meaning. GOD is showing this pattern of death (darkness, non-living) to be followed by life everlasting, that is to say that there is hope of life (light) after death (darkness, chaos ), in the same pattern that after lies,deception,confusion, and different interpretation will come the truth…that from mortality (death) will follow immortality (life forever)…that our current physical nature is temporal and will change to spiritual which is everlasting. Isn’t this a very powerful message of hope and renewal being taught to all of us from the beginning of time? Yes, our destiny is not eternal death and oblivion but eternal life.

2. Every living creature reproduces its own kind or likeness or image…..foundation of genetics.

Notice that before there was any other living entity, GOD/YHVH and angelic beings were already there as the only living entities ( see also fact-s.net/2011/05/21/what-is-god/). As the scripture says “…In the beginning, God created…” [2].

To establish this pattern of reproducing like-for-like, kind-for-kind, class-for-class, and same image-for-image, GOD created the plants and animals. He showed that they can only reproduce after their own kind or likeness or image. And, within this concept is “adaptation changes” depending on stimuli. After the plants and animals were created, at that particular moment, there were only three living classes of creatures, viz., GOD, plants and animals. After the principle of genetics was established that plants and animals can only reproduce after their own kind or likeness or image, what did GOD say?

Let us make man in our image, after our own likeness…” [3].

The plant-kind can only give rise to a plant, as the animal-kind can only reproduce the same kind. The same is true with the GOD-kind. Yes, God is reproducing himself thru the creation of man, human beings, flesh-composed, mortals. Man was created in the image of God..in the GOD-KIND, the highest and ultimate class of living entity. Not even was man ranked among the angels as Paul emphasized [4]. Man, although currently lower than angels, in the future will be higher than them. Starting from a “template“/temple of flesh-composed, the “spirit of man” the breath of life” was put in there to experience life. This flesh-composed body is only temporary and will die. Subsequently, those who have “fruits of the Holy SPIRIT and are “overcomers” will be resurrected with “spirit-composed bodies”, immortals with eternal life. (See, https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/).

So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:45-48).

This is indeed an awesome destiny for man to be in the GOD-KIND,, or KINGDOM of GOD, not Plant-kingdom nor Animal-kingdom but GOD-FAMILY…GOD-KINGDOM. No wonder Christ prayed that man be”ONE WITH HIM” [5], as he is one with the Father, that Paul testified that we will be”…like his glorious body…” [6] that this flesh will change in a “…twinkling of an eye …” in the future to become spirit, from mortal to immortality…that man will “have dominion “…”overall” [7] … as GOD is over all. Yes, GOD is a family, with Jesus as quoted by Paul, the “…first of the firstfuits…” [8]… “the firstborn among many brethren” [9], with Jesus as our elder brother, and his/our FATHER being all-in-all and above-all. And to think that this was all planned even before the creation of the world, before you and I were born, before anyone committed evil nor has done any good work, is a remarkable and compelling proof of GRACE and unwarranted GIFT to be in the GOD-KINGDOM and GOD-FAMILY.

SUMMARY:

Our destiny far-surpasses our imagination (2 Cor. 4:17-18; Eph. 3:20.) Our flesh-composed body is temporal, merely a template. It has the spirit of man which is a “temple” ( I Cor.6:19-20), the “holy-of-holies” for the Holy Spirit to dwell ( Acts 1:8; Lev.16:2, Matt. 27:51) so that man will be “begotten son/ child of God”. At the resurrection, this flesh-composed body will change to “born son “, “from mortality to immortality” from carnal to spiritual as “sons/children of God”. What happened to Jesus from flesh-composed man to now spirit-composed will be our destiny. He is the precursor for all of us. He is our Elder-brother, head of the church/body and we “are one”. Indeed, grace and love manifested !

References

[1] Gen. 1:2 [2] Gen. 1:1 [3] Gen 1:26 [4] Heb. 2:6-18 [5] John 17:21-23

[6] Phil. 3:21 [7] Gen. 1:26 [8] I Cor. 15:23 [9] Rom. 8:29

CONTACT:

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

Original post:06/27/2003

Reposted:5/21/2011

Revised:4/24/2017

Revised:5/13/2018 Mother’s Day

Cloning and surrogacy, a look into the past, present and future

Cloning and surrogacy, a look into the past, present and future?

Going through spotlight news the past few years, one can’t help but be in awe at the amazing progress science has made.

Dolly the Sheep(July 5, 1996 – February 14, 2003), a ewe, was the first mammal successfully cloned at Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland, from a nucleus of an adult mammary frozen somatic cell of a six-year-old Finn Dorset sheep transferred into a “surrogate” de-nucleated ovum (egg cell) of a Scottish Blackface sheep. The two cells fuse and then develop into an embryo (1). No sperm were involved(2). Her birth proved that specialized cells could be used to create an exact copy of the animal they came from (3).

Not only do they look alike but also similar in performance with the animal they came from. This was the observation made also about cloned Cuatetera horses from a mare surrogate by Argentina’s high-level player Adolfo Cambiaso(4).

