What is God?

What is God?

Sounds ridiculous? Yet surprisingly, many of us may be misinformed about what the word God is. Some may be atheist and denies existence of God. Others are agnostics and still groping for the answer. Admittedly, others know who their God is, one way or another, one religion or another. But, do we really know what the word God is? This question is not about the attributes of God, viz., omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, etc. Rather, it is about whether we comprehend what comprises or constitutes the word translated in English as God. Can this understanding help us in resolving the conflict between those who prove that Jesus is God and man versus those who has equally compelling proof that he is only human? And, there are other “God’s”? Why did Jesus say in John 10:34 “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’? The man Jesus classified himself as well as other human beings as gods, for which reason they accused him of blasphemy, stoned him and subsequently killed him because uof this outrageous claim. Is Jesus right in classifying humans as gods? Does it really matter, who we are and where in creation do we belong? We are not in the plant-kingdom nor are we in the animal-kingdom. Are we really in the god-kingdom as classified by Jesus for which claim, he was persecuted and eventually died? This issue maybe so basic, yet so fundamental that the answer maybe so eye-popping as to help us understand the future and destiny of man. As the Bible says, “the only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is…” Rom. 12:3(The Message, Colorado Springs, Navpress, 1993)

To know the facts, we need to get to the original word in Hebrew (for the Old testament portion of the Bible/Tanach) and Greek (for the New Testament) that was translated into the English word God. Anyone who has a comprehensive concordance will be able to compile all the original words translated as God. Afterwards, to know the truth behind those words, one then looks at the usage/context of how the original word was used and whether other text or verses can confirm the true meaning of the original word.

Following this format of research, one may be surprised about discovering many things that we were taught as a child/adult may indeed be deficient and fall under the category of misinformation, not intentional mind you, but misleading and confusing, nevertheless. As we delve into this critical subject, we will know what comprises the word “God”, concepts of polytheism/monotheism, variations/levels of powers, and where is the rightful position of angels, man, sons of God, Christ and the Father. And from these, we will then appreciate the spiritual significance behind knowing this subject well, and the hierarchy of creation.

POLYTHEISM/MONOTHEISM :

At the outset, let us look at the concept of polytheism/monotheism and verses that may appear confusing yet may eventually help us in exploring this subject: The startling fact is that the Pentateuch introduces the concept of plurality of the word God.

Notice :

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.(Gen.1:1) Here, the word God translated from Hebrew is plural and this numerical concept is reiterated in (Gen.1:26) Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness, …

But also, consider the following verses:

If after all, there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords),( I Cor.8:5 )

God stands in the assembly of El ,in the midst of the gods he renders judgment (Ps. 82:1)

None can compare to you among the gods, O sovereign Master! Your exploits are incomparable! (Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O lord) (Ps. 86:8)

Yes, I know the Lord is great, and our sovereign Master is superior to all gods.

(YHVH is above all gods ) (Ps.135:5),

For you, O Lord, are the sovereign king over the whole earth; you are elevated high above all gods.(above all gods ) (Ps. 97:9)

You shall have no other gods before me (Ex.20:3 Decalogue)

You must burn the images of their gods,(graven images of their gods ) (Deut.7:25),

…on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment (many deities ) (Ex. 12:12)

For thou, LORD, [art] high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods (Ps. 97:9)

The preceding verses from the Old/New Testament tell us that, indeed, there are many gods, but a Supreme Being among them is above all of them.

Traditional Christianity denies the reality of many “gods”. But, there are indeed many “gods” and with different names. To Abraham, Isaac and Jacob his name was El Shaddai (God Almighty) and to Moses, YHVH (Lord/Yahweh/Jehovah); see Exodus 6:3. To Muslims, the name is Allah, to Chinese and Hindus there are many names as well(1,2).

While there are many gods, only one should be worshipped above all and others not.

These verses affirm and did not deny the existence and reality of many gods. Polytheism is a fact in as much as there are many gods, and so is monotheism, in so far as there is One Supreme Being and One Above All gods is concerned. If in fact the preceding statement is true, and using this premise as a base, it then becomes imperative to get to the original word in Hebrew and Greek that was translated God . This will then help us understand what constitutes or comprises the word God, not only from the transliteration of the word, but also its context and usage.

ELOHIM:

In Genesis, the Hebrew word translated God in English comes from the word ELOHIM/ELOHIYM. This is plural and a derivative of “El/Eloah(singular) meaning strong, mighty, power, POWERFUL ONES (3).

Likewise, in Strong’s Exhaustive Bible Concordance, comes the following Hebrew words:

430 ‘elohiym el-o-heem’ plural of 433 ; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates; and sometimes as a superlative:–angels, X exceeding, God (gods)(-dess, -ly), X (very) great, judges, X mighty.

433 ‘elowahh el-o’-ah; rarely (shortened) >eloahh {el-o’-ah probably prolonged (emphat.) from 410; a deity or the Deity:–God, god. See 430.

426 ‘elahh el-aw’ (Aramaic) corresponding to 433; God:–God, god.

410 ‘el ale shortened from 352; strength; as adjective, mighty; especially the Almighty (but used also of any deity):–God (god), X goodly, X great, idol, might(-y one), power, strong. Compare names in “-el.”

Why is Elohiym plural ? Some think this is numerical plurality but others take this to mean multiplicity or majesty of powers, functions or rank, the latter being more in line with the context of one proximate Creator.

Which, if any, could it be?

In Gen. 1:26, “And ELOHIYM said, Let us ….our likeness…” suggest there were others of the same likeness or image during this creation narrative, hence Elohiym is a word that connotes numerical plurality , but also that a particular being (not beings) actually did the creation itself or spoke the word of creating, e.g., using he in

Gen.1:27 So ELOHIYM created man in his own image, in the image of ELOHIYM created he him; male and female created he them.

1:31 And ELOHIYM saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Gen. 2:2 And on the seventh day ELOHIYM ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

V-3 And ELOHIYM blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which ELOHIYM created and made.

V-8 And YHVH ELOHIYM planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

and using I in Gen.1:29 And ELOHIYM said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.

V-30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.

YHVH ELOHIYM:

The identity of this particular Elohiym, was specified as YHVH ELOHIYM or Lord God in

Gen. 2:4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that YHVH ELOHIYM made the earth and the heavens,

V-5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for YHVH ELOHIYM had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

V-7 And YHVH ELOHIYM formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

V-8 And YHVH ELOHIYM planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

V-9 And out of the ground made YHVH ELOHIYM to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

N.B. Also see chapters 3,4,5, etc. that specifies that the particular Elohiym was in fact YHVH.

YHVH is the creator in contradistinction to the other Elohiym, as in, Gen 6:2 sons of ELOHIYM. This specific and particular Elohiym is YHVH, who is the creator and the one who said “…Let us…our likeness ..” in Gen.1:26. This same person is the one who spoke to Moses and the one known to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shadday. Notice the following:

Ex 6:2 And ELOHIYM spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am YHVH:

V-3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of EL SHADDAY (God Almighty) but by my name YHVH (Lord) was I not known to them.

V-7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a ELOHIYM: and ye shall know that I am YHVH (Lord) your ELOHIYM(God), which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.

