"He died for our sins" –
Christological Approaches by Young People, by Friedhelm Kraft.
The unconditional love of God and death as the end of human existence.
The eternal existence of every human being.
The postponed establishment of the Kingdom.
The New Gospel.
The battle in heaven.
The destruction of the Temple.
Israel has been God-less for two thousand years – and still is.
Biblical Christianity’s claim to sole representation.
Time for "necessary leavetakings"? – biblical /
IIn his book "Auf dem Weg zu einem glaubwürdigen Christentum" ["On the path to a credible Christianity"], the Berlin Emeritus Professor of Practical Theology Klaus Peter Jörns believes that the time has come for some "necessary leavetakings". Among the ideas from which he thinks theology and the church should distance themselves is discourse on the vicarious expiatory death of Jesus Christ. Professor Jörns writes: "When we look at the historical transformation of ideas of sacrifice and of God, the Christian theology of the expiatory sacrifice is an anachronism." And then again: "The central message of Jesus about the unconditional love of God contradicts the interpretation of his death as an expiatory sacrifice."
Nor do secular contemporaries fall short of him in this respect. So we find the philosopher Herbert Schnädelbach inquiring, in an article in Die Zeit, "Why can the Christian God not forgive without a sacrificial lamb?" and again, "Why do we see a dying hanged man in all churches and Bavarian schoolrooms, and not a Christ risen from the dead?" The Christian concept of "justification", in his view, comes down to a "bloody legal trade". The atrocity of Christ’s execution set a trend that was continued with the church’s "atrocities in the name of Christ", the Inquisition and the like.
Criticism of the idea of the expiatory sacrifice is widespread, not just in the church but also in the public area generally. If it is aimed at the idea of a God who depends, for his glory, on satisfaction in the sense of a sacrifice, who would venture to disagree? But the question remains whether an archaic idea of expiation is really characteristic of the biblical image of God. Or to put it in other words, in what way does the New Testament adopt the repugnant idea of expiation? (…)
Religionspädagogisches Institut Loccum [Religious Pedagogical Institute Loccum]
First of all we should just clarify the meaning of some of the
definitions used by the author quoted above, Professor of Theology Hans Peter
Jörns. The "unconditional love of God" is a truism which one would rather expect
to find in the tabloids, not in a theological treatise. Actually that already
tells us something about the professional competence of the author.
At any rate if we want to talk about the Christian God of the Bible, the "unconditional love" of God – just like the "infinite love" of God, another term frequently used in this connection – is complete nonsense.
The infinite and unconditional love of God.
If the love of God were to be infinite and unconditional,
this God would have to forgive all human beings of all ages (infinite
time!!) all their sins, without any conversion or repentance on their part
(unconditionally!!). There would then no longer be any need of a redeeming
sacrifice – and Jesus Christ would not have had to die on the cross.
(See also discourse 30: "Why
did Jesus have to die on the cross?")
But in his book "On the Path to a Credible Christianity", not
only does the professor’s definition of the "unconditional love of God" deserve
no credit, nor is the other assertion he makes in this connection, that "the
central message of Jesus about the unconditional love of God contradicts the
interpretation of his death as an expiatory sacrifice," any the more convincing.
This statement, you see, reveals a complete lack of awareness of the real biblical background to the universal phenomenon of human death on the one hand, and on the other to the death of Jesus of Nazareth, as the sacrificial atonement for the sins of all human beings, in particular.
Before going into the background to the death of the Jewish Messiah Jesus of Nazareth in somewhat greater detail, we would like to conclude this terminological clarification by looking at the biblical significance of the event of human death. Here again, this theologian clearly goes along with the popular conception that with death it is "all over".
No prizes for guessing that the Bible sees things differently. When you fall asleep in bed you don’t come to the end of your life (because generally speaking you are going to wake up again the following morning), and in the same way life does not come to an end after you die – it is just the spirit of the person that leaves the physical body.
And this the materialists find hard to understand, because they don’t have any physical, or "tangible" proof of the continued existence of the human being. It is rather the same situation as if a peasant were unable to believe that his money really was there in the bank, and so wanted to have the whole amount counted out in front of him.
So on the death of the body – the expiration date of the "hardware", so to speak – the "software", the spirit, is stored in the "Cloud", to be reactivated with new hardware at a later stage. Of course it is a bit hard for simple souls to grasp this, which is why we find all these prophets chorusing that "death is the end" and peddling their twaddle with great success.
The eternal existence of every human being.
Every individual human being who leaves the amniotic sac
of his or her mother alive in being physically born – who is "born of
water" (amniotic fluid), that is to say (Jn 3:5) – receives a human
spirit (1Cor 2:11) from God (Jn 4:24) with eternal existence (Mt 25:46).
In the first, temporal and earthly part of their existence – in their
life, human beings have the possibility of deciding, in complete freedom,
without any compulsion and with the help of the spirit given them by God (Gen 2:7; 6:3),
whether or not they will give this God, the creator of all life, their
complete trust and entire love.
God will give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
Rom 8,11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised
Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead
will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in
you.. Rom 8,11;
In the Resurrection (Rom 6:4-5),
the "rebirth from the spirit"
(Mt 19:28; 1Pet 3:18; Jn 3:7), human beings are again given a body
(Mt 22:30; Jn 3:8; Rom 8:10-11), similar to that of the Son of God after his resurrection (Jn 20:26-27).
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
1Cor 15,42 So also is the resurrection
of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable
body; 15,43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it
is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 15,44 it is sown a natural
body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is
also a spiritual body. 15,45 So also it is written, "The first MAN,
Adam, became a living soul." (Gen 2,7) The last Adam became a
life‒giving spirit. 15,46 However, the spiritual is not first,
but the natural; then the spiritual. 15,46 However, the spiritual is not first,
but the natural; then the spiritual. 15,47 The first man is from the earth,
earthy; the second man is from heaven. 15,48 As is the earthy, so also are
those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
15,49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image
of the heavenly. 1Cor 15,42-49;
With this spiritual body the human being
will then stand at the Last Judgment
before the Son of God, who has been given the task by God (Jn 5:22, 26-27)
of judging every human being on the basis of their earthly deeds and their
decision for or against God while still alive (Rom 2:16).
"If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;
that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know
Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you." Jn 14,15-17;
In the light of this, the well known evangelist and preacher Wilhelm
Busch said to his hearers, "You don’t need to accept the message I am giving
you. You can choose not to convert to Jesus. But just be aware that this means you
are choosing hell! You have complete freedom – it’s your choice!"
(People who are unable to believe)
(See also Discourse 22: "Is
there such a thing as the immortality of the soul?")
For all those who would like to have it short and
What Christian literature generally tends to sweep under the
carpet is the biblical fact that at the start of his mission Jesus Christ
(Christ is the Greek for the Hebrew maschiach, Messiah = the anointed one) only
evangelized in Israel. And that was entirely in accordance with scripture, as he
was after all the Messiah promised by the prophets whom God was to send to the
people of Israel.
So when Jesus sent out the disciples, he actually commanded them to go only "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel", and not even to evangelize among the Samaritans, let alone the Gentiles.
Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Mt 10,5 These twelve Jesus sent out after
instructing them: "Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter
any city of the Samaritans; 10,6 but rather go to the lost sheep
of the house of Israel. Mt 10, 5- 6;
This is likewise confirmed by the Lord’s encounter with the
Canaanite woman, where the text – just like Peter’s sermon in Acts 3:26 – leaves
no doubt whatever of this fact:
But He answered and said, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel."
