Calvinism and Arminianism …A Commentary/Personal Take


Calvinism and Arminianism …A Commentary
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The subject of this commentary is what was written in italics from this link:
http://www.calvinistcorner.com/tulip.htm
The system of Calvinism adheres to a very high view of scripture and seeks to derive its theological formulations based solely on God’s word. It focuses on God’s sovereignty, stating that God is able and willing by virtue of his omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence, to do whatever He desires with His creation. It also maintains that within the Bible are the following teachings: That God, by His sovereign grace predestines people into salvation; that Jesus died only for those predestined; that God regenerates the individual where he is then able and wants to choose God; and that it is impossible for those who are redeemed to lose their salvation.

Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples’ sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation”.


Here is my humble take (in bold parentheses) on these areas:

Calvinism
The teaching is summarized in the acronym TULIP. Is this biblical?
Total Depravity: (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin):
Sin has affected all parts of man. The heart, emotions, will, mind, and body are all affected by sin. We are completely sinful. We are not as sinful as we could be, but we are completely affected by sin.

The doctrine of Total Depravity is derived from scriptures that reveal human character: Man’s heart is evil (Mark 7:21-23) and sick Jer. 17:9). Man is a slave of sin (Rom. 6:20). He does not seek for God (Rom. 3:10-12). He cannot understand spiritual things (1 Cor. 2:14). He is at enmity with God (Eph.2:15). And, is by nature a child of wrath (Eph. 2:3). The Calvinist asks the question, “In light of the scriptures that declare man’s true nature as being utterly lost and incapable, how is it possible for anyone to choose or desire God?” The answer is, “He cannot. Therefore God must predestine.”
Calvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48);aCalvinism also maintains that because of our fallen nature we are born again not by our own will but God’s will (John 1:12-13); God grants that we believe (Phil. 1:29); faith is the work of God (John 6:28-29); God appoints people to believe (Acts 13:48); and God predestines (Eph. 1:1-11Rom. 8:299:9-23).”

Personal take:
(Mark 7:21-23 do not say “man’s heart is evil”, “see Jer. 17:9” , “slave of sin”(Rom. 6:20) and “does not seek God (Rom. 3:10-12). In fact, when man was created, he was perfect and “very good” (Gen. 1:31). One does not have to look far to see that evil can not come out of a newborn baby who has not develop enough to distinguish good and evil. As the baby develops and has the capacity to decide and act, he/she can choose good or evil, be a slave to sin or righteousness and can seek God. A prime example is Job who was “blameless and upright ..fears God and shuns evil”(Job 1:8). True, Job was in a “death row” because of the “imputed sin” of Adam, but of himself, he did not sin although he lacked the understanding of God that he was still a sinner because all are accounted with “death sentence”, as “Adam sinned , so all sinned” with the resulting death as a consequence. Likewise, David was a “man of God’s heart” and did “good works” before his adultery. Taking all these in consideration, the context suggests that no one can discern what is in the mind of man where evil comes out from. It merely explains that action taken by man originates in the mind and that no one can divine what is in his mind. Man is capable of choosing between right or wrong, good or evil, life or death. This choice was set before us, as in:

Deuteronomy 30:15-20 New International Version (NIV)

See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.

But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.

Another example of change to choose what is right was Nineveh that repented and was saved but then reverted back to sin and was destroyed (Jonah).

Nevertheless, however upright a person is, whatever good works emanating from him, those are still “filthy rags” to God (Isaiah 64:6). The “works” that God requires are those that are secondary to the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit to account as ”fruits of the Holy Spirit“(Gal.5:22-23).

Indeed, because of Adam’s sin that was counted as sin of all mankind, no one can bring humanity back and be reconciled to the Father were it not for Jesus‘ death counted as that of humanity’s. Jesus died instead of us, as far as the Father is concerned to pay for the consequence of Adam’s sin, which is “eternal or second death”.

Without the Passover sacrifice, humanity is totally hopeless. Predestination is about salvation at the time-period that God chose for a particular person to be offered the opportunity to receive the power of the Holy Spirit. Judgment does not occur unless the person has the Holy Spirit available to him at his predestined time-period. This was first offered to the disciples and received by others at Pentecost, then to others who believed who will then manifest themselves in the “first resurrection” of “overcomers“. Others will have their time for the Holy Spirit to dwell during the Millenium-rule of Jesus/Son of God on earth and after that, as in the prophecy about the “dry bones” (Ezek.37:1-14).

The last time this Holy Spirit of power will be available to humans will be at the Great WhiteThrone Judgment. Those who believed/received the Holy Spirit of power and voluntarily follow its guidance will bear “fruits of the Holy Spirit”; they are the “overcomers” who “choose good over evil”. Those who outrightly reject or do not believe Jesus and those who believed/received the Holy Spirit but did not become “overcomers“, i.e., did not bear fruits, will be thrown in the “gehenna fire at each period of the Holy Spirit’s availability.

Jesus died for ALL humanity applicable to All at their predetermined time period. Jesus death is propitiation for the consequence of sin thereby a redemption for ALL from eternal death and reconciled us to the Father. But, not all will be saved; others may not achieve eventual future salvation, depending on whether they become “one” with the Son and the Father through following the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus’ death and redemption for all do not mean salvation for all, as being predestined in the “book of life” (Rev.20:12) does not necessarily mean “once saved always saved” because anyone can be blotted out (Rev. 22:19) and has to be an “overcomer” as in Rev. 3:5). All those predetermined to have the Holy Spirit available to them at their particular/predestined time-period does not necessarily mean all of them will follow, develop, mature and be saved as they have to be “overcomers“.

In essence, if “sinful nature“, “slave of sin”, and “man’s heart is evil” mean that because of Adam’s sin by imputation, that we naturally are doomed to eternal death, then this is true. If “incapable of doing good works” refers to “works that God requires” (which are fruits of the Holy Spirit), then indeed we are “incapable“. Otherwise, the teaching is problematic.)

Unconditional Election:

God does not base His election on anything He sees in the individual. He chooses the elect according to the kind intention of His will (Eph. 1:4-8; Rom. 9:11) without any consideration of merit within the individual. Nor does God look into the future to see who would pick Him. Also, as some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15, 21).

