HOME

 WRITE TO ME NEIL'S WEBSITE AJIT'S WEB SITE
 

 

TEN

The Problem of Sin

In this portrayal of the function of cells within the body we have the picture of the Kingdom of God with its altruistic pattern  in contrast to the picture of the fallen cosmos.

 

Except for germs like viruses and bacteria, just about every other living thing on Earth is made of cells. This is why cells are called the building blocks of life. Most forms of life are made of many cells. It is estimated that the average human adult body contains about 10 trillion cells .  Individual cell is invisible unless viewed through a microscope. Not all cells are alike. They differ in size, shape and function   Bone cells differ rom blood cells and nerve cells differ from muscle cells. Each one is designed to do a different job. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body. Nerve cells carry electrical signals to and from our brains to muscles all over our bodies. Bone cells, which are very rigid, form the skeleton that gives our bodies shape. Muscle cells contract to move these bones to help us get around. Stomach cells secrete an acid to digest our food. Special cells in our intestines absorb nutrients from the food we eat. And no matter what they do, many of these cells change food into energy to keep our bodies working.

 

Cells are packed tightly together. They combine to form tissues, like skin and muscle. Tissues combine to form organs. Muscle cells combine to form muscle tissues. Muscle tissues combine to form organs like your heart. Organs cooperate (work together) to keep us alive. All human body cells are covered by a membrane. This layer holds the contents of the cell in just like the sides of a container. The membrane lets good things, like nutrients, into the cell. It also keeps bad things, like germs and bacteria, out.

 

You can see how these reflects the function of individual within a socieity and then societies function within the life of the Earth and so on.

Michael Laitman is a founder and president of the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Education & Research Institute, which is dedicated to teaching and sharing the wisdom of Kabbalah. Professor of Ontology, PhD in Philosophy and Kabbalah, and MSc in bio-Cybernetics.

From Chaos to Harmony The Solution to the Global Crisis According to the Wisdom of Kabbalah,  Rav Michael Laitman, explains the concept beautifully and I quote it extensively since it cannot be put any better way.

 

“HARMONY AMONG CELLS IN A LIVING ORGANISM

 

“Within each multi-cellular organism is an intriguing phenomenon. If we examine each cell as a separate unit, we will see that it functions egoistically, thinking only of itself. However, when we examine it as a part of a system, the cell seems to take only the minimum required for its own sustenance, aiming the bulk of its activity toward the body. It behaves like an altruist, “thinks” only of the body’s wellbeing, and acts accordingly.

 

“There must be complete harmony among all the cells in a body. The nucleus of each cell contains the genetic code that encompasses all the body’s information. Theoretically, this is all the information needed to recreate the whole body. Each cell in the body must be aware of the whole body. It must know what the body needs and what it can do for it. Were this not so, the body would not persist. A cell in a body exists in a state of “consideration” for the

body as a whole. All the cell’s actions, the beginning and  the end of its division, specification of cells, and movement toward a certain location in the body, unfold in congruence with the body’s needs.

 

 

“CONNECTEDNESS CREATES LIFE IN A NEW DEGREE

 

“Even though all the cells in our bodies contain identical genetic information, each cell puts a different part of that information into action, depending on its place and functionality in the body. When the embryo is just beginning to evolve, all its cells are identical. But as the embryo evolves, the cells differentiate, and each cell acquires qualities of a specific kind.

 

“Thus, each cell has its own “mind” or “awareness,” but the altruistic connectedness among cells enables them to create a new being, a complete body whose mind and awareness belong to a higher degree and are not present within this or that cell, but rather in the bonding between them.

 

“AN EGOISTIC CELL IS A CANCEROUS CELL

 

“Healthy cells are restricted by a wide variety of rules and limitations. However, cancerous cells have no regard at all for restrictions. Cancer is a state where the body is consumed by its own cells, which have embarked on uninhibited proliferation. While multiplying, a cancer cell divides relentlessly, regardless of the needs of its environment and irresponsive to the body’s commands.

 

Cancer

 

“Cancer cells destroy their environment, thus creating open spaces for them to grow. They impel the neighboring blood vessels to grow into the resulting tumor to nourish it, and thus subjugate the whole body to themselves. In simple terms, cancer cells induce the death of the body through acts of egoism. They operate in this manner even though it does not bring them any benefit. Actually, the truth is to the contrary, as the death of the body means the death of its assassins, too. The manner in which cancerous cells take over the host body leads them to their own demise. Thus, when egoism nurtures itself, it leads everything to death, including itself. Egoistic behavior and general inattentiveness to the needs of the whole body lead them straight to doom.

