Meditation on Jesus: “Life in Himself”

For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself (John 5:26).

“Life in himself”… what does that mean? Whatever it is, Jesus has it because the Father has it; and the Father has granted Jesus to have it.

As always, the context of the passage clarifies the mysterious statement. Let’s examine the complete record of the full statement Jesus said:

25“Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. 28Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment (John 5:25-29, ESV).

First, one can notice Jesus is speaking about the resurrection of the dead. Apparent from other passages, the resurrection was a touchy subject in His earthly day (Matthew 22:23, 29-32, 27:52; Mark 12:18, 24-27; Luke 20:27, 34-38; John 5:28-29; Acts 4:2, 17:18, 23:8, 24:15, 26:8; 1 Corinthians 15; Revelation 20:12-13; Daniel 12:2).

Jesus not only affirms the prophetic phenomenon of the resurrection, but also, He makes Himself the source of that resurrection when he says, “the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God.”

Because Jesus is the eternal second Person of the Godhead, He always has had the ability to merely speak, and things come into existence and hold together (Genesis 1-2; John 1; Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:15-20). That is power, and it certainly is a result of Jesus’ having life within Himself.

SON OF GOD & SON OF MAN

Jesus’ earthly existence also has everything to do with His declaration of having life in Himself. The second Person of the Trinity has always existed. There are many temporal appearances and self-revelations by Him in the Old Testament (John 1:15, 8:58). But, there was a point “in time,” when YHWH took on the labels of the Son of God (John 3:16) & the Son of Man. The second Person of the Trinity became incarnate, robed with untainted humanity. That event brought a new species to the earth, with unique genetics and composition. Hence, He is the Son of God, the “only begotten of the Father.”

The title “Son of Man” is both a prophets’ title (Ezekiel 30:2) and a label, which indicates the human side of the God-Man. At the point the second Person of the Trinity was incarnated, the God-Man, Jesus of Nazareth, became the first human being to possess the power to create life by His words. Whereas before He exercised that power as a Spirit in Heavenly realms and affecting the temporal realm, now He exercises that power as a human being.

Because Jesus is the Son of God, the Father, He has life within Himself and is able to merely speak in order to raise the dead. He is God. Because Jesus is human—the Son of Man—He was able to atone for the sin of mankind and then be resurrected from the dead by the will of the Father and the Power of the Spirit. In that way, He is the “first fruits of those who sleep” (1 Corinthians 15:20).

Jesus is the highest ranking human, having tasted death only to defeat it, because… you guessed it…. He has life within Himself.What is more, He is the only human to have power enough to grant life again to whomever He pleases. All those in Christ shall rise again!

What is your superpower of choice? For Jesus of Nazareth, it is the power not only to create life with his words but also to bring those who have died back to life again!

Q&A: “How Good Must I be In Order to be Called a Christian?”

A Facebook friend-of-friend recently posted the following:

To be saved a person must stop smoking, drinking, drugs, and cussing. Attend church on a regular basis, and become a born again Christian. Now are you ready to commit to being a Christian? If not then Hell is your destiny…..If you don't believe me, read your Bible. So if you are still cussing like a sailor, or doing drugs, or getting drunk after you read this then you did not commit to being a Christian and you need to quit pretending like you are one. There is more to being a Christian than just saying you are. God bless and have a wonderful day……

Having seen this, the mutual friend to the one who posted tagged me for a response. Here it is:

One time, similar conversation took place within earshot of Jesus. Here is what happened:

"And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17; Luke 5:31; Matthew 9:12 ESV)

So, Jesus presents Himself as a Doctor. If you know you aren't perfectly healthy in relationship with God, then go to the Doctor so he can give you His cure. But, this idea you have to make yourself better before you can be a "Christian," or (worse) that you have no sickness in your flawed human nature, is just stupid.

