Chapter 6: Salvation


  • Which saves: faith or baptism?

    How did the churches evolve after the apostolic period? – Early Church Fathers – Where did they go wrong? – Baptismal practices began to differ from Bible teaching – Who was baptized? – Infant Baptism – Baptism of adults or Anabaptists – Which saves faith or baptism? – How do the children get saved? – Baptismal Milestones – Augsburg Confession Defense Section IX – Water and Spirit – Water of Life – What does ‘water’ mean in the Bible? – What about the blood of Christ? – Do deeds matter?

     

    The central content of this article addresses the question of which is more important to salvation, faith, or baptism. The second theme is why the apostolic faith and teaching were replaced by ecclesiastical organization and why a simple form of worship became controlled by officials. Christian love disappeared and was replaced by the persecution of dissidents; the leaders of the Reformation sent their opponents to be tortured, burned at stake, or be drowned. I also wonder if Christianity has understood that the Bible uses figurative expressions like ‘water and spirit’ and ‘water of life’ etc.

    The Christian life on earth has become so confused and controversial that one can ask like Christ did, in Luke 18:8 “When the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

     

    How did the churches evolve after the apostolic period?

    There were no churches at the time of Christ. After him, at the time of the apostles, they began to appear. In particular, Paul, the apostle of the nations, was diligent in visiting the local congregations and writing letters to them. Christians often gathered in families or small gatherings. There was no organized church with deacons, priests, and bishops (ἐπίσκοπος Episkopos, overseers, ‘district leaders’) and then there was the ‘Holy Father’ Pope.

    When someone became a believer, he was baptized by the person who directed him. We see how the church was formed and its officials. You could not get baptized simply by asking for and affirming your faith. You had to get permission from the bishop! It took years to prepare. Baptism was the door that led the little man to church. The church itself became an organization with many different levels of leadership.

    Over the centuries, the organization of the Church strengthened. The Church was the Catholic (meaning general) church, led by Pope, the Holy Father, one of whose titles is even today Vicarius Filii Dei, the substitute of the Son of God.

    When in the early centuries of Christianity, it was believed that the Holy Spirit would come to man when he believed. Now the Church taught that in baptism, the infant child is saved when the Holy Spirit comes to him with the baptismal water. At the time of Luther, this Reformer had become a monster; if someone as an adult considered his conscience demanding confirmation of the baptism he had received as a baby and wanted to be baptized on the basis of his new religious beliefs, he and many his kind were required to die as an ‘anabaptist’. The church’s grip on man was even firm as iron. There were fierce religious wars. Balefires were lit. Witches were persecuted, and hundreds of them were burned.

    It was only now that vernacular Bibles were printed. By this time, the priests had preached in Latin. Latin was ‘God’s language,’ and it was believed that God understood it, unlike ordinary people. John Wycliffe (Bible translation of the late 14th century) and William Tyndale (the first complete New Testament) and many others, as well as printing itself, brought about a change for the better. The difference was not immediately great. After all, most people were illiterate. Tyndale, for example, translated the Greek word πρεσβύτερος (presbuteros) into “elder” instead of the priest, which is still used in many free directions.

    Even today, we still live in darkness. The Catholic Church is the largest Christian church. Protestants with their numerous denominations follow. If you cannot find a home for yourselves, you can try free directions and churches that others refuse to consider even Christian (e.g. Jehovah’s Witnesses) because they do not recognize the triune God.

    In these writings, I have written my opinion on Biblical matters, which I have formed after studying the Bible Word. I am not a member of any church. I believe in God, Jesus Christ, and also believe in the existence of the Holy Ghost as God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ send God’s Holy Spirit (see 1 Pet 1:12… those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent out from heaven;…) to perform the tasks assigned by God or Christ. The Father gave His Son all power in heaven and on earth after the resurrection of Jesus. However, the Son is not God like the Father, who alone is true God (1 Cor 8:6 “yet to us, there is one God, the Father, …).

    As you read this and my other writings, please, keep the above in mind. I only seek the truth. I have no other purposes and no hidden agendas from any religious community. I confess I am an adherent and admirer of the apostolic faith.

     

    What were the apostolic churches like?

    The apostolic period ended with John. His book of Revelation is the last of the books of the Bible and was written on the island of Patmos near the end of the first century. During the Apostles, Christianity was forbidden, and Christians were persecuted. For this reason, too, the churches were small, and gatherings were held in private homes.

    Apostolic faith was manifested as follows:

    Act 2:44 All who believed were together and had all things in common.

    45 They sold their possessions and goods, and distributed them to all, according as anyone had need.
    46 They had a single purpose and went to the temple every day. They ate at each other’s homes and shared their food with glad and humble hearts,

    47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. The Lord added to the assembly day by day those who were being saved.

    Mar 16:16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved, and he that disbelieves shall be condemned.

    As the apostles left the churches, little by little, the same happened to their students. In the history of the Church began what might be called the time of the Church Fathers.

     

    Early Church fathers

    Their work was certainly hampered by the fact that there was no complete work available of the New Testament. Instead, there were letters from the apostles that the apostles had sent to the churches around the Mediterranean, and the receivers had sent copies to other churches. The New Testament was scattered throughout many different letters and documents. It was not until the third and fourth centuries that it was assembled into a single work and was available as it is today. If they did not have the united word of God, they had even more faith and zeal even though they were forbidden and persecuted. There were very few Christians compared to the surrounding pagan society. The pagan doctrines and their influences seek to shape the faith of the churches. Nowadays, with everyone having Bible translations, both book and computer, no one can blame the lack of knowledge. Yet, Christianity in the world is divided into many different denominations and doctrines.

    As the apostles died, apostolic faith and apostolic doctrine were also marginalized. Beresford Job suggests that the Church Fathers brought new teachings and practices that are utterly contrary to the New Testament! They defended the truth as they understood it, and through their leadership and influence, the Christian gospel survived and spread at a time when it was probably at its most vulnerable. The early churches, in my view, did not defend the deity of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Nicene Ecclesiastical Assembly reaffirmed the Deity of Jesus in 325 and the Holy Spirit was exalted to Deity and part of the Triune God in Constantinople in 381. In the 4th century, the Catholic Church became institutionalized after Christianity was approved and made official religion of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantin. It is a great wonder to me that it took three hundred years after Jesus’ teaching to define the content of Christian doctrine in Church Councils! And it went wrong at that.

    Therefore, people should instead study and test the legacy left by the early church fathers in the light of God’s word, rather than believe that the New Testament can only be understood correctly in the light of the teachings of the churches, and not to think that Church fathers are the key to understanding the Bible. This mistake has persecuted the Christian Church ever since. After the Church fathers, not only did they shape the doctrine, but also the significance of the Pope began to accentuate.

    Many things have changed in the Church so much that the current church system is hardly reminiscent of the Church of small family communities that existed in the apostolic period and sometime after that. Nevertheless, one should have looked at what Jesus and the apostles said in the New Testament and not give power to the still expanding and hierarchical Catholic Church organization.

    Under the leadership of the churches, the churches departed from biblical truth. The churches became precisely the opposite of what Jesus and the apostles meant! By no means do I claim that the Church Fathers who led the churches were not God and Christ-loving men of faith, but over time something went wrong.

     

    Notable Church Fathers:

    St. Ignatius of Antioch (Bishop of Antioch, Syria, died c. 110). He is known mainly from seven highly regarded letters that he wrote during a trip to Rome, as a prisoner condemned to be executed for his beliefs. Ignatius defended the New Testament against Jews who did not accept it.

    Justin Martyr (Died 165 AD) Justin was an apologist of Christianity. He is known as the interpreter of the theory of the Logos (the Word of God) in the 2nd century. He also brought Christianity under the influence of Greek philosophy.

    Irenaeus (Bishop of Lyon c. 130-202. Bishop in 177) To counter the doctrines of the gnostic sects claiming secret wisdom, he offered three pillars of orthodoxy: the scriptures, the tradition handed down from the apostles, and the teaching of the apostles’ successors.

    Tertullian(us) (Lived in Carthage. n. 155-240) He also was an early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy, including contemporary Christian Gnosticism. He has been called “the father of Latin Christianity” and

    Cyprian(us) – Bishop of Carthage (He converted to Christian in 246 and was elected bishop in 249. He was a prolific writer: Epistola ad Donatum de gratia Dei and his early treatise On the Unity of the Catholic Church are his best-known works) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyprian

    The church leaders were male (of course) elders who were overseers or pastors. They had to be according to Tim 3:1 This is a faithful saying: if a man seeks the office of an overseer [Or, bishop ἐπισκοπή episkopē, “episcopate”:—the office of a “bishop”], he desires a good work.
    2 The overseer, therefore, must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, modest, hospitable, good at teaching,
    3 He must not drink excessively or be a violent person, but instead, be gentle. He must not be argumentative or a lover of money.
    4 one who rules his own house well, having children in subjection with all reverence;
    5 but if a man doesn’t know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the assembly of God?

     

    What went wrong?

    The church leaders were male (of course) elders who were overseers or pastors. They had to be according to Tim 3:1 This is a faithful saying: if a man seeks the office of an overseer [Or, bishop ἐπισκοπή episkopē, “episcopate”:—the office of a “bishop”], he desires a good work.

    Church father Ignatius instructed to honor the bishop and the Presbyterians: “Do not do anything without the bishop or the Presbyterians.” Without the bishop, there was no permission to perform baptism. The distinction between the clergy and the people became more and more clear. Apostolic equality was gone. Instead, a new concept was developed, new ministries, and even new doctrines. The early church fathers demanded the same authority as the original apostles and claimed that their teaching was, therefore, right. And not long after, a new high office was created; Pope, above all bishops. All this without any instruction from the Bible. On the contrary, the Bible says emphatically:
    Mat 23:8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ [Master and/or Teacher] for you have only one teacher, and all of you are brothers.         

    9 Call no man on the earth your father, for one is your Father, he who is in heaven.
    10 Neither be called masters, for one is your master, the Christ.
    11 But the greatest of you shall be your servant.
    12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted

    The formation of clergy in the Catholic Church began already during the period as mentioned above of the Church fathers. The priest was called ‘father,’ and the Pope himself is still the ‘Holy Father’. Jesus reserved this word with the highest glory to God.

    Joh 17:11 “Holy Father, protect them by your name, the name that you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one.” In addition to the Pope, he has been awarded the title Vicarius Filii Dei – Substitute of the Son of God. Matthew 23:12 tells us what their destiny will be:

    23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
    23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled, and whoever shall humble himself shall be exalted.

    Church leadership had been a ministry task for the apostles, but it had become a post, and soon after that, the office depended on its hierarchical position. This is most evident in the Catholic Church. Partly because there are so many Catholics, about two billion. The hierarchy of a congregation can be seen even in smaller organizations, like in the seven million members of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Pope and bishops and ecclesiastical congregations create a new interpretation of biblical questions based on teachings of Church fathers, when everything should be based on the teachings of Christ and the explanations of the apostles. Admittedly, descriptions and even interpretations are often needed. But one should be very restrained when it comes to creating new doctrines. Traditions superseded the word of God. Thus Matthew writes the words of Jesus:

    15:3 But he answered them, “Why do you also disregard the commandment of God because of your tradition?
    15:6 …You have made the commandment of God void because of your tradition.

    The Pharisees had their own traditional rules, and in the same line, representatives of church administrations have advanced after the apostolic time.

     

    Baptismal practices began to differ from Bible teaching

    Let’s have a look at a few examples of baptismal situations in the Bible:

    Act 2:38 And Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptised, each one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ, for remission of sins, and ye will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 41 Those then who had accepted his word were baptised; and there were added in that day about three thousand souls.

    Act 8:12 But when they believed Philip announcing the glad tidings concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptised, both men and women. – All who confessed their faith in Jesus Christ were baptized. I say this on the basis that Simon, who had astonished them by his magic arts, was Baptized. (Act 8:13)

    Act 8:36-38 As they were going along the road, they came to some water. The eunuch said, “Look, there’s some water. What keeps me from being baptized?” 38 and he commanded the chariot to stand still, and they both went down to the water, both Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him;

    Act 9:17–18 Ananias departed, and entered into the house. Laying his hands on him, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord, who appeared to you on the road by which you came, has sent me, that you may receive your sight, and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”18 Immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and he received his sight. He arose and was baptized.

    Act 10:44-48 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell on all those who heard the word.
    45 Then the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too.
    46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.Then Peter said,
    47 “No one can stop us from using water to baptize these people who have received the Holy Spirit in the same way that we did, can he?”
    48 He commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to stay some days.

    Mar 16:16 ”The one who believes and is baptized will be saved, but the one who doesn’t believe will be condemned.”

    A few notes from these Bible verses:

    The verses show that

    Baptism was performed quickly after the hearers believed what they heard; that is, came to faith. Mark 16:16 shows that only those who believe can be saved. It is often said that baptism washes away sins. I, however, consider the baptismal cleansing effect is figurative; faith is the final wash of sins, and man is saved by faith. This is easy to accept if you think of a baptized person who does not believe. Would he be saved without faith?

    In those early days there was no need to ask permission from the bishop. The gift of the Holy Spirit was also given to the Gentiles, and the essential thing, have you noticed?

    Peter commanded them to baptize in the name of Jesus Christ! The baptismal commandment in Matthew 28:19 says, however: ”herefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” This commandment of Christ was given in Galilee after he had risen but was still on earth to provide instructions to the apostles. What do the Apostles do? When, on Pentecost, a large number of people of different languages wanted to be baptized, the apostles performed baptism solely in the name of Jesus Christ. Why didn’t they obey Christ’s command of baptism? If such a commandment had been given, I believe it is quite sure that the apostles would have followed it. Or is it that Christ did not give such a baptismal command? I think this is a later addition. Trinity proponents have been desperately seeking evidence for their doctrine. If they don’t find, these can be fabricated!

    Baptism was performed during the apostolic period by immersion in water shortly after the baptized had confessed his faith. Baptism did not require anyone’s permission, but was done by someone who, through his speech, had convinced that person. The children were not baptized, as I explained above. In addition, there were no “confirmation classes” or other training.

    And finally from Galatians: 5:6 ”For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision amounts to anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith working through love.” – The same can be said about baptism; salvation is influenced by faith that comes through love.

     

    Who were baptized?

    Households:

    Act 16:15 When she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and stay.” So she persuaded us.

    18:8 Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed in the Lord with all his house. Many of the Corinthians, when they heard, believed and were baptized.

    10:44 While Peter is yet speaking these sayings, the Holy spirit fell upon all those hearing the word,

    κοω akoúō 1. to hear

    1. to attend to, consider what is or has been said
    2. to understand, perceive the sense of what is said

    Child baptism:

    Mat 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea.”

    Mar 10:15 (also Luk 18:17) Most assuredly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”

    When Jesus said that those who enter the kingdom of heaven must be like children, these children Jesus referred to, were not baptized!

    Can a little child receive the kingdom of God in faith? An infant does not understand anything about God’s kingdom. It only describes the trust of a young child; the child believes when the father or mother tells him something. Adults must believe in God’s word in the same way, even if they do not understand everything. The Church’s teaching that when a child is baptized, the child receives the faith that saves him. This is not true.

    Children were, of course, part of the concept of household. Families were baptized, but were young children also baptized? Acts 10:44 says that the Holy Spirit came upon all who heard. To hear in Greek is ἀκούω akoúō, which means hearing the way that the listeners understand. Infants and toddlers do not understand religious issues. At what age does the child understand? In Israel, boys at the age of 13 and girls a year earlier. At that time, they were given a Bar Mistvah party, which made them ‘subject to the law’. This includes the notion that they were now old enough to understand the law. Maybe this would be an age limit for baptism, I can’t say for sure. It should be remembered that those who were baptized were mainly Gentiles, but that those who performed baptism were mainly Jews, who, when choosing those to be baptized, could take into account the aforementioned Jewish conceptions.

    Will man be reborn in his conversion to faith in Christ or baptism? The importance of baptism was emphasized during Tertullian because it was believed that the Holy Spirit would consecrate the baptismal water at the very moment the priest prays. Holy water at baptism cleanses past sins and also those to come. This is how the priest plays an important role in performing baptism. In the apostolic era, there was no need for such a sanctification of water, but all water was acceptable. Neither needed a priest nor bishop’s permission, but any believer could perform baptism. From the outset, the only requirement for church membership was a life transformed by the Holy Ghost. Nobody even talked about being a member of a particular congregation. But after the end of the apostles’ time, the most crucial thing in church membership was not the influence of the Holy Spirit on the people, but the acceptance of ecclesiastical doctrines and discipline. As the priesthood grew in importance and the churches became religious organizations, baptism, and infant baptism, in particular, was seen as a way to increase the church and keep it obedient. Joining the congregation required baptism and obedience to the priests to receive it. Baptism itself was no longer the spontaneous expression of faith in Christ as it had initially been. Now it was the culmination of a more or less formal training period.

     

    Anabaptists

    Baptism of believers (i.e., adult baptism, usually by immersion)

    There are an estimated 800 million Protestants in the world. The main churches, Lutheran, Reformed, and Anglican churches formed as a result of the Reformation may have 250 million of these. There are almost twice as many Christians who teach the baptism of believers. Most of these are Pentecostals, Baptists, Methodists, Adventists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Anabaptism, or baptism by believers, is thus included in the teaching of many churches.

    Anabaptism in Greek means re-baptism. This baptismal movement began around the same time as Luther’s Reformation, in the early 16th century. While Luther and his supporters were solely on the child baptismal side, the Anabaptists accepted the baptism of believers as the only valid baptism; whoever believed in the gospel participated in the baptism of believers. Only adults were baptized. As its name implied, it required faith, which had to be based on knowledge. For this reason, the Bible’s practice was considered by the Anabaptists to be the only righteous one, and they accepted the baptism given only to those who have heard and accepted the gospel. They also taught that churches were to be independent of the rulers. Tens and hundreds of thousands were baptized by believers who supported the doctrines they found in the Bible. When they were persecuted, they moved to new places where they found freedom for a moment.

    Zwingli and Luther also emphasized the Bible as the only measure of truth. The Reformists wanted the Church to be responsible for interpreting and understanding the Bible. Luther did not grant ordinary people the right to proclaim and explain God’s word without the permission of the official concerned. Anabaptists studied the Bible and found new doctrines there that they supported regardless of the Church. Wherever they were persecuted, they moved elsewhere. Hundreds of thousands of believers died in the persecution. The Anabaptists couldn’t find any security anywhere. Freedom of religion was an unknown concept. It was not until the end of the Thirty Years’ War that the peace of Westfalen ended in 1648 between Catholics and Protestants. Anabaptists were persecuted until the 18th century.

    Christianity has grown through churches based on the Anabaptist heritage. For many Christians, the significant proportion of these churches in Christianity is surprising.

    Why was the Anabaptism rejected, and the people treated so negatively? Couldn’t it just be interpreted as meaning “asking for a good conscience from God”; after being baptized as a child, the person had begun to realize that he had lived a very sinful and worthless life and was now repenting? The persecution of the 16th century is, in my view, a sign of the fear that baptismal renewers might develop among themselves other kinds of social values compared for example, with Luther. Luther advocated authority in society and the Anabaptists were in favor of social orders such as socialists or communists of their time.

    The Reformation sought to return to the teachings of the Bible; therefore, it is difficult to understand why the Reformation, begun in 1517, advocated infant baptism. However, a minority was in favor of abolishing infant baptism.

    However, supporters of the Reformation lacked a unified plan. Many realized that the movement would have to follow the teachings of the Bible but did not find a common interpretation. However, it was agreed that the Catholic Church was corrupt and full of immorality. Anabaptists joined this mess. The issue between them and the Reformers seemed to be rising in attitudes towards infant baptism.

    Martin Luther, Ulrich Zwingli, and Jean Calvin were the most prominent reformers who defended child baptism life and blood as part of the Reformation. Their opponents were active in small groups and fragmented movements. One of the major supporters of the believers’ baptism was Balthasar Hübmaier. He was named Principal Heretics at the Trento Ecclesiastical Council of the Catholic Church (1545-63), together with the Reformers mentioned above. Hübmaier’s idea was that religion could not be forced. Luther and other reformists used torture, balefires, and other similar harsh punishments to force people into ‘true’ faith. The Hübmaier was burned at stake in 1528. Because of his radicality, he was even considered a danger to society. His wife was later drowned in the river.

    According to the principles of the Reformation, it was the duty of every believer to seek the Bible truth to follow. In practice, the individual is denied freedom of religion. Anabaptists were especially persecuted by both Protestants and Catholics. Drowning was the form of punishment used. Such a fate was experienced by people who were just met at the meeting. The same happened to those who did not let their child be baptized.

    Why did Lutherans and Catholics together oppose the baptism of adult believers, even though they were otherwise sworn enemies? Baptism of believers in adults was not just a matter of doctrine. It was also, to a great extent, a question of power. Lutherans and Catholics understood that if baptism were to be passed on to adulthood and the believers themselves would decide whether they wanted to be baptized, the number of those associated with the church could be reduced considerably. When a child is baptized as a baby, he or she is given a religion-based grip from an early age. The Catholic Church had realized this already and now also the Reformists.

     

    Which saves faith or baptism?

    Joh 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. – God sent His Son to a great mission of salvation, and according to the testimony of this verse, Jesus is at the center of it. The Apostles noted this and it appeared in that they baptized even large crowds in the name of Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:38, 10:48)

    Act 16:31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” – I take this to mean that the entire baptized families can be saved, if the head of household takes care of the religious development so that the entire household will be believers. The most important thing is the personal faith of each person.

    Act 26:18 ”to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in me [Christ].‘ – A verse from Paul’s defense speech. By believing in Christ, you will be forgiven of sins and still have an inheritance among the sanctified. Paul confirms the same in Romans 6:22 But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life.

    What does sanctification mean in the life of a believer? After becoming a believer, the Holy Spirit accomplishes sanctification through the word of God. It is the constant fulfillment of the Holy Spirit, the work of God in man. It is described to be the same as the fruit of the Spirit according to Gal 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. In the consecrated person, these feelings begin to generalize and accentuate.

    In Acts 16:31 and 26:18, faith was the most important and sufficient for salvation. Baptism was not mentioned. A believer can well be saved without baptism. One must strive for sanctification; get rid of sin, live and develop in faith.

    The seal of the Holy Spirit. Those who have come to faith receive not only sins forgiven but also the fruits of the Holy Spirit in their lives through sanctification. The believer will also receive the seal of the Holy Spirit.

    Eph 1:13 You, too, have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed in him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,
    14 who is a pledge of our inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.

    Eph 4:30 Don’t grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

    2 Cor 1:21-22 says: “Now he who establishes us with you in Christ, and anointed us, is God; 22 who has placed his seal on us and has given us the Spirit in our hearts as a down payment.” Paul testifies that God has placed His seal with the Holy Spirit to believers as a down payment.

