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BOOK OF DANIEL

Daniel’s prophecies are the foundation on which Revelation’s prophecies are built.

The Antichrist in Daniel
The Antichrist in Daniel, which is the same as the beast in Revelation, arises out of the Roman Empire; it is not Antiochus Epiphanes.

The 490 years of Daniel 9
Liberal scholars claim this prophecy describes the Greek king Antiochus IV, two centuries before Christ. Dispensationalism believes the prophecy points to an end-time Antichrist. Traditionally, the prophecy focuses on Jesus Christ.

Is Daniel a fraud?
Critical scholars teach that Daniel was written after the events it claims to predict.

BOOK OF REVELATION

The ultimate purpose of this website is to explain these prophecies and, finally, the mark of the beast.

General Topics
Does Revelation describe events chronologically? Must it be interpreted literally? The Temple in Heaven, Christ’s Return, Hear/See Combinations, and The Numbers in Revelation

The Seven Seals (Rev 4-7)
There was a sealed book that not even Christ could read. But, by overcoming, He became worthy to break the seven seals. Why was He not “worthy” to open the book? How did His death make Him “worthy?”

The Seven Wars (Rev 12-14)
This is the apex of Revelation. Revelation 12 provides an overview of history from before Christ until the end-time, Revelation 13 culminates in the end-time persecution, and Revelation 14 describes God’s response.

The Seven Last Plagues (Rev 15-16)
The seven last plagues will be preceded by the end-time Christian-on-Christian persecution and followed by Christ’s return. Is the purpose simply punishment or do the plagues have a higher goal?

Revelation’s Beasts
Revelation has three beasts with seven heads and ten horns each; a great red dragon (Rev 12:3), the beast from the sea (Rev 13:1), and a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names (Rev 17:3). 

Babylon – Mother of Harlots (Rev 17-18)
Babylon is mentioned only once in the first 15 chapters (Rev 14:8) but the seventh and final plague targets her specifically (Rev 16:19). Then Revelation 17 and 18 are dedicated to explaining who and what she is.

Revelation 17 verse-by-verse

THE TRINITY

Is Jesus the Most High God?
The conclusion that Jesus is ‘God’ forms the basis of the Trinity Doctrine.

The Origin of the Trinity Doctrine
A study of the fourth-century ‘Arian’ Controversy, which gave us the Trinity Doctrine.

Trinity Doctrine – General
Including Modalism, Eastern Orthodoxy view of the Trinity, Elohim, and Eternal Generation

OTHER TOPICS

Why Jesus had to die
Discussions of the Atonement – We are not saved because Jesus suffered, but because He remained faithful despite His extreme suffering.

Justification
How people are put right with God

The Law of Moses
Must Christians observe the Law of Moses?

The Sabbath
Must Christians observe the Sabbath?

The State of the Dead
Are the dead still alive and aware?

Eternal Torment
Will the lost be tormented in hell for all eternity?

Why does evil exist?
And why does God not make an end to all evil?

The church began as a Jewish sect.
Key events that transformed the church into an independent religion

The Return of Christ
When? How? Has His return been delayed?

Romans – Verse by verse
Romans 1 to 3:8, and chapters 9, 11, and 14

Galatians 1-3 – Verse-by-verse

Colossians 1-2:16 – Verse-by-verse

Hebrews – selected topics

About Author
I do not hold any formal theological qualifications and I am not part of any religious organization. However, that allows me to present truth as I see it.


BOOK OF DANIEL

THE ANTICHRIST IN DANIEL

The ultimate purpose of this series is to reveal the Mark of the Beast. It first identifies the Beast of Revelation which is the Little Horn in Daniel. Therefore, these articles, discussing Daniel’s horn, form the foundation for the identification of the Beast.

The man of Daniel 2

Daniel 2 sets the stage to identify the Antichrist.
Daniel 2 divides the history of mankind into six eras, serving as a foundation for Daniel’s subsequent prophecies.

Daniel 7: The Four Beasts and Eleven Horns
The four beasts symbolize four consecutive empires. The ten horns of the fourth beast are ten concurrent kingdoms formed when the fourth beast fragments. But the main character is the eleventh horn that will become the Antichrist.

Daniel 8: Three interpretations of the evil horn
Daniel identifies the Ram and the Goat as Mede-Persia and Greece but does not explain the main figure in the chapter—the Antichrist who persecutes God’s people.
This article describes the alternative interpretations.  

Daniel’s fourth beast is the Roman Empire.
A comparison of the animals of Daniel 7 and 8 identifies the fourth kingdom, from which the Antichrist arises, as the Roman Empire.

Daniel 8: Did the evil horn come out of the Greek goat?
The horn emerges “out of one of them.” If this refers to one of the four horns of the Greek goat, then the horn might represent a Greek king. But the genders indicate that it came out of one of the compass directions.

Daniel 11: Who is the vile person?
Critical scholars believe that Antiochus IV is the Antichrist in Daniel but he was only a type of a later and much greater Antichrist.

Antiochus IV is not Daniel’s Antichrist.
Critical scholars believe that the Antichrist in Daniel is Antiochus IV. While there are many similarities, this article outlines several differences between Daniel’s Antichrist and Antiochus. Antiochus was a type of a later and greater Antichrist.

The Antichrist in Revelation
The reader will find more specific identifications of the Antichrist in the articles on Revelation 13.

DANIEL 9

Liberal scholars claim Daniel 9 describes the Greek king Antiochus IV, two centuries before Christ. In Dispensationalism, the prophecy culminates in an end-time Antichrist. In the traditional interpretation, which dominated before modern Liberalism and Dispensationalism, the prophecy focuses on Jesus Christ:

Summary of all articles on Daniel 9
This article gives an overview of the 490 years-prophecy, discusses the major points of dispute, and analyzes the four major alternative interpretations.

Introduction
Overview of the prophecy and its major alternative interpretations

The decree with which the 490 years began
The 490 years begin with a decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Dan 9:25). This article evaluates five possible decrees.

The purpose of the 490 years
The 490 years are an extension of God’s covenant with Israel.

The end of the 490 years
The 490 years did not end at the Cross but a few years later when the Jews also rejected the Holy Spirit that had been sent with extraordinary power specifically to Israel.

The seven last years
Who confirms what covenant with whom?

The complete destruction of verse 27
What is destroyed in Daniel 9:27? The context, the poetic pattern, the chiasm, and the repetition of concepts provide the answer.

The chronological sequence of events
The prophecy does not describe events in chronological sequence; it alternates between two foci; Jerusalem and the Messiah.

The six goals in verse 24
When are the six goals for the 490 years fulfilled?