Personal take:
(Yes, God alone chooses who he elects and decides on what time period they will be, at which time, the Holy Spirit is available to in-dwell to them. This opportunity of “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit” never happened until after Jesus’ resurrection. This is not merit-based as the best of human works are still “dung” to God. Election is about who are to be in a particular/predestined time period when the Holy Spirit will “dwell in us. Salvation comes through the gift of reconciliation achieved by the death of Jesus and the gift of the Holy Spirit that needs to be “baptized in us” (same as in man-Jesus Christ ) to bear “fruits” through sanctification process. . Whether we follow its guidance or not, determines who will be “overcomers” and worthy of the reward of “immortal life“, which translates to “salvation from eternal death“.

In essence, if “some are elected into salvation, others are not (Rom. 9:15,9:21)” means elected as to their predestined time-period of election to receive the empowerment of the Holy Spirit’s in-dwelling then it is tenable teaching.

Limited Atonement:(also known as Particular Atonement):

Jesus died only for the elect. Though Jesus’ sacrifice was sufficient for all, it was not efficacious for all. Jesus only bore the sins of the elect. Support for this position is drawn from such scriptures as Matt. 26:28 where Jesus died for ‘many’; John 10:11, 15 which say that Jesus died for the sheep (not the goats, per Matt. 25:32-33); John 17:9 where Jesus in prayer interceded for the ones given Him, not those of the entire world; Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27 which state that the Church was purchased by Christ, not all people; and Isaiah 53:12 which is a prophecy of Jesus’ crucifixion where he would bore the sins of many (not all).

Personal take
(Matt. 26:28 blood shed for many” is not necessarily exclusive. Rather, it’s context suggests his blood is not for a few, but so abundant and “for many”. While Jesus did not actually say in this verse that his blood was shed “for all”, it certainly “efficacious” for “all who believed” and those who did not believe” (because it was not their time yet).


John 10:11-15 the context is about protection of all from the wolf that may devour his sheep.


Matt. 25:32-33 differentiates people who were “sheep” and received eternal life from those who were “goats” and received eternal death. The “sheep” followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit whereas the “goats” did not. Nevertheless, Christ died for all, whether sheep or goats. The “actual salvation” is a process

John 17:9 In here, Jesus was praying ” for them”, “not the world” , his followers as their lives would be in danger after he leaves. Jesus loves all, whether believers or not. This verse does not mean that Jesus did not care for others, as they will have their chance in the future as in “ “… time and chance happen to them all” (Ecclesiastes 9:11)


Acts 20:28 and Eph. 5:25-27. True, “Christ loved the church and gave himself for it” but this does not necessarily exclude others from his love and that he died for all.

Isaiah 53:12 bear the sin of many” is not exclusive as the following suggests “made intercession for transgressors“, meaning all transgressors. )

Irresistible Grace:

When God calls his elect into salvation, they cannot resist. God offers to all people the gospel message. This is called the external call. But to the elect, God extends an internal call and it cannot be resisted. This call is by the Holy Spirit who works in the hearts and minds of the elect to bring them to repentance and regeneration whereby they willingly and freely come to God. Some of the verses used in support of this teaching are Romans 9:16 where it says that “it is not of him who wills nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy”; Philippians 2:12-13 where God is said to be the one working salvation in the individual; John 6:28-29 where faith is declared to be the work of God; Acts 13:48 where God appoints people to believe; and John 1:12-13where being born again is not by man’s will, but by God’s.

“All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out,” (John 6:37).

Personal take:
(True, only God decides who will be called at any particular/predestined time-period to receive the Holy Spirit of power and the one who initiates every facet of salvation. But, why should this awesome gift of God be forced down our throat? No one is forced to obey him, even those who have received the gift of the Holy Spirit as the believer may still “vomit and eat”(Prov. 26:11; 2 Pet. 2:20-22). Overcomers are those who voluntarily overcome evil with the guidance and power of the Holy Spirit. Being “one” with God is imposed but not forced in such a way that we have no choice. Calling into salvation does not mean we can not resist because there are people who reject the Holy Spirit( I Thes. 4:8; Mk. 3:28).

Perseverance of the Saints:(also known as Once Saved Always Saved):

You cannot lose your salvation. Because the Father has elected, the Son has redeemed, and the Holy Spirit has applied salvation, those thus saved are eternally secure. They are eternally secure in Christ. Some of the verses for this position are John 10:27-28where Jesus said His sheep will never perish; John 6:47 where salvation is described as everlasting life; Romans 8:1 where it is said we have passed out of judgment; 1 Corinthians 10:13 where God promises to never let us be tempted beyond what we can handle; and Phil. 1:6 where God is the one being faithful to perfect us until the day of Jesus’ return.

Personal take:
(Only those who “persevere“, the “overcomers“, are the sheep that will never perish, are the ones who “passed out of judgment” to be rewarded with eternal life. True, God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we can handle on hope that we would overcome as Jesus did in Gethsemane; unfortunately, some may still succumb. Indeed, God is faithful but we are not consistently so.)

Arminianism
Arminianism, on the other hand, maintains that God predestined, but not in an absolute sense. Rather, He looked into the future to see who would pick him and then He chose them. Jesus died for all peoples’ sins who have ever lived and ever will live, not just the Christians. Each person is the one who decides if he wants to be saved or not. And finally, it is possible to lose your salvation (some arminians believe you cannot lose your salvation”.


Personal take:
(Predestination is absolute as far as determining who are elected to partake in a particular time-period of “calling” and chance to have the Holy Spirit. God’s choice is not determined by “who would pick him” . Instead, he gives “sunshine to grass and weeds” (Matt. 5:45) as “time and chance happens to all”( Eccl. 9:11)


God bless.🙏😇

Original post: February 15, 2018

Hyperlink version posted 3/16/19

Other hyperlinks added for advancing the narrative: January 24, 2021

Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com.

All power given to Jesus?

After his resurrection, Jesus said in Matthew 28:18, King James Bible
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”

What does this verse mean? All power given just then? Didn’t YHVH -Elohim, Creator-God, the WORD, already have “all power” before his incarnation into “man-Christ Jesus”?

For years, it has been our belief that the God of the Old Testament (YHVH Elohim/Creator-God/the Word) is ALMIGHTY (El Shaddai) and has “all the power” in heaven, on earth and everywhere, i.e., Omnipotent. Yet, is this belief an assumption and has limit? Did he really have “all powerexcept one, and which one? Or, did he have “all power” authorized except for one, as planned?

Re-evaluation Analysis:

It has been a cautionary advice in I Peter 3:15, “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

With that said, let us then analyze our belief to be entirely sure it is right. At the outset, let us consider the derivation of the “operative word” translated from Greek.

