Old and New Covenant?

Before we embark on this journey, let us be crystal clear on what a covenant is.

By definition, a covenant is a written agreement between 2 or more parties, where one proposes what is required from another to perform in return for a reward. In whatever manner that makes it official, binding and enforceable, it is generally ratified, sealed, stamped or recorded.

There were many covenants starting with Adam, Noah, Abraham etc. But these particular ones for analysis this time, were specifically called such, because they were based on time/change.

Anyone steeped in religion knows that the covenant referred to as “Old Covenant” became “old” because it has been replaced by a “New Covenant” as prophesied and planned.

The Old Covenant:

The following verse that addresses its specificity, proved this point:

Jeremiah 31:31-32Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judahnot according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord.”

Notice from the preceding verse, the following caveats about this particular and specific Old Covenant;

1. Transitory

That it will be changed, as prophesied and not the same as originally laid out. But, what that change in particular will be revealed and understood in the future.

2. Parties to the Covenant

It was a covenant with the Lord, aka.,God-Creator who was Yahweh to Moses, El Shaddai to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob but LOGOS/Word to John. The same person incarnated to “man-Christ Jesus”. It was made specifically with the nation Israel which subsequently was divided, after reign of King Solomon and succeeded by Rehoboam, into the northern house of Israel with Samaria as capital, and southern house of Judah with Jerusalem as capital.

3. When was it?

And as to the time when this occurred, it was when Israel was taken “by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt”, not before. It was after Israel was freed by God from slavery in Egypt.

4. There was a mediator

That it was through a mediator(Moses) at Mt Sinai as in Exodus 20:18-21. “Now when all the people saw the thunder and the flashes of lightning and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled, and they stood far off and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”Moses said to the people, “Do not fear, for God has come to test you, that the fear of him may be before you, that you may not sin.” The people stood far off, while Moses drew near to the thick darkness where God was.

5. The Covenant itself

The core of the agreement between God and Israel was specifically identified as the Ten Commandments written in 2 tables of stones as in Deuteronomy 9:10 The LORD gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the LORD proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.

And Israel agreed to follow, as in: Exodus 19:7-8. “…All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the Lord.”

6. Reward for following

The reward for following the Covenant was:“Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine” (Exodus 19:5-6) and take them to the “land of milk and honey”

7. Marriage covenant

God (El-Shaddai/Yahweh/LOGOS) was a “husband” to them in this covenant. It was therefore a marriage covenant that bonded God and Israel as husband and wife.

Notice there was “marriage” contract already without period of courtship, engagement, wedding ceremony as in our culture and in Hebrew culture.

8. Israel-Judah broke the agreement.

Soon after the agreement, Israel broke that covenant. And, subsequently God divorced Israel as in Jeremiah 3:8 Then I saw that for all the causes for which backsliding Israel had committed adultery, I had put her away and given her a certificate of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also.

9. What is the sign of this covenant that ratified and sealed it ?

Exodus 24:4-8: “And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord, and rose up early in the morning, and builded an altar under the hill, and twelve pillars, according to the twelve tribes of Israel. And he sent young men of the children of Israel which … sacrificed peace offerings of oxen unto the Lord. And Moses took half of the blood, and put it in basins; and half of the blood he sprinkled on the altar. And he took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, All that the Lord hath said will we do, and be obedient. And Moses took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words.”

In essence, the Old Covenant comprised the Ten Commandments written in 2 tables of stone, agreed upon by the whole Israel, ratified by the blood of oxen, enforceable and to be rewarded for Israel to be a “special treasure to Me above all people” and dwell in the “land of milk and honey”

Why was the Old replaced with a New,

The reason for replacement of the Old Covenant was because it was faulty.

Consider Hebrews 8:7 “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.”

Certainly, there was no need for the first covenant to be changed if it was faultless. But, where does this fault emanate? Was it coming from the Decalogue itself? Not really, as the following verses proved;

Psalm 19:7. “”Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

Psalm 19:7-8The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

This verse was quoted by Paul in Romans 7:12 “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”

The Law is eternal, an everlasting covenant as in Psalms 119:160All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.”(NIV)

Luke 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one tittle of the law to fail.” ( emphasized its primacy over heaven and earth).

Matthew 19:17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”

Paul also reiterated it’s everlasting enforceability in Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”.

Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”

Precisely, that the Law/Decalogue which is “just, holy and good“, “perfect and pure” cannot be at fault. Instead, it is eternal, and was established.

