Son of God …What Does it Mean?

Son of God …What Does it Mean?


The blockbuster movie “Son of God” which was supported and encouraged for viewing by mega churches (1) had its world premiere on February 28, 2014. As a miniseries in History channel, it was touted by many to be phenomenal but even more awe-inspiring this time as a movie. Directed by Christopher Spencer and starring Diogo Morgado, “Son of God” is being marketed as a major motion picture event that “brings the story of Jesus’ life to audiences through compelling cinematic storytelling that is both powerful and inspirational, complete with exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score” (2). The interview of producers Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey in Hannity/Fox on 2/21/14 (3) was no less riveting. The film tells the story of Jesus’ birth, his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. The focus was about the fact that Jesus is unequivocally the “Son of God”.

However, the presentation did not delve further into the “truth or reason” behind this fact. And, this is a common inadequacy one finds in sermons/homilies that stop at merely identifying Jesus/Y’SHUAH/Ha-Mashiach (4) as the “Son of God”. As vital as that fact is, it does not equate with the far-reaching blessing from the “truth or reason” behind that fact. Hopefully, as we all acknowledge him as such, we will not be distracted from the underlying ultimate message and thus be haunted by the admonition in Matt.7:21-23:

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Because of time constraints intrinsic to the creation of any movie, it was understandable that a number of crucial and essential truth was left out. What was missing though in this movie was the provision for the reason why he had to become”Son of God”? What is the underlying message behind that fact? What is it to us and to our future, for this human being, the “Son of Man” to become the “Son of God”? What for is that descriptive title in relation to the future of the human race? Moreover, after the proclamation of Jesus as the “Son of God”, when did that title actually become a reality? Pre-incarnate, incarnate or post-incarnate? These are questions that are so important as they form a narrative to know why you and I are here in this world… the very reason for our existence, albeit our destiny.

As already indicated in the miniseries, movie, gospels, prophecies, apostolic letters, revelation, secular writings (5), etc, Jesus in fact existed and walked on this earth and was proclaimed to be the “Son of God”. All Christian churches are well-equipped to prove that fact. But the purpose of this commentary is to explore and expound the proposition that there is more to this titular fact than meets the eye. And, although alluded to in the Bible and its significance not fully appreciated by mainstream Christianity, the truth behind this title is even more outstanding, faith-enhancing and grace-encompassing.

At the outset, as we continue to grow in understanding, let us consider the following:

A. Prophesied


His identity was already prophesied long before He came to this world. This WORD-Creator/El Shaddai/YHVH (John 1:1-3, 14, Colossians1:16-17/Ex 6:3) took off his spirit-composition and glorious body to become flesh-and-blood. However, as a human being, he is identified as the Messiah(Isaiah 9:6-7), the Son of man(Matt 8:20), born of a virgin(Isa.7:14), a Nazarene(Matt 2:23), priest after the order of Melchizedek(Heb. 5:6,10), Prince of Peace, Everlasting Father, Immanuel(Matt.1:23), Passover-lamb(I Cor.5:7), etc.(6, 7). These are descriptive declarations when he was “flesh-and-blood”, i.e., as a human being. And this human incarnation of YHVH was for this purpose, “Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.”(Hebrew 2:17). On the side, it is not inconceivable for the descriptions “priest after the order of Melchizedek, Prince of Peace and Everlasting Father maybe timed after his resurrection.

B. DECLARED Son of God



This Messiah, the”flesh-and-blood” Passover-lamb/Christ was also declared/identified as the “Son of God”.
Ps.2:7,12 “I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him”. Notice the word “begotten” (derived from “yalad”), i.e. not yet born, still in the womb being developed. Also, that the Father-Son relationship is yet future.
Matthew 3:16-17 “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”



Matthew 16:15-17 “He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.”



Luke 1:35 – “And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God”



Hebrews1:5 “For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son?”



While these preceding verses identified and declared the Man-Jesus/Messiah/Christ /Passover-Lamb as “Son of God”, they did not give us a definitive inkling as to when the realization of this “Sonship” occurred. If anything, it connotes a future (shall) timetable. Was that title achieved at that time when he was “flesh-blood” or was it yet in the future? Notice that the identification and official acknowledgment of Jesus at river Jordan as Son of God by the Father was technically as “begotten“, i.e.,  not born yet (yalad) as in Heb. 1:5.

