Garden of Gethsemane, a teaching tool for all ?

Garden of Gethsemane, a teaching tool for all ?

The story of Jesus on the night prior to his crucifixion has been written in the synoptic gospels in Mark 14:32-41, Matthew 26:36-45, Luke 22:39-54 and in John 18:1-12

This narrative is historically poignant as this is the first time in the life of man-Jesus when it was recorded that he prayed so fervently that he “sweated blood”, as in:

And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44)

Notice that it was not exactly blood that Jesus was sweating; instead it was “like great drops of blood”. Otherwise, if it was real blood, he would have had hemorrhagic shock, no pun intended.

One can deduce from this description that the context must have meant “to sweat profusely”, like “bleeding out” sweat “falling down to the ground”. Such degree of diaphoresis suggests the intensity and severity of Jesus’ dilemma. For him, that night was a turning point with cosmic proportion, but why?

Jesus’ life of risks

What is so different at this time? His life has been in danger before, as in:

John 7:1 “After these things Jesus walked in Galilee: for: he would not walk in Jewry, because, the Jews sought to kill him.”

John 8:59 “Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

John 10:31 “The Jews took up stones again to stone Him.”

In all these instances, he slipped away and was not injured. They were like “no brainer” to split from these. These risks were predictably escapable and no harm would come to him. It was not yet his time to be sacrificed.

Also, the first time he was tempted to hurt himself or commit suicide was directly from Satan himself. This narrative was recorded in Matt 4:6; Mark 1:12-13 and Luke 4:9-12. He did not succumb to Satan and overcame him with wisdom with help of the “Helper”(John 14:26;Holy Spirit). Satan knew people, before Jesus, claimed to be the Christ, yet died and gone they were. Nonetheless, Jesus did not divulge his identity to Satan who needed proof that he was the “chosen one”(Isaiah 42:1).

Notice that in all of these risks in his life, he knew fully well that his “time was not yet”, as in John 7:6:

Jesus replied, “Now is not the right time for me to go, but you can go anytime.”

Notice that while his life was in real jeopardy in many instances, he knew that he would not be killed. It was not his time yet.

In contrast, that night in Gethsemane was very different. It was only on that night that it finally dawned on him the anguish of definite death that would come to him by crucifixion towards the end of that day. His life was on the line.

It was the night of Nisan 14 when before the day was over, that he was destined to be killed as a Passover. That night was a very agonizing moment for him that he sweat profusely. And, rightly so as he was in the crossroad of an earth-shaking dilemma, i.e.,to follow his “own will”, praying for the Father to spare his life or succumb to the Father’s will to die for mankind. A wrong choice on his part will spell eternal disaster to everything and everyone that was created, “visible or invisible” (Col. 1:16). His decision carries repercussions of infinite proportion. He understood from the experience of others and from what he saw about death by crucifixion, how this torture leads to excruciating pain, exhaustion and asphyxiation.

Jesus reached the crossroad

So, what decision would he make?

Considering that he is the “only way, the truth and life”(John 14:6) and that “no other name given …by which we must be saved”(Acts 4:12), took on an even compelling pressure on him to make the right and only decision. The wisdom that comes from Luke 17:33 (“he who loses his life will preserve it“) reverberated in his ears. Jesus knew that while he was imbued with the Holy Spirit at river Jordan (Luke 3:22) the Father will “not spare his own Son” (Rom. 8:32; Matt. 4:17).

This was the night that he genuinely recognized his “spirit is willing but the (his) flesh is weak”(Matt 26:41). Although if he chooses, he could be empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome the “pull of his flesh” but at the expense of his life. Indeed, he has to die to “condemn sin in his flesh” as in:

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:” (Romans 8:3)

He had to “condemn sin in his flesh”, not by surviving and living through this dilemma, but by death through crucifixion. This is the only path as planned by the Father for his “flesh” to die before being resurrected with an immortal body. His choice did not come easily nor in a snap. And, him being composed of flesh, he realized that on his own, he was “weak” and needed to summon the strength that comes from the power of the Holy Spirit given to him at river Jordan. He had to “Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh(Gal. 5:16).

Teaching moment for Jesus and for us?

On that night, his trust in the Father’s plan that there was no other way but to die, was shaken by the urgency of the reality that he has to finally decide to be a “Passover”(I Cor. 5:7)). He would not be forced into submission and he has to take it voluntarily and with conviction.