While these examples claim exact copies in looks as well as performance, other factors like external influences can modify gene expression/activity and help explain why even identical twins aren’t truly identical(5). They are the same in many ways but also different in many respects.

In the same vein, CRISPR technology (6)

provided a powerful tool that revolutionized editing genomes. It allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function. Its many potential applications include correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving crops.

Human surrogacy, traditional and gestational, is now a reality(7). The difference is that in the former, the embryo is related to parents, with surrogate as the mother. Whereas, in the latter, the embryo has no relation at all to the surrogate mother.

Questionable and Controversial?

It was only a few years ago when these topics were questionable and controversial until now. Truly, “time and chance happen to all”(Eccl.9:11).

If anyone told us before the turn of the century that these will happen, we could have “laughed” at the thought as that could only happen with a”miracle”. This response reminds me of Abraham and Sarah who “laughed” when told that in their old age, 100 and 90 years old (Gen. 17:17-19) respectively, that they would have a son (Gen. 17:17; 18:12). Isaac’s conception, indeed took a divine miracle that could only come through spiritual power.

Now, these topics are no longer “miracle” and “impossible “ because we have the tools, wherewithal and know-how that enabled us to do these things. Anything becomes a miracle only when we could not do it at that particular time. But, why only at this point in time does the world get to be generally aware of cloning and surrogacy which are truly amazing feats? Why do these capabilities occur this time, not before or centuries later?

Understandably, scientific knowledge takes time and builds on established principles that lead to another. Although, these can occur immediately as “miracles”. Similarly, spiritual reality and understanding can also “miraculously” come immediately or slowly through building on some facts, as in:

Isa. 28:10 “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:”

YHVH ELOHIM (Lord God) created with his spirit-power, the “image of God”, mortal man-Adam. But, it was the Father who gave YHVH ELOHIM (Lord God) this creative power; any power that he had, came from the Father(John 3:13). Subsequently, he incarnated voluntarily to man-Jesus, devoid of divine powers, and the Father himself created him to be the “Son of God” This started at river Jordan when he received the Holy Spirit of power until he was manifested as “Son of God” by the resurrection from the dead. But now, the Father, after his resurrection, gave him the creative spiritual power, the Holy Spirit, to bestow it to those who “believed” (Acts 19:2) and was “called”(Matt. 22:14).

Only the “Son of God”, the resurrected Jesus, was given this power to create us from merely “an image of God” which was mortal, this time to an immortal “clone” of him. As humans were created mortals by YHVH-Elohim (Lord God), this time, as Jesus-Son of God, he is building his church to be “one” with him and the Father as “children of God”, all spirit-composed, immortal-bodies for eternal life.

Immaculate Conception, Surrogacy and Cloning?

Could it be that our present generation is getting these know-how to explain some intricacies of the spiritual realm?

Like the incarnation of YHVH ELOHIM (LORD GOD) to man-Jesus, how could there be immaculate conception? How can humans (flesh-composed) be “children of God”, spirit-composed? How can humans be “one” with God. These are just some questions that now maybe explained to a certain degree.

As regards Jesus, his conception is different from Isaac who came from an infertile Abraham and barren Sarah, ages 100 and 90 respectively. Isaac came about as promised but through a mechanism that “energized” and made alive the “dead” sperm of Abraham and egg of Sarah. The mechanism appears to be similar to the “dead” body of Adam that came to life with the energizing power of the “spirit of man” breathed into his nostrils. Also, dead people came to life like Lazarus.

In contrast, man-Jesus was the incarnated spirit-composed YHVH ELOHIM(Lord God), who “came from above”(John 3:31), heavenly, sinless(2 Cor. 5:21), without any sin imputed to Adam. While his lineage (Matt. 1:1-17) was from Adam, Abraham and along the lines of David, man-Jesus did not have a human DNA contribution from parents, even from Joseph and Mary. There was no sperm from Joseph nor egg from Mary. In a manner of speaking, it was spirit that incarnated or became physical embryo that was conceived through a process of “gestational surrogacy”. His origin was not tainted with human origin since he was the incarnated YHVH ELOHIM, the Lord God, the Word. If he had DNA that came from human parents, he would have the imputed sin of Adam and subject to penalty of death, like any human. As such, he could not be a Messiah for mankind as he, himself, needed a Savior. Only a sinless Lamb can be a Passover to take on ( not take in sins) the penalty of mankind’s death.

Knowing that for a Messiah, Passover Lamb, to have sinless origin (I Pet. 1:19), this had to come from a sinless spirit-being the Lord God of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, David… the El SHADDAI(Lord Almighty), the YHVH ELOHIM(Lord God), the Word(John 1:1). He incarnated to man-Jesus and was conceived in Mary’s womb as a surrogate mother of Jesus. This “gestational surrogacy” never happened ever before.