C. Born again to see the kingdom of God?

From a human being, one has to be  “born again” to see the kingdom of God. This is a must according to Jesus. YHVH Elohim himself has to incarnate to man-Jesus before becoming Son of God to fulfill what was required. Does the Bible support these requirements?
The story of Nicodemus in John 3:1-12 gives proof. In the narrative, Nicodemus was asking how could man be born again. Notice verses 3-6 ” Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
Here, it is obvious that Jesus was referring to 2 births, viz., first human birth to flesh as in “born of water”(from the uterus) and subsequently a second birth as in”born of the Spirit”. There had to be 2 births, otherwise John 3:3 states, no one (including Jesus) will not see the kingdom of God; no salvation without those requirements. He differentiated the 2 births in v-6, “that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” The mechanics therefore of YHVH’s incarnation is, from his previous immortal composition, he has to become flesh through the human process of inception, growth and development in-utero of a mother, be delivered from the womb to become an actual live mortal person. This human process is different from any known human existence. Jesus “came from above”, heavenly; unlike other humans that came from the ground, “earthy”.

After human inception, birth (born of water), growth and development, then, and only then can a person, including man-Jesus, be “born of the spirit” through a process of “adoption-Sonship “, starting with “spirit-baptism”. And Jesus went through the process as “first of the firstfruits” for his “church-body” that will individually also has to go through the same. As YHVH-Creator, he created all. When he became Son of God at resurrection, from mortal man-Jesus to immortal, then he received from the Father, the spirit-power to create “his body-church”, “spirit-composed” children of God, a “God-kingdom”.

As a potter, with the spirit-power given to him by the Father, the prophecy in Jeremiah 18:1-4 (RSV) is being fulfilled:

“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”

He died and resurrected to receive this power as in:
John 16:7 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
This is the “power (needed) to become sons of God”, as in: John 1:12-13,12

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

D. Son of God, when?

The title “Son of God” came to fruition only after resurrection. At which time, he transcended from “begotten” to “firstborn”, the first of the “first-fruits” (wave sheaf Lev. 23:10-13) with spirit-body, spirit-composed, albeit with the power to manifest as human (8). This did not happen after his death and through 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb as a corpse. It achieved reality only after he was transformed from “flesh-blood” to a living “spirit-composed being”,
capable of showing as “flesh-and-blood”. Consider the following verses:

Romans 1:4″And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”N.B. Again declared “by resurrection”..

Colossians 1:18 “And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn (prototokus”) from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” N.B. “Firstborn from the dead”

Colossians 1:15 “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creation.”

Revelation1:5 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood”. Note: we have to be “begotten” as man-flesh before being “son” with spirit-composed body. As Jesus said to Nicodemus(John 3), 2 births are required to see the kingdom of God: “born of water”( born as flesh), before “born in spirit” (with spirit-composed body).

Romans 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”

Hebrews 1:6 “And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”

Acts 26:23 “That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles. ”

I Cor 15:20 “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.”

Rom 8:19 “For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.”

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”

Hebrews12:23 “To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,”


SUMMARY

The reason for the spirit-composed El/Shaddai/YHVH to change into Jesus/Y’SHUAH ( partaker of flesh and blood, lower than angels, Heb 2:7) is for him to fulfill:

A. The 2-births requirements to see the kingdom of God and

B. The promise and undertaking of a Passover-Lamb/Messiah to suffer the penalty of mankind’s sins which is eternal death”(Hebrew 2:17).

As all mankind’s sin was imputed to the sin of the “first” Adam(Rom.5:7-21), so was mankind’s penalty of death imputed to the death of the “last” Adam/Christ (1Cor 15:45), by grace as promised on faith of Jesus/YHVH Elohim and not by “works”( even of Jesus) so no one “can boast” ( Eph. 2:9 ). At resurrection, being spirit-composed, Jesus/Y’SHUAH then fulfilled the reality of being the “Son of God”, no longer “begotten”.
Rather, he became the “firstborn” of a new creation-kind, created or made higher (Heb. 1:4) than angelic beings. Moreover, as he is the firstborn (the first of the firstfruits, the “wave-sheaf offering” Lev. 23:10-14), he will then get others (Rom 8:19) to become the “sons/children of God” also by resurrection or “twinkling of an eye” ( I Cor. 15:52 ) at his return to earth to commence the Millenium. A newcreation”(Gal.6:15; 2 Cor. 5:17) above angelic beings ( Ps. 8:4; Heb.2:5-18) is being composed, through this mechanism of “Sonship”. Jesus, the first-born “Son of God”, the first of the firstfruits (I Cor. 15:20) and afterwards “bringing many sons to glory”(Heb.2:10), the other firstfruits of the “spring-harvest” at the start of the Millenium in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4,5; I Thes. 4:16,17), then the “latter-fruits” in the latter-harvest at the second resurrection. Based on this and “on this rock” ( the rock-solid meaning of “Son of God” Matt. 16:16-18), I will build my church (body), all spirit-composed. Through this rock-solid process of “sonship”, a new creation of spirit-beings will be realized, albeit a God-kingdom.