What then convinced him of the only correct choice? Reading Mark 14:41, Matthew 26:44 and in Luke 22:39-54, it took him the 3rd time seeing his disciples sleeping, reminding him that like him, the disciples’ “spirit is willing but flesh is weak”. This optic of similar weakness of his fellow-flesh, finally made Jesus to realize that “human flesh is weak” and he had to die for mankind, i.e., “take the cup”. By his own personal experience, and even with the Holy Spirit imbued in him, he in fact was initially preferring to stay alive instead of dying a horrifying death,i.e., “let this cup pass from me“. His spirit is willing to die, but his flesh was telling him otherwise. The spirit and the flesh were at odds, at war with another, as expressed by Paul (Rom. 7:15-25).

After the 3rd time coming back praying in Gethsemane, Jesus said,

Truly the flesh is weak” (Matt 26:41-45; Mk.14:38-42).

Finally, on that night in the garden of Gethsemane he decided,

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”(Luke 22:42, NIV)

For emphasis, man-Jesus’ personal will (being drawn to the flesh) was not to die as a Passover for mankind. His weak flesh was battling against his spirit. But, without “taking the cup” he would not have been resurrected by the Father, nor subsequently gifted with the power of the Holy Spirit to us-ward. The Holy Spirit baptized into him at river Jordan was specifically for him. He had to get that same power, but this time after his resurrection, for him to give to us. The fact is, that he subjugated the personal pull of his flesh, to the will of his Father by the power of the Holy Spirit that guided him with wisdom. And that decision was no simple feat but rather a major one with eternal ramifications. He chose voluntarily to follow the will of the Father and said, “…not my will, but yours be done.” They are indeed, “one” with each other.

He restored his trust in the promise of his Father to be resurrected after his death. Again the emphasis in this story in the garden of Gethsemane is trust and the reality of the warring components of our body, i.e., flesh and spirit-of-man (1).

Subsequently, history shows that 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, he was “manifested/declared as Son of God by resurrection from the dead”(Romans 1:4). Indeed, he was declared or called or named as “Son of God” after resurrection, went to heaven and received the Holy Spirit directly from the Father to be given to us (John 16:7). And, on the day of Pentecost it was gifted with openness and grandeur to the apostles and others(Read Acts Chapter 2) with the purpose of creating “many sons and daughters of God” as in:

Heb. 2:10 “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffering.

Heb 4:15

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin.” (NIV)

Summary

Death by crucifixion was the preferred torture and common during the Roman Empire. That night of Nisan 14 in the garden at Gethsemane was a seminal event that led to a major decision of Jesus. It was the turning point of colossal proportion in the road to salvation for all of us. A horrifying night to the “captain of our salvation“ who faced, not an escapable risk, but with his actual death through the horrifying anguish of crucifixion. Sweating profusely “like great blood” flowing down the ground, he emoted the gravity and intensity of his prayer and supplication to the Father to “spare the life” of his Son. But, there is only “one way” and “truth” towards eternal life and that the Father will not “spare the life” even of his only son. Jesus has to be the “Passover Lamb”, chosen specifically by the Father, for a “sweet offering” (Eph. 5:2) to reconcile man to the Father, to die rather than live (Luke 17:33). And this destiny, Jesus had to accept willingly and voluntarily, not mandated nor forced down his throat. And Jesus did accept the Father’s will, meekly and reverently!

The teaching moment was for all of us, including man-Jesus, the “pioneer” (trailblazer, author) of our salvation (Heb. 12:2). We all have to “live by faith” , follow the Holy Spirit that guides us to correct decisions and not succumb to the “pull of the flesh”. While we may have the Holy Spirit residing in us, we will still be tempted, like Jesus was, and undergo sufferings because of the “weak flesh” that man was composed of (1). Also, like what Jesus did, we have to follow (especially at the “last days “) the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Pray always that we will not be subjected to crucifixion which was replaced historically by “waterboarding” or any “enhanced interrogation techniques”(2,3). But, even when we do, just remember to “walk in the spirit” so as not to follow the “pull of the flesh”. And apostle Paul followed the example of Jesus, too.

To Paul, whose life seemed to be round-the-clock risk, the scriptures state:

Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea” (2nd Cor 11:25) and very often “in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure” (2nd Cor 11:27)

Finally, the strength to overcome the risk and pain of losing one’s life in this world or pull of the flesh is trust, anchored on faith that is evidence-based, and hope in the promise (4) that he who loses his life in this world will save it for the age to come. The optic of Jesus crucified on the cross is the epitome of trust in the Father that all of us must learn.