 

“THE INDIVIDUAL VS. THE COLLECTIVE

 

In a healthy body, cells “relinquish” their own lives in favor of that of the body, when necessary. When genetic errors occur in cells, which may turn them into cancerous cells, the cell activates a mechanism that ends its life. The fear that it might become cancerous and jeopardize the entire body makes the cell give up its own life for the life of the body. We can find a similar altruistic action, though under different circumstances, in the way the cellular slime mold (Dictyostelium mucoroides) lives. Under ideal conditions, the mold lives in the form of separate cells that provide for their own food and multiply independently. But when there is shortage of food, the cells unite and create a multi-cellular body. While building this body, some of the cells give up their own lives to promote the survival of the other cells.”

 

 

The Incarnation and Redemption.

 


Harmony Within Chaos - Ben McLeod

The egoistic Kingdom of this World has created a cosmos which is covered with Cancer and it will eventually kill not only the host but also the self.  In being selfish and asserting onceselves as individuals and groups as organs, the body of God lost its full functionality.  The Sons of God lost their touch with divinity and lost their divine touch. The only way out is provided through the cross, the altruistic life in every form of life.  We need to revert back to love and think of the whole creation in order to save it.  We cannot do it alone.  Over and over again great philosophers, thinkers, idealogist experimented and still continues to experiment.  They all failed. 

Anatomy of the Body of God

In the Anatomy of the Body of God, Frater Achad (Charles Stansfield Jones)   says:

" But, again, the spirit of Man is perfect, his body is made in the Image and Likeness of God and of the Universe, but his soul, having within it the power of personal choice, or will, which alone enables him to progress in a free and intelligent manner, is at the same time liable to distortion if the personal will is ill-used or restricted. In that case the Eye of the soul sees things out of proportion and order, and this astigmatism must be corrected. Otherwise, man is under an illusion, self-created, which, however, in no way interferes with the Real Order of the Universe, but merely tends to confine him and to prevent him from enjoying his due heritage in all its fulness." Anatomy of the Body of God, Frater Achad

 

But in a society where there is one selfish person, this will affect the whole society simply for the survival. The emphasis on individual destroyed the families. The emphasis on family destroyed the community, emphasis on community destroyed the nation and so on until it destroyed the cosmic functioning and the Kingdom of God .  It pained God.  He is a wounded God, He let Himself be wounded.  He was prepared for this even before the creation of the World.

When the first man fell into sin, this sin enveloped the whole mankind. Just as sin entered into the world by one man, and death by means of sin, so death was imposed upon all men, inasmuch as they all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). They are all gone astray and they have been rejected; there is none who does good, no, not one.  (Romans 3:12,9. “As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one”.  Though the creation was intended to be for eternity, the fallen creatures brought to themselves hell.  A selfish society is the hell.  A universe without justice,love, compassion and mercy was far worse to experience.  So God in his mercy instituted death on his Sons.  But with the hope that one day He could redeem his Sons to their proper place including the divine realm. Eastern liturgy of St. James sings thus, "By thy ordinace death was instituted and by your resurrection it was cancelled.  So every tongue will praise you."

Through the history of man, God tried to cure this cancer. The problem was how to cure this yetzer hara factor leaning into sin without infringing on the freedom of will.  Without freedom there are no sons, no growth and fulness.  But it also leaves the possibility of choice and hence sin.  The only way was to deter yetzer hara and instill yetzer tov.  For this God chose Israel and gave them the Law to force redemption by the law of Karma by giving due recompense with the divine justice.   Mosaic Law could not do the control, for the law was weak through the weakness of the flesh (Romans 8:3).  Law could not control the fallen race of man. 

When the pain became too sharp, God took action.  He created another body within his universal body in order to save the body and the Kingdom.  This is incarnation.  Distancing himself from the creation as transcendant God would work no longer.  Yet God cannot take away the freedom of the creation. God cannot disregard the pain in His Body.   The solution was found in the incarnation.  

Hence

(Joh 3:16)  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 1:11)  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

 (Joh 1:14-17) And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth .......   For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Son of God  descended into his own body as Nanoparticle, scafold and hydrogels - the Son of Man - to solve the problem with least damage.

