The Message of Christmas.

Throughout the world, most of those in the Christian world celebrate December 25 as the birth of Jesus. However, some have to be acknowledged as dating that momentous event sometime in September or thereabouts. While my personal leaning is this September date as the historic and biblical events are compelling and harmonized, the emphasis by some on date pales, in significance, to the “good news” (gospel) of what this date was about.

Whatever the true date was, the message should not be lost as one celebrates Christ’s birthday. What really is the message?

Incarnation

A major teaching that can not be relegated to the dustbin of history, is that the YHVH-Creator gave up his spirit-composition and spiritual powers to come as a human on this earth, in Bethlehem. This he did to fulfill the eternal plan of the Father for Jesus to start, by being human, the process of salvation of humanity from eternal death. His advent as a human was prophesied hundreds of years before Jesus was even born. More than 300 prophecies were recorded to tell of His coming and repeated in:

Matthew 1:21New International Version
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.

Devoid of “spirit-in-dwelling” and therefore lack of spirit-powers, this “anthropos/man/human Jesus” (I Timothy 2:5) nevertheless followed all the commandments on his own human/mortal powers , much like man/anthropos-Job who was “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil”

The difference is, that while Job “came from the dust of the ground like Adam and therefore earthy“, Jesus originated from above and therefore heavenly“. Being both “blameless, upright and perfect in his ways“, still both died; Job died because of imputed/counted sin of one man Adam whereas Jesus died because of sins of all humans from Adam on. And, the most crucial and defining difference between them, while being both humans, was that Job did not receive the “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit”, before he died, whereas Jesus did. Therefore, all the goodness of Job was not what the Father required; not the “fruits that come from flesh, though righteous they may be. Only the Father God decides what is a “savor and favorable to him” that pleased him as explained in the narrative of “offering by Abel and Cain“. On the other hand, Jesus was gifted directly and fully with the Holy Spirit of power by the Father at River Jordan and subsequently all his works were “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, which are “offering” that pleased and accepted by the Father. And, he was the first human who received this gift as a trailblazer, author and beginner of our salvation.

Summary

This is the message of Christmas that YHVH-Creator, in Genesis, incarnated to be the first human, the author/trailblazer towards salvation from eternal death. As “anthropos/man-Jesus”, he was mortal, yet still classified as “god”, like any human (like Job) without spirit-powers until he was given at River Jordan, tempted and overcame Satan with that power, overcame the temptation at garden of Gethsemane, crucified and died (being mortal), resurrected and subsequently attained immortality. And after resurrection,(not before) he received the promised “Advocate/Comforter” to subsequently be given to us to empower us towards salvation, so shall other humans, being “in the body of a Christ”. We will not develop, overcome and mature to be born as “sons/daughters of God” without this “empowering Holy Spirit in/dwelling in us”. We will all be immortal spirit-composed beings like our “elder brother” Jesus ( in a twinkling of an eye) in the “kingdom of God”, not a kingdom of man/human mortal flesh. By being human himself as a “builder/pioneer“, El SHADDAI/YHVH-Creator God, showed us the “way, truth and the life” about the process that humans can attain salvation, i.e., be “born of the flesh“, be empowered by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, sanctified, die as mortals, be resurrected, “born of the spirit with spirit-composed bodies” towards eternal life. Indeed, Jesus is a “trailblazer”, the author and finisher” for all of us to follow his lead towards salvation through faith and grace of God.

God bless ๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ™

Original post:December 25, 2019

Hyperlink version (please click on hyperlink)

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day



Throughout the whole U.S.A., the 4th Thursday of November by tradition has been set aside to give thanks to God for all the blessings we received individually and collectively, as a family or as a nation. Thanksgiving Day commemorates our appreciation for what the Almighty has done for all of us. Indeed, these blessings come in many forms. Some are thankful, inspite of Sept 11 2001, for relative peace, safety and tranquility. As global terrorism continues, local attacks of evil left victims with mangled bodies in streets of London/Europe, concert areas in Las Vegas, Florida Pulse gay bar , hallowed church in  Sutherland Springs,Texas and other โ€œsoft targetsโ€. Still, many are blessed with good health or recovery from disease or festering ailment and have escaped being riddled with bullets or bomb blasts. Some give thanks for job promotion or financial security, and others for improved relationship with their loved ones . While these are legitimate reasons to be merry, many are not so fortunately endowed and are in the midst of suffering, pain and despair. One may ask, why some are blessed and others cursed?

