About studying the Bible – Is there in the Bible a divine code hidden? – Which translation is best? – Incorrect translations and falsifications – God’s punishments that seem incomprehensible – How did God instruct the Israelites to treat the nations they subjugated? – The position of women – Christ’s desire for unanimity – Why did God give the world to Satan? – Is it justified to seek guidance from the Bible in social decision-making? – Is it right to refuse weapons based on Jesus’ teaching? – Should people share their wealth with the poor according to Jesus’ teaching? – Is it justified to condemn homosexual relationships and gay marriages? – Is it wrong to charge interest on a loan? Should insolvent debtors be forgiven? – Bible miracles – Does the Bible accept homosexuality? – Does the Bible say that some people will be saved and others will go to hell? – The punishment of the lake of fire – the second death – Will all people be saved? – Who is affected by salvation? – Vessels of wrath – Which one is winning, God or Satan? – Is the punishment of the fiery lake (hell) eternal?
About studying the Bible
I began studying the Bible by reading the Bible. Then I also believed everything I read. I thought the Bible was the true word of God, word for word. Soon I came to know that it was not that simple. I will now share some of my experiences and observations.
It is not always possible to say straightforward what a word or expression means. For example, if a verse promises salvation. It does not necessarily mean salvation to heaven or otherwise eternal life in paradise. It may in the NT imply survival on the day of God’s wrath and entry into the Millennium of Christ. For the sake of certainty, it is good to read two pairs of translations of the Bible in parallel. Another example: What does ‘maidservant’ mean in Exo 21: 7 “This is the Hebrew word אָמָה ‘amah H519, which means handmaid, maidservant, maid bondwoman. One likely translation option is a female slave like some translations say frankly.
A Bible scholar will find that when he or she feels he has found the answer to a question, he will immediately find verses against it in the Bible. Examples can be found in this article as well.
Important note that someone taught me: Every word in the Bible is true, but not always literally true. In other words, much of the Bible is figurative expression. Now you need to learn to recognize when it is a figurative expression and when every word is literally true.
Figurative expressions: Eternal torture in a fiery lake, blackness of darkness, lampstand, seven stars, dragon, sharp sickle, etc.
In literal expressions, there is often a difficulty that the reader does not want to believe it. Still, he develops in his mind a version of it that the expression does not mean: For example: Yet to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, (1 Cor 8:6). Or: ”For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Tim 2:5)
I believe and know that in heaven, there is God the Father, Jehovah, and His Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not say that all three of them are equally God persons, who together form the Triune God. Such a doctrine is an invention of the Catholic Church councils held 300-400 years after Christ’s death.
As you read the Bible carefully, you will find it in verse 1 Timothy 2:5. This verse says that there is only one mediator between God and man in heaven. It is not the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, as the Catholics believe, but the man who has ascended to heaven. Paul wrote this after the death and resurrection of Jesus. He came to experience the power of Jesus. Paul could well have claimed that Jesus was God, but he never said that.
In addition to these two groups, there are verses in the Bible that do not quickly tell which group they should be placed in. One reason may be the old language of that Bible translation. Then you have to look at other translations, even study what the Hebrew or Greek manuscript text says word for word.
Difficult expressions include, for example, “God is love,” for instance, in 1 Joh 4:8: “He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love.” What is the difficulty here?” Well, on that basis, one would imagine that God would treat all his creatures lovingly and protectively, and would not kill them in the thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands. Below are examples of God’s punishment.
Also, in the New Testament, Luke 3: 6. – All flesh means ‘all people’ or all humanity. What does ‘shall see the salvation of God’ mean? Does that mean everyone will be saved? Or does it mean that everyone can see who God is saving? Jesus Christ divides people into two groups; Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep [those who will be saved] on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Is there in the Bible a divine code hidden?
Is Ivan Panin right when he calculated the entire Bible containing a Divine Code? A correctly copied Bible repeats the code, but even a slight change breaks it.
Such code is included in both the Hebrew Old Testament and the Greek New Testament. I have included in this website articles about the code. If translated into other languages, the code is lost, meaning the code is only in the original writings.
Code is based on the numerical values of letters. Each letter has a numeric value. Adding these numerical values gives a sum, and this sum is divisible by 7. Before long, the code of a word line is always divisible by 7. Dr. Panin found other codes. I can’t tell if the code will end when each Bible book ends and whether the code calculation will start again when the new Bible book begins. If the code does not actualize, there is an error in the text. In this way, Panin was able to prove which name is right, Junia or Junias. The old manuscripts contained both name versions.
By including such code in the Bible, God was able to make sure that there were no copying errors in the Bible. The code does not resolve the interpretation problems.
Ivan Panin did this code calculation and verification work for five decades. He was a devout believer, and I noticed that he was also a strong supporter of God’s Trinity. I deduced that he had added “himself God” in the Numeric English New Testament (NENT) that he had edited.
NENT: God no one hath ever seen; an only begotten, himself God, who is unto the bosom of the Father, HE hath declared him.
KJV 1789: No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.
Most translations translate this verse like KJV.
The only way to solve the problem is to look at the original Greek text. There is no mention of “who is God himself” in the version I’m using, but maybe there is another manuscript that has this added. If it were genuine, it would be the only phrase in the entire New Testament that would prove Jesus is a God. To me, this is just a matter of a desperate attempt to find the Bible’s proof of the deity of Jesus.
Which translation is best?
There are numerous translations of the Bible in English. It is a good idea to check and compare more translations. Do you see the difference between the following translations of ASV and NLT?
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: (ASV)
12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. (NLT)
NLT promises that ” For a great reward awaits you in heaven,” which means believers get to heaven. Other translations say this way: “for great is your reward in heaven.”
ASV says that “your reward is great in heaven,” and the two verses of Revelation state that Jesus will bring the reward with him when he comes the second time.
11:18 The nations were angry, but your wrath has come. It is time for the dead to be judged and to reward your servants, the prophets, the saints, and all who fear your name, both unimportant and important, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
22:12 “Behold, I come quickly. My reward is with me, to repay to each man according to his work.
