If there is any particular person who has done more for the future of humanity, it is the mother. An overwhelming number of people will undoubtedly recognize and put her in that pedestal. And rightly so, as her sacrifice for the children (and spouse) will never be surpassed. As written in a poem by William Ross Wallace, “the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world“. Therefore, as a token of gratitude, a special day was set to commemorate her immense role in society. For 2019, it is celebrated May 12 in the USA.
“Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the motherof the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. It is celebrated on various days in many parts of the world, most commonly in the months of March or May. The modern Mother’s day began in the United States, at the initiative of Anna Jarvis in the early 20th century. Many traditional celebrations of mothers and motherhood have existed throughout the world over thousands of years, such as the Greek cult to Cybele, the Roman festival of Hilaria, or the Christian Mothering Sunday celebration (originally a commemoration of Mother Church, not motherhood). This is to honor all mothers because she believed a mother is “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.
“The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia. St Andrew’s Methodist Church now holds the International Mother’s Day Shrine.”
“Her campaign to make Mother’s Day a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War, and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues.”
“However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday?(the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910). In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.”
“In the Roman Catholic Church, the holiday is strongly associated with revering the Virgin Mary. In some Catholic homes, families have a special shrine devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In many Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, a special prayer service is held in honor of the Theotokos Virgin Mary.”
“In Islam there is no concept of Mother’s Day, but the Quran teaches that children should give priority to loving their mother over their father.”
“In Hindu tradition, Mother’s Day is called “Mata Tirtha Aunshi” or “Mother Pilgrimage fortnight”, and is celebrated in countries with a Hindu population, especially in Nepal. The holiday is observed on the new moon day in the month of Baisakh, i.e., April/May. This celebration is based on Hindu religion and it pre-dates the creation of the US-inspired celebration by at least a few centuries.”
“The symbolism of the “church as mother” is used throughout early church writings, continues into the medieval period, and, though it may surprise some, was embraced by the reformers. John Calvin quotes Cyprian and refers to the motherhood of the church throughout his Institutes.
While motherhood is gender-specific, and refers to female parenthood, metaphorically, it includes all of humanity, as a composite of mother Jerusalem above, betrothed/prepared for a wedding as a church and individually. This is what the Bible prophetically renders us all to be.
Consider, what was the takeaway understanding, of Paul regarding “mother” in:
Galatians 4:26 “But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.”
Our “mother” is identified as “Jerusalem that is above”. She is the spiritual nurturing city/place for all, an allegorical place where we are now. We were “born after the flesh”, of the bondwoman/slave (flesh-composed); but our future is to be “born (again)by promise” as “children of the free“(Galatians 4:22-31), spirit-composed. This is figurative and being in the “womb of the church“, we are now considered “children of promise“. Those still “in fetal development” are considered “children” before “born/delivery”.
the responsibility expressed
Proverbs 31:26-27 “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
Proverbs 31:25 “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come”
Ezekiel 16:44 “Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’‘
1 Thessalonians 2:7.”But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children”
Wedding of the Lamb
Being in the “womb of the church“, we are being nurtured for a “wedding“. Like any wedding ceremony, the “virgin bride” (spiritual members of the church), .”has made herself ready, as in:
Revelations 19:7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready.”
And this preparation now is for us to be in “oneness with God” through the guidance and presence of the Holy Spirit in us, “writing the laws not in tables of stone but in the fleshly tables of heart and mind”.
Members of the spiritual church are being “formed“(Galatians 4:19), for the prophesied wedding ceremony at the “last trump” when our “flesh-composed body” will change into spirit-composed firstfruits and will meet Christ in the air to come down on earth with him towards Jerusalem. Together, they will have more children to be “formed” in the Millenium and post-Millenium as “latter fruits”.
No one has influenced the family more than our mother. It is therefore fitting to commemorate a special day for her, a gesture of respect and acknowledgment of her role in humanity.
