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Biblical Truths



A. THE MESSAGE OF THE GODHEAD



 1. The Provenience of the Bible

 2. The Divine Inspiration of the Biblical Text

 3. The Prophesied Rejection of the Biblical Truth

 4. The Importance of the Bible Reading




B. ABOUT US HUMANS



 1. The Immortal Man

 2. The Sin

 3. The First Sin

 4. Every Man Has Sin

 5. The Righteousness

 6. Righteousness Could Be Attained Only by Faith

 7. The Resurrection and the Eternal Life

 8. The Resurrection of Our Bodies

 9. The Omnipotence of God

10. Jesus Lives



C. JESUS CHRIST



 1. The Extraordinary and Unique Birth of Jesus Christ

 2. The Necessity of Jesus Christ's Coming

 3. The Special Importance of Repentance

 4. What is Repentance?

 5. Who Is In Reality Jesus Christ?

 6. The Voice from the Sky

 7. The Birth of Jesus Christ
 
 8. Jesus the Rock

 9. The Salvation

10. Remission of Sins

11. The Fear of Death

12. Jesus will return



D. THE DECALOGUE


 1. The Importance

 2. The First Commandment

 3. The Second Commandment

 4. The Third Commandment

 5. The Fourth Commandment

 6. The Fifth Commandment

 7. The Sixth Commandment

 8. The Seventh Commandment
           
 9. The Eighth Commandment

10. The Ninth Commandment

11. The Tenth Commandment

12. The Law and the Grace
     



E. IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS



 1. Good Works

 2. To be "In Christ"

 3. The Salvation through Faith

 4. What is Faith?

 5. What is Church?

 6. The State of Death

 7. The Creation of God

 8. The Peace of the Lord

 9. The Invisible Reality





 


A. THE MESSAGE OF THE GODHEAD


1. The Provenience of the Bible



16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
 
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works
.”

(2 Timothy 3.16,17)

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2. The Divine Inspiration of the Biblical Text



None of the Bible’s prophecies arises from an own interpretation of the one who wrote it, from his own ideas, his own opinions or his own power of judgement.

Thus says the apostle Peter:

20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.


(2 Peter 1.20,21)

With regard to the words they have written down, the writers of the Bible were lead and instructed by the Holy Ghost.

The text of the Scripture is of divine and by no means of human origin.

The entire Scripture is truly the word and the message of God to us human beings.

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3. The Prophesied Rejection of the Biblical Truth



When one comes to talk about the Bible, it happens quite often that the addressed persons appear to be somewhat bored, quite uninterested and even more or less irritated.

The reason for this should be seen in the belief in church traditions – made-up by human mind – that aren’t in connection with the divine inspiration.

To this should be well considered the biblical prophecy that says:

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.


(2 Timothy 4.3,4)

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4. The Importance of the Bible Reading



Many people underestimate the importance of the Bible or Holy Scripture and never arrive at reading it.

However, the knowledge of this book is of an immense benefit.
Thus said the apostle Paul to his disciple Timothy:

15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

(2 Timothy 3.15)

Timothy knew the Holy Scripture already at a very tender age.
It is not imperative to reach an advanced age in order to begin with the reading of the Bible.
It isn’t also about the skimming or scanning through some book.
This one here is able to make someone wise in an exceptional way:
One that leads unto salvation.

How can we gain the salvation?

Through the faith in Jesus Christ. In no other way.

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B. ABOUT US HUMANS


1. The Immortal Man



After having created him, God took the man, put him into the garden of Eden and commanded him saying:

16 Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.


(Genesis 2.16,17)

The temptation and at the same time the curiosity to still eat from the forbidden fruit has been so much irresistible, that the first two humans didn’t follow the command of the Lord.

But the command contained a deeper meaning: it had been a test of trust in God’s word.

Because of their disobedience they now became mortal beings.
All their descendants have inherited the tragic consequence of this contravention, over the entire history of mankind to this very day.

We feel in our own lives the loss of our close relatives and friends and with the process of ageing we become more and more aware that we aren’t immortal too, even ourselves.

But in the beginning it hadn’t been so:

God had created the man as an immortal being.

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2. The Sin



We all generally know that sin is not good and admit honestly that we shouldn’t commit it.

Sin – as a biblical definition – means the transgression of the divine command, as it is written:

17 All unrighteousness is sin(1 John 5.17)

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

(1 John 3.4)

We sin most often deliberately and wittingly.
This way of acting is based on the thought that as a free man one is allowed to do everything he wants, as on the self-assurance that doing impermissible things we aren’t being watched.

This is not so. The Bible’s Word says:

1 O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me.
2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
3 Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether.
5 Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me
.”

(Psalm 139.1-5)

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3. The First Sin



The first sin in the history of mankind has been the one of the first two people – Adam and Eve – as they commited an act that transgressed the divine command.

For this reason they had to pay with a dying life, that will sooner or later come to an end.

The Scripture tells us:

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

(Genesis 5.5)

This has happened to him ”
23 for as it is written – the consequence of the sin or the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6.23)

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4. Every Man Has Sin



The fact that we are all mortal is seen as self-evident as well as generally accepted, so that everyone will sometime learn to live with the thought of the own decease.

There should be known yet that death hasn’t always existed, but as a consequence of the first two humans’ sin this was passed on to their descendants and thus to the entire mankind.

The Bible says:

12 ... as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men ...”

(Romans 5.12)

A mortal person could only give birth to one of the same nature, therefore mortal as well.

It isn’t however the will of God, that things remain this way.

He offers to the man the possibility of having what He gave him in the beginning: ETERNAL LIFE!

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5. The Righteousness



The Bible uses some words of which comprehension for the purpose of realizing its message is extremely important.

One of these words that are being found here quite often is that of the righteousness.

The closest meaning of this is of being ”faultless”, ”guiltless”, ”sinless”.

There is a special kind of God pleasing people, called in the Bible as ”the righteous”.

Now, as a righteous man is faultless, or in other words ”sinless”, there couldn’t be anyone that is righteous, because ”
10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one”. (Romans 3.10)

All persons are sinful and therefore mortal.

If somebody would be faultless, that is sinless, he wouldn’t die any more.

This is exactly the state / condition in which God would like to set us, by giving us His righteousness:

18 ... as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous
.”

(Romans 5.18,19)

This second man is Jesus Christ.

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6. Righteousness Could Be Attained Only by Faith



After having been acquainted with God’s decision to give us His righteousness, by offering it to us as a gift, we ought to accept this.

The acceptance on our part of His righteousness could be done in only one way: by faith.

What kind of a faith is it about here? The Bible is telling it to us:

21 But now the righteousness ... is manifested, ...
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe


(Romans 3.21,22)

As soon as we believe in Jesus, we are considered as being righteous, as though we would be really faultless people, which in reality we aren’t.

But if we believe, God will consider us as sinless, namely righteous. It is said:

24 Being justified freely by his grace ...” (Romans 3.24)

The here mentioned grace means a favour shown to us by God, for which we do not have any merit; in other words we receive something as a gift, which we aren’t nor could we be worthy of.

The belief in Jesus is not a simple consent given on the intellect level. This must be deeply entrenched in ourselves. The Bible makes clear:

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.(Romans 10.10)

This means to believe with the heart what he said and did.

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7. The Resurrection and the Eternal Life



The consequence of the first man’s disobedience or sin has been his death and that of all his descendants down to the present day.

We all are mortal. We are born and after a number of years we die.

However, one day will come when the deceased people will rise from the dead.

The Bible says:

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.


(1 Corinthians 15.21,22)

”...
in Adam all die”: this shows that all these are his descendants - all people.

On the other hand ”
in Christ shall all be made alive”: eternal life, however, will have but those who followed Jesus in faith; the others "shall come forth ... unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5.29)

Jesus says:

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (John 5.24)

At another place the Bible says the following:

23 ... the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

(Romans 6.23)

Sin claims a wage: the eternal
death.
But God offers as a gift, without any wage, to all people the eternal
life.

This will be received, however, only by those who have been ”in Christ”, believed in him and accepted him as their Lord.

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8. The Resurrection of Our Bodies



The representation of not few people about the resurrection is more in the domain of a certain abstractness, of an event with impalpable beings without body, not being part of our reality and ocurring rather in a world of floating and immaterial spirits.

Their interpretation is that of a resurrection only of the spirit, in other words the risen people are supposed to take merely shapes of spirits without a physical body.

The resurrection of the body is for many people out of the question, as this is for the human mind unthinkable.

But let us consider in which way had Jesus risen from the dead. The apostle Peter relates the following about Jesus:

39 And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree:
40 Him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly;
41 ... even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead
.”

(Acts 10.39-41)

Could a spirit have been able to eat and drink?
When Jesus had appeared to his disciples for the first time after his resurrection, these also thought of seeing a ghost, just because as – the same way as today – the resurrection of the body was something unimaginable. The evangelist Luke relates:

36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
37 But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
38 And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
40 And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
43 And he took it, and did eat before them
.”

(Luke 24.36-43)

What is said about the ones who accept Jesus in faith?
How will they rise?
The Bible is telling it to us:

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies ...

(Romans 8.11)

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9. The Omnipotence of God



When contemplating on the physical resurrection, we put ourselves a natural question:
Can such a thing be true?

For a lifeless body there is no more return: once decomposed, this can’t be restored any more or recreated.

But let us consider how this has been created.

When remembering where man originates from and in which way he came into existence, we will find the following answer:

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

(Genesis 2.7)

Thus we learn that dust is the substance or base material of which man consists of.

By the breath of life received from God, the man became a living soul.

When dying, this process is just the opposite: the body returns to earth, while the spirit turns back to God. The inspired word says:

1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth ...
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it
.”

(Ecclesiastes 12.1,7)

If God had had the power to make man of the dust of the ground, then with the same power he will create again the bodies of the ones who passed away.

Moreover, at one by God decided time, known only by Him, it will happen something incredible:

52 The dead shall be raised incorruptible”!

(1 Corinthians 15.52)

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10. Jesus Lives



Most people know Jesus Christ as the Crucified, man of sufferings and humility.

However, one forgets something essential: he didn’t remain nailed on the cross, as he is often represented in many churches.

After he has given up his ghost, he was certainly buried.

But he had foreseen that on the third day he will rise from the dead.

22 ... Jesus said unto them, The Son of man shall be betrayed into the hands of men:
23 And they shall kill him, and the third day he shall be raised again ..
.”

(Matthew 17.22,23)

This happened exactly the same.

The eyewitnesses relate about this. The apostle Paul says:

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins ...
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day ...
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once ...
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also
...”

(1 Corinthians 15.3-8)

The evangelist Luke testifies:

3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God

(Acts 1.3)

The disbelief, that is to say the incapability of believing of the apostle Thomas has already become proverbial.
When Jesus appeared to his disciples, this one hasn’t been present.
It is written about him:

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve ... was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.


(John 20.24-29)

Furthermore, we put ourselves the following question: which is actually the state of Jesus after his resurrection?
Has he possibly died again?

This difficulty is instantly being removed by an assurance that is beyond all doubt:

9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”

(Romans 6.9)

Many decades after his ascension, Jesus appeared to the apostle John, saying to him:

17 ... I am ...
18 ... he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore
...”

(Revelation 1.17,18)

It cannot result but one single conclusion:
Jesus is at this very moment alive.

The knowledge and the certainty about this fact should have a decisive influence on the course of our life and at the same time a transforming effect.

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C. JESUS CHRIST


1. The Extraordinary and Unique Birth of Jesus Christ



It is an evident fact that the birth of a person is the fruit of the union between a man and a woman. There is, of course, no other way.

However, in the case of Jesus Christ’s birth, the man of the woman who gave birth to him did not play any role in his fathering.

The Scripture relates to us how he was born:

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.


(Matthew 1.18-21)

This implies that he wasn’t born due to a procreation act between a man and a woman, as the place of the man was taken by the Holy Ghost.

This is entirely unimaginable, all the more as Mary – she who was to give him birth – had never had an intimate relationship with a man before.

We find this mentioned more explicitly in the book of the evangelist Luke:

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee ..
.”

(Luke 1.26–31; 34,35)

Until Jesus’ birth she had not had any intimate relationship with her husband Joseph, which is described as follows:

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS
.”

(Matthew 1.24,25)

It can be also concluded from this that after Jesus’ birth Mary and Joseph lead a family life as man and wife.

There was further offspring from their marriage. The Bible relates to us about suns and daughters. For exemple, where it tells us about the people’s incapability of believing that the one whose family they knew ”all too well” should be the saviour of mankind:

53 And it came to pass, that when Jesus had finished these parables, he departed thence.
54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
57 And they were offended in him .
..”

(Matthew 13. 53-57)

Even nowadays, most people cannot believe that God has a salvation plan for mankind, beginning with Jesus Christ’s birth in our world, as a human being in a humble family.

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2. The Necessity of Jesus Christ's Coming



As descendants of the first two people, trespassers of God’s command, we have inherited a sinful nature.

There must be said at this point that man did not inherit also Adam’s guilt of not following the command of the Lord, but each and every one of us is responsible only for his own deliberately committed sins:

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son ...”

(Ezekiel 18.20)

The sinful nature makes man easily sin.
As in the case of any other transgression, there is even for the commission of sin a reward or wage.
According to the law of Godhead the wage for the committed sin is eternal death (s.
Romans 6.23).

This implies the necessity to deliver or save mankind from eternal death.

As God did not want to let the human beings follow the path to eternal perdition, he decided that One man alone should pay the wage for all.

He had to be without fault and shoulder blame of all people, by paying with his death, so that they could receive eternal life again.

When this man was born, he was given the name JESUS; this is not an ordinary name, but has a meaning: ”Jesus” means ”Saviour” or ”Rescuer”.

The news of his birth was brought to mankind this way:

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.


(Luke 2. 8 – 11)

Thus, he was confered a second name: Christ.

This is a Greek name and means: ”The Envoy (or: The Annointed One) of God”.

The Hebrew synonym for the name Christ is ”The Messiah”.

Therefore, Jesus Christ means ”The Saviour sent by God”, in other words ”The One who has the mission or the consent of God to save mankind from eternal death”.

The apostle Paul exclaims:

15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners ...”

(1 Timothy 1.15)

The sinners are not merely a restricted number of people or only a certain category, but all people, we all.

46 For - the Scripture says - there is no man that sinneth not.

(1. Kings 8.46, 2. Chronicles 6.36)

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.(1 John 1.8)

20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

(Ecclesiastes 7.20)

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3. The Special Importance of Repentance



One of the key words for a true comprehesion of the biblical message is that of the „repentance”.

Shortly before Jesus came, appeared a man who began to announce the following:

2 ... Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 3.2)

His name was John the Baptist.

He was named so, as he baptised the people ”with water
unto repentance(Matthew 3.11)

Those who became aware of being sinful beings and were therefore in need of being purged and of making a new start, have been baptised of him.

The baptism with water had surely a formal and preparatory character, as after John was to come the One who had the absolute power to purge the sins: The Saviour Jesus Christ.

Shortly after that came Jesus himself, who also ”
17 began to preach, and say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4.17)

After Jesus had sent his twelve disciples to move from place to place, do good and heal the sick, these also preached that ”the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. It is said about them:

12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.(Mark 6.12)

While speaking to a crowd of people, the apostle Peter counselled them imperatively:

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out ...”

(Acts 3.19)

With regard to the importance of repentance, Jesus says:

10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.”

(Luke 15.10)

Is repentance optionally or rather an urgent advice of the Godhead?
The Scripture tells it to us:

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent."

(Acts 17.30)

The Bible says that Jesus will return. Many will say now: ”This is being told over and over again since two thousand years and everything remains as it was.”
Also this earthly way of thinking has been long ago prophesied in the Holy Scripture.

We are even being told of the reason for this ”delay”:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.


(2 Peter 3.3,4)

The answer of the Bible is:

9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

(2 Peter 3.9)

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4. What is Repentance?



Our actions are generally in direct relationship to our convictions.

So, when we are told to repent, we also ought to understand well what this means.

What is repentance and why does God himself want that we should all come to repentance? (s.
2 Peter 3.9; Acts 17.30)

The word ”repentance” has the same meaning with ”regret”.

If someone has done something wrong or has done to somebody an injustice, and becomes however aware of this, then it could be that he might feel sorry and will ”regret” deep down, that is to say will have a deep feeling of regret or sorrow.

Many will say: ”It is nothing that I should change in my life. I didn’t steal anything, I didn’t kill anybody, I am a decent person who is high regarded and respected by his fellow men.”

However, at a more attentive self-consideration we will recognise that the fact of haven’t killed anybody is not sufficient in order to be a righteous person.
If we hurt our neighbour even with our words, this might have the effect of a sharp sword.
Which of us hasn’t been yet in the position to have done wrong to somebody, quite often even without being aware of? We had then gone ahead most confident, absolutely convinced of the own justice, but at the same time absolutely unknowing that the other one was suffering because of us.

The committing of injustice towards our neighbour is just one of the multiplicity of mistakes, evil deeds or sins, that we all commit.

The realisation of this situation will lead us to regret all transgressions that we committed in the course of time. We will wish of never doing these again!

However, what we will experience is that in spite of our endeavour and of the firm decision for change, we will have to suffer new defeats over and over again.
We will have the will, not also the power for change.

Referring to himself, the apostle Paul describes this true inner fight as follows:

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.


(Romans 7.18-23)

How could there be found a solution to this lasting inability?

At the end of his concern, Paul expresses his gratitude in view of the answer to this conflictual state:

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord
.”

(Romans 7.24,25)

Only Jesus Christ can lead us to success. He has the power over sin.

Our only chance is to believe this and live in complete faith in him.
Thus we will find out that our live will change in time.

It is the change happening after the will of God and taking place in the mind and in the heart.

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5. Who is in Reality Jesus Christ?



Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world.

Even his name – Jesus Christ – has this meaning: The Saviour sent by God, to save mankind from eternal death.

Besides, there should be well known that he is at the same time the only saviour, as it is written:

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

(Acts 4.12)

With reference to this man, the Bible lets us know an extraordinary and exclusive feature, that is not to be attributed to any other human being.
Thus says the apostle John:

14 ... we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

(1 John 4.14)

Right after follows the clarification about who the father and who the son is:

15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

(1 John 4.15)

It will do to read only the first chapter of the Gospel of John and to our astonishment we will learn who Jesus in reality was and is, he, whom most people perceive but being ”the one, who had been nailed on the cross”.
In reality, his person is far away beyond our power of imagination.

We all know that the word is the most common and important human communication medium: the spoken word, the written or printed word, or at the beginning the word chiseled in stone.

Also by means of the word God created at the beginning all creation: the earth, the sun, the moon, the stars and all living creatures, and finally the man, each time saying: ”Let there be ...”, and as he spoke, ”it was so”.

Genesis, the first Bible’s book, begins as follows:

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.(Genesis 1.1)

The Gospel of John begins with a striking resemblance:

1 In the beginning was the Word ...” (John 1.1)

Is it just coincidental that the Gospel of John begins with the same words?
John refers here to the concept of the ”word”. But this word is attributed to a ... person! Who is this person?

This is being revealed to us gradually from one vers to another:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.


(John 1.1.-15)

From this logical succession we learn an astonishing truth:
The man Jesus is the Son of God, he himself God, born from God since evermore, before creation of universe.
Moreover, we learn even of his feature of being the Creator of the universe.

Immediately after The Fall of Man and hence the necessity of his salvation, God the Father decided that his Son shall be born on earth as a human being, to become this way the Saviour of all people.
The moment of his coming on earth had happened about 2000 years ago.

He is no other than the Word that ”was made flesh”.

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6. The Voice from the Sky



The confirmation of the fact that Jesus is the Son of God was made by God himself.

Although this seems to be unbelievable, the Bible relates in three cases how God the Father spoke from the Sky, in order to acknowledge Jesus as his Son.

The first time was then when Jesus has been baptised by John in the river Jordan:

13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased
.”

(Matthew 3. 13, 16,17)

The second time was when he has been with three of his disciples on a high mountain and a supernatural event has taken place: the transfiguration of Jesus.

2 ... Jesus taketh with him Peter, and James, and John, and leadeth them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and he was transfigured before them.
3 And his raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them.
4 And there appeared unto them Elias with Moses: and they were talking with Jesus.
5 And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.
6 For he wist not what to say; for they were sore afraid.
7 And there was a cloud that overshadowed them: and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son: hear him
.”

(Mark 9.2-7)

In one of his epistles, the apostle Peter testifies the following:

16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.


(2. Peter 1.16-18)

The third time was as Jesus spoke about the necessity of his death:

27 Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.
28 Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.
29 The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him.
30 Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes.


(John 12.27-30)

No doubt that all that happened at that time is written for us all.

We know now that the voice of the Father himself sounded down from the sky, to give us the absolute confirmation that Jesus Christ, our Saviour, is actually his Son.

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7. The Birth of Jesus Christ: Why of the Holy Ghost and of a Virgin?



There are several reasons that give us an answer to this question:

1. The pre-existence of Jesus Christ before his birth on earth

Before he came on this earth as the man Jesus Christ, he existed already as the Son of God, born before the creation of the universe:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.


(John 1.1,2,14,15)

58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.

(John 8.58)

15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist
.”

(Colossians 1.15-17)

After Mary became pregnant of the Holy Ghost, she gave birth to Jesus, the one and the same who, before this birth on earth, existed as the Son of God.
Thus Jesus was born on this earth of the Holy Ghost as a human and is therefore God even on earth.


2. The continuity of his existence also in human form in order to become this way the Saviour of mankind

Jesus had to come into this world as man, continuing his existence that he already had before his birth on earth.

The reason for his birth on earth as a human has been that he had to become the Saviour of mankind, sent by God:

38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.


(John 6.38-40)


3. The credibility of Jesus’ birth of the Holy Ghost as his Father

His birth of the Holy Ghost and of a virgin was a proof of credibility before the whole world that the newborn is by no means the son of Joseph or of any other man.

In the present case it was a pre-existing being that was to come into the world – now also in human form – namely God Himself, born of the Holy Ghost.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins
.”

(Matthew 1.18-21)

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.


(Luke 1.30,31,34,35)

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8. Jesus the Rock



Among his many significant sermons, Jesus told to the people also the parable of the house built upon the rock:

24 ... whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.


(Matthew 7.24-27)

The key words that will lead us to the better understanding of the above verses, as well as of Jesus’ Person, are: ”Rock” and ”Foundation”.

The reasonable man or the wise masterbuilder builds his house upon a solid ground, founded upon rock and not upon sand (the house symbolises here our life).
The wise man places his confidence in Jesus, who is his Lord and Saviour; but the unreasonable man rejects Jesus and overlooks the fact that He is his only salvation.

The parable of the house building has been repeatedly used throughout the Scripture (both in the New and in the Old Testament): by Jesus, the apostles, the evangelists and the prophets.

The apostle Paul refers to the parable of a house building, too:

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss ....


(1 Corinthians 3. 10,11,14,15)

Paul refers here to his work of evangelisation, which has Jesus Christ in its centre.
The faith proclaimed by Paul and then by his disciples (”another buildeth thereon”) was that in Jesus Christ, who is the basis or the foundation of the Christian faith.
Verse 11 makes clear: ”
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid ...”

Referring to the past peregrinations of the people of Israel across te desert, Paul explains clearly understandable that all these could enjoy a permanent divine leading:

3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.


(1 Corinthians 10.3,4)

The apostle Matthew tells:

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.


(Matthew 16.13-18)

Jesus addresses himself to Simon Barjona with the words ”thou art Peter”, the name under which this disciple became thenceforth known.
In addition to that, Jesus tells him that he will build his church ”upon this rock”.

The words ”Peter” and ”rock” are in Greek – the language of the New Testament – synonymous, having yet different meanings:

The Greek word for ”Peter” is ”petros” and means little stone or a rock detached from a mountain.
The Greek word for ”rock” is ”petra” and means huge rock or a rocky mountainside.

Peter recognised Jesus as ”the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
Jesus revealed to Peter that this recognition was not his own awareness, but that this has been given to him by God the Father.

Jesus also refers to the building of His ”church”.
The Greek word for ”church” is ”ekklesia” and means an assemblage of people called together. In the New Testament this refers to those who have the faith in Jesus Christ.
Speaking to the faithful from Ephesus, the apostle Paul says:  

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit
.”

(Ephesians 2.19-22)

Jesus reverts to the parable of the house building by referring to the House of God – a spiritual construction that includes the entirety of all believers, which is in a continual process of growth.
This house has as foundation the apostles and prophets, the ones who made known the knowledge of Jesus Christ, who is being allegorised here as „the
chief corner stone” - the load-carrying portion that consolidates the entire building.

From this it follows that Jesus revealed to the present listeners - to Peter and the other disciples - the fact that he will establish the assemblage of those who believe on Him (the entirety of the faithful: the people of God). He certified the trueness of Peter’s firm statement, of the one who became a part („petros”) of the house or the temple of God, built upon the rock („petra”) Jesus Christ.

The disciples, together with Peter - the one to whom Jesus addressed himself at that time - understood then that the rock, to which the Scriptures written by then many a time referred, was no other but himself: Jesus Christ.
After many years Peter wrote in the first of his books:

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, ..., a peculiar people; ...
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God
...”

(1 Peter 2.4-10)

God has always been the rock on which also the ones from former times had put their entire trust and all their hope. After the Lord had released him from all his enemies, David addressed to the Lord the following words:

2 And he said, The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.


(2. Samuel 22.2,3)

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9. The Salvation



The word ”salvation” is usually associated with ”rescue” or ”deliverance”.

The Bible often applies the term of ”salvation” and equally the one of the ”Saviour”.

As a being created by Him, man belonged initially to God. Not in the sense of an estate, but as a being endowed with most exceptional features, conferred by the One who brought him into being.
The characteristic traits of man could not be but all too resembling to the ones of his Creator, as he had to come into existence as such a creature who was to be in accordance with the conception of the Creator:

26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness ...
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him;
...”

(Genesis 1.26,27)

As a consequence of their disobedience the first two human beings - who had lived until then in harmony near by God - became mortal beings.   
They grew away from Him not only in the spiritual sense, but also had left the place where they lived up to then:

23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.


(Genesis 3.23,24)

Since that moment man went away more and more from his Creator and grew away from Him by gradually commencing to betake himself to the ”works of the flesh”:

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God
.”

(Galatians 5.19-21)

The fact that this way of being is in contradiction to the one of God is revealed to us in the following verse:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law
.” (Galatians 5.22-23)

From the Fall of Adam down to the present day people strove rather after the „works of the flesh” that are incompatible with the Spirit of God:

17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other ...” (Galatians 5.17)

Through His sacrifice the Saviour Jesus Christ has not only taken the punishment for the sin upon himself, but:

14 ... gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity ...” (Tit 2.14)

Thus salvation has also the role of the complete deliverance from the power of sin or „from all iniquity”.

5... the man Christ Jesus;
6 ... gave himself a ransom for all
...” (1 Timothy 2.5,6)

It is well known that for every purchase there must be paid a certain price.
In the present case this is a thoroughly extraordinary price:

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
(1 Peter 1.18,19)

We all - without exception - have been redeemed from the received ”vain conversation”:

9 ... thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation(Revelation 5.9)

We still use to live after the „works of the flesh”, as we stand under the inevitable influences and temptations that surround us, which are not throughout positive.

Through His accomplished work Christ has pointed the way to us.
From the moment we take note of His boundless devotion towards the human being our conscience will transfer us in a whole new state:
to decide ourselves in favour of the gradual renunciation of the ”works of the flesh”.

We will though not be able to make these ”disappear into thin air”.
As long as we live in this world we will have to carry within us the law of sin (or of the evil):

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.


(Romans 7.18-23)

The only effective ”remedy” against the ”works of the flesh” is to ignore these or simply to ”hang” them up:

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Galatians 5.24)

We can gradually bring in our lives ”the fruits of the Spirit”:

16 ... Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5.16)

Only in this way we will someday experience that we have been finally released from the ”vain conversation [way of life] received by tradition from our fathers”.

Christ has made the salvation possible for all people, yet not all will rejoice this, but only those who will understand that from now on they will have to lead another way of life: one not anymore after the naturally way of the earthly nature. Reason for this is the fact that they have been ”redeemed to God” and will have to live henceforth by aiming at new standards.

Found ourselves faced with this choice, we should more often recall that the ”works of the flesh” always lead to Evil, whereas ”the fruits of the Spirit” will lead us only to the Good.

The goal of the salvation is the restoring of man from the bad state of today to the initial one created by God.

It is important to know that the salvation does not proceed automatically, but this means an acceptance and a choice taken deliberately from man in its favour - after having learned of what Jesus has realized for us.

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10. Remission of Sins



Why is there a need of remission of sins?

As descendants of the first two humans - trespasser of God’s law or in biblical terms: ”sinner” - we are all ”sinner” by birth as well:

12 ..., as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men ...” (Romans 5.12)

In consequence of the committed mistake Adam and Eve became mortal beings:

23 ... the wages of sin [or: the disobedience towards God] is death ...” (Romans 6.23)

It is a tough reality, wellknown to anyone, that everybody’s birth lies ahead a certain lifetime, that could be long or rather short, but which finally ends with the person’s death.

However, it is the will of God that man comes back to the condition conferred by Him in the beginning: the one of an immortal being:

23 ... but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6.23)

Jesus Christ has met the just requirements of God by paying with His death for the sins of mankind:

5 ... he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities
.”

(Isaiah 53.5,10,11)

21 ... he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.(2 Corinthians 5.21)

Since then everyone who believes in Him will be redeemed or in other words saved: from eternal death to eternal life, so that on one certain day, decided by God the Father and known only by Him, the dead in Christ will revive for eternity and there shall be no more death.
(Revelation 21.4)

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16)

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6.47)

52 ... the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.


(1 Corinthians 15.52-54)

Why and how should we understand that there is the necessity of forgiveness of sins?

