November 16, 2014

CHAPTER 25

The Ontological Conclusion

What is there?

At the onset of this writing I asserted that the Bible was an ontology; that is a body of thought presented to us from our Creator designed to explain to us our environment and the circumstances in which we find ourselves, i. e. “what exists”. I further stated that the Bible was an epistemology as well; that is writing not only designed to explain to us, “what is” but also the nature of what is.

Through the use of impactful illustrations, parables and similitudes, which are compact and easy to transport generationally our Creator provides these explanations as a basis to make a decision.

The decision before each Man is life or death.

A decision for life means a decision to affirm the selfless character of the Creator and choose to reflect in our being the holy nature of the eternal God, a high and noble nature, which is epitomized in the Greek word “Agape”, denoting selfless love. “Spirit” is the term in Scripture, which denotes the holy nature, character and mode of being of the Creator. A decision to affirm our Creator as holy is not merely a decision to esteem His mode of being but a decision to proactively walk in the Spirit by uniting with Him relationally and reflecting His image in an exacting way in our attitudes and actions. A decision for life is a decision to affirm God’s sovereignty; that is His right to make set the standards of right and wrong and to live within the relational and moral boundaries He defines.

A decision for death means a decision to reject God’s character as holy and to define a mode of being for ourselves, which is self-serving. A decision to serve the self is a decision to admit into our lives any attitudes or actions which expediently further the ends of the moment without regard for others. A decision for death is a decision to reject God’s sovereignty and to define whatever standards of right and wrong seem good in our own eyes and to live within or without whatever moral or relational boundaries we so choose.

The data points for the decision are placed before Mankind through the mechanism of time. The decision we make on that data; to be valid, must be made without coercion.

 

THE ONTOLOGY

Your decisions in life are based on your perception of what is. I present to you an ontology comprising of the fifteen most important conclusions of what exists as a basis for your decision making. This is contrasted with the secular ontology presented at the beginning of this work. What is – The Ontology – is listed in Bold. The nature of what is – The Epistemology – is described in the paragraph(s) which follow and is a synthesis of what is contained in the commentary. The list could be longer – in fact – the list could stretch into the thousands. The minutia of what exists is not important. Getting bogged down in details is paralyzing and akin to Adam and Eve hiding in the trees of the Garden of Eden. The endless parsing of words and hiding in uncertainty gives us permission to defer decisions and put off facing reality. Reality never goes away, however. Things that cannot go on forever eventually stop. Time is going to run out. It will run out for you, at some point, on a personal level, when entropy claims your body and it will run out for humanity collectively. When it does; in what state will you find yourself? Will you be Spirit or will you be flesh? The answer to that question is what life is all about.

1. There is God

There is one and only one true God. Yahweh is His name. The name is a derivative of the different tenses of the Hebrew verb “to be” and implies God’s ever presence. God “be” past; God “be” present and God “be” future. The verb is even richer in its meaning, implying not only presence but causal presence. God causes to “be” or “to become” in all those tenses of the verb, thus signifying the foundational nature of His presence across all spans of time. The powerful significance of The Name and God’s eternity is epitomized in the term “I AM”, which God uses to describe himself and reference His ever presence. In Revelation, God declares Himself as “The Alpha and The Omega”, He who was; who is and who is yet to come. It is the same reference as to the nature of His being as contained in the Divine Name and in the term “I AM” found in the Old Testament.

God has a personal name and God interacts with Man relationally because God is personal. God is not an abstraction or an impersonal force.

While God is personal, He cannot be understood in Human terms and should not be anthropoized. Man has a limited Center of being and can be localized in time and space. God is so immense in His nature that time and space cannot contain Him. He is not limited by any boundary understood by Men. Because God is so large and multifaceted, the only human understanding and term that approximates a description of His being is community. God, in fact reveals Himself to Man as a familial community: God is Father – the progenitor of all things; God is The Son (or Logos) – the active agent of creation and the intelligent mind behind the Universe: God is Spirit – the personification of His high and noble character and nature. God is a fusion – a (com)unity – of all of these parts who can manifest Himself collectively or individually at any time or place of His choosing simultaneously or discretely across any boundary of time, space or matter. The high theological term for this is, “hypostasis”.

God can do this because Yahweh is eternal, omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent.