This is the essence of the commission to proclaim the gospel (Matt.24:14) of the coming”kingdom of God”. The overall plan is to create a kingdom composed of spirit beings higher than angelic spirit-beings, the “God-kingdom”. While (9,10,11) there is a “plant-kingdom” and an “animal-kingdom”, there is nohuman-kingdom” created by God. In fact, all the ” human-kingdoms” from Adam who on his own “works” wanted to be like God (Gen 3:1-24), Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9), Israel-kingdom divorced by YHVH (Isa 50.1;Hosea 2:2; Jer.3.8), successive heathen kingdoms represented by Nebuchadnezzar’s dream(Daniel 2:1-48) have no longevity. As a “stone” will destroy the last human kingdom represented by 10-toes of iron and clay, only the kingdom created by God, spirit-composed “sons/daughters of God” (Kingdom of God) will be everlasting.

This present world is under subjection (11) to angels (Gal 3:19, Heb. 2:2). But, the “world to come” will not be under angelic-spirits but under the “kingdom-of-God”, spirit-composed “Sons/children of God”, all higher in category than angels. This is why  YHVH ELOHIM has to incarnate to man-Jesus and to be “born again” into spirit-composed “Son of God” with power to create sons and daughters of God , all spirit-composed. As it is written in Hebrews 2:5-17 “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (by angels). For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.”




This is the deeper and final essence of the title “Son of God”, with Jesus/Y’SHUAH the firstborn/wavesheaf firstfruit by resurrection, taking on this new category, higher than angels. Subsequently, othersons/daughters” will follow through this mechanism of “rock-solid Sonship”, as Jesus/Y’SHUAH builds his “body/church”. What an awesome gift and blessing from the Father by grace and not “by works” of anyone, a destiny that we are looking forward to!

Will there be a sequel in the offing that embodies this truth and message behind the title “Son of God”? Let us hope so.


References:

1. Megachurch Pastors Lead ‘Son of God’ Campaign to ‘Take Over’ Multiplex Theaters Nationwide: http://www.christianpost.com/news/megachurch-pastors-lead-son-of-god-campaign-to-take-over-multiplex-theaters-nationwide-114732/
2. Producers: “Son of God ” will appeal to Christians and non-Christians alike:http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/02/28/son-god-movie-jesus-bible-american-audiences-religious/
3. Hannity/Fox on 2/21/14: https://74.217.254.62/tivo-tco/program/show.do?collectionId=tivo:cl…
4. Hebrew names of God. http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Names_of_G-d/Yeshua/yeshua.html
5.Early Secular writings regarding Christ:http://www.nelsonprice.com/early-secular-writings-regarding-christ/
6. Prophecies Jesus Fulfilled:

http://christianity.about.com/od/biblefactsandlists/a/Prophecies-Jesus.htm
7.Ten prophecies about Jesus birth:https://theresurgence.com/2012/12/24/10-prophecies-about-jesus-birth
8. How many times did Jesus appear after ….resurrection:http://www.christiananswers.net/dictionary/resurrectionofchrist.html

N.B. While the Son of God is higher than the angelic-spirits, the latter can also manifest as humans as in Gen. 19:1-5
9. Destiny of Man: https://fact-s.net/2011/05/21/the-destiny-of-man/
10.Deification of Man: https://fact-s.net/2011/05/26/deification-of-man-2/
11. Passion of Christ: https://fact-s.net/2011/05/21/the-passion-of-christ/
12. The law was given by angels: http://www.askelm.com/essentials/ess003a.htm

Original post: 6.18.2014

Revised & Reposted:1.15.2017

UNIVERSAL SALVATION, WHAT IS

UNIVERSAL SALVATION, WHAT IS?