Will the Messiah appear after 49 or 483 years?
Translations differ in this regard due to different assumptions about punctuation.

Does Daniel 9 describe the same crisis as the rest of Daniel?
Daniel 9 deals specifically with Israel and the 490 years allocated to her. The other prophecies deal with all nations and all time.

The two parts of Daniel 9 form a unit.
Daniel 9 has two parts; Daniel’s prayer, and the vision he received while still praying. The prophecy is the answer to Daniel’s prayer.

Jeremiah’s 70 years
Daniel received this prophecy at the end of the 70 years of captivity prophecied by Jeremiah. Where do we find those 70 years in history?

Summary of Nehemiah
This book provides important context for Daniel’s prophecies.

DANIEL 9 – ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATIONS

Liberal-Critical
For liberal scholars, who do not accept that accurate predictions of the future are possible, the prophecy describes Antiochus IV – two centuries before Christ.

Dispensational
In this interpretation, the prophecy describes an end-time Antichrist. This article is a brief evaluation. It is discussed in more detail in several articles below.

Pre-Wrath Dispensationalism
No rapture – Christians will suffer the end-time tribulation.

Consistent Symbolical
In this, everything is symbolic; even the 490 years.

Historic-Messianic
The full 490 years are past history; fulfilled in the personal work of Jesus Christ and, in a few years after His death, His work in Israel through the Holy Spirit.

Church Fathers
There was a strong consensus among the early church fathers that the prophecy was fulfilled in Christ.

DANIEL 9 – DISPENSATIONAL INTERPRETATION

Time Indications
Does the Dispensational interpretation fit the time indications in the prophecy?

Whose covenant is confirmed: God’s or Satan’s? 
He shall make a strong covenant with many for one week (Dan 9:27)

Who confirms the covenant: Christ or the Antichrist?

The Last Seven Years
In Dispensationalism, the last week of Daniel 9:27 symbolizes the last seven years before Christ returns. Does this fit the specification of the prophecy?

Other Differences
Several other differences exist between Daniel 9 and the Dispensational interpretation.

DANIEL 9 – HISTORICAL-MESSIANIC INTERPRETATION

Introduction
This is the traditional understanding of Daniel 9. It views the 490 years as an extension of God’s covenant with Israel.

Which Decree began the 490 years?
The 490 years began with Artaxerxes’ first decree in 458/7 BC.

What Messiah is cut off?
The Messiah the Prince (Dan 9:26) is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ makes the covenant firm.
It is Jesus who made “a firm covenant with the many” (in Israel) by honoring God’s covenant with Israel until the very end of the 490 years.

The Seven Last Years
During the seven last years, Jesus confirmed God’s covenant with Israel; firstly, by His personal preaching and, secondly, after His death, by sending the Holy Spirit first and foremost to Israel.

Put a stop to sacrifice (Dan 9:27)
Jesus’ death put an end to the value and meaning of the Jewish sacrificial system.

IS DANIEL A FRAUD?

Critical scholars, typically those that one will find at the theological faculties of prestigious universities, teach that Daniel was written after the predicted events that can be confirmed from secular history. If this is true, then Revelation is a hoax, because it is based on Daniel.

Who are the Critical Scholars?
The theological faculties of the world no longer accept the supernatural. They have fallen to naturalism.

Evidence that Daniel is true prophecy
Evidence from the book itself, as well as from external sources, that Daniel was written before the events it predicts

Summary of the previous article

The Fall of Rome validates Daniel as true prophecy.
Rome fell about 7 centuries after Daniel was written according to Critical Scholars, but it fell in exactly the way predicted by Daniel.

Who was Darius the Mede?
Does the absence of Darius in secular history prove that Daniel is fiction?

The Dead Sea Scrolls confirm Daniel as true prophecy.
The Qumran sect regarded Daniel as inspired Scripture. Some of their Daniel scrolls are dated to only 50 years after Antiochus.

Daniel 9 also confirms Daniel as true prophecy because it accurately predicts the appearance of the Messiah in the first century AD – long after Daniel was written according to the Critics. 


THE BOOK OF REVELATION

GENERAL TOPICS

Revelation OF or BY Jesus?
Should the title of the book be Revelation “of” or “by” Jesus Christ?” In other words, is the book about Jesus Christ or from Him?

Does Revelation describe events chronologically?
Revelation repeats the same event in different parts of the book. For example, the return of Christ is described at the end of four of the main divisions of Revelation.

Must Revelation be interpreted literally?
Is it valid to assume that everything in Revelation is literal unless it cannot be literal?

Why is the temple in heaven so prominent in Revelation?
Every one of the five main parts of Revelation begins in the temple in heaven.

Christ’s Return in Revelation
An overview of the end-time events, as described in Revelation, leading up to Christ’s return.

Hear/See Combinations
In Revelation, John sometimes hears about something but when he looks, he sees something completely different. However, it is the same thing.

The Numbers in Revelation
All numbers in Revelation are symbols. This article explains the meaning of the numbers 2, 4, 7, and 12.

THE SEVEN SEALS OF REVELATION

There was a book in heaven that not even Christ was able to read because it was sealed up with seven seals. But, by overcoming, He became worthy to break the seven seals and open the book. Why was Jesus not “worthy” to open the book before He “overcame?” And how did His death make Him “worthy” to open the book?

Summary of the articles on the Seven Seals 

REVELATION 4

4:1-8 – A visual description of God’s throne room
John saw a throne, symbolizing authority, One sitting on the throne, 24 elders on 24 thrones, and four living creatures, full of eyes

The 24 elders
The 24 elders are human beings in God’s immediate presence; not angels.

Worship in God’s presence
This article discusses the worship in Revelation 4:8-11, before Jesus appears, as well as in Revelation 5; after He has appeared in the throne room.

REVELATION 5

What event does Revelation 5 describe?
Revelation 4 is a timeless description of God’s throne room. Revelation 5 describes what happened in heaven when Jesus arrived after His ascension.

What is the sealed book?
It is the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is the book of God’s judgments; indicating who will inherit eternal life.

Why Jesus had to die
Why was Jesus not worthy to break the seals before His death and how did His death make Him worthy? (Rev 5:3, 5, 9)

Revelation 5 – Verse by Verse 
Verses 1-4 describe the time before Christ, verses 5-6 describe His death, and the rest of the chapter describes what happens in heaven after His ascension.

REVELATION 6

The first seal
The color white, the stephanos crown, and its never-ending conquering identify the white horse as the gospel.

The next three seals
The bloodshed, famine, and death in the next three horsemen are the consequences of the first (the gospel).

