The End-Time

 

Introduction

The object of the following is to present you with enough material, (in simplistic form), for you to draw your own conclusions — that is, to arrive at the truth for your self — and that is, what God's Word is conveying here. The article may seem a bit long, but as stated, it's very simple to follow.

Note:
Please bear in mind that this article may be added to or improved upon at any time, hence that page date to the left.

" 'And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations,
and then the end will come' " (Matt 24:14, ESV).


The End-time


The book of Revelation is not a sealed book, it's very name contradicting statements to the contrary. After all, a revelation is something revealed. The book of Revelation complements the book of Daniel  one being a prophecy, the other being a revelation.

Part One


Main focus: The End-time
 persecuting global power that is mentioned in the book of Revelation — particularly Revelation chapter thirteen.

Without a doubt, the book of Revelation talks about an End-time worldwide power — a New World Order — a global government — a one world government — call it what you will — that will be operating at the time of Christ’s second coming.

A power that Christ will destroy because it does not have His blessing (Rev 19:19-21).

A power that Christians are warned to shun (Rev 14:9-13).

A power that most will be fooled by given that it will be involved in the most powerful and sophisticated deception ever known. 


"It exercises all the authority of the first beast [the past power] on its behalf, and it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed. It performs great SIGNS [amazing supernatural manifestations], even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of all; and by the SIGNS that it is allowed to perform on behalf of the beast, it deceives the inhabitants of earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived [the past power]" (Rev 13:12-14).

Highly convincing religious leaders (who're tied in with this power) will "show great signs and wonders, so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect" (Matt 24:24, NKJV).
Note Matthew 7:21-23 regarding what will happen to such leaders.

"The coming of the lawless one [God usurping power] will be in accordance with the work of SATAN displayed in all kinds of COUNTERFEIT MIRACLES, SIGNS AND WONDERS, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved" (2 Thess 2:9,10, NIV). Note also verse three.


A power that Christians won't be spared from, but regarding its persecuting nature, are called to endure:

"...Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints" (Rev 13:10). 

Revelation 14:9-13 also confirms such, (more clearly and strongly so), for there the saints and the End-time persecuting worldwide power are pictured together where followers of Christ are warned not to accept its mark but to once again endure, and to be faithful unto death:

"This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus" (Rev 14:12, NIV).

And there goes the rapture theory — proof that it's far from biblical. Yes, a cruel hoax that just lulls Christians into a false sense of security. Why would God let the saints suffer throughout the ages, including those terrible years of persecution that preceded the Reformation, but spare them from the woes of the End-time and persecuting global power?

The following is not an attempt to identify that power but to simply provide sufficient details for you to discover that power for yourself. Such will also be aided by your own historical research, current research, and the observing of current events. Don't leave things too late though given that the followers of this power will be destroyed.

It's also worth noting that Christians will not be absent when the seven plagues, (due to God's wrath), fall on those who follow the global power.

"Come out of her, My people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues" (Rev 18:4, NIV).

Regarding those plagues, see Revelation chapter 16.

Thus, the following is basically an exercise in logic.

For the details to make sense you will need to read the passages of Scripture relating to this article first – the main focus being verses 11-18 of Revelation chapter thirteen.

Bear in mind that two "beast" powers are mentioned
one past, one future, the future one being the persecuting global power which mirrors the past power, and hence why it's referred to as an "image" a copy. Also bear in mind that the past power somehow plays a part in this scenario given its revival.
Thus, those who bow to the future power, effectively give their allegiance to the past power.


Let's begin.

THE TEXTS:

Verses 1-10 are referring to a revived PAST power both in its past and future tense, (though verses 11-18 are the main focus here) :

1
“And I saw a beast rising out of the sea; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were blasphemous names.
2
And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth [there’s an allusion here to the beasts of Daniel chapter seven. See Part Two]. And the dragon [Satan] gave it his power and his throne and great authority.
3
One of its heads [Dan 7:7,8] seemed to have received a death-blow, but its mortal wound had been healed. In amazement [at its revival] the whole earth followed the [this] beast [via the new power – note verses 11-18].
4
They [thereby] worshiped the dragon [Satan], for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who can fight against it [it rules by force]?”
5
The beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
6
It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God [in some form], blaspheming His name and His dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
7
Also it was allowed to make war on the saints [persecute them] and to conquer them. It was given authority over every tribe and people and language and nation [referring to when it exercised sway over much territory and many people],
8
and all the inhabitants of the earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb [Christ] that was slaughtered.
9
Let anyone who has an ear listen:
10
If you are to be taken captive, into captivity you go; if you kill with the sword, with the sword you must be killed. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints."

By the way, here’s the evidence that this once wounded "beast" power in Revelation is the same past power as that power found in the book of Daniel but called the "little horn" —

The reign of the "little horn" and the first "beast" of Revelation chapter 13 was over the same period of time (Dan 7:25; Rev 13:5; 12:6,14; 11:2,3).
The "little horn" persecuted God’s people too (Dan 7:21,25; Rev 13:7,15).
The "little horn" was a Church and State power too (Dan 7:24,25; Rev 13:5,8; 18:2-4).
The "little horn" was blasphemous too (Dan 7:8,20,25; Rev 13:1,5,6; 17:3).
The "little horn" enforced it’s religious dogma too (Dan 7:25). The new power enforces its religious dogma on behalf of the "little horn" (Rev 13:12,15-18).   See Part Two

Main focus. Verses 11-18 are referring to the new kid on the block, the End-time power:

11
"Then I saw another beast [power] that rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon
12
It exercises all the authority of the first beast [the past power] on its behalf, and it makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed
13
It performs great signs [amazing supernatural manifestations], even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of all;
14
and by the signs that it is allowed to perform on behalf of the beast, it deceives the inhabitants of earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived [the past power];
15
and it [the new power] was allowed to give breath to the image [copy] of the beast [the past power] so that the image of the beast could even speak [through its laws and enactment’s] and cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.
16
Also it [the new power] causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave [everyone is affected by the legislation], to be marked on the right hand or the forehead,
17
so that no one can buy or sell [efforts taken to secure compliance] who does not have the mark [a sign of allegiance to the new power], that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name.
18
This calls for wisdom: let anyone with understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a person. Its number is six hundred sixty-six.”

Regarding 666: This number alone cannot identify the beast since numerous names can add up to ‘666.’ However, the number 666 must have a relationship to this power, otherwise there would be no valid reason for the angel giving John this information at this point in the prophetic narrative.

THE DETAILS:

1) This power is clearly a religious and secular combination [Church and State] because it attempts to force all to pay homage to it — enforces worship, acceptance of its dogma (Rev 13:12), despite the fact that God has given everyone the freedom to follow their own conscience. To be able to force earth’s inhabitants to do as it says it obviously must have the ability to achieve such via legislation and/or military might. It must also be able to somehow get every nation to go along with its wishes — persuasive arguments, embargos, etc?

2) This new power is deceptive in appearance because it later changes character becoming Satanic, aggressive and oppressive (Rev 13:11). Thus, it obviously isn’t beyond secret activity and underhand tactics. The fact that it changes character suggests that it was once an acceptable power, even a good power. Further bearing this out, perhaps, is the fact that Christ is often depicted as a "lamb" and the devil as a "dragon."  Good on the one hand, and evil on the other in other words, as already mentioned, it appears that this power may have once had noble intentions that have sadly gone astray.

3) The new power is also called a “false prophet” (Rev 19:20,21) because it manages to fool most of earth’s inhabitants with its rethoric, falsehood, and accompanying supernatural manifestations (Rev 13:13,14; 16:13,14). The fact that it's called a "false prophet," once again conveys the religious, and suggests that it's even claiming godly authority. Such would make it a blasphemous power too. No wonder it's called an "image" to the past "beast."

4) It eventually seeks to kill those who still won’t comply with its wishes (Rev 13:15).

5) In other words, it acts just like the past power that attempted to force its wishes on all via persecution and threat of death, and that in fact took the lives of many (Rev 13:7,8; 12:6; 17:1-6; Dan 7:21,25). I wonder how many?

6) That past power, which suffered a setback from which it recovered (Rev 13:3), is obviously part of the End-time scenario as the new power is said to operate on its behalf (Rev 13:12), effectively fulfilling the past [first] power’s historic thrust (Dan 7:25). Hence why it's called an "image" of the past power. Perhaps the "image" has been infiltrated?

7) Those who embrace the new power, (or old, effectively), will be destroyed by Christ (Rev 14:9-11; 18:14).

8) Once again, those who resist the new power are told to endure (Rev 14:12; 12:17), which shows that Christians will still be on earth at this time contrary to the rapture theory believed by many.

9) The new power is clearly Satan’s last ditch attempt [ruse] to gain control of mankind (Rev 13:4), given he failed through the old power, thus I guess he’s going to package it accordingly — that is, even beguilingly.

10) This power arises from somewhere on Earth. Rather than coming out of the sea, (which stands for where there are many people, hence the expression, "A sea of faces"), it comes out of the earth — such suggesting a newer country, rather than a much older historic one, one that began where people were few.

11) The number 666 has some kind of relation here.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF:

Regarding the past power:

1) The past power was clearly a very powerful and influential one. Thus, what powerful and influential historic religious-political power persecuted and killed its dissenters?

2) What powerful and influential historic religious-political power claimed the prerogatives of God — in other words, acted blasphemously, as Revelation says?

3) What powerful and influential historic religious-political power most likely fits?

4) What powerful and influential religious-political power once was, (that is, received a severe knock back), and yet still is, (that is, managed to survive and revive)?

5) Is there a religious-political power on earth today that has growing worldwide influence, clout, and desires?

6) Is there a religious-political power on earth today that has an arm that's been known for its political interference, infiltration, and even murders?

7) Is there a religious-political power on earth today that boasts of and claims a certain divine authority?

8) Is there a religious-political power on earth today that is promoting a New World Order, a global government?

9) Is there a religious-political power on earth today that would like to see all come under its umbrella?

10) Is there a religious-political power on earth today that's particularly reaching out to a powerful and influential non-Church and State power?

11) Is there a religious-political power on earth today that once did and still is claiming the prerogatives of God?

Regarding the new power:

1) What present power in the world would most likely fit the new power mentioned in Revelation given that this power would have to have worldwide clout and influence; would have to have the potential to be a religious power aided by secular legislation come military might; and would in some way have some sort of association with the past power?

2) Is there a present powerful and influencial non-Church and State power in the world that appears to be heading in a different direction than it once was, and/or acting differently?

3) Is there a present powerful and influencial non-Church and State power in the world that  has been encroaching on its citizens liberties, unlike before?

Remember:

"Then I saw another beast [power] that rose out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb [was once benign] and it spoke like a dragon [clearly changes character]" (Rev 13:11).

4) Is there a present powerful and influential non-Church and State power in the world that’s promoting a New World Order?

5) Is there a present powerful and influencial non-Church and State power in the world that’s reaching out to a very influential religious power and/or personage?

6) Are there Christians in a present powerful and influential country that are wanting a return to Church and State? Is there a Christian power block and/or a strong and large political Christian militancy occurring within such a country?  Does any country stand out more so in your mind?

7) Given that this power is also called a "false prophet," are there Christian faiths in a present powerful and influential country that are taking on board things that are contrary to sound biblical doctrine, and this whilst poking their noses into politics and supporting certain high profile Christian leaders who're advancing the courting of Church and State with a wedding in mind?

8) Is there a present powerful and influencial non-Church and State power in the world that's talking about closer ties between Church and State?

And in general:

1 Is there evidence out there proving that certain agencies have been and are actively pursuing a New World Order? If so, could there be a number of players involved, each with their own agenda, but with only the one outcome -- and who might they be?

2) Is there a general call from different sources for all to come together that might be aiding a global power?

3) Could the ecumenical movement be aiding the eventual rise of a global religious-secular power? A Reformation reversal? Is there a call for reunification? Is there a relaxing or discarding of doctrinal differences for the sake of some sort of unity that would aid such?

4) Regarding all that has been mentioned here, what power (or even personage) would the number 666 more likely have a connection with?

HOW THE END-TIME PERSECUTING RELIGIOUS-POLITICAL POWER GOES ABOUT GAINING SUPPORT:

“And I saw three foul spirits [spiritualism/paganism/heresy] like frogs coming from the mouth [policy] of the dragon [Satan], from the mouth of the beast [first beast, little horn], and from the mouth of the false prophet [the second beast that effectively creates an image of the first beast]. These are demonic spirits, performing signs [supernatural manifestations via various human agencies to authenticate the above religious union], who go abroad to the kings [political powers] of the whole world [to get them on their side], to assemble them for battle [the religious conflict] on the great day of God the Almighty ” (Rev 16:13,14).

THE DRAGON (Satan working via the “beasts” Rev 13:2,4,11)
THE FIRST BEAST (alias the "little horn" Rev 13:1-8; 19:20; Dan 7)
THE SECOND BEAST
(alias the "image," "false prophet," Rev 13:11-18; 19:20).

“Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence’ ” (John 18:36, KJV).

WHAT IS BABYLON, AND WHY AM I BRINGING SUCH TO YOUR ATTENTION?