Mt 15,21 Jesus went away from there, and withdrew
into the district of Tyre and Sidon. 15,22 And a Canaanite woman from that
region came out and began to cry out, saying, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of
David; my daughter is cruelly demon-possessed." 15,23 But He did not answer her
a word. And His disciples came and implored Him, saying, "Send her away, because
she keeps shouting at us." 15,24 But He answered and said, "I was sent only
to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." 15,25 But she came and began to
bow down before Him, saying, "Lord, help me!" 15,26 And He answered and said,
"It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs." 15,27
But she said, "Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from
their masters’ table." 15,28 Then Jesus said to her, "O woman, your faith is
great; it shall be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed at
once. Mt 15,21-28;
What Jesus proclaimed was the message of the "kingdom of
heaven", which was now imminent (Mt 4,17; Mk 1,15; Lk 10,9). The characteristic
sign of the coming of the Messiah, for the Jews, had always been the
establishment of this same "kingdom".
The prophets had spoken of the fact that the Messiah was to become a world ruler, and would rule the whole world as his kingdom, meaning that Israel would become the leading nation on earth (e.g. Ex 19,1-6; Num 24,1-9; 1Chr 17,7-14; Isa 60,1-22; Jer 31,7-9; etc.).
(See also discourse 1111: "
God’s covenants, by Jacob Damkani.")
As we can see, these are those very prophecies which are
referred to (even in the New Testament, e.g. Hbr 4,2-5) in connection with
promise of the Millennium, the thousand years kingdom of peace of the Son of
God. And from this it is also plain that if the Israelites, back then, had
accepted their Messiah – if, that is to say, God’s Old Testament prophecies had
taken their appointed course – then that was the time when the Millennium would
(See also chapter 10: "The Millennium.")
That is also why Jesus is heralded by John the Baptist as "the
one referred to by Isaiah the prophet" (Isa 40:3).
Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the prophet when he said, "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS (…)".
Mt 3,1 Now in those days John the Baptist
came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, 3,2 "Repent, for the
kingdom of heaven is at hand." 3,3 For this is the one referred to by Isaiah the
prophet when he said, "THE VOICE OF ONE CRYING IN THE WILDERNESS, MAKE
READY THE WAY OF THE LORD, MAKE HIS PATHS STRAIGHT!’" Mt 3,1-3;
And that too is why Jesus at this time always spoke about the
"kingdom of heaven" (in Matthew; "kingdom of God" in Mark and Luke) to the
Israelites. It was the announcement of a change of paradigm in the Mosaic
religion, its transition into Christianity: a transition from the law and the
prophets, which had been valid up to the time of John the Baptist, into the
gospel of the kingdom of God, which from this time on was to be proclaimed.
The Law and the Prophets (the Mosaic religion) were proclaimed until John;
Lk 16,16 "The Law and the Prophets
were proclaimed until John; since that time the gospel of the
kingdom of God has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.
However, this "kingdom of God" on earth – that "kingdom", in
other words, foretold by the prophets – in which the Messiah, the anointed one
of God, was to be the world ruler and God’s people of Israel the "chief of the
nations" (Jer 31:7; 2Sam 22:44; Ps 18:44), never became a reality.
When proclaiming the Kingdom of God through the Lord, we should keep
in mind that all these clarifications, such as the General Resurrection, rebirth, the First Resurrection, the
Lord’s Return, raising and rapture, etc. were not yet available to the Israelites at that time, which is why
they responded with extreme skepticism to all statements related to this. A report truly worth reading and
particularly meaningful here is found in the gospel of John, which, because of its realistic depiction of the
situation at that time, will be quoted in its entirety:
We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet been enslaved to anyone.
Jn 8,31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you
continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 8,32 and you will know the truth, and the truth
will make you free." 8,33 They answered Him, "We are Abraham’s descendants and have never yet
been enslaved to anyone; how is it that You say, ‘You will become free’?" 8,34 Jesus answered
them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin. 8,35 "The
slave does not remain in the house forever; the son does remain forever. 8,36 "So if the Son makes you
free, you will be free indeed. Jn 8,31-36;
We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God.
Jn 8,37 "I know that you are Abraham’s descendants; yet you seek to kill
Me, because My word has no place in you. 8,38 "I speak the things which I have seen with My Father;
therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father." 8,39 They answered and said to Him,
"Abraham is our father." Jesus said to them, "If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds
of Abraham. 8,40 "But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth, which I
heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 8,41 "You are doing the deeds of your father." They said to
Him, "We were not born of fornication; we have one Father: God." 8,42 Jesus said to them,
"If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I
have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 8,43 "Why do you not understand what I am
saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. Jn 8,37-43;
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father.
Jn 8,44 "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires
of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no
truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of
lies. 8,45 "But because I speak the truth, you do not believe Me. 8,46 "Which one of you convicts Me
of sin? If I speak truth, why do you not believe Me? 8,47 "He who is of God hears the words of God;
for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God." 8,48 The Jews answered and said to
Him, "Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?" 8,49 Jesus answered,
"I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 8,50 "But I do not seek My
glory; there is One who seeks and judges. Jn 8,44-50;
Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am.
Jn 8,51 "Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never
see death." 8,52 The Jews said to Him, "Now we know that You have a demon. Abraham died, and the
prophets also; and You say, ‘If anyone keeps My word, he will never taste of death.’ 8,53 "Surely
You are not greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets died too; whom do You make Yourself out to
be?" 8,54 Jesus answered, "If I glorify Myself, My glory is nothing; it is My Father who
glorifies Me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God’; 8,55 and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him;
and if I say that I do not know Him, I will be a liar like you, but I do know Him and keep His word. 8,56
"Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad." 8,57 So the Jews
said to Him, "You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?" 8,58 Jesus said to them,
"Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was born, I am." 8,59 Therefore they picked up
stones to throw at Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple. Jn 8,51-59;
From a purely objective point of view, one could have complete sympathy for these Israelites.
They said among themselves: "Who does he think he is?" To be sure, the Lord had proved through the
miracles he had done that he was indeed "somebody." But that was not actually the issue here - to produce
proof or witnesses. Even if he had done still greater miracles and had cited many witnesses, they would not
have believed him. It was not the lack of proof but their lack of faith that led the Israelites to their wrong
assessment. It was their lack of confidence in their own God, the complete absence of the Holy Spirit, that
hardened their hearts and closed their ears to the words of the Son of God.
Above, in Jn 8,40, the Lord accused the Jews of wanting to kill him. But it was not only the people who wanted to kill him; it was also and in particular the Sanhedrin, the religious leaders of Israel who were afraid of losing their power and discussed how they could kill him.
This man is performing many signs. If we let Him go on like this, all men will believe in Him.
Jn 11,47 Therefore the chief priests and the Pharisees convened a council, and
were saying, "What are we doing? For this man is performing many signs. 11,48 "If we let Him go
on like this, all men will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our
nation." 11,49 But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, "You know
nothing at all, 11,50 nor do you take into account that it is expedient for you that one man die for the
people, and that the whole nation not perish." 11,51 Now he did not say this on his own initiative,
but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, 11,52 and not for
the nation only, but in order that He might also gather together into one the children of God who are
scattered abroad. 11,53 So from that day on they planned together to kill Him. Jn 11,47-53;
But this made it clear that the Jews has rejected the Son of God and declined the salvation of
their God. The Lord depicted this in a particularly striking way in the parable of the king who prepared a
wedding feast for his son.
Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.
Mt 22,2 "The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who
gave a wedding feast for his son. 22,3 "And he sent out his slaves to call those who had been invited to
the wedding feast, and they were unwilling to come. 22,4 "Again he sent out other slaves saying, ‘Tell
those who have been invited, "Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fattened livestock are
all butchered and everything is ready; come to the wedding feast."‘ 22,5 "But they paid no
attention and went their way, one to his own farm, another to his business, 22,6 and the rest seized
his slaves and mistreated them and killed them.
22,7 "But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire. 22,8 "Then he said to his slaves, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy. 22,9 ‘Go therefore to the main highways, and as many as you find there, invite to the wedding feast.’ 22,10 "Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered together all they found, both evil and good; and the wedding hall was filled with dinner guests. 22,11 "But when the king came in to look over the dinner guests, he saw a man there who was not dressed in wedding clothes, 22,12 and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without wedding clothes?’ And the man was speechless. 22,13 "Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 22,14 "For many are called, but few are chosen." Mt 22, 2-14;
The king in this parable is God; his son for whom he prepared the wedding feast is the Son of
God, our Lord Jesus Christ. The slaves whom the king sent out to call the guests originally invited to the
feast to come are the prophets of Israel in the Old Testament. Time and again they had called the Israelite
people to turn back to their God. The invited guests are the people of God in Israel.
But these wedding guests were not interested and continued in their wrong thinking. Even more, they took the slaves and killed them, like the many prophets who were mistreated and killed over the centuries by kings and those in power in Israel - as John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus himself also were.
When the king now saw that those who had been invited were not worthy, he had their city burned (Jerusalem by Titus in 70 A.D.) and these murderers killed. He then sent out slaves again (apostles and preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ), who now invited all people who were prepared to come (from among all peoples and also from among the Jews). This is the situation now, after the Lord was rejected by the Jews and crucified by the Romans. Since then and until the end, God has been sending and will send his - now Christian - slaves to invite all people - bad and good.
Thus, through its obstinacy, Israel lost its position as the only elected people. If membership in one of the twelve tribes of Israel had been the condition until that time for election, the criterion has now changed. No longer is physical membership in a people decisive but the internal, spiritual willingness to accept faith in this God (i.e. that we be dressed in wedding clothes) - regardless of race, color, origin or position.
Paul was in a very similar situation in Rome when, as a prisoner, he called the Jews living in Rome to himself and proclaimed the Gospel of salvation to them. Some listened to him and others rejected it. Paul also recognized that the Jews had hardened their hearts and proclaimed to them in the Holy Spirit that salvation had been taken from them and sent to the Gentiles.
Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will also listen.
Acts 28,25 And when they did not agree with one another, they began leaving after
Paul had spoken one parting word, "The Holy Spirit rightly spoke through Isaiah the prophet to your
fathers, 28,26 saying, ‘go to this people and say, "you will keep on hearing, but will not
understand; and you will keep on seeing, but will not perceive; 28,27 for the heart of this people has
become dull, and with their ears they scarcely hear, and they have closed their eyes; otherwise they might see
with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart and return, and I would heal
them."‘ 28,28 "Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to
the Gentiles; they will also listen." Acts 28,25-28;
Since you repudiate the Word of God we are turning to the Gentiles.
Acts 13,46 Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, "It was necessary
that the word of God be spoken to you first; since you repudiate it and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal
life, behold, we are turning to the Gentiles. Acts 13,46;
The dominion of God was thus sent to the Gentiles and no longer to Israel. And, finally, the
Lord was no longer content with parables but brought the bitter consequence of their unbelief home to the
The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.
Mt 21,43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away
from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 21,44 "And he who falls on this stone will
be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 21,45 When the chief
priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.
21,46 When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet. Mt
But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.
Lk 7,28 "I say to you, among those born of women there is no one greater
than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." 7,29 When all the people and
the tax collectors heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of
John. 7,30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been
baptized by John. Lk 7,28-30;
When you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out.
Lk 13,24 "Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you,
will seek to enter and will not be able.13,25 "Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and
you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and
say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ 13,26 "Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and
drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; 13,27 and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know
where you are from; depart from Me, all you evildoers.’ 13,28 "In that place there will be
weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the
kingdom of God, but yourselves being thrown out. 13,29 "And they will come from east and
west and from north and south, and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God. 13,30 "And
behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last." Lk 13,24-30;
This text finally also confirms again that the kingdom of God and the millennial kingdom are,
temporarily and substantively, completely separate periods. When it states above, in Lk 13,28, "In that
place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the
prophets in the kingdom of God," the "weeping and gnashing of teeth" shows us again that this
statement refers to the period after the Last Judgment and thus to the New Creation in eternity. And if this
can be mentioned in the same time frame as the Kingdom of God, then it cannot be the Millennium here. Here we
see clearly that the millennial kingdom of peace is the final period in the current age, whereas the Kingdom
of God has to do with the future age, eternity (Mt 12,32; Lk 18,30; Eph 1,21).
We can recognize Israel and the Gentiles also in the parable by the Lord here below, in Mt 21,28-32, of the two sons who had to work in the vineyard. In ancient times the Gentiles (the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans) had made many idols and false gods and did not want to believe in the one God. They are represented in this parable by the first son, who did not want to work in the vineyard. Israel, on the other hand, was prepared at that time to follow God. But then, when the Messiah came to them to put their faith to the test, they refused him and rejected him. They are like the second son who said "I will, sir" but did not go.
Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.
Mt 21,28 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the
first and said, ‘Son, go work today in the vineyard.’ 21,29 "And he answered, ‘I will not’; but
afterward he regretted it and went. 21,30 "The man came to the second and said the same thing; and he
answered, ‘I will, sir’; but he did not go. 21,31 "Which of the two did the will of his father?"
They said, "The first." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax collectors
and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you. 21,32 "For John came to you in the
way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax collectors and prostitutes did believe him; and
you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him. Mt 21,28-32;
Many among the Gentiles, however, to whom the Gospel was preached after this time, accepted
the one and only God and converted. In the parable further above, in Lk 13,30, those who believed, who are
called the last by the Lord, will be raised as the first at the rapture and enter heaven. But the Israelites,
who were the first, will be resurrected as the last only at the end of the world, at the rebirth in the
Israel in the light of the Bible.
Based on the Old Testament
God has completely taken away his compassion from the house of
Israel (Hos 1:6). They are no longer his people (Hos 1:9). Only the house
of Judah will be saved by the Lord. Not by war, however, but by his Spirit
(Hos 1:7). And only in the Millennium, when the Son of God has entered on
his thousand years rule on earth (Hos 1:10; 2,18 Eze 34:25; Isa 2:4), will
the Lord once more accept Israel as his people (Hos 2:23; Jer 31:27-28).
Based on the New Testament
It is God’s will that we should listen to his Son (Mt 17:5). This same Son
of God has told us that anyone who rejects him rejects God as well (1Jn
2:23; Lk 10:16; Jn 5:22-23. 15:23). The people of Israel today deny the
Son of God and abuse him as an impostor and blasphemer. As a result of
this denial of the Son, Israel has also rejected the Father and so is a
God-less people. (Jn 8:24)
When Jesus proclaimed this gospel of the "kingdom" on earth, Satan in heaven
meanwhile seduced a third of the angels of God, and persuaded them to fight on
his side, against the other angels under the Archangel Michael, for supremacy in
heaven. Satan lost this battle and was cast out of heaven with his angels,
falling down to the earth (Rev 12:7-9).
This biblical fact has been passed down to us in a number of biblical texts: Lk 10:17-18;; Rev 12:12; Rev 12,:-4; Jn 12:28-31; Jh 14,28-31; Jn 16:7-11. And also we find it reported in the Bible that at the time thousands of people were possessed by demons, because these fallen angels, having been thrown out of heaven so precipitously, took refuge in the spirit of human beings – e.g. in Lk 8:30 (a Roman legion at that time consisted of around 6000 men).
Since then they have been waiting for their God-given time (John Glenn: "myriads of stars" / Italian version) and when that "who now restrains " - the Holy Spirit (Jn 16:7) – is "taken out of the way" (2Thess 2:7-9), they have free hand again, as before two thousand years.
(See also discourse 128: "The
real extraterrestrials who rule our world").
Now although back then the demons could still be driven out of the human spirit
by Jesus and his disciples, a report in Luke shows us that God had already
decided to hand over this world not to his Son, but to Satan. The reason for
this could be the same as that for which he allowed Satan, way back in the
Garden of Eden, to lead the first human beings astray. God put humans to the
test through Satan, to see whose word they would place more faith in: would they
believe God or Satan?
Then when Jesus fasted for forty days in the wilderness at the start of his mission, Satan tried to seduce him as well, by offering him dominion over all the kingdoms of this world.
I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
Lk 4,5 And he led Him up and showed Him all the
kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 4,6 And the devil said to Him, "I
will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me,
and I give it to whomever I wish. 4,7 "Therefore if You worship before me,
it shall all be Yours." 4,8 Jesus answered him, "It is written, ‘You shall
worship the LORD your God and serve Him only.’" Lk 4, 5- 8;
And this statement, "for it has been handed over to me", along
with the fact that Jesus here – by contrast with his response to Satan’s other
temptations – did not contradict him, allows us to recognize that God had
actually handed over this power to the devil, and the latter thus had the
freedom to give it to whomever he pleased.
Clearly here the devil had his sights principally set on those people whose power and influence would make them obedient to his will, like the later imperial and royal houses, the Catholic Popes and of course after them politicians and financial magnates. But the devil did actually try it on, this once, with the Son of God, and as was to be expected met with no success.
So what humanity went on to experience, in the subsequent two thousand years up to the present day, was anything but a peaceful time. In the wars that have been waged since the Roman Empire and up to the Second World War and later, in the crimes perpetrated (persecution of Christians, from the Roman Empire through to the Inquisition of the Catholic church! – persecutions of Jews, medieval pogroms through to the Holocaust in modern times etc. ) we have a clear proof that throughout this world dominion belongs, and has belonged not to God but to the devil.
Back then, two thousand years ago, the Jews had no idea what they were letting themselves in for with their condemnation of this Jesus of Nazareth. Some of the Jewish hierarchy, the Sanhedrin, were probably anxious not to lose their power and influence as a ruling priesthood, if the Messiah should take over the reins. The rest of them were uncertain – like Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea – and so the majority voted with the high priest Caiaphas in his judgment "He deserves death".
About the crucifixion and death of Jesus itself several discussions may be found here at Immanuel.at, quite concretely for example in Discourse 87, "The Turin shroud", so let us fast forward here for some 40 years to the destruction of the Herodian temple by Titus and his Roman troops.
On 1 July in 69 AD Titus, the son of the ruling Roman emperor
Vespasian and supreme commander of the army deputed to bring about the end of
the Jewish War, was sent to Jerusalem, where in April of 70 AD he brought up an
army of four legions and numerous auxiliary forces of allied kings (Josephus,
Bell, 5,40-6,120). Titus invested the city and surrounded it with a high wall
(Josephus, Bell, 5,130-135.491-511; Tacitus, Hist. 5,1.10-14).
At the start of September 70 Jerusalem was then conquered in a blood bath, which Titus tried in vain to avoid (!), as well as by famine. The Temple, where 6000 Jews had taken refuge, putting their faith in a prophetic oracle foretelling the ultimate salvation of the sanctuary (Josephus, Bell, 6,285f), was burned to the ground (Bell 6,220-270).
According to Josephus, it seems that Titus vainly tried to the last to prevent the destruction of the Temple (Bell, 6,241.266). This was his way of escaping personal guilt for the doom of the Jews. But the soldiers, in blind rage, disobeyed his orders (Bell, 6,254-259), and razed the city to the ground. Only the towers of the citadel were spared, being reinforced as military command posts.
When we look at the above reports of the historians, it certainly wasn’t the power of this world – in the person of the Roman general Titus – that wanted to annihilate the Temple. On the contrary, as Josephus writes, Titus gave the pacific order to his troops that the Temple should not be destroyed. And yet this war was not being decided on the worldly level.
It was God the Almighty who had resolved that both the city and the Temple had to be destroyed. And so Titus had the experience, probably for the first time in his life, that Roman legions refused to carry out a command of their general, and they went on to take the Temple by storm and burn it to the ground.
Now in the interest of objectivity we need to ask whether this assertion, that the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple was the will of God, actually finds confirmation in the Bible. And here we have the lament of the Son of God over Jerusalem in Lk 19,41-44:
They will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation.
Lk 19,41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the
city and wept over it, 19,42 saying, "If you had known in this day, even
you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from
your eyes. 19,43 "For the days will come upon you when your enemies will
throw up a barricade against you, and surround you and hem you in on every side,
19,44 and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and
they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize
the time of your visitation." Lk 19,41-44;
Here in Lk 19,43 we not only find the Lord prophesying the
"wall" – the high wall that Titus erected to besiege the city – but we also see
him indicating that the besiegers would not leave one stone standing on another,
which the historian Josephus then confirms in saying that "they razed the city
to the ground" (see above).
In what concerns the Temple, we find a prophecy of its future destruction in the esponse made by the Lord to the admiring comments of the disciples on the magnificence of the Temple, in Mt 24,1-2:
Truly I say to you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down.
Mt 24,1 Jesus came out from the temple and was
going away when His disciples came up to point out the temple buildings to Him.
24,2 And He said to them, "Do you not see all these things? Truly I say to
you, not one stone here will be left upon another, which will not be torn down."
Mt 24, 1- 2;
But these, now, are just prophecies of events which were
destined to come true some 40 years later. We still don’t know why God had
resolved to destroy this city and its Temple. When we take a close look at
another saying of the Lord’s, inconspicuous at first glance, some quite
unexpected connections come to light.
The Pharisees had blamed the Lord for claiming to be the Son of God on the grounds that he only had himself as a witness (as the Jewish law stated that at least two witnesses were needed, this meant that his testimony was not true); and in Jh 8,24, he responds to them as follows:
Unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.
Jn 8,21 Then He said again to them, "I go away, and
you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot come."
8,22 So the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He, since
He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?" 8,23 And He was saying to them,
"You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this
world. 8,24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for
unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins."
In this biblical passage the Lord refers, both in Jh 8,21 and in
Jh 8,24, to the prophecy "You will die in your sins". For the Pharisees whom he
addressed, this was just one more proof that Jesus of Nazareth was a
disseminator of lies, and had no notion about the Mosaic commandments.
Because, after all, they had the prescribed sacrificial ceremonies in the Law (the Torah), for the sin offering and the guilt offering, which were their means of freeing themselves from their sins. And what was more, they had the tamid, the daily ongoing sacrifice in the Temple, whereby God gave them constant forgiveness of all sins that could be forgiven.
Neither the Pharisees at the time, nor the majority of today’s commentators, recognize the fearful earnest that lies behind those few words. And right here we have the key to understanding God’s dealings with his people of Israel.
Just looking at the surface of things we can see first of all that it wasn’t the Lord who was being clueless – in truth it was the Pharisees who had no clue that in 40 years’ time neither the Temple nor the altar would exist, and so it would no longer be possible for the priests to make the prescribed sacrificial offerings on the Temple’s sacrificial altar.
The consequence of this was that all the Israelites, from the destruction of the Temple and the sacrificial altar and right up to the present day (!), have had no possibility of having their sins forgiven, and so, just as the Lord prophesied, have died in their sins. And both in Mosaic and in Christian doctrine, all these myriads of people are therefore lost and doomed to an eternity of damnation.