The fifth seal
Does the cry of the souls under the altar symbolize a general principle or a specific event?

The souls under the altar
Are these literal souls, literally crying out to God for revenge?

The sixth seal
The sixth seal concludes with Christ’s return. The Son of Man separates the people from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

REVELATION 7

The sealing of the 144,000
Where does the sealing of the 144,000 in Revelation 7:1-8 fit in the end-time events described later in Revelation?

What is the seal? With what are God’s people sealed?
God will make more power available to enable His last-day people to remain faithful during the catastrophic end-time events.

Where is the sealing in Daniel?
How does the sealing fit in the end-time events described in Daniel? God’s people are sealed during the Time of the End, as described by Daniel.

Who are the 144,000?
All numbers in Revelation are symbols. 12 is the number of God’s people. So, what does 12 x 12 x 1000 mean? And who are the 144,000 “sons of Israel?” Are they literal Jews?

The Innumerable Multitude (verses 9-17)
Is the multitude before the throne the same as the 144,000? They seem like complete opposites. Is this multitude described before or after Christ’s return?

REVELATION 8

The seventh seal
When the seventh seal is broken, the book is fully open, God’s judgments are understood, and God can make a final end to evil. The immense sadness in God’s heart causes silence in heaven.

Does the seventh seal include the seven trumpets?
This is something that literal interpreters usually claim.

Why does God delay Christ’s return?
About 2000 years ago, Christ redeemed humanity at the Cross. Why does God delay Christ’s return? What else does God need, in addition to Christ’s death 2000 years ago, to make a final end to evil?

THE SEVEN WARS (Rev 12-14)

This is the apex of Revelation. Revelation 12 provides an overview of history from before Christ until the end-time, Revelation 13 culminates in the end-time persecution, and Revelation 14 describes God’s response.

REVELATION 12

The woman and her child
The “male child” is Christ, but who is His mother? Is she Eve or Mary or Israel or the church or some higher-level principle?

What stars are thrown out of heaven? (Rev 12:4)
A great red dragon swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Revelation 12 also describes a war in heaven between the dragon’s angels and Michael’s angels. Do the “stars” refer to angels?

When was the war in heaven?
When did the war begin and when was Satan thrown out?

How did Michael defeat Satan?
What are Satan’s weapons and what did Michael use to overcome Satan?

How does the testimony of God’s people defeat Satan?
If Christ’s death defeated Satan, why would “their testimony” also be required? (Rev 12:11)[/mfn]

Why does evil continue after Christ’s victory?
After peace was restored in heaven, the war on earth only intensified (Rev 12:9, 12). Why did God not make an end to evil immediately after the Cross?

REVELATION 13

Revelation’s Dragon is the Roman Empire.
The Dragon is one of Revelation’s three seven-headed beasts. In Rev 13:1-2 – the birth of the Sea Beast – the Dragon is the Roman Empire.

Revelation’s Sea Beast is Daniel’s 11th horn.
It is a fragment of the Roman Empire and the continuation of its authority. It is also the Antichrist. In the end-time, people will be forced to accept its mark.

The Beast’s fatal wound is its sixth head.
The Sea Beast has a fatal wound on one of its heads (Rev 13:3-4). Revelation 17 describes the same fatal wound and identifies it as the sixth head.

Who or what is the Beast?
This article shows firstly that the beast in Revelation is the same as the evil horn in Daniel. It then identifies the horn, and, therefore, the beast, by comparing the horn in Daniel 7 to history.

Fifth Plague
The fifth plague provides further information about the Beast.

THE SEVEN LAST PLAGUES

The seven last plagues will be preceded by the end-time Christian-on-Christian persecution and followed by Christ’s return. Is the purpose simply to punish or do the plagues have a higher goal?

REVELATION 15

When will the plagues fall?

FIRST FOUR PLAGUES

The first four plagues are one single event.
Revelation has seven seals, seven trumpets, and seven plagues. The first four of each series should be interpreted as a unit; not individually.

The Mark of the beast will become visible.
The plagues will show that the people with the mark of the beast are so entrenched in Satan’s ways that they are unable to repent, even when faced with evidence that they are wrong.

FIFTH PLAGUE

The Beast’s Throne
The fifth plague angel pours his bowl out on the beast’s throne, which symbolizes its authority, which it received from the Roman Empire (Rev 13:2) It is not military or economic but Christian religious authority
.

Darkness on the Beast’s throne.
The final great proclamation of God’s message, the loud cry of Rev 18:2, will cause darkness on the beast’s throne. It will convince the beast’s followers that the light from their religious system is darkness.

The beast is the church of the Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire made the Trinitarian version of Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire and destroyed all opposition. The ‘church’ of the Roman Empire (the Roman Church) became the ‘church’ of the Middle Ages.

SIXTH PLAGUE

The Euphrates dries up.
The Euphrates symbolizes the people under the control of the beast. In other words, the beast’s support dries up.

The Kings from the East 
In this plague, there are two groups of kings. Since the kings of the whole world oppose God, the kings from the east are the kings of God’s army.

Armageddon is Judgment Day.
It is not a place; it is the Day of the Lord. The people will not gather at a specific place: Spirits of demons will unite the whole world against God.

Jesus comes like a thief (Rev 16:15).
Is this a secret rapture?

Why the Euphrates has to dry up
Why must the Euphrates dry up before the kings from the east may come? (Rev 16:12)

Overview of the articles on the Sixth Plague

CONCLUSION (PLAGUES)

The seventh plague ends with Christ’s return.
The description of the final plague in Revelation 16 continues in Revelation 19 and ends with Christ’s return, the destruction of the beast, and the death of the people with the mark of the beast.

Purpose of the Plagues
The purpose is not to punish but to show that the people with the mark of the beast, who also claim to be Christians, are hardened beyond repentance.

The plagues validate God’s judgments.
The ultimate purpose is to show that God judges perfectly. But why would that be necessary?

REVELATION’S BEASTS

Revelation has three beasts with seven heads and ten horns each; a great red dragon (Rev 12:3), the beast from the sea (Rev 13:1), and a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names (Rev 17:3).

What are the seven-headed beasts?
What are they and how do they relate?

What are the seven heads?
“Here is the mind which has wisdom.” (Rev 17:9) The seven heads are the seven phases of the beast-power. Each beast is one of the phases and, therefore, one of the seven heads.

Who are the seven heads?
The first four heads are the four beasts in Daniel 7, with the fourth being the Roman Empire. The last three heads are the three phases of the eleventh horn that grows out of the Roman Empire.

The sixth head receives the fatal wound.
The sixth of the beast’s seven heads is a weak head. It is the head that receives the fatal wound (Rev 13:3-4) and describes Daniel’s Time of the End.