++++++++++++++++++++

New approaches to targeting disease: Nanoparticles, scaffolds, and hydrogels

In cancer therapy, nanoparticles are being developed that specifically ferry chemotherapeutic drugs to the site of a tumor. The nanoparticle itself is constructed to mimic a liposome (a small liquid-filled “bubble” that looks like a cell) (Figure 1). These particles are much smaller than a typical cell (one-thousandth the diameter), and they are coated with a membrane, similar to that of human cells. Since this membrane is so similar to a real cell, the immune system is less likely to see the particles as dangerous. In addition, the membrane-coated particles can more easily attach to and enter cells to dispense their cargo. Inside the particle, the drug is stored either as a liquid, or embedded in a solid. Recently, an approach has been reported where a solid material is at the core of the particle, but this material has fine pores, like a sponge. This advance makes the particle even more like a cell [2]. In order to get the nanoparticle to the tumor, when the particles are being manufactured, specific proteins can be embedded into the membrane layer on the surface of the particle. These proteins can be engineered to specifically bind molecules that are only found in the cancerous tissue.

Figure 1. A model liposome nanoparticle for drug delivery. (Illustration by Shannon McArdel)

Another potential technique for drug delivery is the construction of three-dimensional scaffolds. In this strategy, a drug can be loaded into the scaffold material, which is then implanted into the body. As the scaffold is broken down and absorbed by the body the drug is released slowly in the local area. The scaffold materials are often engineered to mimic non-cellular structures found in the body, like collagen or keratin, which exist naturally as networks of fibers in the skin, joints, and most other tissues. Over the last two decades, as understanding of biology has grown, scientists have realized that these networks of fibers are not just a passive component of tissue, or just a place for cells to attach and reside, but are active components in their own right. These fibrous networks can provide mechanical cues to cells, sequester and release signals between cells, and direct developing tissues. Since these natural scaffolds can have such dynamic effects on cells, it makes sense to custom-engineer them to affect cells in a determined way .........

Figure 2. A three-dimensional scaffold of poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) at two different magnifications. (Image credit: DoITPoMS, University of Cambridge UK )

Hydrogels represent yet another approach to making scaffolds. Hydrogels are most popularly used in contact lenses. This class of materials, like the name suggests, are polymers that readily absorb water. Therefore, the bulk structure can be more than 99% water by weight. Water is abundant in the body, and every biochemical reaction occurs in an aqueous environment, so it makes sense to engineer a drug delivery system to incorporate water. Even though only a small fraction of the weight is a connected network of polymer, a mechanically stable structure in any arbitrary shape (like a lens) can be formed. The advantage of using hydrogels is that they are not as rigid as other scaffold systems. They can be injected, instead of implanted. However, since the starting material is water-based, different strategies must be employed to incorporate active drugs.......But with all the possibilities that scientists are pursuing, the future of medicine seems bright for better treatments with fewer side effects.

Joe Akin is a PhD student in the Immunology program at Harvard Medical School . https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/sitnflash_wp/2011/06/

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

In His human body Jesus demonstrated that we need to turn the world upside down in terms of our concept of Power.

 

 

Principles of Power in the Kingdom of God (diakonia)

 


The servant King

 We always talk about God as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  King of Kings is a lofty title that has been used by several monarchies (usually empires in the informal sense of great powers) throughout history, and in many cases the literal title meaning "King of Kings", i.e. Monarch elevated above other royal rulers in a vassal, tributary or protectorate position, especially in the case of Semitic languages, is conventionally (usually inaccurately) rendered as Emperor. Titles of this relative type have been in use from the most ancient times in Aryan. The rulers of Persia, at various times (under Zoroastrian as well as Muslim dynasties), have been titled Shâhanshâh, the shah of shahs  Whereas the most literal Sanskrit equivalent is Rajadhiraja,  such as Maharaja (literally Great King, also greatly devaluated by title inflation) and Maharajadhiraja (Bahadur) 'Great King of kings'. The titles Maharajadhiraja and Rajadhiraja were also assumed by some great Kushan kings in the 1st and 2nd centuries of AD, as was Devaputra or 'Son of God'.  Effectively we associate this concept with Power and Authority over the whole creatures so that he can control and do whatever it pleases him.

dictator

The Problem with the concept of Kingship and Power

 

However the picture presented by Jesus about authority and power presents an opposite upside down view.

 

Who Is the Greatest? (Luke22:24-30)

Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest.

       

Jesus said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that.    Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves.

Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

You are those who have stood by me in my trials.   And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me,   so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel .  The greatest among you will be your servant.  For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted."

 

Mat 23:11-12  He who is greatest among you shall be your servant; whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

 

The Apostle John tells the rest of the story.

In response to the disciples' bickering Jesus takes off his outer garment, takes a towel and a basin, kneels behind each of them, and begins to wash their feet. He not only talks about being a servant on this occasion, he acts it out before them as a living parable they will never forget (John 13:4-17).

Joh 13:3-5 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside his garments, and girded himself with a towel.  Then he poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded.

 

Joh 13:12-17 When he had washed their feet, and taken his garments, and resumed his place, he said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?   You call me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them

 

 

The Upside down Kingdom

 

The soldier obeyed the centurion because he knew that he would be punished if he disobeyed.  The centurion had the coercive power of the Roman Empire behind him.  This is authority from above. That power may be legal power, as is the case of the centurion.  It may be the power of a gun, or simply be bigger fists. When we think of a king or a kingdom, we imagine a dictator imposing his will on a helpless populace, draining them of their resources to be used for his own personal aggrandizement. Even if we picture him as a benevolent despot, he is at best an efficient bureaucrat.

 

But when we speak of God and the concept of kingdom, we refer to a completely different model.

 

Authority from above needs force.

In contrast, the Authority from below has no coercive force.  Instead it is based on two factors: Love and Freedom

God’s Handicap

 In dealing with the cosmos and all the living beings in it God is handicapped. But this handicap is self-imposed.  God deliberately takes upon himself this handicap because we are Sons of God. Hence he gives all sentients in the cosmos,  free will. He will never force us into doing right , even when he knows that we are moving in the wrong direction and will eventually kill us. 


He conquers all through His Love whereby he dies himself for us and gives us a way out.  He still will not force us to take that road.  He is long suffering and waits the Father who waits for his prodigal Son.

Joh 15:12-13  This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.  Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. 

 

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35 NIV

Mic 6:8  He hath showed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth Jehovah require of thee, but to do justly, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 

Freedom and Service

 

All authority in the kingdom of God is based on freedom and service.  This seems like a mystery, but it makes the kingdom of God unique.

Joh 12:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth by itself alone; but if it die, it beareth much fruit.

Php 2:1-11   So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name,  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

 

Jesus demonstrated how servant authority works.

 

He lived amongst the people and served them. Many responded to his love by to become his disciples. 

 

He had great authority over his disciples, but no one was forced to obey him. They obeyed him because they loved him. Every disciple was free to withdraw their submission at any time. Judas demonstrated this freedom when he withdrew his submission to Jesus and submitted to the Jewish leaders.

“Come see his hands and his feet,
the scars that speak of sacrifice,
hands that flung stars into space,
to cruel nails surrendered.
This is our God, the Servant King,
He calls us now to follow Him
to bring our lives as a daily offering
of worship to the Servant King.”
    Graham Kendrick 

 

In the Kingdom of God , people gain authority by serving.

Husbands gain authority in their family,  by loving their wives.

Elders have authority,  because they serve the Christians in their care.

 

Those with authority in the kingdom of God must serve others.

They must never use coercion to get their will done.

The greatest SERVANT in the cosmos is God.

 

This is the Kingdom where each cares for the other and they form a family based on love and service giving themselves to each other.

God so loved the world HE GAVE

 

The image “http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/Jesus_On_Cross.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Thus He became “... the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. (John 2:2).

He called out a new body - The Church to continue his mission.

The phrase “the Body of Christ” is a common New Testament metaphor for the Church (all those who are truly saved). The Church is called “one body in Christ” in Romans 12:5, “one body” in 1 Corinthians 10:17, “the body of Christ” in 1 Corinthians 12:27 and Ephesians 4:12, and “the body” in Hebrews 13:3. The Church is clearly equated with “the body” of Christ in Ephesians 5:23 and Colossians 1:24.

When Christ entered our world, He took on a physical body “prepared” for Him (Hebrews 10:5; Philippians 2:7). Constraining the Godhead within human limitation was another of the great sacrifice which is accomplished only in the supreme Love of God to his creation.  Through His physical body, Jesus demonstrated the love of God clearly, tangibly, and boldly—especially through His sacrificial death on the cross (Romans 5:8).   Just before his death he took a group of people to be his Apostles - to take the message to all creation. In the last supper he had together with them Jesus said:

(Luk 22:14-20)

And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God . And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

 

 

In truth, the material world with all its life was indeed the body of God.  There is no need of a trans-substantiation because those were indeed part of his body, first of the Word that became Flesh in creation.  These were to broken to feed the life.  So were the life giving fluids including the Wine which also pointed to the life giving Spirit.