The English word “power” comes from Greek word ἐξουσία/exousía (1832) Noun ex-oo-see’-ah. It means ability, privilege, i.e. (subjectively) force, capacity, competency, freedom, or (objectively) mastery (concretely, magistrate, superhuman, potentate, token of control), delegated influence:–authority, jurisdiction, liberty, power, right, strength.

The English word “power” was used in King James 2000 Bible, American King James Version, Douay-Rheims Bible,Douay-Rheims Bible, Darby Bible Translation,Webster’s Bible Translation,Weymouth New Testament. It was also translated in English as power/authority in various Bibles . The context of the Greek word ἐξουσία/exousía is basically similar, i.e., power and authority as indicated in Matthew 28:18.

Still, it begs the question, “while his power/authority as God in Genesis is “Almighty and Omnipotent”, was it all-encompassing but limited to another unique power he did not have at that time”? Was there power/authority that he did not have? If not, and if he actually have all the power, why the need to express the context of Matthew 28:18? Or, he had “all power” authorized to use, except one which has a timetable for it?

Timetable

There is timing involved in names expressed relative to their function. Notice, that in the Old Testament as Creator-God, he was called YHVH-Elohim, El-Shaddai (God Almighty) , I AM, and others There are different names of God that’s descriptive of his function not only in the Old Testament (Tanach) but also in the New Testament

Incarnation changed YHVH’s spirit-composed body into flesh-composed thereby gave up his spirit-power, as well, until in-dwelling of Holy Spirit after coming out of water baptism at River Jordan. On the night of Nisan 13, his last supper with his disciples, (John 13-17) and before man-Jesus was crucified on Nisan 14, he prayed to the Father, as in:

John 17:5And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory (δοξάζω doxázō) I had with you before the world began.”(NIV)

Notice that, what Jesus expressed in Matthew 28:18 was AFTER his resurrection. This was when he became or was declared and adopted as “Firstborn Son of Godby resurrection from the dead as in Romans 1:4. He was the promised and prophesied Passover Lamb then, and became so, actually at death by crucifixion.

Subsequently, after returning to heaven, the Father gave back all his original powers, and this time, plus the authority to use his creative power for an “ongoing creation”.

Summary

YHVH-Elohim(the Creator-God), El-Shaddai (the God-Almighty), the I AM (the Omnipresent-God) had “all powers” before the world even began and the authority to use them, except one, the “creative power” which had to be authorized in the process of “ongoing creation”. This has been their unwritten/ultimate covenantto each other.

This creative-power is for an “ongoing creation” that was given back, this time authorized to be used at the “time appointed”. Man-Christ Jesus has to die, be resurrected and go to heaven to receive directly from the Father this “unique creative power” who then authorized it to be used. Then and only then could the Firstborn Son of God create otheradopted sons and daughters of God”, all one with the Father.

The understanding of DNA ‘s coded message may help this generation to appreciate the miraculous mechanism of this process.

God bless🙏😇

Original hyperlink version post: January 1, 2021. HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL🎉🎊😷🎈☀️

Critique is welcome at foundationacts.@yahoo.com

Are “tools” needed to build anything?

Can you imagine a world without simple screws or screwdriver? Before mechanized and automatic power tools, it took a lot of effort to do manual work. Farming, watering, transportation, communication, etc. were an arduous task bordering on Herculean. But, with power coming from these material tools to do work, they enhance our abilities to create, perform and achieve our goals with superb efficiency, proficiency and profitability.

An example of tool is the recent gift of “handheld ultrasound devices” given to incoming medical students at University of California, Irvine Medical School by Dean Michael J. Stamos, that will surely help them with their diagnostic skills.

Spiritual power tool

While we can still do any work manually without material tools, they certainly are a booster for all of us, especially with power tools. Similarly, in a spiritual sense, a power tool is a must as our own work towards righteousness “are as filthy rags as in Isaiah 64:6.

The first human to receive for himself this power tool was “man-Jesus” at River Jordan. Without it, he could not have overcome Satan in the wilderness nor done any of the miraculous acts like turning water into wine at Cana., heal the sick, cast demons, walk on water, brought back Lazarus from the dead, etc. Notice that all these powerful acts were done only after Jesus had full-bodied in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit of power witnessed by John the Baptist. And for us to have it, Jesus had to die, resurrect and go up to heaven to receive this empowering Holy Spirit directly from the Father, as a gift. Jesus has emphasized how crucial this power tool is for humanity. In John 16:7 , Jesus said “But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.”

And, for him to die, YHVH-Elohim, Lord God in Genesis, the Creator of all “visible and invisible” had to incarnate into “man-Jesus. Thank God for his plan, from the beginning of time, to gift this “spiritual tool” to humans through Jesus Christ.

No wonder, he is our Savior, the Captain of our faith, the trailblazer for us to attain “oneness” with the Father and to change “in a twinkling of an eye” to immortality.

Summary

Manual work can be done using our bare hands, albeit with difficulty, hardship and limited by our individual physique. On the other hand, having tools, especially powered tools, can be more efficient, productive and liberating.

Spiritually speaking, all humans were created flesh-composed, with limits and inadequacy. And this was so, for good reasons. The book of Job and the Gethsemane message of our human deficiency, provided the need for forgiveness, reconciliation, understanding of being “equipped as essential to the process of salvation”. Having understood this process will get us on our way to “ongoing creation”.

A spiritual empowering tool (the Holy Spirit) is our quaesitum given by the Father as a gift to man-Jesus who, as Son of God, will then will give it to us to become “spiritual brothers and sisters”.

God bless🙏👍😇

Original hyperlink version posted December 15, 2020

Please tap on hyperlinks for references.

Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com

Dedicated to all “workers” especially on Labor Day

Sin of Job, Deconstructed ?

The origin of the Book of Job is controversial, that Job is not a real person and that the whole book is just an allegory; also, that Job was the contemporary of Jacob or Abraham. No one can resolve this.

Be that as it may, what is the message that comes from the Book of Job?

The prevailing teaching is that Job was self-righteous and pride was his sin. This is shared by others, as well. Really?

Did Job actually sin? As defined, “sin is a transgression of the law”and the consequence is “eternal death” which is irreversible or second death. Humans , created “flesh-composed”, are finite and subject to “natural/reversible deathnot due to sin, a principle that emanates from John 9:3.

It is true that there were sins as later defined by the Law even before the Law was given. But, as the time of Job was around Abraham’s time and therefore before the Law was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai, there was no consequence of eternal death to him. Remember, “sin is not accounted when there is no law” and therefore irrelevant as there was no consequence. Both sin of omission and sin of commission require knowledge of what Law is being broken. Hence, the aphorism “ignorance of the law is not an excuse”, also does not apply. With these prolegomena, let us now focus on the book of Job and the challenges he faced.