BABYLON, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS

Babylon is mentioned only once in the first 15 chapters (Rev 14:8) but the seventh and final plague targets her specifically (Rev 16:19). Then Revelation 17 and 18 are dedicated to explaining who and what she is:

Babylon strives to unite the world against God.
She corrupts the people, unites the world against God, and is worldwide and timeless.

How does the harlot relate to the beast?
While Babylon always exists worldwide, the beast is a specific human organization that is one instance of the Babylon principle.

False Christianity has become Babylon.
Babylon exists everywhere and for all human history, but false Christianity has adopted the Babylonian spirit.

Who are Babylon’s merchants?
Babylon’s “merchants were the great men of the earth” (Rev 18:23). They are the prophets of false Christianity.

Is it a literal city?
Some literal interpreters propose that ancient Babylon will be rebuilt on the literal Euphrates River, to become the literal capital of the world.

Is it the Papacy?
Based on a comparison of the harlot of Revelation to church history, some identify the Papacy as Babylon.

Overview of the articles on Babylon

REVELATION 17

17:1-3 verse-by-verse
The harlot sitting on the scarlet beast

17:4-6 verse-by-verse
Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots

REVELATION – EXTERNAL RESOURCES (Jon Paulien)


IS JESUS THE MOST HIGH GOD?

In the Trinity doctrine, the Son is equal with and one Being with the Father. On the other end of the spectrum, some believe that Jesus Christ did not exist before His human birth. Between these two extremes, there is a range of views.

Summary of these articles
Christ is divine but also distinct from God and subordinate to the Father.

IS JESUS GOD?

This site opposes the Trinity doctrine because it teaches that the Father and Son are a single Being with a single mind. It is false to claim, as Trinitarians often do, that the Trinity exists as three Persons or hypostases. This is kept hidden from the general population but, in the Catholic Trinity doctrine, the three ‘Persons’ are mere modes of existing as God. They are not distinct ‘Persons’ with distinct minds. (See here)

The Son is not God.
The Bible always distinguishes
– not only between the Son and the Father
– but between the Son and God.

The Father alone is Almighty.
The title, “the Almighty,” appears ten times in the New Testament and always refers to the Father alone.

The Son is subordinate to the Father.
In the Bible, the Son always was, still is, and always will be subordinate to the Father. Everything that He has, He has received from His Father.

The Son is divine.
The Son has some of God’s divine attributes. For example, He is the only other being who has life in himself (John 5:26).

SPECIFIC BOOKS OF THE BIBLE

John’s gospel – The word theos
Did John use the term theos for both the Father and the Son?

Colossians; Christ’s Role in Creation and Salvation
Are we saved by Christ or by God? Who created all things and who reconciled all things to God; God or Christ Jesus?

Colossians: Is Jesus God?
God created all things through Jesus and holds all creation together through Jesus. He is distinct from God, but rules over all.

Book of Revelation
In the Book of Revelation, the Father alone is God, Almighty, the Creator, the Supreme Ruler, and the One we worship. The Son is subordinate to the Father but belongs with the Father when compared to the created universe.

SPECIFIC BIBLE PASSAGES

Philippians 2 – Four stages of Christ’s existence
From a human perspective, He existed:
(1) Equal with God before Him human birth,
(2) As a human being,
(3) In death for three days, and
(4) Exalted by God after His ascension.

1 Corinthians 8:6
Does this verse divide the words of the Shema between the Father and the Son?

Did Jesus claim to be God?
Or did He claim to be the Son of God? (John 10:33-36)

Did Jesus claim to be One Being with the Father?
This article discusses three statements Jesus made that are often interpreted to mean that they are literally one Being (John 10:30, 38; 14:9).

CHRIST’S ORIGIN AND PRE-EXISTENCE

Only-Begotten – Is He only-begotten or only-unique?
“Only-begotten” (monogenēs) means that He is the only being generated from the being of the Father, or should it be translated as “only unique,” which excludes the idea of generation?

Firstborn of all Creation (Col 1:15)
Does this mean that He was literally born first, or that He is part of creation?

God’s Son created all things.
All things, including creation, judgment, and salvation, are from God, the Father, but through His Son.

Where is Jesus in the Old Testament?
Since the Son ‘always’ existed and existed in the ‘form’ of God, and since God is invisible, the God who was seen in the Old Testament is the One we know as Jesus.

  • WORSHIP

If Jesus is not God, why do we worship Him?
We do not ‘worship’ Jesus. The Greek word translated as ‘worship’ (proskuneó) means to show respect, including to bow down before a king. It is only translated as “worship” if we assume that Jesus is God. 

Worship in Revelation
If Jesus is worshiped in Revelation, does that mean that He is God?

Is Jesus worshiped in Revelation 5:14?
The verse does not say who is worshiped. Are both the Father and the Son worshiped there?

DOES THE BIBLE REFER TO JESUS AS GOD?

Of the 1314 times that the Greek word theos (god) is found in the New Testament, 7 instances refer to Jesus. Does that mean that the Bible writers thought of Jesus as God Almighty?

John 1:1 – Possible Translations
The Word was God,
The Word was a god, and
The Word was divine.

John 1:1 – The Word was a god.
This is the Jehovah’s Witness translation. This article objects to it.

John 1:1 – Theos is a count noun.
To defend their translation, Jehovah’s Witnesses argue that the term “God” is a count noun. Is this a valid argument?

John 1:2 – The Word was God.
This translation interprets theos as definite, but John 1:1c uses theos in a descriptive sense, meaning that the Word was like God.

The Greek word theos
The Bible refers to Jesus as theos but that Greek word has a wide range of meanings. It can be equivalent to the modern word “God” – the Ultimate Reality – but its basic meaning is an immortal being with supernatural powers.

John 1:18 – The Only Begotten God 
Scholars are not sure what John actually wrote here. Many ancient manuscripts of this verse refer to Jesus as “son” and not as theos (god).

John 20:28 – My Lord and my God!
Thomas here refers to Jesus as his theos but, just a few verses earlier, Jesus refers to the Father as His theos (John 20:17). In what sense of theos did Thomas address Jesus?

Romans 9:5 – Paul never refers to Jesus as God.
This is most significant. The only possible exception is Romans 9:5 but the translation of this verse depends on punctuation, which is interpretation.

Hebrews 1:8-9
Verse 8 refers to Jesus as theos but the next verse shows that He is not God because it says that God is His God.

Overview of these articles
To translate theos as “God,” when it refers to Jesus, is an application of the Trinity doctrine; not proof thereof.

