The Teachings and Beliefs of Jesus Christ, the Son of God
In our previous articles we discussed what
(1) the Patriarchs and Moses,
(2) the Psalmists, Solomon and the Prophets,
(3) the 1st Century Jews,
believed about the question, “Mankind’s hope for the future, where will it be?”
We will now examine the vital subject as to what Jesus Christ, the Son of God believed and taught while on earth.
The Teachings of Jesus
The first area we will examine is taken from the Sermon on the Mount. We take up the account in Matthew 5:20. Here Jesus said to his disciples who were listening:
“For I say to YOU that if YOUR righteousness does not abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, YOU will by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens. [(5) – ouranon, sky(s)][i]”
What was the context of this statement? Jesus makes it clear that his disciples would have to practise more righteous works than the Pharisees did if they wanted to enter into the Kingdom of the heavens. However, he does not mention a location of that Kingdom. Rather, he describes it as “the kingdom of the heavens” to differentiate it from “the kingdom(s) of the world”.
For example, the phrase “the kingdom of Rome” does not refer specifically to its physical location. Instead it refers to its power and dominion (area of domination) and from where its authority comes. On the other hand, were Jesus to have said ‘the kingdom in the heavens’, then we might logically infer he was speaking of some physical location, wherever that might be.
Would his listeners have thought he was speaking about a location, or a source of authority and power?
Later on in his sermon, Jesus said:
“YOU heard that it was said, ‘You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ However, I say to YOU: Continue to love YOUR enemies and to pray for those persecuting YOU; that YOU may prove yourselves sons of YOUR Father who is in the heavens [(1) – ouranois[ii], God’s presence]…” (Matthew 5:44-45)
Here, Jesus was teaching the disciples, but he had not yet appointed the twelve apostles. Therefore, the term “disciples” refers to all his followers. Therefore, when Jesus said earlier in the Sermon on the Mount, “Happy are the peaceable since they will be called ‘sons of God” (Matthew 5:9) and here “to prove yourselves sons of your father”, he was showing them all that they could become “sons of God”. We remember that Adam was originally created a perfect son of God, but became an imperfect son of God.
What was it that Jesus said affects whether or not we can be sons of God once again? It all depends on how we treat others (by being peaceable among other things) and whether we put faith in Christ’s ransom provision. We can only prove ourselves Christians by how we treat others and live our lives by being peaceable and putting faith in Jesus Christ (Matthew 7:20-23, Galatians 3:26). Jesus makes it clear that his Father was “in the heavens” but he gave no indication here that his disciples would need to be in heaven in God’s presence to be “sons of God”. Rather this designation and status required being peaceable and righteous, and by our actions we could show that we deserve (as far as imperfect humans can) the free gift and privilege of becoming “sons of God”.
What other reward did Jesus promise his disciples? Luke 6:22-23 records him as saying:
“Happy are you whenever men hate you and whenever they exclude you and reproach you and cast out your name as wicked for the sake of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap, for, look! YOUR reward is great in (the) heaven, [(2) ourano, – spirit realm, outer space][iii] for those are the same things their forefathers used to do to the prophets.”
It makes more sense that Jesus was referring to the source of the reward coming from the heaven [spirit realm], as opposed to earth and hence it was guaranteed. It would also only be possible because of his ransom sacrifice. In addition, it will be given by Jehovah God—who, of course, is in heaven—through Jesus Christ. The whole context of the surrounding verses is talking about not worrying about problems that men cause, because they are not going to reward us—the source of that reward being earthly. Rather, Jehovah and Jesus will be the source of the reward.
This reminds us of Matthew 6:19-23 where Jesus discussed storing up for ourselves treasures in heaven, [(2) ourano, – spirit realm, outer space] rather than upon the earth. He clearly was not talking about storing up literal treasure in heaven, but rather good reasons for Jehovah to give us a great reward from heaven.
We now will look at Luke 20:34-38, the understanding of which is controversial for other reasons. However, putting these aside, we see that:
“Jesus said to them ’The children of this system of things marry and are given in marriage, but those who have been counted worthy of gaining that system of things and the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. In fact neither can they die anymore for they are like the angels, and they are God’s children by being children of the resurrection. But that the dead are raised up even Moses disclosed, in the account about the thornbush, when he calls Jehovah ‘the God of Abraham and God of Isaac and God of Jacob. He is a God, not of the dead, but of the living, for they are all living to him.”