And fulfilling it is essential to enter into life. (as man-Jesus did) as in:

Revelations 22:14Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”

I Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

Moreover, it is an “all or none law”, as in “For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all”

Unfortunately, some well respected people interpret these verses wrongly, reach a different conclusion and say otherwise with “three absolute proofs that the covenant which disappeared was not the Ten Commandmentsjust because the reasons given were that the Decalogue has “poor promises, but not faulty and not void”. Obviously their interpretation and logic do not comport with the truth. So, what is the proper interpretation of where the fault lies?

Where does the fault lie?

If not the Decalogue itself, where is the fault?There were only 2 parties to this agreement and God can not be at fault. So, where does the fault come from? Here it is;

Hebrews 8:8“For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: “

Hebrews 8:9 “Because they continued not in my covenant … I regarded them not.”

As the preceding verses proved, the fault was on Israel, the other side to this agreement and not on God. Still, it begs a corresponding question:

Why was the human side at fault?

Truly, Israel did not follow the Decalogue and sinned. Still, why do humans violate the commandments of God whose infinite power was known to them through many of their experiences? Why do we sin? Paul explained this as taught by Jesus’ in-dwelling in him:

Yes, by nature, the spirit is “willing”!and the flesh is“weak, as created and subject to temptation(sin-prone flesh) although “fearfully and wonderfully madeas in Psalms 139:14 and the “angels shouted for joy” as in Job 38:7. Weak in the sense of still missing a component for the “living being” as in Genesis 2:7 (NIV). That missing link was the “ Holy Spirit(spirit-power of God)” that would be given as in Romans 8:4 to empower the “spirit-of-man that is willing” to “walk not after flesh but after the Spirit(Romans 8:4 KJV). Humans have “sin-prone nature” (subject to temptation) but not a “sin-nature”. Job and “man-Christ Jesus” did not succumbed to temptation on their own altho Job was still counted with the sin of Adam and needs a Savior, while man-Jesus does not as he “came from above.

Romans 8:3-4 “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful (hamartia) flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”(KJV). This is why the “flesh” will be changed “in a twinkling of an eye” but through a process of first having the spirit-of-man/breath of lifein “onenesswith the Holy Spirit of the Father.

The timing behind giving that empowering “Holy Spirit” was after Yahweh-Elohim’s incarnation to man-Christ Jesus” to be the “first of the firstfruits/wavesheaf”, to receive this power as a gift to be the “captain/trailblazer” of our faith. And, this was “based on hope for man-Christ Jesus, “flesh Christ” hopefully as a human”, but with the “in-dwelling Holy Spirit” at Jordan River, will go through with the foundational plan to die as a Passover for the sins of all humanity (to take on the consequence of sin which is eternal death towards our salvation ) as a reconciliation with the Father.

Consider Romans 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity(mataoites/frailty-depravity), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,(ESV). Note: The Father who is omniscient preferred to base this on hope even for “man-Jesus”and hope that is seen is no longer hope”. The Father’s hope on man-Jesus materialized as Jesus “delivered” by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit in him.

As promised, the Father then resurrected Jesus, (the first human to become the begottenSon of God” according to his plan) and directly gave him the “empowering Spiritfor others as well (through Christ).

This fact that there is inherent flaw at creation, “spirit (of man) is willing but the flesh is weak” was emphasized 3 times before “man-Christ Jesus” was to die for mankind. Consider Matthew 26:42-44 at 3rd time Jesus saw them sleeping he said the same words at the 2nd time.

O my Father if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done “.

Yes, man-Christ Jesus” had to voluntarily agree to die , i.e., to “drink the wine/blood” as a Passover. If Jesus did not die, he would not have been resurrected as “Son of God to receive the “Comforter/Holy Spirit” for us, as in John 16:7.

This narrative in the garden of Gethsemane was a teaching moment for all of us, too.

Jesus received as a gift the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit directly from the Father to overcome Satan and do miracles. and so shall we be “overcomers”, too.

After resurrection, Jesus then received the Holy Spirit from the Father to be given to us; as a gift first to the disciples in particular and subsequently in general to others at Pentecost. With the “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit”, we will then “bear fruits”. All our own “righteous acts are as filthy rags”; and so, our righteousness has to come through Christ via the Holy Spirit bearing fruits.