In physical cloning, it became possible for nucleus of one cell to fuse with another denuclearized cell and turned into a single complete cell that turned into an embryo, developed and grew into maturity and delivered full-term. As a parallel reality, the Father (with the consent of YHVH ELOHIM) can transform spirit-composed YHVH ELOHIM into a complete human flesh-composed cell that reached maturity in the womb of Mary.

Jesus as Pioneer, Beginner, Captain, Author, Finisher

In setting up this segment, one needs to consider the following verses:

Heb. 2:9-13,

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. “

Heb. 12:2,

“fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.”

All the promises to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and the rest of humanity (Gen. 25:18-21) hinge on the incarnation of YHVH ELOHIM to man-Jesus. As such, he is the trailblazer that initiated and will finish what he started.

He was conceived through a process of “gestational surrogacy “ in the uterus of Mary. After delivery, growth and development, he was then baptized with the Holy Spirit after coming out of water baptism in the Jordan River, i.e., it dwelt fully in him. With the guidance of the Spirit, he was empowered and sanctified to follow the will of the Father and “not his will”(Luke 22:42). He took on the penalty of death for mankind for reconciliation of the same to the Father. After resurrection to a glorified spirit-composed body, he was given the Holy Spirit of power by the Father, to be given to those who were called and believed.

In much the same way, we follow the path of our pioneer Jesus. So, those who were called and believed in him will receive the promise of Holy Spirit baptism. As a “spiritual sperm”, the Holy Spirit will dwell in the “holy of holies” (spirit of man; Lev. 16:2; innermost segment of the temple) of our temple(body;I Cor. 3:16) to “fertilize” the “spirit of man”. And this, to write the “laws of the spirit in the fleshly tables heart and mind” (2Cor. 3:3) for sanctification in the “church” (womb of Mary; maturity through growth and development). Those who endure (as Jesus endured; Matt. 24:13) through the end, the overcomers, (Rev. 3:21)will then be glorified (Rom. 8:28-30)and manifested (Rom. 8:19)by resurrection as “sons and daughters of God”, all spirit-composed.

We will be as “clones” of God in a way, yes, being “one” with him in decision making yet, voluntarily and not as a robot, while maintaining individuality, freedom of thought and circumspection.

Summary

The preceding ideas are an attempt to parallel material and physical events in this world, past, present and future with the spiritual realm. Association was made with what we now know in surrogacy and cloning with immaculate conception of the past through harmonizing biblical events and principles that project into the future. They are by no means conclusive but hopefully will help understand the subjects in another perspective.

The plan for humans as originally expressed to Adam “to have dominion over” (Gen. 1:26) everything on earth, and the promise to Abraham and to his “seed” (Gal. 3:16) placed their turning point in the incarnation (8) of the God of Adam, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob into man-Jesus.

Immaculate conception of Jesus in a human womb, is explainable through the mechanism of “gestational surrogacy” wherein the parents, Mary and Joseph did not have any contribution to his physical DNA. Christ was “from above”(John 3:13) , heavenly, and is sinless as Passover Lamb (I Peter 1:19) should be. This was an event purely of a God’s grace and love for mankind (Titus 3:4).

Our destiny(9) was planned from the beginning. We were made “an image of God”, i,e., man, classified as “god” (10) but not to be worshipped and our completion (11) for “deification“ requires a process of justification (12) for the sins of mankind imputed to the first-Adam, for us to be reconciled to the Father. Having been reconciled by the “blood of our Passover Lamb-Jesus”, those who were “called”(Matt. 22:14) to “believe” (Acts 2:38) will receive the promised gift of the Holy Spirit for our sanctification (2 Thes 2:13), following and walking willingly by the Spirit. Those who endure and overcome will be victors to be glorified as “children of God”, the “kingdom of God”(13),all spirit-composed, “one” with God, although separate and distinct from the Father, the only God to be worshipped in the name of Jesus.

God Bless.

References

1. Dolly the sheep. Retrieved 5/5/2018 from https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/dolly_the_sheep.htm

2. Healthy Clones. Retrieved 5/5/2018 from https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.reuters.com/article/amp/idUSKCN1061Z9

3. Life of Dolly. Retrieved 5/5/2018 from

http://dolly.roslin.ed.ac.uk/facts/the-life-of-dolly/index.html

4. Cloned horses. Retrieved 5/5/2018 from http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/12/six-cloned-horses-help-rider-win-prestigious-polo-match

5. Identical Twins are not really Identical. Retrieved 5/5/2018 from https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=123820029

6. CRISPR explained. Retrieved 5/5/2018 from

https://www.livescience.com/58790-crispr-explained.html

7. Surrogacy. Retrieved 5/8/2018 from https://www.hrc.org/resources/overview-of-the-surrogacy-process

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

9. Destiny of Man. Retrieved 5/8/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2011/05/21/the-destiny-of-man/

10. What is God? Retrieved 5/8/18 from https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/

11. Deification of Man/Completion. Retrieved 5/8/18 from https://fact-s.net/2014/07/12/deification-of-man-3/

12. Justification, Reconciliation, Sanctification and Glorification. Retrieved 5/8/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/05/01/justification-reconciliation-sanctification-and-glorification

13. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 5/8/18 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/

Original Post: May 9, 2018

Dedicated to a Judge in Paranaque/Las Pinas 1972

Holy Spirit, what is it, when and how given

Holy Spirit, what is it, when and how given?