When there are misunderstandings occuring within human relations that lead to the impairment or the severance of the mutual contact, then it is only forgiveness that could restore the initial relations of harmony and peaceful co-existence.

By His self-sacrifice Jesus creates in a similar way the new foundation of the wonderful harmony between God and man, thus reconciling us with God.

18 ... God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus ...” (2 Corinthians 5.18)

As descendants of the first two people we definitely run to meet the eternal death, that is the just punishment (biblically: ”wage”) of sin.
As long as we do not understand that we should sincerely accept Jesus’ sacrifice made in our stead, the wrath of God will remain forever above us, whereas our future will be the eternal perdition. According to the Bible this is a most terrible state.

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.(John 3.36)

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”


(Romans 5.8-10)

28 ... I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish ...” (John 10.28)

40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.


(Matthew 13.40-42)

But to the one who believes on Him, the Lord Jesus has forgiven him the sins once and for all, namely by His onetime accomplished sacrifice. Subsequent to this, any other kind of action done from man side in order to add something or other is no longer required.

43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10.43)

10 ... we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.


(Hebrews 10.10-12,14,18)

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11. The Fear of Death



The fear of death is human and therefore an absolute natural and self-evident matter.

In the face of the approaching of death - either imminent or occuring after a certain time - everyone comes over an uneasy feeling of fear.
In general this is a strong feeling that could evolve unto the worst deadly fear.

However much these emotional states and worries may even be, these could be attended by a beneficial certainty, namely the assurance given to man by Jesus Christ:

25 ... I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die
...”

(John 11.25,26)

There are being transmitted here to us two important concepts: the resurrection and the life.
The first one, the resurrection, signifies the bringing back to life of the died person.
The second one, the life, is the antonym or the opposite of death.

The apostle Paul made also following astonishing announcement:

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory
.”

(1 Corinthians 15.51-54)

From the analogy existing between these two revelations we find that these draw a clear distinction between two groups of people:
The ones who died (whose body is corruptible) and the ones who are alive (whose body is mortal).

The ones who died - and who believed in Jesus - will live:

I am the resurrection, and the life ...”
” ... he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live
” ... the dead shall be raised incorruptible ...”
” ... this corruptible must put on incorruption ...”

This group applies to the concept of ”the resurrection ”.

The ones who will be alive at the last trump - and who believed in Jesus - will live:

I am the resurrection, and the life ...”
”... whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die ...”
”... and we shall be changed.”
”... this mortal must put on immortality ...”

This second group applies to the concept of ”the life ” (it is about the eternal, immortal life).

Both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament, in many accounts telling of someone’s death, the Bible refers to this state as that of a ”sleep”, the dead being the ones who ”are asleep”.

There is a question that arises, which is:
When will the last trumpet sound?

The Bible gives us following answer:

14 ... if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


(1 Thessalonians 4.14-17)

This event of the resurrection of the dead ”in Christ” along with the change of the living will happen at the return of Jesus Christ.

The faithful people, who will live at that time, will instantly rejoice in the eternal life, with other words they ”shall never die ”.
This will however not occur before ”the dead in Christ ” have risen.

All of this is beyond the reasonable common sense, for which this description is hardly apprehensible.
That is why Jesus assures us in plain words, that are for everyone’s understanding, of the truthfulness of this great forthcomimg event:

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.


(John 5.24-29)

After His ascention, Jesus has called Paul to be the apostle of all other nations, in other words to witness and to bring forth to all the peoples of the world the awareness of Him, Jesus Christ, and the faith in Him.
As the faithful of Corinth began to raise doubts about the resurrection of the dead, he told them:

12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death
.”  

(1 Corinthians 15.12-26)

All these clear statements have been written not only to the Corinthians, but also to anyone who sometimes raises doubts, in whatever age he or she lives or has lived.  

Jesus assures the believer that He will raise him up at ”the last day”:

38 ... I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.


(John 6.38-40)

The coming of Jesus and His acts on earth fulfil also the purpose to
15 ... deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

(Hebrews 2.15)

Until His coming people lived in a ”state of bondage” induced by the fear of death and its sombre prospects.
Through the truths revealed to man in the New Testament everyone could now be fully informed with regard to death and resurrection, being thus veritably ”freed” from the fear of death.
Now we know: the future of the one with the faith in Christ is ETERNAL LIFE!

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12. Jesus will return



How many people believe nowadays that Jesus will return?

His coming and ministry on earth about 2000 years ago are events that have long-since been imprinted onto the memory of mankind, having been historically registered as such.

Since then, mankind has continued to take its course in multiple fields: social, economical, political, cultural, scientifical and others.
There were and there are alternately flourishing times, but which were also marked by states of perturbation - both on familiar and on social level - that demand an answer.

In the whirl of countless problems of daily life man does not have the time and leisure to occupy himself - even for a little while - with the reading of a certain book (The Bible) which offers not only historical information about events that had taken place and have been archaeologically proven, but also unique prophetical revelations.

One of these - whose fulfillment still lies ahead - is the return of Jesus Christ.
This return will be not anymore the one of a man who will sacrifice his life, but of the God-man with power and great glory.

The last look his disciples had from Him has been the one of His ascention.
But in that very same moments there has been made to them - and also to the entire humanity from thence and of today - a promise: the one of His certain return.

9 ... when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven
.”

(Acts 1. 9-11)

Will His return possibly happen in secrecy, being thus visible only to certain people?
Will He appear only at certain places?

The Bible tells us the following:

3 ... the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
25 Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.


(Matthew 24.3-5, 23-26)

Jesus replies to His disciples’ question at first with a warning.
Animated with the desire to see His return come true, many people will be lead astray by persons who will affirm with strong conviction as being the Saviour himself.

It is important that until His return - namely in the manner as prophesied by himself - we should not let ourselves impressed and taken in by fascinating events (”shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect ” -
Matthew 24.24).

These ”false Christs, and false prophets” will try to convince through exceptional powers. Thus they will unperceivedly exert their influence on the emotions of the people.

The return of the Saviour Jesus Christ will be unique and indubitable, as furthermore told by himself:

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


(Matthew 24.27,30,31)

More than 500 years before Jesus’ birth on earth the prophet Daniel tells about a message he received from God in a night dream:

13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.
14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed
.”

(Daniel 7.13,14)

In the last book of the Holy Scripture we find the following divine statements:

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.


(Revelation 1.7,8)

This event will be thus seen and heard by every man on earth.
Jesus will appear at first from the airin the clouds of heaven ”, ”with power and great glory
(Matthew 24.30), and not on the earth, amongst/from the people that surround us.

Are we able to know the exact moment of His return? Jesus tells us:

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

(Matthew 24.36)

What we could know though are the pre-announcing signs of His approaching return:

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows
.”

(Matthew 24.6-8)

Jesus tells us not to let ourselves be emotionally affected, by being afraid of the terrible events that happened already and are still to come, but to maintain our composure.

According to Jesus’ statements there is a direct correlation between the appearance of false religious teachers and the coming of hard times.
Why?

The inclination of the people to follow false ”Christs ” and false religious teachers will be intensified by the increase of wars, epidemics, earthquakes, natural disasters.

Wars, epidemics, famines, etc. have always existed, but the possibility to take note of all these on any place of the earth (”rumours ” of ...) has never been so far advanced as nowadays by means of mass media (especially over television and internet).

Once having heard of these things, frightened people will be susceptible to manipulations that could thus lead them to thoroughly entrust themselves to false teachers and prophets. But these last-mentioned will, after all, aim for power, wealth, fame, political influence, etc. (they could be identified even within the present official churches).
Usually people use to go regularly to church, bound by tradition, thinking that more than this is not required from them.
At this point there must be said, however, that only through the individual study of the Bible each of us could truly find the way to God by searching in the Scriptures, on which pages we find the true and realistic guidance, inspired by God Himself!

The importancy of the correlation between the contents of the Bible, eternal life and His Person is revealed to us by Jesus Himself, as follows:

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

(John 5,39)  

His prophetic speech with regard to the approach of His coming ends with following words:

28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

(Luke 21.28)

Jesus says we should direct our look upwards, wherefrom our redemption will come.
This means we should direct our thoughts also heavenward, from where we expect the coming of our Saviour, and not only downward, searching for earthly solutions.

Earthquakes, wars etc. are merely first signs of these prophecies’ fulfilment.
The actual danger is, however, to be deceived and misleaded (”Take heed that no man deceive you”).

Although the first signs of His coming are known to us, these do not give us a dead certainty regarding the moment of His coming, as Jesus also says:

44 ... be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

(Matthew 24.44)

34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.


(Luke 21.34-36)

The surfeit with food and the drunkenness as well as the cares of this life are features of people whose lives are based most often on unsoundly occupations and pleasures and who let themselves be troubled with the common worries of life.
For all these, whose world of thought do not exceed the present earthly horizon, the return of Jesus Christ will be completely unexpected and shall come on them ”as a snare ”.

Each one of us could have priorities that seem to us of ”essential” importance, thus quite likely showing complete disregard to the promise of our Saviour.
We must indeed not neglect our daily commitments, but our first priority should be the certainty of Christ’s return.
There is always the danger of being seized with occupations that are incompatible with the will of God. That is why Jesus urges us to watch.

What does that mean: ”to watch”?

It means, to re-evaluate the priorities of our life: based on the biblical message, which is the Word of God for each of us.
It means, to bring fruit in our life according to the will of God.

And above all ”to watch” means, to believe that Jesus could return at any moment.

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D. THE DECALOGUE


1. The IMPORTANCE



The Ten Commandments (or The Decalogue: from Greek deka „Ten” and logos „Word”) have on the strengh of their origin and due to their inestimable value a most notably importance, unmeasurable for us all.

God Himself had proclaimed these and written them on two tables of stone.

After the departure of the people Israel from the land of Egypt, Moses has been called by God on the mountain Sinai, where He told him to assemble the entire people at the foot of the mountain.

9 And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.
10 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes,
11 And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
14 And Moses went down from the mount unto the people, and sanctified the people; and they washed their clothes.
15 And he said unto the people, Be ready against the third day: come not at your wives.
16 And it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud; so that all the people that was in the camp trembled.
17 And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount.
18 And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly.
19 And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.
20 And the LORD came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount ....


(Exodus 19.9-11; 14-20)

From the top of the mountain, amidst impressive and terrifying ambience, God pronounced The Ten Commandments or the moral law:

1 And God spake all these words, saying,
 
2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
 
3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
 
4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
 
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
 
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
 
7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
 
8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
 
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill.
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.


(Exodus 20.1-17)

These proclaimed words were then set in tables of stone by God Himself, as eternal testimony to all peoples from thence and of today:

12 And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them.”

(Exodus 24.12)

18 And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.”

(Exodus 31.18)

15 And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, and the two tables of the testimony were in his hand: the tables were written on both their sides; on the one side and on the other were they written.
16 And the tables were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, graven upon the tables
.”

(Exodus 32.15,16)

28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.

(Exodul 34.28)

13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.

(Deuteronomy 4.13)

10 And the LORD delivered unto me two tables of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORD spake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.”

(Deuteronomy 9.10)

The Decalogue is the Godhead’s message to man, that shows him how to apprehend the approach towards God and towards his fellow men:

The first four commandments refer to the required behaviour of man towards God.
The next six commandments make reference to rules of cohabital conduct and of relations that must exist between humans.

The attention to these commandments concerned not only ”the chosen people” but also all human beings from thence and of today:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”

(Ecclesiastes 12.13)

In those days all the peoples of the earth - with the exception of the Jewish people - worshipped various ”idols” (the sun, representations of animals, etc.), as for all these the existence of an unseen God was inconceivable.
Nowadays everyone has the opportunity to acknowledge the Word of God in its printed form named ”The Bible” and hence the Ten Commandments as well.
These reflect the character of God and have an eternal and unchangeable validity.

They do not constitute a list of ten imposed regulations, but a guide.
If the people will seek to adhere to these in a most faithful way, then they will realize the positive effects in their lives that won’t be long in coming, as the Ten Commandments contain rules of behaviour and attitude conceived by our Creator.

The notice of the law of the Ten Commandments puts the man in the position to draw a comparison: between his actual behaviour and attitude and the one conceived for him by his Creator.
In the beginning man was not in need of these Ten Commandments, as for him - as sinless being - the transgression of any law was out of the question.
After several thousand years from the Fall of Man God gave to manhood the law, showing through it - as a look in a mirror - the state in which this had got in.
Thus law assumes the role of an accuser and eventually the one of a guide, but on no account that of a Saviour.

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”

(Romans 3.20)

It plays at the same time the important role of an ”indicator” towards the Saviour Jesus Christ:

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.”

(Galatians 3.24)

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe
...”

(Romans 3.21-22)

Everyone will finally have to learn that he or she cannot perfectly follow these commandments or instructions of the Godhead.
This awareness comes not until when finding out that these do not represent a list of ten rules to be complied with, as their meaning vastly transcend the limits of their concrete formulations. Just as concentric circles they generate much more profounder significances.

The One who gave them the entire meaning is our Saviour Jesus Christ, who had repeatedly referred to these approx. 2000 years ago.

We learn that not through the endeavour of strictly observing these commandments we attain our salvation, but through the faith in Jesus Christ - the only One who has followed them in the entirety of all their meanings.

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins ...
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law
.”

(Romans 3.24-31)

The obligation of following these hasn’t been and will never be abrogated. Jesus says:

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled
.”

(Matthew 5.17,18)

Our endeavour to follow them will approach us more and more to the original state of man created by God.
In time we will have no more feeling of obligation, but perceive the wonderful state of harmony and peace with ourselves, with our fellow human beings and with God.
We will realize that ”The Commandments” are part of our nature, since we will not any more ”see” them written on two tables of stone, but feel them within our hearts.

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2. The First Commandment



3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

(Exodus 20.3)

Before beginning with the pronouncement of the Decalogue, God revealed first and foremost Himself:

2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

(Exodus 20.2)

He is the Creator of the universe, of heaven and of earth, of all living creature and is above all our Creator, of us human beings.

He is the only living and true God, Creator of all existence.

4 Yet I am the LORD thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.

(Hosea 13.4)

20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

(1 John 5.20)

The first Commandment demands to have no other ”gods” besides Him.

These other ”gods” have nothing to do with the creation of the universe, but are merely fictions of the human mind. They came about from man’s imagination and exert their influence in most different forms: as real ”idols” or as excessive ” homages” to favourite preoccupations.

The peoples of that time worshipped various ”gods”: the sun, animals, elements of nature, etc.

Nowadays these have been replaced by idols that have completely different forms.
These have control over men’s mind and commonly appear in form of idolised preoccupations.

Many turn into ”slaves” of their addictive preferences that attain a special place in their order of priority.
Being highly demanded by them man forgets his Creator and imperceptibly pursues these gods that will eventually mislead him into undesirable ways.
The writer of the inspired Proverbs says:

25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.

(Proverbs 16.25)

Amidst the variety of everyday occupations we should consider if that what we do is or is not in accordance with the will of God and in the light of His truths. We should always have in mind Jesus’ words:  

6 ... I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

(John 14.6)

What is an idol?

In the ancient world idols were imaginary gods that where worshipped by all peoples, with the exception of the Jewish nation. This is also the reason why God revealed Himself to this of all peoples.

2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.


(Jeremiah 10.2-15)

18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.


(Habakkuk 2.18,19)

Nowadays we could refer to an idol as to something (object, being or preocccupation) by which man lets himself dominated, becoming absorbed in thought with and which are being appreciated even more than God.

Some of these are:
The unrestrained hedonism, greed for money and scramble for wealth as a target in life, striving for power, avarice, selfishness, propensity to couch potatoes, computer addiction, alcohol abuse, idolatrous veneration of personalities (from the world of arts, from the field of sports, and others), excessive love for animals or objects, etc.
This enumeration could go on in a wide variety.

Thus man will worship the mortal man and the ephemeral activites to a greater degree than the eternal and everlasting God. By doing so, man will not only go away more and more from God, but could never come to the knowledge and to the understanding of the biblical truth.

Prior to the commencement of His mission on earth „Jesus was led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
(Matthew 4.1) On this occasion He Himself proved obedience to the first Commandment:

8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.


(Matthew 4.8-10)

By extension, we should act on the following inspired suggestion of the apostle John, with far-reaching applicability for our day, too:

21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols ...

(1 John 5.21)

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3. The Second Commandment


4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.


(Exodus 20.4-6)

In addition to the first one, the second Commandment points to what and how we should not worship.

The peoples from biblical times worshipped various ”gods” which they used to represent in form of images they fancied of the adored god.

Already since those times God made known that He alone, Creator of heaven and earth, is entitled to worship, as a sign of gratitude for the life given to man in the midst of a wonderful creation, not the imaginary idols made by sculptors and goldsmiths.

2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
5 They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.
6 Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O LORD; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.
7 Who would not fear thee, O King of nations? for to thee doth it appertain: forasmuch as among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like unto thee.
8 But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities.
9 Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men.
10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.
11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.
12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.
13 When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures.
14 Every man is brutish in his knowledge: every founder is confounded by the graven image: for his molten image is falsehood, and there is no breath in them.
15 They are vanity, and the work of errors: in the time of their visitation they shall perish.


(Jeremiah 10.2-15)

18 What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?
19 Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.


(Habakkuk 2.18,19)

Nowadays man’s custom to bow to an object made by human hands is still present.
Today’s representations have namely a ”Christian” form of appearance.
These are either in painted form (icons) or as sculptural shapings (statues).

Although all these representations bear reference to Christian cult, their adoration and service will however lead to the fact that people will abandon the true worship of the eternal God.
The worship of these human representations is a transgression of the second Commandment.

What is true worship of God and how is divine service to be understood?
It is the worship that does not take place before a visible and tangible object, but in the mind and in the heart of man. The Bible says:

23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.


(John 4.23,24)

Thus, two terms bind themselves to the concept of worship: spirit and truth.

The worship in ”spirit” refers to the inside of man (mind, heart, the entire being).
The worship in ”truth” insinuates that man could - deliberately or not - also worship falsehood. This could be a breeding ground for cults that are not founded on the biblical truth.
But what is truth? Jesus says:

6 I am the way, the truth, and the life ....

(John 14.6)

Truth is therefore exclusively bound to Jesus’ person, to all that He has done and has said.

What Jesus Himself said about worship we find in the biblical account of His encounter with the woman of Samaria to whom He had revealed particulars from her personal life:

9 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.
20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.


(John 4.19-24)

Appealing to the people hundreds of years ago and prophetically to His worshippers of all times, God says the following:

5 To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?
6 They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship.
7 They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove: yea, one shall cry unto him, yet can he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble.


(Isaiah 46.5-7)

18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?
19 The workman melteth a graven image, and the goldsmith spreadeth it over with gold, and casteth silver chains.


(Isaiah 40.18,19)

25 To whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One.

(Isaiah 40.25)

The second Commandment awakens attention not to bow down to any graven image, nor serve them or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
The same is true for every representation, not only of the Godhead, but also of any other being, of any human.

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4. The Third Commandment


7
Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.”

(Exodus 20.7)

The expression ”take in vain” is here synonymous with ”dishonour, degrade or defile”.

The third Commandment signifies in other words ”you shall not dishonour, degrade or defile the name of God”.

The misuse of the name of God in the strict sense of the word is an extremely hard case, that practically occurs very seldom, considering that people commonly have a respectful attitude towards divinity.

There are however some ”habits” in people’s language of everyday life that contain also empty talk with reference to the name of God: from bad words involving Him, as well as jokes made with His name right through to apparently harmless automatisms such as ”Oh my God, ...”, ”Jesus!” and so on.

The name of God is being used all too careless and without thinking, while disregarding to whom one has just referred to: the name of God is bound to the One who brought into being the whole creation and above all the life of man as well as that of all other living creatures.
Therefore, the uttering of His name should be done while being fully aware of it, in accordance with His divineness, as of a name whom all the credit is due to.

The ones who think the way of treating the name of God would be not that important should first acknowledge what the Bible says on this:

7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

(Galatians 6.7)

The ”misuse of the name of God” means also a false evidence using His name:

12 And ye shall not swear by my name falsely, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I am the LORD.”

(Leviticus 19.12)

It was at the time when the people was given the law of the Ten Commandments. Not all were however fully aware that this was given to them by the Creator of the universe Himself, the holy and living God. As some even dared to treat His name with contempt and to insult it, God deemed it necessary to punish them.
Hence the spreading of the truth in the world had to lead on to the disposal of a few people who had a petrified heart. It is written:

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.”

(Romans 1.18)

A revealing example of the punishment for blasphemy and insult of the name of God we find in the following:

10 And the son of an Israelitish woman, whose father was an Egyptian, went out among the children of Israel: and this son of the Israelitish woman and a man of Israel strove together in the camp;
11 And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses ...
12 And they put him in ward, that the mind of the LORD might be shewed them.
13 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
14 Bring forth him that hath cursed without the camp; and let all that heard him lay their hands upon his head, and let all the congregation stone him.
15 And thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel, saying, Whosoever curseth his God shall bear his sin.
16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death.


(Leviticus 24.10-16)

How should the name of God be understood and how is this to be treated?

As of the One who created the universe and all the existence and who - after the Fall of Man - enables him the salvation from eternal death.

24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands;
25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;
26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;
27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.
29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device.
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.


(Acts 17.24-31)

23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ ....”

(1 John 3.23)

The name of Jesus Christ must be honoured as high as that of His Father.
It is written about the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth:

12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

(Acts 4.12)

The name of God - either Father or Son - is a name that stands above any other name whatsoever.
Its uttering should also be attended by a life freed from iniquity:

19 ... Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

(2. Timothy 2.19)

The name of God should not be”misused”, but be called upon.

12 ... for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved
.”

(Romans 10.12,13)

To ”call upon” the name of the Lord means to devote our mind not exclusively to daily activities and preoccupations, but also to our Creator and Saviour.
We should recall Him not only in time of need, but give Him our gratitude and worship at all times.

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5. The Fourth Commandment



8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
 
9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it
.

(Exodus 20.8-11)

The day of rest (sabbath day) blessed and hallowed by God is the seventh day.

This is the day of which God the Lord tells us to keep it holy and devote to Him as day of rest.

Which day of the week is the seventh day?

The answer to this question we find in the biblical account on the resurrection morning of our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.


(Mark 16.1-9)

It follows from the above biblical account that Jesus is risen on the first day of the week.

Which day of the week is the first day?

The answer to this we find in the yearly Easter feast (the feast of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ), when the Resurrection Day is always on a Sunday.
That implies that the first day of the week is the Sunday.

The seventh day is logically that straight before the Sunday: the Saturday.
Thus is Saturday (the seventh day of the week) the day of rest blessed and hallowed by God.

Saturday is the day of which God the Lord tells us to keep it holy and devote to Him as day of rest.

The word ”Saturday” is not mentioned in the Bible, but the word ”sabbath”.
This is a word of Hebrew origin (”Shabbat”) which means ”cessation”.
Referred to the fourth Commandment this means ”day of cease or period of rest”.
The seventh day was after all the only day that bore a name, all others being just numerated (the first day, the second day, etc.).

It should be known that the cessation on the seventh day has not been announced for the first time on the occasion of the Giving of the Law on Mount Sinai, but existed since the beginning of the world.
The seventh day was blessed and sanctified right after the completion of the creation:

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.


(Genesis 2.1-3)

At that time there weren’t any peoples yet. Manhood existed merely of the first human couple.
This special day is thus not bound to nations, peoples or religious orientations, but is directed towards all humanity.

This Commandment serves in remembrance of the divine creation of the universe, of the earth, of all living creatures and of the man and reminds of God’s rest on the seventh day of the Creation week.

Thousands of years upon creation God Himself reminds in the fourth Commandment of The Decalogue that this day and the completion of His creation are linked to one another.
This Commandment was given on Mount Sinai to the people of Israel (at that time the only nation having the faith in the true God) and through this to all the terrestrials of the entire human history.

On this day God establishes the necessary cycle of working and rest time:
At the end of six weekdays work will be interrupted by the seventh day of rest.
Same as His rest immediately after the completion of the creation God calls to his being created by Him to rejoice on this day in communion with Him, showing at the same time His particular care for a well-balanced and healthy life of man.
Man needs regular periods of rest, both physical and mental. All the labour and efforts of the six weekdays will ”cease” over the period of the seventh day.

The purpose, the sense and the benefit of this day could be summarized as follows:

- Man can enjoy the advantages of this day in a practical manner for his own good, by physical and mental rest, rest of body and mind.
- It is not a day of plagues and misinterpreted restrictions, but of joy and contemplation of God’s creation, in the middle of which man is ”wonderfully made
(Pss. 139.14).
- It is an occasion to deepen our thoughts into the Word of God and to advance in the knowledge of the eternal life.

Although this is a day of rest, one should herefrom not conclude that on this day all activity is forbidden. God says: ”Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” To keep this day holy means to focus (through activities, occupations or our thoughts) on God and on His Word.
What certainly (as well as possible) ceases on this day are just the everyday activities of the other six days.
God says the following on this:

13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD;.
..”

(Isaiah 58.13.14)

About 2000 years ago Lord Jesus Christ revealed the purpose of the sabbath:

27... The sabbath was made for man ...” (Mark 2.27)

The word ”man” of this verse is a generic term to be applied to the entire mankind.

Thus Jesus tells not only how sabbath is to be understood, but how this should not be misinterpreted.
As this had become a burdensome day because of a totally absurd system of laws of human prohibitions, our Lord has pointed out on the normality on how this day should be observed, by condemning the prejudices of the ”keeping of sabbath” as being utterly wrong.

The Pharisees (the supreme religious leaders in those days) had conceived a detailed system of restrictive rules in order to prevent any kind of work during the sabbath.
Those who deviated from it were accused of having ”breached” the law.

The Bible accounts to us the way Jesus relieved (or delivered) the sabbath from human traditions and prejudices:

1 At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungred, and began to pluck the ears of corn, and to eat.
2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto him, Behold, thy disciples do that which is not lawful to do upon the sabbath day.
3 But he said unto them, Have ye not read what David did, when he was an hungred, and they that were with him;
4 How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the shewbread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests?
5 Or have ye not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless?
6 But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.
7 But if ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.
8 For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.
9 And when he was departed thence, he went into their synagogue:
10 And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him.
11 And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?
12 How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.
13 Then saith he to the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other
.”

(Matthew 12.1-13)

1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk.
12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.


(John 5.1-18)

10 And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath.
11 And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself.
12 And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity.
13 And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
14 And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.
15 The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering?
16 And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?
17 And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.


(Luke 13.10-17)

During His action on earth Jesus had removed the prejudices regarding this day.
Yet it should not at all mean that He abolished this day or that He came to amend the Law.
By the contrary. Jesus said unmistakeably clear:

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.
18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled
.”

(Matthew 5.17,18)

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:
28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath
.”

(Mark 2.27,28)

That implies the following:

- The sabbath is subordinated to Jesus; He is the Lord whom we worship
- As Jesus is Master over the sabbath, it is to understand that this has been designed to fulfill a particular purpose that is to be taken into account

We should focus on Jesus as on the manner He observes the sabbath.

Jesus Himself honoured this day by preaching, healing the sick and doing wonders.

This was not for Him a day of inactivity and imposed restrictions, but a time during which He continued to be active and open to the public.

There is a misconception to make a distinction between the Old and the New Testament.
The Bible is a single unitary scripture and is the inspired Word of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The New Testament begins with the incarnation of the Son of God in Jesus Christ.
The Old Testament prophesies the coming of the Son who was ever-present and active over its entire time period, as He existed always and at all times:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him
...”

(John 1.1-3,10 )

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”

(John 5.39 )

1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ
.”

(1 Corinthians 10.1-4)

His words are without any doubt: ”Think not that I am come to destroy the law, ... : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.”

To all those who became to perceive the sabbath through the prism of a restrictive system and stifling formality He showed that the approach of this day had been misunderstood. He has not abolished the fourth Commandment of the Decalogue, but merely freed the seventh day from the unneeded imposed rules.
This is a day of rest, though not one of inactivity. What ceases, are the usual everyday tasks.
The seventh day is certainly a working time for God and indeed also for any indispensable works
(Matthew 12.3,4) or acts of mercy (Matthew 12.11,12).

How did Jesus consider the sabbath? He gives us the following answer:

My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
(John 5.17)

In what way did He ”work”?

By the very fact that He was always at the service of the people, acting for their own good and for their healing.

As ever, Jesus appealed not alone to their mind, but also to their hearts.
The Pharisees and all those, who followed blindly on the inherited human system of traditions have missed the point of the enlightening words and the compassionate approach of Jesus, either with the mind or with the heart. They had only realized that He removed their entire theological authority. This is why they ”sought ... to kill him”.
But the reasonable people with an open heart understood what their Lord talked to her ”and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him.”

Many years after Jesus’ Ascension His apostles continued to honour the sabbath by preaching on this day and using this special opportunity to speak to the people:

42 And when the Jews were gone out of the synagogue, the Gentiles besought that these words might be preached to them the next sabbath.
43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.
44 And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God.


(Acts 13.42-44)

2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,
3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.
4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.


(Acts 17.2-4)

4 And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded the Jews and the Greeks.
5 And when Silas and Timotheus were come from Macedonia, Paul was pressed in the spirit, and testified to the Jews that Jesus was Christ.
6 And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean: from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles.
7 And he departed thence, and entered into a certain man's house, named Justus, one that worshipped God, whose house joined hard to the synagogue.
8 And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.
9 Then spake the Lord to Paul in the night by a vision, Be not afraid, but speak, and hold not thy peace:
10 For I am with thee, and no man shall set on thee to hurt thee: for I have much people in this city.
11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them.


(Acts 18.4-11)

The mere fact that after Jesus Christ’s ascension His disciples met not only on the sabbath, but also on the first day of the week is not an evidence that to the people at that time was given a new day of rest, as God never decided this.