Directly from the link (1) that supports this doctrine: 

Universal Salvation is eternal life for everyone, including Satan and the demons. All are to be given eternal life and the very nature of God. It means that everyone who has ever been created or born has a future. It means that you will definitely see all your loved ones again. And think about it, if everyone is one day going to be eternal, then death is only temporary. We often say at Christianworld Church, that death is no more than being temporarily out of order. ….If you turn to John 6:39 it says this. “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing”. Please note that the will of the Father is for Jesus to lose nothing of what He has given him. What exactly has the Father given him? John 3:35 tells us. “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand”. Can you see what is being said? The Father has given Jesus all things, of which he is to lose nothing. It could not be stated any more clearly than at Colossians 1:16 “For by him (Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him” You can not get it any plainer than that. All things were created for him, in heaven and on Earth, both spirit and human. Again, can you see what is being said? The Father commissions the Son to lose nothing of what He has given him. What has He given him? If all things were created for him, in heaven and on Earth, both spirit and human, and the Father has given all things into his hands, then the Father has given him authority over every single thing in the universe, apart from Himself. Jesus has authority to save not just human beings but also spirit beings. In fact he must save all, because his Father commissioned him to lose nothing. Paul tells us at 1 Timothy 2:6 “Who gave himself a ransom for all”. The fact is that Jesus can lose no one. That is the greatest message you have ever heard. You can not save more than everyone, can you? And Jesus is not allowed to save less. The wise man Solomon said at Ecclesiastes 3:1 “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.” Now is the time for this good news to be preached. Now is the time for the greatest message on Earth to be proclaimed. Universal Salvation, eternal life for all.”


Are these assertions true?

1. Eternal life for everyone, including Satan and the demons;

2. Everyone is one day going to be eternal, then death is only temporary. 

3. The will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing.

4. That Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 2:6 “Who (Jesus) gave himself a ransom for all”.

5. Jesus is not allowed to save less and can lose no one


Universal salvation or apokatastasis is a disturbing concept especially since a good number of intelligent and well-meaning Christians have this belief. On its surface, it is a very enticing proposition that emphasizes attributes of God, viz., immutable, omniscient, omnipotent, etc. Moreover, it acknowledges that salvation is by grace without “works”, the supremacy of God’s will and power, his divine love and mercy. But most especially, love for all. It is an inclusive philosophy of salvation, instead of only to some, exclusively. And, there are preachers opposed to “universalism” who limit eternal life only to them and their flock. As such, this doctrine therefore deserves evaluation and analysis to know the truth. To do this, one may need to start with its history, go through the pros/cons, meticulously combed through them with questions about implications and form a tentative summary.

History:

It has been claimed that apostle Paul preached Universalism. In the fifth chapter of The Inescapable Love of God by eminent Christian Universalist and Philosopher Tom Talbott, he makes a case for Universalism from Paul’s writings, especially Romans (2). Also, that in the 1st century, Origen likewise may have taught this belief. These are “claims” as interpreted from their writings and may not necessarily be true. It is a fact that during that period and even now, there are people who twist and misrepresent teachings, especially that of Paul. We need to take all these claims with “a grain of salt”(Matt. 7:15).
On the North American continent in 1770, Universalism started when a man named Tom Potter allegedly heard God speak to him about this ‘revelation’ that everyone was already saved (3). Potter shared this with another man named John Murray, they began preaching this message in churches, and it spread very quickly. A man named Hosea Ballou considered the great theologian of American Universalism promulgated this teaching. Ballou was a ‘hyper-universalist’ and wrote hundreds of sermons about how everybody was going to get saved in the end. A growing consortium of Christians today are simply ‘rediscovering’ Ballou’s teachings, and they think they have some new ‘revelation’ that is going to change the world for Christ. From there, the concept persisted and the universalist movement led to the formation of the Universalist Church of America, which later merged in 1961, with the American Unitarian Association. Thereafter, it formed into the religious organization known as the Unitarian Universalist Association. In Unitarian Universalism’s brand of church, there is no official church dogma, but most of its members adhere to the “no punishment in the afterlife” theory, as do many Anglicans (Church of England, and in North America, Episcopalians). 

Pros in the Bible:



The following are excerpts that were interpreted to support this concept:

Romans 5:18 “Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.”  
Colossians 1:19-20 “For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Philippians 2:10-12 “…so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Romans 11:32 “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.”

1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”  

1 Timothy 2:4-6 “who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. 

1 Timothy 4:10 “For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” 

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

Isaiah 45:22-23 “Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, my mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before me every knee will bow; by me every tongue will swear..”

John 12:32 “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

Romans 5:15-19: “For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!” (To me, this states that God’s grace overflows to the many in the same way that the trespass of Adam was given to many; in other words, every human being.(?) why many instead of all ??

