Terrorism: How, Where, When it starts and ends; Relevance of the Gospel of the God-Kingdom

The recent terrorist attack at Las Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain brings back memories of horrifying deaths in Madrid, Paris, London and other ISIS/Al Qaeda-inspired violence and mayhem worldwide reflective of religious intolerance and hatred (1, 2). On witnessing the actual events on television, we heard experts on the subject of terrorism were often asked “What made them do these murderous acts?”. Where and how were they motivated?

Nature and nurture

Unanimously, experts trace the origin of this violence on the mind and how/what they were taught while growing up. The brain learns through our physical senses, viz., touch, taste, smell, hearing, vision. Human Anatomy & Physiology teach us that nothing goes to the brain except through these routes, our human sensory system. What is learned is stored in memory, in the mind, and what comes out of the “conscious brain” manifests through our human motor system as a result of a decision made ultimately through an intricate mental processes we call “judgment”. Wisdom develops and nurtures through a variety of life-experiences, human interactions and does come with time. As the saying goes, “time and chance happen to all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11). A person is defined by a composite of this life-long journey. Diversity results from differences in all of these human experiences, irrespective of genetic influences. This reminds us also of the song in the play South Pacific “You’ve got to be carefully taught” tracing racial discrimination from an early age (3). As the origin of terrorism starts from the mind, the logical remedy is to change this mind-concept, the ideology that leads to violent acts. Precisely, this is what the gospel of God’s kingdom planned to accomplish not only for terrorists but for all mankind to get rid of any evil, whatever they are and wherever they come from.


Who and What are We?

As the key is to change the “mind”, understanding what our components are, how and where we came to be, is crucial to this plan. Without this knowledge, we will  not be able to fathom what God is doing according to his plan. 
When God created humans, the material or physical component was a “handiwork” made “by hands of God” from “dust, mud,earth“. There was no life in that physical creation until “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”. Read Genesis 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.”

The material component came directly from “earth” (therefore matter-composed) but the “breath of life”, the one that brings life to the “non-living body at creation”, aka, the mind or spirit-of-man, came directly from a Spirit-Being/God, and therefore spirit-composed, . This “spirit-of-man” is the repository of all that comes through the physical senses of the material body, etched in memory. That the spirit-of-man and the breath of life are the same thing come from these verses:

Job 27:3,4,8 (NKJV) …’As long as my breath is in me, And the breath of God in my nostrils, My lips will not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, Though he may gain much, If God takes away his life?’ (Notice, life is in that “breath”)

Job 27:3,4,8 (KJV) …’All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?’ (Note: that life-giving power is a spirit of God because it came from him).

Proof that there are indeed 2 components of humans is the eventual “separation” of the “spirit-of-man” from the “material-body” that defines death of the person.

Read the following:

Ecclesiastes 12:6-7 “Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it.”

(Note: the dust which is what the material-body is made of, returns to earth or grave, while the spirit-of-man returns to Spirit-God where it came from).

James 2:26 …’For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.’



Genesis 25:8 “Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people … And these are the years of the life of Ishmael, an hundred and thirty and seven years: and he gave up the ghost and died; and was gathered unto his people.’

Genesis 35:29 …‘And Isaac gave up the ghost, and died, and was gathered unto his people, being old and full of days: and his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.’

Luke 23:46 …’And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.’

Matthew 27:50 …‘Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost’

 

From the preceding verses, giving up the ghost simply means “giving up the last breath“. The Hebrew word used is H1478 – gava, which means “to expire, to breath the last breath, to die”. Clearly, when the spirit leaves the body, death occurs for the body.


God’s Plan from the Beginning

Knowing that the mind has to change, how is this going to come to fruition? Consider the narrative from the very beginning; Genesis Chapters 1 & 2. Man was planned to be in “his image“, not image of plant or animals. After creating the plant-kingdom and the animal-kingdom, God created humans, not to be a “human kingdom” but to be in the God kingdom. This is why human history teaches us that a series of “human kingdoms” built by humans fail, typified by the successive kingdoms in the “statue-dream of Nebuchadnezzar”(Daniel 2). 

Additionally, God planned to have humans to have “dominion over all”. Of themselves, even with historic progress, humans have not eliminated disease, aging and death. 

God knew that for the God-kingdom to be built, he has to start in the mind to be “one” with him. But first, this mind/spirit-of-man had to have a temporary abode in a material body to learn from physical senses and shun the “lust of the flesh” (I John 2:16; Galatians 5:19-21) until the time comes when it has to be guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit promised to come to us later and to “bear fruits” (Galatians 5:22-23). The “temporary abode“, the physical-material body has been created and life was infused into it by God via the spirit-of-man “breathed into his nostrils”. The flesh-body is temporary because it rots and dies in the grave/hades. Human history catalogues human failures and success, although not conclusive and fleeting as they are. Through life, on our own, we learned good from evil; some follow good; others, evil, or a hodgepodge of both. But even with our very best efforts, God concluded that they are all dung and as filthy rags :

Isaiah 64:6 “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” (NIV)

Philippians 3:8 “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things and count them but dung, that I may win Christ”

 

Humans are “Weak

As our very best is still “dung, filthy rags” to God, we are considered “weak” on our own to be “one ” with Him.  From the beginning, we were planned, with fulfillment in the future, to have the power of the Holy Spirit for us to be “strong” and “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit.” This gift of the Holy Spirit from the Father became available to mankind only after Jesus was resurrected. 
Notice, that this gift is so important that Jesus had to die first, then be resurrected to receive this power from the Father, to then be given to mankind on Day of Pentecost of that year(Acts 2:1-13). Without his resurrection to life, Jesus would not have received this gift for our welfare.

John 16:7 “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you”

John 16:5-7 CEV “But now I am going back to the Father who sent Me, and none of you asks Me where I am going. You are very sad from hearing all of this. But I tell you that I am going to do what is best for you. That is why I am going away. The Holy Spirit cannot come to help You until I leave. But after I am gone, I will send the Spirit to you.”

Acts 1:8 NLT “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Summary

Truly, the mind has to change to get rid of evil thus becoming “one” with the Father. This started with the “second-Adam, the man-Jesus Christ, the beginner, forerunner and the Head of the body/church.” As a carpenter/builder, Jesus is building a God-kingdom from humans through the power of the Holy Spirit given to mankind as a gift, all destined subsequently to become spirit-beings. Mankind is being created in the “image and likeness of God to have dominion overall”. This is the end-product of the gospel of the God-kingdom and has its core foundation on Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. One has to believe in him to receive this gift from the Father and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And with it, we have to “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit” as those who do not bear fruits will be cut-off from the body. 
Even Jesus in the narrative at Gethsemane shows he has to choose the Father’s will instead of his own. His personal will was not to go through for him to die as Passover for mankind, but he freely chose to follow the Father. He had to see that “truly, man is weak” three times before saying “let your will (Father) be done”. 
Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.“(NIV)
Only those who persevere to the end, the “overcomers“, will be given a new and incorruptible immortal body “in a twinkling of an eye”.