Not a passage of Scripture mentions that God has changed the day of rest from the seventh into the first day of the week.
Although Jesus is risen on a Sunday, after His resurrection and after being seen of His disciples He never indicated to keep holy this day as the new day of rest and not even to celebrate this in His honour.
He personally had worshipped the seventh day (Saturday), which Christians had to continue also after His resurrection.
Sunday was never made holy by God nor has this been established as His special day of adoration.
After the ascention of the Lord Jesus Christ His apostles, disciples and all the ones who received the faith in Him observed a single day of rest:
The seventh day, given by God already since creation of the world, which has been included later into the Law of the Ten Commandments.

And yet nowadays most churches observe the Sunday (the first day of the week) as the official day of rest.

How did it come to this change of the divine Law?

The replacement of the day of rest on Saturday by the one on Sunday had had initially several reasons which lead to the fact that things gradually took this turn.

What concured to this common consent began with the oppression of the Jewish People by the Romans during the two Jewish-Roman wars between 66 – 135 A.D.

Due to social and religious dissatisfactions, war broke out in Judea in 66 A.D. between Jews and Romans. The first great Jewish uprising ended on 70 A.D. with the siege of Jerusalem by the Roman troops – under the command of Titus, son of the Roman emperor Vespasian - and the demolition of the fortification walls, destruction of the city and of the Jewish temple. Commander Titus ordered to destroy and to raze the entire city.

These events and their catastrophic proportions had been precisely predicted by the Lord Jesus Christ to His disciples:

1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.


(Matthew 24.1,2)

20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.


(Luke 21.20-24)

Besides other measures against the Jewish people, in 72 A.D. there has been imposed on this a special tax (”fiscus iudaicus”) by the Roman state, namely for ”free permission to practice their religion” [1]. This was a humiliating measure for the Jews, one also specially designed to prevent possible conversions to Judaism.

Later on, the Roman emperor Domitian (81 – 96 A.D.) had imposed this tax also to all those who ”lived as Jews”.
All over the Roman Empire were prosecuted all those who ”without publicly acknowledging that faith, yet lived as Jews, as well as those who concealed their origin and did not pay the tribute levied upon their people”. [1]
Here were meant the Christians (originating from the Jews and other peoples), who were commonly classified by the Romans as Jews.
As also the Christians kept sabbath holy, people simply talked that they ”lived as Jews”.

In the eyes of the state authorities, the Christians of that time did not have a different religion from Judaism. Whether Christian or Jew, the special tax had to be paid or one must count on harsh punishments.

For this reason a growing number of Christians no longer wanted to be made equal to the Jews, which lead to an intensified distancing from these.

It was around the same time when – because of the tensions between Jews and Christians – the thought began to take root of replacing the sabbath with another weekday.

Until those days Christians had celebrated the biblical day of rest, the sabbath (the seventh day of the week) as holy day, whereas Sunday (the first day of the week) was only an usual working day.

One began to celebrate the first day of the week as a ”memorial of the resurrection” [2] and as this is ”the day on which God said: Let there be light”. [3]
Therefore, possible justifications were sought in order to declare Sunday as the Christian feastday, by searching after biblical proofs, but which after an appropriate analysis turn out to be false and inapplicable.

In the first centuries, in some regions even both the sabbath and the first day of the week were observed as days of rest. This is however contrary to God’s Commandment who said: six days shall you labour and on one day you shall leave your ordinary activities, devoting this day to Him – namely the seventh day, not another one – not two!

In the 3rd Century A.D. the faith in Jesus Christ was widely disseminated to such an extend that this could neither be ignored by the pagan Roman state nor could it be kept under control.

As not all people believed in the Christian truths, the Roman Empire was divided into two categories: unbelievers (pagans) and Christians. In order to maintain the state unity as well as his political goals, Roman emperor Constantine I. (306 – 337 A.D.) makes use of a compromise solution, conceived to lead to a common settlement:
The first day of the week (Sunday). Why?

One should know that in the pagan Roman Empire – as in the case of almost all other peoples – was practised the cult of the sun. The sun was worshipped as the supreme god, the so-called ”Deus Sol Invictus” (translated: „the invincible sun-god”).

The weekly worship was on the first day of the week and ”the birthday of the invincible sun-god” (”Dies natalis solis invicti”) was celebrated on 25 December.

Thus, the simplest manner to create consensus in the country has been the introducing of sun worship in the Christian world.

The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ on the first day of the week was the pretext for its declaration as ”new day of rest”.

On 7 March 321 A.D. Constantine I legalised this thought, which already circulated in the Roman Empire, by issuing the following order that introduced a new day of rest:

"Let all judges, the people of cities, and those employed in all trades, remain quiet on the Holy Day of Sunday (Deus Sol Invictus). Persons residing in the country, however, can freely and lawfully proceed with the cultivation of the fields; as it frequently happens that the sowing of grain or the planting of vines cannot be deferred to a more suitable day, and by making concessions to Heaven the advantage of the time may be lost." [4]

In his speech against ”the practice” of the Jews and with the intention to efface any community between Christians and Jews, Constantine I declared at the first council in Nicea in 325 A.D. among others: ”Let us then have nothing in common with the detestable Jewish crowd”. [5]

The main thing in common was … the sabbath.

He reasoned the dissociation from these as a consequence of being a ”nation of parricides who slew their Lord” [5].

He demanded that the feast of the Lord’s ressurrection ought to be kept by all Christianity ”on one and the same day” [5], namely on ”the day of his most holy passion” [5] (day of resurrection, the first day of the week) and never on the last day of the Jewish feast Passover (the seventh day of the week; see
Exodus 12.16; 13.6).

Through the regulation of the Easter celebration he laid the foundation for giving up the biblical weekly sabbath (Saturday) in favour of the first day of the week (Sunday) that now turned to become the ”binder” between the pagan and the Christian world.

Since the times of Constantine I, Sylvester, bishop of Rome (314 – 335 A.D.), had renamed the first day of the week into ”day of the Lord”.

However, this naming has no biblical foundation, as this is not mentioned in the Bible in connection with the first day of the week; there where it occurs, then with reference to a time of the Lord’s coming.

Moreover, at the synod of Laodicea in 363 A.D. the transfer of the suspension and the holiness of Sabbath to Sunday were officially decreed by the following decision:

”CHRISTIANS must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ.” [6]

Later on, the renaming of the first day of the week from ”Dies Solis” (day of the sun) into  ”Dies Dominica” (”day of the Lord”, Sunday) was lend official character.

If under the regulation of Constantine I from 321 A.D. fieldwork was still allowed to the rural population, two centuries later the council of Orléans in 538 A.D. decreed Sunday as non-working day, this time for all and without any exception. At the same time Saturday became an average weekday.

Christianity was raised to the official state religion and the privileges of the sun-god were transferred to Jesus Christ:

- Sunday, the then much-valued day of worship becomes - on the pretext that Jesus has risen on this day – the legal day of rest
- December 25 – birthday of ”the invincible sun-god” (”Deus Sol Invictus”) becomes the birthday of the ”new” Lord

It also took place a ”transfer” of the pagan customs and traditions to the Christian church.

Reason for that was to come to an accommodation with the popular pagan traditions.
As the unchristian population depended strongly on the pagan traditions, customs and rites, it became policy to introduce these into the Christian church and to give them a Christian meaning. Thus, pagan customs and traditions were gradually assimilated by the official Christianity, from now on in the form of a ”Christian” guise:

- The spring festival devoted to Eostre (or Eastre), goddess of spring, of fertility and of new life, characterized by eggs and hares (pagan symbols of fertility) becomes the Christian feast of Easter, commemoration of the suffering and resurrection of Jesus Christ; He Himself had never suggested the institution of this feast
- The ritual of worship eastwards in adoration of the rising sun (this way of greeting was one of welcome it) becomes a Christian ceremonial; the churches have been built facing the east, the continuity of the pre-Christian adoration being thus ensured; this is an unbiblical ritual (s.
Ezekiel 8.15-18)
- The ”holy” pagan day of the winter solstice - December 25 – on which the venerators of the sun celebrated the feast ”Dies natalis solis invicti” (”birthday of the invincible sun-god”) becomes the Christmas celebration, Christian feast of the birth of Jesus Christ; the date of birth of our Saviour (neither day nor month) is however not mentioned in the Bible; all we can conclude is that He was not born during the winter, as the shepherds to whom His birth was announced watched in the field over their flock by night, which never takes place in winter (s.
Luke 2.8)

The compromise between paganism and Christianity was almost completely:
The Christianized pagans (or gentiles) were allowed to keep their much loved customs and the Christians received unbiblical traditions and rituals. It was the outcome of a so called ”Christian” common religion intended to satisfy each and everyone.

It came to a massive ”Christianisation” also of the non-Christians (practically only formally, as most of them were not convinced of the Christian truths).
Basically, a harmonious interwovenness of paganism and Christianity has been achieved.
The majority of the people began to follow the path of the now ”Christian” traditions and less and less the way of Christ.

The astonishing subtle amendment that has occured in the course of these centuries remains, however, the intervention of man within the Law of God.

Since then and down to our days most churches have adopted and carried on the Sunday worship and have diverged from the true biblical day of worship.

Sunday as day of rest is not a day assigned by God, but a feast day of human origin, given through human authority.

The Law of God is contained in the Ten Commandments.
Its observance assumes the compliance with all of these Ten Commandments:

10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

(James 2.10)

It is not possible to man to completely fulfil the requirements of the Law.
Jesus has done this on his behalf.

From now on, the one who believes in Him is ”in Christ”, being once and for all delivered of the bondage of Law.

But faith in Jesus Christ does not abolish the validity of the Law of the Ten Commandments:

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

(Romans 3.31)

The Law will remain for ever the guideline in the life of human beings. Namely, just as this was given by God and not as amended by man.

The fourth Commandment must be equally respected as the other nine, just as formulated by God Himself in His Law.

The Word of God says:

27 ... for thou blessest, O LORD, and it shall be blessed for ever.” (1 Chronicles 17.27)

The seventh day has been blessed since creation of the universe.

Among the many revelations of the last book of the Bible we find also the following one:

19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.”

(Revelation 11.19)

The ark of the testament was a wooden box that had to be guarded with great rigour, as in its inside were the two Tables of the Law, made by God Himself and written with His finger:
The Law of the Ten Commandments.

This also includes the fourth Commandment.

Has God possibly amended later on what He once blessed for eternity?

Surely not.



Footnotes:


[1] Suetonius: De Vita Caesarum--Domitianus, c. 110 C.E., Chapter XII
[2] Apostolic Constitutions, Book VII, Chapter 23
[3] Justin Martyr: The First Apology, Chapter LXVII. – Weekly worship of the Christians
[4] Codex Justinianus: Book 3, Title 12, Par. 2
[5] Eusebius of Caesarea: The Life of the Blessed Emperor Constantine, Book III., Chapter XVIII – XX
[6] Synod of Laodicea, canon XXIX

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6. The Fifth Commandment


12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

(Exodus 20.12)

To ”honour” someone means to ”respect, to esteem, to appreciate” him, to ”give him due honour or respect”.

Generally the relations between people should base on this mutual ”honour”.

God confines though this Commandment particularly on the bringing of honour to the parents.
In this way He calls to our attention that the honour and the appreciation to the parents matter more than the ”normal” respect towards the other fellow human beings.

As an inborn feel the respect for one's parents is basically a matter of course and quite naturally.
It is an unconditional feel, regardless of the good or bad features of the parents, and also beyond the fact that parents do care or not for the education, the development and for the attitude to life of their children. Normally, these should be natural acts of the parents, coming forth from the love for their children.

The childern’s respect for their parents is based on an innate human feel:
The love of the descendant for its parents.

For those cases in which due to some life situations there still comes to negative attitudes of the children towards their parents, here one learns about the correct approach.

The high level of importance given by God to the respect for parents follows also from the later additional laws with regard to the physical and verbal aggression against parents:

15 And he that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
17 And he that curseth his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.”

(Exodus 21.15,17)

Moreover, the demand of honouring your father and mother is being accompanied by the promise of a long life.
At the time of the Giving of the Law at the mountain Sinai the people at the time was about to enter the promised land.
But the promise of a long life continues to be valid for all those who obey this divine command. The apostle Paul refers to the fifth Commandment as follows:

2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.”

(Ephesians 6.2,3)

Paul requotes here the fifth Commandment, as resumed in the book Deuteronomy:

16 Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.”

(Deuteronomy 5.16)

The advantageous consequence of respecting this requirement is therefore not only a long life, but also a happy life.

If at the time of the Giving of the Law the promise referred specifically to the land that had to be taken, later on this broadened to the inhabitants of the whole world.

To ”Honour thy father and thy mother” not only mean respect and appreciation, but above all to obey the parents:

1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.” (Ephesians 6.1)

20 Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.” (Colossians 3.20)

The children are many a time unaware of the fact that the parents only want the best for them.
Thus arise misunderstandings that could lead to disputes, discord and so on.
Real esteem from the children comes only later, when these will have reached themselves an adult age of full maturity.

The education of the children to respect the fifth Commandment – and above all a biblical education in general – will prevent the late regret of some irreparable behaviour.

For their part, the parents should not lose sight of the mutual respect in dealing with their children:

4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”

(Ephesians 6.4)

As children lack life experience and adulthood maturity, they need to be protected, educated and under certain circumstances even corrected.
Confronted with growing up human beings having problems, needs and specific age-related issues, parents, being aware of the phase of life that their children just transit, should not exceed a certain limit when it comes to reproof them. Children should not be ”provoked to wrath” by the parents.
Whatever problem may appear, sense of tact, willingness for understanding and even concessions will make for harmonious relations between these ”sides”.

The non-compliance with the request of Ephesians 6.4 from the parent’s side does not, however, abolish the validity of the fifth Commandment. This command is not conditioned by the above mentioned (based on reciprocity) request. The request supports these relations and has to the command a complementary character.

The non-transposition of this counsel is undoubtedly a deficit of the parents, which should not overshadow the children’s love for their parents.

But when parents encourange their children to acts and activities that are incompatible with the Word of God these should certainly not obey. In that case - as also at any time - obedience to God will have highest priority:

29 We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5.29)

The promise of a long and happy life is a positive effect and a divine reward of this command’s observance, whereas this is not to be understood as self purpose.
If someone truly honoures his parents, then he does this regardless of any additional promise, and solely out of natural love felt from the heart for them.

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7. The Sixth Commandment


13 Thou shalt not kill.”

(Exodus 20.13)

The meaning of this commandment is at a glance quite clear and explicit.
In a clearly and concisely form anyone is being advised with regard to the will of God of not taking the life of his fellow human beings.
This refers not only to the life of others, but to the own life as well:
As it is about the taking of the life of the own person, suicide is also a form of homicide and therefore a transgression of the Sixth Commandment.

The Commandment says that under any circumstances and for any reasons one is not allowed to deliberately or knowingly kill.

This applies both at the individual and at the collective level, both with regard to the killing of individual human beings, groups of people and in the case of wars.
It has been the history of man who had fallen into sin that made it „necessary” to create armies in the various countries, as an instrument of self defence.
However this is not also the will of God.

The Holy Scripture says:

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

(Romans 13.9,10)

Killing is the perpetration of a terrible evil and the one who kills acts in no way out of love towards his neighbour.

The term „killing” is usually understood as being that form of aggression by physical means that leads to the taking of the life of a human being.
However, what is overlooked is that there are also other forms of aggression that could lead to someone’s immediate or slow death:
The word used in an aggresive form can have a similar destructive effect.
This can be as efficiant as a ”sharp sword”.

Not only the sharp word, but also a negative and oppressive attitude towards someone – usually without declared intent – could lead over years to harmful consequences with effect on its physical and mental health condition.

The ”victims” are not adversaries or deadly enemies, but quite on the contrary these are often our loved ones: life partners, brothers and sisters, parents, friends, colleagues.

Often times is the state of the ”attacked” one not that far from that of the psalmist David, as he found himself in a life and death situation:

4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on fire, even the sons of men, whose teeth are spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.”

(Psalms 57.5)

The Lord Jesus explained the profound meaning of this commandment as follows:

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca
[you are useless], shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”

(Matthews 5.21,22)

The trigger of the conflicts that lead to aggresive actions with sometimes regrettable end is wrath.
But merely the fact that someone is angry with his neighbour is according to the words of our Lord already enough in order to be ”in danger of the judgment”. In other words, God created man as a not-angry being.
Referring to the old condition of fallen man, as the time of salvation in Christ had not yet come, the apostle Paul said:

1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.”

(Ephesians 2. 1-3)

Man is by nature a ”child of wrath”.
The awareness of this reality brings a radical change in our lives.

The Commandment ”Thou shalt not kill” can now be seen in a completely new light:
We kill every time when we quarrel, when we unleash our fury on someone, when we talk to somebody in a sharp tone, when we condemn one another.

Not least reveals us the Bible the following valuable thing to know:

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

(1 John 3.15)

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8. The Seventh Commandment


14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

(Exodus 20.14)

The expression ”commit adultery” has the same meaning as ”to have an extramarital relationship”.

This refers both to married persons who have sexual relations with other people than their partners, as well as to unmarried persons who have intimate relations with married persons.

”Commit adultery” reminds of infidelity, cheat, unfaithfulness and even dissoluteness.

In the seventh Commandment of the Decalogue this is being forbidden to man by God.

Besides the Ten Commandments God had given a series of detailed laws, applicable in various situations:

22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.
23 If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her;
24 Then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you.
25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die:
26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.”

(Deuteronomy 22.22-29)

After hundreds of years, at the time when the Lord Jesus was on earth, we are told the following:

3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”

(John 8.3-11)

There is an apparent contradiction between the law given by God through Moses, according to which the guilty was going to be stoned to death and the approach adopted by Jesus of not condemning the woman guilty for adultery.
At the time of the Giving of the Law these punishments were according to the common understanding of the people living in the prevailing conditions of that time to whom it was imperative to permanently imprint the divine precepts.
As He spoke about the Commandments of the Decalogue Jesus referred also to this one by giving it the perfect sense:

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.”

(Matthew 5.27,28)

Everybody can thus comprehend that – because of the sin in us – it is not possible to be perfect only through own power.

But what we can do is to become aware of this situation and try to strive for the perfection required by the Law.
The Law is thus the mirror in which we see our imperfection, being at the same time a guideline and a goal towards perfection that is ahead of us.
Just therefore has Jesus not condemned the woman, as He also does not condemn us who, because of the fallen human nature, are not without sin.
However, the condition is to become aware of the sin committed and not do it again.
Jesus Himself was convicted in our place so that ultimately those of us who believe in Him – being henceforth ”in Christ” – could be considered blameless before God.

If you really love your partner you would never be unfaithful to him/her and you will also expect the same from him/her.

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

(Romans 13.9)

”Thou shalt not commit adultery” follows from ”love your neighbour as yourself”.
And who is closer to you as the one with whom you share your daily life - during good and hard days -, the beloved and devoted partner?
Having understood this, not only that you wouldn’t cheat him/her in any way, but on the contrary, you give him/her your respect, your understanding, your affection and love.

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9. The Eighth Commandment


15 Thou shalt not steal.

(Exodus 20.15)

To ”steal” means when someone appropriates to himself secretly or by force someone else's property.
It means to take something without any rights from someone, causing in this way damage and losses to that person. Or to put it another way: steal, rob, plunder.

In short, it refers to expropriate someone (natural or legal person) from his possession (material goods, objects, money, etc.).

A typical case of public damage is the theft from shops, stores, etc.
An other one, only apparently less guilty, is the ”self-service” from the inventory of the firm or company where one is employed.
A particular form is the theft of ideas (such as the plagiarism in literature).

But not only objects and material goods alone are targets of theft:
There is also robbery of beings (men, children, animals).

Stealing has always been a punishable offense.
Hereinafter some of the legal regulations to various theft cases, given by God Himself right after the proclamation of the Decalogue on the mount Sinai:

16 And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.

(Exodus 21.16)

1 If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep.

(Exodus 22.1)

7 If a man shall deliver unto his neighbour money or stuff to keep, and it be stolen out of the man's house; if the thief be found, let him pay double.
8 If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods.
9 For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.
10 If a man deliver unto his neighbour an ass, or an ox, or a sheep, or any beast, to keep; and it die, or be hurt, or driven away, no man seeing it:
11 Then shall an oath of the LORD be between them both, that he hath not put his hand unto his neighbour's goods; and the owner of it shall accept thereof, and he shall not make it good.
12 And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof.


(Exodus 22.7-12)

To the category of theft do not only belong conventional forms, but also others of great evil, such as:

- Someone’s freedom (e.g. the imprisonment due to an unjust judge's verdict)
- Years of life (for example, when after decades of marriage a person breaks the marital fidelity; obviously, his partner finds himself in the situation of being deprived of all the years in which she/he believed in him/her and stood by him/her in good times and in bad
- Steal somebody his youth (e.g. to unlawfully imprison somebody or betray one’s trust)

”Stealing” is thus based on cheat that, considered in isolation, represents one of its forms:

11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.”

(Leviticus 19.11)

The commandment draws attention to the fact that in all relationships one has to be honest to his fellow human beings:

21 Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.”

(2 Corinthians 8.21)

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

(Romans 13.9)

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10. The Ninth Commandment


16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

(Exodus 20.16)

To ”bear false witness” means to make a wrong declaration, that is to tell incorrectly of  something or to make a wrong statement.

It means to make a false, lying, untrue assertion, in short: ”to lie”.

Although many think that lying isn’t too bad, God includes the interdiction of untrue statements in His Ten Commandments.

Also in the case of this commandment God had given in addition a series of complementary laws, regulations and instructions.

A case of a false witness is for example to make a false statement against someone:

15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
16 If a false witness rise up against any man to testify against him that which is wrong;
17 Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;
18 And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;
19 Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you
.”

(Deuteronomy 19.15-19)

5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.”

(Proverbs 19.5)

1 Thou shalt not raise a false report: put not thine hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.
7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked
.”

(Exodus 23.1,7)

9 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall perish.”

(Proverbs 19.9)

In the above-mentioned cases of false or lying testimonies the false witness will not remain unpunished neither by God nor by the human judicial authorities.

28 An ungodly witness scorneth judgment: and the mouth of the wicked devoureth iniquity.”

(Proverbs 19.28)

The false witness is used by the unrighteous just like a real weapon against the innocent. In the midst of such a threatening situation the righteous David implored God for help, as he saw his one and only hope only coming from Him:

2 Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips, and from a deceitful tongue.
3 What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue?


(Psalms 120.2,3)

12 Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.”

(Psalms 27.12)

Calumnies and malicious gossips are also forms of false witnesses:

16 Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour: I am the LORD.”

(Leviticus 19.16)

Spreading of untrue rumours as well as careless talk against somebody are also forms of  lie:

1 Thou shalt not raise a false report ...” (Exodus 23.1)

28 Be not a witness against thy neighbour without cause; and deceive not with thy lips.(Proverbs 24.28)

Just like stealing is lying a form of cheating by which someone is being misled, cheated and deceived.

The word of God refers to all these forms of dishonest actions in one single sentence:

11 Ye shall not steal, neither deal falsely, neither lie one to another.(Leviticus 19.11)

As ”to state something to someone” could also mean ”to tell something confidential to someone”, when the statement is untruthful, beside the damage caused to a third party, there will be made at the same time an abuse of confidence towards the interlocutor.

The Bible tells of an extremely bad case:

1 And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria.
2 And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money.
3 And Naboth said to Ahab, The LORD forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee.
4 And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread.
5 But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?
6 And he said unto her, Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard.
7 And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.
8 So she wrote letters in Ahab's name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth.
9 And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people:
10 And set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.
11 And the men of his city, even the elders and the nobles who were the inhabitants in his city, did as Jezebel had sent unto them, and as it was written in the letters which she had sent unto them.
12 They proclaimed a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people.
13 And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him: and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king. Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.
14 Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead.
15 And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which he refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead.
16 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.
17 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
18 Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it.
19 And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the LORD, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine.
20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the LORD.
21 Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity, and will cut off from Ahab him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel,
22 And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin.
23 And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel.
24 Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat.
25 But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the LORD, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.
26 And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.
27 And it came to pass, when Ahab heard those words, that he rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his flesh, and fasted, and lay in sackcloth, and went softly.
28 And the word of the LORD came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying,
29 Seest thou how Ahab humbleth himself before me? because he humbleth himself before me, I will not bring the evil in his days: but in his son's days will I bring the evil upon his house
.”

(1 Kings 21.1-29)

Not only that there has been here initiated a collective fraud, but its terrible consequence was even the perpetration of a murder.
God has rewarded to each and everyone according to His righteousness.
Jezebel’s prophesied end has come true precisely. She was thrown out of the window (s.
2 Kings 9.33,34) and was then eaten by the dogs:

35 And they went to bury her: but they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands.
36 Wherefore they came again, and told him. And he said, This is the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite, saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel:
37 And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel
.”

(2 Kings 9.35-37)

There has been the case of a false witness even against Jesus:

59 Now the chief priests, and elders, and all the council, sought false witness against Jesus, to put him to death;
60 But found none: yea, though many false witnesses came, yet found they none. At the last came two false witnesses,
61 And said, This fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days.
62 And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
63 But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.
66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.


(Matthew 26.59-66)

After the ascension of Jesus Christ some of those who haven’t believed in Him made false statements also against some of His disciples, such as e.g. against Stephen:

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.
8 And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.
9 Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
10 And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
11 Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.
12 And they stirred up the people, and the elders, and the scribes, and came upon him, and caught him, and brought him to the council,
13 And set up false witnesses, which said, This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words against this holy place, and the law:
14 For we have heard him say, that this Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place, and shall change the customs which Moses delivered us
.”

(Acts 6.7-14)

A character description of the man who is not pleasing to God, as well as of the reward which awaits him, is explained as follows:

12 A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth.
13 He winketh with his eyes, he speaketh with his feet, he teacheth with his fingers;
14 Frowardness is in his heart, he deviseth mischief continually; he soweth discord.
15 Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy
.”

(Proverbs 6.12-15)

We will be quite surprised of learning that the Lord not only cannot tolerate the lie, but that He even hates it:

16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.


(Proverbs 6.16-19)

Lies could have a negative impact on the fellow human beings and even more, these could lead also to the deterioration of the human relations.

Not only in juridical cases but also in the daily life ”harmless” lies, as well as intentional misrepresenting statements, could turn out to be a lever that will lead to the worsening of the general life circumstances, of the wellbeing and even of the neighbour’s health condition.
Just therefore the commandment says ”thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour”, as by the distortion of the truth it will be often acted against him.

If ”everyday” lies are usually regarded as harmless, this is not also God’s point of view.

He does not distinguish the lies on the basis of a so-called ”graveness” (big or little lies). Jesus says:

6 ... I am the way, the truth, and the life ...” (John 14.6)

As God is only truth, lie is logically outside the truth.
Truth and lie are different concepts that exclude each other and therefore cannot have any common point.
Thus even harmless lies cannot be accepted by God. Just one single ”innocent” lie is for the transgression of his Law enough.

Now that we know
21 ... that no lie is of the truth(1 John 2.21), we should convince ourselves once again of the biblical word which says:

9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

(Colossians 3.9,10)

We must understand that compared with the transgression of the other commandments ”lying” is certainly no less serious.

This is why the Lord Jesus Christ brings this commandment into line with all the other ones:

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother ...”

(Matthew 19.16-19)

But since there is rather difficult - as much as one strives - to perfectly respect this commandment, it remains indicatory to always observe the trying of its compliance.
We can experience and learn that the avoidance of untrue statements leads exclusively to beneficial effects and that finally this will bring us only blessings.

The Word of God speaks through the prophet Zechariah:

16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.”

(Zechariah 8.16,17)

As long as there is lie the relationships between people will always have to suffer. So it is necessary to put into practice the divine appeal which says:

25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.”

(Ephesians 4.25)

By trying to eliminate the lie from our lives we should at the same time follow the suggestion:

19 ... love the truth and peace.” (Zechariah 8.19)

But above all we should love the One who is the truth:
Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

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11. The Tenth Commandment


17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.”

(Exodus 20.17)

The word that is brought to our attention in this commandment is ”covet”.

To covet or to desire or the lust, in itself, is not something bad. On the contrary:
The desire to eat, for instance, is an indicator that somebody is healthy. If this is suppressed, it could be a sign of sickness.
And, generally, there is the lust for life, as an expression of the joy and of the normal need of every human being to enjoy life through various beneficial activities.

The lust only becomes bad or harmful when this takes such dominating forms that lead to the loss of will and of the senses. In this case, one is dominated by it, being no longer capable of controlling it.

”Covet” in the sense of this commandment means ”a strong longing for something that belongs to another person”. Synonymous words are ”to have an intense longing for someone or something” or ”craving for somebody or something”.

God certainly refers here to the lust in a negative sense that is not permitted by Him. The apostle Paul says:

7 ... I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.”

(Romans 7.7)

This kind of lust is generated by human sin:

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”

(Romans 6.12)

As long as we live in this world we will find ourselves confronted also with such tendencies.
However, with consideration for the requirements of the Law we should not vent these emotions and their inevitable and regrettable consequences, but to follow the divine suggestion:

13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”

(Romans 6.13)

People seek the reasons for the world’s conflicts, but find only short-term solutions.
The divine word, however, gets to the bottom of unexpected depths of the being and shows that, in fact, the bad lusts are the actual cause for many peoples' actions and thus represent the basis for a lot of trouble:

1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?

(James 4.1)

The lust has been in fact the reason for the coming of sin into the world:

9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die
.” (Genesis 2.9,16,17)

Deceived by the snake
6 the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Genesis 3.6)

As a result of their disobedience against God the first humans became mortal beings and after them the entire mankind up to the present day.
Because he gave way to that desire, man lost his immortality.