Mark 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.

The Gospel in the Dress

 

This teaching of the servanthood as authority is intentionally built into the dress of the Priesthood.  The dress of the Priest is the dress of the servants in the middle east with its waist band in readiness to serve.

 

The dress of Bishops  indicates Sacrifice of the blood and Servanthood.  Washed in the blood of the lamb gives its saffron color.  Safron clothes became of symbol of the sanyasins only after the ministry of Jesus.  The Brahmins even today wears the white.

 

Priestly dress of glory and authority is worn on top indicating the origin of authority is in the servantbood.

The greatest is the one who serve

 

 

 

 

 

"Love's Rule"

In essence, the Kingdom of God should be translated as  "Love's Domain," "Love's Dominion," or "Love's Rule" because the Kingdom of God is where the God is. God is Love

The only definitions of God in the bible are:

 

God is Love and God is a Spirit and God is Light

 

1Jn 4:7-24   Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.

 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world.  Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 

1Jn 4:19  We love, because he first loved us.  If any one says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

1Jn 4:21  And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.

Joh 4:24  God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.

1Jn 3:16  By this we know love, that THEY laid down THEIR life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 

 

1Jn 1:5  This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him is no darkness at all.

 

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.

 

Receive the Kingdom and the Kingdom responsibilities that Jesus would confer upon you.  Become partakers in the redemptive process of the cosmos

Behold I make all things new.


 After His bodily ascension, Christ continues His work in the world through those He has redeemed—the Church now demonstrates the love of God clearly, tangibly, and boldly. In this way, the Church functions as “the Body of Christ.”

In fact Paul says that

Rom 8:5-24

(5)  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law, indeed it cannot; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

But justification and propitiation were only part of the function.  The incarnation was for a much greater reason, to bring the body in consonance with the Head.

 

(6) But you are not in the flesh, you are in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Any one who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit which dwells in you.

 

So then, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body you will live.  This is the long plan of redemption

 

 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, "Abba! Father!" it is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also
image

be glorified with him.

 

God is incomprehensible in His essence. But God, who is love, allows us to know Him through His divine energies, those actions whereby He reveals Himself to us in creation, providence, and redemption. It is through the divine energies, therefore, that we achieve union with God.  Logos become human (ie hypostatically uniting Himself with human nature) so as to  intimately unite Himself with the entire created cosmos and put his own body in its proper healthy status.   Far from being seen only as a remedy to a sinful world, (which it is), is now the inflow of the blood  to heal and to reinstate the body. 

 

But the incarnation, the cross and the resurrection goes much further than the humans and the earth.

 

"For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God;  for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God."

 

"We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?"

 

The ressurection of the dead is the purpose of incarnation whereby all creation was reconciled with God.  Creation - the body of God will one day function in health without loosing its freedom.

“He will judge and will forgive all, the good and the evil, the wise and the meek. And when He has done with all of them, then He will summon us. ‘You too come forth,’ He will say, ‘Come forth ye drunkards, come forth, ye weak ones, come forth, ye children of shame!’ And we shall all come forth, without shame and shall stand before Him. And He will say unto us, ‘Ye are swine, made in the Image of the Beast and with his mark; but come ye also!’ And the wise ones and those of understanding will say, ‘Oh Lord, why dost Thou receive these?’ And He will say, “This is why I receive them, oh ye wise—that not one of them believed himself to be worthy of this.’ And He will hold out His hands to us and we shall fall down before Him…and shall weep…and shall understand all things…Lord, thy Kingdom come!” Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment.

Jesus gave two  figures to describe this relationship. 

The first is the example of the Vine and the Branches.

 


JohnI am the vine, you are the branches.

For this is why the gospel was preached even to the dead, that though judged in the flesh like men, they might live in the Spirit like God. I PeterThe glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.Col.

Eph. . . the two will become one body. . . This mystery applies to Christ and the Church.

The representation of the being one in marriage goes far into the creation when Adam was a unity including Man and Woman from which a seperation was so as to create.  This in fact is an image of the creation of Cosmos itself by God the unity.  As in the union of Man and Wife they become one organism, so will be the union of Created beings with the Creator Word.  When Mankind (and all sentient free will beings) join together into God we have the ultimate consumation.