Revelation 3:21 “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”

For further studies on related subjects, please access these links:

https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is/

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

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

https://fact-s.net/2017/03/12/born-again/


References

1. List of terrorist incidents. Retrieved Aug 19, 2017 at https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_July–December_2015
2. Terrorism, Rand. Retrieved Aug 20, 2017 at http://www.rand.org/nsrd/projects/terrorism-incidents.htm

3. South Pacific, You’ve got to be carefully taught. Retrieved Aug 20, 2017 at https://youtu.be/OAZ8yOFFbAc)

Original Post: 8/24/17

Gay marriage/Same sex marriage, what does the Bible say

Gay marriage/Same sex marriage, what does the Bible say?

This is a very sensitive issue that divides people, even family, relatives and long-time friends. But, respectfully, failure to address this subject is a dereliction of duty to the love and care we all should have for one another. 

To start with, “marriage” is taught to have started in the garden of Eden. This was presented to be based on “love”, being taken from the “rib” (close to the heart) as in Gen. 2:21-23, and for the couple to “go and multiply”(Gen. 1:28; 9:7). It takes male and female to “procreate”.

Regarding homosexuality, by definition, it is a sex preference of persons for the same sex; whereas heterosexuality refers to male and female predilection. Of and by itself, this sexual preference is not sin and should not be discriminated against. It is when the “preference” is acted out “mentally or overtly” against the moral laws, i.e., committing homosexual act, that it becomes sinful. For all, whether heterosexuals, homosexuals or bisexuals, they should avoid sexual immorality, including adultery for heterosexuals. We should welcome all, irrespective of race, gender, sexual preference, religion, status, etc. as we are all created by one God. As the saying goes, “love the sinner, not the sin”. Love for all is the mantra while not condoning actual sin or ignoring that it exists and we should guard against it. 

Temptation devolves into Sin

Notice the stages of sin from temptation and how “lust” develops into sin:
But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”(James 1:14-15 KJV)

These desires give birth to sinful actions. And when sin is allowed to grow, it gives birth to death”.(James 1:15 NLT)

But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire”.(James 1:14 ESV)

With our “desire or lust”, we are tempted, lured or enticed towards sin. Then, when we “dwell, concentrate, imagine, or got carried away”, this progresses to mental or actual physical acts, both of which constitute sin/eternal death.(Matt. 5:28; Mk. 7:20-23).


Abomination 

The word “abomination” that characterizes ” homosexual acts” is exemplified in:

Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it [is] abomination.”(Leviticus 18:22).

The word “abomination” comes from Hebrew word “toevah” (plural, toevot) and occurs 103x. It almost always has the connotation of a non-Israelite cult practice. In the Torah, the primary “toevah” is “avodah zara”, foreign forms of worship, and most other toevot flow from it. The Israelites are instructed not to commit toevah because other nations do so, as in, Deut. 18:9-12.this word is akin to our present understanding of the word “taboo”, referring to cultural indictment.

Having stated the preceding, homosexual acts are as sinful and worthy of “eternal death” as adultery, fornication and other sexual perversions. To overcome such practices, one should follow the following principles:

Flee fornication… fornication sinneth against his own body. …your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?…ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s“. (I Cor. 6:18-20KJV)

Flee from sexual immorality.”(1 Cor.6:18 ESV)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: …that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;”(1Thes.4:3-5 ESV)

He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:”(I Cor. 7:32)

Now concerning virgins (either gender)…I say, that it is good for a man so to be.”)I Cor. 7:25-26)

But this I say, brethren, the time is short: … both they that have wives be as though they had none;“(I Cor. 7:29)


Summary

In summary, for anyone with any sexual preference, have “control of your body” and flee from the temptation of sexual immorality or “pull of the flesh”. Marriage for homosexuals bring the couple closer to the temptation of committing homosexual acts in the “privacy of their homes” and should be avoided. Marriage does not confer legitimacy or morality for the “act” and can not be used to “cover” immorality.  Celibacy for heterosexuals or homosexuals maybe an option for those with proclivities toward sexual immorality. The Holy Spirit will sanctify us and strengthen the “weak flesh” for the glory of God. Believe in God and this gift of the Holy Spirit of power will be given to us to overcome temptation before it degenerates to sin. 

God Bless.

Posted: 8/6/2017

What is a “type”… an “image”?

What is a “type”… an “image“?

Biblically, are the words “type” and “image” the same or not? If so, does it make a difference? Surprisingly, it does. Understanding the meaning of these words may help determine what God has planned for us from the beginning of time. It provides a glimpse of humanity’s destiny. 


Type or Image?

To begin with, the word “type or pattern” is translated from the Greek word “typos” and Hebrew “tabniyth”. On the other hand, the word “image” is translated from the Greek word “iekon” and from the Hebrew word “tselem”. Even etymologically, the words are different from each other. Nonetheless, translation per se, as it is understood presently, may not necessarily reflect the true meaning of the word, see http://www.crivoice.org/terms/wordhebrew.html

Consequently, it is helpful to see the understanding of those living within that span of time. The definition of “type” is explained by Paul in Rom. 5:14 speaking of Genesis Adam:
Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come.”. 




And “pattern” in Exodus 25:9 “According to all that I shew thee, after the pattern of the tabernacle, and the pattern of all the instruments thereof, even so shall ye make it.”

      
From the preceding, it is clear that the word “type/pattern” is understood to mean a precursor of “what is to come”, a prefigure of the future person or thing. In contrast, an “image” is a replica or a reflection of someone, at present, in the context of: humans are created in “the image of God” (Gen. 1:27); not futuristic like “type” but currently. See also http://biblehub.net/search.php?q=the+image+of+God

Note: Not only are humans an image now but also was man-Jesus at incarnation and even after resurrection, as in Col. 1:15, “an image of the invisible God”(Father). The Genesis Adam is a “type” of man-Jesus. Both are humans, with flesh-composed bodies at their beginning, and are “images” of an invisible God. Yet, there are differences between the two “images”, at creation. 