May God bless us all.🙏😇

References:

1. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy, Retrieved 7/26/18 from

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

2. Eric Weiner. Waterboarding: a Tortured History. Retrieved 7/28/18 from https://www.npr.org/2007/11/03/15886834/waterboarding-a-tortured-history

3. Waterboarding. Retrieved 7/28/18 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/waterboarding

4. Faith vs hope, wishful thinking, trust. Retrieved 7/28/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/27/faith-vs-hope-or-wishful-thinking/

Original post: July 28, 2018

What do the “tree of life” and tree with fruits of “knowledge of good and evil” mean to us?

What do the “tree of life” and tree with fruits of “knowledge of good and evil” mean to us?

The narrative in the garden of Eden about the tree of life and the tree of good and evil summarizes the basic foundation of the plan of God, from the beginning, and revealed what actually is the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.

Who to believe?

Notice that Adam & Eve had a choice, viz., to eat all in the garden including the fruit of the tree of life that will make them immortal but not to eat the fruit of that one specific tree of good and evil, also in the midst of the garden, that will make them “like us“. That forbidden fruit of that tree, and when eaten, they “will surely die“(Gen 2:9,16;3:3-5).

In contrast to the “immortal fruit” that will make them spirit-beings like God, eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” would give them wisdom “like Elohim”; so they wrongly thought and prioritized. They believed this lie from Satan that, even by violating that command “not to eat” the forbidden fruit, they would not die and continue to live in the garden of Eden so they can afterwards eat the ” fruit of the tree of life” and have eternal life. Hence, prioritizing “wisdom“, the “knowledge of good and evil” over “tree of life” eternal.

Elohim, being the omnipotent, omniscient and Creator/Word of all, their “desire” to be like him was understandable and logical. But, eating the forbidden fruit has consequence of death. They believed Satan instead of God. Aside from disbelieving the Almighty God, the action they took to be “like Elohim” was misplaced and misguided. God practically was saying, ” this is not the way to be like me“. The Serpent hoodwinked them into believing a lie that appealed to their “desire“. It was a temptation they could not resist and to their peril. Adam & Eve sinned because of:

1. Disbelief in the Almighty-God(El Shaddai/YHVH), the one who stood for the Father at that time in Genesis. Belief is the core and hub that set the trajectory towards the future of humans. Without belief in him, no one can please God ( Heb. 11:6-8). Trust on what God said is the fundamental basis being set here.

2. The mechanism to be “like him” was not for the first Adam to reach that goal and to do it on his own,i.e., not his “own works”. That person would have to be the “last or second Adam” (Incarnated YAHWEH/man-Jesus) that was prophesied to reach that goal not on his own but by the power of the Holy Spirit given to him as a gift. Adam & Eve did not know this at that time but their sin was so seminal such that it can not be mitigated by lack of this knowledge.

Creation Goal

Notice the plan of God in the creation narrative:

1. He created the non-living, like the planets (universe), (he may have created first the angelic spirit-beings) then,

2. He created the living, like the plants and animals and different species within their “own kind”. The principle/law of Genetics was established; the plant kingdom and animal kingdom will stay within that kingdom although they may have different species within their kind. Simply stated, a plant cannot be an animal or vice-versa; no evolution from each other.

Much like darkness (non-living), the Word/Creator then said, “let there be light“. Darkness then light, non-living then life. After creating living plants and animals, the Word/Creator said, let us make man in “our image”, i.e. in the image of the Creator Elohim/YHVH, “like us“, not in the image of angels nor “plant or animal kingdom”.

Notice that YHVH was not creating spirit-beings, like angels. They were already created way before any other living creation. Nor was he creating a “human kingdom” or another animal kingdom. Nor was he evolving animals into humans. He was creating something unique from all creation,i.e., “likeness/image of YAHWEH ELOHIM(Lord God)”.

The Creator God was not creating a “human kingdom”. History shows that all “human kingdoms” failed from 1st Adam, Tower of Babel, Babylonian and its succession of kingdoms, Israel under Saul, etc. even Babylonian empire towards the “ten toes” ( Daniel 2:19-45). His plan was for man to be like him (Elohim), a new creation, a “kingdom of God”, not a human kingdom, much different and above angelic beings or “angelic species”. This is the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.

