Transparency in Cost vs Price, Key to Successful Health System Reform

Health System Reform_ Competition in Cost aside from Price ; Key to Reform Payment System of Healthcare]

Change in Trading Dynamics: The Key to Successful Health System Reform

After $6B spent on federal campaigns, the country has chosen its leaders. Yet, problems with our health system still linger and fester. Physicians, the last bulwark of patient advocacy, have a ubiquitous role in reforming the system and must pick up the cudgels.

Even after passage of PPACA (Obamacare), issues like access to care, quality of service, insurance coverage, malpractice, over-utilization of resources, etc. continue to be at the forefront of the debate. Current efforts by medical establishments’ punditocracy focused on efficiency to cut costs, viz., reducing length of hospital stay, preventing “never-events”, quality guidelines, utilization criteria, accountable care organizations and the like. The converse of lack of efficiency is synonymous with waste. Since the base is financial, all of these segmented issues boil down to 3 general categories, viz., waste, fraud and abuse in the system, mired by “moral hazard” of having health insurance. Hopefully, all the preceding contending interests will be addressed with civility.

In my humble opinion, shaped by years of experience in the system, the above general categories do not constitute the root or core problem facing the entire healthcare industry. Worse yet, the proposed measures for reform will arbitrarily limit provision of services cloaked behind “evidence-based medicine” and will make future payment based on outcome that is uncertain or performance that is unpredictable. Moreover, responses by even well-meaning people will ration care and control eligibility to provision of healthcare services.

Assuming, for the sake of argument that all these issues come close to an ideal solution, these will still default to where they started due to the structural nature of the problems that rests on human nature. People take action based on rational choice and personal interest unique to each person. The strategy then for health system reform is to accept this reality of human nature and align it to an understanding about a key flaw in the financial underpinning related to payment methodology of our current health system. Human nature being what is, the only remaining recourse is to change the structure of trading dynamics that initiates payment.

To start with, our current payment system, whether public or private, healthcare or otherwise, is oblivious to the opaque pricing mechanics and corresponding arbitrary payment. Global markets thrive in such a scenario. “Buyers” have needs, wants and expectations of quality and service that have to be filled by “sellers”. Only the “sellers” determine and set the price. The buyer either pays that price, wait for discount or not buy altogether. When both “seller and buyer” agree with the price, trade is completed and payment is made. Unfortunately, the nature of this trading system favors more the seller than the buyer because of asymmetric costing information. To illustrate, a seller may price a product or service for $100 and may discount it down by 50%. As price went down to $50, the buyer sees a 50% discount as a good deal, and pays up. If the production cost of the product/service amounts to $10, but hidden from the buyer, then he just paid the seller a 5x profit mark up. This fog in “costing” and lack of transparency in “pricing determinant” favor the seller as he is the only one who knows the production cost and the spread/profit.

Extrapolating this to healthcare product/service, exorbitant medical inflation occurs as “suppliers” mark-up the price way above their costs. True, profit is crucial to the viability of any business. But there can be overpricing, overcharging, some call “gouging” that affects the entire spectrum of the healthcare system. Supplier-to-end-user, each along the supply-chain, marks up the price to profit from the trade. No wonder, healthcare expenditures turned exponential since private insurance came into being and in 1965 when a federal insurance, i.e., Medicare, became an entitlement program.

Historically, patients are generally insulated from the actual healthcare expenses as they are either insured or not at all. Payment is made, by and large, from decision of bureaucrats in the federal or private insurance based on the price charged by the provider of the product or service. They get that money from federal income taxes or private insurance premiums. As payment comes not from their own money but from others’, public and private insurance just “opened there wallet”. Their “skin not in the game”, little effort is expended to negotiate down the price and even when done through contracting, the “spread” may still be too high. When it became apparent that the upward trajectory of spending is unsustainable, cost control measures were instituted, akin to price control. Federal responses like RBRVS and SGR for physicians and DRG for hospitals came into being. Private insurance increased premiums, tweaked qualifying requirements through adverse “selection bias” and/or exclude pre-existing conditions. Other providers like pharmaceuticals, device companies and different suppliers responded in a similar fashion to maintain profitability.

What is apparent in these arbitrary responses is a pervasive theme of a pricing structure sans openness as to production cost. Only when there is transparency in production cost in relation to price charged, can a more rational payment system develop through a change in trading dynamics. When the buyer knows the “spread” between actual cost and selling price, he is in a level-playing field with the seller and can better negotiate down the price. This is the essence of a competitive market-based economy. Medical inflation will be replaced throughout the whole gamut of trading by deflation in prices, while profit will still be made, although lesser than before. The eventual agreed price will then be more affordable and the health system sustainable and durable. With “information symmetry” between buyer and seller, the trading dynamics will change. As in the preceding illustration when the seller priced a product or service at $100, but discounted it down to $50, now that the production cost is transparent and is actually $10, instead of the buyer happily paying $50 as before with 5x profit, he can now negotiate the price even lower. The ability of buyers to participate in the decision as to how much actual profit comes from the trade, brings parity to the parties involved in the trade.

In summary, reform of the healthcare system is complex when all the “moving parts”, as important as they are, detract us from the core problem, which is a payment system that marginalized and ignored trading dynamics. The payers, public or private, must fulfill their fiduciary responsibility and obligation to taxpayers and premium payers by demanding information about production cost and selling price before paying up. Knowledge of %Profit (spread) should be part of “buying drivers” for consumers to be in equal footing with the seller. One should not limit “price determinants” to supply/demand, needs, wants, expectations and ability to pay. They should include price differential with production cost. Physicians are the only ones that have costing-transparency with RBRVS which slowed down the rate of medical inflation. Other larger components of healthcare expenditures, i.e, hospitals, allied personnel, pharmaceuticals and device companies continue to wrap themselves in mystery. Even when the political winds sway towards conservatism or progressivism, the moral imperative is to bridge this chiasm. The challenge to our present generation is whether to keep the same culture in “buying/selling” or develop a new one, parity or disparity, opacity or transparency in the trading system. Which world and global market do we want to create? Shall we think outside-the-box or not? Only by looking at the culture and foundation of “buying-and-selling” through the prism of impartiality and even-handedness, will the payment system in healthcare system be equitable and reformed. With more healthcare dollars saved, a new dawn is in the horizon when payment is equitable, services not curtailed and access to healthcare available to all, whether the economy is yawning or booming.

Excerpted from Thesis in Master in Health Care Administration

Submitted: New England College

98 Bridge St, Henniker, NH 03242

By:

Aladin Mariano,MD, MHA, FACS, FCCP

FATHER’S DAY_USA.2014

FATHER’S DAY_USA.2014

Ever since it was championed by Sonora Smart Dodd, Father’s Day has been commemorated throughout the U.S.A. on the 3rd Sunday of June since 1910 (1). Today, on Fathers’s Day, what could be more apropos and timely to honor it than to know who the “Father” in the Old Testament is? Is he the same or different from that referred to in the New Testament? Is the Father in the Old Testament the same as the Father of Jesus in the New Testament? To provide context to these questions, consider a parallel question:

Who is the God of the Old/ New Testament?

Many grew up in a Christian family and were taught that the God of the Old Testament is the Father of Jesus. And, that of the New Testament is Jesus and/or his Father, as they “are one”. It may as easily be interpreted as Jesus and YHVH ELOHIM in the Old Testament “are one” and the same, by incarnation. Does being “one” mean indistinct or inseparable? Are they similar or different? In what way if any or when are they the same or distinct from each other? Is this issue a mere exercise in futility, unnecessary minutiae, pure semantics or “splitting hairs”?

Although not a recent phenomenon, these questions are confusing and distracting to many today. Even in mid-second century Rome, a prominent Christian leader by the name of Marcion who had a thriving shipbuilding business at the time of Justin, was confused (2). Does it really matter who is the God of the Old and/or New Testament? Yes, it does. In fact, about 90 C.E., John who wrote “I and Father are one”(John 10:30) also said that life eternal hinges on this understanding: “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). The Father, “the only true God” and Jesus are distinct and separate from one another, even when they “are one”. Always remember what Paul said in Heb 11:1,

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.”