The book of Revelation also talks about a modern Babylon as opposed to the ancient nation of Babylon mentioned in the Old Testament. Babylon stands for confusion and in a broad sense pictures the system of apostate religion throughout all human history. In the book of Revelation God's people are told to "come out" of Babylon lest they too be destroyed along with the "beast" powers via plagues. So clearly there is a particular connection with the "beast" and the "image" (second "beast") that are mentioned in the book of Revelation.
The Bible also tells us that within Babylon the blood of the saints is found (Rev 18:24).
Let's take a look at a very interesting parallel.
Ancient Babylon:
Ancient Babylon (Dan 4:30) was a false (pagan) religious power. Its king erected an "image" that all were to bow down to and worship, otherwise they would be killed. Musicians were employed to encourage the false worship (Dan 3:1,4-7,10,11,15).
Modern Babylon:
Seen as modern Babylon (Rev 14:8) is used in the book of Revelation, and in conjunction with the "beast" and "image" powers, it obviously has to be symbolic of a false religious system of some sort. And hence the "image" mentioned in the book of Revelation that all are forced to worship, (or be killed), and that worship is once again encouraged by musicians also,  who, by the way, God will destroy along with Babylon (Rev 18:21,22; 13:15,18; 2 Thess 2:3,4).
May I digress?
Why are the musicians destroyed too?
Allow me to suggest the following.
Their music:
Copies the world [its secular/pagan styles and sounds, even lyrics].
Mixes the holy with the unholy [which war against each other; are unequally yoked; a clash of interests; a mismatch; such sacrifices principles].
Is performer focused [idol worship; image building; detracts from God].
Is entertainment based [self pleasing; common].
Generates a response to the music rather than the Holy Spirit [is feelings based; appeals to the physical. The sensual must play no part in worship].
Reminds of and encourages Christians back into the world.
Corrupts the Christian message, identity and witness.
Engages in fellowship with the works of darkness [uses Satan’s tools to do God’s work].
In other words, the false music conditions folk to accept the false worship that it promotes.
You might like to compare the following too, regarding the two Babylon’s:

Jer 51:13 with Rev 17:1.
Jer 51:8 with Rev 14:8.
Jer 51:45 with Rev 18:4.
Jer 51:60-64 with Rev 18:21-24.
Yes, symbolic Babylon has to be a religious system, as only a religious system [in biblical terminology that is] would commit fornication [a religious/political alliance, a holy-secular mix] (Rev 18:2,3; 17:1-6). Worldly powers by their very nature are already corrupt.
And hence that "whore" as well, also called the "mother of harlots," who is seen in Revelation chapter 17, and who is riding (effectively controlling) a beast. The "whore" represents the "little horn" (first "beast") power, and the beast that she's riding, being the extent of her influence over the people of the earth; her illicit relationship to worldly governments; all that's false; and all those who support her in her endeavours, (and who embrace her dogma),
which includes Babylon, (all effectively being the "harlots").
It's clear that the "whore" has to be the "little horn" (first "beast") because both Daniel and Revelation talk about her having persecuted the saints.  

Thus, it's crystal clear that any Church and State alliance will incur God's serious wrath
hence why His Word says that He will soon destroy such (Rev 19:19-21).

In summary, the persecuting global power operating just prior to Christ's return will be a religious-political one, one that's infested with spiritualism, paganism and heresy an "image" of the past "beast."

So, what kind of religious dogma might this power eventually legislate? A universal day of worship that in time leaves no room for dissenters, to state one?

And no doubt those who in the meantime set about exposing such a power in the throws of establishing itself, will be ridiculed, maligned, discredited, falsely accused, even threatened or worse, and seen and pictured as spoil sports and even a threat to society's future well-being.

For signs of apostasy within the Church, see my page: Concerned And Frustrated?
You may also be interested in reading my article "Regarding The One World Government" which can be found on my Bits 'n' Bobs page (page 2). The link button to this article is on the left and near the top of my poem list page.


Part Two

According to Scripture, the anti-Christ takes on the glory and prerogatives of God, esteems itself as highly, utters blasphemous statements, fools via its godly appearance, signs and wonders, plays with truth and God’s Ten Commandments, and is connected to the numbers 666.
Bear in mind too, that in the original Bible language, anti-Christ can mean "in place of."


“Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess 2:3,4, RSV).

“The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved” (2 Thess 2:9,10, NIV).

“...and a mouth speaking pompous words” (Dan 7:8, NKJV).

“He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out [persecute] the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change times and the law…” (Dan 7:25, RSV).

“And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies...Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God…” (Rev 13:5,6, NKJV).

“...a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy…” (Rev 17:3, NKJV).

“...and on his heads a blasphemous name” (Rev 13:1, NKJV).

Regarding blasphemy:
Note again the underscoring of the very first text. Will no doubt make statements regarding its own self importance. 


"He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs
which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on earth to make an image [copy] to the beast [past power] who was wounded by the sword and lived [revived]" (Rev 13:13,14, NKJV).

The "beast" here, represents a human organization.

“Here is wisdom. Let him who has the understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666” (Rev 13:18, NKJV).

"Then the angel carried me [John] away in the Spirit into a desert. There I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was covered with blasphemous names and had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was dressed in purple and scarlet, and was glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She held a cup in her hand, filled with abominable things and the filth of her adulteries. This title was written on her forehead: MYSTERY BABYLON THE GREAT THE MOTHER OF PROSTITUTES AND OF THE ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. I saw that the woman was drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of those who bore the testimony to Jesus" (Rev 17:3-6, NIV).

What power would we associate purple and scarlet with today? 


Part Three

Back To The Past

THE KINGS DREAM, DANIEL CHAPTER TWO


Who had a dream that left him greatly troubled?

“Now in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar [605-562 BC], Nebuchadnezzar [the king of Babylon] had dreams [meaning the series of incidents in the dream]; and his spirit was troubled and his sleep left him”
(Dan 2:1, NASB).

Clarification:
The Lord gave Nebuchadnezzar this dream. Like all ancient peoples, Nebuchadnezzar believed in dreams as one of the means by which the gods revealed their will to men. Divine wisdom always meets humans where they are.


Who did king Nebuchadnezzar ask to interpret what his dream was all about?

“Then the king gave orders to call in the magicians, the conjurers, the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans [a class of scholars at the Babylonian court] to tell the king his dreams [though greatly disturbed by it, the king could not even recall his dream]…” (Dan 2:2, NASB).

Were those the king asked able to interpret his dream?

“The Chaldeans answered the king, “There is not a man on earth who can meet the king’s demands…”
(Dan 2:10, RSV).

How did the king feel about their inability to interpret his dream?

“Because of this the king was angry and furious, and commanded that all the wise men [magicians, enchanters, sorcerers, Chaldeans] of Babylon be destroyed” (Dan 2:12, RSV).

Did someone come forth stating that if given a chance and time they would be able to provide an answer to the king’s dream?

“And Daniel went in and besought the king to appoint him a time, that he might show to the king the interpretation” (Dan 2:16, RSV).

“Therefore Daniel went in to Arioch, whom the king had appointed to destroy the wise men of Babylon; he went and said thus to him, “Do not destroy the wise men of Babylon; bring me in before the king, and I will show the king the interpretation. Then Arioch brought in Daniel before the king...” (Dan 2:24,25, RSV).

Did Daniel have a special gift in the area of visions and dreams?

“As for these four youths [others who had been selected for training like Daniel], God gave them learning and skill in all letters and wisdom; Daniel had insight in all visions and dreams” (Dan 1:17, RSV).

How was the interpretation of the king’s dream revealed to Daniel?

“Then the mystery [the interpretation of the king’s dream] was revealed to Daniel in a vision of the night. Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven [he gave praise to God the revealer of secrets who gave to him the interpretation of the king’s dream]” (Dan 2:19, RSV).

What did the king see in his dream?

“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image [an image of the king]. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine [pure] gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces” (Dan 2:31-34, ESV).

Worth noting:
King Nebuchadnezzar later made an image like the one he saw in his dream. All were told to bow down and worship it but Daniel and his three friends refused to do so. You can read about it in Daniel chapter three.


What did the head of gold represent?

“This was the dream. Now we [Daniel may have classed his companions with himself] will tell the king its interpretation. You, O king, the king of kings—to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom [the territory that Nebuchadnezzar ruled], the power, and the might, and the glory, and into whose hand [King Nebuchadnezzar’s] He [God] has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold [Babylon]” (Dan 2:36-38, ESV).

Clarification:
King Nebuchadnezzar was the Neo-Babylonian Empire personified. The military conquests and the architectural splendor of Babylon were, in large measure, due to his prowess. An abundance of gold was used in embellishing Babylon.


What did the chest and arms of silver represent?

“Another kingdom inferior to you [Babylon] shall arise after [second] you [Medo-Persia (Dan 8:3,20)]…” (Dan 2:39, ESV).

Clarification:
As silver is inferior to gold, the Medo-Persian Empire was inferior to the Neo-Babylonian Empire; inferior in luxury and magnificence.


What did the belly and thighs of bronze represent?

“...and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth [Greece (Dan 8:5,21)] ” (Dan 2:39, ESV).

Clarification:
More properly the Macedonian or Hellenistic Empire of Alexander the Great and his successors. The Greek soldiers were noted for their brazen [brass] armor. This kingdom was the most extensive empire of the ancient world up to that time. Its dominion was “over the whole earth” in the sense that no power on earth was equal to it, not that it covered the whole world, or even the known world of that time.


What did the legs of iron represent?

“And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these [pagan Rome which conquered the Macedonian world]” (Dan 2:40, ESV).

Clarification:
Rome won her territory by the force or fear of her armed might. Rome was the largest and strongest
empire the world had hitherto known. Rome had the power to tax all the world (Luke 2:1). Pagan Rome endured three times as long as any of the three preceding empires.

What did the feet and toes of iron mixed with clay represent?

“And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with the soft clay” (Dan 2:41, ESV).

Clarification:
The pagan Roman Empire was broken up in the fourth and fifth centuries AD among invading German barbarian tribes, represented by the ten toes, now the modern nations of Europe.
The Anglo-Saxons who took Britain, the Franks who took Northern France, the Suevi who took Portugal, the Visigoths who took Spain and south-west France, the Burgundians who took south-east France, the Alemanni, Lombards, and Ostrogoths who took part of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, the Heruli who took Italy and the Vandals who took North Africa. 
The number of kingdoms currently occupying the sphere of old Rome is ten, no more, no less — Italy, Austria, Switzerland, France, Germany, England, Holland, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal.

Would attempts be made to create one great empire out of the broken up pieces of the pagan Roman Empire, and would such attempts be successful?

“And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle [the German barbarian kingdoms differed greatly in military prowess]. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so will they mix with one another in marriage [royal intermarriages], but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay” (Dan 2:42,43, ESV).

Clarification:
Attempts to unite into one great empire the various nations that grew out of the fourth empire [pagan Rome] have ended in failure. Temporarily certain sections have been united, but the union has not proved peaceful or permanent. Should such a union be attempted or effected, it would not become organically fused, and they would remain mutually suspicious and unfriendly. The temporary success of some dictator or nation must, therefore, not be labeled a failure of Daniel’s prophecy.


What would eventually happen to the kingdoms that resulted from the break up of the pagan Roman Empire?

“As you [the king] looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces [destroyed]” (Dan 2:34, ESV).

“And in the days of those kings [today, while Europe is in its disjointed condition] the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed [a direct reference to the Second Coming of Christ, who as king of kings will eventually take over the governing of earth and will reign as undisputed Lord], nor shall the kingdom [God’s coming kingdom] be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, just as you saw that a stone [God’s Second Coming/Judgment] was cut from a mountain by no human hand [this kingdom has a superhuman origin. It is to be founded, not by the ingenious hands of man, but by the mighty hand of God], and that it broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure” (Dan 2:44,45, ESV).

THE BEASTS OF DANIEL CHAPTER SEVEN

Daniel chapter seven is fleshing out Daniel chapter two.

Who, like king Nebuchadnezzar, had a dream that troubled him?


“As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me” (Dan 7:15, ESV).

When did Daniel have this dream and what did he see that troubled him?

“In the first year [approx 552 BC] of Belshazzar King of Babylon
[Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson. Belshazzar’s father was Nabonidus. Belshazzar reigned as co-regent with his father], Daniel saw a dream....I [Daniel] saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven [denotes the four points of the compass] were stirring up the great sea [symbolic of the nations of the world, humanity —  diplomatic, warlike, political activity in various parts of the earth that were to shape the history of the period]. And four great beasts [kingdoms] came up [successively] out of the sea, different from one another” (Dan 7:1-3, ESV).

Clarification:
Daniel had this dream during the reign of king Belshazzar, when he was around 80 years of age. This dream contained a pictorial view of the future history of the world, and covered essentially the same span of history as that of king Nebuchadnezzar’s dream covered in Daniel chapter 2. It is a broader picture and expansion of  king

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Part two begins the story of the rise of a ‘particular’ persecuting religious/political power. Part three follows its setback, revival, involvement in End-time world wide events, and eventual permanent destruction.
 
What did the first beast represent?

“The first was like a lion [Babylon – 605 BC] and had eagles’ wings [denotes speed and spread of conquest]. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, [loss of glory and power, its aggression would flag, its conquests come to a standstill. A lion standing erect like a man is indicative of the loss of lion like characteristics]; and the mind of a man was given to it [weakness would take the place of strength and cowardice would supplant courage]” (Dan 7:4, ESV).

Clarification:
The winged lion is found on Babylonian objects of art. The combination of lion and eagle was a common motif. The lion as the king of the beasts and the eagle as king of the birds fittingly represented Babylon at the height of its glory. In its declining years Babylon became weak and enfeebled through wealth and luxury, and fell prey to the Medo-Persian kingdom. Largely through Belshazzar’s blasphemous attitude toward God, the mighty city of Babylon fell in a single night — see Daniel chapter five.


What did the second beast represent?

“And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear [Medo-Persia – 538 BC]. It was raised up on one side
[of the Medes and Persians the Persians became the dominant power a few years before the dual empire conquered Babylonia]. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth [the three powers conquered by the Medes and Persians as it built its great empire: Lydia, Babylonia and Egypt]; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh’ ” (Dan 7:5, ESV).

Clarification:
As silver is inferior to gold (Dan 2:36-39), so, in some respects at least, the bear is inferior to the lion. The bear is, nevertheless, cruel and rapacious, characteristics that are attributed to the Medes in Isaiah 13:17,18.


What did the third beast represent?

“After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard [Greece – 331 BC. The leopard is a fierce animal noted for its swiftness and agility of movement], with four wings of a bird on its back [denotes the incredible speed of Alexander the Great’s conquest, swift rise to power]. And the beast had four heads [after Alexander died his kingdom was taken and divided up by his four generals: Cassander, Lysimachus, Seleucus and Ptolemy], and dominion was given to it” (Dan 7:6, ESV).

What did the fourth beast represent?

“After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong [Pagan Rome – 168 BC. There is no question that this power represents the same power that is portrayed by the iron legs of the great statute/image (Dan 2:40)]. It had great iron teeth [cruelty, strength]; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet [in the intensity of its power to destroy, pagan Rome surpassed the kingdoms that had previously ruled the world, and had subdued the whole of the then-known world, crushing and trampling all that stood in its way]. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns [the Roman Empire was eventually divided up into different kingdoms (Dan 7:24; 2:41) when German barbarian tribes successively invaded it, AD 351-AD 476. The actual city of Rome fell to the Heruli in AD 476, the coup de grace. The ten horns (like the statue’s toes, Dan 2:41) symbolize the European nations that emerged after the collapse of the pagan Roman Empire (Dan 2:41)]” (Dan 7:7, ESV).

What did the ‘little horn’ that came up among the ten horns on the fourth beast represent?

“While I was contemplating the horns [the ten German Barbarian kingdoms], behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them [?], and three of the earlier horns were pulled out by the roots [the overthrow of three German Barbarian nations who obstructed the rise of the little horn: the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths]; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes [cunning foresight, insight, subtlety, secret diplomacy] of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts [pompous claims, would consider itself equal with God (Dan 7:25; 2 Thess 2:3,4)]” (Dan 7:8, NASB).

“ ‘…and he [the little horn] will be different from the previous ones [previous kingdoms]…’ ” (Dan 7:24, NASB).

What did this ‘little horn’ power do?

“I kept looking, and that [little] horn [?] was waging war with [persecuted, exterminated] the saints [followers of God] and overpowering them [for many long centuries the saints seemed to be helpless against this destructive force]” (Dan 7:21, NASB).

“ ‘He [the little horn] shall speak words against the most high [consider itself equal with God, act in opposition to (Dan 11:36; 7:11; Rev 13:6), pompous claims], and shall wear out [persecute] the saints of the Most High [God], and shall think to change the times and the law; and they [those who would not conform] shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time [1260 years]’ ” (Dan 7:25, RSV).
 
And here we see a reference to this power again.

And the woman [the Christian church] fled [because of persecution] into the wilderness [a place of seclusion, hiding places], where she has a place [protective sanctuary] prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260days [years, the persecuting period of the little horn's reign]” (Rev 12:6, ESV).

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day [the Second Coming] will not come, unless the rebellion [apostasy] comes first, and the man of lawlessness [God opposing power] is revealed, the son of destruction [Rev 20:10], who opposes and exalts himself [Dan 7:25] against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess 2:3,4, ESV).

Now take another look at this:

The reign of the "little horn" and the first "beast" of Revelation chapter 13 was over the same period of time (Dan 7:25; Rev 13:5; 12:6,14; 11:2,3).
The "little horn" persecuted God’s people too (Dan 7:21,25; Rev 13:7,15).
The "little horn" was a Church and State power too (Dan 7:24,25; Rev 13:5,8; 18:2-4).
The "little horn" was blasphemous too (Dan 7:8,20,25; Rev 13:1,5,6; 17:3).
The "little horn" enforced it’s religious dogma too (Dan 7:25). The new power enforces its religious dogma on behalf of the "little horn" (Rev 13:12,15-18).

And this:

"This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus" (Rev 14:12, NIV).

So once again:

This power is religious.
This power is boastful, clearly assuming the parogatives of God.
Though this power professes to be of God, it is actually working against Him.
This power tampers with times and law.
This power has serious clout and widespread abilities.
This power has the ability to fool and mislead.
This power claims Divine authority.
This power places itself before everyone and anything.
This power relies on force.
This power has a persecuting track record.
This power stands out on its own.
This power reigned for a very long time untill it was seriously wounded [knocked back]. With time though, its wound soon healed and it got back up on its feet again.

And also, according to God's Word:

It's a little kingdom.
It arose after the ten tribes of Europe were established.
It overcame three political powers in its rise to dominence.
It is different from the other ten powers.
It has a man at its head who speaks for it.


Sources available
Updated 8 March 2017




More Answers From God's Word
 

Note: More questions and answers, (the latter in text form), may be added at any time and placed at the end of their respective section or anywhere within their respective section; and further texts may added to existing ones.

Study One FAITH, GRACE, WORKS AND LAW

Clarifications (where not any of my own) have been drawn from various available sources.

What is sin?
 

“Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness [rebellion, disobedience]” (1 John 3:4, NKJV).

Is there a punishment for sin?

“For the wages of sin is death [eternal death]…” (Rom 6:23, NIV).

Do the Scriptures say that everyone has sinned?

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23, NIV).

How did this come about?

Firstly —

“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil [Satan]; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8, ESV).

“And war arose in heaven [Satan’s wicked work of disseminating rebellion in heaven, and its consequences],
Michael and His angels [the angels who remained loyal to God] fighting against the dragon [Satan]. And the dragon and his angels [the angels who sided with Satan] fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent [the serpent was the medium by which Satan attracted and deceived Eve (Gen 3)], who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world — he was thrown down to the earth [thrown out of heaven], and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev 12:7-9, ESV).

Secondly —

“Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world [the Earth]...and thus death spread to all men because all sinned [all sin]. For as by the one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience many [us] were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience [Christ who came in human form, lived a perfect life, kept His Father’s commandments and paid the price for our sin] many will be made righteous [but only through acceptance of Christ’s free gift of grace, made possible through Christ’s death on the cross (1 Cor 15:21,22)]” (Rom 5:12,19, ESV).

Are we sinners because we sin, or because we are sinners by nature?

“Surely I [David] was sinful [rebellious] at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me [David recognized that children inherit natures with propensities to evil. We all have an inborn tendency to do evil]” (Ps 51:5, NIV).

“Yea, thou heardest not; yea, thou knewest not; yea, from that time that thine ear was not opened: for I knew that thou wouldest deal very treacherously, and wast called a transgressor from the womb” (Isa 48:8, KJV).

“Even from birth the wicked go astray; from the womb they are wayward and speak lies” (Ps 58:3, NIV).

“ ‘Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one’ ” (Job 14:4, ESV). Note also 1 John 5:17.

Does changing our behaviour alter this situation?

“But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags [only the robe of righteousness that Christ has provided will fit man to appear in the presence of God]...” (Isa 64:6, KJV).

“As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’ ” (Rom 3:10, NIV).

“All wrongdoing is sin…” (1 John 5:17, NIV).

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jer 17:9, KJV).

How then, can we be saved, if we are sinners by nature?

“He [Christ] saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy [grace]...” (Titus 3:5, NIV). Note also Rom 3:8.

“And are justified [treated as righteous] by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24, ESV). Note also 1 Thess 5:10; Eph 4:7; 1 John 5:11; Rom 6:23; Gal 2:21.

Clarification: All the saints from Adam to John the Baptist were saved by looking forward in faith to the cross. Everybody who is saved today is rescued by virtue of looking back in faith to the cross. Everyone is saved by faith through beholding “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29, NKJV).

Is there anything we must do to receive this grace?

A) We must believe —

“Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him [Christ] from the dead [accepting Him as your Saviour], you will be saved” (Rom 10:9, ESV).

“ ‘Whoever believes [displays genuine faith in Jesus] and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned’ ” (Mark 16:16, ESV).

“For by grace [on God’s part] you have been saved through faith [belief, trust, acceptance]…” (Eph 2:8, NASB).

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation” (Heb 11:1,2, ESV). Note also Titus 3:7; Rom 8:1.

B) We must repent —

“For godly grief [sorrow, true guilt] produces a repentance that leads to salvation [eternal life] and brings no regret, but worldly grief [sorrow, false guilt] produces death”  (2 Cor 7:10, RSV). Note also Luke 5:32; Ps 38:18.

“And Peter said to them, ‘Repent’ and be baptized everyone of you...for the forgiveness of your sins…’ ” (Acts 2:38, ESV).

Clarification: If you believe in and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, are genuinely repentant for your sins and desire to offend no more, Christ grants you His free gift of grace [mercy, unmerited favour, forgiveness]. Even though you’re still unrighteous [man can never be righteous, we are by nature sinners], upon the acceptance of God’s grace you are considered, treated, as though you are righteous [as though you have never sinned]. You are thereby freed from the penalty [death] and power [Satan’s hold over you] of sin.

So do works have nothing to do with this process?

“...and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God [Christ took on His shoulders (suffered) our punishment, stood in our place, paid the price we deserved to pay] – not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph 2:8,9, ESV).

“Yet we know that a person is not justified [treated as righteous] by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ. So we also have believed in Christ Jesus in order to be justified [treated as righteous] by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified [considered as righteous]” (Gal 2:16, ESV).

“What shall we say, then? That Gentiles [some Gentiles] who did not pursue righteousness have attained it [grasped it], that is, righteousness through faith; but that Israel, who pursued the righteousness which is based on law, did not
succeed in fulfilling that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone” (Rom 9:30–32, RSV).

Clarification: God declares us righteous not because we are, but because of our faith in Christ, and our desire to obey Him. Works performed in obedience to the law [the Ten Commandments] cannot justify a sinner before God. Justification [right standing before God] is by faith alone. When a sinner gives himself to the Lord and excepts Him as their Saviour then sinful as their life may have been, they are accounted [considered, treated as] righteous. Justification is this act, by which a person is brought into a right state in relation to God. By this act God acquits a person who has been guilty of wrongdoing or treats as righteous someone who has been unrighteous. They are now centered in Christ. God is now the ruling center of the life, not self.

If works have nothing to do with this process, what then is their purpose?

A) To witness for God —

“ ‘In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father who is in Heaven’ ” (Matt 5:16, ESV).

“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us…” (2 Cor 5:20, ESV).

B) To reflect the likeness of God —

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness [God accepts people where they are, but He gives them no excuse for staying there]” (Eph 4:22-24, NIV). Note also Rom 12:2.

C) To express our gratitude to God for being saved —

“ ‘If you love Me [are grateful], you will keep my commandments’ ” (John 14:15, ESV).

“And this is love [gratitude], that we walk according to His commandments...” (2 John 6, ESV).

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3, NKJV).
 
“ ‘Thus you will recognize them by their fruits [response]’ ” (Matt 7:20, ESV). Note also Matt 3:8.

D) To show our genuineness to follow God —

“...How can we who died to sin live any longer in it” (Rom 6:2, NKJV).

“In order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled [realized] in us, who walk [live] not according to the flesh [carnal selfish desires], but according to the Spirit [the indwelling Spirit of Christ; willing obedience that stems from love. True obedience is a matter of the heart and of the spirit]” (Rom 8:4, ESV).

“Whoever says, “I know him [has become a follower],” but does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4, ESV).

“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:6-8, ESV).

Clarification: Works are not a cause but an effect of salvation (Rom 8:4; Heb 8:10). We do not work to be saved but work because we are saved. A Christian does right because he is a Christian, never in order to be a Christian.

How much importance does Scripture attach to works?

“Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless?” (James 2:20, ESV). Note also James 2:17,18.

“You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also [it is made void, invalid]” (James 2:24,26, ESV). Note also Rom 8:4.

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17, ESV).

“Since every thing will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives”  (2 Peter 3:11, NIV).

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them [our works, sanctification, obedience, and victories, are not for saving us, but for bringing glory to God (Matt 5:16). An apple tree bears apples because it is an apple tree, never in order to be one]” (Eph 2:10, ESV).

“So that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Tim 3:17, NIV).

Examine yourselves to see whether you are [living] in the faith [the context here is behaviour, practice]; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Cor 13:5, NIV).

Clarification: Paul who rejects the law as a substitute for grace does not except grace as a substitute for the law (Rom 3:31; 7:22). When we use the term “saved by grace alone” what we are really saying is that our “works” do not, and
cannot, save us.

How are such works achieved?

“ ‘...For apart from me you can do nothing’ ” (John 15:5, ESV).

“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Phil 2:13, ESV).

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me [the great need of Christians is to strive to stay surrendered to Christ so that they will continuously have God’s power working in their lives]” (Phil 4:13, ESV).

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and Godly lives in the present age [God’s grace is also the divine enabling which produces a change. It does something in us (1 Cor 15:10)]” (Titus 2:11,12, ESV).

“But now that you have been set free from sin [bondage] and have become slaves of God [obedience activated by love], the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life” (Rom 6:22, RSV).

Clarification: Sanctification — the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22); being made holy; the work of a lifetime; the work of the Holy Spirit upon the character of those who are justified; making holy, sinful beings. The work of a life time made possible via the Holy Spirit which empowers and enables us.

Can we in fact void God’s grace by ignoring works?

“For if we go on sinning deliberately [lawlessness] after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment…[salvation can not be divorced from obedience, obedience links faith and works]” (Heb 10:26,27, ESV).

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14, ESV).

“For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding Him up to contempt” (Heb 6:4-6, ESV).

“How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has spurned the son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” (Heb 10:29, ESV).

Clarification: The apostate here referred to had at one time professed to accept salvation through the atoning grace of Christ. He had once professed to appreciate that which he now despised, and thereby bore unwitting testimony to the fact that his present attitude was not based on ignorance.

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh
cannot please God” (Rom 8:6-8, ESV).

“ ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven [keeps the Ten Commandments]’ ” (Matt 7:21, ESV).

When God’s Word talks about works, what is it referring to?

“ ‘If you keep my commandments [the Ten Commandments], you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love’ ” (John 15:10, ESV).

“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty [the Ten Commandments], and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts; he will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25, ESV).

“For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified [treated as righteous]” (Rom 2:13, ESV).

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it” (James 2:10, ESV).
“...Therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law” (Rom 13:10, ESV).

“Do we then overthrow [make void] the law [the Ten Commandments (the moral law)] by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law” (Rom 3:31, ESV). Note also Rom 7:12.

Clarification: When the Bible talks about faith and works it is talking about righteous living, not good deeds, though they play their part.
Here’s the key:
When the apostle Paul speaks of the law [the Ten Commandments] in the ‘context of ‘salvation’

[Justification – right standing before God], he clearly affirms that law-keeping is of no avail (Rom 3:20). On the other  hand when Paul speaks of the law in the ‘context of Christian conduct’ [Sanctification – right living before God], then he maintains the value and validity of God’s law (Rom 7:12; 2:13; 3:31; 7:22).

Why the Ten Commandments?

A) They are the foundation of God’s government —

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your [God’s] throne [rule]...” (Ps 89:14, ESV).

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened [the earthy sanctuary/temple was only a copy of it], and the ark  of his covenant [the depository of the Ten Commandments (1 Kings 8:9; Ex 25:10-22)] was seen within His
temple [the ark represents the very character of God, for in Him justice and mercy meet]...” (Rev 11:19, ESV).

“There is only one lawgiver and judge; He who is able to save and to destroy…” (James 4:12, ESV).

“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the Ten Commandments]”
(James 2:12, ESV). Note also Heb 9:26,27; Acts 24:25; 17:31; Rev 14:7; 2 Cor 5:10; Eccl 12:14; Matt 12:36,37; 2 Tim 4:1; Dan 7:9,10.

Clarification: Any government will stand only as long as it has laws. No government is stronger than its laws and no law is stronger than the enforcement of its penalty. God is the originator of justice. It is because the law could not be set aside, and penalty had to be enforced, that Jesus came to die for us. God has never been able to forgive sin. He just forgives sinners. There could have been no disobedience in heaven by Satan and his angels (1 John 3:8; 2 Peter 2:4) or in Eden by Adam and Eve without a revelation of God’s law. No law – no sin. Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4; James 4:17). Obviously this law was in Adam’s heart (Rom 2:15; Heb 8:10; Ps 40:8). After the transgression of Adam the principles of the law would not have been changed but would have been arranged and expressed to meet humans in their fallen condition, and would have been passed on from father to son (Gen 26:5).