At this point, the NLT does not say clearly whether believers will go to heaven as soon as they die or when. The New Testament has told that Abraham and David have not ascended into heaven. This would suggest that Jesus is the only one in this respect. When Jesus promises to bring the rewards when He comes, I interpret it to mean that believers will not go to heaven to collect it. NLT translation reinforces the wrong doctrine. What does the Bible say about those who add their own to the gospel?
Incorrect translations and falsifications
The Bible is compiled from many manuscripts. Every effort has been made to find the most original manuscript, but no original manuscript has been found. For centuries, manuscripts have been reproduced. Now and then, there is a church scribe who adds his explanation to the margin. Some later readers think that the person who made the insertion had forgotten the sentence and so he adds it from the margin to the text itself.
Then there are deliberate additions or fakes. Of course, these authors also had a good intention of making the Bible text as God surely meant it. About such cases, I have written more in this article.
God has warned against adding or removing anything in the Bible text. Rev 22:18 ”I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book, if anyone adds to them, may God add to him the plagues which are written in this book.; 19 “If anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, may God take away his part from the tree of life, and out of the holy city, which are written in this book.”
Which translation is the best? The one that translates the original text as literally as possible, but in a way that is natural and easy for the reader to understand. The problem is that language changes. Old words are not understood. I, therefore, believe that if new words are used, it is good to mention it in a footnote.
Copyright law protects many translations. In this site bibeconcealed.com, I wanted to use a newer translation, as I was not happy with these older translations. I was denied permission. So, I have contented with the free-domain translations. Sometimes I have aggregated two translations and changed ‘ye’ to ‘you’ or changed Yahweh to Jehovah, to be consistent with the format.
God’s punishments that seem incomprehensible
It is hard to see why God allowed slavery in the Old Testament times, selling young girls as sex slaves, stoning raped girls to death. And so on.
Especially in the Old Testa there are Bible passages that are difficult for modern man to accept, even though God Himself is behind them.
2 Sam 6:6 When they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen stumbled. 7 The anger of Jehovah was kindled against Uzzah; and God struck him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. – Ussa’s reaction was undoubtedly instinctive. He was afraid that due to the stumbling of the bulls, the Ark might fall to the ground. Isn’t God supposed to study people’s actions for their willfulness before they try to kill man for punishment.
Exo 21:7 “If a man sells his daughter to be a maid-servant, she shall not go out as the men-servants do..
8 If she doesn’t please her master, who has married her to himself, then he shall let her be redeemed. He shall have no right to sell her to a foreign people, seeing he has dealt deceitfully with her.
9 If he marries her to his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters.
10 If he takes another wife to himself, he shall not diminish her food, her clothing, and her marital rights.
4 Moos 31:14 Moses was angry with the officers of the host, the captains of thousands and the captains of hundreds, who came from the service of the war. 15 Moses said to them, Have you saved all the women alive?
16 Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against Jehovah in the matter of Peor, and so the plague was among the congregation of Jehovah.
17 Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who has known man by lying with him.
18 But all the girls, who have not known man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.
Moses was angry with the leaders of the army because they had not killed all the enemies. So Moses commanded to kill all the male children and every wife, but every girl had to be left alive “to yourselves.” (For what purpose?)
Deu 22:23 If there be a young lady who is a virgin pledged to be married to a husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones; the lady, because she didn’t cry, being in the city; and the man, because he has humbled his neighbor’s wife: so you shall put away the evil from the midst of you.
25 But if the man find the lady who is pledged to be married in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her; then the man only who lay with her shall die:
2 Chr 13:17 Abijah and his people killed them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men. 18 And the sons of Israel are humbled at that time, and the sons of Judah are strong, for they have leant on Jehovah, God of their fathers.
1 Sam 15:2 Thus said Jehovah of Hosts, I have looked after that which Amalek did to Israel, that which he laid for him in the way in his going up out of Egypt.
15:3 Now go and strike Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and don’t spare them; but kill both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.
15:8 He took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
Why did God do this? From the above verses, it could be deduced that God is full of jealousy and violence. Genesis 18:21 tells of Sodom and Gomorrah: I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come to me. If not, I will know.”– Haggling began, and Abraham said, 18:23 “Abraham drew near, and said, “Will you consume the righteous with the wicked?” Abraham suggested that God would save the city if there were fifty righteous. Was not found. In the end, God promised to spare the city if there were even ten righteous. Was not found. Recent archaeological research shows that Sodom was, in the circumstances of that time, a big city, of which only Lot was righteous, and God saved his family from destruction.
”Jehovah searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts.” (1 Chr 28:9).
God ordered the Canaanites to be destroyed so that Israel could take their land. The Canaanites made sacrifices by burning small children to their gods. Joshua 9:24 “And they answered Joshua and said, Because it was certainly told thy servants how that Jehovah thy God commanded his servant Moses to give you all the land, and to destroy all the inhabitants of the land from before you; and we feared greatly for our lives because of you, and did this thing. 25 Now, behold, we are in your hand: as it seems good and right to you to do to us, do.” – However, God saved them from the hands of the Israelites so that they did not kill them.
Deu 9:5: Not for your righteousness, or for the uprightness of your heart, do you go in to possess their land; but for the wickedness of these nations Jehovah your God does drive them out from before you, and that he may establish the word which Jehovah swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. 6 Know therefore, that Jehovah your God doesn’t give you this good land to possess it for your righteousness; for you are a stiff-necked people.
32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect, For all his ways are righteousness; A God of faithfulness without deceit, Just and right is he.
We do not always understand what and why God does as he does. Jehovah searches all hearts, and understands all the imaginations of the thoughts. (1 Chr 28:9).
How did God instruct the Israelites to treat the nations they subjugated?
The Old Testament is full of violence, where enemies of God’s people are being killed in thousands, tens of thousands, even half a million, men, women, and children. God’s priests blamed the soldiers for leaving some of the people alive or not killing the best sheep. Young girls were taken as sex slaves. They were not respected or loved in their own homes as they are in the moral behavior demands today; Lot even offered her two daughters to the crowd, which tried to invade Lot’s house to practice homosexual contact with Lot’s guests.
1 Sam 6:19 He struck of the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of Jehovah, he struck of the people fifty thousand seventy men; and the people mourned, because Jehovah had struck the people with a great slaughter. – God killed fifty thousand people because they had looked at the Lord’s ark. After all, the ark was not even in the most holy place of God’s temple. They were unaware that no one except the high priest could look at the Lord’s ark once a year.
