Written By Thomas Perez. March 26, 2014 at 7:53pm. Copyright 2014.
I. The Discussion
Based upon my previous articles, most of you know by now where my thoughts and/or conclusions are leading to. Most of my articles are some what based upon those written prior – a sort of big picture if you will. A reader may look upon a particular article and make a hasty judgmental comment or decision based merely upon the article that he or she may be reading at the time without considering other articles written along the same lines.
Case and point: when I conduct articles on the ultimate salvation of all things, naturally I had to conduct various articles on predestination, freewill, Calvinism, Arminianism, and even eschatology as it pertains to salvation, and so forth. The same principle applies to this article that you are about to read. This is why I quote myself from time to time – as a backup to other articles that may go deeper into the crux of the subject matter at hand. For example, I may go into the Hebrew or Greek to prove point. In this particular article I don’t, I merely present. Other articles about the subject matter covered here goes a bit deeper. You can always refer to them for your further understanding at your convenience.
Lets us begin our topic…
Question: How many folks have died since the beginning of time? Well, that answer all depends on your view. Whether you believe in creation (as in Adam and Eve) or evolution. But if you believe in creation, its still a lot of deaths allowed, especially from someone who said “Thou shalt not kill,” or “Thou shalt not murder.” But you may protest and cite that “we have freewill” – we choose these things.” Really? Did we also choose to be born already dying? That is why I don’t rejoice when a child is born – I mean why should I? Its dying already – its called aging into death. It starts at the cellular level. The only thing I say now is “Awww, so cute” or “congratulations” – and I’ll probably give a present out of respect if I know the person well enough, but that’s about it.
And please don’t quote to me the Genesis 3 story – surly you can come up with something better than a God getting all “pissed” off at Adam & Eve for eating a fruit (allegorically speaking) and then pronouncing death – and then turning around with the gall to tell us “thou shalt not kill.” How many has he killed – or idly sat back and allowed to be killed or die? A hell of a lot in my opinion.
Consider the following…
According to Scientific America.com,
“For most of history, the population grew slowly, if at all. According to the United Nations’ Determinants and Consequences of Population Trends, the first Homo sapiens appeared around 50,000 years ago, though this figure is debatable. Little is known about this distant past and how many of us there might have been, but by the time of the agricultural revolution in the Middle East in 9000 B.C., Earth held an estimated five million people.”
“Between the rise of farming and the height of Roman rule, population growth was sluggish; at less than a tenth of a percent per year, it crawled to about 300 million by A.D. 1. Then the total fell as plagues wiped out large swathes of people. (The “black death” in the 14th century wiped out at least 75 million.) As a result, by 1650 the world population had only increased to about 500 million. By 1800, though, thanks to improved agriculture and sanitation, it doubled to more than one billion. And, in 2002 when Haub last made these calculations, the planet’s population had exploded, reaching 6.2 billion.”
Moreover According to BBC News,
“Today, life expectancy is about 75-80 [years] and for most of human history that was not the case,” she says.
“We have some estimates for the Middle Ages where life expectancy might have been 10-12, which means many people never made it out of childhood.
“Even if you had a lot of births, many of those never lived to actually bear children themselves.”
In other words, it would be easy to underestimate the number of people who were born, lived and died, in the earlier part of human history. That estimate of 80 births per 1,000 people per year looks very high by today’s standards – but in fact it is conservative, implying “a very slow population growth, much slower than anything we see today”.
Population Reference Bureau estimates that about 107 billion people have ever lived.
Fans of science fiction may be reaching for their copies of Arthur C Clarke’s classic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, at this point.
In that book, he makes the assertion: “Behind every man now alive stand 30 ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living.”
“He was making his statement in 1968. There were maybe 3.5 billion people currently living on earth so if you use our method, that would be one living person to 29 dead.”
And will we ever reach a point where there are more alive than dead?
This would imply a very high rate of population growth.
“Could we imagine a carrying capacity of the Earth of 100-150 billion? I find that quite unimaginable.”
