The Progression of Man

This document traces the progression of man through the plan of salvation as presented in the King James Version of the Bible.  The focus is only on Jesus Christ and his disciples who overcome this world.  The following is a list of the major steps of the process:

Preexistence

Christ existed prior to being born into this world:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 The same was in the beginning with God.  …  14 And the Word [Christ] 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.

Like Christ, it appears that man existed prior to coming into this world:

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Physical Birth/Creation

God created man in his own image:

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Man’s being in the image of God is like a human son being in the image of his human father:

Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created.  3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

It is the man, who is in God’s image (even after the Fall of Adam):

1 Corinthians 11:7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8 For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 9 Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

God put man’s spirit into the body he created from the dust of the earth:

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

Just like men Christ took on a physical body:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  2 The same was in the beginning with God.  … 14 And the Word [Christ] 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.

Spiritual Death

Adam sinned and brought about his spiritual death:

Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken. 24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

Just as Adam sinned, all men sin and spiritually die:

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Spiritual Rebirth

A sinner must be reborn or born again:

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.  4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?  5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.  6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.  8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.  (see also 1Peter 1:22-23)

Salvation comes by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ manifested in good works.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  (see also James 2:14-26)

Spiritual rebirth requires repentance:

Matt 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judæa, 2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

The repentant individual receives baptism by water:

Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Following baptism by water is baptism by the Holy Spirit:

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Sanctification

Salvation is a process through which the Holy Spirit sanctifies the individual:

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (see also 1Peter 1:1-2)

Entering into eternal life requires keeping the commandments, a trial of faith, and endurance to the end:

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Phillippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.  (see also 1Peter 1:7)

1Timothy 6:11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.  (see also 1Peter 1:6-9)

Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  (see also Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13)

The Church’s role is to help perfect the individual:

Ephesians 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.  …  11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

We shall be like Christ.

1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Physical Death

The first man, Adam, died.

Genesis 5:5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Just like Adam all men will die.

Hebrews 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: (see also 1Corithians 15:20-22)

Christ died.

Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Resurrection

Christ was resurrected.

1 Corinthians15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.  21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.  22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.  23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

Just like Chist every person will be resurrected.

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

The resurrected body will be a spiritual body.

Philippians 3:20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.

1 Corinthians 15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?  36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.  39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.  40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.  41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.  42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.  45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.  48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.  49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.  50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Disciples of Christ have been called to the obtaining of the glory of Christ.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Judgment

Men will be judged according to their works.

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.  12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.  13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.  14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.  15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.  (see also Matt 16:24-27)

Christ will render eternal life unto those who have sought for glory, honour and immortality according to their deeds.

Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,

John 17:1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.  3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Exaltation

We are the children of God and shall inherit all things.

Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.  18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Revelation 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.  7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Those who overcome shall sit with Christ in his throne and rule over nations.

Revelation 2:26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.  28 And I will give him the morning star.

Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

Story Theses

A thesis consists of a premise (defines plot), theme and synopsis (integrates premise and theme).  A few examples of story design theses are provided in the following.

Thesis List

Avatar

For information on Avatar see its Save The Cat! beat sheet.

Premise

Statement: Earthlings come to planet called Pandora to mine the planet’s Unobtanium, a mineral more valuable than anything of Earth, but the planet’s inhabitants, the Na’vi, stand in the way of their getting to it.  A battle-weary warrior is given a mission to be one of the Avatar drivers that are being used to address the problem and instead finds himself joining the Na’vi against the earthlings.

Goal: Earthlings have come to a planet called Pandora to mine the planet’s Unobtanium, a mineral more valuable than anything on Earth.

Conflict: The inhabitants of Pandora, the Na’vi, are in the way of their getting to it.

Protagonist: A battle-weary warrior is given a mission to join the team of Avatar drivers that are being used to address the Na’vi issue and instead finds himself joining with the Na’vi against the earthlings.

Theme

Statement: Belonging and purpose give meaning to our lives.

Exemplar: Jake Sully, the protagonist, is the theme exemplar and expresses the theme in the story as, “All I wanted in my sorry-ass life was a single thing worth fighting for.”

