What really is the “gospel” , the good news? Relevance today?

Yes, what is it really? With so many problems humanity is facing from the past, present and future, does the “gospel” have relevance now and into the future?

Everyday, humanity faces violence, personal injuries, crime, threat to life and eventually, death. But, why do these pose as problems to us? Because of our vulnerability as humans?

Clearly, it is because we are all mortals, created “flesh-composed”, from “dust of earth, therefore “earthy”, mortal and subject to pain, suffering, disease and ultimately, death. For those who believe in creation, why did Creator-God make us so? For what purpose? Is there a long-term plan of Lord-God Creator for humanity? Is this mortal body, the destiny of humankind?

The “good news/gospel” of Jesus is that our current “matter-composed bodies” are merely a “template/temple” and will be changed from mortality to immortality as prophesied in Isaiah/Jeremiah regarding the Potter & Clay. in creating a God-kingdom.

Summary:

Yes, we are currently “flesh-composed and weak “, and do not have yet achieved the plan to have “dominion overall”. We are still “a template/temple” within which God will in-dwell as promised by/through the Comforter/Advocate,our Helper the Lord, Comforter, the Spirit, Jesus Christ in spirit, to empower and guide us towards the truth and the way to eternal life.

What does it really mean to become “like God”, “as one of Us” ?

This question emanates from an interpretation coming from Genesis 3:22And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil:” (KJV; KJ 2000;AKJ; ASV;Darby; Webster)

What did the narrative in the garden of Eden actually convey? What was the temptation that Adam and Eve risked to die for ? Was it to become “God” per se or be like that “specific God in Genesis”? What does it really mean to become “like God”, “as one of Us” ? And how did “eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil” make one to be “God”? And why was having “knowledge of good and evil” forbidden when, after their experiential sin, God gave Moses, through a mediator, “knowledge of what is good and evil” embodied in the “Decalogue” ?

To start with, one has to know what “God” is, before one understands what it is to be “like God”, whether a specific God or not. Going back to the original word gives us a rational perspective.

Using the Touch Bible (free download), touch on this English word translated as “God” to see that it comes from the O.T. Hebrew word “Elohim” and from the N.T. Greek word “Theos“. Using the Strong’s Concordance, Elohim (O.T) in general refers specifically to YHVH Elohim or Lord God (as in Gen 2:4 “These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens”), and “Theos” (N.T.) to Father God, in contrast to Lord as “Kyrios” (as in Eph 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ“).

Also, in Strong’s Concordance, the word “elohim” is a general term that may refer to the Supreme God, but also to angels, man (magistrates, judges, kings). We all know that Lucifer/Devil/Satan is “god of this world” (2 Cor. 4:4), but also other gods and goddesses (1 Sam 5:7; 1 Kgs 11:33; 18:24; 1 Kgs 11:5). Moreover, even Jesus confirmed and defined that humans are “you are gods” (John 10:34; Ps 82:6). Polytheism is a reality. For an extensive exposition of the word, see also,

To be specific as to what particular elohim is referred to, the word “YHVH Elohim“, “Lord God” was used to identify the Supreme God, the God where worship is due and to no other gods, as in Shema Doctrine (Deut 6:4). Even with polytheism being true, that there are many gods, this YHVH Elohim is above all gods (Ex.15:11;Ps135:5) and the only one commanded to be worshipped.

This particular YHVH Elohim was the Creator God as in Gen. 1:1,In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth“. But notice further delineation of the identity of this Creator in John1:1https://www.biblehub.com/john/1-1.htmIn the beginning was the Word… All things were made by him (Creator God)…” And in v-14, “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us“… In v-16 specifically identified as “Jesus Christ“.

Clearly, this YHVH Elohim in Genesis, the Creator of all, the Word according to John, had incarnated into man as Jesus Christ. It is most important to understand who Jesus was at creation. He was the “Supreme Deity” in Genesis, not the Father God.