Romans 11:32 “For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all”

1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive

Colossians 1:15-20: “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullnessdwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”

Revelations 21:5 “He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” 

I Peter 3:18-19 “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, in which he went and proclaimed to the spirits in prison,”
“The verses in which God expresses his intent to save everyone are also foundational”, so they say. It is God’s desire for everyone (including fallen angels I Pet. 3:19) to come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9), for Jesus to be “a ransom for all” (1 

Timothy 2:4-6), and for all to be saved. The idea is that if God wants to save everyone, He can do just that because “with God everything is possible” (Matt. 19:26) and works all things according to the council of his will” (Eph. 1:11). Those who believe in this theology states that ” though there may be some level of judgement/punishment in the meantime, he will eventually save all”.

“The Christian Doctrine of Universal Salvation, or Universal Reconciliation, states that all people, no matter how evil they may be, are created by God; and that God the Father, acting through His Son, Jesus Christ, will eventually bring all people back to Himself and into Heaven, by means which we cannot know or understand. After death, each person will be judged by God according to his deeds.There is punishment for evildoing, according to God’s desire for justice. But this punishment is temporary and not eternal. Eventually, everyone comes back to God the Father, by Jesus Christ, His Son.(4)
Books of the Bible argued to possibly support the idea of full reconciliation include the First Epistle to the Corinthians. The sections of 1 Corinthians 15:22, “As all die in Adam, so all will be made alive in Christ”, and 1 Corinthians 15:28, “God will be all in all”, are cited. Verses that seem to contradict the tradition of complete damnation and come up in arguments also include Lamentations 3:31-33 (NIV), “For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love”,[9] and 1 Timothy 4:10(NIV), “We have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.”

Similarly, the Epistle to the Colossians receives attention, with Colossians 1:17-20 reading: “He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church; He is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything He might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross.”

In a nutshell the Christian Universalism basic scriptures were compiled by Rev. Bill McGinnis InternetChurchOfChrist.org which support the Christian Universalist doctrine of Universal Salvation and the Christian Universalist faith. “Please note the use of “every” and “all.” These Scriptures apply to all people, not merely some people. And what they say is that all people will eventually come to Christ and be saved. ” . . . every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.” “I . . . will draw all men to me.” ” . . . the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.” “And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” ” . . . in Christ shall all be made alive.” Isaiah 45:22-23 (KJV) Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. John 12:32 (KJV) And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. 1 Timothy 4:10-11 (KJV) For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. These things command and teach. Philippians 2:9-11 (KJV) Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 1 Corinthians 15:22 (KJV) For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

In essence the bases for the preceding dogma stem from these verses:

John 6:39 it says this. “This is the will of the Father who sent me, that of all He has given me I should lose nothing”.

John 3:35 tells us. “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into his hand”. 

Colossians 1:16 “For by him (Jesus) all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through him and for him” 

1 Timothy 2:6 “Who (Jesus) gave himself a ransom for all”.

Once saved, always saved?


A subset of “universalism teaching” is a common preaching that “once saved, always saved”. That, people are predestinated for salvation and God, being powerful, will implement his will. Notice that the core basis of these beliefs hang on the word “all”.And that God will do his “will” no matter what. Really? But, if all or everyone’s going to be ‘saved” in the end, why not eat, drink, and be merry? Why not “have fun” and continue on sinning when after all, punishment is just temporary and not eternal ? Doesn’t this appear to be enabling sin? How then can these beliefs be reconciled with Revelation 21:8, Galatians 5:19-21, and other verses that speak against evil and enjoins everyone to “bear the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), as the tree that does not bear fruit will be cut down (Matt.7:19)? It is obvious then that for one to get the true meaning of what was stated, the context of what was referred to, has to be analyzed and reconciled /aligned with other basic principles.

Additionally, while God is all-powerful and can do whatever he wants, He also has wisdom and plans regarding what is the best approach to salvation. And the plan of salvation is being implemented even now, without being “forced down our throats”. For further dissertation, please access Salvation Series posts, all 6 of them.

Cons in the Bible:(5)

Ezekiel 18:1-5, 9 “And the word of Yahweh came to me saying, “As I live, proclaims the Lord, Yahweh… “See, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so the soul of the son is Mine: death will be the fate of the sinner’s soul. But if a man is upright, {he is} living rightly and doing righteousness… and has been guided by My rules and has kept My laws and done them: he is upright, life will certainly be his,” says the Lord Yahweh.’ TAT

 

 Ezekiel 18:20-24 “The soul which does sin will be put to death: the son will not be made responsible for the evil-doing of the father, or the father for the evil-doing of the son; the righteousness of the upright will be on himself, and the evil-doing of the evil-doer on himself. But if the evil-doer, turning away from all the sins which he has done, keeps my rules and does what is ordered and right, life will certainly be his; death will not be his fate. Not one of the sins which he has done will be kept in memory against him: in the righteousness which he has done he will have life. ‘Have I any pleasure in the death of the evil-doer,’ says the Lord, ‘am I not pleased if he is turned from his way so that he may have life?’ 24 But when the upright man, turning away from his righteousness, does evil, like all the disgusting things which the evil man does, will he have life? Not one of his upright acts will be kept in memory: in the wrong which he has done and in his sin death will overtake him.” (1985 Bible in Basic English)

 

Revelation 2:11 “Let every listener hear what the Spirit says to the Churches: The victorious cannot suffer the slightest hurt from the second death.”