Strategic Plan for this New Creation

Much like any goal, there has to be strategic plan to reach it. Following through Biblical history one sees the following timetable:

1. Incarnation of the Creator God, the El SHADDAI, the YHVH, as in Exodus 6:3

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai–‘God Almighty’–but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them”(New Living Translation) into JEHUSHUAH/man-Jesus/the WORD as in,

John 1:1 “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

2. For Jesus, the carpenter-builder to be baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit. This occurred in river Jordan. He is the pioneer, trailblazer, captain, precursor ,Author..to start this process. See Heb. 2:10-11;12:2; 6:19-20). This power he used to overcome Satan and to do miracles, without which he would be “weak” like any human (Matt. 26:41; Mk 14:41). This power also sanctified him and guided him with wisdom. But more importantly, this Holy Spirit of power helped him to choose the Father’s will, not his own(Luke 22:42). To be completely convinced that “man is weak” without the Holy Spirit, he has to go back 3 times to see his disciples sleep instead of wait. Finally, he said “truly man is weak” and needed the Holy Spirit to be empowered. Without the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we will not be saved. Subsequently, he said “not my will but your will (Father) be done”. Jesus is indeed “one” with the Father(John 10:30; 17:21).

3. After Jesus’ death as the Passover Lamb, he was resurrected after 3 days and 3 nights, to receive personally and directly from the Father the gift, as promised, the Holy Spirit to then be given to those called in their time to empower them as well.

4. Those who believed and trusted God that what he promised, he will deliver, will receive the Holy Spirit of power, also for their sanctification, guidance and wisdom to choose right from wrong. As humans, even with the Holy Spirit, they(like man-Jesus) will undergo trials, tribulations, challenges ...”to make them perfect through suffering “(Heb. 2:10).

5. Those who bear fruits of the Holy Spirit, endure, persevere through the end, will then receive “immortality/eternal life”(Gal. 5:22-23; Matt. 7:19; Luke 13:9; Rom. 2:7;James 1:12;2 Tim. 2:12; Heb 12:1-2;Rev.2:26-28).

Summary

The timetable for humans to be “like him” required the incarnation of YHVH to the man-Jesus who came “from above“, a “temple not made by hands”. This was not “of works” of Adam or any man; it is a gift of God by grace, an expression of love. Adam was indeed forbidden to do this on his own as he was a man “from the ground“(Gen. 2:7), not “from above” as Jesus was(John 8:23). This man-Jesus was initially created below angelic beings (Heb 2:1-10; Ps 8:3-9;) but subsequently became higher than them when “declared to be Son of God by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). The strategy is for Jesus to die for the sin of mankind, as Passover substitute for mankind to reconcile us to God, be resurrected to life, as in “we shall be saved by his life“( Rom. 5:10), so that the Spirit could be sent to dwell in us for our development into His body(the church), to be “one” as in, “we shall be like him”(I John 3:2; Gen. 3:5), our Elder Brother (Heb. 2:11)in this family of God. After Jesus fulfilled and declared as”Son of God” by the resurrection from the dead, he will then ” bring many sons to glory” ( Heb 2:10).

The kingdom of God is more than a government of God, more than a place. It is in fact higher than a plant kingdom, a animal kingdom, and angelic species. Great destiny and gift for mankind to be in the class of “Elohim” with Jesus and the Father. Let us therefore thank our Elder Brother Jesus.

Original Post: 7/1/18

Revised and Reposted: 7/20/18

Two goats of the Day of atonement?

Two goats of the Day of atonement?

Controversy continues as to what these 2 goats of the Day of atonement represent.

What is undeniable is that these 2 goats are for the atonement of sins. But, whose sins? From the narrative in Leviticus 16, the goat casted for YHVH (Lord) was killed and the scapegoat(Azazel, for departure) was presented alive to YHVH (Lord). The 1st goat was for the atonement of sins of mankind. But, what about the 2nd goat? Could the 2nd goat be for atonement of sins of the “fallen angels“?

Notice that in v-15, the killed goat was a sin offering for the sins of Israel and by extension includes that of Gentiles. On the other hand, in v-10, the “scapegoat” was presented alive and was sent into the “wilderness” (v-22, land not inhabited). But why should Aaron after atonement of sins of Israel through the death of the first goat in v-16, again, in v-21, “lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins..”?

Looking back at creation, angels and humans were all created by YHVH, the Word-Creator. Adam, representing humans, sinned and death came to all mankind. Similarly, Lucifer sinned and in fact took away with him a third of angelic beings. To be a substitute for humans, the second Adam (Jesus) has to be human as well.