Deut 10:17 For YHVH your ELOHIYM is ELOHIYM of gods, and ADOWN of lords, a great EL, a mighty, …

Incidentally, the traditional English version of this was quoted in the prayer by Col. Oliver North who was a keynote speaker at the National Day of Prayer gathering at Washington, D.C. on May 6 2004

This is the Elohiym(God) of Israel, and specifically identified and named YHVH / El Shadday

This again is confirmed in the Shema doctrine found in

Deut.6:4 Hear, O Israel: YHVH our ELOHIYM is one YHVH:

V-5 And thou shalt love YHVH thy ELOHIYM with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Micah 4:5 For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of YHVH our ELOHIYM for ever and ever.

Yes, there is no other specific Elohiym known and introduced to Israel to be worshipped but YHVH / El Shadday who is ONE. The One and ONLY ONE above all gods.

From the preceding, one can see that the plural word Elohiym is a generic or common name for a powerful being with majesty of powers and that it includes the creator as well as others of like image or likeness. But to specify the identity of this particular Elohiym as a creator of heavens and earth and the being who dealt with Abraham, Isaac,Jacob,Moses and Israel , the proper name YHVH / El Shadday was used.

Angel as ELOHIM:

To confirm this concept that Elohiym/God is generic/common name, notice the following:

Worship him, all ye gods (430, elohiym)Ps.97:7 and juxtapose this with the reference…angels (32 aggelos {ang’-el-os} of God worship him in Heb 1:6

The elohiym/gods in Psalm 97:7 is definitely referred to mean aggelos/angels. See also the scene when Jesus told an angel (Satan) to worship him and speaking of himself towards Satan :

Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Matt.4:10

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.Lu. 4:8

And to identify which of the elohiym or angels is specifically referred to:

…. for Satan himself is transformed into an angel (32 aggelos {ang’-el-os} of light.

II Cor.11:14,

…prince of this world be cast out John 12:31

… god (2316 theos) of this world (Satan) II Cor 4:4.

See also Ps. 8:5 angel(elohim, Strong’s #43)

Yes, even angels are classified in the Elohiym/God. This could be the reason why “us” and “our” are used in Gen.1:26 as angels were there during man’s creation, as the “serpent” (Lucifer,Satan) was in the garden of Eden

Man, Jewish leaders, Judges as ELOHIM:

Following the same concept of commonality of the word Elohiym/God, notice these verses:

John 10:31 The Jewish leaders picked up rocks again to stone him to death.

V-32 Jesus said to them, “I have shown you many good deeds from the Father. For which one of them are you going to stone me?”

V-33 The Jewish leaders replied, “We are not going to stone you for a good deed but for blasphemy, because you, a man, are claiming to be God.”

V-34 Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’?

V-35 If those people to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ (and the scripture cannot be broken), 10:36 do you say about the one whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?

Ps.82:6 I have said, Ye are gods (430 elohiym); and all of you are children of the ELYOWN (God).

N.B. Children of Elohim/God are classified gods as well, as Jesus, the man, the son of God is God, as other humans who were stoning him are called gods as well. Jesus classified “…those people to whom the word of God came …as… ‘gods’ in v-35. The word of God came to humans, you and me, and not to plants nor to animals. That’s why we are gods ! See also, Ex. 21:6; 22:8-9,28 where judges are called elohim (Strong’s#430)

MOSES reckoned as Elohiym:

Ex.4:16 And he shall be thy spokesman unto the people: and he shall be, even he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of ELOHIYM. See also, Ex. 7:1

Kings of the House of David likened to Gods:

Zech.12:8 In that day shall YHVH defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as ELOHIYM, as the angel of YHVH before them.

Yes, even men/women are classified in the Elohiym/God. Notice also that in Zech. 12:8 both man(house of David) and angel are classified as elohiym.

Again, looking at the facts and deducing the truth from the usage and context of the verses quoted, there is no doubt that Elohiym/God constitutes and comprises:

1.YHVH/El Shadday – the creator ,above all gods, one and only god to be worshipped by Israel , and by extension all gentiles.

2. Angels(including Lucifer), and other “gods” of different religions.

3. And man/woman

.

This specific and inclusive concept is not “pantheism“. It is not that “God is all and all is God” and not “all reality is infused with divinity”(4). Christ was specific and excludes plants, animals and innanimate beings. Distinction among the “gods” is maintained,i.e. there are levels and ranks of powers. Moreover,Elohiym is a word that connotes numerical plurality but may also mean multiplicity or majesty of powers, function or rank, as in Adonai in Gen 42:30,33, Isa. 22:18; 51:22; Ezra 10:3; Malachi 1:6

THEOS:

This same concept in the Old Testament is carried through in the New Testament. Notice, that in Greek, the word God is translated from “theos” This word is singular, masculine, and in the nominative case (The New Analytical Greek Lexicon ,p. 201)

And yet, THEOS , by context and usage, is a composite and includes:

1. God the Father: When Jesus had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. Now this is eternal life—that they know you, the only true God(theos,Strong’s#2316), and Jesus Christ, whom you sent. John 17:1-3

2. God, the Son/Jesus: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God(theos,Strong’s#2316), and the Word was fully God.(theos,Strong’s#2316) The Word was with God(theos,Strong’s#2316) in the beginning. All things were created by him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created.(John 1:1-3).

She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” This all happened so that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet would be fulfilled: “Look! The virgin will conceive and bear a son, and they will call him Emmanuel,” which means “God(theos,Strong’s#2316) with us.” (Matt. 1:21-23)

For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this young woman is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel (Isa. 7:14)

Isa.7:14 Therefore the ADONAY himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

3. Angel:

II Cor 4:4″among whom the god(theos,Strong’s#2316) of this age has blinded the minds of those who do not believe so they would not see the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God. … theos,Strong’s#2316 of this world (Satan)

4. Man/woman:

John 10:34-36 Jesus answered, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, you are gods’(theos, Strong’s #2316) ? If those people to whom the word of God (theos,Strong’s #2316) came were called ‘gods’(theos, Strong’s #2316) and the scripture cannot be broken, do you say about the one whom the Father set apart and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God?” (theos,Strong’s #2316)

N.B. Jesus was human and was made in the image of the invisible God as we all are (2Cor 4:4.). Jesus as man incarnate is God as He is also God in the pre-incarnate and post-incarnate state.

The preceding verses show that “theos“, while singular, is a composite word as the plural “elohiym” is. Now comes the question, why is Elohiym plural but can be singular, while Theos is singular but maybe plural? This is because by usage/context the Elohiym/Theos maybe specific or generic. When the word is specific then it is described and identified, e.g. YHVH / El Shadday or Father, Son, angel, man.

This contextual usage is equivalent to the rendering of “ekklesia”(plural) as exemplified in:

I Cor. 12:12 For just as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body—though many—are one body, so too is Christ.

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Col 1:24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church

CoL 4:15 Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which (is) in his house.

1Thes. 1:1 Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which (is) in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

1Tim. 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which (is) the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which (are) written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect

Notice that when the plural word is modified by a singular verb, it coalesces the plural into singular connotation. Ecclesia , while plural, is one but composed of many members; as our body is one, yet made up of many members. This usage is akin to the United States is one country but composed of many states; as Israel is one nation but with 12 tribes and with the grafting of the gentiles could be even more.