Martin Luther King once said, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.” – This can also be applied to the “Good Samaritan law.” A law that Yahweh/Jehovah often neglects. But can we apply death to this equation? I think we can, especially when considering how death is accomplished sometimes; I.e., suffering that cancerous liver, pancreas, or lung. Suffering deformities, famine, hunger, pestilences, and diseases, etc. A wonderful prelude to death. Yet even without all these miseries, we still have the aging onto death spoken of above.
Here are some quotes from different blogs concerning what folks thought of the scenario of dying when born…
“It could be that living and dying are exactly the same thing. I’m living right now, but I’m also dying. I’m closer to my death now than I was when I started typing this sentence – but, yet, I’m also living.”
“Indeed we are living for a short time, but even dying is living until you’re dead.”
“Every second millions of your blood cells die. Your body needs material to create more life to sustainability.”
“I disagree. Dying is a physical process. It does not begin until the process of dying starts to take place. Granted the moment we are born we begin counting off the days towards our death, but this is not the same as dying.”
“Call it living or dying, we’re just existing. breathing. at this very moment parts of my body are being destroyed but then renewed, so I don’t consider myself to be dying.”
Others claim it is aging…
“Actually that process is called aging. It only happens to result in dying.”
II. Oh the Logic of it All
Naturally the last quote is the correct one – aging is the process of death. It is the immediate process to death. The cells in our bodies, though rejuvenated, can not keep up with time and therefore perishes. But before it does – it begins to show the aging process. It shows this until the last cell has worked its biological clock. A clock that ticks, while a God of all creation sits back and watches passively as Martin Luther King suggested of us. But Luther was not the first to employ such observation. Luther’s words are similar to Epicurus (341BC – 270AD) who once said, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able to? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then where cometh the evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?
Any Bible thumping individual will surly agree with Luther, but when the very same consensus is posed toward God (as in the Epicurusian statement), then it becomes a different matter. Why the difference? Aren’t we supposed to emulate God? If so, shouldn’t the God you serve emulate us in man’s quest of the Good Samaritan? This is usually when the religious rhetoric comes to the surface; the bigotry, the name calling, the judging, and so forth. All of this is an attempt to secure their theology. They need to feel secure in their box. The box of the fall, the box of inherited sin, as opposed to immortality at the risk of over population, the obscenity of immortality in the garden as if it is something to be inherited, as opposed to perfection and love. Virtues that are intangible.
The earth simply can not house that of the intangible, much less the tangible – man. Therefore, death must have been a foregone conclusion to the matter of immortality at hand. In other words, immortality began to cease with creation. Something that ceases is not perfection. If it is not perfection, then it must not be perfect love. If it is not perfect love, then it is not the true God. I submit that creation is not of the true source concerning all things, it is a counterfeit of what is true, just, perfect, and loving.
Again, considering this information – there would simply not be enough room on earth to hold everyone. Moreover, 72 percent of the planet is made up of water. Plus 97 percent of that water is salty ocean water – and not suitable for drinking. If our Biblical stories are accurate, then how can we account for the immortality given to Adam and Eve before the alleged fall and avoid an over populated earth? Wouldn’t the avoidance of a fall cause planet over population? Let us also remember that this immortality did not include the new world – thus even a smaller earth! Some might cite “blame the iniquities of man before the flood – perhaps that is why our earth is so filled with it.” Perhaps that is so, but perhaps the story of Noah is an allegory. But if it is not, then you would have to say that it was literal – which kind of really makes no sense at all, sense man is supposedly worse than he was before.
Let us keep our focus.
