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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 is primarily a timeline showcasing the first 1,656 years after Adam was created, and before the Great Flood on the Earth, providing a genealogy ancestry slice from Adam to Noah and his three sons Sham, Ham, and Japheth. Like any history with many dates and people, understanding and picturing this can be a challenge. The Time-Spans Timeline^2 Squared chart presented here shows the timeline in a novel way to how it is usually depicted. This one-page chart highlights the (1) birth years (2) father & sons, (3) longevities (ages), (4) relative years since Adam was created, and (5) overlapping lifespans visualizations.

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

Genesis 5 Timeline Squared One-Pager

You can use the above timespan chart to answer numerous timeline based trivia questions, like the following:

Genesis Chapter 5 Trivia: // Besides other sons & daughters
(1) Who was alive when Enoch was on Earth?
(2) Who could Jared not get to know?
(3) Who was Enosh’s Grandfather?
(4) Who lived a longer lifespan than Adam?
(5) Whose disclosed lifespan was the shortest?
(6) Who died 1,290 years after Adam was created?
(7) Who was Jared’s Great Grandfather?
(8) How long after Enosh was Jared Born?
(9) Who would have had no chance to know Noah?
(10) Who lived at right time to know all mentioned by name?

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5, while primarily a written recorded textual timeline, also contains a few special verses outside the timeline.

Genesis 5:1 (ESV): 1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God.

God re-iterated that humankind was created in his image, which means in the context of scriptures that people with God’s divine intervention, have the ability to be holy, loving, kind, generous, forgiving, and merciful like God. Jesus Christ who came as the Savior of the World, as the Son of God, who lived a perfect life, died to bear the sins of many people who are repentant and come to a living & enduring & growing faith. Jesus Christ is the way we come to know the truth about this life of ours, and come to know God the Father, and the Holy Spirit.

Genesis 5:2 (ESV): 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created.

Because God made humankind, starting with Adam and Eve, with the ability to reproduce, future generations of Adam and Eve are a result of the biological reproduction processes Our Creator established.

The Bible Genesis Chapter 5 lifespans illustrate an untapped scientific & behavioral opportunity to increase our lifespans to hundreds of years. At the time of this writing, many people considered to live a full life have lifespans ranging from 70 to 120 years. Whether humankind will find out the secret to longer life spans is presently unknown, yet God illustrated the potential exists. At this juncture, it is speculation on whether humankind in following God and searching the sciences will be granted access to this door to longevity.

Genesis 5:28-29 (ESV): 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.”

The statement of Lamech who fathered Noah, foreshadows the the importance placed upon the birth of Noah. As history unfolded after hundreds of years, God sends a great flood upon the Earth. God spares Moses and his wife, and his sons, and their wives, and pointed to a brighter future for humankind.

Genesis 5:24 (ESV): 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

To better understand the mystery of how God took Enoch, please see the related presentation on the Bible Genesis Creation Account at http://www.slideshare.net/creationary/bible-genesis-creation-account and the related post at https://bibleopia.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/bible-genesis-creation-account-universe-tools-paradigm-comparison-literal-creator-days/, which covers Genesis Chapter 1 & 2 in the context of scriptures, and answers question about the time Our Creator used in designing, rending, and operating Our Universe. The key point is how Enoch walked with God can be thought of as similar to how digital application programs are ported from platform to platform. God is likewise able to port people to Eternal Life or Torment Forever, depending upon a righteous judgement based upon the life each person has lived. Like Elijah later, Enoch was taken & did not die. One wonders if all humankind, before our fall into sin with its’ death penalty, was originally to have this option to graduate from life on Earth to be taken by God to have a close relationship with God in Heaven.

You are welcome to download the Bible Genesis 5 Timeline Squared Presentation PDF, at https://bibleopia.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/bible-genesis-5-timeline-squared-pdf.pdf which also contains the answers to the trivia questions posed earlier.

