Wedding in Cana, First Miracle or What and Why?

It is commonly taught that the first miracle of Jesus was turning water into wine. Actually, going through the events that followed the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in him, he “went straight way” (Matthew 3:16-17; Matthew 4:1) out of the water, empowered by the Holy Spirit to overcome Satan in the wilderness. That was the first miracle to subdue the “god of this world/age”. It was only after this that the narrative surrounding the wedding in Cana took place. So, rightly put, the water-to-wine miracle was “first of the signs through which he revealed his glory” (John 2:11) to the disciples who then believed in him, and not the actual first miracle.

Moreover, observationally, one sees that in the life of Jesus, prior to this in-dwelling, there was no miracle recorded, suggesting exactly that. There was no miracle at all performed by man/anthropos-Jesus as the Holy Spirit was not given yet to him. One can therefore discredit the claims of others about”miracles” performed by Jesus as a child.

With that said, let us now visit the wedding in Cana which was was narrated in John 2:1-11,

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.”

Consider John 2:4Woman,why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come Here, Jesus was questioning his mother Mary why involve him now and answered himself to emphasize that his “hour has not yet come”. What was that hour that has not come yet? It has to do with water and wine, but what?

Also, John 2:10Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now Here, Jesus was referring to himself bringing out the “best wine after guests had too much to drink.Regarding wine, it had to be precious and the best.

Symbols of water and wine?

With that laid out as a preliminary, one can see the connection between water and wine.

The principle of Isaiah 28:10 applies as in:

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

Regarding “water” as a symbol and used in a figurative sense referring to the Holy Spirit, consider the following verses:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

There is a difference between “born of water” from the womb into flesh-composed human beings and born of the Spirit which is spirit-composed.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

John 7:37-39 On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” By this he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified.

Clearly, water represents the “Holy Spirit.

Regarding “wine” as a symbol and used in a figurative sense referring to the “blood” of Jesus, consider the following verse:

Matthew 26:28
“For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Blood has to be shed first as a consequence of mankind’s sin for remission and reconciliation with the Father. This death of Christ is key before the Helper/Advocate will be given by the Father to Jesus, then subsequently to us.

Why turn water into wine?

The key to answer this question lies in:

John 3:5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit.”

As the preceding verse intimated to us, this is about the process of how to “enter the kingdom of God”, i.e., the ultimate creation of the God-kingdom from human anatomy. What is planned to be created is not a plant-kingdom, animal-kingdom or even a human-kingdom that is destined to end and replaced as prophesied in Daniel 2.

As everyone understands, first, we have to be “born of water, i.e., from the womb of our mother filled with amniotic fluid/water for protection, growth and development. Thereafter comes being “born of Spirit”. Jesus was “turning what was born of water into “born of Spirit. But, for humans to be born of Spirit, the Holy Spirit of adoption has to in-dwell in the person as a Helper/Advocate for nourishment, guidance, protection, growth and development.

The timing for this in-dwelling was “not yet” until the crucifixion. Jesus has to die first before we can be considered “crucified/died with Christ”. Blood has to be spilled first for Jesus to die and receive (John 16:7) the Holy Spirit from the Father to empower our “weak flesh. Water baptism signifies death and Spirit-in dwelling is spiritual baptism towards life. It is not the symbolic waters of baptism that cleanse and reconcile us to the Father but Christ’s blood (Hebrews 9:22) and the thereafter receipt of God’s Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, symbolized by water, has cleansing power; it quenches a person’s spiritual thirst, cleanses him from his spiritual filth and facilitates his spiritual birth, a stage of being “born again”.

Summary

“My hour has not yet come refers to the time of his death. “Turning water into wine” suggests that after man has been “born of water” from the mother’s womb, there is a process to be “born again through the Holy Spirit”. That process requires, water to turn to wine as in “blood of Christ as a Passover” sacrifice and payment for the sin of one man imputed to all mankind. That “wine” was the best and given only at a particular end-time and people. This then reconciles man to the Father for him to give the reward of the Holy Spirit to Jesus who will then give the gift of the Holy Spirit to us. Through the Holy Spirit in-dwelling in us, we received and were sealed with the Spirit of Adoption, and empowered us to have the Ten Commandments “written not in tables of stones but in the fleshy tables of our heart” as a “new covenant” with spirit-commandments to bear the “fruits of the Holy Spirit“. As what was written in tables of stone had commandments so does the one written in fleshy tables of our heart to follow. The difference between these covenants is the empowerment through the Holy Spirit which was not in-dwelling previously.