So, in answer to the question in the narrative at the garden of Eden, Adam was not actually aspiring to be “god” per se since as a human being he was already classified by Jesus Christ as “god” (John 10:34; Ps 82:6). Instead, Adam wanted to be like that “specific God in Genesis”, the YHVH ELOHIM. Yes, to be “like him/Christ”.

Now, to become or how to be “like YHVH ELOHIM/Jesus” has been explained in the Gospels of the New Testament. And, specifically by the Spirit through the writings of Paul, that the way to “be like him” was not “by our own works” but through the process that Jesus/incarnate YHVH has gone through, on faith by grace as a gift of God and as an expression of love (John 3:16); so that “no one can boast”.

Notice, Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Jesus is the “firstborn of many brethren” and we are in the process (of being) “to be conformed to the image of (him)”.

Notice also, that to find completion for this process of “conformation” the following had to materialize:
1. A template, “temple not made by hands” (Acts 7:48), i.e., ” from above”(John 8:23) had to come as prophesied. Meaning YHVH ELOHIM has to incarnate into Jesus, so the Father God through the Spirit (John 1:32; Matt. 3:17) can dwell in this man-Jesus, as a precursor for “the elect”.

2. Man-Jesus then has to die as a substitution to reconcile us to Father God.

3. Man-Jesus then has to be “born again by resurrection …be pre-eminent (Col 1:18) as our Brother (Heb 2:11), a precursor, as we will also be born again by resurrection from the dead (I Pet. 1:3). Notice, that while we are considered “born again”, the fulfillment of this is actually after resurrection “from the dead”. For those who are alive “their physical bodies will change in a twinkling of an eye” at Jesus’ return.

4. He has to go back to his Father so the Spirit can be sent to us(John 16:7; 14:26; Luke 24:49). The Spirit will not come into us unless the resurrected Christ went to the heavens.

5. At Pentecost, the Spirit was given (Jn 14:26, 15:26; Lk 24:49; Acts 1:5). And John said (the spirit of Christ is) “coming into the flesh”(IJohn 4:3; II John 1:7, NIV,ESV,NASB,NB,Darby,Young). This Spirit is a token sign for us to be identified as “firstfruits” (I Cor. 15:20-23 ) in the same way that Abraham/Israel was identified as His by the sign of “circumcision”(Gen 17:11;. As Israel was “deemed clean by circumcision” we are with this spirit will be “clean” i.e., circumcised in our hearts (Deut 30:6; Rom. 2:29) . This is the fulfillment of the prophecy that corrects the deficiency in the Old Covenant, i.e. the weakness of them, humans. On our own, we can not do it because “the flesh” is weak; it has to be by man-Jesus/2nd Adam, not 1st Adam, (Matt 26:41-42 “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done”; also, Mk 14:38).

Paul said in Heb 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: v-9 because they continued not in my covenant. V-10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” The Ten Commandments written in stones as “hardened hearts”, eyes blind and ears deaf”, now with the Spirit of God in the ” fleshly tables of our heart”(II Cor. 3:3)will see and hear the truth and the wisdom to choose “good from evil”

6. This Spirit sanctifies us and is the power that we can use, as Jesus had used it, to overcome evil and have wisdom to choose good from evil.

This is how to have ” knowledge of good and evil”, received by us, not by our works as in “ourselves eating the fruit of tree of knowledge of good and evil”. Adam & Eve tried mistakenly to get this “by works” and on their own; that is why the fruit was forbidden to eat. It was not for the 1st Adam to do but the 2nd Adam, man-Jesus to do. It is a gift of God by grace as an expression of love for us (John 15:13).

7. With power of the Spirit, we can now be transformed and “conformed” into the ” image of his Son”( Rom 8:29 ). We will “like him”, not the same, but distinct from him yet “one”, like Jesus the Son of God being “one” with his Father so that all of us will be “one”, as the body that composed ” the God-kingdom”.
This will happen as Jesus in Heb 12:2 is the author and finisher of our faith.