Two Images at Creation and what became of them?



Notice, that when the Genesis-Adam was created, he “became a living being”, as in: 
Gen. 2:7 “Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”



He was created as flesh-composed and fully developed as an adult coming from the “dust of the ground”(earthy, not heavenly). He was without life at creation, dead. Then, he “became a living being” but only after the “breath of life” was breathed into his nostrils. Without that “breath of life”, that “living power” he would still be dead. In contrast, Jesus was YHVH/Creator before the “foundation of the world” (John 1:1) and “came from above”, heavenly and not earthy. Both appeared or began on earth as flesh. Both came about without contribution of sperm/egg from parents, see https://fact-s.net/2016/09/24/is-mary-perfect/.

Coming from above(not from “dust of the ground” like Genesis-Adam), YHVH/Creator incarnated alive as man-Jesus in the womb of Mary and did not need the “breath of life” be “breathed into his nostrils” at creation. He already had life in him when “conceived”, as He had life already as YHVH. Moreover, in the womb of a woman(Mary), Jesus still had to develop, like any human being, into full-term before he could be delivered as a newborn. He then became mature, learning the written words and reading the Tanach on the Sabbath.
Also, the Genesis Adam was later called “the first”, and Jesus Christ was called the “last Adam”, as in: 
 

1 Cor. 15:45:“The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit”.



Notice that the context of I Cor. 15 was the main difference between the first and last Adam, which is their composition and what happened after their creation. At creation, the “first Adam” had flesh-composed body that became alive after receiving the “breath of life”. There was a transformation from death to a “living being/soul”. While the human-Jesus was flesh-composed, the “last Adam” was a “quickening/life-giving spirit”, spirit-composed at this particular transformation. Remember that YHVH/Creator, at incarnation, had flesh-composed body as man-Jesus. Whereas, I Cor . 15:45 is clear that the “last Adam”, is “a life-giving spirit”. Paul must not be referring to man-Jesus after incarnation from YHVH as he was flesh-composed, not spirit-composed body.


Spirit-composed, when?



So, when did man-Jesus become a “quickening/life-giving spirit”? When was this transformation, from incarnation as flesh-composed body, to “quickening spirit”? And when can Jesus be “life-giving “? The time of his spirit-composed creation must refer to his resurrection when his dead body was “quickened” to become “spirit-composed”. This process is similar to the transformation of humans at resurrection when at a “twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:51-53) they are “quickened” (I Cor. 15:36; Eph.2:5 ) to become spirit-bodies. This is the only time that man-Jesus could be a “quickening spirit”. And, became “life-giving”, as after resurrection, he received (Jn. 16:7) from the Father the “promised Holy Spirit of power” to be given to us, starting at Pentecost of that year (Acts 2). With this in mind, we can now fully appreciate what this verse mean.


Take-Home Message of I Cor. 15:45



The Genesis Adam is a “type” of the “anti-type” (the fulfillment), the incarnated YHVH, the man-Jesus, both flesh-composed. Genesis-Adam started without life and God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and he became a “living being”. He would have remained “dead”(without life) were it not for YHVH/God breathing life into him. As flesh-composed, the Genesis Adam, aka first-Adam, could only give what comes out of his power as a human being. He could only “give” or perform what can come out of his “physical, flesh-composed, material and earthy body”. While man-Jesus at conception had life inherent in him as YHVH, the man-Jesus in the tomb was dead, as he gave up his spirit at the cross (John 19:30). Like the Genesis Adam when he was formed from “dust”, man-Jesus was also without life, an aftermath of crucifixion. God gave life to Genesis-Adam. Similarly, God(Father) resurrected Jesus to life to become the “last-Adam”, a “quickening spirit”. In a “twinkling of an eye”, his “broken body” (I Cor. 11:24) did not rot or decay (Acts 2:27. 13:37) as prophesied, but was resurrected with a spirit-composed body, reserved and made for him in heaven. With such composition, he received from the Father the promised “Holy Spirit” of power (Jn. 16:7). As a “life-giving spirit”, he then gave to humans this Holy Spirit of power to “overcome the flesh”(he who overcomes has eternal life, Rev .21:7). Those humans who are overcomers because of using this Holy Spirit of power will then manifest as “firstfruits”. Like Jesus, they will be given (at their resurrection) a “spirit-composed body” reserved in heaven for them. The “latter-fruits” will manifest themselves after the Millenium. 

In essence, the Genesis-Adam, the first-Adam, is a “type” of the man-Jesus, the last-Adam. At their beginning they were both flesh-composed, and at finality of creating and development, they will be similar as spirit-composed, as Jesus did, being the first of the “firstfruits”. Even as such, they are still only “images” of God(the Father). Each person is unique, even with the same spirit-composition. 

 

To become spirit-composed is the destiny of Adam and humanity, as an aggregate, as planned by God from “before the foundation of the world”. This is the message behind the “gospel of the kingdom of God”. The “spirit of man” that becomes the composite of that particular person through years of development, has to be resided by the Spirit of God at conversion for guidance towards “oneness” with God(the Father). With the Holy Spirit, not before, we then developed to “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit of power” expressed through our individual “works” of obedience. After death, being “overcomers”, not before, we will then receive, at resurrection, the promised immortal, spirit-composed body. All of those who will make up the eventual spirit-composed God-Kingdom, go through this process starting with Jesus, the “beginner/author/pioneer/initiator/designer”(Heb. 12:2).

This is an amazing gift that comes out of love and planned for from the beginning anchored on hope of the Father on the “man-Jesus(Ps. 8:1-9; Heb. 2:6; Job 7:17-21, 14:1-22).

Original post:7/31/2017

Resurrection ?

Resurrection?

Death is a somber and incapacitating event especially if it happens to someone you dearly beloved. The grief and sorrow that come with it is heartbreaking and considered to pose the worst stressor for anyone to experience. How we wished and longed for our loved ones to grace our presence again!

Is there hope for the dead? Some say once a person is dead, that will be the end. Others say the dead is not actually dead but continues to live in a certain place called “heaven” to enjoy or “hell ” to be tormented forever. And, other religions teach the dead continues to live on earth but in a different mortal body, some even in animal bodies. What is the truth? One can surmise with some certainty that the only hope for a dead body comes with restoration to life. But, how could this be? And, in what form? Is there really resurrection of the dead?


Resurrection, you can bank on it:

That there is “life-after-death”, is a teaching that all traditional Christians are unanimous to share as a core belief. And, this is on faith which is evidenced-based (Heb. 11:1) anchored on very credible witnesses. As we believe in secular people witnessing events during their time in history as recorded in books, electronic media, etc., so should we be open to others, consider and mull over recorded events written by religious icons in the Bible. 