How could I understand or explain such a different moral behavior? I can’t question the entire Old Testament. If it were a single verse, then perhaps I would say that it is a fake. Now, however, there are dozens of verses in many books.
How could I understand or explain such a different moral behavior? I can’t question the entire Old Testament. If it were a single verse, then perhaps I would say that it is a fabrication. Now, however, there are dozens of similar verses in many books.
The position of women
In the Old Testament times, own daughters could be sold into slavery, even without the possibility of liberation, contrary to the practice of male slaves. Women and children captured in the war were not spared. The exception seems to have been young virgin girls who were urged to save for the winners’ own needs, i.e., as sex slaves.
In modern society, we generally look at the New Testament in many ways to gain an understanding of God’s and Christ’s views on various sectors of society.
The relationship between man and woman in marriage is instructed in Ephesians:
Efe 5:22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands, as to the Lord,
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, and Christ also is the head of the assembly, being himself the savior of the body.
24 But as the assembly is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their own husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;
However, a man is clearly “wife’s head”, yet a man must love his wife. And then, how were the wives to behave in church meetings?
1 Cor 14:34 instructs:” let your wives keep silent in the assemblies, for it has not been permitted for them to speak; but let them be in subjection, as the law also says. 35 But if they wish to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is a shame for a woman to speak in assembly.
Isn’t it the purpose that the Bible guidelines are still valid today? Not. It seems that in today’s societ, Bible guidance is superseded by the laws of society.
Such Bible guidance was still in place a 100 years ago. The man controlled his wife’s property, and the women had no voting rights. Quite soon after women gained the right to vote, their position with respect to their men became more equal. Women also had access to universities. Nowadays, women can become priests and do not “need to remain silent in the church.” This is how it is in the Western and Christian countries. This is not the case, for example, in Islamic societies.
The crucial question is: Are the Biblical guidelines for the relationship between a woman and a man intended to be valid even in today’s society? Didn’t Paul, who wrote the instructions quoted above, see the future? However, there was a great leap from the time of the Old Testament to the time of Christ, which we are pleased with. What about the jump that has taken place from the time of Christ to the present? Can’t we accept that too?
After all, Paul did not explicitly explain why he emphasized the importance of love in marriage. Yet the change he proclaimed has been remarkable, for example, over the last hundred years. It concerns the society in many ways beyond the role of women not only in the ecclesiastical sense alone.
Peter said, Act 5:29, ”But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.” This is because the word of the Bible is the Word of God and was last proclaimed by Jesus Christ and his apostles, who received their last instructions from the Holy Spirit.
The government determines the legislation in each country. These legislators may be believing people, but as a rule, they are in no way dependent on the Word of the Bible. In many countries, there is debate, no longer about women’s voting rights or the right to control their property, but about women’s priesthood. Paul believed that women should remain silent in the church. However, many women in the Bible were already prominent in the church during Paul’s time.
“We must obey God rather than men!”
Christ’s desire for unanimity
Joh 17:11 … that they may be one, even as we are.
Joh 17:21 that they may all be one; even as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that you sent me.
Rom 12:16 Have the same respect one for another, not minding high things, but going along with the lowly: be not wise in your own eyes:
1 Cor 1:10 Now I beg you, brothers, through the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfected together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
Fil 2:2 Then make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose.
Jesus hoped that believers would be one when he left. Is this possible when Christianity is divided, and Catholic-led ecumenism is not united by doctrine, but Catholic domination seems to be the goal. Every church believes they have the way, truth, and life that Jesus has proclaimed, but what would prove that? Does any church have it?
More ‘why’ questions
Why did God give the world to Satan? Why does God allow Satan to overcome?
Adam and Eve had fallen, led by Satan, to sin and to act contrary to God’s command. As a punishment, God expelled them from Paradise. What did God do to Satan, to that high-class and glorious princely angel? God gave the kingdom of the world to him! Why did God do this?
Although Satan tempted Adam and Eve to sin against the will of God, Satan still had access to the throne of God, as did other high-ranking angels. Why didn’t God immediately punish Satan? After Adam and Eve were expelled from God’s Paradise, a fierce battle for the world rule began. God, who knows and sees the future in advance, had seen man fall into sin long before this event. Therefore, even before the creation of the world, God had decided to send his son into the world to redeem the debt of humanity. He had also foreseen and determined Jesus’ assistants, the apostles, and many others who would be his son’s co-workers.
In this and many other articles, I have observed how Satan is progressing in his victory. When I told this opinion to a representative of a church, I saw his disbelief. The world’s population is growing at an ever-increasing rate, but the Christian believers in the population is steadily declining. However, Satan never gets his final victory. The Second Coming of Christ and the associated fierce anger of the Lord’s Day and the struggle of Christ’s forces against Satan culminates in the binding of Satan for a thousand years.
What is God’s purpose in allowing this to happen? Study the Bible!
Ask God for understanding and wisdom to interpret the events of time. Read and compare the scriptures in the Word of the Bible.
Is it justified to seek guidance from the Bible in social decision-making?
Is it justified to oppose divorce by invoking the word of Jesus?
Mar 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation, ‘God made them male and female.
7 For this cause a man will leave his father and mother, and will join to his wife.
8 and the two will become one flesh,’ so that they are no longer two, but one flesh.
9 What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
10 Back in the house, the disciples asked him about this again.
11 He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery against her.
12 If a woman herself divorces her husband, and marries another, she commits adultery.”
Is it right to refuse weapons based on Jesus’ teaching?
Mat 5:43 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’
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,
Even the Israelis waged wars against pagan nations to claim their land in the land of Canaan.
Already Isaiah prophesied: 2:4 He will judge between the nations, And will decide concerning many peoples; And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning-hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war any more. – That must be so, but it shall come to pass at the end of days (v. 2:2), when the day of the Lord comes.
When Jesus took his disciples to a place called Gethsemane before he was betrayed and arrested by soldiers, one of the disciples struck a sword on a high priest’s servant. Mat 26:52 “Then Jesus said to him, put your sword back into its place, for all those who take the sword will die by the sword.” – The sword was a real sword, but ‘sword’ is also a figurative expression of violence. In today’s language, the appropriate expression would be: “Anyone who uses arms also becomes a victim of arms.”