    According to Ephesians 1: 13-14, what are the steps to obtaining the seal of the Holy Spirit?

    1) Hearing the word of truth 2) Becoming a believer 3) Getting the seal of the Holy Spirit

    Not a word about baptism! When we come to faith, we receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, or the seal of the Holy Spirit, in our hearts.

    Becoming filled with the Holy Spirit is still a different event. According to the Acts of the Apostles, this happened on Pentecost. 2:1-4 ”Now when the day of Pentecost had come, they were all with one accord in one place. Suddenly there came from the sky a sound like the rushing of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated, and one rested on each of them. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them the ability to speak.” … – Being filled with the Holy Spirit includes such unique gifts or talents as are necessary to perform a task.

    The seal of the Holy Spirit protects man in the end times: Rev 9:4 They were told that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree, but only those people who don’t have God’s seal on their foreheads.

    Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. This does not come from you; it is the gift of God.

    Paul in Romans, too, speak of the faith of the heart and the recognition of the mouth for salvation:

    Rom 10:9 If you declare with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For a person believes with his heart and is justified, and a person declares with his mouth and is saved.

    Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his.

    There are different views about the baptism effecting salvation. Acts 16:31 states that “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Baptism is not required here; faith is enough. Mark 16:16 also confirms that if you do not believe you will be damned. Faith seems to be decisive. How to Understand Mar 16:16 ”believes and is baptized”?

    1 Pet 3:21 answers the problem: Baptism is asking God for a clear conscience based on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. – We can also solve the problem of salvation by stating that those who have taken believers’ baptism (as an adult) will be saved because they have confessed their faith in Christ and God.

    Act 10:45 Then the circumcised believers who had come with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too.
    46 For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God. Then Peter said,
    47 “No one can stop us from using water to baptize these people who have received the Holy Spirit in the same way that we did, can he?”  Verse 47 shows that the Gentiles received first the Holy Spirit, and only afterwards, they were baptized!

    In the end times, on the Day of the Lord, God will chasten sinful humanity. Many unbelievers die. However, the Bible offers a way out of this curse. Acts 2:21 (Also Romans 10:13 and Joel 2:32) “Then whoever calls the name of the Lord will be saved.” – Notice the word, everyone. God does not ask if you have been baptized or received the Holy Spirit for yourself, whether you are a Gentile or a member of the Christian Church. It is enough to call on Jesus for help in faith. I am sure that Jehovah’s name is valid too.

     

    How are children saved?

    Children, especially infants, cannot be expected to believe. Nor do they understand anything they have heard. There have been times when it was considered that a small child who perished without being baptized was lost. Baptism became the official means of salvation for Catholics, which was later adopted by the Protestant Church. Unbaptized children were exposed to Limbo (Lat. Limbus), a doctrine that was completely invented and not based on the Bible. According to this doctrine, Limbus was the edge of hell and the supposed abode of the souls of unbaptized infants, People had to develop this kind of milder hell for the kids – after all, they hadn’t even sinned! Fortunately, the Limbo doctrine is no longer an official Catholic doctrine.

    Let’s look at a few Bible verses:

    Mar 10:13They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them.
    14 But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, “Allow the little children to come to me! Don’t forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
    15 Most assuredly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.”
    16 He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them.”
    The children in verse 13 are young children, Gk. παιδίον paidíon. Strong’s: a young child, a little boy, a little girl

    1. infants
    2. children, little ones
    3. an infant

    Some see a clear defense of infant baptism in these verses. After all, not a word about baptism here! The infant children were not baptized at all during Jesus. Of unbaptized children, Jesus says that such is the kingdom of God. Jesus added: whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it.

    Those who enter the kingdom of God are pure and sinless. That’s just how little children are, according to Jesus’ testimony. They would enter the kingdom of God even if they were not baptized. Children are sinless and have no “original sin” until they can independently think and understand what sin is.

    1 Pet 2:2 ”Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.” Peter speaks of growing up to salvation. It can be concluded that the effect of baptism as a child is not lasting until adulthood. It ends when the child has grown up and has begun to understand the impact of his actions. The above was an example of Jewish children who, at the age of 12-13, are now ‘subject to the law’ and are now old enough to understand the law. If they know what the law requires, they will surely realize what salvation requires.

     

    Milestones of Baptism for Children

    In 253 Carthage Church Council declares: babies should be baptized right away
    In the beginning of 400s baptism is a permanent part of Catholicism
    Around 1200 Pope Innocentius III defended infant baptism
    In 1531 Philipp Melanchon publishes Augsburg confession defense
    Around 1550 Trento Church Council proclaims cursed opponents of infant baptism
    In 1951 in case of emergency, midwives should perform baptism themselves
    1958 Vatican orders children to be baptized as soon as possible

    Until now, infant baptism had been defended by the Pope and the Church councils. In the 1960s, the Vatican changes its mind stating that salvation is possible without baptism.

    However, the Augsburg Creed Defense of 1531 states that “baptism is essential to salvation, that children should be baptized, and that baptism is not invalid but necessary.”

     

    Apology of The Augsburg Confession Article IX

    Our opponents also agree to the ninth article, in which we confess that Baptism is necessary to salvation, and that the Baptism of infants is not fruitless, but necessary and salutary. And as the Gospel is preached in its purity and with all diligence among us, we have enjoyed (God be praised) a great benefit and blessed fruit, because the Anabaptists have gained no ground in our churches. We praise God, that our people are fortified by his Word against the ungodly, riotous mobs of these evil men; and while we have put down and condemned many other errors of the Anabaptists, we have especially contended for, and maintained against them, the blessings of infant Baptism.

    For it is altogether certain that the divine promises of grace and of the Holy Spirit, belong not only to adults, but also to children. Now, the promises do not apply to those that are out of the church of Christ, where there is no Gospel nor Sacrament. For the kingdom of Christ exists only, where the Word of God and the Sacraments are found.

    http://www.1580boc.org/ap/ix-iv

    It is, therefore, a truly Christian and necessary practice, to baptize children, in order that they may become participants of the Gospel, the promise of salvation and grace, as Christ commands, Matt. 28:19: “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them,” etc. Now, as grace and salvation in Christ are offered to all, so Baptism is offered, both to men and women, to youths and infants. Hence it certainly follows that we may and should baptize infants; for in and with Baptism, universal grace and the treasure of the Gospel are offered to them.

    In the second place, it is clear that the Lord God approves the Baptism of young children. The Anabaptists, who condemn such Baptism, therefore teach false doctrine. But it is manifest that God approves the Baptism of young children, from the fact that he gave the Holy Spirit to many who were baptized in their infancy; for there have been many holy men in the church, and they were not baptized otherwise. (English Translation by Ambrose and Socrates Henkel (1851), Revised by W. F. Lehmann (1854)

    Augsburg Confession constitute the basic confession of the Lutheran churches, was presented June 25, 1530. The principal author was the Reformer Philipp Melanchthon, who drew on earlier Lutheran statements of faith. The purpose was to defend the Lutherans against misrepresentations and to provide a statement of their theology that would be acceptable to the Roman Catholics. On August 3 the Catholic theologians condemned 13 articles of the confession, accepted 9 without qualifications, and approved 6 with qualifications. This 1530 version of the confession (known as the “unaltered” version) has been authoritative for Lutherans. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Augsburg-Confession

    For five hundred years, there has been a dispute between Lutheran Protestants and Catholics. Is it time for Christ to return to earth to end religious strife and dissolution between Churches?

     

    From water and Spirit – the water of life

    Joh 3:3 Jesus replied to him, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above [Or born again] he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

    Joh 4:11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where are you going to get this living water?
    4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

    Rev 21:6 He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life.” – The verse is from the second last chapter of Revelation, which tells about the new heaven and the new earth. New Jerusalem descends from heaven from God. God Himself dwells among men. Everything is made new. In this situation, no one is baptized anymore; When Christ says in Rev 21:6, he gives freely from the spring of the water of life, this water is not baptismal water! Water of life depicts eternal life. The river of water of life (22:1) running from the throne of God and the Lamb must also be interpreted.

    22:1 He showed me a river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,

    This was also the case in Rev 22:17: ”The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” He who hears, let him say, “Come!” He who is thirsty, let him come. He who desires, let him take the water of life freely.” – Thirst is not a physical thirst, but a yearning for knowledge and salvation. The water of life that is offered as a gift is the word of God in which believing gives eternal life.

    John the Baptist said in Mat 3:11 I indeed do baptize you with water to reformation, but he who after me is coming is mightier than I, of whom I am not worthy to bear the sandals, he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire,

    In Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born of water and Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

    1 Pet 1:23 says, ”For you have been born again, not by a seed that perishes but by one that cannot perish—by the living and everlasting word of God.” – Here is another description of the way of salvation; the eternal seed through the living word of God.

     

    What does ‘water’ mean in the Bible?

    In the Bible, ‘water’ does not always mean water or the water of baptism. From the examples above, it can be deduced that ‘water’ means the word of God and the Holy Spirit. It also means ‘living water’ or ‘water of life’. People tend to believe the word of the Bible literally. It should be remembered that many of the texts in the Bible are figurative, metaphorical. Water often plays this role. For example Joh 7:37-39: Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink!
    38 He who believes in me, as the Scripture has said, from within him will flow rivers of living water.”
    39 But he said this about the Spirit, which those believing in him were to receive. For the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus wasn’t yet glorified.
    Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly, and gave himself up for it;
    5:26 that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word,

    The sanctification of the Church took place through the word; The word cleanses it as if washing it with water. However, both John and Paul spoke of washing with water, meaning “washing” by the word of God, not baptism.

    Deu 32:2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain; My speech shall condense as the dew, As the small rain on the tender grass, As the showers on the herb.

    Joh 4:13 Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again,
    4:14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never thirst again; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.” – The verses are from the scene between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. In verse 10, Jesus said to the Samaritan woman: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he [Jesus] would have given you living water.” – Water is a symbol of baptism, which saves you.

    Perhaps baptism as water does not save, but the fact that a person (adult), when he or she takes baptism, also takes the Christian life in a different way than the non-baptized. After reflection, he has come to a solution and does not want to turn out to be a turncoat, but seeks to develop himself as a believer. Baptism is only a watershed, and baptism as such, does not save anyone. One can also return to his former sinful life, which again means that the guidance that he had at baptism is lost and the meaning of baptism is nullified.

    And what if a child is baptized? If he has lived all his life in sin, he has blasphemed all things holy. Does the book of life read that he is saved because he was baptized as a baby? I think not! What if this erring repents and asks Christ in his life? He is saved. Not by the baptism he received as a child, but by the grace of his conversion to Christ for the remission of his sins.

     

    What about the blood of Christ?

    For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (Joh 3:16)

    God gave His only son to die for humanity. He was to make a new covenant and sacrifice himself on the cross-tree so that all who believe in him could have the opportunity to be saved and have eternal life. The following verses prove this.

    Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new covenant that is being poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins. Heb 9:18 Therefore even the first covenant has not been dedicated without blood.

    1 Cor 11:25 In the same way he also took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood. Do this, as often as you drink, in memory of me.” 11:27 Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks the Lord’s cup in a manner unworthy of the Lord will be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord.

    Heb 10:29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will he be judged worthy of, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

    Joh 6:53 Jesus therefore said to them: “Most assuredly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don’t have life in yourselves.” 54 He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. – This refers to a communion set up by Christ, where bread symbolizes his body and wine symbolizes his blood.

    Mat 26:26 While they were eating, Jesus took a loaf of bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and handed it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it. This is my body.” 27 He took the cup, gave thanks, and gave to them, saying, “All of you drink it, 28 for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

    Rev 5:9 They sang a new song, saying, “You are worthy to take the book, And to open its seals: For you were killed, And bought us for God with your blood, Out of every tribe, language, people, and nation,”

    Heb 2:14 Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, – Christ had to die in order to fulfill God’s mission, to defeat death. Until then, Satan had death in his power. In Revelation, he says Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. – Salvation refers to the coming day of the Lord’s wrath, in which God punishes the unbelievers.

    Col 1:19 For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him; 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself, by him, whether things on the earth, or things in the heavens, having made peace through the blood of his cross. Jesus Christ was born a man; he lived as a man and died as a man. He also ascended to heaven and lives there as a man. But as a man, Christ received all the wisdom from God and learned to know God’s will. Christ, through suffering, was refined to his high office; to him the Father God gave all power in heaven and on earth.

    Through Rev 1:18 I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.

     

    The blood of Christ purifies

    Heb 9:14 How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from dead works so that we may serve the living God!

    1 Joh 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. – However, one should not think that the blood of Christ automatically cleanses people from sin. The blood of Christ is the foundation that allows for the remission and purification of sins. However, one must have faith and repent of his sins to obtain this purification.

    1 Joh 5:6 This man, Jesus Christ, is the one who came by water and blood—not with water only, but with water and with blood. The Spirit is the one who verifies this because the Spirit is the truth. – I have shown above that ‘water’ means the word of God and the Holy Spirit. Thus, Christ has come through water and blood, i.e., Holy Spirit, to give His own blood for the redemption.

    Eph 2:13 But now, in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

     

    What about the importance of deeds?

    Jam 2:18 But someone may say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without any works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

    2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?

    2:17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.

    These Bible passages could be said in short: faith without works is dead. One might also ask why the significance of the deeds was not raised when arguing about the importance of faith and baptism?

    Often, even a small act of helping one’s neighbor is enough for God. You remember the story of the widow’s sting; the poor widow gave two small coins. Jesus spoke of the incident Mar 12:43-44: “Truly I tell you, this destitute widow has dropped in more than all of those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.” – Even if the rich had put gold in the collection box, the poor woman’s copper coins were more valuable to Christ.

    It is not always the amount of money that counts, but the purpose. Matthew 6 emphasizes, ”whenever you give to the poor, don’t sound a trumpet before yourself.” – God will see you secretly slip into the coin collection. The centurion’s alms and prayers were also noted; Act 10:31 And [the angel of the Lord] said, “Cornelius, your prayer is heard, and your gifts to the needy are remembered in the sight of God.”

    James continues: 2:20 Do you want proof, you foolish person, that faith without works is worthless?
    21 Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?
    22 You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;
    23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;” and he was called the friend of God.
    24 You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.

    – I interpret this verse 24 as meaning that deeds can justify one, but the best thing would be if the deeds were based on faith.

    There has been a controversy in the history of Christianity about salvation. It has been argued that man cannot influence his salvation by his own actions. Only God’s grace brings salvation:

    Room 3:23 Since all have sinned and continue to fall short of God’s glory.

    24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;
    25 whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice [or, a propitiation], through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance;
    26 He wanted to demonstrate at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the person who has the faithfulness of Jesus.

    True, we receive righteousness by the grace of God because Jesus redeemed us. But notice that grace does not come alone; grace is given to those who do not fulfill the requirement of righteousness, but who believe in Jesus.

    Just look at Matthew 25, where Christ gives judgments and asks why you didn’t help your neighbor when he was in need or sick?

    Mat 25:44-46 “Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as 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 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.

    Deeds do matter.

     

  • Do we in the New Covenant have to follow the rules of the Old Covenant?

    Introduction
    The Public Activity of Jesus
    The Old (Law) Covenant
    Christ’s New Covenant
    Is the Law covenant obsolete
    Examples of outdated regulations in the Law covenant
    Predictions about the New Covenant
    Moses
    Isaiah
    Jeremiah
    Ezekiel
    Hebrews
    How does the new covenant differ from the old one?
    Who are under the law?
    Can a man be saved under the law?
    Christians are not under the law!
    The Commandments of Christ
    Christ is the Lord of Sabbath
    What is the difference between being under the law and under grace?
    Circumcision of the heart
    Sanctification
    The temples of the Lord in Jerusalem
    What the Bible says about the coming third temple?
    Even the Gentiles can be saved
    Saving faith
    Justification

     

     

    Introduction

    God made a covenant with Israel in the wilderness of Sinai and commanded the people through Moses. God said to Moses in Exo 3:6

    “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look at God.

    God has kept the covenant, but the Israelites have continually broken it. They were punished for this, but God has not rejected the people of his choice. The penalties have been tough: the people have been forced to transfer to Babylon for decades. The temple in Jerusalem has been destroyed.

    The people of Israel have been moved around the world in the diaspora. Romans 9:27 describes how Isaiah cries concerning Israel: “If the number of the children of Israel are as the sand of the sea, It is the remnant who will be saved”.

    God’s chosen people have kept the covenant with God badly.

    In what kind of covenant are we Christians? Christ declared at the Last Supper to us: Luk 22:20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you. – So we have a New Covenant that has replaced the Old Covenant of Law.

    What does this mean? Some argue that we have a New Covenant, but we must abide by all the commands of the Law of Moses. It is testified by the fact that Jesus himself did so, even said emphatically Mat 5:17 ”Do not think that I came to annul the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to annul, but to fulfill.” Others, on the other hand, say that only the commandments of Jesus which he himself has given and which are confirmed in the gospels must be followed.

    This is the question of this article. I use as many direct quotes from the Bible (33/38) as possible to make the will of God, expressed in the Bible, as authentic as possible. However, we cannot get rid of the problems of interpretation.

    Then we make a long jump in time until about 30 AD.

     

     

    The Public Activity of Jesus

    Jesus in the synagogue: Luk 4:17 The book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. He opened the book, and found the place where it was written,
    18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, Because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim release to the captives, Recovering of sight to the blind, To deliver those who are crushed,
    19 And to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” [KJV Jubilee].
    20 He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him.

    4:22 And all bore witness to Him, and marveled at the gracious words coming out of His mouth. And they said, Is this not the son of Joseph?
    The audience admired Jesus’ words “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me” and that “He has anointed me” and “preach the Jubilee of God”. These were good for the listeners. Many were still waiting for the message; “And deliver you from the Roman yoke”. That’s what the listeners expected.

    But, the following words, however, were just raging the listeners:
    25 But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land. 26 Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.
    27 There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, except Naaman, the Syrian.”
    28 They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things.
    29 They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff.”

    Christ as the Messiah was expected to save Israel from the hands of the conqueror Rome. Another thing was that the non-Jews were disdained and undervalued. However, the Syrians, even if they were leprous like some of the Jews, were second-class people, even enemies of Israel. Listeners were offended that the Jews were displaced and Jesus drew attention to it. Matthew Henry’s comment from verse 4:27 shows that Jesus himself had met greater faith outside Israel than in Israel itself.

     

    The Old Covenant (of God, of Law)

    In the Old Covenant was promised that God would raise Israel above other nations and make them a kingdom of priests, if they comply with the law of God.

    Deu 28:1 “And if you shall heed the voice of Jehovah your God, taking heed to do all His commandments which I command you this day, Jehovah your God shall set you on high above all nations of the earth.
    2 And all these blessings shall come on you and overtake you. If you will listen to the voice of Jehovah your God.

    Exo 19:5-6 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”
    God has always adhered to the covenant, but people have broken it time after time. The covenant also includes God’s laws and the blessings that follow keeping the covenant. If a person or a nation violates the covenant, it will result in the loss of gifts and blessings.

    Deu 28:15 But it shall come to pass, if you will not listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command you this day, that all these curses shall come on you, and overtake you. Lev 26:3 ‘If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 9 And I will turn my face towards you and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and establish my covenant with you.

    It has been said from the Old Covenant that it is the archetype of the future covenant, full of references to the future. The old covenant was made during the forty-year peregrination of the Israeli nation in the Sinai desert. The people of Israel were freed from slavery, which is considered to reflect the birth of God’s people and receiving Christ as man’s savior.

    Forty years in the wilderness depicts us the human life, sometimes with a lot of joy and also sorrow. There was only one goal in the endeavor – to find the Promised Land. This should also be in human life; after a long period of faith, follow rest and expectation of the coming of Christ to awaken man to the resurrection and the confidence that Christ will recognize his faith of many years and that the last judgment will reward him with a gift of eternal life.

     

    Christ’s New Covenant

    In the Old Covenant, there were punishments for breaking the law, but still, they didn’t get people to follow the law. For this reason, a new covenant was needed that would restore the lawfulness of the people of Israel and also bring the other nations of the world into the covenant. It is therefore right to say that the New Covenant is better than the Old Covenant, especially when compliance with the covenant was made much easier than in the old covenant.

    The New Covenant is based on love. The covenant arbitrator and the head of the whole Christianity Jesus Christ showed the greatest possible love by sacrificing his own body and blood for the sake of all believers in him.

    God confirmed the Old Covenant with the people of Israel by using Moses as an arbitrator, and the covenant was confirmed by shedding the blood of a sacrificial animal. When God made a new covenant with the people of Israel, he used his Son, Jesus Christ, to shed his own blood to renew the covenant.

    Luk 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in memory of me20 Likewise, he took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.
    Heb 8:6 But now he [Jesus Christ] has obtained a more excellent ministry, by so much as he is also the mediator of a better covenant, which has been enacted on better promises. 7 For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.
    8:8 For finding fault with them, he said, “Behold, the days come,” says the Lord, “That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
    9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they didn’t continue in my covenant, And I disregarded them,” says the Lord.

    10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days,” says the Lord; “I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them a God, And they will be to me a people.

    Many prophets predicted the New Covenant until came the right prophet Jesus Christ, who is the herald of the New Covenant, and its arbitrator. The New Covenant came! Why then in verse 8 does God still speak of a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah?

    The New Covenant of Christ was meant for all Israel, but Israel still has not – with some exceptions – received its Messiah. God says that he does not mean a covenant as he did to take the people of Israel out of Egypt. After that, a new covenant of Christ was first made for the Jews, then for the Greeks, and then for the whole world. Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God for salvation for everyone who believes; for the Jew first, and also for the Greek. 2:9 trouble and pain on every soul of man that works out evil, both of Jew first, and of Greek. 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone that works good, both to Jew first and to Greek.

    Act 13:46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly, and said, “It was necessary that God’s word should be spoken to you first. Since indeed you thrust it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles.

    1 Cor 1:23-24 but we preach Christ crucified; a stumbling block to Jews, and foolishness to Greeks, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God.

     

    Is the Old Covenant obsolete?

    Many argue that the Covenant of Law is no longer valid but its laws and regulations still must be followed. This seems pretty strange! To defend this position, the words of Jesus Christ are quoted:

    Mat 5:17 Do not think that I came to annul the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to annul, but to fulfill.
    18 Truly I say to you, Until the heaven and the earth pass away, in no way shall one iota or one tittle pass away from the law until all comes to pass.
    19 Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

    1 Tim 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully,
    9 as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
    10 for the sexually immoral, for homosexuals, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine;
    11 according to the gospel of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

    Paul says in his letter to Timothy that the law is good if it is used for the purpose of the law. He then lists examples of the purpose of the law. Finally, Paul points out, referring to the gospel proclaiming the glory of God. So he sees the similarity between law and the gospel. This is probably what Christ’s purpose was; to proclaim the gospel according to the glory of God (1 Tim 1:11, 2 Cor 4:4).

    Further, Paul teaches in Rom 3:19-20 ”Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God. 20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

    For example, with the convincing evidence of Paul, I will show below that we are not under the law. If this is the case, not all the ordinances of the law and the prophets bind Christians – only those ordinances of Christ that we can read in the Gospels.

    The essential question is: if Christians are not under the law, what about the Jews? When Jesus said that he would not annul the smallest letter from the law, whom does it affect? The interpretation could be: The circumcised Jews who believe in God and want to worship him in accordance with the law can do so.

    You must then observe the Law of Moses and the related ordinances (mitzvot) to the detail. There are a total of 613 orders. If a person does not follow them, it will result in God’s punishment. God has always kept the covenant with Israel, but the Israelis have abandoned it many times. God punishes and chastens his own people, but never abandons them forever.

     

    Examples of outdated orders of the Old Law Covenant

    And your male slave and your female slave whom you have shall be from the nations who are all around you, you shall buy them as male slave or female slave; (Lev 25:44)

    You shall not hand over to his master a slave that has escaped from his master to you. (Deu 23:15)

    You shall not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain. (Deu 25:4)

    “If one man’s bull injures another’s, so that it dies, then they shall sell the live bull, and divide its price; and they shall also divide the dead animal. (Exo 21:35)

    “If a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it has been sold. For a full year he shall have the right of redemption. (Lev 25:29)

    … 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. (Deu 22:24)

    his body shall not remain all night on the tree; but you shall surely bury him the same day. For he that is hanged is a reproach to God. And you shall not defile your land which Jehovah your God is giving to you as an inheritance. (Deu 21:23).

    And you shall gather all its spoil into the middle of its open place, and shall burn the city with fire, and all its spoil, completely, before Jehovah your God. And it shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built any more. (Deu 13:16)

     

    Predictions about the New Covenant

    Moses

    Gen 22:15 And the Angel of Jehovah called to Abraham from the heavens a second time,
    16 and said, By myself I swear, saith Jehovah, that, because thou hast done this, and have not withheld your son, your only son ,
    17 that in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore. Your seed will possess the gate of his enemies.
    18 In your seed will all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.

    Deu 18:18 I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him, 19 It shall happen, that whoever will not listen to my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him. – Jesus Christ was this Prophet whom God raised from the people of Israel. Some of the people had at first been delighted and receptive to what Jesus said about the kingdom of God, but finally almost everyone turned against him.

    Exo 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my [God’s] voice, and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own possession from among all peoples; for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.’ These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.” – Israel has not kept its covenant with God, even though God has contributed.

    Deu 30:1 And it shall be when all these things have come on you, the blessing and the curse which I have set before you among all the nations where Jehovah your God shall drive you, you shall bring back to your heart these things ;
    2 and shall turn back to Jehovah your God and listen to His voice, according to all that I am commanding you day, you and your sons with all your heart, and with all your soul;
    3 then Jehovah your God will turn your captivity, and He will have pity on you, and will return and gather you from all the nations where Jehovah your God has scattered you.
    4 If you are cast out to the end of the heavens, Jehovah your God shall gather you from there, and He shall take you from there.
    5 And Jehovah your God shall bring you into the land which your fathers have possessed, and you shall inherit it; and He shall do you good and multiply you above your fathers.
    6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

    God assembles the Jews from “the ends of the Earth” into their own land. This is accompanied by God’s circumcision of hearts, which makes all Israel love their God with all their hearts.

     

    Isaiah (740–680 BC)

    Isaiah pronounces God’s prophecy about his Son, whom he calls his servant. 42:1 Behold, my servant, whom I uphold; my chosen, in whom my soul delights: I have put my Spirit on him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 42:6 I, Jehovah, have called you in righteousness, and will hold your hand, and will keep you, and give you for a covenant of the people, for a light of the nations; 7 to open blind eyes, to deliver the prisoner from the prison; those who sit in darkness from the prison.

    49:6 And he said, It is too little that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give you for a light of the nations, that you may be my salvation to the end of the earth.

    Isaiah does not speak of his own and self-invented message; He speaks and writes the words God has put in his mouth. It is not Isaiah’s idea to call the future son of God a servant of God. Neither did Moses decide himself to call Christ a prophet. What can we infer from this?

    Isaiah predicts as early as 700 years before the birth of the Son of God that he will establish a (new) covenant that gives light to the Gentiles. God saw in advance that the Gentiles will receive the blessing of the New Covenant. This was not understood first, but only when it was found that God’s own people were stubborn and did not accept Christ, Jesus gave the commandment to take the New Covenant to all nations.

    Isaiah predicts later: 61:4 And they shall build old ruins; they shall raise up former desolations; and they shall restore the waste cities, ruins of generations and generations.
    6 But you shall be called, priests of Jehovah; it will be said of you, ministers of our God. You shall eat the riches of the nations, and you shall revel in their glory.
    7 Instead of your shame and disgrace, double. They rejoice in their portion; for they shall possess a second time in their land; everlasting joy shall be theirs.
    8 For I, Jehovah, love judgment, hating plunder in burnt offering. And I will give their work in truth; and I will make an everlasting covenant with them.

     

    Jeremiah (626–570 BC)

    Jer 31:31 Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

    Jeremiah also received a message for transmission from God; He also confirms that God is making a new covenant with the tribe of Israel and the tribe of Judah: Jer 31:8 ”Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the uttermost parts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her who travails with child together: a great company shall they return here. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, after those days, saith Jehovah: I will put my law in their inward parts, and will write it in their heart; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall no longer each man teach his neighbour, and each man his brother, saying, Know Jehovah. For they shall all know me, from the least of them even to the greatest of them, declares Jehovah. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sins no more.

    The promise of God through Jeremiah is also associated with the return of the people of Israel to the Promised Land “from the north, from the ends of the earth”. The Israeli people have united into one state in 1948. The birth of the state of Israel and the formation of a united country were seen by many as the starting point for what the Bible says: “this generation will not disappear until all of this happens.” “All of this” refers to the events of the end time, the culmination of which is the coming of Jesus Christ for the second time and the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom with the saints of the first resurrection. However, “this generation” has gone and a new milestone has to be found.

     

    Ezekiel (590–565 BC)

    Eze 37:21 And say to them, So says the Lord Jehovah: Behold, I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations, there where they have gone, and will gather them from all around, and will bring them into their own land.
    22 and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all;
    23 neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions; but I will save them out of all their dwelling-places, in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.
    24 My servant David shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my ordinances, and observe my statutes, and do them.
    25 They shall dwell in the land that I have given to Jacob my servant, in which your fathers lived; and they shall dwell therein, they, and their children, and their children’s children, forever: and David my servant shall be their prince for ever.
    26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them forevermore.
    27 My tabernacle also shall be with them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
    28 The nations shall know that I am Jehovah who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forevermore.

    The verses above show that this New Covenant will be realized when David is again the king of Israel. Second, the temple of God has been rebuilt in Jerusalem among them. Hebrews Chapter 8 begins with the statement saying ” We have such a high priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,”. In verse 8 it is stated from the time of the covenant that “the days come,” … This also refers to the future, that is, to the time after the Hebrews letter.

    Over the decades, millions of Jews have moved from different countries back to Israel. The Bible promises that all Jews will return to the Promised Land. God promises that he will not leave without bringing a single one of them.

    Eze 39:27 when I have brought them back from the peoples, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations. 28 And they shall know that I am Jehovah their God, in that I caused them to be led into captivity among the nations, and have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Further, God promises and Ezekiel testifies that God will make an everlasting covenant of peace with Israel. A new temple will be built in Jerusalem. Ezekiel also received precise measurements (see Eze chapters 40-44).

     

    Hebrews

    The Hebrews 8:8 also promise a new covenant for the tribes of Israel and Judah:

    … “Behold, the days come,” says the Lord, “That I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah;
    9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, In the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; For they didn’t continue in my covenant, And I disregarded them,” says the Lord.
    10 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel. After those days,” says the Lord; “I will put my laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them a God, And they will be to me a people. – In verse 10, “after these days” refers to the future and the great tribulation that will take place in the end-times, after which Christ will come upon the earth and take the reign of the whole earth, establishing his Millennial Kingdom.

    Heb 8:13 In that he says New, he has made the first old; but that which grows old and aged is near disappearing.”

    NASB: When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. Instead of the word obsolete, the word abrogated is also used, which more clearly describes revocation, termination, abolition. It is clear, therefore, that the covenant is outdated as the exclusive union between God and men.

    What Hebrews 8:13 says “is near disappearing” means that it was still in force at that time, but near disappearing.

    The first covenant is therefore still in force as regards the Jews. Christians and Gentiles have a “new covenant” proclaimed by Christ. When God states that the covenant of Law has come to an end, “after those days,” he renews the New Covenant proclaimed by Christ with the Jews. Then there is no separate covenant for the Jews and Christians; there is only the New Covenant of Christ and Christ is the High priest of God. The “New Covenant” of the Hebrews letter is, in fact, the renewal of the New Covenant, proclaimed by Christ 2,000 years ago, to the Jews – for whom it was originally intended, but who have not received it.

    Salvation belongs to everyone, not just Jews. Act 10:34 ” Peter opened his mouth and said, “Truly I perceive that God doesn’t show favoritism; 35 but in every nation he who fears him and works righteousness is acceptable to him.”. However, Isaiah writes about the fate of the kingdoms Isa 60:12 ” For that nation and kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; yes, those nations shall be utterly wasted.”. – This does not undo the possibility of rescuing an individual. The nation as such may be ruined, but God will not sacrifice his servant to perish with sinners.
    Heb 9:18 ” Therefore even the first covenant has not been dedicated without blood.
    19 For when every commandment had been spoken by Moses to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of the calves and the goats, with water and scarlet wool and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people,
    20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you.”
    21 Moreover he sprinkled the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry in like manner with the blood.
    22 According to the law, nearly everything is cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

    Heb 9:15 For this reason he is the mediator of a new covenant, since a death has occurred for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, that those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

     

    How does the New Covenant differ from the old one?

    The New Covenant differs from the Covenant of Law in that in the New Covenant love and grace are emphasized.

    Mar 14:22 As they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had blessed, he broke it, and gave to them, and said, “Take, eat. This is my body.”
    23 He took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them. They all drank of it.
    24 He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.

    Joh 14:21 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him.”
    23 Jesus answered him, “If a man loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him.
    24 He who doesn’t love me doesn’t keep my words. The word which you hear isn’t mine, but the Father’s who sent me.

    Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most assuredly righteousness would have been of the law.
    22 But the Scriptures shut up all things under sin, that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.
    23 But before faith came, we were guarded under law, shut up to faith which was about to be revealed..
    24 So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
    26 For you are all children of God, through faith in Christ Jesus.
    28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus
    29 If you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to promise.

    Eph 1:10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him;
    11 in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will; 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him;
    1:18 the eyes of your mind having been enlightened, for you to know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,

    Rom 7:4 Therefore, my brothers, you also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you would be joined to another, to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit to God.
    5 For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were through the law, worked in our members to bring forth fruit to death.
    6 But now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter.
    7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? May it never be! However, I wouldn’t have known sin, except through the law. For I wouldn’t have known coveting, unless the law had said, “You shall not covet.”
    8 … for without law sin is dead.

    Both covenants are reinforced by shedding blood. In the Old Covenant, the blood of the sacrificial animal was shed, but the New Covenant is much more valuable because the confirmation of this covenant was the blood shed by the crucified Son of God. The Galatians confirm that by being Christ’s own, we are Abraham’s seed and his heirs in the Kingdom of God.

    Paul says that the law awakens the lusts of sin and without law the sin is dead. In Romans 7:6, Paul says ”Now we have been discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and not in oldness of the letter. The law, or in fact, the ordinances (mitzvot) contained therein, contain a large number of orders that were to be observed during the time of Moses, but which are not even possible in the modern times.

    However, according to verse 7:12, the law of God is holy, and the commandments are good, whether they are largely incorporated into the New Covenant of Christ. Rom 3:31: “Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law.”
    The Romans assures that God has not rejected his own people. However, Israel has lived impenitent until a certain time comes. It is thus defined; until the full number of the Gentiles has entered. What is meant by ‘full-number’? And entered, but entered where? This may be related to another time specification as described in Luke 21:24

    … Jerusalem will be trodden down by nations, until the times of the nations are fulfilled. Rom 11:2 God didn’t reject his people, which he foreknew … 11:25 … hardness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the nations comes in;
    26 and so all Israel will be saved. Even as it is written, “There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, And he will turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
    27 This is my covenant to them, When I will take away their sins.”
    28 Indeed, as regards the gospel, enemies for you, but as regards the election, beloved for the sake of the fathers.                                                                                                                                                                                                              29 For the gifts and the calling of God are not subject to repentance.

     

    Who are under the law?

    Rom 3:19 Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God.

    Rom 2:12 For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

    1 Cor 9:20 And I became to the Jews as a Jew, in order that I might gain the Jews: to those under law, as under law, not being myself under law, in order that I might gain those under law: 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law.

    Luk 16:16 “The law and the Prophets were until the time of John. Since then, the good news about the kingdom of God has been proclaimed, and everyone is trying to enter it by force.

     

    Can a person be saved under the law?

    At least in theory, it is possible for someone to comply fully with the law. He is therefore completely sinless as Jesus Christ and will be saved! There is not and has never been such a person. I can say that no one has been saved by following the law, no one. Already during the old law, God had mercy on a heavy lawbreaker, God even said that person was “after his heart”! Such a man was King David, who fell in love with beautiful Bathsheba and murdered her husband to get this beautiful woman for himself.

    2 Sam 11:15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Place Uriah in the front of the strongest fighting, and withdraw from him, that he may be struck, and die. And then: 11:27 And the mourning time passed by. And David sent and gathered her to his house; and she became his wife, and bore a son to him. And the thing which David had done was evil in the eyes of Jehovah.

    When God had mercy on David, it was based on David’s repentance. Apt 13:22 … ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will.‘ 13:23 Of the seed of this one, according to promise, God raised up to Israel a Savior, Jesus; Psa 89:3 ” “I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David, my servant: 89:4 ‘I will establish your seed forever, And build up your throne to all generations.'” 89:20 I have found David, my servant. I have anointed him with my holy oil,

    Even in the Covenant of Law, one can be saved, even get a particularly favoured position before God.

    We are all in agreement that Jesus lived a perfectly sinless life. Its importance lies in the fact that Jesus as a human being would have been saved by the Covenant of Law requirements as on the basis of the New Covenant proclaimed. Only by being perfect without sin, he could become the originator of eternal salvation to all who obey his commandments. Heb 5:9 Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation, Joh 1:17 For the law was given through Moses. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

    Neither can anyone fully respect the commandments of Jesus. Although they are much easier to follow than the provisions of the Law. Man needs the grace of God. In Gal 2:21 Paul says “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness is by law, then Christ has died for nothing.” The Jews believed, and still believe, that observance of the law justifies man. When they do not believe in Christ, they do not believe in salvation through Christ. For them, Christ’s death is irrelevant. Gal 3:21 Is the law then against the promises of God? Certainly not! For if there had been a law given which could make alive, most assuredly righteousness would have been of the law.

    Phl 3:9 not having my righteousness, which is of law, but that which is through faith of Christ, the righteousness that is of God by the faith;

    Rom 8:2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death. John 6:63 It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I [Jesus] speak to you are spirit, and are life.

     

    Christians are no longer under the law!

    If we are not under the law, the big question is: Under what are we then? According to Paul, he was under the law of Christ. Under what Jesus commanded us to keep.

    Mat 28:20 ”teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.”

    Jesus Christ proclaimed a new covenant, the core of which is the observance of his commandments. Jesus did not proclaim a New Covenant and its commandments against the will of God. The New Covenant with its commandments surely have the approval of God the Father. The members of the new covenant were at first mainly pagans without any law. By faith they received the covenant with the laws given by the Son of God.

    Please, read the Gospels (e.g. in the World English Bible), in which all the words and commandments of Jesus are colored.

     

    The Commandments of Christ

    Jesus followed the law and prophets, among others the “Sabbath’s journey “. But he said he was also Lord of the Sabbath. Didn’t he mean that the meticulous Sabbath rules were to be omitted? If it is practically impossible to follow all 613 ordinances, then doesn’t the bottom fall off from the law by what Jesus said that “in no way shall one iota or one tittle pass away from the law” before everything has happened.

    Could it therefore be that the meticulous observance of the law concerned the Jews who, for one reason or another, did not know Jesus. Those who know and accept Christ as their Lord, follow the instructions of the New Covenant? You can be saved by both ways, but by following the instructions of the old covenant, it is much more difficult than in the New covenant.

    The principle of the New Covenant is “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself”. (Luke 10:27) This commandment which is called the double command of love, was already expressed in the Old Testament. Moses taught in Lev 19:18 ”You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people; but you shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am Jehovah. Deu 6:5 “And you shall love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”

    In addition, Jesus said something which the world has forgotten: ”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” (Mat 5:44).

    And: For by grace you are saved, through faith” (Eph 2:8) Remember that Jesus said: ”My burden is light” (Mat 11:30)

    Joh 15:10: “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and remain in his love.” – Therefore, if a Christian is not under the law, he is subject to Christ and is bound to obey the commandments of Christ. They are also found in the Old Testament, so I dare say. But not the other way around. All the Old Testament mitzvots are not among the commandments of Jesus.

     

    Christ is the Lord of Sabbath

    Exo 31:13 “And you speak to the sons of Israel, saying, You shall surely keep my sabbaths; for it is a sign between me and you for your generation; to know that I am Jehovah your sanctifier.
    14 You shall keep the Sabbath therefore; for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people.
    16 And the sons of Israel shall observe the Sabbath, to do the Sabbath for their generations; it is a never ending covenant.
    17 “It is a sign forever between me and the sons of Israel; for in six days Jehovah made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed”.

    God made a covenant with the Israelis and ordered the Sabbath to be its eternal sign.

    Mat 12:8 ”For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” What did Jesus mean by this? The Pharisees followed Jesus’ action to catch him in violation of the Sabbath rules. They asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath day?” that they might accuse him. (12:10). Jesus explained that (according to the Law of Moses), it was lawful to do good on the Sabbath, to help, say, a sheep out of the pit, where it was fallen. Healing was also permitted, and did Jesus so. The Sabbath rules determined how many steps you could take during the Sabbath. When Jesus took the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane, it was a ‘Sabbath journey’ that is, not too many steps.

    The Old Testament tells of a man who on the Sabbath gathered firewood in the wilderness. He was sentenced to death for Sabbath offense. Num 15:35 “And Jehovah said to Moses, The man shall surely be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him with stones outside the camp.” Jesus himself and his disciples followed the Sabbath rules and also other ordinances of the law. Then he had not yet proclaimed the New Covenant. When the New Covenant was declared, the situation changed.

    My interpretation of the Lord of the Sabbath is that Jesus, within the power given to him, was able to give a new content to the Sabbath – a day of rest, which does not include any meticulous ordinances.

    Today, Christianity spends a day of rest on Sunday. The culprit for this is the Catholic Church, which has also brought to the Christian celebration calendar Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter, as well as memorial services of countless saints. The Jews are loyal to God’s original schedule and spend the Sabbath on Friday night to Saturday night.

     

    What’s the difference between being under the law and under grace?

    Heb 2:2 illustrates the severity of the Covenant of Law: For if the word spoken by angels was reliable, and every violation and act of disobedience received its just punishment,

    Rom 6:14 For sin will not have dominion over you. For you are not under law, but under grace.
    15 What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law, but under grace? May it never be! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves as slaves for obedience, you are slaves to whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or obedience to righteousness?
    17 But thanks be to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from the heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered.
    NASB: But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,

    Paul calls this New Covenant of Christ in Romans form of teaching (typos Didache). If the Old Covenant of law could be characterized with words law and punishment, I would choose the New Covenant of Christ to be described with the words love and forgiveness.

    In Galatians 2:21 Paul presents a startling conclusion: “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.

    No one is allowed to sin, no matter which covenant. If someone says he has been saved by grace and deliberately sins, he is not saved by grace.
    Act 25:8 Defending himself, Paul said, Neither against the Law of the Jews, nor against the temple, nor against Caesar have I sinned in anything.” – Probably this is completely true. All the apostles and Jesus himself followed the Law of Moses as they lived. When Jesus, on the last Supper just before his death, proclaimed the New Covenant, it freed Christians from the Covenant of Law to move into the New Covenant of Christ.

    1 Joh 3:4 ”Everyone who sins also commits lawlessness. Sin is lawlessness. What is meant when the Bible says “you are not under the law but under grace?” Let’s think again the example of the OT account of a man who on the Sabbath gathered firewood in the wilderness (Num 15:32). In verse 35 Jehovah said to Moses; “The man shall certainly be put to death: the whole assembly shall stone him with stones outside the camp.”

    See the chapter below about the Lord of the Sabbath. At the time of this, they were under the law. If the New Covenant of Christ had been in force, the man would have repented and had received a remission of his sin based on grace.

    1 Joh 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not heavy.;
    4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith.
    5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

    The same is true of Jesus, the proclaimer of the New Covenant:
    Mat 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls.
    30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

    The Old Covenant contained much of the same laws as the New Covenant, but many believed that the old covenant 613 mitzvots were enslaving. Jesus rightly testifies that his yoke is easy and his burden is light. Originally the covenant was meant for the Jews. When they did not receive it, but stubbornly adhered to the Old Covenant, Christ proclaimed his great commission; “go, and make disciples of all nations…”

    One impediment was the requirement for circumcision, which was meant to involve also the Gentiles. This was initially strictly adhered to, but in particular after Paul’s appeal to the leadership of the Jerusalem congregation, the elders decided to relieve the demands to the new Christians in order to make their burden lighter as Jesus had promised. The only requirements that the Gentiles had to strictly observe were: Act 15:29 “that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality, from which if you keep yourselves, it will be well with you. Farewell.”” – Of these, the Gentiles should definitely give up. Among the people there were old habits such as eating meat and sausages containing blood. Licentious sexual behaviour e.g. with prostitutes, for example in connection with pagan feasts, was familiar to many.

     

    Circumcision of the heart

    1 Cor 7:18 Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
    19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

    Rom 2:25 For circumcision indeed profits, if you are a doer of the law, but if you are a transgressor of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.
    26 If therefore the uncircumcised keep the ordinances of the law, won’t his uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision?
    27: “Will not the uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfills the law, judge you, who with the letter and circumcision are a transgressor of the law?”

    The Bible speaks of circumcision of the heart and calls for it to be done. 1 Cor 7:19 above said, ”Circumcision is nothing”, but the right circumcision is that which is of the heart by the Spirit. At this point, the New covenant changes the order of the Old Covenant. The Jews have not fully embedded the importance of the circumcision of heart, based on Jeremiah who warns: ”Behold, the days come, says Jehovah, that I will punish all those who are circumcised in their uncircumcision:” (Jer 9:25).

    Another important attitude is the attitude towards Judaism: Judaism is an internal matter of man. We could say the other way around: he is not a Jew who is not internally a Jew. Rom 2:29 but; he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter whose praise is not from men, but from God.

    Even Moses once understood the meaning of circumcision of the heart, and so did Jeremiah, who urged to remove the “foreskin of your heart.” Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to Jehovah, and take away the foreskin of your heart, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem, that my fury not go forth like fire and burn, so that no one can put it out; because of the evil of your doings. Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.

    Psa 119:33 Teach me, Jehovah, the way of your statutes. I will keep them to the end..
    34 Give me understanding, and I will keep your law. Yes, I will obey it with my whole heart.
    35 Make me walk in the way of your commands, for in it I delight.
    36 Turn my heart toward your statutes, not toward selfish gain.

     

    Sanctification

    2 The 2:13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;.

    Sanctification and circumcision of the heart are pretty much the same thing. Sanctification (Greek Hagiadzoo) means continuous spiritual growth in the life of the believer, caused by the Holy Spirit. Sanctification is a personal covenant with God. The consecrated man consciously gives his life to God and repents of his former earthly way of life and unclean thoughts. When sanctified, man receives the seal of God.

    ”But now, being made free from sin, and having become servants of God, you have your fruit of sanctification, and the result of eternal life.” [Rom 6:22]

     

    The Temples of the Lord in Jerusalem

    Before even the first temple was built, one had to settle in the wilderness during a forty-year peregrination with a tabernacle built of tent cloth. The clothed curtain divided the tabernacle in two parts. Behind the curtain was the most holy part where God Himself was present. Only the High priest could enter there and only once a year.

    Thus, the curtain closed the way to the most holy place of God, as if to heaven. When Christ died on the cross, the curtain of the temple of Jerusalem tore in two. It meant that Christ had given the ransom sacrifice, and now the road was open to God, to salvation in the blood of Christ.

    First Temple: The Temple of Solomon (“Beit HaMikdash”) or The First Temple: Solomon’s Temple, or Jerusalem’s First Temple of Lord was according to the Bible built by King Solomon. It replaced the Tabernacle built by Moses. The Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BC. The Jews were taken to exile in 597 BC to Babylon in Mesopotamia. The exile was over in 539 BC when Cyrus released the Jews to return to Judea to rebuild the temple.

    Second Temple: It took 46 years to rebuilt the second temple, which was completed in 516 BC. It was destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

    Third Temple: At the moment, there is no temple left, only the so-called “weeping wall”, the western wall, which is a support wall, originally for the additional buildings of the temple built by Herod the Great in about 19 BC. At that time, the temple square was also expanded to cover more than one hectare.

    If the temple of the Lord has experienced destruction and has been rebuilt and destroyed again, the Muslim Al-Aqsa Mosque built on the scene has experienced a similar fate. In 1968, Israel conquered Jerusalem in war and its division between Muslims and Jews ended. However, there is still one holy mosque on the Temple Mount and in that sense one can say that Luke’s prophesy (21:24) is still valid: Jerusalem will be trodden down by nations, until the times of the nations are fulfilled.

     

    What does the Bible say about the coming third temple?

    Zec 6:12 and speak unto him, saying, Thus says Jehovah of hosts, saying, behold a man whose name is the Branch; and he shall grow up from his own place, and he shall build the temple of Jehovah
    13 Even He shall build the temple of Jehovah; and he shall bear the majesty, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And he shall be a priest on his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between the two of them.

    God spoke through Moses, and said he would send a prophet like Moses, whom everyone should hear. Deu 18:18 ”I will raise them up a prophet from among their brothers, like you; and I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I shall command him.” This man Moses meant, is a branch (hebr. tsemach engl. sprout, growth, branch), and is understood to be Jesus. In verse 13 it is said that Christ is to build the [third] temple of the Lord. He is now sitting on his throne in heaven, and when coming to the earth for the second time, he will sit on his throne as the king of the Millennial Kingdom.

    According to Zechariah’s prophecy, Christ will build a third temple of God in Jerusalem. It is told of the Antichrist that he declares himself God in the temple; The temple where proclamation takes place cannot, as I understand, be the third temple of God in Jerusalem but another one, such as St. Peter’s Church in Vatican. Hardly Christ would tolerate Antichrist to defile the Temple of God with such a declaration. Secondly, it is not possible because the temple will be built only after Christ has come and when Christ comes one his first actions is to destroy Antichrist.

    Christ will also be the High Priest, after giving up worldly power to the Father.

     

    Even the Gentiles can be saved

    Rom 2:12 ” For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without the law. As many as have sinned under the law will be judged by the law;
    14 For when those of the nations, which have no law, practise by nature the things of the law, these, having no law, are a law to themselves;
    15 in that they show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience testifying with them, and their thoughts accusing or else excusing themselves between themselves
    16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men, according to my gospel, by Jesus Christ.

    Even the Gentiles, though not under the law (do not know anything about the law), have the opportunity to be saved on the basis of the testimony of these verses above.

    Jer 4:4 Circumcise yourselves for Jehovah, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my fury come forth like fire and burn, and there be none to quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
    Deu 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiff-necked.
    Deu 30:6 And Jehovah your God will circumcise your heart, and the heart of your seed, to love Jehovah your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, that you may live.

     

    The saving faith

    1 Joh 5:1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God. Whoever loves the father also loves the child who is born of him.
    2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.
    3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.
    4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith.
    5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
    6 This is he who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth..
    7 For there are three who testify:
    8 the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and the three agree as one.
    9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is God’s testimony which he has testified concerning his Son.
    10 He who believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. He who doesn’t believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.
    11 The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
    12 He who has the Son has the life. He who doesn’t have God’s Son doesn’t have the life.
    13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

    The testimony recorded by John is clear and convincing; Eternal life is faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. This is the bedrock of faith. Is this faith enough to bring salvation to a person who sins over and over again? Faith must be associated with repentance of sins, and then a believer will be forgiven his sins “seventy times seven”.

    At this point, I think of homosexuals, sex outside marriage, alcoholics or other ways of enslaving people. However, no one should think that “just this once I do this sin and apologize afterwards.”

    Heb 10:26-28 “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and a fierceness of fire which will devour the adversaries.”

    Rom 2:28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh;
    29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not from men, but from God.

    1 Cor 7:18 Was anyone called having been circumcised? Let him not become uncircumcised. Has anyone been called in uncircumcision? Let him not be circumcised.
    19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

    Although Jesus is the Son of God by birth, God has raised him as Lord and Christ for his own glory. ”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!” (Act 4:12)

    The New Covenant was made with Israel, but it became evident that Israel did not accept the covenant; When Jesus was alive, the great multitude of people followed him, and greeted him as son of David, but they gave up quickly as they began to realize that Jesus was not to become their earthly king who would liberate them from the Roman yoke.

     

    Justification

    Room 3:20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.
    21 But now a righteousness of God has been revealed apart from Law, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
    22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who believe. For there is no distinction,
    23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;
    24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;
    25 whom God set forth as a propitiation through faith in his blood, for a showing forth of his righteousness through the passing by of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God,
    26 to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.
    28 Then we conclude a man to be justified by faith without works of law.

    Room 4:5 But to him who does not work [works of faith], but believes in him [God] who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness.

    Mat 12:37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

    What does being justified really mean? When God justifies a man, God declares him innocent, righteous, and holy, and frees him from the guilt of sin. When justified, God declares a man innocent on the basis of the atonement of Christ. God does not ask the merits of a man, but whether he has faith in Christ. It seems that even though salvation is made easy by faith, faith is too high a requirement for many. How much higher would it be if you were still required the works of law, thorough knowledge of the Bible, etc. Paul writes (1 Cor 1:18) “the word of the cross [faith in Christ] is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God.”

    The above verses reveal the grounds for justification. First of all, no one (“no flesh”) will be justified by the deeds of the law, but by the law comes knowledge of sin. Justification comes by faith in Jesus Christ. The righteousness thus comes without distinction to all believers. Righteousness is a free gift to all from God’s grace through the redemption of Jesus Christ. The final conclusion of the Rom 3:28 is: ”a man is justified by faith without works of law.” This is the cornerstone of Christianity and the New Covenant.

    Jam 2:18 But someone will say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith out of my works.

    When one has faith, he also brings it up in his deeds. Jacob brought this up when writing: Jam 2:15-17 But if a brother or a sister is naked and may be lacking in daily food, and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled;” and yet you didn’t give them the things the body needs, what good is it? Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself. In verse 2:14 James asks: What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him? – Does Jacob take a different position than Paul? In one commentary the writer highlights the importance of the quality of faith. If someone just says he believes, it may not be enough and he may not be a true believer. The true believer, because of his faith, also considers it important to do the works of faith.

    Sometimes the acts of faith can be taken too far: in the name of true faith, countless wars have been waged, people who believe in a different way persecuted, and at least condemned those who believe ‘wrong’. God does not require anything like this. It goes beyond the teaching of Christ.

    2 Joh 1:9 Whosoever goes forward and abides not in the doctrine of the Christ has not God. He that abides in the doctrine, he has both the Father and the Son.

    We have only one God Jehovah. He is the God of Christ, your God, and my God. We have only one Lord, Jesus Christ.

  • Salvation – Faith as The Foundation of Salvation

    What does salvation mean? Is the salvation predetermined, i.e the question of predestination? Where do you go if you are saved? Who is going to be saved? Is salvation easy or difficult to achieve? Who are not saved? What is it that resolves? Faith or good deeds? What is characteristic of the last times? Where do those who are not saved go, to Hell?

    In this article, I ask myself, for example, the above-mentioned questions.

    2 The 2:8: Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nothing by the brightness of his coming;
    9 even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
    10 and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
    11 For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.
    12 Then all who have not believed the truth but have taken pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.

    The above verses are important. Life starts with the truth. The truth requires love to find it. Once it has been found, it must be believed. Satan will do everything that people do not find the truth of the Bible.

    No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven. (Jhn 3:13)

     

    Act 17:31 for he has set a day when he is going to judge the world with justice through a man he has appointed, and he has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.

    God has ordained the Supreme Judge to be a man: Christ and his saints condemn all mankind in a righteous way. In the Bible, judgment is based on the deeds of each person. There are various deeds and therefore various judgments, but it is certain that judgments are righteous. Many sinners are cleansed of their actions and receive life. However, I find it hard to believe in universalism that says all people will ultimately be saved. In the second section of this chapter, the LAST JUDGMENT I deal with the cleansing fire of God revealed in the Letter to the Corinthians, which examines the fire which purifies human sin. Many sinners can thus be saved, but there seems to be a prerequisite; you must have “built your house” on Christ.

    1 Cor 3:11-15 For no one is able to lay any other foundation besides the One having been laid, who is Jesus Christ. Whether a person builds on this foundation with gold, silver, expensive stones, wood, hay, or straw, the workmanship of each person will become evident, for the day of judgment will show what it is, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test [δοκιμάζω dokimázō: to test, examine, prove, scrutinize, to see whether a thing is genuine or not, as metals] the quality of each person’s work. If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss.  However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire.

    God’s cleansing fire, which we read at 1 Cor 3, is proving, testing, investigating, but not consuming.

    Consuming καταναλίσκω katanalísko consume utterly, completely, entirely, to the fullest extent.

    Heb 12:29 for also our God is a consuming fire. – The fire of our God may be cleansing, but it may also be consuming. It is, therefore, necessary to distinguish between investigating and purifying, as well as consuming and punishing fire. A cleansing fire is to be experienced by one who has built his faith in Christ. If a sinner has not done so, and has not even repented of his deeds, he is subject to God’s consuming fire.

    If a man has not “built his house” on the foundation of Christ, not even of grass or straw, then fire is not investigating, testing and cleansing but consuming. This is how I interpret the difference between the two fires.

    For by grace you are saved, through faith, and this not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; (Efe 2:8 )

    who [God] desires [wants] all men to be saved and to come to a full knowledge of truth. (1 Tim 2:4)

    Isa 46:10 declaring the end from the beginning, and from the past those things which were not done, saying, my purpose shall rise; and, I will do all my desire;

    Gen 1:3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. – God has in his word created the world. Whenever God says something he desires, it always happens: Isa 55:11 so shall my word be that goes out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall do that which I please, and it shall accomplish that for which I send it.

    2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some people understand slowness, but is being patient with you. He does not want anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance.

    Isa 45:7 forming light, and creating darkness; making peace, and creating evil. I, Jehovah, do all these things. (evil, calamity, disaster; heb. רַע ra`)

    Luk 6:37 Stop judging, and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.

    1 Jhn 4:14 We have seen for ourselves and can testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.
    1 Tim 4:10 To this end we work hard and struggle, because we have set our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, that is, of those who believe.

    Is There Any Other Bedrock but Christ?  

    Jhn 1:42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “And looking at him, Jesus said, you are Simon the son of Jonah; you shall be called Cephas (which translated is Peter). KJV: And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, a stone.

    – Cephas [Keefas] means a stone according to the KJV translation. The Greek word for stone is petros, meaning a single stone but not a bedrock, Petra, on which Christ is building His church, as in Luke 6:48: He is like a person building a house, who dug a deep hole to lay the foundation on rock [πέτρα petra]. When a flood came, the floodwaters pushed against that house but couldn’t shake it, because it had been founded on the rock.

    The church of God is therefore built on Christ, not Apostle Peter, as the Catholics believe, and hold the Pope as the successor of St. Peter and the representative of Christ on earth.

  • Predestination

    What does it mean? Who will be saved? Is salvation or damnation decided in advance for every human being?

    Predestination means the eternal choice made by God. According to Jean Calvin, the founder of a reformed church, in the 16th century, God has decided in advance whom he is to save and whom He will reject. Calvin found horrifying that God would have created some people for salvation and others to be lost. On this basis, Calvin developed a steep, double predestination doctrine according to which God created some people for salvation and others for the damnation. The Calvinist legacy is the notion of irresistible mercy and the doctrine that it is impossible for the pre-selected chosen to abandon faith (the so-called once saved – always saved – doctrine).

    How could this be generalized to all people? What significance has Christ’s redemption work then? What about human free choice, free will?

    There are, however, passages in the Bible that indicate that God has already before the beginning of time chosen certain persons for his ministry and thus for salvation. God has for grace and according to his own intentions chosen from mankind a group for salvation, which he has preordained for eternal life. In Christ we were also chosen when we were predestined according to the purpose of the one who does everything according to the intention of his will, to the end that we should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: (Eph 1:11-12).

    God has preordained a number of people to salvation. This could be called a positive preordain. And is there a God’s negative preordain? No, there is not. God’s predestination does not include condemnation; nobody is therefore predetermined to damnation. God wants all people would repent and be saved. For that purpose, Jesus also proclaimed the gospel that people would make their own choice of salvation after hearing the gospel message.

     

  • The Bondage of the Will

    The Reformer Martin Luther, about 500 years ago, accepted the idea of a positive preordain for the saved, but left the negative preordain open concerning damnation. On this basis, it is understandable Luther’s perceptions that one cannot influence one’s own salvation, the doctrine of The Bondage of the Will, of which he wrote in 1525. It seems to be very close to Calvin’s doctrine. I will study more closely related biblical verses. Already at this point, I want to say that in my understanding in many places the Bible calls upon man to repent and to obey both the commandments of God and Jesus in order to be saved. It means that man can compete with himself and thus with his own effort get God’s forgiveness and through faith and grace achieve salvation. Salvation can require hard work, while damnation can be easily achieved., while damnation can easily be achieved.

    Jam 2:5 Listen, my beloved brothers. Didn’t God choose those who are poor in this world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he promised to those who love him?

    Rom 8:29-30 For whom he foreknew, he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. Whom he predestined, those he also called. Whom he called, those he also justified. Whom he justified, those he also glorified.

    There are a number of passages that can be used as a justification for predestination as Calvin:

    Rom 9:15…I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy. 21 Or hasn’t the potter a right over the clay, from the same lump to make one part a vessel for honor, and another for dishonor? 23 and that he might make known the riches of his glory on vessels of mercy, which he prepared beforehand for glory,

    God is like a potter who has the right to create vessels for any use, even to be abandoned. We do not know about God’s intentions, we know just what he declares in the Bible. God has indeed created people for different purposes. Therefore, in his word, he has allotted to each a measure of faith..

    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.

    Why has not God-given everyone faith according to the same measure? And yet, God desires all to be saved. 1 Tim 2:4 … who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.

    One could draw the conclusion that salvation is possible even for someone whose faith is weaker than those that God has chosen before the world began:
    Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love;
    5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire,
    6 to the praise of the glory of his grace, by which he freely bestowed favor on us in the Beloved,
    7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, 8 which he made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence, which 9 making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he purposed in him
    10 to an administration of the fullness of the times, to sum up all things in Christ, the things in the heavens, and the things on the earth, in him;
    11 in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will;

    But are people marionettes with no will of their own who do not understand their own good and do not even think about the importance of choice? Reformed theology solves the problem of human undecided behavior in another way: Since God is omnipotent he has created us so that some know and understand to receive Christ in their free will. God’s mercy and the free will of man are therefore not in conflict with each other.

    So, if God has preordained certain people for salvation, then what is the fate of others? Are they doomed to destruction? But God says he wants all people to be saved!

    2 Pet 3:9 The Lord is not slow concerning his promise, as some count slowness; but is patient with us, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. – The Bible cannot be controversial, so some explanation for this seemingly contradiction must be.

    In the Catechism, the Lutheran Church is committed to Luther’s teachings, which he has expressed in the Catechism this way: I believe that I cannot from my wisdom and my power believe in Christ and come to him, but that the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel. – The Holy Spirit calls many: For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:14)

    Why are not all called? – The answer to this may simply be that the message of the gospel does not reach all people, but those that are reached they are all called. The fact that there are so few chosen ones is due firstly to the fact that only a small part of those invited will accept the invitation. Another possibility is that before God’s creation, God has seen and determined that a small number of people he calls and elects to lead mankind as “kings and priests” together with Christ: And made them kings and priests to our God, and they reign on earth”. (Rev 5:10)

    At least the apostles and even Christ Himself was chosen according to the Ephesians before the creation of the world. Perhaps Judas Iscariot, even though in this regard the foreknowledge of God meant that He knew beforehand that Judas was going to betray Jesus. God has called many others: few have come to be elected, or would I say be accepted in God’s eyes. However, it has often happened that the chosen person will not endure until the end, but abandons his faith under external pressures. The pressures and temptations, and the great miracles at the end time, will misguide people and are actions of Satan. No one, in my view, was predetermined in condemnation. Jesus wondered if he could find faith when he comes for the second time.

    The reformed theology of Calvin (and Ulrich Zwingli) emphasizes the glory and sovereignty of God. Did Jesus by his death redeemed actually only those whom God had chosen to save? If it is considered that Jesus died for all, then the principle of human free choice is adapted; without the free choice, the death of Jesus for all is not acceptable. Jehovah’s Witnesses have also put forward the idea that Jesus, unlike the Scripture, is not the Mediator between all men and God, but only the chosen ones of God, a small flock of 144,000. These chosen ones are Jehovah’s Witnesses in their edifice.

     

  • Why I Do Not Believe in Negative Predestination?

    Why would God call people not once but several times during life if God had already made a binding choice? Why has God found it necessary to produce the Bible to mankind and all the wise teachings in it? Or why does God bring forth in His word a tempting prize for those who enter the kingdom of God if He has already made a choice in advance electing the people who can enter it? If God has already made his choice and determined who are selected, how can the chosen ones fall and abandon? Why does God allow trials for those who cannot endure trials? Everyone cannot endure till the end in faith. If God has already chosen his own, why does he want everyone to be saved? If all is determined as Calvin says, why does the Bible urge us to choose the way of salvation and to strive for it? 2 Pet 1:10-11: So then, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election certain, for if you keep on doing this you will never fail. For in this way you will be generously granted entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. – Why should we seek to strengthen our calling and our choices if God has chosen us in advance? Is not all accomplished in God’s way?

    Rom 9:21-23 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. Now if God wants to demonstrate his wrath and reveal his power, can’t he be extremely patient with the objects of his wrath that are made for destruction? Can’t he also reveal his glorious riches to the objects of his mercy that he has prepared ahead of time for glory.

    God showed patience for vessels of wrath and did not predestine them to destruction, even though he must have seen in advance their coming fate. Why did God demonstrate long-suffering patience to the vessels of wrath or to those who were going to destruction unless he waited for these to the last moment to repent and thus become part of the salvation provided by God? God desires everyone to be saved, but has ultimately given the choice to humans.

    When God is all-knowing, even before, he certainly knew that Adam and Eve would break his command. He must have known that Satan wants for himself the same kind of worship as God. God planned to have a human who would be born from a virgin and who is the descendant of King David, who will live a sinless life and finally with his death will redeem mankind from the power of Satan. He has also planned and known that a small group of twelve will follow Jesus as apostles, and this small group of Saints will rule the kingdom of God together with Jesus and that there will be a great multitude who will be saved in the last times. All those who are to be saved have a free choice, but if they endure faithfully to the end, they will be saved from the great tribulation. All this is what God has planned before the creation of this world.

    Everyone decides on their own destiny. Either believe in the gospel of the kingdom of God and in the redemption sacrifice of Jesus by crucifixion or reject it as foolishness. Most of humanity rejects the gospel they hear and do not see it necessary to examine it spiritually. 1 Cor 1:18 For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are dying, but to us who are saved it is the power of God. 1 Cor 2: Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned”. (Mar 16:16)

     

  • The Foreknowledge of God and His Predestination

    God’s foreknowledge – what does it mean?

    Now the word of Yahweh came to me, saying, Before I formed you in the belly I knew you, and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. (Jer 1:4-5)

    More examples:

    1 Pet 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen. 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: may grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

    Jesus Himself was also foreknown by God.

    1 Pet 1:20 “For He [Christ] was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you.” – Some translations say foreordained or chosen: “He was chosen before the creation of the world”. Chosen contains the idea of pre-existence, but if the word foreknown is used, it only confirms the existence of God’s plan. An excellent example of the effect of one word on the significance of the translation.

    God’s plan is, based on the foreknowing of God, that Jesus Christ is to be born on earth as the Son of God, and as the prophet who proclaims God’s plan for the salvation of mankind into the Kingdom of God. God also, according to his foreknowledge, called his elect to obey Christ, so that they could be sanctified to rule the Kingdom with Christ. Knowing beforehand, before the foundation of the world, does not mean that Jesus any more than the rest of the chosen ones, would have existed in heaven with God – except in God’s plan.

    In another place, I ask a bit provocatively: if Jesus pre-existed in heaven, what about the other chosen ones? Why does not the Bible speak of their being in heaven?

     

  • Free Will – The Choice of God

    even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (Eph 1:4-5).

    Eph 1:11 “In whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will;”

    “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom he predestined, he also called; and these whom he called, he also justified; and these whom he justified, he also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Rom 8:28-31).

    Here Paul describes how a man’s development is advancing towards the crown of righteousness. The concept of God’s drawing could be added to this; John 6:44 No one can come to me except the Father who has sent me draw him, and I will raise him up in the last day. – Those who have gone through this process, God has predetermined to be conformed to the image of his Son. What does it mean to be like Jesus? Stop for a moment to think! In these writings I will tell you more about it. Wonderful things!

    What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? May it never be! For he said to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who has mercy (Rom 9:14-16). – God has made two kinds of ‘vessels’ i.e. people.

    Rom 9:21 Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?
    22 What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
    23 And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory 24 even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.
    25 As He says also in Hosea, I will call those who were not my people, ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.
    26 and it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not my people,’ there they shall be called Sons of the living God.
    27 Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is [only] the remnant that will be saved.

    It is important to realize that the “vessels of wrath” are not predetermined to destruction, but they have drifted there without responding to God’s call.

    I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life, that you may live, you and your seed; (Deu 30:19).

    Man has free will to choose between life and death.

    Then Jesus said to his disciples: If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. (Mat 16:24)

    So he sat down and called the twelve. He told them,” If anyone wants to be first he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mar 9:35)

    If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether this teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. (Jhn 7:17)

    Now on the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink! (Jhn 7:37).

    Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, so that there may come times of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, (Act 3:19).

    –Man can want to have faith, man can want do God’s will. To do God’s will means repentance and return so that your sins may be wiped away.

    – How many times God provides the opportunity for us to return and have sins forgiven. If one has to forgive “seventy times seven” then God will do the same thing.

    God had chosen the people of Israel to be his own mercy vessel, but natural Israel did not accept the invitation of the Son of God. This is why God has called for his people those that were not his people, i.e. pagans from the gentiles.

     

  • The Called And Chosen Ones

    For many are called, but few are chosen. (Mat 22:14)

    Let us approach the subject through the parables used by Jesus.
    Mat 22: Jesus answered and spoke again in parables to them, saying:
    2 The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king [God] who gave a wedding banquet for his son [Christ].
    3 He sent his servants to call those who had been invited to the wedding, but they refused to come.
    4 So he sent other servants, saying, Tell those who have been invited, Look, I’ve prepared my dinner. My oxen and fattened calves have been slaughtered. Everything is ready. Come to the wedding!
    5 But they paid no attention to this and went away, one to his farm, another to his business.
    6 The rest grabbed the king’s servants, treated them brutally, and then killed them.
    7 Then the king became outraged. He sent his troops, and they destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
    8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited [jews] were not worthy.
    9 So go into the roads leading out of town and invite [all the people of the world] as many people as you can find to the wedding.
    10 hose servants went out into the streets and brought in all the people they found, evil and good alike, and the wedding hall was packed with guests [gentiles].
    11 When the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes.
    12 He said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ But the man was speechless.
    13 Then the king told his servants, ‘Tie his hands and feet, and throw him into the outer darkness! In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
    14 For many are called, but few chosen.

    Although Jesus says that many are called, he means all who only hear the invitation. This is evident from verse Jhn 12:32 As for me, if I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself.

    Only a few will be selected, as the gospel of Matthew predicts. In verse 22:8, it is stated that the originally called (Jews) were not worthy. The invitation was extended to everyone who was found. Call to the kingdom of God is thus given to the gentiles as well as to the Jews. The guests must also behave in the manner required by the invitation and prove to be righteous in order to stay elected.

    At first, only many were invited. Many mean Israelis. When they did not accept the call, the host decided to expand the number called, saying that the previously called were not worth it. This is how the Jews lost their status as a chosen people, but the call of God still applies to them. Then the call came to the nations, all the people of the world. Jesus promised to draw all men to himself if he is lifted up from the earth. Even though the invitation concerns everyone, it will be as Jesus said about many being called and few being chosen

    Many people do not follow invitation, or if they do, they are not ‘dressed properly’. Dressing means that “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” … (Rom 13:14) i.e., believe in Jesus and what He taught about the kingdom of God.

    In Mat chapter 22 “Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding feast for his son.” (Mat 22:2). In verse 9 of the parable, it says: Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast. “Main highways” can mean radio, television, literature, etc. all the mass media’s means of transmitting the invitation today. But all cannot be reached even if the invitation is open to everyone. To accomplish the same purpose Jesus commanded his followers to make disciples of people in all nations. To fulfill the missionary order, the gospel has been translated into more than two hundred languages. In some countries, some other religion may be so dominant that the testimony of the kingdom of God is not possible, and therefore the invitation does not reach everyone. Mat 22:14 says few are chosen; This does not mean that the number of recipients who have been called is only a small number but that they are proportionally a small number compared with the total called. Remember that the survivors of great tribulation are “a great multitude”.

    This great multitude might be even greater, but some of the chosen ones will fall away during the great tribulation: Mat 24:21 For at that time there will be great suffering, [or tribulation] the kind that has not happened from the beginning of the world until now and certainly will never happen again.22 Unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would have been saved. But for the sake of the chosen ones, those days will be shortened. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and display great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the chosen ones. 31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

    In practice, the call means hearing of God’s word. Hearing the word of Christ follows faith and after faith follows prize: So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Rom 10:17). The Prize is according to Jhn 5:24 eternal life: Truly, truly I tell you, the one who hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.

    On this basis, therefore, it should be easy to access in eternal life. But can you easily reach the kingdom of God? Does the Bible give conflicting information about the ease of salvation? An explanation related to this is given, for example, in my article “Two different salvations”.

     

  • The Parable Of The Sower

    The Parable Of The Sower; This is one of the most important of Jesus’ parables.

    Mat 13:18 Hear then the parable of the sower:

    19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and doesn’t understand it, the evil one comes, and snatches away that which has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown by the roadside.
    20 As for what was sown on the stony ground, this is the person who hears the word and accepts it at once with joy;
    21 but since he doesn’t have any root in himself, he lasts for only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes along because of the word, he immediately falls away.
    22 As for what was sown among the thornbushes, this is the person who hears the word, but the worries of life and the deceitful pleasures of wealth choke the word so that it can’t produce a crop.
    23 What was sown on the good ground, this is he who hears the word, and understands it, who most assuredly bears fruit, and brings forth, some one hundred times as much, some sixty, and some thirty.

    People hear in the Church the priest speaking the word of God, but the priest does not much preach of the kingdom of God. Preaching of the kingdom of God was the most important thing for which Jesus was sent (Luke 4:43). If you do not even talk about it, your faith will remain inadequate.

    Invitation and election are not irrevocable and no invitees have been tied to an invitation. There is no such call of God that man could not render void by one’s own decision. Man must constantly compete to be worthy of the caller. Paul found confusing doctrines in churches that were not in accordance with the gospels declared by the apostles. He warns:

    Gal 1:6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ to follow a different gospel,
    7 which is not really another one. To be sure, there are certain people who are troubling you and want to distort the gospel about Christ.
    8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that person be condemned!

    A good and legitimate question today is: Is the gospel of this day in the churches and congregations are declared according to the gospel proclaimed by the apostles?

    God’s word is also to be understood. A person who understands also produces fruits of the Spirit, someone hundred-fold, some sixty-fold and some thirty-fold.
    The [Jesus’] parable is about a sower: the seed means a word of God’s kingdom and fruit means the fruit of the Holy Spirit, or the spreading of God’s word to other people. The parable describes how God’s word is “sown” abundantly, and so God calls out listeners. Unfortunately, rarely the seed falls into good ground, a receptive human mind. But if that’s the case Jhn 1:12 says: However, to all who received him, to those believing in his name, he gave authority to become God’s children,

    At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from wise and intelligent people and have revealed them to infants. (Mat 11:25). – I have sometimes heard a question presented to a church’s representative and heard the answer: “Unfortunately, we do not know about this, it is a mystery of God”. And yet, we know, the Bible tells the answers to many questions.

    When a man hears the call (the word of salvation from God) and understands what he is hearing, the important decision is then followed; whether or not he should believe. At this point, the salvation of each person is resolved. God has by no means settled this beforehand. It may well be that God has made a positive choice for some people, even so that this person becomes e.g. a prophet, another one becomes a teacher, some became apostles, etc. If God is making such a positive choice for some it does not mean that for everyone has been made a decision for salvation or damnation.

    To such holy ones is Paul referring to in Rom 1: 6-7 You, too, are among those who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ. 7 To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be holy [or saints]. May grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ be yours!

    Likewise 1 Pet 1:1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the chosen ones who are living as strangers in the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled in his blood: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may show forth the excellences of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

     

  • The Drawing And Choosing of God

    No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day. 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. (Jhn 6:44-45)

    ‘Drawing’ is explained happen after the human being ceases to trust only in his own reasoning and instead begins to listen to what God says to him.

    Isa 54:13-14 All your children shall be taught of Yahweh; and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness shall you be established: you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not be afraid; and from terror, for it shall not come near you.

    We all are children of God and if righteous they receive the protection from violence and destruction. Against the tribulation of the last days, they receive the seal of God to guard them. When a person looks for God, then Jesus starts drawing him. Jhn 12:32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. Heb 11:6 Without faith it is impossible to be well-pleasing to him, for he who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he is a rewarder of those who seek him.

    2 Tim 1: He saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our own works but according to his own purpose and the grace that was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, which he gave us before the eternal times in Christ Jesus. I.e. the purpose and plan of God was created before the world began, that He should save us with a holy calling in accordance with His plan and grace. Although Paul addressed the message to his student Timothy, it also touches upon us who have accepted the invitation.

    All are therefore called, and when they remain faithful to Jesus’ word, they will also be chosen. But, even the chosen ones may be misled or else abandon their faith. Peter also stresses: 2 Pet 1:10 So then, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election certain, for if you keep on doing this you will never fail.

    Predestination supporters believe that humans do not have free will. If a human being had no free will, he could not resist God’s calling and could not abandon faith. Perhaps the most famous example of abandonment is Judas Iscariot. The Bible does not in vain warn those who, after being in steadfast faith, renounce it; there is no forgiveness for them. Such has also been interpreted to be so-called unforgivable sin against the Holy Spirit.

    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.

    Jhn 6:37 All those who the Father gives me will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out. 6:65 So he said: That’s why I told you that no one can come to me unless it be granted him by the Father.

    If someone accepts the word of God, God will let him become Jesus’ disciple. Everyone has free will and choice in this regard, the freedom to abandon Christ too. God gladly gives each person access to his Son as a disciple, if only a man truly repents and believes in Jesus and His teaching. God says he wants (‘desires’) that all will come to repentance and be saved:1 Tim 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth.

    Rom 8:28 We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose. – In the aforementioned verse 8:28, there is a question of living people who love God. Such hearts God is searching. If the fate of human salvation had been predestined, there would be no need to examine the human hearts. God’s calling and predestination takes place only at this later stage and is also conditional and requires that man remains faithful to the end. Jesus did not say to his apostles that they had chosen to become as Jesus’ followers, but Jhn 15:16: You did not choose me, but I chose you. Jesus did just what God wanted him to do. Had God in some way pre-determined with regard to each disciple that Jesus calls them as his own?

    Jesus chose them at that moment. Others remained faithful except Judas. Surely God has been able to see the coming apostles beforehand, but has not predestined them to be faithful as Judas Iscariot’s fate shows.

    Paul writes in Eph 1:13 You, too, have heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed in him you were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, – Again, this verse confirms the above interpretation: first, you hear the gospel of salvation, then you become a believer, and finally you obtain the seal of the Holy Spirit. If these Ephesian believers would be predetermined as Christ’s own, Paul could write to them in this way: God has predestined you to receive Christ, and to obtain the seal of the Holy Spirit.

     

  • Whom Has God First Chosen?

    People tend to think that man himself chooses God. Is it so? Who chooses, man or God? God calls people, often several times. Man chooses either to believe or to reject it. And not always deliberately. Is it really a question of God’s choice of man as Jesus said: “You did not choose me but I chose you …” (Jhn 15:16).

    Frequently presented Bible verse related to predefinition is Rom 8:29-30: For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among. And those whom he predestined, he also called; and those whom he called, he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified. – Eph 1:4 says: just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before him. In love.”

    The chain of measures goes according to the Romans 8th chapter like this: Firstly God predestines, secondly he calls, thirdly He justifies and fourthly he glorifies (To exalt, or give glory or praise to). The first phase takes place in God’s heaven. The person to be predestined does not exist but in God’s mind and plan. When God calls, the person is on earth. God may call a few times and yet many do not hear. The third phase is that God justifies, which according to a dictionary means to absolve and declare to be free of blame or sin. This could take place after the last judgment. The last phase is called glorification.

    About the called and chosen is said that 1 Pet 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, in sanctification of the Spirit, that you may obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled in his blood: Grace to you and peace be multiplied. Eph 1:3-5,11 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realm, just as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his presence. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself through Jesus Christ, according to the pleasure of his will, in whom also we were assigned an inheritance, having been foreordained according to the purpose of him who works all things after the counsel of his will; 2 The 2:13 But we are bound to always give thanks to God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because God chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;

    For these verses, a question of interpretation has been raised as to whether the verses concern individuals or whether it is predestination to the Christian church, which is “one body”. God, however, does not save unrighteous individuals on the ground that the majority of church are righteous: Rev 2:23 … ”and I will give to each one of you according to your deeds. Jesus looked at the Sardis church: Rev 3:3 So remember what you received and heard. Obey it, and repent. If you are not alert, I will come like a thief, and you won’t know the time when I will come to you. 4 But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me in white clothes because they are worthy.

    For a certain small number of people, God has chosen (predestinated) before the creation of the world for salvation and has called them. This is the small crowd that Jesus said in Luke 12:32: Don’t be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom. – God has therefore seen the future development before the foundation of the world. He has seen the fall of mankind as well as the redemption sacrifice of Christ and the creation of the kingdom of God Christ as the king and co-rulers of a small group of saints (the ‘little flock’) who take their place after the first resurrection and the second coming of Christ.

    It has also been suggested that if an individual is chosen, he could never give up on faith. Mat 24:24 For there will arise false Christs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones. – Satan’s activities at the end of time are successful; he will be able to deceive even the chosen ones. To this, I would say: God is omniscient. He surely knows that many ‘chosen’ have made the right decision of faith, but their faith does not last. Believers must be persistent and cautious not to be fooled by Satan’s “miracles”.

    For God has not destined us for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 The 5:9)

     

  • What Will Happen to Those Who Are Not Chosen Ones?

    … and every type of evil to deceive those who are dying, those who refused to love the truth that would save them. (2 The 2:10)

    Jesus said (Jhn 14:6): Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me. – The path shown by Jesus is narrow and long. You have to go through the narrow gate. To find the gate and the path behind it, you have to know the truth so that you can walk the path that Jesus has pointed out.

    2 The 2:9 even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they didn’t receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie. – Those who love the truth, do not get lost in this deception.

    Mal 4:1 For, behold, the day comes, it burns as a furnace; and all the proud, and all who work wickedness, will be stubble; and the day that comes will burn them up,” says Yahweh of Hosts, “that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 4:3 “You shall tread down the wicked; for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I make,” says Yahweh of Hosts.

    Jer 30:11 For I am with you [Israel], says Yahweh, to save you: for I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you, but I will not make a full end of you; but I will chasten you justly and will by no means leave you [Israel] unpunished.

    People of last times do not care about the truth of the Bible. They also do not follow the Bible’s instructions, for people are looking for teachers whose teaching tickle their ears. 2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when people will not put up with healthy doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will surround themselves with teachers who cater to their own needs, – Although Jesus said that his yoke is easy, and the burden is light, it is not enough for people. They want to hear nice things, like, for example, “everyone goes in heaven”.

     

  • Salvation – Easy Or Difficult?

    What does salvation mean?

    Most of us want it, others actively, while others do not even think about it. Perhaps the most common definition of human salvation is that you go to heaven after death. Generally, people believe they have an immortal soul; good people can get to heaven after death and bad sinners, in turn, will have to suffer eternal agonizing fire in Hell. Many churches teach that after having received Jesus in your life and after you have been forgiven your sins, you have received salvation. Some even believe that once you are saved you are permanently saved. In the Middle Ages, salvation could be bought with money or at least shorten the time spent in the purgatory. When using indulgences the time in purgatory was shortened, and then people finally got to heaven.

    Everyone must die at least once. Salvation means, that one does not have to face the second death, but the righteous will receive eternal life – i.e. immortality.

    … unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.

    1 The 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead – Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.

    Rev 2:5 Therefore, remember how far you have fallen. Repent, and do the works you did at first. If you don’t, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

    As many as I love, I reprove and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent. (Rev 3:19)

    At the moment we are living in a similar Laodicean church. We are not cold nor hot. We are indifferent and numb. Maybe we go to church once or a few times a year and we think that’s enough. Church services are similar one after the other, often especially televised church services are for the most part singing and playing, entertainment. Bible teaching is not part of today’s church service.

    There are verses in the Bible that could lead to the conclusion that salvation is quite simple and easy: Rom 10:13 for “whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Is that all it takes? Take for example 1 Jhn 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not difficult. Or this one: Heb 5:9 once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him – You need to obey Jesus to be saved.

    Or then it is difficult: Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to tribulation, and shall kill you; and you will be hated of all the nations for my name’s sake. 10 Then many will stumble, and will deliver up one another, and will hate one another. 24:13 But the person who endures to the end will be saved. Or: 1 Pet 4:18 If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will happen to the ungodly and the sinner?

    John the Baptist will surely reach the kingdom of God/Heaven among the first, right? Let us read what the following Matthew’s verses tell us. Mat 11:9 But why did you go out? To see a prophet? Yes, I tell you, and much more than a prophet. 10 For this is he, of whom it is written, ‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face, who will prepare your way before you. 11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has appeared who is greater than John the Baptist. Yet even the least important person in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.

    How does Jesus characterize John the Baptist? He is more than a prophet. I will send my angel … And yet: Verily I say unto you, there is no greater among those born of the wives than John the Baptist; but the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Does this mean that the kingdom of God has really high admission requirements when John the Baptist would be least in the kingdom of heaven? Or how can this be interpreted? After contemplating this, I came to the conclusion that the earthly John is compared to the heavenly powers in the kingdom of God. The saints of God’s Kingdom will be powerful servants of God. Among them, says: Rev 2:26 He who overcomes, and he who keeps my works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations. 27 He will rule them with a rod of iron, shattering them like clay pots; as I also have received of my Father: These saints of the Revelation who rule the Gentiles – one over five cities, another one over ten cities – are not only great in the spiritual sense, but also powerful in carrying out their mission. No man, not even John the Baptist, has had such powers, and in that sense, the kingdom of God has a higher status over the people of the land, no matter how righteous they are otherwise. Mat 11:11 must therefore not be interpreted as imposing an absolutely impossibly high standard for the salvation in God’s kingdom. Below I will write what the Bible says in more detail.

    I’ve taken to the next section plenty of quotes from the Bible; they tell you what the Bible says about salvation. What should we do to save ourselves?

    Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide the gate and broad the way that leads to destruction, and many are they who enter in through it. For narrow the gate and straitened the way that leads to life, and they are few who find it. (Mat 7:13-14)

     

  • Obeying God and Jesus

    … Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. (Act 5:32)

    For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother (Mar 3:35)

    In Jhn 7:17 Jesus reminds you that his word is the truth: If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether this teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own.

    At another place in the Bible, it is called upon to pray to God in spirit and truth. Jhn 4:23 But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such to be his worshippers. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth. – In spirit and truth but not according to the doctrines decided in synods for many hundreds of years after Christ and the apostles. Such serving of God is futile; we must obey God’s true commandments. Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    Act 5:32 We are his witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.
    1 Jhn 2:3 This is how we know that we know him: if we keep his commandments. 4 The person who says, “I have come to know him,” but does not continually keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.

    Rev 21:8 But people who are cowardly, unfaithful, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars will have their part in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.

    Mat 28:18 Then Jesus came up and said to them: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you each and every day until the end of the age.

    2 The 1:8 in blazing fire. He will take revenge on those who do not know God and on those who refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 Such people will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction by being separated from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious power. – This is an interesting description of eternal punishment. The disobedient ones will not be thrown in the fiery lake where they would suffer forever. Their punishment is the eternal destruction of being separated from the Lord’s presence. What does this mean? Do they just cease to exist? Disobedience is perhaps the most common human sin. Those who do not know God will receive the same punishment. They are those who have not even heard of God or at least have not got a clear idea of the gospel of Christ.

    Heb 5:9 Having been made perfect, he became to all of those who obey him the author of eternal salvation,

    Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    Jhn 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments. 16 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another counselor, [Greek parakleton: counselor, helper, intercessor, advocate, and comfortor] that he may be with you forever.

    Rom 8:9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.

    Jhn 12:49 For I have not spoken on my own authority. Instead, the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and how to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.

    6:38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of the one who sent me.

    7:16 Jesus therefore answered them: My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me.

    8:28 So Jesus told them: When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority. Instead, I speak only what the Father has taught me.

    14:10 You believe, don’t you, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own. It is the Father who dwells in me who does his works.

    14:24 The one who does not love me does not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine, but comes from the Father who sent me.

     

  • The Love of Money

    … the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil… (1 Tim 6:10)

    1 Jhn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world and its desires are fading away, but the person who does God’s will remains forever.

    1 Tim. 6: 8 If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content.” 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some have been led astray from the faith in their greed, and have pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

    Mat 6:31 Therefore don’t be anxious, saying, ‘What will we eat?’, ‘What will we drink?’ or, ‘With what will we be clothed? 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things [the needs of everyday life] will be given to you as well.

     

  • Love God, Jesus and Your Neighbors

    The person who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 Jhn 4:8)

    Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God, and knows God. (1 Jhn 4:7)

    Jhn 13:34 I [Jesus] am giving you a new commandment to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    1 Jhn 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born from God, and everyone who loves the parent also loves the child. 3 For this is the love of God: that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not difficult, 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world: your faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?

    4:8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 11 Beloved, if God loved us in this way, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God remains in us, and his love has been perfected in us. 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.

    Mat 7:21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

    1 Jhn 3:10 This is how God’s children and the devil’s children are distinguished. No person who fails to practice righteousness and to love his brother is from God. 3:14 We know that we have passed out of death into life [we have received a certain promise], because we love the brothers. He who doesn’t love his brother remains in death. 4:20 Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates his brother is a liar. The one who does not love the brother whom he has seen cannot love a God whom he has not seen. 21 This commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should also love his brother.

    1 Jhn 2:10 He who loves his brother remains in the light, and there is no occasion for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness, and doesn’t know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

    Mat 22:39 A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

    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,

    The above Matthew verses are clear. But, what does Luke mean who says:

    Luk 14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, and sisters, as well as his own life, he can’t be my disciple. Luk 14:33 In the same way, none of you can be my disciple unless he gives up all he has.

    Obviously, Luke does not mean that one should hate his neighbors. He only means that man should love God more than their fellowmen, love God more than his own life. The first of the commandments are about obeying God and the rest about the fellowmen. Thus, they can be reduced to these two things: Love God and your neighbor.

    If we love God, we do as 1 John 5:3 says: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not difficult.” – If we do not keep his commandments, our love is not genuine, but futile. Paul says in Rom 7:12: “So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. 7:14 For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, sold under sin.” – The believer errs sometimes, but the penitent is forgiven. 1 Pet 4:8 says also: “Above all, continue to love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.

     

  • Salvation Is Gift in Jesus

    … we will be saved by his life. (Rom 5:10)

    Isa 55:6 Seek you Yahweh while he may be found; call you on him while he is near: 7 let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to Yahweh, and he will have mercy on him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

    1 Jhn 5:11 The testimony is this, that God gave to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 The person who has the Son has this life. The person who does not have the Son of God does not have this life.

    Joh 5:26 For as the Father has life in himself, even so he gave to the Son also to have life in himself. 27 He also gave him authority to execute judgment, because he is a son of man.

    Eph 1:4 even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and without blemish before him in love; 5 having predestined us for adoption as children through Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire, 7 in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

    Col 1:13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and has brought us into the kingdom of the Son whom he loves, 14 In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

    Rom 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if it is so that the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if any man doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he is not his. 8:14 For as many as are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

    Rom 5:5 Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. – All who are truly repentant and returned (turned back from evil) have the Holy Spirit of God. The believer knows it as he receives the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Gal 5:22-23).

    Rom 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”

    Verse 9 explains that believers have been forgiven of their sins through Christ’s blood, that is, through his death. This means the believers have forgiven all their former sins. Paul also adds becoming rescued from the anger of anguish of the great tribulation and from the great destruction of the Lord’s day. From this, we can also conclude that the resurrection takes place before the culmination of the Lord’s day of destruction. Equally important is salvation through the life of Christ. 1 Cor 15:17 says: If Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. 18 Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

    Act 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized, everyone of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. – If someone does not have this gift, he or she will not have life i.e. salvation.

    Jhn 17:15 I am not asking you to take them out of the world but to protect them from the evil one [Satan]. 16 They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.

    Mar 7:7 Their worship of me is empty, because they teach human rules as doctrines. 8 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition. 9 Then he said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your own tradition!

     

  • What Is Sin?

    Such people will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction by being separated from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious power. (2 The 1:9)

    1 Jhn 3:4 Every one that practises sin practises also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

    Jas 2:10 For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

    Rom 3:20 Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.

    Mat 19:16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and said, Good Teacher, what good deed should I do to have eternal life? 17 Why do you call me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments. – Keep the commandments! Does this mean that believing in Christ alone is not sufficient for salvation?

    For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more a sacrifice for sins (Heb 10:26) – This verse speaks of the believer who slithers back to his former, sinful life, and knowingly sins. The Holy spirit exits him and the consequences can be read in the following verse: 27 but only a terrifying prospect of judgment and a raging fire that will consume the enemies of God  29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will he be judged worthy of, who has trodden underfoot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace?

    What if a man is a drug user? Or homosexual? Removing such sins may seem impossible. What happens to them? I cannot give a definite answer to that. If you try hard to get rid of sin the effort can be rewarded.

    …”love covers a multitude of sins.” says the Bible. (1 Pet 4:8).

    2 The 1:7 when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, 8 He will take revenge on those who do not know God and on those who refuse to obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 Such people will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction by being separated from the Lord’s presence and from his glorious power. Jhn 15:6 If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

    There is also a more comprehensive article on sin, ‘Wages of sin’.

     

  • Faith in Jesus

    The person who has the Son has this life. The person who does not have the Son of God does not have this life. (1 Jhn 5:12)

    1 Jhn 5:11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has the life. He who doesn’t have God’s Son doesn’t have the life. 2:22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the Antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. The person who acknowledges the Son also has the Father. 24 What you have heard from the beginning must abide in you. If what you have heard from the beginning abides in you, you will also abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 This is the promise which He promised to us: the eternal life.”

    Jhn 3:34 For he whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for God gives the Spirit without measure. 36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who disobeys the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him.

    Jhn 6:63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 68 Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life.

    Mat 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

    Jhn 15:6 If a man doesn’t remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

    Rom 10:9 ..if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

    Jhn 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him may not perish, but have life eternal.

    Mat 10:22 You will be hated by all men for my name’s sake, but he who endures to the end will be saved.

     

  • Who Will Not Enter God’s Kingdom?

    …The Lord knows those who are his … (2 Tim 2:19)

    2 Tim 2:19 Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, The Lord knows those who are his, and, Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.

    Gal 5:19-21 Now the deeds of the flesh are obvious, which are: adultery, sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these; of which I forewarn you, even as I also forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. 22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

    Col 3:5 Put to death therefore your members which are on the earth: sexual immorality, uncleanness, depraved passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry; 6 for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience. 7 You also once walked in those, when you lived in them; 8 But now you must also get rid of anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene language from your mouth, and all such sins. 9 Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old man with its practices 10 and have put on the new man, that is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator.

    1 Cor 6:9-10 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor extortioners, will inherit the Kingdom of God.

     

  • Faith, Mercy and Deeds

    … by grace you have been saved through faith; … it is the gift of God, (Eph 2:8)

    … faith without works is dead. (Jas 2:26)

    Jhn 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. 2 He removes every branch in me that does not produce fruit, and he cleanses every branch that does produce fruit so that it might produce more fruit. 3 You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I will abide in you. Just as the branch cannot produce fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. The one who abides in me while I abide in him produces much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

    Eph 2:8 for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, that no one would boast. 10 For we are his masterpiece, [or workmanship] created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared long ago to be our way of life.

    Jam 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

    Rom 10:9-10 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

    Jhn 1:12 However, to all who received him, to those believing in his name, he gave authority to become God’s children, 20:31 but these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

    Mat 25:31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory and all the angels are with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be assembled in front of him, and he will separate them from each other as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
    33 He will put the sheep on his right but the goats on his left.
    34 Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who have been blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
    35: For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.
    36 I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
    37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, and feed you; or thirsty, and give you a drink?
    38 When did we see you as a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?
    39 When did we see you sick, or in prison, and come to you?
    40 The king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, in that you did it for one of the least important of these my brothers, you did it for me.’
    41 Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Get away from me, you who are accursed, into the eternal fire that has been prepared for the devil and his angels!
    42 For I was hungry, and you gave me nothing to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink.
    43 I was a stranger, and you didn’t welcome me. I was naked, and you didn’t clothe me. I was sick and in prison, and you didn’t visit me.’
    44 Then they will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or as a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and didn’t help you?
    45 Then he will say to them, ‘Truly I tell you, in that you did not do it for one of the least important of these, you did not do it for me.’
    46 These people will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

    The word eternal is, according to the Greek text, αἰώνιον, aionios. Many linguists do not consider it correct to translate aionios forever (or eternal). I have written about this in more detail in the last article, which is called the Last Judgment.

    In Eph 2:8-9 the Bible assures that: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; and not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. – Compare to the previous verse in Revelation 20:13 which tells how people “were judged, each one according to his works’. How is the verse Rev 20:13 possible when the last judgment is taking place and they were judged every man “according to their works?

    Let us have a look at few more verses:

    Jas 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith but has no works? Can faith save him? 2:18 But someone may say, You have faith, and I have works. Show me your faith without any works, and I will show you my faith by my works. – James is getting to the core of the matter: the kind of faith that does not create a person’s wish to do the works of faith to his neighbor is useless and in fact dead. True faith shows itself in loving acts. How much are there believers who with Jesus’ words said, “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” (Mat 25:45 KJV)

    For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. (Jam 2:26)

    Read also the article “Which saves: faith or baptism?”

     

    Keeping the faith

    “Therefore I [Jesus] said to you that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am he, you will die in your sins.” (Jhn 8:24)

    Phl 2:9 Therefore God highly exalted him, and gave to him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, those on earth, and those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 And so, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only when I was with you but even more now that I am absent, continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

     

  • Who Can Be Born Again And How Does It Happen?

    Jesus replied to him: Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above [or born again] he cannot see the kingdom of God. (Jhn 3:3)

    Mat 19:28 And Jesus said to them: Verily I say unto you, that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit down upon his throne of glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    Tit 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

    Jhn 3:3 Jesus answered and said to him: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God. 4 Nicodemus said to Him: How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he? 5 Jesus answered: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

    Jesus tells that a man must be born from above, and also from the water and the Spirit. “From above” refers to the Holy Spirit of God. ‘Water’ refers to the word of God. The Bible says according to Jesus: Rev 21.6 … He said to me, It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. I will give freely to him who is thirsty from the spring of the water of life. 22:17 … And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.

    Rom 8:9 You, however, are not of the flesh but under the control of the Spirit, since God’s Spirit lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.

    1 Cor 3:16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Jhn 3:24 “The person who keeps his commandments abides in God, and God abides in him. This is how we can be sure that he remains in us: he has given us his Spirit. – These verses speak of both the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of God. The question is, in fact, the Spirit of God, which Christ promised to send upon ascending into heaven; When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who comes from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. (Jhn 15:26)

    Rom 8:11 And if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive by his Spirit who lives in you.

    Act 5:32 We are his witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him. Rom 8:9 You, however, are not of the flesh but under the control of the Spirit, since God’s Spirit lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.

    2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.

    When receiving the Holy Ghost, the believer also receives the fruits of the Spirit! When the believer receives the Holy Spirit, he will also be born again. The final seal of the rebirth is received at the resurrection, because the chosen can renounce their faith and lose the Holy Spirit. Those who endure in faith until the end receive from the angels in their forehead, the seal of God, and will be guarded in the trials of the end-time tribulation.

     

  • The Spirit of Truth

    Jhn 14:15 If you love me, you will keep my commandments. 16 I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,- 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.

    – In this verse, the Holy Spirit is called by another name, the Spirit of Truth. The world cannot receive it; people are led by the “prince of this world”, i.e. Satan, even those who claim to be Christians or even believers.

    Jhn 14:21 One who has my commandments, and keeps them, that person is one who loves me. One who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him, and will reveal myself to him. – By keeping the commandments of Jesus, man receives the Spirit of truth for himself and also the fruits of the Holy Spirit and a wonderful promise: … teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. (Mat 28:20)

    ‘To the end of the age’, according to the Greek text heōs synteleia aiōn/αἰών. The word aiōn G165 occurs 128 times and KJV translates it according to Strong’s 71 x ever, 38 x world only 2 x age and 2 x eternal. Strong’s definions: properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):—age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the, while the) world (began, without end).

    αἰών and its derivative αἰώνιος / aiōnios (G 166) are difficult to translate. See how many options the KJV translation gives; eternal (42x), everlasting (25x), the world began (with G5550) (2x), since the world began (with G5550) (1x), forever (1x). According to Strong’s αἰώνιος has meanings such as ”without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be, without beginning, without end, never to cease, everlasting”. Translations such as everlasting, eternal we are happy to accept if we are going to have eternal life, but if we are on the last judgment and are receiving the eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire, we will try to find another interpretation.

    I am no linguist so I try to approach the matter trying to find out what is the purpose of God for mankind. These are the questions I am reflecting in the last chapter called Last Judgment.

    Both the Father and the Christ are making their abode with the believer: Jhn 14:23 Jesus answered him, If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. Then my Father will love him, and we will go to him and make our home within him.

    Act 5:32 We are his witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

    1 Jhn 3:24 We are His witnesses of these things; and so also is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” – Loving God and Jesus is to keep their commandments. This is the most important thing. These include all behavioral instructions. The indigent were “widows and orphans” at that time, but today there are other needy ones. Obedience is manifested in works. In the works Jesus commanded to do. … faith without works is dead. (Jas 2:26)

     

  • Forgiveness

    For if you forgive people their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (Mat 6:14)

    6:15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”

    Mat chapter 18 verse 23> is a symbolic story of how we have to forgive in our turn to our ‘debtors’ or those who have trespassed against us. If we do not show mercy, God can cancel His mercy on us.

    The Bible emphasizes that believers are destined to become like Jesus: Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart; and you will find rest for your souls. (Mat 11:29). 1 Jhn 3:2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when Christ is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is.

    While on the earth, the apostles were humble and modest as was their example. They did the work according to their profession to get their daily living without requiring money or other special treatment. That is, they were already like Christ. When Christ appears for the second time, they shall see the glory of Christ in his external being.

     

  • False Doctrines

    Now the Spirit says clearly that in the last times some people will abandon the faith by following deceitful spirits, the teachings of demons, (1 Tim 4:1)

    The Catholics have even transformed the Ten Commandments of God by removing the original second Commandment and dividing the ‘lusting commandment’ (‘thou shalt not covet’) in two. Thus the number of commands remained in ten, but the ban of God to make images and statues from God as well as the saints, no longer remained in force. Even today Catholic believers are praying for saints, Virgin Mary, and others. For nearly two millennia, people have built their doctrine, not on the Bible, but based on synods’ decisions and old traditions and beliefs.

    For the time will come when they will not listen to the sound doctrine, but, having itching ears, will heap up for themselves teachers after their own lusts; (2 Tim 4:3-4)

    Eph 5:3 But sexual immorality, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be mentioned among you, as becomes saints; 4 nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not appropriate; but rather giving of thanks. 5 Know this for sure, that no sexually immoral person, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words. For because of these things, the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience.

    Col 1:23 However, you must remain firmly established and steadfast in the faith, without being moved from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven and of which I, Paul, have become a servant. 3:23 And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men, 24 You know that it is from the Lord that you will receive the inheritance as a reward. It is the Lord Christ whom you are serving!

    I was dead, but look—I am alive forever and ever! I have the keys of Death and Hades. (Rev 1:18)

    Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. (Rev 20:14)

    KJV 1789: And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

    There is a widely accepted paradigm of paradise and it is understood that paradise is a post-mortem place for righteous believers where they spend their time between their death and the coming resurrection. For the sinners, it is a place of fierce affliction. In this place where people would be after their death, awaiting final judgment, there would be two different departments. However, the KJV invokes both departments collectively as Hell.

    The doctrine is basically based on Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus, who on earth was a poor beggar and suffered painful diseases when begging at the rich man’s door. As you read this Bible story, consider when reading the important question: is this an account of a real event or is this a symbolic story, one of Jesus’ parables.

    Luk chapter 16:

    16:19 Once there was a rich man who used to dress in purple and fine linen and live in great luxury every day.
    20 A beggar named Lazarus, who was covered with sores, was brought to his gate.
    22 It happened that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried.
    23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.
    24 He cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue! For I am in anguish in this flame.’
    25 “But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that you, in your lifetime, received your good things, and Lazarus, in like manner, bad things. But now here he is comforted and you are in anguish.
    26 Besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that those who want to pass from here to you are not able, and that none may cross over from there to us.’
    27 The rich man said, ‘I ask you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house;—
    28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, so they won’t also come into this place of torment.’
    29 But Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.’
    30 He said, ‘No, father Abraham, but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’
    31 Then Abraham said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded, even if someone rises from the dead.

    This is a parable of Jesus. If such a doctrine really was in the Bible, it would have been repeated in many places. Certainly, Jesus and the apostles would have proclaimed it always when speaking of the true kingdom of God. But no! There is no other account in the Bible that after death, man would live in such a place where others would enjoy at Abraham’s bosom and the sinners would suffer the continuous pain and the two groups would be separated by a gap. No one can be sent to suffer a cruel punishment without judgment! Ecc 9:5 says: For the living know that they will die, but the dead don’t know anything, neither do they have any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten. – The dead know nothing, nor do they feel anything!

    The Greek word Hades (Hebr. Sheol), translated in English by the word hell, is now known as Hell or that will not do – “Hades”. It used to describe just a pothole or a simple cellar. It is, however, only a grave where the bodies lie dead without knowing anything. According to the mainstream churches, in Hell, a sinner suffers eternal torment in a fiery lake. People have been intimidated for centuries by the church and kept in fear of death. In my view, the concept of Hell is the final punishment of the Last Judgment.

    Jesus’ parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19) has been used as evidence of a space where the dead are staying before the final judgment. For sinners, it is a place of pain and torture, but the righteous enjoy their lives in “Abraham’s bosom.” A rich man who has been in pain because of the fire and thirst and turns to Abraham for help. If the dead do not know anything, they do not even feel anything.

    The idea that such a kingdom of death in a physical and conscious state would be really absurd; are the dead there in the same bodies where people have died? Certainly, because the resurrection has not yet happened. The bodies are destroyed and often only a bunch of bones is left. How can these feel thirst and pain? Or perhaps the bodies are in spirit? The same question: how can the spirit, feel thirst and heat burning like a physical person?

    The realm of death has been considered to have changed after Christ’s death. When in the Old Testament times there was only a grave (Sheol / Hades), it is now a paradise for the believers, where believers can wait for the judgment and access to heaven. The same questions can be made for this new interpretation. And besides, the dead, who died during the Old Testament as well as the new ones are apparently divided into two groups. Sinners are in pain and thirst in the burning heat, and the righteous get to enjoy the paradise of happiness with Abraham. Who has decided on which side, Abraham’s bosom or the other one, they are going? The last conviction has not yet happened. So who has acted as a judge and with what authority?

    The doctrine of the third heaven or paradise or intermediate space is very poorly justified on the basis of the Bible.

     

  • What If What You Believe Is Wrong?

    Lutheran doctrinal books say:

    He [God] wants to justify and accept within His grace, to be children and heirs of eternal life, all those who, by having true repentance, accept the right faith in Christ.

    According to the Lutheran understanding, God wants to justify for eternal life all those who repent their sins, who will return and receive Christ with the right faith. By first reading, there is nothing startling here, but then focus turns on two words: right faith. True Lutherans believe, of course, Lutheran faith. The Lutheran faith is explained, among other things in their confessional books. Catholics, the largest Christian church, have their own defined doctrine of faith.

    All religions have their own interpretations and teachings which they hold nails and teeth. Not everyone even agrees to discuss the doctrinal questions. It is common for all of them to define the true faith. If a member disagrees, the consequences may be dramatic; a member can be separated, he can be shunned, he can be denied services provided to members. He can even be denied the possibility of salvation, that is, he will be shown to Hell with Satan. The fathers of the church who decided this did not remember the command of God through Luk 6:37 Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; set free, and you will be set free.

    In the Middle-Ages the Catholic Inquisition persecuted the heretics, e.g. Cathars. Thousands of those who were claimed to be heretics were persecuted and killed. Not only the witches, but also the heretic Christians were burned. Not only by the Catholics, also later the Reformation supporters were guilty, and Luther recommended to his princes that they kill the rebellious peasants who had begun to interpret and preach the Scriptures themselves. According to the Bible, we must love even our enemies, and Christians who in some respects believe differently, are not our enemies at all. This seemed Luther to have forgotten.

    So what is the right faith? I would say that it is the faith of Christ, which the apostles have proclaimed inspired by God and Jesus in the first century. The original texts have not survived, but from lots of texts close to them have been able to reconstruct the New Testament, which is very similar to the original. The problem is in translating and interpreting the text. I have written about this in an article, which in the light of the examples I try to shed light on translation and interpretation problems. The Bible turns out to be more difficult, the deeper you delve in it. Totally unambiguous and commonly accepted interpretation does not exist at all! When our Lord God knows all things beforehand, He must have also seen the jumble of interpretations. Why did He not put a clear statement in the mouth of his prophets? Perhaps God wanted us to strive in order to find the truth.

    But the key doctrines of salvation are clear. Jesus Christ is the Son of God and he who believes in him and calls for his name will be saved. There are many sentences of which the interpretation is clear. God also expects those who seek salvation love the truth and strive to make it clear by studying the Bible. It has not always been possible. Bibles in English began to come out of the print shop only about five hundred years ago. Today, it is possible to study the Bible in the most varied ways on the Internet. Small is the crowd that does this. Mat 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen. – this is how it is. Jesus also encouraged believers to strive for achieving salvation: Luk 13:24 Strive to enter in by the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will seek to enter in, and will not be able.

    In my writings, I do not assert that what I write is the absolute truth. Make yourself known as the Bereans who did not believe the apostle Paul, but wanted to make sure the Bible was true was what Paul had spoken. Find out yourselves as the Bereans did; they wanted to see in their own eyes if the Bible confirmed what apostle Paul had told.

    Study the Bible and make up your own mind. The most important thing is that you have a love of the truth. Jhn 8:32 “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” Mat 7:7 Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened for you.

    Someone has aptly said that God saves sinners – not Saints. Salvation belongs to everyone who only asks for it. I have long wondered whether it is easy or difficult to reach salvation. On the basis of some Biblical passages, it seems easy and simple, and on the other hand, there are many instructions and direct orders in the Bible that the believer must follow in order to be saved. The Bible also says that God has given faith to a different amount for each person in his discretion. When this is the case, you might think that salvation is easy for some and for those with little faith – it is more difficult. Maybe it is as I have in the next article “Two kind of salvation” written: the one who has received from God a lot of faith and he with the power of faith makes a lot of the deeds for the kingdom of God, He will be saved in the first resurrection and will participate in leadership positions in the kingdom. Those who have less faith will receive their salvation in the last judgment.

    The judgment starts with the house of God. 1 Pet 4: For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God. If it begins first with us, what will happen to those who don’t obey the gospel of God? – Peter refers not only to apostles but also to all teachers of God’s word. James says: Jas

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

    The portion of teachers is, therefore, to be weighed first and with a more accurate scale. What does it mean that the people of God’s house will be judged first? They are part of the first resurrection. They may receive eternal life and are allowed to follow Christ and rule with Him for a thousand years. In particular, Paul warns teachers to be accurate in teaching the message of the gospel. In Galatians, he says with great emphasis: Gal 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should proclaim to you a gospel contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let that person be condemned! What we have told you in the past I am now telling you again: If anyone proclaims to you a gospel contrary to what you received, let that person be cursed! It is not at all insignificant what kind of gospel is proclaimed in the church. Have the church’s priests considered what kind of teaching they are proclaiming? If the parishioners were asked what they think is the key message of the gospel, the answers would probably be divided between several alternatives. Even then do the priests agree on the central message of the gospel? Do they even know what was the most important task of Jesus on earth?

    What does it mean that God has given us a different amount of faith?

    The fact that God has given each one his own amount of faith is certainly of some purpose. Otherwise, God would have given the same amount equal to all, and the starting points would be the same for all. We also know that God has already before the beginning of time chosen people for His own purposes and later called them. Even though God has given some people a better starting point, God wants everyone to be saved: 1 Tim 2:4 who desires all people to be saved and come to full knowledge of the truth. – Different amount of faith can appear in different ways in a person’s life, for example, a person who has got a lot of faith dedicates his life to Bible studies and dissemination of news of the kingdom. The person with less faith has got his everyday things and only occasionally goes to church. Both can be just as good to God and both can be saved; first mentioned perhaps in part in the first resurrection and the other only in the last resurrection.

    Certain Catholic synods decisions have required members of the Church to believe in a decision or otherwise be damned. Many people have been kept obedient with the fear of Hell. By denying lay brothers to explain and preach God’s word, and by forbidding until the 16th century the translation of the Bible into the people’s own language, the church monopolized teaching of religion for the priests’ exclusive rights. Luther also had his own blind spot on this issue.

    In modern times, one can freely decide whether or not to believe. In the world there are thousands and again thousands of different churches denominations and different interpretations of the Bible. How can a man know if he is properly taught by his church? All the walks of religion cannot be right. What then happens to a man who believes wrong? Many are anxious about this and stick to the doctrines of their church, fearing what will happen to them if they leave their church.

    I do not believe that in the final judgment anyone will be transferred to Jesus’ left side simply because he has mistaken in a certain religious question. Even in an important issue such as the divinity of Jesus or the God being triune, the believer may be mistaken. However, man must have “love for truth to be saved”. It is not a matter of man to pronounce another condemnation of false beliefs: Luk 6:37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.”

     

  • Apostles’ Creed

    The Apostles’ Creed was born in the first or second century and is, therefore, the oldest creed. I personally accept it as it depicts the faith of the apostolic time, the kind of faith that Jesus conveyed to His disciples and these again to the whole world in the New Testament.

    There are several versions of the Apostles’ Creed. English versions are the following:

    Ecumenical version, Roman Catholic Church -version, Church of England -version, Evangelical Lutheran Worship -version, United Methodist Church -version.

    Apostles’ Creed:

    Evangelical Lutheran Worship

    I believe in God, the Father Almighty,

    Maker of heaven and earth.

    The Evangelical Lutheran Church also sees here the triune God and says, “It expresses faith in the triune God.” On this particular point, I disagree. God the Father states that he is the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth. God the Father is. Many churches interpret the Bible so that Jesus has created the world, or at least has been involved in creation with God Jehovah.

    And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,

    Then it is rightly said that Jesus is the Christ, the only Son of God, our Lord. It does not say that Jesus is the Almighty God. He is the only begotten Son of God. However, not the begotten God as Jhn 1:18 is somewhere translated. God has many sons, people can be sons of God or children of God. Humans and angels, who are the sons of God, are created beings, but Jesus is the only one born of God. It is further stated that Jesus is our Lord. The Bible says here that God has made Jesus Lord; Act 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

    who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

    born of the virgin Mary,

    suffered under Pontius Pilate,

    was crucified, died and was buried.

    He descended into Hell.

    Today, Bible translations use the Greek word Hades instead of the word Hell, because Hell is understood as the place of execution of the final judgment in which sinners are tortured forever in a burning lake.

    On the third day he rose again from the dead.

    The Bible uses the expression ‘on the third day’ and on the other hand Jesus was dead for ‘three days and three nights’.

    He ascended into heaven

    and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.

    From thence he will come to judge the living and the dead.

    I believe in the Holy Spirit,

    the holy Christian Church,

    the communion of saints,

    the forgiveness of sins,

    the resurrection of the body,

    and the life everlasting. Amen.

    Some decades after the Catholic synod in the third century had raised Jesus to the equal position with God the Father, the Holy Spirit was noted to be part of the triune God. In any case, the Holy Spirit is the power of God sent by the Father or the Son.

    The church of Christ is one, though there are countless small local units. In Revelation Jesus through John describes various churches during the apostolic times. These congregations also describe the latter-day parishes; today we live in the Laodicean Church where people are not cold nor not hot but they believe they are rich, even if they need, in Jesus’ words “eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see”. (Rev 3:18)

    The saints constitute a community that, together with Jesus, govern the kingdom of God, which is everlasting. The saints are the first to receive the resurrection and they are like angels, spirit beings. After the first resurrection, when a thousand years have elapsed, the last resurrection and the last judgment will take place. Although in the Creed, we speak of the resurrection of the body, however, the bodies rise in the spiritual body. The spirits of dead have been raised to God in heaven and, in my view, these spirits that are in heaven (Ecc 12:7) rise up.

    In the first resurrection, the saints have received immortality, and others receive it in the last judgment, or be lost. Finally, “God may be all in all.” (1 Cor 15:28)

     

  • Little Flock and Great Multitude

    Fear not, little flock, for it has been the good pleasure of your Father to give you the kingdom. (Luk 12:32)

     

     

    Little flock

    Jesus said the above to the twelve apostles and added: Luk 22:29 and just as my Father has granted me a kingdom, I grant you.

    Rev 5:9-10 They sang a new song, saying, You are worthy to take the book, and to open its seals: For you [Christ] were killed, and bought us for God with your blood, out of every tribe, language, people, and nation, And made them kings and priests to our God, and they reign on earth.

    These verses tell two most important things about the kingdom of God: 1) Christ has bought “men from every tribe and tongue and people and the nation”. They are not natural Israel and Jacob’s tribes, but around the world! 2) They form the kingdom of God; “To be a kingdom and priests to our God” and they will reign upon the earth.

    There is to be a small group that rules with Christ as kings and priests. In addition to the apostles, there are other righteous people. Many scholars believe that this small group is numbered 144,000. Interpretative disputes are whether the figure is accurate or symbolic. It turned out that the redeemed people of Christ include humans from all over the world. The group does not come from the so-called natural Israel, but from ‘God’s Israel’. Israel is in this figurative sense presented as God’s people. Perhaps also the number of 144,000 is figurative.

    Finally, there is only one fold and one shepherd. Jhn 10:16 have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must lead these also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd. – This is realized after the last conviction when God is all in all.

    Paul, on his own, says this: and behold, a great crowd which no one was able to number them, out of every nation, even tribes and peoples and tongues standing in front of the throne, and before the Lamb, having been clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.

    … the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me in that Day, and not only to me, but also to all the ones loving His appearance. (2 Tim. 4:8)

    Paul also clarifies that this crown of righteousness is given to all who are lovingly awaiting the coming of Christ. The crown refers to the royal power, that is, to the leadership of the kingdom of God. Some people say that this is not to be promised to all of them, but the wreath of righteousness means ‘only’ eternal life.

    Great Multitude

    … a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, … (Rev 7:9)

    I wrote above that people will be saved; a small crowd (‘flock’) will lead the kingdom of God with Christ, and a great crowd (‘multitude’) will be saved. After these things I saw, and behold, a great crowd which no one was able to number them, out of every nation, even tribes and peoples and tongues standing in front of the throne, and before the Lamb, having been clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. (Rev 7:9).

    Rev 7:13 Then one of the elders said to me, “Who are these people wearing white robes, and where did they come from? 14 … And he said to me, These are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb. 15 .. They are in front of the throne of God and worship him night and day in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
    16 They will never be hungry or thirsty again. Neither the sun nor any burning heat will ever strike them, 17 Because the Lamb in the midst of the throne will shepherd them, and will lead them on the living fountains of waters; and God will wipe off every tear from their eyes.

    So what do we know from the Bible about this great crowd? It is so great that no one could count it. Millions or hundreds of millions? Maybe as many as a billion people will get into this group. Most of humanity, however, is destroyed. We also know that these people who have been saved who have bleached their clothes and now go to long white clothes. “Bleaching” in the blood of the lamb, is figurative language telling that they have repented of their sins and resorted to the saving power of Christ’s blood i.e. they have found faith, perhaps at the very last moment. Jesus told (Mat Chapter 20) a parable of a man who hired workers to his field.

    For those who were first hired, was promised a denarius per day. Those who came later were promised the same salary, even for those who came so late that they worked for just a little while. Everyone was given the same pay, no matter how much work had been done. Those who had been working all day dumbfounded that the employer paid the same salary to those who just started working a few moments ago. From the point of view of salvation, this is exactly the case; all are equal regardless of how long each has been in faith. The big crowd can also come to the last minute, that is to say, to have the same grace as those who have been long in the faith. Jesus promises to pay the wage for everyone upon earth. However, these wages are different; one can get control over five cities, one of the ten cities. Everlasting life is, however, a gift for all.

    In Rev 7:17 is promised, that “the Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and will guide them to springs of the water of life; and God will wipe every tear from their eyes”. Springs of the water of life mean of course eternal life (i.e immortality).

    There is a small group that acts as ‘managers’ in the kingdom, kings and priests, and then there is a very large crowd that I interpret as subjects of the kingdom. This great crowd can be, except that they come from all peoples and languages, including a very different level of knowledge of the Bible. A small crowd has to teach them under Christ’s command.

    – In addition, there can be people who saved their lives who have not even heard of the God of the Bible or Christ. This is evident from Isa 66:19 I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations: Tarshish, Put, Lud, Meshech, Tubal and Javan, to the distant coastlands that have neither heard my fame nor seen my glory. And they will declare my glory among the nations.”

    Jhn 3:9 Who knows? He may turn, and God may have pity and turn away from the glow of His anger, that we do not perish. 10 When God saw their deeds, that they turned from their evil way, then God relented concerning the calamity which He had declared He would bring upon them. And He did not do it.

    It is clear that in the last days, during the great tribulation, much of humanity is destroyed. But not all people. If people repent and turn to God, calling for Jesus’ (or God’s) name. Act 4:12 There is no salvation by anyone else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved. Perhaps God will change his mind as He did after first condemning the destruction of Nineveh’s great city.

    The message of God transmitted by the prophets of the Old Testament is much darker than in the New Testament. NT brings forth a great number of people who are saved, so great that nobody could count their number.

    Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and there was a large crowd that no one was able to count! They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language. They were standing in front of the throne and the lamb and were wearing white robes, with palm branches in their hands.

    Joe 2:32 For it shall be, all who shall call on the name of Jehovah shall be saved. For salvation shall be in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, as Jehovah has said, and among the saved whom Jehovah shall call.

    Oba 1:17 But the ones who escaped shall be on Mount Zion, and it shall be holy. And the house of Jacob shall possess their own possessions.

    Heb 12:22 But you have drawn near Mount Zion, even the city of the living God, to a heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels,

    Luk 10:20 But stop rejoicing in this, that the evil spirits submit to you. But rather rejoice that your names are written in Heaven.

    More about the 144,000 in the next article

     

  • The 144 000 – Who Are The 144 000 Sealed by the Angel?

    Then I looked, and there was the lamb standing on Mount Zion! With him were 144,000 people who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. (Rev 14:1)

    Revelation chapter 7 speaks of the seal that marks the servants of God

    The Revelation speaks of a well-defined (144,000) group of righteous believers on whose forehead is written the names of Jesus and God. Here is, in my interpretation, the group sealed by the angels who are part of the first resurrection and who receive immortality as they ascend in spirit body up to the sky (clouds, not heaven). Luke 10:20 refers to the same rationale that their names are written (in the Book of Life) in the heavens.

    – The 144,000 righteous people marked with a seal meet with Jesus on Mount Zion in front of Christ’s throne. Verse 14: 3 proves that they have come from the earth. Rev 7:3 says Don’t harm the land, the sea, or the trees until we have marked the servants of our God with a seal on their foreheads. – From this, we can conclude that the sealed ones are righteous and alive at that moment of sealing.
    7:4 I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000. Those who were sealed were from every tribe of Israel.

    I’ve been under the impression that 144,000 is a symbolic number. It is supported by the fact that the ascending mass of the first resurrection and the righteous living on earth at the moment together form a significantly larger number than 144,000. How much do they total, the Bible does not tell. These sealed and righteous rising form a group that outright forms the leadership of the kingdom of God, the kings and priests. The sealed 144,000 sealed on earth, however, appear in verse 14:3 without the group of righteous resurrected from the dead. Why are not they involved? Is the sealed 144,000 still a precise figure, and if so, what is their relationship with the others of resurrection? The following verse 14:4 says, among other things, .. and they follow the lamb wherever he goes. They have been redeemed from among humanity as the first fruits for God and the lamb. 144,000 are in a special position; they have been bought for the first fruits to God and Christ and they follow Christ wherever He goes.

    The seventh chapter of Revelation tells us about the seals printed on the foreheads of God’s servants:

    7:2 And I saw another angel coming up from the rising of the sun, having a seal of the living God. And he cried with a great voice to the four angels to whom it was given to them to harm the earth and the sea, saying, 3 Do not harm the earth, nor the sea, nor the trees, until we seal the servants of our God on their foreheads. – From this, we can conclude that the sealed ones are righteous and alive at that moment of sealing.

    Rev 14:1 And I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion! And with Him were a hundred and forty-four thousands, with the name of His Father having been written on their foreheads. 3 And they sing as a new song before the throne, and before the four living creatures and the elders. And no one was able to learn the song except the hundred and forty-four thousands, those having been redeemed from the earth.

    The 144,000 righteous humans marked with a seal meet with Jesus on Mount Zion in front of Christ’s throne. Verse 14:3 proves that they have come from the earth. Rev 7:3 says: Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees until we have sealed the servants of our God on their foreheads. – From this, we can conclude that the sealed ones are righteous and alive at that moment of sealing.

    Another argument of at least the same weight is shown in verse Rev. 5: 9: … You were slain, and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

    –If Jesus has with his death bought to God people of all possible languages, and nations, which consists of the Israel of God, surely this group also includes those saints who have received the seal of God and are worthy of the first resurrection, and thus will be selected to lead the kingdom of God. I think these 144,000 are the future leaders of the coming kingdom. How then is it possible that the Bible says they are from the twelve tribes of Israel, not from all the peoples and languages of the earth?

    Have a look at the next verse as well: “You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign on the earth.

    The rulers and priests of this kingdom who shall reign over the entire earth are, after verse 9 and 10, the very ones who come from all the peoples of the world, not just from the twelve families of Israel.

    Compare the above to the following verse!

    And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred and forty-four thousand sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel (Rev 7:4)

    Verse 7:4 states that they are from all the tribes of the children of Israel, out of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel, or Jacob. That is how many scholars interpret this. There are two problems. Firstly, do the children of Israel refer to the tribes of natural Israel or God of Israel? When you check the list of generations to come after the verse, note that it does not fully comply with the list of Jacob’s boys. From this one could conclude that what is meant is God of Israel. When the Jews did not accept Jesus as their Messiah, the disciples received a mission statement to take the gospel to the whole world. Born again righteous of the Holy Spirit were around the world and natural Israel was left behind. Someone may interpret this verse so that these are Messianic Jews who have accepted Christ as their savior. But still, the puzzle of the tribe list remains open.

    How do we settle this controversy?

    a) There are two different matters; 144.000 who follow Jesus where ever He goes are not the group of people who will rule the kingdom with Jesus

    b) The 144.000 from the twelve tribes of Israel does not mean the tribes from Jacob’s sons but it means so-called God’s Israel i.e. holy ones from all around the world

     

  • Other Issues Related To Obtaining the Seal of God

    … having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph 1:13)

    The Bible tells you how God’s angel is sealing righteous in the last days. It is clear from the Ephesians that the seal can be obtained much earlier in each person’s life. Eph 1:13 In him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in him with the Holy Spirit of promise.

    The seal of the Holy Spirit is given to a person once he has heard the truth, the gospel, and become a believer. Hearing the truth also means calling of God and becoming a believer means to be chosen.

    Eph 4:30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit, by whom you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption.

    How does obtaining the seal be related to the so-called great multitude? Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and there was a large crowd that no one was able to count! They were from every nation, tribe, people, and language. They were standing in front of the throne and the lamb and were wearing white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 7:14 I said to him, My lord, you know. And he said to me: these are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.

    In the great tribulation and in the Lord’s day of the last days most of mankind will be destroyed. However, there will be a great many survivors. They may have come to repentance and faith in the very end. According to Jesus’ parable, He pays everyone the same pay regardless of whether the employee has been working all day or just a short while before the end of the day. Similarly, man can be saved at the very last moment by calling the Lord’s name. In my own interpretation, this way, they will be saved, but they save only their lives, and only after they have proved to be true believers and righteous, they receive eternal life in the final judgment. Salvation can happen in the same way as the Ephesian letter tells of receiving the seal of God.

     

  • The Book of Life

    He who overcomes will wear white clothes, and I will never erase his name from the Book of Life. I will acknowledge his name in the presence of my Father and his angels. (Rev 3:5)

    We could think of the Book of Life that originally there were all the names. The question is, whose name is removed from this book. And perhaps also who gets their name restored to the Book of Life. A celestial book with the names of those who will reach salvation is spoken in the following verses of Revelation:

    13:8 All those living on earth will worship it, everyone whose name is not written in the Book of Life belonging to the lamb that was slaughtered from the foundation of the world.

    17:8 The beast that you saw once was, is no longer, and is going to come from the bottomless pit and go to its destruction. Those living on earth, whose names were not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, will be surprised when they see the beast because it was, is no longer, and will come again.

    20:12 And I saw the dead, the small and the great, standing before God. And books were opened. And another Book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works.

    20:15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.

    21: Nothing unclean, or anyone who does anything detestable, and no one who tells lies will ever enter it. Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life will enter it.

    – A person’s name is wiped out of the book of life if he cannot endure – stay faithful- to the end. In the last days people, even believers, are being tested so that … “God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false” (2 Tes 2:11). Also, false Christs and false prophets will arise and these will show great signs and wonders, in order to mislead even the elect, tells the bible (Mat 24:24)

    Rev 7:14 …These are those coming out of the great tribulation; and they washed their robes and whitened them in the blood of the Lamb.

    12:11 They conquered him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they did not love their life even in the face of death.

    14:10 will drink the wine of God’s wrath, which has been poured unmixed into the cup of his anger. He will be tortured with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the lamb.

    19:7 Let us rejoice, be glad, and give him glory, because the marriage of the lamb has come and his bride [church, congregation] has made herself ready.

    19:9 Then the angel said to me, Write this: How blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the lamb! He also told me: These are the true words of God.

    21:27 … only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will enter it.

     

  • Who Will Rise Up in Connection With the Coming of Christ?

    And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, to everlasting contempt. (Dan 12:2)

    Dan. 12:1 And at that time, Michael shall stand up, the great ruler who stands for the sons of your people. And there shall be a time of distress, such as has not been from the existence of a nation until that time. And at that time, your people shall be delivered, everyone that shall be found written in the Book.

    Dan 12:2 Many (NIV: Multitudes) who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.”

    Traditionally, this translation of Daniel’s verse begins with the word “Many”.

    The Hebrew word ‘רַב Rab’ has been translated in some translations, such as NIV and YLT, using the word ‘multitudes’. A more important question is: are both groups receiving a resurrection at the same time? When I think about this, I say that it is possible that it does not require the resurrection to take place simultaneously.

    Here Daniel 12: 2 deals primarily with the first resurrection.  This could be called the resurrection of the righteous. There will be the second and last resurrection after the Millennial Kingdom of Christ is over. All the rest will rise up then and will receive Christ’s judgment.

    The remainder of the verse “Others to shame and everlasting contempt” may refer to the coming second resurrection [or resurrection of judgment], which takes place at the end of the millennial kingdom. Rev 20:4-5 Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came back to life and ruled with Christ for a thousand years. 5 The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection. – This Revelation verse describes the first resurrection, the same event Daniel describes in verse 12:2. At the end of the description, it is further clarified in Rev 20:5: the others, those who did not participate in the first resurrection, they “did not come to life until the thousand years were completed”.

    Daniel’s description of resurrection divides time into two parts, with a timetable of a thousand years. It is confirmed by chapter 20 of Revelation. From the Bible, we know that the first resurrection participants are not so many. Not at all if this “little flock” is compared with the second resurrection, to which all who are in the graves are awakened (John 5:28). The beginning of the verse Daniel 12:2 may well be just ‘many’ and not ‘multitudes’ unless Daniel means to speak of all who are awakened to be condemned.

    The Hebrew word “forever”, i.e. ‘owlam עוֹלָם’, is also not definitely and always eternal. I have written a couple of examples in Chapter Last Judgment. It would seem clearer that all the dead would rise up and that the graves would be empty so that they would be filled again during the reign of the millennium. If many is the correct translation, there is a problem to be solved: who do not get out of the graves. Could it be so that in the first resurrection only the righteous will rise up? The rest are sinners who have their turn in the second resurrection. In the time of the Millennial kingdom, judgments will also be given; this is a clear statement in verse 2 Tim 4:1. Isaiah also refers to this in saying how the sinner is cursed at the age of hundred years. Isa 65:20 There shall not still be an infant of days, or an old man that has not filled his days. For the youth shall die the son of a hundred years, but the sinner being a hundred years old shall be accursed. Dan 12:3 And those who are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and those turning many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever. –The group of resurrected ascenders is twofold: Those who are wise and have insight, who love God and Jesus, i.e. obey the will of God and Jesus in their lives, and secondly, those who work to spread God’s Word i.e. the gospel, and to bring others to righteousness.

    In verse 1, the events are connected with the coming of Christ, the great tribulation. Many dead will wake up. The time of great tribulation means that most of mankind will be destroyed. Does this mean that the dead have already been judged if they die during the tribulation time? Jesus condemns humanity both in his coming and during the thousand-year reign of God. 2 Tim 4:1 Then I solemnly witness before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, he is about to judge living and dead at his appearance and his kingdom: – Jesus will judge the living and the dead, in connection with his coming and in the kingdom during the millennial administration and at the end of the resurrection of judgment.

     

    The saved will change in a blink of an eye.

    … the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Cor 15:52)

    1 Cor 15:50 And I say this, brothers, that flesh and blood is not able to inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
    51 Behold, I speak a mystery to you: we shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed.
    52 in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet. Indeed, that trumpet will sound, and then the dead will be raised never to decay, and we will be changed.
    53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
    54 But when this corruptible shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on immortality, then will take place the word that has been written, “Death was swallowed up in victory.

    –Death is swallowed up concerning the saints of the first resurrection. Death has been won; those resurrected can no longer die because they have received eternal life (immortality). The second death does not have any power over them.

     

    He will change our humble bodies and make them like his glorious body… (Phl 3:21)

    Phl 3:20-21 Our citizenship, however, is in heaven, and it is from there that we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our humble bodies and make them like his glorious body through the power that enables him to bring everything under his authority.

    The book of Revelation describes Jesus’ appearance; the resurrected will be like Jesus!

    Rev 1:14 His head and his hair were white like wool, in fact, as white as snow. His eyes were like flames of fire, In 1 Cor 15:49 Paul says they have borne the image of the earthy, but that one day (meaning resurrection day) they will also bear the image of the heavenly. – Who else could this heavenly man be other than Jesus? Rev. 1:14 is therefore a description of the resurrected people as well.

    How do the resurrected change?

    He will change our humble bodies and make them like his glorious body… (Phl 3:21)

    Phl 3:20-21 Our citizenship, however, is in heaven, and it is from there that we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will change our humble bodies and make them like his glorious body through the power that enables him to bring everything under his authority.

    The book of Revelation describes Jesus’ appearance; the resurrected will be like Jesus!

    Rev 1:14 His head and his hair were white like wool, in fact, as white as snow. His eyes were like flames of fire, In 1 Cor 15:49 Paul says they have borne the image of the earthy, but that one day (meaning resurrection day) they will also bear the image of the heavenly. – Who else could this heavenly man be other than Jesus? Rev. 1:14 is therefore a description of the resurrected people as well.

     

    Are the tombs left empty when Jesus has come and the resurrection has taken place? No, because, as Daniel said, many are rising. Who are those who do not rise, but remain in their graves? Unrighteous Christians, yes. But there is another group of people that we often forget: Rom 4:15 says … “where there is no law, there is also no violation”. – What then happens to those dead who have not heard of God or the gospel of Christ, but whose conscience is bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them? (Rom 2:15) They cannot be condemned because they have no law. If they are to wait for the final judgment, they could not be condemned, and on the other hand, they could not be saved because they were not born again. May Christ solve this.

    These people were the ones who did good in their life, though they did not know the gospel. What about those who did not even know the gospel but were bad. Psa 49:21 “Man that is in honor, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.” Such people are compared to animals: they are “Strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” as Eph. 2:12 indicates. The Bible says what will happen to animals when they die; their spirits simply go into the ground and that’s all. Would it be so that such people would experience their destiny as animals. They would have no resurrection at all, unlike the good pagans. According to this interpretation, since not all rise from their graves when Christ comes, the graves are left to the bad dead in addition to those who die during the great tribulation and God’s day.

    Those who will be resurrected, receive a judgment, either of life (the saints) or damnation, or eternal desolation. The above I was thinking of a solution that only the righteous would participate in the first resurrection. Only in the second resurrection followed by the judgment of all, there would be harsh judgments. Those who have either abandoned their faith or have not even believed and received the gospel that they heard may have a judgment of destruction. According to an interpretation, a believer who renounces his faith in Christ is guilty of the mortal sin, the mockery of the Holy Spirit. Such can no longer receive God’s forgiveness. Such people may well be those mentioned by Daniel who rise to judgment, which is clear: shame and age-lasting abominations (abomination of desolation).

    When Jesus appears, there will be people left on earth, subordinate to the kingdom. These could be saved at the last moment (those who called for Jesus’ name) or those who are good pagans whose salvation is based on their conscience. Rom 2:14 For when nations not having Law do by nature the things of the Law, they not having Law are a law to themselves, 15 They show that what the law requires is written in their hearts, a fact to which their own consciences testify, and their thoughts will either accuse or excuse them.

    They are given an opportunity to obtain salvation on the basis of faith adopted in the kingdom. After a thousand years, the second resurrection takes place, and after that the so-called last judgment, when all those who lived and died in God’s kingdom awake to judgment. Jhn 5:28 Don’t be amazed at this, because the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice 29 and will come out—those who have done what is good to the resurrection of life, and those who have practiced what is evil to the resurrection of condemnation.

    In verse 24 Jesus says: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. – This is Jesus’ promise of a positive future judgment, provided that, man will “endure to the end”. It also includes a lot more. In the last chapter I will tell you more, but now briefly: the chosen ones will not be judged with the rest of the world. God afflicts them and teaches them already during their lives and they will be prepared to take responsibility for Christ’s leadership of the kingdom of God when they are resurrected.

    In the second letter to Timothy, Paul writes that when Christ returns, Christ will come to judge the living and the dead. About himself and their kind who love the coming of Jesus, Paul says: 2 Tim 4:8 For the rest, the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me in that Day, and not only to me, but also to all the ones loving his appearance. –

    Christ condemns during his millennial kingdom. Judgments are nevertheless distributed only to those who are in the kingdom. Judgments will, however, be given only to the survivors who are in the kingdom. The new resurrection will have to wait a thousand years.

     

  • The Resurrected Are Like Angels

    … we will also bear the likeness of the man from heaven. (1 Cor 15:49)

    1 Cor 15:49 Just as we have borne the likeness of the man who was made from dust, we will also bear the likeness of the man from heaven.

    1 The 4:13 But we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve like other people who have no hope.

    15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who have died.
    16 With a shout of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of God’s trumpet, the Lord himself will come down from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
    17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

    Jesus Christ answered the question of resurrection this way Luk 20:35: but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Mat 22:30 says about the same: For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are as the angels of God in Heaven.

    From these words of Jesus it can be concluded that the resurrected ones are in the spirit body, since they are like angels and angels are spirits in heaven. These resurrected mentioned by Jesus are not those who live on earthly paradise, as described by Isaiah. (Isa 65:17>). There are also children in this earthly paradise and their parents are not angels but flesh and blood.

    Isaiah also tells what kind of circumstances prevail in the millennial reign of peace:

    11:6 And the wolf shall live with the lamb; and the leopard shall lie with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little boy shall lead them.
    7 The cow and the bear shall feed, their young shall lie together; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
    8 And the infant shall play on the hole of the asp; yea, the weaned child shall put his hand on the viper’s den.
    9 They shall not do evil, nor destroy in all my holy mountain. For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of Jehovah, as the waters cover the sea.

    Probably Jesus means that those who are resurrected the ones involved in the first resurrection; they will be caught up in the air to meet Jesus and they are happy because the second death no longer has power on them. These Holy saints will act as ‘priests and kings’ in the kingdom of God now to begin. Among these are the disciples to whom Jesus spoke by saying, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32). – The kingdom is on earth, not in heaven, at least for the first thousand years. It would therefore be probable that the leaders of the kingdom would also be on earth and not in spirit bodies in heaven. See, however, Phl 3:14 I keep pursuing the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus. KJV 1789: I press toward the mark for the Prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 4:8 confirms the same: For the rest, the crown of righteousness is laid up for me, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me in that Day, and not only to me, but also to all the ones loving his appearance.

     

  • The Reward in Heaven

    NT speaks in many respects of heaven, but those which I have gone through, do not just exactly say that the resurrected would be there. What does it mean when the Bible says “Your reward is great in Heaven”? Are they going to ascend to heaven to collect it – or does Jesus bring it with Him when he comes to earth for the second time? Remember, Jesus promised to come with the wages when He comes back (Rev 11:18).

    Mat 5:11 Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and persecute you, and shall say every evil word against you, lying, on account of me.
    5:12 Rejoice and be extremely glad, because your reward in heaven is great! For that’s how they persecuted the prophets who came before you.

    1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy, he has given us a new birth to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead 4 and to an inheritance kept in heaven for you that can’t be destroyed, corrupted, or changed. – The wage is therefore great in the heavens, but it is stored there, and Christ brings it, when it is time to pay!

    In 2 Cor 5 chapter is spoken of ‘dwelling from heaven’ and about the longing for getting in the ‘building from God’. ”We” means the participants of the first resurrection. 2 Cor 5:1-2 We know that if the earthly tent we live in is torn down, we have a building in heaven that comes from God, an eternal house not built by human hands. For indeed in this house we groan, since we long to put on our heavenly dwelling.

    If our earthly tent is torn down, that is, we die, we have a building from God, eternal in the heavens. In this earthly dwelling, we are longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven. This means having eternal life, not to living in heaven. The Bible speaks of clothing, such as “be clothed with humility” (1 Pet 5:5). 2 Cor 5:4 So while we are still in this tent, we sigh under our burdens, because we do not want to put it off but to put it on, so that our dying bodies may be swallowed up by life.

     

  • Jesus Brings the Reward with Him

    The nations were angry, but your wrath has come. It is time for the dead to be judged—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. (Rev 11:18)

    Revelation tells:

    Rev 11:15 When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, there were loud voices in heaven, saying: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will rule forever and ever”.
    16 And the twenty four elders sitting before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,
    17 They said, We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to rule.
    18 The nations were angry, but your wrath has come. It is time for the dead to be judged—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.

    Rev 20:1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, holding the key to the bottomless pit and a large chain in his hand.
    2 He captured the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil and Satan, and tied him up for a thousand years.
    3 He threw him into the bottomless pit, locked it, and sealed it over him to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were over. After that he must be set free for a little while.
    4 Then I saw thrones, and those who sat on them were given authority to judge. I also saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or hands. They came back to life and ruled with Christ for a thousand years.
    5 The rest of the dead did not come back to life until the thousand years were over. This is the first resurrection.
    6 How blessed and holy are those who participate in the first resurrection! The second death has no power over them. They will be priests of God and Christ and will rule with him for a thousand years.

    For all those who experience the first resurrection, Christ brings the reward with Him. It is confirmed in Rev. 22:12 See! I am coming soon! My reward is with me to repay everyone according to his work.

    Rom 2:6-8 For he will repay everyone according to what that person has done: eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing good; but wrath and fury for those who in their selfish pride refuse to believe the truth and practice wickedness instead.

    Mat 5:11-12 How blessed are you whenever people insult you, persecute you, and say all sorts of evil things against you falsely because of me 12 Rejoice and leap for joy, for your reward is great in Heaven; for in this way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

    1 Pet 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! Because of his great mercy he has given us a new birth to an ever-living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead

    Rev 22:12 See! I am coming soon! My reward is with me to repay everyone according to his work.

    The Apostles’ and other Christians’ rewards are still to be kept in heaven. Christ speaks of bringing this pay to each one when he comes for the second time to establish the kingdom of God on earth. Resurrection believers will be “kings and priests” and rule with Jesus for a thousand years.

    Luke has recorded Jesus’ parable of his own self. When a ‘nobleman’ (Jesus) returns, all the servants are called to him to make an account of their actions. Well-performed receive a good wage and unsuccessful workers get no wage all. The enemies of Jesus are destroyed.

    Luk 19:12 So he said, “A prince [Christ] went to a distant country to be appointed king and then to return.
    13 He called ten of his servants and gave them ten coins. [Gk. minas. A mina was equivalent to about eight months of wages for a laborer.] He said to them, ‘Invest this money until I come back.
    14 But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, We do not desire this one to reign over us.
    15 After he was appointed king, he came back. He ordered the servants to whom he had given the money to be called so that he could find out what they had made by investing.
    16 And the first came, saying, Lord, your mina has gained ten minas.
    17 The king said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been trustworthy in a very small thing, take charge of ten cities.
    18 The second servant came and said, ‘Your coin, sir, has earned five coins.
    19 And he said to this one also, And you be over five cities.
    20 And another came, saying, Lord, behold your mina which I had kept in a handkerchief.
    21 because I was afraid of you. You are a hard man. You withdraw what you didn’t deposit and harvest what you didn’t plant.
    22 The king said to him, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you evil servant! You knew, did you, that I was a hard man, and that I withdraw what I didn’t deposit and harvest what I didn’t plant?
    23 Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’
    24 Then he said to the bystanders, take the mina from him, and give it to him who has ten minas.
    25 And they said to him, Lord, he has already ten minas.
    26 I tell you, to everyone who has something, more will be given, but from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.
    27 But as for these enemies of mine who didn’t want me to be their king—bring them here and slaughter them in my presence!

    In addition to the apostles, other participants of the resurrection rule over who “five cities” who “ten cities”. This is confirmed in Jesus’ parable of the servants above. Then what happens to a servant who does nothing? There are billions of such people in the real world. The answer may be surprising. V. 26 explains: to everyone who has something, more will be given, but from the person who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. The hardest fate, however, is for those who are completely hostile and do not want him to rule over them at all. Jesus describes their destiny: “slay them in my presence” (v.27). What is the teaching of this parable? Who are these servants or, in fact, ‘slaves’? They are the servants of the Church. In any case, people whose job is to proclaim the Word of God and to spread the gospel of Christ to the world. In addition to government duties, you can be honored as a prize. Dan 12:3 promises: Those who have insight [or the instructors, are wise] will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

    Dan 7:22 until the Ancient of Days came. And judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 7:27 And the kingdom and rulership, and the greatness of the kingdom under all the heavens shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. And. all kingdoms shall serve and obey him

    Rev 2:26 To the person who overcomes and continues to do my works to the end I will give authority over the nations. 27 He will rule them with an iron scepter, as when clay pots are shattered. – Governing of the heathen shows that in the thousand-year reign there are pagans, i.e. people who have not heard and have not even been able to believe the gospel. However, they have survived the great destruction of the Lord’s day.

     

  • Salvation by Works and Salvation by Grace

    Jesus promised that when he came he would bring a reward with him. The Romans says that the wage is paid of earnings, not of mercy. These works are to my mind the proclamation of the kingdom of God, the works related to the proclamation of the gospel, what Jesus commanded his followers to do. However, not all can do this work for one reason or another; they can be saved from grace through faith.

    Now to someone who works, wages are not considered a gift but an obligation. (Rom 4:4)

    Pay for work

    1 Cor 3:14 If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward.

    Phl 2:15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, God’s children without any faults among a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.

    1 Pet 5:2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is among you, watching over it, not because you must but because you want to, and not greedily but eagerly, as God desires. 5:4 Then, when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the victor’s crown of glory that will never fade away.

    Dan 12:3 Those who have insight [the instructors] will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those turning many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.

    Mat 25:23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and trustworthy servant! Since you have been trustworthy with a small amount, I will put you in charge of a large amount. Come and share your master’s joy!

    To shepherd the flock of parishioners is a job of a spiritual shepherd. Such shepherds are in the congregation and where there is no congregation, the shepherd can be an itinerant preacher or anyone who works “to lead the many to righteousness” or otherwise cares for his neighbors. Those who do the work given by Christ receive a reward when Jesus arrives for the second time at the same time as the first resurrection takes place. The wages for the resurrected and those on the earth are paid for work, if they are “shepherds of God’s flock that is among you, watching over it, not because you must but because you want to, and not greedily but eagerly, as God desires”. (1 Pet 5:2)

    The Bible tells that if you “shepherd the flock of God, so that you may be blameless and innocent, God’s children without any faults among a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. (Phl 2:15).

    Salvation by Grace

     – through Fire

    For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8)

    If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss. However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire. (1 Cor 3:15)

    Then we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. (Rom 3:28)

    Barnes’ Notes: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. … no righteousness of their own will be the ground of their justification. They are sinners; and as such can have no claim to be treated as righteous. God has devised a plan by which, they may be pardoned and saved; and that is by faith alone. .. Luther often called this doctrine of justification by faith the article upon which the church stood or fell. .. If this doctrine is held entire, all others will be held with it. If this is abandoned, all others will fall also. It may be remarked here, however, that this doctrine by no means interferes with the doctrine that good works are to be performed by Christians. Paul urges this as much as any other writer in the New Testament. His doctrine is, that they are not to be relied on as a ground of justification; but that he did not mean to teach that they are not to be performed by Christians is apparent from the connection,

    Rom 4:5 But to someone who does not work, but simply believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness.

    Now it is obvious that no one is justified in the sight of God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith. (Gal 3:11)

    In the Old Covenant (of law) there were more than 600 orders for the people of Israel. Who was able to observe all of these? The New Covenant of Christ changes everything: Ellicott’s Commentary says, “For we hold that a man is justified by faith, independently of any work prescribed by law.” Even though deeds of the law are no longer solving the salvation (becoming righteous, i.e. proclamation of sinless) we are to, because of faith, strive to continue to do good deeds in life. With the new covenant, the human part has been facilitated; no longer a modern person needs to think about how to treat bulls or how to observe other over 600 orders. Yet, man has a lot to do in his endeavor to carry out the double commandment of Christ-loving God and neighbor.

    Foundation of faith. 1 Cor 3:11 After all, no one can lay any other foundation than the one that is already laid, and that is Jesus Christ.
    12 And if anyone builds on this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw,
    13 the work of each will be revealed; for the Day [of judgment] will make it known, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire will prove the work of each, what sort it is.
    14 If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. [or receive wages]
    15 If his work is burned up, he will suffer loss. However, he himself will be saved, but it will be like going through fire. (Read more of this consuming and cleansing fires in the last chapter)

    One can only build faith in Jesus. The foundation of my faith can be good (gold, silver, etc.) or it may be weaker, but if your faith (i.e. building) is lasting, you will be paid. If the faith (your ‘building’) is poorly constructed of wood or straw and cannot withstand, but burns, the builder must suffer the damage and perhaps he will be destroyed in the last days of the tribulation. This ‘builder’, whose house (faith) has some real elements, will, however, be saved even though he does not receive wages [a leading position in the kingdom or the crown of righteousness] but as if (note: as if) through the fire. This point that speaks of salvation through fire refers in the opinion of Catholics to the Purgatory, in which man is saved after a shorter or longer-lasting, cleansing fire. I would not be so sure that it is a question of Purgatory, anyway not the kind of thing you that you can relieve with money.

    In Romans 12:3 it is disclosed that God has given faith to each one of a certain amount: For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. Also Eph 4:7 Now to each one of us grace has been given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.– God’s spirit distributes faith and grace to each one as he pleases: 1 Cor 12:11 But one and the same Spirit produces all these results and gives what he wants to each person. – Could it be that the builder of a ‘poor house’ has had less faith than others, and yet in the final judgment he would be forcibly cleansed and saved as if through the fire?

     

  • Where to Get Saved – to Heaven?

    No one has ascended into heaven, except the one who descended from heaven: the Son of Man who is in heaven. (Jhn 3:13)

    For centuries and centuries, most people and churches have believed, after death, to go to heaven or in Hell. Some even mainstream churches have a solid view of a space called Purgatory where the dead will have to suffer according to the degree of sins before they are let to heaven. Purgatory can torture the dead for a long time, but it can be relieved by indulgence. What does the Bible say about it?

    No one has ascended into heaven… One could interpret this earthmoving statement so that it concerns the past. ‘Has ascended’ to heaven refers to the passed time. Perhaps it is possible that after this statement you could get to heaven. I do not think such an interpretation is possible. God’s purpose for the righteous to inherit the earth in the future has been uttered several times. What purpose would the resurrection have if the righteous were already in heaven? Would you then send them back to earth? I do not think so!

    Mat 5:5 How blessed are those who are humble, for it is they who will inherit the earth!

    Rev 5:10 You made them a kingdom and priests for our God, and they will reign on [or over] the earth.

     

  • What Does The Bible Say About King David And Abraham?

    For David did not ascend into Heaven … (Act 2:34)

    King David, who was “a man after my heart”, and Abraham, whom God called his friend, must have gone to heaven. Or did not they ever get there? What does the Bible say about it?

    Act 2:29 Brothers, I can tell you confidently that the patriarch David died and was buried, and that his tomb is among us to this day.

    Act 13:22 … I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who shall do all my will. – If David did not reach heaven, even though he was a man of God’s favor, who then?

    David’s time will come as prophet Jeremias says (Jer 30:9) but they shall serve Jehovah their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up to them. – David is not in heaven, but resting in his grave. If he were in heaven, he would not have to wake up! Awakening occurs in the first resurrection when Jesus comes.

    And again; Eze 37:24 And my servant, David, shall be King over them. And there shall be one Shepherd to all of them. And they shall walk in my judgments and keep my statutes, and do them.

    Psa 89:4 I will establish Your seed forever, and build up Your throne to all generations. 5 And the heavens shall thank your wonders, O Jehovah; also your faithfulness in the assembly of the saints. – God has sworn to David to build him a throne that will last “from generation to generation”. What about Christ’s throne? Should not he be on the throne of David?

    He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his forefather David. (Luk 1:32)

    David is, therefore, the king of Israel, but what about the apostles? For them, Jesus promised the right to rule with him. The answer can be found in Mat 19:28 where Jesus says: Truly I tell you, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the renewed creation, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, governing the twelve tribes of Israel. – The apostles will reign the twelve tribes of Israel under David’s kingship.

    Also, the resurrected saints will reign as kings and priests, depending on how they have taken care of the ‘talents’ (or ‘minas’) entrusted to them. Some ‘five cities’, others ‘ten’. King in the Bible language was not the same as King today. During the Bible, each city (a small city, “city-state”) had its own king, of course, the big kingdoms. The saints ruling as kings are rather “local managers” under Christ’s leadership.

    Rom 8:17 Now if we are children, we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if, in fact, we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

    … And Abraham?

    Gal 3:16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his descendant. It doesn’t say “descendants,” referring to many, but “your descendant,” referring to one person, who is Christ. 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants and heirs according to the promise. – These promises may be trusted by Christ’s believers.

    Rom 15:8 And I say, Jesus Christ has become a servant of circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises of the fathers, – the fathers are according to Act 3:13: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob—the God of our ancestors—has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you betrayed and rejected in the presence of Pilate, even though he had decided to let him go.

    15:10 Again he says, Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people! – Promises also affect converts.

    Gen 12:7 And Jehovah appeared to Abram and said I will give this land to your seed. And he built an altar there to Jehovah, who appeared to him.

    Gen 13:15 For all the land which you see I will give to you, and to your seed forever.

    2 Chr 20:7 Are You not our God? You have driven out the inhabitants of this land from before Your people Israel, and have given it to the seed of Abraham, your friend forever; – So land, no access to heaven.

    Rom 4:13 For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the law, but through the righteousness produced by faith.

    Gen 22:17 hat blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the shore of the sea. And your Seed shall possess the gate of His enemies.

    18 And in your seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed because you have obeyed my voice.

    God confirmed this promise also to Isac saying: Gen 26:2 And Jehovah appeared to him and said, Do not go down into Egypt; stay in the land which I shall say to you.
    3 Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your seed I will give all these lands. And I will cause to rise My oath which I swore to your father Abraham.
    4 And I will increase your seed like the stars of the heavens, and I will give to your seed all these lands. And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves in your seed,
    5 because Abraham listened to my voice and heeded my charge, my commands, my statutes, and my laws.

    Eph 2:12 that at that time you were without Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers of the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.
    13 But now, in Christ Jesus, you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

     

     

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