Yahweh is holy. That means that holiness; the right to designate what is high and what is low, what is right and what is wrong; what is good and what is evil; belongs to, and is resident in Him. Yahweh is the supreme arbiter of all things and the sovereign of the universe.

Yahweh is the embodiment of selfless principled love. Love is His nature and the only way he manifests Himself in His attitudes, actions and undertakings. God’s holy nature is imprinted on everything in the universe. God’s holy nature of love and the ethical and moral boundaries He has established are constant, unchanging and eternal.

Yahweh is the Creator of all dimensions and manifestations of time, space and matter, including the realm of material substance in which Man dwells. The cosmos is not a random event. It is created by design and initiated with purpose.

Yahweh is a personal familial community; a Parent who is birthing a family of sentient beings to experience life with Him in eternity in perfect relational unity.

 

2. There is Man

Man is a spiritual being intentionally limited in a physical shell. Man is not a product of random chance or accidental improbable coincidences but is a special creation of God whose realm is the domain of material substance. Man is morally sentient and free to choose his mode of being. The fundamental purpose of the material body that man inhabits is to provide a means of interacting with and interpreting the physical environment in order to collect information on which to make moral decisions. Man is a community composed of gender and individuals who are all familially interrelated generationally through common descent. God’s purpose in creating Man is to birth a family of beings that can reflect His Spirit image in an exacting way; who can govern the material world and who can share life in community with Him in an eternity of perfect relational unity.

At present, the human family is in an improper relational position vis-a-vis their creator and is not reflecting in their mode of being the purpose for which God created them.
3. There is Heaven

Heaven is the place of God’s presence where His will and purpose is faithfully and fully realized. While in common parlance Heaven is understood to have a discrete location that could be identified with spacial coordinates; because God is omnipresent it cannot be understood in those terms. Heaven is a spiritual concept not a physical place. Heaven is where God is in relation to Earth.
4. There is Earth

Earth is the place of physical presence where the spiritual creation; Man, dwells in relation to God. While we commonly refer to the physical planet we dwell on as “Earth” like Heaven, Earth is a spiritual concept and refers to the relational position humanity occupies vis-a-vis its Creator. At present, Earth is not a place where God’s will and purpose is faithfully and fully realized. God is in the process of conforming Earth to what Heaven is like. God is conforming Earth to what Heaven is like because it is not possible for sentient spirit beings like Man to occupy a relational position vis-a-vis their Creator unconformed to His image. At some point in the future Heaven and Earth will be indistinguishable in their character and nature and the two will be at one.

5. There is Spirit

Spirit is God’s nature and His way of being. Spirit is God’s image.

God is the personification of all of the ideals, values, wisdom, attitudes and actions that are held as high and noble. The totality of God’s character is epitomized in the term Love. The love of God is selfless and self-sacrificing. God is love. God is also wisdom; God is justice; God is grace; …

God is Spirit.

Spirit is timeless and eternal.

The sentient beings that God has created, including Man, can reflect in their mode of living the Spirit image of God.

6. There is Flesh

Flesh is the mode of being of insentient life. All insentient life has limited life spans. Because all flesh is limited in its existence, the various species must constantly replicate themselves in order to perpetuate their kinds. Because of the urgent need for replication, all flesh is constantly focused on procreation and is engaged in competition for the resources necessary to sustain life. The carnal nature is completely selfish, morally inert and exists and interprets the environment in the moment.

Man is a spirit being cursed to inhabit a body of flesh as his means of experiencing the cosmos. Spirit and flesh are incompatible opposites. As such, all men exist in a morally conflicted state as their insentient body of flesh seeks to carry them in behavioral directions that are at odds with the spirit image of God resident in the sentient part of their being that humanity was initially created exclusively to reflect.

We are born into this life driven by the selfish proclivities of the body. To the extent that we acquiesce to the needs of the flesh and eschew the higher nature of Spirit resident in us we become well and truly flesh and indistinguishable in our lifestyles from the life patterns of the animals around us. It is possible, however, to overcome the flesh and make a decision to ascend to the higher nature of Spirit.

The only difference between contemporary man and the first humans in Eden is the body which contains the spirit. The ability to make moral distinctions and epistemological evaluations is exactly the same.