Resurrection from death to a physical, flesh-composed, mortal bodies are well-documented by biblical historical records:

1 Kings 17:17-24 Elijah resurrected the son of Zarephath’s widow. Notice V-21, let this child’s soul(nephesh) come into him again and V-22 and the soul(nephesh) of the child came into him again, and he revived. By usage, nephesh in this context means “life”or life-giving element of man, the “spirit of man”.

2 Kings 4 Elisha resurrected the son of the great Shunammite woman

2 Kings 13:21 Dead man came back to life when he touched Elisha’s bones.
Luke 7:13-15 Jesus resurrects the widow’s son at Nain 

Matthew 9:25 Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter from the dead. See also Mark 5:42, and Luke 8:55

John 11:43-44 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. 

Matthew 27:52-53 Saints resurrected and seen by many after Jesus’ resurrection

Acts 9:36-42 Peter raises a female disciple named Tabitha from the dead

Acts 20:9-12 Paul raises Eutychus from the dead. 

The preceding resurrected individuals, were restored to life in a flesh-composed body. They did not go to heaven or hell after death, nor did they inhabit the bodies of animals. And, they all died again to undergo future resurrection.


Better Resurrection:

There is another type of resurrection that the Bible calls the “ better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35) confirmed by apostles and other witnesses. In contrast to resurrection to a flesh-composed body, this is to an eternal life with immortal spirit-composed bodies. The pioneer of this type of resurrection was Jesus. See Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-11, and John 20:1-10.

Replacement of Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 disciples that betrayed Jesus, was done so that “one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection”(Acts 1:22). In Acts 4:33, “with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus”. 

The apostle Paul personally saw and talked with the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Acts 22:6-10), confirming the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. Paul asked King Herod Agrippa II, “Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8). He told him, “To this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great . . . that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead” (Acts 26:22-23), implying that others would follow.  

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]” (1 Corinthians 15:20). The apostle Paul explained that Jesus is “the firstborn over all creation,” “the firstborn from the dead” and “the firstborn among many brethren” (Colossians 1:15, 18; Romans 8:29), indicating others will follow. Moreover, Paul explained how the resurrection of God’s firstfruits will occur: 

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly [physical, material] body that it may be conformed to His glorious body”(Philippians 3:20-21; compare 2 Corinthians 5:1-5).

“It is sown(buried) a natural [physical] body, it is raised a spiritual body . . . as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man [Jesus Christ]. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God ” (1 Corinthians 15:44, 49-50). Notice that our current flesh-composed body cannot enter the Kingdom of God; we need to change structurally, i.e., into spirit-composed body. 

For those who will still be alive at Christ’s return, notice 1 Corinthians 15:51-52: 

“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (compare 1 Thessalonians 4:16

 

The preceding confirms from recorded witnesses of the surety of a future “better resurrection” into a glorious, spirit-composed, immortal bodies. But, who will bring this to pass and what is the timing of these different resurrections. 



Millennial and Post-millennial resurrection:

Only the Father and the Son Jesus have the power to bring life to the dead. Christ plainly stated: “For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will” (John 5:21). 

When Christ returns to start the Millenium, the “firstfruits” will manifest in this manner: those who are alive at that time will change in a “twinkling of an eye” into immortal spirit-composed bodies; those who were in the graves will resurrect with immortal spirit-composed bodies. They will then meet Christ “in the clouds”(I Thes. 4:17) and come down on earth in Jerusalem to start the Millenium. 

Revelation 20:4“And I saw thrones, and they sat on them . . . And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years” .“This is the first resurrection.”

Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”

Revelation 5:9-10 “You [Christ] were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (New International Version)
The preceding verses refer to the first resurrection, which is coming back to life with immortal, glorious body. And, this augurs the start of the Millenium. 


The second resurrection :

Coming back to life has its own time. After the first resurrection with immortal, spirit-composed, glorious body then follows after a Millenium, the second resurrection. Notice:

Revelation 20:5 “But the rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years were finished”

John 5:25, 29-30 “I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live . . . for the hour is coming in which all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come forth” .

John 5:28-29 “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out — those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. 

Daniel 12:2 “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.

Acts 24:15 “..and I have the same hope in God as these men themselves have, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked” 

Revelation 20:11-12 “Then I [the apostle John] saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it . . . And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened . And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.”
All the preceding verses refer to the second resurrection, post-Millenium. 


Summary:

Before the start of the Millenium, there will be plagues, earthquake, and celestial signs (Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-9,21; 11:15-19;16:1-21) leading to the “battle of Armageddon” in the valley of Megiddo in Israel (Rev.16:16; 20:1-3). At the “last trump”, the spirit-composed “church of Christ” will meet him in “the air/clouds” and descend on Jerusalem, the center from where to rule the world. In the Millenium, they will teach the remaining mortals about the “gospel of the kingdom of God” and fulfill the “great commission” (Matt. 28:16-20) through the “end of the world”. 

While there will be devastation on earth, there will still be people from others areas of the world who will survive. Those who are alive, but still flesh-composed during the Millenium, will be taught, given the chance to receive the truth of the gospel and the gift of the Holy Spirit to grow and develop spiritually. Being mortal, during their time of judgment in the Millenium, they will still die. Subsequently, when their “time” comes, they will be resurrected to life or changed in “a twinkling of an eye” with immortal bodies. The rest of the dead who did not participate in the first resurrection to life, will be resurrected with mortal-bodies after the Millenium. They will be given a chance to hear and see the truth, experience the power of the Holy Spirit to develop, guide them spiritually. Thereafter, those who are righteous will be given a glorious-immortal-spirit-composed bodies to live eternally. Those who rejected the gift of the Holy Spirit, will be thrown to Gehenna fire to perish and die forever. 

There will be “chance and time” for death and resurrection to happen for all. As Eccl. 9:11 says “…but time and chance happen to them all.” At an appointed time, we will all be resurrected, most to life like innumerable stars (Gen. 15:5), some to judgment and chance to change. Eventually, reward to eternal life and punishment to eternal death. Then comes the “new heavens and earth” in Rev. 21:1.

See also: https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is/

Original post: 5/18/2017

Death, What is ?

Death, what is?

What is death and what happens at death? Do we know the exact mechanism that occurs at death? 
When can someone declare a person dead? The usual answer, in management school is, “it depends”. No pun intended, but it is true.



