articles of chapter 3

Bible Difficulties

Who is the “King of this world”

“We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 Joh 5:19). What John says is to the greatest extent true. The evil i.e. Satan is, according to Scripture, “the king [god, prince] of this world”.
2 Cor 4:4 In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God.
John 12:31 Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out. Eph 2:2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience;

In general, people believe that God is ruling the world. People just do not understand why God allows many things or why God does not intervene in events when something bad is happening. In particular, believers are being tested; they find it hard to believe the events they are suffering with because they consider themselves true believers and God does not prevent evil events. God is almighty, and he is also just and righteous; how could God allow injustice to win? It may not be possible for God to allow his faithful servant to become a victim of an unfair destiny!

But this happens, why? Think about Job; Satan argued that Job believed in God because God bestowed Job, his righteous servant, all sorts of success in the world. Satan claimed to God that if Job was deprived of the results of his earthly success, he would curse God and turn away. This did not happen, though Satan harassed Job and even caused him all kinds of hardships. Job had even grown abscesses and all his friends abandoned him. Job, however, believed in the Lord despite all the hardships.

Why does God let Satan work against God’s will? The Bible does not tell you more about the following. This is just what I imagine in my mind: Satan argued that Job was a rare exception. “Give me all the power in the earth and I will show that I am right. People choose me when I give them wealth and power. You are obeyed only by a few that society has rejected.” Perhaps God said this way: “All right, you have all the power on earth for a certain time to turn humanity to follow you. However, my own you cannot destroy if they have my seal. When the time is over, your power will end and you yourself will be destroyed.”

How did Satan succeed? Well, really well! Most of humanity serve false gods. There are many Christians, but they are nominally Christians and have forsaken the true faith and most do not really believe in God. One could say that Money is their God. Mat 13:22 What was sown among the thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.

 

What is Satan’s plan for the end-times?

Satan is charming mankind. For the past hundred years, mankind has taken a lot of technological steps forward: automobile, airplane, internet, achievements in health care … New inventions are constantly being made. Think of all the advances that mankind has taken in the technical sense over the last hundred years. Human health is improved, life expectancy increases. Secularization advances and man forgets God.

As we look at today’s world, we cannot fail to notice the ever-accelerating technical development – we could say in all sectors of society. This affects Western countries and parts of the rest of the world. China is evolving at a daunting pace. The rest of the world’s countries are lagging behind; Africa, South America, Russia, Asian countries … What is common with these underdeveloped countries? They are not Christian except for a small part. But that also suits Satan well. The main thing is that they do not rely on God. One of Satan’s “titles” is the prince of the power of the air. For centuries this has been a mystery to people. Today, when mankind has developed air planes and rockets, visited the moon, plans trips to Mars, and sends scientific research equipment to space, it’s easier to understand what the prince of the power of the air could mean. The Revelation tells about the future activities of Satan’s forces: 20:9 and they did go up over the breadth of the land, and did surround the camp of the saints, and the beloved city, and there came down fire from God out of the heaven, and devoured them;

The KJV translates Strong’s G305 [ἀναβαίνω anabainō in the following manner: to go up, move to a higher place, ascend] go up (37x), come up (10x), ascend (10x), ascend up (8x), climb up (2x), spring up (2x), grow up (2x), come (2x), enter (2x), arise (2x), rise up (2x), miscellaneous (2x), or ascend (1x).
People’s values have changed. Satan wants to promote such a development that makes people to forget God’s purpose for mankind. Even in Eden, it turned out that Eve was fascinated by the idea of understanding everything, like God. Modern people want to know everything and master everything. All this Satan promises to humans. There is only one thing people lack – eternal life. In one apocrypha, Satan was described in this way; he has the means to cause death, but he could not create life.

Apostasy is what has happened to them. Unfortunately, this is also the case with most of the world’s churches.

Population growth in underdeveloped countries also means that the good news of the gospel do not reach the ever-increasing number of world population. Jesus Christ preached good news about the coming Kingdom of God. God’s Kingdom means God’s government. Satan’s grip tightens and the government in the world is ” Satan’s government.”

