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

Justification, Reconciliation, Sanctification and Glorification

These subjects are directly related to defining what precisely are the promised gift and reward given to man. They also may clear up some mistaken assumptions about faith, works, trust and hope that will lead to man’s salvation. Because of confusing teachings, it becomes a responsibility for those in search of the truth, like the Bereans(Acts 17:11), to study these subjects together, in love, knowing fully well that no one has a monopoly on wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit. As complex and all -encompassing the breath and depth of these subjects are, one is advised to read through and meditate on all the quotes, verses and references provided, to gain utmost understanding as the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the truth.

As the taproot of these terms came about because of the “promise“, whether gift or reward, let us then begin with the question, to whom that promise was made and extended, what exactly was promised, when did it begin to attain fulfillment and its finality? When was the promise initiated and completed?



Who are the children of Abraham?

From what the scriptures say, only Abraham and his children were given these promises. As to whether the promise was extended to others could not immediately be known at that time, although subsequent era alluded to that. Who then are his descendants?

While genealogy defines who are the children of Abraham, God specifically defined them (through Paul), as “children of faith” and children of promise(1). They were not Isaac, Jacob and their descendants nor Ishmael and his offsprings because they were all children of Jerusalem on “earth” at that time, not “Jerusalem above” which is future (2Peter 3:13; Rev. 21).

The children of God are “children of promise”, “children by faith”, no matter what race, genealogy, sex etc, they are all heirs according to the promise. God by his Holy Spirit has written his laws in the mind and heart of those in the “book of life” that were “called” and their eyes opened to “believe “(Matt. 22:14; Isaiah 69:28; Rev. 3:5; 22:19). In contrast to Israel of “Sinai”, those with the Holy Spirit have “circumcision of the heart”(Rom. 2:29; 9:24-29) as the sign of the New Covenant to receive, in the future, immortality and to live forever on earth and the universe. This is extent of what the promise covers. They are brothers and sisters who are not children of the bondwoman, tethered “under the Law” (Rom. 6:14; Gal. 5:18) given in Sinai in “tables of stone” (Ex. 31:18; 34:4; 2Cor. 3:3) but of the free. Having been freed from eternal death (exacted by the Law given at Sinai attributed to one man-Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden),through the death also of one man-Jesus, the “pioneer and perfecter”, we are now free to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit to bring “ fruits of the Spirit”, against such there is no law (Gal. 5:22-23).

Having established to whom the promise was given, identified the “seed “ and who the “children of Abraham” are, we can now take up the following terms.


Justification and Reconciliation

To start with, why do we need justification and reconciliation? What really justifies us? Is justification for our individual past and future sins? What got us justified and reconciled. What are we justified by faith for and whose faith is referred to? Is it subsequently our faith, too?

Remember that sin “entered the world” (Rom. 5:12-21) because of Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden. All of humanity’s sin are imputed or counted towards one man’s sin so that one man-Jesus’ “righteousness of faith and works” can be assigned (counted, but not swapped) to all(2).

Moreover, even man’s righteous deeds are as filthy rags to God as in:

Isaiah 64:6 (NIV) “We are all infected and impure with sin. When we display our righteous deeds, they are nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind.”

Paul zoomed into the very core of preceding questions in:

Romans 3:23-27 (ESV)

“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith

Gal. 2:16 “...no one is justified by the works of the law but by the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. And we have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by the faithfulness of Christ * and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

Gal. 3:6-14 “Just as Abraham believed God , and it was credited to him as righteousness , so then, understand that those who believe are the sons of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you ” So then those who believe are blessed along with Abraham the believer. For all who rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “ Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law .” Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith . But the law is not based on faith, but the one who does the works of the law will live by them . Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree ”) in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.”

I Cor. 5:8 (NIV)

All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:”

Rom. 5:10 (NIV) “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life”

That being said, through Paul, notice what James’ additional testimony is:

James 2:14-26 “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

Beginning and fulfillment of the promise to Abraham

Paul and James gave us verses to understand the full and correct message about faith and works. What on the surface appears contradictory testimony can be harmonized and squared away by taking the “righteousness of faithand “justified by faith”  initiated or began  the gift and reward for the promise made by the Father. Essentially,  the gift which was initiated by the righteousness of the faith of Jesus was demonstrated, activated or completed  through action, by “righteousness of works and “justified by works”.  These promises would begin fulfillment through man-Jesus, the “beginner/author and finisher”(Heb. 12:2) of faith, the “pioneer” (originator/trailblazer) towards our salvation.


Sanctification and Glorification

How are we saved (Rom. 5:10)through his life? This is the very essence of what sanctification is. Sanctification or holiness comes from the Greek word “hagiasmos/hagiazo”.

Remember that Jesus died and was resurrected, not by himself but (Acts 2:32; 5:30; Gal. 1:1; Rom. 6:4), by the Father. Without him alive (John 14:16;16:7)he would not have received the Holy Spirit from the Father for us (Matt. 3:11;Mk 1:8;Luke 3:16).