Different Concepts


Concepts of death are different in secular, religious groups and even among themselves in the same groups. In secular parlance, one considers death when the person is unconscious, not breathing on his own and there is no pulse. However, with today’s technology, a person maybe in coma, artificially breathing on respirator, heart beating because of pacemaker, blood pressure maintained on medications, bodily functions intact, and still can be pronounced dead legally when EEG is “flatline”; not having brain waves. Yet, among religious groups, what is commonly defined as a dead person in the tomb at any length of time, that state may still be defined as “sleep”.


Unanimity in Christian Tenet


Death considered as “sleep”, is a well-entrenched tenet for Christians. It is taken as a temporary state, much like sleep, as we wake up even after a long sleep. A waking-up period is a given because of the “hope of resurrection”. When a person dies, according to this teaching, at resurrection the person will not know events in-between, as in being “asleep” sans dreams. While they believe in eventual “eternal death” for non-believers, there is hope of resurrection for those who believed in Jesus. Hence, death is only “sleep”. Similarly, among live Christians, being “dead to sin”, is a state to be in as an admonition against sinning and to reckon themselves as in:
Rom. 6:11, “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus“.(NIV) A Christian is expected to follow the Ten Commandments and not commit sin. 


Resurrection, you can bank on it
 
 
 Why “hope of resurrection”? Is there really a resurrection of the dead? That there is “life-after-death“, is a teaching that all traditional Christians are unanimous to share as a core belief. And, this is on faith which is evidenced-based (Heb. 11:1) anchored on very credible witnesses. Resurrection from death to a physical, flesh-composed, mortal bodies are well-documented by biblical historical records.

1 Kings 17:17-24  Elijah resurrected the son of Zarephath’s widow. Notice V-21, let this child’s soul(nephesh) come into him again and V-22 and the soul(nephesh) of the child came into him again, and he revived. By usage, nephesh in this context means “life”or life-giving element of man.

2 Kings 4Elisha resurrected the son of the great Shunammite woman

2 Kings 13:21 Dead man came back to life when he touched Elisha’s bones.

Luke 7:13-15 Jesus resurrects the widow’s son at Nain

Matthew 9:25 Jesus raises Jairus’ daughter from the dead. See also Mark 5:42, and Luke 8:55

John 11:43-44 Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead.

Matthew 27:52-53 Saints resurrected and seen by many after Jesus’ resurrection

Acts 9:36-42 Peter raises a female disciple named Tabitha from the dead

Acts 20:9-12 Paul raises Eutychus from the dead.

The preceding resurrected individuals, were restored to life in a flesh-composed body. And, they all died again to undergo future resurrection.


Better Resurrection


There is another type of resurrection that the Bible calls the “ better resurrection”Hebrews 11:35) confirmed by apostles and other witnesses. In contrast to resurrection to a flesh-composed body, this is to an eternal life with immortal spirit-composed bodies. The pioneer of this type of resurrection is Jesus. See Matthew 28:5-7, Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-11, and John 20:1-10.
Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 disciples that betrayed Jesus, was replaced so that “one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection”(Acts 1:22).
In Acts 4:33, “with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus”

The apostle Paul personally saw and talked with the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Acts 22:6-10), confirming the fact of Jesus’ resurrection.  Paul asked King Herod Agrippa II,“Why should it be thought incredible by you that God raises the dead?” (Acts 26:8). He told him, “To this day I stand, witnessing both to small and great . . . that the Christ would suffer, that He would be the first to rise from the dead (Acts 26:22-23), implying that others would follow
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]” (1 Corinthians 15:20). The apostle Paul explained that Jesus is “the firstborn over all creation,” “the firstborn from the dead” and “the firstborn among many brethren” (Colossians 1:15, 18; Romans 8:29), indicating others will follow. Moreover, Paul explained how the resurrection of God’s firstfruits will occur:

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly [physical, material] body that it may be conformed to His glorious body”(Philippians 3:20-21; compare 2 Corinthians 5:1-5).
It is sown a natural [physical] body, it is raised a spiritual body . . . as we have borne the image of the man of dust [Adam], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man [Jesus Christ]. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God ” (1 Corinthians 15:44, 49-50). Notice that our current flesh-composed body cannot enter the Kingdom of God; we need to change structurally. For those who will still be alive at Christ’s return, notice 1 Corinthians 15:51-52:
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (compare 1 Thessalonians 4:16).
 
Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live” (John 11:25).
We will receive this “better resurrection” or immortality when Jesus comes again, as in 1 Corinthians 15:51-55).


“For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible…So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ “O Death, where  is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?

 

What happens at death?
While death’s definition depends upon how each person perceives it, the ultimate mechanism that brings about death, in a religious sense, is shared by many. To grasp the mechanics of this truth, one has to understand how a person comes to be and becomes alive before knowing how one dies.
Going back to the narrative in Genesis, human evolution is “fake news“. We were informed that there is a Creator by the name of YHVH (Lord God), who is an “intelligent designer” of man, as in:
Genesis 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 man has 2 components, viz, dust + breath of life. That dust, which is the body, came from the ground and therefore matter-composed. Whereas, the breath of life, which is the “spirit of man”, the mind/psyche, comes from a Spirit-Being/God (from above) and therefore spirit-composed. The body, of and by itself, was not alive until the “breath of life” was “breathed into his nostrils.” Therefore, a living soul (nephesh) is composed of body + spirit of man (mind or psyche). In other words, man is composed of body which is matter as it comes from earth/mud/dust and a mind or psyche which is spiritual as it comes from a spirit-composed God breathing into man’s nostrils.
Now see how death is described and what happens to the 2 components of man at death in Ecclesiastes 12:7 (NIV)
The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it”  
 
Also, in Gen. 3:19 ” for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead,…”
Essentially then, the mechanism of death is that the spirit component of man separates from the matter component flesh-body; the former goes back to God where it came and was “breathed” from; the latter goes to hades(buried in the tomb to rot) where it was formed from. Scientifically, although an assumption, the sudden electrical burst in EEG at time of death may find basis for this “separation”( 1,2,3).