What did I do to deserve this ? While there are immutable laws that bring about blessing or curse, i.e., blessing follows good deeds and curse comes because of evil deeds, they are not necessarily exclusive. There are evil people, who in our eyes and yardstick, flourish and good people who are swaddling in a series of failures or setbacks. Even so called blessed and chosen nation Israel went thru slavery in Egypt and even now does not have peace and security with their neighbor-states. Abraham, Moses, etc. died in hope, without seeing the promised land. David, Job, Daniel, to name a few in the Old Testament account, suffered. Even the apostles were in constant danger for their lives, including Paul, considered chief of them all. But, most of all, the man-Jesus, the very begotten Son Of God, the most blessed of all men, experienced the worst curse of all, dying a horrible and painful death by crucifixion. Brethren, the wisdom, power and control of God are transparent in these events occurring in man. Consider the following verses that should give us proper perspective of who our God is:

โ€œDoes not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel to honor and another for dishonor?โ€œ[1]

โ€œโ€ฆWisdom of this world is foolishness with God.โ€œ[2]

โ€œFor my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways.โ€[3]

โ€œI form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity(evil): I the Lord do (or allowed) all these .โ€œ[4]

โ€œBehold, I have created the spoiler to destroyโ€œ[5]

โ€œIf there is calamity in the city, will not the Lord have done (or allowed) it?โ€[6]

He prepared โ€œ..vessels of wrath/mercyโ€ฆโ€[7]

These preceding verses undoubtedly focus on Godโ€™s ultimate authority and sovereignty to do or not do whatever/whenever he wants, to any of his creation. He is incomparable, unique and the only one[8]. So unsearcheable are his ways! It is therefore apropos for all of us to heed the advise, โ€œthe fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdomโ€ฆโ€[9]. The time for โ€œjudgmentโ€ of evil will come in due time.

A Bright and Awesome Future
Notwithstanding whatever fate has for us in this present world, it pales in comparison with what God has in store for us ultimately. The blessing we now have is muted by the enormity of our future. The โ€œcurseโ€ that we now suffer will be forgotten knowing fully well the supreme gift destined for us to have. For how many among us would consider it a blessing being in an exalted position as CEO/President of a company or institution? How about being in the White House staff, or being President yourself ? Or, for that matter, being a member of your favorite exclusive club,e.g., Honors Club, Debate Club,Golf Club,Chess club, or Country Club ? Take your pick, and all of us have this need and want /expectation to be in an elevated and better position. Yet, what if you know that God has, in fact, planned for us to be in a position far greater than anyone can imagine, better/higher than angels (Psalms 8:4-8; Hebrews 2:6-10-18) and โ€œoneโ€ with the Father. Notice,

โ€œGodโ€ฆis able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of..infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts or hopes.โ€œ[10]
In the article โ€œDestiny of Manโ€(11)  and Deification of Manโ€(12), one can see that we are created in the God-Kind, a very exalted โ€œspeciesโ€œ. We are now in the process started by Jesus to be a part of the โ€œtempleโ€œ(body) of God, a Family of Gods, a God-Kingdom. This is a supreme and exalted position reserved for us even before we were born, nor have done any works(good-or-evil), a testament to his mercy, faith, grace and love. Indeed, the wisdom of God, the depth and breadth of his sapience are far supreme. Let us therefore rejoice for when we think we are cursed, we are in fact blessed; and thinking we are blessed, we โ€œainโ€™t seen anything yetโ€ !


HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL !


References:

[1] Rom 9:21, [2] I Cor. 3:19, [3] Isa. 55:8, [4] Isa. 45:7, [5]Isa. 54:16, [6] Amos 3:6, [7] Rom. 9:22-23, [8] Isa 40:25, [9] Prov.9:10, [10] Eph 3:20 Living Bible,Wheaton Il. Tyndale House Publishers, 1979 

[11]Destiny of man. Retrieved from: https://fact-s.net/2011/05/21/the-destiny-of-man/ 

[12]Deification of Man..Completion. Retrieved from: https://fact-s.net/2014/07/12/deification-of-man-3/


Originally posted: November, 2003

Revised and posted November, 2017

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Holy Spirit as a Person, why it is Not…the bottom line?

Historically, and for generations ago, the Holy Spirit has been taught to be the “3rd person in the Godhead“. The teaching of the three Cappadocian theologians โ€œmade it possible for the Council of Constantinople (381) to affirm the divinity of the Holy Spirit, which up to that point had nowhere been clearly stated, not even in Scriptureโ€( The  HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, โ€œGod,โ€ p. 568).See also:

The trinity doctrine is the belief that God is three persons coexisting in one being or substance, as the doctrine is often defined, is held by millions of Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox believers alike. 

Yet, UCG teaches that the Holy Spirit is “power” and not a distinct person. “To say the least, these depictions are difficult to understand if the Holy Spirit is a person

Bottom Line:

While the Holy Spirit is “energy/power” that emanates from the Father, what it does is more poignant. Indeed it is a “life-giving power”. It is the power that is transformative in developing a God-kingdom.

Being a “son” and member of the body of Christ is “by adoption of humans”. First human, as prophesied to be “adopted into the God Kingdom”, is Jesus. And he showed us the “way, the truth and life” to be adopted , as well.

For further reading : https://fact-s.net/2019/04/28/bible-bottom-line/

God bless๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡

Hyperlink version original post: January 25, 2020

After death, do we go to heaven?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2 Corinthians 5:8 โ€œWe are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lordโ€.