Summary:

1.Elohiym/Theos refers to a composite of powers, the sum of divine and powerful beings, the totality of all attributes of deity. It is a generic term that may apply to a particular being. When it does, the specific name of that Elohim is identified, as in YHVH Elohim

2. Most of the time, Elohiym in the Old Testament refers to a specific YHVH Elohiym and Theos in the New Testament refers specifically to God the Father. At other times, it refers to those others in the generic Elohiym/Theos, i.e. Jesus, angels, humans.

3. In general, Elohiym/Theos is collective and not a selective term; common and not a proper name; inclusive and not exclusive; generic not proprietary; composite and not specific.

4. The usage and/or context of the word explains the intended meaning, whether plural/singular or numerical plurality/multiplicity of power, rank or position/function.

5. The word God/Elohim, as originally written,, includes different species, levels, class or rank. At the highest level is the Father, followed by Son(s) of. God, then angelic rank, and the lowest is man. However, man will be transformed into “sons/children of God”, spirit-composed at resurrection and higher than angelic-class.

SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE:

Why know what the word “god” is ? Now that you know the facts and the truth behind the facts, the screaming spiritual significance of this truth can out-decibel anything ever heard of before! This has not been emphasized in traditional Christendom. Man is planned and classified by Jesus himself, to be categorized in the Elohiym. This classification of man in the Elohiym has far-reaching potential, seriousness and gravity that Jesus risked being stoned, charged with blasphemy and eventually gave his life for us to comprehend the magnitude of our destiny. Human beings are in the Elohiym/Theos-kind, not in the plant-kind, nor in the animal-kind. We did not “evolve” from plants nor animals! In Genesis, you can see that after plants were created, they were planned to reproduce after their own kind. Likewise, when animals were created, they were to reproduce after their own kind. But, notice, after plants and animals were created to reproduce their own kind, God said, in Genesis,

1:26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness, .”

1:27 God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them.

Yes, humans are in the image of God, as Jesus the man, was in the image of the invisible God.( “… Christ, who is the image of God… 2 Cor 4:4) God is reproducing and multiplying the numbers that compose the Elohiym, aside from angelic beings. We are created in the Elohiym/Theos. We are in the GOD-KIND ,the God-Kingdom ! This is the context of the gospel of the Kingdom Of God. Kingdom of “man” was not planned. In fact, all human kingdoms from the Tower of Babel through the succession of human kingdoms represented by the ” image of Nebuchadnezzar”, will all perish. While in the class of Elohiym, as man ,like Jesus was, we are currently below the level and rank of angels(see Heb. 2:7) But as Jesus is now in the right hand of the Father as “Son of God“, our High-Priest, man will also be in that position, higher than the angels(Heb. 1:4; 2:10), as we will be in Christ, as “Son of God”, who will bring ” many sons to glory”. The head, who is Christ, has to be with the body, which is the ecclesia, composed of many members. When this kingdom of God, the ecclesia, the priests of Melchizedek are finally composed and is delivered to the Father, then all of us, including Jesus, will bow down before the supreme God of all…the Father, as in:

And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all. 1 Cor.15:28

Thank God, this human destiny was decided even before man’s creation, and before man has done anything right or wrong. Being in that category or class of Elohiym is a gift, not of works, but of grace through faith and out of the love of God.

Brethren, the spiritual meaning of this concept that man is in the class of Elohiym is of enormous significance worthy of praise and glory of the Father. For centuries, we were distracted from this concept and now, through the blessing of the Spirit, the time has come for all of us to see our direction and destiny.

References:

1. Tianzhu, Chinese name of God. Retrieved June 1, 2004 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tianzhu.(Chinese_name_of_God)

2. List of Hindu deities. Retrieved June 1, 2004 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Hindu_deities

3. Brown,Driver,Briggs, Hebrew Lexicon, pp.42-43

4. Who made God? Ravi Zacharias,pgs.41-43,2003 Zondervan.

Complementary Articles:

Destiny of Man, https://fact-s.net/2018/05/13/destiny-of-man/

Deification of Man, https://fact-s.net/2014/07/12/deification-of-man-3/

Passion of Christ. https://fact-s.net/2014/08/06/passion-of-christ/

CONTACT:

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

Original Post : June 17, 2004

Revised: June 29,2014

Reposted: September 15,2018

Dilemma, Finally Solved; The Whole Reveal

Dilemma, Finally solved; The Whole Reveal

All of us encountered a situation where whatever we do may either be right or wrong depending on its effect on us, vis-a-vis others. There is a very strong self-interest and self-protection/preservation innately woven in our DNA that make us like a “deer freeze in headlights because they can’t see”. The hurdle that faces us may prove insurmountable and it leaves us with a dilemma in making a choice.

Ethical dilemmas, also known as a moral dilemmas, are situations in which there is a choice to be made between two options, neither of which resolves the situation in an ethically acceptable fashion. In such cases, societal and personal ethical guidelines can provide no satisfactory outcome for the chooser.” (1).

Human dilemma

Examples of dilemma for all humans are on line to see(2). The dilemma in the movie “Sophie’s choice” is heartbreaking (3), an awful experience of Sophie Zawistowska in Nazi concentration camp choosing between which child she would give up to face death under the hands of evil. The movie Les Miserables (4) is a primer on diverse human dilemma. Jean Valjean’s decision to steal a loaf of bread to feed his sister’s children vs 19 years of horrible prison term; stealing silverware from Bishop of Digne who took him in for food and shelter; breaking parole and leaving his identity as prisoner #42601 to be free and have a new life; to expose his true past to save an innocent person mistaken for him vs abandoning his comfort as factory owner and Mayor of Montreuil, Pas-de-Calais; giving himself up vs hiding in a convent, etc. The cast, viz., Javert, Fantine, Cosette, Éponine, Marius, the Thenandiers, Enjoiras, Gavroche, also have their own unique competing challenges.

As in the secular world, the same is true in the religious society. Stephen, the first martyr after Pentecost post-resurrection of Jesus narrated in Acts 2, was faced with either to preach the truth about Christ or be stoned to death which he eventually opted for (Acts 7:54-60). The rest of the early Christians also chose death over abandoning their faith. Revelations 6:10 heard their cries to God to avenge their blood.

Personally, we all have experienced dilemma. Even if one makes a choice and opts for what is best morally or ethically, the aftermath may still have physical consequence, including death. What then is the solution?

Paul’s dilemma,

The apostle Paul encapsulates this experience and was referred to, in Romans 7 where he found the truth about our composition(Genesis 2:7), mind and flesh, and the choices to be made as to which to follow. Contextually, here was Paul with the gift of “in-dwelling of the power of the Holy Spirit”, guiding his “mind”(breath-of-life/spirit-of-man) to do good, while he struggled with the pull of his “flesh” to sin. As written in:

Romans 7:15-25,

“For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin”.

Galatians 5:17 (English Standard Version):

For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.”

In the preceding verses, Paul discovered “the inward man”(5), aka “mind/breath-of-life”, where the gift of the Holy Spirit is in-dwelling, to bear the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” . Yet, still wrestling with the “flesh” to do the “works of the flesh”(Galatians 5:19-26) and his admonition to “walk in the Spirit” instead, as in:

Galatians 5:16-17“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want”.

As wretched a man he is, Paul asked “Who will deliver me from this body of death? “. His answer: “I thank God(the Father)—through Jesus Christ our Lord! “.