Where Differences Lie


Let us then examine this concept of death in light of where the differences lie among biblical teachings of different sects in Christianity. In so doing, we may re-evaluate, optimize our current understanding of this subject and hopefully limit animosity.After taking up what teachings Christians (Catholics, Protestants, etc) align with, we can now enumerate where they differ from, viz.,
1. Is anyone who died, currently living in heaven?
It is a common belief that when we die, we immediately go to heaven or hell. This teaching was based on what Jesus at crucifixion said to the criminal and robber in the cross with him, as in:
Luke 23:43: “Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


In the original Greek text, there is  no “comma’ before the word “today”. This “comma” was an English grammar construction and interjected interpretation. Thus, with this comma before the today, Jesus went to heaven with the criminal on that “day” or immediately at death. With this teaching, one has to explain how could this happen when Jesus was still in the tomb for “3 days and 3 nights”. Moreover, a teaching that a criminal goes directly to heaven had to assume that Jesus forgave him at the cross, without proof that he actually said so and does not need to do any “good works of the Holy Spirit”.
Alternatively, it may well be argued that the “comma” should follow the word “today” which then changes the connotation, as in:
Luke 23:43: “Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.”


With the preceding rendering that the “comma” was placed after the word ” today”, the meaning changes to another interpretation. That is, Jesus said those words on that day, but the criminal would have that “rendezvous in paradise” in the future; yet, another conjecture. Or, wherever the comma is placed before or after the word “today”, it may just mean that both of them will die the same day and both their spirits(spirit of man) would go back to the Father in heaven, following the same mechanism that defines death. 
Going back to the 1st question whether any man (the whole body and spirit) after death is currently living in heaven, one only has to listen to Jesus words, viz.,
John 3:13 “No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.”

Also, consider what apostle Peter said on the Day of Pentecost:
Acts 2:29, 34 “Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day…For David did not ascend into the heavens…”

Notice that the context refers to the whole person, body + spirit. When the text says, no one who died is in heaven, it therefore refers specifically only to the body.  David, and for that matter anybody, is still buried, i.e. his body. The claim that no one who died ascended into heaven, refers to the body-component. However, while the whole person did not go to heaven and the matter-composed body is still in the tomb,  we learned (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Gen. 3:19; James 2:26) that the active spirit-component went to God where it came from. The spirit-component of man although active is “naked“, unclothed, as in 2 Cor. 5:3, i.e., not having a body and therefore “nobody”. Only Jesus, who came from heaven, ascended into heaven with a “glorious body“, i.e., his mortal body did not rot in the tomb. Instead, after “three days and three nights”, it was changed “in a twinkling of an eye” into a glorious/spirit-composed body that is immortal. And with his spirit-composed body + psyche/spirit, the whole person ascended into heaven, (compare John 20:17, Matt. 28:9, Mark 16 and Luke 24). This new body of Jesus can be visible or invisible to human eyes.
2. Can the dead speak?
The following verses are self-explanatory:
Psalm 115:17 (ESV),  “The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any who go down into silence”.
 
 
Psalms 6:5  “For the dead do not remember you. Who can praise you from the grave?
 
Psalms 30:9 “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your faithfulness?
Isaiah 38:18 “For Sheol (grave) cannot thank You, Death cannot praise You; Those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness.”
How about in Rev. 19:1? Did not Apostle John hear “a loud voice from heaven” as in:

After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, ‘Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power to the Lord our God!’
Did John hear the voice of dead saints? Compared with Revelation 5:11-12, this voice clearly came from a multitude of angels, “Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice: ‘Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!”
 
How about the “voices of the slain” in Revelation 6: 9-11
“When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne;  they cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before thou wilt judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell upon the earth?”  Then they were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren should be complete, who were to be killed as they themselves had been.”

Knowing what we know now that only the psyche/spirit of man goes to God at death, not the body nor the whole person, one maybe able to explain this event. By itself and without a matter-composed nor spirit-composed tongue, the psyche/spirit is incapable of talking and vice-versa. For one to speak, both psyche/spirit and body have to be together. Like “faith without works is dead being alone“(James 2:26), the body is dead being alone. 
Nothing was said about the psyche/spirit that goes to God whether alive or dead.  In this narrative, only the psyche/spirit is with God as the body of the slain is still in the earthly tomb. Since the psyche/spirit has stored memories, what is in there can be accessed and can be expressed, not by the psyche/spirit itself as it has no body to be used to vocalize with. This is akin to “dream” where through the mind we appeared to be talking or walking, but actually still asleep; not vocalizing using our tongue nor walking using our legs. This verse that says “the slain cried out with a loud voice“, must be taken as an allegory with memories of the slain longing and hoping for the resurrection with new immortal body. Not that the “slain” actually spoke and voice heard.
3. Do dead people know anything?


Here again, the following are self-explanatory:
King David said, “for the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing… their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished” (Ecclesiastes 9:5, NKJV, see also Psalm 146:4; 115:17
Eccl. 9:10 “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might; for there is no activity or planning or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol (grave)where you are going”
The preceding has to refer to the body, not the “spirit of man that separated from the body at death and went (with all its memories) to the Father.


4. Jonah praying in the belly of whale

Here is the narrative:
Jonah 1:17 “Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.”
Jonah 2:1-10 “Then Jonah prayed unto the LORD his God out of the fish’s belly  And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voiceFor thou hadst cast me into the deep, in the midst of the seas; and the floods compassed me about: all thy billows and thy waves passed over me.   Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; yet I will look againtoward thy holy temple  The waters compassed me about, even to the soul: the depth closed me round about, the weeds were wrapped about my head  I went down to the bottoms of the mountains; the earth with her bars was about me for ever: yet hast thou brought up my life from corruption, O LORD my God  When my soul fainted within me I remembered the LORD: and my prayer came in unto thee, into thine holy temple  They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy  But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowedSalvation is of the LORD     And the LORD spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.”


The common teaching was that while in the belly of the big fish, Jonah was alive and praying to God. Was he really alive in the belly of the fish and praying? Remember that he was there in the “belly” for “three days and three nights” after having been swallowed. The answer lies in the actual testimony of Jesus and what happened to him.
Matt.  12:39-40 A wicked and adulterous generation demands a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet JonahFor as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
 
Jesus used the story of Jonah as an example of his death and how long he would be in the tomb as the only sign to “a wicked and adulterous generation”. No one disputes the fact that Jesus was dead and was buried. And so, shouldn’t we extrapolate that while in the belly of the big fish, Jonah was dead and was not alive praying? This was confirmed by the description that Jonah was “brought up my life from corruption“, i.e. from death. It is therefore conceivable that while he was still alive, drowning and about to become unconscious, he was praying. He was then resurrected after 3 days and 3 nights like Jesus was.
5. Lazarus/Rich man-story?
When does this narrative find application? The common teaching is that after death, they were still “alive” but Lazarus was in “comfort” at Abraham’s bosom while the rich man was tormented in flames. A number of areas are conflicted here. We now know that when a person dies, he is actually dead, not alive.  Also, which hell is referred to?  When was this resurrection? Which of the 2 final resurrection was referred to?  Let us then go through the whole account for analysis:
Luke 16: 19-31: “There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day.  And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores,  who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man’s table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.  The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried;  and in Hades, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom.  And he called out, `Father Abraham, have mercy upon me, and send Lazarus to dip the end of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.’  But Abraham said, `Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things; but now he is comforted here, and you are in anguish.  And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, in order that those who would pass from here to you may not be able, and none may cross from there to us.’  And he said, `Then I beg you, father, to send him to my father’s house,  for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they also come into this place of torment.’  But Abraham said, `They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’  And he said, `No, father Abraham; but if some one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’  He said to him, `If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead.”