Synopsis

Setup: Jake is an Avatar driver who is not what you would expect for a mission to another world.  He is a battle-weary warrior that is confined to a wheelchair because he is paralyzed from the waist down.  He is a man who has lost much.  He is alone, unloved, without family and home.

Endeavor: Jake starts out to fulfill his new assignment which has gotten expanded to include spying on the Na’vi and reporting information to the military head of the operation.  As he interacts with the Na’vi he begins to feel close to them and their way of life.  He winds up marrying one of them.  When military action begins, he acts to protect the Na’vi against the superior earthling force.  The connection between Pandora inhabitants causes all to join the battle and defeat the earthling intrusion.

Resolution: Under the Mother Tree, Jake is transformed wholly into a Na’vi as his human spirit joins with his Avatar.  Jake at last has a people and a purpose.  He is home.

Die Hard

For information on Die Hard see The Kelworth Files’ beat sheet and the Screenplay How To beat sheet.

Premise

Statement: John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Goal: John McClane wants to win back his estranged wife, Holly.

Conflict: Having to run barefoot through broken glass; dodging machine gun fire; leaping into fifty-story elevator shafts.

Protagonist: John McClane an officer of the NYPD.

Mr. Chips and the
Mango-Tango Mother Ship

By Alice Hatcher

This story can be obtained free at The Lascaux Review.

Premise

Statement: A young woman with a troubled past and undergoing therapy, wants to leave this world and return to her home world via a Mother Ship with her cat, Mr. Chips, and fish, Lady Gaga, but the trouble is that she is not an alien and there is no Mother Ship or home world.

Theme

There does not appear to be a theme.  At least not one that involves an exemplar.  Marylou is pretty much the same at the end of the story as at the beginning and appears about to loop through a similar experience to the one she just left.

Synopsis

Setup: A young woman named Marylou with a troubled past and undergoing therapy thinks her husband cares more about watching sports games and video games than he does for her.  She has had enough and decides to leave.  She thinks that she is an alien from another world who has been placed on Earth to perform a mission.  She packs her things into her car along with her cat, Mr. Chips, and fish, Lady Gaga and heads out to meetup with the Mother Ship to take her back home.

Endeavor: Marylou drives out to the location where she thinks that the Mother Ship will arrive.  She waits and waits.  Eventually she realizes that the Mother Ship is not coming and considers killing Mr. Chips, Lady Gaga and herself.

Resolution: She tunes in a radio station that is playing Bruce Springsteen and gets caught up in the song.  She decides to have one last fling and sex before they go.  Outside a place called Eegee she meets a young man who strikes up a conversation with her.  She finds it to be a comfortable experience and feels that she has received what some call grace.  She thinks that the young man is a decent human being.  She hopes that he does not start to criticize her at least not right away.

The New World:
A Story of Chaos Walking

By Patrick Ness

This story can be obtained free on the web or Amazon.

Premise

Statement: A teenage girl and her parents who are part of a spaceship convoy to a New World take a scout ship and go ahead to the New World as an advanced landing party to explore and send back information to the convoy about what they find, but they run into a problem entering the atmosphere and crash land.

Statement: A teenage girl (protagonist) and her parents who are part of a spaceship convoy to a New World take a scout ship and go ahead to the New World as an advanced landing party to explore and send back information to the convoy about what they find (goal).  Things go wrong during the landing, the ship crashes, and the girl’s parents are killed leaving her to continue alone on the New World (conflict).

Theme

Statement: We need hope to move forward with life, because while living with hope is terrifying, living without hope is so much more terrifying.

Exemplar: The theme exemplar is the protagonist, Viola. Initially she doesn’t understand the need for hope. During the trip, her parents tell her about hope and demonstrate by their actions how hope keeps them going. When her parents die and the girl is left alone, she understands about hope and sets off into the New World hoping for the best.

Synopsis

Setup: A group of people in a convoy of spaceships are traveling to a new world in the hope of finding a new place to live.  A teenage girl and her parents are selected to take on a mission to be an advanced landing party to the new world and report what they find back to the convoy (inciting incident).  They leave the convoy and start for the New World (turning point 1).  Viola: The girl doesn’t want to be a part of the landing party and is tired of hearing about hope from her parents.