Philippians 1:23 โ€œI desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by farโ€.

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

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

Old Testament:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New Testament

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are we going to heaven?

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

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

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

First resurrection vs 2nd.

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your critique is welcome.

God bless ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡

Original post: October 14, 2019 Hyperlink version.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Starts with the Mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Man Created with Weakness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary

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

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

God bless ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡

Original post of Hyperlink version: August 8, 2019

Updated Sept 2, 2019

Why was the offering of Abel respected and that of Cain was not ?

It boggles the mind why this happened. Both of them gave their very best, yet one wasrespected” and the other, not, why? Here is the narrative:

Genesis 4:3-5And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the Lord. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering:But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell”

It appears that the tradition of offering to the Lord was already established at that time. And they gave what they deemed to be the best. However, the text says that one was respected and the other was not. First off, what does “respected” in the original Hebrew mean? The root word comes from sha`ah also meaning bewildered or dismayed. From the context, the offering of Cain was not “respected” while that of Abel was. But, why? What could be the reason?

Possible Reasons

Many have written possible reasons/explanations of this narrative. It is a fact that God commanded the children of Israel at the time of their harvests to present the first fruits of their wheat, barley, olives, and the like to the Lord, and said in Numbers 18:12-13, that the best of these things which the children of Israel offered to the Lord was to be given to the priests as their portion”. So it would appear that up to that point the offering itself was not the problem.” The offering itself was not the problem, really?

Another reason given was based on I John 3:12, speaks of Cain as that wicked one and his works were evil. “We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous.(NLT). Here, the text appears to suggest that Cain, being an “evil one”, for what he “had been doing” can not be respected.

Three things emerge from this narrative;

1. The character description of who and what was the person giving the offering. It says: Cain had “been doing evil things” while Abel was doing what was righteous“. The person has to be perfect.

2. The origin of the offering itself. It says: Cain offered the fruit “from the ground“, earthy, while Abel offered firstling of the flock“(firstborn). It has to come from other than ground/earth. The “flockdid not come from “the ground” and had to be “firstling.

3. Who decides on defining 1 and 2. Only God is the decision-maker about what he “respects” and “like”.

What message was God sending?

Consider the following:

God didn’t like “fruit of the ground“. He didn’t like the fruit from “the earth“,(lifeless) which is related to “hades” or death. Instead, God chose living-representation as in “firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof” coming from living progenitor. This presaged the future “Passover Lamb“, the firstborn among many brethren and the “fruit from above/heavenly”. This is the only true offering” that the Father planned for mankind for reconciliation of all humanity.

Meaning, YHVH/Jesus has to start the process of salvation with his incarnation, receive in-dwelling of Holy Spirit at River Jordan, develop “fruits of the Holy Spirit of power”, die at Calvary for reconciliation of humanity because of Adam’s sin. That, before anyone of us bears fruit of the Holy Spirit, this has to be given first to Jesus after his resurrection then through the in-dwelling in us of this “spirit-power”, Jesus will be “with and abide/abide with us by through the Holy Spirit in us”.

This in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit in us develops us to be “one” with the Father as man-Jesus became the first human to be “one” with him.

Summary

Before the beginning of time, there was already a planned offering to the Father for reconciliation of mankind; this was an unwritten covenant between the Father and Son. The narrative of Abel and Cain is futuristic. It is an expression of that plan for which the “offering of Abel was respected and Cain’s was not”. However, Abel’s offering was only a “type” and the “anti/type” was still generations later. God the Father is the decision-maker as to what, when, how, where and who that actual offering would be.

There is no better offering, a “sweet savor” to the Father but an incarnated YHVH/Creator, the man-Jesus, the one perfect person/human who would give his life for mankind to pay for the consequence (death) of the sin of one man, Adam (Romans 5:12-21). However, while his death achieved gift of reconciliation for humanity, man-Jesus’ “fruits of the spirit” gained him reward of resurrection into eternal life to then receive the gift of Holy Spirit of power as promised to be bestowed to us for “ongoing creation“.

God Bless๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡

Original post (Hyperlink version): August 15, 2019.

Retirement, What one should do?

Sooner or later, the time to retire from our gainful employment comes and one wakes up to an inescapable question: What to do?

Practically all those employed have some plan for retirement. Pension plan, IRA, attending seminars prior (and even after) retirement comprise some of it. WebMD has “10 Motivational Tips to Keep You Healthy”

“Always active-Beverage better-Choose calorie wise ” on health has been written in a book.

Practically all of these address the physical and material components of man but not the “spirit of man“. the “real you“. Preparing for “this life” is laudable and necessary. But, even more critical to our life is the “after-life”. Have we done so?

To begin with, do we know our destiny and the “Bible’s bottom-line“? With these in mind to “equip” us, we will soon realize the truth of “ongoing creation“.

Clicking the links hopefully will add to our “retirement plan”? God bless๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ˜‡๐Ÿ˜Š

Original post: July 26, 2019 Hyperlink version.