We can glean a number of points from this. First, Jesus states that Jehovah viewed Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as living to him. These ones would by inference therefore live again. Further, that those resurrected will become “God’s children by being children of the resurrection”. Only as perfect beings can we truly be sons or children of God, as were the sinless Adam and Eve.
Jesus had been discussing the Pharisees question as to whom of her seven husbands a woman would belong in the resurrection. The Pharisees as well as the rest of the 1st Century Jews believed in a resurrection to earth on the last day. Granted, neither they nor we have accurate knowledge of the true nature of the resurrection of the human children of God Jesus was speaking of. The reference to these ones being like the angels could well refer, not the spirit nature of angels, but to their eternal life. Jesus does say they will be like the angels who do not die, but there is sufficient ambiguity in his passage that we cannot be dogmatic based on this alone.
Whatever state the children of God attain in the resurrection, we can say for sure that they will be perfect.
At the Passover meal in 33 CE Jesus went on to do the following and made an interesting statement when speaking to his apostles:
“And accepting a cup, he gave thanks and said: Take this and pass it from one to the other among yourselves; for I tell you, from now on I will not drink again from the product of the vine until the kingdom of God arrives.” (Luke 22:17-18). (Please see also parallel accounts Matthew 26:29 and Mark 14:25.)
The disciples would have taken this statement literally. Could a materialized spirit Jesus drink and eat literally, if he chose? Yes, see Luke 24:42, 43 where he ate broiled fish before their eyes after his resurrection, before his ascension to heaven. We therefore have no reasonable basis to take this scripture to mean anything other than as it literally says. This also by implication means the disciples who would be kings and priests would also be here on earth for this to take place as prophesied.
We also need to note that the phrase “until the kingdom of God arrives [shall come]” has to be understood as the kingdom of God arriving to the place where they were drinking which was on earth. To mean anything else, Jesus would have said “until the kingdom of God begins to rule” or similar wording to allow for a different location. (See also Luke 14:15)
Now let us see what we can learn from the account of the conversation between Jesus and the evildoer while on the torture stakes. It is recorded for us in Luke 23:43 where it says:
“And he [Jesus] said to him [the evildoer]: ’Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise’”
The evildoer only knew of paradise (Garden of Eden) being on earth. Furthermore, if Jesus meant heaven, why did he not just say heaven? It is therefore reasonable to understand this scripture exactly as it reads without putting any interpretation on it. This means that Jesus would be on earth at a future time where the resurrected evildoer could be with him.
The evildoer had just asked, “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom” as he hung there next to Jesus. He would have had no concept of Jesus’ Kingdom being in heaven. However, he would have been familiar with the Hebrew word par’des meaning “Park”. Paradise is the English word given to the Greek equivalent word paradeiso, also meaning “park”, “garden” or “enclosure”, derived from the Persian word of the same meaning. Because of his faith, Jesus comforted this man by reassuring him right then, that he would be there in Jesus’ kingdom in Paradise.
Near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, he had an interesting conversation with Nicodemus about the Kingdom of God. The conversation was recorded for us by the apostle John at John 3:3, 5, 9-18:
“In answer Jesus said to him [Nicodemus] ”Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”,
“ Jesus answered: ”Most truly I say to you, Unless anyone is born from water and spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
“In answer Nic·o·deʹmus said to him: “How can these things come about?” In answer Jesus said to him: “Are you a teacher of Israel and yet do not know these things? Most truly I say to you, What we know we speak and what we have seen we bear witness of, but YOU people do not receive the witness we give. If I have told YOU earthly things and yet YOU do not believe, how will YOU believe if I tell YOU heavenly things? Moreover, no man has ascended into heaven but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of man must be lifted up, that everyone believing in him may have everlasting life. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life. For God sent forth his Son into the world, not for him to judge the world, but for the world to be saved through him. He that exercises faith in him is not to be judged. He that does not exercise faith has been judged already, because he has not exercised faith in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.”