It has to be mentioned that the author of this tragedy has been the one who had tempted the woman to eat of the forbidden fruit:

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.


(Genesis 3.1-5)

About this serpent it is told in another text the following:

9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth ...”

(Revelation 12.9)

The Devil (Greek: diabolos, literally ”calumniator”, ”confuser”) or Satan (Hebrew: satan, literally ”enemy”, ”adversary”) is the enemy of God and of man; he will continue his destructive work on earth - up until the day he will be destroyed by God.

As He talked with the Pharisees, Jesus said to them:

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.”

(John 8.44)

Satan is ”the prince of this world” of whom Jesus said: he ”
hath nothing in me(John 14.30); he leads and misleads us also today by various ways of temptations and desires.

That is why we are repeatedly being advised:

11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul.

(1 Peter 2.11)

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: ..
.”

(Galatians 5.16,17)

The lust can show up also as sexual desire or as passion for a married person. This commandment draws attention ”not to covet thy neighbour's wife”.
On the one hand the life of all the involved persons will be seriously affected and on the other hand the perpetrator acts against the husband to whom he has done the injustice:

29 So he that goeth in to his neighbour's wife; whosoever toucheth her shall not be innocent.
30 Men do not despise a thief, if he steal to satisfy his soul when he is hungry;
31 But if he be found, he shall restore sevenfold; he shall give all the substance of his house.
32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
33 A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.
35 He will not regard any ransom; neither will he rest content, though thou givest many gifts.


(Proverbs 6.29-35)

By these ”lusts” one transgresses both this commandment and the seventh one (”Thou shalt not commit adultery”), even if it does not come to a physical relation.
The Lord Jesus Himself reveals to us this here:

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart
.”

(Matthew 5.27,28)

You can see here how many-faceted and complex God’s Law is in its many meanings!

Instead to covet what belongs to others, we should rather try to give from what we have.
The following confession of Paul is one of a true servant of God:

2 Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man.

(2 Corinthians 7.2)

33 I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
34 Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me.
35 I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive
.”

(Acts 20.33-35)

Not only that Jesus Himself "had done no violence"
(Isaiah 53.9), but He ”gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.” (Galatians 1.4)

God Himself ”so loved the world, that he
gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16)

Stronger than any passion or greed should be the attempt to understand what a person feels, if this would have to suffer because of us. The Word of God says:

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 7.12)

5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” (Colossians 3.5,6)

4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God.” (1 Thessalonians 4.4,5)

20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”

(Ephesians 4.20-24)

”The Gentiles” were peoples that worshipped nonexistent deities and did not know the only true God who revealed Himself to mankind in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.
God addresses Himself even today through His Word (The Bible) to all peoples and wants that each individual learns His truth.
This truth requires the renewal of our life according to the norms of His Law.

Furthermore, the Law refers not only to the interdiction of expropriating someone from his property, but also to the elimination of the desire to ”copy” somebody else.
In this sense, it means one should not strive after something that someone else has:
Fortune, money, luxury, abundance, success, fame, etc.

The Bible says:
26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory ...” (Galatians 5.26), ”3 but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” (Philippians 2,3)

The chase after money as a life's goal does not find praise from God’s Word, but the ”gain” receives here a completely different connotation:

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”

(1 Timothy 6.6-11)

Someone who was once preoccupied with the problem of an inheritance brought this to Jesus’ knowledge, in the hope of finally seeing justice. We find the answer of the Lord in the following report:

13 And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14 And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16 And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17 And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18 And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20 But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21 So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”

(Luke 12.13-21)

The suggestion ”thou shalt not covet” points to a balanced life, without gormandising or any kind of excesses.
These are the ”works of the flesh” which, among other things, are: ”fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry … envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like”.
(Galatians 5.19-21)

Man should live according to the Spirit of God:

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5.16)

One of the fruits of the Spirit is ”
temperance ”. (Galatians 5.23)

And the logical conclusion is:

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Galatians 5.24)

It is the decision for a new life, through a process of a daily renewal in communion with the Lord Jesus Christ and a continual renunciation of the ”flesh” with the affections and lusts.

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

(Romans 13.9)

We learn therefore that the entire system of "priorities" based on the
worldly lusts(Titus 2.12) is not of divine origin and has an ephemeral character in view of the eternal life which we could have:

16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

(1 John 2.16,17)

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12. The Law and the Grace


God, Creator of the heavens and the earth, also calls Himself ”the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob”.

He appeared to them repeatedly and made Himself known as ”the Almighty God
(Genesis 17.1), Creator of the universe and of man.
He made his will known to protect man and to show him the right way in order to save him from a world fallen into sin, giving him the possibility to regain eternal life.

More than 4000 years ago the leader of a people of shepherds named Abram received from the Lord the following message:

1 ... Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him ... and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.
5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came
.”

(Genesis 12.1-5)

After years, ”
1 ... the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
2 And Abram said, Lord GOD, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus?
3 And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir.
4 And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.
5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.
6 And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.


(Genesis 15.1-6)

The above verse 6 opens the door to us for the understanding about the way in which God saves man from sin:
Just because he believed, ”that faith
was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.” (Romans 4.9)

Already at that time God set the basis for the salvation of the humankind.

19 And being not weak in faith, he [Abraham] considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara's womb:
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.


(Romans 4.19-22)

What does it actually mean that someone’s faith was reckoned for righteousness or that his faith was imputed to him for righteousness?

The righteousness is the new state given by God, through which man – successor of the first human couple who, due to his disobedience, became mortal and thenceforth was separated from Him – is being justified (or: made sinless) towards Him and have thus been brought again in a close relationship with Him.
Man is hence reconciled with his Creator, the connection to Him is reestablished (from there also the Latin word re-ligio: to rejoin; to re-connect; to re-establish the connection with God) and he receives the assurance of eternal life which had been originally given to him in the Creation.

In his present condition man does not fulfil the requirements of holiness of a perfect (or: sinless, faultless, guiltless, blameless, righteous) being.
Even so, he is made righteous (that is: considered as being righteous) on the basis of his faith.
In other words, the one who sincerely or from his heart believes in the Word of God will be considered towards Him as righteous or sinless.

Abraham received the confirmaton of God’s promise:

2 For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him.
3 And Abraham called the name of his son that was born unto him, whom Sarah bare to him, Isaac
.”

(Genesis 21.2,3)

But what do we have in common with Abraham’s faith?
The Scripture says further:

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.


(Romans 4.23-25)

God changed the name of Abram to Abraham; this new name means "father of many nations":

1 And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
2 And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly.
3 And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying,
4 As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations.
5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee.
6 And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.
7 And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee.


(Genesis 17.1-7)

Abraham was to become not only the father of many nations, but above all ”
the father of all them that believe (Romans 4.11) and ”walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham.” (Romans 4.12),
17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.”
(Romans 4.17,18)


7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.”
(Galatians 3.7-9)

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Galatians 3.16)

More than 400 years after the promise made to Abraham, God proclaimed on Mount Sinai the Ten Commandments (The Decalogue) or His Law.
It was required from the people of Israel to follow and observe all these Commandments:

32 Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left.
33 Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you ...” (Deuteronomy 5.32.33)

24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day.
25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before the LORD our God, as he hath commanded us.” (Deuteronomy 6.24.25)


At that time God revealed Himself to the people of Israel as to the only people with the faith in Him, the only true and almighty God, Creator of the universe.
The Giving of the Law was an announcement of God’s charakter and the human being created by Him had to align his life to the high requirements of His Creator’s Law.

Over the centuries people have made efforts to fulfil the requirements of the Law.
Some of them even believed to have strictly obeyed this from every point of view:

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?”

(Matthew 19.16-20)


2000 years ago, as He lived on earth, Jesus Christ had explained the complexity of the Law and had thus pointed out on the necessity of the efforts to observe this in all its profoundness:

21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.” (Matthew 5.21,22)

27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5.27,28)


The Law clarifies how the love for God (the first four commandments) and for our fellow men (the other six commandments) is to be understood.
It is the express revelation of Gods perfect character that is addressed also to us for compliance and fulfilment.
This has been confirmed by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:

25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
(Luke 10.25-28)

However, Jesus knew that man cannot completely comply with the Law by his own power, so that ”for as
many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”  (Galatians 3.10)
And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them
shall live in them.”  (Galatians 3.12)

If man, all by himself, cannot meet the requirements of the Law, then what sense does it make after all?
For what purpose has then the Law (The Decalogue or the Ten Commandments) been given?

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made ...” (Galatians 3.19)

The Law was given also because man - similar to the look into a mirror - shall realise his sinful condition; this is the condition that does not comply with the requirements of the Law:

19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin
.” (Romans 3.19,20)

From this it results the liberation’s necessity of man from deadly sin (”as by one man sin entered into the world, and
death by sin; and so death passed upon all men”) (Romans 5.12) and the bringing back to the condition that leads to life.

The Law ”was added till
the seed should come(Galatians 3.19), ”which is Christ ” (this name means: ”The Anointed One or the One sent by God”). (Galatians 3.16)
He had to come on earth to solve the problem of sin.

He was born after ca. 1500 years from the Giving of the Law as a descendant of Abraham
(Matthew 1.1) and He was going to be named Jesus (this name means ”Saviour” or ”Rescuer”) (Matthew 1.21).
God said to Abraham: ”in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed
(Genesis 12.3), as he was the predecessor of whom Jesus should come into the world, the One who will rescue mankind out of its difficult situation.

It was by God’s decision that the moment of the Saviours’ birth happened 2000 years ago in a certain social and political conjuncture.
As it was impossible for mankind to save from sin by itself, the Almighty God decided in His mercy to solve the problem Himself: namely in the Person of His Son.
And as it was a man’s problem, this had to be solved also by man. But how?
Through the birth of the Son in our world as man. It is written:

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
5 To redeem them that were under the law
...” (Galatians 4.4,5)

What had Jesus Christ to do in order to bring back man into a state without sin (or: of righteousness)? The Bible tells us:

19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” (Romans 5.19)

One man's disobedience” means: the disobedience of the first man (Adam) to God's Word.
The obedience of one” means: the obedience of Jesus Christ (also named ”the last Adam”)
(1 Corinthians 15.45) to God's Word through a life of absolute obedience to His Law.

He was indeed one who ”was in all points tempted like as we are, yet
without sin.” (Hebrews 4.15)

5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” (1 John 3.5)

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5.21)

Therefore the ”taking away of sins” can be done solely by a being who is without sin.
The only One who could do this was Jesus Christ: ”in him is no sin”.
If He would have had some sin, then His work would have been in vain.

In what way was Jesus ”made ... to be sin for us ”?

We know that every lawlessness is punished: by paying a fine, with disciplinary penalties, with deprivation of freedom (prison) and even with death penalty.
It is an act of justice of punishing every lawbreaking by appropriate penalties.
After serving the sentence the punishment (or: the wage) for the committed lawlessness is redeemed, the trespasser will be forgiven and he is freed from penalties for his deed.
Though he was innocent Jesus took upon Himself all our sins – as if He Himself would have been guilty – and served the sentence in our place.

What is ”sin”? The Scripture tells us:

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.(1 John 3.4)

Who commits the sin reported here? It is written:

12 ... as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.(Romans 5.12)

As all people are descendants of the first man (Adam) - the one who transgressed God's commandment (that is: ”has sinned”) - , all have by themselves an inherited sinful nature.
However, no one has inherited also the guilt of the first man, but each person is responsible before God just for his own deliberately committed sins:

20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son ...” (Ezekiel 18.20)

The Scriptures says: ”
there is no man that sinneth not ”. (1. Kings 8.46; 2 Chronicles 6.36)

8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” (1 John 1.8)

20 For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7.20)

There is not even one person who could perfectly obey the Law and thus be righteous.
A lying word, an impure thought, a hungry eye and man finds himself already in the position of being a transgressor of the Law. The consequence of this is a life which ends with death.

From these reasons we conclude that all people are sinful and therefore transgressors of the Law.

It is written: ”...
the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6.23)

Due to his disobedience the first man became mortal and all his descendants – we all – are obviously mortal as well. It is regarded as perfectly natural that every life will someday come to an end.

However, not only the natural death is the tragic consequence of sin, but above all the eternal separation from God: the lostness or the eternal death.

This law of universal justice, as a result of which each injustice must be must be followed by appropriate penalties, cannot be passed over even by the Almighty Creator.

And nevertheless God has for this apparently final state a way out: His grace.

By the righteousness of One, God wants to bring back man into that state of righteousness which enables him to have what He he had given him in the beginning: eternal life.

18 ... as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.(Romans 5.18)

This justification is the state by which man is considered as righteous before God, the transgression (or: the sin) being forgiven to him and he is reconciled unto Him.
As there is no man without blame (or: righteous), God decides to consider him as righteous, by giving him His righteousness.

Man receives this righteousness for free, as a gift, namely through faith:

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus
.”

(Romans 3.21,22,24)

Through the faith (or: trust) in a being who has met all the requirements of the Law man identifies himself with this being, thus achieving the reconciliation with God.

Something still remained unsolved: the forgiveness (or: remission) of sins, of which it is written:

22 ... without shedding of blood is no remission.” (Hebrews 9.22)

For ”
the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17.11), it can be concluded that by ”shedding of blood” is to be understood as the taking of the life.
And: ”it is the blood that maketh an
atonement for the soul.” (Leviticus 17.11)

God ”sent his Son to be
the propitiation for our sins.” (1. John 4.10)

Through His sacrifice the Saviour Jesus Christ not only took upon Himself the punishment for man's sin, but ”gave himself for us, that he might
redeem us from all iniquity”. (Titus 2.14)

The salvation is the work of liberation from the power of sin or from any lawlessness.

5 ... the man Christ Jesus
6 ... gave himself a ransom for all .
..” (1 Timothy 2.5,6)

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot
.” (1 Peter 1.18,19)

9 ... for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” (Revelation 5.9)

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness ...(Romans 3.25)

The atonement for the sins of all mankind was made once and for all 2000 years ago by Jesus Christ, Son of God, who calls Himself also Son of Man.
He is the only Saviour of all the peoples:

4 ... thou shalt know no god but me: for there is no saviour beside me.(Hosea 13.4)

Each of us is already from his birth a sinner, namely as a descendent of the first man who became mortal due to disobedience to God.
As ”
the wages of sin is death (Romans 6.23), every human must die.
But if in place of the sinful person dies a man without sin, then the penalty of his sin is served.
As there is no man without sin, God Himself became Man and died on our behalf.

He was nailed to the cross, a measure that at the time of the Roman Empire was considered to be the maximum penalty:

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3.13)

Now it has become clear: ”
11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.(Galatians 3.11)

What does it mean that someone who is justified by God  - namely on the basis of his belief -
shall live”?

The statement ”shall live” refers here to the eternal life that is received by man, with the only condition of the faith in Jesus Christ. He Himself says:

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.(John 6.47)

Anyone who understands that his only salvation from the state of sin is his faith in Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour will be justified before God (or: be considered righteous) and receives the assurance of eternal life.

The apostle Paul announced with power:

38 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses
.” (Acts 13.38,39)

From now on it can be said:

4 ... Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10.4)

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster
.” (Galatians 3.24,25)

The rescue plan announced by God immediately after the Fall of Man
(Genesis 3.15) has been fulfilled at the moment when Jesus, just before He gave up his spirit, exclaimed with a loud voice: ”It is finished!”  (John 19.30)

He was killed by crucifixion to the tree as a result of the decision of the religious leaders and heads of the Jewish people and in accordance with the law of the Roman occupation force.
Nevertheless, there haven’t been the worldly decisions that gave the death sentence upon Him, but God's will that had decided this long before:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain.” (Acts 2.23)

18 But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” (Acts 3.18)

One of the most moving biblical passages is the prophecy made through the prophet Isaiah 2600 years ago (that is 600 years B.C.!):

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.


(Isaiah 53.3-12)

What happened after He gave up His spirit?

29 And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre.
30 But God raised him from the dead.
34 ... now no more to return to corruption
...” (Acts 13.29,30,34)

Further there is said about the Risen Jesus:

3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1.3)

And then: ”
9 ... while they beheld, he was taken up ” and ascended ”toward heaven ”. (Acts 1.9,10)

For the salvation of man from lostness or from eternal death it now counts the faith in the accomplished work of Jesus Christ – namely if man believes ”
with the heart ”. (Romans 10.10).
Through this faith man is made righteous before God (or is justified) and his sins are at the same time forgiven.

And the one who believes with the heart confesses this faith with his mouth:

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(Romans 10.9,10)

Which are the fruits or the beneficial effects of the faith in Jesus?

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God
.” (Romans 5.1,2)

Formerly we were under the law, now we are under grace.

If now ”we are not under the law, but under grace
(Romans 6.15) or under the law of the faith in Jesus Christ, should this mean that the Law (that is: the Decalogue or the Ten Commandments) has lost its validity?

Once God told through Moses to the people of Israel the following:

5 Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he
shall live in them: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 18.5)

If man would be faultless, then in full compliance with the Law he could have eternal life and salvation would come through the Law.
But as he has from birth a sinful nature he cannot comply with the Law in its perfection. Thus following question arises:

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.(Galatians 3.21)

After all the explanations and the work of Jesus Christ all those who had had ears to hear understood that the Law uncovered their sinful condition. By not complying with its requirements they became transgressors of the Law and the consequence of this transgression ended with death.

At His birth it was announced to the whole humankind (not only to the Jewish people) the coming of the Deliverer
(Luke 2.10,11).
The redemption from the death caused by the transgressions of the Law will be attained through the faith in Him.
This is the Gospel (Greek: evangelios, literally ”The good news” ) of Christ:

16 ... it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek [the representative of all other peoples].
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
(Romans 1.16,17)

As man cannot live through the compliance with the Law, he will ”live by faith ”.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Galatians 3.24)

The goal or the purpose of the Law is therefore Christ Himself.

At the same time ”Christ is the end of the law” due to the fact that the people have been freed thanks to Him from the condemnation of the law ”for righteousness
to every one that believeth ”. (Romans 10.4)

However, the Law remains valid once and for all and forever. It is the perfect and unchangeable Law of God.

It would be absurd to think that the Law is no longer valid after the coming of Jesus. Why should, for example, the first commandment  (”Thou shalt have no other gods before me”) now be abolished? Does man from now on have the freedom to worship also other ”gods”?
Is he now free not to honour his parents anymore or to kill, to commit adultery, to steal, and so on?

The answer of the Bible is undoubtedly:

31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.(Romans 3.31)

Jesus Christ Himself makes it unmistakably clear:

17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” (Matthew 5.17)
17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.” (Luke 16.17)

However, what has been abolished right after the sacrifice of Jesus ist the old ceremonial law:

Shortly after the proclamation of the Law, God gave through Moses also a number of detailed laws which regulated the committed misdeeds and sins (s.
Leviticus 4.1-4; 13-15; 22-24; 27-35).
As ”the wages [or: the consequence] of sin is death ”, that one who sinned had to be punished by death.
According to God’s decision the atonement for the sin of man should be done by an animal which had to be brought as sacrifice in the place of the sinner.
For the sins of the guilty man had to die every time an blamelessly and faultless being, namely a stainless and flawless animal - as a perfect sacrifice.
The sinner put his hands on the head of the animal, thus passing on his sins to this symbolically and then slew it. The shed blood made in this way the atonement for the sins of the man.
After that his sins were forgiven.

On the one hand these ceremonies had to show what terrible consequences - namely an endlessly valuable and precious bloodshed – entailed the perpetration of sins and on the other hand these pointed in a symbolic way towards the one true, unique and  unrepeatable coming sacrifice:
The sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, ”as of a
lamb without blemish and without spot (1 Peter 1.19) - the perfect human sacrifice -, ”which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1.29).

At the moment that Jesus Christ accomplished his work on the cross the whole system of animal sacrifice had ceased to exist.

The sacrifice of Jesus has abolished this ceremonial system of animal sacrifice, a fact predicted hundreds of years before also by the prophet Daniel (s.
Daniel 9.27).

Why is it for man of vital necessity to become justified (or: made righteous) through the personal acceptance of Jesus Christ’s sacrifice? The answer is:

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.(Romans 5.9)

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1.18)

36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3.36)

The faith in Jesus is therefore the only salvation of man from the wrath of God that leads to eternal perdition:

15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3.15)

So the reason for Jesus’ sacrifice is that man shall not perish.
His chance to receive eternal life is now to believe in Him.

Everyone who rejects or ignores Jesus remains solely responsible for all the transgressions against the Law committed over the course of his life. The man without Christ will have to give account of all his or her actions – namely at ”the resurrection of damnation
(John 5.29), for he has not accepted Christ’s offering of taking away also his sins.
As God the Father has given the judgment seat to His Son (”For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son ”)
(John 5.22), Jesus Christ Himself judges the unrepentant man with his transgressions, giving him the just reward. This is the second death or the eternal perdition. Before they get lost for ever these people will understand that through the hardness of their heart they lost the immortality. The anguish which they will endure and their late regret will then be unspeakable hard:

40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear
.”

(Matthew 13.40-43)

But the man with the faith in Jesus Christ has already now the assurance of eternal life:

11 ... God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
12 He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God
.”

(1 John 5.11-13)

He is still mortal, but on a day known by God alone (”But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”) (Matthew 24.36) he will receive the immortality, namely
at the return of Jesus Christ when the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible
(1. Thessalonians 4.16; 1. Corinthians 15.52), while those who are alive in Christ (the faithful who will be living at the time of the Lord’s return) shall be changed into immortality (1. Corinthians 15.52,53).

The essence and the teaching of the entire biblical message is nothing else but the faith in Jesus:

39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” (John 5.39)

God does not force anyone to the faith in His Son Jesus Christ, but He leaves it up to each and every individual to have the free choice of deciding for it or not.
The request of God made once to the people of Israel is nowadays valid for every single person:

19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30.19)

The one who choses life decides himself for the faith in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

Almost all the books of the New Testament end with the words:

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.”

These are also the last words of the Bible or the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

It is God's wish that all should rejoice in ”the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ.

However, one receives this grace through faith alone:

8 ... by grace are ye saved through faith.” (Ephesians 2.8)

It is thanks to the Grace that the Law has no longer an accusatory character against the people with the faith in Christ, but at the same time these who are under grace have the Law in their hearts.


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E. IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS


1. Good Works


If someone thinks of himself that he is a good person since he only does well and his whole life is aimed at helping his neighbour, being also a participant at donations and acts of charity, then all of these are undoubtedly most notable facts.

But if someone thinks that by doing good deeds he could have a personal contribution to the own salvation, earning in this way a ”place in heaven”, then he/she is very much mistaken. Why?

Because God does not look at man's good works, as ”6 ... all our righteousnesses are
as filthy rags ...” (Isaiah 64.6)
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.(Romans 3.10)
12 ...
there is none that doeth good, no, not one.(Romans 3.12)
20 For
there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.” (Ecclesiastes 7.20)

However much one tries to be perfect by his own power, one will not succeed, so that most likely he will sometime fail.
The standard of man’s moral perfection (biblical: holiness) is the Law of the Ten Commandments.
It must be said that this Law was not given by God so that men shall „keep” it, being finally redeemed thereby.
This would be almost impossible for man anyway.
It suffices to have lied only once, to have had one single impure thought, to have taken a secret look at a woman or had gotten angry only once and one already becomes a transgressor of the Law.
The consequence (biblical: the wages) of this transgression is death
(Romans 6.23).

The requirements of the Law are difficult to be fully respected, as every one of us - descendant of the first human who transgressed the Law (biblical: sinner) – has inherited a sinful nature.

Therefore ”good works” cannot be a means of our redemption and through these we do not earn own merits before the Holy God.

People often make the mistake of considering themselves as ”righteous”. This human righteousness does not have any validity before God.
Since God is holy He cannot have a communion with the sinful man.
God looks only at the accomplished redemption work of His Son Jesus Christ.

30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1.30)

Therefore, man has been justified (or: was made righteous) through Jesus Christ, namely through the faith in Him.
Man is not redeemed (or: saved) through his own righteousness, but through the righteousness of the Son Jesus Christ, the only precious one before the Almighty God.

There is a parable of the Lord Jesus that portrays two groups of people:

9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted
.”

(Luke 18.9-14)

The publican is the exponent of those who in their hearts came to realize that they are imperfect and will never be able to achieve the required "score" of the divine holiness. Full of humility he raises to his Creator the prayer to have mercy on him.

The Pharisee represents those who put their trust in themselves and look at their own doings, thinking that thus they will be justified before God.

As John the Baptist and then Jesus Himself and after Him His disciples asked all people (”
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent.”) (Acts 17.30) to repent, with this they brought to the knowledge of all that one cannot be perfect only by own efforts (s. Romans 7.14-25).

This also entails the understanding for the fact that man without Jesus gets lost for all eternity.
Those people who do not want to understand that Jesus Christ is their only chance of survival beyond this temporary earthly existence loose the eternal life.

Eternal life continues after the resurrection as a life on the new earth and in the new heaven together with all the redeemed (who will be the people of God), but above all at the side of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The apostle John describes the revelation given to him by Jesus Christ Himself, several decades after His ascension:

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son
.”

(Revelation 21.1-7)

The elderly people could conclude that now, when they have only a few years left to live, it might be time for doing good deeds so that these shall be taken into account as a credit for the own redemption.
In this view someone could even give away his house, his fortune, etc. or could make numerous acts of mercy.

In this way, however, they do not win in the least the favour of God, as redemption comes solely through the faith in Jesus Christ and not through good deeds, whatever how many they may be.

But if someone ”
5 ... believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4.5)
Faith cannot be acquired through own efforts and merits, but this is a gift received from God:

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast
.”

(Ephesians 2.8,9)

The good works are only the fruits or the natural acts of those who have the faith in Jesus Christ.
The acts of these people are just like the fruits of a good and sound tree.
Quite similar to a man who has strong convictions, these people also cannot act against their own conscience by doing something that could be contrary to the godly recommendations.
Thus, good works are a matter of course of their existence.

These are an integral part of a faithful man's life and someone who has faith also recognizes that this is not sufficient in itself.
The faith received from God must find fulfilment in his life: in his realizations and in his behaviour as well as in the careful attention that he gives to his fellow men. The Bible says:

14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?


(James 2.14-20)

As Abraham believed in the Lord without requiring evidence he is also named „the father of all them that believe”
(Romans 4.11), as the first whom ”that faith was reckoned ... for righteousness ”. (Romans 4.9)

His faith was tested also after several decades when God requested him to bring his son Isaac for a burnt offering.
In great pain, but with an unshakeable faith he took the knife, ready to put into practice the requirement of his Creator.
However, we know that the angel of the Lord stopped him in the last moment from doing this, seeing that Abraham did not hesitate to fulfil everything that his Lord demanded from him
(Genesis 22.1-12).
There is here the ideal case in which the faith and the deed work together:

21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only
.”

(James 2.21-24)

26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”

(James 2.26)

Someone's faith must find its application in everyday life, in the daily activities.

Good deeds should come from the heart, not being formal and predetermined.

Some people understand to do good deeds only for form's sake (for instance, as a matter of duty), having then at the first opportunity that is not quite suitable for them a contemptuous and arrogant attitude or passing judgement on their neighbour with implacability, without mercy and consideration, having an appreciation only for the own ”righteousness”.

"The good deed" applies not only to a practical act, such an act of charity or the willingness to help, this further means a certain attitude towards other people: one should be ”indeed” sympathetic, attentive, merciful,  with compassion and understanding to everyone.
What is actually required from man we find in the following beautiful verses of the Holy Scriptures:

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.


(Ephesians 4.31,32)

Under "good deed" we also understand the commitment for truth, by following the truth of Christ, leaving erroneous views, convenient ways or wrong paths.
In everything that we do, we should not have an aggressive or brutal behaviour and not offend anyone, but be gentle and at the same time clear and resolute.
We should always take Jesus as an example, the One who - at the time when He sent His disciples out into the world to proclaim the Gospel - also gave them a worldly wisdom:

16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

(Matthew 10.16)

The believer in Christ will always bear in mind the thought of the uniqueness of every human being who has to be treated with respect, empathy and affection. Once again he will comprehend the correctness and trueness of the divine command:

39 ... Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

(Matthew 22.39)

However, it is not enough solely to have taken knowledge of God's Word. The Bibel tells us more:

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed
.”

(James 1.22-25)

18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.”

(1 John 3.18)

Let it be mentioned that there isn’t in the Holy Scriptures any reference to the fulfilment of so-called ”deeds” for the purpose of ”absolution of sins” – such as pilgrimages to predetermined places, certain rituals etc., originating from the system of human traditions.

Certainly, man makes during his life also mistakes or omits some things unintentionally, since he is an imperfect being. But if he becomes conscious of his faults he will be sorry about these and will exert himself not to do them again.
By confessing his faults directly before God, these shall be then forgiven him:

9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1.9)

Our sole mediator whom we have before the Father is our Lord Jesus Christ:

1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2.1)

Furthermore, if we have done wrong to someone we should ask the person for forgiveness and then we shall be in our hearts fully reconciled:

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. ...” (James 5.16)

Man must bring fruits in his life. And the fruits of faith are the good deeds.

These are not an end in themselves, but are the form of expression and manifestation of a new man redeemed from a fallen world, living in truth and being on the way to eternal life. This certainty is motivating for a new life that is no thanks to our good deeds, but thanks to the invaluable redemptive sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ:

5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”

(Titus 3.5-8)

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2. To be ”In Christ”


The New Testament - the second part of the Bible, beginning with the account about Jesus Christ’s birth on earth 2000 years ago – often uses the term ”in Christ”.

Closely connected with this there are some further clarifying terms which shall lead to the understanding of the correlation between these two words:

The term of Faith

It is about ”the
faith in Christ.” (Acts 24.24) This requires man’s full confidence in the Saviour Jesus Christ:
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4.12)

There isn’t anyone else who could lead us the way to God, except Him:

5 ... there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” (1 Timothy 2.5)

The term of Love

The Bible tells ”from the
love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8.39)

Some people think of themselves that they are correct and righteous, so that God who knows their good qualities for sure would care in His love for them anyway.