And if we now take a somewhat deeper view, we can see an even more serious issue looming in the background. Whereas many Israelites, in the time of Jesus, thought that by rejecting the Nazarene they were well within the framework of the Mosaic law and following the commandments of their God, in fact this was the very path they had abandoned. The Jewish Sanhedrin, under its high priest Caiaphas, condemned Jesus because he had confirmed to them that he was the Son of God:
Then the high priest tore his robes and said, "He has blasphemed! He deserves death!
Mt 26,63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest
said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You
are the Christ (the Messiah), the Son of God." 26,64 Jesus
said to him, "You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you,
hereafter you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power, and
coming on the clouds of heaven." 26,65 Then the high priest tore his robes
and said, "He has blasphemed! What further need do we have of witnesses? Behold,
you have now heard the blasphemy; 26,66 what do you think?" They answered, "He
deserves death!" Mt 26,63-66;
They had found him worthy of death because he said that he was
the Son of God. But the Sanhedrin – the religious leaders of Israel – were not
allowed, by the laws of the Roman occupying power, to carry out a sentence of
death; such cases therefore had to be passed on to the Roman juridical
For the Romans, however, the internal disputes of the Jews over their religion were no grounds for punishment, let alone for a death sentence. That was why the Jewish Sanhedrin spread around the accusation that this Jesus had claimed to be the king of the Jews (Jh 18:33-35). Thus from the point of view of the Roman authorities a crime had been committed, that of rebellion and subversion of the authority of the emperor in Rome; the punishment for which, based on Roman law, was death on the cross (Jh 19:12).
But by denying this Jesus as their Messiah, by condemning him to death and handing him over to the Romans to be crucified, the Jews had also denied – and so lost – their God.
Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also.
1Jn 2,22 Who is the liar but the one who denies
that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father
and the Son. 2,23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the
one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 2,24 As for you, let that
abide in you which you heard from the beginning. If what you heard from the
beginning abides in you, you also will abide in the Son and in the Father.1Jn
No one comes to the Father but through Me.
Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and
the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Jn 14,
He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
Jn 5,22 "For not even the Father judges anyone, but
He has given all judgment to the Son, 5,23 so that all will honor the Son even
as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the
Father who sent Him. Jn 5,22-23;
He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.
1Jn 5,10 The one who believes in the Son of God has
the testimony in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar,
because he has not believed in the testimony that God has given concerning His
Son. 5,11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and
this life is in His Son. 5,12 He who has the Son has the life; he who
does not have the Son of God does not have the life. 1Jn 5,10-12;
Along with other indications in Scripture, so too the above
prophecies constitute a proof of the fact that since that point in time Israel
has lost any connection with its God, and so is – in both senses of the word – a
They have abandoned the LORD, they have despised the Holy One of Israel.
Isa 1,2 Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth;
For the LORD speaks, "Sons I have reared and brought up, But they have revolted
against Me. 1,3 "An ox knows its owner, And a donkey its master’s manger, But
Israel does not know, My people do not understand. 1,4 Alas, sinful
nation, People weighed down with iniquity, Offspring of evildoers, Sons who act
corruptly! They have abandoned the LORD, They have despised the Holy One of
Israel, They have turned away from Him. 1,5 Where will you be stricken again, As
you continue in your rebellion? The whole head is sick And the whole heart is
faint. Isa 1, 2- 5;
And here we now see the reason why God had the city and Temple
of Jerusalem destroyed by the Romans: after they put his Son to death on the
cross, God abandoned the Temple, the city and the people of Israel. In the
following report from Mt 27,45-51, telling us about the death of Jesus on the
cross, we find two concrete indications of this.
My GOD, My GOD, why have You forsaken Me?" And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Mt 27,45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon
all the land until the ninth hour. 27,46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out
with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" that is, "My GOD, My
GOD, why have You forsaken Me?" 27,47 And some of those who were standing
there, when they heard it, began saying, "This man is calling for Elijah." 27,48
Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine
and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 27,49 But the rest of them said,
"Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him." 27,50 And Jesus cried out
again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 27,51 And behold, the
veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook
and the rocks were split. Mt 27,45-51;
The last words of the Lord on the cross were: "My God, my God,
why have you forsaken me?" It was that moment when the sin of the entire world
was laid upon the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit of the Father was obliged to
leave the Son, because he could not remain in one body along with unforgiven
On the one hand this was the event which the Son of God had come into the world to bring about: to make the vicarious sacrifice that would be pleasing to God for the sins of all human beings.
But on the other hand, this dying cry was a prophecy for the Jews, who from now on were in exactly this situation. As their Messiah had prophesied to them, "Unless you believe that I am He, you will die in your sins" (Jh 8,24), so now they had no means of forgiveness left to them, because God had abandoned them.
And the fact that the veil of the temple, which was always kept closed, was torn in two from top to bottom, can also be seen as significant when we know that this veil or curtain separated the two rooms – the holy space to the front, and the holy of holies where God dwelt behind it (Ex 26:33). This was proof that God had left the temple and that the people of Israel, having become the murderers of his Son, were from now on god-less.
And this too had been prophesied to them by the Lord while he was still alive:
Your house is being left to you desolate!, until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD!’
Mt 23,32 "Fill up, then, the measure of the
guilt of your fathers. 23,33 "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how will
you escape the sentence of hell? 23,34 "Therefore, behold, I am sending you
prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and
some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to
city, 23,35 so that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed
on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of
Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar.
23,36 "Truly I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. 23,37 "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. 23,38 "Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! 23,39 "For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD’!" Mt 23,32-39;
Here above, in Mt 23,38, the Lord says to the Israelites:
"Behold, your house is being left to you desolate". This is originally a saying
of David (Psalm 69,25: «May their camp be desolate; May none dwell in their
tents.»), which Peter also quotes in Acts 1,20, in his address on the election
of a new twelfth apostle instead of the traitor Judas Iscariot, together with
another saying of David, from Ps 109,8: «… Let another take his office.»
It is significant that these two sayings of David apply not only to the traitor Judas Iscariot, but also to the betrayal of the people of Israel against their Messiah. Their house will be left desolate – God has dissolved the covenant with Israel – and their office – the government in the Kingdom of God on earth, the Millennium – will be given to to a people, producing the fruit of it (Mt 21,43).
So from a biblical point of view the people of Israel, since their rejection of the Messiah and in consequence of the destruction of the Temple, and so of the sacrificial altar in Jerusalem, have had no opportunity of entering into any kind of interaction with their God, from the time of the death and resurrection of the Lord until his Second Coming to start his rule of the Millennial Kingdom of Peace – either through prayer or through sacrificial offerings.
Paul saw this very clearly in the Holy Spirit when he wrote to the Galatians, "But you, brethren, like Isaac, are the children of promise." So the believers in Christ are the children of the free and of the promise, and Israel, they are the children of the bondwoman, the ones bound to the law, they shall not inherit with the children of the free woman.
And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise.
Gal 4,26 But the Jerusalem above is free;
she is our mother. 4,27 For it is written, "rejoice, barren woman who does not bear,
break forth and shout, you who are not in labor; for more numerous are the children of
the desolate than of the one who has a husband." 4,28 And you
brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 4,29 But as at that time
he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to
the Spirit, so it is now also. 4,30 But what does the Scripture say? "Cast out
the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be an
heir with the son of the free woman." 4,31 So then, brethren,
we are not children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman. Gal 4,26–31;
So neither do they have any forgiveness of their sins, unless,
that is, they convert to Jesus Christ – as a result of which they would of course
become Christians. As we can see, since that point in time the Israelites have been
a God-less people. Having been "wheat", they have become "tares" – just to express
the fact more clearly in Calvinist idiom.