It is quite a gift Jesus gives us by forgiving us and making us His child—able to partake in His Divine nature. So with that said, the Apostle whom Jesus loved writes this:

"Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! ….Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this earnest expectation, sourced in Him, purifies themselves, just as He is pure." (1 John 3:1-3)

Summary: you can't be good enough to earn merit with God. Turn to Jesus for rescue. AFTER that, you still can't be good enough to repay God or "keep" what you were given (Galatians 3:3). It is a gift. What you can do is live thankfully by aiming for being like Jesus, out of love and because He changed your identity to His child. We can't be perfectly like Jesus on this side of Heaven, but we should want to be transformed into Jesus' likeness as much as we possibly can until then.

We all (especially Christians) have areas of life needing transformation. I have habits and patterns of response… call them addictions, if you will. Everyone has some form of addiction—religious self-righteousness can be an example, as the above person's post reveals. No matter what is our weakness or mortal flaw, the important thing is to stay humbly transparent and keep faith that Jesus is the ultimate Deliverer. Desire to keep a big and open connection with Him! Sheep are safe & fed near the Shepherd; the sick do well when near the Doctor.

Jesus never asked us to "commit to being a Christian." He asked us to turn to Him for rescue!

Eugenics Via CRISPR is No Different than Nazi Übermensch Agenda

The Übermensch (German for “Overman, Superman, Superhuman, Hyperman, Hyperhuman”; German pronunciation: [ˈˀyːbɐmɛnʃ]) is a concept in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. In his 1883 book Thus Spoke Zarathustra (German: Also sprach Zarathustra), Nietzsche has his character Zarathustra posit the Übermensch as a goal for humanity to set for itself. It is a work of philosophical allegory, with a structural similarity to the Gathas of Zoroaster/Zarathustra. (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Übermensch)

The above video [see companion article by Futurism HERE] takes one through the history, philosophy, current developments, & future plans of “science” to alter humanity so drastically that the human race will be free from death and disease. The argument is made from abortion that humanity is already selectively eliminating diseased populations from the human genome. At the same time, the video understatedly warns that there very well may be horror-book-type consequences to pursuing this aim, even comically showing a demonized human at the point of such warning. [Watch the video several times and consider each element.]

Lambs’ Harbinger, in previous articles, has warned audiences regarding the immoral and Godless (even demonic) pursuit of human heritable genome editing, designer babies, etc. in the name of escaping by humanistic efforts what Christian theologians call “the Curse.” (See also Search Results)

DNA alteration has happened and will continue to happen. Everything from plants to other food resources already have been being genetically altered since the 1970’s. The development of militarized, genetically modified supersoliders is already part of the “arms race”… a veritable Sputnik 2.0. The video makes slight, light-hearted  appeals to billionaires for making humanity impervious to disease and death, but this “call” has already been being answered around the globe by those (ex. GF2045, Ray Kurzweil) who are funding private laboratories for the purpose of conducting experimentation that governments either cannot or will not allow.

“Only Begotten:” Taxonomy & the Genetics of the Messiah

Monotheists, who do not believe in the Trinity, staunchly reject the tenet that Yeshua / Jesus is the “Son of God.” To such monotheists, the very notion that God would procreate is absurd.

What is this? God has a son?

On the other hand, trinitarian monotheists see biblical data, which support their belief that Yeshua / Jesus not only is the “Son of God” by personal verbal claim but also by unique birth.

A great focal point of these Trinitarians (of which I am included) is John 1:18, translated by the ‘old timey’ translations as:

18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

(KJV, underscore mine for emphasis)

Other modern translations yield this passage of Greek language as follows:

  • “One and Only Son” – NIV, HCSB, Berean Study Bible
  • “Unique One” – NLT
  • “the Only God” – ESV
  • “the only begotten God” – NASB

As one can witness, the passage presents a deal of difference for translators, not because the Greek language is ambiguous but because theological implications arise, depending on one’s approach to translation. ESV and NASB translators consider it necessary—due to the theological implications of the phrase—to help the text communicate its meaning by adding “God.” Others like HCSB, NIV and NLT stick more closely to the original, reflecting ‘Son.’ But, in an effort to honor the older translations (i.e. KJV), NASB maintains the translation “only begotten,” which it places in tandem with ‘God.’