We need “assurance” that depends on evidence-based facts, not empty promises, unsubstantiated teaching, nor hope against hope. The answer to these questions may help enhance our understanding of the subject, thus solidifying even more our handle on the truth and fortifying our faith.

Old Testament God

There are many so-called “gods”, and polytheism is more than a phenomenon; it is a reality. While it is tempting to deny this fact, the presence of manygods” is acknowledged to be true. And yes, this has been a crucial fact in the Old Testament, such that Israel has to be directed away from these real “gods” and commanded not to worship them. Instead, worship has to be to one particular and specific God. There was/is only one God to be worshipped. This is the basis from where developed the Jewish “Shema” doctrine of,

Thou shalt have no other gods before me (Ex.20:3) …above all gods”(Ps 95:3; 135:5)(

See also Reference #3)

Who, was the God of Adam, Noah, Enoch, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses?

This question maybe resolved if one accepts the fact that this God introduced himself with different names at different times. Strong’s Concordance helps in finding the derivation of the original words translated in English. And, while names are different, they refer to only one, the Creator. Getting right to the point, consider these documentation and confirmation:

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning, God created the heaven(s) and the earth”.

Here, without doubt, this God was introduced as the Creator. But, this particular God was not identified and was described as a uni-plural generic “Elohiym” (Strong Concordance 0430/plural form being supreme). But, in Ex.6:2-3, this God was identified with different descriptive names,

And God (Elohiym 0430) spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD (Yhovah 03068) : And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God (0410 El) Almighty (Shadday/07706), but by my name JEHOVAH (Yhovah 03068) was I not known to them”.

This Creator God was God Almighty/ “El Shadday” to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but to Moses he was known as Lord/”Yahveh:YHVH. Moreover, in Isa 45:11-12, this Creator God was also referred to as Lord,

Thus saith the LORD (03068/Yhovah), the Holy One (06918/qadowsh) of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me. I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

That particular Creator God was The Lord God, the Holy One of Israel. Post Old-Testament times, this Creator God was also identified more specifically as the “Word”. In John 1:1-3, he said

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

John then went further to identify this Creator God to be The Begotten Son, as in

So the Word became human and….And we have seen his glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father” (John 1:14, NLT).

To make it even clearer, John reiterated that this Creator God was Jesus, as in

The one who existed from the beginning is the one we have heard and seen. We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life” (1 John 1:1).

The Creator God was Word God. Paul also testified, that the Creator God was Jesus ,

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of creation. For by Him all things were created…all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col. 1:15-17 NASB).

This Creator God, who “fathered” all creation, incarnated into Jesus, the Christ/Messiah, as in Isa:9:6,

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father(01,ab), The Prince of Peace.

From the preceding verses, one sees the “evidentiary facts” that the same specific and distinct person is known as: God:(Elohiym 0430) LORD: (Yhovah 03068) God (0410 El) Almighty (07706 Shadday) The “Holy One (06918/qadowsh) of Israel” The “Word” (3056/logos) “Begotten Son” (monogenes/3439) The “only Son of the Father” Jesus Christ, the Word of life (3056) First-born of Creation (prototokos/4416) Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father(01,ab), The Prince of Peace.

Changes in Name, Position and Function

All these descriptive positions, tasks, functions and changes in name at a particular time are no different from our own experience as humans. All of us have been children and have parents and grandparents. As we ourselves became parents, we left our description as children. After we have grandchildren, we are now called grandparents. Our position and function changed but we are still the same person. Likewise, previously, one maybe secretary in an organization, but then can become vice-president or president. That person is no longer addressed as Mr Secretary; rather called Mr. President. The same person but different function, task and time. In general, unless described otherwise, when the word “God” is used in the Old Testament, it refers to El Shaddai/YHVH ELOHIM who incarnated to Jesus, the Word; in the New Testament, it refers to the FATHER of Jesus. The Creator God and the only one commanded to be worshipped in the Old Testament was “El Shaddai” to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but to Moses he was “YHVH“. The same person was the “Word Creator” even before there was any creation. Subsequently, he incarnated, dwelt among humans and assumed a different function and name as “Jesus-Yhusuah/Massiach-Messiah, the Redeemer” (John 4:26). As an incarnate/ flesh-composed person, he was “begotten Son”.

This first official introduction ever, of the Father-Son relationship took place at the river Jordan when Jesus was baptized (Matt.3:13-17;Mk 1:9-11; Luke 3:21). The Synoptic gospels testified that the Father introduced the Son, and conversely the Son also “declared” the FATHER (John 1:14,18) ; rightly so, as they knew each other from before the beginning of time. As he is the only one who had seen him, he was the perfect person to introduce his FATHER and ours as the “only true God” and commanded us to worship only his Father. No doubt, this is fool-proof identification of both of them as distinct and separate (I Cor.8:6) , even when they “are one”. Subsequently, he was then “declared Son of God” (spirit-composed) by the resurrection from the dead ( Rom.1:4 ) He is also now “head of the spiritual church…firstborn from the dead (Col.1:18), the “head and elder Brother” (Heb. 2:11) of his “fellows” (Ps.45:7; Heb.1:9 ) , the other “firstfruits” (I Cor.15:23; Rev. 14:4).

As a Creator God/Word of all that is known, whether angelic spirits, inanimate universe and all living things, this ” Son of God” is now creating from humans, “spirit-composed firstfruits/harvest” to be his “body/church” and subsequently in due time, the ” latter-fruits/harvest”. Indeed, an “upgrade” of his position and glory, all given by our “FATHER” and planned from the beginning, much before “time”.

Mechanism of How we are “Saved

The Word/El Shaddai/YHVH has to dis-empower himself, take-off his power, and incarnate as Jesus so that by being human, he could die as our “Passover” ( I Cor. 5:7 ). YHVH, being spirit and eternal, could not have died unless incarnated. Jesus’ divine power, being “flesh-blood” was not inherent in him but was spiritual powers/abilities given to him, at baptism in river Jordan, by the Father much like us humans with measured spirit-power given by the Father through the function of the Spirit ( Compare John 8:28, 19:11; Acts 1:5, 2:4; Luke 4:1 ). As the “FATHER” imputed the sins of mankind on the sin of the first Adam (I Cor. 15:45-50) at the garden of Eden and eternal death to all mankind, so was Jesus’/last Adam’s death (a consequence of sin) imputed to mankind ( Rom.5:12-21). His death was the propitiation/atoning sacrifice for our sins ( I John 2:2 ) and reconciled us to the “FATHER” ( II Cor. 5:8; Rom. 5:10; Col. 1:20-22 ); put us “at-one” with the “FATHER“. His death was only the beginning so that “death, where is thy sting?” ( I Cor. 15:55 ), will no longer have a hold on us. Having been reconciled, we are now “saved by his life” ( Rom.5:10 ). But, how are we saved by his life? How is this knowledge and understanding “life eternal” as in

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3)?

Here is how: Now that from “flesh/human” incarnate, Jesus was subsequently created by the Father as spirit-composed “Son of God” by the resurrection from the dead (higher than angelic spirits), Jesus “by his life” (after resurrection) is now creating his “body/church” of fellow “firstfruits“, “sons/daughters/children of God” and subsequently the “latter-fruits”. All spirit-composed, as in I Cor. 15:53,

“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”

He has to be first, a “Son of God” before he can bring other “sons/daughters” to glory as their “Elder-Brother and “Head of the church”. He is developing us into his “body/church” through the workings of the Spirit in us that he could not have sent until after his resurrection from the dead, (saved by his life) as in:

When the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about Me. But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” (John 14:25,26; 16:7).

This Spirit was sent at Pentecost (Acts 2) and getting into us to have power to develop into the “body/church” of Christ. We know about the preview of this mechanism in the garden of Eden. Eve was taken from “the rib” of Adam to show that the future church(Eve) will come from the “second and last Adam/ Jesus“. When the human Jesus resurrected from death and became spirit-composed as Son of God, he then sent (his) Holy Spirit of power to create the woman/church/Eve in a spiritual way to be his body. As the flesh Adam/Eve “… shall be one flesh”, so shall the spirit Adam/Christ/Son of God shall be “one” with the spiritual church/Eve and be “one body“. And all shall be “onewith the Father. Amazingly, all of these as planned and implemented by God through his “first-born Son of God“.