Was Jesus’ message only for the apostles? Not for sure, but for all humankind as a code of conduct. Almost 2,000 years after the event, humanity still does not follow the teaching of Christ; Those who follow Jesus’ instruction and refuse military service often have to settle their “crime” in prison.
Jehovah’s Witnesses are perhaps the most well-known Christian denomination in the world today, which refuses all military service and suffers the consequences. “They are not of the world even as I [Jesus] am not of the world” (John 17:16)
Paul’s instruction is in Rom 13:1-2: “Let every soul be in subjection to the higher authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those who exist are ordained by God. 2 Therefore he who resists the authority, withstands the ordinance of God; and those who withstand will receive to themselves judgment.”
Should people share their wealth with the poor according to Jesus’ teaching?
Luuk 18:18 A certain ruler asked him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
18:22 When Jesus heard these things, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have, and distribute it to the poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Come, follow me.”
Jesus said according to Mark 12:44 “For they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.”– The rich could put a large amount of money into the treasury without affecting their daily lives. The two coins of the poor widow were her last money. The widow’s sacrifice was more valuable because she sacrificed all her money.
Jesus suggested to a rich ruler that he should sell his property and give the money to the poor. Peter said they had given up everything they had. Jesus promised that everyone would “receive many times more in this age – and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Luke 18). – Many ‘saints’ have been such poor.
Mat 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 6:20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consume, and where thieves don’t break through and steal;
It is in the will of God for a person to help those in need. One should not collect money and possessions on earth, but, according to Matthew’s instructions, collect for himself treasures in heaven; these are faith and good works.
Luther’s doctrine included emphasizing faith and grace, and the deeds were irrelevant to salvation. The letter of Jacob exemplifies the relationship between faith and deeds: 2:18 ”Yes, a man will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith.”
From this, we can also deduce the significance of acts of faith. I have concluded that according to the Bible, deeds are at least as important as faith. A few verses to testify:
Rom 2:6 who “will pay back to everyone according to their works:”
2 Cor 11:15 It is no great thing therefore if his [Satan’s] ministers also masquerade as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.
1 Pet 1:17 If you call on him as Father, who without respect of persons judges according to each man’s work, pass the time of your living as strangers here in reverent fear:
Jam 2:22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;
Rev 20:12 I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and they opened books. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged out of the things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Is it justified to condemn homosexual relationships and gay marriages?
It’s not long since homosexual intercourse was punishable by law. There are many in the Church who accept the Bible forbidding same-sex relationships.
Lev 18:22 And you shall not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is a perversion.
23 You shall not lie with any animal to defile yourself with it; neither shall any woman give herself to an animal, to lie down with it: it is a perversion.
24 Do not defile yourself with all these, for with all these the nations have been defiled, which I am casting out before you;
29 For whoever shall do any of these abominations, even the souls that do them shall be cut off from among their people.
Lev 20:13 If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.
When God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, the strong cause was the homosexuality practiced in these cities. Genesis 19 tells how two angels of the Lord came to meet the righteous Lot. The city’s violent homosexuals insisted on having sex with Lot’s guests, and a terrified Lot offered them two young daughters. This report gives us an idea of how badly the men of Sodom were sexually perverted. Another appalling observation is Lot’s indifferent attitude towards the rape of his own daughters.
Is it wrong to charge interest on a loan? Should insolvent debtors be forgiven?
Currently, Western countries have exceptionally low interest rates. 0-interest rates are typical. Naturally, banks will charge the loan under some other heading. For mortgage debtors and governments, zero interest rates are a great relief. Many may think that the time of high-interest rates, coupled with inflation, was excellent. Then the value of the debt, for example, the actual amount of the mortgage loan decreased, as prices and wages increased.
Should the economy be organized following with the jubilee ordinances of the Jews from God? Were these rules originally intended only for the Jewish community? Wouldn’t they be useful in today’s society as well?
God ordained the commandments of the people of Israel on Mount Sinai (Leviticus 3):
The purpose of the Jubilee Year was to allow the country to rest for one extra year in the seven-year cycle of sowing and sabbaticals. The Jubilee Year was also significant for the Israeli distribution of wealth. Each family had ownership of their land. If someone had sold their property because of financial distress, the land returned to his family after 49 years, a year of jubilee. Detailed guidance on debt settlement is given in the reference chapters.
When the people of Israel came to the promised land and started farming, they had to cultivate the land and harvest it for six years and let the land rest for the seventh year. Every seventh year was the Sabbath in honor of the Lord. Farmers picked no grapes during that time. The land was allowed to rest. Whatever grows on a field without being planted on it could be used.
This was to be done for seven sabbaths of years, 49 years. When it was fulfilled in the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, the trumpet was to be played on the day of Atonement. (By the way: I have put Jesus’ birth date for this Day of Atonement. Jesus’ birthday is said to be the 25th of December, but the whole of Christmas is based on the desire to replace the pagan Saturnalia celebration with Christian content. Jesus was the reconciler of the world, and for that reason, the Autumn Day of Atonement would be most appropriate not only for the time but also for its symbolic content.)
God ordered: (Lev 25):
25:10 You shall make the fiftieth year holy, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee to you; and each of you shall return to his own property, and each of you shall return to his family. 11 That fiftieth year shall be a jubilee to you. In it you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself, nor gather from the undressed vines. 12 For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you. You shall eat of its increase out of the field. 13 In this Year of Jubilee each of you shall return to his property.
God promised: “I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years. While you plant during the eighth year, you will eat from the old crop and will continue to eat from it until the harvest of the ninth year comes in.” (Lev 25:21-22)
25:36 Take no interest from him [an Israeli ‘brother’] or profit, but fear your God; that your brother may live among you. 37 You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.
39 If your brother has grown poor among you, and sells himself to you; you shall not make him to serve as a slave.
40 As a hired servant, and as a sojourner, he shall be with you; he shall serve with you until the Year of Jubilee:
The instructions also included a prohibition on taking interest on the loan. Not only the enemy taken in the war, but also an impoverished Israeli could become a slave. He could sell himself as a slave to pay off his debt. Such a slave was released when the Jubilee began.