So, is it proper to translate the passage as “only begotten?” And if so, why? To what end? In his article, Μονογενής = ‘only begotten’? Dr. Daniel B. Wallace recently visited the subject and analyzed the pertinent data in response to Charles Lee Iron’s assertion that translators should return to “only begotten.” The article leads a reader to lean away from “only begotten” in favor of other alternatives.

I largely agree with Dr. Wallace, but I also see room for Iron’s view. “One of a kind,” when the compound mono/GENES is used, deals with the taxonomy of Yeshua (Jesus), His classification upon incarnation (i.e. domain–>kingdom–>phylum–>class–>order–>family–>genus–>species).

Creation scientists use the word baramin to refer to created kinds (Hebrew: bara = created, min = kind). Because none of the original ancestors survive today, creationists have been trying to figure out what descendants belong to each baramin in their varied forms. Baramin is commonly believed to be at the level of family and possibly order for some plants/animals (according to the common classification scheme of kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species). On rare occasions, a kind may be equivalent to the genus or species levels.

(Answers in Genesis: https://answersingenesis.org/creation-science/baraminology/what-are-kinds-in-genesis/  retrieved Nov. 24, 2016)

In writing monogenés, the Apostle John is telling us that, due to virgin conception by the Holy Spirit, Yeshua Nazaret is a completely different and unique kind of human creature, the only generation of His kind. This interpretation sustained by textual data (context as well as lexical value & and usages), both inside the holy Writ and in contemporaneous ‘secular’ texts. It also satisfies both Iron’s and Wallace’s findings and allows for (but limits) the logical ramifications of both sets of findings.

What are the theological ramifications of the interpretation? First and foremost, monogenés deals with Christology as it elucidates Yeshua / Jesus’ genome. He is within the human genus due to Mary’s egg & virgin womb, but He is of an entirely unique genetic platform, due to the Holy Spirit’s fertilization. He is the only direct God / Human hybrid, completely similar to yet unique from the rest of fallen humanity.

Trinitarian Creationists would assert that whereas God breathed life directly into the genus of mankind in the beginning, and whereas humanity fell from that state (corrupting our race, even to our genetic code); in contrast, Yeshua’s human genome and human nature are directly and biologically “of God” or “from/of the Father,” …meaning He is  necessarily the same as God, the Father, in His incarnate state. Jesus is—in nature—the same as the Father. No human alive other than Jesus can claim these features. In other words, the Second Person of the Eternal Trinity (i.e. the Word) was made to become flesh and fully dwell among us (John 1:14), as Humanity 2.0—Yeshua Nazaret. He is indeed begotten by means of Holy Spirit conception, but that fact does not diminish His pre-existence from all eternity. As the Apostle John writes:

John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’” 

(John 1:15 NASB)

It is therefore not incorrect to translate monogenés as “only begotten.” By doing so, one refers to Yeshua / Jesus’ miraculous conception. He was indeed and undeniably biologically produced. But, it is also correct to translate monogenés as “Unique One” or “One and Only Son [of God],” as it specially alludes to the fact that Yeshua is the only one of his genomic kind, which according to Isaiah, can be propagated and recognized by the Father:

…He will see His offspring… (Isaiah 53:10 NASB)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)

Secondly and lastly, the interpretation holds tremendous theological ramifications that pertain to soteriology. In verses 12 and 13 of John 1, the text reads:

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (KJV)

From these two verses, one gathers that anyone who receives Jesus as the uniquely begotten Son of God, believing on His Name (i.e. referent to his title as Yeshua ha’Mashiach / Jesus the Messiah), will in turn be granted authority (adoptive right) to be titled ‘sons of God’ …after the genus of Jesus, and leaving off the genus of the fallen Adamic race. Yet, more than that, the Apostle writes these are also themselves born “of God,” if in that state of belief. The conferred birth reveals a changed nature (Jesus’) which comes upon those who are, according to Jesus Himself, ‘born again’ of the Spirit (John 3:3-8). Is it safe to say that God rescues and redeems believers down to the DNA level? Absolutely! Those who believe will receive the genetics of the Messiah,

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed (lit. sperma), but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1 Peter 1:23 KJV)