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God's Sovereignty Control Chance ChoiceAcross the world, people wonder how much is predetermined & predestined (see related Ephesians 1 Audience article). What must happen that we can do nothing about? What is fate? Where does our free will come in during this life? The answer to these questions significantly impacts one’s world view and even how God‘s own scriptures are understood. In the Christian community, people agree that God is Sovereign, yet what does that mean in terms of God’s control, our choices, and chance itself? While there are over-simplificiations out there, what does the Bible have to say?

Chance Under the Sun:

What does the Bible say about Chance? Does it exist? Even if it exists, is it marginal? Does chance impact people’s life?

The Wise King Solomon shares in our Biblical Scriptures that chance happens to people in many areas of life.

Ecclesiastes 9:11 (ESV): 11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

The scripture shares from our viewpoint, from observing how the world works, that chance does exist, chance is not marginal, and chance impacts people’s lives.

Chance impacts the outcomes of battles within a war, who wins competitions, the food you have to eat, how wealthy or poor you will be, and whether you’ll be treated favorably in this life.

Chance Under the Son of God:

What did the Son of God say about Chance?

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is one with God, who existed before Our Universe was created, who is greater than King Solomon, speaks to us about being a good neighbor, and about the presence of chance, in the Parable of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:29-37 (ESV): 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.”

The Son of God revealed God the Father‘s divine message, and God’s divine message recognizes chance. Clearly Jesus could have revealed any other message, like that by the Divine Providence of God, the Priest was made to pass by there. Jesus clearly acknowledges chance was the reason. The Divine perspective by the co-creator of Our Universe is that chance is real, that chance definitely exists, and that chance influences who is in & out of our lives.

Chance under God’s Sovereignty:

Do you find the Wise Revelations of King Solomon and the Divine Revelation of Jesus Christ the Son of God concerning the presence of chance as disturbing? Even the highly respected scientist / theorist Albert Einstein found it unpalatable, saying:

“God does not play dice with the universe.” — Albert Einstein, The Born-Einstein Letters 1916-55, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/2669-god-does-not-play-dice-with-the-universe

Does chance undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of chance?

Let’s consider a thought experiment, which is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how chance exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you made random moves, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No randomness in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Choice in Our Universe:

The Divine Word of God illustrates many choices people have, as already elaborated upon on the topic of “What Choice Do You Have?” .  To Summarize, People have Choices like the following:

God tells the truth and does not lie. God gives you legitimate choices. God wishes for you to pick blessings, but will let you pick curses. Pick Wisely!

Choice under God’s Sovereignty:

Does choice undermine God’s Sovereignty?  How can God be Sovereign even in the midst of choice?

Let’s consider the other side of that same thought experiment, except this time with choice rather than chance. A thought experiment is a common tool scientists use to understand complexity. This thought experiment will illustrate how choice exists without undermining God’s Sovereignty.

Most everyone is familiar with the game of tic tac toe. Imagine you were playing a game with an opponent who is invincible. Even if you use your intellect to makes the most intelligent move choices, you would still be unable to win. The game itself at best results in a tie when playing with an invincible player. Think about God’s Sovereignty in the same way. No deliberate choice in the game play undermines God’s Sovereignty in any way by design.

Control under God:

What are ways in which God institutes control in our world, to optimize the outcomes that result in the midst of chance, choice, and the fallen character & fallen culture of humankind?

The entire Bible’s testifies into the ways God has intervened with promises and with actions in the 66 Books of Bible. God promised to send his Son Jesus Christ into the world to bear our sins. Jesus Christ came and offers to bear the sins of all who become true believers & followers of his.

  • God intervened with the flood, saving Noah and his immediate family
  • God used Prophets to warn Kings
  • God intervened in battles & wars
  • God appointed & disciplined Kings
  • God sent Prophets who delivered God’s message and performed miracles to help people
  • God performed miracles to heal others, feed people in need, bring people back to life, and to teach deep theological lessons about forgiveness
  • God transforms the personal & eternal character of those who diligently seek him with all their heart, mind, body, soul, and strength
  • God reminds us of our choices & responsibilities
  • God determines the bounds of the length of our days & the locations of our journeys, though is open to change those bounds upon request, under the right circumstances
  • Jesus Christ came back to the Earth after his death to testify again to the Divine & Eternal Truth & Life found in The Way

Even though God rested from adding new physical rules governing Our Universe after the 6 days of creation (see Bible Genesis Creation Account), God still intervenes in Our Creation for the benefit of our souls.