THE WORD OF GOD

The New Testament, particularly John, refers to Jesus as the “Word.”

Is the Word a Person or a principle?
Some propose that the logos in John 1:1 is not a person but a personification of God’s eternal plan.

Why is He called “the Word?”
Everything that the creation receives from God, it receives through His Son.

Did Philo’s logos influence the New Testament?
Philo wrote a few decades before John. In his interpretation of the Old Testament, he included the logos from Greek philosophy and described him as similar to John’s logos.


ORIGIN OF THE TRINITY DOCTRINE

These articles describe the origin of the Trinity Doctrine with emphasis on the fourth-century Arian Controversy. The main purpose is to show that the Trinity doctrine was a minority view but the Roman Empire made it its official religion and outlawed and brutally eliminated other views. With Roman military support, the religion of the Roman Empire became the Roman Church of the Middle Ages.

Introduction to the fourth-century Arian Controversy
That Controversy gave us the Trinity doctrine but the traditional account of the Controversy is a complete travesty.

The True Origin of the Trinity doctrine.
The conventional account of the Arian Controversy, which resulted in the Trinity Doctrine, is a complete travesty. This article serves as a summary of the articles below.

Prosopon and Hypostasis
Certain church fathers referred to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as three hypostases, others as three prosōpa. Both terms are occasionally rendered as ‘Persons. However, they had significantly distinct meanings.

THE APOLOGISTS

The Apologists were the theologians of the first 3 centuries who had to defend Christianity at a time when Christianity was illegal and the Empire attempted to exterminate it.

Ignatius of Antioch
Ignatius (c. 35-107) described the Son as our God but the Father as the only true God.

Polycarp
Polycarp (c. 69–155) was a personal disciple of the Apostle John. He made a clear distinction between the Almighty God and His subordinate Son.

Justin Martyr
Justin (c. 100–165) used Greek philosophy to explain the Son of God as a rational power begotten from God’s substance.

Irenaeus
Irenaeus (c. 115-190) identified the Father as the only true God, alone Almighty, and the Head of Christ.

Tertullian was a Sabellian.
Both Sabellius and Tertullian taught that Father, Son, and Spirit are one Person with Father, Son, and Spirit as portions of that one Person

Did the church fathers describe Jesus as “god” or as “God?” 
The pre-Nicene fathers described the Son as “our God” but the Father as “the only true God,” implying that the Son is not ‘true’ God. This confusion is caused by the translations.

What did Sabellius believe?
Sabellius (fl. c. 217-220) taught that Father, Son, and Spirit are three portions of one single Being.

External resource
Pre-Nicene fathers – Dr. Tuggy’s podcasts 239-242.

ARIUS

The Arian Controversy began with a dispute between bishop Alexander of Alexandria and his presbyter Arius. Since that entire controversy was named after Arius, it may seem as if he was an important person. But he was fairly irrelevant.

What was the ‘orthodox’ view when the Controversy began?
RPC Hanson states that no ‘orthodoxy’ existed but that is not entirely true. This article shows that subordination was indeed ‘orthodox’ at that time.

Who was Arius and why was he important?
The term “Arianism” implies that Arius’ theology dominated the fourth-century church. But Arius was not regarded in his time as a significant writer. He left no school of disciples.

Athanasius invented Arianism.
The only reason we today refer to ‘Arians’ is that Athanasius invented the term to falsely label his opponents with a theology that was already formally rejected by the church.

Did Arius corrupt theology with pagan philosophy?
Over the centuries, Arius was always accused of this. This article explains why that is a false accusation.

Was Origen the source of Arius’ theology?
There are significant differences between Origen and Arius.

Did Arians describe the Son as a creature?
‘Arians’ described Christ as originating from beyond our universe, the only being ever brought forth directly by the Father, and as the only being able to endure direct contact with God.

Did Arius say there was time when the Son was not?
Arius wrote that the Son was begotten timelessly by the Father before everything. But Arius also said that the Son did not always exist. Did Arius contradict himself?

Did Arius describe the Son as mutable?
Arius wrote that the Son of God cannot change but Athanasius claimed that Arius taught the exact opposite, namely that the Son is “like all others … subject to change.”

An overview of Arius’ theology
New research has shown that Arius is a thinker and exegete of resourcefulness, sharpness, and originality.

How did Arius interpret John 1:1?
The word theos, which is translated as “God” in John 1:1 is not equivalent to the modern English word “God.”

THE NICENE CREED (AD 325)

This is the most famous and influential creed in the history of the church.

What was the core issue of dispute?
It is often said that the Council was called to determine whether Jesus is God. But that does not accurately describe the dispute prior to Nicaea.

Constantine determined the outcome of the Council of Nicaea.
Constantine took part in the Council of Nicaea and ensured that it reached the kind of conclusion that he thought best.

Does the Creed present the Son as equal to the Father?
It says that the Son is equal to the Father in terms of substance, but subordinate to the Father in other respects.

Eusebius’ Explanation of the Creed
Eusebius of Caesarea, the most respected theologian at the Council, wrote to his church in Caesarea immediately after the meeting to explain why he accepted the Creed and how he understood the controversial phrases.

Should a Protestant accept the Nicene Creed?
The Creed not only uses non-Biblical words; the concept of homoousios (that the Son is of the same substance as the Father) is not in the Bible.

In the Nicene Creed, homoousios means ‘one Person’.
At Nicaea, Sabellians caused homoousios to be inserted through an alliance with Alexander and because the emperor took Alexander’s side.

Why was Homoousios not mentioned after Nicaea?
The term homoousios was not mentioned by anybody during the first 30 years after Nicaea. It only became part of that controversy in the 350s.

The origin of the word Homoousios
The word is not found in the Bible or in any orthodox Christian confession before Nicaea.

The doctrine of the Trinity deviates from the Nicene Creed.
E.g., while the Creed describes Father and Son as one single hypostasis (Person), the Doctrine teaches three distinct hypostases.

Of the Father’s substance
Does this phrase mean that the Son has the same substance as the Father or that He has been begotten out of the Father’s substance?

After Nicaea, the church restored proper balance.
There was no Arian Conspiracy. It was a campaign against the claim that homoousios identifies Sabellianism as the church’s official theology.

ARIANISM
The Council of Nicaea failed to end the Controversy. After Nicaea, for about 55 years, ‘Arians’ dominated the church.

Arian Emperors
Apart from Constantine in the beginning and Theodosius in the end, all emperors during the Arian Controversy were ‘Arians’.

Athanasius invented Arianism.
The term ‘Arianism’ suggests that Arius’ theology dominated the fourth-century church. But Arius had no followers. Athanasius invented the term ‘Arian’ to falsely label his opponents with a theology that had already been condemned.