The instructions also included a prohibition on taking interest on the loan. Not only the enemy taken in the war, but also an impoverished Israeli could become a slave. He could sell himself as a slave to pay off his debt. Such a slave was released when the Jubilee began.
Can I believe in the Bible, even if it contains the divine code described above? Some claims are said to be based on scientific knowledge that not all Bible accounts are true, or at least they are not written as they are claimed to be. The author is said to be someone else or someone unknown. Many believe that the Bible miracles cannot be accepted.
The miracles described in the Bible need to be believed. You can’t explain them. You cannot say that you believe in God, Jesus Christ, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life if you deny the miracles of the Bible. These include e.g.
-The birth of Jesus from the virgin when the Holy Spirit of God conceived Mary
– Jesus healed seriously sick people
– Jesus was raised from the dead
– Jesus appeared both spiritually and physically after God raised him from the dead
– God gave Jesus eternal life, and Jesus will give everyone who believes in him eternal life
I am somewhat fundamentalist. I want to believe the word of the Bible. However, I have learned that a considerable large part of the Bible is figurative expression, which requires a different interpretation compared to the word for word understanding. I’m not such a fundamentalist that I would insist on believing all the Bible’s wonderful accounts as such.
For example, I believe in the flood. There are stories about the flood in many cultures. Instead, I do not believe in Noah’s account literally, as the Bible tells us. I do not understand how all thousands of animal species and millions of different insects would have been collected and taken to the ark. (The Bible does say that the animals went in the ark) All the animals that had the “spirit of life” had to be put in the ark because God intended to destroy all humans and animals. The explanation could be that the flood affected only part of the globe. The Bible’s view of the world was not the same as it is today. The “whole world” consisted mainly of the Roman Empire around the Mediterranean.
I accept that miracles have happened and are still happening. I have recently experienced a miracle or a miraculous event of God, which I have not been able to explain, and that goes entirely beyond the current scientific understanding. Jesus’ over 40 miracles are listed in this article.
Jesus’ first miracle was the conversion of water into wine in John 2: 1-11. The last one was the second massive catch of fish (John 21: 1-14). So Jesus made a vast amount of wine when the wine reserved for the wedding was finished. The miracle of Jesus also tells about his attitude to drinking alcohol. The wedding guests were already drunk on the wine they had been drinking and, like the drunkards, began to tumble for more drink. Jesus could have refused to make wine and could have said that the guests had already had enough. When he did not do so, it can be attributed to a tolerant attitude to the excessive consumption of wine, perhaps exceptionally, in the context of a big and joyous celebration.
Does the Bible accept homosexuality?
Mat 21:31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said to him, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly I tell you that the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering into the Kingdom of God before you. – Jesus’ contemporaries equated tax collectors to people despised by society, for example, harlots or prostitutes.
Truly I say unto you, the tax collectors and prostitutes will enter the kingdom of heaven before the self-righteous. (Mat 21:31) This English quote has arbitrarily added “before the self-righteous.” But that’s what Jesus probably meant. Those who consider themselves to be good Christians easily commit contempt for sinners, homosexuals, etc. they consider sinful. Jesus did not approve of their immoral conduct, but even less did the judgments of men. Luk 6:37 Don’t judge, And you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, And you won’t be condemned. Set free, And you will be set free. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. – Therefore, Jesus said with some anger: be careful not to allow whores and homosexuals to enter the kingdom of God before you.
The Bible condemns homosexuality. Jes 3:9 “The look of their faces testify against them. They parade their sin like Sodom. They don’t hide it. Woe to their soul! For they have brought disaster upon themselves.” – The two angels of the Lord had come to Lot and were staying with him. Sodom ‘sodomites’ behaved insolently: Gen 19:5 And they called to Lot and said to him, Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” NLT and WEB say plainly, “Bring them out to us so we can have sex with them!”
Rom 1:26 Paul warns: “For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error.”
In the original text of 1 Corinthians 6:9, it clearly teaches us that homosexuality is a sin that practitioners cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 6: 9 contains two Greek words at the end of the verse (μαλακός malakos, and ἀρσενοκοίτης arsenokoites). Malakos means feminine man, sex between a young boy and an older man. Arsenokoites means a homosexual man lying with a man, sodomite.
1 Kor 6:9 warns: ”Or don’t you know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t be deceived. Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals.
Jesus said that the first shall be the last, and the last the first. He meant that those who were despised by society could, by faith, enter the kingdom of God and that moralists might be left in the queue. I do not know from which MSS one of the translations of the Bible comes the quote of Mat 21:31, that speaks of the kingdom of heaven. All the versions I have checked speak of the Kingdom of God, or βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ. The ‘kingdom of heaven’ has the same meaning, but I think the translation must also be literal. The “kingdom of heaven” can lead to the notion that people who are to be saved will go to heaven.
Does the Bible say that some people will be saved and others will go to hell?
For almost two thousand years, mainstream churches, as well as small sects, have threatened people with hell, namely, if they do not believe in the doctrine of the Church (for example, the creed of the Church). The suffering in hell, which has been portrayed in a very colorful way as a fiery furnace, has threatened the simple people of the Church for centuries. Listeners could not read the Bible themselves because it was the exclusive right of the priesthood, not least because, for over 500 years, vernacular Bibles were not available. Illiteracy remained a problem.
Much, much less are those churches that proclaim the opposite doctrine, universalism: God saves all. Then, there is the alternative that God does not save all, but that the very sinners will be destroyed entirely, that is, annihilated.
When you think about these questions, it’s good to be aware of a couple of essential things. Are you a prisoner of your church? Is the position of your church locked up so firmly that it cannot even be discussed? Or are things so well that your church even encourages you to explore and ponder various alternatives to various Bible passages? Today, one would think that the search for truth would be prompted. Shouldn’t every church be so confident in its doctrine that it would not have to prohibit its members from exploring other options?
Often, however, in practice, the situation is such that one has grown up in the doctrine of one’s own church from a young age. One doesn’t even feel the urge to look at divergent opinions. Church members may feel distressed and downright sinful. Here are a few Bible verses that tell about salvation and judgment.
All will be saved: Is God or Jesus Christ truly the savior of all men?