Context of Job’s challenges

1. Satan’s challenge: As in Job 1:1, he was described as “that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.He was blessed with a wife, 7 children and great possessions that qualified to be called “…the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (Job 1:3). Satan’s dare to God from the rest of Job 1 was that Job worshipped God only because of his blessings and the challenge was without his children and possessions, Job will curse God. Then God allowed these to happen to him but still, as in Job 1:20-22, Job did not sin nor blame but instead worshipped God. Same result when God allowed Satan to cause physical sufferings on Job (Job 2:1-10) but spare his life, showing God-in-control, the sovereignty of God.

2. Friends’ challenges: From Job 2:11-13, Job 4:7-9, the interpretation of Job’s friend Eliphaz was that his sufferings were the result of his sins; that “bad/evil things” happened to Job because of his sin against God. Job vehemently denied that he sinned; he could not accept his friends “cause-and-effect” explanation for his sufferings. And, that he still could not understand why he had to suffer. God agreed with him that his sufferings were not because he sinned, as in “Through all this Job did not sin nor did he blame God. (Job 1:22).

Other issues discussed with his 2 other friends, Bildad and Zophar, were in a nutshell about the same and blaming Job. See Job Chapters 11,15, 18,20, 22, 25,

3. Elihu’s challenge: youngest among four of them. In Job 32:2 Elihu’s wrath was kindled against Job because he justified himself rather than God; also against Job’s 3 friends because “they found no answer, yet they condemned Job”(Job 3:3)

4. Lord’s challenge: Job 38 shows the supreme and complete sovereignty of the Almighty God putting Job in his place. He is the Creator God who plans and decides on everything he created including their limits and boundaries.

Job’s understanding and venting:

Job 9:4-12, Job understood God’s sovereignty but only to the extent that he is nothing compared to God who he acknowledged “destroys both the blameless and the wicked” Job 9:22. Also in Job 9:13-21, Job was humble enough and did not have pride by disavowing knowledge he was perfect/blameless even when he knew he did “not depart from the commands of his lips” as in Job 23:12, although he maintained the claim of his own righteousness “to his own eyes” as in Job 32:1. In Job 19:26, he also knew he would be resurrected in his flesh. For the depth and breadth of his understanding of God, see also Job Chapters 12-14, 16-17, 19, 21, 24, 26-31. Nevertheless, while asking for answers to his sufferings, Job’s knowledge was incomplete and in a way, questioning to the point of contending, instructing, correcting, striving, fault finding or rebuking God

Job saw, not just heard, the truth

God did not directly answer Job’s question of “Why?”—He instead overwhelmed Job and his friends with the truth of His supreme majesty and overwhelming sovereignty. Job came away with a deeper sense of God’s power and splendor, trusting Him more:“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding (Job 38:4).

After God’s dissertation to educate, Job then saw the light, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes.”
(Job 42:5–6)

Not Sin but Lack of Understanding

Job did not sin as confirmed by God but his understanding was wrong in that he thought and said in Job 27:6 “I will cling to my (own) righteousness and never let go. As long as I live, my conscience will not accuse me”(BSB). He did not know then, what was revealed through Isaiah 64:6 “Each of us has become like something unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all wither like a leaf, and our iniquities carry us away like the wind.”(BSB). Moreover, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.(Isaiah 55:8). Also, he justified himself according to Elihu, instead of the need for God to justify all humans (Job 32:2).

Imputed vs accounted sin in relation to Job and unique man-Christ Jesus

As explained through Paul, he wrote in Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Meaning literally or functionally by imputation and accounting.

Job’s sin was “imputed sin” of Adam, not actual as he was “perfect/upright/blameless”. But this “imputed sin” was not charged nor accounted until and only after the Law was given to Moses. Similar to Job, being “perfect/upright/blameless, this “man-Christ Jesus” (being human) also had imputed and accounted sin that deserved “eternal death”. The difference between Job and man-Christ Jesus was that the latter’s death (not the former’s and the only one man’s death) was taken or counted by God-the-Father as “eternal death of all mankind” from which Jesus was resurrected, as promised, by God-the-Father, to receive the empowering Holy Spirit for our “ongoing creation”

Teaching principles that emerged from the book of Job are the following facts:

1. Man was created by a perfect Almighty God and can be blameless and upright, fears God and shuns evil”, like Job and man-Christ Jesus were. Man, by nature, did not have to sin, but chose to sin nevertheless. Job in the Bible, professed and believed his “blamelessness” and thought that he didn’t deserve to suffer with loss of wealth and deaths in his family but God educated him otherwise. In the eyes of many, Job was described as “perfect and upright” in his ways, although still needed a Savior, unlike man-Christ Jesus who is the Savior himself.

2. Adam’s sin is imputed to all and therefore the need for a Savior from “eternal death”. All our sin is “imputed/accounted sin” of Adam’s and not our own individual sins, although we have actually and awfully sinned, unlike Job. Remember, “sin is not imputed when there is no Law”.

3. Although perfectly created from the beginning, man is “still weak”,(message in Gethsemane) in the sense of being “incomplete” for lack of the empowering Holy Spirit. Man is still temporal, a “clay marred by sin” and needs “change” or “re-made” from mortal to immortal through a “process of salvationt”.

4. Blinded until God “opens eyes spiritually”. All of us were “blinded” in a way because of “hope” in man-Christ Jesus who was the incarnated YHVH-Elohim Creator/ the Word.

5. Principles: Sovereignty of God. Trust God. Prelude to “perfect Jesus” who suffered and did not need a Savior because he himself is the Savior by taking on the consequence of “one man’s sin”, his/mankind’s death. Also, the predicate that righteousness that God requires is NOT our own righteousness which is “as filthy rags but righteousness that emanates from the Holy Spirit “as fruits”.

Summary

Job is “perfect, blameless, upright” as acknowledged by God (Job 1:1). He followed whatever God’s commandments were at that time. Not only he “did not sin on his own,but also he did not commit any “accounted sin” as defined after the Decalogue was given to Moses at Mt. Sinai. His sin was “imputed sin of Adam” and “accounted sin” only after The Law was given to Moses.

However, Job’s deficiency was lack of knowledge, i.e. that he could not justify himself, he carried “imputed and accounted sin” from Adam in Genesis that meant eternal death and therefore needs a Savior still.