YYHVH has to incarnate as man-Jesus to die for mankind. The parallel here, is shared by many, that the 1st goat that was killed represented the atoning sacrificial death of Jesus to reconcile mankind to God. But, how about the sins of angelic beings? Notice in V-10

“But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”.

Notice that the purpose of the live-goat was also for atoning of sins. But this time for whom? As the killed goat represented the Passover Lamb/Jesus for mankind, this time the atonement is for those in the “uninhabited land“, to reconcile them to God. There is no other created beings outside of humans who needed atonement but the “fallen angels”. And, they are indeed in the land not inhabited by humans. They are in “tartaros“(hell); not in “hades” where dead humans are.

As a goat that was killed, so was the man-Jesus killed. But as a resurrected Jesus, “he went and preached unto the spirits(fallen angels) in prison” (I Pet. 3:19). These fallen angels are in “… chains of darkness,..”(2 Pet 2:4), “… everlasting chains...”(Jude 1:6).

The live-goat (resurrected Jesus) with sins of mankind “upon the head of the goat” as proof, was showing these “fallen angels” about what he already did. That, as he did his atoning sacrifice for man, Jews and extended to Gentiles alike, so was he extending this atonement towards the “fallen angels” and they have to repent. As Jesus reconciled mankind to God with his death, having been resurrected and alive he can also atone and reconcile the “fallen angels” as he will be sitting in “the right hand of God”.

As YHVH, and the Word-Creator being the incarnate Jesus, these 2 goats foreshadow what Jesus would do in the future. He has provided a mechanism for atonement of all sins to reconcile all to God.

All created beings, humans and angels, will have a chance for atonement and salvation.

God bless 🙏😇

Original post: July 16, 2018

What do the “tree of life” and tree with fruits of “knowledge of good and evil” mean to us?

What do the “tree of life” and tree with fruits of “knowledge of good and evil” mean to us?

The narrative in the garden of Eden about the tree of life and the tree of good and evil summarizes the basic foundation of the plan of God, from the beginning, and revealed what actually is the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.

Who to believe?

Notice that Adam & Eve had a choice, viz., to eat anything in the garden including the fruit of the tree of life that will make them immortal but not to eat the fruit of that one specific tree of good and evil, also in the midst of the garden, that will make them “like us“,i.e., like Elohim. That forbidden fruit of the tree, when eaten, they “will surely die“(Gen 2:9,16;3:3-5).

In contrast to the “fruit of the tree of life” that will give eternal life by becoming spirit-beings like God, eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” would give them wisdom “like Elohim”; so they wrongly thought and prioritized. They believed this lie from Satan that, even by violating that command “not to eat” the forbidden fruit, they would not die and continue to live in the garden of Eden so they can afterwards eat the ” fruit of the tree of life” and have eternal life. Hence, prioritizing “wisdom“, the “knowledge of good and evil” over “tree of life” eternal.

Elohim, being the omnipotent, omniscient and Creator/Word of all, their “desire” to be like him was understandable and logical. But, eating the forbidden fruit has consequence of death. They believed Satan instead of God. Aside from disbelieving the Almighty God, the action they took to be “like Elohim” was misplaced and misguided. God practically was saying, ” this is not the way to be like me“. The Serpent hoodwinked them into believing a lie that appealed to their “desire“. It was a temptation they could not resist and to their peril. Adam & Eve sinned because of disobedience to his command. Disobeying resulted from:

1. Disbelief in the Almighty-God(El Shaddai/YHVH), the one who stood for the Father at that time in Genesis. Belief is the core and hub that set the trajectory towards the future of humans. Without belief in him, no one can please God ( Heb. 11:6-8). Trust on what God said is the fundamental basis being set here.

2. Taking on being “like him” by themselves. It was not for the first Adam to reach that goal and to do it on his own,i.e., not his “own works”. That person would have to be the “last or second Adam” (Incarnated YAHWEH/man-Jesus) that was prophesied to reach that goal not on his own but by the power of the Holy Spirit given to him as a gift. Adam & Eve did not know this at that time but their sin was so seminal such that it can not be mitigated by lack of this knowledge.

Creation Goal

Notice the plan of God in the creation narrative:

1. He created the non-living, like the planets (universe), (he may have created first the angelic spirit-beings) then,

2. He created the living, like the plants and animals and different species within their “own kind”. The principle/law of Genetics was established; the plant kingdom and animal kingdom will stay within that kingdom although they may have different species within their kind. Simply stated, a plant cannot be an animal or vice-versa; no evolution from each other.