Paul knew that were it not for the gift of the Holy Spirit’s in-dwelling, he would have been lost. He chose to depend on God’s will instead of his own, remembering as a scholar taught by Gamaliel that “my thoughts are not your thoughts “(Isaiah 55:8-9). He learned from Jesus how to respond to dilemma and how his body has to change as in: “O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

As he stated in Philippians 4:8:

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”

Garden of Gethsemane dilemma for Man-Jesus

The narrative in Matthew 26:36-46 takes us to Jesus who was confronted with a dilemma that took him 3 times convincing himself to finally accept the “will of the Father”. His solution was to succumb his personal will to that of the Father’s, whose plan it is for Jesus to sacrifice himself voluntarily as a Passover Lamb(1 Corinthians 5:7). He is our “trailblazer”, “captain”, “pioneer” (Hebrews 2:10-11) towards the way to eternal life. As his “sheep”, let us heed the example of our “shepherd” (John 10:11; Isaiah 40:11) and follow the “will of the Father”, by the power of the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in us.

Why God does not consistently intervene?

We know of instances where God, in his omniscience, can see the person facing sure death, be violated or suffer major injuries, and yet he does not intervene. Some may wrongly argue that God’s failure is tantamount to being an accomplice of evil, albeit passive that may be. We know he can in many instances, like in the book of Daniel, where Daniel was facing fierce lion and fiery furnace and was saved. As narrated in Exodus 12, the Israelites, fleeing the bondage from Egypt were saved from Pharaoh. Indeed, the Holy Bible is replete with many examples like these of God’s intervention. Altogether though it may either be, God exercises wisdom in everything he does even when we are blinded as to reasons. Remember, Ecclesiastes 9:11,”…time and chance happen to all”.

Solution for human dilemma

Notice that in all of these examples, the predicate is always because of our mortal bodies, our mortality because “all have sinned” and merits “death”(6,7). See, also Romans 3:23 and 6:23. And because of risks embedded in our physical composition, we factor this in, consciously or subconsciously, in our decision-making, leading to dilemma.

And God who created human beings, knew this all along and planned for the solution, from the foundation of the world. The long and short of it all, is that our mortal bodies have to change. Humanity has to go through a regeneration process and be “born again”(8), not of mortal bodies that decay in “hades”(grave), but of “immortal, spirit-composed bodies”, the necessary composition to “eternal life” without dilemma.

God instituted this process even before the world began. As humans, through Adam, were counted as all sinners (Romans 5:19) so that with one man Jesus, our Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7) all will, at time appointed (Ecclesiastes 9:11), be on track towards reconciliation with the Father (2Corinthians 5:18) and subsequent in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit to bear “fruits” (Galatians 5:22-23) toward eternal life.

Summary

Dilemma is nothing new to humans, whether in secular or religious society. This is a fact of our life, being composed of “flesh+spirit” that wrestle with one another. While our “spirit is willing” to do good, the physiologic mechanism to act is hindered by the “pull of the flesh” and tempts it to go the opposite direction. As such, the flesh is truly “weak” and to “finally solve dilemma” our body has to change to another body. This is the solution to our dilemma that is predicated on our “flesh-composed body”.

The gift of the Holy Spirit was then given by the Father to the resurrected Jesus to usward, to dwell in us, as a “Helper”(John 14:26,NASB). This will then develop in us a new body, spirit-composed, immortal and will manifest in a “twinkling of an eye” at the “last trump”(1 Corinthians 15:52), on the day of our “delivery” from a long “pregnancy (Revelations 12:1-2). As prophesied in Jeremiah 18:4, our current “spirit-of-man“, (the real you, Ref. #5) has to be reworked into another vessel, as in;

And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”

Much like the physical body develops from a single cell zygote, so with a “spiritual zygote” that forms through the binding of the “spirit-of-man” and the “in-dwelling Holy Spirit”, the process of spiritual development into a “spiritual body” will follow.

But, this will complete itself by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit and a life of “overcoming”(Revelations 3:21). Follow the Holy Spirit to bear spiritual fruits, for its rejection will tantamount to “uterine rejection” of a developing “spiritual fetus” in the “church womb” (Revelations 12:1-2) towards “spiritual abortion”(9).

God bless 🙏😇

Original post: September 13, 2018

References:

1. Ethical dilemmas examples. Retrieved 9/2/18 from http://examples.yourdictionary.com/ethical-dilemma-examples.html

2. Ibid.

3. Sophie’s Choice. Retrieved 9/8/18 from https://g.co/kgs/EcpVEu

4. Les Miserables. Retrieved 9/8/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Misérables_(2012_film)

5. Who and where is the “real you”? Retrieved 9/10/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2018/08/30/who-and-where-is-the-real-you/

6.Salvation Series 1. Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

7. Death, What is? Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is

8. Born again. Retrieved 9/12/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/03/12/born-again/

9. Roe vs Wade. Retrieved 9/13/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/07/19/roe-v-wade-why-the-controversy/

Belief, the mechanism, timing of and meaning what?

Believing is a must-have for anyone to be saved. We have to believe in God and his promises. By believing, we recognize his sovereignty. Without believing, no one comes to the “kingdom of God”(1). It is a critical key that opens the door to salvation (2). This principle is based on:

Acts 16:31”They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.

Hebrews 11:6 tells us, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

Romans 10:14 “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?”

Believing is indeed a sine-qua-non to salvation. We have to believe that God is who he says he is; that what he promised he has the power to fulfill and that his Son-Jesus is the only “way, the truth and the life”(John 14:6). And, this belief only comes after hearing of evidenced-based proof/faith(3). Moreover, it necessitates someone to preach the true “gospel” before one can hear it.

For emphasis, no one believes unless he first “hears”. And, no one hears unless God opens “spiritual ears” nor “see” unless God opens “spiritual eyes”(Job 42:5; Isaiah 35:5; Matt. 11:5). And the power that brings this about is through the Holy Spirit. Notice the special blessing that comes with believing without seeing with our material eyes:

John 20:29,

“Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me(visibly), thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen(except with spiritual eyes), and yet have believed.

Moreover, spiritual message is preached of and about God and his promises. Additionally, how can someone preach unless sent to preach? Notice:

Romans 10:15

And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!

Indeed, God has to send preachers or messengers of the gospel:

Hebrews 1:1-2

“In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe”

As in the Old Testament times with truth expressed in Isaiah 28:10

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

And, in these “last days” in the New Testament era, the Father had to send his Son, the “pioneer” (Hebrews 12:2), the YHVH-Creator of the universe, to testify for the finality of the “good news”.

Time for the gospel to be preached has come as in his start of Galilean ministry:

“…Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14-15

Luke 4:21

And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.

All of these steps have to initiate in the “past and in diverse manners” but have to be finalized and completed when the incarnated YHVH Creator has been sent as man-Jesus, again at a particular time, after Spirit-baptism at river Jordan, not before. Then the Father will “draw to him” those who were predestined and called at each dispensation era(4).

John 6:44

No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

When did this mechanism start?

Altogether, the mechanism started even before the foundation of the world as in Ephesians 1:4

“ For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.

Romans 8:29 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Moreover, Romans 8:30

And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified”(NIV).

Ephesians 1:4-5 “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,”

Ephesians 1:11 “In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,”

Matt. 22:14

For many are called, but few are chosen.(Those with garment ready to attend the wedding).

