In this article, I will address the following:
Before dying: Spiritual death – What does the Bible say about the state after death? – Heaven – New heaven, new earth – Purgatory compared with God’s purifying fire – Third heaven in the Bible – Third heaven in 2 Cor 12:2 – Abraham’s bosom – Intermediate state – Third heaven according to the Apocrypha – Where in heaven does God live? – Conceptions of death – What do we know about the near-death experiences? – Paradise
Before Death: Spiritual Death
After the Fall in Paradise, Adam and Eve first suffered a spiritual death. Namely, on the day they did not die physically, but they were separated from God, then they died spiritually.
Eph 2:1-3 clarifies: ”You used to be dead because of your offenses and sins,” – Most of humanity is spiritually dead. They live in sin, are on-going against the will of God and do not even try to find the way to be saved. They don’t even realize they are on their way to destruction. Of them, the Bible uses the phrase, “walk according to the course of this world.” 2 ”in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the powers of the air, the spirit who now works in the children of disobedience, 3 among whom we also all once lived in the lust of our flesh, doing the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” – The Prince of the powers of the air is Satan. Satan causes the lust of the flesh and the awakening of ill thoughts. Such people are obsolescently called ‘children of wrath’, which means they are subject to God’s wrath and vengeance in the last days. Jude describes them as follows: 1:12 ”These are spots in your love-feasts, feasting together with you without fear, pasturing themselves; clouds without water, carried along by the winds; autumnal trees, without fruit, twice dead, rooted up;” – “Twice dead” refers to two deaths; the first death must be confronted by every man, but the second death must be confronted only by the one who is condemned to death in the last judgment. At this point, they live an active, enjoyable life and, in their own mind, they are far from dead. They just don’t realize they are on the road to death.
The spiritually dead are physically alive. They just do not realize they are spiritually dead who, in the final judgment will experience the second death.
What does the Bible say about the state of life after death?
”You shall return to dust”
Ecc 9:5 ”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.”
Psa 146:4 His spirit departs, and he returns to the earth. In that very day, his thoughts perish.
Gen 3:19 By the sweat of your face will you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Ecc 3:19 For that which happens to the sons of men happens to animals. Even one thing happens to them. As the one dies, so the other dies. Yes, they have all one breath; and man has no advantage over the animals: for all is vanity.
20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and all turn to dust again.
Act 24:15 having hope toward God, which these also themselves look for, that there will be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.
Dan 12:2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
4 But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run back and forth, and knowledge shall be increased.”
10 Many shall purify themselves, and make themselves white, and be refined; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but those who are wise shall understand.
Heaven or Earth, what does the Bible say about the state after death?
Psa 37:29 ”The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever..” There are two options; the righteous live on earth as co-workers of God – according to my interpretation in the spirit body. The second group comprises those who will be judged and are disposed of connection with God. It is entirely based on whether or not one had resorted to Jesus Christ alone to atone for one’s sins (Mat 24:46; Joh 3:36). As the Bible says; the righteous shall inherit the earth.
New heaven, new earth …
Rev 21:1 I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.
2 I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 I heard a loud voice out of heaven saying, “Behold, God’s dwelling is with people, and he will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
4 He will wipe away from them every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; neither will there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain, any more. The former things have passed away.”
5 He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” He said, “Write, for these words of God are faithful and true.”
21:27 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.
The second last chapter of Revelation tells of the time when the Millennial kingdom of Christ is over, and it is the time of the last judgment. There will be major changes to the past. God says he will make everything anew. The Holy City, the New Jerusalem descends from God out of heaven down to earth. God’s dwelling is now in the midst of men. Death has been removed. There is no pain or sorrow left, all the consequences of sin have been removed. The righteous have indeed inherited the earth.
With the resurrection and judgment, mankind is now in the spirit body. The death that took everyone who lived in the physical body was cast and destroyed in the fiery lake. However, my attention is drawn to the last verse of the 21st chapter; ”And nothing common, nor that maketh an abomination and a lie, shall at all enter into it [New Jerusalem]; but those only who are written in the book of life of the Lamb.” –I don’t have any doubts about the accuracy of the verse. Surely it is that nothing impure can enter the city of God. But! Somewhere outside the city, there is probably this kind of impurity. Why else would the Bible have spoken like this? Does it mean that all the sinners have not been destroyed? – If the sinners have been abolished there is no need to make such a statement. This and other issues I have yet to study.
The last chapter of Revelation speaks of a ”river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” In the second verse, the Bible tells that ”between the street of the city and the river there was the tree of life visible from both sides. It produced twelve kinds of fruit, each month having its own fruit. The leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.”
In verse 22:4 it is said:” They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” – These verses, among others, are figurative expressions.
My purpose was to write about heaven and whether it is the destination of humans after death. Well no, because as we read from the Bible above, heaven and God Himself descend to dwell on the earth. The last two chapters of Revelation are prophecy. The reader is returned to the surface of the modern world in 22:11:” Let the one who does what is evil continue to do evil, and let the filthy person continue to be filthy, and the righteous person continue to do what is right, and the holy person continue to be holy.”
I have collected a few quotes submitted online. References to these passages are accompanied by references to Bible passages as if they confirmed the views expressed. People often believe that as soon as they die, good people will go to heaven and bad sinners will go to hell. This is what most people mistakenly believe but their faith is not based on the Bible. Opinions such as the following are often expressed by major ecclesiastical counseling organizations:
”When a person dies physically, his connection to the temporal world ends. According to the Bible, the human soul/spirit enters into a special intermediate state, which in the Bible is called either hell or (third) heaven. There, man awaits the end of the present world, the return of Jesus, the resurrection of the body and the final judgment followed by new eternity.”
“It is evident that the soul/spirit of the believer immediately moves to Christ and the physical body remains in the tomb. In the resurrection of believers, the physical body rises and is glorified. After that, it connects with the soul/spirit. This renewed and glorified body-soul-spirit is the abode of the believer forever in the new heaven and in the new earth (Rev. 21-22).”