 

Revelation 20:6 “Happy and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! The second death cannot touch such men; they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him for the thousand years.”

 

Revelation 20:14 “Then death and the grave were themselves hurled into the lake of fire, which is the second death.”

 

Revelation 21:8 “But as for the cowards, the faithless and the corrupt, the murderers, the traffickers in sex and sorcery, the worshippers of idols and all liars––their inheritance is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”

Revelation 20:4-21:5″And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. But the rest of the dead did not live again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years. 7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them. 1The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever. Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This isthe second death. And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire. 21:1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” (New King James Version)

2 Thessalonians 1:5-12 “This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our LordJesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed — for our testimony to you was believed. To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; in order that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.”(New American Standard Bible)

Galatians 5:19-21, “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

Galatians 5:22-23 tells us, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”

Implications:
From the preceding verses, it is clear that evil has consequence and death is destined for evil doers. God has no pleasure in the death of the evil-doer and is pleased if the individual turned from his way to have life. But when the upright man, turns away from his righteousness and does evil, like all the disgusting things which the evil man does, he will not have life, death follows. The “firstfruits” who are living at the time of Christ’s second coming together with those who previously died will participate in the first resurrection and have immortality. For those who are alive and not “firstfruits”, they will experience the Millenium government of Christ and the “firstfruits”, and more importantly the power of the Holy Spirit for them to choose to become “sons of God”. Those in the Millenium who still reject the Holy Spirit will not partake of immortality. The rest of the dead will wait until after the Millenium for their resurrection to life or perdition. From among them, those who willingly grow “in spirit” will become “sons and daughters” of the kingdom of God.

Summary:

Collating all the preceding data, one may conclude the following:
1. When the Bible says “all” it really means all but does not suggest necessarily at the same time and may confirm a precise schedule in time. When it says God loves all, that is a fact. However, that God wants all to be saved, may be predicated on a specific strategic plan and timing for each one. But, certainly this awesome gift of salvation will not be forced on anyone. When someone rejects it, this does not suggest that in the future, the person will continually reject it; may accept it willingly as the best option. 
2. When the Bible says “eternal”, it does not necessarily mean forever and may sometime mean only for that time period which does not include all the future. 
3. Punishment for evil doers may refer to first death that one can be resurrected from. But, may also refer subsequently to second death from which there is no resurrection. As to which one is referred to, can be deduced from the context.
Altogether, no one can divine the decision of the Father being the final arbiter of what is best. He reserves the right of a decision-maker as he reserves to himself the timing of the “end times” ( see Matt. 24:36). As Jesus said, “let your will be done”(Lu. 22:42). For the sake of argument, that Jesus was given all the powers after his resurrection (Matt. 28:18) even to know all, much like us, we defer certain things to show respect and awe to our Father. Still, the Father is the ultimate judge as to the fate of anyone, either ending the person’s life temporarily or permanently depending on his wisdom. 

The bottom-line for this research is this: let us not second-guess or pre-empt the Father as to whether all will be saved. A universalism concept that precludes the Father’s ultimate sovereignty and final decision should remind us of the experience of Job (Job 38-42). The essence of Job’s indictment tells us, who should we think we really are. 

Let us all be respectful of the Father and join the chorus with Jesus to sing… “let your will be done” (Lu. 22:42).

References:

1. Universal Salvation: The Greatest Message on Earth. Retrieved October 1, 2016 from http://www.universalsalvation.org/page2.htm
2. Retrieved October 10, 2016 from http://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/525/what-is-the-biblical-basis-for-universaluhsswd 
3.Christian Universal Salvation – THE BIG LIE By Craig Bluemel. Retrieved October 16, 2016 from http://bibleanswerstand.org/universal.htm
4. Christian Doctrine of Universal Salvation. Retrieved October 17, 2016 from http://www.loveallpeople.org/universalsalvation.html
5.Ibid. Retrieved October 16, 2016. http://bibleanswerstand.org/universal.htm

Original post:12/13/2016

Revised: 1/10/17

ADAM, THE FIRST HUMAN? … What difference does it make?