This is the Holy Spirit of power that dwelt in man-Jesus at river Jordan ( Matt. 3:16; Luke 3:22) and will dwell (3) in the “Holy of Holies” of our body (temple as in I Cor. 3:16) to guide and help our spirit (the spirit of man; Gen. 2:7) to bring forth “fruits of the Holy Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23). As man-Jesus followed the Holy Spirit, so should any human so imbued with this power.

We are required to bring forth fruits, to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, not our will but the will of God (Mk. 14:36; Luke 22:42). Only those who endure/persevere/overcome (Matt. 24:13;Rev. 2:7,11,17, 26-28; 3:5,12, 21)to the end will be given the reward of immortality, salvation,i.e., eternal life, our glorification. Man-Jesus, as a pioneer/precursor/forerunner/beginner/trailblazer, indeed followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit instead of his own will.

Gifts vs Reward

Both are secondary to actions taken due to promises made. Both required a provider/giver and a recipient. However, gifts are given because of action from a belief that are evidenced-based (faith) thereby leading to trust. They are not given because of action that are “works of the flesh”, whether good or evil. Justification, reconciliation and imputation of sin of Adam to Jesus, are secondary to Christ’s belief and trust in the Father, having been with him from the beginning; of faith that is evidence-based. What the Father promised, Jesus trusted he will fulfill.

Contrariwise, reward is provided because of actions done by the recipient that are “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, not “fruits or works of the flesh”. This action does not even originate from any man and has to come, as a gift of the Father, through the Holy Spirit of power that was given because of the initiating “faith of Jesus”. The Holy Spirit sanctifies the recipient and he/she that “endures to the end” (Matt. 24:13; Heb. 3:7-19) the “overcomer” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26-28; 3:5, 12, 21) will be glorified as “son of God”. The rewards for those that “endure to the end” are resurrection to immortality and eternal life.

Summary

Because of the sin of one man Adam, to which all sins were imputed (whether Jews/Gentiles, pre/post-Adamic, pre/post-Abrahamic), similarly, one man-Jesus has to justify all sinners through imputation of his “righteousness of faith”. This justification is initiated, according to Paul, (Rom. 5:1; Gal. 2:16) by the “faith of Jesus”, and not his “works”, so no man( even Jesus) can boast (I Cor. 1:29; Eph. 2:9).

However, as “faith without works is dead” like the “body is dead apart from the spirit” it has to be demonstrated,!activated or completed by works (James 2:14-26), with the power of the Holy Spirit in him (Matt. 3:16; Luke 3:22). So Jesus had to sacrifice his life as a Passover Lamb (I Cor 5:7) by crucifixion (a curse Gal. 3:13) thus reconciling us to the Father by his “faith and works”.

It is the belief that is evidence-based(faith) leading to trust that initiated the “gift of righteousness” to all. But, it is the demonstration/activation/completion of faith “through works” that led to “reward” of reconciliation”.

With the gift of the Holy Spirit of power given to us, through faith, directly by Jesus as Son of God, we will then have to become overcomers to reach sanctification and eventual glorification.

God bless

References

1. Promise made to seed of Abraham and his children. Retrieved 4/28/18 from https://fact-s.net/2018/04/28/promise-made-to-theseed-of-abraham-and-his-children/

2. First Human, What difference does it make? Retrieved 5/1/18 from https://fact-s.net/2014/07/18/adam-the-first-human-what-difference-does-it-make/

3. Kingdom of God in Human Anatomy. Retrieved 5/1/2018 from https://fact-s.net/2016/12/21/kingdom-of-god-in-human-anatomy/

Other references:

https://fact-s.net/2018/03/31/can-we-really-swap-christs-righteousness-for-ours/

https://fact-s.net/2017/04/11/gift-and-reward-whatthis-topic-is-well-known-to-christians-and-expected-to-be-well-understood-yet-many-sorely-missed-to-see-where-the-difference-and-similarity-as-they-relate-to-salvation-to/
https://fact-s.net/2017/11/27/are-both-our-faith-and-works-needed-for-salvation/

https://fact-s.net/2015/10/27/faith-vs-hope-or-wishful-thinking/

Original post: 5/1/2018

 Sin vs. Temptation … Choice between “good and evil”

When does one commit sin?


The principle of what differentiated temptation vs sin is laid down by Jesus himself in ,
Matt.5:27-28 “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” 
Here, “looks on a woman to lust after her“, is a deliberate and intentional mental action and not just an accidental momentary gaze on a temptuos woman. This expands sin of adultery to include mental imagination and concentration, not just physically acting it out. 
 
Moreover, James 1:14-15 explains the mechanism of sin crystal clear,
 “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.”

Notice that sin starts with temptation which is defined as drawing away a person of his own lust and enticed. Lust, of and by itself, is not yet sin. Lust has to “conceive“, before one can be judged to have sinned. The etymology of “conceive” comes from the Greek word “syllambano” which means to “clasp, seize or capture as a prisoner, take hold“. Unless, the allure takes “hold“, it does not “bring forth sin …and death“. Lust has to “capture”, “seize” the person, i.e., he has to “dwell in it”, requires plan, imagine in his mind, strategize however long or short that plan may be, before it becomes sin “mentally“, or “actual physical act“.