Moreover, his experience is a reflection of what was to happen to another man-Jesus who was “sinless, perfect, blameless and upright” Both Job and man-Jesus suffered physically and died naturally, viz., Job from boils all over his body, recovered and died subsequently and Christ suffered physically from crucifixion and died, being mortals. The difference between the two is that Job died a “reversible/first death” being mortal from which he will be resurrected and later saved from “eternal death”, albeit had “imputed sin from Adam” and “accounted sin” which meant “eternal death”. Whereas, Christ took on all “imputed and accounted sins of mankind” worthy of “eternal/second death” which was irreversible, were it not for the promise of grace from the Father that he would be resurrected as “first of the firstfruits”. This all means that salvation from “eternal/irreversible/second death” is by grace as in Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”

God bless 🙏👍😇

Original/hyperlink version posted 12/15/2020

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Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com

Can Mary, the Mother of Christ, pray/petition or mediate for us?

Being the “surrogate mother” of “man-Jesus”, Mary has an exalted and uniquely chosen position for this purpose that everyone has to acknowledge. Catholic official position is that Mary is “not worshipped” and only the risen Christ is the “Intercessor as in I Timothy 2:5For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” Moreover, Catholicism recognizes that “necromancy”is abominable, as in Deut. 18:10–12 and so was what Saul did through the witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28.

But, praying/petitioning to others who died like apostles, saints or even Mary, is explained away and justified. The crux of this teaching can only be explained if the “dead” are “alivein heaven. Are they alive, really? What happens when we die? We know that the “breath-of-life” goes back to God at death; yet, without a body, can it act? The quaesitum maybe found in my previous post “Death, what is?”.

Risen Christ Jesus

Only a risen person who was resurrected to life with an immortal body can intercede and respond to our prayers, supplications and petitions. Here are verses to ponder:

Romans 8:34Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” (NKJV)

Hebrews 7:25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”(NIV)

Read also other verses proving Jesus Christ as the only living person that has the capacity to hear our prayers and petitions to act and intercede for us.

Summary

Indeed, Mary is the mother of man-Christ Jesus through a process of surrogacy. She has an exalted, unique and reverent role in the plan of God for our salvation. She has to be acknowledged and respected as such, without question nor reservation.

That said, she is still dead like David and Jacob; her bones still with us and no one has been resurrected to life except Jesus, the “first born” among the dead, the “Son of God”, the pioneer and trailblazer of our salvation achieved for us through an “ongoing creation”.

While her “breath-of-life” went back to the Creator God, she has not been resurrected to life with an immortal body that can be used to act. Mary is not perfect literally and has “imputed sin from Adam”.

Nevertheless, our goal is to seek the truth and not to alienate anyone who has different beliefs. Hopefully, God will open our “eyes to see and not just have ears to hear”.

Dedicated to all those who believe that Mary can hear and act on our prayers.

Original hyperlink version posted:December 22, 2020. Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in 800 years.

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Critique welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com

Are you a Catholic or Protestant?

This question is not unique to Christianity. Other religions have their own divisions. Muslims have Shia or Sunni. Judaism has Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and in 1973 Jews for Jesus.

For whatever reason, believers in Christ preferred and are proud to be called Catholics or Protestants, instead of just Christians. But, why do they have to? It is true that the common bond between them is that Christ is the Savior, the “way, the truth and the life”, although in many ways they differ. And, be that as it may, how will this differentiation advance or negatively impact Christianity? Before tackling this subject, a lesson in history may give some perspective and context.

History of Christianity

It goes without saying that before the advent of “man-Christ Jesus” on earth, there were no Christians. At the time of Moses, the Hebrew congregants or assembly that gathered for YHVH-Elohim/Lord-God were called “church in the wilderness”. After the incarnation of YHVH-ELOHIM into “man-Christ Jesus”, believers in Christ were not called Catholics or Protestants. The early ones in the New Testament were called “Greek hagios, or saints but in this particular context, simply means “consecrated to God. The first mention of those who were followers/disciples of Christ, “probably AD 30”, can be found in Acts 11:26 “…The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch”.

And the “group or congregation of believers in Christ were called “church of Christ”, “body of Christ” or “church of God”. The congregants were further identified as to the place where they were, as in church of God at/of Corinth, Thessalonians, or even at prophetic seven churches in Asia, etc.

As it expands to different parts of the known world, the descriptive word “Catholic” came about from Greek “katholikos” sometime about 110 AD. to mean “whole, in general, universal” and first used by St Ignatius of Antioch. “The term (Catholic) has been incorporated into the name of the largest Christian communion, the Catholic Church (also called the Roman Catholic Church). All of the three main branches of Christianity in the East (Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church and Church of the East) had always identified themselves as Catholic in accordance with Apostolic traditions and the Nicene Creed. Also, Anglicans, Lutherans, and some Methodists believe that their churches are “Catholic” in the sense that they too are in continuity with the original universal church founded by the Apostles.”

As there was schism in the church. so were there earlier breaks and attempts to reform the Catholic Church—notably by Peter Waldo, John Wycliffe and Jan Hus—but only Luther succeeded in sparking a wider, lasting and modern movement.” The grievances against the Catholic Church led to the formation of Protestantism and others. Hence, Catholics or Protestants became a simple description of believers/followers of Christ.

Unintended Consequences

Without imputing negative motivation, what effect does this differentiation of believers in Christ have. For one, it capitalizes on division and rift among Christians instead of unity and bonding. Moreover, it emphasizes differences instead of common ground. Commonality is marginalized and exclusivity becomes the attraction. “Holier-than-thou attitude” and pride supersede humility, kindness and gentleness. A shame/blame culture develops. Worse, it takes away and distracts from the very essence of Christ’s gospel, it’s message of the “kingdom of God”.

Bottom line, the description as Catholic or Protestant for Christians may prevent unity in the common struggle for preaching the world the “great commission”. Worse, it fosters the saying, “…a house divided against itself, will not stand”.

Summary

Religions have sub-divisions. Christianity is no different; it has Catholic vs Protestant. From Jesus’ time on earth and the apostolic era, it was not so. History confirms believers in Christ were called “Christians”, probably in 30 AD. As to how it evolved, is undisputed and may have unintended consequences. Keeping the original description as “Christians”, is unifying, uplifting and focused as “one entity” towards fulfilling the “great commission”.

This is no place for pontification nor virtue signaling, however we call ourselves. As Paul wrote in Romans 3:23all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

And, because of sin of Adam in Genesis that was imputed to all mankind, all of us deserved the consequence of that sin, which is “eternal death”.