Isa 52:10 Jehovah has made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Luk 2:30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 Which you have prepared before the face of all peoples;
1 Tim 4:10 For it is for this we labor and strive, because we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of believers. – How do you read and understand this verse? There are three essential things to consider. The living God, which is the savior of all people ωτήρ sōtēr. Does the living God mean God the Father or Jesus Christ? Second, this living God is the Savior of all people. Third, Believers are still in a particular position regarding salvation. Many also believe that Jesus is God, couldn’t he then be the “living God.” By searching the Bible for the phrase “living God,” we may be able to solve the question.
2 Cor 6:16 ” What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” – Jehovah God chose Israel as his people. Jeremiah confirms this: 31:33 ” But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says Yahweh: I will put my law in their inward parts, and in their heart will I write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” – Paul has linked this verse of the Bible with the living temple of God and the people of God. Jeremiah, among others, has confirmed that God’s people are Israel. In this way, we can conclude that Paul’s link with the living God was specifically Jehovah.
1 Tim 4:10 implied that all would be saved, especially believers. How should this be interpreted? It is easy to understand that all believers will be saved. If you read an article about God’s purifying fire, you will know how it can happen. But is it God’s purpose that all be saved? What significance would faith have then? Well, at least it would be much easier for believers to deal with the purifying fire. It would be more painful and time-consuming to deal with the most sinful infidels.
Is God going to save every person? Also, Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, whose total deaths are likely to be around 100 million? Let’s look at a few Bible passages from the last judgment. From there, it can be concluded that the perpetrators are convicted to “hell.” Many claim that hell does not exist because the Bible does not use that word. The fiery lake and the eternal darkness depict the everlasting punishment of mere suffering.
The punishment of the lake of fire – the second death
Rev 19:20 The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who worked the signs in his sight, with which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
20:10 The devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet are also. They will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
20:14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 20:15 If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.
21:8 But for the cowardly and unbelieving, and those having become foul, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the lying ones, their part will be in the Lake burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.
The lake of fire is the second death.
Rev 2:11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes won’t be harmed by the second death.
20:6 Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over these, the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and will reign with him one thousand years.
20:14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.
The lake of fire is a figurative expression. Nor does the Bible’s expression “the second death” tell in itself what this death is unless you are content with Revelation 20:14 that the lake of fire is the second death. If the fiery lake is a figurative phrase, is the second also, because the Bible phrase that explains it is figurative?
So what does ‘second death’ mean? The first death is the one that everyone must face. The exception is those participants in the first resurrection who are alive on earth when the resurrection takes place. The simple explanation for ‘the second death’ is that it is the negative judgment of Christ’s last conviction. Christ divides the condemned into two groups; Mat 25:33 “He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.”
Matthew tells of Jesus’ final judgment:
Mat 25:41 “Then he will say also to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels;
42 for I was hungry, and you didn’t give me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink;
43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
44 “Then they will also answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and didn’t help you?’
45 “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.’
46 These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
Rev 14:10 he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is prepared unmixed in the cup of his anger. He will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. The smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever. They have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.
Sodom and Gomorrah. Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire. – It is clear the fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah is not eternal, but extinguished thousands of years ago. Therefore, the punishment of eternal fire does not apply to the cities themselves. Instead, those sexual perverts who have not yet received their last sentence will receive it in due course. God’s punishment will not come immediately after the transgression. Even the angels who fell “are kept in eternal chains in utter darkness, locked up for the judgment of the great Day” (Jud 1:6).
The Prophet Jeremiah conveyed God’s message to the Sabbath-breakers:17:27 “But if you will not listen to me to make the Sabbath day holy, and not to bear a burden and enter in at the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates of it, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched.” – The Book of Jeremiah dates back to about 600 years BC. I can’t say if and when the fire consumed the Palaces of Jerusalem, but it is clear that the fire has gone out, that is, the claim that it is eternal fire is not the correct translation.
The big question is whether Jesus’ eternal punishment is the second death described above, the fiery lake. What sins cause eternal punishment? Jesus says in Matthew 25:45: “Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, inasmuch as you didn’t do it to one of the least of these, you didn’t do it to me.” For example, 25:43 “I was a stranger, and you didn’t take me in; naked, and you didn’t clothe me; sick, and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.” – An eternal punishment if one does not go to see the ill or the captive. Or if you didn’t take a stranger to your home. Or if you didn’t give clothes to someone naked.
It seems an unreasonable punishment. Here you have to study what the Bible says about salvation and then weigh up the opposing arguments.
Act 2:21 “It will be, that whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” – This salvation is not yet final. Salvation concerns the great destruction of the Lord’s Day. On that day, those who are saved will survive in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, which will begin upon the second coming of Christ on earth.
Mar 10:52 Jesus said to him, “Go your way. Your faith has made you well.” Immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” – The above applies.
Mar 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned. – I have written a separate article on the significance of faith, baptism and deeds.
Luk 7:50 He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Jesus told his disciples the parable of the sower who sowed seeds. The disciples asked for an explanation of the parable, to which Jesus answered. Luk 8:10 “To you it is given to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God, but to the rest in parables; that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.‘ 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 Those along the road are those who hear, then the devil comes, and takes away the word from their heart, that they may not believe and be saved.
When reading these verses, I have always wondered; Jesus explained to his disciples what the parables meant and explained to them the secrets of the kingdom of God. Other listeners were only told parables, “so that, though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.” (Luke 8:10) – Why should ordinary listeners not know the kingdom of God and understand the word of God? Besides, the word that has entered their hearts, Satan will come and take it away. WHY does God act as if he sabotaged the spread of His Word in error-free form?
My interpretation is this: God does not want all teaching to be given in a chewed form. He wants people to work hard to find the truth. When the truth is found, and man begins to act upon it, Jesus explained (Luke 8:21) that those who hear and do the word of God are Jesus’ mother and his brother. Jesus also said, according to Mark: ”3:35 For whoever does the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.”
Act 4:11 He is ‘the stone that was rejected by you builders, which has become the cornerstone. 12 There is salvation in none other, for neither is there any other name under heaven, that is given among men, by which we must be saved!”
Rom 3:23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;
Gal. 3:22 But the Scripture locked up all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to the ones believing.
Will all people be saved?