But to them too God in his grace has left the same option open which he has offered to all the people of this world – faith in his Son. That is the "good news", the euangelion: there is not a single person in this world excluded from this offer of God’s. Believe in Jesus Christ and you are saved.
The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.
Mt 21,42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in
the Scriptures, ‘the stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief
corner stone; this came about from the Lord, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
21,43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from
you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 21,44 "And he who falls on
this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter
him like dust." Mt 21,42-44;
The sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness.
Mt 8,11 "I say to you that many will come from
east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the
kingdom of heaven; 8,12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into
the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth." Mt 8,11-12;
Some are last who will be first and some are first who will be last.
Lk 13,25 "Once the head of the house gets up and
shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying,
‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where
you are from.’ 13,26 "Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your
presence, and You taught in our streets’; 13,27 and He will say, ‘I tell you,
I do not know where you are from; depart form Me, all you evildoers.’
13,28 "In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth
when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but
yourselves being thrown out at the table in the kingdom of God.
13,30 "And behold, some are last who will be first and some are first who
will be last." Lk 13,25-30;
Mt 19,29 "And everyone who has left houses or
brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name’s sake,
will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 19,30 "But
many who are first will be last; and the last, first. Mt 19,29-30;
And neither are there any restrictions in terms of time. This
gospel, the good news of salvation by grace, was even proclaimed, after the
death of the Son of God, to those people who had died up till that time. Of
course they couldn’t know anything about this sacrilege of the Israelites and
the change of paradigm in the Mosaic religion that resulted, seeing that they
had died previously. But after his death the Lord visited the realm of the dead
and raised the spirits of the dead to life for a short period (just three days),
giving them the same choice as well.
He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth.
Eph 4,8 Therefore it says, ‘when He ascended on
high, He led captive a host of captives, and He gave gifts to men.’ 4,9 Now this
expression, ‘He ascended,’ what does it mean except that He also had
descended into the lower parts of the earth? 4,10 He who descended is
Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill
all things. Eph 4, 8-10;
For the gospel has been preached even to those who are dead.
1Pet 4,6 For the gospel has for this purpose
been preached even to those who are dead, that though they are judged in the
flesh as men, they may live in the spirit according to the will of God. 1Pet 4,
He will rise again from the dead the third day.
Lk 24,45 Then He opened their minds to understand
the Scriptures, 24,46 and He said to them, Thus it is written, that the Christ
would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day. Lk 24,45-46;
But the way it looks today, all this – at least where the living
Israelites are concerned – was a lost labor of love. They refuse right up to the
present to believe in this Jesus as being their Messiah and the Son of God, and
have been abusing him for two thousand years as an impostor and blasphemer. And
so for two thousand years they have had no forgiveness of sins, and hence have
died in their sins.
Unless they have come in the meantime to believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, they will be sentenced by him at the Last Judgment and will go to damnation. And that applies in equal measure to all future Jews who will be born right up to the start of the Millennium, the thousand years kingdom of peace of the Son of God.
With the death on the cross of his Son (ca. 32 AD), God abandoned the Temple in Jerusalem, and so the people of Israel as well, had the city and the Temple destroyed by the Romans (70 AD) and finally brought it about that the Israelites were expelled from their country into the diaspora (132 AD).
The Zionist movement set up by Theodor Herzl then founded the state of Israel after the Second World War (1948), and brought some part of the Jews living all over the world to Palestine under the most difficult circumstances. This immigration, called the "Aliyah" 1) by the Jews, is still being sold to the world right up to the present day as the "repatriation of the People of God to their own country" that had been prophesied by Scripture.
And since the Jews two thousand years ago handed over their real Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, to the Romans to be crucified as an impostor and blasphemer, they are still today waiting for the "anointed one". And the devil who rules this world will soon present them with a "Messiah" – a false Messiah, the Antichrist prophesied in the scriptures.
He will proclaim himself the "true" Messiah, will describe the real Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth, as a liar and deceiver and so will be hailed by the Jews with joy and admiration. And although he would have some difficulty in presenting himself as the "Second Coming" of Jesus, it is highly probable that he will also be welcomed by the Catholic church.
And even if the overwhelming majority of the population of Israel today are effectively atheist, the few remaining Jews who are faithful to the Mosaic religion will actually rebuild the Temple in the Last Days. But the curse of godlessness will remain on the people of Israel, until the time when he whom they pierced comes again and they mourn over him.
Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him.
Rev 1,4 John to the seven churches that are in
Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come,
and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne, 1,5 and from Jesus Christ,
the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of
the earth. To Him who loves us and released us from our sins by His blood – 1,6
and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father – to
Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1,7 Behold, He is
coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him;
and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.
1,8 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is and who was and
who is to come, the Almighty." Rev 1,4-8;
They will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son.
Zech 12,10 "I will pour out on the house of
David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of
supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will
mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly
over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 12,11 "In that day there will
be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of
Megiddo. Zech 12,10-11;
The families of the house of David that remain will mourn for Him whom they have pierced.
Zech 12,12 "The land will mourn, every family by
itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by
themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by
themselves; 12,13 the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by
themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves;
12,14 all the families that remain, every family by itself and
their wives by themselves. Zech 12,12-14;
That is then the beginning of the millennial kingdom of peace of
the Son of God on earth. The Israelites who have survived the catastrophes of
the Last Days will convert to Jesus, their Messiah, and many people of the
heathen nations will also say, "Let us go with you [to Jerusalem], for we have
heard that God is with you."
All the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, "Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.
Zech 8,20 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, It will
yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. 8,21 The
inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, "Let us go at once to entreat the
favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will also go." 8,22 So many
peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and
to entreat the favor of the LORD.’ 8,23 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, In
those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying,
"Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you. Zech 8,20-23;
Together they will rebuild the Temple which had been destroyed
yet again – for the third time – in the reorganization of heaven and earth and
the catastrophes of the Last Days; after which God will again take up his
dwelling in the Temple in the holy of holies.
Those who are far off will come and build the temple of the LORD.
Zech 6,15 "Those who are far off will come and
build the temple of the LORD."Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has
sent me to you. And it will take place if you completely obey the LORD your God.
The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former.
Hag 2,6 "For thus says the LORD of hosts, Once
more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the
sea also and the dry land. 2,7 I will shake all the nations; and they will
come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’
says the LORD of hosts. 2,8 The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares
the LORD of hosts. 2,9 The latter glory of this house will be greater than
the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, and in this place I will give peace,’
declares the LORD of hosts." Hag 2, 6- 9;
(See also chapter 08: "The
reorganization of heaven and earth.")
At this point in time, at the start of the Millennium, all
Christians will already have been raised from the dead and will have been
raptured into heaven with the Lord, so that only godless people will be left on
earth. But after God in his wrath has shown his power and his might by the
catastrophes of the Last Days, many of the godless, from Israel and the whole
world, will now recognize their fatal error and will convert to him and to his
Son Jesus Christ, now the ruler of the world.
But by no means all human beings will convert to God in the Millennium. After Satan is released again for a short time, at the end of the Millennium, so many people will again yield to his seductions that when it comes to the last battle with Satan, people in number "like the sand of the seashore" will follow him, and be annihilated in this final battle along with the devil.
Satan will deceive the nations to gather them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
Rev 20,7 When the thousand years are completed,
Satan will be released from his prison, 20,8 and will come out to deceive
the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather
them together for the war; the number of them is like the sand of the seashore.
20,9 And they came up on the broad plain of the earth and surrounded the camp of
the saints and the beloved city, and fire came down from heaven and devoured
them. 20,10 And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and
brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be
tormented day and night forever and ever. Rev 20, 7-10;
(See also chapter 11: "The
end of the world.")