Jesus was here speaking to Nicodemus about the Kingdom of God and the necessity to be born again if he wanted to see [be in] the kingdom of God. Jesus goes on to confirm that prior to his death, no human had ever ascended to heaven. He stated that he would be ascending to heaven. Tellingly, he did not to take the opportunity to inform Nicodemus nor his disciples that after his ascension, humans would follow him into heaven.
What Jesus did speak about to his disciples was the hope of everlasting life [Gr. Literally: life long lasting] which his listeners would, by default, have understood to be on earth. This hope was held out to his listeners, if they put faith in him. Part of putting faith in him would be the step of being born again [reborn] from water [baptised in water, = asking for forgiveness of sins, and the request for a clean conscience, a clean start] and born again [reborn] from spirit [baptised or anointed by Holy Spirit]. Henceforth, his disciples would be have a spiritual outlook on life rather than earthly, fleshly outlook. (See John 3:6 “What has been born from the flesh is flesh and what has been born from the spirit is spirit.”)
Also, in this passage, in John 3:16, Jesus said everyone exercising faith in him would have everlasting life. His listeners would have understood Jesus to be talking about the future on earth, and that he was including all who put faith in him as the Messiah. Once again, Jesus did not take the opportunity to make clear there was a different hope (i.e. to be in the spirit realm heaven) for those faithful ones.
Jesus spoke about the future resurrection in John 5:28-29, and there are some further clues here. It reads:
“Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, and those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgement.”
The word “Judgement” (= Greek 2920 “Krisis” ) means ”a separating a trial, selection, judgement”. The use of this word would indicate that some would change, necessitating a separation of these from those not prepared to change. It is therefore logical to conclude that for these unrighteous ones it could also eventually become a resurrection to life. They would be separated from those who do not want to change, for whom it would be eternal death.
The Greek word translated as “Come out” has the meaning of “to come out from, take a particular passageway”.
Jesus was here commenting that those dead would be resurrected [to earth], (Gr. Anastasis Literally: stand up again) in the future. In the context of previously quoted scriptures, this would be back to earth. Those “having practised good things” would be resurrected to life and those “having done evil things to judgement”. They would also “come outside from” being inside the memorial tombs, in the same manner that Lazarus did when Jesus commanded Lazarus to “Come on out” (John 11:43). (See also a Greek interlinear translation of John 5:29.)
Jesus further discussed resurrection and everlasting life as recorded in John 6:27, 39-40, 44, 47, 51, 54, 58.
“Work, not for food that perishes, but for the food that remains for life everlasting, which the Son of man will give you”,
“This is the will of him that sent me, that I should lose nothing out of all that he has given me, but that I should resurrect it at the last day, For this is the will of my Father, that everyone that beholds the Son and exercises faith in him should have everlasting life, and I will resurrect him at the last day.”,
”No man can come to me unless the Father, who sent me, draws him; and I will resurrect him in the last day.”
”Most truly I say to you, he that believes has everlasting life.”,
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven; if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever;”, ”54 He that feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has everlasting life, and I shall resurrect him at the last day;”[iv],
”He that feeds on this bread will live forever”.
It can be clearly seen from these scriptures that exercising faith in Jesus was the prerequisite for being among those resurrected on the last day. This was the faith that Mary and Martha had as to when they would see Lazarus again.
Further Jesus promised resurrection on the last day [three times][v] and everlasting life [seven times][vi]) in this passage of scripture in the Gospel of John, to those that would remain faithful and believing in him as the Messiah. However, he made no mention of going to heaven after resurrection, or of being resurrected to heaven. Surely, this would have been the ideal time to do so. The conclusion has to be in the absence of any other information, that his disciples and listeners would have understood this to be a resurrection to everlasting life on earth, which is clearly the understanding Mary and Martha had.
(See John 11:23-25 under Belief of the 1st Century Jews. This theme is repeated a number of times through the gospels. See also in the Appendix[vii].)
Not long after these events which had stumbled many disciples who took Jesus teachings too literally, he was commenting on the Pharisees attempt to arrest him. In John 7:33-34 the account reads:
“Therefore Jesus said: “I continue a little while longer with YOU before I go to him that sent me. You will look for me, but you will not find me, and where I am YOU cannot come.”