SUMMARY

In the Old Testament, the Father and God that was commanded to be worshipped was the Creator God, El Shadday/YHVH, Jesus the Messiah/Christ. Since then, in New Testament times, Jesus himself introduced hisFATHER“; and rightly so, as he was the only one who saw the “FATHER“. As incarnate Messiah/Christ, he instructed us to pray to his “FATHER“, but through Jesus and in his name (John 15:16).

Who to worship? In the Old Testament times, YHVH/El Shaddai/Jesus was commanded to be worshipped as he was “above all gods”(Ps 95:3; 135:5) known to all creation at that time. But today and for all of us, the “FATHER” of Jesus, the only one referred to as God in the New Testament, is the only one to be worshipped and prayed to, but “in the name of Jesus”. The “Father” is the God and Father of Jesus and of us all (Eph.1:17). As the Creator God/El Shadday/YHVH took off that glory, honor and position by incarnating into “flesh” as Jesus/Messiah/Christ, by so doing he shifted and directed/introduced all of us to his Father as the only God to be worshipped today. The Father is greater than Jesus; they are not co-equal as in John 14:28

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away,…for my Father is greater than I.”

On the side, this particular “FATHER” of Jesus, started a “new creation” (2Cor.5:17, NKJV), from the human “first-begotten” son Jesus (John 3:16) who then became the “first-born” (Col.1:18; Rom. 8:29) spirit Son of God, by the resurrection from the dead. Indeed, a position of “sonship” which is higher than the angelic category (compare Ps 8:4-6 and Heb. 2:6-18). Jesus is now the “the first/wavesheaf of the firstfruits” ( compare I Cor. 15:10,20,23 and Ex 34:26, Ezekiel 44:30; Lev. 23:10-12 ). After him, will follow the remaining “firstfruits” (Rev.14:4) at the resurrection to commence the “Millenium”. As the “FATHER” through (I Cor.8:6) Jesus/YHVH/Word created the “first known creation” (all non-living and living things including angels), the “FATHER” is now creating a “new creation” of “sons/daughters and children” of God, Jesus the “first of the firstfruits“, then through Jesus, “fellow firsfruits” will follow “at the last trumpet” ( I Cor. 15;52) , all of them spirit- beings, higher than angelic spirit-beings, and after the Millenium, the “latter-fruits“. This is Jesus’ “body” the church, being “one” yet with many members that are distinct/separate from each other ( I Cor.12:12-20) as we are altogether “one” with a distinct and separate “FATHER“. As incarnate Jesus/Passover, his death paid off mankind’s penalty for sins, reconciled us to the Father so we will all be like him. Everyone at their own time , first is Jesus becoming the Son of God (the first of the firstfruits), then fellow firstfruits at this dispensation to be manifested at the start of the Millenium, then subsequently after the Millenium will manifest the “latter-fruits”….all with “life eternal” ( John 17:3 ). Buttressed with these facts, our appreciation of God”s love for all of us, hopefully, will be magnified and enhanced. We can have confidence and trust in God because of these facts. i.e., faith which is “evidence of things hoped for.”

Remember, that this is the plan of God, the “FATHER“, even before the first creation by YHVH, before any of us have done anything right or wrong. Even our will to do good and to act are from God ( Phil. 2:13) so that “no one can boast” (Eph.2:9; I Cor. 1:29). Truly, grace and love manifested. Glory to God, our “FATHER“.

HAPPY FATHER’s DAY.

Original post: 2011

Revised 2014

Revised and reposted 5/3/18

References

1. Father’s Day.http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father’s_Day

2. Ehrman, Bart D., Misquoting Jesus, p.33-34, 2005.Harper Collins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St. NY, NY 10022.

3. What is God? https://fact-s.net/2018/05/03/1208/

What does “naked” mean and why were Adam & Eve “afraid” and “ashamed”?

What does “naked” mean and why were Adam & Eve “afraid” and “ashamed”?

In the Garden of Eden, the narrative regarding Adam & Eve was that , before they sinned, they were naked but not ashamed, as in:

Gen. 2:25 The man and his wife were both naked, but they were not ashamed.”

The word naked was an English translation of the Hebrew word “arowm”, also meaning “nude”. Whereas, the etymology of the word ashamed is “buwsh”, aka “pale” or “dry”.

In the garden of Eden, they were instructed in:

Gen 2:16-17 “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

They then violated God’s command. It was only after sinning did Adam & Eve become aware their “eyes opened” that they were “naked“…. “afraid” and ..”ashamed” as in,

Gen. 3:7 “Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Gen. 3:10 “…I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”

They “hid” and “sewed figs for covering” are actions that expressed their “fear” and “shame”.

The origin of the body and spirit.

What do all these mean? To help understand this narrative in the garden of Eden, one has to start from the beginning of human creation, cautiously and precisely.

We can see how man was composed in:

Gen 2:7, “The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.”

Clearly, man is composed of a body that came from the “soil of the ground” plus “breath of life” that came directly from the Creator’s breath, not matter from “soil”, i.e., non-matter or “spirit” from a “spirit-being”(Creator-God).

So man is made up of matter(the whole body from head to toe) and spirit. By itself, the body is lifeless, i.e., dead. And, infused into the body through the nostrils, is a “spirit of man” , aka, the “breath of life” that has intrinsic life, having come directly from a living God. Subsequently, the body + breath of life(spirit of man) ”became a living being”. In other words and strictly speaking, the body, per se, is dead and only the “breath of life,the “spirit of man” has life because it came directly from a living God, not from the “soil of the ground” which is inert. And a living God has to connect or fuse them together(turn them on)to become “ a living being”. It was this connection by God that made it a “living being/soul”.

A living person has to turn it on

This connecting/turn-on mechanism has parallels, although not strictly equivalent to the relationship between body and spirit:

1. Before we see light, there has to be light bulb, electric cord, socket where the cord is plugged in and electric wire towards the switch; all components to bring light. All the preceding elements, by themselves, do not bring on light. Essentially, they are “dead”. Only when one (a live person) turns on the switch or “connects” all these parts that light will come on. Or, some living being, automatically turns it on, as a reflex, using a “timer”.

2. A computer with all its parts are “dead” or not useful unless someone, who is alive, turns on the power.

3. With all the parts of a car, it will not start even with an ignition unless a living person turns it on.

Separation and connection

Connectivity as a step in this mechanism to bring on life is also proven by:

1. Death comes when there is disconnection or separation between the body and “spirit of man/breath of life”, as in:

Eccl.12:7 “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”

The dead body decays and turns to dust or soil on earth, while the “spirit of man” returns to God who gave it; they separate.

2. A dead body that is “matter-composed” can be restored to natural/physical life when the “spirit of man” is infused back to him/her again.

An example of this is Lazarus, who has been dead,i .e., the spirit left him 4 days already but he was resurrected, as in:

John 11:38-44 “Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odor, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.  I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”

3. The same physical resurrection in:

Daniel 12:2: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, …some to shame and everlasting contempt”

Revelation 20:12-13: “And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.

So the spirit that returned to God can then be retrieved back into the physical body, although previously dead will have life, through the power of God.

This “spirit of man” that returned to God at death, is devoid of a physical and matter-composed body. As a parallel, it is like the thumb-drive that has all the memory downloaded from a computer, which represents the body, and can be destroyed. The thumb drive can be inserted into a new computer with all the memories and activities of the previous destroyed computer. In the future, this “spirit of man” maybe given another type of body. This time a spirit-composed body as in the “first resurrection” to eternal life. This is proven by:

Daniel 12:2 “Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, …”

Rev. 20:4-6 “...They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ,…”

Notice that, by itself, the “spirit of man” does not have “everlasting life”. It is not eternal until given a new and immortal body,i.e., it and can be destroyed and cease, as in:

Matt. 10:28 “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul(psyche/breath/spirit). Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul (spirit) and body in hell(Gehenna fire , not hades).”