What makes this topic so important is that it gives another wrinkle to a longstanding misunderstanding or false rendering that relates to the Holy Spirit.

What exactly is the Holy Spirit? Is it another person/body in the Trinity concept, a power or both? When and how was this Holy Spirit given? And what is it for?

What exactly is the Holy Spirit?

Where to start to get to the answer to this question, is a “door” to open to understand the truth behind the actual nature of this “entity”. There is no better place to start but to open that “door”, the Holy Scriptures of today( like the Bereans on what was available to them on that day, Acts 17:11), to get some inclination of what precisely this is.

Remember a basic principle that the “spirit essence” has to come directly or “flow” from a spirit/composed person. It cannot originate from any other. As to whether there was a separate “personwith the “giver” of this “spirit essence” may be intimated by the narrative in the first known “giving of this spirit” in Genesis creation of man.

 

Let us first establish who was the Creator in Genesis and where was this person at the time when man was created.

While there is no doubt that it was the Father who planned creation, it was the spirit-composed YHVH ELOHIM(EL SHADDAI) who proximately created all, the invisible and visible to us. No other spirit-composed person directly participated in this creation, not even the Father. And, man-Jesus was the incarnated YHVH ELOHIM, the Word (John 1:1-5). The first “living beings” created were the “spirit-composed” angels, including Lucifer(Isaiah 14:12:15), thereafter, the material world, inanimate and animate:

Col. 1:16-20 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Job 38:4-7 “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons(angels) of God shouted for joy? “

 

The creation of the visible world and Adam was narrated in Genesis 1. But, notice the creation of Adam and where the Creator was :

Gen. 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul(being).

 

Notice that when Adam was formed from the “dust of the ground” he was not alive until the “breath of life” (the spirit-component of man) was “breathe into his nostrils”, then he became a “living being”. All his material components, from head to toe, were still dead. Remember that “the body without the spirit is dead, being alone” (James 3:26). He became a “living being” only after this “breath of life”, the spirit-component, came into him. The composition of a living person is “body+ spirit”. The body/matter-component came from earth and therefore “earthy”. But, the “breath of life” the “spirit of man”(the spirit-component) came directly from a spirit-composed YHVH ELOHIM. It appears conceptually, that this “spirit” (the spirit of life , the breath of life) is an energy that empowers, much like gravitational power, mechanical power, electrical power, nuclear power, etc. and not a person. YHVH ELOHIM (Lord God Creator ) has this power that brings life to his physical creation by breathing this life-energy into the body. And, there will be another power that man will be given in the future. Notice that the resurrected Jesus-Son of God, was given another “creative power” (the Holy Spirit of power; not a person) by the Father, and that time, it was power that created spirit-composedchildren of God”. Without this power, there will be no salvation from eternal death. This is very important to receive from the Father that Jesus had to die and be resurrected, so that we can be “saved through his life(Rom. 5:10).

 

Also, in Isaiah 64:8 he was described as a “potter” with “hands on” although not necessarily using his actual hands.

But now, O LORD, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.”

 

One can assume that the Creator-God was on earth and using his own hands in creating man-Adam. As to whether any man saw God “face-face” is controversial as he may show himself as or through a messenger/angel, in a vision or a spirit-composed person has the power to show themselves in a physical and material composition. But certainly, he was in the garden of Eden with Adam & Eve as he was with Abraham and others, in whatever form. (Read Gen. 2:15-23; 18:1-3, 22, 32; 19:1;Ex.3:2-6; Ex. 4:10, 11; 33:11,20; Isaiah 1:1 6:1; Daniel 7:2,9; Amos 1:1, 9:1; Gal. 3:19; Acts 7:53; Heb.11:27).

There are numerous verses that support the generally accepted teaching that the God in the Old Testament(1), the YHVH ELOHIM(EL SHADDAI) incarnated into the man-Jesus. And, this “spirit-composed” person (YHVH ELOHIM) was the origin of that “breath of life”; the “spirit-of-man” that empowered the body to be alive. There was no other spirit/composed person who did the creation but YHVH ELOHIM who used his spirit-power to create as in:

Gen. 1:2 “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

The incarnated YHVH ELOHIM, as man-Jesus, also used the same “spirit-power” only after (not before), it was “baptized” to him at river Jordan. It was the Father (not any other spirit-person) who gave him this “spirit-power” to create the world, as well as for him, as a human, to overcome Satan after 40 days of fast, the same spirit-guidance he followed and not his own will (Matt. 3:16; Luke 3:22;Luke 23:39-46). The Holy Spirit of power enabled him to create and overcome evil (Acts 1:8; 2:1-4;2 Corinthians 2:12; Acts 2:43; 3:1–7; 9:39–41).

