Transparency is key in building trust. The following Key Findings from over 65 Bible studies conducted by this ministry are not a set of theses, but transparently and vividly show us topics that should either confirm or challenge our acquired interpretation of the Word of God. Each finding is made accessible through the respective links for the reference and deeper study.
8 Gospel of Jesus Christ
10 Spiritual Discipline
11 Spiritual Gifts
12 End Times
1 · Principle Convictions
1.1 Romans 14 describes our freedom in eating and drinking according to our convictions. What are other topics (Levels of Doctrine / Theological Triages) believers should not divide - or should indeed divide on?
A) DIVIDE on issues directly related to the 10 commandments, such as Abortion [#6, murder], Adultery [#7], Blasphemy [#3], Covetousness [#10], Deceit [#9], Idolatry [#2], Theft [#8] and (logically but counterculturally) even the Weekly Sabbath [#4]. The Council of Jerusalem also specified in Act 15:28-29 the Eating of Blood and Fornication (slightly lesser weighted than adultery) as divisive issues. Further topics include -unbiblical- forms of Divorce & Remarriage, Eschatology / End Times (only Hyper-Preterism which denies the Second Coming of Christ and Eternity), Heresy, Homosexuality (a biblically highlighted sin), the public abuse of Spiritual Gifts (e.g. illicit use of tongues in the church or false prophets), Sorcery / Witchcraft and Women serving as elders or as pastors preaching to a mixed congregation.
B) DO NOT DIVIDE ON, BUT SERIOUSLY CONSIDER topics such as Baptism at or timely after conversion (commandment of Christ & central Gospel issue), Creation (Progressive Creation / Theistic Evolution vs. Old Earth-Young Creation in ~5500 BC), Drugs other than alcohol, repeated Drunkenness through alcohol, Gambling, Gluttony, Gossip, the fulfillment of the Great Commission, extremes in Hair length of men/women, Halloween (depending on activity), Head Coverings during prayer times, Incest, Pornography, Surgeries not being medically required, the day of the Weekly Sabbath (Saturday vs. Sunday) and Women in authority over men (church and family only - the Bible does not teach that ALL women must submit to ALL men!).
C) DO NOT DIVIDE on Alcohol (in moderation), Cigarettes, Clothing (excluding serious transgressions), Eschatology / End Times (e.g. Pre- vs. Mid-tribulation), Exercise, Fasting, Food (e.g. meat vs. vegetarian), Friendships with unbelievers, Giving, non-heretical Books, Movies & Music, the following of Principles based on the abolished Old Covenant Law, Special days specifically related to food (former Ceremonial Sabbaths / Feasts such as Passover / Pagan Feasts such as Christmas or New Year, referred to in Rom 14:5 and Col 2:16; the Weekly Sabbath is not related to food and not covered through those verses!), Surgeries, Tattoos (excluding transgressions) and Women as ministers or as prophets.
1.2 We are now 500 years into Reformation - since the Bible became readily available for ordinary pastors and the body of Christ.
But those of us who call themselves Protestants have to be careful to not make a religion out of Luther's 95 warnings to the Catholic Church. Luther was not trying to start a new religion, but simply pushed the RCC back to biblical standards and away from extra-works such as purgatory and indulgences. Nor are we to follow other reformation leaders such as Calvin or Knox or constantly compare historical councils.
Let us resist the urge to promote a certain brand of theology / denomination and to commit intellectual idolatry with former or current Christian leaders. Let us -primarily- go to the Scriptures and follow God and His more than sufficient teachings.
1.3 In a very similar manner we still see modern Jewish Mainstream, which does struggle with basics such as the rhythm of a biblical day (sunrise-not sunset) and the biblical New Year (first month in spring -not seventh month in winter), as authoritative source. Other discrepancies include the continued application of Old Covenant Law, Oral Law and feasts, and the erroneous counting toward Pentecost. We have to remember that biblical Israelites, although being 'brothers-on-hold', are -not yet- grafted into the Kingdom and that some radical Rabbis went as far as to manipulate small, but highly decisive passages of our current Bibles in order to disassociate Christ from being their Messiah.
1.4 It is also time to not blindly trust modern institutions and ministries which repeat teachings such as Antinomianism, Arianism, Modalism and even add modern heresies such as Cessationism, Egalitarianism, a Metaphorical Hell, Once-Saved-Always-Saved, Optional Baptism, Remarriage without Repentance, what I would coin as Single-Tense-Salvation ignoring the 3 tenses of Salvation, the Theory of Evolution, Tithing (introduced only in 1873 in the US) and the systematic downplaying of Works of Faith by confusing it with Works of the Law.
We must rethink theology without any biases, denominational constraints or cultural influences, based on the unfiltered Word of God. This is the teaching mission of this ministry - with its results summarized as following:
2 · Creation
2.1 The Father, the Son (Jesus Christ) and the Holy Spirit form the Trinity. It is a man-made definition, but its concept is extensively described in the Word of God.
- 1 Gods / Godhead (as implied by the plural of Elohim in Gen 1:1, the phrase 'let us create' in Gen 1:26 and Psa 110:1-2 with two different Lords)- 3 divine and eternal characters. There was never a time when the Father, the Son or the Holy Spirit did not exist.
- The Father, Son and Holy Spirit have an interpersonal relationship.
- All are equal in essence and dignity, but play different roles.
- The Father sent the Son into the world (Joh 3:16) and He returned later to the Father (Joh 16:10, 27-28). Jesus is God (part of the Godhead), but not the Father. See also Mat 24:36, Mar 14:36, Joh 6:46, Joh 14:9-13, Joh 5:19, Joh 11:41, Joh 15:16, Joh 17:1-5, 1Cor 8:6, Eph 5:20, Php 1:2, Php 2:11, 2Joh 1:3).
- The Father and Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world (Joh 14:16-17). The Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead, but neither the Father nor the Son in regards of personhood. See also Mat 28:19, Mar 1:10-11, Act 1:4-5, Act 2:33, 2Cor 13:13, Gal 4:6-7, Eph 2:18, 1Pet 1:2, Joh 16:7-14, Rom 5:5-6, Rom 8:9-10, 1Cor 2:10-11, Eph 1:13-14 .
2.2 The order of Divine and Human Beings:
- God the Father (Psa 8:1, Isa 64:8, 1Joh 3:1).
- Christ the Son (Joh 8:58, Act 2:22, Act 2:36, 1Cor 11:3).
- Morning Stars (Jesus in 2Pet 1:19-20, Rev 22:16-17).
- Morning Stars · Fallen (Satan in Isa 14:12, Luk 10:18).
- Angels (Gen 16:7-15, 2Sam 24:16, Zec 1:9-14, Act 5:19-20, Rev 7:11-12).
- Hosts of Heaven (Psa 24:10, Isa 40:26, Amos 4:13, Luk 2:13, Rev 19:14).
- Sons of God · Angels in the OT (Job 1:6, Job 2:1, Job 38:6-7, Dan 3:25).
- Sons of God · Fallen Angels in the OT (Gen 6:1-4, 2Pet 2:4-10, Jud 1:6-7).
- Sons of God · Human beings in the NT (Luk 20:34-36, Rom 8:14).
- Human beings in His image (Gen 1:27, 1Cor 11:3, 1Cor 11:7-9).
2.3 Genesis 6:4 is one of the more difficult passages of the Bible.
There were giants [Nephilim] in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the Sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.
I suggest that the solution lies in the often not-translated and therefore overlooked term 'THE SAME' (Strong's H1992).
God is telling us that although the already well-known Nephilim did not come from the cohabitation between Angels and humans, and clearly existed before and after the Angels fell with human daughters, this forbidden intercourse produced mighty warriors EQUAL in stature and fame to the Nephilim.
Proposed translation: "There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and sons were born to them, THEY ALSO / EQUALLY became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."
2.4 Sincere believers know that (Theistic) Evolution is not true and that a biblical creation day (yôm 'ehad = numerical quantifier) was not millions of years long -between one morning and its respective evening-, but very close to the 24 hours we measure today. Humanity is less than 10 000 years old and had its origin in 2 divinely created people, namely Adam and his wife Eve. No humans existed on Earth before the biblically specified creation account.
- Luk 3:23-37, 38 provides an -unbreakable- chain of 77 generations from Yahweh (Father of Adam) to Jesus Christ, but this by far most important genealogy is regularly ignored in arguments made by Old Earth Creationists. In addition, 1 Chronicles 1:1-34 provides another -unbreakable- chain of the first 24 generations until Jacob, all perfectly tied together.
- If we neglect the first historical Adam, we consequently reject the second historical Adam, namely Jesus Christ (1Cor 15:45-47).
- Either death came before man, or man came before death. Both cannot be true.
- In the first six days, each day is shaped by a structure: "God said ... Let there be ... There was ... God saw that it was good ... There was evening and morning ..." The seventh day is numbered like the other days.
- Why would God wait billions of years for man -to evolve- if His main intention was to have human life on the earth?
2.5 The estimated creation date is not ~4000 BC, but 5508 (5554 BC Gregorian Calendar) - based on Abram commonly agreed to have been born in ~2166 BC and subtracting the respective begetting ages provided in the Septuagint:
Adam 230 years (true age he became a father; not 130 years) + Seth 205 + Enosh 190 + Kainan 170 + Mahalael 165 + Jared 162 + Enoch 165 + Methuselah 187 + Lamech 182 + Noah 502 + Shem 100 + Arphaxad 135 + Cainan 130 + Shelah 130 + Eber 134 + Peleg 130 + Reu 132 + Serug 130 + Nahor 79 + Terah 130 years when begetting Abram = 3388 years + 2166 = 5554 years).
This date closely coincides with the Byzantine Calendar and a long list of Church fathers and other thinkers.
2.6 Both Old Earth Creationism (OEC) and Young Earth Creationism (YEC) miss the mark - and only deepen the split by assuming two extreme and unbiblical positions.