For those who were given the privilege to partake in the “first/spring harvest“, those who were called to receive the Holy Spirit to partake in the “first resurrection, take heed not to “quench the Holy Spirit(1 Thessalonians 5:19) or “grieve the Holy Spirit” (Ephesians 4:30). Worse if we return to our “vomit“, as in: 2 Peter 2:22

“Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”

Let us therefore be empowered by the Holy Spirit as in:

Galatians 5:16.So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”

Moreover, bear fruits, as in Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Remember:

John 15:2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful

Matthew 7:19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Out of his love for us, Jesus died for our reconciliation with the Father. More importantly was to receive the Holy Spirit from the Father to empower us against the “pull of the flesh“. Let us use this creative power wisely.

God bless 😇🙏

Original post: June 1, 2019

Hyperlink version dedicated to those celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary. Hopefully … in Cana.

Destiny, Random, Allowed or Intervention …Sovereignty ?

Destiny, Random Allowed or Intervention…Sovereignty?

5/26/2019

When anything happens, good or bad, do we ask ourselves, did that happen because of destiny, that our future was already written? While everything is known to God from even before fetal development as in Jeremiah 1:5 and onwards, are all our day-to-day-activity, education, profession, job, spouse, children etc., already “set for each and everyone of us” ..,or only to some people but not to others, every time or some of the time? Or, did any of it comes randomly, sometimes and specifically? Was it because of God’s intervention? Or, was it allowed to happen by God? Which one is it? Very challenging issues, indeed. Ultimately, only God knows, yet many preachers go one way or the other in interpretations and presumptions. Any middle-ground or another concept? Let us then take this difficult but important issue together with an open mind and with all humility we can muster. Remember, no human has a monopoly on what is right. But, we learn from God using a Berean principle(Acts 17:11) of “trust but verify”.

God’s Sovereignty

It is well-accepted by believers that nothing happens without God’s knowledge. He knows the past, present and future, thus the descriptive name I AM. He is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. He is beyond the measure of time. Got it.

But, does sovereignty mean “all steps are ordered”? That, nothing happens “by chance”? That, anything that happens is because God wills it to be or merely “allowed it“. Certainly, when God says, then it happens as in Genesis1:3-31. And, biblical references proved God intervenes in the affairs of man as in the blazing furnace set for Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3:8-18) and prophesied destiny of earthly kingdoms in Daniel 2. Moreover, who can forget what God did to the northern 10 tribes and 2 southern division of Israel? (See also https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/1551/jewish/Israels-Enslavement.htm And, there are other examples of destiny and intervention.

Is this really what sovereignty means? Did Adam and Satan sin because God allowed that to happen for a “grand purpose”, as many of us can assume? Where is and what happened to their freewill? Why fault Adam or Satan for their sins without freewill? It certainly is not God’s will for anyone to sin against him. That being said, if he just allowed what he did not like to happen, although he could intervene, isn’t that being complicit? In which case, God could be blamed?

However, the Scriptures say, he could not be faulted nor can he do anything wrong (Job 34:12) because For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD( Isaiah 55:8). So, how could this comport with God’s sovereignty? In Ecclesiastes 9:11 it says:

I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.

The preceding states that the winner of a race, or having food, wealth or favor is not necessarily because of “destiny, intervention or allowed”. And, time and chance happen to them all. meant it can happenrandomly”. It is no longer “chance” if it is already “written in stone”, as it is no longer hope if the outcome is already known(Romans 8:24).

Even the narrative of Jonah was not forced on him in a way that he did not have free will and could not say no. Instead, he learned “wisdom to choose” from right or wrong. For who wants to die again in a ghastly death swallowed by a big fish? He could but he chose wisely, not to.

God does not have to allow nor intervene when anyone gets into an accident, exposed to inordinate risk or got into throes of death. After all, it was said, Hebrews 9:27

And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment(ESV).

As everyone will experience death(reversible) God already has a plan for any permutations. Randomness is still within the purview of God’s sovereignty. A soldier with freewill to volunteer and fight is a better soldier than when conscripted or forced by events. A supreme example of “randomness” was shown by Jesus.