But, Jesus took on that death, to be imputed to us all, by being the Passover for all, by the grace/gift and love of God so that he became the Savior, the captain and trailblazer of our salvation through a process of an “ongoing creation”,

Finally, when asked what is your religion, we can just say boldly and with conviction, “I am a Christian”.

God bless 🙏😇👍

Original hyperlink version posted Dec 5, 2020

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Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com

Day of Advent

There are many advents, past, present and future. But there is this one popular advent that many look back to, every time; the coming birth of Jesus Christ.

Advent, November 29, 2020.

“In Western Christianity, Advent begins on the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas Day, or the Sunday which falls closest to November 30 (the feast of St. Andrew the Apostle in the Catholic tradition). Consequently, in Western Churches, the First Sunday of Advent can fall as early as November 27 or as late as December 3 in our Calendar. The factual event is narrated by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John in the New Testament. As factual and crucial that event’s history is for humanity, are there other advents that are ignored?

“Advents” in the Old Testament.

The Creator God/ YHVH-Elohim, the Creator of all “invisible and visible”, the one who subsequently incarnated to “man-Christ Jesus” had many “appearances/advents”.

Abraham gave tithe to Melchizedek who blessed him and Paul identified him as Christ. Lord God/YHVH-Elohim also appeared to Abraham before Sodom & Gomorrah. There were other appearances in Exodus as well as in other books of the Pentateuch.

Jesus’ Post-Resurrection advent

John prophesied that Jesus: “….He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit…”. And he can baptize with the Holy Spirit ONLY AFTER the Father gave this power to him post-death/post-resurrection when he went to the Father in heaven. Jesus will guide us to the truth via this “holy spirit of power”. And, as an advent, he is currently coming into us through the mechanism and process of “in-dwelling” of the Holy Spirit which is “baptism” in itself.

Right now and starting from the disciples, then Pentecost, Jesus is re-creating the “marred clay” and this is an “ongoing creation”.

Thereafter, at the Millenium/thousand years, he is again coming to earth (another advent) with the firstfruits to gather the latterfruits. Towards the end of times, those who did not change using the “power of the Holy Spirit” given to them as a gift, will be thrown in the “Gehenna fire”, in the same way for those who fought against Jesus on his return to start the Millennium.

Summary

The preceding exegesis provided the many advents of Jesus Christ as YHVH-Elohim/Creator God in the Old Testament, as man-Jesus, Son of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords in the New Testament.

What advent to we need to celebrate and memorialize ? All his advents have purpose and meaning for humanity that we have to be mindful of. Nevertheless, we have to know where we are in the context of time in regard to “advents”.

But where are we now in the context of time? We are currently in the “sanctification phase” of our re-creation from “marred clay”. And this process is through the “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit” baptizing us into the “body/church of Jesus Christ.”

This current advent of Jesus Christ in us is like having a “Holy Eucharist”, taking in the “bread and wine”, daily for our sanctification.

God Bless and Happy Advent Day🙏😇👍

Original Post, Hyperlink version on December 2, 2020

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Is the parable of talent referring to good works needed to get to heaven?

Is the parable of talent referring to good works needed to get to heaven?

Posted by fact-s.net

What do “talents” refer to? The English word “talent” is a translation from the Greek word “talanton” (5007/5342). This means “a balance (as supporting weights), i.e. (by implication) a certain weight (and thence a coin or rather sum of money) or “talent”:–talent.”


  1. the scale of a balance, a balance, a pair of scales
  2. that which is weighed, a talent
    1. a weight varying in different places and times
    2. a sum of money weighing a talent and varying in different states and according to the changes in the laws regulating currency
      1. the Attic talent was equal to 60 Attic minae or 6000 drachmae
      2. a talent of silver in Israel weighed about 100 pounds (45 kg)
      3. a talent of gold in Israel weighed about 200 pounds (91 kg)

Matthew 25:15 Greek five talents … two talents … one talent; also throughout this parable; a talent was worth about 20 years of a day laborer’s wage.

Compare NIV and NKJV about the narrative.

In short, a “talent” is the value of “currency or worth” of labor or gift given to a person. In spiritual essence, it is the “energy/power” given to a person by God through “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit “.

Regarding Matt. 25:14-30,, the servants were given “talents or bag of gold” to use as they please to gain something from it. One didn’t use it to gain and the value stayed the same. The message was to use it for good and not to be dormant. Therefore, this narrative refers to “good works” emanating from the “energy/power” of the Holy Spirit “. Therefore the short answer is, Yes they are required for salvation, that gets to heavenly kingdom of God

But, these good works must not emanate from us, flesh-composed body. They should not be “our” works per se, like Job ( a perfect and upright man who finally acknowledged his blindness) or atheists doing good. But works or “fruits” must come from the empowerment of the Holy Spirit that we merely expressed through and shown by “our works”.

As such, no one will boast (Eph. 2:9). By faith of Jesus, it took his death and resurrection for us to receive (Jn. 14:16) the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is a great gift, by the grace of God, to have and we must show “fruits of the Spirit”(Gal. 5:22-23).

Any good work that anyone can do by himself is as “filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and not consistent or reliably sustainable as our “flesh is weak(Matthew 26:41).


Eph. 2:10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Notice the example of Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane:
He withdrew about a stone’s throw and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will but yours be done’” (Luke 22:41-42). Matthew records Jesus as making his request of the Father twice: “Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken away from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will’” (Matthew 26:39) and “He went away a second time and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done’” (Matt. 26:42). Mark records his prayer in a positive way, “‘Abba, Father,’ he said, ‘everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will” (Mark 14:36).

While not “his will”, he expressed the “will of the Father” through his works empowered by the Holy Spirit. Similarly, we are the “vessel” through which the “fruits of the Holy Spirit” will be manifested. The “fruits/works” are of the Holy Spirit, even if we did those “works” ourselves.

Beware, we might be cut off as in:
Matt. 7:19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

Dan. 4:14He called in a loud voice: ‘Cut down the tree and trim off its branches; strip off its leaves and scatter its fruit. Let the animals flee from under it and the birds from its branches

See also Matt. 3:10; Lu. 3:9, 13:7; John 15:2, John 15:6;

We need to be overcomers, as in Rev. 3:5He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life.

Summary

Yes, the “talents”(metaphor for in-dwelling of Holy Spirit) have to be used and give rise to good works/action guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Without these “fruits of the Holy Spirit”, the Holy Spirit will be taken away from us. Without being “overcomers” we will be “cutoff” and will not reach the heavenly kingdom on earth.

God bless🙏😇👍

Hyperlink version revised and posted: November 17, 2020. Note: Original post on 10/20/2015

Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com

Induced Abortion and After-Birth Infanticide

The previous post on “when does human life begin”, focused on how biblically it is defined by God. Life is conferred only when the “spirit-of-man” aka. “breath-of-life” was given after delivery from the womb. Any intra-uterine fetal activity is a function of intrinsic ability of cells/tissues to express themselves as programmed into them, like automaticity, rhythm, reflexes,etc. which are expressions of kinetic from potential energies. No activity from machine or robot that moves as programmed, can be considered as “living”. Any major genetic disorder not compatible with growth and development to maturity in-utero, will have spontaneous abortion. The “mature delivered baby” is alive as evidenced only with spontaneous breathing. Assisted breathing given to babies that are born is effective only when it leads to spontaneous breathing; otherwise, when the baby does not breathe despite artificial means, cyanosis supervenes that leads to stillbirth.

With that said, does this knowledge of “when does human life begin” justify induced abortion or after-birth infanticide? For the answer, this biblical research may help as a follow-up on this subject.

Definition of induced Abortion and after-birth Infanticide

These are very sensitive topics of discussion especially at this time of passionate pro-life and pro-choice advocates. Violence occurs as a result of differences in how people understand “when human life begins”. Pro-choice advocates maintain that the “fetus is still part of her body, the mother owns the fetus and therefore can rightfully decide” what to do with… and the argument continues. Is this thinking a justification for killing the fetus?

To begin with, abortion is intrauterine termination of pregnancy; it can be spontaneous or induced. It is induced abortion that is anathema to pro-lifers On the other hand, after-birth infanticide is termination of a newborn baby’s life when parent/s decided for that to happen.

Back from the future

Abortion is not a recent phenomenon; it happened in ancient times way before the present generation. Taking pregnancy through maturity is not an easy task. And, even more taxing to an elderly woman like Sarah who was already menopausal when she became pregnant with Isaac as in Genesis 18:9-15. What would have happened if Sarah aborted Isaac? This is an unthinkably dark scenario as Jacob and others would not have been born.

This then takes us to Mary, mother of Jesus. Remember, Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, who, in her old age, was 6-month pregnant with John the Baptist as narrated in Luke 1. In Luke 1:41-45 , it stated that 6-month John leaped in Elizabeth’s womb as soon as she heard Mary’s greeting. Through Elizabeth’s ear, signals were sent to her own parts in the womb that the fetus “leaped for joy”.

Can you imagine if the prophet John was aborted instead of growing, developing to maturity, then delivered and breathed spontaneously? There would not have been a John who baptized Jesus with water at River Jordan!

Similarly, Bible interpretations that support abortion have to be reconsidered .

The point is this:

While the fetus in the womb are still parts/property and owned by a mother and not “alive as defined by God”, that does not give anyone a justification to commit induced and forceable abortion. Except for an emergent choice between life of mother or “fetus”(her parts”), choose the life of the mother. Besides that, there are numerous options other than killing the fetus. Even a “child born deaf and blind” has a future and for the glory of God, as in John 9:3. Jesus’ miracle to restore this physically“deaf-and-blind” child, is a prelude to spiritual enlightenment of those who are “deaf and blind” spiritually” through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

The best option is still to refrain from pre-marital sex, sexual immorality or unplanned pregnancy. Even those with late-onset genetic disease like Stephen Hawkin, deserved to live.

From the Source, may the Father God bless you with the “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit to have wisdom and guidance to make the “right-choice”.

God Bless🙏😇👍

Original hyperlink version posted on November 4, 2020 (a day after Election2020).

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Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com.

Destiny of Man

Why am I here? Did I exist because of evolution or creation? Why was I born? Is there any purpose in my life? These are questions people are asking themselves for guidance and direction in seeking self-worth, value and introspection.

Since the average lifespan vs life expectancy is about 70-72 years, (although it has changed but basically about the same for 2,000 years) is that all there is to our longevity? Is our life on earth limited to a finite duration of time? Do telomeres predict our death? After death, then what? Should one care about whether there is life after death?

Different religions, whether Buddhism, Hinduism, Muslim, Judaism, Christianity , etc., profess that there is an after-life, although they differ in details. Knowing what the future has in store for us, brings perspective to how we value our present life and helps us understand our responsibilities and obligations, as well as what attitude and behavior we all need to adopt and express.

Creation or Evolution?

Since time immemorial, philosophers, seers and thinkers come and go. Yet, no reliable answer from them to these questions is forthcoming. Granted, they are all intellectually endowed and respected by the society and era that they lived in. Nevertheless, they are all farther from the truth for reasons that are obvious. Introspection and use of their own judgments and human abilities to search for answers, only left them with more questions. Answers to these pivotal issues are not forthcoming if we anchor our existence on evolution. Logic and wisdom lead us to a Creator. Had they turned to their Maker, their eyes could have been opened to the truth. For “…my thoughts are not your thoughts…. my ways are higher than your ways..Isa:55:8-9. Also, isn’t it logical to listen to the Creator, as described in Job Chapters 38 and 39? We listen to others and believe their writings, scientific or not, yet why is it repulsive to believe in those who personally witnessed God?

Source of Education:

Learning comes either passive or active. The active mechanism to learn is via our sensory somatic experience, viz., fire burns or heat is hot, when one touches a burning wood or the light of a candle. Also active learning comes from what we see and hear from a primary source and/or personally experienced. Passive learning on the other hand is when what we see and hear are from secondary sources, e.g., being instructed/lectured that an item is in fact hot and does burn, without actual personal experience. This is a first lesson in faith/trust in God who tells us the truth, instead of relying on our own finite brains, feelings, sight or hearing. Adam/Eve chose to learn the hard and active learning way by an actual experience of eating the “forbidden fruit, instead of heeding the verbal admonition of God against it, via the passive learning process. They both paid an ultimate and heavy price of eternal death for their bad choice. Sometimes, it is wiser to learn from an instructor than experience the aftermath of a bad choice and decision. Whether one believes it or not, there is a living God who is our Creator, who totally and completely knows us and has plans for us from the very beginning. As this subject is about destiny, it is vital to go to the instruction book of our Maker, the Holy Bible, for an eye-opening reality. And, there is no better place to start than from the beginning.