1 Tim 2:4 who [God] wants all people to be saved and to come to a full knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,
Joh 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” – Jesus promised that when he would get to heaven, he would draw all people to him. Previously, Jesus had said Joh 6:44 ” No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.” – The drawing to God and Jesus is also accompanied by God’s calling. Rom 8:30 Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.
Rev 17:14 ”They will wage war against the lamb, but the lamb will conquer them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those who are called, chosen, and faithful are with him.” – Just as God predestined Christ to save the world, God also predestined and called people to Christ’s ministry and co-rulers in his Millennial kingdom. This kingdom of Christ is, in my view, part of the kingdom of God, where its members are in the spirit body, but can also exist in the physical body, as Christ did while he was still on earth after His resurrection.
I interpreted salvation to be of two kinds; There is a small group of people who are being tried in their lifetime and will not be judged in the final judgment. They are saved for the first resurrection and reign with Christ for a thousand years. In the Millennial kingdom, people are in the physical body, and humans have not yet attained immortality. Another, a large group of those who are to be saved, receive a positive judgment after the end of the millennium and the resurrection of the dead. They will be saved in the paradise of God’s kingdom described in Revelation.
Rom 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.
What is meant by Paul, who uses the phrase ”God has shut up all in disobedience so that he may show mercy to all.”
All people have sinned and are continually sinning. It is human behavior to sin, and man cannot get away from it, at least not by his means. All are without the glory of God. Still, God wants all people to be saved (1 Tim 2:4) so that He may show mercy to all (Room 11:32).
The rest of Paul 11:32 is worth reading again: “that He may show mercy to all”
God’s purpose and will is to have mercy on all. Perhaps this slogan should have been written in red letters at the very beginning rather than in the middle of everything else. This is a Bible pearl, one of the many that just haven’t got the attention it deserves: … “and all flesh shall see the salvation of God.” (Luk 3:6)
“And all flesh will see the salvation of God.” As Isaiah once said (40:5), “And the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken.” – All will see the glory of God together, which is possible when all are resurrected to the last judgment. Luke adds to this “glory of God” the salvation of “all flesh.”
‘All flesh’ would be better translated ‘all humanity’ or all people. – If one reads only one verse from salvation, even this one, one can believe that indeed everyone (that is, every human being) will be saved. In the preceding verses, Luke speaks of John’s activities as he preached the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. His sermon also contained the message in the following verses: Luk 3:8 Then bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say within yourselves, We have Abraham as father. For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham out of these stones. 9 Even now the axe also lies at the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doesn’t bring forth good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.”
– John, the son of Zacharias, preaching the baptism of repentance, did not promise that all would be saved. He warned in his metaphor that if a man does not bring forth good fruit, he will be cast into the fire.
Jes 52:9 Break out, sing together, waste places of Jerusalem; for Jehovah comforts His people; He has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 Jehovah has bared His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. – In this prophecy, Isaiah said, “when Jehovah returns to Zion.” (v. 52:8). Then all nations will see how God saves Jerusalem. Not that all nations will be saved!
Joh 1:29: The next day, he [John the Baptist] saw Jesus coming to him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
– What does it mean for Jesus Christ to take away the sins of the (whole?) world? For sin is not just one sin, but the sins of the whole world are a tremendous amount of sins, small and great. What does the apostle John mean when he claims that Jesus Christ will take away all these sins? How can this happen? Does he make sins non-existent? As if they weren’t there? Or does it mean that he will forgive all sinners?
In the Old Testament times, the priest had to sacrifice the animal’s blood on the altar as a burnt offering, so that God could feel the burning and the sweet smell of the sacrificial animal ascend to heaven and forgive. During the New Covenant, forgiveness of sins is much simpler. It is enough to repent and beg Christ to forgive. Anyone can make such a request to Christ himself. There is no need for a mediating priest; Christ himself is the mediator between God and men. For he is the human to whom his father has given all power, even as he has.
However, one needs to take the initiative, repent, and apologize. However, there is one story in the New Testament about a great sinner and the persecutor of Christians. As a leader of armed guards, he traversed Israel and the surrounding region, capturing Christians and taking them to Jerusalem for detention there. Only one stroke of lightning was needed, and this Pharisee became blind for a few days. During this time, he had become the most faithful servant of Jesus and Christianity. His name was Saul, but he has become known as the “apostle of the nations,” Paul, the author of most of the Bible’s New Testament letters.
If Jesus Christ can turn the greatest of enemies in one lightning strike, is it not plausible that he can turn even the unbelievers of all humankind into his will? What was said in 1 Timothy 2: 4? God wants everyone to be saved!
Mar 3:28 “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter”. – Does Mark mean that sins will be forgiven or that all sins can be forgiven?
In the previous example, Paul was forced to repent and never criticized Christ for it. Who would blame God for forcing a wicked sinner to repent and receive forgiveness of sins? People often mock others’ faith in God, but when a tight place comes, they are ready to receive God’s mercy.
John wrote in his gospel: 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Therefore everyone who hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me.
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who is from God. He has seen the Father.
47 Most assuredly, I tell you, he who believes in me has eternal life.
1 Joh 2:2 And he [Christ] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the whole world. – Jesus did indeed atone for the sins of the whole world. What does it require of people? John explains: 2:24 Therefore, as for you, let that remain in you which you heard from the beginning. If that which you heard from the beginning remains in you, you also will remain in the Son, and in the Father. 25 This is the promise which he promised us, the eternal life. – People need to stand by the word of faith that they hear.
Who is affected by salvation?
Jesus, through his sacrifice, has redeemed the whole world. Does it only apply to those who believed in God? There are more than 7 billion people in the world. How many people have been in the world when you add up all dead people? Demographers have estimated that over 100 billion people have been born on Earth over time, according to one calculation, 107 billion. Population growth has recently accelerated.
I would venture to estimate that out of the over a hundred billion, 99 billion have never believed in Jehovah God or Jesus Christ. Does Christ’s promised salvation affect this overwhelming majority in any way? They are the whole world! They have worshiped many different gods, but they have not heard of Jehovah or Christ. Does the Bible say, “God wants all men to be saved” also applies to them? Or are they God’s “cheap vessels” created for cheap use?