The Bible actually teaches us a what I would coin as Old Earth-Young Creation (OEYC) - with the foundation of the earth pre-existing since an unknown time, being furnished in ~ 5500 BC in a spontaneous and divine act within 6 literal days with the first animals, humans and plants, while engineering the existing waters the Holy Spirit was hovering over, into an intelligently designed water cycle.
2.7 The creation of the foundation of the earth is not part of the creation account.
Genesis starts with an existing Earth, which had become 'void' (more nuanced translation = 'wasteland', Gen 1:2, Strong's H8415, tôhû, from an unused root meaning to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), that is, desert; figuratively a worthless thing; adverbially in vain: - confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, (thing of) nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness).
This earth is now covered by the first worldwide flood (before Noah's flood which is technically the second-, and as promised the last flood) and the Holy Spirit is hovering over the deep waters, before God speaks anything into being in Gen 1:3. Neither the creation of those deep waters nor of the earth's mantle is found anywhere in the first chapters of Genesis and we should abstain from injecting something so fundamental into the biblical account.
But we have no information about the time God created the planet Earth itself. Nor is this relevant for the history of humanity. God might give us one day in eternity a history lesson and tell us what He staged before He furnished the world we know today. Until then we need to suppress the tendency to omniscience and simply believe the Word.
2.8 Today, most astronomers acknowledge that the universe appears to be expanding (see also the Documentary 'God of Wonders'). This also agrees with the Bible which says that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain (Psa 33:6, Psa 104:2, Isa 40:22-23, Isa 42:5) and will roll them up in our End Times (Isa 34:4, Psa 102:25-26, Heb 1:10-12, Rev 6:14).
2.9 A biblical day does not start at sunset, nor at midnight, but with the light at sunrise. Only 2 out of 7 Extraordinary Sabbaths (Annual Feasts) start at sunset (Passover according to the timing of the Exodus as specified in Deut 16:6 and Num 9:5 , and the Day of Atonement specified in Lev 23:32). Similar to other exceptions in the Bible, we should be careful to not blindly follow and idolize the Jewish customs which are often based on the Word, but sometimes applied incorrectly. Proof texts are 1Sam 19:11, Exo 29:39, Lev 22:29-30, Num 11:32, Mat 28:1, Mar 27:45 et al.
And yes, God obviously worked before the evenings described in Gen 1:5 ff :
[1. God worked during the day] And [2. then] there was evening and [3. then] there was morning, [marking] the [end of the] first day.
2.10 A biblical year also starts with the light and new life, consequently in spring with the month of Abib (Babylonian name 'Nisan'; modern March / April). We should not use the Babylonian names as Jewish Mainstream commonly does, because the Bible provides only 4 out of 12 babylonian equivalents to the original (Canaanite) months. Back to the original, not the product of sin and adding customs outside the Bible.
2.11 A calendar year was not 370 days long as the Masoretic texts (most modern translations such as AMP, ESV, KjubileeJV, NASB, NIV, NLT, ...) suggest through the Flood account, but exactly 360 days divided into 12 months of 30 days each, as the Septuagint (LXX) proves through the correct Flood dates (the Flood began with Gen 7:10-12 and ended with Gen 8:14-16, both the 27th day of the 2nd month).
- Masoretic: 40 + 110 + 73 + 40 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 30 + 56 = 370 days
- Septuagint: 40 + 110 + 93 + 40 + 7 + 7 + 7 + 56 = 360 days
360 days are also clearly proven through the specification in the Book of Revelation (1260 days / 42 months = 30 days).
"And I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days [1260 / 3.5 years = 360 days] ..." Rev 11:3
"... speaking great things and blasphemies, and authority to act was given to him for forty-two months [42 x 30 =1260 days (3.5 years)]." Rev 13:5
Another -secondary- proof for 30 days per month is the average of 29.99 days between a lunar month of 29.53 days and a solar month of 30.44 days.
2.12 The Garden of Eden is not located in Southern (Lower) Mesopotamia, but in Northern (Upper) Mesopotamia, where it has been localized by this ministry in June 2021. The most important hint is the water source - not being a river "that flowed out from Eden", but more accurately translated with 'that came up out of Eden'.
Topography changed through the flood, but not enough to erase decisive leads. Not only do the Euphrates and the Tigris still exist 7500 years later, but certainly also the Gihon and probably also the Phison river. All 4 rivers originate in one single location, the spring of the Karaca Dağ Volcano. The streams rising from Karaca Dağ are still the most significant water sources in the region. The Sanliurfa and specifically Karaca Dağ region is popular for its spring waters and sells its products to the world.
2.13 No, incest (Cain?) was not disallowed in the time of early creation (introduced latest in 1446 BC as part of the abolished 600+ Old Covenant Laws) but is principally today. God could have also created after creation day #6 more humans in other regions of the world - without the need to mention this in the Bible. This would not change the fact that the biblical genealogy is outgoing from God the Father, and from Adam & Eve as first humans.
3 · Sabbaths (Including Feasts)
3.1 The Bible teaches us about the Weekly Sabbath and namely the 'Extraordinary Sabbaths' (Lev 23:32-33 - Annual Holy Days), and we should be careful to distinguish those accordingly when we read the word 'Sabbath' in a verse.
The same principle applies for terms such as 'Law', 'Justification', 'Love', 'Religion', 'Salvation', 'Works' et al., which have often very varied applications and cause a lot of confusion amongst teachers and consequently amongst believers.
While believers are freed from the -veil- which prevents unbelievers from seeing the truth in Christ, God still intentionally uses 'smoke screens' in His word, which require a believer to know the whole Word in order to understand certain concepts.
It is easy to come to Christ once the veil is lifted, but a lifelong journey to read, learn and fully understand God's Word.
3.2 The Gregorian equivalent to a Weekly Sabbath is Saturday, not Sunday.
If your local church celebrates Pentecost on Sunday, it already affirms the Saturday Sabbath (see Lev 23:16 'the day after the Sabbath').
Topics such as circumcision or foods offered to idols were readily challenged by early Gentile Christians in the church (Jerusalem Council in 50 AD). If there would have been a switch from the Sabbath to the First Day of the Week, then the controversy would have been more explosive than any other topic.
The Sabbath Day was already instituted by God Himself through the creation week (Gen 2:3, Exo 20:8-11, 20). The Israelites failed the Sabbath test already several months (= 4 Bible chapters) before the laws had been formalized on Mt. Sinai (Exo 16:22-30). It took more than 4000 years (more than half of the time humanity currently exists!), until this commandment found its way into the written Moral Law.
Jesus consistently observed the Weekly Sabbath before-, and did not abolish it through- the cross. His disciples attended "Sabbath services" at least 9 - some sources extrapolate up to 84- times after His Ascension (Mat 28:1, Act 13:14, 27, 42-45, Act 15:21, Act 16:12-13, Act 17:2, Act 18:4).
The Bible also includes various future references (Mat 24:20, Isa 66:22-23, including the commonly misinterpreted passage of Hebrews 4:1-11 which includes very specific terms such as the 'seventh day', a 'certain day' and a 'Sabbath rest' in an affirmative context, but is nevertheless watered down - not only by Antinomians).
Last but not least - the seventh day is numbered like the other days and we have therefore no allowance to accommodate its duration to particular doctrines, where cunning theologians claim that the 7th day is longer than 24 hours, only based on the missing marker of morning and evenings.
After all, we should ignore the 60+ rules added by the Pharisees and keep the Sabbath simple (7th day, morning-morning rhythm, keep it holy, rest, worship of God, no work, no shopping or restaurants, share meals with believers and stay local following the example of the disciples after the ascension Act 1:11, 12).
3.3 The term 'Lord's Day' in Rev 1:10 occurs only once in the entire Bible and is simply an unfortunate translation of (κυριακῇ kuriakē), literally meaning 'pertaining to the Lord'. It simply describes the Weekly Sabbath (modern Saturday) through an adjective.
John, who wrote the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John, never called the First Day a Sabbath, but constantly used the term 'First Day of The Week' (Joh 20:1 and Joh 20:19) for referring to a Sunday.
The term 'Lord's Day' applied to Sundays is a human tradition that had initially nothing to do with the Weekly Sabbath, but had been celebrated as a separate memorial day dedicated to Christ, who rose the day after the Weekly Sabbath.
3.4 Let us also bring an end to the debate on the former Jubilee year and Pentecost. A Jubilee Year had been
- Announced in the year before the Jubilee Year (Day of Atonement).
- Announced in the 49th year after the Sabbath Year preceding the previous Jubilee Year.
- Celebrated in the 50th year after the Sabbath Year preceding the previous Jubilee Year.
- Celebrated every 49th year, always in the year following the 7th Sabbath Year (7-14-21-28-35-42-49).
The exact same pattern applies for Pentecost. It is celebrated on the 49th day after the First Fruits which occurs 1 day after the Weekly Sabbath, therefore on the 50th day after this Weekly Sabbath immediately following the Passover week. The Jubilee Year occurs in the first year after the 7th Sabbath Year, while the Pentecost occurs on the first day after the 7th Sabbath Day.
3.5 Although the term 'Easter' is used in English translations such as the Tyndale Bible of 1534 or the Coverdale Bible of 1535 interchangeably with the term 'Passover', the early church fathers did not celebrate Easter as understood today. The modern Easter is not a biblical concept, but only loosely based on the biblical Feast of Passover occurring usually at the same time.
If we chose to celebrate it, we should also consequently follow the precise 7 (8) days, exclude yeast for the time being and eat some lamb instead of turkey, followed by bread and wine. But as Col 2:16 says in reference to special days related to food, there is no right or wrong in following or not following those Extraordinary Sabbaths that were once a part of the now abolished Old Covenant Laws.
3.6 Christmas was first celebrated in ~350 AD. It is not a biblical festival nor was Jesus born at the time of Christmas. December 25th is also not based on a Roman feast day as often assumed. It is most probably based on the man-made calculation of a supposed conception of Jesus on the 1st day of the biblical new year, that is Abib/Nisan 1st = always at the end of March / beginning of April. December 25th minus 9 months of pregnancy results in March 25th. Interestingly enough, the Ecclesiastical Year began usually on March 25th and the Catholic church (see also discernment) celebrates since the 5th century every year on March 25th the Feast of Annunciation / Conception of Jesus.