The Jews were puzzled at this statement wondering where Jesus was intending to go. (John 7:35). Jesus was speaking to his disciples and the crowd. The Jews did not understand, because they did not believe God (“him that sent me”) had sent Jesus. Neither did they know he would be put to death and resurrected back to heaven to Jehovah God (“before I go to him that sent me”) to provide a ransom sacrifice for humankind and in fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Jesus knew they would look for his body, not wanting to believe he had been resurrected (“You will look for me, but you will not find me,”). However, they would not be able to find him because of his resurrection to heaven.
This emphasized the fact that they would not be able to go physically to heaven to find him either then or later. Neither would they potentially be able to do so through their death and resurrection, obviously, because they understood resurrection would be back to earth as humans. All listening to Jesus there in the crowd had the opportunity to be “chosen ones”, yet he suggests all of them would be unable to follow him. This passage would therefore indicate that no human would be able to go to heaven (“where I am you cannot come”). The Greek word translated come is “erchomai” which means, “to come [and hence also go] from one place to another”. This reinforces the understanding they could not go from earth to where he would be, with God who had sent him, in the heavens. See also John 8:21-23, and John 13:33-36.
A few days before his arrest, Jesus spoke to his disciples to try to prepare them for what he knew would happen, the loss of their teacher and master. We can take up the account in John 13:33, 36 and John 14:1-6, 23, 28-29.
“Little children. I am with you a little longer. YOU will look for me; and just as I said to the Jews, ‘Where I go you cannot come,’ I say also to you at present. I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”,
“Simon Peter said to him: ’Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus answered ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterwards. Peter said to him: ’Lord, why is it I cannot follow you at present? I will surrender my soul in your behalf’.”
“Do not let YOUR hearts be troubled. Exercise faith in God, exercise faith also in me. In the house of my Father there are many abodes. Otherwise, I would have told YOU, because I am going my way to prepare a place for YOU. Also, if I go my way and prepare a place for YOU, I am coming again and will receive YOU home to myself, that where I am YOU also may be. And where I am going YOU know the way. Thomas said to him: “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How do we know the way?” Jesus said to him: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
“In answer Jesus said to him: ’If anyone loves me, he will observe my word and my Father will love him and we shall come to him and make our abode with him.’ …,
“8You heard that I said to you, I am going away and I am coming back to you. If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going my way to the Father, because the Father is greater than I am. So now I have told you before it occurs, in order that when it does occur you may believe.”
The Greek word translated “abodes” also means ‘dwelling places’.
In John 13:36 the Apostle Peter questioned Jesus asking “Lord, where are you going?” The disciples had still not yet fully grasped that he was to die shortly. As it dawned on Peter that Jesus really was going to die, impetuous as ever, he wanted to follow Jesus and die faithful with Jesus, but Jesus said “you cannot follow me now”. Why not “now”? Jesus had just given them a commandment to “love one another”. A few days later after his resurrection the account in John 21:14-19 gives the answer as to why not “now”. It was the third appearance to the disciples after being raised from the dead. Jesus asked Peter “Do you love me more than these?” [referring to the fish they had just eaten]. Peter replied “Yes, Lord”. Then, Jesus asked him to “Feed my lambs”, to “Shepherd my little sheep” and to “Feed my little sheep”. He then went on to give an indication of by what sort of death Peter would glorify God. Therefore, as the book of Acts clearly shows, Jesus had work for him to do in caring for the early Christian Congregation.
Where was Jesus going?
- He was going to prepare a place for his disciples, but he does not state where that place would be physically. Indeed “in the house of my Father there are many abodes” [dwelling places], i.e. Jehovah’s presence, outer space outside of Jehovah’s Presence, the physical heavens around the earth, the earth, the grave and probably more e.g. (See use of Greek words translated as “heaven(s)” in Appendix and Part 1)
- To go and prepare this place he would have to die, and be resurrected and ascend to Jehovah’s presence to offer his perfect human life as a ransom. Only then would that dwelling place become possible. Only after the dwelling place was prepared would it be possible for Peter and others to follow. Jesus gave no indication that this abode would be ready before his return (“I am coming again”) nor that the disciples would go to that abode before his return.
Where would Jesus receive the disciples?
