After death, do we go to heaven?

After death, do we go to “heaven”? This is a very important question that many come across in search of the truth. And, how many times we heard in the pulpit, “going to heaven after death”? As we are composed of “flesh + spirit, do both, just one of our 2 components or neither go to “heaven” at death? Others claim we “sleep” until Christ returns? Also, do “all” humans go to this particular “heaven” after death or only the “good ones“? As there are 3 heavens, what “heaven” is referred to?

To answer these questions, let us go over biblical verses that cover the issue of “whereto after death“. And, permit me to make comments. First of, Jesus said,

John 3:13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven–the Son of Man.

The preceding verse is an all encompassing broad stroke, meaning, really nobody else went to or came from the heaven(?), but “ the one who came from heaven, the “son of man“, Jesus, as in John 5:26-27. He was there, full-bodied-Spirit-composed in heaven as YHVH ELOHIM with immortal body. No one else, aside from Jesus, who had an immortal body and was there in heaven before his incarnation; see also https://fact-s.net/2017/01/12/incarnation-questions-and-controversies/

And, this excludes all, with neither of their 2 components, from the first human outside of and in Eden and on, including Adam, Abel, Cain, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, prophets, his surrogate mother Mary, disciples, Paul, Peter and others. And, yes, this verse also excludes even their “spirit-in-man” component that separates from the body after death.

By inference, the heaven referred to, had to be the “third heaven”, God’s abode and that no one had ever gone there except Jesus, the Son of Man as YHVH ELOHIM who came from thence.

But, how can these verses align or harmonize with other verses, viz.,

2 Corinthians 5:8 We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord”.

Philippians 1:23 I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far”.

Obviously, the expectation of Paul was that after he dies, he “will be with the Lord” which is “better, by far”. But, when after death will this come to fruition, before or after the return of Christ on earth? So, did he really, and in what capacity and how, exactly ?

Consider also the following verses in the Old & New Testaments and my take in parentheses:

Old Testament:

Psalm 89:48Who can live and not see death, or who can escape the power of the grave? ( means everyone dies and goes to the grave; our present composition is temporal and was not meant to be eternal; and we need a Savior from eternal death). Hello


Psalm 86:13 For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths, from the realm of the dead.” (Means that the mechanism of salvation from eternal death has been established based on love, although the actuality of death, and therefore, our salvation is still in the future. Or, the psalmist is referring to the “after-the-fact realization of salvation“. As a prophecy, this may also refer to Christ’s resurrection.)

Psalm 55:15 Let death stalk my enemies; let the grave swallow them alive, for evil makes its home within them.(the consequence of sin/evil is death; all have sinned and death “stalks” all, even those alive ; strictly speaking, we became “enemies” of God because of sin; does not mean the person is still “alive” while in the grave).

Psalm 49:14They are like sheep and are destined to die; death will be their shepherd (but the upright will prevail over them in the morning). Their forms will decay in the grave, far from their princely mansions.(Because of sin, we were destined to die and “decay”, but a Savior, the “upright”, the true Shepherd will come in the future and prevail ; those who died will decay in the grave; our current bodies are far from our future immortal bodies or princely mansions).

Psalm 31:17Let me not be put to shame, LORD, for I have cried out to you; but let the wicked be put to shame and be silent in the realm of the dead(Here is the hope of resurrection that spells victory and glory instead of “shame” for those who stayed away from wickedness in contrast to those who continued to be wicked are therefore in hades and “silent in the realm of the dead and could not speak).

Psalm 30:3You, LORD, brought me up from the realm of the dead; you spared me from going down to the pit.(acknowledgement of YHVH/Lord as Savior from eternal death)

Psalm 18:5 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.(acknowledgment of our vulnerability to die)

Psalm 7:5then let my enemy pursue and overtake me; let him trample my life to the ground and make me sleep in the dust.“(crucifixion and death of Christ prophesied but the “sting” of death is gone because of the hope of resurrection)

Psalm 13:3Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,(hope of resurrection without which we will continue to “sleep in death”).

Daniel 12:2Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.(1st resurrection to everlasting life and 2nd resurrection to shame and everlasting contempt for them to be converted in the process and the way towards salvation)

New Testament

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Only few will “find it” as planned for the 1st resurrection, i.e., “firstfruits” with small harvest in contrast to the 2nd resurrection’s “latter fruits” where many will)

Matthew 19:24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God(On his/her own, no human can “enter the kingdom of God“; only through a Savior Jesus can this be done)

Parable of the Rich man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31 ( timing of this narrative refers to the time in the future resurrection when those who refused to change will be thrown in “Gehenna fire” for eternal death; see also this story referred to.)

Repentant thief Luke 23:43 (Today” “refers to both of them dying on that day and Jesus promised that day that he will see the thief, in the future, in paradise).

1 Corinthians 15:51But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed!(NLT)(At Jesus’ 2nd coming, there will be people who “are alive and who persevered” that will be transformed in a blink of an eye” into immortal spiritcomposed bodies.)

Revelations 6:10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” ( these dead people, in their spirit-of-man component, will still “rest” until others who persevered were martyred)

Revelations 20:11-15 (this refers to people who where resurrected to mortal life and given the gift of Holy Spirit’s in-dwelling in them but rejected the guidance; the final judgment:the Gehenna lake of fire).

Revelations 21:1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.

(All those who were saved from eternal death will live on thenew earth”. Even the Father will come down from heaven to dwell with immortal beings on earth.)

Are we going to heaven?

John 3:13 has established that no one, in whatever form, (neither of 2 composites of man) had gone to this “third heaven” where God is, except the “son of man”(Jesus). So, it has to be that, after death, we go to anotherheaven“(2nd or 1st?), (although they are asleep ) for those who died, consistent with the fact (although not the same as) of a different realm or place where “evil angels” are, i.e., in hell/tartaros. Additionally, as to whether we are going to that particular heaven(1st or 2nd) it depends on what is referred to us “we“. So, the better and precise question should be, “Which in us goes to heaven”? Let us then examine the following verse about what happens to our 2 components at death:

Ecclesiastes 12:7
and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.(NIV)

Our physical body component comes from dust of the ground and goes back where it came from. Whereas, the spirit-of-man, which comes directly from God, “returns” back to him. Clearly, it is the spirit-component of man that returns to God but body goes to hades(hell/grave) to rot. The spirit-in-man is the “real you” that came directly (and therefore heavenly) from the breath of Spirit-composed God Creator.Whereas, the body/flesh component came from the ground and is “earthly“. Whether good or bad the person is, this is what happens when the person dies.

First resurrection vs 2nd.

All “spirits-of-man”, at death, will return to the Creator in “heaven” (1st or 2nd?)but not thethird heaven”, which is God’s abode. But those who “overcame” will have immortal bodies being prepared that will manifest at the 1st resurrection. Whereas, those who did not overcome will have their first chance of the “power of the Holy Spirit“, in-dwelling in them, at the 2nd resurrection with “flesh-composed bodies“.