Let us also consider the ramifications of such a theology; the cause of evil. the cause of freewill and the consequences of violating that freewill. Think about it, a violation of freewill in turn demonstrates a lack of freewill. In other words, “damned if you do and damned if you don’t.” Why you may asked are we “damned if we do and damned if we don’t?” Because lack of freewill gives way to what is called predestination – and therefore we really have no freewill at all. The theologian has to come up with the proper hermeneutics to make sense all this theology. Philosophers on the other hand are not burdened with keeping ideological boxes as supreme authority. Philosophers only have to come up with plausibility. And plausibility’s are not restricted to theological boxes. The theologian on the other hand uses simple tricks and nonsense. These simple tricks and nonsense of the trade often end up in confrontational theologies and doctrines.
For example: Various boxes of theological essays include Spurgeon’s works, Augustinianism, and the sort. Supralapsarian, Infralapsarian, Calvinism, and his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Hyper-Calvinism, Moderate Calvinism. On the reverse side of this coin we have Pelagianism, Arminianism, Amyraldian, Wesleyanism and even freewill. It is not the doctrines or what they may teach that I’ am attacking, it’s the various interpretations that seem to be lacking – I mean, they can’t all be right, neither can they all be wrong. Are some of them correct and others incorrect?
Something is amiss. Something is wrong. The center does not hold.
III. The Center Does Not Hold
This is why I believe something is drastically wrong with mainstream theology. This is why I don’t favor the God of the OT. Like I said in various recent articles of mine – “there seems to be a difference between EL and this Yahweh personality.” I don’t see EL creating anything. It would seem almost to blasphemous to do so. A mockery of perfection. And perfection has no limits or defects, neither does love. Perfection and love does not age, they simply exist. Or they exist as a higher virtue unattainable by any known conventional standard of mortality as opposed to immortality. It would seem almost preposterous to create out of love, since you would need an object to reflect upon.
But then again, some might cite “objects can exist to a God who is ever in the past, present, and future.” A state of “now,” so to speak. But that does not seem to be the case, because if it were, then the object of his desire would not cease biologically due to what theologians attribute as the cause of death, namely disobedience. In other words, the object would have been created in the past – since God is in the past – giving way to the object being in the present because God is omnipresent – but since he is said to be so in regards to his creation, why does the creation cease? In other words his omnipresence eventually ceases – giving way to the object not being in the future – because our future is death. Therefore giving way to the death of God. Our conscience ceases to exist. If it ceases to exist, then God ceases to exist (Genesis 3:19, Psalms 115:17-18, Ecclesiastes 3:1-22, 9:5-6, 10).
This death, according to mainstream theology, commenced at the Garden, where disobedience first took place. However, we are all accustomed to the NT ideology of redemption and salvation from this disobedience. The NT promises us life after death. It promises us a conscience, whereas the OT didn’t. However, the OT did suggest a resurrection – Genesis 15:15, Job, 19:26, Proverbs 12:28, 14:12 Daniel 12:1-13. The NT is also revolutionary to the concept of an eternal soul, or spirit, howbeit similar to the Aristotelian, & Platonian concepts (sometimes used interchangeably) along side the resurrection or its conscience alert awaiting for such – John 3:16, 36, 5:24, 11:25, Luke 23:43, Philippians 1:21-23, 3:20-21, Hebrews 9:27, Romans 8:14-23, 1 Corinthians 15:51-57, Revelation 21:1-27. However, there are semantics involved, such as; the date and time of the resurrection. Whether it occurred already (as in the Preterist position) or not (as in the Historicist & Futurist position). However, we are not discussing doctrines and semantics, so let us keep our focus…But please allow me to say that Clement put it best when he said in Chapter XXIV of His Church History…
“Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection, of which He has rendered the Lord Jesus Christ the first-fruits 1 Cor 15:20; Col 1:18. by raising Him from the dead. Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. The night sinks to sleep, and the day arises; the day [again] departs, and the night comes on. Let us behold the fruits [of the earth], how the sowing of grain takes place. The sower Luke 8:5 goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved. Then out of its dissolution the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raises it up again, and from one seed many arise and bring forth fruit.