 

God asks for advice (1 Kings)

King Jehoshaphat of Judah and the king of Israel were negotiating to start war in Ramoth Gilead. The king of Israel gathered four hundred prophets, and all of them assured that the war would succeed. Yet Micaiah the prophet was consulted: “Micah, are we to go to Ramoth Gilead or not to go?” And he said unto him, “Come forth, and you shall overcome, and the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king.”
1 Kin 22:19 continues: “Micaiah said, Therefore hear you the word of Jehovah: I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left”.
20 Jehovah said, Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead? One said on this manner; and another said on that manner.
21 There came forth a spirit, and stood before Jehovah, and said, I will entice him.
22 Jehovah said to him, ‘How?’ He said, ‘I will go forth, and will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.’ He said, ‘You shall entice him, and shall prevail also: go forth, and do so.’

What is noteworthy here? First, a vision where God is sitting on his throne, and all the hosts of heaven were in front of him. Then God asked a question: “Who shall entice Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead?” Why should God ask such advice from his angels? And was God provided with good advice? No, “one said one thing and the other said another” as one translation indicates.

Then came forth a spirit before God … Who is this spirit, the Bible does not tell, but I bet the spirit was Satan. He promised to entice Ahab by being a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. God accepted Satan’s proposition and answered: ‘You shall entice him, and shall prevail also: go forth, and do so’.

The whole scene is strange. How is it possible for God to gather millions and millions of angels to ask them how to seduce a little king to wage war against another king on earth. The assignment is given to Satan, to the one who seduced Adam and Eve into sin. One would think that Satan would be the last one God would show his trust. Satan’s solution is characteristic of him; Satan is going to be a lying spirit in the mouth of all Ahab’s prophets. Is not God alone able to decide how to get two kingdoms to fight with each other? Did God have no other solution than war?

 

“The sun stood still” (Joshua 10:12-13)

The Israelites had to avenge their enemies the Amorites. The battle lasted and lasted, and no clear victory was gained. Jos 10:12 “Then spoke Joshua to Jehovah in the day when Jehovah delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel; and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand you still on Gibeon; You, Moon, in the valley of Aijalon. 13 The sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the nation had avenged themselves of their enemies. Isn’t this written in the book of Jashar? The sun stayed in the midst of the sky and didn’t hurry to go down about a whole day”.

Did the sun stop? The modern man could say that the sun does not even orbit the earth! And did the earth stop rotating? I will not ponder either of them. Instead, I ask: If God wanted Israel to overcome the Amorites, why did God simply not do as he is told in 2 Kings 19:35: “And that night the angel of the Lord went out and struck a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the camp of the Assyrians, and when it rose early in the morning, behold, they were all dead bodies. ” – Imagine, one angel killed 185,000 enemy soldiers during the night.

God uses various means to achieve his goal. He can assist his chosen people in winning the battle or he can actually intervene in the events with his angels. Again, it is worth recalling an important biblical passage: For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 55:9)

 

Why Is the Word of God written so impenetrably?

Why is the Word of God written so unclear? Although we have many different translations, explanatory texts and dictionaries today, there is not much increase in people’s understanding. I ask: Why did God give such an ambiguous Bible? Why did Jesus not even want his listeners to understand?

If God wanted people to understand, he could have written the Bible so that no interpretation problems would have emerged. If Jesus wanted the great crowds to understand and believe, could he not even explain what His parables meant?

Why is the Bible so much full of figures of speech, symbols, figurative narrative? There are many people, both laymen and church officials, who believe that everything that is said in the Bible must be literally true and understood so. Particularly, this is the true in this chapter. Penalties for the final judgment with the fiery lake must be taken literally. People (who in their own mind are sinless and righteous) just want the punishment of God to be strictly enforced. – Understanding the Bible is easier when the reader learns to realize when it a question of a figurative expression and what is behind the figure of speech and what its purpose is. Each parable aims to teach a spiritual truth. Jesus said that “the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life“. (Jhn 6:63)

 

Why Has God Given People a Different Amount of Faith?