7. There is Good

There is objective truth. There is wisdom that is manifestly superior and behaviors that are proactively more socially effective and morally beneficial. Morality is not relative. All good is rooted in attitudes and actions that are fundamentally selfless and reflect humility. There is the good that is commonly displayed in the selfless actions of Men but the highest good that is manifest in the truth, wisdom and character of God is holy. The selfless goodness of God is reflected in the creation and His provident hand is seen in everything that is made.

8. There is Evil

Evil is rooted in a syndrome of behaviors that center on the self. In the infinite universe with infinite possibilities evil has always existed because the possibility of selfish behavior is as ever present as the possibility of selfless behavior. But Because to God, conceit is anathema, everything in the universe that has been given tangible existence reflects only love. God in His nature and being manifests only selflessness. Evil, in the realm of sentient existence inhabited only by God, existed only as an abstraction. It was not until one of the free spirit beings (Angels) that God had created chose to center his existence on himself and became conceited with the great freedom and power that God had given him that evil became manifest. At the moment when the selfish attitude of a spirit child initiated selfish actions that elevated the self at the expense of others, evil ceased to be an abstraction but became a tangible presence. As love is personified in the nature and being of God, evil is now personified in the nature and being of an arrogant spirit child; whom we commonly refer to as (ha) satan: “the adversary” or the devil: “deceiver/resister”.

Pride is the root of all evil. Hubris breeds attitudes and actions that elevate the self above others; further, the self is elevated at the expense of others. Self-centeredness becomes exploitative. Exploiting others to gratify the self is the essence of evil and the cause of all destructive conflict.

Evil is rooted in behaviors that center on the self. Good is rooted in behaviors that center on others. The adversary asks you to serve him; by contrast, Yahweh asks you to serve others. God is good. The devil is evil.

9. There is an Adversary

In Heaven one chose to use his freedom to chart an independent course away from God to gratify and elevate himself as superior; as opposed to living cooperatively in the Heavenly community of which he was a part. Cooperative interdependence is what God intended as a pattern of living for His children, whether Angelic or Human. God created His children to live in community not independently. God is community and Heaven is a family, the members of which family care for and support each other to the mutual benefit of all; not dominate or use each other for the benefit of some.

To further complicate the matter, through the use of clever sophistry, this individual was successful in convincing others in the nonmaterial realm, and later in the material world, to do the same, thus disrupting the community of Heaven and Earth. Proactively working against the will of God by disrupting the harmony of the cosmos made this individual not only a deceiver but a true adversary; thus satan the devil came to be. The clever twisting of truth through the use of sophisticated reasoning employed by the author of arrogance gave birth to the lie; and so satan became the father of the lie. Lies are the chief agent in the exploitation of others and the elevation of the self. Denial is the handmaiden of the lie.

The adversary is not only working proactively against God but he is working proactively against every Man as well. His aim is to coerce you with deception into gratifying his ego by assigning worth and giving affirmation to the unholy independence from Father God he practices and advocates. His actions are exploitative and his motives are selfish and without regard for how the selfish outcomes he seeks impact you.

The adversary does not have a name. The adversary has a title descriptive of his nature (ha satan – the adversary). The adversary does not have a name because, although he is a limited discrete individual with a personal center of being, he is impersonal in his nature and, unlike God; the relationship he seeks with Men is impersonal. The adversary is interested in the homage and resources of Men but not familial interactions or the welfare or moral & intellectual improvement of Men. The adversary does not interact with Man relationally or personally but exploitatively.

The finite existence of pain and toil in the tunic of flesh you now occupy; alienated from God, is directly attributable to the works of the adversary.

 

10. There is a Redeemer

It is possible to overcome death and pain. It is possible to achieve right relationship with God.

Through a manifestation of His Divine Being, God defeats the adversary and his sophistry and once again makes life, unity and right relationship with Heaven possible.

God defeats the selfish egotism of the adversary through an act of selfless love.

How is it that an act of selfless love defeats the devil?

That God is all powerful is not the question before the sentient. That God can instantly destroy those who oppose Him is indisputable. The question being conflicted in the intellectual presence of those who are morally aware is God’s omniscience, character and integrity. These issues are conceptual and ideological and also subjective. Because they have no physical substance, they cannot be destroyed in a literal sense, and are psychically omnipresent in a free universe where the possibility of any attitude, action or idea exists. Can God’s nature, therefore, be shown to be objectively superior to any other set of attitudes, ideas or actions that are in concurrent intellectual existence?