So then, one may conclude that one who receives Yeshua / Jesus of Nazareth by believing he is the uniquely begotten Son of God receives both an exchange of nature (essence) and an exchange of genus (physicality), both of which can only be fully realized hereafter,

Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2 NASB)

He will transform the body of our humble condition into the likeness of His glorious body, by the power that enables Him to subject everything to Himself. (Philippians 3:21 HCSB)

“Just so, come Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20)

10 Reasons Why God Does Not Heal Everyone and/or Prevent Evil

These are the questions:

“If God exists and is good, then why does God allow evil and suffering?” —Atheist / Agnostic

“If God is all powerful, then why don’t Christians go into hospitals and psych wards to heal everyone?” —Skeptic

“Will God heal the non-believer just the same as a believer?” —Inquiring Christian

“I prayed for a miracle, but God did not do it. Why?” —Disillusioned Christian

These are the biblical answers:

1. Human free will stands, according to God’s original design. By it we fell into sin; with it, each of us may be redeemed by grace through faith. Free will means others may affect my life, and that is just the law of existence, which God set into motion. Their freedom is your freedom; and God will not remove it. He keeps His own laws. Mankind makes evil and hurtful or neglegent choices, because mankind is corrupted in nature, not God.

BUT, God promises He alone can redeem these evils into something eternally good, if He is willfully entrusted with both the wrongs and His prescription on how to cope with them. Finding out & following His ways can treat and / or prevent much evil, inner suffering & even physical ailment.

Sometimes God won’t heal us or heal instantly, because He wants us to use our will to find healing by searching out and living in His freeing Truth & ways. That is, God may delay a healing or spread it out over time in order to build the faith of the recipient. Instantaneous healing does happen, but so does prolonged healing.

If He has assured us of healing based on His Word and the illumination of the Spirit, then we must continually believe with praising, or “pray through.” This builds a strong faith! Again, God is more interested in cultivating our person in trusting Him than in providing quick fixes for our temporal, physical bodies. See Luke 18:1-8

And, yes, emotional and psychological healings come at His hands too… but often take much time and much truth.

2. Some (NOT ALL) torments are the result of sin. Examples include: guilt, not forgiving others, the results of covetously seeking riches and fame or worldly success, bitterness or blaming God for not getting your strong desires met, dabbling in occult ritual or magic, bringing railing accusation against / commanding angels, speaking evil/reviling angelic majesties without knowledge/understanding. These must be confessed and renounced in Jesus’ Name before we can command the tormentors to go. (See Jude; Matthew 18:34; Hebrews 12; 1 Timothy 6:10; James 4-5)

3. Our understanding is limited; God’s is limitless. It may be redemptive suffering or glorification of God in unseen realms… Or seen realms (Ex. Job, John 9:1-12). We are not gods; He is God. It is about His glory, AND He rewards those who suffer but keep faith! [See Befitting Rewards Series and 1 Peter 4 & Luke 22:31]

4. This is a fallen world in an evil age—temporal—not Heaven. Sickness, disaster, disease & death are not only possible but probable; but God wants our trust in Him for the rescue of our eternal soul—even above trust for temporal fixes—as well as the maturing of our (believers’) person into Jesus’ likeness. We did not give God trust in a perfect age (Garden of Eden). This present evil age is about trusting Him while enduring ills. If we do so, He will give us His wisdom & understanding. Therefore, He may or may not heal / deliver based on our need to grow into Christ’s likeness. Jesus suffered and was perfected by it too, but He suffered so that He could rescue us from eternal separation from God in judgement. The rescue and mature development of your eternal soul is more important to God than your temporal / bodily desires. Only by suffering, can we be made better (more empathetic, wise, understanding, compassionate, self-less, content) people.

Speaking of being mortal, getting older and chronically sick is hard. King Solomon puts it best by saying: “Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’ (Ecclesiastes 12:1). God says you were supposed to have spent your youthful years learning the Wisdom of God, SO THAT when you are older and sicker and feeble you would be prepared instead of lost for answers about life in this fallen world. Youth is preparation for getting older, not a thing to be squandered as if to say, “Tonight, we are young. So, let’s set the world on fire.” The best way to age gracefully is to age (gain) in wisdom. Even wine gets better with age, even though it rots.

See Romans 8:29-30; John 16:33; Ecclesiastes 12

5. God is not partial or vengeful. He gives both blessings and trials to the just and the unjust alike. He lets good things and “bad” things happen for a reason, which is: both blessing and suffering are meant to lead us to faith in God, either in response for his goodness OR in seeing the brokenness of the fallen world & desiring to be rescued from this present evil, fallen age.; and, as indicated above, trials and suffering can either grow or destroy our empathy and compassion…. The choice is ours, whether to become better humans or not. See Matthew 5:45

6. The proud, rich & affluent of this world are often self sufficient (poor in faith). We think we have a remedy or fix or prevention or insurance for everything… somehow invincible. We need to learn our frailty and vulnerability and trust in the presence of God (See above). To become spiritually rich, we must fully realize we are poor in spirit; and a revelation of our spiritual bankruptcy before God does not happen without trials. By the way, if we treat prayer for healing like a “treatment” so that we can go on living in our godless and selfish ways, then God won’t heal us. See James 2:5; 5; Matthew 5:3

7. Someone must ask for healing (spiritual & physical) in Jesus’ Name. If one does not believe in Him as the only true God and Savior, why should He give them a healing / deliverance? In the Bible records, healings are always given so that faith may be established in Him. This is not to say God will not preserve life, even in miraculous ways, until that one has a chance to hear the Good News of Jesus. God has and will heal, or allow a near death experience, or miraculously protect or deliver someone from tragedy, if/when that person needs to hear / accept the Good News of Jesus.

[See Bible passages recording healings and “What About Those Who Have Not Heard?“]

8. Believers do not direct or empower spiritual gifts (healing, etc.) to use at their will, as if the power is theirs. It is God’s power and at His will. (See above & 1 Corinthians 12:11)

9. Prayer is aligning with God’s rule & will over us. Sometimes He says no, even to those who are righteous (repentant attitude). To pray for His “Kingdom to come & His will to be done on earth as it is in Heaven” is not a question of His will getting done, as if God can’t do everything He wants in this present, evil age. But rather, to pray this is to practice aligning ourselves with God’s will and rule by agreement of spirit and a confident trust in Him. This is called faith, and untainted faith is sourced in (or flows out of) love. If we love God, we desire His rule and his will to happen on earth, even if it goes against our natural desires; and this stands in direct contradistinction to the collective will of fallen, unregenerate humanity… which seeks self-will and self-rule at all costs. The “Lord’s Prayer” is a form of worship, not a revelation of God’s impotence. So, we may pray outright for healing (believer & non-believer alike), but if God does not heal you—in His Divine wisdom—will you love him and trust him anyway? Will you learn to pray with agreement from the heart, “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done.” [*Note: this prayer is also prophetic concerning His future 1000 yr. reign from Jerusalem]

As Nick Vujicic says:

If you don’t get a miracle, be the miracle.”

10. God wants fellowship. More than any, God has suffered; because in all our suffering, He suffers. We are His Creation gone astray by the free will he gave us and enduring evils He never would have chosen for us. He also provides the remedy of His Son at His own costly expense. But, just like Abraham and all the patriarchs and great people of faith, they endured great hardship & testing down here, so that they would know the fellowship of Christ Jesus’ sufferings… a necessary “evil” that must go alongside of knowing “the power of His resurrection!” These people were called “friend” by God and enjoyed deep relationship with Him while on earth and afterward in Heaven. Are you desiring exemption from this? As Romans 8 puts it, “I reckon that the present sufferings of this age are nothing to be compared to the glory to be revealed in us…. If we suffer with Him, we shall also reign with Him.” See Romans 4; 5:3; 8; Hebrews 11

…………………….

OTHER RESOURCES:

Key Word Search: Trials of Faith 

Dealing with Loss, Evil, Suffering and Hopelessness

For a list of people in the Bible who were righteous and not healed, see Warnings about the Word of Faith Movement

When God Says No