At this moment, I will encourage the reader to consider the words chosen by Clement: Let us consider, beloved, how the Lord continually proves to us that there shall be a future resurrection…Let us contemplate, beloved, the resurrection which is at all times taking place. Day and night declare to us a resurrection. It would appear that Clement believed the resurrection to be a future event, yet (and this is most vital, to the teachings of Full Preterism) upon this he also considered that the resurrection is taking place at all times. The resurrection of the dead according to this statement declares that the risen physical Christ is at all times to be considered an accomplished fact. A fact that happened 2,000 years ago, but moreover the consensus is that this established fact can indeed be an ongoing accomplishment through our own unveiling and belief (Eph 1:17-18). A belief established by faith in the established work of Christ Jesus, where He sits upon the Heavenly throne, and where we are also seated, if you are risen with Christ (Eph 1:20, 23, 2:6, Col 1:1-2).
Clements statement actually backs up what Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” “And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
But we do die. Obviously the Christ was speaking of the spiritual – which may lead to credence that the state of Lazarus was an allegorical one, similar to the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Allow me to quote from another article of mine entitled “An Unbiased Approach Part 2” – “Many Evangelicals claim that because Jesus used a specific name, it must be a specific real literal story because parables contain no names. However, the name Lazarus is very significant. The name Lazarus is a transliteration of the Hebrew “Eleazar” which means “God has help”. There are 3 characteristics of this Eleazar…
1. He must have been close to Abraham because he is placed in Abraham’s bosom.
2. He must also have been a Gentile (20-21of Luke reveals this). The phrase “longing to eat from Abraham’s table” was typical of Gentile identification. In the eyes of the Jewish nation, the Gentiles were considered the outcasts, the dogs. So the phrase “the dogs came to lick his sores” shows us that they could only be consoled by other Gentiles since they were unworthy of receiving the blessings of God.
3. He must have also been a steward since he is now receiving the reward and blessings of being in Abraham’s bosom….“This imagery is explained in Galatians 3:6-9. According to this passage Gentile believers become sons of Abraham. For centuries the Jews had received the benefits of being God’s chosen people by virtue of being Abraham’s physical descendents. But after the sacrifice of Christ, this place of honor would be given to the people represented by Lazarus.”
This will also insinuate that Jesus, as He was so often, was concerned with the soul rather than its house – the flesh – the body – the creation. But someone may cite “Not true Thomas Jesus was concerned with the body, for He said fear Him who is able to destroy both body and soul in Hell.” However, let me remind the reader that passages like these in the NT and those of the OT have been dealt with in the article that I ‘am quoting from – that is why it is called “Unbiased.” As such, I will not repeat myself – you would have to read the articles (An Unbiased Approach: Parts 1-3).
Moreover, one should always read the Bible with the thought of keeping a book as one letter – minus the chapter divisions. Notice who Jesus dealt with in Ch 10 and notice their (the Jewish) response in Ch 11:45-51. Here we learned that though they feared losing their institutions, they nevertheless decided to kill the only Son of Man. They did this just in case, for the sake of the whole nation – so that they too may share in Lazarus’ blessings. Note verse 50 – “it is better for us that one man should die for the people, than allowing a whole nation (their institutions, culture and society) to perish due to this man.” Verse 51 reveals “And not for that nation only – meaning themselves, a sort of having their cake and eating it to, but also for those outside – the dogs – the Gentiles – the scattered sheep of Israel.
Question – Do you honestly think that the story was an actual raising of an individual from the dead? Only for him to die again physically? Moreover, it is reported that the Jews saw this. If I saw a person raising someone from the dead I wouldn’t lay a hand on His “chinny chin chin.” But while they weren’t convinced, they saw many believing on God and His deeper message of the soul/spirit – in which mere stones tablets could not touch. That was the miracle! It would seem that even they – though still considered and classified as the unbelieving Jews, actually, and finally did believe – otherwise there wouldn’t have been a plot Vs 53. But this act warranted an act of unbelief. Also in keeping with this frame of thought we have Luke 16 – as mentioned above.