… God has allotted to each a measure of faith (Rom 12:3)

Why God did not give everyone as much faith but instead He gave a different measure? Rom 12:3 For by the grace given to me I ask every one of you not to think of yourself more highly than you should think, rather to think of yourself with sober judgment on the measure of faith that God has assigned each of you.

1 Cor 12:11 But one and the same Spirit produces all these results and gives what he wants to each person.

Rom 9:21 A potter has the right to do what he wants to with his clay, doesn’t he? He can make something for a special occasion or something for ordinary use from the same lump.

2 Tim 2:20 In a large house there are not only utensils made of gold and silver, but also those made of wood and clay. Some are for special use, while others are for ordinary use.

God distributes gifts as he wills, to each according to their capabilities. God has also decided whom he calls and whom he chooses and whom he attracts to himself and to Christ. Paul did not have the opportunity to refuse Christ’s invitation. For three days he was blind, without eating and drinking. Then the enemy of the Lord became his steady advocate. God does his will. The man who feels that he has not received as much as some others can be comforted that God remembers him in the final judgment.

 

What happens to people who receive little faith?

How does Jesus judge them at the last judgment? Jesus told about this in his parable.

Mat 25:14 “For it is like a man, going into another country, who called his own servants, and entrusted his goods to them.
15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one; to each according to his own ability. Then he went on his journey.
16 Immediately he who received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.
17 In like manner he also who got the two gained another two.
18 But the one who received one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground, and hid his master’s money.

The man of the parable (Jesus) gave his servants money to invest “each according to his ability”. The man expected results to accumulate during his trip; the one who had received a big sum was expected to have better results than the small servant who had just received a small sum. – This is also the case with faith; most of mankind has had little faith. From them, Jesus only looks for the minimum, to keep it safe what they have got. For those who have had much faith – they are often teachers, priests, bishops, even popes – Jesus expects much more. When they are in service in the local Congregation or in the Church in a major position of power, Jesus judges them more severely than those who have got less faith. If they have worked well and turned many to righteousness, they will shine brightly like the stars. In the opposite case: if they have forsaken the faith of Christ, persecuted believers otherwise, burned them at the stake, or if they have committed paedophilia and raped the little and innocent trusted in their care, their judgment is severe.

Dan: 12:3 “Those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the expanse; and those who turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever”.

Mat 18:5 Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me [Jesus], 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.

Jam 3:1 Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.

When God has given people a different amount of faith, for those received less it is enough “just to believe”. If there is little faith, it is more difficult to understand God’s will and implement it. What did God think about at this point? Perhaps he has planned to save in the end the people who have little or no faith. If that were not the case and only the people of the strong faith would find salvation, God would not be righteous.

 

Why would not God himself follow his own commandments?

God commands us to love our enemies: Mat. 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you. – If sinners at the last judgment are the enemies of God, should not God follow his own commandment and love them? God guided us to forgive our offenders, if necessary, even “seventy times seven”. Why would not God himself be merciful and forgiving to his creation, but would send them in the fiery lake for eternity? Why? God says in the Bible that he wants everyone to be saved. However, he intends to destroy most of humanity. The Bible assures several times that sinners will receive a judgment in the fiery lake of eternal fire.

Rom 8:20-21 ”For the creation was subjected to vanity, not of its own will, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. God declares here that [the whole] creation contrary to its own will be subjected to corruption, but is liberated from the bondage of corruption (KJV) to the freedom of the glory of the children of God. But, should not the majority of the creation be punished in the burning lake forever? The Roman letter promises hope to the creation, but in many places the Bible assures it is damnation, weeping and gnashing of teeth, eternal separation from the glory of God etc.

God created people and subjected them to ‘corruption’. Old English translations like the KJV use the word vanity, which could be characterized also by pursuing one’s own interest, by living in the way of this world. God also ensured that among people there are righteous people who are his chosen ones.