“After Christ entered the kingdom of death, the intermediate state ceased to signify hell to the believer and became a blissful state in the presence of the Lord in heaven, or “paradise.” (Eph 4:8; Heb 11:39-40) Eph 4:8 ”Therefore he says, “When he ascended on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.” – Heb 11:39-40 reads as follows: 39 ”And these all, having obtained witness through faith, did not receive the promise, 40 God having foreseen some better thing for us, that they should not be made perfect without us.” (My comment: These verses, however, say nothing about a change of the intermediate state in connection with the Lord in heaven, or “paradise”.)
“First of all, the Bible tells us that at some point after death, the soul/spirit of man is taken to heaven because his sins have been forgiven and he has accepted Christ as his savior. (Joh 3:16, 18, 36). (My comment: Catholics! Just have a look at the verse in John 3:13 that testify: ”No one has ascended into heaven, but he who descended out of heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.”)
… but after death, the judgment of God shall follow. The Catholic Church believes that as a result of this personal judgment, the person enters heaven, purgatory or hell. 1 Cor 3:13–17: 13 ”the work of each shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire shall try the work of each what it is. 14 If any man’s work remains which he built on it, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire. 16 Don’t you know that you are a temple of God, and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 17 If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for God’s temple is holy, which you are.”
This is how a catholic website teaches. Reference is made to 1 Corinthians 3:13-17. I want to pay attention to the words “the day shall declare it, because it is revealed in fire;” and “the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is.” – I completely disagree with the Catholic doctrine; not everyone will be tried and judged individually immediately after death! There is nothing in those verses about going to heaven, about purgatory, about going to hell. God’s fire tests a person who is under judgment when it is due time for judgment and people are resurrected for judgment. Translated from: http://hyviauutisia.net/pelastuminen/viimeiset-asiat/
”Therefore, after death, a person resides in a “temporary” heaven or hell. After this temporary realm, at the final resurrection, a person’s eternal destiny will not change. The precise “location” of that eternal destiny is what changes. Believers will ultimately be granted entrance into the new heavens and new earth (Revelation 21:1). Unbelievers will ultimately be sent to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:11-15).” https://www.gotquestions.org/what-happens-death.html
From the examples above, the question arises: If believers go to heaven immediately after death, what is the purpose of the resurrection of the ‘righteous and the wicked.’ (Act 24:15)
These examples give rise to one of the most common misconceptions. The reason for this false belief may be that when an individual person dies, his spirit – perhaps also his soul – ascends to heaven to God. This is not yet a resurrection. Whether the human spirit (and possibly also the soul) is in heaven in a conscious state, or in an unconscious state sleeping, I cannot say. The Bible does not say much about taking the spirit to heaven, but it is evident from Stephen’s prayer when he was stoned to death: Acts 7:59 They stoned Stephen as he called out, saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit!”
The human soul is immortal. However, opinions are divided on this. I find the immortality of the soul clear, because all the deeds of man, both good and bad, are stored in the soul. In the final judgment, a person must make an account for all the deeds of his life as described in Matthew 25. Even in secular law, the accused is given evidence of where he has broken the law.
Jesus instructs in Mat 10:28 ”Don’t be afraid of those who kill the body but are not able to kill the soul. Rather, fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in Gehenna. [hell]” – Who can kill the body but not the soul? Satan is not able to kill the soul. But God can: He is the one who can kill both soul and body. In the last judgment, those whose souls are exposed to sin that God’s purifying fire cannot purify, or who have not built their lives at all on Christ, will be condemned to “black darkness.”
In my view, the soul is immortal and, after death, moves to heaven together with the human spirit.
Purgatory compared to God’s purifying fire
Only the saints can enter the kingdom of God. By saints I mean people who are sanctified and have no impurity. Heb 12:14 ”Pursue peace with all, and holiness, without which no one shall see the Lord.” – This is supposed to mean access to the first resurrection. God has foretold and chosen the saints who will lead the Millennial kingdom under Christ. They also serve as judges when the final judgment is handed down. To achieve this, they have been tested in their lifetime, perhaps more severely than other people. 1 Cor 11:32 ”But when we are judged, (G2919 krinō: to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose) we are punished by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
– Participants in the first resurrection have already been segregated and severely disciplined throughout their lives so that they do not have to share with others the final judgment. NASB: ”…we are disciplined by the Lord so that we will not be condemned along with the world.” The purpose of the verse is like this: “Because we are separated from the rest of the world, the Lord will chastise us, lest we be condemned with the world.”
The second resurrection, also called the resurrection of judgment, does not have to be pursued – everyone participates there and will be condemned. The judgment is accompanied by the fire of God, which examines and tests men, and purifies. Purification, on the other hand, means sanctification, because the impurity of sin is no longer left in man. A purified and sanctified person is worthy of seeing the Lord in the kingdom of God.
According to the Catholic rhetoric (in my interpretation), the purgatory cleans man of the filth of sin and thus sanctifies a person worthy of the kingdom of God. The purifying fire of God, spoken of in 1 Corinthians 3:13-15, strives for the same goal. 3:13 each man’s work will be revealed. For the Day will declare it, because it is revealed in fire; and the fire itself will test what sort of work each man’s work is. 14 If what a person has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work is burned, he will suffer loss, but he himself will be saved, but as through fire.
Here both the purgatory and the purifying firework in the same way. What is the difference between the Catholic concept of purgatory and God’s purifying fire?
Catholics believe that the fire of purgatory begins to affect a person immediately after death, so that he or she will be cleansed rather quickly and is fit to reach heaven. Catholics believe that after experiencing the purgatory phase, one will go to heaven, that is, without participating in the final judgment. Or will those ascended to heaven descend for the final judgment, though they have already reached heaven for the Lord? This contradiction occurs not only with Catholics, but also in other interpretations of the intermediate state where people suffer punishment before the final judgment.
God’s purifying fire examines man after the resurrection and at the last judgment. Even if a man has died 2,000 years ago, his resurrection cannot take place until the Second Coming of Christ has taken place and the following Millennial kingdom has come to an end and the time of the last judgment has come.
The third heaven in the Bible
There is not much talk about the third heaven in the Bible. It is apparent from the longings in particular in the writings of Paul.
For believers, the post-mortal state is moving out of the body home to the Lord.
2 Cor 5:6 Being therefore always of good courage, and knowing that, while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord;
7 For we live by faith, not by sight.
8 We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from this body and to live with the Lord.
– What does Paul mean by “moving out of the body and getting home to the Lord?” First, Paul states that ‘in this body’, that is, the physical and mortal body, we are separated from the Lord Jesus. Paul would like to get out of the mortal body, which means moving into the spirit body. When this happens at the first resurrection, Paul, along with other righteous men, will enter into the spiritual bodies and rise up into the clouds to meet Christ. 1 Cor 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we will be changed. 2 Cor 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord, the Spirit..
– This is about the first resurrection, which at first involves a so-called rapture. ‘Up’ is confined to the clouds and not to God’s heaven. The rapture only occurs when the Second Coming of Christ is a fact. In no case at the time of each person’s death. Jesus overcame death with his own death and defeated Satan who had the power of death.
Heb 2:14-16 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, 15 and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16 For it is clear that he did not come to help angels. No, he came to help Abraham’s descendants. Rev 1:18 and the Living one. I [Christ] was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades. – Jesus freed believers from the fear of death and the slavery of death. Notably, humanity has a future with God before angels.
Although the creed refers to the resurrection of the body, the body does not arise as a physical, carnal body, but as a spirit body. Indeed, Mark writes in his gospel: 12:25 ”For when they will rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” After all, angels are, as we know, spirit beings who can take a physical body if needed.
1 The 4:16-17 ” For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first; 17 then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air. So we will be with the Lord forever.”
Joh 14:2-3 ”There are many rooms in my Father’s house. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going away to prepare a place for you? 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.” – Jesus promised his apostles to come back to earth. When Jesus comes back, THEN He will receive the apostles and others to him, where he is. These believers approved by Jesus, are believers who have received the spirit and seal of God. The second group are those who rise to the first resurrection from the dead. Together they rise up to receive Jesus ‘in the clouds’. Jesus, together with these saints, establishes and rules the Millennial kingdom together with them. In verse 14:3 Jesus promises to take them to where he is. It does not mean to heaven, but to earth in his kingdom. When Jesus has full access to heaven, I believe that his saints, who will be in the spirit body, also have the opportunity to go there. What is meant by Jesus’ saying that he “goes to make a place for you”. Surely it is not a matter of “room arrangement,” but of plans to cleanse heaven of Satan’s angels.
Many, not only Jesus’ disciples, believed that Jesus would return shortly after his departure to heaven. Jesus said he was just going to make a place for them. Why has it taken 2000 years to ‘prepare a place’? Only the Father in heaven knew when the time of the return would be and when will be the great tribulation and great upheavals that would befall the world.
In this article in chapter “Other observations of 2nd Enoch’s book,” I will explain how I understand the times of God, that is, God’s millennials; the eighth day and the seventh day preceding it as Christ’s Millennial kingdom. It is only when Christ’s kingdom arrives and his promised return will take place, THEN he will take the apostles with him.
Third heaven in 2 Cor 12:2
Paul writes 2 Cor 12:2 ”I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I don’t know, or whether out of the body, I don’t know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven. 12:4 how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” – Paul does not dare to say more, not even who is this man he knows. Someone has speculated that the man in the third heaven was Paul himself. However, Paul has been pondering the future and tells how he would already like to come home to the Lord. 2 Cor 5:8 We are confident, then, and would prefer to be away from this body and to be at home with the Lord. 5:9 So whether we are at home or away from home, our goal is to be pleasing to him.
– In his letter to the Philippians Paul however is telling of his longing: 1:21 For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22 But if I live on in the flesh, this will bring fruit from my work; yet I don’t make known what I will choose.
23 Indeed, I cannot decide between the two. I have the desire to leave this life and be with Christ, for that is far better. – After Paul died, did he get to heaven where he earnestly wanted to go? The Bible says that no one ascended to heaven except Jesus, the Son of God (John 3:13). Paul himself knew that he could not get to Christ immediately after he died, for he himself wrote in the First Corinthians that the Saints would be the first to be resurrected, but just before Jesus’ second coming: 1 The ”4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with God’s trumpet. The dead in Christ will rise first.”
The Resurrection: John writes in his gospel: 5:25-26 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, that an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that have heard shall live. 26 For even as the Father has life in himself, so he has given to the Son also to have life in himself.” – When God gave eternal life to his son Jesus, it also means that Jesus has the power to raise people from the dead. Jesus calls a small group to the first resurrection. Only these will hear his voice and they will rise. The true believers alive on earth are also called for the First Resurrection.
At the end of the Millennial kingdom, the second resurrection takes place. John tells about it in verses 28-29: “Don’t marvel at this, for the hour comes, in which all that are in the tombs will hear his voice, and will come out; those who have done good, to the resurrection of life; and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” – Protestant churches have emphasized the importance of grace in their dogma. Grace is essential, but the counterpart of grace is deeds; John divides the resurrected people into two groups according to their deeds. So, what is faith without works of faith?
The call to resurrection takes place in groups; first a small group [144 000?] and then the rest. I do not believe that individual people will ascend to heaven – or to the intermediate state of third heaven.
However, Paul’s testimony as part of the Bible is important and worth taking seriously. Paul would not have written about the third heaven had he not believed that his acquaintance was telling the truth. The third heaven certainly exists. This does not mean, however, that the wild accounts of the Apocrypha discussed below are truthful. Or contemporary accounts of the experiences of thousands of people after their death. More of them later.
Abraham’s bosom refers to the Jewish concept and, when converted to Christianity, the time and place ”where the righteous dead await Judgment Day”. This concept was formed in Judaism during the Second Temple in 516 BC – 70 AD, i.e. it was also in use during Jesus’ time and describes the whereabouts of righteous souls.
The Bible knows two different ‘sections’ in the intermediate paradise: a blissful state which is called the bosom of Abraham and its opposite which is a place of misfortune, pain, and trouble. Intermediate state is a place where the dead are in spirit body waiting for the last judgment. The Bible does not speak much about the intermediate state or paradise or third heaven, which is why I have doubts about its existence.
Theologians often interpret the intermediate state as a place where people are rewarded or punished. People would fall into this state (place) after their death. This state would be the place where the dead would await the final judgment. However, there is a contradiction in this; often there are two sections and a gap in between. In one, people enjoy themselves in “Abraham’s bosom” and in another, they suffer pain as if by punishment. Note, however, that even if people are in the interim state, they have not yet been given the final judgment!
This state, commonly referred to as the intermediate state, is not based on the Bible. One would imagine that one of the most important stages in the salvation of man would be described in the Bible as well and the intermediate state would have been talked about in many Bible books. But no way, such a term does not even exist. The central argument in Luke’s parable of Jesus is that it is not possible to force a sinner who has not yet been condemned by the last judgment to such a hell. Biblical accounts of the punishment of the fiery lake will not come to be realized until the very end of time, when Satan and his troops have been destroyed and condemned in the last judgment with other unrepentant sinners.
I firmly believe that no one can be condemned to eternal damnation without judgment!
The description of the suffering in the place where the rich man was taken might better reflect the Jewish perception of Gehinnom; ”Hell is not a punishment in the conventional sense; it is, in fact, the expression of a great kindness. The way our soul is cleansed in Gehinnom is similar to the way our clothes are cleaned in a washing machine. If, at the end of our life, we leave this world without fixing the wrongs we have done, our soul is unable to reach its place of rest on high. We must go through a cycle of deep cleansing.”
Jesus was a Jewish prophet and a rabbi who knew the “Bible” (Old Testament Scriptures; Law and Prophets) of the time. In his parable, would he have wanted to promote a profound transformation of the concept of hell from a one-year punishment of pain to everlasting torture? Is this how God of love would work? Should Christ, as the supreme judge of the last judgment, provide such instructions of judgments to the saints who judge with him.
1 Cor 6:2-3 You know that the saints will rule the world, don’t you? And if the world is going to be ruled by you, can’t you handle insignificant cases? 3 Don’t you know that we will judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?
Jewish conception in relation to the soul and the intermediate state judgment:
When the soul departs from the body, it stands before the heavenly court to give a “judgment and accounting” of its earthly life. But the heavenly court does only the “accounting” part; the “judgment” part—that, only the soul itself can do. Only the soul can pass judgment on itself; only it can know and sense the true extent of what it accomplished, or neglected to accomplish, in the course of its physical life. Freed from the limitations and concealments of the physical state, it can now see G‑dliness; it can now look back at its own life and experience what it truly was. The soul’s experience of the G‑dliness it brought into the world with its mitzvot and positive actions is the exquisite pleasure of Gan Eden (the “Garden of Eden”—Paradise); its experience of the destructiveness it wrought through its lapses and transgressions is the excruciating pain of Gehinnom (“Gehenna” or “Purgatory”).
For a G‑dly soul spawns far more good in its lifetime than evil. The core of the soul is unadulterated goodness; the good we accomplish is infinite, the evil but shallow and superficial. So even the most wicked of souls, say our sages, experiences at most twelve months of Gehinnom, followed by an eternity of heaven. Furthermore, a soul’s experience of Gehinnom can be mitigated by the action of his or her children and loved ones, here on earth. Reciting kaddish and engaging in other good deeds “in merit of” and “for the elevation of” the departed soul means that the soul, in effect, is continuing to act positively upon the physical world, thereby adding to the goodness of its physical lifetime. https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/282508/jewish/What-Happens-After-We-Die.htm
Third heaven according to the Apocrypha
Heaven or the heavens? How many heavens are there? In our prayer, we pray, “Our Father who are in the heavens,” According to this prayer, there would be more than one heaven. However, in the same prayer, Mat 6:10 speaks of heaven in singular: ”Let your kingdom come. Let your will be done, as in heaven, so on earth..”
1 Kin 8:27 is on the side of more heavens: “But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heavens, and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house which I have built!”
The Jewish apocryphal books, especially the second book of Enoch, speak of ten different heavens.
2 nd book of Enoch (the original test in italics, my comments like this)
Chapter 8. ”And those men took me from there, and they brought me up to the third heaven, and set me down there. Then I looked downward, and I saw Paradise. And that place is inconceivably pleasant.
I saw the trees in full flower. Their fruits were ripe and pleasant-smelling, with every food in yield and giving off profusely a pleasant fragrance.
In the midst of them was the Tree of Life, at that place were The Lord takes a rest when He goes into Paradise. That tree is indescribable for the pleasantness and fine fragrance, and more beautiful than any other created thing that exists.
From every direction it has an appearance which is gold looking and crimson, and with the form of fire. It covers the whole of Paradise and has something of every orchard tree and of every fruit. Its root is in Paradise at the exit that leads to the earth.
Paradise is in between the corruptible and the incorruptible. Two streams come forth, one a source of honey and milk, and one a source that produces oil and wine and it is divided into four parts. They go round with a quiet movement and they come out into the paradise of Edem, between the corruptible and incorruptible.
From there they along and divide into forty parts and it proceeds in decent along the earth. They have a revolution in their cycle, just like the other atmospheric elements.
There is no unfruitful tree there, every tree is well fruited and every place is blessed. There are 300 angels, very bright, who look after Paradise; and with never-ceasing voice and pleasant singing, they worship The Lord everyday and hour. And I said, “How very pleasant is this place!” And those men said to me:”
Chapter 9. ”This place, Enoch, has been prepared for the righteous,
who suffer every kind of calamity in their life
and who afflict their souls,
and who avert their eyes from injustice,
and who carry out righteous judgment,
and who give bread to the hungry,
and who cover the naked with clothing,
and who lift up the fallen,
and who help the injured and the orphans,
and who walk without a defect before the Face of The Lord,
and who worship Him, only.
even for them, this place has been prepared as an eternal inheritance.”
There are two sections in the Third Heaven. The first section is reserved for the righteous. Who are these righteous? The description is reminiscent of Christ’s final judgment. Mat 25:35-36 for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in; I was naked, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you took care of me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ – Other actions in favor of one’s neighbor are listed: just condemnation, clothing the naked, raising the fallen, helping orphaned people. In addition to these social characteristics, it is mentioned finally; to walk without blemish on the face of the Lord and serve him only. No very unusual requirements.
Then follows the description of the second group, which closely resembles the place of fiery suffering in which the rich man had fallen, as described in the parable of Jesus ‘the Rich Man and Lazarus’. There every place is on fire or ice cold. The constant thirst troubles those who are there. Guardian angels torture them mercilessly. Who goes there?
The list is long: God-contemptuous, weird [homosexuality, debauchery] sinners, zoophilia, practicing magic and witchcraft, stealing and lying, depriving the poor, those who do not feed the hungry. Finally: those who worship soulless and lifeless gods who cannot see or hear, useless gods, and who also build carved images for worship.
Chapter 10. ”Those men carried me to the northern region, and they showed me there a very frightful place; and all kinds of torture and torment are in that place, cruel darkness and lightless gloom. There is no light there, and a black fire blazes up perpetually, with a river of fire that comes out over the whole place. Fire here, freezing ice there, it dries up and it freezes.
There, there are very cruel places of detention, dark and merciless angels, carrying instruments of atrocities and torturing without pity.
I said, “Woe, woe! How very frightful this place is!” Those men said to me, “This place, Enoch, has been prepared for those who do not glorify God. And for those who practice on the earth the sin which is against nature, which is child corruption in the anus in the manner of Sodom. For those who practice witchcraft enchantments, divinations, trafficking with demons, who boast about their evil deeds – stealing, lying, insulting, coveting, resentment, fornication and murder.
For those who steal the souls of men secretly, seizing the poor by the throat, taking away their possessions, enriching themselves from the possession of others, defrauding them; who, when they are able to provide sustenance. For those who bring about the death of the hungry by starvation and when they are able to provide clothing, take away the last garment of the naked.
For those who do not acknowledge their Creator, but bow down to idols, which have no souls, which can neither see nor hear, vain gods; constructing images, and bowing down to vile things made by hands – for all these, this place has been prepared for an eternal reward.”
Those who commit such sins are described as having this punishment as the eternal inheritance. Again, we come across the common concept of eternity for Jews. In this article, I will highlight such a place of punishment and the associated maximum punishment, which according to Jewish ‘eternity’ is not more than one year.
Chapter 18. And those men took me up on their wings and placed me on the fifth heaven and I saw there many innumerable armies called Grigori ( Watchers ). Their appearance was like the appearance of a human being, and their size was larger than that of large giants. And their faces were dejected, and the silence of their mouths was perpetual.
And there was no liturgy in the fifth Heaven. I then said to the men, who were with me, “What is the explanation that these ones are so very dejected, and their faces miserable, and their mouths silent? And why is there no liturgy in this Heaven?” And those men answered me, “These are the Grigori, who turned aside from The Lord, 200 myriads, together with their prince Satanail. And similar to are those who went down as prisoners in their train, who are in the second Heaven, imprisoned in great darkness. And three of them descended to the earth from The Lord’s Throne onto the place Hermon. And they broke the promise on the shoulder of Mount Hermon.
And they saw the daughters of men, how beautiful they were; and they took wives for themselves, and the earth was defiled by their deeds. They and the wives of men created great evil in the entire time of this age, acted lawlessly and practiced miscegenation and gave birth to giants, great monsters and great enmity.
And this is why God has judged them with a great judgment; and they mourn their brothers, and they will be outraged on the Great Day of The Lord.”
I said to the Grigori, “I have seen your brothers and their deeds and their torments and their great prayers; and I have prayed for them. But The Lord has sentenced them under the earth until heaven and earth are ended forever.” And I said, “Why are you waiting for your brothers? And why don’t you perform the liturgy before The Face of The Lord? Start up your liturgy, and perform the liturgy before The Face of The Lord, so that you do not enrage your Lord God to the limit.”
And they responded to my recommendation, and they stood in four regiments in this heaven. And behold, while I was standing with those men, 4 trumpets trumpeted in unison with a great sound, and the Grigori burst into singing in unison. And their voice rose in front of The Face of The Lord, piteously and touchingly.
In which Heaven does God live?
Chapter 20. Those men lifted me up from there and they carried me up to the seventh heaven. And I saw there an exceptionally great light, and all the fiery armies of the great archangels, and the incorporeal forces and the dominions and the origins and the authorities, the cherubim and the seraphim and the many-eyed thrones, the regiments and the shining otanim stations. I was terrified, and I trembled with great fear.
Those men then picked me up and led me into their midst and said to me, “Be brave, Enoch! Do not be frightened!” They showed me the Lord from a distance, sitting on His exceedingly high Throne.
And what is on the tenth heaven, since the Lord is present there? And on the tenth heaven is God, and it is called in the Hebrew language Aravoth. All the heavenly armies came and stood on the ten steps, corresponding to their ranks, and they did obeisance to The Lord.
Then they went to their places in joy, merriment and in immeasurable light, singing songs with soft gentle voices, while presenting the liturgy to Him gloriously.
You will note that in the third heaven, in the middle of the trees, where the Tree of Life is, the place where the Lord is resting as he goes to paradise.
Chapter 22. And on the tenth heaven, Avaroth, I saw the view of The Face of The Lord, like iron made burning hot in a fire and brought out, and it emits sparks and is incandescent.
Thus even I saw The Face of The Lord, but The Face of The Lord is not to be talked about, it is so marvelous, supremely awesome, and supremely frightening. And whom am I to give an account of The Incomprehensible Being of The Lord, and of His Face, so extremely strange and indescribable?
How many are His commands, His multiple voice, The Lord’s Throne, supremely great and not made by hands, the choir stalls all around Him, the cherubim and the seraphim armies, and their never silent singing.
Who can give an account of His beautiful appearance, never changing and indescribable, and His Great Glory? I fell down flat and did obeisance to The Lord. And the Lord, with His own mouth, said to me, “Be brave, Enoch!” Do not be frightened! Stand up, and stand in front of My Face forever.”
Michael, The Lord’s archistratig, lifted me up and brought me in front of The Face of The Lord. And The Lord said to His servants, sounding them out, “Let Enoch join in and stand in Front of My Face forever!” And The Lord’s glorious ones did obeisance and said, “Let Enoch yield in accordance with Your Word, O Lord!”
And The Lord said to Michael, “Go, and extract Enoch from his earthly clothing. Anoint him with My delightful oil, and put him into the clothes of My Glory.” So Michael did, just as The Lord said to him. He anointed me and he clothed me. The appearance of that oil is greater than the greatest light, and its ointment is like sweet dew, and its fragrance myrrh; it is like the rays of the glittering sun.
I looked at myself and I had become like one of his glorious ones, and there was no observable difference.
The Lord summoned one of His archangels, Vrevoil by name, who was swifter in wisdom than the other archangels, and who records all The Lord’s Deeds. The Lord said to Vrevoil, “Bring out the books from my storehouses, and fetch a pen for speed-writing, give it to Enoch and read him the books.” Vrevoil hurried and brought me the books, a knife and ink. He gave me the pen for speed-writing from his hand.
Other observations from the 2nd book of Enoch
In chapter 33 we read: “On the eight day, I likewise appointed, so that the eight day might be the first, the first-created of the week, and that it should revolve in a revolution of 7000; so that 8000 might be in the beginning of a time not reckoned and ending, neither years, nor months, nor weeks, nor days, nor hours, like the first day of the week, so also that the eighth day of the week might return continually.”
“a time not reckoned and ending, neither years, nor months, nor weeks, nor days, nor hours”
An elusive statement, the content of which I interpret from the Bible as follows:
4,000 years from the days of Adam and Eve to Christ. From Christ to the present day 2000 years. When the Second Coming of Jesus is supposed to take place soon, and the Millennial kingdom of Christ after his second coming has lasted 1,000 years, then starts – as it is called- “a time not reckoned and ending”. The endless time begins.
Perceptions of death – A survey of the beliefs in a European nation
All life ends in death; 34% believe this in 2011 and 25% in 1999.
The belief that Jesus will come to earth for the second time to condemn the living and the dead has also decreased to 28% in 2011 from 59% in 1999.
Only 12% believe that all people will be raised from the dead and others will have eternal life.
9% think that eventually all people will be saved.
10% believe that people will be born again into this world.
1% think only believers will be saved and the unbelievers will vanish.
(Gallup Ecclesiastica 2011 and 1999).
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.” – The title of my recently published article was; “One birth, two deaths or two births, but one death.” We all die at least once. If we are born again of the Holy Spirit, we will be saved from the second death. God raised His Son Jesus from the dead and Jesus raises us who believe in him as our saviour. Jesus Christ declares: ”Rev 1:18 ”I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. I have the keys of Death and of Hades.”
Near death experiences
Experiences can be divided into two main groups:
- Out of body experiences: does not require death and cessation of brain function. According to one estimate, about a third of people who experienced such an event had gone through also a Near death experience.
- Near death experiences: the person actually dies, the electric curve of the brain is a straight line.
What do we know about near-death experiences?
A great number of people have had such experiences. What they have in common is that the experiences are very similar regardless of where people live, age, education and cultural background. These are people who have been declared dead by the doctors. “None of the patients had a measurable brain electrical curve at that time; so, all the observations had been made without brain activity.”
Features common to experiences include according to Dr. Raymond Moody: “Life after Life” a work from the 1970s:
- Detachment from the Body; hovering higher watching his dead body
These stories are very similar: the patient is detached from his body and sees himself on the operating table as his spirit rises above the body. I have read that in order to ensure the veracity of such reports, in the operating room has been hidden signs so high that the patient does not normally detect them. As far as I know, nobody has yet been able to tell what is written in the hidden messages.
- Despite death, the dead patient can tell what happened around his body
The patients were able to retrospectively describe in detail the resuscitation procedures, even though physicians were confident that the patients were dead.
It has been reported that people who have been blind since birth, have followed the activities of doctors and attempts to resuscitate them. They have been able to describe events they have seen when blind and dead.
- The deceased go towards a bright light. At the end of the light tunnel there are dear relatives and friends
The light tunnel phenomenon has also been encountered when pilots have been tested on high-speed, centrifugal force-generating devices. However, I have not heard pilots’ report experiences of meetings with dead loved ones. Nor have pilots reported other ‘near death’ -phenomena.
- Meeting the Light Being
To the dead had appeared a Light being, warm and loving spirit, the kind they had not previously encountered. This creature posed a question to the deceased asking him to evaluate his life and helped him by presenting the highlights of his life in a blink of an eye. Who is this Light being? Those with a Christian background have talked about Jesus or an angel. Muslims, on the other hand, believe that the Being of light was Allah.
According to Dr. Moody, “There was an unobstructed flow of thought with the Light Being, and it happened so clearly that no misunderstanding or lying to the Light was possible. Moreover, this unobstructed exchange did not even occur in the person’s mother tongue. However, the understanding was immediate and complete. The creature asked the person questions like, “Are you ready to die?”, “What can you show me about your life?”, “What is good in your life?” Or “was it worth it?”
According to Dr. Moody, every person on the brink of death sought to express the same idea, and they all emphasized that, although the question was so profound in its emotional meaning, it was by no means judgmental. They felt an absolute love and acceptance radiating from the Light being regardless of the possible answer. According to Dr. Moody, the purpose of the question seemed to be to make the mortal reflect on his life, and to help the person who was asked the question to start now to follow the path of truth.”
Many people characterized their new experiences by saying that they were confident that the new environment was not just three-dimensional. They were able to understand one another and communicate wordlessly and quickly.
- The whole life lived was thoroughly discussed
In a blink of an eye, the Being gave the dying an overview of his life, the only purpose of which was said to be to encourage the person to ponder. Some had remembered their life stages in great detail for a long time after this experience. Some characterize this as an act of upbringing by the Light being, during which the Being emphasized two things in life: we need to learn to love one another and to constantly increase our knowledge.
Throughout the ages, dying people other than these interviewed, have told us their lives were presented in front of their eyes in one moment. After recovering from the near death experience, the people interviewed were able to tell other people about every step of their lives in great detail. For example, the memories of childhood had been accurately recalled to their minds.
- Enormous sense of peace and well-being, reluctance to return to one’s body
According to Dr. Raymond Moody, many people who have undergone the near death experiences depicted in the early stages of their experience wonderfully pleasing emotions and experiences: infinite peace, pleasure, well-being and silence. Consistently, they describe their experiences as unspeakable.
- The decision to return to one’s own body
Everyone involved in the near-death experience had to make the decision whether to return to their former lives or not. It was often difficult to make this decision because the new experience of life was so positive. The return was often influenced by the knowledge of work still to be done in the old life.
- The disappearance of the fear of death
As a result of these experiences, those interviewed no longer felt the fear of death. The new state turned out to be such a pleasant haven of happiness that many longed to stay in it. In addition, they were convinced that there would be life after death.
- Other observations
After death, many people felt that they had acquired new supernatural abilities. Also, there have been reports that the children’s IQ had increased after the near-death experience.
Many also said they had experienced “a level where all knowledge exists”. The importance of acquiring information was highlighted in the report of several participants in these experiences.
Telepathy seemed to be the form of communication for the spiritual body: according to their reports, the dead just knew exactly what people were thinking. When they died, people also began to think more clearly and faster than when they were in the physical body. A person who had had a near death experience told: “It seemed that there was no limit to this spiritual sense, just as I could look at everywhere and anywhere. When I wanted to see someone farther away, it felt as if he had been a part of me, as if some searching device had found that person. And then I felt that if anything happened anywhere in the world, I could be there.”
Near death visitors told of many dimensions; they were firmly of the view that the world was by no means merely three-dimensional.
The experiences of the people interviewed turned out to be largely similar to those interviewed decades ago.
According to Dr. Moody, the people he researched and reported were healthy and well-balanced individuals who were able to distinguish dreams and images from reality. However, people understood that in our modern society, these kinds of stories were not at all understood. They would have been considered mentally unbalanced if they had shared their experiences. Both doctors and priests used to label frontier experiences as delusions.
People who have had near death experiences have in their stories highlighted experiences that refer to the content of the Jewish Apocrypha. The message of the Tibetan Book of the Dead also reveals similar issues to those of survivors of death. In addition, the Tibetan Book of the Dead is said to contain more advanced stages of death than the “ordinary” participants in the near death experience have been able to access. I’m not familiar with these.
Those involved in Near death experiences do not particularly feel that their experience have been Christian. Those who spoke to the Light being did not all consider the being to be Christ, but some said he was an angel. The connections with the Tibetan Book of the Dead are very far from the world of the Christian faith: rebirth and especially the rebirth in the animal world is an abomination to the Christian believer. I cannot believe in the ultimate ‘enlightenment’ through rebirth.
That is why I bring up to the idea for reflection: Who is behind this variegated ‘interim wonder-world’? Most probably not our God or Christ. Rather, it is Satan who makes every effort to disperse and divert people from the Bible’s faith. Someone who has experienced such a Near death experience comments on the Lord (Light being) saying to him that Lord was not interested in the content of the theology of the Church, but in the “content of the human heart rather than the head.” Raymond Moody is of the opinion that “God intended religion essentially for love and good life, regardless of doctrinal persuasions about God, Christ, salvation, and the Church.” – Really?
Emphasizing love is a central observation of many experiences. That is also the central message of the Bible: God is love and people must love one another, even their enemies. Another theme that emerged is the acquisition of knowledge. The Bible does not consider acquiring secular or scientific knowledge worthy of emphasis. However, knowledge has grown in importance over the last hundred years. Its amount has literally exploded. The increase in knowledge has led to many inventions that have raised the standard of living of humanity quickly and high. The effects are by no means just good.
Mankind has secularized and religious life has lost its significance. This can be seen from various surveys that show that people do not care about the truth of the Bible and the teachings it provides. Humans have ceased to believe and have been replaced by living “according to the course of this world.”(Eph 2:2) That’s what Satan likes.
Increasingly, I am becoming more inclined to interpret Satan as being behind these interim teachings.
If we believe in the Bible and not in these inexplicable experiences or the books of Eastern religions, we can base our faith in the Bible: Ecc 9:10 ”Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in Sheol, where you are going.”
We all know that Jesus Christ was crucified and God raised Jesus from the dead after he had been dead for three days and three nights. All believers believe this. I too believe that Jesus really died and was three days as dead as one can be. Those who regard Jesus as God believe that Jesus did not die completely; only his human half died. A God cannot die. However, I will not write about this in this context.
But of where Jesus was as dead. Was he in paradise with the other crucified criminal? Or did Jesus promise that the criminal crucified with Jesus would sometimes later come to paradise with Jesus.
You will find the right solution as soon as you can put the comma in the right place in the following Bible verse: Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in Paradise.”
– I deliberately omitted the comma because, at the time of Jesus and the apostles no commas were used. The commas in the Bible were added afterwards. In this particular verse, the place of the comma solves a big scholarly question. All the big churches believe that Jesus meant that he and the robber were just about to die, and that Jesus promised to take the robber to paradise the very same day.
The churches believe that Jesus did not die the same kind death as ordinary people. Ordinary people die according to the Bible, they are completely unconscious until the resurrection, and only then will resurrect and prepare to receive the final judgment.
So, Jesus went to paradise for three days.
The important question is: Is this paradise that Jesus went to (and promised to take the criminal with him) the third heaven mentioned in the Bible? In the book of Apocrypha (Second Book of Enoch), the third heaven is a paradise upon which even God will rest.
Yet another question: Is the paradise meant by Jesus the same paradise as the one experienced by those who have had near-death experiences? They also tell they have spoken to a Light being (possibly Jesus himself, or an angel or Allah)?
Alternative 1: To paradise as soon as death occurs.
A worldly paradise was not immediately available. Paradise in Eden had been destroyed. Elsewhere, God had not established a new paradise. The Gentiles must have had beautiful places, but what would Jesus and the robber have done there. No, a worldly paradise does not seem possible. Heaven? Jesus was not yet going there. His work with the disciples was still unfinished. Surely Jesus would not have taken the thieves to heaven before he had prepared the place for the apostles?
What about the third heaven Paul wrote about? This is, in my opinion, the only paradise I can think of if Jesus was to go there and take the robber with him as soon as death occurred.
Alternative 2: To Paradise Later
I think it is possible to accept the following translation, which sets the comma as follows: “Truly I tell you today, you will be with me in Paradise.” Jesus must have been aware of God’s plans to establish the Millennial kingdom on earth. It would be led by Christ, along with a small group of righteous Saints. These and the robber with them would be raised in due time when Christ would come the second time on earth. Then would the promise of Jesus be fulfilled, to take the robber with Christ to paradise.
Today. (Or ‘this day’) One may, however, ask in connection with this interpretation, why would Jesus have stressed that he was saying that to the robber ‘today’? Isn’t it obvious? In the Bible, when God speaks and wants to emphasize his message, he says, for example, I assure you today. When Jesus says: Verily I say to you today … it is the same thing! For example: Deu 8:19 It shall be, if you shall forget Jehovah your God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish.
The robber said to Jesus while he was next to Jesus on the cross: Luke 23:42 “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!” This is perhaps a more important verse than the following, which is used to prove that Jesus and the robber would go to paradise together on the same day. The criminal didn’t even mean it. He said, “when you come to your kingdom.” After all, the robber did not even know the time when Jesus would come to his kingdom. Even Jesus himself did not know the schedule. Only God the Father in heaven knew it. The robber expressed his desire for the future, the day in the future, when Jesus would fulfil his promise of return.
In search of the correct interpretation, I return to Paul and Stephen. Why did Paul write only a few lines about the third heaven? Was it still a secret and forbidden to talk about it? Surely it is supposed to be a secret even today.
Just before he died, Jesus cried out, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Luke 23:46). And Stephen said, “Lord Jesus, receive my Spirit!” (Acts 7:59). It is clear from these verses that the human spirit leaves from the body in death. Does God receive it in paradise – the third heaven?
Can it be possible that the truth about paradise and the third heaven would be revealed in these near death reports? I’ve thought about it and come to the conclusion that it is not according to the Bible, that Jesus as the Word of God would accept all religions and forgive all sins and evil deeds without regret. That all religions would merge into one mass without the last judgment and the associated punishment. Or will the spirits be captured from paradise to judgment, and then perhaps destroyed. Would Jesus’ affirmation of the last judgment and of the accompanying punishment not be true, but perhaps just intimidation?
The Bible tells us that in the last days there will be a great delusion to which many fall. “For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” (2 The 2:11)
What do I think?
It is, of course, interesting to read the Apocrypha. They are part of Jewish history and reflect their thinking. There may be some truth to them. On the other hand, we know with certainty that some are pure nonsense. Think about this, for example: you are reading an article that seems to be of good quality. Then the article explains that the sun’s light is provided by a large number of angels who daily maintain the sun’s light. This one piece of information drops the credibility of the entire article. Such information and the like are included in the articles of the Apocrypha. You know how to react to what you read if there are claims like this!
Nowadays, it seems that people look for content in their lives from the wonders of the East, for example in the Book of the Dead of Tibet. This book seems refreshingly different compared with the old and dusty Bible, which doesn’t even seem to be agreed between churches. It is true that modern day science has brought to light new and interesting findings about the Mayan culture, for example. It should also not be forgotten that science has also brought many discoveries concerning the Bible.
There is enough to study in the Bible for everyone; I found it myself. Nearly every day I find something new that I had not noticed before.
I had completed the first version of this article. At 4:30 AM (I often write at night), as I tried to get some sleep, something struck me. It concerned the comments of the experiences of this article, which showed how the Light being had met the evil deeds of all people with great understanding and sympathy. I know that Jesus would not be so forgiving unless man had repented and asked for forgiveness. This had been bothering me as I tried to think of the right attitude towards the Light being.
That’s when it occurred to me what the Bible says, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (2 Cor 11:14: NASB) Immediately I realized that the Light being was Satan himself.
As we know from the Bible, Satan is trying to deceive in every way possible. Not only does Satan himself pretend to be the “angel of light,” but also priests who assist Satan to preach the “other gospel than that you have received from Christ.”
When writing these articles, I have always prayed to God to let his Holy Spirit guide me to write in agreement with the Bible. I am convinced that this has also happened.