Is Satan Winning? -r

According to the Bible, God originally created the spirit being often called Lucifer as sinless angel, but he rebelled against God (Isaiah 14:12-20; Ezekiel 28:12-19), and so became Satan (adversary), God’s enemy?

The Bible reals that Satan is a person — not just an evil principle — for he abode not in the truth, spoke to God, reasoned, etc. — John 8: 44; Job 1: 1-22; 2: 1-13; 2 Corinthians 2: 11; 11: 14, 15.

God created Adam just, straight, upright (Ecclesiastes 7:29) and told him if he disobeyed he would begin to die, but Satan won control over mankind by his first lie that they would not die. — Genesis 2:17; 3: 4; Ezekiel 18:4, 20; Romans 5:12; 6: 23.

As a result of sin, God sentenced Adam to the foretold condemnation, “Dying, you shall die” (Genesis 2:17, Green’s Litera)l; “to dust you shall return,” but He also offered a covenant promise of reversal of this condemnation when He said that the woman’s seed shall bruise Satan’s head. — Genesis 3: 14-19; Revelation 12:9; 20:2.

A woman in the Bible often symbolizes a covenant. (Galatians 4:22-26) Thus, the woman of Genesis 3:15 may be seen to be God’s covenant “word of promise”, a promise of a seed. — Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14; Romans 9:9; Acts 3:25; Galatians 3:8,16,18,29; 4:28; 2 Timothy 2:8.

Nevertheless, ever since God’s sentencing of Adam and Eve, Satan has tried to destroy or ensnare the seed of the woman?

The Bible shows that Satan before the Flood induced some angels to materialize and marry women, thus producing a hybrid offspring and very evil conditions. — Genesis 6: 1-7; Jude 6,7.

God, however, by the Flood destroyed that “world [Greek, kosmos, its social order consisting of both a heavens and an earth — not the planet earth (Psalm 104:5)] that was” — saving only Noah and family. — 2 Peter 2:4,5.

Consequently, Satan with the aid of his fallen angels soon enslaved Noah’s progeny through Nimrod, and began various false religions, etc., and thus by usurpation became “the god [mighty one] of this [‘present evil’] age.” — Genesis 10:1-32; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Galatians 1:4; John 12:31; 14:30.

And yet Jehovah promised righteous Abraham that through him and his seed all nations would be blessed. — Genesis 12:1-3; 15:6; 17:19, 21; 22:15-18; 26:4; 28:14; Romans 4:3.

Therefore, Satan made special attacks on Isaac, Esau (causing him to sell his birthright), Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the children of Israel, Saul, David, Solomon, his progeny, the prophets, etc. — Luke 11:47-51.

Finally, God sent His only begotten Son, the promised seed, to give his life a ransom, so all would be given one full individual trial for eternal life. — Galatians 3: 8,16; Matthew 20:28; 1 Timothy 2:5,6; 1 John 2:2; 4:9,10.

In an effort to thwart God’s purposes, Satan tried to ensnare or destroy Jesus and finally succeeded in having him crucified. — Matthew 4: 1-11; 8: 24; Luke 4: 29; 22: 3-6, 47, 48; 23: 33, 34.

Despite Satan’s efforts, God raised Jesus from the dead and exalted Him to the highest position in the universe, next to Most High. — Acts 2:33,36; 5:30,31; Philippians 2:9-11; Ephesians 1:3,17-23; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Hebrews 1:4; 1 Peter 3:22.

Due to Jesus’ victory of Satan, Satan became desparate, realizing that he was running out of time; thus, Satan, no longer able to attack Jesus personally, has since tried to destroy the Church, Jesus’ Body and has sought to hinder its development, for it also is a part of Abraham’s Seed that is to bless all mankind. — Romans 12:5; 4:13-16; Ephesians 1:18-23; Galatians 3:7-9,29; Revelation 12:9-17.

Jehovah, despite Satan’s persecutions, prospered and multiplied the early Church. — Acts 2:41; 5:14.

Consequently, Satan, failing to destroy the Church by persecutions, perverted it with false doctrines and bad practices {Matthew 13: 24-28; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-10; 1 John 4:3), so that the true Church became almost unrecognizable, because of so many tares (imitation Christians).

God, however, has kept His promise never to forsake His loyal people, so amid all Satan’s errors and the “gross darkness” upon the people, God gave His true saints “a little help” through such faithful servants as Marsiglio, Wyclif, Huss, Savonarola, Luther, Zwingli, Cranmer, Wesley, and many others. — Hebrews 13:5,6; Matthew 28: 20; Isaiah 60:2; Daniel 11:34; Micah 5:5.

Nonetheless, Satan controlled Christendom by “the chained Bible,” ignorance, superstition, heathen philosophies and various errors, especially errors such as the Divine right of kings, clergy and aristocracy — and to support his first lie (Genesis 3: 4), he used the false teaching of consciousness of the dead, inherent immortality of the human soul and the blasphemous doctrine of eternal torment, using figurative Bible texts and parables literally and confusing hades and Gehenna so as to deceive.

God’s prophecies, however, indicate that since 1799, in “the time of the end,” God has greatly increased knowledge. — Daniel 12:4; Nahum 2:3,4.

Therefore, with the dispelling of his old errors, Satan and his demons (“seducing spirits”) have brought forth new “doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1): Evolution, Theosophy, Christian Science, New Thought, Mormonism, Rosicrucianism, Universalism, Scientology, etc. — and are multiplying deceptive “signs and wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9) — including witchcraft, black art, fortune-telling, alleged talking with the dead, Satanism, clairvoyance, spirit-rapping, sorcery, crystal-ball gazing, tea-leaf reading, spirit-writing, hypnotism, ESP, astrology, poltergeists, horoscopes, ouija boards, “flying saucers”, and much more.

Yet, many Christians do not realize that God forbids His people to have anything to do with such media. — Exodus 22: 18; Leviticus 19: 26, 31; 20: 6, 27; Deuteronomy 18: 9-14; 1 Chronicles 10:13,14; 2 Kings 21:6; 2 Chronicles 33: 6; Isaiah 8:19,20; 19:3,4; Jeremiah 29:8,9; Zechariah 10:2; Galatians 5:19-21; Revelation 21:8; 22:15.

The Biblical prophecies show that God through Christ victorious in refuting Satan’s errors by the truth and in using the “time of trouble” (World War, Revolution and Anarchy) to bind Satan and demolish his empire, preparatory to establishing God’s Kingdom on earth, –Revelation 19: 11-21; 11: 15-18; 20: 1-4; 1 Kings 19: 11, 12; Psalms 46: 8-11; 76: 8-10; Daniel 12: 1; Matthew 24: 21, 22; 12: 29; 6: 10; Micah 4: 1-4.

Eventually, the Satan’s dominion will be brought to an end, for God “shall bruise Satan under your [the elect Seed’s] feet shortly”; for God “will have all men [including the non-elect — 1 Timothy 4: 10; Hebrews 2: 9; 1 John 2: 2] to be saved [from Adamic condemnation] and to come unto the [exact] knowledge of the truth.” — Romans 16: 20; 1 Timothy 2: 4-6; Numbers 14: 21; Isaiah 11: 9.

With Satan out of the way, God will bring forth “the new earth [social order]” in which mankind will have their judgment (trial for life) as they come up the “highway” to human perfection, without the present blinding influence of Satan. — Acts 17: 31; 2 Peter 3:7-13; Isaiah 35:1-10; 65:17-25; Revelation 20:1-4; 21: 1-5; 22: 17.

However, the prophecies show that Satan, when loosed for mankind’s final testing, will soon gain a host of followers, but God will annihilate him and all the wicked.  — Revelation 20:3,7-10; 21:8; Psalms 37:9-11,38; 145:20; Isaiah 43: 17; Hebrews 2: 14.

Happlily, in the result will be that God will thus have won the contest; for Satan will be no more, “all iniquity shall stop her mouth,” and all creatures will praise God and Christ forever. — Ezekiel 28:19; Psalms 107:42; Revelation 5:12, 13.

 

 

 

 

Psalm 23:1 – Jehovah Is My Shepherd

Psalm 23:1 - Jehovah is my shepherd(1) It is safe to say that no other collection of poems has accomplished as much good as the Book of Psalms. Its sentiments seem to touch the soul at every turn — in joy, in sorrow. Referring to the Twenty-third Psalm, Beecher wrote, “It is the nightingale among the Psalms. It is small, of a homely feather, singing shyly out of obscurity; but it has filled the air of the whole world with melodious joy”; and Spurgeon said, “This is the Pearl of Psalms, whose soft and pure radiance delights every eye.”

(2) “Jehovah is my shepherd.” (Psalm 23:1) Only the people of God, in covenant relationship with Him, can properly appreciate this Psalm and apply its gracious sentiments to themselves. The Psalmist David could do this, because he belonged to the favored nation which God had taken into covenant relationship with Himself at Mount Sinai; additionally he had shown in faith in the promises of the coming Messiah. The Israelites had covenanted to walk in Jehovah’s way and to obey His statutes; and God in turn had covenanted with them that He would, in proportion as they would do this, bestow His blessing upon their every interest. (Exodus 19:5) And perfect obedience to that Covenant and its Law would have been rewarded with everlasting life. (Leviticus 18:5; Romans 10:5) We see, as the Apostle explains, that such a complete obedience was impossible. “By the deeds of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight.” — Romans 3:20.

(3) Comparatively few of the Jews even did their best to live up to the requirements of the Law; but the Prophet David evidently was one of these, however far short he came of perfection; for Jehovah declared him “a man after His own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14; 1 Kings 15:3,5; Acts 13:22) If he made failures, he confessed them, repented, received his punishment, and rejoiced in restoration to Jehovah’s favor, striving the more in the future to maintain his fellowship with God. It is interesting for us to note the kind of man with whom Jehovah is well pleased — the kind of sheep in which the Great Shepherd is interested. And of this same class, of course, were others — the Prophets and lesser personages — all who endeavored to live godly.