Much more feasible than assuming that God put emphasis on the conception date, is that He put emphasis on the birth date, as regularly emphasized in Scripture. His birth meant a new beginning for humanity - in every imaginable way. His birth occurred therefore probably on Abib 1 with the beginning of the new year and in the time when lambs are seasonally born (usually February to March; Jesus being born as the Lamb of God -Joh 1:36 and sacrificed as the Lamb), but surely not in winter when shepherds did not even go out in mild Israel.
It is absolutely not wrong to celebrate this beautiful time of the year. God is surely pleased to see families coming together and even unbelievers coming closer to God. But it is surely wrong to commit intentional gluttony and to elevate the holidays and material gifts over God Himself, while dedicating little time to Him.
3.7 Jesus did the ultimate atonement for our sins and made therefore obsolete the Day of Atonement. Most other festivals cannot be celebrated anymore, because of the simple fact of the temple being absent, required for the animal sacrifices being an integral part of those feasts, or e.g. the Passover having been celebrated exclusively in Jerusalem (Paul even left his church plant behind for partaking in the feast).
I personally remember the biblical New Year over the January 1st-New Year (for obvious reasons), and also Passover and Pentecost, but do not celebrate any of those.
4 · Laws
4.1 No, the Moral Law did definitely not originate with Moses or in his time, as commonly assumed. Adam and Eve coveted and stole (Gen 3:6, 17), Cain killed and lied (Gen 4:8-9, 13), Ham dishonored his father (Gen 9:25), Abraham lied (Gen 20:2), Jacob's household committed idolatry (Gen 35:1-4), murdered and stole (Gen 34:27), the prohibition of murder was already specified within the Noahic Covenant (Gen 9:6; 1850 years before Sinai), Pharaoh and his people had other gods (Exo 10:16), and adultery was already described more than 600 years before Mt. Sinai as a great sin condemned through severe plagues (Pharaoh vs. Abram & Sarai in Gen 12:17), condemned through barrenness (Abimelech vs. Abraham & Sarah in Gen 20:9, 18), feared by kings (Abimelech vs. Isaac & Rebekah in Gen 26:10) and leading to false accusations (Joseph in Gen 39:9).
The Weekly Sabbath had been formalized with the adjective 'to remember' what was instituted at creation (Exo 20:8 and Gen 2:3), the Israelites worshiped a golden calf before the people received the tablets (Exo 32:1), and Abraham, Jacob and Joseph already obeyed commandments, statutes and laws (Gen 26:5), while even Moses judged his nation based on 'statutes of God and His laws' (Exo 18:20) before going up Mt. Sinai.
Even some of the 600+ Old Covenant Laws, such as the Levirate Marriage (the brother-in-law having sex with the childless widow) commanded in Deut 25:5-10, had already been stipulated as law (Gen 38:8) some 450 years before Mt. Sinai.
4.2 No, Law is not Law. We have the 10 commandments, written by the finger of God's angel, on 2 stone tablets, on the top of Mt. Sinai and stored inside the Ark of the Covenant. This 'perfect' and 'life-giving' Moral Law ("of Liberty") is for us (Eze 20:11; Act 7:38 Jam 1:25).
One the other hand 'we' had 600+ Old Covenant Laws (also outmost logically categorized as Ceremonial / Civil / Sacrificial Law), spoken to Moses inside the Tabernacle, written by the finger of Moses in a book and stored on the outside of the Ark of the Covenant (Deu 31:24-26), being ambiguously against the Israelites (Col 2:13-15).
The Old Covenant Law had been sprinkled with blood - the Moral Law not (the scroll only; see Heb 9:19-22).
Romans 7:22- 8:2 differentiates between the 'Law of the Spirit' and 'Law of Sin'.
Today, we see all too often the two fundamentally different sets of laws being thrown into one category - with the intention to simply eliminate those and create a Gospel 'light' without the Weekly Sabbath rest. But it is not complicated to differentiate between a book that perishes and stone tablets that do not perish (Jesus is our eternal rock and corner-stone-!), and between law written by God and laws written by Moses. Knowledge of Scripture (Gal 3:10) is essential to counter false teachings.
4.3 No, the word 'fulfill' (Mat 5:17-19) has rather an affirmative than a finite character. All too often we hear teachers proclaim the opposite, but this directly contradicts the very obvious meaning of Rom 13:10, where 'love is the fulfillment of the law' - having obviously not a finite character. See also the baptism of Jesus, the very act that 'fulfilled all rigtheousness' (Mat 3:13-17). We should not interpret Scripture selectively!
Jesus did not abolish the 10 commandments but affirmed every single one repeatedly (I-Mat 22:37; II-1Joh 5:21; III-Mar 3:29; IV-Luk 14:3; V- Mat 19:19; VI-Luk 18:20; VII-Mat 5:27-28; VIII-Mat 15:19; IX-Mat 15:19; X-Rom 13:9) and even added dozens of Laws (of Christ).
And no, He did not contradict His Father by despising the 600+ Old Covenant Laws, but simply abolished them in their effect of condemnation.
Christ actually despised - from the very beginning- the ~1500 Fence / Oral Laws added by the Pharisees.
4.4 Yes, we are still fully 'subject' to the Law of Christ (1Cor 9:21; including the Moral Law and probably all New Covenant Laws given by Christ and the Apostles), but not 'under' the Law (1Cor 9:20), what means not to be under the weight of the Law, not to be under the condemnation of the Law, not to be cursed by the Law and not to suffer the death penalty for certain transgressions of the Law.
It is a sad reality that we regularly cherry-pick the word 'under' while ignoring the meaning of being 'subject' in the very next verse.
Many of us have become Antinomians - people who take the principle of Salvation by faith and divine grace to the point of asserting that the saved are not bound to follow the Moral law contained in the Ten Commandments.
4.5 No, we -who are not farmers and herdsmen- were never supposed to financially tithe 10% of our income, but we are instructed to give by heart, to people in need, to our local church and to ministers of the Gospel. Not even one Christian church practiced tithing in the Americas before 1873 AD - it is a concept introduced in the United States - initially conceptualized to support the poor and soon later abused by a rapidly increasing number of greedy churches we still see today.
And no, the book of Malachi (Mal 3:8-10) is not part of the New Covenant, was written approx. 460 years before Christ died and is specifically directed to priests as indicated at the beginning of the chapter of Mal 2:1 (context, context, context!).
And Jesus did not affirm tithing in Mat 23:23, but rather ridiculed the Pharisees giving a tenth even of their garden herbs, exhorted them to focus on the essential matters and clearly associated tithing with a past activity - "it was necessary".
Churches could generate much more givings if they would be faithful to the Bible and would not lay a legalistic and pharisaic burden on believers by generating their own law. Find the detailed study on Giving vs. Tithing here.
4.6 No, biblical love is not a feeling, it is a Christ-like attitude that can even include proper judgment for the ultimate good of a brethren. Do I have to mention that we should not judge outsiders (unbelievers), but that we have the obligation to judge the visible and significant sin of an insider (believer)? The enemy has achieved a tremendous victory to give us the false notion of avoiding correction inside churches, with significant and ramified consequences we experience today.
Most believers base this attitude on a selective reading of Mat 7:1 'Do not judge', but once we continue to read until Mat 7:5, we clearly see our obligation to have first a clear conscience in order to then 'remove the speck from the brother's eye'. The biblical definition of righteousness (Eze 18:5-9) also includes a call to righteous judgment (Eze 18:8) and further clarifications are given in Zec 7:9, Joh 7:24, 1Cor 5:1-3, 11, 12.
5 · Genealogies
5.1 The First Historical Adam brought sin, while the Second Historical Adam (Christ) brought redemption.
5.2 The Masoretic texts are proven by this ministry to be decisively manipulated (although of less than 1% of Scripture). Only the Septuagint text is the entirely inspired Word of God (excluding the Apocrypha which had been 'part' of both texts for hundreds of years).
5.3 Several of the begetting ages in the Masoretic texts had been manipulated. 100 years have been deducted here and there, and the ages suddenly match the Septuagint again when e.g. Noah's father and grandfather logically must have died before the flood. All of this shrinks the genealogies and leads to a creation date of ~4000 BC instead of the correct 5508 (5554 BC Gregorian).
5.4 No, Shem did not outlive Terah, his great-great-great-great-great-great grandson in the 8th generation nor meet Jacob (11th generation).
· Arphaxad did not outlive Terah (7th generation) nor meet Abraham (8th generation).
· Shelah did not outlive Terah (6th generation) nor meet Isaac (8th generation).
· Eber did not outlive Abraham (6th generation) nor meet Jacob (8th generation).
The Masoretic texts are clearly manipulated.
5.5 'Cainan' (not the son of Enoch) came in the 13th generation since Adam, as the son of Arphaxad and the father of Shelah. The Septuagint includes Cainan in Gen 11:13 and 1Chr 1:18, while the Masoretic text also includes him in Luk 3:36. Only Gen 11:13 of the Masoretic text lacks the mention of his name.
'Admin' does not belong to the 77 generations in Luk 3:33. The name 'Admin' is not found in any Old Testament text and is inserted in Luk 3:33 in the Amplified Bible, Berean Study Bible, English Standard Version, International Standard Version, New American Standard Version, New English Translation, New Living Translation, New Revised Standard and Weymouth's New Testament.
It is not included in the 2001 Translation, American Standard Version, Apostolic Bible Polyglot (the most important reference), Christian Standard Bible, Darby Translation, Geneva Bible (1587), King James Version (1611), Lexham English Bible, Literal Translation, LXX (Alfred Rahlfs), LXX (Greek Orthodox), LXX (HS Augsburg), LXX (Kata Biblon), LXX (NETS) Bible, Miles Coverdale Bible (1535), New King James Version, New International Version, Wesley's New Testament (1755) and Young's Literal Translation.