Much like darkness (non-living), the Word/Creator then said, “let there be light“. Darkness then light, non-living then life. After creating living plants and animals, the Word/Creator said, let us make man in “our image”, i.e. in the image of the Creator Elohim/YHVH, “like us“, not in the image of angels nor “plant or animal kingdom”.

Notice that YHVH was not creating spirit-beings, like angels. They were already created way before any other living creation. Nor was he creating a “human kingdom” or another animal kingdom. Nor was he evolving animals into humans. He was creating something unique from all creation,i.e., “likeness/image of YAHWEH ELOHIM(Lord God)”.

The goal of the Creator God was not creating a “human kingdom”. History shows that all “human kingdoms” failed from 1st Adam, Tower of Babel, Babylonian and its succession of kingdoms, Israel under Saul, etc. even towards the “ten toes” ( Daniel 2:19-45). His goal was to create man as a template , an image of him, to be “like him” (Elohim), and eventually a new creation, a “kingdom of God”, Spirit-composed, not a human kingdom, much different and above angelic beings or “angelic species“. This is the “gospel of the kingdom of God”.

Strategic Plan for this New Creation

Much like any goal, there has to be strategic plan to reach it. Following through Biblical history one sees the following timetable:

1. Incarnation of the Creator God, the El SHADDAI, the YHVH, as in Exodus 6:3

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai–‘God Almighty’–but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh, to them”(New Living Translation) into JEHUSHUAH/man-Jesus/the WORD as in,

John 1:1 “ In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God

John 1:14 “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

2. For Jesus, the carpenter-builder to be baptized with the power of the Holy Spirit.This occurred in river Jordan. He is the pioneer, trailblazer, captain, precursor ,Author..to start this process. See Heb. 2:10-11;12:2; 6:19-20). This power was used to overcome Satan and to do miracles, without which he would be “weak” like any human (Matt. 26:41; Mk 14:41). This power also sanctified him and guided him with wisdom. But more importantly, this Holy Spirit of power helped him to choose the Father’s will, not his own(Luke 22:42). Jesus is indeed “one” with the Father(John 10:30; 17:21).

3. After Jesus’ death as the Passover Lamb, he was resurrected after 3 days and 3 nights, to receive personally and directly from the Father the gift, as promised, the Holy Spirit to then be given to those called in their time to empower them as well.

4. Those who believed and trusted God that what he promised, he will deliver, will receive the Holy Spirit of power, also for their sanctification, guidance and wisdom to choose right from wrong. As humans, even with the Holy Spirit, they(like man-Jesus) will undergo trials, tribulations, challenges ...”to make them perfect through suffering “(Heb. 2:10).

5. Those who bear fruits of the Holy Spirit, endure, persevere through the end, will then receive “immortality/eternal life”(Gal. 5:22-23; Matt. 7:19; Luke 13:9; Rom. 2:7;James 1:12;2 Tim. 2:12; Heb 12:1-2;Rev.2:26-28).

Summary

The timetable for humans to be “like him” required the incarnation of YHVH to the man-Jesus who came “from above“, a “temple not made by hands”. This was not “of works” of Adam or any man; it is a gift of God by grace, an expression of love. Adam was indeed forbidden to do this on his own as he was a man “from the ground“(Gen. 2:7), not “from above” as Jesus was(John 8:23). This man-Jesus was initially created below angelic beings (Heb 2:1-10; Ps 8:3-9;) but subsequently became higher than them when “declared to be Son of God by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4). The strategy is for Jesus to die for the sin of mankind, as Passover substitute for mankind to reconcile us to God, be resurrected to life, as in “we shall be saved by his life“( Rom. 5:10), so that the Spirit could be sent to dwell in us for our development into His body, to be “one” as in, “we shall be like him”(I John 3:2; Gen. 3:5), our Elder Brother (Heb. 2:11)in this family of God. After Jesus fulfilled and declared as”Son of God” by the resurrection from the dead, he will then ” bring many sons to glory” ( Heb 2:10).

The kingdom of God is more than a government of God, more than a place. It is in fact higher than a plant kingdom, an animal kingdom, and angelic species. Great destiny and gift for mankind to be in the class of “Elohim” with Jesus and the Father. Let us therefore thank our Elder Brother Jesus and our God the Father

God bless

Original post: 7/1/18.

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

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/