However, the verse from Romans 8.39 tells clearly that God’s love is not unrestricted or unconditional, but ”in Christ”.

In other words, the love which benefits us is the one that is revealed solely through the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.

The man with a changed heart after the character of the Lord Jesus Christ is well aware that Christ is the only ”channel” through which the love of God could stream out over him.

The term of Truth

Truth does not exist out of Christ. It is exclusively ”in Christ
(Romans 9.1).

Many people search for the truth in diverse philosophies, religious currents, myths and legends of ancient populations, etc.

The Bible, however, says that truth is ”in Christ”.

By the principle of natural logic, according to which truth and lie exclude each other, it could therefore be concluded that ”in Christ” there can be no lie.

The apostle Paul preached this over and over again on several occasions:

1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not ...” (Romans 9.1)

1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.
7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity
.”

(1 Timothy 2.1 - 7)

The announcement of the only truth had occured at the time when Jesus said:

6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.(John 14.6)

The term of the Close Relationship between all People

People are one body ”in Christ”.

Every man is a separate entity towards each other man. However, he cannot live harmoniously all alone by isolating himself apart from the others. We have been created with the desire of communication and interaction with our fellow human beings.

We should and must not live isolated, as there is in us the want to permanently search the harmony with others. And according to the Bible this close interpersonal relationship must be founded on Christ.

The Bibel reveals this wonderful certainty in a very comprehensible manner:

4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another
.”

(Romans 12.4,5)

The term of ”Putting on Christ”

People usually care about their clothing, so that the way in which they dress and show themselves in society is not indifferent to them.

This, however, does not reflect also the character of the respective person.

Often, a rather modestly attired man could be more valuable before God, thanks to some positive character traits, compared to someone who puts emphasis only on exterior values with which he boasts before everyone else.

With the yearly arrival of the winter holidays there is also the custom of ”putting on the Santa”: a bonhomous, placid and altruistic person, but unreal, fictional, created by the human mind.

In contrast, the Bible tells about the spiritual ”putting on of Christ”:
The real, true, living Creator, vastly superior over the human mind.

The meaning of this spiritual putting on will be brought to us somewhat closer by the following verses:

11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof
.”

(Romans 13.11 - 14)

The term of Behaviour

The behaviour or ”the ways” of men is the manner by which these show themselves through a certain conduct.

The understanding of the biblical truth and importance has a positive effect also on the people’s behaviour: they show themselves discreet (but not stiff), natural, positive, modest, pleasant, sober-minded.
As we progress towards the understanding of the great divine truths,”
13 ... we all come ... unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”. (Ephesians 4.13)

The Christian life is a continuous growth in knowledge and certainty, from ”babes in Christ
(1 Corinthians 3.1) to accomplished beings who have the wonderful perfect knowledge of the eternal truths.

Our convictions will effect in time also our behaviour, which will bring us into remembrance ”of my
ways which be in Christ(1 Corinthians 4.17) (according to the apostle Paul).

The term of Triumph

The word ”triumph” was initially used in the case of the confrontation between enemy forces on a battlefield.

The party involved in the conflict that is better militarily equipped will finally triumph over the other power.

Likewise, at individual level there are also again and again conflicts and dissensions.

In the middle of a conflict each of us is convinced - bringing after all concrete grounds of justification in favour for himself – that the fault lies with the other person.

It may sound really surprising, but the Bible reveals to us that in fact we are dealing with a false conflict: the opponent is not the person himself, but one has to struggle with forces of quite another nature which are the true causers of evil in our world:

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6.12)

According to this, the whole conflicting issue must be reconsidered.
To support our fight, there are also being placed at our disposal corresponding “weapons“:

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit
... ” (Ephesians 6.13 - 18)

The destructive forces of the evil cannot be overcome by repeated contradictory discussions, through commotions, self-justifications, rages and screaming, but by putting on the armour of God. This has as its foundation the truth, the righteousness, the peace in the heart conferred by the certainty of the gospel (or: the good news) of eternal life through the faith in the Saviour Jesus Christ, the word of God (The Bible) and, not least, the prayers which we could make in many different situations.

The final goal is to achieve the ”triumph in Christ”:

14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.(2 Corinthians 2.14)

The term of Forgiveness

Often people can reach a point in which - as a consequence of some misunderstandings, quarrels or conflicts – they just cannot stand each other any more, whereupon they break off the relations to one another. Their heart feels so offended that a return to earlier times may seem impossible.

But the divine word shows to us in the following verses the wise and healthy dealings with each other, followed by the suggestion to forgive one another, just as God Himself has forgiven us all ”in Christ”:

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
(Ephesians 4.31,32)

The consequence of the fact that man has sinned is his eternal death. But in His love God forgave him by sacrificing Himself ”in Christ”, so that man could have again the chance of regaining eternal life.

If the love of the Almighty God has been so great that He forgave to man his disobedience, then out of gratefulness man should forgive his neighbour so much the more.

The term of Doctrine

The children are usually sent to school from an early age to take lessons and to receive education.

As these complete the various school levels, they progress in knowledge, learning and wisdom.

The Bible tells about a teaching (or doctrine) which is accessible to everybody and is also not related to the number of completed levels of school, but which is indispensable to understand the will of the Almighty God and to be in accordance with this: the ”doctrine of Christ”.

The divine word says:

9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.(2 Johannes 9)

23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” (1 John 2.23)

As any other doctrine, the one about Christ could be also learned, namely about:
Who He is, what He has done for us, how we could have a connection with Him and about the possibility to spend the eternity together with Him.

This knowledge could only be achieved through the reading and the individual study of the Bible.


If all these terms do find themselves in people’s life, then they themselves are ”in Christ”.
What does this mean? The Bible says:

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5.17)

God’s wish for man is to transform him from the current condition of a sinful human being into the condition that is appropriate to His original criteria.

The basis of these high requirements has been created by the divine criteria of redemption (biblical: atonement) fulfilled by Jesus Christ: through His live without blame and blamish, through His death and then through His resurrection.

The man who honestly trusts in the message of salvation from eternal death through the faith in Christ will from now on strain himself to live in Christ and thus let himself be reconciled with God, Creator of the universe and of man:

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
(2 Corinthians 5.18,19)

The final realisation of reconciliation with God will happen on one day known only by God Himself when the ones ”in Christ” shall be changed not only spiritually, but also physically and shall become immortal human beings.

The first ones who will enjoy this great blessing will be the dead ”in Christ”:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4.13 - 17)

There is no exact date mentioned about the rapture of those ”in Christ”: of the living ones on that day (”51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed”) (1 Corinthians 15.51) and of the dead (”52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”) (1 Corinthians 15.52)

53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.” (1 Corinthians 15.53,54)

However, what we know for certain is that not all the dead and all the living ones on that day will enjoy this resurrection and change, but only the ones who have ”opened” their hearts when in the course of their lives they heard about the divine message of their salvation from a world fallen into disobedience: The ones ”in Christ”.

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3. The Salvation through Faith


God offers all people the salvation as a gift, namely through the faith in His Son Jesus Christ:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2.8)

Someone who hears about the possibility of his salvation (namely: his salvation from eternal death) would feel an unlimited great joy, as he has from now on the certainty that his life is not lost.
This wonderful message has been brought to men two thousand years ago by a messenger from heaven, right after the incarnation of the Son of God:

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord
.” (Luke 2.10,11)

God wants that all men, without exception, should accept His offer of salvation from a world which is separated from Him. He wants to restore with each one of us the relation that had originally existed. This could be made only through repentance or penitence, in other words through the bringing to awareness of our imperfect state, the regret over the mistakes of the past and the placing of trust in the only possible Saviour (or: Redeemer): Jesus Christ.

23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?(Ezekiel 18.23)

Then why many people do not find the way to the faith that is offered to them by God?

The answer to this question is given to us in the parable of the sower, told by our Lord Jesus:

3 And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
4 And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:
5 Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:
6 And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.
7 And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:
8 But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.
9 Who hath ears to hear, let him hear
.” (Matthew 13.3-9)

18 Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.
19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.
20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.
23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty
.” (Matthew 13.18-23)

In the parable of the sower there are described four groups of people.
These differ from each other according to the way in which man finally answers after having listened to the Word of God.
The manner in which the Word resonates in man’s life is exemplified gradually, beginning with the indifferent ones to those who understand the Word that brings fruit in their and other lives.

The parable of the sower, as well as other parables of the Lord Jesus, is reported in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.
Their reports, though not identical in form, complement each other: through the details brought by each of them these perfect together the profound meaning of this parable:

The sower is Jesus Christ Himself. He ”soweth the word.”
(Mark 4.14)
He ”went forth to sow the word of the kingdom ”. (s.
Matthew 13.3,19)
In other words, He ”went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching [announcing] the gospel of the kingdom.”
(Matthew 4.23)

The ”Gospel” comes of the Greek word evangelios that means: ”the good news”.

To whom does this kingdom belong?

The answer is given to us in
Mark 1.14,15 where it is reported about the beginning of Jesus' work:

14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel [the good news] of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel [the good news].(Mark 1.14,15)

So Jesus urged people to repent and to believe the gospel.
But what do these two concepts mean: ”to repent” and ”believe in the gospel”?

”To repent” means to be aware that you are a sinful being (exposed to faults) and also to realise that the consequence of sin is the eternal death, then to deeply regret the made mistakes and try not to repeat them.

”The gospel of the kingdom of God” is the good news of the reign and guidance of God.

”The believe in the gospel of the kingdom of God” means to know, based on the biblical Scriptures, that the only Saviour from the consequence of sin (which is eternal death) is Jesus Christ, the Son of God (He Himself God).

But wasn’t God since the very beginning of His creation Lord of the universe and of all living beings? Why does the Scripture state that ”the kingdom of God is at hand”?

God was and will always be the sovereign of the universe, but after the Fall of Man (disobedience to God) man lives under the influence of the one who tempted him to disobedience, making of him a mortal being: the evil one, the Devil or Satan (s.
Acts 26.18).

Apparently, God has not intervened in the further course of history.

Two questions arise, each of them also having an answer:

1. Why hasn’t God immediately destroyed the evil one (Satan or Devil), since this one was His adversary (the word ”Satan” comes from the Hebrew satan and means ”enemy”, ”adversary”)?

Answer: The evil caused by Satan or Devil (”Devil” comes from the Greek diabolos and means translated ”calumniator”, ”confuser”, ”prevaricator”) – he who with misleading arguments has led man not to obey God's Word, by creating the false impression that the transgression of the divine commandment would bring sovereignty and knowledge (s.
Genesis 3.1, 4-6; 2 Corinthians 11.3; Revelation 12.9) – had to turn out to be fallacious and incredibly destructive, before the beings of the universe, namely the angels of God and before men.

At the right time Satan will however receive the punishment he deserves (s.
Revelation 20.10).

2. Why hadn’t been people at that time immediately taken under divine protection, being left over the course of thousands of years up to the present day under the influence of the evil?

Answer: In His righteousness God could not let the guilt of disobedience towards His Word go unpunished. As a consequence, man became a mortal being.

However, this does not mean that God abandoned man, quite the contrary: in His mercy God wants to give people the chance to return to their original condition of immortal beings.

The atonement for the committed sin could be redeemed only through a perfect sacrifice:
the one of a man (no other being) without sin (that is: blameless, perfect).
The only One who is perfect is God Himself. And as the atonement had to be made through man, He was born on earth as man. This happened about 2000 years ago.
It was the moment when God decided to intervene.
At the age of ca. 30 years Jesus revealed Himself to the people as the Christ.
Since then ”The time is fulfilled
(Mark 1.15) for the beginning of man’s redemption from this ”lost” world.
The one who became ”the prince of this world
(John 12.31; 14.30) shall be condemned through the sacrifice of the Son of God. Through His death, His resurrection and His ascention Jesus Christ has triumphed over the eternal death.
At the same time Satan has been defeated for ever (s.
John 12.31; 16.11).
Thenceforth ”this gospel of the kingdom
(Matthew 24.14) is proclaimed more and more throughout the world, so that everyone can hear and experience the good news of his salvation through the faith in God’s accomplished work in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.

Although ”the evil one” knows that he is defeated and the time of his final punishment shortens day by day, he continues to try to hinder people from knowing the truth about the word of the kingdom and from convincing themselves that each one who believes in Jesus Christ has the assurance of eternal life:

13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (1 John 5.13)

Therefore: our ”adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may
devour.” (1 Peter 5.8)

12 ... Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12.12)

How does the devil attempt to ”devour ” the people?

He is ”
9... the great dragon ... that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.(Revelation 12.9)

His procedures to deceive are various, namely from the simplest to the most subtle.
The final aim is to hinder man from being informed of the possibility of his salvation through the faith in Jesus Christ.
As ”the father of lie(s.
John 8.44) he lures the man through diverse theories, occupations, intents and thoughts which are not in accord with the will and the truth of God. These will then totally distance him from the knowledge about the Word that is written in the book inspired by God Himself: The Bible or The Holy Scriptures.

With this warning begins the Lord Jesus Christ the interpretation of the parable of the sower, presented in the three synoptic gospels, as follows:

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.(Matthew 13.19)

15 And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts.(Mark 4.15)

12 Those by the way side are they that hear; then cometh the devil, and taketh away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved.” (Luke 8.12)

These are those people who hear the word of God, but do not come to understand it. The evil one directs their thoughts instantly to other directions, so that their lives will take its course further on exclusively at the level of the priority worldly occupations, totally disregarding the word they once heard.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended
.” (Matthew 13.20,21)

16 And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness;
17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word's sake, immediately they are offended
.” (Mark 4.16,17)

13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.(Luke 8.13)

To this second group of people belong those who immediately rejoice when hearing the word about the kingdom of God. But the heard word will be in their lives only for a short period of time because this cannot take root. They are the ones who were indeed glad at the hearing of the divine message, but confronted with various problems of life and surrounded by diverse new influences their original enthusiasm, shown at the hearing of the word, will vanish into oblivion.
By not having taken the time for the study of the biblical word, they will not have the necessary understanding, the acuteness of mind and the strength of character in order to be able to recognise actions and events of more or less religious nature, which are not in accordance with the word, and thus dissociating themselves from these.
Therefore they limit themselves comfortably and uncomplicatedly to the keeping of customs and inherited traditions, thus turning easily as also fully away from the word.

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matthew 13.22)

18 And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word,
19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful
.” (Mark 4.18.19)

14 And that which fell among thorns are they, which, when they have heard, go forth, and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to perfection.
(Luke 8.14)

The third group of people refers to those who hear the word, but do not consistently read the Bible so as to deepen the received message, but let themselves being overwhelmed by worldly influences:

- The cares of life weigh inevitably on each one of us so that these cannot be denied. But he who confidently immerses himself in the inspired biblical word will know that he will not have to worry at all. The following verse gives support to anyone, regardless of the circumstances with which one is confronted:

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 4.6,7)

At some time in their lives many will have heard the message of the word, but being confronted with various concerns and problems of life they will think, according to the wordly mentality, that the once heard message would be only theoretical and thus cannot really help them. Hence they ignore the word, so that this will not bear fruit in their lives. Because of lack of interest in deepening the knowledge about the word, they do not know that the biblical message has a great leading and transforming power in man’s life. The word is real ”for the word of God is
quick and powerful (Hebrews 4.12). The more it is studied, its deep meaning will be more and more comprehended. All the riches of this world are worth nothing compared to this ”pearl of great price (Matthew 13.46). ”He that has ears to hear” will understand that it is nothing but the word that is the real leader of his life.

- The riches will have for not just a few the first priority in their life and the accumulation of it will become an end in itself. Their chief activity will be the one of continually making use of all their doings in order to achieve fortune and accumulate wealth, so that the word will be almost forgotten, never coming to bear fruit in their lives. In their over-confidence ignore these people the fact that God in no way recommends the accumulation of riches as a purpose in itself, quite the contrary:

15 And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.(Luke 12.15)

10 ... if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.” (Psalms 62.11)

Therefore, on the one hand they choose to aim at an illusory target that is not in accordance with the will of God and on the other hand they will never come to the spiritual fulfilment in Christ. Jesus Christ says: ”
21 ... where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6.21) The treasure to which He refers is the word. But the ones who let their hearts cling to worldly ”treasures” - whether riches, lusts of other things or pleasures of this life – and at the same time ignore the divine word will find in the end, they were wrong as the way chosen by them hasn’t lead them to eternal life. By not having the faith in Christ – their only defender from the coming wrath of God (s. John 3.36; Romans 5.9; 1 Thessalonians 1.10) – they go on the way to eternal lostness.

These three groups of people find themselves, briefly and concisely summarized, also in the following verse:

3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
(2 Corinthians 4.3,4)

In the last part of the parable of the sower there is presented to us yet another group of people:

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” (Matthew 13.23)

20 And these are they which are sown on good ground; such as hear the word, and receive it, and bring forth fruit, some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some an hundred.” (Mark 4.20)

15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8.15)

The fourth group of people represents those who, as well as the other ones, hear the word.
However, in distinction from the others, they understand it. Not because they are necessarily endowed with a higher intelligence towards the others, but because they receive it.
The word will henceforth dwell in them and work in their lives. This will not happen equal to a magical process which takes place independently of the will of man, but maturate with his active participation.
These are the ones who not only heard the word, but will also endeavour to bring to fruition the acknowledged divine instructions.
The word will work in their heart and will transform them over time from their actual state, influenced by a fallen world, into a new condition, according to the will of God.

These stages to fulfilment and completion were recorded by the apostle Paul under divine inspiration as follows:

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1.5-11)

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4. What is Faith?


Take a look at a certain object, such as an apple.
Are you convinced that it is an apple or do you only assume?
You do not assume, you know with great certainty.
You believe this, because you see it.

Similarly, faith refers to existing things, phenomena and beings that are not (yet) seen or to events that haven't occured yet, whose fulfilment still lie in the future.

The biblical definition of faith is the following:

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.(Hebrews 11.1)

The ”things hoped for ” are that whereon the believer keeps his sights on, well knowing that one day he will see these as tangible reality.
He is fully convinced about the existence of the things he does not see now.
The whole eleventh chapter of the book ”Hebrews” reminds in brief presentation some of those for whom faith had the primacy in their lives.

The believer’s fundamental way of thinking is the conviction that the universe, the nature and life have been all brought into existence by a higher, invisible, almighty - ”God” named – being:

3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11.3)

Even the existence of today's world we have to thank a faithful man: Noah.
About 4400 years ago, when due to the wickedness of men God decided to exterminate all beings (
Genesis 6.1-7; 11-13), ”Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations.” (Genesis 6.9)
And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.”
(Genesis 6.13)
And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.”
(Genesis 6.17)
At the same time He gave Noah detailed instructions to build a ship in which he and his family should go; he should also bring into the ark ”of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort”: birds, cattle, creeping things
(Genesis 6.14-21).
22 Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.(Genesis 6.22)
He made this ”
by faith ... being warned of God of things not seen as yet.” (Hebrews 11.7)
In so doing he saved not only himself and his family, but at the same time he became the forerunner, from the flood, of the whole human civilization that followed down to the present day.

This ”substance [strong confidence] of things hoped for ” brought the people of faith of all times not to lay value on temporary benefits and pleasures, but on ”things to come”.
(Hebrews 11.20)

For the unbeliever (or: man in his natural state) the thing that mainly counts is what one sees and is tangible.
According to this, he cannot at all realise the existence of the unseen God and implicitly His promises.

But the believer lives or ”walks” ”by faith,
not by sight ”. (2 Corinthians 5.7)
He is ”confident
(2 Corinthians 5.8), having the assurance of the salvation and of the attainment of eternal life through the faith in his Lord Jesus Christ.
The faith and the Person of God’s Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, are inseparable, as He is ”the author and finisher of our
faith (Hebrews 12.2).

The people who lived about 2000 years ago had the immense privilege of seing God the Son with their own eyes.
As His coming on earth had been already predicted by the old prophets for hundreds of years in the books of the Old Testament, by the research of the Scriptures the contemporaries of the Lord Jesus could have been all too well aware of the fact that they had before them God the Son Himself.

Due to the fact that in their days the prophecy of His first coming was fulfilled, for them faith became reality.
God became visible for men by being born on earth as man.
The conversation of the Son of God with Philip, one of His disciples, is edifying:

7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
(John 14.7-9)

They have not only seen the incarnated God, but the Saviour Himself.
This has been actually the purpose of His coming: to save man from getting lost for ever, by showing him the way to eternity.
Jesus said: ”I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me.” (John 14.6)
There is no other way towards God.
Aside from Jesus there is no other mediator in whom we should place our confidence:
5 ... there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.(1 Timothy 2.5)

As mere mortals, the ones who have entrusted their life to Jesus will eventually die some day, just like all other people; but when they will be resurrected they will unconditionally receive life without death. Jesus assures us that everyone who entrusts himself to Him has from that moment on everlasting life (even though he dies). He tells us:

25 ... I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” (John 11.25)

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.(John 5.24)

47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” (John 6.47)

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.(John 5.25)

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation
.” (John 5.28,29)

Accordingly, all people who died will be resurrected. The ones who believed in Jesus will be resurrected to a life without death, as they were found not guilty (this is the first resurrection), but the others will be resurrected in order to be judged, ”every man according to their works”; as they did not want to accept Christ's saving offer to take upon also their sins on Himself, they will have to bear the consequences of their own decision (this is the second resurrection that will happen thousand years after the first one); see
Revelation 20.

Jesus Christ began His work on earth by choosing a few simple people to whom He revealed Himself and made known the way to eternal life.
These men, known as disciples, believed in Him and in everything He ilustrated and explained them; many a time Jesus performed miracles in the eyes of all: the raising of Lazarus who was dead for four days already (
John 11.11-44); the stilling of the storm (Matthew 8.23-27); the healing of the paralytic (Matthäus 9.1-8); the healing of the woman with the blood issue and the raising of Jairus' daughter (Matthew 9.18-26); the healing of two blind men (Matthew 9.27-31); the feeding of the five thousand (Matthew 14.13-21); the walking on the sea (Matthew 14.22-33) etc.

Many believed at that time on Him, because they saw the miracles which He performed before them.
But there have also been people who believed in Him unconditionally, without wanting to see first.
For instance the Roman captain who had put his full trust in Jesus’ healing power.
He asked Jesus to make his severely sick bedridden servant healthy again, without however requesting Him to go with him to his house, thus not expressing the desire of wanting to immediately see the awaited healing.
One word from Him was enough, to know that whatever He wants is also fulfilled:

5 And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, beseeching him,
6 And saying, Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.
7 And Jesus saith unto him, I will come and heal him.
8 The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed.
9 For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it.
10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.
11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.
12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
13 And Jesus said unto the centurion, Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour
.” (Matthew 8.5-13)

Nowadays it is not otherwise: we must not immediately see what we wish for, but the trusting prayer that we rise to God in the name of Jesus will be enough for us, as His will shall be done anyway.

Whatever we are asking for will be given us. Jesus says:

”... Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father
in my name, he will give it you.” (John 16.23)

22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” (Matthew 21.22)

However, our prayers will not always be fulfilled the way we would want them to be.
God can respond to some of our prayers in a much different way than we think.
Retrospectively we can realize that in His wisdom God has lead us on other ways: in the direction of an optimal solution which often could be different, compared to our originally expressed wishes.

Thomas, one of the Lord Jesus’ twelve disciples, is known under the name of ”Thomas, the unbelieving”. Why?
The explanation can be found in the gospel according to John, in the chapter reporting about the events that took place after the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
20 And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.
21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost:
23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed
.” (John 20.19-29)

From this it follows that ”being a believer” means to believe without having visible evidence.

Many people use to affirm about themselves: ”I have my faith!”
It is as if there would be different personal faiths, just as numerous as the number of persons who make this assertion.

But according to the Bible there is:

5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” (Ephesians 4.5)

This proclaims to the people:

4 ... ye are called in one hope of your calling.” (Ephesians 4.4)

Hope, just as faith, means expectation of the fulfilment of future facts or events.
It does not apply to things which one sees, as ”hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we
see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” (Romans 8.24,25)

This is not about ”trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God
(1 Timothy 6.17) and in the ”Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope ”. (1 Timothy 1.1)

We are ”looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious
appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2.13) (see also 1 Corinthians 1.7)

Faith is not a merit that has been acquired by own efforts:

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast
.” (Ephesians 2.8,9)

The ones who have understood that Jesus will come back a second time, ”with the clouds of heaven” (see
Daniel 7.13; Matthew 24.30; 26.64; Acts 1.11; Revelation 1.7) on a day on which the dead in Christ shall be raised incorruptible (see 1 Corinthians 15.52; 1 Thessalonians 4.16,17), knows that God is the One who has revealed him this understanding.
In what way is faith given to us by God? The Bible says:

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10.17)

The word is the Holy Scripture or the Bible in its entirety, from which pages everyone has the opportunity to be acknowledged of the good news of the salvation or redemption through the faith in Jesus Christ.

After His ascension ca. 2000 years ago nobody saw Him again.
But through the power of faith we love the One and we believe on the One whom we haven’t seen (yet):

5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1.5-9)

The faith on Jesus Christ is the assurance of eternal life.
It is not essential for us to know everything what Jesus has done in His life as man on earth.
We also do not need to demand from God signs and miracles as visible proof to be able to believe.
What is written in the Bible is sufficient to receive the saving faith:

30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31 But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.” (John 20.30,31)

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5. What is Church?


In general "church" is understood as a building, a place specially built where people come together to take part in the worship service.
Many go to church also because this is in line with the inherited family tradition and thus one feels committed to participate, more or less regularly, to the religious service of the cult to which he belongs.
Another reason is the fact that people seek for that pleasant feeling of community with their fellows. Others take the view that it will ”go well” for them if they go to church.
And there is also the contemplative factor of tranquillity and introspection within the walls of these as sacred regarded buildings.

What does the Bible say about the ”church”?

The first account referring to this term comes from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and we find this mentioned in
Matthew 16.18.
The expression came on the occasion of one of the discussions He had with His disciples:

13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?
14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.
15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?
16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.
17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter [Greek: petros], and upon this rock [Greek: petra] I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it
.” (Matthew 16.13-18)

It was the moment when Lord Jesus announced that He will build His church.
The word of the Greek original (the language of the New Testament) translated here with ”church” is ekklesia; this word denoted most frequently a local assembly of believers, but never a building.
Therefore Jesus does not refer here to the construction of a building (as an ekklesia was an assembly or a gathering), but to a spiritual ”house”.
Through the use of the verb ”build” He refers to the essential feature of His community: this has a solid foundation, comparable to a huge stone or a rock, expressed by the Greek word petra, which symbolizes Him, Jesus Christ.
In reply to the question addressed to His disciples with regard to His identity, Simon confesses Jesus by divine revelation as Christ Himself, Son of God.
Christ or the Anointed of God is the translation of the Hebrew word hammasiah or Messiah, the awaited Saviour.
According to the understanding of the Jewish People of that time the rock (petra) always symbolised God the Saviour. For instance, in earlier times of the migrations through the desert the people was lead and instructed by the same ”rock”: Christ.
The apostle Paul addressed later on the following words to the faithful of Corinth:

1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
(1 Corinthians 10.1-4)

The rock symbolised the firm support that gave them confidence, hope and help in times of need and distress as well as during the strains of everyday life (see
1 Samuel 2.2; Psalms 18.3; 42.10; 62.3).

It is the same rock that was to become a ”stone of stumbling and … a rock of offence”, namely for many who because of their pride could not or did not want to accept the faith on Him (see
Isaiah 8.14; Romans 9.33; 1. Peter 2.8; Psalms 118.22; Isaiah 8.14).

In his speech on the mount our Lord Jesus had told, among many others, also the parable of the house-building:

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it
.” (Matthew 7.24-27)

Here again He referred to the construction of a house, distinguishing two groups of people.
The wise man builds his house (in other words: his life) on a solid foundation: the rock.
He ”builds” his life by choosing as basis for it his Saviour, who will protect him from God's coming wrath. Since he received the good news about the existence of the Saviour, he leads a life of complete trust in His Word, not only through listening, but by fulfilling it with a sincere and a pure heart. Especially in view of the ”fulfilment” Jesus also said:
21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7.21)
When being asked by the people about what shall they do that they might fulfill God’s will or ”work the works of God
(John 6.28), ”Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6.29)
This is the basic condition which will lead to a change of life of the wise man who will revalue his whole live and lay it on a new foundation: Jesus Christ, his Lord and Saviour, the rock on which his life will be built henceforth.
The voice of the Father Himself was to be heard out of the sky, as He said: ”This is my beloved Son:
hear him.(Mark 9.2-7)
In the end the wise man will be freed from the judgment over all his sins (”He that believeth on him is not condemned ...”)
(John 3.18), as he had consented that his Saviour (or: his Deliverer) shall take upon Himself his sins, being thus rescued from the punishment which is the eternal death. In this way the wise man will not receive the wage for his sins, ”but the gift of God: eternal life” (see John 5.24; Romans 6.23).

The foolish man, by contrast, builds his house (that means: his life) on a shaky foundation like sand.
He ”builds” his life all the while disregarding or ignoring the message he once had heard that he can enjoy the invaluable help of the sole Saviour who can protect him from God's coming wrath. Instead, he opts for a life in which his possible Saviour does not find His rightful place.
This numerous group of people include also the ones who worship Him formally with an unchanged heart, without being honestly interested in His Word and without really having Christ in their hearts.
Jesus speaks about these in prophetic words:
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
(Matthew 7.22,23)
Thus the end of the foolish man will be appropriate for him, as he will reap the fruit of his recklessness at the very end. He has disregarded the necessity of his salvation through the only Saviour Jesus Christ and has paid no heed to the great truth of eternal life’s gift through the faith in Jesus Christ. Up to the last moment of his life he has rejected the chance to accept through repentance (return) the Saviour Christ Jesus who could have taken upon Himself his sins.
That is why on the Day of Judgment which will succeed the second resurrection, that is the resurrection of judgment, he will have to ”appear before the judgment seat of Christ”.
(2 Corinthians 5.10)
As unrepentant sinner he will receive the just punishment: the second death (or the eternal perdition), as it is written: ”... the wages of sin is death”.
(Romans 6.23)
He will be solely responsible for missing the eternal life. He has not taken seriously the biblical truth regarding the possibility of his salvation in Christ and of the reception through grace of eternal life (if he would have made a decision for Christ as the basis of his life).
From the multitude of countless worldly influences he has had another priority that could not have had any contribution to eternal salvation. On the contrary, this was a weak footing that hasn’t lead him to reconciliation with God through the faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
Instead of having accepted Christ as his Saviour now he suffers the consequences of his own disobedience: the divine judgment and its repercussion which is the eternal perdition.
Christ came into the world with the mission of saving us (see
John 3.17). This becomes clear from the words of our Lord Jesus:

47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day
.” (John 12.47,48)

Just like a building that has at first a foundation on which thereupon is built a structure consisting of a certain number of bricks or smaller stones until its final completion, the Saviour Jesus Christ began in a similar way to build the community of people which acknowledge Him as the One who has the utmost importance in their lives.
After Jesus was recognised by His disciple Simon as being the Christ, Son of God, He said to him after this confession that he will be named from then on „Peter” (a name derived from the Greek word petros, meaning ”stone” or ”brick”; the name originates from the Aramaic word Cephas).
It was not the first time that Jesus addressed Himself to Simon by this name. He gave this to him already at their first meeting, as Simon’s brother Andrew to him said: ”We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ. 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.”
(John 1.41, 42)

These were the days when Jesus made His first disciples, such men whom He would teach the the right way of life, the truth and the wonderful perspective of the eternal life.
They were people who lived in the hope of the Saviour’s coming, prophesied in the Old Testament. Jesus called them over and they followed Him, being confident that He was the One they had been waiting for. The fact that Jesus knew each one of them and also details from their lives confirmed their conviction that He was the long awaited Messiah:

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of
[His foster-father] Joseph.
46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel
.”

(John 1.43-49)


The same way Jesus knew that Nathanael was a man without guile, He knew equally well also Simon’s character traits, both his good and his weaker sides which needed to be strengthened: the impulsive character and the overhasty reactions as well as his / dessen changeable and inconstant nature.
Jesus saw in advance the good core in him, as well as some of his character traits which had to be changed: from a man subject to faults and a weak nature he was to become steady, forceful and firm, capable of making known the Word of God in this world.
But Simon’s true transformation occured only after the ascension of the Lord and the descending of the Holy Spirit.
The name Cephas or Peter symbolised the steadiness of a stone founded on rock. In other words, through his union with Christ the natural man subject to faults, temptations and fears becomes a new person who receives a new understanding of things:

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.(2 Corinthians 5.17)

Not only Peter, but all other disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, the ones from that time and those in the course of the entire human history up to the present day can become living ”stones” who pass on the knowledge about the good news of the salvation’s opportunity from the state of sin.
In one of his letters Peter speaks about the church of God, built on the faith in Jesus Christ. He, Christ, is the foundation (the ”chief corner stone”) and all those who believe on Him will be added to the redeemed people of God, just like living stones:

4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God
...”

(1 Peter 2.4-10)

Everyone of these receive from their Lord the strength, the constancy and the holy mission to witness Him, the Risen and the Living One for all eternity, as His priests, from now on people characterized by the Spirit of Christ.

Nicodemus – one of the Pharisees who began to believe in Him, but yet didn’t understand the whole essence of His message – received, as he wanted to learn more from the Master, the following answer:

1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother's womb, and be born?
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit
.”

(John 3.1-8)

Before Nicodemus has put a concrete question, Jesus already gives him the answer which he must know, both he and anyone else.

It is the essential message of the Godhead, according to which man must be born again; without this rebirth no one can enjoy the Kingdom of God.

Ther message refers to a change of man in spirit, to a renewal of the inner life.
As man is born with a sinful nature, his natural tendencies will drive him to fulfill the lusts of the flesh
(Galatians 5.19-20).
As long as man lives ”in conformity” with these lusts, he ”shall not inherit the kingdom of God
(Galatians 5.21), as he cannot coexist with the holy and perfect God, the One in whom there is no sin.
It is therefore vitally necessary that man shall be born again, namely in the spiritual sense, to be able to bring in his life the fruits of the Holy Spirit
(Galatians 5.22-23).
By his own efforts man can make mere superficial changes.
The rebirth, meaning a profound change of the heart, is a process that can be realised only through divine intervention.
Nicodemus asked Jesus if His reference to this ”rebirth ” is a possible new physical birth, but Jesus told this in the sense of ”birth from above ” (Greek: anothen), so from above, from God, namely through the faith in His Son Jesus Christ:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” (1 Peter 1.3)

This rebirth does not begin with man’s search for God, but God Himself ”knocks at the door” of the heart of man
(Revelation 3.20) by speaking to him through the ”voice” of conscience.
Since God created man as a free being with own freedom of decision
(Deuteronomy 30.19), he is free to respond to his Creator, either by accepting His offer of salvation or by refusing it (the ignoration or the indifference are also forms of rejection).
He who opens his heart to his Creator, after having become aware of his present state of imperfection, will have an attitude of humility and godliness. This attitude, closely related to the regret over some actions and some behaviour that are not in accord with the will of God is called repentance (or: to be sorry for own mistakes, for proud, for selfishness, for all sinful inclinations). Despite the intention to free himself from evil he will understand that due to the fleshly drives he is strongly anchored in the law of sin
(Romans 7.23). Only a power which is beyond what is humanly possible can lay the foundation of a new beginning. It is that power which has its origin in the victorious work on the cross of the Son of God (Romans 5.10,15,17,21; 6.4).
Just like in the human relationships when, in order to receive something, it is necessary first to ask for, the same can be said also in the case of our connection (also called: prayer) to the Godhead.
It is therefore necessary that the repentant man should first avow himself his state of imperfection and after that say the prayer to his Creator to change his life.
God will then give him as a gift, namely for free, without any compensation, the faith in His Son Jesus Christ
(Ephesians 2.8), the One who 2000 years ago took upon Himself the punishment for humanity's sin (Isaiah 53.5), the only One who is able to give us the victory over sin (Romans 7.24,25).

The faith in Jesus Christ will be at work in the repentant man and make of him a new human person.
As soon as man embraces faith, a lifelong process of spiritual growth begins, from small (just like in the case of a newborn baby) to big, namely to the accomplished man, striving for the full measure of Christ (
1 Peter 2.2; Ephesians 4.13). It is a process of gradual change, through which the man who is ”in Christ” is sustained, guided and instructed by the Holy Ghost, whereby he cannot know the way how the Holy Ghost works the conversion in him. That is why the Lord Jesus’ comparison drawn with the wind could not have been more appropriate: ”The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.” (John 3.8)

To Nicodemus’ question ”How can these things be?
(John 3.9) Jesus replies to him that He, the Son of man, must ”be lifted up (John 3.14), (an allusion to His crucifixion) ”that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3.15)
Therefore, with the faith in Him the rebirth happens at the same time.
The man who is born again, also named ”in Christ”, will not have to ”feed” the old (natural or worldly) nature anymore, as far as possible, but bring into his life more and more the fruit of the Spirit:

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit
.” (Galatians 5.16,17,24,25)

Only the immediate contact with the Saviour Jesus Christ will make the work of our conversion from the old man to the new man possible. The parable of the vine and the branches is an eloquent description of the fact that we can only bring fruit, if we are in permanent contact with Him:

4 Abide in me, and I [abide] in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
(John 15.4,5)

The desire of the Godhead is to bring the man back into the condition of a new being ”after the image of him that created him
(Colossians 3.10), the rebirth being a process of recreation:

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.(2 Corinthians 5.17)

The Gospel of John reveals to us God the Son as The Word which was already in the beginning with God the Father, bevor creation of the universe, the One who created all things and is the source of life.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.


(John 1.1-4;9)

But despite that, the world has not recognized the Creator who became man and has even rejected Him.
The natural mind of the sinful and unbelieving man has rejected Him:

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not
.” (John 1.10,11)

But all those who accept Him by believing in Him will receive from God a new spirit, becoming His sons and living after His will, not according to the old nature, but born anew through the work of God:

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
(John 1.12,13)

All the newborn men, these sons of God from all times are the Church of Christ, in other words His community or His people.

Shortly after first meetings of those with the faith in Jesus Christ the world responded with most fierce reactions:

3 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.” (Acts 8.3)

Saul, a Pharisee who became a persecutor of the christians
(Acts 23.6; 26.5) is perhaps the most spectacular example of the conversion to the faith in Christ.
As he was with his entourage on the way to Damascus, in a campaign of persecution against the local christians, something happens to him that goes beyond the human mind:

1 And Saul, yet breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest,
2 And desired of him letters to Damascus to the synagogues, that if he found any of this way, whether they were men or women, he might bring them bound unto Jerusalem.
3 And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:
4 And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?
5 And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
6 And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
7 And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.
8 And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus.
9 And he was three days without sight, and neither did eat nor drink.
10 And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, Ananias. And he said, Behold, I am here, Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,
12 And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.
13 Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem:
14 And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.
15 But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:
16 For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.
17 And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
19 And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus.
20 And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God.
21 But all that heard him were amazed, and said; Is not this he that destroyed them which called on this name in Jerusalem, and came hither for that intent, that he might bring them bound unto the chief priests?
22 But Saul increased the more in strength, and confounded the Jews which dwelt at Damascus, proving that this
[Jesus] is very Christ.

(Acts 9.1-22)

Since then, Saul, who not long after that was given the new name of Paul
(Acts 13.9), became not only a convinced follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, but even the greatest preacher of the Lord. He is the inspired writer of most of the New Testament’s books.

Instead of continuing to persecute the christians he began with all his energy to call to repentance and to announce the returning to God, starting in Damascus.
His zeal for the truth in Christ spread insomuch that he was even brought before the king, where he reported on his way of thinking and acting before, but, above all, after his encounter with the Lord, testifying with much courage about the only saving faith
(Acts 26.1-20).
Both here and in other of his speeches in front of such people who demanded an account from him about his preaching (see also
Acts 22.1-21), Paul always reported about the appearance of the Lord Jesus on the way to Damascus. The Lord had chosen him then to proclaim the great truth about the urgent need of the liberation from the power of evil ((Matthew 6.13; John 17.15; Galatians 1.4; 2 Thessalonians 3.3; 1 John 5.18,19) and the return to God through the faith in His name:

12 Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,
13 At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me.
14 And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
15 And I said, Who art thou, Lord? And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest.
16 But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:
20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.


(Acts 26.12-20)

The truth in Christ spread rapidly and the number of the believers was continuously growing:

31 Then had the churches rest throughout all Judaea and Galilee and Samaria, and were edified; and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.(Acts 9.31)

5 And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.(Acts 16.5)

At the same time the opposition on the part of the adversaries of truth continued: by persecutions, torture, imprisonments and assassination of Christ’s messengers, including His apostles and disciples:

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.”
2 And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.
3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also.”

(Acts 12.1-3)


5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.” (Acts 12.5)

The name ”Christians” (followers of the Christ or the ones belonging to Christ), from the Greek christianos (another variant: ”chrestus”) has been given to Jesus’ disciples by ”unbelievers” for the first time in Antioch in the 1st century A.D., as ”32 ... the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.
33 And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” (Acts 4.32,33)
36 And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,” (Acts 4.36) stayed together with Paul and ”26 a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.(Acts 11.26)

The relationship between Christ and the church (or: community) is similar to the one between a man and his woman:
He is the head of the church which is submitted to Him with loving commitment.
The church is His body which He nourishes, cherishes, sanctifies and finally saves.
Therefore, all those who form His community (the body) cannot live separate from Christ (the head).
Similarly, the members of the community (the members) cannot live separated from each other, just like the limbs of the human body can only function in close reciprocal dependency by helping each other, working together, mutually supporting and forming an organic entity
(Romans 12.4-8):

22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church
.”

(Ephesians 5.22-32)

24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church.(Colossians 1.24)

18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” (Colossians 1.18)

Many decades after His ascension the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to the apostle John, while he was in exile on the island Patmos.
The purpose of His appearance was to show him the things that will come in the course of the future human history; at the same time He had a message for each of the seven churches of the empire at that time:

4 John to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace be unto you, and peace, from him which is, and which was, and which is to come; and from the seven Spirits which are before his throne.” (Revelation 1.4)

9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea
.” (Revelation 1.9-11)

Beyond their existence as churches of that times these also represent seven historical time periods, beginning with the first century after Christ until the end of the history of this world.
To each of these churches, respectively historical time periods, He sends briefly worded an evaluation of their work. According to the fruits they each brought He sends them words of appreciation and of praise, but often disapproving words with the advice to clear their character.

If the present historical time period corresponds to the one of the seventh church Laodicea, then we should acknowledge the following message of the Lord:

14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches
.” (Revelation 3.14-22)

What is the special feature of this church that can be understood from Jesus’ above words?

This says about itself to be all right, to have achieved prosperity, thus having happily reached its goal, without having any further need.
In truth, though, it does not know that it is emptied of its inner richness that can be achieved only in direct relation with the Son of God. Like gold refined in the fire, the Lord Jesus brings true enrichment through fire tests and trial periods, sent to those whom He loves (
1 Peter 1.7 ; 4.12,13). Not to torture them, but to rebuke them, to make them aware that they are not on the right way and realize that they urgently need to repent. The dressing in white raiment is a visual representation of the gift of His justice. He will also heal them from the blindness of the worldly reality which is under the influence of the evil (2 Corinthians 4.3-6). With the eyes of faith He will make them see the reality of the divine kingdom, the one of now and the one which is yet to come.
When Jesus speaks to man through the voice of conscience, he should open Him the door of his heart and welcome Him from then on into his life as partner and supporter in the battle of life (it must be said that Jesus addresses each person individually, not groups of people). Just like Jesus who during His life on this earth became victoriously only through a continuous relationship with God the Father (
John 5.19,30; 8.28; 12.49,50; 14.10), even the one who accepted Jesus in his life, being in close communion with Him in thoughts and prayers, will finally enjoy the unspeakable privilege to receive eternal life (John 5.24; 6.40,47; 8.51; 20.31) and to be on the new earth and in heaven together with his dear Saviour.
The ones who do not reject the message, but ”hear” it, need not necessarily be endowed with special intelligence or with extraordinary capabilities, but only to have ears to hear.
Because it has come to a wealth which leads it to the conclusion that it would lack nothing, though hasn’t a true relationship with its founder Jesus Christ, the special feature of this church is the state of relative indifference towards Him.
Therefore, this message could be a last ”wake up call” to repentance and to a life in conformity with His laws and commandments, which are giver of eternal blessing.

Considering that the present historical time period is most probably the seventh one and at the same time the last one referred to here, then it can be concluded that at its ending the history of this world will also reach its end.
What will become of Christ's church (the body of Christ), the one of the true worshippers in spirit and in truth (
John 4.21-26) who have accepted Him as their Lord and Saviour and which God considered to be ”in Christ ”?
The Bible reveals to us the following:

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord
.”

(1. Thessalonians 4.15-17)

The goal and the meaning of faith are the Living Jesus Christ Himself and we can have salvation in no other way than solely by and in His Person.

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6. The State of Death



What happens with man after he dies?
Which is his state after his life came to an end?
This is the question to which, according to common belief, we will never receive an answer.
However, people have tried to find explanations about the state after the decease, already since ancient times.
They are reflections that arise from a legitimate aspiration towards immortality.
Many theories have their origin in the Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek philosophy of the antiquity that constitute the basis of the wide-spread belief in the ”immortality of the soul” .

What does the Bible or the Holy Scripture say about man’s state of death?

As this unitary writing represents God's inspired word (see
2 Timothy 3.16), this is also in this regard the most reliable source of knowledge.
From its first pages we learn that God created the heavens and the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, the nature and the variety of living beings.
A day before the completion of the creation the Lord God calls to life another being, created in His own image: man (see
Genesis 1.26,27).

God made man in the following way:

7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2.7)

From the above report it can be seen that man ”became a living soul”. He did not receive a soul, but he became a soul, namely ”a living soul”. Thus, man is a living soul”.

The original translated here with ”soul” is the Hebrew word ”nephesh” and means ”life”. By saying that man became ”a living soul” we understand that this unity (or: person, individual, being) has not existed before the time of his creation, having been brought into life only then.
It also follows from this the uniqueness and individuality of each person. Every being only lives once and his existence is unique.

The Hebrew word ”nephesh“ is used also in other passages in the same sense of ”living soul”. Thus, the Scriptures of the Bible refer to individual persons or groups of people by using the word ”soul” and ”souls” respectively, as translations for the Hebrew ”nephesh”.
Some examples from the Old Testament:

27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls [men]: all the souls [persons, men, members] of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.” (Genesis 46.27)

13 But the man that is clean, and is not in a journey, and forbeareth to keep the passover, even the same soul [man] shall be cut off from among his people: because he brought not the offering of the LORD in his appointed season, that man shall bear his sin.” (Numbers 9.13)

25 A true witness delivereth souls [men, beings]: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.” (Proverbs 14.25)

20 The soul [the man] that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezekiel 18.20)

In a similar way, also the New Testament refers to men, persons or groups of people by the words ”soul” and ”souls” respectively. These are translations from the original Greek ”psyche”, a word of the same meaning as the Hebrew ”nephesh”: ”living soul” or ”living being”. Some examples from the New Testament:

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls [men].” (Acts 2.41)

37 And we were in all in the ship two hundred threescore and sixteen souls [men].” (Acts 27.37)

45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul [living being; man]; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1 Corinthians 15.45)
This verse clarifies that man does not have ”psyche”, but, as he was made a ”psyche”, he is ”psyche”, namely ”a living soul”.

20 Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls [persons] were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3.20)

Therefore, as God created man this became ”a living soul” or in other words ”a living being / a living person”.
It can be said that each time when a human being is born comes into the world a new ”life”.

Consequently, the expression ”man became a living soul” is identical with ”man became a living being”. The word soul therefore denotes the whole person.
This truth contradicts the theory which has its roots in the non-biblical philosophies of antiquity due to which man should be composed of two separate parts, body (mortal) and soul (immortal).
The Bible does tell us that man was created as a complex unitary being, so that the elements of which he consists make him an organic whole.

After He called man into being ”
8 ... the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” (Genesis 2.8,9)

16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (Genesis 2.16,17)

The word of God informed and warned man that disobedience to the divine command will cause his death:
Thou shalt surely die!” is the true word of the One who ”cannot lie
(Titus 1.2).
It is the announcement about an indubitable reality that leaves no room for other interpretations.
The consequence of the disobedience was therefore the death of man, with other words the eternal loss or his passage into nonexistence which is the opposite of life: ”the living being” was thus to become a dead, lifeless creature.
The state of man during the time preceding his death is described in the book Ecclesiastes where man is advised to think about his present ephemeral condition already in the years of his youth, without forgetting that he did not emerge by mere chance, but was conceived by the conscious decision of a Creator:

1 Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;
2 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
3 In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble [the hands], and the strong men shall bow themselves [the legs], and the grinders cease [the teeth] because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened [the eyes],
4 And the doors shall be shut in the streets [the lips], when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.
7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ecclesiastes 12.1-7)


The word translated here with ”soul” is equivalent to the hebrew ”ruah” whose basic meaning is ”breath”, a word that suggests the sound of human breath respectively the breath of life, given to man by God.
Besides that, the same spirit (or: breath of life) has been also given to the animals:

19 For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath [ruah]; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast ...
20 All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” (Ecclesiastes 3.19,20)

The valuable suggestion given to man ”to remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth” draws the attention to the fact that it is for man of major importance to always remember the existence of the One who called him into being.
Not only this knowledge is determining for man’s way of life, but even more: he must know that he is ”wonderfully made” (see
Psalm 139.14) and is in accordance with the perfect Laws of the universe created by God.

As long as he will be able to enjoy good health, given by the proper functioning of his body, man could learn by means of biblical studies about the particular importance of a life in obedience to His word:

13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12.13,14)

Man can get to know God and His Laws only as long as he is in good physical and mental health, namely before he dies (”return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.”)

The reconciliation with God (made by return - or repentance - from sin, what is called penance) could take place only as long as man is alive.
After death man loses the state of consciousness:

5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing ...” (Ecclesiastes 9.5)
21 His sons come to honour, and he knoweth it not; and they are brought low, but he perceiveth it not of them.” (Job 14.21)

The consciousness will be regained at the resurrection, when every human being who ever lived and died will rise.
There will be however two resurrections: at the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ will take place the first resurrection of the dead in Christ, the ones who have entrusted their lives to the Lord. They will be resurrected and receive eternal life.
1000 years after the first resurrection will take place the second resurrection of the other people, the ones who did not wanted to know about Christ and His work of salvation.
These will be judged and will perish (this is the second death or the eternal lostness from which there is no more resurrection), as they will not have Christ as the only defender before the divine judgement.

This is the report on the event that took place after God said to Adam not to eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden:

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” (Genesis 3.1-7)


The most fatal among the consequences of the disobedience of God’s Word (see
Genesis 3.8-18) is the one of which the Lord God had warned man right from the beginning (see Genesis 2.16,17). This warning became bitter reality:

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Genesis 3.19)

Adam, the first human, whom God created as an immortal being has ”reaped” the fruits of his disobedience. Through God's grace he did not die immediately after he transgressed His Word, but only after still having lived a long live:

5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.” (Genesis 5.5)

The book of the generations of Adam”
(Genesis 5.1-32) indicates the following information: the names of his descendants, how long each of them lived and finally the mention: ”and he died.”

This mention has the purpose of informing that all Adam's descendants are mortal.
According to the Bible life ends right after the time of death.
We are informed that the one who died is no longer conscious:

5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.
10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecclesiastes 9.5,6,10)

The state of death is equated with a sleep, namely one without thoughts and without dreams.
In the following reports of the Holy Scripture referring to someone's death it is said that the said person ”fell asleep”. Here are some examples:

1. In one of the psalms, David appeals to the Lord God with the following words:

3 Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
4 Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.” (Psalms 13.3,4)


2. In the report about the stoning of Stephen, the first martyred disciple, it is said:

59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” (Acts 7.59,60)


3. As the apostle Paul announced the Gospel to the Corinthians by speaking about the resurrection of Jesus and about the fact that He showed Himself thereafter to different people, he says to them:

3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15.3-6)

4. On the same occasion, as some began to doubt the resurrection of the dead Paul refers to those who have died in the faith of Christ:

16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.” (1 Corinthians 15.16-18)


5. As he spoke about the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, Paul said that the believers who will be alive at that time will not die at all or, in other words, ”shall not sleep”:

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1 Corinthians 15.51-52)

6. In another text, by referring again to the great event of the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the clouds of heaven, he describes this in the same order: first shall rise the dead in Christ (or: them which are asleep) and thereupon they who are alive at that time will rejoice together with them in the encounter with the One in whom they have believed:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4.13-17)

7. In his prophecy regarding the unbelievers who will doubt the Return of the Lord, the apostle Peter says the following:

3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” (2 Peter 3.3,4)

It is obvious that ”fall asleep” has in the Bible the same meaning as ”to die”, and of the ones who ”died” it is also said that they ”fell asleep”.
Why doesn’t the Scripture use for ”to die” or ”the dead” rather a generally-accepted synonym like ”to pass away” or ”the deceased”? Why ”fall asleep” and ”them which are asleep”, since the one who died ended his existence?

The comparison of death with a sleep is not just coincidence; this is not a somewhat ”poetic” form of expression of the decease, but has a profound meaning that is in accordance with the promise of the Godhead:
When man goes to bed, he falls asleep; the state of sleep is characterised by the fact that at a certain moment man wakes up without knowing how long it lasted since he has fallen asleep; he will know this as soon as he looks at the clock.
At the moment of death man loses all consciousness of himself; the spirit of life, received at birth, returns to the One who gave it, while the lifeless body is buried, turning over time into ground.
However, a day will come ”when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.”
(John 5.25) ... for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth ...” (John 5.28,29)
This resurrection will be like an awakening from sleep: it is the bringing back to life from death, made possible not through the will of man, but by the power of the Almighty. When rising, man will not know how much time has passed (hours, years, decades or centuries) since he ”fell asleep”; every human being who has ever lived on this earth will be resurrected by the Lord God. But he will not resurrect all at the same time, as there will be two resurrections. The ones who may rejoice at the first resurrection are they of whom the Lord Jesus Christ says:
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5.24)
4 ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20.4-6)


After the thousand years will be over, the last events of the history of this world fallen into sin will happen (see
Revelation 20.7-11).
Then ” ... shall come forth; ... they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation [or: judgment].”
(John 5.29) (see also Revelation 20.12,13)
At the end of the judgment these will suffer the second death. At the same time death itself will be destroyed (see also
1 Corinthians 15.54,55):
14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20.14,15)

The second death is similar to lostness. This truth we learn also from the ”golden Bible verse”:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16)

Among the accomplished miracles and healings performed by the Lord Jesus at the time when He lived and worked as human on earth counted also the return to life of people who some time ago ... died.
The Lord Jesus himself referred to the state of death as if it were a ”sleep”:

22 And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers of the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
23 And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
24 And Jesus went with him; ...
..............................................
35 While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead: why troublest thou the Master any further?
36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
37 And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James.
38 And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
39 And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40 And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
41 And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.
42 And straightway the damsel arose, and walked; for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment.
43 And he charged them straitly that no man should know it; and commanded that something should be given her to eat.” (Mark 5.22-43)

By saying ”the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth”, He tried to comfort the pained parents and relatives, the more so as He who spoke to them was himself the Lord of life, the One who is the resurrection, and the life”.
(John 11.25)
Then again He recalls the fact that death is not definitive, but this is merely a transition state. The comparison of death with a sleep implicitly presupposes also an awakening.

One of the most amazing events which is reported in the Bible is the resurrection of Lazarus:

1 Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
2 (It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
3 Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.
4 When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
5 Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.
7 Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
8 His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
9 Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellowdisciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.
17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.
28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled,
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.
36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.” (John 11.1-44)


The return to life or the raising of people at the time when our Lord lived as a man in the world comes from His profound empathy with the human beings.
But this all happened ”for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.”
(John 11.4)
Jesus says: ”I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”
(John 11.25,26)
He brings us the good news (Greek: evangelios) of the gracious gift of eternal life (Romans 6.23) through the faith in Him, Jesus Christ.
The one who as long as he is alive decides to place his trust in Him with all his heart
(Romans 10.10) will live, though he were dead. As soon as he dies, he will know nothing (Ecclesiastes 9.5) and his state will be the one of a sleep; but on the great day of the return of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 15-18) he will be raised and live forever, in an immortal body (1 Corinthians 15.52,53), incorruptible.
Everyone who believes in Him shall never die. Jesus refers here to the second death from which there is no more resurrection, this being equivalent to lostness. The word translated with never comes from the Greek ”aion” and means for all eternity; the root of this word is ”aei” and means forever.
Hence it means that this person will not die for ever, therefore will not be lost.

The text passages from
John 11.25,26 reveal the whole spectrum of the human existence and non-existence, making known the truth about the existing of two lives and two deaths:

25 Jesus said ... I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead [the first death], yet shall he live [the second life = the eternal life]:
26 And whosoever liveth [the first life] and believeth in me shall never die [the second death = the lostness].”

(John 11.25,26)

The Lord Jesus often talked to the people in parables, in order to bring to knowledge a certain truth in an illustrative and understandable form.
One of these is the parable of the rich man and the poor Lazarus:

19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And 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 tormented in this flame.
25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.” (Luke 16.19-31)

This is an account of two persons – exponents of two categories of people - , who eventually died.
The first one is named Lazarus who due to adverse life circumstances did not have any means of supporting himself as he had to fight against an annoying and painful disease; nor was he supported by another wealthy person who could have helped him.
The second one is a rich man who led a sedate life, exclusively for the satisfaction of selfish pleasures, without bothering about his needy and deprived neighbour.

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom.
In the Jewish tradition it was said that if someone was well off and happy, then he was in Abraham's bosom or he lived like in Abraham's bosom. This saying that was well-known to the Jews at that time meant that this person was blessed and found himself in a place of happiness.
Note: the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius describes in ”Josephus' Discourse to the Greeks Concerning Hades” the meaning of the expression ”Abraham's bosom” in the Jewish tradition.

The rich man also died, and was buried.
In that which follows, the two of them find themselves in different states, both states having a common feature: the permanent and definitive character.

The imaginary dialogue presented here contains the important message of certainty according to which the eternal destiny of man is sealed right after death has occurred. What man hasn’t done during his life can no longer be caught up.

The expression ”was carried by the angels” is a hint for Jesus’ Second Coming in the clouds of heaven together with His angels
(Matthew 24.30,31), when His chosen ones shall be caught up together in the clouds, beginning with the dead in Christ which will be then resurrected for the eternal life (1 Thessalonians 4.15-18; 1 Corinthians 15.51-54). This will be the first resurrection of those who were considered by God to be justified, namely through their faith in the Saviour Jesus Christ (Revelation 20.6).

The rich man was now in hell ... in torments.
About hell or ”kingdom of the dead” (in other words: the grave) the Bible asserts the following:
” ...
there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.” (Ecclesiastes 9.10)
The state of death is one of unconsciousness, without any perception.
In this parable the Lord Jesus says that the ones who die in a similar way like the unsympathetic rich man will suffer torments. This is a hint for the just punishment received by those who will be judged at the second resurrection, thousand years after the first resurrection
(Revelation 20.5,7). Each one of them will then receive the just punishment (Revelation 20.13; Romans 2.6) and realise what they have omitted; but most of all they will suffer mental torments, when the divine judge, the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5.10) will pronounce to them the sentence of eternal condemnation:
Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”
(Matthew 25.41)
”And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.”
(Matthew 25.46)

Here one speaks of the everlasting fire and the everlasting punishment.

The everlasting fire refers to the lake of fire
(Revelation 20.15) in which will be thrown the devil (or: Satan), his fallen angels (the demons) and the sinful people (all those unrepentants who have rejected Jesus’ saving offer). However, this fire will not burn endlessly, as one might think, but all those who will then receive the final punishment will be destroyed by fire and thus die forever and ever.

The everlasting punishment expresses the torments caused by the missing out on the eternity, in contrast to the joy of eternal life, received as a gift by the ones who became justified through the blood of the Lamb
(Romans 6.23).
The general belief about a hell of eternal tortures (where the adverb ”eternal” is understood in terms of duration) is not biblical, as after the Last Judgement and the extermination of the impenitent people, of the realm of the dead and of death itself every form of evil will end.
Then God will make all things new
(Revelation 21.5), a new earth and new heaven where suffering, pain or torments will no longer exist:
1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21.1,4)

This parable brings into attention the particular importance of becoming aware of the sinful condition of mankind since the Fall of the first two human beings, and closely related of the plan of man’s salvation (biblical: redemption), established by the Lord God, through the faith in the sacrifice of the Son Jesus Christ.
As He lived as human on earth, the obedience to Moses and the Prophets were a part of the Word of God. Later on, the New Testament completed and revealed the meaning of every thing; the understanding begins with reading and study:
3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” (Revelation 1.3)
18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3.18)

God, who quickeneth all things” (1 Timothy 6.13), ”Who only hath immortality(1 Timothy 6.16) will giveTo them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life(Romans 2.7).
3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.
5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3.3-7)
9The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3.9)
” Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
(2 Peter 3.13)

That which constitutes an obstacle in the way of the faith in His promise is pride, arrogance, trust only on its own abilities, merits and theories, as well as the spirit of judgment towards te others.
At the time of the Lord Jesus there was a group of people from the exquisite social class of Israel, respectable intellectual people who represented the priesthood (for which reason the high priest was elected from their ranks): the Sadducees.
By their purely rational thinking, based solely on the observance of certain riuals, they could not cross the natural perception of the visible reality. With an unshakeable certainty they appealed to Jesus by asking from Him explanations on a question regarding life and death:

18 Then come unto him the Sadducees, which say there is no resurrection; and they asked him, saying,
19 Master, Moses wrote unto us, If a man's brother die, and leave his wife behind him, and leave no children, that his brother should take his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.
20 Now there were seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and dying left no seed.
21 And the second took her, and died, neither left he any seed: and the third likewise.
22 And the seven had her, and left no seed: last of all the woman died also.
23 In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? for the seven had her to wife.
24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God?
25 For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.
26 And as touching the dead, that they rise: have ye not read in the book of Moses, how in the bush God spake unto him, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob?
27 He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.” (Mark 12.18-27)

As the fundamentel belief of the Sadducees was restricted to the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible, also called ”the books of Moses”), they appealed to Jesus with a captious question regarding one of the rules of life mentioned there (see
Deuteronomy 25.5).
Jesus answered them also with a question: Do ye not ... err?
This was an indication which cast doubt on the certainty of their judgment.

The Sadducees neither understood the Scriptures nor the power of God.

In heaven and on the new earth there will be no marriage any more; this is a regulation of the relationship between man and woman in the circumstances of life in this world.
However, after the ressurection the people in Christ will live in the perfect Kingdom of God in which the worldly rules will be a thing of the past, as these will no longer be necessary; men and women will enjoy the same conditions in which now the angels share; but the unspeakable happyness will be when the Lord God Himself will dwell in the midst of them (see
Revelation 21.3); this will be a return to that wonderful close relationship that has been until the Fall of Man (see Genesis 3.8).

Then Jesus quotes them a verse from the Pentateuch in which God addresses Himself to Moses, as His voice resonates from a burning bush:
I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”
(Exodus 3.6)
At that time the three Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were already long dead.
God however makes Himself known as their God, as if they were still alive.

Why does Jesus conclude that ”God is not the one of the dead, but the God of the living”?
Because, by speaking to the Sadducees who did not believe in the resurrection, He affirmed also on this occasion the great truth that death is not the end of the human existence; after it follows one more big event: the ressurection.
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob who during their lives have become true men of God, will be raised up through the power of God at the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven (see
1 Thessalonians 4.16,17) and will then rejoice over the invaluable gift of eternal life, over an existence which will have no end.
Jesus’ concluding words are the conclusion of the first words of His answer, namely:
Ye therefore do greatly err”.

The apostle Paul also refers to people just like the Sadducees, of which he says: ”their minds were blinded.”
(2 Corinthians 3.14) Not because they lack intelligence, but because ”even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.” (2 Corinthians 3.15)
” ... for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament.” Why?
The answer is: ”... vail is done away in Christ”
(2 Corinthians 3.14), meaning that this could be done away only as soon as man returns to the Lord (see 2 Corinthians 3.16), thus gaining a broad understanding of the whole Scripture.
3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:
4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4.3,4)


When he was talking about the difficulties regarding the announcing of the Gospel, the apostle Paul said also the following:

But we have this treasure [the Gospel = the good news of the salvation in Christ] in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”
(2 Corinthians 4.7)

What would Paul like to express with the ”earthen vessels”?
A similar expression we find also in the following passage from the Book of Job:

17 Shall mortal man be more just than God? shall a man be more pure than his maker?
18 Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly:
19 How much less in them that dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, which are crushed before the moth?
20 They are destroyed from morning to evening: they perish for ever without any regarding it.
21 Doth not their excellency which is in them go away? they die, even without wisdom.” (Job 4.17-21)

Thus earthen vessels or houses of clay are other terms for the human body, formed by God of the dust of the ground (see
Genesis 2.7).
These verses express the transience of life, that as soon as its ”excellency” goes away, it is forever passed.
With full assurance and joy the apostle Paul exclaimed later on:
14 Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.” (2 Corinthians 4.14)

Full of confidence in the Lord’s promise, Paul reflects upon the current existence, but especially upon the future one:

1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven.” (2 Corinthians 5.1,2)


Here also, the earthly tabernacle stands for the imperfect body while living in the transient ”earthly house” of this mortal existence.
Paul knows that after death the man in Christ will partake of an eternal ”house” in which he will ”dwell” for ever. The perishable body will thus be clothed upon with a perfect and immortal body.

3 If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked.
4 For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” (2 Corinthians 5.3,4)

Being ”unclothed” of this mortal tabernalcle or body symbolises the decease or the death of man, whereas being ”clothed upon” refers to the receiving of an immortal body at the return of the Lord Jesus Christ in the clouds of heaven (see
1 Corinthians 15.51-55; 1 Thessalonians 4.15-17).
The apostle Paul used the same symbolism when he turned to the believers with the suggestion to make their calling and election in the knowledge of the Lord sure; he assured them that ”
10 for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;
14 Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me.
15 Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.” (2 Peter 1.10,13-15)


At the time when he wrote all these, Paul expressed the profound desire that this great event of the Lord’s return shall happen during his life.
He did not want to die (”not for that we would be unclothed”), but to be a partaker of the transformation of the body and the receipt of immortality still during his life.
The return of the Lord did not happen during Paul’s life. This great event will take place at a time known only to God:
6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body [live in this world], we are absent from the Lord [that is: we have not yet arrived ”at home” to God]:
7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5.6,7)
What is faith? ” ... faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen.” (Hebrews 11.1)

Paul thinks of the moment when he will leave this mortal body and will be at home in the eternal kingdom of God:
8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present [living in the mortal body] or absent [living in an immortal body], we may be accepted of him.” (2 Corinthians 5.8,9)
But whether the desired event will happen or not during this life, we must live a life that is pleasing to God, knowing that ”we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
(2 Corinthians 5.10)
When will be the judgment? Just after man dies? No. Jesus says:
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (Revelation 22.12)
The judgement will take place after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ
(1 Tessalonians 4.16,17), ”when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.” (John 5.25)
4 ... and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” (Revelation 20.4-6)

The ones who will have part in the first resurrection are those of whom Jesus says:
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.(John 5.24)
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” (John 5.28,29)

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25.46) (see Matthew 25.31-46)
The everlasting punishment is not an eternal punishment, but the opposite of everlasting life.
It is the absence for ever of every form of life, so that ”whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
(Revelation 20.15) (see Revelation 20.11-15)
The lake of fire ... is the second death”
(Revelation 20.14) from which there is no more ressurection. This is practically the eternal lostness. The Lord Jesus has said with all clarity:
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3.16-18)


The faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, moved one of the two malefactors who were hanged by the romans on the right and on the left of Jesus, to express the following wish:

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23.42,43)


It was known to this man that there will be a day on which the Lord shall come again in His glory.
Therefore he begs Jesus that on that day He might also remember him.
From Jesus’ answer it seems as though the salvation of that man would take place on that very day.

The word translated here with ”paradise” comes from te Greek word ”paradeisos”; it has the meaning of a place in which the redeemed ones will enjoy together with the Lord God, namely for eternity (”... and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.”)
(Revelation 21.3)
In a similar way, Adam and Eve have lived until the Fall of Man in the Garden of Eden and God was in their midst (”And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day ...”). (Genesis 3.8)
That is why Jesus Christ says: ... shalt thou be with me in paradise.
The promise made to the malefactor that he will be today with Him in paradise would conclude that they will come on that day into paradise. On that day Jesus died, on the third day He is risen and was met then by Mary Magdalene:
15 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.
16 Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.” (John 20.15-17)

Thus He explained that He has not yet ascended to His Father. Even more:
3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.” (Acts 1.3)
Only after forty days ”while they beheld, he was taken up”. (Acts 1.9)
This confirms that Jesus has not ascended to heaven on the day He died, but only after forty days.
As he reported of an own experience, the apostle Paul said:

2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
4 How that he was caught up into paradise
[Greek: paradeisos], and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.” (2 Corinthians 12.2-4)  
Paul got to see ” ... Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
(1 Corinthians 2.9)
These are references to the same paradeisos that Jesus promises to the one who was crucified with him.
But just as on the day when He died Jesus did not ascend into heaven, also the malefactor could not have got there on that day.
How is then this contradiction to be explained?
This cannot lead us also to the conclusion that Jesus merely comforted the malefactor, thus uttering untruthful words. This is certainly excluded, as Jesus is ” ... the way,
the truth [in which there is no lie], and the life ...” (John 14.6)
The explanation of this apparent contradiction could be found by examining the translation of the original. The original Greek is the following:

Amen soi lego semeron met emu ese en to paradeiso.”
(Luke 23.43)

The translation into the English language is the following:

Verily [amen] unto thee [soi] I say [lego] To day [semeron] with [met] me [emu] shalt thou be [ese] in [en] paradise [to paradeiso]”.

„Wahrlich [amen] dir [soi] ich sage [lego] heute [semeron] mit [met] mir [emu] wirst du sein [ese] im [en] Paradies [to paradeiso]”
.

The English verse is thus the following:
”Verily unto thee I say To day with me shalt thou be in paradise”.

It should be known that the original script did not have spaces between words and there were also no punctuation marks (commas, dots, colons, question marks or exclamation marks).

In what sense is used the word ”today”?
Jesus assured that man that the promise of the salvation and of the eternal life in His kingdom is made to him today. Through the use of a comma the answer of the Lord Jesus will be as follows:
Verily unto thee I say To day, with me shalt thou be in paradise”.
When will he be with Him in paradise? The answer is given even from the redeemed ”malefactor” himself: ”when thou comest into thy kingdom.
When will this happen?
After Jesus ascended into heaven and the disciples were still gazing after Him ”
10 ... behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts 1.10,11)
Jesus Christ will come back from above, from heaven, just as He promised.
He spoke about this powerful event which concerns us all:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24.30,31)

The Return of the Lord Jesus is also described in Matthew 13.47-52.
The apostle Paul reports from this event:
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4.13-17)
Similar to all the ones who are asleep in Christ, the crucified malefactor shall also rise at the Return of the Lord and from then on shall ever be with the Lord.

The exact time of the coming of the Lord is not known. Jesus says:

36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24.36-39)


The analogy to the days of Noe is not made accidentally.
In those days ”
5 ... GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.
7 And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.
8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. (Genesis 6.5-8)
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. (Genesis 6.13,14)
17
And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.
18 But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons' wives with thee. (Genesis 6.17,18)
22
All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.” (Genesis 7.22,23)


Did the people who lived in those days have the opportunity of being saved from the devastating waters of the Flood?
Yes. They have had this chance for 120 years (see
Genesis 6.3), during which time Noah, this ”preacher of righteousness” (2 Peter 2.5), built a ship on dry land for the purpose of salvation from the coming Flood, as God instructed him. But they did not trust Noah, they ignored him and each of them went their ways further on.

What connection is there between what happened then and the present days? Between Noah’s announcement and the proclamation of the Gospel? Between the chance of salvation of those people who perished at that time and our salvation?

The common denominator is the same that always inspired the prophets of all times to predict in the name of God (see
2 Peter 1.21):
The Spirit of Christ which was in them”. (1 Peter 1.11)

When once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing”
(1 Peter 3.20), the Spirit of Christ [through the prophet Noah] went there and ”preached unto the spirits [i.e. the people] in prison [it is about - in the figurative sense - the prison of sin, see Isaiah 42.7; 61.1; Luke 4.18; 2 Timothy 2.26], which sometime [in former times] were disobedient”. (1 Peter 3.19,20)

Yet they preferred to live in disobedience and sin (see
2 Peter 2.6) so that eventually ”few, that is, eight souls [people] were saved by water.” (1 Peter 3.20)
God ”spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a
preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” (2 Peter 2.5)
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished.”
(2 Peter 2.9)
The unjust in the days of Noah who drowned in the waters of the Flood will be awakened to life at the time of the second resurrection from the dead to be judged and to suffer as punishment the second death, namely the eternal lostness.

The people who have not repent during their lives, by having received and accepted Christ as their Saviour, will never have this opportunity again.
The death of man marks the end of all opportunities that one has had in his life until then to turn back to the Lord.
The inspired word says quite clearly that ”it is appointed unto men
once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9.27)
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Corinthians 5.10)

One of the reasons why the Lord has not returned after more than 2000 years, is that ”the Lord
is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3.9)
The conclusion is that all those who will not repent, will get lost (see John 3.16).
But to all who expect his coming He will give the redemption at His Second Coming (see
Hebrews 9.28).

Whereby the world that then was [in the time of Noah], being overflowed with water, perished.” (see
2 Peter 3.6)
What does the Scripture say about the world of today? Will this also perish?
Yes. The Lord Himself makes the analogy with those times when the world came to an end, drowned in the water floods.

37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matthew 24.37-39)


The world will not perish any more by the waters of a flood (see
Genesis 9.8-17).
10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” (2 Peter 3.10)
This will occur ”7 ... when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come ... in that day.” (2 Thessalonians 1.7-10)

How can then man escape the future punishment?
Answer: through the obedience towards the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ ”
16 ... for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth ...
17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1.16,17)

As long as mankind, namely every single person, is content with the natural state of sin and does not want to repent this is certainly heading straight into perdition.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” (Romans 1.18)
In the heart of man there is constantly a conflict between good and evil, between the good intentions and the sinful tendencies.
We will never be able to overcome the evil by our own strengths.
This struggle is described by the apostle Paul in
Romans 7.14-25. The deliverance from sin could be received solely and exclusively from God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

What is the factor that will convince us to finally stop ”feeding” the works of the flesh (see
Galatians 5.19-21)?
The answer to this question we receive so beautifully expressed in the following verse:
4 ... despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (Romans 2.4)

For the indifferent ones it is written:
5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds.” (Romans 2.5,6)

Hereafter there are presented two groups of people: the ones who have folowed God’s call to repentance and then the indifferent ones, also being mentioned the effects of the respective decisions:
7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil ...
10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good ...” (Romans 2.7-10)

Hereafter we find some invaluable suggestions, intended as a guideline for the man in Christ – born anew and from then on with a character according to the will of God (see 1 Thessalonians 4.3-9):

1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.
12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.
15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in on
e body; and be ye thankful.
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom ...” (Colossians 3.1-16)

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13.13,14)


Repentance means return of the fallen or sinful man from the wordly life which inevitably leads to the works of the flesh (see
Galatians 5.19-21) to the bringing of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5.22-25) in the daily life.
The living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein (see Acts 14.15) commands the man whom He has created to repent. His Son Jesus Christ became man on earth and gave His life so that man could be saved from the power of sin and death.
Nowadays everyone has the opportunity to come to know the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Who is uninterested has no excuse. The Scripture reveals to us clearly the way to be followed in life:
30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:
31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.” (Acts 17.30,31)

The salvation of man from the eternal lostness is conditioned by his repentance.
Repentance is the basis of the newborn man (born of the Spirit or ”from above”), whose life will be henceforth characterized by two solid ”pillars” of the ”new ark”: the faith in his Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the obedience to His will and His commandments.

Life did not occur by accident and is not the result of an impersonal evolutionary process.
The apostle John reveals right at the start of his Gospel invaluable truths:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
 
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
 
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.” (John 1.1-4; 10-15)

According to this, the life of man exists only in Jesus, so that the bringing back to life of them which are asleep will be made only when the call of his voice will sound:
25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.
26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself.” (John 5.25,26)

He who only hath immortality is God alone, the only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords (see 1 Timothy 6.15,16).
At His return in the clouds of heaven He will give eternal life to all those who believed in Him.
Man does not have natural immortality, but this is conditioned by the faith in Jesus Christ.
The ones who trust the pagan doctrine about the immortality of the soul ignore and disregard the promise of the Lord Jesus Christ that He will come back and resurrect all them who believed in Him, giving them then immortal life.
The natural immortality of a ”soul” that is supposed to be conscious, being ”liberated” from the mortal body, is incompatible with the entire teaching of the Bible, the Word of the living God, according to which the only One to have the immortality in Himself is God alone. The precondition of being assured of eternal life is to believe in God the Son, Jesus Christ, as well as to fulfill His will by bringing fruit with patience (see the parable of the sower,
Luke 8.15). The man in Christ does not pursue in an egoistic way to obtain salvation through his faith, but believes from the heart and has a sincere love for his Creator, Redeemer and Saviour.

Jesus is the One who gives life, as He, who existed before the creation of the universe, is the source of life (see
John 1.1,3; 17.5; Colossians 1.16,17; 1 Corinthians 8.6). He says:

I am
the resurrection, and the life”. (John 11.25)

As Jesus was together with some of His disciples on a high mountain ”behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said,
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” (Matthew 17.5)
It was the witness of God the Father about His Son (see
1 John 5.9).
10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
11 And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son
.” (1 Johannes 5.10,11)

There is no present or eternal life that is outside of the Lord Jesus Christ:

9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.” (1 John 4.9)

We give you thanks, just and loving Father, for the love that you have for us and that you have revealed to us the secret of the source of life of all beings and of the whole of Your Creation.
Give us, Lord, the strength to free ourselves from the influence of sin (of disobedience), making us, by Your grace, dignified citizens of the new earth.
Eternal praise and glory to the Father and his Son, now and for all eternity. Amen.

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7. The Creation of God



How came the universe into being?

Is it the result of mere coincidence?
Let’s say that the universe once appeared from a supposed preexisting chaos. Would there soon have started a gradual development of forms of life, beginning with the simplest up to the more complex forms?
Does it seem plausible to think that from a general chaos matter began to ”self-organize itself”?

Could man be the result of such an evolutive process?

What will the future bring us? Will the human race continue to exist or sometime disappear, just as it is assumed that this appeared, together with the surrounding nature?
Will the universe also disappear, as if it had never existed?
Should thus life have a mere ephemeral existence and has it arisen from an absolute coincidence?

Certainly not!
Nothing organizes by itself, quite on the contrary ...
Everything existing has its origin in an intelligent designer who made all things and whom we know under the name of ... God.  

Even the first verse of the Bible clarifies the question:

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1.1)

The universe has not emerged by coincidence, but it was created.  
By whom? By the One who bears the name of God. The name of the original text is the Hebrew word Elohim, where the suffix ”him” refers to a plurality of more than two persons.

The first book of the Bible is named ”Genesis” which originates from the Greek word Genesis, meaning ”origin”.
The name of the Hebrew text is bereschit and signifies ”in the beginning”.
The universe and the existence of life has a commencement and everything was created by the One who has always existed:

2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” (Psalm 90.2)


The account on His creation is revealed in the first chapter of the book Genesis:

1 In the beginning God [Elohim] created the heaven and the earth.
2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.
9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so.
12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.
14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.
20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven.
21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.
23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day.
24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so.
25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so.
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”

(Genesis 1.1-31)

The creation is by its perfection undoubtedly God’s masterpiece.

He created the universe (the heaven, the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars) and all existence in six days of twenty four hours. This results from the fact that each of the six cycles of creation end with the words:
And the evening and the morning were the ... day.” (Genesis 1.5,8,13,19,23,31)

It should be noticed that the heaven and the earth are of great importance for God’s creation.

That which was from the first, were the waters
(verse 2).
God made every thing by means of the water:

5 ... that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water.” (2 Peter 3.5)

Then He divided the waters through a firmament
(verse 6).
The word firmament is translated from the original Hebrew word ”raqia”, meaning ”vault, extension, widening, width”.
This firmament, from now on called Heaven
(verse 8), divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament (verse 7).

The verb ”raqa” which underlies the word ”raqia” means „to extend, to enlarge, to widen by hammer”.
The firmament (or: vaulted sky, vault of heaven) is a real, transparent layer, widespread and hard in consistency:

18 Hast thou with him spread out the sky, which is strong, and as a molten looking glass?” (Job 37.18)

24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself” (Isaiah 44.24)

22 It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.” (Isaiah 40.22)

The Creator is very close to His creation: He sits upon the circle of the earth.
The word ”circle” from the sentence above is the translation of the original Hebrew ”hug”, meaning ”circle” or ”disc”. The word ”hug” means, as a verb, ”to draw a circle”.
It follows that the Earth has a round, circular form just like of a flat disc and is in no way spherical.

Other biblical verses refer to spherical forms, without association with the form of the earth, such as for instance:

17 Behold, the LORD will carry thee away with a mighty captivity, and will surely cover thee.
18 He will surely violently turn and toss thee like a ball into a large country: there shalt thou die, and there the chariots of thy glory shall be the shame of thy lord's house.” (Isaiah 22.17,18)

The word ”ball” is here the translation of the original Hebrew ”dur”.

The earth is therefore a closed system, flat and motionless. It is closed, as it has above a vault (or: heaven), similar to a dome, that leans against the margin of the circumference of the Earth.
This transparent vault separates the Earth's atmosphere from the waters above this firmament.
For this reason, then when there are no clouds, the sky has a blue colour:

1 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the LORD from the heavens: praise him in the heights.
4 Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.” (Psalm 148.1,4)

Then God gathered the waters under the heaven together on one place, so that the dry land appeared which He called Earth. The gathering together of the waters He called Seas
(verses 9 and 10).
He provided the Earth with plants, grass and herbs yielding seed, trees yielding fruit, after his kind
(verses 11 und 12).

Then God made two lights that He placed in the firmament of the heaven: the greater light (the sun) and the lesser light (the moon)
(verses 14-18).
These were created with the aim ”to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” and of being ”lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth”.
As God named them ”lights”, it means that these have own light.

Due to the fact that He set them in the firmament of the heaven it can be concluded that these lights have smaller dimensions that the one of the earth.
This fact applies also to the large number of stars
(verse 16).

These lights circle above the Earth:

5 The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose.” (Ecclesiastes 1.5)

4 ... he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” (Psalms 19.4-6)


19 He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.
20 Thou makest darkness, and it is night: wherein all the beasts of the forest do creep forth.
21 The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God.
22 The sun ariseth, they gather themselves together, and lay them down in their dens.” (Psalms 104.19-22)


The Bible relates about a day when, given the background of certain events, God brought to stop the motion of the sun and of the moon:

12 Then spake Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.
13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.
14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the LORD hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the LORD fought for Israel.” (Joshua 10.12-14)

The Earth with its vault of heavens are stationary and are established on foundations:

5 [God] who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.” (Psalms 104.5)

8 ... for the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and he hath set the world upon them.” (1 Samuel 2.8)

10 He hath compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end.
11 The pillars of heaven tremble and are astonished at his reproof.” (Job 26.10,11)


The whole, consisting of the earth, the vault of heavens and of the foundations [pillars], is suspended over nothing:

7 He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.” (Job 26.7)

Then God called to life the beings of the waters and the birds which may fly above the Earth, in the firmament of heaven (verses 20-22).
He made also all the creatures that may live on the surface of the Earth
(verses 24,25).

God crowned the creation by calling into existence one other being: the man (or: the human being).
By the creation of man God wanted to have in His creation such beings who would think and feel similar to Him. Therefore, He created man ”in his own image” and after his likeness
(verses 26,27).

What a great privilege for each of us to have been created as true godly creatures!
This is why we should praise our Creator and heavenly Father by a life which is worthy of the honour that has been made to us. Let us try to gain David’s deep understanding as he said:

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” (Psalms 139.14)

God created man in his own image; ”male and female created he them.
Since then the human beings began to multiply on the face of the earth, during the thousands of years till nowadays.
Should God have had solely the role of the Creator of the first two people and then have withdrawn himself in relative passivity behind the scenes of the history of mankind?
Absolutely not! He is the One who is always active in the creation of every human being, even before this comes into the world. The Psalmist reflects this workmanship of God in a fascinating passage:

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.” (Psalms 139.13-16)

Every human being who came into the world does not live through his own strength, but by the will of his Creator:

10 In whose hand [of the LORD] is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.”

24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven;
25 To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure.
26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder:
27 Then did he see it
[the wisdom], and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out.
28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Hiob 28.24-28)

The chapter 38 of the book Job is an impressive speech of God, where He speaks of His Work of creation - emerged through His will and His wisdom - , as well as of the care with which He makes possible each moment of life:

11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” (Revelation 4.11)

The Lord appealed then practically to the Patriarch Job and the words are of the Creator himself. Everything said here by the Lord is a further indubitable evidence about the way of how the universe and the rules of heaven came into existence as well as the Earth, the sea, the nature and its phenomena, the light, the darkness, the wind, the clouds, the lightning and thunder, the hail, the rain, the dew and so on, as well as the laws that govern all these.
Hereafter some of these verses:

4 Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
16 Hast thou entered into the springs of the sea? or hast thou walked in the search of the depth?
18 Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
19 Where is the way where light dwelleth? and as for darkness, where is the place thereof,
22 Hast thou entered into the treasures of the snow? or hast thou seen the treasures of the hail,
24 By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
25 Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
28 Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?
34 Canst thou lift up thy voice to the clouds, that abundance of waters may cover thee?
35 Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?”
(Job 38.4-6,16,18,19, 22, 24, 25, 28, 31-35)

The speech of the Lord continues in the next chapters:

1 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?
2 Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?
19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?
26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?
27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?”
(Job 39.1, 2, 19, 26, 27)

1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.”
(Job 40.1,2, 15, 16)


It is clear from the above said statements that God is at work at every moment.
Nothing is happening by chance or by itself, but everything takes place by the power of God.

The words of the Lord led Job to humble himself and to feel remorse that he has doubted the omnipotence of God, the One who has all might and power over His creation:

1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
2 I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee.
3 ... therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
5 I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42.1-3,5,6)

Genesis 2 announces the accomplishment of Creation and tells at the same time about the seventh day that signifies the completion of the divine work.
It is a special day which God blessed and sanctified it.
God ”rested” on the seventh day, immediately after the completion of His creative work:

1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.
2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” (Genesis 2.1-3)

Man is called to honour this day of rest dedicated to God.
The seventh day (Saturday) is a day of remembrance of the creation of the heavens, the Earth, the sea and of all living beings (see
Exodus 20.8-11).

Genesis Chapter 2 includes a second creation account, with several details on the origin of man:

4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
8 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.
9 And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
.................................
15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.
16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
18 And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.
19 And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof.
20 And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.
21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” (Genesis 2.4-23)

The creation of God was intented to continue to exist eternally. It was not meant to have a temporary character, but an eternal one.
Man, created as an eternal being and more important than all other beings of the earth, had to live in full confidence and obedience towards his Creator who wanted only the best for him.
There was, however, the danger that man could lose his immortality, namely by disobedience to his Lord. God had put him to a test, not before, prior to this, having drawn his attention to this potential hazard, thus having warned against it.
From the verse 17 it appears that man was created as an IMMORTAL being:

17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

God has not created man with an unchangeable fate, but with a free will. Man has an own freedom of choice, so that the act of decision belongs solely to him. God says:

19 ... I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live.” (Deuteronomy 30.19)

Further on, we read about the false decision of man who let himself be deceived by a being who was in conflict with God. By doing this, man has disregarded the divine counsel:

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.
13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life.” (Genesis 3.1-14)


The serpent has been the medium used by the tempter called the Devil or Satan.
”Devil” comes of the Greek word diabolos which means ”calumniator”, ”confuser” or ”the one who presents a distorted view of the facts”.
”Satan” comes from the Hebrew satan, meaning ”enemy”, ”opponent”, ”adversary”.

He is ”
9 ... the great dragon ..., that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world ... ” (Revelation 12.9)

And the eyes of them both were opened ...”. They suddenly realized that they have been deceived.