5.6 No, Melchizedek was not Shem as still claimed today by those who deny Christ being their Messiah. He was also not Christ, because Christ has (also) a human genealogy and parents.
6 · The Flood
"... in the last days scoffers will come with scoffing, following according to their own desires [...] it escapes their notice that [...] the world that existed at that time was destroyed by being inundated with water. 2Pet 3:3-7
6.2 It most probably rained in the 2200 years before the flood. While we cannot prove that there was rain before the Flood, to insist that there was not, stretches Scripture beyond what it actually says. See also 1Tim 1:4 .
6.3 No, the vast majority of flood waters did not come from rain, but from the abyss, the waters from the 'storehouses' inside the earth's mantle.
A closed water cycle cannot suddenly multiply its volume. Vaporization played a very insignificant part in covering the earth with water.
6.4 No, Noah did not take 2 of each animal with him as commonly interpreted through the plain reading of the text. Nor did he take 7 of each animal (Gen 7:2-3) which would result in 3.5 males and 3.5 females. He consequently took 4 of each kind (2 males, plus the 2 females that are usually also not counted when it comes to humans!).
A horse kind e.g. included horses, zebras, donkeys et al. In addition and included in the number 7, he took animals for sacrifice, food for his family and probably for other animals, and a basic post-flood livestock.
6.5 Yes, even the timeline of the flood had been manipulated for unknown reasons, pretending to make a calendar year 370 days and not 360 days long, and including a mysterious extra month of waiting, while the Septuagint account perfectly matches the no-return of the last dove with the 1st day of the new year.
6.6 Yes, even the constellations of the sun, moon and earth slightly changed through the Flood, as we perfectly know by the different length of a solar year and lunar month (365 days and 29.5 days), compared to the original 360 days and 30 days. God created the world in a perfect balance and with one language, but human sin brought unbalance, brought physical, spiritual and geographical separation and many languages. More details underlining this outrageous claim, are found in the study 'The Flood'.
6.7 The location of the landing of the ark was most probably the same as the location of the Garden of Eden, identified in June 2021 by this ministry. In December of the same year, Creation Ministries Int. (no partnership; discernment on theology required) then identified at the very same location a remarkable footprint (yet to be excavated), with additional evidence such as 8 geoglyphs in close proximity to Karaça Dag, with 4 of them precisely pointing to the peaks of Karaça Dag.
6.8 No, the Egyptian pyramids were not built in the time of, or even before the flood, as commonly accepted by believers following the Masoretic texts and rightfully questioned by atheists. The first pyramids were built approx. 750 years (~2550BC) after the flood (3298BC). Once we accept the authority of the Septuagint, unbelievers will have less excuses to find Christ. But if we continue to support a Bible text manipulated by some Rabbis, we generate a roadblock for unbelievers.
6.9 No, it is not a myth that -all- humanity had once one single language. If God tells us so and repeats it in one passage of His Word several times (Gen 11:1-9), then we can have confidence that this happened indeed.
Although languages (and tongues) are (often) a masterpiece of a divine creator, they are based on sin. In the same way sin will be absent in the New Jerusalem, so earthly languages will be a thing from the past - to be replaced with one common language we do not yet know (Zep 3:9).
7 · Exodus
7.1 No, the crossing of the Red Sea is not a myth. An elevated seabed and chariot wheels have been discovered in the passage at Nuweiba Beach, which is the most probable location for the crossing (alternatively Straits of Tiran, but certainly not Port of Suez located in the perfectly familiar neighborhood of Goshen where the Israelites lived for 430 years and surely did not get lost).
7.2 No, Mount Sinai is undoubtedly not located on the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, but probably in modern-day Saudi Arabia (Jabal Maqla) as indicated by Paul in Gal 4:25. It is a classic example of an erroneous interpretation made more than 1700 years after the Exodus by Constantine's mother, Queen Helena, combined with lacking boldness of modern scholars and Bible translators to correct our study Bibles.
The Old Testament clearly states that Moses had fled (after murdering an Egyptian) for another country (the land of Midian, Exo 2:15, Exo 18:1, 3, 5), where he for the first time came to Mt. Sinai and saw the burning bush (Exo 3:1), and where God promised him to return later with the people of Israel (Exo 3:12).
We also learn that the Israelites had left Egypt when they came to Mt. Sinai (Exo 19:1), while the New Testament clearly differentiates Egypt from 'Arabia' (Gal 4:25).
It is also clear from the account of Abraham having lived in Canaan (Gen 24:2, 3) and having sent the children of his concubines including the family of Midian to the land of the east (Gen 25:4-6), that Midian cannot be located at the Sinai Peninsula, which is clearly located west of Israel.
7.3 The Crossing of the Jordan river is the most underappreciated miracle in the Bible.
There was no tide, no elevated seabed and no strong winds, that "facilitated" the previous miracle of crossing the Red Sea partially in a natural way. When the miracle of the Jordan river happened, it was flood season and a 2km wide and 35m deep stream was interrupted 30kms north by the mighty hand of God.
As if the place would not have already enough relevance, the Bible relates the following events to the very same point of the crossing:
- John the Baptist baptized here.
- Jesus and His disciples were baptized here.
- Jesus's disciples baptized here.
- Elijah and Elisha parted the waters of the Jordan here.
7.4 Speaking of the Prophet Elija (who lived more than 500 years after the Exodus), it is worth mentioning that he certainly did -not- precede Christ in going to the Heaven of God (Joh 3:13) when he was carried away (2Kin 2:11). This beloved Sunday School lesson has serious theological ramifications, when the plain reading is applied and context is neglected.
- Elijah had a history of hiding in undisclosed locations (Brook of Cherith in 1Kin 17:2-6; Wilderness & Mt. Sinai in 1Kin 19:3, 8) and he was regularly searched for (1Kin 18:10).
- Elijah was known for having experienced teleportation beforehand (1Kin 18:11-12), in a manner similar to Ezekiel (Eze 3:12, 15) and Philip (Acts 8:39-40).
- The event had been announced 3-4 times (2Kin 2:3, 5, 9, 10).
- Elisha, who 'played the second fiddle' to Elijah by e.g. pouring water on his hands (2Kin 3:11), would now start his ministry through God's punctual removal of Elijah's authority over him.
- 50 men, who witnessed the whole scene, considered the possibility of Elijah being 'thrown on one of the mountains or into one of the valleys' (2Kin 2:16) as so tangible that they searched for 72 (!) hours for him.
- Elijah, clearly being the same person based on the descriptor 'The Prophet', sent at least 4 years after this event (~852 BC) a prophetic letter to King Jehoram (~848-843 BC; see 2Chr 21:12-15).
In summary, Elijah was taken by a storm / rumbling (Strong's G4952) / whirlwind into the sky (Strong's H8064, שָׁמַיִם, shâmayim, used for 1. the 'sky' of the earth, 2. the 'heaven' of the outer space and 3. God's divine habitation; see word study 'Heavens') and was moved to another unknown location on earth. Early thinkers such as Josephus and popular Jewish sources affirm the same and contradict therefore our modern interpretation.
8 · The Gospel of Jesus Christ
8.1 Many prophecies pointing to Jesus had been watered down in the Masoretic texts. But still, both the Septuagint and also Masoretic texts show a remarkable set of prophecies pointing to every stage of Christ's life, death & resurrection.
8.2 Jesus came in the 77th generation outgoing from God the Father (of Adam, the first human and 2nd in the genealogies, not the first!), not in the 76th generation (in Bible texts that removed Cainan in the Old Testament only, but included in Gen 11:13, 1Chr 1:18 and Luk 3:36 ). 77 symbolizes forgiveness - Jesus being the absolute personification of forgiveness.
8.3 While Lamech would have been avenged 77 times (Old Covenant; Gen 4:24), we ought to forgive 77 times (New Covenant; Mat 18:22), definitely not 490 times. Jesus contrasts in His answer undoubtedly the Genesis account and makes it clear that the New Covenant will not stand anymore for revenge, but for forgiveness.
- The exact phrase in both Gen 4:24 (Greek OT) and Mat 18:22 (Greek NT) is 'εβδομηκοντάκις επτά' = seventy seven = 77.
It is an abstruse misinterpretation of the Greek language to say that God would use the perfect & complete number (7) in such an undefined manner, by ignoring at the same time 4 direct and very informative references to the number 77. Bible translations are now being gradually corrected.
See also the study Numerologies, with the additional reference of the raven in Noah's flood having returned on the last day (Gen 8:7) after exactly 77 days (3x7 'dove' days + 56 days of waiting between Gen 8:13 and 8:14), when logically no more dead flesh for the raven was found on earth and consequently symbolic forgiveness was completed. Death gone - new life granted. You most probably never heard of this analogy and it might appear as an attempt of Spiritualizing, but it is surely not a coincidence and a relatively clear message from God.
8.4 Joseph and Mary are often assumed to have been very young parents (average of 13.5 years in the generations surrounding them).
1. But a look at the biblical genealogies clearly contradicts this. Zerubbabel was born 20 generations before Christ (Luk 3:23, 27) in between 587 and 539 BC in Babylon, what provides us an average begetting age (although not always firstborn) of 28 years (562 BC - 2 BC / 20 = 28 years) between Zerubbabel and Christ. We have to remember that the vital records in the bloodline of Jesus have rarely been typical.
2. In addition, Mat 1:19 speaks of a 'just' (man) who had mature thoughts of not making a public example of Mary. Children under the biblical Age of Accountability of 20 years can hardly be labeled as 'just' - according to God's Word they do not even 'know good or bad' (Deut 1:39).
3. Any person under the age of 20 was not included in a census, but Luk 2:3-4 makes it clear that Joseph and Mary travelled to a census. With the census being Roman in nature, the minimum age could have changed, but the fact that an unmarried couple travelled without their parents to a census and intended to 'book' an inn, indicates already the age of an adult of at least Joseph.
8.5 The fig tree started to wither up on the first day (Mar 11:12-14), and was withered up on the second day (Mar 11:20-21). The account of Matthew 21:18-21 summarizes both events. No contradiction is found.