Summary

It is becoming clear with this research, that at death:

1. The 2 components of humans will separate; the flesh-composed part will go down to hades/grave on earth and rot while the “spirit-of-man” will return to God, but not assumedly in the 3rd heaven. The place maybe the 1st or 2nd heaven or a place similar(but not the same as) to “tartaros”. See also https://fact-s.net/2019/06/03/why-was-man-created-flesh-composed-and-weak/

2. Whether good or evil, we are “all” going to “return to God who gave it”,.

3. The “we” refers to the “spirit-in-man”, the “real you”.

4. The exact state is called “sleep“, in the Creator God.

5. Those who “overcame” in this life because of the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, will participate in the 1st resurrection when they will manifest on earth with spirit-composed immortal bodies, at Christ’s return, aka second coming. Others will have this opportunity to receive the Holy Spirit at the 2nd resurrection after they resurrect with flesh-composed bodies on earth, as in Ezekiel 37:12-14.

Your critique is welcome.

God bless 😊🙏😇

Original post: October 14, 2019 Hyperlink version.

Gun violence, what to do with the mind where evil may reside?

Recent shooting that resulted in deaths in Gilroy, CA “Garlic Festival“, El Paso Texas and Dayton Ohio re-ignited the call for “what to do“. Advocates of 2A right and gun-control groups will again surface that will fan the flame and stoke the fire on an already “toxic environment” we find ourselves in. Finger-pointing will be right-on-the-heels before the day is out. A well-known aphorism will again be quoted that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun”.

And that begs the question: Do guns, by themselves, kill and should be banned? If so, some argue that other means to kill may have to be banned as well, like knives, cars that mowed down crowds, stones and even fists…sound ridiculous, indeed.

Taking extreme scenarios from both ends of the spectrum, history shows people kill even before there were guns. Remember, Cain killed Abel without using guns. But, at least, why not ban assault rifles? Some argue that on having the most destructiveweapons of war, during the height of “nuclear race between USA and USSR, there was no exchange of nuclear missiles against each other because of MAD (mutually assured destruction) which was an effective deterrent that led to “detente. Sen. Lindsay Graham has semi-automatic rifle for self-defense in apocalyptic scenarios” (never used it for offense), should his weapon be confiscated or banned? On the other hand, statistics show that gun violence not only increased in frequency but also in severity and lethality according to this opinion, that should give gunrights advocates an occasion to pause regarding “assault weapons and gun themselves“. Still, others maintain that realistically and urgently we need to do something.

While there are certainly measures like “universal background check” that can be implemented, still it has its own shortcomings. Likewise, “Red Flag law“, aka ERPO or GVRO can complement the preceding UBC, although it has its own unique detractors invoking violation of 2A right to bear arms and 4A right to due process. POTUS45 appears to support those initiatives. Notably, in response to the Las Vegas shooting, bump stocks have been prohibited by executive order of Pres. Trump. Others cite danger of false claim, like “swatting“, used against law-abiding persons with registered guns

Aside from the above, there are other salient proposals to reduce gun violence and promote gun-safety. With lawmakers in branches of government divided on this issue, bipartisanship is evermore needed to enact law, to be doable. Nevertheless, while humanity can do its best to find, prioritize and act on solutions, still, we have limits and boundaries.

Starts with the Mind

Inanimate objects like guns or knives don’t have life of their own to harm or not; only the person decides. Since this issue is difficult and sensitive, controversy then continues to no end.

Be that as it may, these proposals do not address the core issue of “mental state“. Notwithstanding the concerted efforts of the nation through it’s representatives, it is the “mind” of the people that decides whether to engage in or act out violence, harming others or not. Undoubtedly, it is the “mind-set” of a person that makes him/her to act out violent behavior. It can be a mental disease/disorder or the mental state of any “Tom, Dick and Harry”. And, this “mind” is a composite of what collectively the person developed from birth and matured into adulthood. It is an accumulation of what the person concludes to be the best for self-interest or self-preservation that makes the person. History is replete with examples to buttress this mental mechanism to act which requires MOM (motive, opportunity, means). Understandably, assault weapons compared to glock or knife, as “means“, have ease of use to kill more people, should their sale be banned? Culture and philosophy in politics also play a role in how the person thinks and acts.

Still, what can be done about this problem of the “mind? Behavioral health providers proposed ways and means to help alleviate this problem. But, there are myths and evidenced-based facts on this regard and statistics are incomplete. According to a Northwestern study, available gun violence data doesn’t show full picture.

Loopholes in the law are also factors. According to a new Duke Health analysis, “People with serious mental illnesses who use guns to commit suicide are often legally eligible to purchase guns, despite having a past record of an involuntary mental health examination and brief hospitalization,

With that said, Glen Geher, PhD. was pessimistic and was quoted “if the violence problem is due to mental health issues, the future is bleak“.In fact, in a powerful Psychology Today post from 2015, my colleague Jean Twenge provides a mountain of data speaking to the facts that (a) a broad array of psychological disorders, including depression and anxiety, have increased in frequency since the 1980s and (b) this observed pattern is not exclusively the result of over-diagnosis. In short, our nation is getting less and less mentally healthy with time

The problem is multifactorial and not just because of mental health according to Dr. Geher. One can then argue that because of the complexity surrounding gun-violence, that this is all the more reason to favor gun-control and allow gun ownership only at home or elsewhere for self-defense consistent with 2A. Additionally, the responsibility and obligation to defend others devolve to a “regulated militia” aka, police authorities in the city, state or federal governments under subordination to or governed by civilian power.

While collectively as a nation we must endeavor urgently to find ways and means to solve domestic and foreign terrorism, at best, humanity can only do so much. Clearly, an all-encompassing solution to this “crisis in gun violence” is not in the offing. Yet, wasn’t the perfect solution alluded to, generations ago? Read on.

Man Created with Weakness

What is wrong with humans? In all of our history, there is good and evil done by humans. Governments rise and fall, wars and rumors of war all throughout, etched in memories written or not. Certainly, there are progress, advancements, peace and prosperity. A good man can do bad things and an evil man can become good, as we define for ourselves what is good/evil at any given time; no consistency in action. Also, there are many laws in the book, many are laws of morality, but not followed nor enforced, why?

This brings to mind the same problem with Israel and the Law, specifically moral laws, the Decalogue. And apostle Paul explained why we do what we do and do what we don’t like to do in Romans 7 as highlighted in Romans 7:18 (KJV)

“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” 

Romans 7:14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” 

From the preceding, Paul addressed one of the 2 components of man: physical component which is the “flesh“,i.e., “carnal” that came from the ground/earthy. Obliquely, the other component was intimated: the “breath of life”, aka “spirit of man”, which is spiritual as it was breathe into Adam’s nostrils directly from God who is spirit-composed. He echoed the principle that in “flesh” dwells “no good thing” as far as God is concerned, even with “all righteousness coming from it“, rendered to be as “filthy rags“. This was understood later by Job that in spite of him following the moral Law perfectly on his own, he was still a sinner (assigned to the sin of Adam) that needs a savior; “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you”

Essentially, the Law is spiritual (moral laws) and therefore requires “spiritual/moral power to overcome the “lust of the flesh“. There is “war” between our mind and flesh and that we are incapable on our own to consistently follow the “spiritual/moral law until the Spirit-power in-dwells in the real you” to empower us.