St. Athanasius, The Trinity, The Holy Spirit, Catholic Church

Athanasius commented regarding the incarnation as follows:
“For the Son of God became man, that we might become God.”

John Jesus answered: Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? So the Law uses the word gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and scripture cannot be rejected.


So C.S. Lewis in “A Grief Observed” argues in  thus: “ (God) said that we were "gods" and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him-for we can prevent Him if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for.”


“God said to this hairless monkey, "get on with it, become a god."

 “He has called men gods that are deified of His Grace, not born of His Substance.”


 "the Word became flesh and the Son of God became the Son of Man: so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine sonship, might become a son of God" Adv Haer

 “Souls wherein the Spirit dwells, illuminated by the Spirit, themselves become spiritual, and send forth their grace to others. Hence comes . . . abiding in God, the being made like to God, and, highest of all, the being made god.”On the Spirit.


 “let us become the image of the one whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods”

II Peter He has given us all the things that we need for life and for true devotion, bringing us to know God himself... through them you will be able to share the divine nature.


The Only-begotten Son of God, wanting us to be partakers of his divinity, assumed our human nature so that, having become man, he might make men gods.

EphesiansIn this way we are all to come to unity in our faith and in our knowledge of the Son of God, until we become the perfect Man, fully mature with the fullness of Christ himself.

 This concept of deification or the process of becoming part of God’s body is staggering as C.S.Lewis writes in his book “The Weight of Glory”:

“It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. . .”

 Human-beings can become Sons of God! The process involved is “You must be born again.”. Unless we're born again –through resurrection  we can't even see the Kingdom of God !

 

 

 

 

 

1Co 15:42-50  So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.  It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  It is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.  Thus it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.  But it is not the spiritual which is first but the physical, and then the spiritual.  The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven.  As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven.   Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.  I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God , nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

 

1Jn 3:2  Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

 

Php 3:20-21  But our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,  who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.

The statement will make meaning only in the context of the world within worlds.  When all the fallen creatures aligns themselves to the direction of the divine purposes, the whole cosmos will be redeemed and brought back into its newness of life.

1Co 15:54-57  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."    "O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?"   The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Theosis is not that man becomes in all essence God, but that every part of the creation which form part of the body of God functions as they are expected to in the process of maintaining the Kingdom.  Just as each part of the body is to function properly for good health, the whole four world Kingdom will ultimately work in unison as God wanted his body to function with oneness of purpose – the perfect will of God. 

Eph 4:11-13  And his gifts were that some should be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,  to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, with our unveiled faces reflecting like mirrors the brightness of the Lord, all grow brighter and brighter as we are turned into the image that we reflect; this is the work of the Lord who is Spirit.2 Cor.

I JohnMy dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.

But to all who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to all who believe in the name of him who was born not out of human stock or urge of the flesh or will of man but of God himself.John

Thus Kingdom of God is the realization of the whole sentient creation as children of God.  This in terrestial terms includes Man.   But this concept is not a New Age idea.  Here are some verses that defines the process of theosis or the process of being in the image of Jesus by growing in Christ.  This is accomplished through the every day trials and overcoming of temptations.

Rom. “. . . the Spirit and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory."

They (those who love him) are the ones he chose specially long ago and intended to become true images of his Son, so that his Son might be the eldest of many brothers.Rom.

Gal. ...if God has made you son, then he has made you heir.

Copy of the Kingdom under Test

 

During the period of the ministry of Christ he must have emphasized this organic unity of all creation and the need for mankind living as one organism that soon after the Great Commission and the ascension we see the formation of such a nuclear society of believers.  They tried to create the Kingdom of God in accordance with the principles taught by Jesus.

         

Act 4:32 -35  “Now the company of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things which he possessed was his own, but they had everything in common.  And with great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

 

There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of what was sold   and laid it at the apostles' feet; and distribution was made to each as any had need.”

 

 The Principle of

“From each according to his ability

 To each according to his need”

Was first established by the Jerusalem Christian Commune.

 

But the experiment failed miserably because of one family who entered the community and acted against the principle - Anani'as with his wife Sapphi'ra.  This brought in immediate death for the couple along with the community.  The story still continues. The story of the failure of communism in Russia proclaims the same fact.  Today there are several experimental communes all over the world.  In every case the problems include selfishness.  Kingdom of God cannot come unless sin is eradicated and that is a long process involving new creation through resurrection power.