8.6 No, Jesus did not remain 2 nights, but 3 nights in the tomb (Mat 12:40). As the Bible states.
- Most Bible verses are -NOT- conclusive when it comes to the question if the 'nights' are literal nights or simply part of an expression of 'days and nights' with the possible allowance of neglecting the count of nights (Gen 7:12, Exo 24:18, 1Kin 19:8, Job 2:13, Jon 1:17, Mat 4:2, Mat 12:40) or when it comes to the question if the third day is inclusive or consecutive (Gen 42:17-18, Est 4:16 - Est 5:1), but
- We find a handful verses that are perfectly conclusive when it comes to the question if the third day is inclusive or consecutive (Mat 27:63-64 with the keyword 'after' and 'until', Mar 8:31 with the keyword 'after' and Luk 24:21 with the keyword 'since').
8.7 No, Jesus did not suffer a fast-track-trial & crucifixion, but died on day 6 of Passover. This might be the boldest claim you have heard in a long time and words such as 'heretic' might come to your mind, but upon a study of the paper you will quickly see the following conditions leading to this precise conclusion.
- Jesus 'taught every day in the temple' (as per Luk 19:47 = at least 3 times from Abib 11th; Abib 10th with a brief visit only).
- Jesus ate the Passover Lamb in the evening of Abib 14th (Mat 26:20).
- Extrabiblical: The 3 non-Jewish trials could not be held on the idolatrous day of "Ides" on Abib 15th, when political and judicial activities were strictly prohibited for both Pilate and Herod.
- Extrabiblical: At least one -full- night must have legally passed before the death sentence was carried out.
- Jesus died on a biblically specified 'Day of Preparation' (for an 'important day' = not a Weekly Sabbath; see Joh 19:31) - either on Abib 14th or 20th.
- Jesus died after Judas (see below).
- Jesus remained 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb. This time spans 2 immediately consecutive Sabbaths (first the Extraordinary Sabbath in Joh 19:31 and then the Weekly Sabbath in Luk 24:1-21).
- The women purchased burial spices after the Extraordinary Sabbath (sunset-sunset as per exception) was over (markets opened in the evening) and prepared those in the hours before the second (Weekly) Sabbath started the next morning. Only the Day-6-Crucifixion can solve this contradiction which confused scholars for centuries.
- Jesus resurrected on the third day 'since' the crucifixion (Luk 24:21), on a Sunday = the first day after the Sabbath (Luk 24:1-21).
8.8 No, the Wave Sheaf Offering (First Fruits) did not occur during Passover, but according to the narrative thread of Leviticus 23 / Deuteronomy 16 immediately after Passover, on Abib 23:
- The narrative thread in both chapters advances from the beginning to the end of the year. Lev 23:8 includes Day 7 of Passover, followed by Lev 23:9-15 with the Wave Sheaf Offering, and then continues with the later feasts.
- The offering occurred on 'the day after the Sabbaths' - the original text uses plural (Lev 23:15).
- It occurred not after the first 2 Sabbaths, but after the last Sabbath of Passover.
- It would interrupt as a day dedicated to bread the partial fasting of leaven!
- Barley was still green at the 7th plague (Exo 9:31-32) and at the beginning of the month of Abib (Exo 13:4, Strong's H24), and could only be harvested weeks later, earliest after the Passover Week.
- The Israelites did not begin their harvest during the Passover feast, when most people traveled.
- Jesus died in the time of the unleavened bread and resurrected when leavened bread was eaten again (Abib 23th), being the First Fruit and the -absolute- bread of life.
8.9 No, Judas did definitely not die after Jesus, meaning sin directly related to Jesus' atonement would have been literally rotting in the world after Jesus washed all (past and respectively confessed future) sin away.
8.10 Formerly, priests made atonement through sin- (purification) and guilt- (reparation) offerings (while burnt-; fellowship-; grain-; peace- and wave- offerings rather served for communion with / devotion to God and the church). Jesus the High Priest (Heb 10:11-12) made atonement for all believer's sin and did not only abolish sacrifices and sin offerings, but also Old Covenant Laws such as circumcision.
Let us have a look at the parallelism between the yearly day of Atonement and the ultimate Atonement done through Christ:
- The Day of Atonement was the -only day- of the year, when only one specific person -the high priest- could enter the Holy of Holies. Jesus is the ultimate high priest (Heb 2:9-17).
- The high priest went alone inside the Holy of Holies, making atonement. In a very similar way, Jesus also 'went' alone into the grave making atonement for all humanity (Heb 9:6-7).
- Both the ordinary High Priest and Jesus entered with blood, offered on behalf of (1) Himself and (2) for the people (Heb 9:7).
- Both the High Priest (Aaron) and Jesus took off their beautiful garments and left simplistic garments consisting of linen in the Holy of Holies / the tomb (Lev 16:23 and Joh 20:5-7).
8.11 Even extra-biblical sources such as Tacticus clearly affirm that "Christus, from whom the name (Christians) had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus".
8.12 No, the miraculous feeding of the 5000 (Mat 14:15-21, Mar 6:35-44, Luk 9:12-17, Joh 6:5-10) and the 4000 (Mat 15:32-38, Mar 8:1-9) are definitely not the same account as claimed by many scholars.
The 5000 are described like sheep without a shepherd (= Jews; Mar 6:34), while the 4000 are simply described as a crowd (= Gentiles; Mat 15:32, Mar 8:1).
The baskets used in Mat 14:20, Mar 6:43, Luk 9:17 and Joh 6:13 (Strong's G2894, 'kophinos', 'a small basket', often used in Jewish history) are different from the much larger baskets used in Mat 15:37, Mar 8:8 and even in Act 9:25 for lowering Saul immediately after his conversion (Strong's G4711, 'spuris', 'reed / plaited / lunch basket, hamper'; without any usage in Jewish context).
- 5000 Jews and their families - not being as hungry for the Word -returned more baskets (12x) while having received less loaves of bread (5x).
- 4000 Gentiles and their families - being rather hungry for the Word - returned less baskets (7x) while having received more loaves of bread (7x).
Those accounts underline the mission of Christ to go to the Jews first, but show that the seed of His ministry did rather fall and grow on Gentile soil. The returned baskets symbolize those among the crowd who did not receive His Word, namely the bread of life, while He was teaching for 3 days (possibly symbolic for His active ministry of 3 years).
9 · Salvation
9.1 In Biblical theology, the categories are
- Nominal Christians (Rev 3:1) versus True Christians (2Cor 5:17) and
- Immature Christians (Luk 8:13) versus Mature Christians (Rom 5:3-4, Heb 12:1, Jas 1:3)
We know that we are born-again children of God, if we
- Are being disciplined by God (Heb 12:8),
- Are being tested from time to time (2Cor 1:6, Rom 5:3, Jas 1:12, Rev 2:3),
- Are noticeably being hindered from committing sin (1Joh 3:9),
- Confess that Jesus is the Son of God (1Joh 4:15),
- Deny ourselves (Mat 16:24, Mar 8:34, Luk 9:23, Joh 12:25),
- Grow in Works of Faith (Rev 2:19),
- Keep willingly His commands (1Joh 3:24, 1Joh 5:3-4, Rev 14:12),
- Love especially our Christian brothers (1Joh 3:10),
- Practise Righteousness (1Joh 3:10),
- Realize the Great Commission (Mat 28:19),
- Receive the Word with joy (Luk 8:13) and
- Strive after holiness (Act 26:18, Rom 6:19, Php 3:12, 1Tim 2:15, Heb 12:14).
9.2 Repentance is a one-time step going hand in hand with the confession of past sins and -also- leading to Past Salvation (being born again). Not less importantly, repentance is also a continuous process (Mat 3:8) based on the confession and thorough removal of present sins we are aware of, or the Holy Spirit makes us aware of. His grace of making us aware of present sins depends on the closeness of our walk with God (the closer we walk with Him the more probable it is to be made aware and to actually become aware of those sins).
No, just because Jesus died for our past, present and future sins, this does not mean that we can leave present sins as they are. Taking e.g. Communion without previous repentance from sins, can even lead to sickness or death (1Cor 11:27-32 spoken in the context of the New Covenant).
9.3 Baptism connects to a wonderful symbolism - precisely to the former circumcision, the crossing of the Red Sea, the Flood and to the Jordan River as the baptismal site.
9.4 No, baptism is not required for and can succeed a Past Salvation (being born again / the betrothal with Christ see 2Cor 11:2-3).
But it is the biblically stated norm for entering the ultimate Kingdom of God through Future Salvation (the marriage with Christ; Mar 16:16 and Rev 19:9) and to teach otherwise is directly contradicting the Word of God, especially Joh 3:5. God may grant exceptions from this norm, but it is not up to us to teach an optional baptism theology (usually based on the previously mentioned 'Single-Tense-Salvation' lacking the differentiation btw. Past, Present & Future Salvation).
And no, the thief on the cross was not such an exception, being clearly part of the Old Covenant. What does it help us anyway to have such pointless discussions that aim to make baptism optional in the minds of humans? "... GO ... baptizing them in the name of ..." (Mat 28:19-20) is one of the clearest commands ever given.
In other words - baptism is like the engagement ring symbolizing the life-changing act of being born again. You might be able to 'get engaged with Christ' without a ring, but do you not want to show your love to Him publicly? Why do we spend thousands of dollars on the betrothal with a human and at the same time perform a mere and paraphrased lip service for something infinitely more important?
9.5 Yes, we find in the Bible the very important separation between PRESENT and FUTURE tense in terms of 'Salvation', 'Justification', 'Righteousness' and the 'Kingdom of God/Heaven'. Terms such as
- Past Salvation (from the condemnation of past sin; being born again),
- Present (or Progressive) Salvation (from the power of ongoing sin over us; progressive sanctification) and
- Future (Eternal) Salvation (from the presence of sin in the world; glorification after Judgment).
are not specifically mentioned in the Bible (same principle as Trinity), but plainly described as regards content through the respective use of past, present and future tense. Read the Word with the respective focus.
9.6 PAST Salvation is available for everyone who comes to Jesus, but FUTURE and definitive salvation will only be achieved by a fraction of those who once came to Jesus and did not shipwreck their faith (1Tim 1:19). And therefore - despite the eternal security promised in a general context- we can definitely fall away from faith and lose a wrongly perceived Salvation.
What I would coin as 'Single-Tense-Salvation' (lacking the differentiation btw. Past, Present & Future Salvation) - commonly leading to the 'Once saved always saved' dogma, is one of the biggest heresies taught in the last centuries.
It is a teaching that is clearly opposing the Word of God spoken in the Gospels Mat 24:12-13, Luk 8:13, Luk 20:35, Luk 22:31-32, Joh 9:39, Joh 15:2-6, in Acts 14:21-22, in Paul's letters to the churches Rom 11:20-21, Gal 1:6, Gal 5:4, 1Th 3:5, 1Tim 4:1, Heb 2:1-3, Heb 3:12-14, Heb 4:1-11, Heb 6:5-6, Heb 10:38-39, in the 7 epistles Jam 5:19-20, 1Joh 2:28, 2Pet 1:10, 2Pet 2:20-21, 2Pet 3:17, Jud 20-21 and in Rev 2:5. See also the warning in Eze 33:17-20.
Eph 5:6 'Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.'
9.7 Does the possibility of shipwrecking someone's faith contradict Eternal Security (1Cor 1:8-9, Eph 1:13-14, Php 1:3-6, 1Joh 5:13, 1Cor 6:9)? Not in the least as we see when we analyse the use of the word 'forever' in the Bible, which is often used by God in the context of an eternal promise, but has regularly a temporal outcome.
In the same way that God promised an eternal Temple in Jerusalem (1Kin 9:2-5 and 2Kin 21:7-8), but retracted from His promise and left His House for destruction after His people had rejected Him (2Kin 21:13-15), so we have Eternal Security from which God only retracts if we reject him through sins we are aware of, but do not repent of.
Eternal security is the promise that the Spirit dwells eternally in our Temple (body), but we can clearly shipwreck our salvation.
9.8 We are initially justified (Past Justification) and declared righteous through Jesus (from past sins, and from ongoing sins upon repentance), but will achieve Future Justification and receive the Crown of Righteousness only on the Judgment Day.
- Mat 12:37 affirms that Justification will happen on Judgment Day,
- Rom 2:13 reads 'you will be justified',
- Rom 3:4 excludes a concluded action,
- Gal 2:16, 17 reads 'seeking to be justified' from the perspective of a born-again believer (Gal 2:18 'for if I build up again these things which I destroyed'; see Barnes' Notes),
- Jam 2:24 includes 'Works of Faith' which precede Future Justification; obviously no Works of Faith before Past Salvation.
Then not a preliminary (Past Justification), but definite Justice (Future Justification) will be done through the great judge (G1348 dikastés, same root word as Justification), sheep (true believers) and goats (false-, un-believers) will be separated, rewards will be distributed for ultimately saved believers, and ultimately unsaved believers will be condemned together with unbelievers.
Romans 2:5 includes even the term 'The Revelation of the Righteous Judgment' (G1341 dikaiokrisia), which occurs only once in the entire New Testament and clearly affirms the future character of Justification (identical root word in Greek for Righteousness (G1342 dikaios and G1343 dikaiosunē) and Justification (G1344 dikaioō)).
9.9 The PRESENT Kingdom is here, but obviously not yet fully. The FUTURE Kingdom - to be instated with Trumpet #7- will be in no comparison to the PRESENT Kingdom - it will 'blow us away'.
9.10 Yes, we do not earn our Past Salvation (being born again) through Works of the Law nor Works of Faith.
Works of the Law (Atonement, the 7 Ceremonial Sabbaths, Clean Food, Sacrifices, Tithing, et al = Works to get right with God; see Mar 12:33, Rom 3:20, Rom 3:27-28, Gal 2:16, Gal 3:2, 10, Eph 2:8-9, 2Tim 1:9, Heb 9:13, 14)
are not required anymore in the New Covenant, but
Works of Faith / of Love (Giving, Helps, Hospitality, Service in church & society = Works after being right with God; see Jam 2:14, 18, 22, 24, 26, Gal 5:6, 1Th 1:3, Heb 10:24, Act 9:36, 1Tim 3:1, 1Tim 5:9-10, Heb 6:10, Heb 13:16, Jam 3:13, Rom 16:12, 1Cor 15:58, Gal 6:4, Php 2:12, Tit 3:1-8, 1Pet 1:17, Rev 2:19 )
are a clear indicator if someone walks on the road of sanctification leading to Future Salvation - or not. The absence of Works of Faith is visible through the absence of fruits and generally means the absence of faith itself (believe only - even the devil believes in God), and consequently the absence of Future Salvation by lacking the prerequisite of sufficient, saving faith.
9.11 A commonly misinterpreted verse is found in Isaiah 64:6:
"We all have become unclean, all (our) righteousnesses are (like) a filthy rag ..."
Many teachers interpret this passage in this way: "Even our most exemplary works are nothing but filthy rags before a holy and righteous God." This is an overzealous intend of trying to distance Protestants from Catholics, by injecting the word 'deeds' / 'works' into this verse, which clearly refers to the abolished Ceremonial Law, as the Old Covenant term 'unclean' already indicates (Mar 7:19). This interpretation applied to the New Covenant is nothing short of heresy, because God makes it over and over very clear that Works of Faith / of Love are essential and will be rewarded in Heaven - contrary to filthy rags which would rather stand for works that will be burned up (1Cor 3:15). If all works would be filthy rags, then all works would be burned up.
The proposed interpretation of this verse is to say that our (intend of) righteousness compared to the perfect righteousness of God is worthless.
9.12 The doctrine 'Faith Alone' is not only clearly opposed in the Bible (Jas 2:24) - Martin Luther also warned against it in his commentary on Galatians 5:15 :
"Both subjects, even faith and works, ought to be diligently taught and urged; yet so that each may remain within its own limits. For if works alone are taught, as is the case in the Papacy, faith is lost sight of; if faith alone is taught, immediately carnal men imagine that good works are not necessary."
9.13 Spiritual Self-Sufficiency / Age of Accountability is a very important concept rarely taught in our churches.
No, children of believers who die before the age of 20 years will not be condemned. The decisive principle is found in Num 14:29, where God excluded children under the age of 20 from the condemnation of their respective tribes (spies for Canaan lying to their people). This passage is paralleled in Deu 1:39 - with the very important addition that those children 'do not know good or bad' (see also Isa 7:15-16 and Jon 4:11, with further explanation of left and right in Ecc 10:2 and Mat 25:33-34). Children are also described as 'innocent' in Jer 19:4-5. If God excluded in 1446 BC children under the age of 20 from condemnation, then He will do so especially after the First Coming of Jesus Christ. It would be abstruse to assume the contrary.
Passages such as 1Cor 7:14 saying 'they are holy' and Mat 19:14 stating 'to such belongs the Kingdom of Heaven' make it clear that all children of believers who will have died until the age of 19, will be part of the New Jerusalem. Meanwhile, children of unbelieving parents will form those surrounding nations that serve the New Jerusalem (Isa 60:14 'the children of those who oppressed you'). No, (part of) those nations will probably not come from other planets as teachers such as Billy Graham assume.
See also the study 'End Times' for more details about the surrounding nations (Rev 21:24-27, Rev 22:1-2, Mic 4:1-5 and Luk 19:17-19), a topic commonly 'overlooked' in eschatology. All unbelievers will be in hell, but their children who die before the age of 20 years will form the nations - naturally including millions of aborted children.
9.14 Foreknowledge, Election and Predestination are a big deal in the Word of God - nearly as important as the better known concept of Free Will. It is more, Foreknowledge and Free Will even go hand in hand. The Bible shows us several verses that include both principles at the same time.
Predestination (more precisely 'Previous Election') is the result of the bridegroom having foreknown our decision and perseverance. Free Will is the faithful virgin deciding to come to the wedding celebration of the lamb. Just as earthly marriage requires the individual consent of both man and woman, so the heavenly marriage requires the individual consent of both the Father and a child of God.
Calvinism follows the Bible in its initial approach, but then downplays our individual consent to a secondary formality ("man is not even able to respond to God") and propagates the 'Once-Saved-Always-Saved' theology (enriched by perseverance); Hyper-grace; Jesus came to save the elect only; a believer cannot reject the grace of God; God hates unbelievers - a belief system which is strongly unbiblical (see discernment).
9.15 Is Double Predestination (Predestination to Hell) biblical?
Not in the sense that people are predestined to hell, but that God foreknows our decisions, as we can see on the basis of the story of Pharaoh. He was pre-destined to condemnation (Rom 9:17), but the hardening of his heart was not a product of random selection as e.g. Calvinists would claim. It was a product of the pre-existence of professional witchcraft already at the time of Joseph (Gen 41:8).
Only after Pharaoh responded to the first miracle with witchcraft (he directly commanded it!), his heart was instantly hardened (Exo 7:13, foreseen in Exo 4:21, 7:3). He then successfully repeated the first 3 miracles through witchcraft (Exo 7:11-12, 7:22, 8:7). While the magicians had already surrendered ('It is the finger of God', Exo 8:18-19), Pharaoh's heart became harder and harder while clinging to witchcraft.
Though Pharaoh was predestined for the role of the oppressor and to go to hell, he did not come into condemnation without deserving it. He had the choice before his heart initially hardened. God foresaw this from the beginning of the world and predestined him accordingly. He did not predestine him to witchcraft, but to condemnation after actively committing witchcraft.
Foreknowledge is God knowing beforehand what we can only know after we will make the respective free-will decisions. It is perfectly just (Eze 33:17-20).
9.16 The 'golden chain' of Foreknowledge - Predestination - Calling - Justification - Sanctification - Glorification is often seen as automatism for born-again-believers, based on the missing awareness of the differentiation between Past and Present Tense, even amongst highly regarded scholars.
Romans 8:28-30 :
[Present Tense - speaking to the church in Rome and consequently our generation] And we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called [G2822, klētos, invited, appointed] according to His purpose,
[Paul now changes intentionally to Past Tense, probably so as to explain / give the example how Old Covenant saints had been saved before Christ rose] because those whom He foreknew [G4267, προγινώσκω, proginōskō], He also predestined [G4309, προορίζω, proorizō, predetermined] to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He [=clearly Christ] should be the firstborn among many brothers [=Christ resurrected before Paul wrote to the Romans; the Old Covenant saints in Mat 27:52-53 did not leave their graves and enter the Holy City until Christ was risen = born first].
And those whom He predestined, these He also called [different from the 'calling' used initially in the Present Tense section (also commonly overlooked); G2564, kaleō, call aloud], and those whom He called, these He also justified, and those whom He justified, these He also glorified [Past Tense = all happened before Paul wrote those lines].
We see in conclusion, that we are called in the sense of being invited, to go through a very similar process the Old Testament saints such as Abraham or Moses previously went in their successful sanctification, before the image of His Son appeared on the earth. Although the principle of this golden chain can be applied to us, we are not guaranteed to go automatically all the way, just because people in the past did so.
10 · Spiritual Discipline
10.1 No, we are not told to only love one another and forget about the rest, as mainstream Christianity often wants us to teach. We also ought to do the uncomfortable part including to accept (Rom 12:16, Rom 15:7), bear (Rom 15:1, Eph 4:2, Col 3:12-13), comfort (2Cor 1:3-5, 2Tim 4:16), confess (Act 19:18, Jam 5:16), encourage (Pro 16:24, Rom 15:5, 1Th 5:11, Heb 10:24), exhort (Pro 27:5, Mat 18:15-17, 2Cor 7:10, Gal 6:1, Eph 4:15, 25, 2Th 3:14, 2Tim 4:2), forgive (1Kin 8:50, Mat 6:15, Luk 17:3-4, 2Cor 2:10, Col 3:12-13, Psa 30:5, Eph 4:26), give (Mat 5:42, Mat 6:3-4), honor (Rom 12:10, 1Cor 12:26, Eph 6:2, 1Tim 5:3, 1Pet 2:17), instruct (Pro 1:8, Pro 27:17, Rom 15:14, Col 3:16), invite (Act 2:46, Rom 12:13, 1Pet 4:9), sometimes even judge (Zec 7:9, Mat 7:5, Joh 7:24, 1Cor 5:1-3, 1Cor 5:11, 1Cor 5:12-13), pray (Eph 6:18, 1Tim 2:1, Jam 5:16), reconcile (Mat 5:24, Act 7:26, 1Cor 7:11, Phm 1:10-18), serve (Mat 20:26-28, Joh 13:8, Gal 5:13, 1Pet 4:10), share (Eph 4:28, 1Tim 6:18, Heb 13:16) and submit (Eph 5:21, Eph 6:1, Php 2:3, Heb 13:17, 1Pet 5:5) (to / with) one another (2Tim 4:1-2).
And no, we should not despise, judge unrighteously, kill, mislead, provoke, show partiality and slander one another. More in the study 'One Anothering'.
10.2 Yes, homosexuality is still the same severe sin it had been in Old Covenant times, with the only but decisive difference that Christ proactively atoned the related death penalty and is offering free forgiveness upon individual repentance. Followers of Christ ought to respectfully invite and welcome such people to our churches, but should also have an eye on a timely conversion away from sin and towards Jesus Christ. If a change is not obvious after some months, the person has to be exhorted and in the last instance treated as an outsider (Mat 18:15-17).
10.3 No, sex is not sinful according to the Bible and is to be enjoyed, as described in great detail in Songs of Solomon. But always within marriage.
And no, adultery and fornication are not the same as regularly mixed up. Fornication (sex before marriage - never related to death penalty) is a sin lesser weighted by God than the sin of adultery (sex with or by a married person - formerly leading to the death penalty). But both unrepented adultery and unrepented fornication might exclude someone from entering the Kingdom (1Cor 6:9). Timely repentance is key. More in the study 'Sexual Discipline(s)'.
10.4 One of the most mistranslated verses of the Bible is Mat 5:28 "But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.". The correct translation is "... every one who looketh on a [married] woman so as to covet her, already, hath committed adultery with her, in his heart."
While the verb 'pathos' (G3806) describes sinful lust / degrading passions / lustful passions (used in Rom 1:26-27, Col 3:5 and 1Th 4:4-5), the verb 'epithumeō' (G1937) (as used in Mat 5:28 and Mat 13:17, Luk 15:16, Luk 16:21, Luk 17:22, Luk 22:15, Act 20:33, Rom 7:7, Rom 13:9, 1Cor 10:6, Gal 5:17, 1Tim 3:1, Heb 6:11, Jam 4:2, 1Pet 4:2, 1Pet 1:12 and Rev 9:6 ) does not describe lust at all, but the desire / covetousness (of something that belongs to someone else). This also becomes clear by the verse of Mat 5:28 itself, because it speaks of adultery, which is a concept exclusively related to marriage. If a single man looks after a single woman, this verse has not the least of relevance. But it is regularly abused by pastors who -most often unknowingly- teach a legalistic burden.
10.5 Divorce is biblically distinguished from separation (1Cor 7:12-15 differentiates between 'no divorce' and 'let him leave'), in the same way Israel is currently only separated from God (Isa 50:1) and will be taken back by Him in our end times (Isa 49:5, Jer 3:12, Jer 4:1, Jer 30:3, Hos 3:5, Hos 14:1).
- A separation is only allowed through the initiative of the unbelieving spouse; for any reason; no remarriage allowed before the unbeliever dies.
- The word 'douloo' [G1402] in 1Cor 7:15 is often mistranslated with 'not bound', but is mainly being used as 'being enslaved to evil / being under bondage' of an evil unbeliever, and is significantly different from a marriage bond [G1210 'deo'] which would in turn justify a divorce. It can also mean 'not to serve / no power over the body / no due benevolence, a concept described only a few verses earlier in 1Cor 7:2-5.
- Divorce was only allowed by special concession from ~1445 BC until 33 AD, when Jesus unquestionably annulled Moses' concession (Mat 19:9), which was however only part of the Old Covenant Laws abolished through Christ's death.
- Adultery does never justify divorce and much less remarriage (Hos 3:1, Heb 13:4, Mar 10:11-12, 1Cor 7:11)
- Divorce is only permitted if the wife is found to have lost her chastity (Mat 5:32 and Mat 19:9), a concept well described in the Bible. 'Sexual immorality' is an unprecise and watered down translation of the umbrella term 'porneia'). The common interpretation 'except on the basis of adultery causeth her to commit adultery' is an oxymoron / duplication.
- Remarriage is only permitted in cases of unchastity or if the spouse has died.
- Abuse does never justify divorce, but a separation if the spouse is classified by the elders of their church as unbeliever, based on ongoing abuse and absence of repentance. No remarriage allowed.
- Jesus can even forgive adultery upon sincere repentance (see David).
- More details in the study.
10.6 No, not every sin is weighted in the same way. To teach otherwise is to directly contradict the Word of God, which shows various examples of differentiation between sins in the New Covenant. This principle becomes also clear by the death penalty in the Old Covenant not being associated to every-, but only to very specific sins.
10.7 No, alcohol is not from the devil and is sometimes even encouraged by the Word of God. But everything in moderation, and better not for those who struggle.
10.8 Yes - and still today: women should cover their head during private and public prayer. No cultural context can be applied because Paul proactively gave 3 (!) specific reasons. It is principally not to oppress women, but to the contrary, to give them authority (1Cor 11:10). No, there is no indication to cover the head of a woman even outside the prayer times, as many religions have brought it to the extreme. And last but not least - men are sinning (not my, but Paul's words) by wearing any form of head covering during prayer (1Cor 11:4-16). Do we really want to live in rebellion to God by trying to argue those easily implemented commands away?
10.9 Another unpopular, but biblical topic: men should not have long hair (1Cor 11:14) and women should ideally have long hair (Song 4:1 and 1Cor 11:15). And no, the few exceptions in the Bible (e.g. Samson who took the Nazirite Vow; Jdg 13:5) do not form a general pattern, in the same way that Isaiah having walked naked for 3 years, is surely not a pattern for us. Let us simply obey instead of excusing our actions.
10.10 No, the modern Daniel fast is not part of the Bible and we are not better than the Pharisees if we add randomly a long list of foodstuffs copied from the Internet (which is nothing different than adding our own laws = repeating the very same religious behavior). The biblical Daniel-10-fast simply excludes special bread, meat, wine and ointments. The vast majority of biblical fasts lasted 0.5 to 3 days and we do not become more holy when we fast 20, 30 or even 40 days. Intention & heart should come before duration. Many churches enter today into the realm of superficial religiosity (works of the law) by emphasizing duration and often providing only a generic, but not a specific and tangible purpose for a corporate fast. Focus - and don't do it for simply doing it.
10.11 No, the Bible does not state that religion is bad per se as pronounced over and over, but even shows positive examples in between all the exhortations about false religiosity (Act 25:18-20, Jam 1:26-27).
11 · Spiritual Gifts
11.1 No, Spiritual Gifts are not a thing from the ancient past. Those can be gifts for you and me.
If gifts would have ceased, we would have no one with the gift of teaching (Rom 12:4-8), no one who leads, shows mercy, or who gives in an extraordinary manner. We should not reject gifts that make us uncomfortable or that are abused by others. Gifts are assigned in the timing and proportion the Holy Spirit desires.
Consider all gifts, not only those who seem desirable and elevate the reputation, but also gifts that could potentially harm your reputation (e.g. discernment and exhortation), and use every gift you might receive well. And no, speaking in tongues does not define if you are born again.
11.2 No, Cessationism is not a biblical doctrine, and jeopardizes the functions of the church of Christ. Often, a noble thought of criticizing the abuse of Spiritual Gifts is associated with the rejection of Spiritual Gifts, but this is a fundamental error, because the reference for God's truth can never be evil (abuse), but always His perfect will (correct use). We are to judge and correct those brothers and sisters who abuse Spiritual Gifts, but we quickly assume a heretical and almost blasphemous position if we try to assume the role of the ultimate judge by intending to abolish certain uncomfortable principles and elementary functions of His church.
12 · End Times
12.1 We live in the last days / this present age / this (set of) generation(s) (defined in Deu 32:6-9, a verse that solves also the dilemma of interpreting Mar 13:30 'Truly I say to you that this [set of] generation[s] will never pass away until all these things take place').
Age 1 = Adam to First Coming (Old Covenant) (see Deu 32:6-9, Heb 1:1-4, Heb 9:26)
Age 2 = First Coming to Second Coming (New Covenant) · Last Days (see Act 2:17, Heb 1:1-4, 2Tim 3:1-6, 1Pet 1:20) / This Age (see Mat 28:20, Eph 1:21, Heb 9:26) / This Generation (see Mar 13:30, 1Pet 2:9)
Age 3 = Eternity (Eternal Covenant) (see Luk 18:29-30, Eph 1:21, 1Pet 4:7)
12.2 Although very often assumed, the book of Daniel does not point to the end times of the New Covenant, but of the Old Covenant. I analyzed this book and am able to clearly prove this in the study 'The Book of Daniel and Common Misinterpretations. The only brief reference to our end times appears in the closing chapter of the book (Dan 12:1-3).
- The decisive passage is the mention of the 'continual ascending-sacrifice' / 'regular burnt offering' and the 'sanctuary', which clearly excludes an application for our future, because Jesus abolished regular burnt offerings and a physical sanctuary (temple) does not exist anymore (Dan 8:13-19).
- The book of Ezekiel is also a clear example that the 'time of the end' and the wrath of God do not automatically refer to our end times, but to those of ancient Israel (Eze 7:5-8).
- The smoking gun - The 'time of the end' described in Daniel 8 is already past because we can read the formerly sealed scroll now in the Bible (Dan 8:26 and Dan 12:4). A sealed scroll cannot be read (Isa 29:11). If the book of Daniel would apply to us, then we would not be able yet to read this book.
12.3 No, the book of Revelation is not a self-service shop for those who want to modify the chronology, assuming their highly unlikely presence and hypothetically avoiding (part of) the tribulation. The study 'End Times' includes biblical clarification of the prevalent question 'Will End Times-Believers Experience The Tribulation', such as Rev 6:6, Rev 9:4-11, Rev 13:10, Rev 14:12 and related passages such as Gen 18:25, Exo 9:22-23, Exo 10:23, Psa 9:9, Isa 26:20, Luk 17:31-33.
12.4 The 24 elders (Rev 4:4) are definitely not
- a high order of angels, mediating spirit or saints, or 24 unidentified elders of Christian churches as sometimes assumed. It does not make sense to know that God will ultimately save (the tribes of) Israel, but will ignore the leaders of the respective tribes by only including Gentile elders.
They can only stand for:
- the 12 chosen leaders of the tribes of Israel - namely Asher, Benjamin, Gad, Issachar, Joseph including Ephraim's portion, Judah, Levi instead of Dan, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, Zebulun and
- the 12 chosen leaders of the church of Christ - namely Andrew , Bartholomew Nathanael, James son of Alphaeus, James son of Zebedee, John son of Zebedee, Matthew Levi, Matthias, Philip, Simon Peter, Simon the Zealot, Thaddaeus Judas, Thomas Didymus.
12.5 The 4 living beasts (creatures) in Rev 4:7-8 probably represent the 4 different people groups the writers of the 4 Gospels addressed:
1-Lion = Judah (the 'lion of Judah') = the Jews - to whom Matthew wrote (1st Gospel)
2-Ox / calf = Romans (superpower) / Italy (meaning etymologically 'land of calves') - to whom Mark wrote (2nd Gospel)
3-Man = Greeks / Gentile believers (Luke 3 also provides the only complete genealogies of MANkind since Adam) - to whom Luke wrote (3rd Gospel)
4-Eagle = John, who specifically witnessed to unbelievers, and warns unbelievers of all ethnic groups in all over the world of the upcoming end times (4th Gospel)
The 6 wings probably relate symbolically to all the people (6 = number of man) in each group of believers, spread all over the earth ('full of eyes').
If you still doubt at this point, then notice the order provided in Joh 19:19-20 :
"... it was written: "Jesus the Nazarene, the king of the Jews." [...] And it was written
in Aramaic [1- to Jews],
in Latin [2- to Romans], and
in Greek [3- to Greeks]."
12.6 No, not all ethnical Israel will be saved (Rom 2:9 · Rom 9:6-13 · Rom 9:27-28 · Rom 11:4 · Rom 11:7 · Rom 11:25 · Rom 11:31 · 2Cor 3:12-18).
12.7 Yes, the 144 000 in Rev 7:3-8 are literal. It describes the great moment the descendants of the tribes of Israel who are alive in that moment, will be representatively grafted in, before the probably larger remainder of descendants included in the 2nd resurrection (Rev 20:13).
- The narrative style is exactly the same as in Num 1:20-46 (apart from a different genre / theme of the book), where the tribes of Israel were counted - also with an exact sum.
- Many abstruse interpretations have been made, mainly motivated by the wishful thinking to include Gentile Christians into this count and to make it infinite by outmost creative calculations such as 12 x 12 x 10 x 10 x 10, declaring it an infinite number - while ignoring the clear differentiation to the indeed infinite crowd in Rev 7:9.
- Gentile Christians are already sealed upon Salvation (Eph 1:13-14). We cannot be sealed twice! Revelation 7 simply describes the special moment when Jewish believers are being sealed (re-grafted) into the Kingdom of God. Let us not be jealous - but benevolent.
12.8 No, Jesus will not return imminently in the sense of coming at any given moment. Many events of the tribulation will have to precede His second coming.
We might know approx. the year of His coming once the tribulation will have started, but nobody knows the hour, nor the day, and not even the month of His coming. Neither Mat 24:36 nor any other part of the Bible implies that we cannot know the year of His coming.
12.9 No, we will not live in Heaven for eternity. Heaven (the New Jerusalem) will come down on a renewed planet Earth and its size roughly fits the Arabian Peninsula (Gen 15:18-21, Zec 14:8) as a possible location. Learn in the study more about the respective references found in the Bible.
12.10 The wording 'Kingdom of God' is rarely used by Matthew who wrote to the Jews scared to take the name of God in vain (G-d)
replacing 'God' with 'Heaven'; and much more often used by Mark and Luke. Meanwhile, Mark and Luke do not use the
wording 'Kingdom of Heaven' at all, while Matthew uses it 36 times.
- Matthew · Kingdom of God (4x), - of Heaven (36x).
- Mark · Kingdom of God (14x).
- Luke · Kingdom of God 31x).
Today, we -who sit in our comfortable pews- rather see open-air preaching as something exotic and indeed it has become so. But from a biblical point of view, we rather require a defence for services within buildings than for worship outside of them. Open-air churches were throughout Bible history the most prevalent places of teaching and worship. A preacher who has never preached beyond the walls of his meeting house, would need very potent arguments to prove that he has done his full duty.
Christ was a street preacher (Pro 1:20-33, Pro 8:1-10, Mat 5:1, Luk 6:17-49, Joh 7:28, Joh 7:37), so as Amos (Amos 5:10), Ezra (Ezr 10:9-14, Neh 8:1), Isaiah (Isa 29.21, Isa 58:1), Jeremiah (Jer 2:1-2, Jer 7.1-2, Jer 11:6, Jer 17:19-20, Jer 36.10), Jesus's disciples (Luk 9:5-7, Act 3:11-26), John the Baptist (Mat 3:1-2, Mar 1:4), Jonah (Jon 3:4), Paul (Act 17:17, Act 17:22-34, Act 19:9) et al.
No, numerologies -if applied with wisdom - are not a construct of cloudy or mystical origin, but are powerfully used by God to show the significance of certain events and persons, wonderfully underlining the authority of Scriptures that are perfectly interwoven on the level of testaments, books, chapters, verses, words, symbolism, types, numerologies and more ... The Bible also repeats the phrase 'according to the number' 44 times.
The numerical pattern of 1 Day = 1000 Years is often abused, but it clearly has only a symbolic-, and not a literal meaning. Psa 90:3-4 and 2Pet 3:8-9 make this perfectly clear, by showing us the fleeting nature of human life compared to the eternal perspective of God.
Meanwhile, the numerical method of 1 Day = 10 Years is to be taken literally, as shown in Num 14:34 and Eze 4:6.
A literal pattern is also found in Gen 29:27-28, where Jacob serves for several weeks, each week being 7 years long and providing the basis for the correct interpretation of Daniel 9.
Paul is the author of 14, not of 13 books of the Bible, as explicitly confirmed by early historians and scholars such as Amphilochius, the writers of the Apostolic Canons, Athanasius (Alexandria), Augustine (Hippo), Cyril (Jerusalem), Epiphanius, Eusebius (Caesarea), Jerome, John (Damascus), the Council of Laodicea and by Nazianzus.
1. Romans • 2-3. Corinthians • 4. Galatians • 5. Ephesians, 6. Philippians • 7. Colossians • 8-9. Thessalonians • 10. Hebrews • 11-12. Timothy • 13.Titus • 14. Philemon.
Only Cheltenham and Origen ob- and re-jected the authorship of Paul. But we must not to fall into the same trap as many scholars and well-known book authors of our day still do, who often reference Origen without any objections, although it is well know that he was a heretic (Universalist, Genesis to be allegory, probably self-castrated). The book of Hebrews deviates in style from Paul's other books, but this and Origen's opposition are not enough of a basis for rejecting his authorship, when contrasted by the overwhelming majority of scholars affirming it.