And once this Helper/Advocate is given to human beings, it will write the laws in our heart and mind (no longer in tables of stone) to guide, teach and empower towards seeing the truth. And this Holy Spirit was given only AFTER man-Jesus was resurrected and went to the Father.

With the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, we were commanded to :

Galatians 5:16-17 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please“.

Galatians 5:16-26So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires 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. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

Summary

Gun violence is a major and urgent problem for all of humanity. This will continue in spite of our best efforts because of inherenttemporary weakness” of our physical/material creation. Evil starts in themind” aka “spirit-of-man” which was created as a “temple”/template. It starts there, whether they be gun violence, sexual abuse, greed, pride, hatred, etc. and for that matter, any temptation or “pull of the flesh”. Yes, we can change our mind, on our own, through experiential education, like Job. However, this will not last nor be consistent as strong forces dominate self-interest and self-preservation. Our “very best efforts are like filthy rags“. Our “mind/spirit-of-man” needs an Helper/Advocate to empower it against evil as proven by man-Jesus after in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit at River Jordan. But, rejoice, as this inadequacy of man will be eventually empowered by the promised “in-dwelling” of the Holy Spirit to work with our “spirit-of-man” to follow moral laws.

Let us therefore ask and pray to be “baptized with the Holy Spirit as man-Jesus was. Our development and maturity are still in the process of “ongoing creation” to be “one” with the Father.

God bless 😊🙏😇

Original post of Hyperlink version: August 8, 2019

Updated Sept 2, 2019

Firstborn, what is,who is, why, when, for what and how to?

Firstborn, what is,who is, why, when, for what and how to?

What is, who is and why?

Students of the Holy Bible have encountered this word firstborn“. First off, to take up this subject, it is essential to know its derivation and what it entails in both books of the Holy Bible.

In the Old Testament(Tanakh), “firstborn” is translated in English from Hebrew” bekor“, It refers to whofirst comes out of the womb”. The Hebrew root bkr has the general meaning “(to be) early“. It is used of people and animals, cognate terms being employed for firstfruits, person or animal, male or female, singular or plural, collective or. figurative.

The first-born was regarded as “the beginning of strength, see Genesis 49:3Psalms105:36) and ‘the opener of the womb’ see Exodus 13:2 of human or animal; redeem the unclean Numbers 18:15,(as we all are and needs redemption)!from both paternal and maternal lines. The pre-eminent status of first-born was also accorded to Israel as in Exodus 4:22 and the Davidic line as in Psalms 89:27.

This generally refers to the fact that this son is the first son to be born of his father. Also, it refers to the rights and authority of a person, because they are the firstborn. In the Old Testament, the firstborn son was the one who normally received a double inheritance, and was the one who would inherit his father’s role as head of the family. God sometimes reversed this order, as he did with Jacob and Esau (Genesis 25:21-26), and as Jacob later did with Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:13-22). Reuben was the firstborn of Jacob, but his rights as the firstborn were taken away because of his sin (Genesis 35:22; Genesis 49:3-4.). This is notactual reversal“, as though this change was a mistake. Rather, the Father planned and wanted us to see that He is sovereign, the only one, through the example made by YHVH-Creator, who chooses who the “firstborn” should be.

As to human sacrifice done by non-Israelites at that time, consider these quotes from https://bible.org/question/what-significance-“firstborn”-bible

Jeremiah denies that the offering of human beings could have been an instruction from Yahweh (Jeremiah 7:31; 19:5). The prophetic conception of God had rendered such a doctrine inconceivable. Clear evidence of the spiritualization and humanization of religion among the Israelites is furnished in the replacement, at an early stage, of the actual sacrifice of the firstborn by their dedication to the service of Yahweh. At a later stage the Levites were substituted for the firstborn. Just as the firstlings of unclean animals were redeemed with money (Ex 13:13; 34:20), for the dedication of the firstborn was substituted the consecration of the Levites to the service of the sanctuary (Nu 3:11-13,15). On the 30th day after birth the firstborn was brought to the priest by the father, who paid five shekels for the child’s redemption from service in the temple (compare Lk 2:27; Mishna Bekhoroth viii.8). For that service the Levites were accepted in place of the redeemed firstborn (Nu 3:45). See note. According to Ex 22:29-31the firstborn were to be given to Yahweh. (The firstborn of clean animals, if free from spot or blemish, were to be sacrificed after eight days, Nu 18:16 ff.) This allusion to the sacrifice of the firstborn as part of the religion of Yahweh has been variously explained.

it is interesting that the service of Levitical priest substituted for redemption of the firstborn and remember that the High Priest enters the Holy of Holies once a year. Moreover, that the clean firstborn animal is sacrificed, while the sinfulfirstborn (all firstfruits) has to be redeemed. Why? This is predictive of Jesus sacrificed as “passover” and the future redemption eventually of all, as “all have sinned”(Romans 3:23).

When, for what and how to?

In the New Testament, the word firstborn is referred to, from the Greek “prototokos“. This Greek word is translated twice asfirst-begotten” (Hebrew 1:6Revelations 1:5) in the KJV, but otherwise, and always in the RV as firstborn“. Jesus Christ was Mary’s firstborn (Luke 2:7; Matthew 1:25 ) before her other children. It includes men and animals (Hebrews 11:28). This is in contrast to “monogenes” which translates to only child in the New Testament or Septuagint.

Not only was Jesus, the firstborn of Mary historically and literally, but also (prophetically) is the “firstborn of many brethren” (brothers and sisters;make and female) as in Romans 8:29

Christ, is “the firstborn of all creation” (Col 1:15), not only in time, but also in power and authority. “All things have been created through him, and unto him” (Col 1:16). He is “sovereign Lord over all creation”,

Jesus was identified, named and described as “Son“(first begotten/firstborn) of the Father in Matthew 3:17, which was revealed to Matthew and written by him after Jesus’ resurrection. But, time wise, when did Jesus actually become “firstborn“? When was he declared firstborn? It was after resurrection, as in “declared/appointed/shown firstborn from the dead” (Romans 1:4). And, for what? So he will have “supremacy” as in Colossians 1:18. He is the “first of the firstfruits” as in Leviticus 23:20, the 1 lambs representing the sacrificed anthropos/flesh-composed Jesus and the resurrected, victorious spirit-composed Christ.

And how to be “firstborn” is a process that Jesus, the “captain:author/source (trailblazer)”, has gone through. Remember what he said, “I am the way , the truth and the life”(John 14:6). Jesus was the “first” who received the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit of power at river Jordan (John 1:32). From then on, as a human, (anthropos-Jesus 1 Timothy 2:5) he was empowered to overcome Satan’s temptation, (1st expression of power of HS against spirit-being) and convert water into wine in the wedding in Cana, (1st miracle about non-spirit matter) suggesting that before in-dwelling of this Holy Spirit of power, he would not be able to do this. This was a new-power, in the sense that it was not in-dwelling to humans before. After his death and resurrection, he was then given this gift-power directly by the Father to be gifted back for/to us-ward, as in John 16:7. In like manner, with this in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit into us which started at Pentecost, we will then be empowered to overcome evil as we walk “in the spirit, not the pull of the flesh”.

We were created flesh-composed and therefore “weak“, on “hope/confidence ” based on Jesus’ faith and works(our builder and carpenter) so we need a “Helper/Advocate/Comforter“. At the end, we will then “be clothed with immortality“, in “a twinkling of an eye” if we “persevere” in following the will of the Father as Jesus did, especially and profoundly in the garden of Gethsemane.

Together with Jesus, we will be “firstborn/firstfruits”. Salvation from eternal death requires the “real uscurrently with mortal bodies to be changed into immortal-spirit-composed bodies, becoming members of “God-kingdom”

The “marred clay” that mankind became because of Adam is being re-shaped (as planned) by the “Potter” and our re-creation with the new power given by the Father to Jesus to “re-create” is still “ongoing“.

Summary

The introduction of the word “first born” has been defined in Genesis. This knowledge has been developed for us to understand the depth and breath of this word.

The “anthropos-Jesus, is the first man to receive the Holy Spirit at river Jordan, empowered to overcome evil and pull of the flesh, died and resurrected to receive the gift of Holy Spirit, directly from the Father, for us to be re-shaped by “writing the laws in our heart and mind” (not tables of stone) using this Holy Spirit-power, to be “firstborn” from the dead. We will then be “church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” (Heb 12:23).

God bless🙏😇

Original Post: 5/2/2019

Hyperlink version

Dedicated to my firstborn:

Blessing and AJ

Resurrection

Resurrection?

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

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


Resurrection, you can bank on it:

That there is “life-after-death”, is a teaching that all traditional Christians are unanimous to share as a core belief. And, this is on faith which is evidenced-based confidence and assurance (Heb. 11:1) anchored on very credible witnesses; not assumption or baseless hopes or expectation. As we believe in secular people witnessing events during their time in history as recorded in books, electronic media, etc., so should we be open to others, consider and mull over recorded events written by religious icons in the Bible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Better Resurrection:

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

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

The apostle Paul personally saw and talked with the resurrected Christ (1 Corinthians 9:1; 15:8; Acts 22:6-10), confirming the fact of Jesus’ resurrection. Even supposed learned person like King Agrippa was skeptical because he did not witness it. 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 no one rose to spirit-composed body from the dead but him and that others will follow.  While we generally believe others who wrote history books, electronic media stories without personal confirmation, somehow we are dismissive of biblical witnesses and relegate them to purveyors of “fake news”. Go figure !

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

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

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

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

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

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



Millennial and Post-millennial resurrection:

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

When Christ returns to start the Millenium, the “firstfruits“, the “overcomers“, will manifest in this manner: those who are alive at that time will change in a “twinkling of an eye” into immortal spirit-composed bodies; those who were in the graves will resurrect with immortal spirit-composed bodies. They will then meet Christ “in the clouds”(I Thes. 4:17) and come down on earth, in Jerusalem to start the Millenium. The earth has to be ruled and displace the “god of this world“, Satan (2Cor.4:4).

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

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

Revelation 5:9-10You [Christ] were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth” (New International Version)

The preceding verses refer to the firstresurrection, which is coming back to life with immortal, glorious body. And, this augurs the start of the Millenium.


The second resurrection :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



All the preceding verses refer to the second resurrection, post-Millenium.


Summary:

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

While there will be devastation on earth, there will still be people from others areas of the world who will survive. Those who are alive, but still flesh-composed during the Millenium, will be taught, given the chance to receive the truth of the gospel and the gift of the Holy Spirit to grow and develop spiritually. Being mortal, during their time of judgment in the Millenium, they will still die. Subsequently, when their “time” comes, they will be resurrected to life or changed in “a twinkling of an eye” with immortal bodies. The rest of the dead who did not participate in the first resurrection to life, will be resurrected with mortal-bodies after the Millenium. They will be given a chance to hear and see the truth, experience the power of the Holy Spirit to develop, guide them spiritually. Thereafter, those who are righteous will be given a glorious-immortal-spirit-composed bodies to live eternally. Those who rejected the gift of the Holy Spirit, an “unpardonable sin” (Matt.12:31) will be thrown to Gehenna fire to perish and die forever.

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

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

Original post: 5/18/2017

Hyperlink version posted 4/21/2019

Dedicated to a good friend, an outstanding clinical pathologist, who “slept” and went to God on December 4, 2017.

In Search of an Ideal Government?

Throughout history, this search is on-going.  
From the narrative in Genesis, Adam & Eve did not subject themselves to a theocratic government by disobeying God and were subsequently driven out of the “government in the garden of Eden“. Nimrod (the rebel), in a way, wanted to substitute his autocratic reach to the heavens (Genesis 11:1-9) through the Tower of Babel to make a “name for themselves”.

Saul, David, Solomon, etc. also had a government that appeared to be aligned with God’s government. Yet, even these biblical patriarchs, supposed to be chosen by God, had a fleeting loyalty to him and “their kingdoms” succumbed. And throughout history, men of high esteem had leadership and moral compass yet these attributes were not durable nor lasting. The Egyptian and Assyrian empires did not last. From the successive Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greco-Macedonian and Roman Empires, the common denominator they all share is disintegration and short life span. The 15th through the 20th century saw the demise of Spain, France, Germany and England as a world power. In WW II, Nazi Germany attempted to dominate Europe and even Russia. While in the Asian continent, Japan tried to sell a propaganda of Greater Asia Co-prosperity Sphere. All over-extended themselves and failed. Coming out of the ashes of WW II, the League of Nations did not see the “light of day” and was replaced with the United Nations. Will the latter succeed? In Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC/Common Market) was originally established as an economic integration by the Treaty of Rome in 1957, became European Community(EC) in 1993 by Maastricht Treaty, and eventually transformed into more than economic alliance, the European Union (EU) by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. In the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant (ISIS/ISIL), came into being and is a threat to global peace. Will these human geopolitical collaboration for dominance succeed or end much like the Tower of Babel and the “image of Nebuchadnezzar” that will “break in pieces” as prophesied in Daniel 2?

Now remains the U.S.A. as an undisputed world power with the $US as “reserve currency“, money held to pay international debts, since 1944 Bretton Woods agreement setting exchange rate of 1oz. of gold to US$35. Before Bretton Woods, most countries followed the gold standard which ended in 1971 to allow US government to spend more than its “gold reserve”. Yet, in spite of this currency advantage over other countries, fiscal and monetary policies to address mandatory and discretionary demands took the US to an unprecedented $18T (now $22T) debt and social programs like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid to an unsustainable trajectory. Is the U.S.A over-extending itself, like others historically, to suffer through this vicious cycle towards oblivion? With additional socio-political unrest, racial division, illegal immigration within an atmosphere of terrorism and wars in multiple fronts, it becomes questionable whether the best form of government, a Constitutional Republic, will also be “transitory“.

These successive events should make one wonder. Did God really plan for us to have the best form of “human government” (aka “human kingdom”) as the ultimate in governance? Are there indications that point otherwise? Are humans, in their present composition,”the pinnacle of creation” or just “an image or likeness of him”, perfect yet temporary? That the problem in human governance is man himself, with the “pull of the flesh“? What role are humans destined to play in eventual “world government“? It may take a suspension of disbelief, for one to reconsider traditional teaching of biblical verses written millennia ago.