Arian Theology
The Father is the only true God, the Son is our god, but the Father is His god and the Holy Spirit is not a Person, but a power; subject to the Son.

The Dedication Creed
This Creed shows how the Nicene Creed would have read if Emperor Constantine had not manipulated that Council. It is anti-Arius. But since the main threat was Sabellianism, the Creed is mainly anti-Sabellian.

The Long Lines Creed – AD 344
In response to the explicit one-hypostasis view of the Western manifesto at Serdica in 343, the Eastern Long Lines Creed of 344 proclaimed three hypostases.

Is the Son a creature?
The claim that Arius described the Son as a created being is misleading. ‘Arians’ described Christ as originating from beyond our universe, the only being brought forth directly by the Father and able to endure God’s direct contact.

The Homoians
In the 350s, Athanasius began to use homoousios to defend his theology. In response, Homoians claimed that the Son is like the Father but rejected all ousia terms, including homoousios because it is not in the Bible.

The Homoi-ousians
While the Homoians rejected all references to God’s substance and the Heterousians argued that the Son’s substance is different from the Father’s, the Homoiousians believed that His substance is similar but not the same.

How did Arius explain Colossians 2:9?
Forget about Arius. He was an isolated extremist. This article quotes the mainstream anti-Nicenes to show how they understood that verse.

THE PRO-NICENES

The Sabellians of the Fourth Century
Eustathius and Marcellus played a major role in the formulation of the Creed but were soon deposed for Sabellianism.

Was Athanasius a Sabellian?
Athanasius presents himself as the preserver of Biblical orthodoxy but this article argues that he was a Sabellian.

Athanasius was justly deposed for violence.
Many believe that Athanasius was falsely accused but RPC Hanson shows that Athanasius was justly condemned.

The East deposed Athanasius but the West vindicated him.
The West deposed Athanasius for violence but the West, which, like Athanasius, preferred a one hypostasis theology, declared him blameless.

Basil of Caesarea taught three Beings.
In the Trinity doctrine, Father, Son, and Spirit are one Being. This article shows that Basil taught three distinct substances or Beings.

The Council of Serdica in AD 343
This council reveals the state of Western theology at that time.

The Meletian Schism – Athanasius vs. Basil of Caesarea
In the Meletian Schism, the two most important pro-Nicenes of the fourth century, Athanasius and Basil, opposed each other.

END OF ARIANISM IN THE ROMAN EMPIRE

In the year 380, through the Edict of Thessalonica, Emperor Theodosius made the Trinitarian version of Christianity the state religion of the Roman Empire.

The emperor eliminated opposition to Trinitarianism among the Roman people.
He exiled ‘Arian’ bishops, expropriated ‘Arian’ church buildings, forbid ‘Arian’ meetings, and implemented his rulings through the Roman Army.

The Council of Constantinople in AD 381 was not ecumenical.
It was a regional synod of Antioch and attended only by bishops who were friendly to the bishop of Antioch. But the emperor hijacked it.

Differences between the creeds of 325 and 381
The wording of the creeds is similar but the meaning is very different.

END OF ALL ARIANISM

After Emperor Theodosius died, the Western Empire ‘fell’ to ‘Arian’ ‘barbarians’. Once again, Arianism dominated Europe. However, in the sixth century, the Eastern Emperor Justinian subjected the Western nations. After that, ‘Arianism’ died a slow death.

The Fall of the Western Roman Empire
It did not fall; it transformed. Massive in-migration and top positions for ‘barbarians’ in the Roman Army allowed them to assume control of the Empire progressively.

Why the empire fell
Factors include underfunding of the army, barbarian mercenaries, a plunder economy, pomp of rulers, high taxes, weak emperors, and Sassanid and Hunnic incursions.

After the Fall of Rome, Arianism dominated.
In the fifth century, Arian ‘barbarians’ dominated the Western Empire, but they tolerated and even respected the Trinitarian Roman Church.

Justinian subjected the Arian nations.
In the sixth century, Emperor Justinian crushed the Arian nations, liberated the Church in Rome from Arian domination, and set up the Byzantine Papacy through which the Eastern Roman Empire ruled the West through the church.

The Roman Empire’s state religion became the Roman Church.
Supported by the military power of the Roman Empire, the imperial version of Christianity (Trinitarianism) became the church of the Middle Ages, symbolized by Daniel’s 11th horn.

The Catholic Church called for the Waldensian massacres.
The Waldensians labeled the Church as the harlot of Revelation. In response, the Catholic Church called all to destroy the Waldensians. In consequence, the Waldensians were looted, raped, tortured, and massacred.

SUMMARIES OF BOOKS BY SPECIALISTS

Summaries and extracts from the writings of scholars who have themselves studied the ancient documents:

Lewis Ayres
Nicaea and its Legacy – This article summarizes and interprets the first ten chapters of this book. – Ayres is a Catholic theologian and Professor of Catholic and Historical Theology.

RPC (Richard) Hanson
The Search for the Christian Doctrine of God: The Arian Controversy, 318-381.

Lecture by RPC Hanson
A very informative lecture on the Arian Controversy by RPC Hanson, a famous fourth-century scholar

Fortman, Edmund J.
The Triune God – Nicene Creed

Erickson, Millard J.
God in Three Persons

Boyd, William
Union of Church and State in the Late Roman Empire

TRINITY DOCTRINE – GENERAL

This site opposes the Trinity doctrine because it teaches that the Father and Son are a single Being with a single mind. It is false to claim, as Trinitarians often do, that the Trinity exists as three Persons or hypostases. This is kept hidden from the general population but, in the Catholic Trinity doctrine, the three ‘Persons’ are mere modes of existing as God. They are not distinct ‘Persons’ with distinct minds. (See here)

Modalism – How does it differ from the Trinity doctrine?
In the Trinity Doctrine, the Father, Son, and Spirit ‘share’ one and the same substance, mind, and will. Does that mean they are one and the same Person, as in Modalism?

Monarchy of the Father 
This is the Eastern Orthodox view of God, in which the “one God” is the Father. How does it differ from the Trinity Doctrine?

Eastern Orthodox view of the Trinity
As presented by the respected Eastern Orthodox theologian, Father Thomas Hopko.

Elohim
Elohim (often translated as God) is plural in form. Does this mean that the Old Testament writers thought of God as a multi-personal Being?

The Eternal Generation of the Son
The Son has been begotten by the Father, meaning that the Son is dependent on the Father. Eternal Generation explains “begotten” in such a way that the Son is co-equal and co-eternal with the Father.