B) They convict of sin —

“The law of the Lord is perfect, converting [convicting, pointing out sin and the need of a Saviour] the soul [heart]...” (Ps 19:7, NKJV). Note also Rom 7:12.

“...Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet [the law being the standard of Christian conduct]’ ” (Rom 7:7, ESV). Note also James 4:17; Rom 3:20.

“...but  where there is no law, there is no transgression” (Rom 4:15, ESV).

Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4, ESV).

Clarification: The function of the Law is to convict of sin and reveal the standard of righteousness. The sinner who is confronted with the law sees their sin and the law thus leads them to Christ and the gospel. Then faith and love bring forth a new obedience to the law of God. On acceptance of God’s free gift of grace you are then considered saved [granted eternal life, which you receive at Christ’s Second Coming] but only as long as you allow God’s grace to continue to operate in your life [which shows itself in obedience to His will, His Ten Commandments]. If you break the Law again, as we do, genuine sorrow will and must send you back to the cross for forgiveness (Rom 6:1,2). Because of our sinful natures, this is a daily necessity for remaining in God’s saving grace. 

Weren’t these Ten Commandments done away with at the cross?

“Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish [uphold] the law [to repeal the Ten Commandments would be to abolish morality itself]” (Rom 3:31, NKJV).

“ ‘But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the law to become void [this moral law must not be confused with the Jewish ceremonial law]’ ” (Luke 16:17, ESV).

“The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure [the whole ‘ten’]. They stand  fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness ” (Ps 111:7,8, KJV).

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God…” Rev  14:12, ESV).

“ ‘Do not think that I [Christ] came to abolish the law or the prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill [to act in accordance with, to fill full of meaning, to reaffirm, clarify its intent]’ ” (Matt 5:17, NASB).

Clarification: The Ten Commandments must not be confused with the Jewish ceremonial law. God wrote the Ten Commandments on two tablets of stone with His own finger (Ex 31:18; Deut 4:13) — that’s how important they were. He also had them put inside a special container called the ‘ark of the covenant’ (1 Kings 8:9). God got Moses to write the ceremonial law in a book (Deut 31:9; Ex 24:4; 2 Chron 35:12), and got him to place it beside ‘the ark of the covenant’ (Deut 31:2). The ceremonial law was to be distinct from the Ten Commandments. It covered religious activities that took place  in the earthly sanctuary. These important activities symbolically pointed forward to the time when Christ would come and die on our behalf. The ceremonial law also covered everyday matters, such as hygiene, court procedures, and so on, some which for practical reasons [e.g. those regarding hygiene] would continue after Christ’s death on the cross.

So how important is it to uphold the Ten Commandments?

“Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God [circumcision belonged to the Jewish ceremonial law. Here we clearly see a distinction being made between God’s moral law and the Jewish ceremonial law]” (1 Cor 7:19, NASB). Note also Gen 26:5.

“...Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl 12:13, NKJV).

Blessed are those who do [keep] His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life [receive eternal life], and may enter through the gates into the city [the renewed earth]” (Rev 22:14, NKJV).

“So He [Christ] said to him [the rich young ruler], ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments’ ” (Matt 19:17, NKJV). Note also James 1:25.

“ ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven [keeps the Ten Commandments]’ ” (Matt 7:21, NKJV). Note also Rom 2:13.

Clarification: If we don’t respond by doing our very best to keep God’s law [the Ten Commandments], we sadly show:
 

A) That we weren’t really genuine (James 2:15,17; 1 John 2:3,4; Rom 8:4).
B) That we just wanted to avoid the punishment of eternal death.
C) That we just wanted the reward of eternal life and all its privileges.
D) That we didn’t really want to change (2 Cor 13:5; Eph 4:22-24; 1 Peter 1:22; Rom 8:7,8).
E) That we didn’t want to meet God’s requirements for Christian behaviour (1 Cor 7:19; Eccl 12:13; James 1:25; 2 John 4:6; John 14:15; 1 John 5:3).

Who, by the way, receives the Holy Spirit?

“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him
(Acts 5:32, NASB).


Study Two GOD'S TEN COMMANDMENTS

Clarifications (where not any of my own) have been drawn from various available sources.

Did law exist before Mount Sinai?

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your [God’s] throne [rule]…” (Ps 89:14, ESV).

“For His judgments are true and just...” (Rev 19:2, ESV).

“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil [Satan]; for the devil has been sinning from the beginning…[a reference to Satan’s rebellion; when in heaven he stood up against God (Rev 12:7-9,12)]” (1 John 3:8, ESV).

“Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world...and thus death spread to all men because all sinned [have sinned]. For as by the one man’s [Adam’s] disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience [Christ who came in human form, lived a perfect life, kept His Father’s commandments and paid the price for our sin] many will be made righteous [but only through acceptance of Christ’s free gift of grace, made possible through Christ’s death on the cross (1 Cor 15:21,22)]” (Rom 5:12,19, ESV).

Clarification: Any government will stand only as long as it has laws. No government is stronger than its laws and no law is stronger than the enforcement of its penalty. God is the originator of justice. It is because the law could not be set aside, and penalty had to be enforced, that Jesus came to die for us. God has never been able to forgive sin. He forgives sinners. The reason we know He cannot forgive sin is because Jesus died.

If there had been no law right from the beginning, both in heaven and on Earth, neither Satan or Adam would have been able to be disobedient. After all, no law – no sin!

“...but where there is no law, there is no transgression” (Rom 4:15, ESV).

Thus:

“Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness [breaking God’s law]; sin is lawlessness
(1 John 3:4, RSV).

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17, ESV).

Were the Ten Commandments kept before Mount Sinai?

“Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws [this was well before Mount Sinai]” (Gen 26:5, ESV).

“On the seventh day some of the people went out to gather, and they found none [manna]. The Lord said to Moses, “How long will you refuse to keep my commandments and instructions? See! The Lord has given you the sabbath [the fourth commandment], therefore on the sixth day He gives you food for two days; each of you stay where you are; do not leave your place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day [this occurred before Mount Sinai]” (Ex 16:27-30).

Clarification: After the transgression of Adam, the principles of God’s law would hardly have been changed but would have been arranged and expressed to meet humanity in its fallen condition, and clearly would have been passed on from father to son (Gen 26:5). Had Abraham's descendants not been seduced into idolatry, there would hardly have been a need for the Ten Commandments to be proclaimed from Mount Sinai or written in stone and thus no need of the additional directions given to Moses also. The Ten Commandments were simply repeated on Mount Sinai because the Israelites [the descendants of Abraham], who had been enslaved in Egypt, had forgotten much of what had been previously known. In an attempt to not let them forget such again, God, amidst an awesome scene (Ex 20:18), handed to Moses two tablets of stone upon which He had written the Ten Commandments with His very own finger (Ex 31:18; Deut 4:13).

What role did the Jews play regarding the Ten Commandments?

“...To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God
[the Ten Commandments]” (Rom 3:2). 

Clarification: The Jews were simply the guardians of God’s law; the race chosen by God to receive and communicate His truth to the other nations (Deut 28:9,10; 7:6); and the official representatives of the true religion. Until the founding of the Christian church, they were the only people to whom God could direct those seeking salvation.

What does Scripture say about the Ten Commandments?

“So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good [a change in this moral law is no more possible than a transformation of the character of God who changes not (Mal 3:6)]” (Rom 7:12, RSV).

“The law of the Lord is perfect...[God would hardly do away with a perfect law]” (Ps 19:7, NIV).

Did Christ Himself keep the Ten Commandments when He was on earth?

“ ‘If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept my Fathers commandments and abide in His love’ ” (John 15:10, ESV).


Did Christ change the Ten Commandments when He was on earth?

“ ‘For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the law until all is accomplished’ ” (Matt 5:18, NASB).

Does Scripture speak of an attempt by man to change the Ten Commandments?

“He shall speak words against the Most High [God], and shall wear out the saints of the Most High [Christ’s followers], and shall think to change the times and the law…”(Dan 7:25, ESV).

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day [Christ’s Second Coming] will not come, unless the rebellion [apostasy] comes first, and the man of lawlessness [God opposing power] is revealed, the son of destruction [Rev 20:10], who opposes and exalts himself [claims the right to change the Law of God (Dan 7:25)] against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess 2:3,4, ESV).

What did God have to say regarding such acts?

Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from it, but keep the commands of the Lord your God that I give you” (Deut 4:2, NIV).

Did Christ do away with the Ten Commandments after the cross?

“ ‘Do not think that I [Christ] have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill [to act in accordance with, fill full of meaning, reaffirm, clarify its intent]’ ” (Matt 5:17, NASB).

“The Lord was pleased, for His righteousness’ sake, to magnify His law and make it glorious” (Isa 42:21, RSV).

How permanent are the Ten Commandments according to Scripture?

“The works of His hands are verity and judgment; all His commandments are sure [the whole ‘ten’]. They stand fast for ever and ever, and are done in truth and uprightness [to repeal the Ten Commandments would be to abolish morality itself]” (Ps 111:7,8, KJV).

How permanent are the Ten Commandments according to Christ’s own lips?

“ ‘But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one dot of  the law to become void’ ” (Luke 16:17, ESV).

Did the apostles keep the Ten Commandments?

“ ‘But this I [Paul] confess to you, that according to the Way, which they call a sect, I worship the God of our fathers,
believing everything laid down according to the law or written in the prophets’ ” (Acts 24: 14, ESV)
.
“For I [Paul] delight in the law of God in my inner being” (Rom 7:22, ESV).

Did the apostles say the Ten Commandments no longer applied after the cross?

Paul —

“Do we then overthrow [make void] the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law” (Rom 3:31, ESV). Note also Rom 6:1,2.

James —

“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty” (James 2:12, ESV).

John —

“Here is a call for the endurance [faithfulness] of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God…” (Rev 14:12, ESV).

Are we saved by keeping the Ten Commandments?

“Nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified [treated as righteous] by the works of the law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified [treated as righteous] by faith in Christ, and not by the works of the law, since by the works of the law no flesh will be justified [considered as righteous]” (Gal 2:16, NASB).

“What shall we say, then? That Gentiles [some Gentiles] who did not pursue righteousness have attained it [grasped it], that is, righteousness through faith; but that Israel, who pursued the righteousness which is based on law, did not
succeed in fulfilling that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it through faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone” (Rom 9:30–32, RSV).

If we are not saved by keeping the Ten Commandments, what is their function?

“The law of God is perfect, converting [convicting, pointing out sin and the need of a Saviour] the soul [heart]...”
(Ps 19:7, NKJV).

“...Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet’ ” (Rom 7:7, ESV). Note also Rom 3:20.

Clarification: The function of the Law is to convict of sin and reveal the standard of righteousness. The sinner who's confronted with the law sees their sin and the law thus leads them to Christ and the gospel. Then faith and love bring forth a new obedience to the law of God. Works are not a cause but an effect of salvation.
Here’s the key —
When the apostle Paul speaks of the law [the Ten Commandments] in the ‘context of salvation’

[Justification – right standing before God], he clearly affirms that law-keeping is of no avail (Rom 3:20). On the other hand when Paul speaks of the law in the ‘context of Christian conduct’ [Sanctification – right living before God], then he maintains the value and validity of God’s law (Rom 7:12; 2:13; 3:31; 7:22).
Just as civil laws are designed to protect our freedom, and not to restrict it, so God’s law is telling us how to live in such a way that we can experience the greatest happiness and fulfillment.


If the Ten Commandments are the ‘standard of Christian conduct,’ will we be judged by them?

“For whoever keeps the whole law [the entire Ten Commandments] but fails in one point [such as the seventh-day Saturday Sabbath – the fourth commandment] has become accountable for all of it [one violation would be sufficient to  show the basic disposition of the heart. A basic question of loyalty to authority]. For He who said, “Do not  commit adultery,” also said, “Do not murder.” If you do not commit adultery but do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty [a clear reference to the same Ten Commandments given to Moses]” (James 2:10-12, ESV).

“ ‘Because He has fixed a day [time] on which He will judge the world [us] in righteousness by a Man [Christ] whom He [God] has appointed, and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead [Christ’s crucifixion]’ ” (Acts 17:31, ESV). Note also John 5:27.

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body [in this life], whether good or evil” (2 Cor 5:10, ESV). Note also Matt 12:36,37; Eccl 12:14.

“You see then, that a man is justified by works [standard], and not by faith only [method]. For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also [void, invalid]” (James 2:24,26, ESV). Note also Rom 8:4.

Will not keeping the Ten Commandments void God’s grace?

“For if we go on sinning deliberately [lawlessness] after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins [we void God's grace], but a fearful expectation of judgment…” (Heb 10:26,27, ESV).

“There is only one lawgiver and judge [Christ], He who is able to save and destroy” (James 4:12, ESV).

Clarification: Salvation can hardly be divorced from obedience in fact, obedience links faith and works. Not keeping God’s law shows either rebellion, that our acceptance of God’s grace wasn’t genuine, or that we just wanted the reward [eternal life-cum-freedom from eternal death] without having to respond to God’s requirement for Christian conduct. Such disregard for God’s Law cancels out His grace and puts us under bondage to the power and penalty of sin again prospect eternal death.
Thus genuine Christians don't seek to break God’s law, but rather, they establish it, uphold it and keep it (Rom 3:31; Rev 14:12). It's only as we break the law that we come under its condemnation. For example: We're not affected by any speed-limit law when we're driving, unless we exceed it, that is. Then we are condemned by it. Though we're under grace, such hardly gives us free rein to break the law — in fact, we're under greater obligation to keep it. Thus, we're only under grace so long as we keep the law. For example: If a prisoner is pardoned and then released from prison, does their freedom allow them to break the law? If they do break the law, they're no longer free; the law of the land condemns them, and back they go to prison. In the very same way, God’s law will condemn us when we break it.

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are [living] in the faith [context behaviour]; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, of course, you fail the test!” (2 Cor 13:5, NIV).

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin” (James 4:17, ESV).

“...the wages of sin is death…” (Rom 6:23, NASB). Note also Heb 9:27.

What does Scripture say about those who disregard the Ten Commandments?

“Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4, ESV).

“If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination” (Prov 28:9, ESV).

“Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works [the fruit, obedience] is useless [pointless, invalid]?” (James 2:20, ESV).

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:6-8, ESV).

What did Christ say about those who disregard the Ten Commandments?

