Key precept: “In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” Douglas Adams
Good writing starts with a thesis on which everything else in the account rests. The Bible’s thesis is that God created everything. Every single element in the rest of the story, which builds systematically from Genesis through Revelation, rests on this fundamental premise. Every statement made in the Bible, every theological belief drawn from the Bible, derives its credibility (the virgin birth) and legitimacy (ye must be born again) from the first statement that God created everything, therefore it belongs to him, and he is in charge.
So why isn’t he is control? you ask. Why do bad things happen? That’s the story. Plot twists and turns.
Right at the beginning of the story we discover a paradox about the Hebrew word for God that is used. “The noun Elohim is plural but it is always used with a singular verb when it speaks of the true God. This indicates a unity and diversity within the nature of God.”
Science recognizes the truth of this paradoxical unity in diversity by defining physical reality, at the simplest level, as having four dimensions – height, depth, length and time. Recent rapid expansions in scientific knowledge postulates that there are at least ten dimensions to reality.
“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion…So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” (Gen 1:26-27)
The statement that humans are created in God’s likeness and image gives us a clue about this paradoxical plural-unity. Humans’ three dimensions are a reflection of God’s multi-dimensional nature of 1) material body that exists in space-time, 2) immaterial soul and 3) hyper dimensional eternal spirit
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen 2:7)
“Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecc 12:7)
The Old Testament depictions of God fit this model of an individual with three dimensions of body, soul and spirit.
“..And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said [with a mouth]…and it was so.” (Gen 1)
“By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath [ruah, spirit] of his mouth.” (Psa 33:6)
“Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts. (Zech 4:6)
- God’s body is what enables him to interact in the material dimension with other material beings.
- God’s soul is his unique personality with will and emotions that is expressed in the way he relates to other beings. His relationship to all other beings is that of a Father whose word is law.
- God’s Spirit is the invisible, immaterial, eternal energizing force which, like electricity or the wind, is not confined to any location like a material body is, but can split off and converge, and can only be perceived by humans in its actions through physical substance.
This is not a “Christian” concept but also found in biblical Judaism. “…it is “kosher” for Jews to be spiritual and we do believe in the Holy Spirit...as the power of divine inspiration, as well as the dramatically personified divine voice engaged in ongoing dialogue with the students of Torah [Genesis – Deuteronomy]. The power of Spirit, the intimate, immanent, and moving connection with God, is as integral to Judaism as it is to Christianity.”
- Body – physical functioning
“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.” (Gen 3:8)
“And the LORD [Yahweh] appeared unto him [Abraham] in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day; And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground, And said, My LORD [Yaweh], if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant…And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way…And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?…And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham…” (Gen 18)
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob’s thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed…And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen 32:24-30)
“And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend [i.e. a peer, an equal, in a form compatible with human senses, which we often find in the Old Testament accounts of interactions between God and humans]…And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory [major upgrade in the software from human-like to true God]…And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. [Think of it like encountering any huge force-field. Humans are overloaded by high electrical voltage, radioactive nuclear energy, etc.] And the LORD said, Behold, there is a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen….And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there…And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped…And he was there with the Lord forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water…And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spake unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded.” (Ex 33:11-23, 34:5-8, 28-34)
- Soul – expression of will, desire, emotions
“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will… (Gen 6:5-7)
“And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the Lord heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.” (Nu 11:1)
“Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the LORD thy God: because thy God loved Israel, to establish them for ever, therefore made he thee king over them, to do judgment and justice.” (II Chron 9:8)
- Spirit – energy, source of life
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone…And the Lord came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease. But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp. And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them. And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!” (Nu 11:16-29)
“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil…say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for his land, and pity his people…And ye shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the LORD your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed. And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit… And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.” (Joel 2:12-32)
The independent functioning of the various states of being of body, soul and spirit, while still remaining one person, should be easy to understand as experienced in our own selves. My soul desires to lose weight, but my body’s hunger controls my actions, while my spirit feels frustrated and guilty over the lack of self-control. This is described in the Bible.
“My flesh is clothed with worms and clods of dust; my skin is broken, and become loathsome…Therefore I will not refrain 1) my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of 2) my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of 3) my soul.” (Job 7:5-11)
Unrighteous humanity experiences a disconnect between body, soul and spirit, in contrast to righteous, perfect God who experiences unity in all aspects of being. More on this in later posts.
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh [body],) dwelleth no good thing: for to will [soul] is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. [Think about all the New Year’s resolutions you’ve ever made. Try to lose just 2 pounds…] For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do…For I delight in the law of God after the inward man [spirit]: But I see another law in my members [physical drives for sex, food, pleasure], warring against the law of my mind [soul’s rational desire to abstain from damaging actions], and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin [destruction, death] which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Ro 7:18)
“For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” (I Cor 8:5-6)
The New Testament does not introduce the concept of the independent functions of the various dimensions of flesh, soul/immaterial will, and spirit/empowering force of God. It simply builds on the foundational truths revealed in the Old Testament.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (Joh 1:1-2)
“I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. (Joh 16:28)
“…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. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:” (John 16:7, 12-13)
“And when the day of Pentecost [Jewish feast] was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven….Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them…this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy…And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know…David speaketh concerning him…Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.” (Act 2:1-39)
Keep in mind that just as a human’s body, soul and spirit are one person even when separated during a coma, death or other altered state of consciousness, so God’s physical body in Jesus, his soul as unique personality, and his spirit as energizing force remain one person.
“And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?… and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.” (Rev 6:9-11)
“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle [temporary dwelling, mortal body] were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands [immortal body], eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven…Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord…”(II Cor 5:1-8) with
“In my Father’s house are many mansions [permanent dwellings, immortal bodies]: if it were not so, I would have told you [corrected your false belief in resurrection]. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also [confirming ancient teaching found in Genesis 49:10]. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know [death, exiting this lower dimension as per ancient teaching found in Job 19:25-27]...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me…he that hath seen me hath seen the Father…Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake…And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sente. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” (John 14:2-30)
The passage above also teaches a little understood, therefore mostly ignored, reality that two individual persons can be merged into one unit.
“God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power. Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (I Cor 6:14-20)
“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us,” (Romans 12:5-6)
However, a concept of God as three separate but equal persons, no-where in the Bible defined as such, even in the New Testament, began to develop within Christianity. “The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons — the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Stated differently, God is one in essence and three in person. These definitions express three crucial truths: (1) the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God, (3) there is only one God.”
The concept of the Trinity was debated hotly by the early Christian theologians. This is understandable, as new converts clung to many entrenched pagan concepts. These problems were endemic and addressed in many of the New Testament epistles to the new churches. For example:
“…then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am…”(Gal 4:8-12)
It may surprise us to learn that the concept of the Trinity, accepted by most Christians today without question, was not established as orthodox Christian doctrine until centuries after the apostles finished writing the New Testament. This alone should raise questions about the legitimacy of this doctrine.
When we examine the history of the development of this doctrine we find that the concept of a trinity is not at all unique to Christianity. In fact, it is contrary to true Christianity. The driving force behind adding the doctrine of the trinity to Christianity was the corruption of the worship of the one true God.
“Historian Will Durant: ‘Christianity did not destroy paganism; it adopted it. . . . From Egypt came the idea of a divine trinity.’ And in the book Egyptian Religion, Siegfried Morenz notes: “The trinity was a major preoccupation of Egyptian theologians . . . Three gods are combined and treated as a single being, addressed in the singular. In this way the spiritual force of Egyptian religion shows a direct link with Christian theology.” Looking even further back into history, we find Hinduism is headed by a trinity, as is the Babylonian source religion and the even older Sumerian. “All the ancient nations believed in the Trinity.”
Naturally the Antichrist could only mimic the reality of the true Christ’s unity with the creator God through a trio of individuals.
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.” (Joh 1:1-4)
When we examine the results of adopting the doctrine of the Trinity, we find not only separation of God into multiple persons but also separation of Judaism from Christianity. Since that is the Old Testament, the ultimate accomplishment is separation of Christianity from its biblical foundation. This was not accidental. The intentional program and inevitable results of the early Church councils was to “divide and conquer” God’s people.
If this sounds heretical, please be judicial enough to investigate the historical facts. The early church was in fact a sect of Judaism. The group of believers in Yeshua Messiah was a subset of the larger group of Jewish believers in the fact of a prophesied Messiah who just didn’t accept Jesus of Nazareth as being the fulfillment of the Messiah/Christ and are still waiting for Messiah to show up for the first time.
The understanding of the early church as a sect of Judaism is a fundamental truth, essential for understanding the whole story, so the concept is introduced here at the beginning and will be elaborated upon later in the blog in the post on Israel. For the time being, take what scripture says at face value.
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” (Deu 6:4)
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances [in context this means ordinances against separation – the entirety of Mosaic law is not addressed in this passage]; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby…For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God…keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” (Eph 2:11-19, 4:3-6)
Christianity as described in the New Testament was unquestionably a sect of Judaism. Think about it. The Jewish religious leaders would not have fought against the threat to their authority and power, and the Roman rulers would not have listened to their complaints if belief in Jesus Christ was just one of the multitude of “other” religions for which Rome was famous for tolerating and even incorporating.
“The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jesus answered him, I spake openly to the world; I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort…” (Joh 18:19-20)
“Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover. Pilate then went out unto them, and said, What accusation bring ye against this man? They answered and said unto him, If he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee. Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death…Then Pilate…called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?” (Joh 18:28-35)
“…the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.” (Joh 5:18)
“And when we were come to Jerusalem, the brethren received us gladly. And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present. And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry. And when they heard it, they glorified the Lord, and said unto him, Thou seest, brother, how many thousands of Jews there are which believe; and they are all zealous of the law: And they are informed of thee, that thou teachest all the Jews which are among the Gentiles to forsake Moses, saying that they ought not to circumcise their children, neither to walk after the customs. What is it therefore? the multitude must needs come together: for they will hear that thou art come. Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them; Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law. As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication. Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification…the Jews which were of Asia, when they saw him in the temple, stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, Crying out, Men of Israel, help: This is the man, that teacheth all men every where against the people [the Jewish people], and the law, and this place: and further brought Greeks also into the temple, and hath polluted this holy place. (For they had seen before with him in the city Trophimus an Ephesian, whom they supposed that Paul had brought into the temple.[With good reason – read the passage above in the letter to the Ephesians!) And all the city was moved, and the people ran together: and they took Paul, and drew him out of the temple:…Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, he spake unto them in the Hebrew tongue, saying, Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defence which I make now unto you…I am verily a man which am a Jew, born in Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, yet brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers, and was zealous toward God, as ye all are this day…the high priest doth bear me witness, and all the estate of the elders…And it came to pass, that, as I made my journey, and was come nigh unto Damascus about noon, suddenly there shone from heaven a great light round about me. And I fell unto the ground, and heard a voice saying unto me, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And I answered, Who art thou, Lord? And he said unto me, I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest…And I said, What shall I do, Lord? And the Lord said unto me, Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do…And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there, Came unto me…And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance; And saw him saying unto me, Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me…And he said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles. And they gave him audience unto this word [Gentiles!], and then lifted up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth: for it is not fit that he should live.” (Act 21:18-40:22)
“And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul. And when he was called forth, Tertullus began to accuse him, saying, Seeing that by thee we enjoy great quietness, and that very worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence, We accept it always, and in all places, most noble Felix, with all thankfulness. Notwithstanding, that I be not further tedious unto thee, I pray thee that thou wouldest hear us of thy clemency a few words. For we have found this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition among all the Jews throughout the world, and a ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes: Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law…Then Paul…answered, Forasmuch as I know that thou hast been of many years a judge unto this nation, I do the more cheerfully answer for myself: Because that thou mayest understand, that there are yet but twelve days since I went up to Jerusalem for to worship. And they neither found me in the temple disputing with any man, neither raising up the people, neither in the synagogues, nor in the city: Neither can they prove the things whereof they now accuse me. But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy [i.e. of Judaism], so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void to offence toward God, and toward men. Now after many years I came to bring alms to my nation, and offerings. Whereupon certain Jews from Asia found me purified in the temple, neither with multitude, nor with tumult…Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead I am called in question by you this day. And when Felix heard these things, having more perfect knowledge of that way [that sect], he deferred them…” (Act 24:1-22)
The split between Judaism and Christianity was gradual and happened at different rates in different places. There is remarkably little agreement among scholars as to what precisely caused the rift and estimates vary about the date, from the middle of the first century CE to the middle of the fourth CE…The early Jewish church was Jewish in leadership and membership. It functioned in synagogues and had Pharisaic traditions and it never lost its traces of Rabbinic Halakha [religious law]…The Council of Necaea was summoned by the Emperor Constantine in 325 CE to settle the Arian dispute about the person of Christ. The Emperor himself, though unbaptised, presided…Christ was declared co- equal and co-eternal with the Father…Constantine had achieved his aim: to weld the Empire into a Christian spiritual block for political reasons.
…in the year 315, Constantine issued the following edict: We wish to make it known to the Jews and their elders and their patriarchs that if, after the enactment of this law, any one of them dares to attack with stones or some other manifestation of anger another who has fled their dangerous sect and attached himself to the worship of God [Christianity], he must speedily be given to flames and burn— together with all his accomplices. Moreover, if any one of the population should join their abominable sect and attend their meetings, he will bear with them the deserved penalties. This law had two purposes. One was to prevent Jews from interfering with relatives or friends who converted to Christianity. The other was to discourage Christians from converting to Judaism...By 325 CE, Constantine had absolute power in Rome; in ancient times this meant both political and religious power. That year he summoned 250 Christian bishops to a council in Nicaea… The council began by adopting a creed—a statement of common beliefs. The Nicene Creed expresses a belief in God, in Jesus Christ as the son of God, and in the Holy Spirit. But the bishops of the church went beyond simply defining what Christians believe. At this and later councils, they also moved to distinguish Christianity from Judaism. For example, early Christians, like other Jews, had observed the Sabbath on the seventh day of the week and then celebrated Jesus’s resurrection with special gatherings and meals on the first day of the week (Saturday night or Sunday). Now the council insisted that Christians would observe only Sunday and not the traditional Jewish Sabbath. The bishops also separated Christian commemorations of Easter from Jewish observances of Passover (the Jewish festival during which Jesus was crucified).
The religious doctrines of the Church Councils put the finishing touches on the political edicts. Christianity was split from Judaism…and joined to Paganism. The logical results of Christianity incorporating pagan beliefs and practices and distancing itself from Judaism was that Judaism determinedly eliminated Jesus Christ-ian, i.e. Messia-nic, elements from its new orthodoxy. This version, along with other monotheistic religions like Islam, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and others rejects the Messiah as God in human flesh.
“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” (I Joh 4:1-3)
What truly distinguishes the New Testament/Covenant from the Old is not a new religion of Christianity vs Judaism, or the permanent vs temporary indwelling of the Holy Spirit, but the realization of the concept of God in human form to expand beyond the only begotten Son of God to include mere mortals who through transformative death and resurrection unite with God as perfected righteous sons of God as promised in the Old Testament.
“For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them…That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us:” (Joh 17:21)
“Thus saith the LORD God; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel. And they shall come thither, and they shall take away all the detestable things thereof and all the abominations thereof from thence. And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh: That they may walk in my statutes, and keep mine ordinances, and do them: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.“ (Eze 11:17-20)
”Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the LORD God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. I will also save you from all your uncleannesses:“ (Eze 36:22-29)
This is so much more, and qualitatively so different from the general conception of “eternal life” being unending existence as ourselves in an immortal body.
“Now therefore so shalt thou say unto my servant David, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, I took thee from the sheepcote, from following the sheep, to be ruler over my people, over Israel: And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth. Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever. I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David. ” (II Sam 7:8-17)
“Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David.” (Isa 55:3)
“…they came to Antioch in Pisidia, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down. And after the reading of the law and the prophets the rulers of the synagogue sent unto them, saying, Ye men and brethren, if ye have any word of exhortation for the people, say on. Then Paul stood up, and beckoning with his hand said, Men of Israel, and ye that fear God, give audience. The God of this people of Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an high arm brought he them out of it…he divided their land to them by lot. And after that he gave unto them judges…And afterward they desired a king…he raised up unto them David to be their king; to whom also he gave their testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will. Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus…Men and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew [joined with as in marital relations] him not, nor yet [knew, became one with, identified themselves with] the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you. And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath. Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.” (Act 13:14-43)
The New Testament does not separate Jewish believers from Gentile Christians. It unites us. The essential Christian New Testament assurance of eternal salvation is based on the Old Testament promises. There is no “New” without an “Old”, and there is no credibility in the New without the Old.
“I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew…Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace…I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy…For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee…As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” (Ro 11:1-2, 5, 11-18, 28-29)
“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love…Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, [i.e. be united, two becoming one as The Old Testament describes men knowing their wives] from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.” (Jer 31:1,31-37)
The logical result of Christianity declaring Jews to be enemies and persecuting them in pogroms and exiles for 2,000 years was to drive God’s people away from their Savior. This is antithetical to true Christianity. If we Gentile believers in Jesus Christ can’t summon the charity to reconcile God’s beloved people to God, we should at least have the self-interest to do so. Jesus Christ gave us the motivation when he announced that he is not returning to finalize his defeat of sin and death until his co-rulers, the Jewish leaders, accept him as LORD.
“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers...O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matt 23:27-28, 37-39)
We don’t just sit on the sidelines, or escape the earth when trouble breaks out. If we have the Holy Spirit in us then he is working through us. Want the battle to be won? Then fight!
“Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child…And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which 1) keep the commandments of God, and 2) have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” (Rev 12:12-17)
“Brethren, [all fellow believers in Jesus Christ / Yeshua Messiah / YHVH’s Savior] my [Paul’s] heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved…For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (Ro 10:1, 11:15)
Certain words like Christian and church have been used for two thousand years to denote a Gentile religion, or way of establishing a relationship with God, which is different from, and succeeded and replaced the older Jewish religion. Judaism wasn’t even established until about 1,500 years into biblical history, so what was the religion before Judaism? This study reveals that there is only one way of salvation from sin and death for all humanity, from the first human to the last.
“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head” (Gen 3:15)
“…the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” (II Tim 1:8-10)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (Joh 3:16)
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Ro 1:16-17)
“…the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things…Who will render to every man according to his deeds…Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God….are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one…Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Ro 2:2-3:26)
“And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works..And I saw a new heaven and a new earth…And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it…And there shall in no wise enter into it any…but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Rev 20:11-21:27)
Failure to understand the meanings of names contributes to the confusion over the joint identity of the various manifestations of God as well as the joint identity of biblical Judaism and Christianity. Most of what we treat as God’s names are titles that can apply to other individuals, and multiple titles can apply to a single individual. I am both daughter and mother, but not two different people.
- God, elohim (plural), eloha or elohe (singular) in Hebrew, is found 2,598 times in the Old Testament alone. The fact that other beings besides the Judeo-Christian God are also referred to by this title should add significant depth to our understanding of this title. It indicates power.
- Human rulers/judges (I Sam 2:25), basically what we now call executives, because they make decisions (executive function of the brain) and have their orders carried out (executed). Executives have the power to put their plans, actions and laws into effect.
- Lesser gods (Ex 18:11) do have power, which is different from authority. As we shall see, some powerful beings defied the Father and act on their own plans rather than carry out his orders.
- Angels ”God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah…They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course. I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations [in the greatest corporate takeover in history]. (Psalm 82)
When we understand that “God” = the one who has the power to make and put plans into effect, we realize that the use of this title for the creator of everything introduces him as the most powerful being of all.
- Lord, or Adon in Hebrew, more frequently emphasized as Adonay (O Lord or my Lord). This as a title means ruler or master, someone with authority to influence others’ affairs for good or bad. This descriptor also applies to other beings, who often illegally seize authority through mutiny.
- Humans, such as masters over servants/employees, fathers who in ancient time held absolute authority within families, military superior officers, etc. “O generation, see ye the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?” (Jer 2:31)
- The gods who are false, not in the sense of unreal but in the sense of deceitful, promising to empower their followers but actually trapping and destroying them. “Thou shalt make no covenant with…their gods…for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.” (Ex 23:32-33) “O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise: therefore hast thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.” (Isa 26:13-14)
- Angels: “…a thing was revealed unto Daniel…I lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a certain man clothed in linen, whose loins were girded with fine gold of Uphaz: His body also was like the beryl, and his face as the appearance of lightning, and his eyes as lamps of fire, and his arms and his feet like in colour to polished brass, and the voice of his words like the voice of a multitude…Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words. But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia…then I opened my mouth, and spake, and said unto him that stood before me, O my lord…how can the servant of this my lord talk with this my lord? for as for me, straightway there remained no strength in me, neither is there breath left in me. Then there came again and touched me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me…And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for thou hast strengthened me. Then said he, Knowest thou wherefore I come unto thee? and now will I return to fight with the prince of Persia: and when I am gone forth, lo, the prince of Grecia shall come. But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and there is none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.“ (Dan 10)
The existence of other created gods and lords is why we address the God of creation as “God of gods and Lord of lords.” What makes him unique among all the gods is that he alone is creator and giver of life.
“O give thanks unto the LORD [Yahweh] ; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders…that by wisdom made the heavens…that stretched out the earth above the waters…that made great lights…The sun to rule by day…The moon and stars to rule by night:” (Psa 136:1-9)
“Thus saith [the] God [ha El, singular] the LORD [Yhvh], he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein…I am the LORD: [Yhvh] that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.” (Isa 42:5-8)
The personal name of the God of gods and Lord of lords is Yhvh. It is written and pronounced variously as Yahweh (you’ll see this in Strong’s Concordance), Yehoowah, or Jehovah (in the King James) because there are no written vowels to clue us into the correct pronunciation, and no verbal tradition handed down. This name is so highly respected by conservative Judaism that it is not pronounced at all, hence the substitution of “LORD” (all caps) which carried over even in English scriptures (including most of the occurrences in the King James). This name defines him as a merciful, forgiving and life-restoring God. This is expressed when God introduces himself to Moses. Notice how “name” is equivalent to “way” in this passage, equating “who we are” with “what we do.”
“And Moses said unto the LORD, See, thou sayest unto me, Bring up this people: and thou hast not let me know whom thou wilt send with me. Yet thou hast said, I know thee by name, and thou hast also found grace in my sight. Now therefore, I pray thee, if I have found grace in thy sight, shew me now thy way, that I may know thee, that I may find grace in thy sight…And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.“ (Ex 33:12-13 – 34:5-8)
Understanding that “who we are” is equivalent to “what we do” adds to our understanding of the statement made by the man called Yeshua at that time, that he would not come in his full power and glory until his co-rulers acknowledge him by proclaiming his identity through his abilities.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name [i.e. abilities] of the Lord/YHVH.” (Mat 23:37-39)
As per the documented historical pattern recognizable by the believers, this will be a miraculous, physics-defying rescue from tyranny first established with the nation of Israel in the Exodus from Egypt and repeated throughout the history of the nation. In other words, this man called Yeshua was claiming to have the power of Almighty God.
John was granted a vision of this future occurrence, I’m thinking to strengthen his faith as the nation of Judah was almost wiped out of existence towards the end of his lifetime. His record of this vision – the book of Revelation – deserves at least as much consideration as the prophecies of Nostradamus, just to be fair. More analysis in a later post, for now just note the prediction of the fulfillment of Yeshua’s promise is grounded in historically identical ways (get it?) that are unmistakable proofs of the supernatural abilities, therefore identity, of the same God returning to rescue his people once again. He alone, not any superman predicted by other prophets, provides legally defensible proof that we can trust his word.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. [From Zechariah 1:1-4 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius (i.e. in the context of Judah’s release from the Babylonian captivity) came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah…the prophet…say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD. with Zechariah 3:1-9 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?…And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch…and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. with Zecharaiah 4:12-14 What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?…These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.]
And if any man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed. [From II K 1:9-17 the king sent unto him a captain of fifty with his fifty…And he spake unto him, Thou man of God, the king hath said, Come down. And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty. Again also he sent unto him another captain of fifty with his fifty…And the fire of God came down from heaven, and consumed him and his fifty…So he [the king of Samaria] died according to the word of the LORD which Elijah had spoken.
These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: [from I Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite…said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
and have power over waters to turn them to blood, [From Exodus 7:19-20, And the LORD spake unto Moses, Say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and stretch out thine hand upon the waters of Egypt, upon their streams, upon their rivers, and upon their ponds, and upon all their pools of water, that they may become blood; and that there may be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood, and in vessels of stone. And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.
and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will. [from Deuteronomy 34:10-12 And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, In all the signs and the wonders, which the Lord sent him to do in the land of Egypt to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land, And in all that mighty hand, and in all the great terror which Moses shewed in the sight of all Israel.]
And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them. And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues and nations shall see their dead bodies three days and an half, and shall not suffer their dead bodies to be put in graves. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry, and shall send gifts one to another; because these two prophets tormented them that dwelt on the earth. And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them. And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” (Rev 11:3-13)
In magic, invoking a powerful being’s secret name gives access to that being’s power “to do”. It’s like knowing the doctor’s personal cell phone number, which I have for the doctor I work for. I can get straight through and make my requests known without being blocked by the staff. With this in mind, the interaction between sly Jacob and God takes on added meaning. Jacob is trying to gain power over God by learning his secret name, which explains to some extent why God did not give it to him.
“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day…And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there. And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Gen 32:24-30)
With this background, we understand that believers who receive a secret name are granted some special powers. This concept should be well understood in our current culture.
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” (Rev 2:17)
I don’t have personal experience in magic in its many forms but I can believe that sharing names and contact information with spirit beings does in fact create two-way connections. However, as another nonmaterial experience – on-line dating – proves, you can’t be in control of what happens next. We need to be careful about invoking, even unwittingly, names of spirit beings in activities like karate and yoga. There is only one name in which we can safely trust to accomplish a good thing for us.
“For the Lord God [Adonay Yhvh] will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. Who is among you that feareth the LORD [Yhvh] , that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD [Yhvh], and stay upon his God [Elohaw]. (Isa 50:7-10)
Notice that the English translation, at least in the King James, is not consistent in how it translates the different Hebrew titles for God, even in the same passage. First Yhvh is translated “God” then “LORD”. This can be seen as a literary device, a simple code for expressing the baseline singularity of the difference expressions of God.
God, in a variety of manifestations simultaneously, finally revealed his name to Israel’s children/descendants/tribe, in circumstances that prove that invoking the name establishes a relationship and access to power. The balance of power, of course, is tipped in favor of humans who gain access to immense power beyond our own limitations. Admit it. We think we’re doing God a huge favor when we give him anything that we imagine belongs to us, like a little bit of our money, or time, or attention, or obedience to his will.
“Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the 1) angel [malak/ messenger] 2) of the LORD [Yhvh] appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush [more on this person in the next post] …God/elohim called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said…I am the God/elohe of thy father, the God/elohe of Abraham, the God/elohe of Isaac, and the God/elohe of Jacob...And the LORD [Yhvh] said…Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt. And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, Certainly I will be with thee;…And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name [attributes, characteristics]? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: [ehyeh aser ehyeh, expressing a permanent state of being in the now, i.e. eternal, self-existent Being] and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you. And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, the Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Ex 3:1-15) Now therefore go, and 3) I [as my spirit] will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say…and thou shalt be…instead of God.” (Ex 4:12-16) We even find the fourth aspect of “the corporation”, a spirit-filled body of believers “…the Lord said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel…And I will come down and talk with thee there: and 4) I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.” (Nu 11:16-17)
And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD/Yhvh: And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah/Yhvh was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them…and I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am the LORD/Yhvh, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments: And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a [notice singular adjective modifying a plural noun] God/elohim: and ye shall know that I am the LORD/Yhvh your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.” (Ex 6:2-7)
The Exodus is not just a fascinating story. It takes up four entire books for a reason. It is the seminal redemption event that drives all the rest of human history. More on this in a later post. For now, just focus on the name Yhvh, and Jesus’ claim that it belongs to him.
- Jesus (English) = Iesous (Greek) = Yehoshua (Hebrew) = Yhvh is salvation
The transformation from the Hebrew Yehoshua to the English Jesus is most easily recognized in comparison with other biblical names compounding YHVH 1) in the ending of the name with a contraction of iah, or fairly recently in the English language, jah, or 2) in the beginning of the name with Yeho or Jeho. (Note that the English letter “J” was not invented until the 1600’s, after the original 1611 King James Bible spelled all words that now contain a “J” with an “I”.. The alternative letters, and alternative pronunciations of the same letters, used by different languages for the Hebrew “Y” is most readily apparent with the common name “John”, such as Yohannes, Jan, Wannes, Juan, Ioann, Ian, Giovane, Sean, Jose, Hans, Hermes. Hermes?! We’ll get back to him in a later post.
- Abi-jah: My Father is YHVH
- Eli-jah: My God is YHVH
- J/Yerem-iah: Exalted by YHVH
- J/Yeho-ram: YHVH is exalted – note how two names can have the same root words with a twist on the subject of the action
- Isa-iah: Salvation is YHVH – from the roots יָשַׁע(yasha‘) meaning “to save” and יָה (yah)
- J(eh)o-shua: YHVH is Salvation – English form of the Hebrew name יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (Yehoshu’a): from יְהוֹ (yeho and יָשַׁע(yasha‘ meaning “to save“
This directly links the Savior in the New Testament to the saving God of the Old Testament, not only of Israel but of the ancient patriarchs like Abel and Noah.
“And the malak Elohim/angel of the LORD appeared unto him [Moses] in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush…And when Yaweh/the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, Elohim /[plural] God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said…I am the Elohe/ [single] God of thy father, the Elohe/God of Abraham, the Elohe/God of Isaac, and the Elohe/God of Jacob…And Yaweh/the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people…and have heard their cry…I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them…And Moses said unto Elohim/God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The Elohim/God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And Elohim/God said…Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you…this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations. (Ex 3:2-15)
“Then spake Yahweh’s Savior/Yeshua/Jesus again unto them, saying, I Am the light of the world:[like the fire that Moses saw] he that followeth me [like Moses did] shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life…if ye believe not that I Am he, [the light of the world] ye shall die in your sins. Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Yahweh’s Savior/ Yeshua/ Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning [the Son of God Joh 1:34]…I proceeded forth and came from Theos/God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me...“Then said the Jews unto him, Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death. Art thou greater than our father Abraham, which is dead? and the prophets are dead: whom makest thou thyself?…Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” (Joh 8:12-58)
- Christ (English) = Xristos (Greek) = Messiah (Hebrew) = the Anointed One, which is to say the Designated, Appointed, Chosen or Consecrated One. This may be best translated into English as “Chosen One” for the purpose of, then “Consecrated One”, after the accomplishment of, salvation, promised to the first humans as “the seed of the woman“.
“And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Gen 3:14-15)
“And thou shalt put them [official garments] upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest’s office.” (Ex 28:40-41)
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Yaweh’s Consecrated Savior/Messiah Yeshua/Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that chose/appointed him…” (Heb 1:1-2)
- Church (English) = ekklesia (Greek) = qahal (Hebrew) = congregation, convocation, assembly of believers. This may indicate an Old or New Testament gathering of believers, a local sub-assembly or the total aggregate of all believers from all time.
“This is that Moses, which said unto the children of Israel, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear. This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sina, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” (Act 7:37-38)
“But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 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, And to Yahweh’s Savior/Yeshua/Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Heb 23:22-24)
Christ Jesus is the ultimate expression of the unity of Lord God YHVH.
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all princ-ipality [rule, authority] and power [godhood]:” (Col 2:6-10)
This is why Christ Jesus is the only name that saves.
“The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus...Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you…which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began…Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Act 3:13-19, 4:12)
When we know the translation we understand why invoking the name of Jesus Christ it is equivalent to calling on the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:” (Matt 28:19)
“…Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.” (Act 2:38)
This name is the source of our power.
“And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them…by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.” (Act 4:7-10)
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (Joh 14:13-14)
However, this does not empower us to fulfill our goals. Note, in the same passage apparently teaching the prosperity gospel the objective for empowerment is given – glorifying the Father in the Son. It’s that corporation concept – all the individuals working together as one to glorify God/the source of all power the Father/the Authority.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 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.” (Phili 2:5-11)
If you’ve ever read or watched historical drama you should be able to vividly capture the concept of defeated lords bending the knee and submitting to the King of kings who is the rightful heir to the throne of all the kingdoms. Humans have only two options – acknowledge him as Lord and live in peace with him, or rebel against his authority and be at war. That’s the story. The battle for control. If we are wise, we will ally with this Lord before the last battle begins.
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Chosen One/Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” (Rev 11:15-18)
The Bible begins – and ends – with creation for a reason. Creation is fundamental to humanity’s recognition of, and trust in, God’s authority and power.
What if you don’t believe in the biblical God who created everything in the universe and revealed himself to mankind as it suits his purposes? That’s OK. So far the thesis hasn’t been proven, it’s just been stated. There are numerous other claims of creator gods which can also be evaluated for credibility. Or you can consider the possibility that there are no gods at all and we humans are the most intelligent beings in the universe.
Seriously? “Scientists have been warning for decades that human actions are pushing life on our shared planet toward mass extinction.”
By default, we put our faith in something. Even people who claim to be rational by believing what science “proves” are actually trusting in the scientists.
Which of the below images is accurate? Because they are all different, although reported to have all been taken from outer space. Isn’t it obvious that they are all bogus? The photoshoppers don’t even bother to maintain consistency. Are they banking on our gullibility or mocking it?
You are trusting in what you are told by scientists, and they can’t even prove what they claim to be reality.
Scientists can only describe the observable states of being in the physical, social, and psychological domains, and that leaves out a great deal of invisible reality. Even what can be observed is limited by the available tools, and, well, the availability of the matter to be observed, which anything that happened in the past is not. You must admit that scientific theories are unreliable, always in flux, old theories discarded and replaced by new ones as new evidence comes to light.
After achieving a few minor technological breakthroughs in the 19th century scientists falsely so-called factored God out of the observable order and design of the physical world and substituted Chaos Theory, the Big Bang and evolution as the totally evidence-less and never observed process that uses circular reasoning and contradicts all accepted scientific methods of deriving a theory to propose a process that inexplicably overcame the scientifically proven and patently obvious process of entropy/degeneration that occurs constantly, but given billions of years the unscientific process of spontaneous generation inexplicably reversed the process of degeneration and inexplicably resulted in an unimaginably complex and interdependent universe through randomness despite the component parts being unable to come into being or be sustained without the existence of the other parts which couldn’t come into being or be sustained without the existence of…
The theory of evolution is not science. It requires the ultimate suspension of disbelief, the necessary explanation for people desperate to deny the existence and very essence of God whose laws encompassing body, soul and spirit – physics, psychology, morality – must be obeyed or bad things will happen. Has not 6,000 years of human experimentation in revolting against fundamental laws of nature proven that?
Darwin’s evolution is one of the many 19th century humanist philosophies, the necessary alternative explanation for how we and the world around us came into Being and continuously Becomes.
Belief in physical evolution inevitably leads to belief in psychological evolution – self-improvement without God’s guidance or empowerment.
[Abraham] Maslow maintains that self-actualization is everything a person can become, an ultimate achievement. But we can’t see what we can become because we are dominated by whatever need pulls at us. Maslow is well known for his hierarchical depiction of deficit and growth needs which offer a path of learning, of becoming. Becoming necessitates constant venturing into the unknown. It suggests the ability to move toward, or maintain, being, a means of moving with life’s experiences by saturating yourself in each moment and, at the same time, by completely letting go of each moments. It is an unfolding. The conditions of your life emanate from that instant.
Self-evolving is a belief system for people who actively or unwittingly put their faith in 19th century’s Immanuel Kant’s preaching that “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed… inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another,” and proclaiming with Neitzsche that “God is dead!” Ummm, so how’s that been working through the 20th century?
“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.” (Psa 2:1-3)
When science itself disproved the Big Bang and evolution, it fell back into trusting in the old gods, repackaged as aliens from outer space, which obviously just ignores the question of their origins. How is that highly educated men can believe in more highly advanced beings in outer space but refuse to believe in a Designer of a most evidently designed and maintained world? Ahh, it’s that bottom line conclusion – who’s in charge, then, of my life? Scientists and politicians delude themselves into believing the “more highly advanced beings” will graciously share their knowledge and power with earthlings, because they know for a fact there is no alliance with an all-powerful owner of this world and all that is in it, only submission to his will.
And while we’re on that subject, what payment do you think these alien beings will demand of their political allies? Oh yes, enslavement of the masses. Those who survive being cleared out because they’re not deemed fit for their use, that is. Sounds like rabid conspiracy? No, it’s not only ancient history but recent news and it’s current policy.
The unchanging Bible explains physical science as well as invisible, spiritual, other-dimensional states of being, the past as well as the future. We are honest when we acknowledge that we can’t scientifically determine these states of being, we can only know whatever someone who was there and capable himself of understanding the states of being communicates to us, if he chooses to have a Word with us. We rationally choose to put our faith in both honestly conducted science and God’s Word when we honestly examine the evidence provided in both realms.
For example, over thousands of years the Bible has proven itself to be accurate. “Mathematicians have calculated the odds of Jesus fulfilling only 8 of the [approximately 300] Messianic prophecies as 1 out of 1017 (a 1 followed by 17 zeros). This is equivalent to covering the entire state of Texas with silver dollars 2 feet deep, marking one of them, mixing them all up and having a blindfolded person select the marked one at random the first time – What Are The Odds?”
“God…Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son…by whom also he made the worlds…being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power,” (Heb 1:1-3)
“And the Spirit of God moved…And God said…” (Gen 1)
The biblical revelation that matter was created from energy (Spirit of God moved) and sound (God said…) has been intensely studied by theoretical physicists. Einstein is famous for the equation “E=mc2 which established that energy (E) can be converted into matter (m) when acted upon by light (c2). Recently physicists have empirically demonstrated this. Current physics research is exploring how resonance, a quality of sound, holds together everything in the universe.
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the [spoken] word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Heb 11:3)
Stating that science validates the Bible confirms that reality/truth is not hidden, God has revealed it. Faith is not the opposite of reason. It is the end result of reason. The opposite of faith is rebellion against God’s evident power and authority. The known world proves the existence and nature of God, in whom we then choose, or not, to place our faith for the unknowable and uncontrollable aspects of our own lives.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psa 19:1-3)
The oldest book in the Bible is usually treated as a lesson in suffering, but it teaches a much more fundamental lesson. Job is the archetype of every individual who questions the nature of God and his relationship to humanity. He asks the questions every single individual needs to find out. “Are you there? What are you like? Do I matter to you? Can you get me out of this mess I’m in? Is there life after death?”
“What is man, that thou shouldest magnify him? and that thou shouldest set thine heart upon him? And that thou shouldest visit him every morning, and try him every moment? How long wilt thou not depart from me, nor let me alone till I swallow down my spittle? I have sinned; what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? And why dost thou not pardon my transgression, and take away my iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust; and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be.” (Job 7:17-21)
Significantly – most significantly – God responds by directing Job’s attention to Creation. If we are going to get acquainted with God and enter into a relationship with him, we have to start at the beginning.
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me. Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth, as if it had issued out of the womb?…And said, Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further: and here shall thy proud waves be stayed? Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth, that the wicked might be shaken out of it? (Job 38:1-13)
Read God’s entire answer to Job beginning in chapter 38 and notice how it parallels the account of creation in Genesis 1. We can only begin to know God’s character and interest in us by accepting him as an Omnipotent and Omniscient Creator of ourselves and a world that was made for us that is not only Being but Becoming.
This is the fundamental biblical Flat Earth/Enclosed Earth argument, which is beyond the scope of this post. You can explore that topic or not as you choose. More on this topic as its significance comes into play with the narrative. For now, is it possible for the reader to even consider that your beliefs about God and Creation may have been, even subliminally, distorted by the massive amounts of propaganda you’ve been exposed to in the oppositional-defiant approach to God in the educational and entertainment sectors?
One unarguable scientific fact is that the maps attempting to represent a round globe are KNOWN to be false. This fact alone should give any thinking person a scientific reason to question the globe model and consider a flat earth model, with all the subsequent implications about outer space.
The following information is taken from non-Christian sites. This is not a Creationism argument. This is a long-standing and well-known problem within cartography.
The Peters Projection World Map is one of the most stimulating, and controversial, images of the world. When this map was first introduced by historian and cartographer Dr. Arno Peters at a Press Conference in Germany in 1974 it generated a firestorm of debate…The challenge of any world map is to represent a round earth on a flat surface…The Peters Projection is an area accurate map.
Our maps have been lying to us for centuries.
The standard classroom maps we all learned geography from are based on the Mercator projection, a 16th century rendering that preserved lines used for navigation while hideously distorting the true sizes of continents and oceans further from the equator…
For centuries, cartographers have made numerous attempts to account for the inconsistency…The problem was so widespread that a French mathematician even developed an eponymous equation to quantify the degree of distortion that a map experienced.
Sinusoidal Projection: …succeeds in presenting a more accurate view of the poles, but at the cost of misshapen continents and bent meridians.
Robinson Projection: …pulling out the edges of the map to mimic a sphere…It was used by both Rand McNally and the National Geographic Society at one point.
Bonne Projection: …dates back to the 16th century. The heart shape preserves integrity near the center, but gets progressively more unrealistic as it moves outward.
Armadillo Projection: …keeps the continents in decent shape while causing the oceans to appear smaller, and cutting off half of Australia and all of New Zealand.
The 2016 winner of Japan’s prestigious Good Design,..preserves the true dimensions of the continents by angling them outward instead of stretching them…Their website states that the goal was to create map better suited to address the problems of the 21st century, including rapidly diminishing sea ice and territorial claims of marine territory, by more accurately depicting what areas near the poles actually look like.
Called the AuthaGraph, the result is a map that looks a little different that most of us are used to…Most importantly, the continents are all rendered as they actually appear. Africa has regained its geographic primacy while North America and Europe are shrunk back to their true sizes. The oceans, too, are finally represented accurately. By breaking longstanding rules governing how the continents and lines of latitude and longitude should appear, Narukawa has achieved a geographically accurate depiction of Earth.
Interesting that the United Nations’ flag had already used the “geographically accurate depiction” of a flat earth, only circular, and with Antarctia represented by the enclosing peace wreath. What do they know that they’re keeping from us?
This layout of the earth, which doesn’t taper the “southern hemisphere”, is the only way that airline flight routes make sense.
“Then Job answered the LORD and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further. Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be right-(eous)?…Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.“ (Job 38:1-4) 40:1-8, 42:1-6)
It is often taught that God never answered Job’s question “Why?”. I disagree. Ever work in an organization where there are office politics and rivals and pitfalls and back room maneuverings to climb the ladder? There is no orientation manual we can read to educate us beyond policies and procedures to the relational aspects of our job. It is only through shared experiences that we develop a more knowledgeable and effective working and personal relationship with our boss. As we come to understand his motives, objectives and boundaries we no longer have to have every detail of our assigned tasks spelled out. We are entrusted with responsibility to handle problems by applying his thoughts and his ways to our responses. And we often have to take a hit as we cover his back during a strategic move by power-seeking adversaries. Yes, sometimes it feels like we have been abandoned, but when you think about how much trust God is putting in us, it’s very uplifting.
The book of Job, like any book, begins and ends with a thesis. At the beginning we are informed that God and Satan begin a game of Risk. Then consider the last piece of information God gives Job as he replies to his questions, at the end of an entire chapter devoted to his adversary. “…he is a king over all the children of pride.” (Job 41:34) Hint, hint! We’re in a battle for total domination! And Job gets it. Genesis hasn’t been written by Moses yet, but the account has been passed down the generations, as Job’s faith in the promised destruction of the seed of the serpent by the seed of the woman proves. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand [stance of victory] at the latter day upon the earth:” (Job 19:25)
When God pointedly draws Job’s attention to Leviathan/ crooked serpent/ dragon/ Satan, Job’s response is, “I know [now] that thou canst do every thing” even deliver me from evil, for thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory (Mat 6:13) and keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 1:24)…”I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee [in action]. (Job 42:2,5) Job had previously “known about” God, but now he “knows God.” Job’s personal experience brought him into a personal relationship with “the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” Jude 1:25)
So it must be with every person who would be on good terms with God. Our faith in God starts with accepting that he is the Creator and Lord of all, develops through listening to his messengers like Eli-hu / My God-he [is], but must progress beyond that to a personal repentance of our resistance to, and a conversion to submission to his authority, which is the only possible right-eous relationship we can have with him.
“…I [Job] abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. And it was so, that after the LORD had spoken these words unto Job, the LORD said to Eliphaz the Temanite, My wrath is kindled against thee, and against thy two friends: for ye have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job hath.“ (Job 42:6-7)
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Ro 8:18-22)
How is it that scientists who deny intelligence behind the origin of the earth preach the need for very high intelligence to deal with potential end-of-the-earth catastrophes in the maintenance of this complex earth by inventing a new Environmental Science as an interdisciplinary study in the fields of ecology, biology, physics, chemistry, zoology, mineralogy, oceanology, limnology, soil science, geology, atmospheric science, and geodesy, all of which dependent upon and impact each other?
It’s that simple. Either this universe was created and brought into existence with all the interdependent parts put into place instantaneously by an unimaginably powerful being whose attributes are beyond our limited scientific comprehension or it happened by chance against all odds and against all scientific principles and observed processes. Which is harder to believe? I trust that you question the veracity of what you encounter in the news, education and advertising, then you evaluate it. I propose that you treat the literature of the Bible with the same consideration. Keep an open mind when you encounter statements that are contrary to your existing paradigm, and study enough of it to evaluate its claims.
Especially when it comes to biblical truths.