The Wise King Solomon also acknowledges that although chance exists, God is able to intervene in chance.

Proverbs 16:33 (ESV): 33 The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

This verse does not preclude God from deciding that the outcome is to be determined by chance, yet rather asserts God’s ability & right to intervene in a way that looks like it was just chance.

This means that just as many people have seen God acting in the world through what seemed like chance fluke outcomes, that at least in some of those cases, it was God acting, even though it’d be difficult to prove at times.

“Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous.”, Albert Einstein, The World as I See It, http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/14140-coincidence-is-god-s-way-of-remaining-anonymous

Even though much encouragement can be gained from observing these events, make sure your faith rests on the firm foundation of God’s Word. Likewise, looking back at the Parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus does not reveal whether the Samaritan was there by chance, or by God’s intervention.

Control under the Son of God:

The ultimate control over all is in the process of being handed over by God the Father to God the Son, Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 (ESV): 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all.

Because all people have sinned, except for Jesus, all deserve death for their wrongdoing. Jesus’ life & death provided a way for those who were enemies of God, to become God’s friends, and to obtain forgiveness of sins and everlasting life (reference Hebrews 2 (ESV) at BibleGateway.com and Romans 6 (ESV))

God is Sovereign in the Midst of Chance & Choice:

The analogy to use Tic Tac Toe provides a simple way for people to understand these very complex and robust concepts about God’s Sovereignty & Control in the midst of Chance & Choice in our life.

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am optimistic that many who are presently secular will be able to understand this mystery, since a very similar analogy is present in the 1983 science fiction movie War Games. The basic premise is that a self-aware computer gets the codes necessary to start nuclear war, and only by running several simulations of Nuclear War and Tic Tac Toe does the self-aware computer grasp finally that there is no guaranteed way to win.

In the context of religion, understand that there is no way to win against God, yet the way to win, is with God, through his Son Jesus Christ.

Isaiah 54:16-17 (ESV): 16 Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; 17 no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord.”

God ran the necessary calculations & setup the appropriate controls & contingency plans ahead of time to ensure it, even though the calculations are more complex than Tic Tac Toe or Global Nuclear War scenarios. To understand more how creation & calculations are intertwined, refer to the Genesis Creation Account Universe Tools Paradigm.

Games like Tic Tac Toe and even more advanced games like Chess are generally understood to lead to ties, if neither side made any mistakes. Satan the Devil will  will face final defeat, having already made a mistake by rebelling against God (Ezekiel 28 (ESV), and by tempting humankind to fall away from God (see Genesis 3 (ESV)). God is Sovereign, and worthy to receive all the honor, power, and glory (see Revelation 4 (ESV))

For those who find chance and choice distasteful, rest in this assurance, that God is Sovereign whether or not you accept the realities of chance and choice. You can also comfort yourself, knowing you are in well-respected company, as even the honored scientist Albert Einstein found that concept distasteful, despite investigations of Our Universe pointing to the conclusion that God does play dice with the Universe. The thought experiments introduced complement scriptural illustrations to show God plays dice with the Universe responsibly. 

Each person has the responsibility to seek God and his righteousness to live in faith, being faithful to God.

Romans 5:1-4 (ESV): 1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Seeking always to do what is right out of faith is expected of everyone, regardless of your viewpoints on God’s Sovereignty, Chance, Choice, Predestination, Election, and Calling. While people might want to debate these Paradigms, never miss your own personal responsibility, so you’ll accompany fellow believers in the New Heaven and New Earth for eternity.

The Wise King Solomon recognized that many aspects in life are subject to time & _________________.

Jesus, the Son of God, revealed that ______________ exists in life.

You have the responsibility to ___________ good or evil.

You have a ___________ to seek God’s righteousness.

God plays dice with the Universe _____________.

There is no way to ______ against God, yet the way to ________, is with God, through his Son _______ _______.