In summary, Adam/mankind will be “like him” (not just other gods like angels, but specifically “like” YHVH ELOHIM/Jesus) not by their own works as in “eating the forbidden fruit” but has to be given by grace as a gift through the “sacrificial Passover/Christ”, whose death for the sin of mankind is an expression of love, to reconcile us to Father God. The “knowledge of good and evil” embodied in the tables of stone (Ten Commandments) and given to “hardened hearts, with eyes that are blind and ears deaf”, flesh being weak (spiritually) has to be written in the “fleshly tables of our hearts and mind” by the Spirit. And, the “fruit” or “tool” that will empower us is the Spirit to be given to us ( now here in us since Pentecost) to guide us to truth and enable us with the power to choose and do “good instead of evil”. “Eating or taking in the fruit” is akin to the “Spirit being taken in or dwelling in us/flesh”. As “flesh-Adam” eat the fruit, so will we, who are still “flesh-composed”, be “dwelled in” by this Spirit, which is Jesus Christ. Subsequently, we will all be changed into “immortal bodies” at Jesus’ 2nd coming, as in “we will be like him as we we will see him as he is”(I John 3:2 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is”).

This, in essence, is the narrative conveyed in the garden of Eden. What an awesome “destiny of man”.

11/18/14: original answer given at
https://ebible.com/questions/3808-how-did-the-knowledge-of-good-and-evil-make-man-like-god

Ordo Salutis / order of salvation, what?

What is the Ordo Salutis / order of salvation?
Ordo Salutis connotes a process, as salvation indeed is. Everything has a “process” or mechanism/steps/stages/pathophysiology for the action to come to fruition. Even a simple “knee jerk” would not happen without a mechanism of action.

Salvation defined:
Before getting to the process, salvation needs to be defined. As far as I understood it, salvation is a state of being liberated, delivered or free from “eternal death”, the second death from which there is no more resurrection; salvation, aka “eternal life” or “immortality “. This death should be contrasted from the first death, of which resurrection is a surety, as in “It is appointed for man once to die and after that, the judgment of the living, whether to go to Gehenna fire or have salvation/immortality .…”Heb 9:27” And before the second death, there will the “last judgment” that will happen to all humans at their “appointed time, (beginning with those in the house of the Lord) and will come only after the living received the gift of “in-dwelling Holy Spirit” that guides towards truth, empowers the person to act, follow good and shun evil. Receipt of the “in-dwelling HS/JC/Comforter/Advocate is crucial before judgment begins for that particular person; without it, he/she will still be “weak” and not be empowered to act as prescribed by God; and this to prevent us from using the “Satan made me do itdefense. Moreover, this second death is the endpoint to inculcate the foundational basis for salvation, which is to be freed from eternal death, an expression of ultimate love (John 15:13) , as in John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have an everlasting life”.

God did not like anyone to die forever; his vision is for man (as in 2 Peter 3:9) to have “everlasting life” that emanates from him , not from “good works of any man”, “so no man can boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Since no one has “everlasting life” but God, to have eternal life meant “being like him” through a “process of salvation“. Adam failed in his wish to be like him because he tried to attain this through his own works by “eating the forbidden fruit”. This is not man’s but God’s mission for mankind to be “one with him and be like him” choosing good over evil; that will be fulfilled through a strategic plan, some call Ordo Salutis. The Father is “reproducing”’throughman-Jesus Christ” (1 Tim. 2:5) for all to be ”one with him”. The Father, through Yahweh(the proximate Creator-God) has shown that by creating “spirit-bodies beings like the angels” they did not automatically become “one with him”; Satan and 1/3 of angelic beings went against the Father.


That said, my humble take on Ordo Salutis is as follows:

It is a given that God started all. So, here is how I see this process;

A Creation of mankind. An “image/template or temple” has to be created. This happened in Gen. 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image,…” An image, as perfect as it was, is only a “template/precursor”, a reflection of the final product; it is temporary, the beginning and a preparation for the final reality. It is like an artist’s mold from which one creates the final product as Potter/Clay prophecy in Isaiah 64:8 and Jeremiah 18:4. This is so important so that in the future, God’s spirit will dwell in this “temple, not made by hands“, for development and completion of a “new creation.. Without this “in-dwelling of the Holy Spirit”, there will be no human spiritual empowerment towards re-creation. Also see the future in-dwelling of the spirit of God Acts7:48; 17:14; I Cor. 3:16,6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Ez.36:27; Isa 63:11; 2Tim 1:14; Rom.8:9,11,15;John 16:13.

B. The created humans have to be ”like him”. And, to be “like him“, man has to have two attributes, viz., “know good and evil” and “eternal life”. In the garden of Eden, everything including “tree of life” Adam & Eve can have, except the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. What was forbidden in the Garden of Eden was “to eat the fruit of knowledge of good and evil”; everything else they can have including the “tree of life”; notice that after Adam sinned, mankind was not allowed to take the fruit from the “tree of life”. Nevertheless, notice that God’s plan is for man to have eternal life even in Genesis. Through “disobedience and by their own works”man has become “like us, knowing good and evil”(Gen 3:22). However, Adam and Eve did not have to disobey the commandment “not to eat the fruit” just so that they would know good from evil. Not that God liked to deny them to “know good and evil” since later on God gave them the 10 commandment in Exodus 20:1-17 that defined what is good or evil. Rather, God did not like them to decide on their own what is good and evil. Being God is not just having eternal life but also having the wisdom to decide good from evil; this is a prerogative of God that man could not get, “on their own works”. It has to be given. Yet, Adam & Eve chose to do it on their “own works“, instead of being given as a gift of love, as planned and determined by God. By disobeying God, Adam/Eve sinned and were cast from the Garden of Eden, prevented from eating the fruit of the “tree of life”. Thus, Adam and the whole mankind ( by the doctrine of imputation in Romans 5) all sinned, therefore needed to be “reconciled” to God; a reconciliation step. As planned, the proximate Creator God-YHVH had to incarnate as “man JC”(1 Tim. 2:5) for him to die by crucifixion for “without shedding of blood, there is no remission/forgiveness of sin, thus taking on death of mankind as a consequence of Adam’s sin, and thereby reconciling humanity to the Father.

C. Establish that to “be like him“, the Holy
Spirit/Comforter/Advocate/Jesus Christ has to in-dwell in man as “God does not dwell in temples made by hands” as in Acts 7:48. And this came about as a precursor of/example for the future of mankind when man-JC had “in-dwelling” of this Holy Spirit by River Jordan and witnessed by John the Baptist. Notice that after this “in-dwelling”, JC was able (as a human) to be empowered to overcome “pull of the flesh”(hunger/thirst), temptation of Satan in the wilderness and do miracles afterwards.

D. With the in-dwelling of Jesus Christ /Comforter/Advocate/High Priest in us, our mind will be guided to the truth as in the “sanctification stage”. This is a crucial stage were we already received the “in-dwelling of JC/Comforter/Advocate/High Priest “ guiding us towards “good and shun evil”; a stage of overcoming as only “overcomers will seat with God”. If anyone consistently rejects the guidance of the HS in him/her, there will be no more sacrifice (of JC) akin to the person “going back to his own vomit” and he/she will be looking at the coming “Gehenna fire”.

E. Change from “mortal bodies to immortal bodies”. I Corinthians 15-54. We will then be with God through eternity.

Summary:

God’s plan is to “reproduce beings that are one with him”. It could not start from a “spirit-being” as shown what happened to Lucifer and a third of angels who went against him. It could not be from an “Adam in Genesis” with inherent weakness of the flesh and sinned. Nor could it start from Job who boasted of his “own works”. They were all examples of human templates or precursors. But, it had to start with a specific and unique “man-Jesus Christ” (1 Timothy 2:5) who would be the first human endowed with a gift of the empowering Holy Spirit of power given as a gift at River Jordan, as witnessed by John the Baptist, to overcome “pull of the flesh (hunger, thirst, covetousness, etc) and temptations from Satan; also the first human to be resurrected to eternal life, as proof of the promise the Father made and planned. The creation of Adam was a template/precursor for the first-man through which the plan would materialize through JC, the first of the firstfruits, the wavesheaf offering.