This verse does not necessarily mean there was another separate, living “spirit-composed person” who was involved in the actual or proximately the “Co-creator”. There is no basis for the presence of a “Co-Creator”, whether the Father or another “person “ as the Trinity doctrine may assume.

 

 

Is the Holy Spirit another person/body in the Trinity concept or a power?

The history in the development of this Trinity concept is an eye-opener(2). Those in the forefront of religion are unanimous in the acceptance of the fact that before and during the “apostolic era”, this concept was unknown. The only God that Israel knew was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that wrote on “tables of stone” the Decalogue, the Torah(3) and was handed down through Moses and on:

“Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching[Torah].” (Proverbs 1:8)

“My son, do not forget my teaching[Torah], but keep my commands in your heart”. (Proverbs 3:1)

But, in the 3rd and 4th century, this Trinity doctrine was in full discussion causing a rift in the Christian world, especially between Athanasius and Arius, both respected leaders. To finally bring an end to this controversy, Constantine called for a Council in Nicea to bring conclusion to this, leading to Trinity Doctrine, the Nicean or Athanasian Creed.

Looking at the history of this doctrine and knowing what we know now, we realize that the root-cause of this rift was a misinterpretation of the nature and usage of the word “elohim “. See Reference #1 for analysis.

There is no Trinity. In fact, the Father has started, with the power of the Holy Spirit at river Jordan, begetting “children of God” with the “pioneer” Jesus, who manifested after resurrection as the “Son of God”, then subsequently, us. The family that God is creating is not limited to 2 persons, the Father and Son, but many other “sons and daughters of God”, aka, “spiritual church of God”, the “kingdom of God”, all spirit-beings, higher in the hierarchy than angels(Heb. 1:4-14). Not animal kingdom or human kingdom, but kingdom of God. With this Holy Spirit of power, the Father is building this “kingdom of God“, with Jesus as the “head of this church“.

When and how was this Holy Spirit given?

It is well known that the Holy Spirit that empowered man-Jesus was the first recipient at Jordan river(Matt. 3:16). It is therefore given after the “breath of life“(the life-giving energy) was given for a flesh-composed person to live After Jesus’ resurrection, the Father gave this power to the Son-of-God Jesus (John 16:7) to then be given out to “believers”. Subsequently, this power was given at Pentecost to his apostles then to others, as in;

Gal. 3:2-5 “The only thing I want to learn from you is this: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? Although you began with the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by human effort? Have you suffered so many things for nothing? – if indeed it was for nothing. Does God then give you the Spirit and work miracles among you by your doing the works of the law or by your believing what you heard?

The power of the Holy Spirit originates from the Father, then given to man-Jesus to empower him to become “Son of God” by resurrection, then afterwards given to him by the Father, to then be distributed by Jesus(Son of God) to believers. Much like the power to create all from the beginning was given to him, so was this power (Holy Spirit) given to him at his resurrection to now “create” “sons and daughters of God “. This power is being used to “build the spiritual church” through the process of salvation (4).

 

 

What is the Holy Spirit for?

Much like any power, e.g., mechanical, electrical, nuclear, gravitational, solar, etc. the Holy Spirit empowers believers in many ways. But it does not force us without our consent and decision. The Father does not like “robots “. The Holy Spirit has many functions as written in the Holy Bible. This is key ingredient that believers must have in the process of salvation. The mechanism of how this happens is explained by Jesus (5).

Once inside our “temple”, the “holy of holies” in our mind, it helps and guides our spirit-of-man to do what is good. The “spirit of man” is much like an “egg” and the Holy Spirit is like the “sperm” in the process of “fertilization “. Through many changes and overcoming challenges, it then develops into a zygote. And with growth/development in the “uterus” of the “mother/church”, it becomes a mature fetus and ripe for “delivery”. It subsequently manifests “full-term” at “delivery” as “newborn child of God” at resurrection of the “firstfruits “, as in;

 

Rom. 8:19 ” the earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

This is the fulfillment of being “born again”(6).

 

 

Summary

 

The Holy Spirit is a power that originates from the Father. It is not a “personnor limited to three persons in the doctrine of Trinity which evolved in the 3rd/4th century because of misunderstanding the nature of God in conjunction with the Shema doctrine of “oneness”. It is very important in the eventual “building” of the “kingdom of God”, the “church of God”, all “spirit/composed”.

The first man as promised, who received this gift of the Holy Spirit, was man-Jesus at river Jordan because of his belief in the Father that what he promised, he will fulfill. This was the power that enabled him to overcome temptation of Satan at the mount after fasting 40 days/night. This is the same power that guided him to the way of the Father, following God’s will rather than his’ in the garden of Gethsemane. In contrast, Adam in the garden of Eden succumbed to Satan’s temptation because of his weakness and lack of this power that provides wisdom.