Instead of human’s effort or “human works through the flesh” as in “we will do on our own,” the “work” has to be as in “to make you perfect in every good work … working in you.” And that is through the mechanism of “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit” that empowers the “spirit-of-man and flesh” (living being) to overcome evil and follow the Law. But, how is this power made available? Because of what Jesus did on the cross: “Through the shedding of Jesus’ blood of the everlasting covenant.”

The New Covenant:

The New Covenant is basically the same as the Old Covenant except in the manner of execution to fortify the fault inherent in the previous agreement, which is the “wiling spirit-of-man and weak flesh”.

1. What comprised this New Covenant?

The core of the agreement between God and Israel did not change. It is still the Ten Commandments. But instead of prohibitive and with negative tone “thou shall not”, it is now prescriptive and positive as in “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit”, and “against such, there is no Law”. By, “walking and followingthe guidance of the in-dwelling Holy Spirit, one “bears fruits”, thereby actually following the Law given to Moses but now Law of the Spirit. Not our own righteous acts/works which are “filthy rags”, but the “works of the Holy Spirit” in us which are “sweet/pleasing aroma/savor” to the Father.

Remember, Matthew 5:18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished”(ESV).

Yes, “until all is accomplished.” And, it was “man-Christ Jesus” who fulfilled all of the Ten Commandments and “bear fruits of the Holy Spirit” in-dwelling in him from the baptism at River Jordan by the Father. Jesus is the “trailblazer, captain of our faith”for us to be led to the path and process of salvation. So, the “letter of the Law written on tables of stone” has been changed and is now the “Law of the Spirit written in our “mind and heart of flesh through the power of the Holy Spiirit for us to follow and also “bear the fruits” which are;

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

This is the “rest” that Paul was referring to, not our own works as in:

Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.”

Genesis 2:2-3 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

Exodus 20:8-10 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns.

Psalms 55:6 “ I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”

Mark 2:27 “Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.

This is the rest Jesus called us to in Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Notice that it was God who blessed and made that 7th day holy, Not you, me or anybody else. Only God can make it “holy”. Although, we have to “remember and keep it holy“. It is God who will be “working in you through “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit”. For us to keep the Sabbath “holy”, it has to be through God’s power to do the “works “, i.e., God “working in you” as in Philippians 2:13

2. To whom was the New Covenant? Still Israel but now counted as referring to “children of promise”, “not after the flesh” but after the Spirit. Gentiles with the Holy Spirit are “grafted to Israel”.

3. When was the New Covenant instituted?Similar to the Old Covenant when “Israel was taken out of slavery in Egypt”. Figuratively for New Testament believers, Egypt represents our old life of slavery to sin. Essentially, the timing was when Jesus died and resurrected to receive the Holy Spirit from the Father to take the road to freedom from “slavery of Egypt”. Remember, as Israel had to spend years to reach the promised land “flowing with milk and honey”, so shall it will take some time for us to be sanctified and become “sons and daughters of the God-kingdom”.

4. It was a Marriage Covenant.

Yahweh-Elohim/El Shaddai/Logos was married to Israel of old, but was divorced because Israel violated the agreement. After incarnation to man-Christ Jesus, he died and can now be married to another, but to “spiritual Israel”.

It was a marriage agreed upon by both parties that will bring out “children of God”. Personally, I think the wedding has happened and now producing sons and daughters of the God -Kingdom”.

5. Ratified and sealed: As the Old Covenant was ratified by blood, the New Covenant was also ratified by the blood of the Passover Lamb/man-Christ Jesus and was sealed by the Holy Spirit dwelling in us.

6. Mediator of New Covenant is superior. As the Old Covenant has a mediator Moses, we now have a mediator as in Hebrews 8:6, Jesus as mediator of the new covenant.

But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.

The better promises refer to the promise of “in-dwelling Holy Spirit” that will bring out to deliver “sons and daughters of the God-Kingdom”. The promise to Israel was not just land from River of Egypt to Euphrates River as in Genesis 15:18-21 but to “spiritual Israel” ( those with in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit) as promised to Abraham’s seed(not seeds).

7. Written agreement, how?

Just like the Old Covenant, the New covenant was also a written agreement but this time using a different method of re-writing it.

Jeremiah 31:33 “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”

This was written in the fleshy tables of our heart and mind through the Holy Spirit; unlike the Old Covenant written in “tables of stones” and with the “finger of God.” And this was written into the disciples and in Pentecost and beyond, not with the “finger of God” but by breathing it out directly into them.

8. What will the Holy-Spirit do to empower the “spirit-of-man”/“breath-of-life”?

Ezekiel 36:24-25For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Notice: process of sanctification

Jeremiah 31:34 “No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’because they will all know me,from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Notice: guidance to truth.