Consider that governance started off in the Genesis account, as a “theocracy” and not a democracy, not even a Constitutional Republic. One may argue that a supreme and powerful leader, answerable to no one, maybe the answer. Yet, history belies that even a benevolent king, or a charismatic dictator could be the answer. There is still something missing in a human leader. Undoubtedly, God is the best leader. But, why did it not work with Adam & Eve? After all, didn’t God have the power for theocracy to work by force at the garden of Eden? Puzzling indeed !

But is it really an enigma wrapped in mystery? It is clear that God did not use force for compliance and man’s “free will” prevailed or allowed as planned at the garden of Eden. But why did Adam’s disobedience occurred ? Could that have been prevented or was that a “given” and expected by the Creator? Could the reason be that man himself, his nature, when and how he was originally and purposely created, was perfect yet temporary? After all, the omnipotent and omniscient God knows the limits of his creation.

Going back to the narrative in Genesis about the creation of man, may help answer this question. Gen. 2:7 states that he was formed from the “dust of the ground”, meaning that his composition was “material“, not spiritual. Continuing the verse, Adam was not alive when created from dust, but became alive only when the “breath of life” was breathed into him by God. Therefore a “living person” is now composed of “dust + breath of life” to become a “living soul/person”. The “dust” is the material part of man that came from the ground, earthy. But what about the “breath of life“? Is this like the “air” we breathe? Remember, that without this “breath of life” the dust-body has no life, i.e., dead. In James 2:26,the body apart from the spirit is dead”, suggesting that this “breath of life” is the “spirit of man”, therefore “spiritual” and given directly through breath by a spirit-composed God. This “breath of life” is not the material gasses that we breathe like oxygen,nitrogen, etc. Rather, it could be a God-given “component” of man that “initiates life”, the spiritual component that “energizes” all human functions, like breathing, heart pumping, thinking, moving, feeling, etc. A “spirit-energy” aka “spirit-power” much like the mechanical, electrical or nuclear energy that provides power for things to function. A living man/person or a “living soul” is thereby made up of “material and spirit components”, the body which is material and the spirit(breath of life) which is spiritual. Zechariah 12:1 attests that God formed this spirit in man. This spirit in man imprints the memory of everything one experienced through the 5 senses(1 Corinthians 2:11). It can be parallel to the “operating system” in a computer, without which all components are defunctionalized.

Death of man happens when this “breath of life”, this spirit of man, leaves the body. The two can be divided (Hebrews 4:12); “the soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Also, Ecclesiastes 12:7 explains that when man dies, “Then the dust (our body) will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit ( breath of life) will return to God who gave it.” Having thus stated, and that while man was created “perfectly” like God’s image (Genesis 1:27), it was nevertheless created only from “matter” (dust) and therefore “weak” and mortal. Notice what Jesus said, “ truly, the spirit (of man) is willing but the flesh is weak…(Matt. 26:40-43). Not only is man “weak” (the body), but also only “a temporary dwelling”. Remember that the “tabernacle” in the Old Testament is a “temporary dwelling” of God. Read through Exodus chapters 35-40 about the tabernacle of God. See also the temple during Solomon’s time (1 Kings 8:11-12), the Temple rebuilt under Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:12; 6:15, 16). By Jesus’ time, the Temple had become a den of thieves. In A.D. 70, the Roman General Titus destroyed Herod’s Temple.

The message in all of these is God showing that these tabernacle and Temples are temporary dwelling of God. But notice that these temples are merely “types” of us and we are the actual temples that God planned to dwell in. Read Acts 17:24,

God who made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of Heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands.”

Also, Acts 7:48, the Most High does not live in houses made by human hands”. But it was prophesied that God, through the Holy Spirit will dwell in us. Read “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit …” (Matthew 3:11); and “…you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38); [See also Acts 5:32; James 4:5; Rom. 5:5; Eph. 5:18.]

Essentially, man needs another component that was already planned by God from the beginning to imbue/in-dwell in us to assist the “weak flesh”, to be “strong” to overcome evil. “What is man that God is mindful of him?”, so asked David in Psalm 8:4-6 and repeated by Paul in Hebrews 2:6. God, as a Potter, has desired to re-work/the-do his “marred clay” again as in Jeremiah 18:4, with the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Clearly, God desired to dwell in us, the temple not made by human hands, through his Spirit. This Spirit will again “energize and empower” our “weak flesh” by working with and guiding the “spirit of man” (breath of life) which was already given before. This is another vital and new component, a new “operating system” that is given by grace and as a gift that can empower us to overcome evil. The first operating system” that initiated life to Adam, the spirit of man/breath of life, needs this add-on new O.S.

The Holy Spirit(when received in us) teaches that one must believe (Hebrew 11:6), repent (Acts 2:38), and be baptized for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16). Also, the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us, will “seal, sanctify, guide, teach, and give us power” to have the “mind of Christ”(Rom 12:2; Phil 2:5-11; 2 Tim 1:7) and be “conformed in the likeness of his Son Jesus”(Rom 8:29). Yes, we shall be like “his Son“(I John 3:2-3), different from each other and unique, yet “one” with Jesus(I Cor 12:12 ; Rom 12:4), as we will be “one” with the Father.

God has a timetable and a purpose for man. And that purpose is for the “Spirit of God” to dwell in us, the temple (I Cor.3:16). The spirit of man described in Genesis to “bind” with the Spirit of God. In fact, Jesus died and resurrected, for us to receive this Holy Spirit of God for us. See John 16:17, Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter (Holy Spirit) will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.” Also, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” (John 14:26).

Summary

All human governments will fail as they have never been the plan of Almighty God who knows what is best. In taking the Genesis creation of man into consideration, God has initially created an “image and likeness of Lord God (YHVH ELOHIM”). This “image” however was temporary, just a “temple or template” and therefore “weak”. As presently composed, man can not govern “self“, much less govern others with consistency of goodness. The “missing link” is for the Holy Spirit to in-dwell and this process was proven after first in-dwelling in Jesus (our trailblazer) at the river Jordan. Eventually, God planned for mankind not to stay as “an image” and not to stay “weak”. Instead, we will be “empowered” like man-Jesus in our current flesh-composed state. Eventually, in the future, to receive a spirit-body, “put on immortality“, “one with him” as the “future world” will not be subjected again to angels but to us (Heb 2:5). As in I Cor. 2:12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God” (the Father). Also, Eph 2:22 “…builded together for an habitation of God(Father) through the Spirit.” After creating the universe, plant and animal kingdoms, however with man, God is not creating a “human kingdom”, but a “God-kingdom” , all with immortal bodies, with Jesus as the Head and us with him as one. At the end of time, the Father will be over all and in all.

This world government will be a “theocracy“, a God-Kingdom. The theocracy in the garden of Eden did not work because of man’s deficient composition. Humans will have a role but only after having been transformed by the Holy Spirit working with the “spirit of man“, and be “one” with Christ, in an “immortal” state (not physical), at resurrection., with immortal bodies as God. He that has “eyes to see and ears to hear”, may he be blessed to recover from blindness and deafness.

God Bless 🙏😇

Original post:7/26/2015

Revised and Reposted: 3/6/19

with Hyperlink

Born Again, how and when?