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Scan of a DVD 4.5 capacity disk

Scan of a DVD 4.5 capacity disk (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

People in God’s Image:

God created people in his image to be able to aspire to become increasingly like God as people increase in knowledge & experiences throughout their lives.

Genesis 1:26-27 (ESV): 26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.

Computer Software Images:

Likewise when computers are setup physically or virtually, they are often setup from a software image containing Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) provided operation system (O/S) & applications, or tailored configurations & applications for specific audiences & purposes.

Original Human Image:

The original image God provided for people’s mind & soul was not corrupted by sin & evil, just like buyers typically expect software images purchased & acquired to be free of viruses, malware, and other harmful programs. Our human image was originally an uncorrupted version of the image of God, and in the image of the Son of God, who came later as Jesus the Savior, who is one in essential character with God the Father.

Character Choice for Good and Evil:

Just like God has the choice of whether to choose good versus evil, so also people faced that same choice. God’s character, being solid, and unchanging, always chooses to be good, while people’s character had yet to be fully formed through their life experiences. Operating system platforms with included applications are typically very flexible. Likewise, God is very capable. So too people had a very capable platform in their mind & soul, which even supports upgrades, whether good or not.

Originally Narrow Path to Sin:

In the Garden of Eden, God mercifully setup a narrow path for people to limit their opportunities to sin, even though they could rebelliously & distrustfully choose that path. God narrowed this opportunity around whether to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. God clearly instructed Adam & Even not to eat it. God advised the adverse outcome to be their death if they chose to eat it.

With Humanity & Choice, Comes Temptation: 

When Jesus the Son of God came to the Earth, Jesus was tested & tempted by the Devil, who is also known as Satan. God never subjects anyone to testing & temptations beyond their ability. While being tempted is not sinful, succumbing to evil is sinful. It is reasonable to expect that Satan had to secure God’s permission to tempt Adam & Eve, or negotiate terms under which they could be tempted, since this was similarly Job’s circumstance.

Limits to Human Wisdom:

It’d be wonderful if with freedom of choice also came perfect decision-making. King Solomon, the wisest person on Earth, even made poor decisions, despite having a multitude of counselors available & knowing advisors are valuable. The net result is there are limits to human wisdom. The Universe Tools Paradigm perspective is that Our Universe is being driven behind the scenes by computations. This perspective makes it apparent that the computation power of just a few pounds of material in the human mind is limited compared to city, county, continent, planet, solar system, galaxy, and cosmos size computational power. The net result is a proper character must underlie decision-making. This human character must be informed by God’s advice & involvement through faith.

The Decision & It’s Propagation:

Just like parents want the best for their children, and yet can not make the choices for their children as they mature, so too God had to permit people to make choices as they matured. While God provided good advice, it was disregarded deliberately, as was further consultation with God on that decision bypassed. When Adam & Eve decided to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good & Evil in midst of the Garden of Eden, it was a decision that corrupted their image. By analogy, this is like computer software’s image being corrupted so badly it can not be trusted nor easily rectified. When that corrupted image is duplicated to additional physical or virtual machines, the corruption is propagated. When Adam & Eve had children, this propagated the corrupted image.

You Reap what You Sow:

As people are aware today, there are so many ways to sin, that it is very easy to sin in thought, word, and deed, with the way to eternal punishment being a wide path. The original sin sown by Adam & Eve to disregard God’s voice reaped our human tendency to pick from a world full of sinful choices baked into our character. People are brought to justice when they use software in sinful ways, and efforts are made to eliminate that software. What is your recourse as a person, when your “mind & heart & soul image” is sinful and guilty? Even if your image were fixed, you would still be guilty of past offenses, and deserve to reap eternal punishment.

Ten Commandments Reveal Vulnerabilities:

The God-given Ten Commandments provide instructions on what God expects. Because our character has been corrupted, the Ten Commandments also serve to show that people have this corrupted image. To a certain degree, this is like intrusion detection software / anti-virus software identifying the signature of infections and viruses. The Ten Commandments reveal where vulnerabilities are, just like penetration testers often do with software & hardware platforms. While the Ten Commandments are strong in identifying corrupted images, they are weak as they justly sentence the entire individual image to eternal quarantine away from what is good & right.