As EL SHADDAI, YHVH or LOGOS, he consented to become incarnated to “anthropos-Jesus”(1Timothy 2:5); he was not forced to do that. Being forced and doing it without his consent, takes away the enormity and great value of his sacrifice. As flesh-composed human, he did not sin on his own, as Job. But what the Father required were not “own works but works expressed in “fruits of the Holy Spirit“. All his personal “purity/perfection” was through his own (like Job) without the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. As promised, he was the first man to receive this in-dwelling after water baptism in river Jordan as in John 1:32. Then and only then did he “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit”, e.g., overcoming Satan’s temptation, turning water into wine at the wedding in Cana, making blind see, deaf hear, lame walk and dead Lazarus to be resurrected to fleshcomposed life, etc.

Notice, that no miracles did Jesus do prior to the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. The water-to-wine in the wedding at Cana was not the first miracle; it was the overcoming of Satan in the wilderness. In the garden of Gethsemane, this man-Jesus still with the Holy Spirit in him maintained his freewill not to die, but finally (after 3 times seeing truly the flesh is weak) chose instead to follow the “will of the Father” and “not my will. True, these events were known to the Father from the beginning of time. But, this final action of Jesus was based on him, the “hope” (Jeremiah 17:7), that he in fact would follow the Father’s will. There could not have been any need to “hope” (Romans 8:20; Romans 15:4 ESV) if the outcome is pre-destined or already known. Although prophesied and predestined as Passover, Jesus was not forced to be a Savior of mankind. Still, he had to bring it to fruition himself as empowered by the Holy Spirit. He did this as an expression of his love that flows out from the love of the Father for the world as in John 3:16 True love shows by giving your life for another as in John 15:13.

Summary

God is sovereign. He is omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient. His “thoughts are not our thoughts“. We were given freewill but he can also intervene or allow things to happen for a purpose as well as his predetermined overall plan. He can do anything He wanted, even removing and forgetting our sins forever as in Psalms 103:12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.


He is so supreme, theGod of gods and Lord of lords”, that he has even the power to include “randomnesswith his own sovereignty, depending on his unique wisdom. Contrary to the common assumption, randomness (like having “hope“) does not diminish his sovereignty. But, more importantly he has a plan for all regarding our salvation that will come in the future. All have their own time as all are given a chance, in this lifetime prior to the Millenium and beyond, according to his timeline. However, the final outcome depends on our freewill to act, much like Jesus did, to follow the will of the Father and “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Accordingly, the tree that does not bear fruit will be cut off and burned(Matthew 7:19). So, rejoice for the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Helper of ourweak flesh“, as our God is supreme, loving, full of grace and is merciful. Our “ultimate destiny” is secure.

God Bless😇🙏😊

Original post: May 29, 2019

Hyperlink version dedicated to those who are gratified with their own personal successes and those who are grappling with questions about accidental or any “untimely” deaths or disaster in their life.

God’s choice, yet failed…except?

God’s choice, yet failed…except?

Throughout biblical history, many have been called and chosen by God, yet they failed. But why? What message is God telling us from these historical accounts? What predicate was he establishing? Since they failed, was God wrong in choosing them? As God cannot be wrong (Job 34:12) nor can be faulted (Isaiah 55:8-9), why then were they chosen?

Consider the following examples:

1. Adam, chosen in Genesis as the first man created to represent mankind. It was this particular man and not any other human living at that time or before. The Genesis account of man’s creation does not exclude pre-Adamic human creation. While he may not actually be the first human created prior to the Moses’ writing of Genesis,(1,2,3), he was the man on which God established the mechanism of creation and imputation (Romans 5:12) of mankind’s sin. He came from “the ground” and became alive with the “breath of life”(Genesis 2:7). He was also the man, whose sin was imputed to all mankind(Romans 5:12). He was chosen, yet sinned, why?

2. Abraham, like all humans sinned Yet, he was chosen from all men and called “father of the faithful.”

3. Israel, also chosen from all nations before and during that time (Deuteronomy 7:6-9), yet abandoned /divorced God(Jeremiah 3:8).

4. David..also chosen and “after my own heart..,will do everything I want him to do“? as in:

Acts 13:22After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’‘(NIV).

Yet, David as noted in Psalm 51:1 also sinned.

5. Job, who was described in Job 1:8 as “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“…perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? (Job 1:8, American KJV)

and won over his friends regarding the reasons for his personal disasters, acknowledged in Job 42:5 My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.