THE GREAT SHEPHERD AND HIS FLOCK

(4) In an important sense this Psalm is applicable to our Lord Jesus and His Church. All the features of the Psalm are applicable to our Redeemer Himself as well as to His followers, whom He styles the sheep of His flock. To His Church He is the Representative of the Father, so fully, so completely, that He could say truthfully, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9) No human being could, with their physical eyes, see the Heavenly Father and live, as the Scriptures declare (Exodus 33:20); and those who saw and understood Jesus to be the Son of God, could “see” the God and Father of Jesus in Jesus (Ephesians 1:3; 1 Peter 1:3), because Jesus spoke the words of, and did the works of, his God and Father. (John 1:18; 6:46; 8:38; 14:6-11) And so we all see Jesus as the Representative of and mediator with the Father (Malachi 3:1; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6), the Son of the great King, the Son of the great Shepherd, Yahweh.

(5) Jesus and His Church are more particularly the sheep of Yahweh’s flock than were the Israelites of the Jewish Age (1 Peter 5:2); for the relationship of the Jews was through Moses, while the relationship of the Church is through Christ and the superior Covenant which centers in Him. (Hebrews 3:2-6) It is well that we see this clearly; else how could we know whether or not we might apply the gracious sentiments of this Psalm to ourselves? It would not be right for a worldly, unjustified person to apply this Psalm to himself. (John 9:31) He would be deceiving himself; for he is not one of Jehovah’s sheep through Jesus Christ. (John 10:26,27) Nothing is more clear than this. Jesus declared that there is only one way of entering the sheepfold; namely, through the door — and He declared Himself to be the Door. — John 10:1-14

HOW TO BECOME A TRUE SHEEP

(6) By nature we are sinners under Jehovah’s sentence of death, and not His sheep, having been made so through the disobedience of Adam. (Romans 5:17-19; Ephesians 2:3) Our Heavenly Father has purposed a great Plan for the world in general, which will begin to operate as soon as Messiah’s Kingdom is fully established. However, in the interim He is receiving special sheep — during this Gospel Age; and Jesus tells how, saying, “If any man desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross [Greek stauros, stake], and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Self-denial is the first step — self-renunciation, the submitting of our own will to the will to God. All who would be Jehovah’s sheep must take this step of self-denial; it is the condition under which they may be accepted. This is the only proper course for God’s creatures (Matthew 22:37); these are those who count the knowledge and blessings of a kingdom inheritance as a treasure greater than all joys and riches of this world. (Matthew 13:44-46; Proverbs 2:2-9) However, for those who do take this step now means to love God more than own families and friends in this world, and their own self, thus they are told to count the cost. — Luke 14:25-33.

(7) Moreover, as the Jews could come only through their appointed mediator, Moses, so we can come into this higher sheepfold only under the antitypical, greater Moses, Christ. (Galatians 3:19; 1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 3:3) There is none other name given. (Acts 4:12) Once having taken this step, once having come into the sheepfold by the Door — in the approved manner — we have the Message of God, saying, “For all things are yours. . . . All are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” What this means is described in this Psalm. — 1 Corinthians 3:22,23.

ALL NEEDS ABUNDANTLY SUPPLIED

(8) “I shall lack nothing.” (Psalm 23:1b) Jehovah’s sheep, abiding in perfection of relationship with Him, will lack nothing. Their every need will be supplied. This may not mean greater earthly wealth or name or fame or luxury. Jehovah’s sheep are new creatures, having received the spirit of the next age, who are temporarily dwelling in the flesh like other people, but who really are waiting for their change, to be completed by a share in the First Resurrection. Jehovah’s blessings to Natural Israel were earthly blessings, supplying their every earthly need; but His blessings to Spiritual Israel are spiritual favors. “No good thing will He withhold” from these — yes, even chastisements and sorrowful experiences that may be necessary for their spiritual development.

(9) “He makes me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” (Psalm 23:2) The Psalm assures us that, as Jehovah’s sheep, we shall be provided with green pastures and the cool, refreshing waters of Truth. Moreover, while thus being spiritually fed and refreshed, we shall have the peace of God, as is implied in the suggestion that the sheep will lie down in the green pastures. But alas! Not all of the sheep have full confidence in the Shepherd and are fully resigned to fully have their will in submission to him. Some are continually getting into difficulty, because they neglect the green pastures and cool, refreshing waters of Truth found in the Word of God — because, goat-like, they sometimes wander off into the desert, straying far from the Shepherd and attempting to feed themselves on the indigestible things of the present life, on which no spiritual nature can thrive.

(10) “He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:3a) Yet even such straying sheep the Shepherd will not leave, if they have become truly His. He goes after them, as the Psalm represents. His rod and His staff are their comfort. With the rod he beats off their enemies, the wolves that would injure; and with the crook of His staff He wisely and carefully assists the entangled sheep out of its difficulties — out from amongst the cares of this life, the entanglements and deceitfulness of riches, and the besetments of sin and of Satan. Many of the sheep of Yahweh’s flock thus can sing, “He restores my soul” — He brings me back to Himself; He makes me again to know, to appreciate, to enjoy His provision for me and to see how much better it is than anything I could have provided for myself.

(11) “He guides me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3) A further experience is next brought to our view — the Shepherd’s leading. “He guides me in the paths of righteousness.” He causes me, even by my own stumblings and difficulties, to learn to appreciate the desirableness of His ways and the undesirableness of every other way. All His ways are perfect, are righteous. He leads us not contrary to our wills, but in harmony therewith, to prove what is the good, next the acceptable, and finally the perfect will of God. — Romans 12:2.

THE VALLEY OF DEATH’S SHADOW

(12) “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4) All of our lives we have been in the shadow of this great Valley of Death. Only father Adam was ever on the mountain-tops of life. He lost his footing there, and descended gradually down the slopes into this Valley of the Shadow of Death. We, his children, were all born here. We are dying daily; we are surrounded by dying conditions. We have merely the hope that Jehovah will lead His sheep back to the heights of life. Jehovah, through Jesus, is now leading His sheep of this Gospel Age — the Church, the Body of Christ. By and by He will lead the world, during our Lord’s Millennial Kingdom; as He declared, “I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one shepherd.” — John 10:16.

“Oh, sometimes the shadows are deep,
And rough seems the path to the goal!”

(13) The end of this Valley of Shadow is near, not merely in the sense that we shall soon reach the end of life’s journey, but especially in the sense that the New Day is about to dawn, of which Jehovah, our Supreme Shepherd, declared the result: “He will destroy in this mountain the surface of the covering that covers all peoples, and the veil that is spread over all nations.” (Isaiah 25:7) The final result will be that there shall be no more sighing, no more crying, no more dying (Isaiah 25:8: Revelation 21:1-5); but the whole world will begin to emerge from the Valley of the Shadow of Death. For a thousand years, while the deceiver of this world is bound, they will be rising again to the glorious heights of human perfection from which Adam fell, and the right to return to which is secured for all by the death of Jesus, “the just for the unjust.” — Revelation 12:9; 20:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Hebrews 2:9; 1 Peter 3:18

THE CHURCH’S BETTER TABLE

(14) “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” (Psalm 23:5a) But this precious Psalm seems especially to apply to the Church, as we have said. Thus we appropriately read that Jehovah’s people of the present time have an especially prepared table, where they may partake even in the presence of their enemies. That will not be true in the future; for no enemies nor anything to hurt or injure shall then be permitted. (Isaiah 11:9) But how true it is that Jehovah’s consecrated people, even when misunderstood, misrepresented, defamed and opposed, are still privileged to feast at Jehovah’s Table! The table represents God’s provision for their needs — the promises of God, the assurances of His favor, etc.

(15) “You have anointed my head with oil.” (Psalm 23:5b) Another evidence that the Psalm belongs especially to the Church of this Age is the statement. Jehovah, our Supreme Shepherd, has given the sheep to His Son, Jesus, setting Jesus as the “one shepherd” of Jehovah’s sheep, both the sheep of this age, and the sheep of the age to come. (Exodus 34:23,24; John 10:11-16,29; 17:2,6,9) Jesus, the Head of the Church, was anointed with the oil of gladness above His fellows. (Psalm 45:7; Hebrews 1:9) That holy anointing oil used on the priests and kings of Israel typified the Holy Spirit, which came upon the Church representatively in Jesus. (Matthew 3:16) And this same anointing oil has come down over all the members of the Church, which is the Body of Christ, as we read in Psalm 133:2.

THE CUP BOTH SWEET AND BITTER

(16) “My cup runs over.” (Psalm 23:5c) The word cup is used in the Scriptures to represent a draft, sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter, sometimes both. The intimation is that the Master’s cup signifies bitter experiences and trials in the present time; as Jesus said, “The cup which the Father has given me, shall I not drink it?” (John 18:11) And this was the cup — His cup — which He offered to His disciples and which we, in becoming His disciples, propose to share with Him, and which is symbolically represented in the Communion Cup. — 1 Corinthians 10:15-17.

(17) It is sweet and precious, in many senses of the word to be privileged to participate in the sufferings of Christ, in any sacrifices or services for Jehovah and His Cause through His Son Jesus. The sweet mingles freely with the bitter. But our Lord promises that in the future the Cup of new wine in the Kingdom shall more than compensate for any bitterness of the present time. (Matthew 26:29; Romans 8:18) Our Cup is full, but we would not wish it one drop less.