From the context, truly “many are called” but “few are chosen” suggests that comparatively only few will have chosen to “attend the wedding with appropriate spirit-composed garment”.

Belief is not enough ?

One does not to have to do any personal “works”, which at best, are “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6-8; Philippians 3:8-9) to God. The Holy Spirit is given to those predestined to have their eyes and ears open spiritually at their own time, for them to “believe”, (accepting the “gospel”).

The mechanism of getting this gift of the Holy Spirit is different from what others have taught on the process of salvation, as in(5):

To use an analogy, if someone offered to send you a $100 bill if you would send him a self-addressed stamped envelope, he would be offering you a gift. Simply believing that he would send you the money would not actually get you the money. And if you failed to send the envelope, you likewise would not receive it. You might complain, but you still would not receive the gift because you had not met the conditions. On the other hand, if you sent the required envelope and received the $100 bill, you did not earn the gift. You simply met the necessary conditions. The fact that conditions are attached makes it no less a gift”.

The big difference from the preceding analogy is that there is no pre-condition attached to this gift of the Holy Spirit. It is a matter of “election “(Romans 8:29, 9:16; Acts 13:48; 2 Thes. 2:13; 2Tim. 1:9; I Peter 1:2), a predestination. Election is unconditional as it does not depend on anything outside of God, such as good works or faith. Whether the person likes it or not, the gift of the Holy Spirit for our “ears and eyes to open spiritually” has been planned and given to the predestined for a predetermined dispensation era and that decision was made “from the foundation of the world”. Notice that anytime the Holy Spirit was given, whether to do miracles or guide people, it always depended on no one else’s decision but God’s. This is sovereignty on display. Remember it was God who chose the time(Acts 2:1-47) to show his power in a most amazing way, on the day of Pentecost? This is how we should look at what “gift” means. What one does whether to accept or reject the in-dwelling of this gifted Holy Spirit is the person’s responsibility and of free will. Those who were not predestined to get this gift at this dispensation, will have their time in the future and after the Millenium rule of Jesus on earth.

Summary

For justice and fairness, “time and chance happen to all”(Eccl. 9:11) thereby foreknowing and predestinating all at their own time to “be called”; first the “firstfruits(Romans 8:23) then the “latterfruits”(Rev. 20:4-5). The prequel of this gospel was given through the prophets of old and in the “latter days” given directly by the Chosen One himself, Jesus. And, with the Father sending Jesus (the captain, pioneer, trailblazer), as predestined, to preach the gospel. Preachers, like disciples and apostles, of this “gospel of Jesus “ then have to be sent to those “called” (the predestined ones) during this era. The gift of the Holy Spirit will be given to those predestined to “hear and see” spiritual truths at their appointed time. With ears able to hear and eyes able to see by and through the Holy Spirit, we then believed voluntarily; others may reject to their peril. Belief is a “mental acceptance” that is the aftermath of giving this gift of the Holy Spirit that opens spiritual ears and eyes. No other action yet has been done by the “believer” when the Holy Spirit was given. No “works” yet, hence, a gift. But, with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the predestined (at time appointed), called-out, justified person, then comes sanctification to be “one” with the Father through the end; persevere as overcomers with Jesus, the Elder Brother(Heb 2:11). Only those who persevere in “bearing fruits of the Holy Spirit” will be rewarded and glorified with the promised spirit-composed garment/clothing consistent with immortality and salvation from eternal death. Then, we say: 1 Corinthians 15:55-57 King James Version (KJV)

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

God bless🙏😇

References

1. What is the Kingdom of God?Retrieved 7/29/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/07/20/what-is-the-kingdom-of-god/

2. Salvation Series-1, What? Retrieved 7/29/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

3. Faith vs hope, wishful thinking, trust?Retrieved 8/2/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/27/faith-vs-hope-or-wishful-thinking/

4. Resurrection. Retrieved 8/3/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/18/resurrection/

(5) Is Belief All That’s Required for Salvation? Retrieved 8/4/18 at

https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/you-can-have-living-faith/is-belief-all-thats-required-for-salvation

Original post: August 5, 2018

Roe v Wade, why the controversy?

Roe v Wade, why the controversy?

After Justice Kennedy retired, POTUS45, by virtue of the US Constitution, has to nominate his successor. He then delivered on his promise during the campaign to nominate a “conservative judge”, Brett Kavanaugh. According to the “liberals”, this will likely tilt the direction of the Court towards “originalist or textualist” philosophy in interpretation of the US Constitution based on original writings of the “founding fathers”. Hence, the composition of SCOTUS is again a “flashpoint” in politics. The “progressives” are justifiably energized as they believe that the US Constitution is a “living and vibrant” document that has to be interpreted based on current situation. According to Podesta & Halpin, “Since the late 19th century (progressives) rejected the conservative interpretation of the Constitution as an unchangeable document…” (1). This renewed activism was self-imposed by the “left” and kindled by a call from conservatives to revisit Roe v Wade(2).

It is unlikely that Roe v Wade decision by SCOTUS will be overturned because of the principle of “stare decisis”, i.e., “to stand by things decided”. (3). It expresses the common law doctrine that court decisions should be guided by precedent. But this has been cautioned: “Although courts seldom overrule precedent, Justice Rehnquist explained that stare decisis is not an inexorable command”. (4)

Secular arguments

Aside from discord in the principle that guides interpretation of the US Constitution, the bone of contention in Roe v Wade is rooted in what is in the US Constitution as regards to:

1. right to life and

2. right to privacy.

Justification for abortion is founded on the “right to privacy”. Countered to that is the so-called Creator-given unalienable “right to life”. Let us then examine the arguments from which “pro-choice” and “pro-life” are based

Right to life

This is a commonly used argument. But, does the US Constitution really provide basis for “pro-lifers” to bank on this “right”? The preamble to the Declaration of Independence states:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”

So the argument was based in the Declaration of Independence, not in the US Constitution. But, is the Declaration of Independence a legally binding document in USA?(5). This question has been answered by a pro-life conservative group, the Heritage Foundation:

The first of the four organic laws of the United States, the Declaration may lack legal force but remains nonetheless the source of all legitimate political authority.

If this document was legally enforceable, then why were some men (Blacks, Asians, Irish) not treated equally for another hundred years? Simple, because the Declaration of Independence cannot be used for legal precedent. It is a position paper, written by a collection of men stating their intent to form a new government.”

The preceding appears to be the “last nail hammered into the coffin” of this assumed “right to life”. Nevertheless, conservatives stay adamant on this principle based on the Declaration of Independence.

Right to Privacy (4th Amendment)

While the right to privacy refers to the concept that one’s personal information is protected from public scrutiny, this has been extended to justify abortion with certain limits. U.S. Justice Louis Brandeis called it “the right to be left alone.” (6). While not explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution, some amendments provide some protections.

In Griswold v. Connecticut (1965),

the Supreme Court ruled that a state’s ban on the use of contraceptives violated the right to marital privacy (7). The case concerned a Connecticut law that criminalized the encouragement or use of birth control(8).

Clearly, there is no explicit “right to abortion” in the US Constitution and this right emanated from assumed penumbra of the “4th amendment right to privacy”. Then, Heninger, wrote in WSJ that “ Trump Blows away a Penumbra” (9).