Essentially, the “spirit-of-man” (while not eternal and can cease or be destroyed) is the living component of man separate from the non-living/lifeless body-component. But God, a living person, caused them to fuse/connect/combine that turned them into “a living being/soul”. At death, they separate, the “spirit-of-man” goes back to the Creator while the dead body goes to the grave/hell/hades to rot.

4. The same principle in healing . If dead body can be alive by this mechanism so did people with sick bodies. Notice that these people already have intact “spirit-of-man” but with sick body. Yet they were healed. A living God had to “turn on”or “activate” the “flesh-composed body”. Read the narrative about the crippled (Mark 2:9-12),leprosy (Luke 17:12-16), blind (John 9:6-7),bleeding disorder (Matt. 9:20-22), and every kind of disease and sickness (Matt. 9:35)

Who and where “we” are, the real “us”, the real man?

With that said, what is the true interpretation or rendering of “body”, “naked/nude”, “clothed”? What or where is the “real us”, the “real man” referred to? Before and after separation of body and spirit ?

As words may have different meaning depending upon time-culture, viz. gay which before means happy but now understood to be homosexual, can we be assured of the meaning of these words?

Yes, we can and were given proof of what these words mean today. The true understanding was expressed by Paul in that same time-period, within the first century. These 2 separate components were also understood by Paul, as in:

2 Cor 5:1-4 ” Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are (made) in heaven and will last forever. While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked. These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don’t do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die.”

King James Version with original Greek word translated:

2 Cor 5:1-4

For we know that if our earthly house (okia/residence/abode)of this tabernacle (skenos/temporary tent) were dissolved, we have a building (oikodome /base of structure) of God, an house (oikia/abode)not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed (endyo/sinking into a garment/array) upon with our house which is from heaven:

If so be that being clothed (endyo/sinking into a garment/array) we shall not be found naked(gymnos/nude). For we that are in this tabernacle (skenos/temporary tent)do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed(ekdyo/sink out/divest), but clothed (endyo/sinking into a garment/array) upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”

Clearly then, the body is a temporary dwelling, a tent/tabernacle. And, that the “we” referred to is the “spirit of man” in this earthly tabernacle ( the temporary body). This, suggestive of our future “immortal spirit-composed body” that we will put on or be clothed into “us”, is the “spirit of man/breath of life” that returned to the Father God, at natural death. The body is considered a cloth, temporary or eternal. Without a body, the “spirit of man” is nude or naked. Real “self” is really the spirit-component of man as the natural/physical body is transient.

Further proof of the above concept that, by usage as understood by Paul, the human spirit is the real “us”/“we” , (the real person), is what Jesus himself said, as in:

Matt. 15:12 “It is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but what comes out of the mouth; this defiles a person.”

What goes out comes from the psyche/spirit or mind determines and defines sinful acts that defile the “us, we”; not the natural body.

Currently, “we”(the human spirit) is in this physical matter/composed body/cloth which is temporary tent. But, also now, Father God gave us the Holy Spirit through Jesus because of our belief in the promises to him, as a “deposit”, an “earnest” for it to grow and guide us into the fullness of the immortal body, as in:

2 Cor 5:5-10 “Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the (earthly)body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away (dead) from the body and at home (immortal body) with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us (immortal body)for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

The Holy Spirit then is “baptized” into “us”( the spirit of man), binds, connects and fuses in “us” for sanctification.

Summary

We now know the 2 components of humans when created as explained in the narrative in Genesis at the garden of Eden. The body(soma) is natural, physical, earthy and comes from soil, mud, ground and therefore temporary as a tent/tabernacle. This is the “temporary clothing” that will die a natural death and decay in “hell/hades/grave”, as in:

Heb. 9:27 “And as it is appointed unto men once, to die but after this the judgment

Whereas, the spirit(psyche/mind) of man is spirit-composed element of man that came directly from a spirit-composed God Creator; heavenly but not yet immortal. This is the component that returns to God, at natural death. It can be killed in “hell/Gehenna fire”. Without the body, it is nude/naked, and needs to be clothed in the future with an “immortal, spirit-composed body”.

Gen. 3:7-10 can now be understood as to why Adam & Eve became aware of their nakedness, were afraid, ashamed, hid themselves and clothed themselves. It is because they knew that they violated God’s command, sinned, and their physical body is temporary and will die in hades but their “spirit“, even if it goes back to the Father at death, can also be destroyed later in “hell/Gehenna fire”. Sin separated them from God. They need to be covered again. Meanwhile, they were driven out of Eden to die a natural death and, because of Jesus’ trust in the promises of the Father, hoping for a future immortal body to clothe them again for eternity.

God Bless 🙏😇

Original post:

April 10, 2018

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, disobeyed 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 (Gen. 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 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 shared are 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, 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 of these nations 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 quickly 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 (EC) by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. Even this EC will not last as England chose to exit (Brexit), and others may follow. As an aftermath of 911, Al Qaeda was introduced to the world stage and swiftly dislodged from hegemony in Afghanistan with their Taliban alliance. With the vacuûm left in the Middle East, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Levant (ISIS/ISIL), came into being and is a threat to global peace, security and refugee dislocation, especially in Europe. Will these human geopolitical race 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. 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 debt and social programs like Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid, food stamps, Obamacare 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? What role are humans destined to play in “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 human 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 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”. The “dust” is the material part of man 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 by a spiritual God. Unlike the dust/body “made by hand so”, this spirit of man was “breathe” into his nostrils and came directly from God. This “breath of life” is not the material gasses that we breathe like oxygen,nitrogen, etc. Rather, it is 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. It is a “spirit-energy” much like the mechanical, electrical or nuclear energy that provides power for things to function. A living man 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. Zech 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 (Heb. 4:12); “the soul that sins, it shall die” (Ezekiel 18:20). Also, Eccl. 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 (Gen. 1:27), it was nevertheless created only from “matter” (dust) and therefore “weak”. 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”. Both preceding quotes show where God will dwell, i.e., in the “spirit of man”, that component of man “not made by hands” but came directly from God through breathing into that “dust-body”.  It was prophesied that God, through the Holy Spirit will dwell in us, the “temple not made by hands; and specifically in the “holy of holies” (Lev. 16:2), in the “spirit of man“. Read Matthew 3:11, “He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit …”  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 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 work on his “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 component, a newoperating 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. for update. 

The Holy Spirit “updating” by teaching 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 likehis Son”(I Jn 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 with the Spirit of God. In fact, Jesus died and resurrected, for us to receive this Holy Spirit of God. 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). This “spirit baptism” first occurred in the river Jordan on Jesus and subsequently, on the Day of Pentecost, to the apostle. It is happening ever since, to the “church of God“.

In 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” or flesh-body 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 proven after first in-dwelling in Jesus at the river Jordan. Eventually, God planned for mankind not to stay as “an image” only and not to stay “weak”. Instead, we will be “empowered” like him in our current 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. 2:12 “Now 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 and temporary  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 that of God. He that has “eyes to see and ears to hear”, may he be blessed to recover from blindness and deafness.

Original Post: 7.26.2015

Revised and posted: 12.27.2016

Son of God …What Does it Mean?

Son of God …What Does it Mean?


The blockbuster movie “Son of God” which was supported and encouraged for viewing by mega churches (1) had its world premiere on February 28, 2014. As a miniseries in History channel, it was touted by many to be phenomenal but even more awe-inspiring this time as a movie. Directed by Christopher Spencer and starring Diogo Morgado, “Son of God” is being marketed as a major motion picture event that “brings the story of Jesus’ life to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational, complete with exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score” (2). The interview of producers Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey in Hannity/Fox on 2/21/14 (3) was no less riveting. The film tells the story of Jesus’ birth, his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. The focus was about the fact that Jesus is unequivocally the “Son of God”.

However, the presentation did not delve further into the “truth or reason” behind this fact. And, this is a common inadequacy one finds in sermons/homilies that stop at merely identifying Jesus/Y’SHUAH/Ha-Mashiach (4) as the “Son of God”. As vital as that fact is, it does not equate with the far-reaching blessing from the “truth or reason” behind that fact. Hopefully, as we all acknowledge him as such, we will not be distracted from the underlying ultimate message and thus be haunted by the admonition in Matt.7:21-23:

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Because of time constraints intrinsic to the creation of any movie, it was understandable that a number of crucial and essential truth was left out. What was missing though in this movie was the provision for the reason why he had to become”Son of God”? What is the underlying message behind that fact? What is it to us and to our future, for this human being, the “Son of Man” to become the “Son of God”? What for is that descriptive title in relation to the future of the human race? Moreover, after the proclamation of Jesus as the “Son of God”, when did that title actually become a reality? Pre-incarnate, incarnate or post-incarnate? These are questions that are so important as they form a narrative to know why you and I are here in this world… the very reason for our existence, albeit our destiny.

As already indicated in the miniseries, movie, gospels, prophecies, apostolic letters, revelation, secular writings (5), etc, Jesus in fact existed and walked on this earth and was proclaimed to be the “Son of God”. All Christian churches are well-equipped to prove that fact. But the purpose of this commentary is to explore and expound the proposition that there is more to this titular fact than meets the eye. And, although alluded to in the Bible and its significance not fully appreciated by mainstream Christianity, the truth behind this title is even more outstanding, faith-enhancing and grace-encompassing.

At the outset, as we continue to grow in understanding, let us consider the following:

A. Prophesied


His identity was already prophesied long before He came to this world. This WORD-Creator/El Shaddai/YHVH (John 1:1-3, 14, Colossians1:16-17/Ex 6:3) took off his spirit-composition and glorious body to become flesh-and-blood. However, as a human being, he is identified as the Messiah(Isaiah 9:6-7), the Son of man(Matt 8:20), born of a virgin(Isa.7:14), a Nazarene(Matt 2:23), priest after the order of Melchizedek(Heb. 5:6,10), Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, Immanuel(Matt.1:23), Passover-lamb(I Cor.5:7), etc.(6, 7). These are descriptive declarations when he was “flesh-and-blood”, i.e., as a human being. And this human incarnation of YHVH was for this purpose, “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.”(Hebrew 2:17). On the side, it is not inconceivable for the descriptions “priest after the order of Melchizedek, Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father maybe timed after his resurrection.

B. DECLARED Son of God



This Messiah, the”flesh-and-blood” Passover-lamb/Christ was also declared/identified as the “Son of God”.
Ps.2:7,12 “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him”. Notice the word “begotten” (derived from “yalad”), i.e. not yet born, still in the womb being developed. Also, that the Father-Son relationship is yet future.
Matthew 3:16-17 “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”



Matthew 16:15-17 “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? 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.”



Luke 1:35 – “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”



Hebrews1:5 “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”



While these preceding verses identified and declared the Man-Jesus/Messiah/Christ /Passover-Lamb as “Son of God”, they did not give us a definitive inkling as to when the realization of this “Sonship” occurred. If anything, it connotes a future (shall) timetable. Was that title achieved at that time when he was “flesh-blood” or was it yet in the future? Notice that the identification and official acknowledgment of Jesus at river Jordan as Son of God by the Father was technically as “begotten“, i.e.,  not born yet (yalad) as in Heb. 1:5.

C. Born again to see the kingdom of God?

From a human being, one has to be  “born again” to see the kingdom of God. This is a must according to Jesus. YHVH Elohim himself has to incarnate to man-Jesus before becoming Son of God to fulfill what was required. Does the Bible support these requirements?
The story of Nicodemus in John 3:1-12 gives proof. In the narrative, Nicodemus was asking how could man be born again. Notice verses 3-6 ” Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Here, it is obvious that Jesus was referring to 2 births, viz., first human birth to flesh as in “born of water”(from the uterus) and subsequently a second birth as in”born of the Spirit”. There had to be 2 births, otherwise John 3:3 states, no one (including Jesus) will not see the kingdom of God; no salvation without those requirements. He differentiated the 2 births in v-6, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The mechanics therefore of YHVH’s incarnation is, from his previous immortal composition, he has to become flesh through the human process of inception, growth and development in-utero of a mother, be delivered from the womb to become an actual live mortal person. This human process is different from any known human existence. Jesus “came from above”, heavenly; unlike other humans that came from the ground, “earthy”.

After human inception, birth (born of water), growth and development, then, and only then can a person, including man-Jesus, be “born of the spirit” through a process of “adoption-Sonship “, starting with “spirit-baptism”. And Jesus went through the process as “first of the firstfruits” for his “church-body” that will individually also has to go through the same. As YHVH-Creator, he created all. When he became Son of God at resurrection, from mortal man-Jesus to immortal, then he received from the Father, the spirit-power to create “his body-church”, “spirit-composed” children of God, a “God-kingdom”.

As a potter, with the spirit-power given to him by the Father, the prophecy in Jeremiah 18:1-4 (RSV) is being fulfilled:

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”

He died and resurrected to receive this power 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.
This is the “power (needed) to become sons of God”, as in: John 1:12-13,12

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

D. Son of God, when?

The title “Son of God” came to fruition only after resurrection. At which time, he transcended from “begotten” to “firstborn”, the first of the “first-fruits” (wave sheaf Lev. 23:10-13) with spirit-body, spirit-composed, albeit with the power to manifest as human (8). This did not happen after his death and through 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb as a corpse. It achieved reality only after he was transformed from “flesh-blood” to a living “spirit-composed being”,
capable of showing as “flesh-and-blood”. Consider the following verses:

Romans 1:4″And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”N.B. Again declared “by resurrection”..

Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn (prototokus”) from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” N.B. “Firstborn from the dead”

Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creation.”

Revelation1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”. Note: we have to be “begotten” as man-flesh before being “son” with spirit-composed body. As Jesus said to Nicodemus(John 3), 2 births are required to see the kingdom of God: “born of water”( born as flesh), before “born in spirit” (with spirit-composed body).

Romans 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren”

Hebrews 1:6 “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”

Acts 26:23 “That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. ”

I Cor 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

Rom 8:19 “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

Rom 8:29 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren”

Hebrews12:23 “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”


SUMMARY

The reason for the spirit-composed El/Shaddai/YHVH to change into Jesus/Y’SHUAH ( partaker of flesh and blood, lower than angels, Heb 2:7) is for him to fulfill:

A. The 2-births requirements to see the kingdom of God and

B. The promise and undertaking of a Passover-Lamb/Messiah to suffer the penalty of mankind’s sins which is eternal death”(Hebrew 2:17).

As all mankind’s sin was imputed to the sin of the “first” Adam(Rom.5:7-21), so was mankind’s penalty of death imputed to the death of the “last” Adam/Christ (1Cor 15:45), by grace as promised on faith of Jesus/YHVH Elohim and not by “works”( even of Jesus) so no one “can boast” ( Eph. 2:9 ). At resurrection, being spirit-composed, Jesus/Y’SHUAH then fulfilled the reality of being the “Son of God”, no longer “begotten”.
Rather, he became the “firstborn” of a new creation-kind, created or made higher (Heb. 1:4) than angelic beings. Moreover, as he is the firstborn (the first of the firstfruits, the “wave-sheaf offering” Lev. 23:10-14), he will then get others (Rom 8:19) to become the “sons/children of God” also by resurrection or “twinkling of an eye” ( I Cor. 15:52 ) at his return to earth to commence the Millenium. A newcreation”(Gal.6:15; 2 Cor. 5:17) above angelic beings ( Ps. 8:4; Heb.2:5-18) is being composed, through this mechanism of “Sonship”. Jesus, the first-born “Son of God”, the first of the firstfruits (I Cor. 15:20) and afterwards “bringing many sons to glory”(Heb.2:10), the other firstfruits of the “spring-harvest” at the start of the Millenium in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4,5; I Thes. 4:16,17), then the “latter-fruits” in the latter-harvest at the second resurrection. Based on this and “on this rock” ( the rock-solid meaning of “Son of God” Matt. 16:16-18), I will build my church (body), all spirit-composed. Through this rock-solid process of “sonship”, a new creation of spirit-beings will be realized, albeit a God-kingdom.

This is the essence of the commission to proclaim the gospel (Matt.24:14) of the coming”kingdom of God”. The overall plan is to create a kingdom composed of spirit beings higher than angelic spirit-beings, the “God-kingdom”. While (9,10,11) there is a “plant-kingdom” and an “animal-kingdom”, there is nohuman-kingdom” created by God. In fact, all the ” human-kingdoms” from Adam who on his own “works” wanted to be like God (Gen 3:1-24), Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9), Israel-kingdom divorced by YHVH (Isa 50.1;Hosea 2:2; Jer.3.8), successive heathen kingdoms represented by Nebuchadnezzar’s dream(Daniel 2:1-48) have no longevity. As a “stone” will destroy the last human kingdom represented by 10-toes of iron and clay, only the kingdom created by God, spirit-composed “sons/daughters of God” (Kingdom of God) will be everlasting.

This present world is under subjection (11) to angels (Gal 3:19, Heb. 2:2). But, the “world to come” will not be under angelic-spirits but under the “kingdom-of-God”, spirit-composed “Sons/children of God”, all higher in category than angels. This is why  YHVH ELOHIM has to incarnate to man-Jesus and to be “born again” into spirit-composed “Son of God” with power to create sons and daughters of God , all spirit-composed. As it is written in Hebrews 2:5-17 “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 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 (by angels). 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 being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”




This is the deeper and final essence of the title “Son of God”, with Jesus/Y’SHUAH the firstborn/wavesheaf firstfruit by resurrection, taking on this new category, higher than angels. Subsequently, othersons/daughters” will follow through this mechanism of “rock-solid Sonship”, as Jesus/Y’SHUAH builds his “body/church”. What an awesome gift and blessing from the Father by grace and not “by works” of anyone, a destiny that we are looking forward to!

Will there be a sequel in the offing that embodies this truth and message behind the title “Son of God”? Let us hope so.


References:

1. Megachurch Pastors Lead ‘Son of God’ Campaign to ‘Take Over’ Multiplex Theaters Nationwide: http://www.christianpost.com/news/megachurch-pastors-lead-son-of-god-campaign-to-take-over-multiplex-theaters-nationwide-114732/
2. Producers: “Son of God ” will appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike:http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/02/28/son-god-movie-jesus-bible-american-audiences-religious/
3. Hannity/Fox on 2/21/14: https://74.217.254.62/tivo-tco/program/show.do?collectionId=tivo:cl…
4. Hebrew names of God. http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Yeshua/yeshua.html
5.Early Secular writings regarding Christ:http://www.nelsonprice.com/early-secular-writings-regarding-christ/
6. Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled:

http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm
7.Ten prophecies about Jesus birth:https://theresurgence.com/2012/12/24/10-prophecies-about-jesus-birth
8. How many times did Jesus appear after ….resurrection:http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/resurrectionofchrist.html

N.B. While the Son of God is higher than the angelic-spirits, the latter can also manifest as humans as in Gen. 19:1-5
9. Destiny of Man: https://fact-s.net/2011/05/21/the-destiny-of-man/
10.Deification of Man: https://fact-s.net/2011/05/26/deification-of-man-2/
11. Passion of Christ: https://fact-s.net/2011/05/21/the-passion-of-christ/
12. The law was given by angels: http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess003a.htm

Original post: 6.18.2014

Revised & Reposted:1.15.2017

UNIVERSAL SALVATION, WHAT IS

UNIVERSAL SALVATION, WHAT IS?

Directly from the link (1) that supports this doctrine: 

Universal Salvation is eternal life for everyone, including Satan and the demons. All are to be given eternal life and the very nature of God. It means that everyone who has ever been created or born has a future. It means that you will definitely see all your loved ones again. And think about it, if everyone is one day going to be eternal, then death is only temporary. We often say at Christianworld Church, that death is no more than being temporarily out of order. ….If you turn to John 6:39 it says this. “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing”. Please note that the will of the Father is for Jesus to lose nothing of what He has given him. What exactly has the Father given him? John 3:35 tells us. “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand”. Can you see what is being said? The Father has given Jesus all things, of which he is to lose nothing. It could not be stated any more clearly than at Colossians 1:16 “For by him (Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him” You can not get it any plainer than that. All things were created for him, in heaven and on Earth, both spirit and human. Again, can you see what is being said? The Father commissions the Son to lose nothing of what He has given him. What has He given him? If all things were created for him, in heaven and on Earth, both spirit and human, and the Father has given all things into his hands, then the Father has given him authority over every single thing in the universe, apart from Himself. Jesus has authority to save not just human beings but also spirit beings. In fact he must save all, because his Father commissioned him to lose nothing. Paul tells us at 1 Timothy 2:6 “Who gave himself a ransom for all”. The fact is that Jesus can lose no one. That is the greatest message you have ever heard. You can not save more than everyone, can you? And Jesus is not allowed to save less. The wise man Solomon said at Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Now is the time for this good news to be preached. Now is the time for the greatest message on Earth to be proclaimed. Universal Salvation, eternal life for all.”


Are these assertions true?

1. Eternal life for everyone, including Satan and the demons;

2. Everyone is one day going to be eternal, then death is only temporary. 

3. The will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing.

4. That Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:6 “Who (Jesus) gave himself a ransom for all”.

5. Jesus is not allowed to save less and can lose no one


Universal salvation or apokatastasis is a disturbing concept especially since a good number of intelligent and well-meaning Christians have this belief. On its surface, it is a very enticing proposition that emphasizes attributes of God, viz., immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, etc. Moreover, it acknowledges that salvation is by grace without “works”, the supremacy of God’s will and power, his divine love and mercy. But most especially, love for all. It is an inclusive philosophy of salvation, instead of only to some, exclusively. And, there are preachers opposed to “universalism” who limit eternal life only to them and their flock. As such, this doctrine therefore deserves evaluation and analysis to know the truth. To do this, one may need to start with its history, go through the pros/cons, meticulously combed through them with questions about implications and form a tentative summary.

History:

It has been claimed that apostle Paul preached Universalism. In the fifth chapter of The Inescapable Love of God by eminent Christian Universalist and Philosopher Tom Talbott, he makes a case for Universalism from Paul’s writings, especially Romans (2). Also, that in the 1st century, Origen likewise may have taught this belief. These are “claims” as interpreted from their writings and may not necessarily be true. It is a fact that during that period and even now, there are people who twist and misrepresent teachings, especially that of Paul. We need to take all these claims with “a grain of salt”(Matt. 7:15).
On the North American continent in 1770, Universalism started when a man named Tom Potter allegedly heard God speak to him about this ‘revelation’ that everyone was already saved (3). Potter shared this with another man named John Murray, they began preaching this message in churches, and it spread very quickly. A man named Hosea Ballou considered the great theologian of American Universalism promulgated this teaching. Ballou was a ‘hyper-universalist’ and wrote hundreds of sermons about how everybody was going to get saved in the end. A growing consortium of Christians today are simply ‘rediscovering’ Ballou’s teachings, and they think they have some new ‘revelation’ that is going to change the world for Christ. From there, the concept persisted and the universalist movement led to the formation of the Universalist Church of America, which later merged in 1961, with the American Unitarian Association. Thereafter, it formed into the religious organization known as the Unitarian Universalist Association. In Unitarian Universalism’s brand of church, there is no official church dogma, but most of its members adhere to the “no punishment in the afterlife” theory, as do many Anglicans (Church of England, and in North America, Episcopalians). 

Pros in the Bible:



The following are excerpts that were interpreted to support this concept:

Romans 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”  
Colossians 1:19-20 “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Philippians 2:10-12 “…so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Romans 11:32 “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.”

1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”  

1 Timothy 2:4-6 “who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. 

1 Timothy 4:10 “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” 

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Isaiah 45:22-23 “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear..”

John 12:32 “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Romans 5:15-19: “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (To me, this states that God’s grace overflows to the many in the same way that the trespass of Adam was given to many; in other words, every human being.(?) why many instead of all ??

Romans 11:32 “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all”

1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive

Colossians 1:15-20: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullnessdwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Revelations 21:5 “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 

I Peter 3:18-19 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,”
“The verses in which God expresses his intent to save everyone are also foundational”, so they say. It is God’s desire for everyone (including fallen angels I Pet. 3:19) to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), for Jesus to be “a ransom for all” (1 

Timothy 2:4-6), and for all to be saved. The idea is that if God wants to save everyone, He can do just that because “with God everything is possible” (Matt. 19:26) and works all things according to the council of his will” (Eph. 1:11). Those who believe in this theology states that ” though there may be some level of judgement/punishment in the meantime, he will eventually save all”.

“The Christian Doctrine of Universal Salvation, or Universal Reconciliation, states that all people, no matter how evil they may be, are created by God; and that God the Father, acting through His Son, Jesus Christ, will eventually bring all people back to Himself and into Heaven, by means which we cannot know or understand. After death, each person will be judged by God according to his deeds.There is punishment for evildoing, according to God’s desire for justice. But this punishment is temporary and not eternal. Eventually, everyone comes back to God the Father, by Jesus Christ, His Son.(4)
Books of the Bible argued to possibly support the idea of full reconciliation include the First Epistle to the Corinthians. The sections of 1 Corinthians 15:22, “As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ”, and 1 Corinthians 15:28, “God will be all in all”, are cited. Verses that seem to contradict the tradition of complete damnation and come up in arguments also include Lamentations 3:31-33 (NIV), “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love”,[9] and 1 Timothy 4:10(NIV), “We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Similarly, the Epistle to the Colossians receives attention, with Colossians 1:17-20 reading: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”

In a nutshell the Christian Universalism basic scriptures were compiled by Rev. Bill McGinnis InternetChurchOfChrist.org which support the Christian Universalist doctrine of Universal Salvation and the Christian Universalist faith. “Please note the use of “every” and “all.” These Scriptures apply to all people, not merely some people. And what they say is that all people will eventually come to Christ and be saved. ” . . . every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” “I . . . will draw all men to me.” ” . . . the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” ” . . . in Christ shall all be made alive.” Isaiah 45:22-23 (KJV) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. John 12:32 (KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 1 Timothy 4:10-11 (KJV) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Philippians 2:9-11 (KJV) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:22 (KJV) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

In essence the bases for the preceding dogma stem from these verses:

John 6:39 it says this. “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing”.

John 3:35 tells us. “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand”. 

Colossians 1:16 “For by him (Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him” 

1 Timothy 2:6 “Who (Jesus) gave himself a ransom for all”.

Once saved, always saved?


A subset of “universalism teaching” is a common preaching that “once saved, always saved”. That, people are predestinated for salvation and God, being powerful, will implement his will. Notice that the core basis of these beliefs hang on the word “all”.And that God will do his “will” no matter what. Really? But, if all or everyone’s going to be ‘saved” in the end, why not eat, drink, and be merry? Why not “have fun” and continue on sinning when after all, punishment is just temporary and not eternal ? Doesn’t this appear to be enabling sin? How then can these beliefs be reconciled with Revelation 21:8, Galatians 5:19-21, and other verses that speak against evil and enjoins everyone to “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), as the tree that does not bear fruit will be cut down (Matt.7:19)? It is obvious then that for one to get the true meaning of what was stated, the context of what was referred to, has to be analyzed and reconciled /aligned with other basic principles.

Additionally, while God is all-powerful and can do whatever he wants, He also has wisdom and plans regarding what is the best approach to salvation. And the plan of salvation is being implemented even now, without being “forced down our throats”. For further dissertation, please access Salvation Series posts, all 6 of them.

Cons in the Bible:(5)

Ezekiel 18:1-5, 9 “And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, “As I live, proclaims the Lord, Yahweh… “See, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so the soul of the son is Mine: death will be the fate of the sinner’s soul. But if a man is upright, {he is} living rightly and doing righteousness… and has been guided by My rules and has kept My laws and done them: he is upright, life will certainly be his,” says the Lord Yahweh.’ TAT

 

 Ezekiel 18:20-24 “The soul which does sin will be put to death: the son will not be made responsible for the evil-doing of the father, or the father for the evil-doing of the son; the righteousness of the upright will be on himself, and the evil-doing of the evil-doer on himself. But if the evil-doer, turning away from all the sins which he has done, keeps my rules and does what is ordered and right, life will certainly be his; death will not be his fate. Not one of the sins which he has done will be kept in memory against him: in the righteousness which he has done he will have life. ‘Have I any pleasure in the death of the evil-doer,’ says the Lord, ‘am I not pleased if he is turned from his way so that he may have life?’ 24 But when the upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, like all the disgusting things which the evil man does, will he have life? Not one of his upright acts will be kept in memory: in the wrong which he has done and in his sin death will overtake him.” (1985 Bible in Basic English)

 

Revelation 2:11 “Let every listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: The victorious cannot suffer the slightest hurt from the second death.”

 

Revelation 20:6 “Happy and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death cannot touch such men; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him for the thousand years.”

 

Revelation 20:14 “Then death and the grave were themselves hurled into the lake of fire, which is the second death.”

 

Revelation 21:8 “But as for the cowards, the faithless and the corrupt, the murderers, the traffickers in sex and sorcery, the worshippers of idols and all liars––their inheritance is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 20:4-21:5″And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 1The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 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. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This isthe second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (New King James Version)

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12 “This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our LordJesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed. To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”(New American Standard Bible)

Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the sinful nature 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.”

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Implications:
From the preceding verses, it is clear that evil has consequence and death is destined for evil doers. God has no pleasure in the death of the evil-doer and is pleased if the individual turned from his way to have life. But when the upright man, turns away from his righteousness and does evil, like all the disgusting things which the evil man does, he will not have life, death follows. The “firstfruits” who are living at the time of Christ’s second coming together with those who previously died will participate in the first resurrection and have immortality. For those who are alive and not “firstfruits”, they will experience the Millenium government of Christ and the “firstfruits”, and more importantly the power of the Holy Spirit for them to choose to become “sons of God”. Those in the Millenium who still reject the Holy Spirit will not partake of immortality. The rest of the dead will wait until after the Millenium for their resurrection to life or perdition. From among them, those who willingly grow “in spirit” will become “sons and daughters” of the kingdom of God.

Summary:

Collating all the preceding data, one may conclude the following:
1. When the Bible says “all” it really means all but does not suggest necessarily at the same time and may confirm a precise schedule in time. When it says God loves all, that is a fact. However, that God wants all to be saved, may be predicated on a specific strategic plan and timing for each one. But, certainly this awesome gift of salvation will not be forced on anyone. When someone rejects it, this does not suggest that in the future, the person will continually reject it; may accept it willingly as the best option. 
2. When the Bible says “eternal”, it does not necessarily mean forever and may sometime mean only for that time period which does not include all the future. 
3. Punishment for evil doers may refer to first death that one can be resurrected from. But, may also refer subsequently to second death from which there is no resurrection. As to which one is referred to, can be deduced from the context.
Altogether, no one can divine the decision of the Father being the final arbiter of what is best. He reserves the right of a decision-maker as he reserves to himself the timing of the “end times” ( see Matt. 24:36). As Jesus said, “let your will be done”(Lu. 22:42). For the sake of argument, that Jesus was given all the powers after his resurrection (Matt. 28:18) even to know all, much like us, we defer certain things to show respect and awe to our Father. Still, the Father is the ultimate judge as to the fate of anyone, either ending the person’s life temporarily or permanently depending on his wisdom. 

The bottom-line for this research is this: let us not second-guess or pre-empt the Father as to whether all will be saved. A universalism concept that precludes the Father’s ultimate sovereignty and final decision should remind us of the experience of Job (Job 38-42). The essence of Job’s indictment tells us, who should we think we really are. 

Let us all be respectful of the Father and join the chorus with Jesus to sing… “let your will be done” (Lu. 22:42).

References:

1. Universal Salvation: The Greatest Message on Earth. Retrieved October 1, 2016 from http://www.universalsalvation.org/page2.htm
2. Retrieved October 10, 2016 from http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/525/what-is-the-biblical-basis-for-universaluhsswd 
3.Christian Universal Salvation – THE BIG LIE By Craig Bluemel. Retrieved October 16, 2016 from http://bibleanswerstand.org/universal.htm
4. Christian Doctrine of Universal Salvation. Retrieved October 17, 2016 from http://www.loveallpeople.org/universalsalvation.html
5.Ibid. Retrieved October 16, 2016. http://bibleanswerstand.org/universal.htm

Original post:12/13/2016

Revised: 1/10/17

ADAM, THE FIRST HUMAN? … What difference does it make?

ADAM, THE FIRST HUMAN? … What difference does it make?
If there is one thing we owe our Founding Fathers, it is the freedom endowed by God to think and entertain thoughts even those deem to border on heretical. Yes, even venturing on the one that questions sacrosanct teaching as Adam (1) created about 6,000 years ago. The fate of Copernicus (2) and Galileo (3) could have been different were they to live today. And, church leaders like Origen Adamantius (184/185 – 253/254 C.E.), along with the prominent “Origenists” Didymus the Blind and Evagrius Ponticus, would not have been declared anathema for their different beliefs in 553 CE by the Second Council of Constantinople(4).

That said, the article by Dr. C. Reyes in FEU/ FEUMAANI News vol. 6, no.7 July 2014, is illuminating as it is challenging. To quote,

“Native Americans have always looked like us: Asian origin… pioneers…17,000 years ago …that entered the Americas from land mass called Beringia…” This was reaffirmed with “the uncovering of an almost completely intact 12,000 yr old skeleton of a 15 or 16 yr old girl … in the underwater cave near Mexico”. It was also claimed that migration from Asia to the Americas through Beringia occurred “between 26,000 and 14,000 years ago”.

As a corollary, “It is believed, on the basis of genetic evidence, that all human beings in existence now descend from one single man (woman) who lived in Africa about 60,000 years ago.” (5). Spencer Wells’ book Journey of Man, is “a brief but thorough survey of human population genetics in the vein of Cavalli-Sforza’s The Great Human Diasporas and Bryan Sykes’ Seven Daughters of Eve. While Sykes focused on Europe and mitochondrial DNA lineages (the mother line) Wells puts the spotlight on Y chromosomal lineage (the father line). Wells gives a few reasons why the Y chromosomal lineage can yield more information-there are more points for mutations to build up and human patrilocality tends to skew toward male genetic localization and diversity”(6).

From the biblical account, it is indisputable that Adam in Genesis was created by YHVH God (7). The genealogy and reality of the historical Jesus depend on this. This is traceable back to Abraham (Matt. 1:1-17) who was the tenth generation removed from Noah, being a direct descendant of Shem, (Noah’s son), the father of all the “Semitic” peoples (8) and all the way to Adam (Luke 3:23-38). See also (9, 10).

But, as to whether the first human is this Genesis Adam or another person much earlier than him, remains to be the bone of contention. The subject of “who the first human is”, evolution and creation, evoke consternation and emotional distress that recently sparked a debate on February 4 between Bill Nye (the “Science Guy”) and Creation Museum CEO & Pres Ken Ham (Australian Evangelist) (11).

These scientific discoveries are undeniable and pose a problem for those who may have lived before (12;13) the Genesis Adam as they in fact maybe humans like him.  The claim Adam was the “first” human was never made in the Bible and was only an interpretation concocted by theologians. Religious punditry marginalizes these “finds” as misinterpretation and an existential threat to the inerrancy of the Bible. For how can they be saved? Does the sacrifice of Jesus Christ apply to them as well? If so, then on what basis can this be? Debate then continues. These concerns must be unsettling and disturbing to Christians who hold traditional beliefs. But, they do not have to. Whether the first human started 6,000 or 60,000 years ago, rightly or wrongly, may not need to make a difference, as far as salvation is concerned and Jesus being the Savior. The “doctrine of imputation”, when understood to its fullest, explains:

Romans 5:12-21 (NIV)

“12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned– 13 for before the law (Mosaic) was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. (NLT: But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break.) 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, (NLT: even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did) who was a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

I Cor.15:22 (KJV): For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The preceding Bible verses explained that death to mankind is imputed upon the sin of Adam in the garden of Eden, as in, “through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners”. And, no one else’s, as in, “by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man”. Also, “by the offence of one, judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation”. That is, the sin committed by anyone, whether 60,000 years before or after Adam’s, did not matter an iota. Anyone’s sin, as bad as it is, did not condemn the person, per se, nor mankind. It was only “by one man’s disobedience”,(Adam’s sin, NLT) that we were all condemned to die, as in, “even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression”(NLT).

Why specifically directed to Adam? The answer is, Adam “is the figure of him that was to come”(NLT), which is Jesus. Moreover, “…not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one, many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence, death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”(NLT)

This imputation is very specific, not only to the person Adam towards mankind, but also to its timing. Notice, “for before the law (Mosaic) was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. “. Meaning, that even before the Law was given to mankind through Moses, “sin was (already) in the world” and “death reigned from Adam to Moses”(KJV), as sin and death also reigned before the Genesis’ Adam. But imputation was not assigned nor activated until the Law was given. Only after the Law was given, did God assign and impute that “disobedience” of Adam in the garden of Eden, as sin for all. But, why wait till then? For 2 reasons, viz.,

1. So that through the Law that defined sin, “law entered, that the offence might abound”(KJV); “law was added so that the trespass might increase”(NIV).The word “abound” comes from the Greek word “pleonazo”, i.e., worse or bad or superabound. The Law made sin to be viewed even worse and be counted from sins committed by many.

2. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

SUMMARY

In a nutshell, God defined what sin to impute, who to impute it to, the extent it encompasses and when to assign. Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden was imputed as sin of the whole mankind and consequently death for all. This, so that through one man also, Jesus Christ in the genealogy of Adam, his death would be counted for all mankind. The Mosaic Law has to be given first before imputation is assigned so that all of mankind’s sin be counted ( for sin to “abound”). Because of the “doctrine of imputation”, who the actual “first human” does not matter, as far as salvation is concerned. The sacrificial death of Jesus is effective and extends to all mankind, whether before or after the Law was given to Moses and, for that matter, even before Adam’s creation in Genesis.
Indeed, we are all blessed to participate in this arena of free-thinking colleagues. Assigning this imputation to include all humans, specifically even those “pre-historic humans” before Adam’s creation, has not been shared nor posited, until now? Truly, God be thanked for this “world premier”. Abandoning the cacophony of debate pitting one over another, we can now with one voice join the chorus “what difference does it make?”. With retort from George Will, we can now “…speak … to improve the silence.”(14). Let us continue to be tolerant with scientific discoveries, synchronize when appropriate and adjust, “with fear and trembling”, our long-held religious beliefs in the furtherance of truth.

References:

1. Genesis 1:26. Holy Bible

2. Retrieved from : http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/retrograde/copernican.html

3. Retrieved from: http://www.biography.com/people/galileo-9305220

4. The New Catholic Encyclopedia (Detroit: Gale, 2003). ISBN 978-0-7876-4004-0

5. Spencer Wells,The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, p. 55. Random House, ISBN 0-8129-7146-9

6. Retrieved from : http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/000240.html

7. Gen1:27;2:7. Holy Bible

8. Retrieved from : http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2435072/jewish/Miraculous-Journey.html

9. Arthur Charles Hervey (1853), The Genealogies of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

10. Jacques Masson (1982), Jesus, fils de David, dans les généalogies de saint Mathieu et de saint Luc, Paris: Téqui, ISBN 2-85244-511-5.

11. Debate, Creationism.Retrieved from : http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140205-creationism-debate-bill-nye-ken-ham-opinion/

12. Ancient hominis. Retrieved 5/4/18 at https:/:news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/stone-tools-rhinoceros-luzon/philippines-ancient-hominis-science/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/butchered-rhino-puts-human-ancestors-philippines-700000-years-ago-180968959/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia

13. Anomalous History of Humanity. Retrieved from https://www.gaia.com/video/anomalous-history-humanity?utm_source=facebook%2Borganic&utm_medium=gaia&utm_term=video&utm_campaign=evergreen&ch=st

14. George Will. Retrieved from : http://m.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-the-2016-presidential-candidate-we-need/2014/05/23/77d599ae-e202-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html

Original post: July 18, 2014

Revised: May 20, 2018