Endeavor: The family leaves the convoy and flies ahead to the new world.  As they approach the new world everything goes well, but when they enter the new world’s atmosphere things start to go very wrong (midpoint).  The ship makes banging noises it should not and the landing becomes imperiled.  Things get worse and the ship winds up crash landing on the new world.  Only the girl survives (turning point 2).  Viola: The girl observes her parents’ activities and the hope that they have for things to work out ok in various situations.

Resolution: The girl retrieve’s a gift from the wreckage that provides light and starts fires (climax).  She strikes out on her own into the New World.  Viola: The girl has learned about hope from her parents and their examples and she moves forward hoping for the best.

 

Goals

The specific definition of goal with-respect-to this post is:

A goal is a desired outcome toward which effort is expended to achieve.

An objective is a goal that defines an increment of progress toward a main/greater goal.

The following provides ideas to consider in formulating goals.

SMART Goal

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based.  A SMART goal is really a high-level plan for achieving a main goal and its elements are objectives to be met to accomplish it.  The following is an example.

Main Goal: Write a novel.

The SMART goal objectives might be:

  • Specific: Use social media to write a minimum of 150 pages.
  • Measurable: Write one chapter a month, or 3-5 pages per week.
  • Attainable: Create a story design and use it to write the story which will be self-published.
  • Relevant: Using social media will help establish a readership.
  • Time-Based: Complete the manuscript and have it ready to publish in one year.

The SMART goal following from these objectives can be written as:

To establish a readership, write a 150-page novel on social media by writing one chapter per month (3-5 pages per week).  The book will be completed in one year and will be self-published.

Type of Goals

Examples of goal types are:

  • The need to win a competition, the love of another, etc.
  • The need to stop someone, something bad from happening, etc.
  • The need to escape
  • The need to deliver a message, one’s self, an item, get to a destination, etc.
  • The need to retrieve a magic ring, a hidden or lost treasure, a lost love, etc.

Categories of Goals

Examples of goal categories from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs are:

  • Physiological: Air, Water, Food, Clothing, Shelter
  • Safety and Security
    • Protection against assault or injury
    • Adequate money
    • Steady emplorment
    • Good health
    • Protection of private property
  • Love and Belonging: Friendship, Romance, Intimacy, Family
  • Esteem and Recognition: Independence, Compensation, Respect, Promotion, Credit, Gratitude, Appreciation
  • Self-Actualization
    • Higher education
    • Spiritual enlightenment
    • Artistic pursuits
    • Travel and experience
    • Altruistic and charitable contributions to others

Online References

The following references provide information about specific goals:

Truth Theme Statements

The following is a categorized list of truth theme statements created from information obtained from the Internet:

The acquired information has been organized into categories and a few notes of my own have been added before some of the themes which are list in bullets.

Truth Is True

Not being known does not stop truth from being true.  The universe is what it is and we are what we are quite independent of what we think and say about it.

  • Truth draws strength from itself and not from the number of votes in its favor.
  • Truth stands, even if there be no public support; it is self-sustained.
  • An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.

Truth Masking

There is much error in the world today.  People lie both deliberately and through ignorance.  Effort is required to see through what comes to one; is it truth or error?

  • The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie — deliberate, contrived and dishonest — but the myth — persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic.

Truth Seeker

  • There are very few lovers of truth, for truth’s sake, even amongst those who persuade themselves that they are so.

Truth Seeking

  • Not being known doesn’t stop truth from being true.
  • If you would be a real seeker after truth, you must at least once in your life doubt, as far as possible, all things.
  • When the mind seeks truth, the truth it has read about in books, that “truth” is self-projected, for then the mind is merely in pursuit of the known, a more satisfactory known than the previous one. When the mind seeks truth, it is seeking its own self-projection, not truth.
  • The search for truth is the most important work in the world; and the most dangerous.

Truth Acquisition

Acquiring truth requires identifying and evaluating propositions.  Therefore, truth acquisition comes from understanding gained from experience.  One can actively seek the truth or learn simply by existing and experiencing what occurs.

  • Truth requires us to face the facts as they are, not to involve ourselves in self-deception; to refuse to think merely in slogans.
  • Let us deal with the realities as they actually are, not as they might have been, and not as we wish they were. […] The truth doesn’t die.