This narrative speaks about their death and subsequent resurrection. Lazarus went to “Abraham’s bosom”, while the rich man was resurrected and found himself “in torment”, and “in anguish in this flame”. To begin with, there are 3 types of “hell”, viz., Hades where dead people are buried(entombed),  Tartaros where rebellious angels are and Gehenna fire, the final death. Only Gehenna has unquenchable fire. Hades does not have “flame” of fire nor does Tartaros. What was referred to, could only be “Gehenna fire”, which has flames of fire that living people can be tormented till death. The following are other English translations of this story:
Luke 16:23 “While being tormented in the place of the dead, he looked up and saw Abraham at a distance with Lazarus at his side.”(CEB). Notice, that the place of the dead was not specified as to any of the 3 types.  
 
 
‭‭
Luke‬ ‭16:22-23‬ ‭(CPDV) “Then it happened that the beggar died, and he was carried by the Angels into the bosom of Abraham. Now the wealthy man also died, and he was entombed in Hell. Then lifting up his eyes, while he was in torments, he saw Abraham far away, and Lazarus in his bosom.http://bible.com/42/luk.16.22-23.cpdv
Notice from these alternate English translation, that the place where he was buried was in “hell” or Hades-Sheo. But where he was resurrected or “lifted up his eyes” and was in torment, because of the flame, was not specified.
‭‭
Luke‬ ‭16:21-23‬ ‭(DRC1752)”And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom. And the rich man also died: and he was buried in hell. And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom:” http://bible.com/55/luk.16.21-23.drc1752. Again, notice here that the place where he was buried was in “hell” or Hades-Sheol but where he was resurrected or “lifted up his eyes” and was in torment because of the flame was not specified.
Considering all the preceding, the timing of this resurrection had to be the “second resurrection”(Rev. 20:12-13), post-Millenium; in contrast to the first resurrection to immortal spirit-composed bodies at the beginning of the Millenium(Rev. 20:4-6; I Cor. 15:20; I Thes. 4:16; Rev. 20:4) This is a resurrection of the dead to flesh-composed bodies where people are judged whether to accept the “good news” of salvation and follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Those who did, went to Abraham’s bosom for spiritual growth and development to attain salvation/immortality. Those who rejected this final offer, gift and grace of God, were thrown in the Gehenna fire to be tormented till consumed to die. This could only be the reason why Abraham said “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced if some one should rise from the dead”; some finality to this punishment.
 
6. Do we have immortal soul?
Only God is immortal (see 1 Timothy 6:15, 16). Paul says that the righteous “seek for glory, honor, and immortality” (Romans 2:7). If we had immortal souls, why would the righteous seek after something they already have?



Summary:
When man was created, YHVH ELOHIM (Almighty God) made the body, all parts of it, which is matter-composed from the ground/earth. This “body” of man was not alive until “the breath of life” was breathed into his nostrils by God. This life-giving component came from a spirit being and therefore spirit-composed. These are the 2 components of man, viz., matter-composed body + spirit-composed mind/psyche (aka. spirit of man).
At death, these 2 components separate; the body which is matter-composed goes to the grave (hades), entombed and rot, while the psyche/mind which is spirit-composed goes back to the Creator. The body is dead without the spirit while the mind/psyche without the body cannot speak, praise, vocalize, pray, etc because it is “nobody“. Yet, it is still active, although  non-functional, and has embedded memories, desires, longings that allegorically can be expressed.
To be functional, this spirit/psyche/mind combines with either a “glorious, spirit-composed body”, immortal (made by God) at first resurrection that commences at the Millenium and reigns with Jesus on earth. Or, with a “flesh-composed, mortal body” at the second resurrection after the Millenium to have a chance to believe the gospel, receive the Holy Spirit of power, be guided by that Spirit for spiritual growth and development and eventually to become “son of God” with immortal body. Those who rejected this last chance will be thrown in Gehenna fire to be consumed and die forever, not tormented forever.
The new heavens and earth will therefore be ruled, not by angels, but by the “sons of God” with Jesus as the head of this “kingdom of God”, all spirit-composed. This is the gospel of the “kingdom of God”, the destiny planned by God from the foundation of the world.
May God bless us with this knowledge to enhance our faith in Him.


References:
1. Stokes, Mark, Brain Metrics: Retrieved 5/4/17 from:
2. Horizon Research Foundation: Spikes in EEG at time of Death. Retrieved 5/4/17 from:
3. Tsakiris, Alex, EEG Expert Can’t Explain Near Death Experience Data… and, Dr. Penny Sartori Finds More Than Hallucinations in NDE Accounts. Retrieved 5/4/17 from:
Original post:4/25/17
Revised 5/10/17, 10/15/2017

Gift and Reward, What ?

This topic is well-known to Christians and expected to be well-understood. Yet, many sorely missed to see where the difference and similarity as they relate to salvation. 

To begin with, in a Biblical parlance, a gift is given by someone to another who does not deserve it, although he did something, but given nevertheless. On the other hand, a reward is given by someone to another who did something to deserve it. Notice that in both giving gift or reward, someone did something to or for another whether deserved or not. 

Paul, explained this principle in Rom. 5:10,

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

Because of sin, we were God’s enemies, “driven from the garden of Eden” , so to speak, and not deserving of a gift. Yet, the Father gifted us with his Son, as in John 3:16, 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.(NIV)

And not only giving his Son as an undeserved gift to us for reconciliation with the Father. But even more importantly, another undeserved gift to us, which is the Holy Spirit of power, for our salvation.  And these free gifts to all of us, undeserved who sinned, were planned even before anyone sinned, i.e., before the foundation of the world, before the creation of man. 