The question of God’s Holy Nature is in fact at present being hotly conflicted and the question is being brought progressively to a resolution.

What is being conflicted in the present darkness; the night of the seventh day, are two paradigms of living. One paradigm features life centered in the self. The other features life centered in others/community. What is being objectively demonstrated in the conflict is that life centered in the self is destructive and unsustainable and life centered in others is able to harmonize the needs of all participants in the community of Heaven and Earth and facilitate abundant perpetual life. This is being demonstrated with complete intellectual honesty and moral integrity in the world forum un-manipulated by Heaven. Heaven interacts with Earth providently but not coercively; this so the outcomes of the conflict are untainted. In fact, Heaven is actively restraining the inevitable negative consequences of a world living and governing itself apart from God in order to facilitate the salvation of as many as possible . . . before time runs out.

It is objectively true by any measure that there is more power resident in the community than in any individual. In fact, the community is more powerful than the sum of the individual parts as synergy accelerates the value of the power of the group.

The hypostasis of God: Father, Son and Spirit is the most powerful community in the universe. When that community willingly renounces some of its own interest in an act of selfless humility in order to facilitate unity with and give of its own substance to the weaker community of Man; the intellectual and moral inferiority of the destructive self- centered individualism of the adversary, who is exploiting Man without care, is demonstrated. When God steps down from Heaven and sacrifices Himself in behalf of Man not only is a legalistic technicality of compensatory justice satisfied, in the giving of life for life, but the slander of ha satan; who asserts that God is egocentric, exploitative, dishonest and conceited is shown to be completely false. God’s holy character of love is vindicated because there is no greater love than that one should give His life in behalf of His friends or dare we say that there is no greater love than that of a Father who selflessly gives life in behalf of His children. (This is the subject of great volumes of writing. Future writings of this author will explain this concept in more detail. It is not the focus of this work.)

The record of the failure of the paradigm of prideful egocentrism and the triumph of the paradigm of selfless love is written in the book of ages for all intellectual participants to examine through the perceptual abstraction of time; past, present and future. Every participant also has personal experience of the outcomes of the conflict in their own being and life experience.

The synergistic power of the community of God and Man joined in harmonious union, facilitating abundant life, is indisputably good and this goodness objectively vindicates the nature, character and integrity of God as superior; and indeed as holy; this in comparison to the evil egocentrism of the adversary, which has facilitated death and destruction. This is the inevitable and inescapable conclusion arrived at in the honest mind of all sentient observers who will potentially unite with God in the community of Heaven and Earth.

Thus, the adversary and his ideas are defeated judicially, morally and intellectually and this paves the way for his physical destruction.

Redemption comes through the choice freely made to willing affirm of the manifestation of the Divine in the person of the Redeemer; who defeats the adversary. This decision is freely made based on the evidence contained in the mechanism of time.

The Redeemer manifests Himself to Man and to the cosmos in the person of The Logos. Affirming The Logos means publicly renouncing the flesh; acknowledging God’s sovereignty; accepting accountability to God through an act of penitent contrition & humility and obediently walking in the discipline of the Spirit, as spoken by the mouth of the Redeemer.

Having thus accepted redemption, by making a choice to affirm The Logos, God responds by uniting with the individual and accepting them into the family of the community of Heaven and Earth.

When God and Man are at one, there is life.

 

11. There is Time

Time is a perceptual abstraction that makes possible the evaluation of change. Time is linear. Linear time moves only in one direction – forward. Change happens, for better or for worse, only from a place where change begins to a place where change ends; but whether the change is frustrated or affirmed, it moves to a place of resolution, even if the resolution is stasis. Hence time is perceived as a linear progression. The resolution of change, and whatever conflicts are associated with that change, is a forward moving perceptual abstraction. Time is only experienced in the moment; however, time is always in motion. While time is only experienced in the moment and the moment appears perpetual and static, time can be abstractly perceived in the past, present and future. The evidence of time in motion is contained in the residue of past events present in the physical substance of the cosmos and in the records written by Men. The abstraction of time is only perceived by the sentient. The purpose of the abstraction of forward moving linear time and the record of its passing is to provide the basis for evaluation necessary to facilitate the life decisions, moral distinctions and the ethical choices of the sentient.