“ ‘Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments [such as the seventh-day Saturday Sabbath – the fourth commandment], and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven...’ ” (Matt 5:19, NIV).

“And He said to them: ‘You have a fine way of setting aside the commandments of God in order to observe your own traditions!’ ” (Mark 7:9, NIV).

What does Scripture say about those who uphold the Ten Commandments?

“Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life [be given eternal life], and may enter through the gates into the city [be able to live eternally upon the renewed earth with Christ]” (Rev 22:14, NKJV).

“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who actshe will be blessed in his doing” (James 1:25, ESV).

“For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified [treated as righteous]” (Rom 2:13, ESV).

What does Christ say about those who uphold the Ten Commandments?

“ ‘...but whoever keeps and teaches them [the Ten Commandments] he [they] shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven’ ” (Matt 5:19, NASB).

With what attitude are the Ten Commandments to be kept?

“In order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled [realized] in us, who walk [live] not according to the flesh [selfish desires], but according to the Spirit [the indwelling Spirit of Christ; willing obedience that stems from love]” (Rom 8:4, ESV).

“This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel [spiritual Israel – the Christian church] after that time, declares the Lord: I will put My laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they shall be My people” (Heb 8:10, NIV). Note also Rom 8:14.

Clarification: True obedience is clearly a matter of the heart and of the spirit. It's all about habitation and not imitation. In other words, not external compliance but heartfelt love is the fulfillment of the law. Sure salvation is a gift of grace, but the acceptance of this incredible gift requires a response of obedience which will show the genuineness of one's faith. Sadly so, the Israelites were content  with only an external religion (Hosea 2:11). Hence why God sought to once again reveal the true purpose of His Father's commandments. The underlying principles of God's law are to cover one's thoughts and motives as much as one's words and deeds. Such is the true spirit of genuine commandment keeping. The validity of any law given by God is determined by its intended use and not by the way humans use or abuse it.

So how important is it then, to keep the Ten Commandments?

“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God [all ‘ten’ of them. Circumcision belonged to the Jewish ceremonial law. Here we clearly see a distinction being made between God’s moral law and the Jewish ceremonial law]” (1 Cor 7:19, NASB).

“...Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man [all]” (Eccl 12:13, NKJV).

“ ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven [keeps the Ten Commandments]’ ” (Matt 7:21, NKJV).

“So He [Christ] said to him [the rich young ruler], ‘Why do you call Me good? No one is good but one, that is, God. But If you want to enter into life, keep the commandments’ ” (Matt 19:17, NKJV).

“ ‘If you love me [Christ], you will keep My commandments’ ” (John 14:15, NASB).

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments” (1 John 5:3, NKJV).

“And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments...” (2 John 6, NASB).

Who, in fact, receives the Holy Spirit?

“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him [keep His commandments]” (Acts 5:32, NASB).

Are we to keep every single one of the Ten Commandments?

“For whoever keeps the whole law [the entire ‘ten’ commandments] but fails in one point [one commandment] has become accountable for all of it” (James 2:10, ESV).

“ ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?’ Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘ Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the law [the entire ‘ten’] and prophets hang [depend, are based, are inherent in] on these two commandments’ ” (Matt 22:36-40, ESV).

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other; for the one who loves another has fulfilled [carried out the intent and purpose of] the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up [included] in this word, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law [a clear reference to the entire ‘Ten’ Commandments (Ex 20:3-17) — the same ones that were given to Moses. True obedience is a matter of the heart and spirit]” (Rom 13:8-10, ESV).

Do the Ten Commandments play a part in End-time events?

“Then the dragon [Satan] became furious with the woman [the Christian church] and went off to make war [persecute] on the rest [“remnant,” KJV] of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God...” (Rev 12:17, ESV).

“Here is a call for the endurance [faithfulness] of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God…” (Rev 14:12, ESV).

“Thus you will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:20, NKJV).

What is the situation regarding non-Christians and the Ten Commandments?

“For when Gentiles [pagans], who do not have the Law [the written revealed code], do instinctively [according to the promptings of conscience spontaneously] the things of the Law [principles of the moral law], these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves [the need and the impulse to do good that exist in the reason and conscience are, in a sense, a standard and law to each man], in that they show the work of the Law [the conduct the  law demands (James 2:12)written in their hearts [wherever there is an impulse of love and sympathy, there is revealed the working of God’s Holy Spirit], their conscience [acts according to the light it has] bearing witness [some awareness of the will of God] and their thoughts [hidden things (Eccl 12:14; 2 Cor 10:5; Matt 5:28)] alternately accusing or else defending them, on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge [the judgment (Dan 7:9,10; Rev 20:11,12)] the secrets of men through Christ Jesus” (Romans 2:14-16, NASB).

Do the Ten Commandments reside in heaven?

“Then the temple of god was opened in heaven [the earthy sanctuary/temple was only a copy of it], and the ark of his covenant  [the depository of the Ten Commandments (1 Kings 8:9; Ex 25:10-22)] was seen in His temple...” (Rev 11:19, NKJV).

Clarification: The ark mentioned here, represents the very character of God, for in Him, justice and mercy meet. Before Christ returns to Earth, He will no doubt direct the attention of His true followers to His law that resides in the most holy place of the heavenly sanctuary, just like He did the Jews on the Day of Atonement [a day of judgement]. Thus, here we clearly see Revelation pointing to the centrality of God's Ten Commandments in Earth’s final hours.

“After this I looked, and the temple of the tent of witness in heaven was opened [the heavenly sanctuary where the Ten Commandments witness to God’s position, His person, His character, and His Godhead. The perfection (Ps 19:7) of their principles sustains their authority as a witness]” (Rev 15:5, RSV).



Study Three THE BIBLICAL SABBATH

Clarifications (where not any of my own) have been drawn from various available sources.

For biblical evidence that this world was made in six literal days, see Study Four — CREATION

Note: Colliers Encyclopedia — Saturday, seventh day of the week.

“…we have had occasion to investigate the results of the works of specialists in chronology and we have never found one of them that has ever had the slightest doubt about the continuity of the weekly cycle since long before the Christian era.”
" There has been no change in our calendar in past centuries that has affected in any way the cycle of the week."
James Robertson, DAE, Letter, March 12,1932, U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, DC.


Note: The seven day cycle has no other explanation for its existence than the biblical account. The month can point to the motions of the moon for its period, the year is determined by the revolution of the earth around the sun, but the week has no astronomical or natural source of origin.     


What did God do with the seventh day of creation that humans named Saturday?


“So God blessed the seventh day [Saturday] and made it holy, [an object of divine favor; set it apart as sacred] because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation” (Gen 2:3, ESV).

“...Therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day [Saturday] and made it holy [set it apart for spiritual purposes]” (Ex 20:11, ESV).

Why is the fourth commandment, containing this seventh day Saturday Sabbath,
the most critical of the Ten Commandments?

The seventh day Saturday Sabbath commandment is the only one that points out the true God [the Creator God] and
author of the Ten Commandments. It clearly shows that the other nine commandments depend for their authority upon the facts contained in it.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy [“remember” presupposes the seventh day Saturday Sabbath as something already familiar; points back to its creation origin; reminds us not to lose sight of it]. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day [Saturday] is a [the] Sabbath [a holy day] to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work...For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but He rested on the seventh day [God could hardly command His creatures to work 6 days and rest on the 7th day after His example if the 7th day was not a literal day]. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy [this 4th commandment presents the 7th day Sabbath as rooted in Creation which hardly allows for a late Exodus (Mount Sinai) introduction]” (Ex 20:8-11, NIV).

Who does this seventh day Saturday Sabbath, laid down as the fourth commandment, belong to?

“ ‘So the Son of Man is Lord even of the sabbath [the Sabbath belongs to God and is not to be tampered with]’ ” (Mark 2:28, ESV). Note also Rev 1:10.

“If you refrain...from pursuing your own interests on My holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honorable…” (Isa 58:13). Note also Lev 19:29.

Who did God want to observe the seventh day Saturday Sabbath?

“And He said unto them, The sabbath was made for man [everyone], and not man for the sabbath” (Mark 2:27, KJV).

Clarification: The Sabbath was made at Creation hundreds of years before there was a Jew — for all humanity. The Bible never calls it the Jewish Sabbath. In fact, God pronounced a special blessing on Gentiles who kept the Sabbath (Isa 56:1-8). The Sabbath existed in Eden — the Sabbath existed before the Fall [Adam’s sin], hence it was not in force only until the cross, as types [something that prefigures], which existed only until the cross, were not introduced till after the Fall (Gen 2:2,3; Rom 5:19). The observance of the Sabbath therefore connects man with the origin of his race; protects man’s friendship with God and the time that's essential for that relationship. If Adam and Eve had not fallen they would still be keeping the seventh day Saturday Sabbath today.

When was the seventh day Saturday Sabbath instituted?

“So God blessed [in the interest of the human race] the seventh day [Saturday] and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation [by thus observing the seventh day himself, Christ made it a divine example for all mankind]” (Gen 2:3, ESV). Note also Luke 4:16.

Is the seventh day Saturday Sabbath a memorial of God’s creation of planet earth?

“Thy name, O Lord, endureth forever; and Thy memorial [Sabbath day], O Lord, throughout all generations [a memorial is anything intended to preserve the memory of a person, an occurrence, or the like; something which serves to keep  something else in remembrance; a monument]” (Ps 135:13, KJV).

Is the seventh day Saturday Sabbath also a sign?

“And keep My Sabbaths holy that they may be a sign [the Sabbath is a sign of God’s sovereignty, His flag] between Me and you, that you may know that I the Lord am your God [thus His Creation act with its Sabbath focal point distinguishes Him from any false gods]” (Ezek 20:20, ESV). Note also Jer 10:10-12; Acts 17:23,24; 14:15.

“ ‘It [the seventh day Saturday Sabbath] is a sign forever between Me [the Lord] and the people of Israel [His witnesses and guardians of His Ten Commandments (Rom 3:2)] that in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day [Saturday] He rested, and was refreshed’ ” (Ex 31:17, ESV).

How is the seventh day Saturday Sabbath to be kept?

“If you refrain from trampling [violating] the sabbath, [Saturday – the seventh day] from pursuing your own
interests on My holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy [sacred, spiritual, God focused] day of the Lord honorable; if you honor it [keep it as God intended; respect and reverence it], not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs [sports, entertainment, work, hobbies, etc]; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth [God will bless you]...” (Isa 58:13,14).

“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy [keep it free of unnecessary secular activities]” (Ex 20:8, ESV).

“And on the seventh day you shall have a holy convocation. you shall not do any ordinary work” (Num 28:25, ESV).

“Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. you shall do no work on it: it is the Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwellings” (Lev 23:3, NKJV).

When does the observance of the seventh day Saturday Sabbath begin and finish?

“ ‘It shall be to you a Sabbath of solemn rest [from secular activities, thoughts, interests, and work. The Sabbath is for the holy worship of the creator God, appropriate spiritual exercises]...from evening to evening shall you keep your [His] Sabbath [from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday. The Bible reckons days from sunset to sunset]’ ” ( Lev 23:32, ESV).

“It was the day of Preparation [Friday], and the Sabbath was beginning” (Luke 23:54, ESV).

“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning…”
(Gen 1:5, ESV).

Is there evidence that the seventh day Saturday Sabbath was kept before Mount Sinai?

“It came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none [manna]. Then the  Lord said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep my commandments and My instructions? See, the Lord has given you the sabbath [the fourth commandment]; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.” So the people rested on the seventh day [this occurred before Mount Sinai]” (Ex 16:27-30, NASB).

“Because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws [remember the seventh day Saturday Sabbath is the fourth of the ten commandments]” (Gen 26:5).

“Then Pharaoh said, ‘Look, the people of the land are now numerous, and you are stopping them from working’ ” (Ex 5:5, NIV).

Clarification: The language that Pharaoh uses indicates that both Moses and Aaron had called on Israel to rest from their labor. The words of Pharaoh in Exodus 5:5 reveals two points. First, Pharaoh blames Moses and Aaron for causing the slaves to “rest” from labor by emphasizing “You. . .” Second, the word Pharaoh used for rest is shabath (Strong’s #7673). This is the same word and idea expressed in Genesis 2:2 when God “rested” or ceased from His creative works on the seventh day. To suggest that Moses and Aaron required the Hebrews to rest from their labor on any other day of the week other than God’s holy day would be inconsistent with God’s declaration about the seventh day at Creation and the Sabbath day “manna test” that transpired shortly after the Exodus.

Did Christ observe the seventh day Saturday Sabbath when on earth?

“When He [Christ] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as was his custom, He went to the synagogue on the sabbath day [Saturday – the 7th day] ...” (Luke 4:16, ESV).

Did the woman who were going to embalm Christ’s body still observe the
seventh day Saturday Sabbath after His death?

“On the Sabbath day they [the women] rested according to the commandment” (Luke 23:56, ESV)

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week [Sunday] was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to the tomb [Christ’s – to embalm Him]” (Matt 28:1).

“...taking the spices they had prepared” (Luke 24:1, ESV).

Clarification: The women in spite of their devotion to their Master would not proceed to embalm Christ’s body on the Sabbath because this would have violated the Sabbath. This indicates the high regard in which the Sabbath was still held (Luke 23:54-56).

Did the apostles observe the seventh day Saturday Sabbath?

“As Paul and Barnabas were leaving the synagogue, the people invited them to speak further about these things on the next sabbath [clearly kept after the cross]” (Acts 13:42, NIV).

“And Paul went in [to the synagogue], as was his custom, and on three sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures” (Acts 17:2, ESV).

“Every sabbath he [Paul] reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks [this indicates that no radical Christian separation had yet occurred from Jewish places and times of worship]” (Acts 18:4, NIV).

Did Christ speak of the seventh day Saturday Sabbath as continuing after His death?

“ ‘Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the sabbath [Christ, speaking here, took for granted the permanence of the seventh day Saturday Sabbath when warning of the impending destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70, which occurred well after His death on the cross, in AD 31]’ ”(Matt 24:20, NIV).

Did Christ transfer the seventh day Saturday Sabbath to the first day of the week?

“I will not violate my covenant or alter what My lips have uttered” (Ps 89:34, NIV).

Does the New Testament actually tell us that the seventh day Saturday Sabbath is still to be kept?

“Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. For we who have believed enter that rest, as He has said, “As I swore in My wrath, ‘They shall not enter My rest,’ ” although His works were finished from the foundation of the world. For He has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this passage He said, “They shall not enter My rest.” Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news failed to enter because of disobedience, again He appoints a certain day, “Today,” saying through David so long afterward, in the words already quoted, “Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts.” For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken of another day later on. So then, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God, for whoever has entered God’s rest has also from his works as God did from his. Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, so that no one may fall by the same sort of disobedience” (Heb 4:1-11, ESV).