ADAM, THE FIRST HUMAN? … What difference does it make?
If there is one thing we owe our Founding Fathers, it is the freedom endowed by God to think and entertain thoughts even those deem to border on heretical. Yes, even venturing on the one that questions sacrosanct teaching as Adam (1) created about 6,000 years ago. The fate of Copernicus (2) and Galileo (3) could have been different were they to live today. And, church leaders like Origen Adamantius (184/185 – 253/254 C.E.), along with the prominent “Origenists” Didymus the Blind and Evagrius Ponticus, would not have been declared anathema for their different beliefs in 553 CE by the Second Council of Constantinople(4).

That said, the article by Dr. C. Reyes in FEU/ FEUMAANI News vol. 6, no.7 July 2014, is illuminating as it is challenging. To quote,

“Native Americans have always looked like us: Asian origin… pioneers…17,000 years ago …that entered the Americas from land mass called Beringia…” This was reaffirmed with “the uncovering of an almost completely intact 12,000 yr old skeleton of a 15 or 16 yr old girl … in the underwater cave near Mexico”. It was also claimed that migration from Asia to the Americas through Beringia occurred “between 26,000 and 14,000 years ago”.

As a corollary, “It is believed, on the basis of genetic evidence, that all human beings in existence now descend from one single man (woman) who lived in Africa about 60,000 years ago.” (5). Spencer Wells’ book Journey of Man, is “a brief but thorough survey of human population genetics in the vein of Cavalli-Sforza’s The Great Human Diasporas and Bryan Sykes’ Seven Daughters of Eve. While Sykes focused on Europe and mitochondrial DNA lineages (the mother line) Wells puts the spotlight on Y chromosomal lineage (the father line). Wells gives a few reasons why the Y chromosomal lineage can yield more information-there are more points for mutations to build up and human patrilocality tends to skew toward male genetic localization and diversity”(6).

From the biblical account, it is indisputable that Adam in Genesis was created by YHVH God (7). The genealogy and reality of the historical Jesus depend on this. This is traceable back to Abraham (Matt. 1:1-17) who was the tenth generation removed from Noah, being a direct descendant of Shem, (Noah’s son), the father of all the “Semitic” peoples (8) and all the way to Adam (Luke 3:23-38). See also (9, 10).

But, as to whether the first human is this Genesis Adam or another person much earlier than him, remains to be the bone of contention. The subject of “who the first human is”, evolution and creation, evoke consternation and emotional distress that recently sparked a debate on February 4 between Bill Nye (the “Science Guy”) and Creation Museum CEO & Pres Ken Ham (Australian Evangelist) (11).

These scientific discoveries are undeniable and pose a problem for those who may have lived before (12;13) the Genesis Adam as they in fact maybe humans like him.  The claim Adam was the “first” human was never made in the Bible and was only an interpretation concocted by theologians. Religious punditry marginalizes these “finds” as misinterpretation and an existential threat to the inerrancy of the Bible. For how can they be saved? Does the sacrifice of Jesus Christ apply to them as well? If so, then on what basis can this be? Debate then continues. These concerns must be unsettling and disturbing to Christians who hold traditional beliefs. But, they do not have to. Whether the first human started 6,000 or 60,000 years ago, rightly or wrongly, may not need to make a difference, as far as salvation is concerned and Jesus being the Savior. The “doctrine of imputation”, when understood to its fullest, explains:

Romans 5:12-21 (NIV)

“12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned– 13 for before the law (Mosaic) was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. (NLT: But it was not counted as sin because there was not yet any law to break.) 14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, (NLT: even those who did not disobey an explicit commandment of God, as Adam did) who was a pattern of the one to come. 15 But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. 18 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. 20 The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

I Cor.15:22 (KJV): For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

The preceding Bible verses explained that death to mankind is imputed upon the sin of Adam in the garden of Eden, as in, “through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners”. And, no one else’s, as in, “by the trespass of one man, death reigned through that one man”. Also, “by the offence of one, judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation”. That is, the sin committed by anyone, whether 60,000 years before or after Adam’s, did not matter an iota. Anyone’s sin, as bad as it is, did not condemn the person, per se, nor mankind. It was only “by one man’s disobedience”,(Adam’s sin, NLT) that we were all condemned to die, as in, “even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression”(NLT).