Only after Jesus’ resurrection, as “Son of God”, was he given by the Father, the same power, but for him to bestow to others who believe. At Pentecost, Jesus gave this power to the apostles and since then to other believers into this day. As Jesus, the forerunner (beginner,trailblazer, precursor,pioneer) was empowered to be sanctified and glorified, we who are “called” during this period, will alsobe “sanctified” and become “overcomers” to endure through the end. As Jesus was glorified as “Son of God”, we will also be glorified with him as “children of God”, all spirit-composed.

Being so, we will be immortal and live eternally. Instead of the family of God limited to three, as falsely woven into the Trinity Doctrine, there will in fact be numerous members of this family, like the many stars in heaven as promised to Abraham(Gen. 22:17; 26:4).

This process is the very essence of salvation from “second death”, for usthen to say“death where is thy sting?” (I Cor. 15:55-57).

 

 

May God Bless you.

 

References

1. FATHER’S DAY_USA.2014 Retrieved 5/3/18 at https://fact-s.net/2018/05/03/1208/

2. Trinity Deconstructed. Retrieved 5/3/18 at https://fact-s.net/2014/08/06/trinity-doctrine-deconstructed/

See also: https://www.ucg.org/studienhilfen/broschuren/is-god-a-trinity/is-the-holy-spirit-a-person

3. Torah. Retrieved 5/3/18 at http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/m/articles_torah.html

4. Justification, Reconciliation, sanctification and Glorification. Retrieved 5/4/18 at https://fact-s.net/2018/05/01/justification-reconciliation-sanctification-and-glorification

5. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 5/3/18 at https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/

6. Born Again? Retrieved 5/4/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/03/12/born-again/

Original Post: 5/4/2018

FATHER’S DAY_USA.2014

FATHER’S DAY_USA.2014

Ever since it was championed by Sonora Smart Dodd, Father’s Day has been commemorated throughout the U.S.A. on the 3rd Sunday of June since 1910 (1). Today, on Fathers’s Day, what could be more apropos and timely to honor it than to know who the “Father” in the Old Testament is? Is he the same or different from that referred to in the New Testament? Is the Father in the Old Testament the same as the Father of Jesus in the New Testament? To provide context to these questions, consider a parallel question:

Who is the God of the Old/ New Testament?

Many grew up in a Christian family and were taught that the God of the Old Testament is the Father of Jesus. And, that of the New Testament is Jesus and/or his Father, as they “are one”. It may as easily be interpreted as Jesus and YHVH ELOHIM in the Old Testament “are one” and the same, by incarnation. Does being “one” mean indistinct or inseparable? Are they similar or different? In what way if any or when are they the same or distinct from each other? Is this issue a mere exercise in futility, unnecessary minutiae, pure semantics or “splitting hairs”?

Although not a recent phenomenon, these questions are confusing and distracting to many today. Even in mid-second century Rome, a prominent Christian leader by the name of Marcion who had a thriving shipbuilding business at the time of Justin, was confused (2). Does it really matter who is the God of the Old and/or New Testament? Yes, it does. In fact, about 90 C.E., John who wrote “I and Father are one”(John 10:30) also said that life eternal hinges on this understanding: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). The Father, “the only true God” and Jesus are distinct and separate from one another, even when they “are one”. Always remember what Paul said in Heb 11:1,

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”

We need “assurance” that depends on evidence-based facts, not empty promises, unsubstantiated teaching, nor hope against hope. The answer to these questions may help enhance our understanding of the subject, thus solidifying even more our handle on the truth and fortifying our faith.

Old Testament God

There are many so-called “gods”, and polytheism is more than a phenomenon; it is a reality. While it is tempting to deny this fact, the presence of manygods” is acknowledged to be true. And yes, this has been a crucial fact in the Old Testament, such that Israel has to be directed away from these real “gods” and commanded not to worship them. Instead, worship has to be to one particular and specific God. There was/is only one God to be worshipped. This is the basis from where developed the Jewish “Shema” doctrine of,

Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Ex.20:3) …above all gods”(Ps 95:3; 135:5)(

See also Reference #3)

Who, was the God of Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses?

This question maybe resolved if one accepts the fact that this God introduced himself with different names at different times. Strong’s Concordance helps in finding the derivation of the original words translated in English. And, while names are different, they refer to only one, the Creator. Getting right to the point, consider these documentation and confirmation:

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heaven(s) and the earth”.

Here, without doubt, this God was introduced as the Creator. But, this particular God was not identified and was described as a uni-plural generic “Elohiym” (Strong Concordance 0430/plural form being supreme). But, in Ex.6:2-3, this God was identified with different descriptive names,

And God (Elohiym 0430) spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD (Yhovah 03068) : And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God (0410 El) Almighty (Shadday/07706), but by my name JEHOVAH (Yhovah 03068) was I not known to them”.

This Creator God was God Almighty/ “El Shadday” to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but to Moses he was known as Lord/”Yahveh:YHVH. Moreover, in Isa 45:11-12, this Creator God was also referred to as Lord,

Thus saith the LORD (03068/Yhovah), the Holy One (06918/qadowsh) of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

That particular Creator God was The Lord God, the Holy One of Israel. Post Old-Testament times, this Creator God was also identified more specifically as the “Word”. In John 1:1-3, he said

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John then went further to identify this Creator God to be The Begotten Son, as in

So the Word became human and….And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father” (John 1:14, NLT).