12. There is Freedom

The universe contains the possibility of any attitude, action, behavior or belief. God is free – free to choose any. Within the functional boundaries of his limited being; Man is free – free to choose any. Living entities that cannot make moral distinctions or ethical or lifestyle choices are not free.

13. There is Life

Life is not physical. It has no material substance like electromagnetic radiation. Life is a non-physical force existent in a physical universe animating otherwise inert matter. Life is only in; and comes only from, non-material God. While there is life that is purely animating in its nature, the life that is in Man is separate and distinct from that of insentient organisms. The life that is in Man is personally imparted from the substance of the Creator thus enabling Humanity to reflect the character and nature of God. Having been thus brought into existence Men can truly be called children of God.

Humanity in the proper relational position vis-à-vis its Creator can live indefinitely but Humanity alienated from God is limited in its existence like insentient organisms.

Without Yahweh; physically or relationally – there is no life.

14. There is Death

Death is the absence of life.

Without Yahweh – there is no life.

If Yahweh is absent; physically or relationally – there is no life.

15. There is a Choice

Every Man must choose life or death. To choose life is to choose Yahweh. To choose death is to reject Him. It is an inescapable decision. Somewhere – somehow – it will be made.

Why the Necessity of Decision?

Why is everything that God presents to us and everything that transpires in the relationship between God and Man geared toward this decision?

Until the question of God’s sovereignty is resolved humanity cannot progress, either individually or collectively, to its destiny. Until all sentient beings freely acknowledge a unified set of moral standards as a basis for evaluating conduct and behavior and until all willingly accept accountability to God there will be endless destructive conflict, exploitation, envy and avarice that will preclude the perfect relational unity and harmony that God intends for those who will dwell with Him in eternity.

The decision making process has been lengthy. It takes a lot of time and effort to raise a family of beings who are responsibly free and can faithfully reflect the image of Holy God.
SYNTHESIS

THE ONTOLOGICAL ANSWER

 

What you are:

You are a spirit being directly created by God. Although you were made to live forever, currently your spirit is intentionally limited in its capacity to experience life by being contained in a physical shell that is subject to entropy and death. This limitation is the consequent result of actions and events external to you. Your spirit has the capacity to endure beyond the death of the physical shell that contains you. You live in an environment defined by the perceptual abstraction of forward moving linear time. You have the capacity to make moral distinctions; modify your environment, evaluate data and create intellectually. God’s purpose in making you and the race of beings of which you are a part is to selflessly share life with a family of His own birthing who can faithfully reflect the Holy Image of His Noble Character and High Nature; govern the material world, and share life with Him in a community of cooperative interdependence in an eternity of perfect relational unity. Your Creator makes it possible for you to transcend the limitations to your being, which are currently in place, and attain to the fullness of the original purpose for which you were created.

Why you are here:

You are here to make a decision on life and death. You are not here to be “good” or do “good”. Good, in fact, may flow consequently from your decision but it is the consequence of your decision not the object. God places before you, through the mechanism of time, a body of evidence. The body of evidence contained in the record of time is the outcomes of the conflict between opposing life paradigms. The paradigm of good posits a life lived in the Spirit Nature of God, in which the attitudes and actions of the individual are initiated in community and centered not in the self, but in others. The paradigm of evil posits a life centered in the self and initiated individually without regard for the impact of ones attitudes and actions on the outcomes of others. You are here to evaluate the evidence and make a decision on which life paradigm you will affirm. A decision to affirm “good” means your willingness to accept relationship with God on His terms. What God wants from you, and the object of life, is a relationship: a relationship based on a trusting faith from which good will flow, not good behavior as a means to appease God and upon which to form a basis for relationship. Good done for the sake of good is self-gratifying and ultimately egocentric. Good that flows consequently from unity with God is pure, loving and uncontrived. Your decision on the self or others means life or death. You cannot progress to your destiny until this decision is made.

What you must do:

God provides a means for you to affirm life. You must embrace the redemptive process which God affords you for your salvation from death. Inaction is not an option if you wish to choose life. The matter is urgent . . . because time eventually stops.

 

And that is what The Bible, and in fact life, is all about.