Will this seventh day Saturday Sabbath continue in heaven?

“ ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make [post Second Coming] shall remain before Me [are to come], says the Lord, so shall your offspring and your name remain. From new moon to new moon [referring to the restoration of the earthly Jerusalem in 457 BC – 408 BC, historical context], and from sabbath to sabbath [referring to the new earth – the seventh day Sabbath is to continue. The prophets often intermingled imminent historical events with far distant events – this is called prophetic perspective], all flesh shall come to worship before Me, declares the Lord’ ” (Isa 66:22,23, ESV).

By what other name is the seventh day Saturday Sabbath referred to in Scripture?

“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet” (Rev 1:10, ESV). Note also Mark 2:28.

Do we see an allusion to the seventh day Saturday Sabbath in the three angels End-time message conveyed in Revelation chapter 14:6-12?

“And he [the first apocalyptic angel] said with a loud voice, ‘Fear [deeply respect] God and give Him glory [honour], because the hour [current] of His judgment has come, and worship Him [as opposed to all false systems, gods] who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water [a clear reference to the seven day creator God spoken of in the 4th commandment]’ ” (Rev 14:7, ESV).
  
Do we see another allusion to the seventh day Saturday Sabbath in Revelation 7:3?

“Saying [another apocalyptic angel], ‘Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees [another reference to Creation and Creator], until we have marked the servants of our God [“marked” — symbolic, recognition of the faithful as His own] with a seal on their foreheads’ ” (Rev 7:3). Note also Rev 12:17; 14:12.

Clarification: The seal of a law gives the name of the lawgiver [Lord], his official title [Creator], the extent of his
dominion [heaven, earth, sea]. The fourth commandment is the only one of the Ten Commandments that qualifies as a seal — thus seventh day Saturday Sabbath observance, which displays loyalty to the Creator God, seems to fit the
picture perfectly. The 7th day Saturday Sabbath is the Creator’s sign (Ezek 20:20; Ex 31:17) of His right to rule, and
its observance would clearly meet the seal of His approval.

REGARDING SUNDAY

How do we know that Sunday is the first day of the week?

After the sabbath [Saturday – the seventh day], at dawn on the first day [Sunday] of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb [Christ’s]” (Matt 28:1, NIV).

“Remember the Sabbath day [Saturday – the 7th day, the 4th Commandment] by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day [Saturday] is a [the] sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work. For in six days the Lord made heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and made it holy” (Ex 20:8-11, NIV).

“And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done” (Gen 2:3, NIV).

How do we know that the ‘Lord’s Supper’ commemorates Christ’s sacrifice and Second Coming,
not His resurrection — which is used as support for Sunday observance?

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Cor 11:26, ESV).

Clarification: The New Testament contains no command or suggestion by Christ or the apostles imposing or hinting at a weekly or annual Sunday celebration of the resurrection. 
 
Can Christians observe any day of the week, such as Sunday for example, as ‘the’ Sabbath?

“Thy name, O Lord, endureth forever; and Thy memorial [the 7th day Sabbath], O Lord, throughout all generations” (Ps 135:13, KJV).

Remember the Sabbath day [Saturday], to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work. But the seventh day [Saturday] is a [the] sabbath...” (Ex 20:8-11, ESV).

“So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy...” (Gen 2:3, ESV).

Clarification: One can treat a day like a Sabbath but not as ‘the’ Sabbath. Treating a day like ‘the’ Sabbath cannot make it ‘the’ Sabbath unless it actually is ‘the’ Sabbath as laid down at creation and affirmed by Christ.
Do we change our birthday date which memorializes our birth? No. So why would God change His Sabbath which
memorializes His creation of planet earth in six literal days. Is it any wonder the devil applauds the ‘humanistic’ theory of evolution.

Why is it so important to uphold what God has instituted right from the beginning?

“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps 11:3, ESV).

“Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls” (Jer 6:16).



Study Four CREATION

Clarifications (where not any of my own) have been drawn from various available sources.

How did this planet that we live on come about?

“God, who at various times and different ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds” (Heb 1:1,2, NKJV).

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible” (Heb 11:3, NKJV).

For by Him [God] all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things were created through him and for him” (Col 1:16, ESV).

“ ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being’ ” (Rev 4:11, NIV).

Then God saw everything that he had made, and indeed it was very good…” (Gen 1:31, NKJV).

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1, NKJV). Note also John 1:1-3.


 Does Scripture make it clear that no other god or gods created this planet?

“Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens” (Jer 10:11, KJV).

And He [Christ] is before all things, and in Him all things hold together” (Col 1:17, RSV).


How did God in fact create our planet?

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth” (Ps 33:6, RSV). Note also Ps 33:9; Heb 11:3.

How long did it take God to fashion our planet?

For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it” (Ex 20:11, RSV). Note also Gen chap 1; 2:4.

Clarification: In the Ten Commandments God bases the six working days and one day of rest on the same time span as that described in the creation account. Thus Ex 20:11 is a direct reference to God’s creation week in Genesis chapter 1. The seven-day weekly cycle has no other explanation for its existence than the biblical account of the seven-day creation sequence. The month can point to the motions of the moon for its period, the year is determined by the revolution of the earth around the sun but the week has no astronomical or natural source of origin. The early church fathers and Bible scholars all throughout history
[up until the 1800’s] believed in a literal period of six 24 hour days for creation [creating], God resting on the seventh day – Saturday.
Creation is the origin of the Sabbath – a memorial of Creation. God established the seventh-day Sabbath so that we would have a weekly reminder that we are creatures of His making. He especially blessed this day and sanctified it so that we would never forget that, besides work, life should include communion with the Creator, rest and celebration of God’s marvelous creative works (Gen 2:2,3).

“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (Gen 1:5, ESV).
 
Clarification: “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day” —  This is the same phrase used for each of the other five days and shows that there was a clearly established cycle of days and nights
[ie periods of light and periods of darkness]. For each of the six days in which God was doing a creative work, we are told at the conclusion of the events, that the evening and the morning were the...day. This is used for emphasis, to emphasize the fact that these days were not long periods of time. The word evening implies a gradual approach of darkness after light. God created light on the first day and the phrase “evening” and “morning” shows there were alternating periods of light and darkness even though the sun was not created until the fourth day. Up till then there was obviously light from some stationary source. The sun was created to rule the day that already existed. The day stayed the same. It merely had a new light source. The word ‘day’ in Genesis cannot be symbolic as a word can never be used symbolically the first time it is used. A word can be used symbolically only when it first has a literal meaning.

“And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years’ ” (Gen 1:14, ESV).

Clarification: If the word “day” here is not a literal day, then the word “years” being used in the same verse would be meaningless. The days and years are fixed by the movement of the earth in relation to the sun, which in conjunction with that of the moon has provided men of all ages with the basis for calendars – lunar, solar, or a combination of both.

Check out the article entiled Rythmn Of Life and how it may tie in with the seven day week. Its article #8 on my Potourri Page, page 2.

Is there any chance that God may have used an evolutionary process?

“Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death [and bloodshed] through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom 5:12, ESV).

Clarification: Proof that evolution is not correct is found here in Rom 5:12 (and also 1 Cor 15:21,22). Evolution allows death and bloodshed before Adam’s sin but the Bible tells us that death only entered through Adam’s sin, his rebellion bringing death and corruption upon all mankind. Thus the death of animals and humans as seen in fossil records could only have occurred after Adam’s sin, Noah’s flood providing explanations. To believe that disease, decay and death existed before Adam is contrary to Scripture. A God who has to use ‘process,’ trial and error and many dead-ends and blind alleys over millions of years to reach His goal is not one whom one would expect to have the sort of power over natural laws that could raise the long-dead in a twinkling, create thousands of loaves and fishes out of a few and defy gravity to walk on water.

“Because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen” (Rom 1: 25, RSV).

Clarification: Creation is the foundation of true worship. Our worship of God is based on the fact that He is our creator and we are His creatures (Ps 95:6). The importance of this theme is indicated by its inclusion in the call to earth’s inhabitants just before Christ’s return, to worship the One “who made heaven and earth, the sea and springs of water” (Rev 14:7). Paul condemns those who have abandoned the worship of the Creator in favour of the creation itself. In consistent evolutionary thinking, it is ‘nature’
[the creation] which gets the glory for creation. The very existence of God is denied by evolution.

Is there any chance that humans may have evolved from monkeys?

Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness [all the members of the Godhead were involved in Creation. The active agent, however was the Son of God, the pre-existing Christ]...’ ” (Gen 1:26, NKJV).

“For we are His workmanship…” (Eph 2:10, KJV).

“O come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our maker!” (Ps 95:6, ESV).

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works…” (Ps 139:14, KJV).


Clarification: The human brain possesses qualities that have no parallel in the animal world. Man possesses the faculty of speech, and his creative communication by means of his vocal system is completely different from those of animals. Only man is fully bipedal. Only man is able to express emotions
[e.g. joy, sadness, hope, laughter, shyness]. Some animals seem to have similar abilities, but they cannot be compared with human emotions. Man was created in the image of God. Only when Adam was created, did God use His hands (Gen 2:7). Only man can actually communicate with God. Only man has a free will and possesses the faculty of creative thought. Man’s flesh is different to that of animals (1 Cor 15:39). It is said only about man that he was not only created “by God,” but also “for Him” (Col 1:16). Man [as well as all the kinds of plants and animals] was created separately. This excludes the possibility of phylogenetic relationships.

What does Scripture have to say about those who believe the ‘evolutionary’ lie?

“For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse” (Rom 1:20, ESV).


So how strongly can we rely on the biblical account of creation?

Every word of God proves true; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him [you can trust God’s word]” (Prov 30:5, RSV). Note also Rom 10:17.

Clarification: Nowhere in the Bible are there any indications that the creation account should be understood in any other way than as a factual report. God is the Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity. The Creation narrative reveals that, rather than coming into existence because of chance evolution, everything was created with a purpose.

Is it true that Adam and Eve’s children married each other, and if so, why can brothers and sisters not do so today?

“And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose [the “sons of God” were the descendants of Seth and the “daughters of men” were the godless Cainites]” (Gen 6:1,2, KJV).

Clarification: The law forbidding marrying a sibling was not given until the time of Moses in 1500 BC (Lev 18-20).
Hereditary/Genetic disorders did not exist for the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve who were able to intermarry – these would have occurred later, due to the effects of the Fall. Cain was in the first generation of children ever born. He
[as well as his brothers and sisters] would have received virtually no imperfect genes from Adam and Eve, since the effects of sin and the curse would have been minimal to start with. In that situation, brother and sister could have married. By the time of Moses [about 2,500 years later], degenerative mistakes would have accumulated to such an extent in the human race that it would have been necessary for God to bring in the laws forbidding brother-sister [and close relative] marriage. With plenty of people on the Earth by now there was no reason for close relations to have to marry.

How was this planet affected by sin?

“ ‘...cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you…’ ” (Gen 3:17,18, RSV).
 
Was there in fact a worldwide flood?

“By faith Noah, when warned about not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family…” (Heb 11:7, NIV).

“Who formerly did not obey, when God’s patience waited in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water” (1 Peter 3:20, RSV).

“ ‘And they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man’ ” (Matt 24:39,RSV).

“They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an earth formed out of water and by means of water, through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished” (2 Peter 3:5,6, RSV).

“He set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. You covered it with the deep as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. At Your rebuke they fled; at the sound of Your thunder they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that You appointed for them. You set a boundary that they may not pass, so that they might not again cover the earth” (Ps 104:5-9, ESV). Note also Gen 6:5.

 
The Bible says, “The Flood came.” Nature says, “The Flood was here.”



Study Five GOD'S JUDGMENT

Clarifications (where not any of my own) have been drawn from various available sources.

How do we know that there will be a ‘Judgment’?

“And as it is appointed for men to die once [our natural death], but after this the judgment
(Heb 9:27, NKJV).

“But they will have to give an accounting to Him who stands ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:5).

“ ‘I tell you, on the day of judgment you will have to give an account for every careless word you utter; for by your words you will be justified [declared righteous], and by your words you will be condemned [proven to be a hypocrite, unworthy]’ ” (Matt 12:36,37).

“For God will bring every act into judgment, everything which is hidden [even in his thoughts God requires man to be obedient (2 Cor 10:5; Matt 5:28)], whether it is good or evil” (Eccl 12:14, NASB).

How do we know that it will be Christ who will be doing the judging?

“ ‘Because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world [us] in righteousness by a Man [Christ] whom He [the Father] has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead [Christ’s crucifixion]’ ” (Acts 17:31, ESV).

“ ‘And He [the Father] has given Him [Christ] authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man’ ” (John 5:27, ESV).

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body [in this life], whether good or evil” (2 Cor 5:10, ESV). Note also James 4:12.

“ ‘Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son’ ” (John 5:22, NIV).

Why is there a need for a ‘Judgment’?

“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your [God’s] throne…” (Ps 89:14, ESV).

“There is only one lawgiver and judge, He who is able to save [reward with eternal life due to obedience] and [or] to destroy [reward with eternal death due to disobedience]” (James 4:12, ESV).

Clarification: Any government will stand only as long as it has laws. No government is stronger than its laws and no law is stronger than the enforcement of its penalty. God is the originator of justice. It is because the law could not be set aside, and penalty had to be enforced, that Jesus came to die for us. God has never been able to forgive sin. He forgives sinners. The reason we know He cannot forgive sin is because Jesus died.

What will we be judged by?

“So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the ten commandments]” (James 2:12, ESV).

Clarification: The Ten Commandments .Obedience to law is liberty. When the apostle Paul speaks of the law in the ‘context of salvation’ [Justification – right standing before God], he clearly affirms that law-keeping is of no avail (Rom 3:20). On the other hand when Paul speaks of the law in the ‘context of Christian conduct’ [Sanctification – right living before God], then he maintains the value and validity of God’s law (Rom 7:12; 2:13; 3:31; 7:22).

“ ‘But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the law to become void’ ” (Luke 16:17, ESV).

“...Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, ‘You shall not covet’ ” (Rom 7:7, ESV).

“...but where there is no law there is no transgression” (Rom 4:15, ESV).

“Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is the keeping of the commandments of God” (1 Cor 7:19, NASB).

“For not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified [treated as righteous]” (Rom 2:13, NKJV).

Blessed are those who do his commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life [eternal life], and may enter through the gates into the city [the renewed earth (Rev 21:1-3)]” (Rev 22:14, NKJV). Note also James 1:25; 4:12; 1 John 3:4; 2:4; Rom 3:31; 7:12; Matt 5:17-19; 22:36-40; Rev 14:12.

Why will we be judged by God’s law?

“You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works [obedience] is also dead [proves one is not genuine, deserving]” (James 2:24,26).

“ ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven’ ” (Matt 7:21, NJKV).

“You were taught to put away your former way of life, your old self, corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness [God accepts people where they are, but He gives them no excuse for staying there]” (Eph 4:22-24).

“ ‘Therefore by their fruits you will know them’ ” (Matt 7:20, NJKV).

Clarification: Works are the proof of our genuineness. Works are not a cause but an effect of salvation (Rom 8:4; Heb 8:10). We do not work to be saved but work because we are saved. When the Bible talks about faith and works it is talking about righteous living, not good deeds, though they play their part.

How do we know that Christ judges in favor of the righteous?

“Consequently He is able for all time to save those who approach him [with a repentant heart and a
desire to obey], since He always lives to make intercession for them [to plead on their behalf]” (Heb 7:25).

“For there is one God, and there is one mediator [Christ not only acts as judge but as the ‘advocate’ of the righteous (1 John 2:1; Dan 7:9,10,13)] between God [the Father] and men [only through Jesus can the sinner be reconciled to God], the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all [gave up His life to save us], the testimony to which borne at the proper time” (1 Tim 2:5,6, RSV).

“He that overcometh...I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name [acknowledge him as a loyal devoted follower] before the Father, and before His angels [who are witnesses]” (Rev 3:5,KJV).

Though saved by grace alone, can we void that grace, and thus come under God’s condemnation, His ruling against us in His ‘Judgment’?

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom 8:6-8, ESV).

“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment [salvation can not be divorced from obedience, obedience links faith and works]...” (Heb 10:26,27, ESV).

“For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of
the age to come, and then have fallen away, since on their own they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding Him up to contempt” (Heb 6:4-6).

“ ‘Therefore I tell you, people will be forgiven for every sin and blasphemy, but blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come’ ” (Matt 12:31,32).

How do we know Christ will judge against the wicked?

“Then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:9, ESV).

How do we know that Christ will judge fairly?

“ ‘I can do nothing on My own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not My own will but the will of Him [the Father] who sent Me [Christ]’ ” (John 5:30, ESV).

“For His judgments are true and just...” (Rev 19:2, ESV).

How do we know that this ‘Judgment’ would begin sometime after Christ’s ascension?

“And as he [Paul] discussed justice, self control, and the coming judgment, Felix became frightened [obviously it was still in the future at the time Paul spoke these words]...” (Acts 24:25).

How do we know that this ‘Judgment’ must take place before Christ’s second coming?

“ ‘For the Son of Man is going to come [at His Second Coming] with His angels in the Glory of His Father, and then he will repay [with either eternal life or destruction] each person according to what he has done’ ” (Matt 16:27 ESV).

“ ‘See, I am coming soon; My reward [either eternal life or death] is with me [will be given then], to repay according to everyone’s work’ ” (Rev 22:12).

“And all these [faithful Bible heroes of all the ages], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised [eternal life], since God had provided something better [much more fairer] for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect [immortal, given eternal life]” (Heb 11:39,40, ESV). Note also Luke 14:14; Matt 25:31,32. 

Clarification: To be bringing His ‘reward’ with Him means that Christ clearly has to make His decision regarding who is deserving of eternal life or death before He actually comes. As is particularly seen in Heb 11:39,40, all who are among the righteous, will have to wait until the Second Coming ‘Resurrection.’ No one will be given eternal life earlier than another. No one will go to heaven earlier than another, living or dead.

What points to this ‘Judgment’ as having already begun?

“And He [the End-time apocalyptic angel] said with a loud voice, ‘Fear [a due deep respect] God and give Him glory [honour Him], because the hour [period] of his judgment has come [is currently in session. Now is decision time], and worship Him [Christ only, a call for a return to true worship] who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water [a clear reference to the seven day Creator God]’ ” (Rev 14:7, ESV).

“ ‘I watched till thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days [God the Father] was seated [thus opening the Judgment and presiding over it]; His garment was white as snow [purity], and the hair of His head was like pure wool [antiquity]. His throne was a fiery flame, its wheels a burning fire; a fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him [angels, witnesses]; and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him [assisting]. The court was seated, in judgment, and the books [records] were opened. I was watching in the night visions, and behold, one like the son of man [referring to Christ who originally came to earth in human form], coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him” (Dan 7:9,10,13, NKJV).

What are these books that are mentioned?

“And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life [containing the names of the saved]. And the dead were judged according to what was written in the books [a written record of the sinful deeds of the unrepentant]...” (Rev 20:12, ESV).

“Then those who feared [revered] the Lord spoke with one another. The Lord paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before Him of those who feared [revered] the Lord and esteemed His name [in other words, a written record of the good deeds of the saints]” (Mal 3:16, ESV).

Clarification: “Books” include, first and foremost — the Bible, which contains the Ten Commandments by which all are judged (James 2:12; Rev 11:19).

Where does God’s ‘Judgment’ take place?

“Then God’s temple [sanctuary] in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant [the depository of the Ten Commandments (1 Kings 8:9)] was seen within His temple [this argues eloquently of the Ten Commandments ‘centrality’ in earth’s final hours]...” (Rev 11:19, ESV).

“Now the main point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest [not an ordinary high priest; this priest serves next to the throne of God], One [Christ] who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens, a minister [servant] in the sanctuary [the heavenly one] and the true [genuine] tent [sanctuary] that the Lord, and not any mortal has set up. They offer worship in a sanctuary [the earthly Jewish one] that is a sketch and shadow [foreshadowing, an example] of the heavenly one; for Moses, when he was about to erect the tent [sanctuary], was warned, ‘See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain’ ” (Heb 8:1,2,5).
“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary [the earthly sanctuary (Acts 7:44)] that was only a copy of the true one [the heavenly sanctuary (Rev 11:1)]; He entered heaven itself [Heb 9:11,12; 7:25; 1 John 2:1; 1 Tim 2:5; Rom 8:34], now to appear for us in God’s presence [as our heavenly high priest]” (Heb 9:24, NIV).

If God’s ‘Judgment’ has already begun, and will end prior to His Second Coming, what will happen to the righteous when He finally comes?

“ ‘In My Father’s house [in heaven] are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you [referring to when Christ ascended to heaven after the cross]? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again [the Second Coming] and will [then] take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also [that’s His reason for coming again]’ ” (John 14:2,3, ESV).

“For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven [at His Second Coming], and [then] the dead in Christ will rise [upwards to heaven] first [out of fairness]. Then we who are alive [the righteous living at the time of Christ’s second coming], who are left [because the dead at that time are already rising upward], will be caught up in the clouds together with them [the righteous dead] to meet the Lord in the air [the holy Christ does not touch the defiled earth]; and so we will be with the Lord [are then taken to heaven] forever” (1 Thess 4:16,17). Note also Phil 3:20; Heb 11:39,40; Matt 16:27; Rev 22:12; 2 Tim 4:8.

Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection [at the Second Coming]! Over such the second death [the destruction of the wicked. See below] has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years [in heaven]” (Rev 20:6, ESV).

What will the righteous be doing in heaven during the thousand years?

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge [figuratively] the world?” (1 Cor 6:2, ESV).

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed…” (Rev 20:4, ESV).

Clarification: The righteous saints review heaven’s record books during the millennium and are able to see why Christ accepted some, and rejected others. God has been careful to take no chance of leaving one doubt in any mind. When the wicked receive their final punishment [see below] it will be recognized by all that their punishment is deserved and God is just.

If God’s ‘Judgment’ has already begun, and will end prior to His Second Coming, what will happen to the wicked when He finally comes?

“ ‘But on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them — so it will be on the day [the Second Coming] when the Son of Man is revealed’ ” (Luke 17:29,30, ESV).

“And to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven [the Second Coming] with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance [justified punishment, instant death] on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord jesus” (2 Thess 1:7,8, ESV). Note also Matt 24:21,26,27,30; 16:27; 25:31,32; Luke 17:24; Ps 50:3; Rev 6:15-17.

What happens at the end of the thousand years the righteous spend in heaven?

“The rest of the dead [the wicked dead struck down at Christ’s Second Coming (2 Thess 1:7,8)] did not come to life until the thousand years were ended [the second resurrection]...” (Rev 20:5, ESV).

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan [who was confined, alive, along with his angels, to the depopulated
desolate earth] will be released from his prison [to face the ‘second death’ (Rev 21:8)]” (Rev 20:7, ESV).

So the Bible must speak of a resurrection of the wicked dead also? Yes.

“ ‘And I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous [at the Second Coming] and the wicked’ ” (Acts 24:15, NIV).

“ ‘Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming [the Second Coming] when all who are in the tombs will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life [the Second Coming], and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment’ ” (John 5:28,29, ESV).

What happens when the wicked are resurrected?

“Then I saw a new [renewed] heaven and a new [renewed] earth...And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God [with the righteous]…” (Rev 21:1,2, ESV).

“And they [the wicked, Satan and his angels] marched [preparing to attack] up over the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city [the descended New Jerusalem containing the saints and Christ (Rev 21:1-3)], but fire came down from heaven and consumed them, and the devil who had deceived them [the wicked] was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur where the beast and the false prophet were [the End-time world wide persecuting power], and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever [metaphoric symbolism denoting complete destruction]” (Rev 20:9,10, ESV).

What is this destruction of the wicked called?

“ ‘But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death’ ” (Rev 21:8, ESV).

“Then Death and Hades [symbolic] were thrown into the lake of fire [death will never occur again]. This is the second death, the lake of fire. And anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life [the wicked (Rev 3:5)], he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:14,15ESV). Note also 1 Cor 15:26.

After the destruction of the wicked what happens regarding the righteous?

“And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them [on the renewed earth], and they will be His people...He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away’ ” (Rev 21:1-4, ESV).

In light of all this what does Scripture warn us to do?

“..work out your own salvation with fear and trembling [take it very seriously]” (Phil 2:12, ESV).

“Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb 12:14, ESV).



Study Six DEATH, AND HELL?

Clarifications (where not any of my own) have been drawn from various available sources.

Where does life itself come from?

“ ‘… the breath of the Almighty [God] gives me life’ ” (Job 33:4, NIV).

“The Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [the life giving power of God, under whose gracious providence we live and move and have our being], and the man [Adam] became a living being” (Gen 2:7, NIV).

“...For ‘In him we live and move and have our being’ ” (Acts 17:28, ESV).

How did death originate?

“But God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree [the tree of ‘knowledge of good and evil’] that is in the
middle of the garden [of Eden], and you must not touch it, or you will die [the tree of ‘knowledge of good and evil’ was to be a test of loyalty]’ ” (Gen 3:3, NIV).

“Therefore, just as sin entered the world [Earth] through one man [Adam who disobeyed and ate of the tree of ‘knowledge of good and evil’], and death through sin [unfaithfulness, disobedience], and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned” (Rom 5:12, NIV). Note 1 John 3:4.

“For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom 6:23, NASB).

Clarification: The death pronounced upon Adam has passed upon all, all share the penalty of Adam’s transgression. By the transgression of Adam and Eve, sin was introduced as an infectious power in human nature antagonistic to God, and this infection has continued ever since. It is because of this infection of nature that all must be born again.

Who originally convinced humans that they would not die?

“But the serpent [Satan in disguise (Rev 12:9)] said [lied] to the woman [Eve], ‘You will not surely die’ ” (Gen 3:4, ESV).

“ ‘...When he lies [Satan], he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies’ ” (John 8:44, RSV).

Are humans mortal or immortal?

“It is He [God] alone who has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see; to Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen” (1 Tim 6:16).

“Shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker?” (Job 4:17, KJV).

“ ‘So man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more [until the Second Coming] he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep’ ” (Job 14:12, RSV).

Clarification: As man’s immortality in Eden was conditional on obedience, man forfeited that immortality when he sinned.

Is there such a thing as an immortal soul?

“The soul that sinneth, it shall die [whatever one calls the soul, it’s clear it will die]...” (Ezek 18:20, KJV).

“Let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins” (James 5:20, RSV).

“ ‘And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear Him [Christ] who can destroy both soul and body in hell [the ‘second death’ (Rev 21:8) — the final destruction of the wicked]’ ” (Matt 10:28, RSV).

“He [God] drove out [from Eden] the man [Adam and Eve]; and at the east of the garden of Eden He placed the cherubim [an angel], and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life” (Gen 3:24, RSV).

Clarification: In order to possess an endless existence, humans had to continue to partake of the “tree of life” in the garden of Eden. When humans sinned, access to the tree was forbidden, otherwise humans would have thus become  immortal sinners. It was clearly Satan’s plan that Adam and Eve should by disobedience incur God’s displeasure, and then, if they failed to obtain forgiveness, he hoped that they would eat of the “tree of life,” and thus perpetuate an existence of sin and misery.

What does the word “soul” mean in Hebrew?

Nephesh; breath, life, person, personality, individuality, living being, affections, appetites. 
And Spirit? — Ruach; Breath, wind, vitality, disposition, mind, emotions, vital element.

What does the word “soul” mean in Greek?

Psuche;  breath, life, life principle, living creature, person, emotions, the feelings. And Spirit? — Pneuma; Breath, wind, attitude, mood, life principle, state of feelings.

There is nothing in the words translated “soul” or in their usage in the Bible that even remotely implies a conscious entity that survives the body after death, or that attributes immortality to it. Man does not have a soul, he is soul. The non-Scriptural idea of an immortal soul and an immediate afterlife originated in the ancient pagan religions
and philosophical systems of Greece and Egypt and finds no support in God's Word. This pagan belief is the cornerstone of almost all eastern religions and the New Age movement. This pagan belief became established as a
Christian precept via Greek influence. When the spirit [breath] is withdrawn, death strikes and man no longer exists. The soul simply ceases to be — hence the need for the “Resurrection” (John 6:40; 14:3; 5:28,29). The devil was the first to teach that humans are immortal (Gen 3:4; Rev 12:9). 
The Hebrew ‘Nephesh’ and  the Greek ‘Psuche’ are applied not only to humans but also animals. Hence animals as well as human beings are souls. The possession of a soul gives humans nothing more than all forms of animal life possess. Certainly no one would wish to claim that at death the souls of amoebae, molluscs and apes go flitting their way to heaven.