To make it even clearer, John reiterated that this Creator God was Jesus, as in

The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).

The Creator God was Word God. Paul also testified, that the Creator God was Jesus ,

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of creation. For by Him all things were created…all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:15-17 NASB).

This Creator God, who “fathered” all creation, incarnated into Jesus, the Christ/Messiah, as in Isa:9:6,

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father(01,ab), The Prince of Peace.

From the preceding verses, one sees the “evidentiary facts” that the same specific and distinct person is known as: God:(Elohiym 0430) LORD: (Yhovah 03068) God (0410 El) Almighty (07706 Shadday) The “Holy One (06918/qadowsh) of Israel” The “Word” (3056/logos) “Begotten Son” (monogenes/3439) The “only Son of the Father” Jesus Christ, the Word of life (3056) First-born of Creation (prototokos/4416) Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father(01,ab), The Prince of Peace.

Changes in Name, Position and Function

All these descriptive positions, tasks, functions and changes in name at a particular time are no different from our own experience as humans. All of us have been children and have parents and grandparents. As we ourselves became parents, we left our description as children. After we have grandchildren, we are now called grandparents. Our position and function changed but we are still the same person. Likewise, previously, one maybe secretary in an organization, but then can become vice-president or president. That person is no longer addressed as Mr Secretary; rather called Mr. President. The same person but different function, task and time. In general, unless described otherwise, when the word “God” is used in the Old Testament, it refers to El Shaddai/YHVH ELOHIM who incarnated to Jesus, the Word; in the New Testament, it refers to the FATHER of Jesus. The Creator God and the only one commanded to be worshipped in the Old Testament was “El Shaddai” to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but to Moses he was “YHVH“. The same person was the “Word Creator” even before there was any creation. Subsequently, he incarnated, dwelt among humans and assumed a different function and name as “Jesus-Yhusuah/Massiach-Messiah, the Redeemer” (John 4:26). As an incarnate/ flesh-composed person, he was “begotten Son”.

This first official introduction ever, of the Father-Son relationship took place at the river Jordan when Jesus was baptized (Matt.3:13-17;Mk 1:9-11; Luke 3:21). The Synoptic gospels testified that the Father introduced the Son, and conversely the Son also “declared” the FATHER (John 1:14,18) ; rightly so, as they knew each other from before the beginning of time. As he is the only one who had seen him, he was the perfect person to introduce his FATHER and ours as the “only true God” and commanded us to worship only his Father. No doubt, this is fool-proof identification of both of them as distinct and separate (I Cor.8:6) , even when they “are one”. Subsequently, he was then “declared Son of God” (spirit-composed) by the resurrection from the dead ( Rom.1:4 ) He is also now “head of the spiritual church…firstborn from the dead (Col.1:18), the “head and elder Brother” (Heb. 2:11) of his “fellows” (Ps.45:7; Heb.1:9 ) , the other “firstfruits” (I Cor.15:23; Rev. 14:4).

As a Creator God/Word of all that is known, whether angelic spirits, inanimate universe and all living things, this ” Son of God” is now creating from humans, “spirit-composed firstfruits/harvest” to be his “body/church” and subsequently in due time, the ” latter-fruits/harvest”. Indeed, an “upgrade” of his position and glory, all given by our “FATHER” and planned from the beginning, much before “time”.

Mechanism of How we are “Saved

The Word/El Shaddai/YHVH has to dis-empower himself, take-off his power, and incarnate as Jesus so that by being human, he could die as our “Passover” ( I Cor. 5:7 ). YHVH, being spirit and eternal, could not have died unless incarnated. Jesus’ divine power, being “flesh-blood” was not inherent in him but was spiritual powers/abilities given to him, at baptism in river Jordan, by the Father much like us humans with measured spirit-power given by the Father through the function of the Spirit ( Compare John 8:28, 19:11; Acts 1:5, 2:4; Luke 4:1 ). As the “FATHER” imputed the sins of mankind on the sin of the first Adam (I Cor. 15:45-50) at the garden of Eden and eternal death to all mankind, so was Jesus’/last Adam’s death (a consequence of sin) imputed to mankind ( Rom.5:12-21). His death was the propitiation/atoning sacrifice for our sins ( I John 2:2 ) and reconciled us to the “FATHER” ( II Cor. 5:8; Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:20-22 ); put us “at-one” with the “FATHER“. His death was only the beginning so that “death, where is thy sting?” ( I Cor. 15:55 ), will no longer have a hold on us. Having been reconciled, we are now “saved by his life” ( Rom.5:10 ). But, how are we saved by his life? How is this knowledge and understanding “life eternal” as in

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3)?