- He states “I am coming again and will receive YOU home to myself, that where I am YOU also may be.” according to NWT and some other translations. The Kingdom Interlinear and other Greek Interlinear translations render this passage “I shall take along you toward myself, in order that where I am you also may be”. “Home” is therefore the translator’s bias and addition, likely based on their existing beliefs. Such an addition, which can change the potential understanding of this passage, should not be added to the text. In English, we have the phrase “keep/bring you close to me” which would be a good match for the phrase “take along you to myself”. The phrase “I am coming again” can only be understood as Jesus coming to the earth. He was on earth once, and to ‘come again’ means repeating the coming, or come back. Once he has come again then the receiving of his faithful disciples to himself would occur. Thus, the disciples would be able to be with Jesus once again.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:16, 17 describes this event when under inspiration Paul wrote: ”the Lord himself will descend from heaven [(3) Gr: ouranou, – Outer space, spirit realm][viii] … and those who are dead in union with Christ will rise first. [this includes Peter and Paul] After we the living who are surviving will, together with them, be caught away with them [likely as Elijah was caught away] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; [earthly heavens, not Jehovah’s presence, or spirit realm] And thus we shall always be with the Lord”. Therefore, while these verses in John and Thessalonians can be interpreted (and have been) as the disciples meeting Jesus in heaven (as in the spirit realm), that is not what the texts clearly say, and goes against the normal, natural way of reading the passages.
- Jesus was speaking to the disciples, who were here on earth. They would naturally understand that Jesus return would be back here on earth. This would be in agreement with the parable Jesus gave in Luke 19:12-27, about “a man of noble birth who travelled to a distant land to secure kingly power for himself and return.” … “Eventually he got back after having secured the kingly power”. Returning [to earth], he would be able to begin implementing the kingdom of God [the kingdom of the heavens] which would in turn mean the preparation of a place [abode] for them as [earthly] representatives [kings and priests] of that kingdom for those that had proved faithful.
This leaves the question raised by v4 and v5. What did he mean when he said in v4 “where I am going you know the way”? In John 13:36 Jesus told Peter ‘“Where I am going you cannot follow me now, but you will follow afterwards”. This was just after Judas Iscariot had left the evening meal to betray Jesus. Jesus was saying he was going to die [faithful], but Peter could not die yet (“you cannot follow me now”). Why? He was to be asked to preach the good news of the resurrected Jesus to the Jews and later Gentiles, as he would later find out). In John 14:1, he reminded them not to be troubled, but to “exercise faith in God” and “exercise faith also in me”. They therefore knew “the way”, that to be received home to Jesus at the appropriate time and place, they would have to follow “the way” of “exercise[ing] faith in God [Jehovah], … also in me [him, Jesus Christ]” till death, as Jesus would shortly demonstrate to them.
- It would be out of context to infer that “the place” was heaven and “the way” was resurrection to heaven, when “the way” was clearly dying faithful to Jehovah and Jesus. In John 14:5 Thomas still had not got the point or understanding and asked “How do we know the way?” Jesus in his reply to Thomas reiterated his earlier point of exercising faith in God and himself by saying: “I [Jesus] am the way [Gr: “hodos” = manner of thinking and feeling, not physical direction] and the truth [Gr: “aletheia” = in reality] and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [exercising faith in] me”.
- John 14:3-4 “If I go [Greek: travel] and prepare a place [Gr: “topon” = a marked off portion of space, like an inheritance] for you, I am coming [Gr: “erchomai” = come from one place [heaven] to another different place [earth]] again, and will receive you [Gr: “paralempsomai” = close alongside with personal initiative] to myself. 4 where I am going [Gr: “hypago” = lead the way (faithful to death)], you know [Gr: “oida” = mentally perceive].”
- John 14:23 is talking about those that showed love for them [God and Jesus] and others. It says “[God and Jesus] we shall come [from heaven] to him [the one that loves Jesus and observes his word] and make our abode [stay, dwell] with him [the faithful human (who lives on earth)]” Note: They would come to those faithful, not the faithful go to heaven to The same sentiment is expressed in John 14:28 “I am going away [to heaven] and I am coming back [to earth] to you”. This also reminds us of Revelation 21:3, which says in part “Look! The tent [dwelling, or tabernacle] of God is with mankind, and he will reside [dwell or tabernacle] with them,”
Summing up, this passage in context and on careful examination, does not support a change of location for those faithful ones. Rather Jesus would return [when he comes in power and glory] before his disciples could re-join him, and that his disciples would not be joining him in heaven only in the sky.