(18) “Surely goodness and lovingkindness shall follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6a) How precious the thought — God’s goodness, God’s mercy, with all those who are truly His in Christ — following us day by day, moment by moment, and according to the Scriptures making all things work together for our good! (Romans 8:28)

(19) “I shall dwell in Jehovah’s house forever” (Psalm 23:6b) — in the Royal Home, of which the Redeemer said, “In my Father’s house are many mansions [residences]; . . . I am going to prepare a place for you.;” and “I will come again and receive you to myself.” (John 14:2,3) There are many positions of service in this Royal House. (Psalm 45) Out of this house all people of the earth will learn of the ways of Jehovah. (Isaiah 2:2-4) All in this House of Glory will praise Jehovah forever. — Psalm 135:1-3; Ezekiel 43:5; Haggai 2:9

(19) This shall be the everlasting portion of God’s elect — the Church. The great blessings subsequently to come to the world will in no sense interfere with, but enhance, the glory of the Church; for she will be engaged with her Lord in dispensing blessings to the other sheep. — Galatians 3:29.
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Paragraphs are numbered for reference and use in group and individual study.

Earlier publication August, 2012; Updated and republished November 2014.

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A World in Chaos – Should We Be Afraid?

A World in Chaos – Should We Be Afraid?

This was the subject discussed recently on Christian Questions Radio.

Biblical perspective on worldwide problems

Theme Scripture: Luke 21:25

The edition of the program exams current happenings such as the the Ebola virus, the war between the Palestinians and Israel, and Iraq being plundered by ISIS, as well as how Christians in the middle east are being persecuted and killed and worldwide anti-Semitism is on the rise, and much more. It would seem that the chaos and unrest is spreading rapidly, raising the questions:  What should we be doing? Should we be afraid?

CLICK HERE to listen to this broadcast, or download the MP3 of the broadcast.

Scriptures discussed (put your cursor over each scripture to see the scripture from the American Standard Version):

James 5:1-3

{James 5:1} Come now, you rich, weep and howl for your miseries that are coming on you.
{James 5:2} Your riches are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten.
{James 5:3} Your gold and your silver are corroded, and their corrosion will be for a testimony against you, and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up your treasure in the last days.

James 5:7,8
Luke 12:1-3
Isaiah 24:18
Micah 7:8
Matthew 12:33-37
Ecclesiastes 12:13,14
Exodus 20:16
Deuteronomy 25:13-15
Amos 3:1,2
Psalm 83:1-5
Romans 11:25-29
Amos 9:11,14,15
Daniel 12:1
Isaiah 35:3,4
Micah 4:1
Isaiah 34:8
Zechariah 8:21-23
Zechariahs 12:9,10
Luke 21:25
Zechariah 7:8-14
Isaiah 42:1-4
Micah 4:3,4
Luke 21:25,26
Isaiah 35:5-10
Habakkuk 2:1
Daniel 12:1-4
Luke 21:25-29
Matthew 6:25-33
Romans 13:11-14

 

Septuagint Quotes in the New Testament

It is many times assumed that the first century Christians used the Septuagint (often referred to as LXX), and that the New Testament writers often quoted from the Septuagint; others claim that the Septuagint, as we know it, did not exist until after Christians had edited earlier Greek manuscripts to produce what we today know as the Septuagint. Thus, some claim that the LXX, in effect, quotes the New Testament writers, not the other way around. Very few quotes of the Old Testament in the NT are “direct quotes,” but are what would today call “indirect quotes.” Likewise, many quotes of the Old Testament in the New Testament are not worded exactly as we find them in the Septuagint. At any rate, the evidence that first century Christians used the Septuagint, or that the New Testament writers  quoted from the Septuagint, is not as strong as many assume, and there are many Bible scholars that do not agree with the assumption that the New Testament writers quoted the Septuagint.

http://www.scionofzion.com/septuagint.htm
http://www.chick.com/ask/articles/septuagint.asp
http://www.avpublications.com/avnew/downloads/PDF/q10.pdf
http://www.chick.com/ask/articles/septuagint.asp

Nevertheless, there are some Greek Old Testament manuscript fragments from the first and second centuries BC of what many consider to be earlier versions of the Septuagint, or at least forerunners of the LXX.
http://lists.ibiblio.org/pipermail/b-greek/1998-September/002015.html.

At any rate, we cannot conclude that the New Testament writers quoted from the Septuagint. More than likely they did not. It seems probable that often the Old Testament quotes in the New Testament were not “direct” quotes, as we are used to in our modern English, but were indirect, paraphrased quotes or quotes adapted to the context. Thus, we tend to agree with the theory that when Christians later edited the “Septuagint” into what we have today as the “Septuagint”, they often brought these quotes from the New Testament into the Septuagint, which many have assumed to have been quotes from the Septuagint. In other words, more than likely the Septuagint editors simply adopted quotes from the New Testament texts that they had, which would mean that the New Testament writers would not have been quoting the Septuagint, but rather that the Septuagint (as we have it) is quoting the New Testament writers.

Note: We do not necessarily agree with all conclusions by authors on the links provided.

Bible Store:

The Septuagint

Published: 09/12/2009; Updated and republished: 09/13/2014

Understanding Kingdom Mysteries -r

(1) Many do not realize that within God’s Plan for humanity there is good news for every man, woman and child upon the face of this earth! The word often used in popular translations to describe the message of Jesus is “Gospel,” which means “Good News.” And what Good News an understanding of God’s Plan brings! Those that are entangled in drugs, alcohol, and crime can certainly use the good news that God loves them, and that his Son died for them. (Romans 5:8) He promises that even those who have erred in spirit will be given opportunity to come to understanding, and even those who murmur will learn doctrine. (Isaiah 29:24) Isn’t this good news?

No More Sickness!

(2) None of us can say that we have never been sick at all. Some have suffered more from sickness than others; some of us have chronic illnesses from birth until death. Is there any good news in God’s Plan that can give them hope? Surely the One who made man is not unaware of his creatures’ plight. He knows the suffering, the pain, the hurt, and the death of everyone of his creatures, not only of man, but even of the animals. (Matthew 6:26) He hears the cries of those who suffer and he will bring them to their desired haven. (Psalm 107:26-30) Yes, our Creator is very much interested in the suffering of mankind!

(3) The promises of our Creator tell of a time when there will be no more mourning, nor crying, nor pain. And what a beautiful place this earth will be then! Even death, which has caused so much sorrow and pain, will be done away with! “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 21:4) Scientists do not even hope to fulfill such a prophecy! But God can bring about these conditions upon the earth! He has promised to do so. Isn’t this really what all mankind wants? Nobody really wants to die. True, there are some who prefer death to the extreme suffering they may have encountered in this present evil age. (Galatians 1:4) Should life be enjoyable for them right here on the earth, they would not want to die. What good news the Bible has for any who have become disillusioned with life’s present ills!

The World Does Not Understand!

(4) But alas! the world does not know or understand about the good news of God’s Plan! Indeed, the popular forms of Christianity believe in a good news that falls far short of the truth! The prevalent idea of the good news would have us believe that Christians are God’s instruments, amidst earth’s present turmoil and confusion, to lead as many as possible to Christ in order that they may not suffer an eternity in some horrible place. This kind of good news has been preached for many centuries. Still millions of earth’s population have died, and there are still those now living who probably will die, without not even hearing the name of Jesus, and without knowing of his saving power! Less than a hundred years ago, it was still popular to believe that the nominal church would convert the world to Christ! Every now and then we still hear some misguided minister urge his flock to save the world for “Jesus”! Billions of dollars have been spent trying to convert the world, or at least as many as possible of the world. But is this what the true Good news is about? Did Jesus commission his followers to “save the world”? Is God trying to convert the world? Is God trying to convert as many as possible of the world? Are we to think that millions, perhaps even billions of God’s human creation are on the road to some eternal doom without even hearing the `only name given whereby we must be saved?’ — Acts 4:12.

Darkness Now Covers the World

(5) Often we read of the great works being accomplished by missionaries of the popular churches in foreign lands. Are the churches accomplishing what they consider to be their mission? Actually, when we look at the statistics, the percentage of those professing Christ hasn’t changed that much over the past century, despite the billions being spent on world evangelization. Most will admit that there is much darkness in many part of the world. Most will agree that almost total darkness enshrouds hundreds of millions of men and women — people who were born in darkness, who have lived constantly in that darkness, and who every day are dying in darkness. According to the popular idea of the Gospel (Good News), these are doomed to spend an eternity of conscious indescribable suffering unless they can be reached with this Good News. Can this really be the “good news” for all mankind — that the vast majority are to spend an eternity in indescribable suffering, whatever that means?

(6) Yes, It is true that the world is lying in darkness. And it is probably more dark than most Christians realize. According to adherents.com, in 2005 there were about 2.1 billion who claimed Christianity, which includes Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Pentecostal, Anglican, Monophsite, AICs, Latter-Day Saints (Mormons), Evangelical, Seventh-Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Quakers, and others. This represents about 33% of the world’s population. Approximately 1.3 billion (21% of the world’s population) are numbered for the “Islam” religion, including all of its sects. Judaism is numbered at approximately 14 million (.22% of world’s population). The heathen religions, including Buddhism and Hinduism, make up approximately 30% of the world’s population, while athiests, agnostics, etc., make up about 16% of the world’s population. It is not important whether these figures are 100% accurate. The fact is that at least about 67% of the world’s population does not profess Christianity. And according to many who preach in the name of Christ, all those who are dying without Christ are sure to spend an eternity in horrible pain, every day, every night, every hour, every second, every nanosecond, without any let up at all!

(7) This is truly a sad picture. Some may think that this picture is too dark and overdrawn. However, we think just the opposite. The figures we have given probably show popular Christianity in its brightest colors possible. Many of the major denominations count almost any who walk through the doors of their churches, including infants. In many cases, some are counted as “Christian” who are still practicing Buddhism, Hinduism, Voodooism, or other pagan religions. Almost all must agree that just professing to be “Christian” does not make one a real Disciple of Jesus. Of the two billion or so professing Christians, only a small fraction could be counted as genuine disciples who “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3) Thus, even many more who are falsely professing to Christian, according many who preach in the name of Christ, will also suffer the same fate of an eternity of horrid misery!

(8) And yet there is a darker picture: the billions who have died and are not represented above. In mankind’s history, there have been countless millions that have lived and died without ever hearing any message at all about Jesus. According to the view often presented in the name of Christ, these millions are now suffering unimaginable torments for eternity in a fiery hell. What an awful picture!
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See our online studies regarding the bible hell:
http://life.rlbible.com

(9) As already pointed out, from the standpoint of what has been traditionally presented as the “gospel,” earth’s present billions who are ignorant of the only name under heaven by which we must be saved, are also sure of the same doom unless, according to this theory, they can be evangelized into accepting Jesus as their savior. G. Christian Weiss, states in his book, God’s Plan — Man’s Need — Our Mission, (Copyright 1971, The Good News Broadcasting Association, Inc., page 135) tells us: “We need to realize not only that men apart from Christ are separated from God but also that they face eternal perdition. Their present status of being lost in spiritual darkness and of being separated from God will become an eternal plight unless they come to know their Saviour, Christ Jesus….Because of this, I feel we can leave no stone unturned in the endeavor to get the message of Jesus Christ to the world.” According to this often-accepted view of the good news, the good news is actually bad tidings that every man, woman and child that has lived and died upon this earth, without ever hearing about Jesus, is now suffering “eternal perdition.” Those who believe this “good news”(?) of great eternal misery for the vast majority of mankind should be very zealous in forwarding missionary enterprises — the wonder is that they are not frenzied by it!

(10) We must remind you that this gloomy picture as presented above represents what many have taught, in the name of Christ, by tradition. However, when we look to the Word of God, the Holy Bible, we find that God’s great plan of salvation was never intended to be, or ever will be such a failure. The prophet Isaiah foretold the very darkness that has spread over the nations of the earth, but he also foretells its remedy. “Behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people; but Jehovah will arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the nations will come to your light.” (Isaiah 60:2,3) How happy we can be that God will not leave the nations of the earth in darkness! He has promised that they will come to his light.

(11) The religious world of today finds itself with hundreds, even thousands, of religious philosophies each professing to represent a divine being or beings. From the popular Christian standpoint, almost 75% of the world is “heathen”, that is, nonbelievers in Christ. Over half of the world still knows practically nothing about Jesus. Popular Christianity has been puzzled at the continued misery and darkness of the world, and the slow progress of truth. Neither the world nor the Church is able to stop the growing crime rate, the food shortages, the sexual sins, and the many other ills that plague mankind, even though they might consider it their mission to do so. Many of their missionaries often give up in despair, not realizing that they have been trying to accomplish something which God never intended to be accomplished at the present time.

(12) But why does God permit such a great portion of the earth to remain in darkness? Why is the Bible, to a large degree, a book of parables, symbolisms and dark sayings? Why is it not completely open and clear so that everyone, everywhere would be able to understand it? Why is it that even Doctors of Divinity find its details perplexing, mysterious, incomprehensible? What excuse can be offered for the secrecy connected with a subject in which all should be interested? The answer to these questions are discussed in our next study and will open doors of truth, to a proper appreciation of the Bible as the Word of God.

Why Is the Bible So Mysterious?

(13) We should note that the Bible does declare itself to be a book of mysteries, or secrets. The four gospels of the Christian Scriptures (commonly called New Testament) are supposed by many to be the simplest and plainest portion of the Bible. They tell about the deeds and words of Jesus Messiah while he was on this earth. However, in harmony with the prophecies, the Great Teacher himself delivered his message in parables and dark sayings. “He never spoke to the people without using a parable,” that “Hearing they might hear and not understand; and seeing, they might see and not perceive.” (Matthew 13:14) There are many mysteries or secrets connected with the Bible. We have not reached the time when absolutely everything can be understood in the Bible, not even by the true servants of God. No one on earth today can grasp absolutely everything about the Bible. The conditions of Isaiah 29:18,24 have not yet come. But the Bible does say that “the path of the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more until the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). We have not yet attained that perfect day.

“Therefore I speak to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” — Matthew 13:13

(14) Someone might say that Jesus spoke in parables or illustrations so that the people might understand better, but this is not the reason Jesus himself gave. The followers of Jesus once asked him why he spoke to the people in parables. In giving his answer he said: “Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.” (Matthew 13:13) Jesus then quoted from Isaiah 6:9,10, which we will quote from the Jerusalem Bible: “Go and say to this people, `Hear and hear again, but do not understand; see and see again, but do not perceive.’ Make the heart of this people gross, its ears dull; shut its eyes, so that it will not see with its eyes, hear with its ears, understand with its heart, and be converted and healed.” Then Jesus said to his followers: “But happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!” (Matthew 13:16, JB) In Mark 4:11,12, Jesus’ answer to his disciples is very clear: “Unto you it is given to know the mystery [secret] of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand.” If this explanation is to make any sense at all, we must conclude that he was saying that he spoke in parables to keep the multitudes of people from understanding his message, while a few, his true followers, were permitted to understand.

“This is good, and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who wills all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all, the witness of which will be in due time.” — 1 Timothy 2:5-6

(15) This, of course, must be the way that God has intended for it to be. But why? Because God knows, even as he promised, that eventually ‘all will be saved, and come the knowledge of the truth.’ (1 Timothy 2:4) He knows that the time will come when “the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and darkness” and that those “who erred in spirit will come to understanding, and those who murmured will learn doctrine.” (Isaiah 29:18,24 — New King James Version, hereafter referred to as NKJV) Yes, the time will come when he will “turn to the peoples a pure language” that they may all call upon him with one consent. — Zephaniah. 3:9.

“For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.” — Romans 11:32.

(16) Thousands may read the Bible but fail to understand it’s deeper meanings. God is keeping its truths secret from the people at the present time, not because he does not love them, but because he does love them. Under the present conditions the truth would be injurious to the majority of people. This is because of the sinful nature of mankind as shown in Isaiah 29. But God still loves them, and whom he loves he disciplines. (John 3:16; Hebrews 12:6) So God has “shut up all unto disobedience, that he might have mercy upon all.” (Romans 11:32) How well the true believer today may exclaim: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” — Romans. 11:33.

(17) There are many scriptures that speak of the secrecy connected with the message of the Bible. The apostle Paul refers to its tidings as the message “which was a hidden mystery for generations and centuries and has now been revealed to his saints [dedicated ones].” (Colossians 1:26, JB) At this point we want to emphasis that the Good News of the Bible was not made known to the world at large, but only to his “saints”. Jesus also, when speaking to his Father in prayer, said: “I bless you, Father, Ruler of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do.” (Matthew 11:25-26, JB) Often those that are well spoken of and respected by men are passed by, while those who may be considered by men in general as outwardly despicable people may be chosen to receive His secrets. — 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

(18) Proceeding the apostle Paul shows us the necessity for this secretiveness as respects the true message of Good News. He shows that if it were generally known amongst men, the Divine program would at times be interfered with. He tells us that none of the princes or prominent ones of the world understood the wisdom of God — for had they known it, they would not have put Jesus to death. As he explains: “But as it is written [in Isaiah 64:4]: Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things God has prepared for them that love him. But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit …. 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.” — 1 Corinthians 2:8-13.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says Jehovah. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” — Isaiah 55:8,9.

(19) But isn’t God interested in converting the world? Doesn’t he want to save as many as possible? And if he is, why didn’t he make the Bible so that everyone could easily obtain and understand it? The God who created the Universe is thoughtful of all the interests of his people. All their needs have been supplied as far as He has seen good. He made food for the nourishment of our bodies, and beautiful things for our eyes to see, and sweet sounds for our ears. If he would provide these for us, would he not also provide things for our minds concerning the future?

(20) If we had been living before God gave His people a Bible, and He had told us that He would give man His revelation in a book, we would have looked forward to it eagerly, and with pleasant anticipation, and we would wonder what kind of book it would be. A man who writes a book generally tries to make his subject as plain as possible, so that his meaning can be easily understood. Likewise some might conclude that if God should provide a book, He would make it so plain that none could fail to understand. We might expect that it would be so wonderful, that it could not be written by man, but by angels; that he would put a bright shining light around it, so all would know that it was His book; that it would have a miraculous power which would heal the sick; and if anyone should say anything against it, he would drop dead instantly; and that all might be born with this wonderful book, and be able to understand it. But when we read scriptures such as Isaiah 55:8-11, we answer: “NO! God thinks differently from man.” Therefore, God has given us a Bible, and a message, very different from what man might expect. Instead of angels writing it, poor imperfect men wrote it. There is no bright shining physical light gleaming from it. No one drops dead talking against it. There are millions on earth today that still do not even know that there is a Bible, much less be born with it or understand it. Yes, God could have made the Bible so plain that one could not get more than one meaning from it. How easily we might think that the world could be converted if such were the case. But God knows better than we, and therefore the Bible that we have is the best kind of Bible, better for us than the miraculous kind would have been.

(21) However, it is a mistake to suppose that God is not interested in converting the world. (Psalm 22:27; 150:6; Romans 14:11) He is more interested in it than any human could possibly be. Why then did He not give us a simple Bible? The reason for its obscurity must be that men have failed to understand the heavenly Father’s design and purpose for the present world. We have already given evidence that He confirmed that there would be much misconception and misunderstanding of Him and His purpose. But once we understand God’s purposes, then we can answer the question.

God Is Not Now Trying
to Convert the World

(22) We must get rid of the misconceived idea that God is NOW trying to convert the world, or that he is NOW trying to save as many as possible from some eternal doom, as most religious people suppose. If God were trying to convert as many as possible of the world to save them from some eternal doom, would he have not been anxious for his disciples to go to all peoples? Instead he told his disciples NOT to go to the Gentiles. (Matthew 10:5) Jesus was not here being cruel, but he knew of His Father’s purposes to enlighten the whole world at a future date. We know that God is not now trying to convert the world, because the world is not converted — far from it! God accomplishes everything he purposes to do. (Isaiah. 55:10,11) If it were God’s purpose to convert the world NOW, then the Good News failed — it did not accomplish its work. But God has not been trying to convert the world. He does not have to try, because He is omnipotent (John 12:37-40). If people of the world had understood the true Bible message, they would have believed, but that was NOT God’s purpose (Matthew 13:10-17; 11:23; 10:5,6; Acts 16:6,7; 1 Peter 1:10-12). God did NOT intend that they should NEVER be converted, because he has promised a time to come when they will be converted, but this has not yet begun, nor will it be accomplished as long as this present evil world continues (2 Timothy 3:1,2; 2 Peter 3:3,4; Matthew 24:37; Isaiah 6:9-11; Dan. 12:1; Zephaniah 3:8-13). The Bible tells us that in “the time of the end” of this world there will be a “time of trouble”. This will mean great distress and sorrow for the world of mankind. But this does not mean the destruction of this planet, for the promise is that the earth will blossom as the rose. (Isaiah 35:1,2; Genesis 8:21,22; Ecclesiastes 1:4; Isaiah 45:17,18; Genesis 13:15; 15:18; Acts 7:4,5) The present order of things will be destroyed, and a new order of things will be established. God’s Word will continue to be misunderstood until this age (this present evil world) is over. (Zephaniah 3:8,9) Then the darkness surrounding the true Good News will be removed (Isaiah. 25:7; Haggai 2:7). God has purposed the conversion of the world, but not during the past 2000 years. The reason why the Good News is kept secret is that his plans might be hidden from all but the truly meek and lowly at heart who respond to his call, until the due time for all to know. Our Lord was glad that these things were hidden, and thought it right for the Heavenly Father to keep them hidden from the worldly. — Matthew 11:25,26.

A Bright Future for the World!

(23) In Isaiah 29:11 it is declared prophetically that the vision of all things (Lesser) is become as the words of a sealed book. Men have turned things upside down, as was foretold (vs. 16). The world needs to be enlightened! Will the world be enlightened by missionaries being sent out in this present evil world? The facts indicate that it will never happen this way. The day in which the world will be enlightened is called in the Bible the “judgment day”. It is not a 24-hour day, but as shown in 2 Peter 3:7,8, it is a 1000 year day. During that judgment day the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness. — Isaiah 26:9.
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See our study: “Mankind’s Course to the Day of Judgment

(24) What now stands in the way of the enlightenment of world? -1- Satan the Devil puts evil thoughts and desires into men’s minds and hearts. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) Hence, if the world is to be enlightened, Satan must be removed that he might not use his power to mislead people. (Revelation 20:2,3) -2- Imperfect missionaries now lack the power and means to accomplish the work. Worldly governments interfere. It will not be so in that Millennial day, for the entire world will then be under the control of Jesus and his authorized agents. (Daniel 2:35,44; Isaiah 11:9; Psalm 72:2-8) -3- Suitably trained teachers must be chosen. Men have thought that they could chose and train them, but only God can do that, and instead of a three or four years’ training, it takes all of a dedicated lifetime (Romans 8:18,19; 1 Thessalonians 2:12; 1 Corinthians 6:2; Isaiah 26:9). -4- Ignorance, darkness, confusion prevail now, and there are many confusing, contradictory, false religious teachings; but in that day the knowledge of God will fill the whole earth, and all will know him. (Isaiah 11:9; Jeremiah 31:34) The Good News message contained in the Bible will come out of its obscurity as its message is made plain (2 Corinthians. 4:4; 1 Corinthians. 11:13-15). Will God give mankind a new Bible? We do not think so. However, provisions will be made so that its books will be opened and all will be judged by the things written in those books (Revelation 20:12,13; Isaiah 29:18; John 12:46-48). God will remove the vail that is spread over all nations (Isaiah 25:7; 2 Corinthians 4:3). The way will then be made so plain that even a foolish man will not err therein (Isaiah 35:8). Now the Good news message is so obscure that even the wise men stumble at it (John 6:60,61). Yes, the day of judgment is coming, when Jesus will judge everyone in righteousness, and the books that now appear to be obscure will be opened and will be understood. — Acts 17:31; Revelation 20:12; Isaiah 29:18.

(25) But what about those who have died — especially those who have died without ever hearing of Jesus (Jesus)? How will they benefit from this enlightenment if they are dead? God has promised that he will awaken all of these from the sleep of death. “Marvel not at this, for an hour is coming, in which all those in the tombs shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have practiced good to a resurrection of life; and they that did evil, to a resurrection of judgment [Greek — krisis].” (John 5:28,29 — King James II Version). Jesus is the true light that enlightens every man that comes into the world (John 1:9). The light will enter their hearts also (1 Timothy 1:4). Jesus speaks of those who did not believe in his day, that they would be saved, so as to be judged anew in the last day. (John 12:47,48) God wills all men to be saved [delivered from death], and to come to an accurate knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:4) The salvation spoken of here is not salvation into life for all eternity, but rather salvation [deliverance] from the death state. Having arisen from the dead, they are then taught the truth that they might live and never die again. — 1 Corinthians 15:54; Isaiah 25:8.

(26) Someone may ask, “Does the Bible declare that everyone will live forever?” We answer: “No.” (Psalm 18:44; 66:3) As soon as they understand about God and his purposes, many will obey him, but will still not develop the right heart attitude. With some, as they see the goodness of God and happiness righteousness brings, this feigned obedience will change to meekness and heart obedience. But others will refuse to obey at heart. “Show favor to the wicked, yet he will not learn righteousness, in the land of uprightness will he deal falsely.” (Isaiah 26:10) Some will thus show that they are wicked at heart. For such there will be no excuse. There will then be no inherited weaknesses, and none will suffer for the sins of others; it will no longer be said that “the fathers have eaten the sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” — Jeremiah 31:27-30.

Will The World
Receive A Second Chance?

(27) Will it then be a second chance? This question could be answered yes and no, for it depends on which way you are viewing matters. We must remember that our first chance to live forever was lost for us through Adam when he disobeyed in the Garden of Eden (Romans 5:12,15-18). The human race that descended from Adam never received an individual chance in that trial. But in the Millennial day each person will be tried individually — and in that sense it will not be a second chance, but the FIRST real opportunity they have ever had to understand and respond to the Good news. Yet none who have had a full opportunity in this present evil world will have another one (Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-29). A full opportunity means one that is broad and complete, such as few have had amidst all the confusion and turmoil in this present evil world. Even in countries where the Bible is printed in abundance, children are raised with such incorrect training of mind and inclinations, and there is so much confusion as to what is and what is not right, can one honestly say that these have received any complete and absolute chance for life? Jesus said that such are not judged NOW but that they will be judged in the “last day” — that judgment day when they will be enlightened. (John 12:47,48; Isaiah 26:9; 29:18,24) This will actually be their FIRST individual chance to live forever.

(28) There is yet another reason that the Bible message is kept secret from the world of mankind. It is only by keeping it secret from the world that the world seeks to try out all its own devices separate from God. God wants to teach man a lesson concerning the vanity of life separated from him. As the wise King Solomon said concerning all of man’s own works: `Vanity of vanities; all is vanity.’ (Ecclesiastes 1:2) `Seeing there be many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? For who knows what is good for man in this life, all the days of his vain life which he spends as a shadow? For who can tell a man what shall be after him under the sun?’ (Ecclesiastes 6:11,12) `What profit is there for the worker in that which he works? I have seen the travail which God has given the sons of men to be exercised by it.’ (Ecclesiastes 3:9,10) Man tries to better this world in many ways. He tries one thing after another, not realizing the vanity of his efforts. All of mankind’s experimentations are being permitted by God. Due to Adam’s sin (Romans 5:12-19), the world has been subjected to a bondage of corruption and vanity, which is only escaped through faith in Jesus (Romans 8:20,21; Ecclesiastes 1:2,14; 2:11,17; 3:19; 9:9; 12:8; 2 Peter 1:4), and every man, born through Adam is born into the world as a child of wrath, a son of disbedience, having been born in an unjust state, crooked, from which none can make himself straight, justified, thus leaving his salvation from such a condition on through Jesus. (Ecclesiastes 1:13,14,15; 7:13; Ephesians 1:1-3) Nevertheless, God is allowing man to rule over another to his own hurt, so that they will better appreciate who Jehovah is and the righteous rule that will come. (Psalm 83:18; Ecclesiastes 8:9; Isaiah 2:1-4) It is a disciplinary process that will eternally benefit all who avail themselves of Messiah’s righteous rule. While the whole world is now being subjected to this vanity by the will of God, God knows that he will bring the world of mankind out of this corruption and back into harmony with him (Romans 8:19-22). What a happy prospect for those who are now blinded by Satan’s evil influence!

(29) For a proper appreciation of the true Gospel, more is required than what has been taught by man’s traditions and creeds, even if they have proclaimed by men as “orthodox”. Jesus said that true worshipers must worship in spirit and truth. (John 4:23) It is not enough to say that you claim Jesus as your savior and lead what is considered a good moral life. Jesus said, “Not every one that says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he who is doing the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, `Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess to you, `I never knew you: depart from me, you who work illegally [outside his commands].'”

(30) In Proverbs 2:3-6, we are given some guidelines for obtaining true wisdom from above: “If you cry for discernment, lifting up your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as hidden treasures, then you will understand the reverence of Jehovah, and find knowledge of God.” See what is required? This seeking must become the most important thing in our life. Our minds must rise above everything we see, feel and touch so that we might receive the holy spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:10,12) Jesus said: “True worshipers will worship in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such who worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23,24) Without this total dedication to seeking and the doing of God’s will, one may understand a few bits and pieces here and there of God’s word, but he will not be given the more precious things of the treasures hidden in its pages. With whole-souled dedication, we will continue to seek and understand more and more each and every day. These words of our heavenly Father become to us more precious than any earthly treasure. Praise Yah!

Walking In The Light

(31) It is a mistake to suppose that those without faith, and consequent justification, should be able to have a clear appreciable understanding of truth. An appreciation of truth is given gradually to those who are justified [declared righteous] before God. The Psalmist says: “Light [truth] is sown for the righteous.” (Psalm 97:11) For each of God’s people a lamp is provided whose light dispels from his pathway much of the darkness. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and light unto my path.” (Psalm 119:105) Actually, there is none just, “none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10) The class referred to is “justified by faith.” (Romans 5:1) This justified class is privileged to walk in the pathway that shines more and more. (Proverbs 4:18) Having this light separates them from the world of darkness around them. They see and understand things that are hidden from the world of darkness. The world cannot see or understand the true gospel with true appreciation, nor can those Christians who remain as “babes” in Christ all their lives. While it is true that the path of each individual true worshiper is a shining one, yet the special application of this statement is to the just (justified) as a class. Faithful men of old have walked in its increasing light; and the light will continue to increase beyond the present — “to the perfect day.” It is one continuous path, and the one continuous and increasing light is the greater revealment from God as His Divine Plan progresses.

(32) Nevertheless, many who believe in Christ fail to make progress in their walking in the light. They do not concern themselves with trying to understand but a few basic principles from the Bible. Because of their unfaithfulness and unconcern, they are permitted to a degree allowed to sit in darkness, when they might have been walking in the increasing light. — 2 Peter 1:5-9.

(33) To aid us to walk in this path of light, God gives us his holy spirit. If we submit to his spirit, the spirit of dedication to what he declares to be right, then it will guide us into truth through the only channel of truth that is given, that is the Bible. The holy spirit will take the things written and show them to us from the Bible itself, although in doing some other servants of Christ may be used in teaching such truths. But be careful that you do not develop a spirit to go beyond what is written. (1 Corinthians 4:6) Satan and his demons are ever actively trying persuade the followers of Jesus to accept philosophies and imaginations that appear to be light, when it is really darkness. (Isaiah 5:20; 2 Corinthians 11:14,15; Galatians 1:8; 1 Peter 5:8) Satan will use family, friends, neighbors, state powers, as well as professed Christians, in an effort to dissuade a consecrated Christian from following the light of truth as revealed in the Bible. (Matthew 10:16-42; 2 Corinthians 11:26; Galatians 2:4; 2 Timothy 4:3) God has revealed his truth by means of his holy spirit through the prophets in the Old Testament and through Jesus and his apostles in the New Testament. (Mark 12:36; Luke 4:11; 10:21; 24:27,44; Acts 1:16; 2:33; 10:38; 28:25; Hebrews 1:1,3; 3:7; 1 Peter 3:10-12; 2 Peter 1:21) God, by means of his holy spirit, especially led the apostles into all the truths concerning Christ and what he said. (John 14:26; 16:4-13; Acts 1:2; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:2) We who live today are not apostles through whom the truths were delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3) in the first century, thus we receive the truths only as related to recorded Word of God. The truths revealed to the apostles and made available to us are recorded in the Bible (the commonly-accepted 66 books) itself. (Ephesians 3:3-12; Colossians 1:25,26; 1 John 4:6) Of course, without the holy spirit, these things that are recorded will still be a mystery to us. (Mark 4:11; 1 Corinthians 2:7-10) It is the Holy Scriptures alone that are able to make us wise unto salvation, and which provide the lamp that can guide us in the path through faith which in Christ Jesus, not vain philosophies that have to be imagined, added to, and read into the Scriptures, no matter how popular, revered and cherished such philosophies might be held in the tradition of men. — Psalm 119:105; Colossians 2:8; 2 Timothy 3:15; 2 Peter 1:19.

(34) Before Jesus came, the early worshipers of God knew very little about the gospel. Abraham received very vague promises about the coming blessings for all the families of the earth. (Genesis 12:3; 22:18) The laws and ceremonies given to the fleshly nation of Israel only gave dim shadows concerning the wonderful good news. (Colossians 2:17) Then when Jesus came, true worshipers received a great increase in light. Until then God’s people had been expecting a deliverer to come who would save the fleshly nation of Israel from its enemies and exalt them as the greatest nation on earth. When the deliverer came, however, he was so different from what most of them expected that the majority were blinded to the gospel. To them it was hidden, a secret or mystery. (Romans 11:7-10; 16:25)

The Foretold Apostasy Has Produced Strong Delusions

(35) Before Jesus died, he foretold that there would be even greater increase of light to follow. He said: “I have many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now; howbeit when he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth…and he will show you things to come.”–John 16:12,13

(36) But as Jesus foretold, it was not long before teachers arose who were teaching false doctrine. (Matthew 7:15; 24:10-12) Even before the apostles had died these false teachers had begun to deceive many. (1 Corinthians 11:13-15) They had begun to teach another gospel and another Jesus other than what the apostles had taught. (Galatians 1:6,9; 5:7; 1 Corinthians 11:3,4; 2 Timothy 4:3-4) These false teachers in time corrupted the entire organization of the early church. As a result, traditions and rituals of men began to be observed, and customs from the false religions were adopted. The philosophies of the Greeks and Romans were introduced as a supplement to help understand the scriptures. As true worship became polluted with false teachings and practices, a distortion of Christianity was born, as illustrated by weeds being sown amongst the wheat. (Matthew 13:25) This popular Christianity was nothing more than the ancient pagan Roman religion with the name of Christ attached. Thus the given light was gradually hidden so that its light could not penetrate the strong delusions then prevailing. — 2 Thessalonians 2:11.

(37) Through the centuries, some have tried to break away from the traditions of men and return to God’s word. Among these were Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Wycliffe, and Knox. These called attention to the fact that the apostate church had laid aside the word of God in favor of the decrees and traditions of men. (Matthew 15:3-20) The shining light, although present in the recorded Word itself, was not generally appreciated then, but there were a few men who were walking in what light they could understand. Very few had actual access to Bible for a long time, and depended on their “priests” or others for what morsels could actually come from the written word. As some began study the bible itself, they began understand more and more that the traditions and creeds of men were not in harmony with what they reading. While many of these men discarded much of the false teachings and practices that had arisen, they still retained a large amount of the false traditions that they had learned as a result of the apostasy. The undeveloped Christian, babes in Christ, often allow carnal thoughts to influence they way they think, and find justification for such in the Bible. Thus, many who have listened to these men of God (often referred to as “reformers”), have refused to progress in understanding, and thus many seek only to believe what their favorite “reformer” taught, and fail to realize truths simply because they are thought to contradict the teachings they have accepted. Thus, they may blind themselves to many truths that might go beyond what their favorite “leader” said. They have set stumbling blocks for themselves, so that they do not progress in the way of the truth. They cling to the “traditions” of their religious fathers, without given thought as how such might not be fully in harmony with God’s word.

(38) Furthermore, although the faith itself was delivered in the first century, there are certain truths that God allows to be understood when they are due to be understood. Those who hold to tradition miss out on these truths. For instance: In Noah’s day, it was truth that God was going to bring a flood to destroy that world. For Noah to walk in the light that was then due, he had to put faith in obedience to that truth. However, Abel remained faithful without having any knowledge of that truth. So today, we would not be preaching truth if we were to preach about a coming flood. But there are other truths that are due to be understood by the just in our day. So if we have all the light that was understood several hundred years ago, or even 60 years ago, and that only, we are measurably in darkness.

A Storehouse Of Treasures

(39) The way we receive all light, however, is through the Bible! There is indeed a storehouse of knowledge contained in the Bible, providing food for the spiritually starved who will walk in its shining pathway. There is milk for the babes, and strong food for those more developed. (1 Peter 2:2; Hebrews 5:14) Not only this, but we can also find food in the Bible that is suited for different seasons or conditions. Jesus told us that the faithful servant brings forth food in due season for the master’s household — “things new and old,” from the storehouse. (Luke 12:42; Matthew 13:52) If we are entirely dependent on the writings or beliefs of men who have died a long time ago, we will miss the new things being brought forth from God’s word. We might be able to bring forth many good old things, along with a degree of error, but nothing new.

(40) In addition to this, the various teachings of the popular churches conflict with each other. So much so that many have said: “The Bible is an old fiddle upon which any tune can be played.” This represents the apathy and lack of faith that prevails in our day. And no wonder! The Bible has been misrepresented and confused with human traditions. People no longer bow blindly and superstitiously in reverence to the opinions of fellow-man. They demand reason. And the true worshiper is told to always be ready to provide a reason for the hope that is in him. (I Peter 3:15) This reason should be based on the word of God as contained in the Bible. It is only this source that is able to make us wise, “that the man of God may be perfect [complete], thoroughly furnished.” (II Timothy 3:15-17)

(41) “The path of the just shineth more and more unto the perfect day.” (Proverbs 4:18) That perfect day did not come in Luther’s day; nor are we yet in that perfect day. We still need to take heed to the word of prophecy, “as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn.”–II Peter 1:19

(42) Not only this, we need to “walk in the light,” continue to make progress. If we don’t, the light will continue on down the path, leaving us to walk and stumble in the dark. This is what happens to many people who profess Christ. — Isaiah 42:7; Psalm 1:1; Hebrews 12:1

(43) We have the accumulated light of what is usually called the “Old Testament” as well as the “New Testament.” Yet the complete light has not yet been revealed. It will not be so revealed until that perfect day. And what is understood today is not comprehended by the world in general, but only by those who through repentance and faith in Jesus earnestly seek it. (Ephesians 1:9,10,17,18; 3:4-6; I Corinthians 1:6-7; Matthew 13:10,11,16,17; Proverbs 2:1-5) We might note that neither the prophets nor the angels understood the meaning of the prophecies that were given before Jesus came. The truths of those prophecies were kept secret until the due time for them to be understood. And even more prophecies can be understood now than in the days of the apostles. — I Peter 1:10-13; Daniel 12:8-10

(44) Jesus promised that the Spirit of truth would guide his followers into all truth. This promise appears to be directed toward the apostles, and through the apostles to all Christians. While this has been fulfilled in the revelations given through the New Testament Scriptures, yet we believe that there is a further revealing yet to be accomplished in the “perfect day” spoken of in Proverbs 4:18. The revealing of truths has been gradual, little by little. Not only is this true of the justified as a class, but it is also true of each individual walking the path of light. Not everyone of God’s people understands everything revealed all at the same time. Some may understand more in one direction, while another may understand more in another direction. To illustrate, Peter was told to go to the uncircumcised Gentiles with the message of the gospel. This was something different. He at first spoke against it. Later, many of the other disciples of Jesus still did not demonstrate an understanding of the new light that had been revealed. Only the apostle Paul stood out as having a complete understanding of the adjustments in the divine arrangement revealed at that time. (Acts 10:28; 11:1-3; Galatians 2:11-1) Additionally, Paul speaks of some who are babes in Christ, and yet carnal in the way they think. — 1 Corinthians 3:1.

(45) Furthermore, the scriptures shows that we are now iving in the time when many prophecies of the Bible can be understood. Indeed, some of these prophecies tell us what we should be doing right now. Some of the prophecies have special application to us who are living now. We, therefore, need to be aware of the prophecies and their meanings for us today.
(46) There is truly a storehouse of hidden treasures for everyone within the pages of the Bible. If you are not aware of these wonderful treasures, isn’t it time for you to take the Bible and become acquainted with it? And even if you are acquainted with many things in the Bible, as you search even deeper into its hidden treasures, you could be amazed at what beautiful gems you may uncover within its pages that you did not know were there.

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Questions

(1) For whom do we find good news in the Bible?

(2) What good news is found in the Bible for those who are suffering from sickness?

(3) What conditions do all people yearn for, as described in the Bible at Revelation 21:3-5?

(4) a) What is the prevalent view of the gospel message? b) What questions are raised concerning this message?

(5) Are the churches accomplishing the mission they suppose that God wants them to do? Explain.

(6) What can be said about the world religious statistics?

(7) What can be said of the millions who do profess to believe in Christ?

(8) What does the popular Christian theology believe has happened to the billions who have lived and died without hearing any message about Jesus?

(9) According to popular Christianity, what fate awaits the billions on earth today who remain ignorant of Jesus?

(10) What brighter picture does the Bible give concerning the fate of the non-believing nations?

(11) What is the state of religions in the world today?

(12) What questions are raise concerning the vast ignorance prevalent in the world regarding Jesus and the Bible?

(13) Have we reached the time when everything in the Bible can be understood?

(14) Did Jesus speak in parables to help people understand, as many believe? Explain.

(15) Is God being cruel in making the Bible hard to understand?

(16) If God loves the human race, why doesn’t he make the Bible plain for all to understand?

(17) What are some of the scriptures that tell of the secrecy connected with the message of the Bible?

(18) How does the apostle Paul show the necessity of this secretiveness concerning the divine program?

(19) What questions are raised concerning God’s desire to convert the world?

(20) If we had lived before God had given a Bible, what kind of Bible might many have expected to receive?

(21) If God is interested in converting the world, what question arises concerning the Bible, and what is needed to answer the question?

(22) a) How do we know that God is not now trying to convert the world? b) Will the world ever be converted during the reign of this “present evil world?”

(23) When will the world be converted?

(24) What hinders the enlightenment of the world in the present age?

(25) Will those who have died also be enlightened?

(26) Are we to understand that everyone will gain eternal life?

(27) Will the judgment day be a second chance for the present-day unbelievers to gain eternal life?

(28) What other reason is given in the Bible for the secretiveness connected with its message? How will this aid mankind?

(29) What is needed in order to understand the true gospel?

(30) Thus what does one have to do to understand the secrets of the Bible?

(31) Who only are able to “walk in the light”?

(32) What happens to many who receive some light but refuse to progress in it?

(33) What has been given us as an aid to “walk in the light”?

(34) Trace the increase of light up to the time of Jesus.

(35) How do we know that even more light would come after the death of Jesus?

(36) What happened to the early Christians after the death of Jesus?

(37) What happened to the shining light during the centuries that followed up to the nineteenth century?

(38) How have many missed truths when due?

(39) a) Where should truth-seekers go to be fed? b) What kinds of food may be found there? c) What happens if we center our beliefs entirely on writings or teachings of men who have died a long time ago?

(40) What condition exists in the popular churches?

(41) Have we reached the perfect day yet? If not, what do we still need to do?

(42) What happens to many who profess Christ?

(43) (a) Has the complete light yet been revealed? (b) What examples show that the revealing of light has been increasing, and to whom?

(44) Do all Christians understand all the revealed light at any given time, and what shows this?

(45) Why should we come to understand the meaning of prophecies?

(46) What invitation is open to any wishing to understand the Bible’s secrets?

Originally published around 1990; updated several times since. Updated March 2013; Last Update July 2014.

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Related:

Will Billions Be Eternally Destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon?
The Restoration of All Things
The Ransom for All

Faith of our Fathers (Dawn)

The following are links to a series of studies presented by the Dawn Bible Students Association, related to church history and the formation of the Roman Catholic Church and its doctrines.

PART ONE

Introduction * Comparison of Catholic and Protestant Beliefs * Highest Authority—The Church or the Bible?

Composition of the Bible

The rest of this series is evidently not in html format but rather the only links provided are to the whole issue of magazines in pdf. You will have to search for the related section that continues the series.

Interpreting the Bible (see page 34)

Was the Early Church Catholic? (see page 36)

Development of the True Church (see page 24)

PART TWO

Introduction * The Virgin Mary

Veneration of Saints and Images

Attaining Salvation

Various Views on Bible Chronology

Views by Bible Students

Views and conclusions presented by the following authors whose works are linked to below are not necessarily our own views.

A Confirmation of the True Bible Chronology – Charles Redeker
A Discussion of two Differing Chronologies – Paul Mezera
A Test of Time – Robert Gray
About Our Chronology and Time Prophecies – Jeff Mezera


Bible Chronology – Charles Taze Russell
Bible Chronology – John and Morton Edgar
Bible Chronology – M.S.Mariadas and Y.R.Dinakaran
Bible Chronology – N. H. Barbour


Calculating Across BC and AD – Steve Palmgren
Chronology Based on Faith – Charles Taze Russell
Chronology Charts
Chronology For Us Common Folk – David Doran
Chronology Proofs – Frank Shallieu
Chronology Study – Morton Edgar
Comparative Chronology Chart (Bowen-Elliott/Clinton Chronologies as well as others)
Date of Nehemiah’s Commission – Ric Cunningham


Earth’s Great Jubilee
Erroneous Chronology and False Conclusions – Charles Taze Russell
Exaustive Research and Examination of Propheticand Historic Testimony Relating to the Divine Times and Seasons — Herald Magazine

Z
Daniel, the Beloved of Jehovah – R. E. Streeter
Dating the Desolation – Jerry Leslie


Histories, Chronologies, Chronologists and Time Prophecies – Mezera
How Old Was Xerxes – Ric Cunningham
How Secular and Bible Chronology Agree – Herald Magazine
Horae Apocalypticae Chronology – E. B. Elliot – First Edition * Second Edition * Third Edition * Fourth Edition * Fifth Edition


Is Our Bible Chronlogy Credible? – Charles Redeker


Marking Time – Jerry Leslie
Mistakes of Ptolemy, the Pagan Historian – Morton Edgar
Mr. Dimbley’s Chronology – Charles Taze Russell


Period of the Desolation – Peter Karavas
Period of the Judges – Peter Karavas


Resolving Chronology of the Second Millennium BC (James Parkinson)


Sabbath Venerable Tradition – Jerry Leslie
Say Ye Not, a Confederacy (Isa. 8:12) – Jerry Leslie


The 450 Year Period of the Judges – Morton Edgar
The Biblical Seventy Years (Redekker)
The Divine Plan and its Chronology (Paul Mezera)
The Biblical Prophetic Year – Charles Redekker
The Biblical 70 Years – Charles Redeker
The Gospel Age – David S. Doran
The Present Age and Times to Come – Hugo Karlén
The Thousand Years and Question of Parallels and Harvests – New Albany Bible Students
The True Bible Chronology – Raju Krishna
The Twentieth Year of Artaxerxes – John and Morton Edgar
Time and Prophecy (David Rice)
Time Features – John Edgar
Timeline of the 7000 Years (Paul Mezera)
Times and Seasons – Charles Taze Russell
True Bible Chronology Stated A.M.


Where Are We – Ken Rawson
Which is the True Chronology? — Julian T. Gray


Zero Year — a “red herring” — Jerry Leslie

IF ANY KNOW OF OTHER LINKS, PLEASE LET US KNOW IN COMMENTS BELOW.

The World Will See Me No More — John 14:19

John 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more; but you will see me. Because I live [referring to his resurrection], you will live also [reckonedly regenerated in this age, and actually in the resurrection].

In John 14:19, although Jesus’ words are directly to Philip, Jesus is evidently speaking to his apostles in general, when he said: “you [plural] will behold me.” When Jesus said “you”, the pronoun in the Greek is plural, signifying that he was not simply addressing Philip (John 14:9), but all of the eleven apostles. All of the eleven apostles will be members of the joint-heirs with Christ, receiving spiritual bodies in the resurrection as Jesus now has, and thus will be able to see, or behold, Jesus’ own glorious spiritual body. The world will never have that ability.

Nevertheless,  Jesus made many appearances to his 11 faithful apostles (as well as to other disciples) before his ascension (Acts 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:4-8), but the world never saw him again after his death and burial, and will never physically see him again.

Additionally, the remaining 11 apostles will live again in the last day (John 6:39,40,44,54), and will further see Jesus then, not as a human being, but in his exalted glory of a heavenly, spirit being, the glory of a celestial (heavenly), spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:40,45), and this is what we believe that Jesus is specifically referencing. The world, being raised to life on the earthly, physical plane, will never ever physically see or behold Jesus’ magnificent glory, although they will see his glory in its kingdom physical manifestations all over the earth.

Also, the believers in this age are allowed to spiritually “see” Jesus with varying degrees of understanding, while the present evil world (Galatians 1:4) cannot appreciably see Jesus at all due to the blinding influence of Satan. (2 Corinthians 4:4; Revelation 12:9) In the age to come, however, the blinding influence and the covering vail of darkness will have been removed when the mountain of God’s kingdom fills the earth (Isaiah 2:2-4; 25:7; 29:18; Revelation 20:1-3), so that those who in this age do not believe will, in that last day of judgment be able “see” Jesus, not literally, but with the symbolic “eyes” of understanding that will no longer be symbolically blinded. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 26:9; John 12:47,48.

Now, however, neither the world nor the church will ever again see Jesus in the flesh. Why not? Because he sacrificed his flesh once for all time. He never takes it back, nor does he have any reason to take it back. If he should take that flesh back, then the sacrifice would become void, for in order to completely fulfill the condemnation upon Adam, Jesus’ humanity has to be dead forever. The very purpose of Jesus’ becoming flesh was to sacrifice that flesh for the sin of the world. Having presented that flesh, his body, in sacrifice after his ascension, he has no need to ever again become flesh.

The apostle Paul calls attention to the difference between heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, and declares that they have different glories. (1 Corinthians 15:40) He tells us that the first Adam was made a living soul, a human being, but that our redeemer, he who came from heaven, who humbled himself, and took the earthly nature — “for the suffering of death” (Hebrews 2:9) — being foreshadowed by sinless Adam (Romans 5:14), and being crowned with the earthly glory as was sinless Adam (Psalm 8:5; Hebrews 2:9). Jesus’ body of was prepared by his God, without the taint of sin or condemnation in Adam. (Hebrews 10:5) But Jesus did not remain flesh, for he offered his earthly glory, his flesh, his body, in sacrifice for the church and the world. (John 6:51; Hebrews 10:10; 1 John 2:2) What we need to remember is what Jesus sacrificed, what he offered to his God, was human life and all that pertains to it. Jesus did not die for spirit beings; he died for human beings, the “all” that are dying in Adam. — 1 Corinthians 15:21,22; Romans 5:12- 19.

John tells us of Jesus that “in him was life, and the life was the light of men.” (John 1:4) What does this mean, that in Jesus, as a human “was life”? John 9:5 and 2 Timothy 1:10 give us a clue. Since Jesus, unlike Adam, was totally obedient, his sinless human life offered light to the dying race of mankind. Thus Jesus said: “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5, New King James version) The good news is that Jesus came with a sinless human life that he could offer in sacrifice to his God on man’s behalf in order to atone for the sin of the world. Thus Jesus, while a man, possessed life, and by his continued obedience brought life and incorruption to light. (2 Timothy 1:10) Jesus condemned sin in the flesh by showing that a sinless, incorrupt human can obey God’s laws. — Romans 8:3; 2 Timothy 1:10.
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See: How God’s Son Condemned Sin the Flesh

Jesus, as a human, as most know the scriptures say, was without sin. (2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 7:26; 1 Peterr 2:22-24; 1 John 3:5) Unlike dying mankind, while Jesus was in the days of his flesh (Hebrews 5:7), Jesus had life, thus in him was life! (John 1:4) How thankful we can be that the great Logos, the Word of God, the only direct living creation of God, the one through whom all life was made, when the offer was made, and the “joy set before him,” said to his God, “Lo I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, 0 God.” (John 1:1-3, Diaglott Literal; Hebrews 10:7; 12:2; Revelation 3:14). The life and personality of the Logos was then transferred and he became the babe of Bethlehem. “He was made flesh and being found in fashion [likeness] as a man [sinful flesh –Romans 8:3] he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross [stauros].” – John 1:14; Philippians 2:8; Hebrews 2:14.

Jesus’ human body was not prepared from sinful human stock, but Jesus says of his God: “But a body did you prepare for me.” (Hebrews 10:5) It is thus this sinless human body, having sinless life, that Jesus willingly offered in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10) Yes, in Jesus was life — human life, crowned with the glory of a sinless man, who by remaining obedient to his God (Philippians 2:8) never fell short of the glory of God. — Romans 3:23; Hebrews 2:9.

Thus seen, what did Jesus sacrifice?

He gave his humanity — including his body of flesh — as an offsetting price, which sacrifice he formally presented to his God as priest after his ascension. – – Hebrews 8:4; 9:24-26; 10:10.

1) Jesus gave his blood in sacrifice.

Matthew 26:28 – for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the remission of sins.

Mark 14:24 – He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many.

Luke 22:20 – He took the cup in like manner after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, that which is poured out for you.

Acts 20:28 – Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. – Revised Standard Version.

Romans 5:9 – Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we will be saved from God’s wrath through him.

Ephesians 1:7 – in whom we have our redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.

However, what does blood represent? Jesus’ human soul, which he also gave in sacrifice.

Leviticus 17:11 – For the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul] of the flesh is in the blood.

Deuteronomy 12:23 – The blood is the life [Hebrew, nephesh – soul].

The human soul consists of the body made from the dust of the ground and the neshamah, representing the activation of the body by spirit of life as received from God. — Genesis 2:7.

2) Yes, Jesus did sacrifice his human body: He thus was not raised as a human, but as a spirit being, with a spiritual body.

Hebrews 10:10 by which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
Hebrews 10:11 Every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and often offering the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins,
Hebrews 10:12 but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;
Hebrews 10:13 henceforth expecting until his enemies to be made the footstool of his feet.
Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he has perfected forever those who are sanctified.

Luke 22:19 He took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and gave to them, saying, “This is *my body which is given [as an offering in sacrifice to God – Ephesians 5:2; Hebrews 9:14] for you*. Do this in memory of me.”

3) Jesus sacrificed his flesh:

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. Yes, the bread which I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world.

4) Jesus sacrificed his human soul:

Matthew 20:28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life [soul] as a ransom [price to offset] for many.

Isaiah 53:12 He *poured out his soul* to death, and was numbered with the transgressors: yet he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He died; he was totally dead, ceased to be sentient, else there has been no ransom. His body was given in sacrifice. (Hebrews 10:10; Luke 22:19) Jesus’ soul — his human sentiency — was given in sacrifice (Ecclesiastes 9:5) and went into sheol, where there is no work, device, knowledge or wisdom, and wherein one cannot give thanks to, or praise to, Yahweh. (Isaiah 53:12; Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Psalm 6:5; Isaiah 38:18) Jesus’ human blood — which represents his human soul/being (Leviticus 17:11; Deuteronomy 12:23) — was given in sacrifice. (Mark 14:24; Acts 20:28; Hebrews 9:14) Thus his soul — his being — as raised, made alive, from the oblivious condition of sheol was no longer human, but spirit, with a spiritual, not a physical, body.

Once we realize that the human soul consists of the body of flesh activated by the neshamah, or spirit of life from God (Genesis 2:7), we can see how Jesus gave his entire humanity in sacrifice; he is no longer in the days of his flesh, and the world will never again literally see Jesus, either in the flesh, or in his heavenly glory. — Hebrews 5:7.

What, then, about Revelation 1:7?

Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, including those who pierced him. All the tribes of the earth will mourn over him. Even so, Amen.

“Every eye shall see him” (Revelation 1:7) is widely accepted as proof that Christ will return visibly. The book of Revelation however, is full of symbology, and we believe that “eye” and “see” here is speaking symbolically. We know Jesus said , “The world seeth me NO MORE” (John 14:19). The Bible does not contradict itself! Any reasoning student of the Bible will admit that the book of Revelation is a book of symbols. It cannot be literally interpreted. Why should a person then insist that this one verse must be?

The “eye” in Revelation 1:7 is symbolical and refers to mental perception or the “eye” of understanding (Job 42:5). At first Christ appears only as clouds of darkness, trouble, suffering, tribulation, as a roaring of the sea. (Isaiah 5:30; Zephaniah 1:15; Luke 21:25) The world symbolically sees the clouds of darkness, but the people in general do not understand the import behind the clouds until the clouds are removed, and God through Christ says, Peace! Be Still! — Psalm 107:29; Mark 4:39.

While it could be the clouds of darkness that produce a mournful feeling in men, many scriptures indicate that when all flesh sees the glory of Yahweh (Isaiah 40:5) as being revealed through Jesus and the saints, the world will be mournful. (Isaiah 35:5-10) The judgments of that day will prove to be more tolerable for some than for others. — Matthew 10:15; 11:22,24; Mark 6:11; Luke 10:12,14.

The verse tells us that those that pierced Jesus will be there, which provides further indication that this has its full fulfillment in the resurrection day, the “last day” when the unbelieving world is to blessed with another day of judgment. — John 12:47,48.

Repentance is also associated with mournfulness (Joel 2:12), so the mournfulness being spoken of in Revelation 1:7 could be regarding repentance upon realization of the truths being revealed at that time. The next age will then be in full operation, the great deceiver abyssed, and mankind will then be enabled to understand. — Isaiah 2:2-4; 11:9; Habakkuk 2:14; Joel 2:2; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Isaiah 25:7; 29:24; Revelation 12:9; 20:1-4.

Related RL Studies

1 Peter 3:18 – Jesus Died a Human Being – Raised a Spirit Being

Romans 8:3 – How God’s Son Condemned Sin in the Flesh

End of the World in 1914?

Light, Darkness and the Logos

Astrape in Luke 17:22; Matthew 24:27

Jesus Has Come in the Flesh

Originally published on September 9, 2009; updated and republished on April 22, 2014.