New Incorruptible Image:

What is needed is an incorruptible image that is fully human, yet is fully righteous as God is, so that the compromised & corrupted image can be replaced with an updated incorruptible image. Jesus, the Son of God, as the Savior of the World, entered into humanity. God implanted this perfect image in the virgin Mary, who later married Joseph. The Holy Spirit worked diligently, even in the womb, to ensure the Son of God’s image was fully imprinted to meet this challenge. This perfect image was different, in that it was a fully developed character, the character of Jesus the Son of God, in the person of Jesus Christ.

Fully Tested Incorruptible Image:

Unlike Adam & Eve, Jesus’ image was proven incorruptible. Jesus’ character stood up to temptation, hypocrisy, threats, punishment, and death, even a brutally painful death on the cross. Satan, the Devil, like the ultimate penetration tester and ultimate hacker, yet with ill intent, fully tested out this incorruptible image as unbreakable. Just like updated software, applications, networks, and services are tested in the real world, so Jesus the Son of God’s image was tested. This image proved secure.

Incorruptible Image Available to All People:

Through Faith in Jesus Christ the Son of God, this incorruptible image from Jesus the Savior is available to all people. Like a wise person building their house on a sure foundation is able to weather life’s storms, so too building our lives on this secure foundation of Jesus’ image by seeking & listening & following Jesus’ words is wise. This image upgrade process starts in this life, and finishes in the next life. To secure your future eternally, enroll for the upgrade to the only incorruptible image God is offering. It is the only human image ever proven secure! It is the secure image of Jesus Christ! People are inherently unable to make themselves & their image secure. Only with God’s intervention through Jesus Christ the Son of God are each individual persons’ image secured.

Secure Image Released from Eternal Punishment:

Even after starting an upgrade to the only secure image available, how would one become released from eternal punishment from past offenses committed previously by the corrupted image? The answer is the deserved punishment and quarantine was placed upon that secure image as well, as God temporarily forsook that secure image too, when death was wrongly inflicted upon the perfect uncorrupted image of Jesus Christ. This punishment could not justly remain on the secure image forever, being undeserved. Our goal is to have as much of the secure image of Jesus Christ in each of us, with as much of the older corrupted image eliminated as possible. This way, when judgement comes, God sees and rescues from eternal punishment that secure image in you, integrated with you, and you.

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English: Square root of x formula. Symbol of m...

English: Square root of x formula. Symbol of mathematics. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Christian theology, it is understood God is infinite. Jesus Christ as the Son of God came as a person as a Son of Man in bodily form.

Colossians 1:15-19 (ESV): 

15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. 19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

In Jesus is the fullness of God, being one in character & nature with God. Since our brains weigh just a few pounds, a reasonable starting hypothesis is that people are finite. The question naturally arises as to whether the finite can embrace the infinite. The answer to this questions is found in mathematics and applied mathematics in the sciences. In mathematics reasoning, it is possible to represent the infinite with finite equations as is often done with Calculus, limits, and even simple algebraic equations. With proper reasoning and tools, the infinite is applied to decision processes. In science & engineering, while the answer can actually be finite, in cases where the answer  is infinite, for real world applications, the answers are approximated by the finite. This teaches us that at times there is an interplay between the finite and the infinite.

Colossians 1:24-29 (ESV): 

24 Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ‘s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, 25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. 29 For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.

This fullness of God is not meant to be limited to Christ alone, since God through his Son Jesus Christ is calling us to open the doors to our souls to welcome Christ within us. Embrace the Infinite! Embrace Jesus Christ!

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A lens.

A lens. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Viral Lens to Perceive Devil’s Work

Viewing the Devil’s influence via a “thought virus” lens adds insights into the Devil’s destructive nature. The effects of the Devil’s interference starting with Adam & Eve rippled throughout humanity, leading to massive waves of death, lying, steeling, infidelity, bribery, abuse, despair, bitterness, hostility, disease propagation, warfare, envy, and many more problematic behaviors, intents, and mindsets.

Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus.