I am now drawing this important conclusion: God made in his own wisdom an important dichotomy regarding his creation. We have also read how God gave faith to each one of us according to his own discretion. For the sake of salvation, people go from a different starting point to compete for the prize of eternal life. I will, however, come to the final conclusion that God will correct the situation in the last judgment and offer salvation easy. From the Bible we already know that to gain salvation it is enough to call out just one word: Jesus! If you want to be verbose, you can say: Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me! But that one word is enough. Jesus knows what you mean by saying it. He remembers it at the last judgment.

Act 17:31 “because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man [Christ] whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.”
God has appointed a human as chief judge. Christ condemns all mankind in a righteous way. In the Bible, judgment is based on the works of each person. Rev 20:12 …The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works. There are various works and therefore various judgments. It is certain that judgments are righteous. Many sinners are cleansed of their actions and receive life. However, I do not believe in universalism that all people will ultimately be saved. In the last chapter of this series of articles, ‘Last Judgment’, I deal with the Lord’s cleansing fire disclosed in the Corinthians letter, fire that burns away human sin after resurrection. People, many sinners, can thus be saved, but there seems to be a prerequisite for that; man must have “built his house” on Christ. This fire is not a purgatory, in which the Catholics believe. Purgatory burns people after death before a person reaches heaven.

The purifying fire burn people after the resurrection, for a person to be purified and saved. This involves at least one major problem. If it is true that bad people will suffer a certain time in the fiery lake, what will happen to them when the punishment is over? Can they join the others in the heavenly paradise? Or is their destiny annihilation, the end of existence? Or is it so that there is no fiery lake but those who are not directed to a purifying fire of God, shall be annihilated immediately? A difficult question I cannot answer.

 

The future of mankind

The Resurrection body and the Future of Man: The Bible tells of the Resurrection Body of Christ, that Jesus could move freely, even through the walls and doors, and move from one place to another in no time. Jesus could also take a fleshly human body to allow Thomas to find the traces of crucifixion in his hands. Is the resurrection body of ordinary people the same kind? I’m pretty sure that at least the participants in the first resurrection have bodies similar to that of Jesus. They will rise up in the clouds to meet Jesus. It’s not possible with fleshly bodies.

Here is a most important promise concerning the future of believers.

The Bible says: 1 Joh 3:2 Dear friends, we are now God’s children, but what we will be like has not been revealed yet. We know that when Christ is revealed we will be like him (phaneroō eimi homoios autos), because we will see him as he is. – When we think of how wonderful and perfect man Jesus Christ was while living on earth, can a man have a higher dream than to become like him?

The participants of the first resurrection will receive many other abilities and mighty powers on the basis of faith. I will tell you about these in another article.

God tests and punishes his own already on earth, and they no longer need to attend the final judgment with the world. 1 Cor 11:31 But if we judged ourselves correctly, we would not be judged. 32 Now, while we are being judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined lest we be condemned along with the world. – The word for condemnation is in Greek κρίνω krinō. When the church of God is condemned, it includes the Lord’s chastisement. Chastisement is in Greek παιδεύωv paideuo, which according to Strong’s includes the following characterizations: educate, discipline (by punishment): chasten, instruct, learn (to cause one to learn), teach. Further, God’s chastise means producing suffering, pain, even great loss. The congregation is not included in the same group with the rest of the world. Read more in the article. https://salatturaamattu.fi/mita-on-jumalan-kuritus/

God is working constantly, the world is not ready yet. When God has worked for a long time, God also has his limitations: everything cannot be completed in the blink of an eye. Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, so I am working, too.”

Joh 14:12 Most assuredly I [Jesus] tell you, he who believes in me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these will he do; because I am going to my Father.

What will people do in God’s New World? I dare say they do not just sit on the edge of the cloud, they are working. It is proved by 1 Cor 3: 9 “For we are God’s co-workers”.

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