Teaching Truth

  • It is one thing to show a man that he is in error, and another to put him in possession of the truth.

Truth Criteria

How can one know if something is true?

  • Gentlemen, that is surely true, it is absolutely paradoxical; we cannot understand it, and we don’t know what it means. But we have proved it, and therefore we know it must be the truth.
  • Repetition does not transform a lie into a truth.
  • Things are true or false in themselves. Truth cannot be affected by opinions; it cannot be changed, established, or affected by martyrdom. An error cannot be believed sincerely enough to make it a truth.
  • Believe those who seek the truth, doubt those who say they find it.

Standing for Truth

  • Tell the truth and fear no man.
  • Truth is the cry of all, but the game of the few.

Conform to Truth

  • Hell is truth seen too late—duty neglected in its season.
  • Chase after the truth like all hell and you’ll free yourself, even though you never touch its coat tails.
  • Yet ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

Belief

  • People never want to be told anything they do not already believe.
  • Although a large group of men say something is so; that does not make it so.
  • The opinions and belief of men depend not on their own will, but follow involuntarily the evidence proposed to their minds.

Religious “Truth”

Christians believe certain things to be true by faith in those whose group they are members; this is not truth.

  • Truth, in matters of religion, is simply the opinion that has survived.
  • It is natural to man to indulge in the illusions of hope.

Truth

The specific definition of truth with-respect-to this post is:

True means that something is in accordance with fact or reality.

Proposition is a statement or assertion that expresses a judgement or opinion (e.g., love leads to happiness).

Truth is a proposition that is accepted as true (e.g., scientific truths; fundamental truths about mankind).

To determine if something is a truth it is necessary to identify the proposition that is to be evaluated and then determine what the evaluation is.  Therefore, there is a difference between what any given person or group says is truth and whether it is truth or not.

Human beings can never know if something is truth.  They can only evaluate the proposition in various situations and assess its truth for themselves.  It is like saying that gravity will always be.  It is our experience that gravity always has been.  Therefore, we conjecture that it will always be.  We go about our lives believing that will never float off from the earth, but we don’t really know for sure what will happen.  In this case, we have scientific evidence that leaves essentially nothing to doubt in this regard, but still there is just what we have learned over time that supports our belief that this is a truth.

Humans interpret the reality around them via their senses.  What they consider to be reality is just an interpretation of reality provided by their senses.  This leads to the sayings:

Truth is in the eye of the beholder.

“Every kind of ignorance in the world all results from not realizing that our perceptions are gambles. We believe what we see and then we believe our interpretation of it, we don’t even know we are making an interpretation most of the time. We think this is reality.”  –Robert Anton Wilson

“We don’t see things as they are; we see them as we are.”  –Anaïs Nin

Knowing truth is subjective.  Care must be taken in believing that we know truth.  It is better to understand our level of certainty of its being truth.  This life must be lived by faith.

Faith and Works

Introduction

Some say that you cannot work your way into Heaven.  This is true to a point, but it is important to know that you will not realize eternal life without works.  The following reviews relevant scriptures on this topic.

By Grace, Through Faith, Unto Good Works

We are saved by the grace of God through faith unto good works.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.  10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Faith Is Shown Through Works

Faith is demonstrated via good works.  Without works there is no faith.

James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.  19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.  20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

Keep the Commandments

Obtaining eternal life requires the keeping of the commandments.

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Chosen/Elect through Sanctification

Disciples are chosen to salvation through a process of sanctification of the Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This process requires the obedience of the disciple.

1 Peter 1:1 To the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Work Out Your Own Salvation

The process of sanctification of the Spirit is the working out of our salvation.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Judged by Works

Christ will reward us according to our works.

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

We will ultimately become like Christ or not and will be judged by what we have worked to become.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

Conclusion

Works are an indispensable element of the process of sanctification through which we become like Christ and learn to live the the kind of life that he lives, eternal life.

Eternal Life

It’s about Life

First, the term being defined is “life” not “eternal life”.  For example, when asked about “eternal life” Christ responded about “life”:

Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?  17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Everyone will receive eternal life in the sense that all will be resurrected and live forever, but only those that have done good will be resurrected to “life”:

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

“Eternal life” is also called “everlasting life”, which implies that “eternal” is the same as “everlasting” and indicates that both terms refer to a (long …) stretch of time.  For example:

Matthew 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.