Lust is temptation that we are drawn into and we must say No when we “think” about it or when it comes to our mind through our sensory system, and not “dwell” on it “mentally“nor “harbor” it, so it will not “conceive” or take “root“. Much less, take “physical action” on that temptation, as by so doing it is sin and results in death. Actionmentally and/or physically, to violate the God’s Law makes it sin. So, “flee” from it (1 Corinthians 6:18; 1 Corinthians 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22).

Anyone who has the gift of the power tool of Holy Spirit to help us overcome evil, is given a “choice“, good or evil(Deut. 30:15-20). He is not forcing us (although it is a mandate)to choose between good and life vs. evil and eternal death. This “gift“, powerful Holy Spirit, is so awesome that Jesus has to be resurrected to receive it for us, cannot be forced on anyone to receive nor follow. 

Without Jesus being resurrected as promised, the Father could not fulfill another promise, which is to give him the gift of the Holy Spirit for us-ward. Walk in the Spirit and not towards the pull of the flesh. (Gal. 5:16-26) is an advice to all of us who are gifted with this power-tool. Hopefully, all with this gift will CHOOSE good instead of evil. Unfortunately and surprisingly, a few will choose wrongly. 
From Genesis, it has been a direction to us all, choose good instead of evil. But, even with choosing good, if this action is not out of following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, this good choice is still, as “filthy rags”. Our works have to emanate as “fruits of the Holy Spirit“, not from us devoid of the Holy Spirit’s guidance.Indeed, this is “hope-based” that everyone with this power tool will choose good over evil. Follow the direction of the Holy Spirit and do not grieve him (Eph. 4:30). Let us not constantly reject the guidance of the Holy Spirit, thus committing the “unpardonable sin”  (Matt. 12:31).

May God bless us all.

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

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

Nature and nurture

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


Who and What are We?

As the key is to change the “mind“, understanding what our components are, how and where we came to be, is crucial to this plan. Without this knowledge, we will  not be able to fathom what God is doing according to his plan. 
When God created humans, the material or physical component was a “handiwork” made “by hands of God” from “dust, mud,earth“. There was no life in that physical creation until “God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life”. Read Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

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

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

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

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

Read the following:

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

 

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


God’s Plan from the Beginning

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

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

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

Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away” (NIV)

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

 

Humans are “Weak

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

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

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

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


Summary

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



Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.“(NIV)
Only those who persevere to the end, the “overcomers“, will be given a new and incorruptible immortal body “in a twinkling of an eye”.

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

One cannot over-emphasize the crucial element of in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit for us to be “one” with the Father.
For further studies on related subjects, please access these links:

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

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

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

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


References

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

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

Original Post: 8/24/17

What is a “type”… an “image”?

What is a “type”… an “image“?

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


Type or Image?

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

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




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

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

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


Two Images at Creation and what became of them?



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



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

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

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



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


Spirit-composed, when?



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


Take-Home Message of I Cor. 15:45



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

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

 

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

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

Original post:7/31/2017

Death, What is ?

Death, what is?

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



Different Concepts


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


Unanimity in Christian Tenet


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Better Resurrection


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

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

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


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

 

What happens at death?
While death’s definition depends upon how each person perceives it, the ultimate mechanism that brings about death, in a religious sense, is shared by many. To grasp the mechanics of this truth, one has to understand how a person comes to be and becomes alive before knowing how one dies.
Going back to the narrative in Genesis, human evolution is “fake news“. We were informed that there is a Creator by the name of YHVH (Lord God), who is an “intelligent designer” of man, as in:
Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul(being)”.

Notice that man has 2 components, viz, dust + breath of life. That dust, which is the body, came from the ground and therefore matter-composed. Whereas, the breath of life, which is the “spirit of man”, the mind/psyche, comes from a Spirit-Being/God (from above) and therefore spirit-composed. The body, of and by itself, was not alive until the “breath of life” was “breathed into his nostrils.” Therefore, a living soul (nephesh) is composed of body + spirit of man (mind or psyche). In other words, man is composed of body which is matter as it comes from earth/mud/dust and a mind or psyche which is spiritual as it comes from a spirit-composed God breathing into man’s nostrils.
Now see how death is described and what happens to the 2 components of man at death in Ecclesiastes 12:7 (NIV)
The dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it”  
 
Also, in Gen. 3:19 ” for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
James 2:26 “For as the body without the spirit is dead,…”
Essentially then, the mechanism of death is that the spirit component of man separates from the matter component flesh-body; the former goes back to God where it came and was “breathed” from; the latter goes to hades(buried in the tomb to rot) where it was formed from. Scientifically, although an assumption, the sudden electrical burst in EEG at time of death may find basis for this “separation”( 1,2,3).



Where Differences Lie


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


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


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

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

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

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


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



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


4. Jonah praying in the belly of whale

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


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

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



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


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


DEDICATED to a friend whose funeral we attended December 2012 in Inverness, Illinois