“Soul,” “spirit,” and “body” (1 Thess 5:23) can be interpreted as follows:

“Soul” — That part of a man’s nature that finds expression through the instincts, emotions and desires (Ps 40:8; Heb 8:10).
“Spirit”  — The higher principle of intelligence and thought with which man is endowed and with which God can communicate by His Spirit (Rom 8:16; 12:1,2).
“Body” — The corporeal frame, flesh, blood and bones (1 Cor 6:19,20).

What happens then, when humans die?

“ ‘By the sweat of  your face you shall eat bread tlil you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return [both wicked and righteous]’ ” (Gen 3:19, ESV).

“When his breath departs, he returns to the earth...” (Ps 146:4, ESV).

“When Thou hidest Thy face, they are dismayed; when Thou takest away their breath, they die and return to their dust” (Ps 104:29, RSV).

“And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the breath [life principle] returns to God who gave it” (Eccl 12:7).

“ ‘So man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more [until the Second Coming] he will not awake, or be roused out of his sleep [Greek, koimao — “to sleep”]’ ”
(Job 14:12, RSV).

“But I [Paul] would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope [the unbelievers]” (1 Thess 4:13, KJV).

“ ‘And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt’ ” (Dan 12:2, RSV).

“As for me [David], I shall behold Thy face in righteousness; when I awake [at the Second Coming ‘Resurrection’],
I shall be satisfied with beholding Thy form likeness” (Ps 17:15, RSV).

Clarification: “Sleep” — A hope inspiring figure of speech that implies the assurance of a later awakening, death not final. A metaphor for the passing of time between one’s death and the Second Coming ‘resurrection’ of the righteous. A similarity between the figurative sleep of the dead and the sleep of the living — unconscious; inactive; awakens. There is no awareness of the passing of time.

What happened to David when he died?

“ ‘….that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day...For David did not ascend into the heavens…’ ” (Acts 2:29,34, RSV).

What happed to Lazarus when he died?

“After saying this, He [Jesus] told them, ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep…’ Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death…” (John 11:11,13).

Clarification: Lazarus spent four days in the grave. Jesus told them that Lazarus was both dead and sleeping the sleep of death. If as is popularly believed, the soul at death leaves the body and goes to Heaven, then Lazarus would have had an amazing experience to share about the four days he would have spent in Heaven. The religious leaders and the people would have done all in their power to elicit from him as much information as possible about the unseen world. Such information would have provided valuable answers to the question of life after death which was so hotly debated among the Sadducees and Pharisees (Mark 12:18,23). In fact his life would have probably been in great danger.
Wouldn’t Lazarus have been upset to have been brought back from Heaven, if that’s where he had gone?

The ‘awakening’ of Lazarus out of the ‘sleep’ of death by the sound of Christ’s voice clearly parallels the awakening of the sleeping saints on the day of His glorious appearing (John 5:28; 1 Thess 4:16). As Christ slept in the tomb prior to His resurrection, so believers sleep in the grave while awaiting their resurrection.

Can humans who have died express themselves in any way?

“The dead do not praise the Lord, nor do any that go down into silence [they have no more use of the powers of mind or body]” (Ps 115:17, RSV).

“For in death there is no remembrance of you [God]; in Sheol [the grave] who can give You praise” (Ps 6:5, ESV).

“Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol [the grave], to which you are going” (Eccl 9:10, RSV). Note also James 4:14.

“When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish” (Ps 146:4, ESV).

What does God say about those who claim they can contact the dead, and what does He say to those who seek such people out?

Let no one be found among you who sacrifices his son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead [seeks answers, requests advice]. Anyone who does these things is detestable [an abomination, KJV] to the Lord, and because of these detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you [So who would it be then that impersonates the dead? Clearly evil angels]” (Deut 18:10-12, NIV).

“ ‘Do not turn to mediums or wizards; do not seek them out, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God” (Lev 19:31, RSV). Note also 2 Kings 23:24; Isa 8:19,20; Eph 5:11; 6:12.

Though the inhabitants of earth lost eternal life/immortality, can they somehow regain it?

“ ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that whoever believes in him [exercises genuine faith/trust (Eph 2:8,9; Rom 10:9)] should not perish [disappear, exist no more, total destruction] but have eternal life [immortality]’ ” (John 3:16, ESV).

“ ‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven [receive eternal life], but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven [is obedient, faithful (James 2:20,24,26; 2 Cor 5:10)]’ ” (Matt 7:21, ESV). Note also Eph 2:10; 4:22-24; 2 Peter 3:11, NIV; Matt 5:16; Heb 12:14; 2 Cor 13:5.

“Blessed are those who do His commandments [the standard of Christian conduct], that they may have the right to the tree of life [eternal life (note Rev 22:2)], and may enter through the gates into the city [the renewed earth]” (Rev 22:14, NKJV). Note also Heb 10:26,27; James 2:10-12; 1:25; 4:12; 1 John 3:4; 2:4; Rom 3:31; 7:12; 2:13; Matt 5:17-19; 22:36-40; Luke 16:17; 1 Cor 7:19; 2 Cor 5:10; Rev 14:7,12; Acts 24:25.

When do those who accept Christ as their Saviour, and obey Him, get eternal life/immortality?

“ ‘For the Son of Man is going to come [at His Second Coming] with His angels in the Glory of His Father, and then He will repay [with either eternal life or destruction] each person according to what he has done’ ” (Matt 16:27, ESV).

“ ‘Behold, I am coming soon, bringing My recompense [either eternal life or death] with me [will be given then], to repay everyone for what he has done’ ” (Rev 22:12, ESV).

“Henceforth there is laid up for me [kept in store] the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that Day [the Second Coming], and not only to me but also to all who have loved [longed for] His appearing” (2 Tim 4:8, ESV).

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep [die], but we will be changed [from mortality into immortality]. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump [Christ’s second coming]; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead [righteous dead] shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor 15:51-53, KJV).

“And all these [faithful Bible heroes of all the ages], though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised [eternal life, immortality], since God had provided something better [much fairer] for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect [immortal. They will have to wait]” (Heb 11:39,40, ESV).

Clarification: All who are among the righteous will have to wait until the Second Coming ‘Resurrection.’ No one will be given eternal life earlier than another. No one will go to heaven earlier than another.

“ ‘And you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you [only Christ can], for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous [in other words, at the Second Coming]’ ” (Luke 14:14, NIV). Note also Matt 24:31.

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake [still alive at His coming] or asleep [having died earlier and been lying (waiting) in the grave] we might live with Him [if we are among the righteous]” (1 Thess 5:9,10, ESV).

“So Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for Him” (Heb 9:28, ESV). Note also 1 Peter 5:4, NKJV.

When will the righteous dead of all the ages be raised from their graves?

“For the Lord himself will descend from heaven [at His Second Coming] with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. and [then] the dead in Christ will rise [upwards to heaven] first [out of fairness]; then we who are alive [the righteous living at the time of Christ’s second coming], who are left [because the dead at that time are already rising upward], shall be caught up together with them in the clouds [the righteous dead] to meet the Lord in the air [the Holy Christ does not touch the defiled earth]; and so we shall always be with the Lord [are then taken to heaven]” (1 Thess 4:16,17, RSV).

“ ‘For this is the will of My Father, that every one who sees [spiritual insight] the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life; and I [Jesus Christ] will raise him up at the last day [the Second Coming resurrection]’ ” (John 6:40, RSV).

“ ‘So man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more [until the Second Coming] he will not awake, or be roused out of his sleep’ ” (Job 14:12, RSV).

How will the righteous dead be raised?

“ ‘Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming [the Second Coming] when all who are in their graves will hear His [Christ’s] voice [only people hear, not bodies] and come out…’ ” (John 5:28,29, NIV).

Where will all the righteous ones go at Christ’s appearing?

“ ‘In My Father’s house [in heaven] are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you [referring to when Christ ascended to heaven after the cross]? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again [the Second Coming] and will [then] take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also [that’s His reason for coming again]’ ” (John 14:2,3, RSV).

“Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection [at the Second Coming]! Over such the second death [the destruction of the wicked] has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years [in heaven]” (Rev 20:6, RSV). Note also Rev 20:4; Phil 3:20.

What happens to the wicked living at the time of Christ’s coming?

“ ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory [at the Second Coming], and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. Before Him will be gathered all the nations, and He shall separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep [righteous] from the goats [the wicked]’ ” (Matt 25:31,32, ESV).

“ ‘But of that day and hour no one knows...As were the days of Noah [when the Flood caught unconcerned folk by surprise], so will be the coming of the Son of man...Then two men will be in the field; one is taken [granted eternal life, taken to heaven] and one is left [will be struck dead (Luke 17:29,30)]. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left’ ” (Matt 24:36-41, RSV).


Clarification: Here we see how the matter of citizenship in the kingdom of God will cut across friendship ties, family
relations and all other normal social patterns. Some will be saved, some won’t. Jesus here, was describing what would happen at His Second Coming as can be seen from the same account in Luke 17:30 where it says, “It will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.” The same unconcern as shown in the days of Noah would characterize men living in the days prior to Christ’s return (Matt 24:36-39). So now is decision time. The gathering of the righteous will be far from secret, as some seem to think (1 Thess 4:16,17; 1 Cor 15:51,52; Rev 1:7).

“ ‘But on the day when Lot went out from Sodom, fire and sulfur rained from heaven and destroyed them allso will it be on the day [the Second Coming] when the Son of Man is revealed’ ” (Luke 17:29,30, ESV). Note also Matt 24:21,26,27,30; 16:27; 17:29,30; Luke 17:24.

“And to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven [the Second Coming] with His mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance [justified punishment, instant death] on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thess 1:7,8, ESV).

“Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the generals and the rich and the strong, and every one, slave and free [the wicked], hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, calling to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb [Christ]; for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand before it?’ ” (Rev 6:15-17, RSV).

Is there a resurrection of the wicked dead also?

“ ‘And I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous [at the Second Coming] and the wicked’ ” (Acts 24:15, NIV).

“ ‘Do not be marvel at this, for an hour is coming [the Second Coming] when all who are in the tombs will hear His [Christ’s] voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life [the Second Coming], and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment’ ” (John 5:28,29, ESV).

When does the resurrection of the wicked dead take place?

“The rest of the dead [the wicked dead struck down at Christ’s Second Coming (2 Thess 1:7,8)] did not come to life
until the thousand years were ended [the second resurrection]...” (Rev 20:5, RSV).

“And when the thousand years are ended, Satan [who was confined, alive, along with his angels, to the depopulated
desolate earth] will be loosed from his prison [to face the ‘second death’ (Rev 21:8)]” (Rev 20:7, RSV).

What will the righteous be doing in heaven during the thousand years?

“Or do you not know that the saints will judge [figuratively] the world?” (1 Cor 6:2, ESV).

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed…” (Rev 20:4, ESV).

Clarification: The righteous saints review heaven’s record books during the millennium and are able to see why Christ accepted some, and rejected others. God has been careful to take no chance of leaving one doubt in any mind. When the wicked receive their final punishment [see below] it will be recognized by all that their punishment is deserved and God is just.

What happens when the wicked are resurrected?

“And they [the wicked, Satan and his angels] marched [preparing to attack] up over the broad earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city [the descended New Jerusalem containing the saints and Christ (Rev 21:1-3)]; but fire came down from heaven and consumed them [the ‘second death’ (Rev 21:8)], And the devil who had deceived them [the wicked] was thrown into the lake of fire and  brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet were [the End-time world wide persecuting power], and they will be tormented day and night for ever and ever [metaphoric symbolism denoting complete destruction]” (Rev 20:9,10, RSV). Note also Jude 6.

What is the destruction of the wicked called?

“ ‘But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death’ ” (Rev 21:8, RSV). Note also Rev 20:14,15.

Will the wicked continue to burn forever?

“For behold, the day is coming [the ‘second death’ at the end of the millennium], burning like an oven, and all the proud, yes, all who do wickedly will be stubble. And the day which is coming shall burn them up, says the Lord of hosts, that will leave them neither root nor branch. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall be ashes...” (Mal 4:1,3, NKJV).

“If by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes He condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6, ESV).

By the way:

The following words and phrases are simply figurative expressions, metaphoric language:
"Unquenchable" refers to the
nature of the fire, not its duration.
In Jeremiah, history records a fiery destruction, unquenchable (Jer 17:27), that befell Jerusalem, not once but twice, by
the Babylonians in 586 BC and by the Romans in AD 70. But are the unquenchable fires still burning? NO!

"Eternal fire" is refering to the fact that the destruction of the wicked is eternal in the sense that the results are permanent.
In Jude 7 we read of Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed by eternal fire yet the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah perished many centuries before Jude wrote his letter (Gen 19:23-28).
Tormented day and night forever” (Rev 20:10) denotes complete destruction. The verse that's immediately before this one says, “Fire came down from heaven and consumed them.” That means that nothing is left, they can’t be kept burning or tormented forever. The length of forever is determined by the way it is applied, and the nature of the subject to which it is applied.
In Isaiah 34:10 referring to the city of Bozrah, an Edomite town about 20 miles south east of the dead sea, Isaiah declared that its land would become burning pitch, its fire not quenched, the smoke rising forever. The smoke did not rise forever as the fires burned out long ago.
"Forever and ever” (Rev 14:10,11) is a Greek translation of three Greek words that read literally ‘in the age’ or ‘in the ages’. The full Greek phrase is, ‘in the age of the ages.’ The Bible writers viewed time as a series of ages, the final age beginning when the messiah would set up his kingdom that would last forever. This final age, was simply called ‘the age’. That is what is being referred to here. Not how long the torment will last, but in what period of history it will take place.

And so on it goes. 

When will death itself finally be eradicated?

“The last enemy to be destroyed is death” (1 Cor 15:26, RSV).

“Then Death and Hades [symbolic] were thrown into the lake of fire [death will never occur again]. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life [the wicked (Rev 3:5)], he was thrown into the lake of fire” (Rev 20:14,15, RSV).

What happens after the wicked and death are destroyed?

“Then I saw a new [renewed] heaven and a new [renewed] earth...And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem [the one that the wicked tried to attack (Rev 20:9,10)], coming down out of heaven from God...And I heard a great voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them [on the renewed earth], and they shall be His people...He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and Death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away’ ” (Rev 21:1-4, RSV).

How does God feel about the destruction of the wicked?

“...As I live says the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live…” (Ezek 33:11, RSV).

“For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act [it’s foreign to His nature to destroy]” (Isa 28:21, KJV).