Here is how: Now that from “flesh/human” incarnate, Jesus was subsequently created by the Father as spirit-composed “Son of God” by the resurrection from the dead (higher than angelic spirits), Jesus “by his life” (after resurrection) is now creating his “body/church” of fellow “firstfruits“, “sons/daughters/children of God” and subsequently the “latter-fruits”. All spirit-composed, as in I Cor. 15:53,

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

He has to be first, a “Son of God” before he can bring other “sons/daughters” to glory as their “Elder-Brother and “Head of the church”. He is developing us into his “body/church” through the workings of the Spirit in us that he could not have sent until after his resurrection from the dead, (saved by his life) as in:

When the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about Me. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 14:25,26; 16:7).

This Spirit was sent at Pentecost (Acts 2) and getting into us to have power to develop into the “body/church” of Christ. We know about the preview of this mechanism in the garden of Eden. Eve was taken from “the rib” of Adam to show that the future church(Eve) will come from the “second and last Adam/ Jesus“. When the human Jesus resurrected from death and became spirit-composed as Son of God, he then sent (his) Holy Spirit of power to create the woman/church/Eve in a spiritual way to be his body. As the flesh Adam/Eve “… shall be one flesh”, so shall the spirit Adam/Christ/Son of God shall be “one” with the spiritual church/Eve and be “one body“. And all shall be “onewith the Father. Amazingly, all of these as planned and implemented by God through his “first-born Son of God“.

SUMMARY

In the Old Testament, the Father and God that was commanded to be worshipped was the Creator God, El Shadday/YHVH, Jesus the Messiah/Christ. Since then, in New Testament times, Jesus himself introduced hisFATHER“; and rightly so, as he was the only one who saw the “FATHER“. As incarnate Messiah/Christ, he instructed us to pray to his “FATHER“, but through Jesus and in his name (John 15:16).

Who to worship? In the Old Testament times, YHVH/El Shaddai/Jesus was commanded to be worshipped as he was “above all gods”(Ps 95:3; 135:5) known to all creation at that time. But today and for all of us, the “FATHER” of Jesus, the only one referred to as God in the New Testament, is the only one to be worshipped and prayed to, but “in the name of Jesus”. The “Father” is the God and Father of Jesus and of us all (Eph.1:17). As the Creator God/El Shadday/YHVH took off that glory, honor and position by incarnating into “flesh” as Jesus/Messiah/Christ, by so doing he shifted and directed/introduced all of us to his Father as the only God to be worshipped today. The Father is greater than Jesus; they are not co-equal as in John 14:28

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away,…for my Father is greater than I.”

On the side, this particular “FATHER” of Jesus, started a “new creation” (2Cor.5:17, NKJV), from the human “first-begotten” son Jesus (John 3:16) who then became the “first-born” (Col.1:18; Rom. 8:29) spirit Son of God, by the resurrection from the dead. Indeed, a position of “sonship” which is higher than the angelic category (compare Ps 8:4-6 and Heb. 2:6-18). Jesus is now the “the first/wavesheaf of the firstfruits” ( compare I Cor. 15:10,20,23 and Ex 34:26, Ezekiel 44:30; Lev. 23:10-12 ). After him, will follow the remaining “firstfruits” (Rev.14:4) at the resurrection to commence the “Millenium”. As the “FATHER” through (I Cor.8:6) Jesus/YHVH/Word created the “first known creation” (all non-living and living things including angels), the “FATHER” is now creating a “new creation” of “sons/daughters and children” of God, Jesus the “first of the firstfruits“, then through Jesus, “fellow firsfruits” will follow “at the last trumpet” ( I Cor. 15;52) , all of them spirit- beings, higher than angelic spirit-beings, and after the Millenium, the “latter-fruits“. This is Jesus’ “body” the church, being “one” yet with many members that are distinct/separate from each other ( I Cor.12:12-20) as we are altogether “one” with a distinct and separate “FATHER“. As incarnate Jesus/Passover, his death paid off mankind’s penalty for sins, reconciled us to the Father so we will all be like him. Everyone at their own time , first is Jesus becoming the Son of God (the first of the firstfruits), then fellow firstfruits at this dispensation to be manifested at the start of the Millenium, then subsequently after the Millenium will manifest the “latter-fruits”….all with “life eternal” ( John 17:3 ). Buttressed with these facts, our appreciation of God”s love for all of us, hopefully, will be magnified and enhanced. We can have confidence and trust in God because of these facts. i.e., faith which is “evidence of things hoped for.”

Remember, that this is the plan of God, the “FATHER“, even before the first creation by YHVH, before any of us have done anything right or wrong. Even our will to do good and to act are from God ( Phil. 2:13) so that “no one can boast” (Eph.2:9; I Cor. 1:29). Truly, grace and love manifested. Glory to God, our “FATHER“.

HAPPY FATHER’s DAY.

Original post: 2011

Revised 2014

Revised and reposted 5/3/18

References

1. Father’s Day.http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father’s_Day

2. Ehrman, Bart D., Misquoting Jesus, p.33-34, 2005.Harper Collins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St. NY, NY 10022.

3. What is God? https://fact-s.net/2018/05/03/1208/