The resurrection also applies to them. All resurrected people are subject to the final judgment promised in the Bible. Their names can hardly be found in the Christ’s Book of Life if these were condemned to be thrown into the lake of fire with Satan, the antichrist, and the false prophet, to be tortured there forever. Would it be right? Or if these ignorant sinners who do not know God, were annihilated i.e., destroyed without leaving any trace?
Vessels of wrath.
The Gentiles and their families, their lives, meant nothing to God in fulfilling His plan and promise to His people. They were just vessels of wrath for cheap use. This explanation follows from the following Bible verse: Rom 9:22 “What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath made for destruction.”
The English translation bluntly says, “vessels of wrath made for destruction.” The verse states that God has long suffered these Gentiles. Nowadays, it is considered that everyone should have dignity, regardless of language, nationality, wealth, etc. The Old Testament gives the impression that the Gentiles did not have the same dignity as God’s chosen people. Their lives didn’t matter. They served God’s purposes with their lives and deaths. Above, I wrote down the Bible verses, which, however, strongly suggest that God did not forsake them, but that God wants everyone to be saved and have mercy on all.
Which one is winning, God, or Satan?
In today’s world, everyone has somehow heard about God and Christ. I have been to high school eight years and, during those years, received teaching in the Christian faith. Yet many things have been ignored in school education. Only as an older man, I felt God call and began not only to read the Bible but also began to think about the doctrinal questions and problems it contained.
Few people know that God gave Satan control over the world. Satan offered it to Jesus, while Jesus was fasting in the wilderness. Jesus refused and sent Satan on his way. However, Satan did not discouraged but is still attracting people on his side. I can ask a question; who leads the race for human souls, Jesus or Satan?
If we think about the situation today, there are perhaps three billion Christians out of more than seven billion humanity. And most of these are nominal Christians. They have been baptized as a baby and may have received school instruction or attended Sunday school a few times. But they have no genuine faith. Jesus anticipates his Second Coming, saying in Luke 18:8, “… when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” – I do not know how many believers Christ will find, but of course, I believe that in the tribulation of the last days, many will cry out for Jesus – and according to Jesus’ promise – will be saved. However, the Bible tells us how many people harden themselves and, despite their plight, do not repent, but curse Jesus. If one billion out of seven billion people would prove to be believers and the rest would remain Satan’s, then this means that Satan will triumph. This applies both to people in the modern world and past generations.
In the final judgment, when Christ’s Book of Life is opened, six-sevenths of the people – if the above calculation is correct – will be denied. The Book of Life is a figurative expression of the information recorded about each person’s deeds and faith for the judgment of the last day. What kind of judgment do they get? Revelation says 20:15 “If anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire.”
All the dead will be raised to the last judgment. Of course, those who are alive and have survived the tribulations of the Lord’s day, also participate in the judgment. Only participants of the First Resurrection, who have reigned with Christ as priests and kings in his Millennial kingdom, will not be “condemned with the world.”
Earlier, I referred to an estimate by demographers that there have been 107 billion people in the world at all times. If a hundred billions of people receive a negative verdict, a really vast lake of fire is needed where people are thrown with Satan, the Antichrist, and the False prophet. Many Bible scholars interpret the punishment of a fiery lake as an eternal, never-ending punishment.
Is the punishment of the fiery lake (hell) eternal?
It is necessary to find out the exact meaning of the word used in the Bible when speaking of ‘eternal’ union or ‘eternal’ punishment.
In the Old Testament:
Num 25:12 “Therefore say, behold, I give to him My covenant of peace; 13 And it shall be to him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was zealous for his God, and made an atonement for the children of Israel..”
Everlasting, owlam H5956 (of future)
- for ever, always
- continuous existence, perpetual
- everlasting, indefinite or unending future, eternity
KJV: And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.
YLT: the whole land of Canaan, for a possession age-during, and I have become their God.’ Note that Young’s Literal Translation uses age-during instead of everlasting.
Gen 13:15 for all the land which you see, I will give it to you and to your descendants forever [owlam].
Jude 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.
Generally, English translations say: Similarly, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. YLT uses the expression ‘of fire age-during’ as in the previous example.
Owlam: You do not even need to interpret this Hebrew word because you know from history how it was understood and put into practice. More about it in my article.
In the New Testament:
Black Darkness or Deepest Darkness is the punishment that Judah 1 tells us which will face all the wicked for all their evil deeds they have done in their wickedness: These men are dangerous reefs at your love feasts, feasting without reverence, feeding only themselves. They are waterless clouds, carried along by the winds; autumn trees without fruit – twice dead, uprooted; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.
Jude 1:13 wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.
Here the Greek mss. uses the word εἰς αἰών, eis αἰών, which is translated differently depending on the case:
- for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity
- the worlds, universe
- period of time, age
“… in this age or in the age to come.” (Mat 2:32)
“ … and the worry of the world” (Mat 13:22)
“… is the end of the age” (Mat 13:39)
Rev 20:10 KJV And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (εἰς αἰών αἰών) YLT: they shall be tormented day and night — to the ages of the ages. – Since a simple αἰών can be translated ‘period of time’, word αἰών expressed twice is a significantly more extended period.
Luk 1:32-33 “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” Compare: 1 Cor 15:24 Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power. –
Luke 1:32 states that the kingdom of Christ has no end. 1 Corinthians 15:24 again says that the kingdom of Christ will end when Christ hands it over to God, which means that the kingdom of Christ will be united with the kingdom of God.
When the Bible verse (2 Peter 2:17) speaks of black darkness (the blackness of darkness or gloomy darkness), which is a figurative expression of the state awaiting the final judgment, this wait is not eternal. In the final judgment, these angels also receive their punishment. They are judged by men, the co-rulers of Christ: 1 Cor 6: 3 “Do you not know that we will judge the Angels? 2 Pet 2: 4 “For if God didn’t spare the angels when they sinned, but cast them down to Tartarus [Hell], and committed them to the pits of Darkness (or Deepest Darkness), to be reserved to judgment. ”
Wouldn’t the expression (εἰς αἰῶνα), which describes its duration, be figurative? And again, doesn’t this apply to other figurative expressions that mean “eternal” punishment, a fiery lake, etc.
Why have translations to hell, fiery lake, eternal punishment, etc. been so popular? With these penalties, intimidation has been a great way for churches to keep people uncertain about their salvation.