The conversation Jesus had with Pilate also gives us some helpful information. There in John 18:36 Jesus answered Pilate saying:
“My kingdom is no part of this world. If my kingdom were part of this world, my attendants would have fought that I should not be delivered up to the Jews. But, as it is, my kingdom is not from this source.”
Jesus gave this reply to Pilate because Pilate had asked Jesus as to what he had done such that Jesus own nation and chief priests would deliver him up to Pilate. Note Jesus reply: “My kingdom is no part of this world [it is the kingdom of God / of the Heavens]” … “my kingdom is not from this source” [not from here, (or realm), referring to the world of men fighting for power, rather its source was from God, from heaven (another realm).] Here Jesus was showing that he was not just another rival for Pontius Pilate to concerned about. Jesus’ kingdom was nothing to do with the earthly squabbles that men had over power. He was not cultivating favour from anyone to manoeuvre himself into power and potentially remove Pilate or Caesar. Jesus was therefore no threat to Pilate. Rather, it would be Jehovah God, a non-earthly source, who would give him that power at a future time.
Other Relevant Scriptures
“With that he approached and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still, and he said: “Young man, I say to you, Get up!”
The word translated “Get up!” or “arise” is ‘egeiro’ and means ‘to wake, arouse, raise up’. The same word is used in John 5:21 when talking about God raising up the dead. This passage records the resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain back to the earth by Jesus.
“And, taking the hand of the young child, he said to her: “Talʹi·tha cuʹmi,” which, translated, means: “Maiden, I say to you, Get up!”
The word translated “Get up!” or “arise” is ‘egeiro’ and means ‘to wake, arouse, raise up’ and is the same word used in Luke 7:14 and John 5:21. This is the occasion of Jesus performing his second resurrection, that of Jairus’ daughter. He returned her alive to her parents who were beside themselves in ecstasy.
“For just as the Father raises the dead up and makes them alive, so the Son also makes those alive whom he wants to.”
The word translated “Get up!” or “arise” is ‘egeiro’ and means ‘to wake, arouse, raise up’ and is the same word used in Luke 7:14. Again, no location is discussed so by default the audience would understand this to be to earth where man lives.
“Jesus said to her: “Your brother will rise.” 24 Martha said to him: “I know he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”
These verses were discussed in Part 3 under “Belief of the 1st Century Jews”. Jesus did not correct Martha’s understanding for she was correct. However, Jesus made an exception for Lazarus and brought him back to life. He would die again in the future, and then await the resurrection on the last day.
Jesus Christ, the son of God, as God’s spokesman taught nothing contrary to the belief of the 1st Century Jews which was that there would be resurrection back to life on earth on the last day [judgement]. There was no concept taught by Jesus of any humans being resurrected to heaven as spirit creatures.
In this series thus far, we have examined:
- The beliefs and writings of the Patriarchs and Moses.
- The beliefs and writings of the Psalmists, Solomon and the Prophets.
- The beliefs of the 1st Century Jews.
- The beliefs and teachings of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
In doing so we have found that all these examinations show that these ones had a belief in everlasting life, and resurrection back to life [on earth], but not a hint of any hope of life in the heavens. Did the Apostles later after Jesus death and resurrection teach any exception or change to this belief? In addition, if so did they have the authority to do so?
This is what we will examine in our fifth article of this series. What did the Apostles teach and believe?
IMPORTANT REQUEST: It is requested that any comments (which are very welcome) be confined to the Bible books and period covered by this article. The whole of the Bible will be covered in sections so later Bible writers and periods will be covered by later articles and would be the best place for relevant comments to those sections.
[i] Please see Part 1 of this series.
[ii] Please see Part 1 of this series.
[iii] Please see Part 1 of this series.
[iv] The phrase “at the last day “, is also commonly translated “on the last day”, and “in the last day” in other translations.
[v] Something said or done ‘three times’ in the Bible is usually to emphasize it was accurate or something guaranteed.
[vi] Something said or (to be) done ‘seven times’ in the Bible can often denote heavenly completeness.
[vii] The Appendix, available on request.
[viii] Please see Part 1 of this series.