Sequence and Pattern:

In the book of Genesis, it is essential to consider the pattern being set by GOD/YHVH-ELOHIM in the process of creation, viz.,

1. That first, there was darkness followed by light… non-living things were created, then living things, as after death will follow life.

Notice, that….darkness was upon the face of the deep… then there was light. He first created non-living things, e.g. the planets and stars of multiple galaxies, then the living things, e.g. plants and animals. These are facts as narrated in the Holy Scriptures. But, what is the truth behind these events? It appears that this narrative has spiritual and functional meaning. GOD is showing this pattern of death (darkness, non-living) to be followed by life everlasting, that is to say that there is hope of life (light) after death (darkness, chaos ), in the same pattern that after lies, deception, confusion, and different interpretations will come the truth…that from mortality (death) will follow immortality (life forever)…that our current physical nature is temporal and will change to spiritual which is everlasting. Isn’t this a very powerful message of hope and renewal being taught to all of us from the beginning of time? Yes, our destiny is not eternal death and oblivion but eternal life.

2. Every living creature reproduces its own kind or likeness or image…..foundation of genetics.

Notice that before there was any other living entity, GOD/YHVH and angelic beings were already there as the only living entities ( see also fact-s.net/2011/05/21/what-is-god/). As the scripture says “…In the beginning, God created…”

To establish this pattern of reproducing like-for-like, kind-for-kind, class-for-class, and same image-for-image, GOD created the plants and animals. He showed that they can only reproduce after their own kind or likeness or image. And, within this concept is “adaptation changes depending on stimuli. After the plants and animals were created, at that particular moment, there were only three living classes of creatures, viz., GOD, plants and animals. After the principle of genetics was established that plants and animals can only reproduce after their own kind or likeness or image, what did GOD say?

Let us make man/kind in our image, after our own likeness…”

The plant-kind can only give rise to a plant, as the animal-kind can only reproduce the same kind. The same is true with the GOD-kind. Yes, God the Father, through man-Jesus, is reproducing himself thru the creation of man, human beings, flesh-composed, mortals. Man was created in the image of God..in the GOD-KIND, the highest and ultimate class of living entity. Not even was man ranked among the angels as Paul emphasized . Man, although currently lower than angels, in the future will be higher than them. Starting from a “template“/temple of flesh-composed, the “spirit of man” the breath of life” was put in there to experience life. This flesh-composed body is only temporary and will die. Subsequently, those who have “fruits of the HOLY SPIRIT and are “overcomers” will be resurrected with “spirit-composed bodies”, immortals with eternal life.

So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being the last Adam, a life-giving spirit”. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven (1 Corinthians 15:45-48).

This is indeed an awesome destiny for man to be in the GOD-KIND,, or KINGDOM of GOD, not Plant-kingdom nor Animal-kingdom but GOD-FAMILY…GOD-KINGDOM. No wonder Christ prayed that man be”ONE IN HIM, as he is one in the Father, that Paul testified that we will be”like his glorious body…” that this flesh will change in a “twinkling of an eye …” in the future to become spirit, from mortal to immortality…that man will “have dominion “…”overall” … as GOD is over all. Yes, GOD is a family, with Jesus as quoted by Paul, the “…first of the firstfuits… “the firstborn among many brothers and sisters(brethren)” with Jesus as our elder brother, and his/our FATHER being all-in-all and above-all. And to think that this was all planned even before the creation of the world, before you and I were born, before anyone committed evil nor has done any good work, is a remarkable and compelling proof of GRACE and unwarranted GIFT to be in the GOD-KINGDOM and GOD-FAMILY.

In Psalms 8:3-9, this was alluded to:

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet: all flocks and herds, and the animals of the wild, the birds in the sky, and the fish in the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas. LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Notice that this was narrated as past events that never happened yet at that time suggesting an assured and definitive thing to occur although contextually still futuristic. Anybody living at that time will be hard-pressed to understand just by reading these passages. Centuries later, it took the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit to grasp its awesome meaning and significance. Truly, “the blind shall see and the deaf shall hear” as written in Isaiah 29:18.

The Meaning of Hebrews 2

As enlightened by the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, Paul explained Psalms 8 further in Hebrews 2:5-18, See also parallel version NIV/KJV for comparison of translations

“It is not to angels that he has subjected the world to come, about which we are speaking. But there is a place where someone has testified: “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, a son of man (man-Jesus)that you care for him? You made them a little lower than the angels; you crowned (past tense though futuristic) them with glory and honor and put everything under their feet.”In putting (progressive tense) everything under them, God left nothing that is not subject to them. Yet at present we do not see everything subject to them. But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God(Father), for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters. He says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the assembly I will sing your praises.” And again, “I will put my trust in him.”And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death (died as a man) he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”

From the preceding, one can see that the endpoint of this prophecy is about “the world to come” and that “it will not be subject to angels but to mankind”. And this prediction started to unfold when man-Christ Jesus came.

Jesus is the “trailblazer/captain/pioneer” from which this prophecy comes to unravel. He is the first human (a trailblazer) to become immortal. through a process of death, resurrection and receiving-then-giving to us this empowering in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit. And, the finality is still future as “creation of the kingdom of God is still ongoing, so as to bring “many sons and daughters to glory”, in the “same family, to call us “brothers and sisters “

SUMMARY:

Our destiny far-surpasses our imagination (2 Cor. 4:17-18; Eph. 3:20.) Our flesh-composed body is temporal, merely a template. It has the spirit of man ( breath-of-life) which is a “temple”, the holy-of-holies” of our body for the Holy Spirit to dwell ( Acts 1:8; Lev.16:2, Matt. 27:51) so that sanctification, by following what is right, will be learned/experienced for man to become “begotten son/ child of God”. At the resurrection, this flesh-composed body will change to“born son “, “from mortality to immortality” from carnal to spiritual as “sons/children of God”. What happened to Jesus from flesh-composed man to now spirit-composed will be our destiny. He is the precursor, the pioneer/trailblazer for all of us. He is our Elder-brother, head of the church/body and we “are one, as he is “one” with the Father. Indeed, grace and love manifested !

Praise be to God the Father who planned and to God the Son who executed this glorious work to fulfill this destiny of man.

God Bless🙏😇👍

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Original post:06/27/2003

Reposted:5/21/2011

Revised:4/24/2017

Revised:5/13/2018 Happy Mother’s Day

Hyperlink version posted 3/12/19

Revision posted November 3, 2020 ELECTION DAY. God bless all voters and candidates 🙏👍

N.B. All revisions and postings kept the original version; additions and edits were to enhance and explain better the context of the narratives.