Am I denying a physical resurrection? No I’ am not. I’ am stating a possible plausible answer to the ever persistent presence of death in the body – a body that if it had been raised in the physical sense – then it would have had to be raised dying once again as mentioned in Section 1. A spiritual application is more profitable than a fleshly one. But if he was indeed raised physically, then that was the greatest object lesson made available at that time. Moreover, Jesus’ resurrection of Himself provides even a bigger object lesson – for it is written that He raised Himself – John 2:19-20. As matter of fact I devote a great deal of time showing the physical resurrection of Christ Jesus in an article I written sometime ago entitled, “Ontology and Full Preterism.” In it are discussed the theories of Einstein, relativity, ontology, and time in connection with the resurrection. Also please see “My View On The Resurrection of Christ and His Believers.”
Therefore it behooves us to ask a simple question, “If EL didn’t create anything, then who did?” Simple systematic theology tells us it was Yahweh/Jehovah who created the Heavens and the Earth and all that is in them – including you and me. They state this because it is written in the Scriptures. They state this as a foregone conclusion. It is their theology. Of course if we were to accept the accepted academe of Judeo-Christian and Muslim theology and their mainstream hermeneutics, then by all means it is true. In this they are correct. But since they say they are correct, then I ask them why is it said that Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil? ‘Thomas, are you equating Yahweh/Jehovah with the devil? I will not repeat myself. I have dealt with this question already in another article (see below). So let us keep our focus.
Since many believe that it was Yahweh who created everything, and many who were and are of the esoteric group came to believe otherwise, then it will also behoove us to ask what was it that Yahweh used to create man? To answer that question, let us remember that all human beings possess both material and immaterial characteristics. It is clear that all mankind has a body containing flesh, blood, bones, organs, and cells. However, it is the intangible qualities of mankind that are often debated. What does Scripture say about these? Genesis 2:7 states that man was created as a living soul. Numbers 16:22 names God as the “God of the spirits” that are possessed by all mankind. Proverbs 4:23 tells us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life,” indicating that the heart is central to man’s will and emotions. Acts 23:1 says, “Paul looked straight at the Sanhedrin and said, ‘My brothers, I have fulfilled my duty to God in all good conscience to this day.” Here Paul refers to the conscience, that part of the mind that convicts us of right and wrong. Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” These verses, and numerous others, refer to the various aspects of the immaterial part of humanity. We all share both material and immaterial qualities.
So, Scripture outlines far more than just soul and spirit. Somehow, the soul, spirit, heart, conscience, and mind are connected and interrelated. The soul and spirit are definitely the primary aspects of humanity. They likely comprise the other aspects. With this is mind, is humanity dichotomous (cut in two, body-soul/spirit – Isaiah 26:9, Matt 6:25; 10:28, Luke 1:46-47, 1 Cor 5:3, 5), or trichotomous (cut in three, body, soul and spirit). It is impossible to be dogmatic. There are good arguments for both views.
A key verse is Hebrews 4:12 – “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” This verse tells us at least two things about this debate. The soul and spirit can be divided, and the division of soul and spirit is something that only God can discern. Rather than focusing on something we cannot know for sure, it is better to focus on the Creator, who has made us “fearfully and wonderfully” (Psalm 139:14). I Thess 5:23 reveals 3 parts. Theologians have debated the issue for centuries and there has never been a decisive orthodox declaration of which is true. Are we a Dichotomy or Trichotomy?
It is highly probable that Yahweh being a spirit – part of the hosts of Heaven created all that is for his pleasure and that EL had no part in such creation. The two seem to be separate as these verses indicate – Gen 14:22, 17:1, 21:33; Ex 6:2-3; Ps 82:1 vs Deut 32:8-9; Ps 29:1, 89:6-8. Recent archaeological, Biblical, and extra-biblical research has led scholars working in the area of the origins of Israelite religion to assert rather boldly and confidently that the original god of Israel was in fact the Canaanite deity El.