He was “perfect” as defined by humans but God said “my thoughts are not your thoughts” as in Isaiah 55:8 . Job still needs a Savior to make him perfect as God defined it.

Incarnation

The preceding choices of humans all failed. And, this failure was purposeful. They were all human types of an anti-type to come. The message is about demonstrating the emphasis and focus on a particular prophesied human. (Isaiah 7:14; Isaiah 9:6). The God of Israel, the Almighty God(El Shaddai), the Lord God(YHVH Elohim/I AM), the LOGOS(Word) was planned to be incarnated to a human being, Jesus. This shows that man created from the “ground” and therefore “earthy“, while chosen, was only a “template/image“, an earthly precursor of what was to come. The “true chosen one” had to come “from above/heavenly” and did not carry the imputed sin of Adam to qualify as a Savior of mankind. And, he is the first human, the “anthropos -Jesus”(1 Timothy 2:5), into which the Father will in-dwell his unique Holy Spirit at River Jordan. The Father’s plan has to start with a human being (by incarnation) as a “first of the firstfruits) to become a “captain,author/finisher trailblazer” of our salvation predicated on “faith of Jesus

Summary

Sovereignty of God is a given and while his choice of humans failed, it was purposeful and based on hope. But, this hope is not on “weak flesh“(Matthew 26:4). Instead, this hope was on a specific human that “came from above/heavenly“(John 3:31), the one who would be the “first of the firstfruits” as in;

1 Corinthians 15:23 “But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.(New Living Translation)

He was the first man to be empowered by the Holy Spirit after water baptism in river Jordan(John 1:32) and the first man to be resurrected to eternal life as a “trailblazer” for humans. This is why the “hope” of mankind is in Jesus as in Jeremiah 17:7

“Blessed is the man that trusts in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.King James 2000 Bible

References:

1. Salemi, Peter, Who wrote the book of Genesis? Retrieved 5/21/19from http://www.british-israel.ca/Genesis.htm

2. Sewell, Kurt. The tablet theory of Genesis authorship. Retrieved 5/21/19 from https://trueorigin.org/tablet.php

3. Grigg, Russell, Who wrote Genesis? Retrieved 5/21/19 from https://creation.com/did-moses-really-write-genesis

Original post: May 28, 2019

Hyperlink version: Dedicated to the one having surgery (TEP) today.

Crucified with Christ, how so?

Crucified with Christ

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20)

Among many of Paul’s writings, this verse in his letter to Galatians has powerful connotations that express his beliefs. Other verses provide an exegesis that may still defy credulity and have to be taken contextually. Here is my take:

Crucified/dead

As Paul was still alive when this was written, it is without question that he was speaking allegorically or metaphorically. And, this is how he considered himself, as we should.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4)

He was referring to “water baptism” as beingburied“,signifying “second eternal death”,(from sin), that as Christ was raised (spirit-composed resurrection) by the Father from the dead, so shall we have a “new life“, as promised through a process of “ongoing creation”.

Christ lives in me/current body, how?

We were created an “image/likeness of God, not after plants or animals

And we turned ourselves from Adam, into “marred clay. But we have this treasure in us given as a gift(Holy Spirit) from the Father to Son then in us to re-form this jar of clay to be “one” with him, as in:

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. (2 Corinthians 4:7).NIV

Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test? (2 Corinthians 13:5) NIV

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10). NIV

And this Holy Spirit is gifted “to me” through being “in me” and “writing his laws in heart and mind“, (no longer in stones) to form us.

But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human beingGalatians 1:15-16

My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you,(Galatians 4:19)NIV

“…so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love“(Ephesians 3:17).NIV

To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.“(Colossians 1:27) “Christ in you”NIV

Live by faith, how?

Faith is “confidence, assurance and conviction” based on “reality, substance and evidence as in:

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen Hebrews 11:1KJV

Faith is different from belief, hope or trust which are all “evidenced-based“. And faith comes from our eyes/ears being opened to truth through the gift of “in-dwelling Holy Spirit” that leads us to believe and trust.

End-point

And, the long and short of it all is to build the “kingdom of God, and not a plant or animal kingdom. And, Jesus Ian the “author and finisher” of our faith. He is the, carpenter builder.