 

James the brother of Jesus reacted to this failure.

 

Jas 5:1-9  Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.  Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.  You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter.  You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you.

 

Be patient, therefore, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. Behold, the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient over it until it receives the early and the late rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.  Do not grumble, brethren, against one another, that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the doors.

“The deification or theosis of the creature will be realized in its fullness only in the age to come, after the resurrection of the dead. This deifying union has, nevertheless, to be fulfilled ever more and more even in this present life, through the transformation of our corruptible and depraved nature and by its adaptation to eternal life.” (Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church  p. 196, Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1976 )

After the failure of the First Christian Commune, realizing the presence of Selfishness and on going exploitation one by the other, the Church as a living organism with independent families as a viable solution came in.  The Kingdom is being formed in the Church where the presence of sin is acknowledged.

 

John 14:20-24 "...you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him. .. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words."

 

John 15:4-6 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered...."

 

John 3:3-6"...I say to you, 'unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God .... Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God . That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit."

 

This remaking of the Cosmos with all its freedom of will into one organic unity functioning in perfection is the ultimate Kingdom of God .  It has already started in the hearts and minds of the people who has accepted Christ as their Lord and Master and He will transform and ultimately bring us all into that Kingdom.  It needs your free participation.  That is the call of the Gospel.  There will be pruning, there will be pain.  All these are  part of the theosis process.

Theosis, becoming fully functioning body of God

 

The perfecting of the cosmos in its full function as part of God himself or the perfecting of God’s body, will require the return of the fallen mankind and in fact all fallen creation to its pristine form in line with God’s purposes. 

I CorNow you together are Christ's body; but each of you is a different part of it.

Cosmic Man - The Divine Presence: The Theology of St. Gregory of Nyssa/ Ca 330 to 395 A.D.

 

 Paulos Mar Gregorios (1922–1996) postulates that St. Gregory's reservation regarding a more in-depth parallelism stemmed from a concern that man's high standing within creation not be attributed to his similarity to the universe (Gregorios, "Cosmic Man"). However, St. Gregory also views man as a mediator between creation and God whose mediation is made possible by the incarnation:

"In Christ, Man, and through Man the whole creation, directly and without intermediaries participates in the creative energies of God Himself" (Paulos Mar Gregorios, "Cosmic Man, p.103).

Man as Priest of Creation

Metr. Paulos Gregorios of the Orthodox Syrian Church of the East, who was one of the most ardent advocates of Christian ecology wrote, "Nature, man, and God are not three disjunct realities on the stage with a space-interval between their respective boundaries. [...] Christ has become part of creation, and in his created body he lifted up the creation to God, and humankind must participate in this eternal priesthood of Christ"    (Gregorios, "The Human Presence") 

Fr. Stanley Harakas  of Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.summarizes the Orthodox position thus far: "the creation exists for the use of humanity; but humanity exists as a microcosm to sanctify creation and to draw it into the fullness of the life of the kingdom of God , to bring it into communion with its maker." (The Integrity of Creation: Ethical Issues, in "Justice, Peace and the Integrity of Creation," p.73) 

Gregory's cosmology consists of God, man, and the world. Man is a part of the world, which exists within the limits of time and space. However, God exists beyond all such limits. Therefore, God exists without any change though the world goes on changing. As God exists beyond the limits of time and space, God is incomprehensible to man. Human thought and language are limited to what exists within the limits of time and space.

Gregory makes a distinction between the ousia and energia of God. The ousia(essence) of God is totally incomprehensible to us. The world depends upon the energia (operation) of God for its existence. It is from non-being, which merely appears to exist, that God, the true being, has brought the world into existence.

According to the western Christian thought, which originated in Augustine, the essence of man is his sinful nature. Man is originally sinner. Gregory cannot agree with this idea. If man is sinner by nature, how can he be blamed for doing sin? According to Gregory, the essence of man is nothing but the essence of God. Man is the visible image of the invisible God. The original and the image differ in that the original is self-existent and remains unchanging whereas the image depends upon the original, and moves from beginning to end. Man is absolutely free as God is free. However, man is in a state of growing-- growing upto the perfection of God. As man is in need of growth, he is immature. Immaturity often makes man misuse his freedom. This is what Gregory calls evil or sin. Whatever in our attitude and behavior that hinders the perpetual growth towards the perfection of God is evil.