As we can see from this, even in the Millennium there is no
compulsion – even now people will have a free choice, will be able to decide for
themselves whether they want to listen to God or to Satan. In some denominations
this has been frequently misunderstood. In the same way as in Islam the suicide
assassins are promised a place in heaven, with 72 virgins, so too the Jehovah’s
Witnesses, for example, teach that in the Millennium only true believers – only
the Jehovah’s Witnesses, that is – will be alive. We only need to take a close
look at the Bible to see that such doctrines are incorrect.
As we have already explained in Discourse 131, the Christian
faith is not a religion. "Religion" derives from the Latin word "religio" and
has several meanings. According to Cicero, the term means "the conscientious
observation of rules handed down to us". And here we have the deeper sense of a
religion, and so of all world religions: a rite invented by human beings which
they are obliged to observe. That is to say that human beings must act (e.g.
offer sacrifices, or carry out certain activities), and can then expect, in
recompense, some kind of preferential treatment.
The Christian faith is the exact opposite of this. Here God himself is the one who acts (1Jh 4:10) by sending his Son, who in accordance with the will of the Father (Lk 22,42) went to his death as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity (Gal 1:4). Human beings only need to accept this sacrifice in spirit for their own sins and invoke it in prayer to the Father. Then they will be freed from their sins, and can again stand as righteous persons before God and ask to be given the Holy Spirit (Lk 11:13)
(See also discourse 51: "The
reception of the Holy Spirit – how does it happen?")
According to the biblical Christian faith, there is only one
unique God. And accordingly there can only be one unique religion. This religion
was the Abrahamic-Mosaic religion. Both Abraham and Moses had direct contact
with this one unique God. Consequently all other religions of this world are
human inventions, and have no significance of any kind whatsoever.
The Abrahamic-Mosaic religion was a religion that was exclusively meant for the people of Israel and for all those non-Israelites who were willing to convert to the Mosaic faith, keep its commandments and allow themselves to be circumcised. All other religions of this world more or less adopted this system of rules and commandments, though without its spiritual content, and above all without any notion of its subsequent development.
And that applies to the Jews as well. They are aware, of course, of this recent development of their Mosaic faith, the "New Covenant", but they have fatally refused to accept it. And in this way they have broken their Old Covenant with God. Which is why God dissolved this covenant, and abandoned them two thousand years ago (Lk 16:16; Mt 27:50-51). But as so often in the past, the Jews think they can simply ignore the fact that God has left them, and carry on as if nothing at all has happened.
That was how they behaved three thousand years ago, when Moses was with God on Mount Horeb, and they thought he was not going to be coming back. They ignored it, made a golden calf and just worshiped this golden calf they had made.
And it’s just the same in our own day. The Bible prophesies that Israel will be gathered again by its God from all over the world, from the places to which God had scattered them after they broke their covenant with him (the diaspora). So under Theodor Herzl and his Zionists they gathered themselves, and reoccupied the land of Israel by murder and assassination, without having been invited by God in any way to do so, let alone under God’s leadership, as the Bible tells us they will be (Hos 1:7).
That was how the state of Israel came into being in 1948 – the new "golden calf" of the Jews. If any more proof were needed that God has abandoned Israel, this would be the best proof we could ask for. But it is also a proof of the fact that God has dissolved his covenant with Israel, so that the Mosaic religion, which is based on this covenant, no longer has any kind of validity. And here, of course, we would be justified in asking whether such a serious conclusion is actually supported by the Bible. And that is just what we hope to demonstrate below.
As already explained earlier, God sent his Son first of all "to the lost sheep of the house of Israel", so that he, as their Messiah, could fulfill the prophecies and establish the "kingdom", the thousand years kingdom of peace. But the Jews rejected him and condemned him to death on the cross. If the Jews had accepted him, world history would have taken a very different course.
But in fact they did not accept him (Jn 5:43), and as a result completely changed their destiny and the course of world history. One of these changes was God’s decision to abandon Israel’s Temple and the people of Israel (Mt 27:50-51) and to dissolve the Old Covenant (Hebr 8:7-9). But he would not be our almighty and gracious God and Father in heaven, if he had not coupled this just decision with a further possibility of salvation.
Not the salvation of the Jews, this time, but the salvation of all human beings. T he basic problem of all human beings was and is our incapability of keeping the commandments of God completely. Through the weakness of our faith (Lk 17:6) we repeatedly fall a victim to Satan’s temptations. But transgressing God’s commandments is sin, and the punishment of sin is death (Rom 6:23).
(See also excursus 08: "The
first and the second death.")
Even if that is not the first, physical death but what is called
the "second death" (Rev 21:8) – meaning by that condemnation, at the Last
Judgment, to eternal damnation. God did not want to have to damn the whole human
race, so in the old Mosaic religion he ordained that instead of the death of a
sinner, the vicarious death of an animal might be substituted (e.g. the
sacrifice of an immaculate one year old lamb), in order to atone for a person’s
But when the Jews rejected his Son, God fulfilled that prophecy which states:
Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the foundation, firmly placed.
Isa 28,16 16 Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold,
I am laying in Zion a stone, a tested stone, A costly cornerstone for the
foundation, firmly placed. He who believes in it will not be disturbed.
The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone.
Ps 118,22 The stone which the builders rejected
Has become the chief corner stone. 118,23 This is the LORD’S doing;
It is marvelous in our eyes. Ps 118,22-23; n. Ps 118,22-23;
The builders – the Jewish scribes and the Mosaic community of
faith – rejected the stone that was their Messiah, and so God made it into the
corner stone, i.e. the stone in the foundations that carries the entire building
and holds it together. And although the Jewish scribes were well familiar with
the Torah and all the scriptures, they clearly failed to understand the
significance of this prophecy (Mt 5:17).
And so faith in the one and only God underwent a change of paradigm. The old Mosaic faith was invalidated – it was no longer able to forgive sins. And that too was something they had been told by our Lord Jesus Christ, but they didn’t want to understand what he was saying:
Unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins.
Jn 8,21 Then He said again to them, "I go away, and
you will seek Me, and will die in your sin; where I am going, you cannot
come." 8,22 So the Jews were saying, "Surely He will not kill Himself, will He,
since He says, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come’?" 8,23 And He was saying to
them, "You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of
this world. 8,24 "Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for
unless you believe that I am He (the Messiah), you will die in your sins."
Anyone who dies in their sins – without having their sins
forgiven – will be condemned to eternal damnation at the Last Judgment. And just
that is the fate of all the Jews, the sons of the kingdom, from whom the kingdom
has been taken away and given to another people who produce the fruit of it.
The sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness.
Mt 8,11 "I say to you that many will come from
east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the
kingdom of heaven; 8,12 but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into
the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of
teeth." Mt 8,11-12;
The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.(Mt 21:33-46)
"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a
vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it
out to vine-growers and went on a journey. When the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves
to the vine-growers to receive his produce
As we can see, the Jews fall between two stools. In the Mosaic
faith of the Old Covenant they can no longer obtain forgiveness of their sins.
Not just because this covenant has been dissolved by God, but also because the
sin offering could only be made on the altar of burnt offerings in Jerusalem –
and only there! (Deut 12:13-14; 2Chr 7:19-21) – But this Temple and the altar of
burnt offerings no longer exist, having been destroyed two thousand years ago
On the other hand, forgiveness of sins in the New Covenant of the Christian faith can only be obtained by believing in the vicarious redeeming sacrifice of the Son of God on the cross for the sins of all human beings. And this the Jews refuse to do.
That is why the Lord actually tells them, in Jh 8,24 above, "If you do not believe that I am he (the Messiah), you will die in your sins." Anyone who is obliged to die in their sins will obtain no forgiveness for their sins, and will be condemned to damnation at the Last Judgment.
At the same time, it would be a mistake – one that unfortunately some Christian denominations fall into – to take this as implying that the Mosaic faith and Israel have been cast away by God for good. This God-lessness of the people of Israel extends from the death of the Son of God, when the Father left the Temple, through to the beginning of the Millennium, when the surviving remnant of the Israelites will again convert to their God and his Son Jesus the Christ (the Messiah).
So anyone familiar with the Bible will be aware that Christianity is just an "insertion", or interpolation, in God’s history with Israel. In the Millennium the remnant of Israel will convert to Jesus Christ, God will raise their king David to life (Jer 30:8-9) and Israel will become the "chief of the nations" (Jer 31:6-8) in the thousand years of the kingdom of peace of the Son of God.
(See also discourse 121: "Christianity:
an insertion in the history of God with Israel")
That is also why our Lord Jesus Christ says:
Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.
Mt Mt 5,17 "Do not think that I came to abolish
the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. 5,18 "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. 5,19 "Whoever then
annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the
same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and
teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
5,20 "For I say to you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Mt 5,17-20;
(See also discourse 131: "Judaism
and its view of Jesus the Christ (= Hebrew mashiach, Messiah / the anointed one).")
Christianity, then, is subject to exactly the same laws and
commandments as the Mosaic faith! That is what the Lord tells us here. The wages
of sin – that is, the unatoned and unforgiven transgression of the laws and
commandments – is still death (the second death). What has changed, however, is
the nature of the atonement and forgiveness.
Whereas in the Mosaic faith it was an animal (the sacrificial lamb) that had to lose its life vicariously for the human being, in the Christian faith it is the Son of God himself who gave his life for sinners. Where the Jews had many sacrificial laws for the widest range of sins and transgressions, in Christianity it is just the one sacrifice of the Son of God, for all sinners and for all the sins mentioned in the Law.
This is the New Covenant, this is Christianity. Whereas in the Old Covenant the sign of membership was circumcision, in the New Covenant it is faith – faith in Jesus Christ and his vicarious sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the whole world. Anyone who accepts it has their sins forgiven and is saved. Anyone who won’t accept it remains under the wrath of God, and they go to damnation.
Another difference from the Mosaic religion, as already mentioned above, is that Christian faith actually is not a religion at all. Rather it is a relation, a relationship to or connection with God as our Father in heaven, the dimension beyond time and space where God and his angels live. That too is why the Son of God tells us:
Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
Mt 23,9 9 "Do not call anyone on earth your father;
for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Mt 23,9;
So we should not call anyone on earth our father, because our
Father is in heaven. And this also makes it abundantly clear that all Catholic
Popes, who shamelessly allow themselves to be addressed as "holy father" – a
term of address which our Lord Jesus Christ exclusively used in prayer for God
himself (Jn 17:11) – just for that reason will be going to hell.
So members of the New Covenant can be recognized by the fact that they believe in Jesus Christ. They are children – sons and daughters – of the living God, who is their Father in heaven. And this relationship, this connection is of a spiritual nature. As the Lord also tells us:
God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.
Jn 4,23 "But an hour is coming, and now is, when
the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people
the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 4,24 "God is spirit, and those who
worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." Jn 4,23-24;
In the Christian faith, then, there are no rituals, no liturgy,
no "masses", no priests, bishops, Popes – nothing of all these. And neither does
biblical Christianity have anything to do with "houses of God", like the
churches, mosques and temples of the world’s religions. For the one and only God
has told us:
»Heaven is my throne, and earth is the footstool of my feet; what kind of house will you build for me?«
Acts 7,48 "However, the Most High does not dwell
in houses made by human hands; as the prophet says (Isa 66,1-2): 7,49 Heaven is my
throne, and earth is the footstool of my feet; what kind of house will you build
for me?’ says the Lord; ’ Or what place is there for my repose? 7,50 Was it
not my hand which made all these things?’ Acts 7,48-50;
And Paul too tells us, in his first letter to the Corinthians:
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
1Cor 3,16 Do you not know that you are a
temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 3,17 If any
man destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him, for the temple of God is
holy, and that is what you are. 1Cor 3,16-17;
And finally the Son of God himself explains how this is to be
If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.
Jn 14,22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord,
what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to
the world?" 14,23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me,
he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and
make Our abode with him. 14,24 "He who does not love Me does not keep
My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me.
14,25 "These things I have spoken to you while abiding with you. 14,26 "But the
Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you
all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. Jn 14,22-26;
So through the Holy Spirit in us, the Father and Son will dwell
in us as well. And that is why we (our spirit) are the temple of God. All these
other human inventions in the religions are only good for making an impression
in the material world of human beings, glorifying themselves in the eyes of
others. All of which is an abomination to the invisible God who is spirit.
Religion is when a human being tries to reach God. In biblical Christianity, God comes to human beings. God is our Holy Father in heaven, and so, through the Holy Spirit, we have a relation, a direct spiritual relationship with the one and only God.
When a person is without sin – for which they must first pray and ask for forgiveness of their sins in the name of the redeeming sacrifice of the Lord Jesus – and when they are prepared to honor truth, then they will go into a room where they will be undisturbed, close the door, sit themselves down and start to talk to their Father in heaven in the spirit.
But you, when you pray, go into your inner room and pray to your Father who is in secret.
Mt 6,5 "When you pray, you are not to be like
the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the
street corners (or on the "Wailing Wall"! / FH) so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they
have their reward in full. 6,6 "But you, when you pray, go into your
inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and
your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you. 6,7 "And when you are
praying, do not use meaningless repetition as the Gentiles do, for they suppose
that they will be heard for their many words. 6,8 "So do not be like them;
for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him. Mt 6, 5- 8;
Gottfried Daniel Pomacher, an Awakening preacher from Wuppertal,
sees it in the same way when he tells us:
Christianity does not consist in words but in the
power of the Holy Spirit in the faithful. The pillars of the temple are not
those who pray "Lord, Lord" in public, and so reap the admiration of their
listeners; it is those who stay at home in their quiet inner room, without a
single person listening to them, and there address their prayers to the Lord,
who are the real pillars of the congregation.
That is the one and only possibility, for every human being, of
speaking (praying) to God and actually being heard by him. All other "prayers",
whoever they may be addressed to, just exit into the void and do not reach God.
So Christianity is not a religion but a relation – a relationship or connection
of human beings with their almighty God their Father in heaven, and his Son
And so too it is easy to see at this point that the Catholic church – commonly viewed by the world as the typical representative of Christianity – is not a Christian church at all. The biblical Christian faith is not based on rules, or on ritual and liturgy. The true Christian faith has no truck with priests, bishops and cardinals, let alone Popes. The real Christian faith is a relationship with God as our heavenly Father, and with Jesus Christ, his Son, as our Savior.
Biblical Christianity and its claim to sole representation.
God is attainable for every single
person who desires it.
The word Aliyah (ֽֽHebrew עֲלִיָּה ʿalijjah, German ‘Aufstieg’,
English ‘ascent’, plural ʿalijjot) comes from the Bible, and in Judaism since
the Babylonian Exile (586-539 BC) has stood for the return of Jews, as
individuals or as groups, to Eretz Israel. Those taking part in an Aliyah are
called Olim in Hebrew (singular: fem. Olah, masc. Oleh). – Since the rise of
political Zionism in the 19th century, the term generally designates "Jewish
immigration", to Palestine initially, and since 1948 to Israel. (WIKIPEDIA)