Why specifically directed to Adam? The answer is, Adam “is the figure of him that was to come”(NLT), which is Jesus. Moreover, “…not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one, many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man’s offence, death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”(NLT)

This imputation is very specific, not only to the person Adam towards mankind, but also to its timing. Notice, “for before the law (Mosaic) was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. “. Meaning, that even before the Law was given to mankind through Moses, “sin was (already) in the world” and “death reigned from Adam to Moses”(KJV), as sin and death also reigned before the Genesis’ Adam. But imputation was not assigned nor activated until the Law was given. Only after the Law was given, did God assign and impute that “disobedience” of Adam in the garden of Eden, as sin for all. But, why wait till then? For 2 reasons, viz.,

1. So that through the Law that defined sin, “law entered, that the offence might abound”(KJV); “law was added so that the trespass might increase”(NIV).The word “abound” comes from the Greek word “pleonazo”, i.e., worse or bad or superabound. The Law made sin to be viewed even worse and be counted from sins committed by many.

2. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

SUMMARY

In a nutshell, God defined what sin to impute, who to impute it to, the extent it encompasses and when to assign. Adam’s sin in the garden of Eden was imputed as sin of the whole mankind and consequently death for all. This, so that through one man also, Jesus Christ in the genealogy of Adam, his death would be counted for all mankind. The Mosaic Law has to be given first before imputation is assigned so that all of mankind’s sin be counted ( for sin to “abound”). Because of the “doctrine of imputation”, who the actual “first human” does not matter, as far as salvation is concerned. The sacrificial death of Jesus is effective and extends to all mankind, whether before or after the Law was given to Moses and, for that matter, even before Adam’s creation in Genesis.
Indeed, we are all blessed to participate in this arena of free-thinking colleagues. Assigning this imputation to include all humans, specifically even those “pre-historic humans” before Adam’s creation, has not been shared nor posited, until now? Truly, God be thanked for this “world premier”. Abandoning the cacophony of debate pitting one over another, we can now with one voice join the chorus “what difference does it make?”. With retort from George Will, we can now “…speak … to improve the silence.”(14). Let us continue to be tolerant with scientific discoveries, synchronize when appropriate and adjust, “with fear and trembling”, our long-held religious beliefs in the furtherance of truth.

References:

1. Genesis 1:26. Holy Bible

2. Retrieved from : http://csep10.phys.utk.edu/astr161/lect/retrograde/copernican.html

3. Retrieved from: http://www.biography.com/people/galileo-9305220

4. The New Catholic Encyclopedia (Detroit: Gale, 2003). ISBN 978-0-7876-4004-0

5. Spencer Wells,The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey, p. 55. Random House, ISBN 0-8129-7146-9

6. Retrieved from : http://www.gnxp.com/MT2/archives/000240.html

7. Gen1:27;2:7. Holy Bible

8. Retrieved from : http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2435072/jewish/Miraculous-Journey.html

9. Arthur Charles Hervey (1853), The Genealogies of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

10. Jacques Masson (1982), Jesus, fils de David, dans les généalogies de saint Mathieu et de saint Luc, Paris: Téqui, ISBN 2-85244-511-5.

11. Debate, Creationism.Retrieved from : http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140205-creationism-debate-bill-nye-ken-ham-opinion/

12. Ancient hominis. Retrieved 5/4/18 at https:/:news.nationalgeographic.com/2018/05/stone-tools-rhinoceros-luzon/philippines-ancient-hominis-science/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/butchered-rhino-puts-human-ancestors-philippines-700000-years-ago-180968959/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia

13. Anomalous History of Humanity. Retrieved from https://www.gaia.com/video/anomalous-history-humanity?utm_source=facebook%2Borganic&utm_medium=gaia&utm_term=video&utm_campaign=evergreen&ch=st

14. George Will. Retrieved from : http://m.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-will-the-2016-presidential-candidate-we-need/2014/05/23/77d599ae-e202-11e3-9743-bb9b59cde7b9_story.html

Original post: July 18, 2014

Revised: May 20, 2018

What does Ex. 15:11 mean when it asks who is like you O Lord among the gods?

It means that YHVH, our Lord is not like any other. He is distinct, unique and “above all gods“. 
Ps 95:2-4 states:

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God And a great King above all gods, In whose hand are the depths of the earth, The peaks of the mountains are His also.…”
While other so-called “gods” may be real beings like Satan, the god of this world, (2 Cor 4:4), YHVH is superior to all these “gods” and He should be the only one to be worshiped, not others. However, when YHVH, the LOGOS, incarnated into man-Jesus, he said, “worship the Father”(John 4:22-24).