According to him, “Griswold is worth recalling because it established a right to privacy, though the Constitution says nothing about any such right. Justice William O. Douglas famously explained how this could be, arguing that “specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance.”  Douglas’ “penumbras” decision, though ridiculed, defined the post-’60s era of “judge-made law,” in which achieving a result that reflected liberal values or policy goals mattered more than the legal reasoning to justify it. This results-driven view is what routinely sent Justice Antonin Scalia into eloquent and volcanic dissents.

Though capable of rigor in his reasoning, Anthony Kennedy was willing to swing toward decisions that simply affirmed what he thought were ascendant cultural mores. With the Trump Supreme Court nominations, this long era of judge-made law is at risk, if not over.”

These facts of the argument notwithstanding, passion on both sides continue to “stoke the fire” regarding principle of originalism(10) and judicial activism (11). Change has occurred in the last three generations through judicial interpretation rather than the amendment process that is embodied in the Constitution.

Because of the preceding, the course of direction as to how SCOTUS will decide on a particular issue, depends on what is the “composite intellectual and emotional bias” of the nominee and eventual composition of the SCOTUS. Hence, POTUS holds the cards as to who that person is and Congress will “advise and consent”. Nevertheless, any justice of SCOTUS can swing decision either way. There are no guarantees.

Religious arguments

The religious viewpoint centers on 2 positions of discord, viz.,

1. Does the unborn have legal status as citizen of the state?

2. When does life begin?

On the issue of legal status for the unborn, one can look back as to how traditional Judaism understood this subject. Traditional and Reformed Judaism differ on this matter. According to Fred Rosner, Professor of Medicine at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine (12) “An unborn fetus in Jewish law is not considered a person (Heb. nefesh, lit. “soul”) until it has been born.” A case of accidental abortion is discussed in Exodus 21:22‑23, where Scripture states:

“When men fight and one of them pushes a pregnant woman and a miscarriage results, but no other misfortune ensues, the one responsible shall be fined as the woman’s husband may exact from him, the payment to be based on judges’ reckoning; case of property damage — not murder. But if other misfortune ensues, ( the mother dies) the penalty shall be life for life.”

“None of the rabbis raise the possibility of involuntary manslaughter being involved because the unborn fetus is not legally a person and, therefore, there is no question of murder involved when a fetus is aborted.

The Mishnah elsewhere states: “If a pregnant woman is taken out to be executed, one does not wait for her to give birth; but if her pains of parturition have already begun [lit. she has already sat on the birth stool], one waits for her until she gives birth.” One does not delay the execution of the mother in order to save the life of the fetus because the fetus is not yet a person (Heb. nefesh), and judgments in Judaism must be promptly implemented. The Talmud also explains that the embryo is part of the mother’s body and has no identity of its own, since it is dependent for its life upon the body of the woman. However, as soon as it starts to move from the womb, it is considered an autonomous being (nefesh) and thus unaffected by the mother’s state. This concept of the embryo being considered part of the mother and not a separate being recurs throughout the Talmud and rabbinic writings.”

In Jewish law (13), “it does not share the belief common among abortion opponents that life begins at conception, nor does it legally consider the fetus to be a full person deserving of protections equal those accorded to human beings. A fetus attains the status of a full person only at birth. Sources in the Talmud indicate that prior to 40 days of gestation, the fetus has an even more limited legal status, with one Talmudic authority (Yevamot 69b) asserting that prior to 40 days the fetus is “mere water.” Elsewhere, the Talmud indicates that the ancient rabbis regarded a fetus as part of its mother throughout the pregnancy, dependent fully on her for its life — a view that echoes the position that women should be free to make decisions concerning their own bodies.

“The Jewish position on abortion is nuanced, neither condoning it nor categorically prohibiting it. Judaism teaches that the body is ultimately the property of God and is merely on loan to human beings. Multiple prohibitions in Jewish law— including prohibitions on suicide, getting tattoos and wounding oneself— collectively serve to reject the idea that individuals enjoy an unfettered right to make choices regarding their own bodies.

In the Commentary of Ernest Martin & David Sielaff(14):

In the Didache (a late 1st or early 2nd century C.E. church document otherwise known as the “Doctrine of the Twelve Apostles”) there is a discussion about the commandments

“…thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born.

• Didache 2.2,

Note that both abortion and infanticide were termed “murder.” The historical ekklesia has been consistent that in its expression that both abortion as well as infanticide were murder.“

Beyond legal status, the question as to when life begins is another issue. Everyone can see that a sperm and ovum have to be “alive” for fertilization to occur. It suspends credulity to think otherwise. A zygote (fertilized egg) is a “new creation” and is alive. An abundance of proof traces a “new life beginning at conception”(15). Concurrence also came from the American College of Pediatricians(16), US Health and Human Services(17) and Medical textbooks(18).

Summary

Even with the preceding facts, opponents on both sides of the issue will continue this political skirmish. This is just the nature of current atmosphere among protagonists in this issue. People will remain conflicted and conflated by this dilemma.

There is “new creation“ ongoing (19) and in the process of full development and subsequent birth. Metaphorically, the “sperm”(Holy Spirit of power is being given to those who are called for their “ovum” (spirit-of-man) to be “fertilized”(nourished and nurtured). The HS is writing in the “fleshly tables” (2 Cor. 3:3) of our temple, it’s laws and opening our “deaf ears and blind eyes” (Isaiah 35:5; 43:8; Luke 8;8; Mark 8:18; Matthew 13:16) to the truth and will empower us to bring “fruits of the Holy Spirit”(Gal. 5:22-23). Through following the guidance, direction, and wisdom of the HS, this “spiritual zygote”, will eventually reach full development, maturity and manifest or declared itself “by resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:4) worthy of the category to be named “son of God” (20) with Jesus as “elder brother”(Heb. 2:11).

But, a heightened awareness now gives a recurring warning from God to those called and received the Holy Spirit of power to reach full development and not to “abort themselves in the womb of the church” as in 2 Peter 2:22

They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud”(NLT).

Let us not go back to our sinful past. Instead, let us be firm, passionate and determined to follow the Holy Spirit and bring forth “fruits of the Holy Spirit”.

Remember the admonition in:

Matthew 24:13 Jesus says “He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved” (KJV), or, as the NIV has it, “The one who stands firm to the end will be saved.”

Rev. 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”

Only those called in this dispensation, received the Holy Spirit of empowerment, developed into full-term maturity, endured-overcame through the end, will have “immortal-Spirit-composed bodies, eternal life.”

So, let us follow the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit, even in “sweating of blood” scenario that Jesus went through in the garden of Gethsemane(21).