Born Again?

Are you a “born-again Christian”? Many in today’s world, claim now to be so (1). That, because we are “saved by faith“, and since we now have faith, that we are saved now and “born again now“. But, is this a tenable teaching? When, really, can one be “born again and when are we saved”?


A Must, to see the Kingdom of God

The critical significance of being “born again”cannot be overemphasized. Jesus himself alluded to this principle when Nicodemus approached him “at night”. Notice the narrative in John 3:1-8 (NIV):

Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

Jesus affirmatively without equivocation and emphatically, that the only way to see the kingdom of God, and by common parlance be saved, is to be “born again. For anyone who was already born, it can be puzzling to be born again. And Nicodemus, a learned and member of the Jewish ruling Council, carried the same doubt. Continuing on:

How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

From the above narrative, one sees that Jesus acknowledged the difference between the 2 births as far as the original makeup and end-product, i.e., “flesh gives birth to flesh” but the “Spirit gives birth to spirit“.  It originates with flesh/matter and the finished product is flesh; and so does the spirit starts it and finished with spirit-product. There is a physical birth that manifests as flesh-composed and a spiritual birth that manifests as spirit-composed. Also, a flesh-composed birth is visible, whereas, “everyone born of the Spirit” …”you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going“. Spirit-composed person is “invisible” as Jesus is , although with the capacity and power to be seen, as in the narrative between Him and Thomas post-resurrection(John 20:24-29).


Birthing is a Process

As a common knowledge, being born of water in a physical birth is a process. Biologically, it takes a process of fertilization of the ovum by the sperm (both matter) to develop into a zygote, then development into maturity for about 9 months in the womb of a mother before delivery as a full-term newborn flesh-baby, i.e., “flesh gives birth to flesh“. Similarly, and by extension, being born of the Spirit is a process that follows the same stages, spirit to spirit, i.e., the “spirit of man” (psyche/mind, the spirit-component of man) has to be “fertilized” by the spirit of God(baptized by), goes through the process of mind-development in the “womb of the church” through sanctification and guidance of the Holy Spirit of God, develop wisdom, bear fruits shown in action, be an overcomer before delivery into “full-term” immortal glorious-spirit body at resurrection; i.e., “spirit gives birth to spirit”. This spirit-birth is yet future as in:

 For the earnest expectation of the creature waits for the manifestation of the sons of God”(Rom. 8:19). (at the resurrection of the firstfruits.” ( Notice that they “manifest” as spirit-composed sons of God at resurrection as flesh-composed humans “manifest” themselves at birth).



As physical development in the womb may not come to maturity and can “abort“, so can spiritual development in the church may not come to fruition (by not being overcomers) and although “written in the book of life” (Rev. 3:5; 17:8; 20:15; 22:19; Phil. 4:3) may not “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit” and miss out.


Why the need for the Holy Spirit in us?

Man is “weak” as far as the “flesh” is concerned because this “flesh-body” is ephemeral and will die and decay as it was formed from matter, dust, ground, earthy and will go back thereto, as in:

Eccl. 12:7″ and the dust returns to the ground it came from, and the spirit returns to God who gave it.”

It did not come directly from God, unlike the “breath of life” (spirit of man) that made the body a “living being” (compare Gen. 2:7, Jer 18:1-6 and Rom.9:21). But this “spirit of man” gets all its influences from the physical senses and stores them in memory; it becomes a composite of all the flesh experiences.This “spirit of man” (psyche/mind) needs conversion, re-education through the guidance, direction and wisdom of the Holy Spirit, to be strong, be “one” with God, before a “glorious body” will be formed. Jesus alluded to the weakness of man’s flesh in:

Matthew 26:40-45 “And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with Me for one hour? “Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” He went away again a second time and prayed, saying, “My Father, if this cannot pass away unless I drink it, Your will be done.” Again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. And He left them again, and went away and prayed a third time, saying the same thing once more. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? . See also Mk. 14:38-40

It took Jesus 3 times to see the weakness and limits of flesh-composed humans to be convinced that he had to die for mankind and and be resurrected to receive the promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit from the Father. Our flesh-composed bodies have limits, not only about “sleep-deprivation“, but also on “pull of the flesh” and “appointed towards natural death”.


How will man be strengthened ?

Prophesy has been made to achieve this event of empowering man. Consider the following:

Jer. 18: 1-4 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying: “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.” Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make. (Man sinned and became marred so God remade the clay to be better)

Isa. 29:16 “You turn things around! Shall the potter be considered as equal with the clay, That what is made would say to its maker, “He did not make me”; Or what is formed say to him who formed it, “He has no understanding “?” (we were made clay but marred and incomplete and God has planned for this).

Isa. 64:8 “Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (God is still working in us through the power of the Holy Spirit).

Isa. 45:9 “Woe to him who strives with him who formed him, a pot among earthen pots! Does the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making?’ or ‘Your work has no handles’?”



Isaiah 40:29-31 “He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” (Whether  young  and vigorous, strength was future, but now is developing, as the Holy Spirit has been given)

Jeremiah 31:25 “For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes”

Rom. 9:20 “But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to Him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?” ( we were made flesh + “breath of life” and God planned to empower him in time).

The preceding verses proved that while man was made as such, God will re-visit him to be transformed and “be made again”.


Why make man weak in the flesh and the Ultimate End?



The answer lies in Heb 2:6-18:

But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him?Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands:Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. 

But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.      

Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.For in that he himself hath suffered “.

While the above verses refer directly to man-Jesus, being the precursor for humans(author/finisher not only of faith, Heb 12:2), the indirect reference was to humans in general. Essentially, man (same as man-Jesus) was created lower than angels, flesh-composed (weak) but with the “spirit of man” in him. Yet, humans (as man-Jesus) is the best of creation and destined to “reign or have dominion over all” (Gen. 1:26). Even so, he is vulnerable to sickness and natural first death. As Heb. 9:27 states:

it is appointed for man to die once and after that the resurrection“.

Being matter/flesh-composed, Adam would die a natural death, “as appointed“, which is the 1st death. In general,  all flesh deteriorates, ages and dies, a natural death. The consequence of sin of Adam in Genesis is death, eternal death or 2nd death, not natural death. Since Adam sinned and his sin in the garden of Eden was “counted” or imputed to humanity, this resurrection  referred to for all is towards “damnation” or “eternal or second death” in “Gehenna fire” (John 5:29) unless this eternal/second death has been paid for, and Jesus did.

This is why the Creator YHVH(Jesus) became human to suffer death by crucifixion, (a natural first death being flesh-composed but also to be delivered as promised by the Father from second/eternal death for sins of mankind) so that through his natural death and on his faith, he can “deliver humanity from the fear of (second/eternal) death“. And this, by having his imputed “eternal/second death”, as a promised substitute (Passover-lamb) for mankind’s consequence of sin. Accepting this promise on faith(evidence-based, from which trust and hope emanate) then reconciles humanity to the Father. With the resurrection of Jesus, he was then given the “gift of the Holy Spirit” (by the righteousness of faith of Jesus) to be subsequently given to us. The Holy Spirit in us then “sanctifies” those who follow instead of rejecting his will.