With YHVH-proximate Creator incarnated to man-JC, he then became the “Passover lamb”to die by crucifixion for “remission of mankind’s sins” for “reconciliation” to God having been thus credited as “justified by faith(of Jesus)” and thereafter, “sanctification” through the “in-dwelling of JC in us by/through the Holy Spirit”empowering us to follow God’s law “written not in tables of stones but in the “fleshly tables of our mind and heart( see also Jer 31:33-34)

As overcomers with a life of overcoming as empowered by the gift of the “holy spirit of power”, we shall be changed from mortal bodies to immortal/eternal bodies at our appointed time of resurrection/harvest .

As I understood it, the preceding are the steps, the ordo salutis, of the salvation process towards immortality and eternal life.

Original Post: 2/8/2019

Revision published 1/6/2022 in hypertext version

Hypertext version: please tap on hypertext links for references.

Critique is welcome after reading all for context.

Conflict among people, Why and How to prevent or Resolve?

Conflict can be local; among friends, family members and even among spouses who vowed “till death do us part”. And, this conflict can extend throughout the globe. Why? Can this conflict be resolved or at the very least, prevented from even starting to smolder ?

Why have conflict?:

Any expert will agree that before embarking on how to resolve or prevent conflict, one has to define the basic origin of the problem that led to the conflict. One can surmise that with so many cultures, educational background, society’s norms and acceptance leading to experiential knowledge embedded in our brain that determines the “patho-physiologic” mechanism of responses/actions, no wonder, conflict is a “given”. Really? Do these differences constitute the “basic problem”?

What better resource can one research about this subject than the Bible? And, can we heed, what the apostle James indicated, to be the “basic problem” ? Here is what he said in James 4:1-3

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.

Notice that James linked “quarrels, fights” to “passion, desire, covet and ask wrongly“.

Still, it begs the question, why do we have all these? The apostle Paul directed our attention to the common denominator of all of these, as in:

Galatians 5:19-21 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,

Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,

Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

In a nutshell, these are “pull or works of the flesh, meaning, because we were created humans and “flesh-composed”. Going back to Genesis, we are indeed “flesh-composed”, from “dust of the ground”(Genesis 2:7).

And being so composed, we learn through our 5 senses and respond to situations depending on our different experiential and accumulated knowledge through the years.

Preventive option?

Be that as it may, can we “prevent conflict” while in this “flesh-composed existence”?

How to Resolve?

First and foremost is for no one to “assume the worst of intention from the other person” as this automatically “pits one against another”…an antagonistic stance that changes the dynamics of how a person will proceed in resolving conflict.

The advice of Paul makes sense in Philippians 4:8

Amplified Bible
Finally, believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely andbrings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart].

If we take this attitude from the beginning, it sets the tone for reconciliation of what appeared to be conflict…which maybe not. Ask the other person, “Why he/she said that or did that, and what was the intention?Don’t assumemal-intention” from the other party to the conflict.

Then,

Started:11/2/21

Original post: 4/19/2022:

Critique is welcome after reading all for context; please tap on hyperlinks for references and make time to read all.

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

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

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

Mmm

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”( 1 Timothy 2:5) 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”.

The suffering of Job is a prequel to the suffering of Jesus. Both are sinless and blameless on their own but became “sinful” because of “imputed/accounted sin from Adam” and would die an “eternal death” were it not for the promise of resurrection. Remember, “Adam sinned, so all sinned”(Romans 5:12). The difference is that Job was in the genealogy of Adam, earthy, and therefore needs a Savior. Whereas, “man-Christ Jesus”(1 Timothy 2:5) came from above (as incarnated EL-Shaddai to Abraham , Isaac and Jacob while Yahweh to Moses, Exodus 6:3) heavenly, and is the Savior himself who died as a Passover Lamb for our reconciliation so that when resurrected to life, “we are saved by his life”(Romans 5:10) through an “ongoing creation”.

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

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

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Critique is welcome at foundationacts@yahoo.com

Dedicated to all “workers” especially on Labor Day

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