In His great love and His infinite mercy the Lord God gave the man, who now became MORTAL, one more chance. He created the basis for the path of salvation by laying down the conditions so that man could become again an eternal being:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3.15)

The Saviour or the Rescuer Jesus Christ was made man, by birth from a virgin. The reason for this is that only the human being had to expiate his own guilt, through a life in full obedience towards God.
The requirements of an expiating sacrifice had to be fulfilled, thus laying the foundation for the reconciliation with God the Father. For this purpose, the Holy God decided that by becoming man He could make himself the atonement for the sins of all mankind – this means: for each of us -, through a perfect human life.

The Devil or Satan, created originally as a guarding Cherub, was ”full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty” (Ezekiel 28.12), but his heart was lifted up, desiring to become as God himself:

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (Ezekiel 28.14,15)

12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14.12-14)

He didn’t want to live anymore in obedience to the One who has created everything very well, but desired to be himself ”the greatest”.
This pride and the desire to put himself in God's place lead him to fall.
Even in the state of a fallen being he had no regrets, but had deceived a third of the angels of Heaven, thus leading them to their destruction:

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth ....” (Revelation 12.3,4)

The ”stars of heaven” are the angels who, along with Satan, have been cast out of the realm of heaven:

7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job. 38.7)

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12.7-9)


Once thrown down to the Earth, Satan continued as before his destructive work by deceiving the human beings and making them move away on and on from their Creator.

We are all mortal, as descendants of the first two humans who have been created as immortals, BUT became mortal by disobedience to the Creator.
After having deceived also the humans, the evil one saw himself already like the secure winner. He thought that the fallen man would now no longer have a chance of regaining his original state when death, diseases, pain and grief did not exist for him.

But ... Satan was completely taken by surprise by God’s decision to accomplish himself the work of redemption for the humankind, namely in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ.
This decision has been for the evil one a totally unexpected blow he would never have thought of!

On the assumption of still having chances, Satan continued the struggle against God.
He tried to kill the newborn Jesus (see
Matthew 2.13-18) and later on he tempted Him in the wilderness with all that which he deceives the people still today (see Matthew 4.1-11).

On His way to the crucifixion Jesus was tortured and tormented: He was spat in his face (see
Matthew 26.67; 27.30), He was beaten with the fists (see Matthew 26.67), slapped (see Matthew 26.67), hit by a whip (see Matthew 27.26), mocked (see Matthew 27.29;39-44), smoted on the head with a reed (see Matthew 27.30), He was ”despised and rejected of men” (Isaiah 53.3).
But ”he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth” (I
saiah 53.7) and did not answer to provocations. He lived a life without sin (see 2 Corinthians 5.21; 1 Petrus 2.22), in full obedience to the Father.

When He exclaimed on the cross: ”It is finished”
(John 19.30) the work of salvation from sin was completed once and for all.
Satan was then defeated and became lost forever. All those who think that they live according to their own free will, but are in fact obedient to him, shall also be lost for ever.

The true and only real God is the One who created the heavens and the Earth and all beings, and in the end the human being.
He is the heavenly Father and the ones who put their trust in His Son Jesus Christ, who gave His life on the cross for our sins, will be called sons and daughters of God:

12 But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1.12)

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3.26)

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3.1,2)


When He will return (see
1 Thessalonians 4.13-17; 1 Corinthians 15.51,52) we shall ”be like him”:
This means that we shall receive an immortal body, but even more important is that we will be like Him in perfection and character.

Man must ”be born again” by the understanding of the deadly sin condition in which he finds himself. He must repent, confess his sins before God, ask Him for forgiveness and then accept God’s salvation offer through the death and resurrection of His Son Jesus Christ.
This ”new” man should now beware of that which made the first humans fall: lust.
It is about the negative, destructive, deceptive, degrading lust that finally leads to perdition.
For this very reason ”are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world
through lust.” (2 Peter 1.4)

The following clarifying verses serve the purpose of opening up someone´s understanding and to remind of the way of living to which we are called as ”new born” people, in this time, when we find ourselves in the midst of real harmful influences of the world:

13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Galatians 5.13-25)

Has Jesus Christ played a role in the Creation, in the origin of the universe and man?

Yes. The Gospel according to John reveals to us astonishing truths:

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.” (John 1.1-4;9;14,15)


There are three aspects of particular importance concerning the proper understanding of the way in which the entire creation was brought into being:

- The Son of God (the Word) has existed from the beginning, together with God the Father, before the Creation was brought into existence. ”Who [the Son] is
the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature.” (Colossians 1.15)
- God made everything through His Son, the One who was to become the Saviour (or Rescuer) of the world, bearing the name Jesus Christ.
- The Son is the One who gives life to every man who comes into the world.

Now we understand why the original word Elohim (translated as ”God”) from
Genesis 1.1 stands for three persons in one God. These are: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

The Letter to the Colossians reveals us other important aspects regarding the sense of the creation:

16 For by him [the Son] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1.16,17)

By him all things consist”:
The entire creation is based on specific laws.
These laws are being guided, coordinated and sustained by Him.
No being lives on its own, but through His will who enables our existence.
Thanks to the breath of life received from God every man is from God and His Spirit is in us, ”
for in him we live, and move, and have our being ...” (Acts 17.28)
When we die God takes back the life which He has given us (see also Luke 12.20).

So Jesus Christ is the foundation of the entire existence. The visible and invisible were created ... for him.

A special status in the midst of the creation has the human being who has been created for him.
Man was to be in an intimate relationship with his Creator, among the wonderful nature and all other created beings.
Man has for his Creator an inestimable value. God loved him so much that after the Fall of Man God’s Son descended from the throne of His glory, being born on Earth as man in order to give his life as ransom for the human being.
The price of this redemption is unpayable: It is ”the precious blood of Christ”.
(1 Peter 1.19)
Thus man is the most precious and most highly paid being in the universe.

In one of his Psalms David asked himself following question:

3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8.3,4)


There are many who compare the vast reaches of the universe with the infinitely smaller man, leading them to conclude that man is too tiny and insignificant before an Almighty God.
In view of this wrong way of thinking the Lord Jesus Christ himself gives a clarifying reply regarding the value that man represents for his Creator:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16)

Everyone who has understood that the only thing that could save him from being lost forever is the faith in the Son of God will be delivered from sin. He does no longer belong to himself, but to the One who has ransomed him with a price (see
1 Corinthians 6.19,20). That is why the inspired Word says as follows:
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.
9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.” (Romans 14.7-9)


15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5.15)

God says to us: I have paid for the sin that lead to death (see
Romans 5.12) which had made man a mortal being. I am offering you now (see Acts 17.30) the chance to become immortal again, through the faith in My Son Jesus Christ.

None but in this way we can become immortal again.

The ones who believe with all their hearts in Jesus Christ will be born again (they are ”in Christ”) and as they have been redeemed by Him they live without negative passions and wordly desires or lusts:

24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Galatians 5.24)

17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5.17)

The Lord Jesus Christ will be seen by every man at His return in the clouds of heaven, coming from His sanctuary which is in the third heaven (see
Psalm 150.1; 2 Corinthians 12.2).

Then the sky (or: the firmament, vaulted sky or vault of heaven) will open and everyone will be able to see beyond the vault of the sky the Second Coming of the Lord:

14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together ...(Revelation 6.14) (see also Isaiah 34.4)

He will not set His foot on the Earth, but the redeemed ones will be brought to Him by the angels: ”we ... shall be caught up ...
in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air ...” (1 Thessalonians 4.17)
Knowing the course of these events we have thus also the certainty that we cannot be deceived by a possible false Jesus.

7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” (Revelation 1.7)

30 ... and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24.30,31) (
see also 1 Thessalonians 4.15-17)

The Lord Jesus will give us an immortal body (see
1 Corinthians 15.51-54) and we will eternally rejoice at His Creation, at the infinite variety of the plant and animal world, together with the heavenly angels.
But most of all, we will rejoice at the intimate relationship that we will have again with Him.
We will live eternally and have forever the peace of God which transcends all understanding (see
Philippians 4.7).

God will make a new Creation where ”there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it ...”
(Revelation 22.3)

1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21.1,3-5)


The prophecy made about 2000 years ago will then be fulfilled:

9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2.9) (see also: Isaiah 64.4)

When ”the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us … full of grace and truth”
(John 1.14), ”He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him [Jesus Christ], to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (John 1.10-12)

Even before the invaluable gift of life without death the greatest privilege that could be given to man by God is to receive, in the midst of the new Creation, also a new name: Child of God.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3.26)

People grow continually in all kinds of knowledge and learning.
But why, however strong science may grow or develop, man will never be able to create one single living cell in the laboratory?

The answer is: because this information of life is being and will always be held only by God.

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8. The Peace of the Lord



At some point during his lifetime man could suddenly find himself in the situation of being confronted with very painful and undesirable experiences.

They are those extreme life situations, far harder than the usual troubles and problems that although being demanding and painful, still remain within acceptable limits.
It is about those brutal blows of life which we have to be more prepared for.

These can be caused through accidents, through severe diseases, through difficult situations, occurred as a result of wars, by shocking events within families that coud lead to the worsening of the relations and even to the breakup of the relationships.
The most difficult situation is then the loss of the beloved life partner or of the children.

What could be done if life confronts us with the despair and the traumatic experiences which happen in times of such unfortunates?

There is in the Holy Scripture an account about a certain event that could open us a perspective, as a way out of the brutal blows of life:

23 And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.
26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.
27 But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!
(Matthew 8.23-27); see also: Mark 4.35-41; Luke 8.22-25

This event had taken place before His disciples understood that the man Jesus is actually the Son of God for whom everything was and is possible.

We all know that when we see ourselves confronted with an extreme life situation in which we could die there is an inevitable fear that arises.

As He found himself in the same situation, in the boat with His desperate disciples, fearing that they could die at any time, Jesus remains completely calm and even reproves them for their weak faith.

His question is: ”Why are ye fearful?

He teached them (and also He teaches us nowadays) that even in these adverse circumstances where one sees no more way out -Master, master, we perish
(Luke 8.24) - we should not let the fear control us.
One might think Jesus’ question may have merely been a word of encouragement for man who goes through difficult moments.

His question has also a further meaning. It comes from God Himself and regarding the state of fear the inspired Word of God says:

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1.7)

If God has not given us a spirit of fear, then this important information will necessarily have to lead to a re-evaluation of our lives. It is the joy, bringing peace to the soul, which gives us the certainty that fear or fright are not from God!
From Him come only: power, love and a sound mind.

But still ...: if God has not given us the spirit of fear, where has then fear its origin?

Fear appeared as a consequence of the sin committed by the first two people:

8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3.8-10)

Sin is a word that means ”disobedience to the Word of God” or in other words ”transgression of His Law” (see also
1 John 5.17; 3.4).

This means that fear arises as a result of the disobedience to God.

If he puts his trust in God and listens to Him by living according to His Word then fear has no more dominion over the believer.

Therefore, by the strengthening of faith fear will be rendered ineffective.

The Lord Jesus asked: ”Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?
It follows that there is a correlation between fear and the lack of faith. In
Luke 8.25 the question is as follows: ”Where is your faith?

It means that fear and faith exclude each other.
The antidote against fear is therefore THE FAITH.

Faith is ”
the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11.1)

Whatever happens, apart from the influences and the "opinion of the people", the believer will always have trust in the promises of the divine Word which will soon come true.
He is firmly convinced from the existence of the promised things written in God’s Word, although not yet seen at the present time:

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5.7)

It is certainly fairly difficult to remain calm when we find ourselves in a particularly difficult situation.
But with a personal lived faith we will be able to maintain the necessary composure, having peace in our hearts, even in the toughest situations of life.

The believer prays to the Only one who could help him: God the Creator.

He says to us:

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.6,7)


Just as at that time the Lord Jesus calmed the winds and the sea He could also give us the calmness and the peace when the tempest of distresses of life threatens to destroy us.

The birth of Jesus has been prophesied several hundred years ago, being then already revealed that He would be the „peace”:

2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
5 And this man shall be the peace ...” (Micah 5.2,5)

About 600 years before the Saviour’s birth the prophet Isaiah predicted as follows:

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever ...” (Isaiah 9.6,7)


The message of His birth on earth about 2000 years ago has been brought to humankind in the following way:

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2.14)

The Lord Jesus welcomed His disciples, saying: ”
Peace be unto you” (see John 20.19,21)
Thus God is the One who brings peace to men, as peace represents the nature and the definitional character trait of God.
He knows that man longs for the lost peace. When there is peace, all troubles and sufferings cannot destroy us.

Jesus Christ is still today the source of our peace. The conditions are now fulfilled so that anyone could enjoy His peace.

Before He ascended into heaven Jesus said:

20 ... and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28.20)

He is now in the third heaven, at the right hand of God.
Just before the torment and death of His faithful disciple Stephen the Lord has shown himself to him:

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.” (Acts 7.55,56)

Before His ascent to heaven Jesus announced that God the Father will send the Holy Ghost who will be in the world until the return of the Lord:

25 These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you.
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” (John 14.25,26)


Jesus said after that:

27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14.27)

It is here not about the worldly peace, known under its various aspects, such as ”peace be in the world, not war”; ”the prize for peace conferred on different personalities” and so on.
Jesus speaks about the peace that cannot come but from God, namely the inner peace of the heart received from Him, bringing calmness and healing, so that we shall not waver even in the most difficult circumstances of life.

But the peace of the Lord does not simply come after having taken cognisance of its existence. The only way in which one could receive this is through prayer.
Prayer is man’s form of addresing himself to his Creator by which he tells Him whatever is on his heart. God who hears the prayer (see
Matthew 6.6) will answer in His divine wisdom:

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.6,7)

The peace received from the Lord will be made a reality when we can no more despair, no matter what situation we are in: even if the health is weakened or if we suffer heavy blows or we will lose our beloved ones.
We are assured that in the first resurrection from the dead everything will be wonderful, then when our Lord Jesus Christ will come in the clouds of heaven (see
1 Thessalonians 4.13 – 17;1 Corinthians 15.52).
We know that on the new Earth there will be no more diseases, no pain and no more suffering or grief and death will no longer be, so that the tragic situation of having to suffer very much after our dear ones who have gone from us, will never be again (see
Revelation 21.4).
If we see ourselves confronted with such difficult times we should recall that the Lord will be soon with us in eternity.

Concerning the worries of heavy blows the inspired Word of God gives us a precious reassurance:

13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10.13)

This assurance was made at that time in the context of the possibility respectively the risk of the temptation to serve pagan idols.
But above all it is a comforting divine reassurance which has universal relevance, in the sense that God does not allow that we shall be tempted beyond the limit of the bearable.
And moreover, He has prepared also the appropriate means to get out of the respective probation period.

Our mind will be over and over impressed by the Person about whose then disciples being afraid wondered, were saying one to another: ”What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water,
and they obey him.” (Lukas 8.25)

He is the One who after His resurrection has said:

18 ... All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28.18)

Until His imminent return in the clouds of heaven our constant striving to the strengthening of faith, by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, must aim one only ultimate objective: The Peace of the Lord.

15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body ...” (Colossians 3.15)

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9. The Invisible Reality


It is in the nature of the human being to perceive the surrounding reality with the classic five senses with which he has been endowed.

Besides the tactile perception with the skin (sense of touch), the auditory perception with the ears (hearing), the olfactory perception with the nose (smell) and the gustatory perception with the tongue (taste), the one that provides most of the information about the reality which surrounds us is the Seeing (the visual perception with the eyes).

The Seeing is the one which confirms the external environment in which we live.
The reality perceived with our eyes is a self-evident certainty.

There are certainly also other perceptions, derived from these, also regarding the reality of the world in which we live.

For instance, there are the so-called extrasensory perceptions, such as: the telepathy (transmission of thoughts), the clairvoyance (the gift of prophecy) or the precognition (the ability to foresee events through dreams, premonitions etc.).

Regarding the Seeing, the Holy Scripture makes us aware of the fact that for the one who has put his confidence in God the obviousness of the reality perceived with the eyes does not have an exclusive character:

7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5.7)

The ”walking” or the living in this world is not based solely on what we see, but it happens above all through faith.

Faith is not a personal achievement, but it is the gift received by the believer from God, after having whole-heartedly accepted the divine offer of salvation from the natural state of sin:

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God(Ephesians 2.8)

The biblical definition of faith in itself presupposes an unshakeable confidence of the existence of realities that are unseen (yet):

1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11.1)

That what is not seen and is hoped for are, among other things, heavenly beings (angels) and the events that will be fulfilled in a future known only by God:

The One who created life as well as everything necessary for the existence of life, namely:

- The Earth (immovable and flat)
- The waters under the firmament: the seas, the oceans and the waters below them
- The firmament named Heaven
(Genesis 1.6-8) or the sky
- The waters above the firmament
(Psalm 148.1,4)
- The two great lights (the sun and the moon) in the firmament
(Genesis 1.14-18), that rotate above the Earth
- The stars that also rotate on fixed orbits above the Earth, with some exceptions (the star of the north, that does not move)

we cannot see, touch, palpate or smell.

God’s Creation, perceived with our classic five senses, is the one that undoubtedly certifies His existence:

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1.19,20)


Therefore, the Creation of God is seen and perceived with all our senses.
This is an objective reality.

There is, however, apart from this one, a reality that cannot be perceived with our classic senses, but taken note of only by means of the Word of God.
In the below verse - of major importance for the true comprehension of the circumstances in which we live – we are thus informed of the following:

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6.12)

This knowledge is revealed to us by God’s inspired Word in order to raise awareness and thus attain a deeper understanding on many questions, especially with regard to all that happens in our life.

In the interaction with other people it feels not seldom as though one would be engaged in a combat.

The ”flesh and blood” from the verse quoted above is a reference to ”people”.
According to this, we learn that we do not have to fight with the people or against them.

For instance, if someone does an injustice to us, provokes us, teases us, slanders us, gossips about us, etc., then we must become aware that we should not suffer because of that person. Equally whether a workmate, a neighbour or a close relative, this person does nothing other than to act in accordance with the thoughts, the judgement, the theories and those incitements induced by the spiritual forces of evil that rule in the world in which we all live.

This gives rise to the perfectly justified question: Isn’t God the One who rules this world?
The answer is this: God was, is and will always be the sovereign of His Creation.
However, since the Fall of Man all humankind is under the rule of the one for whom it has opted, obeying him since then: the evil one, called the Devil or Satan.

Many ask the question, ”why does God allow all the evil in the world?” or ”if God would exist, how can there be so much misery on this earth?”
The answer is the same: because not God rules the world, but at the helm of it is the Evil One who generates suffering, disaster, death, tears, pain and so on.

But how can we know for certain that not God, but that Satan rules over the world?

This is made clear in the Bible in the following passage:

1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
…………………
8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;
9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.
10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” (Matthew 4.1.8-10)


All the kingdoms of the world” belong to the Devil, therefore these are under his reign.
If these had belonged to Jesus Christ, then the Devil could not have offered them to Him.
Besides, Jesus Christ refers to the Devil as ”
the prince of this world” and specifies at the same time that he”hath nothing in me(John 14.30), which means that the Devil has nothing in common with Jesus Christ.

How did the Devil or Satan become the prince of this world?

This situation has its origin immediately after the Fall of Man when the first two people did not obey the Word of God, but have followed the temptation and the deception of the Evil one by listening to his ”suggestions”.
Since then sin came into the world, the reason for which God expelled the humans from the Garden of Eden:

22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Genesis 3.22-24)

This was not a punishment, but a measure designed to exclude sin so that the evil should not eternally continue to exist.

After He created him, ”
15 ... the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Genesis 2. 15)
The term of the ”keeping” leads us to assume the presence of a risk or menace which could endanger a certain state.
Thus, evil existed already in the world when God cast out Satan into the earth before the creation of man.

The Devil or Satan, who was originally a protecting cherub, ”full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty”
(Ezekiel 28.12), became of an arrogant spirit and wanted to put himself in God’s place:

14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (Ezekiel 28.14,15)


12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.” (Isaiah 14.12-14)

He wanted to show that he could lead the world better than God the Creator.
In this way he has succeeded to bring a third of the angels of heaven on his side:

3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth ...” (Revelation 12.3,4)


The ”stars of heaven” stand for the angels who followed Satan and who were with him driven out of Heaven.
Therefore, God decided to throw down to the earth the sinful and hostile angel (”Satan” comes from the Hebrew satan and means ”enemy”, ”opponent”) along with the fallen angels who became demons (evil spirits):

7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12.7-9)

Jesus said to His disciples: ”
18 ... I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (Luke 10.18)

Although God could have immediately destroyed this adversary created by Him, who became a haughtily enemy, always aiming to distort facts, He still did not do it. Why?
Because it would have given rise to a never ending distrust towards God, in the sense that Satan was yet in the right.
That is why He allowed the evil one to show the humans his own manner in which he intends to lead them ...

Since then and down to the present day Satan and his allies make their ”work“ in the world by bringing continuously destruction, death, disappointment, diseases, sorrow and much suffering.
All of these are the consequences of the ”virtues” promoted by the prince of the world in which we live: selfishness (egoism), overconfidence, anger, greed, envy, greed for money, arrogance, disobedience towards the parents, pride, seeking for prestige and gain, lie, fornication, adultery, and so forth (see
2 Timothy 3.1-5 and Romans 1.29-31).
All these ”values”, cultivated on a large scale, are in essence transgressions of God's Ten Commandments.

Although it is categorized as a minor sin, THE LIE is the one which lies at the basis of all the other ones. Through it came sin and with this death into the world:

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” (Romans 5.12)

The lie has been originally pronounced by Satan when he therefore made use of the serpent as a medium:

1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die.” (Genesis 3.1-4)


That is why he is the father of lies. At the time when He was on earth, in one of the disputes he had with the Pharisees who did not believe in His Word, the Lord Jesus Christ finally told them:

43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.
46 Which of you convinceth me of sin? And if I say the truth, why do ye not believe me?
47 He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.” (John 8.43-47)

It came so far that, apart from the ”common” lies, the lie is widely used to such an extent that this has become a means of manipulation and disinformation of the people, aiming to conceal the great biblical truths and in particular the truth about the existence of God and His Creation, namely:

- the true form of the Earth, circular and not at all spherical
(Isaiah 40.22)
- the fact that the Earth is static, is not moving and is placed on foundation pillars (Psalm 104.5; 93.1; 96.10; 1 Chronicles 16.30; 1. Samuel 2.8)
- the fact that we live under a firmament (or: vault of heaven), created as a protection and not as ”spatial delimitation“, covered by water and grounded on cornerstones (
Genesis 1.6-8; Job 37.18; Psalm 148.1,4; 104.2; Job 26.10,11)
- the sun and the moon are lights for the illumination during the day and the night (each with its own light), that rotate in the firmament around the flat Earth (
Genesis 1.14-18; Ecclesiastes 1.5; Psalm 19.4-6; 104.19-22)
- the Earth is surrounded at its edge by a huge ring of ice about 60 meters high, as natural boundary of the waters (
Job 38.8-11; Ecclesiastes 8.29; 30.4)
- the age of the Earth is - according to the Bible - approximately 6000 years old.
This figure is determined on the basis of the genealogy (
Genesis 5 and Genesis 11) until the days of Abraham who died 4000 years ago.

Those who are involved in the lying machinations of disinformation do the ”will” of the father of lies, without any remorse.
God created man with the freedom of choice:

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
16 In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live ...
17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
18 I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish ...
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days ...”
(Deuteronomy 30.15-20)

By disregarding the Word of God, which is recorded in the Bible, many go the ways of the evil one, without knowing that they are on the wrong course that leads to perdition.
This is namely also the intention of the evil one who incites the people not to listen to the only One who could bring them the salvation from this lost world by offering them the gift of eternal life:

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6.23)

Satan brings more and more suffering in the world, even with the knowledge that about 2000 years ago he was defeated on the cross by the Lord Jesus Christ, as He fulfilled the requirements of a perfect sacrifice. Through His sacrifice the Lord Christ has wiped away the sin and after His death and His resurrection He ascended to heaven, to sit at the right hand of God, the Father (see
Romans 3.25; Hebrews 9.14,26;10.12; 1 John 4.10).
By knowing that his end is approaching with each passing day the only satisfaction the evil one now still has is to lead together with him as many people as possible into the eternal perdition. Therefore, he deceives with all types of desires, worldly advantages and has for everyone a ”suitable” offer:

8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
9 Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5.8,9)


12 ... Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” (Revelation 12:12)

The day approaches however when in this last period of the human history (named Laodicea, the seventh and last historical stage, referred in
Revelation 3.14-22) God will put an end to this abnormal situation, namely at the return of Jesus Christ, together with His angels ”30 ... coming in the clouds of heaven [not from a dark universe, but from the third heaven, full of light and majesty] with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matthew 24.30,31)

This will be the great event of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:

28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9.28)

Until then, although He permits the evil one to rule over the world, God is at work for the good of humankind:

17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.” (John 5.17)

All the books of the Old Testament confirm the constant presence and action of God in people's lives. By the mouth of His prophets of that era He has announced that in the future a Redeemer will be born on Earth, in the Person of the Son of God who will destroy the works of the devil:

8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3.8)

This future is for us, the people of today, already past, as Jesus Christ, the Son of God, has come into the world about 2000 years ago.
With His coming on Earth began a new period of time in the history of humanity:

14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” (Mark 1.14,15)


In order to be ready for the Kingdom of God one must understand that he lives in a fallen world and that he should become aware of the sinful condition in which he was placed by his adversary, the Devil or Satan, thus being on the way which finally leads into perdition.
The Word inspired by God Himself, recorded in the Bible, brings however the sinful person the knowledge that as long as he is alive he will not be lost, but still has the chance to be justified (or: be made righteous) through the faith with all the heart in the Saviour or Redeemer Jesus Christ. Through His sacrifice on the cross, that happened about 2000 years ago, He paid for the sin of every human being, so that it remains for every one but to accept His offer of salvation through the faith in Him. Thereupon he will receive, as a gift, the eternal life:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3.16)

We should have full confidence in the Word of God who will certainly turn into reality His promises towards us, namely when the time is fulfilled and Jesus Christ will return for the ones who believed in Him.

In our lives should predominate the trust in our Lord through whom we have the eternal life (see
John 3.36, 5.24, 6.47), so that our thoughts are being focused on Him who one day will bring us the immortality.

By being confronted with the world and its ”priorities”, with those who unfortunately have no more than the purpose of the earthly ”fulfillments”, who believe in fictional theories and in the human traditions of this world, we are being put ourselves in the situation to interact with one another.
We see ourselves in the position to be provoked by statements of self-appointed atheists or agnostics who cannot quit the own frame of their natural thinking and reasoning.

But what they do not know and also do not want to hear is that a sound thinking cannot be obtained but only through the personal appropriation of the Word of God that is recorded in the Bible, thus being able to become aware of the divine intervention in many situations of our lives. Therefore we should ”see” the will of the Lord in our lives even beyond our natural ability to judge, regardless of the challenges and trials of life that must be endured:

3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” (2 Timothy 4.3,4)


1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.” (Titus 2:1)

5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.” (Proverbs 3.5-8)


12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13 Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2. 12-14)

The Bible is an invaluable help and a guideline for a proper behaviour of the man who put his trust in his Creator in order to lead a correct life in this fallen world:

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3.16,17)

The Word of God has an abundance of guiding principles and advices:

1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.
6 And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.
7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.
9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.” (Psalm 37.1-11)

Full of love God turns to the heart and appeals to the intelligence of every man, as all live under the harmful influences of this world:

22 I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.
24 Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” (Isaiah 44.22,24)

22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” (Isaiah 45.22)

Through prayer we stand in connection with God, our Creator.
We should always turn our thoughts towards Him, speak with Him in prayer, tell Him all our problems, but first and foremost we should express Him our deep gratefulness for the blessing that He outpours over us at every moment:

6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4.6,7)


God will make things return back to normal, death will be no more and the devil will be definitively sentenced (see
Revelation 20.10). Afterwards peace will finally be established:

4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.” (Revelation 21.4,5)

However, in whatever difficulty we find ourselves, sorrows whatsoever we have, we should know that we have to wrestle not against flesh and blood. Those people who do us wrong in different ways act through ignorance and lack of knowledge, not knowing that the evil one uses them to bring bitterness.
When we are provoked, we should always be aware of that. And when we pray we should also think of those who haven’t yet come to the knowledge of the truth:

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.” (2 Timothy 2.24-26)


3 ... God our Saviour
4 ... will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2.3,4)


Our ”weapons” are not worldly arms, but of a quite different nature:

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Ephesians 6.11-18)

All evil always begins with the bitterness in our soul, generated by disappointments, annoyance or suffered injustices.
The bitterness brings wrath which prepares the way for the irritation.
From here on till the anger and the clamour respectively quarrel there is just a short step.
Gossips and evil speaking could follow, thus only trouble and having to endure malice.

The inspired Word makes us known this gradual and increasing development of the evil and admonishes with divine wisdom and gentleness not to allow ourselves to be guided by this worldly ”mechanism”, which is of devilish nature:

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4.31,32)

Without doubt, the injustices done to us lead naturally to anger, but the Word of God teaches us to change this  reaction mode, namely for our greatest benefit and for our health.

The injustices done in particular to the believing person would no longer sadden him. There is a strong reason for this: Through the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ he has been indeed justified by and before God (see
Romans 3.21,22,24).

So if you are regarded by God as justified, how can you still be outraged about some injustice or wrong done to you by an unbeliever?

Live a correct life in this world is just like an apprenticeship that prepares us for the eternal life. Therefore, God permits us to be put to the test:  

5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” (Psalm 11:5)

3 The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.” (Proverbs 17.3)

The days will come when every thought, good or bad, will become known:

22 For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.” (Mark 4.22)

Then every human being will receive the reward that he or she deserves, namely according to the attitude in their lives they had in this passing world, which is also based on the ”invisible reality”:

12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.
14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.
15 For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie.
16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things ...” (Revelation 22.12-16)


Time will no longer be, but the eternity will take its place.

Those” in Christ” will be then alive and will see before their eyes the long awaited reality of the great joys and of the eternal happiness that God has promised.

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