Matthew 5:18 “For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.” (fulfilled by man-Jesus who was appointed Son of God by resurrection) as empowered by the Holy Spirit and so will other “sons/daughters of God). Notice: with the empowering in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit and our willingness to follow its guidance, we will fulfill the Law, entirely, through the Law of the Spirit.

Romans 10:4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” ( Fulfillment of the law on your own does not cut it; it has to be “fruits of the Holy Spirit” which was attained by Christ for us who ended the law of righteousness on our own” so now our righteousness is a result or “fruits” of the gift of the empowering Holy Spirit.

9. What is the reward?

Following the guidance of the Holy Spirit to be in “oneness with the Father”, has a reward. Much like that the Old Covenant has reward to Israel as promised in Exodus 3:17 the reward for the New Covenant is more expansive and superior, in line with the promise to Abraham(Genesis 15:18-21; Genesis 17:4-6; Genesis 13:16, Genesis 15:5, Genesis 22:16-18) which actually is to his seed (not seeds, specific seed, “man-Christ Jesus”). And this can only be achieved in the context of creation of “immortal spiritual sons and daughters of the God-Kingdom” through the in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Summary

The Old Covenant is a mutual agreement by God-Creator/El-Shaddai/Yahweh-Elohim/Logos to Israel/Judah, a marriage covenant with conditions and promises that was ratified with blood. As Israel/Judah did not fulfill her part, she was given a certificate of divorce. That Covenant was faulty and changed to New Covenant as planned. The fault was in the very composition of man, viz. “flesh+breath-of-life/spirit-of-man”.

Adam and subsequent patriarchs have the same intrinsic fault in their composition so they sinned as well. The fault is in the “breath-of-life/spirit-of-man” which is willing but the “flesh is weak”. As originally created, it has a “missing link” that would fortify this flaw which will be revealed later through the “incarnated Creator-God”, man-Christ Jesus. As written: until the seed should come” (Galatians 3:19).

Israel/Judah violated the Old Covenant because the “spirit is willing but flesh is weak (needs to be empowered in the future) and was made so, subject to futility/failure predicated on “hope” for the comingman-Christ Jesus” (the incarnated Creator-God) so that we “by grace, will be saved through faith of Jesus. This “hope on him materialized, to the Father’s expectation, at Gethsemane, at which time Jesus said “not my will but yours be done for him to be crucified and die for the sin of humanity (imputed/counted on one-man sin of Adam) for reconciliation with the Father as planned . Notice that in Gethsemane, the “will of Jesus” was “let this cup pass from me”, not to experience the harrowing and excruciating death by crucifixion. But he had “faith and trust” in that the Father will fulfill his promise to him, so, “not my will but your’s be done”. This is why our “spirit-of-man/breath-of-life” has to defer to the “Holy Spirit” as in DNA helix bond.

The Law of Moses was brought in/introduced so that people would see how sinful they were. The Old Law given to Israel was “added” and a tutor to lead us to Christ, “but after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor/guardian/schoolmaster” (Galatians 3:24-25). It was taken away and nailed to His cross (Colossians 2:14).

When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, his face shone because he had been speaking with God. But, after he finished speaking, he put a veil over his face, to remain until his next visit with Jehovah (Exodus 34:29-35). The veil hid the fact that the brightness of his face was fading (2 Corinthians 3:7), suggesting that the glory of the Old Covenant is now fading away, being superceded by a New Covenant with greater glory.

Similarly, notice the epexegesis of apostle Paul:

2 Corinthians 4:3-4And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God”.

2 Corinthians 3:18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:7 But if the ministrationof death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away:”

But through Christ the veil is removed, and made believers to “open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me”.(Acts 26:18)

After resurrection, Jesus (as firstborn, Son of God) received directly from the Father, the promised “Comforter”, the power that was then given by Christ to us, first to the disciples, then in a general way at Pentecost and subsequently to us through an Ongoing Creation of the God-Kingdom. This is the quaesitum that empowers the “spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” and develops us from our nonage. This is the “gospel of Jesus Christ”, the “Ultimate Covenant” between El-Shaddai/Creator-God and the Father, before the foundation of the world.

Paul warned the Galatians to “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).

Ezekiel 36:28 “Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

God bless👍😇🙏

Post published March 2, 2021

Please tap on hyperlinks for references.

Critique is welcome after reading all for context at foundationacts@yahoo.com

Genesis creation, who, how and why?

Undoubtedly, the “creation of visible and invisible” can only come about with an “Intelligent Designer”. There had to be a “Creator” for anything to be created. Failure to recognize this logic necessarily extends to denial of a “maker” of watches, chairs, houses, etc. No wonder, Psalms 14:1 says “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”

But Who is the Creator?

Going through Genesis, it says in 1:1 In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heavens and the earth.”

The preceding verse just makes an acknowledgment of someone called God” to be the Creator of “heavens and earth”. The specific name or identity was not mentioned until Genesis 2:4 “ This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the LORD God (Yahweh-Elohim)made the earth and the heavens.”

This particular Creator-God was called “Lord God” in English that came from the original Hebrew name “YHVH-ELOHIM”. The same Creator-God was named El Shaddai/God Almighty to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in Exodus 6:3, but was known to Moses in Exodus 3:14 as I AM/YVHH . The same “proximate Creator-God”, i .e., “by, in and for him”in Colossians 1:16 was called “LOGOS/WORD” in John 1:1, the one who incarnated and identified as “man-Jesus Christ” in I Timothy 2:5.

How did God Create?

Let us ask ourselves, is there anything created without energy/power? A ball that drop from a height, came down because of “gravity power”. Any machine works because of “mechanical power”. Electricity does not come without “electrical power”. Photosynthesis Vitamin D will not form nor wind turbine function without “solar power”. Nuclear bombs detonate because of “nuclear power”. And one can go on and on.

And these are manifestations of potential energy to kinetic energy. But for God, he created with an energy/power unique to him. Notice Genesis 1:2(KJV)”…And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. See also 2 Peter 3:5 So, it was using “spirit-power” that God created. Notice also that by his mere commanded word as in Genesis creation, “God says…and it was so or came about”. This is why he is called the WORD/LOGOS.

Yet, why is it that people deny that God created the “visible and invisible” with “spirit-power”? This is the mechanism of “how he created”, through the “Holy Spirit of power”. This energy/power is unique to him while new and foreign to us.

The preceding verses precisely explained how God created; it is through his “Spirit-power”. And there are other verses where this “spirit-power” manifested as in “clouds by day and fire by night”. Miracles that happened throughout the Bible are a by-product of the Holy Spirit of power. Notice that Jesus did miracles “only afterspirit-baptism by the Father in Jordan river. His first manifestation of this “miraculous power” was to overcome Satan, the “god of this age”; then the miracle of water-to-wine in Cana wedding and on and on.

Same Creative Power, but how and why?

As YHVH-Elohim(Lord God)created the heavens and the earth with this “Spirit-Power”, in a “miraculous way”, so is he also re-creating the “marred clay” that man had become. Adam that was perfectly created, subsequently sinned and his sin at the garden of Eden was counted to all mankind and humanity became “marred clay” that needs “ongoing creation”

Notice that the creation of heavens and earth was using “Spirit-power” that was present externally. On the other hand, the re-creation and ongoing creation is internally, through the “in-dwelling of the Spirit”. There had to be “in-dwelling” because what was being re-created was the “real you, that is the “breath-of-life/spirit-of-man” that was breathed into and came directly at creation from a spirit-composed Creator. Remember the “body” came from the ground, earthy. With the “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit”, it forms a metaphor double-helix-like DNA with “spirit-in-man” from which a “new person is being created, much like how (naturally) mankind is formed.

Summary

Creation in Genesis was a type of creation of an anti-type future God-Kingdom, all “spirit-composed”. This is done “internally” through in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit, in contrast to other creations which were achieved with this “ Holy-Spirit-of-power working “externally( as in Genesis 1:2)”.

Strictly speaking the God-Creator is the Father, but this creation is “by and through” the “proximate God-Creator”, EL-Shaddai, YAHWEH-ELOHIM, LOGOS, aka., JESUS CHRIST. Notice and compare these verses;

1 Corinthians 8:6”..,yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom are all things and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.”

Colossians 1:16 “For by Him (Jesus)all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him (Jesus) and for Him(Father).”(ESV)

As the material world was created using “spirit-power” moving externally so shall the “spirit-composed beings” through internal change of the “spirit-of-man”.

After “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit”, there will be sanctification that will lead us to become “one” with the Father and Son. This eventually will engender the God-kingdom.

God bless👍🙏😇

Original hyperlink version posted on February 6, 2021.

Critique is welcome at foundation@yahoo.com

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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Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com

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