God bless🙏😇

References

1. Podesta and Halpin, The Constitution is Inherently Progressive. Retrieved 7/12/18 from https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/courts/news/2011/10/11/10444/the-constitution-is-inherently-progressive/

2. Roe v Wade Retrieved 7/12/18 from

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roe_v._Wade

3. Stare Decisis Doctrine. Retrieved 7/12/18 from https://study.com/academy/lesson/stare-decisis-doctrine-definition-example-cases.html

4. Stare Decisis. Retrieved 7/12/18 from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/stare_decisis

5. Eric Beasley, Fact Check: Does the US Constitution guarantee a right to life? February 29, 2016 Retrieved 7/12/18 from https://aminerdetail.com

/fact-check-does-the-us-constitution-guarantee-a-right-to-life/

6. Sharp, Tim. Right to Privacy: Constitutional Rights & Privacy Laws, Retrieved 7/12/18 from https://www.livescience.com/37398-right-to-privacy.html

7. Griswold v Connecticut. Retrieved 7/12/18 from https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Griswold_v._Connecticut

8. The Supreme Court . Expanding Civil Rights . Landmark Cases. Retrieved 7/13/18 from https://www.thirteen.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_griswold.html

9. Trump blows away a penumbra. Retrieved 7/13/18 from https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/trump-blows-away-a-penumbra-1530722910

10. Originalism. Retrieved 7/14/18 from https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/articles/article-v/originalism-an-essential-ingredient-of-the-constitutional-amendment-process/interp/22

11. Strauss, David. How we change the Constitution (Judicial activism) Retrieved 7/14/18 from https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution/articles/article-v/how-we-change-the-constitution-hint-its-not-by-amending-it-by-david-a-stra/interp/22

12. Rosner, Fred. The Fetus in Jewish Law. Retrieved 7/18/18 https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-fetus-in-jewish-law/amp/

13. Abortion and Judaism. Retrieved 7/18/18 https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.myjewishlearning.com/article/abortion-in-jewish-thought/amp/

14. Abortion and the Bible. Retrieved 7/28/18 from

http://www.askelm.com/doctrine/d050201.htm

15. Life begins at fertilization. Retrieved 7/19/18 from https://www.princeton.edu/~prolife/articles/embryoquotes2.html

16. When human life begins. Retrieved 7/19/18 from https://www.acpeds.org/the-college-speaks/position-statements/life-issues/when-human-life-begins

17. Life begins at conception. Retrieved 7/19/28 from http://thefederalist.com/2017/10/13/life-begins-at-conception-says-department-hhs/

18. Quotes: Human life begins at conception Retrieved 7/19/18 from http://www.lifenews.com/2015/01/08/41-quotes-from-medical-textbooks-prove-human-life-begins-at-conception/

19. Ongoing Creation. Retrieved 7/19/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation/

20. Son of God, Whar does it mean? Retrieved 7/19/18 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/23/son-of-god-what-does-it-mean/

21. Garden of Gethsemane, a Teaching Tool for all? Retrieved 8/11/18? from
https://fact-s.net/2018/07/26/garden-of-gethsemane-a-teaching-tool-for-all/

Original post: July 19, 2018

Revised and reposted 8/11/18

Ongoing Creation?

Ongoing Creation?

Is creation over? Or was it just the beginning, as in:

”In the beginning, God created the heavens (plural) and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

It maybe a surprise to some that the creation described in Genesis is just as stated, “the beginning”. While there were humans created prior to “first Adam”, the human creation in Genesis was specific and established the genealogy of the “last Adam“/Jesus. The best creation is still ongoing and finality is yet to come. What is that “best creation“?

With a mind-set towards global terrorism, violence against innocent victims and polarity among people in regards to what is right and wrong, the mind/spirit of man, more than ever, has to be changed to be”one” with God the Father. Unfortunately, human power is deficient (Mark 14:41; Matt. 26:41; Matt. 26:48-40) and needs “power from above”. The good news(gospel) is, the “helper” for this “change of mind” is coming, as in:

John 16:7,

Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper(Holy Spirit) will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”

WHO was and is the CREATOR?

To fully grasp this coming “new creation”, one has to know who the Creator was and is. All Christian believers understand that there was a Creator. That creation demands an “Intelligent Designer” is as logical as acknowledging a manufacturer or builder for any product.

But who the Creator was, what was created, why, when, where and how appear to be questions that still may need to be explored. For those steep in religion, one can only refer to the Holy Bible for guidance and to trace his identity. So, together, let us consider this source to delve into the answers to these challenging questions.

In Genesis 1:1, the English word God was translated from the original Hebrew generic word”Elohim”. As a generic word, it refers to any “powerful being” that includes angels (even Satan is called “the god of this world”; 2 Cor. 4:4) and humans in powerful positions or any human being superior or more powerful than animals or plants, etc. But, there is only one God to be worshipped(Deut. 6:4; Shema Doctrine); all others are “false gods”, forbidden to be worshipped, although called “god” nevertheless(1).

To differentiate from “false gods“, this particular Creator Elohim was specifically identified as the “Lord God/YAHWEH ELOHIM”, as in:

Gen. 2:8

“And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.

The Creator was YAHWEH/YHVH and no one else. This name YAHWEH was the one known to Moses, but he was EL SHADDAI to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, i.e., Pre-Moses era, as in:

Exodus 6:3 (New International Version)

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty( translated from Hebrew as EL SHADDAI ), but by my name the LORD (YAHWEH/I AM) I did not make myself fully known to them”.

New Living Translation

“I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai–‘God Almighty’–but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh(I AM), to them.”

Exodus 6:2-3:

“And God said to Moses, “I am Yahweh—‘the LORD.’I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty’—but I did not reveal my name, Yahweh(I AM), to them.

Fast forward to apostle John and during the apostolic era, this YHVH was described in Greek as the “LOGOS“, in English as “Word as in:

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

On the side, in the New Testament rendering, the word God refers specifically to the Father and the Word or Logos refers to Jesus(2).

Then John continued to describe that this Logos chose willingly to be incarnated as planned:

John1:14 “ And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth”

After incarnation, the same EL SHADDAI, YAHWEH, LOGOS, was described or was known as JEHUSHUAH(Yeshua in Hebrew, Iesous in Greek, Iesus in Latin or Jesus in English). This description was confirmed by John the Baptist but most importantly by the Father himself, as in:

John 1:15

“John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. “

John 1:32,

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

Matt. 3:17,

And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

Essentially, through different era, this Creator God was known to people in different descriptive names to express the reason for his name.That is, El Shaddai, meaning the God Almighty since no one known to be mightier than him, omniscient ; Yahweh Elohim meaning the Lord God; I AM, ever present, omniscient; LOGOS, meaning logic, rationale, reason, he says the word and it happens; Yeshuah, (Jesus) meaning to deliver, Savior. Jesus was also called and described as the “Passover” (I Cor. 5:7), the one who made it possible for our “eternal/second death” (read references 3 & 4) to be “passed over”.

Another New Beginning

Identifying who was the Creator of the “invisible and visible” (Col. 1:16) and knowing the descriptive meaning of the names, give us a clue on who is the only one builder, not anyone else, of this “new creation” and what it is to be.

Paul provided the link to this enigma when he described Jesus as, “archegos” and “prodromos”, aka pioneer, predecessor, trailblazer, captain, Author, founder, forerunner”…the start of this new creation (See Heb. 2:10-11;12:2; 6:19-20). Relevant to this, as a son of a carpenter Joseph, Jesus took on after him, a carpenter/tekton in Greek (Mark 6:3;Matthew 13:55). For him to build, he had to “destroy” the temple, i.e., his body would die, (Mk 13:2; John 2:19-22), be resurrected, receive the Holy Spirit from the Father for us, then start from a foundation (John 2:19-21) within humans, the mind. On the night of His arrest, Jesus told His disciples of a future building project of His, “I go and prepare a place for you” (John 14:3), his church (Matthew 16:18) and preparing an eternal dwelling place for the “spirit of man”. This “dwelling place” is the new immortal body that our “spirit of man” will be “clothed” with (5). But, to build this “new spiritual clothing”, Jesus has to begin from a “spirit-component” of man.