Summary

Indeed, we have to consider ourselves “crucified with Christ“, buried and “dead in sinaccounted from Adam’s sin. This is reflected/symbolized by “water baptism”. We could have been dead eternally were it not for the “faith OF Jesus” in the promise of the Father to him that resurrection to life is achievable.With this faith, evidenced-based as Jesus was with the Father from the beginning as WORD, he then had the assurance and conviction of his belief to trust that what the Father promised would be delivered.

And this promise to build the “kingdom of God” is a process that was authored, being built by Jesus and will reach fruition in due time.

God Bless 🙏😇

Original Post: 5/13/2019

Hyperlink version.

Faith OF/IN Jesus or Both?

Faith OF/IN Jesus or Both?

Different translations from original Greek to English, whether faith ”of and in” Jesus, caused people’s confusion. What is the truth? The answer has major effect on Christian teaching. It is therefore a question that deserves an answer. Here are the verses referred to:

Faith of Jesus?

  • Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
  • Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.
  • Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
  • Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Faith in Jesus?

Acts 20:21 I have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.

Galatians 3:26
For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 1:4 because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all God’s people–

Faith “of” and “in” Jesus

Taking all things into consideration, one can see the harmony of the truth behind these verses. It is clear that faith has to be started by a man (anthropos-Jesus), not a spirit-being like an angel. From Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and on through centuries, no human was chosen to be the Passover” for man’s sin but a man, Christ. For which reason, incarnation came about. The El Shaddai/Yahweh (God Almighty/Lord God), aka Logos(Word), became man. He was the only man chosen by the Father to be the “author and finisher of faith“, (Hebrews 12:2). By “faith of Jesus” was the righteousness of God anchored on, not by works. And, this righteousness of faith is for propitiation and justification through his death, by taking the consequence of mankind’s sin accounted from Adam , as in:

Romans 3:22-31 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Jesus is the “carpenter and builder” of the “God-Kingdom“. And rightly so, this has to start with faith of Jesus, which is evidence-based and process-planned. He was with the Father from the very beginning as Word to see evidence of the Father’s wisdom, power and love. He was the God whose name was El Shaddai (Almighty God)to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but to Moses he was known as YHVH (Lord God/Yahweh/I AM), as in Exodus 6:3.

As he started our salvation as faith-based through the “faith of Jesus” so shall we follow this “trailblazer man” and have to anchor our salvation by havingfaith in Jesus” as well. As the scriptures said, “from faith-to-faith“(Romans 1:17).

Summary

The death of the Passover-Lamb (anthropos-Jesus) is imputed as payment and consequence of mankind’s sin which was accounted to Adam’s sin. This promise that Jesus’ death will pay for the sins of mankind has been made by the Father. This promise is the pathway/trail to achieve justification for mankind’s sin, reconciliation of mankind with the Father, Jesus’ resurrection (our’s,too) and for Jesus to receive this gift of the Holy Spirit to in-dwell subsequently in us. All of these were based on the “faith of man-Jesus” who was the only man chosen specifically for this immense task on “hope” that he would follow his Father’s will, and he did, most especially in the most pivotal moment at the garden of Gethsemane. The “faith of Jesus” is his “faith in the Father” that what was promised would be fulfilled. Being the pioneer/captain/author/trailblazer, Jesus will help us go through the same path by being empowered by the Holy Spirit (Helper/Advocate)which guides us, as hislaws are written in the fleshy tables of our heart“.

The “faith of Jesus” is the predicate (based on evidence) for his “faith in the Father”, that made him believe and trust with confidence and assurance. So should we also have “faith in the Father” which is predicated by “our faith in Jesus” . Indeed, “from faith-to-faith”.

Ultimately, both “faith of and in Jesus” are a requisite towards our immortality and salvation from eternal death.

God bless 🙏🎂

Original post: May 14, 2019

Hyperlink version

Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day

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.

History

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.”

Religious Celebration

“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.”

“In Buddhism, the festival of Ullambana is derived from the story of Maudgalyayana and his mother.”

Metaphorical Mother?

“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”.

Moreover, the function, responsibility and role of the church is expressed in:

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 31:25Strength 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”

Proverbs 31:25-31(ESV) “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 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.Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

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”.

Summary

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. Thebride” 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 spiritcomposed 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.

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Dedicated to Motherhood.

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

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

What is, who is and why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When, for what and how to?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

God bless🙏😇

Original Post: 5/2/2019

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Dedicated to my firstborn:

Blessing and AJ