This prophecy that God will re-shape and strengthen man found the start of its general fulfillment for mankind on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit of God was sent. Read this event in Acts Chapters 1 & 2 when this power was given. The same power that dwells in the “spirit of man”, in the holiest segment of the temple (the holy of holies) which is in us, has been guiding, teaching, nurturing the “spiritual zygote” being developed in us during this “period of sanctification“. Remember that God does not dwell in a “temple made by hands” (Acts 7:48). The Holy Spirit is the power that is writing the Ten Commandments, “not in tables of stones but in the fleshly tables of our heart”(2 Cor. 3:3); yes, while still in these flea have-composed bodies. Paul continued to affirm that this is the power that helps our weakness and strengthens us, as in:

Romans 8:26 “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;”




How and to whom this Holy Spirit was given?

For us to answer the question, one has to be clear about the effect of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Specifically, Jesus’ imputed  “second/eternal death” is substitutionary for our second/eternal death” that came about because of Adam’s sin at the garden of Eden. The consequence of being flesh-composed is “natural first death that all humans are appointed to, including man-Jesus. Whereas, the consequence of sin is “second/eternal death“. Jesus died a “natural first death” by crucifixion, having an ephemeral flesh-composed body.  But, because of Jesus’ faith in the Father’s promise that he trusted and hoped for, he did not stayed dead in the tomb or die a “second/eternal death”  which is a consequence of sin; instead he was resurrected to eternal life as promised. All mankind’s sin was imputed to one man Adam (and all died)so that being delivered (as promised) from  “second/eternal death” of one man-Jesus would be imputed to all. The “natural first death” was not the one imputed as we are all appointed to die , being flesh-composed that has “expiration date“, so to speak. Jesus’ trust and hope that is faith-based to be delivered from”second/eternal death” reconciles us to the Father. Again, “faith of Jesus” (not his natural death) was reckoned and imputed by the Father as payment for the consequence of Adam’s sin (representing mankind’s sin) so that we will be reconciled to the Father. As necessary as that natural death is, his natural death did not finally save us. Rather, we are saved by “his life” (has to be resurrected from natural death to life) as in Rom. 5:10 ,

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



Notice that we were reconciled to the Father through ( not by) the natural first death of his Son, but by the “faith of Jesus”. He needed to die a natural first death, be resurrected to life to go get this Holy Spirit from the Father, as in John 16:7:

Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you”



Summary:

From the beginning, we were originally composed “flesh” out of clay/ground/earthy, on hope of future change. As such, “the flesh is weak but the spirit is willing“. The “spirit of man” is the “breath of life“(psyche) that did not come from clay but came directly THROUGH “breathing in his nostrils” from a spirit-composed God/YHVH, therefore “heavenly, not earthy“. The flesh is “weak” being mortal and needed change to an “immortal spirit-composed body“. But, before this change, the “spirit of man” needs to be fertilized/baptized/immersed by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in the “holy of holies” (our mind), the temple not made by hands but by “breathing through” directly. And this event, like in Pentecost,to be guided on choosing “good from evil” through a process of sanctification that takes time, writing in the fleshly(not stony) tables of our heart, like being nurtured/developed in the “womb of the church”.

To be “born again” is to manifest as a “glorious spirit-composed body” which can only happen at resurrection, not before and not now; it is still future. Much like flesh-birth that the zygote has to develop before actual birth, spirit-birth is also a process that takes time to develop before it actually happens in a”twinkling of an eye” (I Cor. 15:52). Jesus’ faith on imputed “second/eternal death, reckoned by the Father, paid for the sin of humanity as a consequence of Adam’s sin that reconciled us to the Father. On the faith of Jesus, he was then resurrected as promised by the Father to go to heaven and receive the promise of the Holy Spirit of power. Jesus then subsequently has been giving this power to those who believe,i.e., “the faithful”. Through a process of “sanctification” by the Holy Spirit of God, we then become “one” with the Father. Any “good works, decision or righteousness” that come from us, our “flesh“, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit are as “filthy rags” and as “dung” to God (Isa. 64:6;Rom. 3:10; Phil. 3:8-9). Good works as “fruits of the Holy Spirit“, not “fruit of our own flesh” , are still “our works” but a product of the “gift of God” which is the power of the Holy Spirit. Even Job has to be “lectured” by God that while “perfect” on his own,  he was still dirty in the eyes of God. (Read the whole book of Job).

Our righteousness is the “righteousness of our faith” that started with faith “of” Jesus for which he received from the Father, reconciliation and the promise of the Holy Spirit then given to the faithful to bear “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, not fruits of our flesh. It has to be God’s fruits in us and not our fruits that come from flesh. One can deny or reject the guidance of the Holy Spirit, (be aborted) because freedom of choice is key to the development of wisdom and to be “one” with the Father. Even Jesus with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has to correctly choose between “his” will and that of the Father’s (Matt. 26:39; Lu.22:42) to be “one” with Him.


May God continually bless us all. 

References:

1. History of born again:

http://www.newsmax.com/FastFeatures/Born-Again-Christians-Christianity-Evolution/2015/02/06/id/623238/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_again
http://www.giveshare.org/churchhistory/born%20again.htm
http://about-i-am.net/bornagain.html

Original post:March 12, 2017

Jesus carpenter/builder or what?

Jesus carpenter/builder or what?

The “working job” of Jesus has been described as a “carpenter”. And this view was based on:

Mark 6:3 “Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and the brother of James, Joses, Judas, and Simon?”

The nature and stature in the community of this type of work may at that time be a measly job or a “put-downas people “scoffed” at him, as in:

Matthew 13:55 “Then they scoffed, “He’s just the carpenter’s son, and we know Mary, his mother, and his brothers–James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas.”(NLT)

Looking down at his job extended to the place where he grew up from, as in:

John 1:45-46 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, “We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” And Nathanael said unto him, “Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?” Philip saith unto him, “Come and see”.

Going back to the original Greek word “teckton”, this may mean ”carpenter and/or stonemason”(1), or Mr. Fix it or engineer(2). The word/meaning of “carpenter” was even considered a poor translation of the Greek word “teknon” with wider semantic range, and therefore a generic word “craftsman” maybe more descriptive(3).

What was he, really?

The preceding verses about the “working job” of Jesus may turn out to be claims or presumption for lack of actual biblical proof/evidence that was in fact the reality. No one witnessed Jesus actually doing “carpentry work”. There was no actual proof that he really did build anything in his “earthly life”. A suggestion was made that “the truth is that we don’t have enough information to construct what He actually did during His two decade working career”(4). These references about his job maybe a part of archetypal hybrid, a fictional construct of reality.

Others addressed him as teacher/Rabbi/Rabboni/master, as in:

Mark 5:35 “While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house certain which said, † Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master (didaskalos/teacher) any further?

John 1:38 “Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? “

John 13:13 “Ye call me Master (didaskalos/teacher) and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am

In the preceding verses, the context did not just call him “teacher” but Jesus himself acknowledged it, thus confirming that he was. Teaching was his actual work, although most likely not an income-producing professional job. Additionally, the term “Rabbi” is an esteemed title honoring a “master”, and can be used interchangeably. Jesus was witnessed to have superb knowledge and wisdom, as in:

John 7:15 “The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught”

Other verses described him as a teacher (5). Even as young as 12 years old Jesus was witnessed by many, including Mary and Joseph, to be “teaching” the teachers (Luke 2:39-52) in the temple courts.