As a builder, he is building or creating a “product” (to develop into the “Son of God”) through a mechanism that is the only “way, the truth and the life”. He knows the process, the schematic plan, the truth behind it towards immortal life.

New Creation starts From Template

Therefore, as man-Jesus (not any other Adam) is the beginner, forerunner, pioneer, then what happened to him will also happen to us. The man-Jesus was the first template where this new creation started. Notice, that as a human, flesh-composed, he received the Holy Spirit of power from the Father at river Jordan. This empowered him to overcome Satan. Without this power, he could not have overcome a spirit-composed Lucifer/Satan. Humans are no match to powerful spirit-beings as angelic beings are higher than humans. There was no miracle that Jesus did prior to this empowerment. In fact, a commonly acknowledged “first miracle” that Jesus did was when he made water into wine at a marriage in Cana (John Chapter 2).

After Jesus was baptized with the Holy Spirit that imbued him directly from the Father, he still struggled, as flesh-composed human, with and overcame temptations of pain and suffering at crucifixion. But, the most future-defining, self-shaking moment was that temptation on the night in the garden of Gethsemane. In luke 22:42, he said,

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”(New International Version)

For emphasis, realizing how horrifying death was from crucifixion, man-Jesus’ own will was not to die as a Passover for mankind, as in “take this cup pass from me“. Without Jesus “taking the cup” himself and die by crucifixion for mankind, 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 for us to be guided by the Father’s wisdom to decide what the better choice is. With the power of the Holy Spirit that guided Jesus, he subjugated his personal will, to the power of the Holy Spirit to guide him with wisdom, 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, as we should also be “one” with the Father.

History shows that subsequently, 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 manifested, declared or called or named as actualSon of Godonly after resurrection and received the Holy Spirit directly from the Father to be given to us (John 16:7). As before, he was just the prophesied Passover Lamb then became so at death by crucifixion. So was he just the prophesied Son of God until this became a reality, as manifested “by resurrection” into an “immortal spirit-body” capable of showing himself to the disciples with nail-holes in his hands. And, on the day of Pentecost, this Holy Spirit was gifted with openness and grandeur to his disciples 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 suffered”

(See Heb 2:6-10 for additional context.)

Jesus is still giving this Holy Spirit of power to those who were called at a particular dispensation to believe and trust in God. As the Holy Spirit empowered and guided Jesus towards truth, be sanctified, and become, after his resurrection, “Son of God” and our elder “brother” (Heb. 2:11), so will all others after him be called “sons and daughters of God”; hopefully, as it is with endurance, perseverance and freewill to follow the “will of God” and to be “one” with him,.

Meanwhile, this Holy Spirit has to “dwell in the temple not made by hands”(Acts 17:24;49-53). It has to reside specifically in the “spirit-of-man”(mind), the only component of Man not coming from “ground” and not a product of or “made by hands” but directly breathed into flesh-composed man by a spirit-composed YAHWEH. This “spirit-of-man” is where the Holy Spirit will dwell and is equivalent to and a reflection of the “holy of holies” in the Jerusalem temple.

Israel was given the law through Moses but was not able to follow because, on their own, they are weak as the apostles were “weak” being flesh-composed as evidenced in Matt. 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-4. The Law was “written in tables of stone” (Exodus 31:18; 2Cor 3:3) much like written on our hardened-blind-deaf heart. This time, the Holy Spirit will dwell in the “fleshly tables of our heart and mind” to write, remind, guide us to the right choice of good, not evil. This sanctification (1 Cor 1:30 ) by the Spirit ( 2 Thess 2:13 ; 1 Peter 1:2 ) and in the name of Christ ( 1 Cor 6:11 )by the Holy Spirit will take us to grow spiritually from a child drinking “milk” to an adult eating “solid food” (I Cor. 3:2), and to develop wisdom. Along the way, we will still face hardships and suffering, like but not the same as Jesus went through. And , those who “endure/persevere/overcome through the end” (Matt. 24:13) will receive a “new cloth” of immortality (Rev. 2:7,10) after resurrection and be “children of the God-kingdom”, all spirit-composed.

Summary

What was created in Genesis was a human template, the first Adam. This was a flesh-composed body directly coming from the “ground” (” made by hands“) and the “spirit of man “ that was breathed into him by a spirit-composed YAHWEH. It is a “temple” for the Holy Spirit of power to dwell as a template to build the God-Kingdom composed of spirit-beings. This “place to reside in” is reflected in the “holy of holies” of the Temple in Jerusalem. That place in our human body is specifically the “spirit of man” where the Holy Spirit of God will bind, fuse, “fertilize” to guide it towards wisdom. The spirit component of man will be where the Spirit of God will dwell to teach/guide, convert it from “tables of stone” to “fleshly tables” where “spiritual laws” will be written for guidance and sanctification. This is how the “mind/spirit of man” will be changed by the Holy Spirit of power. Then, after resurrection as spirit-composed beings, we will be in Christ, as in:

2Cor. 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

But, it was not the first Adam where this new creation will start as he came from the “ground”below. Instead, it has to start with the “second/last/final Adam” (I Cor.15:45) who came from “above” as “Yahweh Incarnate”. This anthropos/man-Jesus is the precursor, trailblazer, pioneer, precursor, captain towards the attainment of this “new creation”. No other human can start being a “temple” for the Holy Spirit.

This was why the Creator Yahweh in Genesis forbade the first Adam to “eat the fruit wherein lies knowledge of good and evil”.” (Gen. 2:16-17;3:5).

It was not for him to start becoming “like God knowing good and evil” (Gen3:5), the wisdom to differentiate good from evil” which was reserved for the “last Adam” and subsequently to others. Moreover, it takes the indwelling into the “spirit-of-man” and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to bring this to fruition through sanctification, perseverance and a life of overcoming evil.

This is the good news, the gospel of the coming God-kingdom, that is predicated on YAHWEH incarnating into man-Jesus, in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in him, a life of being “one” with the Father, dying as s Passover Lamb, resurrecting as “Son of God”, receiving directly the promised gift of the Holy Spirit(Comforter) from the Father, then giving the same power to those who are “called” in this dispensation for their individual sanctification. Those who “endure and overcome” through the end will receive a “new cloth of immortality” towards life-eternal, all “sons and daughters” of God-kingdom, the “spirit-composed children of God“…the “body of Christ”.

May God bless us all.

References:

1. What is God? Retrieved 6/24/18 from https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/

2. Father’s Day. Retrieved 6/24/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/05/03/1208/

3. Salvation, Series 1. Retrieved 6/30/18 from https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what/

4. Death, what is ? Retrieved 6/30/18 from https://fact-s.net/2017/05/09/death-what-is/

5.What does “naked” mean and why were Adam & Eve “afraid” and “ashamed”? Retrieved 6/30/18 from

https://fact-s.net/2018/04/11/what-does-naked-mean-and-why-were-adam-eve-afraid-and-ashamed/

Original post: June 30, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nature of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2. Shema Doctrine as in

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original post: 5/16/18

Holy Spirit, what is it, when and how given

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

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

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

What exactly is the Holy Spirit?

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When and how was this Holy Spirit given?

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

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

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

 

 

What is the Holy Spirit for?

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

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

 

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

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

 

 

Summary

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

May God Bless you.

 

References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Original Post: 5/4/2018