Eternal Life Is to Know Christ

Eternal life is the kind of life lived by God and Christ:

John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

1 John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)

We have eternal life when we know Christ intimately and thereby are living the kind of life that He lives:

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

Eternal Life Is to Become Like Christ

We are to learn to become eternal lives like Christ:

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 John3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

Eternal Life Is Fully Realized in the Next World

Eternal life will be fully realized in the world to come:

Mark 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.  29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.  31 But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.  (see also Luke 18:28-30)

Realizing Eternal Life Requires Endurance

The learning/growth process must be completed to be an eternal life:

Mark 13:13 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.  (see also Matthew 24:13)

It is possible that some who have realized the work of the Spirit in their lives may turn away and be lost.

Hebrews 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Story Design: A Problem-Oriented Approach

The following is an introduction to a book that I have written, “Story Design: A Problem-Oriented Approach“.  You can obtain it on Amazon.com if it is of interest to you.

Introduction

Writing a novel requires knowledge of more than the writing of words. This book defines a problem-oriented approach to story design, its structure, and how to develop one. A clear, concise, complete view is presented that when applied creates a design for implementing (writing) a novel or short story.

This approach integrates knowledge from the engineering community into the writing of stories and this brings the benefits of engineering to the writing community. Writing a novel is a significant effort, something which the engineering community deals with on similar and larger scales. Using this book will bring this experience to your story development efforts.

Care has been taken to identify and describe concepts and elements of writing related to story design and to make them easy to understand and apply. Your work will be facilitated and enhanced by application of this approach.

God Created Man in His Own Image

Introduction

The Bible asserts that “God created man in his own image” (Genesis 1:26-27). What this means seems clear, but the Christian world has varying ideas about it. This document provides an analysis and a conclusion about what the Bible actually says on this assertion.

Analysis

Body Was Created; Spirit Given by God

Genesis 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

The only thing that was created is man’s body from the dust of the ground.  Therefore, man’s body is at least part of what was created in God’s image.  This body was given the “breath of life” from God.  What was this breath of life that is mentioned?

Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.

The body of man returns to the earth when he dies. While his spirit returns to God who gave it. So, the “breath of life” is man’s spirit.

Example of Being in the Image

An example of being in the image of another is provided in the same book of Genesis as the initial assertion:

Genesis 5:1 This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; 2 Male and female created he them; and blessed them, and called their name Adam, in the day when they were created. 3 And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth:

It is noteworthy that the Bible goes this extra mile to define what is meant by being in the image of God. In this case Adam had a son in his own likeness and image just as God created Adam in his own image.

One is left to wonder how Seth came to be possessed of his spirit. It seems clear that God did not give him his “breath of life” like he did with Adam, but there is not information on this or otherwise on how Seth came to have a spirit. So, it is left as a question.

Even After the Fall Man Is In God’s Image

Even after the fall man is still in the image of God.  The Apostle Paul taught:

1 Corinthians 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 6 For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 7 For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.

Man Identified; Woman Not Identified

Note in the above verse 1 Cor 11:7 woman is not said to be in the image of God.  Instead she is said to be the glory of the man.  The following verse in Genesis specifically says that man, was create in the image  of God.

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

It appears from verse 27 above that it is man that was created in the image of God, but it is not clear about the woman.

While woman is not specifically mentioned as having been created in the image of God, this does not necessarily mean that she is not.  However, it does open the door for speculation.  Men and women are very similar, but they are different.  Certainly, they have different roles in life.  Paul above points specifically to this.  Perhaps this is the differentiating factor.  In any case, this is an open question.

Conclusion

The conclusion from the Bible is that man, both body and spirit, is in the image of God. His body was created from the dust of the earth and his spirit came from God. When man dies, his body returns to the earth and his spirit returns to God.

Note that when the spirit returns to God, it is not at that point in the image of God, since it is not in a body. However, man will receive a resurrected body at some point. Then he will be like Christ, who also has a resurrected body and is like God the Father.