For a comprehensive treatment of the subject see: F. M. Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel (Harvard University Press 1973); M. Smith, The Early History of God: Yahweh and the Other Deities in Ancient Israel (Eerdmans 1990); and W. Dever, Did God Have a Wife? – Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel (Eerdmans 2008).
The Ugaritic literature depicts El as the sovereign deity of the Canaanite pantheon. He is frequently referred to as “Father of the gods,” “the eternal King,” and “Creator of all living beings.” El’s other epithets include: “El the Kind, the Compassionate,” “the Bull,” “the Ageless One,” and “the Father of Years.” He is depicted as bearded, and residing in a tent or a tabernacle, whose throne rests on Cherubim. He is the God of blessings and of covenants.
Even Jesus called upon Him – “El-I El-I why hast thou forsaken me?” – as opposed to calling upon Yahweh/Jehovah.
Just exactly how has this come about you ask?
In the oldest literary traditions of the Pentateuch, it is El who regularly appears and not Yahweh, or Yahweh as El! Or impersonating the EL of Hosts. Examples of EL worship can be found in Judges 9:46, Gen 28:3, 31:13; cf. 35:7, 11, cf. 48:3, 49:25, 32:31. “El who sees” is given as the etymology of Beerlahai-roi in Genesis 16:13. And we are informed that Abraham journeys to the old cultic shrine at Beersheba, where he plants and worships a tree and calls on the name “El the eternal” and at the same time Yahweh (Gen 21:33). Contrary to Genesis 33:20, where the Shechemite El is presented unambiguously as the “god of Israel,” in Genesis 21:33, El is apparently already assimilated to Yahweh and visa-versa. Finally, Genesis 14:18-22 speaks of “El the most high,” of whom the Canaanite Melchizedek is priest at Jerusalem. And in the NT Jesus is referred to as the High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:11-17) as opposed to the priestly order of Aaron.
This assimilation seems to be of a priestly thought. Genesis 17:1, and Exodus 6:2-3 suggests an identification between Yahweh and El “of the mountain,” the verse also subtly recognizes an ancient distinction between the God of the patriarchs (El) and the god of the Mosaic era (Yahweh). This distinction can be further examined in two articles of mine entitled “Yahweh: The Two Faced God – A Deeper Look Into The Apocalypse Theater” and “The Origin of the One God, and Other God’s, Deities, Aliens, and the Anunnaki – Nephilim: Fact, Mythos, or Universal”
Since the earlier Scriptural citations teach about a counsel of the gods with EL as the Supreme, wouldn’t that also suggest that EL- who is the Creator of all, who is the preserver of all, who is the epitome of perfection and love mentioned earlier before – would equally love His counsel and that of the counsel’s creation “Man” – for it is written let Us make man in Our image. This suggests a plurality involved – though it is still considered, and still should be believed, that all originally originated from One Supreme God – because all are created by Him/Her if we are to still uphold a monotheistic view of God or even a Trinitarian view of God/EL – which is another study all together of which I also devoted much time and effort.
One may also ask, “Well Thomas where does that leave the god of this age – Satan?” – To answer that please read the article “Satan: A Fallen Angel or Created As Such? A Ministering Spirit? Enemy of God? Which is it? What is His Destiny?”
After seeing the conditions of all creation – This creator had no choice but to only call everything “good” – note: it was not called perfect or holy. This may be so because only EL is Supreme in perfection and holiness. It is similar to the extra-Biblical writings concerning creation. They wanted to create and EL, being the compassionate all knowing one, didn’t interfere with this play of the gods – where all the worlds a stage and the are merely puppets. Bur when things naturally got out of hand, EL – the Father, our Abba or Jesus saw fit to reconcile this play and bring it to a proper conclusion through the power of reconciliation – where He became Man – the Son of Man – emanating from EL (or Himself) as the Son of God or God the Son incarnate. Jesus did not think of His body as something to be held up, but humbled Himself in His humanity and deity. Paul also took a similar stance when he said…
“For me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Phil 1:21