Electron micrograph of monkeypox virus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Propagation of Viruses

Just like a virus can make a person sick, the Devil’s way of approaching the world harms peoples’ mental & spiritual health, and in several circumstances their physical health too via resulting unhealthy living. As a virus can spread from host to host, so the Devil’s influence spreads from person to person.

Virus Types

While only some viruses are harmful to healthy people, the D

evil’s influence is like a harmful virus type. The Devil’s ways destroy people’s lives, leading people to contribute to their own downfall, from the rich to middle class to poor. Partial impacts are often seen in this lifetime, where people’s behaviors lead to addictions, broken relationships, and mistreatment of others. Without intervention, this ultimately presents a bleak outlook for one’s eternal destination & rewards.

Brain scanning technology is quickly approachi...

Brain scanning technology is quickly approaching levels of detail that will have serious implications (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thought Virus Medicine

Ultimately, the Devil seeks to have people remain in rebellion to God’s ways to deprive them of the medicine God offers. God’s “thought virus medicine” comes through following Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Jesus Christ’s message and life show us the way to live according to God’s wisdom & expectations. Jesus’ message enables people to confront their destructive “thought viruses” and seek God’s power to challenge and evict them.

Love Leads to Virus Intervention

Jesus is the Son of God, and is one with God, because Jesus’ character is the essence of God’s character. God loves and cares for others and sees their potential. Just like a parent cares for their children, God wishes all people to be adopted as children, and constructs good plans. People who rebel undermine those good plans, just like wicked children find themselves in trouble, even with parents wanting the best for their children. Because God is loving, God sent his son Jesus Christ to intervene, to pull the willing away from the Devil’s dominance.

Blaster Virus

Blaster Virus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anti-Virus Protection

Jesus Christ lived this love by willingly coming to Earth to tell everyday people the truth and expose the hypocrisy and injustice often found in people & political & religious institutions and alliances. Jesus did this, despite the cost to his life via a brutal death on the cross. The Devil tempted the human-bound Jesus, who is the essence of God’s character in our bodily form, and Jesus won. Jesus chose what was right, even though limited like us. Jesus’ character is like a powerful anti-virus able to defeat the Devil’s temptations. When Christians are born again, it’s like installing this powerful anti-virus protection.

Genesis 3:3-5 (ESV):

3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Job 1:6-12 (ESV):

6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” 8 And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? 10 Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. 11 But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” 12 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord

Matthew 4:1-11 (ESV):

4  Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3 And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 4 But he answered, “It is written,  “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 5  Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6 and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 7 Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 8 Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.” 10 Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written, “‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.’” 11 Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

1 Peter 5:8 (ESV):

8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

 

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Orthodox Church of the Ascension of Jesus Christ

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When observing the Christian Church in one region wisely & lovingly collecting to support another Church, recall this is a reflection of the character and pattern of care and concern that true faith in Jesus Christ generates. While many Christians today wish to help out others even more effectively than they do now, unfortunately several government leaders, rulers, and laws deliberately interfere with such support and help to their people. As the Gospel of Jesus Christ permeates globally, one wonders if in our own lifetime, whether many of these strongholds that resist God’s will, and subvert his blessings, will be opened up, for us to witness meaningful changes and blessings sooner rather than later.

1 Corinthians 16:1-4 (ESV):

1 Now concerning  the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. 2 On  the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up,  as he may prosper,  so that there will be no collecting when I come. 3 And when I arrive, I will send  those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. 4 If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

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Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...

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What is best for us is not what God permits but rather what God desires. God permits our fall, but desires our salvation. God permits our sin, but desires our righteousness by faith in Jesus Christ. God permits our stubbornness, yet desires our repentance. God permits out hate, yet desires our love. God permits our foolishness, yet desires wise and loving decisions. God permits us to act in ways deserving judgment and justice, yet God prefers us to pick the path of mercy and forgiveness available through his resurrected Son.

Mark 10:2-9 (ESV):

2 And Pharisees came up and in order to test him asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” 3 He answered them, “What did Moses command you?” 4 They said, “Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of divorce and to send her away.” 5 And Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. 6 But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ 7 ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. 9 What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

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