What is he a future builder of?

While there were witnesses of Jesus in his earthly life as a teacher and no one witnessed him actually doing carpentry/stone masonry, nevertheless he was prophesied to be a “builder”.

The narrative in Matthew 16:16-20 is enlightening:

And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”

Notice that on this rock of “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” , he “will build his church”. Not “upon Peter” but “upon Christ, the Son of the living God”. “Not yet built nor being built but “willin the future build it.

Before building a “house”, a foundation has to be started. Jesus is the foundational “Rock”, the “cornerstone”, being laid down.

1 Corinthians 3:11 “For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

1 Corinthians 10:4 “and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ

Ephesians 2:20..built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.”

How will he build his church?

Now that he laid the foundation for everyone to understand that it is He who is the “cornerstone, the Rock” on which his church will be built, what happened after that narrative?

Notice that, through his actions, he re-emphasized his role for why YHVH Creator incarnated into human Jesus. There were hints directing us to his “spiritual task/job” for incarnation (6). Notice the major reasons(7) why Jesus had to incarnate:

1. For a human path to be paved by him as an example of how salvation/immortality is achieved. His human life from incarnation on, has “blazed the trail” as a leader and author/captain. Compare John 1:1-14; Luke 2:40;John 1:29-33; Luke 4:1;Luke 22:42. His life on earth as a human provided an example for the process on how other flesh-humans will become members of spirit-composed God-Kingdom.

2. To be a human-Passover,i.e., to die for us. The death of Jesus was counted/recognized by the Father as our death, for propitiation of our sins (as Adam sinned, so we were all counted as have sinned) thereby reconciling us back to the Father. Compare 1John 2:2; Exodus 12:25-27;1 Corinthians 5:7;John 1:29;Galatians 2:20; Romans 5:8-21.

3. To resurrect and be alive to receive to himself the Holy Spirit of power from the Father and subsequently give it out to empower us with it. Only a living Son of God can receive the Holy Spirit. Compare John 16:7; Ezekiel 36:27;Matthew3:11-12;1 John 4:2;Joel 2:28.

4. For an “ongoing creation” (8). Jesus needed this unique “power“(Holy Spirit) to re-create other humans into the God-kingdom. He did not have this power to give to other humans until after his resurrection. Creator-God (YHVH-Elohim) in Genesis could only create “flesh-part” of man from “the ground” and “breathe” into man’s nostrils, the “breath-of-life/spirit-of-man” (Genesis 2:7). All part of the plan. Incarnated-Jesus has to follow the “will of the Father to die as Passover and be resurrected to receive this power; he did not follow his “own will”.

Summary

Jesus, the man, is the prophesied “builder” of his spiritual “church/body”. And to do this, YHVH Creator has to incarnate into human flesh-composed being, like us, with “breath-of-life/spirit-of-man/mind”(Hebrews 4:15;1John 1:1;Psalms 8:4-5;Hebrews 2:5-18) and to go through the process laid down by the Father since the foundation of the world. After incarnating into a human being, water-baptized, then the Holy Spirit was seen by John the Baptist as a “dove” in-dwelling in him fully(Matthew 3:16). This was a “new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26) in addition to the “breath of life/spirit-of-man/mind” that every human has and that we were also promised to have in the future. With this Holy Spirit of power in him, he was able to overcome Satan in the “wilderness of temptation”(Matthew 4:1) perform the 1st miracle in Cana (John 2:11)and subsequent miracles. At the garden of Gethsemane, his last temptation was to save his life (rather than die) (“let this cup pass me”). He overcame this as well and followed “not his will” but the “will of the Father”(Matthew 26:36-46). With his death, he then fulfilled the prophesied Passover(1 Corinthians 5:7), the “propitiation for humanity’s sins”(1 John 2:2;4:10), his “death counted as mankind’s death” (Romans 5:8) to “reconcile with the Father” (2 Corinthians 5:18-19; Romans 5:10). Having been reconciled we are then “saved by his life”(Romans 5:10), i.e., by his resurrection to life, as a living (not dead) being has to receive this “creative power of the Holy Spirit” from the Father himself. At Pentecost, this Holy Spirit was given to the apostles and through generations to us-ward.

Jesus is the prophesied builder of the “church/his body and he is still in the process of building, through the creative power of this new Holy Spirit in us.

This Holy Spirit is given to those who believe (Ephesians 1:13-14) and were predestined (Romans 8:29;Ephesians 1:4-5, Ephesians 1:11-12)to receive at their “appointed time” (Exodus 9:5; Ephesians 1:10) for it to “write the laws in the fleshy tables of our heart” as in;

Ezekiel 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.

And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

2 Corinthians 3:3 “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.”

And this Holy Spirit will germinate, develop, “re-make the clay” (Isaiah 64:8; Jeremiah 18:1-23)through guidance and direction. Those who have this gift of the Holy Spirit has to heed this wisdom of God, follow and overcome evil. Those who “overcome” (Revelation 3:5-12, v-21) will receive the gift of “immortality” the “salvation” from eternal(2nd)death(9, 10). We will then “be one” (John 17:21) with Christ and the Father.

Jesus is “in us” through the power of the HS. This is how he builds us to be in “God-Kingdom” through this spirit-power. As he did in Genesis creation of man (Genesis 2:7), YHVH Elohim breathed into Adam’s nostrils the spirit-power that energized him to live , the “breath of life” 2 Corinthians 3:17 Aramaic Bible

But The Spirit is THE LORD JEHOVAH, and wherever The Spirit of THE LORD JEHOVAH is, there is freedom“.

God bless 🙏😇

References

1. What evidence is there that Jesus was a carpenter? Retrieved 7/22/2018 from https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/4896/what-evidence-is-there-that-jesus-was-a-carpenter

2. Jesus was not really a carpenter. Retrieved 7/22/2019. http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2010/06/jesus-wasnt-really-a-carpenter/

3. Misconception: Jesus was a carpenter. Retrieved 7/22/2019 http://gospelgeeks.net/10-misconceptions-about-jesus-4-jesus-was-a-carpenter/

4. Ibid.

5. Jesus as our teacher. Retrieved 1/18/19 from https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Jesus-As-Our-Teacher

6. Incarnation, are we missing the ultimate purpose for it? Retrieved 1/20/19 from https://fact-s.net/2019/01/04/incarnation-are-we-missing-the-ultimate-purpose-for-it)

7. Basics of Human Development. Retrieved 1/20/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/12/16/basics-of-human-development-a-prelude-for-the-trailblazer-to-create-the-god-kingdom

8. Ongoing Creation. Retrieved 1/20/19 from
https://fact-s.net/2018/06/30/ongoing-creation/

9. Salvation Series 1. Retrieved 1/21/19 https://fact-s.net/2015/10/04/salvation-series-1what

10. Death, what is? Retrieved 1/21/19 from https://fact-s.net/2018/12/06/death-what-is-2/

Original Post: January 22, 2019