External Resources:

Kermit Zarley
The Trinity Doctrine did not exist until the Late Fourth Century

Dr. Steven Nemes – Part 1 (mp3)
The relationship between God and the cosmos, appeals to “mystery,” “the doctrine of the Trinity” as a shibboleth, claims that there is no good analogy for the Trinity

Dr. Steven Nemes – Part 2 (mp3)
The “Persons” of the Trinity as modes, the New Testament authors as “primitive” theologians, divine simplicity, “social” Trinity theories, divine processions or lack thereof

THE LAW OF MOSES

Must Christians observe the Law of Moses?

The Law of Christ replaced the Law of Moses.
Paul argued that God’s people are no longer subject to the Law of Moses and introduced the concept of “the Law of Christ.”

The Old Testament implies that Moses’ Law would fall away.
The Law was added more than 400 years after God made His covenant with Abraham. Therefore, the Law was temporary.

Christ replaced the Law with higher standards.
Jesus did not do away with the moral commandments but replaced them with higher standards.

What is the Law of Christ?
It is God’s law as it always existed and always will exist.

Summary of the previous four articles

SERMON ON THE MOUNT

Jesus fulfilled the Law and the Prophets.
What did Jesus mean when He said He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets? (Matt 5:17). What does “fulfill” mean and what are the Law and the Prophets?

Objections to the previous article
This is some criticism by a reader on the previous article as well as my response.

Did the Church Council in Acts 15 contradict Jesus?
Since Jesus said nothing shall pass from the Law (Matt 5:19), why did the Church Council grant Gentiles freedom from the Law?

Sermon on the Mount
Jesus taught that people do not have immortality and that God judges people by their deeds.

THE SABBATH

IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

The Sabbath at Creation
God engrained the seventh day into human existence.

The Evolution Theory
The evolution theory destroys the Bible’s core message.

The Sabbath from Creation to Moses
A seven-day cycle apparently did exist before Moses.

The Sabbath in the Ten Commandments
The Sabbath served as a symbol of liberation, a day of rest, a reminder of the Lord, and a test of obedience, but not as a day for church meetings.

The Sabbath in the Traditions
The traditions of the elders are extremely detailed laws that began as a hedge against sin but, eventually, represented God as a tyrant.

JESUS’ SABBATH HEALING MIRACLES

The demon-possessed man
By healing a man on the Sabbath, Christ publicly contravened the traditions.

The man’s withered hand (Matt 12:9-14)
The rulers wanted Jesus to heal on the Sabbath so that they could legally kill Him.

The crippled woman (Luke 13:10-17)
The purpose of the Sabbath is to free people from Satan’s bonds.

The Paralytic at Bethesda (John 5)
The strict traditions allowed little space for compassion, caused the Sabbath to become an intolerable burden, and depicted God as a tyrant.

The man born blind (John 9)
Why did Jesus select specifically the Sabbath for His healing miracles?

JESUS’ SABBATH TEACHINGS

The Sabbath was made for man. (Matt 12:1-8)
God made the Sabbath to be the best day of the week. Human needs are more important than the Sabbath.

Christ deliberately contravened the traditions.
While the Jews regarded healing as work and disallowed it on the Sabbath, Jesus deliberately healed on the Sabbath.

Why they killed Jesus
By contravening the traditions, He condemned the Jewish system of authority.

Why did Jesus perform these miracles?
His healing miracles gave credibility to His teachings and to His claim to be the Messiah.

What did Jesus teach about the Sabbath?
Man may and must work on the Sabbath to relieve suffering, to heal, and to teach about God.

Jesus taught a different Sabbath.
Moses made rest the goal but Christ shifted the focus to the original purpose: To heal and restore.

The Law of Christ
Christ did not only interpret the Law of Moses; He replaced it with higher moral standards that existed from the beginning.

SABBATH IN THE NEW TESTAMENT

No Sabbath Commandment
Is the Sabbath commandment repeated in the New Testament?

Each must be fully convinced in his own mind. (Rom 14:5-6).
It is a bit far-fetched to say that each person must decide about the weekly day of worship. Read within its context, this is a dispute about eating meat. Therefore, these “days” probably were fasting days.

OTHER SUBJECTS

ATONEMENT – WHY JESUS HAD TO DIE

We are not saved because Jesus suffered, but because He remained faithful despite His extreme suffering.

What does “atonement” mean?
The word does not mean to pacify God. It means a state of unity: at-one-ment.

An overview of the main theories of Atonement
To explain how Jesus’ death is the solution, we first have to understand the problem.

How this website explains Atonement
Christ died without sin, while suffering the worst possible temptations. This solved a problem in heaven.

Metaphors for Salvation
Words such as redeemed, reconciled, justified, and reconciled are metaphors and must not be taken literally.

Christ’s death enabled God’s grace.
Christ died to demonstrate that it is just of God to justify sinners by faith alone.

An explanation of the atonement to a Moslem 

A brief overview of these articles

External Resources:

Graham Maxwell

Noah Worcester on atonement

JUSTIFICATION

How people are put right with God

God judges all people by their deeds and justifies some by grace.
This is not a contradiction because “the works of the Law” are very different from the ‘deeds’ by which God judges people.

Justification is not a mere legal process. It really changes the person.

STATE OF THE DEAD

Are the souls under the altar in the fifth seal alive?

Do people have immortal souls?
A discussion of 1 Corinthians 15

UCG – the “Immortal Soul”?
An e
xternal resource

With what kind of body will the dead be resurrected?

ETERNAL TORMENT

Will the lost be tormented for all eternity?

God will annihilate the lost.
They will not suffer eternal torment. Man was not created immortal. Immortality is a gift which only believers will receive. A time will come when evil does not exist.

The smoke of their torment will rise forever.
If God will annihilate the lost, why will the smoke of their torment rise forever? (Rev 14:9-11)

Tormented day and night forever
If God will annihilate the lost, why does it say that the lost will be tormented day and night forever and ever in the lake of fire and brimstone? (Rev 20:10, 15)

The evidence for eternal torment
When one delves deeper into the evidence for eternal torment, it becomes evidence for annihilation.

Summary of these articles
God promised to wipe away every tear from their eyes (Rev 21:4) but if our loved ones will be tormented for all eternity, we will never have joy.

Only God’s people will receive eternal life.
And they receive it only when Christ returns.

External Resources

WHY EVIL EXISTS

Why does evil exist and why does God not make an end to all evil?

The Origin of Evil
God creates intelligent beings with the freedom to choose between good and evil. Evil arose from that freedom.

