Hope of Israel Ministries (Ecclesia of YEHOVAH):
The Truth That Sets Us Free
"The illiterates of the 21st century will not be those who can't read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." -- Alvin Toffler
by Robin Todd
Lately I've heard a number of people wonder how it is that the true gospel of the coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God can actually change lives. How is it that this particular message is the one by which salvation comes? These are good questions. It is the purpose of this article to attempt an answer as to why there is such power in the Kingdom gospel when believed, and to encourage our diligence toward this faith that was once delivered to the saints.
YEHOVAH God created man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into him, and he became a living being (soul, Genesis 2:7). Please take careful note that the physical man doesn't have a soul, the physical man is a soul. The Creator then set His children on the path to their God-given destiny -- to rule the earth (Genesis 1:28). The tree of life would sustain them. Thousands of years later the prophet-king David corroborated that this was indeed man's destiny in Psalm 8:3-8 -- notice!
"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen -- even the beasts of the field, the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas" (NKJV).
Around one thousand years later in the New Testament, the author of Hebrews reminds us that although we have not yet attained to that destiny, we will do so in the age to come --
"For He [YEHOVAH God] has not put the world to come, of which we speak, in subjection to angels. But one testified in a certain place, saying: 'What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You made him a little lower than the angels; You crowned him with glory and honor, and set him over the works of Your hands. You have put all things in subjection under his feet.' For in that He [YEHOVAH God] put all in subjection under him [man], He left nothing that is not put under him. But now we do not yet see all things put under him" (Hebrews 2:5-8, ibid.).
Read all of Hebrews 2 to get the full picture of the glory that awaits us.
And finally, after being reassured in Revelation 5:10 that physical human beings who are raised from their graves and given transformed spiritual bodies will one day reign ON THE EARTH, we come to the last chapter of the Bible where man reaches his God-appointed destiny and the tree of life returns to the picture as active on the earth, healing the nations:
"Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, sparkling like crystal, flowing from the throne of [YEHOVAH] God and of the Lamb [the Messiah]. Between the main street and the river was the Tree of Life producing twelve kinds of fruit, a different kind every month; and the leaves of the tree were for healing the nations" (Revelation 22:1-2, Jewish New Testament).
Of course, there is a whole lot of detail to fill in the story, especially the fact that Yeshua the Messiah announced this coming Kingdom of YEHOVAH God, was killed for doing so, and was raised from the dead in order to confirm that he is the one ordained by YEHOVAH God to usher in that Kingdom, that new creation. The point here is that this message of YEHOVAH's coming Kingdom -- and the things concerning Yeshua the Messiah relative to that Kingdom -- are what constitute the gospel -- the revelation of YEHOVAH's purpose for mankind and His plan for accomplishing that purpose. Men and women have a God-given glory that will one day be fully bestowed on them, as we see in the following verses --
"And all of us, while we with unveiled faces reflect like mirrors the glory of Jehovah, are transformed into the SAME IMAGE from glory to glory, exactly as done by Jehovah [the] Spirit" (2 Corinthians 3:18, The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures).
"Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He [YEHOVAH God] is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him [YEHOVAH God] as He is" (1 John 3:2, NKJV).
You see, the message from YEHOVAH God through the gospel is clear; physical human beings made from the dust of the ground do have what it takes in the eyes of their Creator/Father to successfully administer the affairs of His creation from within a Father/child relationship with Him. Of course, this success first necessitates that YEHOVAH's children believe the message that supports this program. For we know that if children in general don't believe that their parents truly think they are inherently "good" (needing to grow and mature, of course), they will become fearful and dysfunctional in their lives. This is simply the nature of the human mind. Sin follows disbelief. It was designed to be this way.
This necessity for belief in the parent's positive assessment of core worth and lovability is at the heart of every child's ability to successfully mature and grow into what he or she was created to be. If you don't start out from this place, the intended result will not be achieved. Somehow, you must get back to this starting point. A child (or adult) who starts out from this place has the best opportunity to mature successfully and become all of what he or she was born to be. Again, this is by design. This same principle of Father/child relationship is at the heart of what makes things work in our relationship with YEHOVAH God and our ability to secure the destiny and glory for which He created us.
That's why the gospel, or "the word of the kingdom," or simply "the word," is the power of YEHOVAH God to provide salvation for all who believe (compare Matthew 13:19; Mark 4:14; Luke 8:11). It is in this message that YEHOVAH declares confidence in the pinnacle of His creation -- His physical, human children. On the very words of this gospel message there rests the energizing power of the holy spirit to reorient a person's life, based on belief in it -- see 1 Thessalonians 2:13:
"Indeed, that is why we also thank [YEHOVAH] God incessantly, because when you received God's word, which you heard from us, you accepted it, not as the word of men, but, just as it truthfully is, as the word of God, which is also at work in you believers" (The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures).
By YEHOVAH's design, this is how the human mind works.
Unfortunately, disbelief in this message from YEHOVAH God has been the driving force behind mankind's collective dysfunction and sinful tendencies since the beginning. Take a look at what happened very soon after our Parent's simple encouragement for us to go forward in faith. In Genesis 3 is the brief account of how disbelief, followed by disobedience, crept in through the subtle deception of our enemy the devil. Essentially we have the children being led to believe that they needed to be something more than human in order to be acceptable in YEHOVAH's eyes. Supposedly, through the acquisition of spiritually discerned knowledge, they would not be limited to life in a physical body. They were misinformed that they would "not surely die" by disbelieving YEHOVAH's message and disobeying:
"Now the serpent [Satan] was more cunning than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman [Eve], 'Has God indeed said, "You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"' And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, "You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die"' And the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil'" (Genesis 3:1-5, NKJV).
The physical body might die, but life would apparently go on in some kind of "spirit" realm.
And sure enough, in various forms, the doctrine of an "immortal soul" has become so universally accepted that it can be said to be the foundation of what is essentially a single world religious system built on justification through false philosophical, knowledge. This is the very antithesis of justification by the biblical "obedience of faith" (Romans 1:5; 16:26) through the Parental grace of our Father. This false system sends the subtle message that physical human beings aren't good enough after all to reach their God-given destiny, and it has thereby had a stunting effect on the spiritual growth of YEHOVAH's children. Going to heaven (or hell) via an immortal soul is not only biblically incorrect, but it is damaging to the mind and heart of YEHOVAH's children. Only the Good News of YEHOVAH God's coming Kingdom -- and the resurrection of dead physical human beings to administer in the Kingdom -- can act as a corrective force to mend the human mind and heart.
As many of our readers know, at the foundation of this immortal soul doctrine is the idea that the physical is "bad," or at the very least less preferable than the immaterial soul inhabiting the body, which is supposedly "good." The "real" person in this imagined scenario is this eternal/immortal soul, whereas the body is just the inferior outer casing temporarily housing that soul. This is Greek philosophical nonsense -- foreign to the Bible, and standing in the way of spiritual progress. It has the effect of holding human beings captive to sin, and being destructive to the physical human children of YEHOVAH God who were created in His image. It sends the message "You don't have what it takes" to the carbon-based children whom YEHOVAH God designed to need His positive Parental affirmation of their inherent worth and lovability. But the truth is that we are valuable as created, because we are created in YEHOVAH's image, and simply because our Father says it is so. Now that's perfect grace, the grace of a Father toward His children! How simple, practical, logical, and yet amazing! And how powerful a message for the human mind and heart!
This material/immaterial dualism of man is not found in the revelation that comes to us from YEHOVAH God via the Hebrew scriptures, or in the New Testament. The Bible declares over and over again that man is a soul, and that this soul (physical being) dies, as we see in the following verses --
"The soul who sins shall die..." (Ezekiel 18:20, ibid.).
"And do not become fearful of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul [life]; but rather be in fear of him that can destroy both soul [life] and body in Gehenna" (Matthew 10:28, The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures).
At death, each person sleeps until their physical body is raised from the grave and given a new immortal, glorified body. Again, the message of YEHOVAH God is that that which is physical/material is "good"; whereas the message of false religion from the beginning is that the material is "not good enough." Children cannot operate successfully, nor mature appropriately, under the latter belief system. They become fearful, competing, jealous, envious, adulterous, and even murderous siblings from within this system. The spirit of YEHOVAH God will not operate in a mind or a world that is based on this kind of belief (which is actually "unbelief").
That is why the gospel of the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God is the truth that can begin to set men and women free of sin and lawlessness (John 8:32; Luke 4:18). There is only one antidote for what ails us, and that's this Kingdom gospel message. In a world filled with darkness, it is the one penetrating light of hope for salvation and healing. The Messiah seemed to be predicting that when he returns to earth he would scarcely find "the faith" still on earth (Luke 18:8). As it turns out, he seems to have been right. But to those who have believed he will say, "Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matthew 26:34).
Note: The concept of the Trinity, which declares that Yeshua, the son of YEHOVAH God, is an eternal being who pre-existed his human birth, is a naturally out-flowing companion doctrine to that of the immortal soul. Once again, we are asked (even compelled by threats of excommunication) to believe that being human isn't good enough. That's why this teaching and belief is so dangerous to human beings and to their spiritual maturation process.
-- Edited By John D. Keyser.
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