Reconciliation and justification came about because of what Jesus did, i.e., his death. But, this was reckoned not because Jesus followed by substituting his death for mankind; not by his “works” or obedience. Rather, as Paul explained in Rom 3:22-23:

 “by the righteousness of faith (even of Jesus), so no man (even Jesus) can boast. Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.

Notice, “unto all them that believe”, meaning that while these gifts are for all, still one has to “believe”(had to do something), for these to be “activated” on any specific person. Much like a “link for temporary password” given freely to a person by a website app, has to be activated or authenticated for I.D. security; it is specific and secure, but we need to do something.

Eph. 2:8-10 ” For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, (even of Jesus’) so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

Similarly, the Holy Spirit was given not because of Jesus’ works but on Jesus’ trust (based on faith) in the Father that what he promised for mankind (which is the Holy Spirit) He would give. And this receipt of the Holy Spirit occurred after Jesus had been resurrected to receive it for mankind. 


Summary:

In both gift and reward, we did something:

1. We sinned (did something), yet were given free gifts of his Son for reconciliation and the Holy Spirit of power towards our salvation. These gifts were due to trust based on “faith of Jesus”(not his works) that the Father will fulfill his promises to “the seed”(Jesus). 

2. We believed (did something) and were given this free gift of Holy Spirit. No “good works” yet from us, except belief. 

3. We obeyed (did something) the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, to ‘bear fruits” worthy of God’s reward, which is “glory, honor, immortality, eternal life”, being Sons and Daughters of the God-Kingdom, the family of God.

Original post: 4/10/2017

Revised post: 5/3/17
 

LOVE, John 3:16 Unraveled

John 3:16 unraveled
Many Christians know this foundational verse and have memorized this for sometime.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life”.(NIV)
It is good to compartmentalize each phrase that comprises this verse to fully understand what makes this a foundational teaching. However, many differ in understanding. So, this commentary may help in the furtherance of truth.

For God.
It is common knowledge that this refers to Father-God. What may not be appreciated is that, in the New Testament, whenever the English word “God” is used, it is translated from the Greek word “Theos” which is a generic word for “God”. By and large, in the NT, when the word God is used, it refers to God the Father, not the Son Jesus. Especially in this verse, since the Son was mentioned, the reference is without doubt. In the Old Testament, the word translated to English from Hebrew is generally El Shaddai, YHVH(Creator), Elohim, Elyon, El , the one who incarnated to man-Jesus. The Ancient of Days (Daniel ?) refers to the Father. 

So Loved the World.
The emphasis is on love, the basis on which action was taken by the Father. It was love that led the Father to give us grace and gifted us with Jesus, his “only begotten Son”. And this gift was planned even before the foundation of the world, as in “slain from the foundation of the world”(Rev. 13:8); yes, even before the creation of man. That being the case, love was not a reaction or response of God to Adam’s (mankind’s) sin, as sin came after creation. Indeed, “love covers all” no matter how serious our sin is. As heinous as sin can be, the Father has already planned a way for reconciliation and subsequent salvation to those who “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit”. Those who are saved became so, because they have immortality and eternal life. Yet, there is a consequence to people who continued on sinning, viz., the “lake of fire”. 
Excerpts from reference(1) asked why God make the earth and us along with it. He doesn’t really need us, so why did he create anything? “King David asked essentially the same thing:
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers … what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:3-4, see also Heb. ?).
God made us, not because he needed us: 
“The God who made the world and everything in it … is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything” (Acts 17:24-25)..
Despite not needing us, God chose to create us anyway, out of his great love:
 “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jeremiah 31:3). 
Yes, God loved us before he even created us. It’s impossible to get our heads around that idea, but it’s true; that’s what “everlasting” love means.”

 
He Gave His One and Only Son
Before the foundation of the world, there were no name-identities like Father, man-Jesus, much less Son-Jesus; these descriptive names were yet in the future. There were only the Ancient of Days, YHVH Creator (with other descriptive names) and angelic beings. Yet, even before man-Jesus became a Son of God, he was already prophesied to be so. I Pet 1:20 
“God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.” (NLT). 
It takes guidance of the Holy Spirit to finally realize in these “last days” that there was an unwritten covenant between the Ancient of Days (Father) and YHVH Creator (Jesus) of the plan, based on love, to be “one” with each other and with humans in a family relationship, i.e., Father-Sons/Daughters of God. 
For this plan to happen, humans have to be created composed of flesh+breath of life/spirit of man. Being flesh-composed and “weak” (Matthew 26:40-45), the first man and all humanity would sin and needs re-creation (Read Jer. 18: 1-4 Isa. 29:16; Isa. 64:Isa. 45:9; Rom. 9:20). 
YHVH/Creator has to incarnate into man-Jesus, die as a Passover for mankind’s sin for reconciliation, be resurrected to receive from the Father the promised Holy Spirit that when given to us, will empower us to “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit” and be “one” with him. On the “faith of Jesus”, he trusted the Ancients of Days (Father) to fulfill these promises to “the seed”(Jesus). 
As Paul wrote:

”Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:5-10).

Whoever Believes in Him
One has to believe, have faith in Jesus, trust that all promises made to him by the Father will be realized towards us, as well. And faith comes by hearing, as in:
Rom. 10:17 “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God”
We learned to have “faith” or evidence/substance (Heb 11:1) of things hoped for, through man-Jesus, as witnessed by his apostles. And this faith came to us through our “hearing”, with our ears only after having been opened by God to spiritual truth. Because of that evidence learned, we believed and trusted God. Through our belief, we then received the Holy Spirit of power to become “sons of God” as in:

John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:”

Shall Not Perish but have Eternal Life

According to “our deeds” there is consequence of continual disobedience which is eternal death while obedience leads to eternal life. The reward of having our “spirit of man” ( our mind/psyche in Greek) continuously follow the will of the gifted Holy Spirit in us, not the pull of the flesh, is to have “glory, honor and immortality, eternal life” as in;
Rom. 2:6-9 ” Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;”
While these are “our” deeds, they are strictly speaking the “fruits of the Holy Spirit”. Without the “works” through the Holy Spirit, our “own deeds” will not suffice to the Father. As noted, deeds of our own, as good as they are, still are “filthy rags” to God so no one can boast. 
Isa 64:6“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away”.
Glory and honor be to God for his love that brought as grace through Jesus. His faith and works became an example and precursor for us to have as well, “the way” for our salvation. 

Reference:
1. Why did God create man?Accessed 3/31/17 from http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/advice/faithdoubt/why-did-god-create-man.html
Originally posted: 4/10/17