Why Satan thought he could win
A Study of the Book of Job

Who are the rulers and authorities?
Both Paul and also Peter refer to them. They are supernatural beings that oppose Christ.

How did the Cross disarm the rulers and authorities?  (Col 2:15)

EARLY CHURCH HISTORY

Key events in the first few decades that transformed the church from a sect of Judaism into an independent religion:

Jerusalem Phase
After receiving the Holy Spirit, the church quickly grew but remained a Jewish sect, based in Jerusalem.

Judea and Samaria phase
After the 490 years of Daniel 9 have come to an end, God dispersed the church to Judea and Samaria through persecution.

Gentile Dispute Phase
When the first Gentiles became Christians, a dispute arose about whether they must observe the Law of Moses.

Separation Phase
The church council (Acts 15 ) caused a separation between Jewish and Gentile Christians when it decided that Gentiles are not subject to the Law while Jewish Christians continued in the Law.

Theological Implications
This history explains the disputes addressed by Paul’s letters.

Chronology – Dates for key events

CHRIST’S RETURN

When and how will Jesus return, and what will happen?
An analysis of the Second Coming verses in the New Testament

Christ’s Return in the Book of Revelation
The return of Christ will not be an isolated event but will be preceded and followed by a series of profound events.

What will happen at the End of the Age?
Those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake. Those who commit lawlessness will be thrown into the furnace of fire, while the righteous receive everlasting life.

Christ’s teachings of the end-time in Matthew 24

A comparison of Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21
This article presents the three chapters side by side to show the similarities and differences.

Christ promised to return soon.
Jesus said and His disciples believed that He will return soon. 
The following articles discuss specific statements where Jesus said that He will return before:

This generation passes away. (Matt 24:34)
What generation, did Jesus say, will not pass away until all these things take place?

His disciples finish going through the cities of Israel. (Matt 10:23).
What does the phrase, “the Son of Man comes” mean in this verse?

Some of His contemporaries die. (Matt 16:28)
Does this refer to Christ’s physical return?

GENERAL

Christmas
Christmas was derived from the pagan feast of the birthday of the Invincible Sun.

About Author
Since I have no formal Bible training and since I am not part of any church group, I am free to present the truth as I understand it.

SPECIFIC BOOKS

ROMANS

I did this study particularly to understand what the term “Israel” means in the prophecies of Revelation. This is explained by Romans 9 and 11.

Romans 1
God does not override human freedom. He gives evidence of Himself but if we reject this evidence, there remains nothing that He can or will do, and He gives us up to our lusts.

Romans 2
On Judgment Day, God will justify the doers of the Law.

Romans 3:1-8
Did God reject Israel?

What does the term “Israel” mean? (Romans 9-11)
The book of Revelation often refers to Israel and her things. Romans 9 and 11 explain what Israel means.

Summary of the previous article

God elected Israel for a mission; not to save them.

Dr. John Piper on the election
Recommended external podcast

ROMANS 14

The dispute was not about the Law of Moses. (Rom 14:1-4)

The term unclean does not refer to unclean animals. (Rom 14:14)

We see the same dispute in Corinthians 8 and 10.
The dispute was about ‘weak’ Christians who regarded eating meat as idol worship.

Does Romans 14 say that the weekly Sabbath is optional? (Rom 14:5-6)
It is a bit far-fetched to say that each person must decide about the weekly day of worship. This verse must be read within its context, and the context is a dispute about eating meat. Therefore, these were probably “days” of fasting.

God will judge people by their deeds. (Rom 14:7-13)
We must not confuse “deeds” and “the works of the Law.”

Rather abstain from meat. (Rom 14:13-23)
If eating meat may cause a weaker brother to stumble, rather abstain.

GALATIANS

The letter to the Galatians is important because it describes the struggle between Paul and the Judaising Jewish Christians early on in the church’s existence.

GALATIANS 1

        • 1-5Jesus gave Himself to rescue us.
        • 6-9The dangerously distorted gospel
        • 10-12Paul received his gospel from Christ.
        • 13-14The Traditions of the Elders
        • 15-24Overview of Galatians 1

GALATIANS 2

GALATIANS 3

        • 3:1-5The Galatians want to continue in their own power.
        • 3:6-9Those who believe are sons of Abraham.
        • 3:10-14No one is justified by the Law.
        • 3:15-18Jesus Christ inherited the covenant promises.
        • 3:19-25Christ replaced the Law as our Tutor.
        • 3:26-29Israel no longer has a separate role in God’s plan.
        • Overview of Galatians 1 to 3

GALATIANS – General

COLOSSIANS

The deception in Colossians claimed to have received special knowledge from supernatural sources. It criticized other Christians for having an inferior religion.

COLOSSIANS 1

        • 1:1-8The hope laid up for us in heaven
        • 1:9-14The Father rescued us.
        • 1:15-19The Colossian deception
        • 1:20-22War in heaven
        • 1:23-28Gentiles are fellow members of the body.

COLOSSIANS 2

        • 2:1-4Deceivers merged the gospel with mystery religions.
        • 2:5-8The Colossian deception was pagan philosophy.
        • 2:9-10Christ is all we need.
        • 2:11Circumcision without hands
        • 2:11-14In Christ, Christians are already complete.

CHEIROGRAPHON (Col 2:14-15)

COLOSSIANS 2:16

The Sabbath was not controversial in Paul’s day.

Festivals, New Moons, and Sabbaths
This phrase refers to “all the appointed feasts of the house of Israel.”

Are these weekly or annual Sabbaths?

Meros means “part of.”
The Colossians were criticized for HOW they kept these days; not for keeping those days.

Who are the rulers and authorities?

The Cross was a public display.

It was Gentiles, not other Christians, who criticized the Sabbath-keeping Christians.

HEBREWS

Jesus, our High Priest
To become our high priest in the Tabernacle in Heaven, He had to suffer but remain without sin.

A better High Priest
The earthly Tabernacle was only a copy of the reality in heaven, and could, therefore, not free people from guilt for sin.

Jesus appears for us before God.
Jesus guarantees God’s promise, “their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”

Hebrews’ two bookends (Heb 4:14-16 and 10:22-24)
We may draw near to God with, for Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses.

The Unpardonable Sin (Heb 10:26)
If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.

Christ is superior to the Old Testament.  (Heb 1:1-3)
What God spoke through His Son has a much higher authority than the Old Testament.

FOOTNOTES

  • 1
    Was His promise to return soon fulfilled when He was resurrected and enthroned, followed by the Holy Spirit?
  • 2
    Or was AD 70 merely a type of the fullest destruction at the return of Christ?
  • 3
    Why did He not return in the first century as promised?

Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS