Edward Hancock II
The Imperfect Blog
|Posted by EHancock2 on April 29, 2017 at 2:40 PM|
So, it's been a while since I last wrote. Been busily promoting the re-release of Mourning Reign and the paperback release of Heart Beatings. It's been fun, actually. But it's been busy! Also, I started back to physical therapy for the first time in years. I hurt so bad most days. But I'm using muscles I haven't used in a while, so that's good.
Now, I wanted to discuss something today that makes me curious. As many of you know, if you read my blog, like ever, I'm a Christian. But unlike many Christians, I am NOT afraid to pretend or ask "what if?" In fact, many of those "what ifs" have led to some of my best writing within the Mendez Series. (And some of the most controversial.)
This morning, I thought of something and I wanted to write it down, because it is something that I definitely want to study more deeply.
In short, I want to ask does the Christian religion REALLY not promote reincarnation? I know what you're probably thinking. You're thinking I'm off my rocker, yet again. Just trust me. I'm going somewhere with this.
Let me start here, with a verse taken somewhat out of context.
So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:45
Keep in mind, I state explicitly that this verse is intentionally taken out of context. Because I want to look at it for a minute. Just this message alone. Don't worry. I'll add context in a bit.
Here, we have Christ being referred to as the second Adam. The Last Adam. And given the assignment of the life-giving spirit. Christ WAS made flesh. We know that to be fact. Christ was given a flesh body, in order to become sin and carry sin to the cross to be crucified. But Jesus was NOT flesh. Jesus was spirit. Jesus was God's indwelling. But Adam was created from the dust of the earth, then given life through the literal breath of God. What is the breath of God if NOT God's life force? Breathe in right now. Hold it for a couple seconds. Then breathe out. Inhale. Exhale. You are breathing. Guess what. The only reason you are breathing is because GOD first breathed life into ADAM. And Jesus took your sins and mine to the cross. So, was ADAM the first "indwelling" of God's spirit? In a very real sense, yes.
Now, Adam never healed anyone. When CAIN killed ABEL, Adamn did not bring him back to life. So far as the Bible recounts, Adam never walked on water or fed five thousand people. Adam and Jesus did not share the same purpose. Adam's purpose was to begin mankind. To propogate the species. Jesus' purpose was to save man from Hell, a necessary salvation after Eve gave in to temptation and the pair essentially doomed us to a finite existence and the recipient of the wages of sin. The world of "First Adam" was different than the world of second Adam. Thus their missions and life paths were different. But does that mean they are not the same indwelling of God?
Okay, now for the context of that verse that I promised. You can google the entire chapter if you want, but I'm going to add a good deal of context here:
But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?” How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised 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 natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall weg bear the image of the heavenly man.
I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
1 Corinthians 15:35-50
So God gives the body as HE decides and not all bodies are the same. And we can see that there is a natural body and a heavenly (spiritual) body. They are not the same. So, does this mean that First Adam and Second Adam are not the same or that their fleshly bodies are not the same, but the same God that dwelt within one did also in the second? I am not going to answer or even conjecture, because that's not the point. The point is I don't really know. I know that Jesus is my savior, not Adam. In that sense, they are not the same. But was it merely their purpose that made them different? Not their actual spiritual indwelling?
God is infinite. Humans are finite. And there's also this:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
So, God does not change. Jesus Christ does not change. Jesus is and was the Truth, the living Word. He was with God from the very beginning and WAS God from the very beginning. So, was the breath breathed into Adam the very breath that came from God? And does that mean that the spiritual indwelling of Jesus, who is God, was breathed into Adam?
It is believed, by many, that Jesus appeared in the Old Testament, centuries before the flesh and blood Yeshua walked the earth.
Jesus is first seen in the Old Testament as the person who appeared as “the Angel of the Lord” in his sudden confrontation with Sarah’s maidservant, Hagar (Gen 16:7). Thereafter, he continued to appear intermittently throughout the earlier books of the Old Testament. These real occurrences, initiated by God, were characterized by the fact that they were convincing revelations of his person and work, as much as they were also transitory, fleeting, but audible and clearly visible appearances. He came temporally in the form of a human, much before his final incarnation as a babe in Bethlehem, yet this same “Angel of the LORD” is called and is addressed often as “the LORD/Yahweh” himself (Gen 12:7; 17:1; 19:1; etc.).
This “Angel of the LORD” was a title that stood for his office, but it did not describe his nature. The Hebrew word for “angel” (mal’ak) had the basic idea of one who was “sent,” a “messenger.” Of the 214 usages of the Hebrew term used for “angel,” about one third of them refer to what is labeled by theologians as a “Christophany,” a temporary appearance of Christ in the Old Testament. It is certain, however, that this special angel of the Lord is divine, for Hagar “...gave this name to the LORD, who spoke with her [as the Angel of the LORD]: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ as she observed, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me’” (Gen 16:13).
Also, It is written that Jacob wrestled with God. This was not a spiritual battle. This was not a battle of wills inside him. The Bible depicts this as a literal physical battle with a flesh manifestation of God. Read it here:
Then Jacob was left alone; and a Man wrestled with him until the breaking of day. Now when He saw that He did not prevail against him, He touched the socket of his hip; and the socket of Jacob’s hip was out of joint as He wrestled with him. . . . And He said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel; for you have struggled with God and with men, and have prevailed.”
Then Jacob asked, saying, “Tell me Your name, I pray.”
And He said, “Why is it that you ask about My name?” And He blessed him there. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel: “For I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.” (Genesis 32:24–25, 28–30)
Adam walked with God. Abraham followed God. Jacob touched God. Moses spoke with God but could not look upon Him.
But, if all of these were God, why did Jesus come? More to the point, why did Jesus need to die? Well, for that, you'll need to look at Hebrews 10:4 which states, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins." Chapter ten continues later, "By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. . . . But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool. For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified". (Hebrews 10:10, 12–14)
The others before had their purposes. Adam, as I said before, came to begin man. Many others came to act as a guide, for Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. For Moses and even for Joshua, Samson's parents, and even Jesus himself appeared to Saul on the road to Damascus.
So, I know this is a lot to take in. A lot to digest. And, yes, it's a bit disorganized. This was a "new" thought, I guess you could say. One that I needed to get down so that I could see it and find out where it makes sense and where it doesn't. Ultimately, what matters is this: Jesus was born, he lived and died for you and me. Jesus is my savior. Jesus, not Adam, not Moses, Not Samson, Abraham, Jacob and not Noah. Jesus' sacrifice perfected forever those of us being sanctified. So, were these other "Angels of the Lord" and Adams the same indwelling? It's an interesting "What if" to ponder, and I will long ponder it. But one thing it won't do is change my faith in God. I am a sinner saved by GRACE. And neither Adam nor any that came after gave me that GRACE, until the Lamb of God took my punishment to the cross.
And that leads me to that moment where I remind you that this blog is brought to you by the letters W, E and H and by the number 2.