Figuratively, the mother is a “spiritual church“ that nurtures and develops children from cradle to grave. And this is in the context of the power of the Holy Spirit in us and given by the Father to Christ as a gift for our “oneness“. This Holy Spirit is a “Helper” to the weaknesses of our “flesh-composed body” as emphasized three times in the narrative of Christ in the garden of Gethsemane. The “bride” has to be prepared with the help of the Holy Spirit. After having “formed” us from a “marred clay” to one befitting a “virgin bride”, the spiritual wedding ceremony will manifest at resurrection as “firstfruits” in a “twinkling of an eye” at Jesus‘ second coming. The “spirit-composed” mature children, his body/church, will meet Christ in the air and descend on earth to rule a Millenium and forever in the “new heaven and earth”. After firstfruits had manifested, more children will be prepared/formed from “marred clay“ at their own time for the marriage between the “bride and the Lamb” as “latter fruits“. Then will be fulfilled the promise to the seed in:
Genesis 22:17: “I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. …,“(NIV).
All those in the family of spirit–composed God-kingdom that came out from an “image” are no longer temporary like a temple, but eternal/immortal beings. This is human destiny as members of the God-Kingdom ; not plant nor animal kingdom.
God Bless 🙏😇
Original post: May 12, 2019.
Dedicated to Motherhood.
Ice-Bucket Challenge: Defining when Life Begins and Ends
Pouring ice-cold water onto ourselves is indeed a “bone-chilling” challenge. This has picked up steam nationwide with participation from regular folks, celebrities and even billionaire Bill Gates(1). Funds “have come from 1.7 million donors.The ALS Association (as of August 25) has raised $79.7 million to combat Lou Gehrig’s Disease since July 29, as the Ice Bucket Challenge continues to encourage people around the world to dump ice over their heads and send in money.”(2). This did not come without detractors from animal rights’ supporter like Pamela Anderson and others of different views , including those against embryonic stem cell research (3).
McClaren & Beeson (4,5) commented that “much recent interest has focused on whether stem cell therapy could alleviate or even cure common degenerative diseases. This has been accompanied by debate on the ethics of destructive research on early human embryos. Stem cells derived from various sources raise different ethical issues, but their contribution to medical research could be immense.” While there are tailwinds in using placental and adult tissue sources, headwinds to embryonic stem cell research surfaced and related to an issue not dissimilar to debates between pro-life vs. pro-choice and questions related to the other end of the spectrum, end-of-life.
When life is defined as beginning at conception, rights are conferred at that time and had to be championed and supported (6). Similarly, end-of-life issues bring to bear the rights of those still “living” even in a “vegetative state” or, for any other reason, at the throes of death. In our healthcare system, private and public resources are at stake to fund efforts to support, terminate or prolong life. Reflexively, what then follow are moral values, religious overtones, socio-political agenda, personal upbringing and citizenship that stoke the fire of controversy. When does life really begin and when does it end, are questions that rise to a decibel of priority for society , whether personal or national.
This post is not about casting aspersions nor endorsing the merits of either side of the debate, a controversy aplenty (7,8,9,10,11,12,13). Rather, the goal is to give pause to the animus, make time for reflection and provide salutary perspective. Some may not like to hear the truth, but somehow, one needs “to tell how the cow ate the cabbage”, a Southern catchphrase. This subject is a difficult one to resolve in its entirety and we will not be able to “carry forests on my back” but at least let us put a “crack” on this “nut“(14). People have to muster gumption to tackle this dilemma of “when life begins and ends“. It is a yeoman’s task to venture on finding a balance among different perspectives, biblical or secular, cerebral or emotional they may be. That said, one recognizes the consequences emanating from issues about pro-life/pro-choice and life/death dilemma.
“Incidents of violence have included destruction of property, in the form of vandalism; crimes against people, including kidnapping, stalking, assault, attempted murder, and murder; and crimes affecting both people and property, including arson and bombings” (15). In the U.S., violence directed towards abortion providers has killed at least eight people, including four doctors, two clinic employees, a security guard, and a clinic escort” (16). “Another abortion doctor, George Wayne Patterson, was shot and killed outside an adult movie theater in Mobile, Alabama on August 21, 1993, but authorities attribute his death to a botched robbery“(17). Other links are accessible regarding the problem (18,19,20).
End-of-life issues also affect society’s responses to longer longevity that “presents unprecedented ethical and fiscal challenge“, rationing healthcare, hospice care, etc.(21,22,23,24). Disregard for life may lead to the horrors and slippery slope of euthanasia and assisted suicide according to Krauthammer (25, 26,27).
All things considered, the trunk-of-the-tree origin of these conflicting positions stems from the question “when does life begin and end?“. While progress in scientific knowledge, like ultrasound, helps us determine a “functioning entity” in the womb, does life really begin “at conception“? Pro-lifers use biblical passages frequently to make the case for human life beginning at conception(28,29). Consider the following excerpts:
Luke 1:39-44: Mary’s visit to Elizabeth: “…And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy”. (N.B. Does heart beat, motor function like “fetal kick”, response to pain sensation or Mozart effect in the womb constitute or define “life”?
And for that matter, do dummy patient simulators with heart beat, etc.,have life?(30)
“For You formed my inward parts:
You covered me in my mother’s womb….My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret….Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed….The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.”
…“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you;….”
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.”
All the preceding verses confirm the omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence of God Almighty. They are related to specific people who were already born and were living. They did not define when life begins, as these verses also include the period ” being yet unformed, “as yet they were none of them, “before formed in the womb“. It appears to be a stretch of one’s imagination to assume that the preceding verses support that “life” begins at conception. Moreover, this extrapolation minimizes other verses that actually define it. Let us now consider the following and comments that follow:
•And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul/being”.
Notice, that a fully formed Adam from the “dust of the ground” was still “non-living” until the “breath of life” got into him from God. Then, he became a “living being“. This is akin to a “still birth” baby who was not breathing and therefore “non-living“. Or, a fully formed baby immediately after delivery, cyanotic and not breathing , no life in it although with heart rate and brain activity, “non-living“, but after a few seconds, with or without resuscitation, started to breathe in natural air as an evidence of “life“. This also reminds us of patients that are “brain-dead“, in a vegetative state, with flat-line EEG, sustained only by life-supporting means like ventilator and/or therapeutic interventions. Yet, when ventilator is turned off, they do not breath spontaneously, no natural breathing and subsequently declared “dead“, i.e., not breathing or no breath of life. Atmospheric air has to be breathe into, “before life begins”. It is arguable that by virtue of the oxygen derived from the mother, i.e., fetal respiration, that this is “breathing“. But, this denies the biblical definition of “living“, viz., presence of functional lungs (mature or premature) that have to breathe in natural and environmental air. The breath cycle continues until the last breath at death. Breathing air defines and sustains life. “In with your very first breath, out with your very last”(31). Without this “breath of life“, a person is “non-living”, as in:
Job 34: 14-15
“If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust“. ( N.B. Without breath, the flesh is dead).
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”
“His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; In that very day his thoughts perish.”
Also, notice the function of this “breath of life” to the “non-living“:
Ezekiel 37:9-10, 13-14
9 Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.
13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.” (N.B.the word “spirit” comes from “ruwach” from 07306 in Concordance meaning breath or wind).
Schwartz concurs, “there is nothing in the bible to indicate that a fetus is considered to be anything other than living tissue and, according to scripture, it does not become a living being until after it has taken a breath” (32).
Also, notice the following controversial verses:
“If men fight, and hurt a woman with child, so that she gives birth prematurely, yet no harm follows, he shall surely be punished accordingly as the woman’s husband imposes on him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. But if any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” ( NB. When the “child” is viable and delivered prematurely but “no harm” done, then compensation maybe sought by the husband since the fetus did not mature to full term; if any “harm” follows after birth as when the fetus perished, then life for life, etc. In this accidental death after birth, the key point is viability by natural means to exact redress at that time. Today, by artificial means, fetal viability can be extended as a dying person’s life/suffering can be prolonged. However, this example should not be used to justify voluntary/intentional abortion, especially to viable fetus still in the womb).
” …. And he shall cause the woman to drink the bitter water that causeth the curse: and the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter. Then the priest shall take the jealousy offering out of the woman’s hand, and shall wave the offering before the LORD, and offer it upon the altar: And the priest shall take an handful of the offering, even the memorial thereof, and burn it upon the altar, and afterward shall cause the woman to drink the water. And when he hath made her to drink the water, then it shall come to pass, that, if she be defiled, and have done trespass against her husband, that the water that causeth the curse shall enter into her, and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall rot: and the woman shall be a curse among her people. And if the woman be not defiled, but be clean; then she shall be free, and shall conceive seed. This is the law of jealousies, when a wife goeth aside to another instead of her husband, and is defiled; ….. ” (N.B. This is what is generally known by biblical scholars as an “adultery test” by ritual of intentional abortion performed by a priest through drinking “bitter/curse water“. But this is not done anymore, even by priest; it has ceased a long time ago(33). Similarly, if Jewish priest discontinued this practice, all the more reason for this not be used to justify abortion by anyone, through pharmacological means.)
Job 3:3, 10-11, 16
“Let the day perish in which I was born. … Because it shut not up the doors of my mother’s womb, nor hid sorrow from my eyes. Why died I not from the womb? Why did I not give up the spirit when I came out of the belly? … Or as an untimely birth I had NOT been; as infants which never saw light.” ( NB. According to Martin & Sielaff (34) in their commentary, “…fetus was reckoned as “NOT HAVING BEEN” — and that is how God and the Bible defines the status of the fetus.”
Nonetheless, I do not support the connotation of outright disregard for fetus nor should it be summarily disrespected. The alternative interpretation may well be that Job may just be too remorseful for his suffering that he wished “NOT HAVING BEEN”; this was Job’s wish and not God defining the status of the fetus or how we should regard it.) From the same link, (which I could not confirm,) “An April 8, 2004 United Press International reported about this limitation:
“At what point is a human fetus viable? … a government witness testified in U.S. District Court in Nebraska that a 20-week fetus can feel pain, suggesting the fetus is a living being. Neonatology specialists have countered, however, that a 20-week fetus cannot yet survive outside the mother’s womb. … [Dr. Avroy] Fanaroff 2 [notes], ‘There may be a beating heart, there may even be some gasping attempts at breathing, but this is not a baby that can be resuscitated — it is not viable,’ … ‘such signs of life typically ‘last only seconds.’ …What, then, differentiates between live birth and viable birth? The maturity of the lungs, Goldsmith said. ‘It is the ability of the lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide,’ he said, which explains the reason why a non-viable fetus in 1973 can be a viable baby today.”On viability 3 See http://www.washtimes.com/upi-breaking/20040406-051104-8080r.htm.
Difference in counting child’s age among cultures
In Jewish culture, “.…it is their day of birth (or the year in which they first exited the womb) that gives them a legal existence. Thus, for a man to be able to go to war he had to be twenty years of age, or a priest to commence his official duties had to be thirty years of age. These ages for legal purposes were always reckoned from birth, not from conception. The reason for this is plain. No one could be sure in all cases just when conception took place, and even if one knew the exact moment of conception, for legal purposes one had to wait to be born to enter human society.“(35).
In Korea, China and East Asia, “..the countdown of children’s age does not begin with the birth of a child, like in the West, but starts in the beginning of the year, rounding up the time spent by a child in the mother’s womb. In addition, people become older not on the day of birth, but on January 1st, according to the lunar calendar. For example, a child born in late December of 2013 will turn two on January 1st, 2014“(36).
Now that the major elements firing the debate have been presented, the question still remains as to what the correct response should be? The decision to act, one way or another, for anyone at the crossroads of this question may still be problematic for any particular set of circumstances. Without being facetious, when one reaches “the fork of the road“, Yogi Berra(37) quipped,”take it”. But which side of the fork should one take? Even the advice from Apostle Paul about moderation (Phil. 4:5) may not suffice to confer peace of mind. Raw courage is needed to face criticism of whatever action one takes, as there will always be “Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley’d and thunder’d” as in “Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Tennyson (38).
As one may now deduce, the operative word for when life begins and ends, is “natural“,i.e., natural development to viability, not ex-vivo or in-vitro; natural breathing, not fetal respiration nor through artificial means; natural air, even augmented, but not artificial. How then should one respond to the biblical truth that breathing air defines and sustains life? “In with your very first breath, out with your very last”. The advice from Martin & Sielaff resonates well, “Children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his [God’s] reward” (Psalm 127:3).
Adoption should always be considered, so someone else can receive the “reward” from God. Life is important. Christians should respect it very highly. Not only should they recognize the sanctity of their own lives, but they should acknowledge that God has granted the same life to all in the world. All people should be honored and respected. This is a Christian duty which no one can deny.”(39). When the choice is between the life of mother vs. the fetus, there should be no hesitation that life of the mother takes precedence; there maybe exception even on this that we may not know, as in, the mother gives up her life for the fetus. As to rape and incest, adoption is a better alternative; here again, there can be exception and the victim needs tremendous emotional support to overcome an excruciating experience. A non-breathing baby just delivered and an adult who had a cardiac arrest should also be resuscitated to life. After sometime, how long artificial breathing should continue would depend on other factors, most especially the ability to be weaned off respirator and breathe spontaneously. Currently, with technology, the status of brain activity helps in decision-making. Similarly, judgment has to be made regarding sources that potentiate stem cell research depending on overwhelming evidence for “overall good”. Failure to act can delay progress to the detriment of population that needed it most. Vaccine and immunization have detractors, yet society as a whole decided in favor of general use; again this has exception, especially invoking the 1st( religion) and 4th ( privacy) amendments rights. When it comes to “euthanasia and assisted suicide”, our stance should be to advise against these methods. But, who will have the final say? Should it be the patient and/or immediate relative, society or the “death-provider“? Not privy to all the facts surrounding every case and in whatever action is decided by the “stakeholders“, one should not be judgmental but, in love, be commiserating and (sans approval) empathizing with the difficulties in arriving at any decision. True, one should not be dogmatic nor flexible every time and be mindful of the cautionary verses in
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 :
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”
Defining when life begins and ends just opens doors. What action plan for any specific situation may still leave us with conflicted conscience and second-guessing. Hopefully, people will choose life and seek an obstetrician, rather than death from an obitiatrist (death-doctor)(40). Flee from temptation. Decide we must, is an “ice-bucket challenge” for all of us.
1. Retrieved from: http://youtube/XS6ysDFTbLU
2. Retrieved from:http://time.com/3173833/als-ice-bucket-challenge-fundraising-total/
4. Retrieved from:Anne McLaren. Nature 414, 129-131 (1 November 2001) | doi:10.1038/35102194
5. Retrieved from: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1472648310606475
6. Retrieved from :http://www.nrlc.org
7. Retrieved from:Why is abortion so controversial? http://news-basics.com/2011/abortion/
8. End of life controversies. Retrieved from:http://ajcc.aacnjournals.org/content/18/5/401.1.full.pdf
85% of hospital trusts adopt controversial end-of-life care regime
10. Baby Joseph.Retrieved from: http://abcnews.go.com/Health/baby-josephs-treatment-sparks-controversy-pediatric-end-life/story?id=13032001
11. Terri Schiavo case. Retrieved from:http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terri_Schiavo_case
12. Survey of Controversial Issues.
13. New and Lingering Controversies in Pediatric End-of-Life Care. Retrieved from: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/116/4/872.abstract.
14. The mountain and the squirrel: retrieved from: http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poem/the-mountain-and-the-squirrel-by-ralph-waldo-emerson#ixzz3AvpOfLJS
15. Retrieved from:http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-abortion_violence
16. Retrieved from:Clinic violence and intimidation”. NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation. 2006. Archived from the original on February 11, 2010.
17. Man Arrested in Killing of Mobile Abortion Doctor. Retrieved from:The New York Times. September 5, 1993.; H. Kushner, Encyclopedia of Terrorism, Sage Publications, 2003, p.39.
18.”Mental Health Risks of Abortion: Scientific Studies Reveal Significant Risk of Major Psychological Sequelae Of Abortion” . Retrieved from: http://www.wprc.org/184.108.40.206.1.0.phtml.
19. “The Emotional Effects of Induced Abortion”. Retrieved from: http://www4.plannedparenthood.org/pp2/portal/medicalinfo/abortion/fact-010600-emoteff.xml#1097838460671::-3808445079817008491.
20. Retrieved from:http://www.justfacts.com/abortion.asp#%5B184%5D
21. Callaghan, D. and Lawler, P., Ethics & health: Rethinking end-of-life care, Retrieved from:http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/07/ethics-and-health-care-rethinking-end-of-life-care
22. Shepherd, Lois Rationing health care at end-of-life. Retrieved from: http://web1.millercenter.org/debates/whitepaper/deb_2010_0324_life.pdf
23. Ration end-of-life care. Retrieved from: http://intelligencesquaredus.org/iq2-tv/item/769-ration-end-of-life-care
24. Debate on hospice care. Retrieved from: http://jop.ascopubs.org/content/4/3/153.full
25. Krauthammer, Charles. The Dutch example, Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics – 13 edition, Chapter 9, ISBN13: 978-0385349178
ISBN10: 0385349173, Publisher: Crown Business, Published: 10/22/2013
26.The lady of Assen and Dr Chabot in Holland. Retrieved from:http://articles.philly.com/1997-01-15/news/25560299_1_terminally-euthanasia-dutch-doctors
27. A Judge In Washington State Says The People Had No Right To Veto Mercy Killing by Charles Krauthammer. Retrieved from: http://articles.philly.com/1994-05-17/news/25826934_1_personal-dignity-and-autonomy-physician-assisted-suicide-abortion-decisions
28. Tommy Mitchell,Retrieved from:https://answersingenesis.org/sanctity-of-life/when-does-life-begin/)
29. When life begins. Retrieved from: http://www.openbible.info/topics/when_life_begin
30.One Smart Dummy: Patient Simulators Help Save Lives. Retrieved from: http://rushnews.rush.edu/2014/09/02/one-smart-dummy-patient-simulators-help-save-lives/
31. Life Begins at Breath, Not Conception
, originally posted by Will McLeod on Mar. 19/2014 ; http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/03/19/1285933/-Bible-Life-Begins-at-Breath-Not-Conception
32. Retrieved from: http://joeschwartz.net/life.htm
33. Retrieved from: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordeal_of_the_bitter_water
34. Abortion and the Bible by Ernest L. Martin, Ph.D., July 1991
Edited and expanded by David Sielaff, February 2005.
36. Retrieved from:http://english.pravda.ru/society/stories/16-07-2013/125145-korea_children-0/
37.Retrieved from: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/y/yogiberra105761.html
38. Charge of the Light Brigade” by Alfred Tennyson. Retrieved from: http://www.nationalcenter.org/ChargeoftheLightBrigade.html
40. Obitiatrist: Goodman, Ellen. Retrieved from:http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1993-12-28/news/1993362063_1_word-for-death-happy-mistakes-column
Original post: September 10, 2014
Hyperlink version posted April 22, 2019
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
Aladin Mariano,MD, MHA, FACS, FCCP
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 such, since 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 including an accomplished scholar of early Christianity, Ehrman (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”; the Father sent him and not that Jesus sent himself. Always remember what Paul said in Hebrews 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 then as it is now among other religions. While it is tempting to deny this fact, the presence of many “gods” is acknowledged to be true by the Holy Bible (1Corinthians 8:5-6). And yes, this has been a crucial fact in the Old Testament, such that Israel has to be directed away from these known but false “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,
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 the Creator-God in the Old Testaments 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 proximate Creator, the Creator-God. Getting right to the point, consider this 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 Exodus 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 Isaiah 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 proximate 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” (Colossians 1:15-17 NASB).
This Creator God, who “fathered” all creation, incarnated into Jesus, the Christ/Messiah, as in Isaiah 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) , one God and one Lord, even when they “are one”. Subsequently, he was then appointed and “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 ) , above the other “firstfruits” (I Cor.15:23; Rev. 14:4) (N.B. offered to God (the Father)and the Lamb).
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 flesh-composed 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 all 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” (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/through his life” (Rom.5:10 ). But, how are we saved by/through 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/through his life” (after resurrection Jesus was given this creative-power/Holy Spirit”) 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 “one” with the Father. Amazingly, all of these as planned and implemented by God through his “first-born Son of God“.
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 his “FATHER“; 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, position and spirit-power by incarnating into “flesh” as Jesus/Messiah/Christ, and 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.”
Yet, many still will not accept that the Father is “greater than Jesus”; what in “greater” can we not understand? On the side, this particular “FATHER” of Jesus, started a “new creation” (2 Cor.5:17, NKJV), from the human “first-begotten” son Jesus (John 3:16) who then became the “first-born from the dead; among many” (Col.1:18; Rom. 8:29) spirit-composed 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”(1Cor.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; a plan executed perfect by his Son. Even our will to do good and to act are influenced and empowered by 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 and reposted 5/3/18
Hyperlink and revised version posted 6/16/19 on Father’s Day.
1. Father’s Day. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father%27s_Day
2. Ehrman, Bart D., Misquoting Jesus, p.33-34, 2005.Harper Collins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St. NY, NY 10022.http://www.bartdehrman.com/misquoting-jesus-the-story-behind-who-changed-the-bible-and-why/
3. What is God? https://fact-s.net/2014/06/29/what-is-god-2/
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.
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 🙏😇
April 10, 2018
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 new “operating system” that is given by grace and as a gift that can empower us to overcome evil. The first “operating system” that initiated life to Adam, the spirit of man/breath of life, needs this add-on new O.S. 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 like “his 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