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Thematic menu of biblical articles

The sentences in blue (between two paragraphs), give you additional and detailed biblical explanations. Just click on the hyperlink in blue. Biblical articles are mainly written in four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese and French 

The spiritual man and the physical man 

“But a physical man does not accept the things of the spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot get to know them, because they are examined spiritually. However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man. For “who has come to know the mind of Jehovah, so that he may instruct him?” But we do have the mind of Christ"

(1 Corinthians 2:14-16)

"However, the spiritual man examines all things, but he himself is not examined by any man"

According to the Bible, the human being is spiritual because he has been created in the image of God, like the angels in the heavens (the word "man" in most cases applies to both man and woman). In the book of Revelation, the glorified Jesus Christ speaks to the seven angels, each responsible for one of seven congregations. They are obviously men or messengers, because sometimes, Jesus Christ reproaches them serious faults, not attributable to heavenly angels (Revelation 2 and 3). In Malachi 2:7, the priests or teachers of the nation of Israel had the status of angels or messengers: "For the lips of a priest should safeguard knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth, because he is the messenger of Jehovah of armies". The word "messenger" refers to the word "angel".

In Hebrews 2:5-9, the apostle Paul writes that God created man a little lower than the angels: "For it is not to angels that he has subjected the inhabited earth to come, about which we are speaking. But in one place a certain witness said: “What is man that you keep him in mind, or a son of man that you take care of him? You made him a little lower than angels; you crowned him with glory and honor, and appointed him over the works of your hands. All things you subjected under his feet.” By subjecting all things to him, God left nothing that is not subject to him. Now, though, we do not yet see all things in subjection to him. But we do see Jesus, who was made a little lower than angels, now crowned with glory and honor for having suffered death, so that by God’s undeserved kindness he might taste death for everyone".

Therefore, given these biblical texts, the human being is fundamentally spiritual in origin, and he is not a "social animal". Man can have close relationships with his Creator, he has the capacity to manifest faith in invisible realities: "Faith is the assured expectation of what is hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities that are not seen. For by means of it, the men of ancient times had witness borne to them. By faith we perceive that the systems of things were put in order by God’s word, so that what is seen has come into existence from things that are not visible” (Hebrews 11:1-3). He has a capacity for understanding abstract concepts, such as time: "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has even put eternity in their heart; yet mankind will never find out the work that the true God has made from start to finish" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This intellectual faculty allows him to look back in the past, to live the present and to project himself into the future. This God-given mental capacity, which ranges from deduction induction, allowed him to discover the mathematical laws which are the basis of chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy and many other scientific applications and technical processes… He has the capacity to appreciate what is beautiful in creation, and he is able to reproduce this beauty in an artistic way, with the prism of his own sensitivity…

These capacities, both spiritual and intellectual, make a man a being exceptional, who is not part of the animal life, but rather as administrator of the planet, according to Genesis 1:26-28, and Hebrews 2:5-9. In biblical context of symbolism, the human face represents the main quality of God: love (Genesis 1:26-28; Ezekiel 1:5; Revelation 4:7; 1 John 4:8,16). This is why, unlike other faces (the lion, the bull and the eagle), man is not an animal because he has a spirituality, a relationship with God. As the apostle Paul wrote, under inspiration, the man without this spirituality, is described as animal-man, while the man who has a spiritual relationship with God, is a spiritual man, devoid of any animality (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 "the physical man" = animal man without spirituality the opposite of "the spiritual man"). The face of man represents that "God is love" (1 John 4:8,16).

The introduction of sin into the world has dramatically changed the human condition. Through the sin, the death spread into the world: "That is why, just as through one man sin entered into the world and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because they had all sinned” (Romans 5:12). This programmed death, from the conception and later the birth, makes the existence of man just as futile as that of an animal which ends up dying: "I also said in my heart about the sons of men that the true God will test them and show them that they are like animals, for there is an outcome for humans and an outcome for animals; they all have the same outcome. As the one dies, so the other dies; and they all have but one spirit. So man has no superiority over animals, for everything is futile. All are going to the same place. They all come from the dust, and they all are returning to the dust" (Ecclesiastes 3:18-20). The book of Ecclesiastes very well and fully, describes the uselessness of human life, under the law of sin, which inexorably leads to death (Ecclesiastes 1:2).

The law of sin, which genetically leads to death, also has another harmful spiritual consequence which naturally impulses him to do wrong, as it is very well described by the apostle Paul: "However, if I do what I do not wish, I agree that the Law is fine. But now I am no longer the one doing it, but it is the sin that resides in me. For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, there dwells nothing good; for I have the desire to do what is fine but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good that I wish, but the bad that I do not wish is what I practice.  If, then, I do what I do not wish, I am no longer the one carrying it out, but it is the sin dwelling in me. I find, then, this law in my case: When I wish to do what is right, what is bad is present with me.  I really delight in the law of God according to the man I am within, but I see in my body another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law that is in my body. Miserable man that I am! Who will rescue me from the body undergoing this death?  Thanks to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So, then, with my mind I myself am a slave to God’s law, but with my flesh to sin’s law" (Romans 7:16-25).

If a man born a sinner, does not struggle against this inner law which prompts him to do wrong, he will become an "animal" and physical man, to use the expression in 1 Corinthians 2:14. This spiritual origin of man, in one part, and his animal tendencies, linked to his state of sinner, are very well contrasted in the letter of James: "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him by his fine conduct demonstrate works performed with a mildness that comes from wisdom. But if you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness in your hearts, do not be bragging and lying against the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above; it is earthly, animalistic, demonic. For wherever there are jealousy and contentiousness, there will also be disorder and every vile thing. But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, reasonable, ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, not hypocritical. Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions for those who are making peace" (James 3:13-18).

There is the same contrasted biblical description, between the spiritual dimension of man and his animal impulses due to the sinful state: "Now the works of the flesh are plainly seen, and they are sexual immorality, uncleanness, brazen conduct, idolatry, spiritism, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, dissensions, divisions, sects, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and things like these. I am forewarning you about these things, the same way I already warned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit God’s Kingdom. On the other hand, the fruitage of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, mildness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. Moreover, those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed to the stake the flesh together with its passions and desires.  If we are living by spirit, let us also go on walking orderly by spirit. Let us not become egotistical, stirring up competition with one another, envying one another" (Galatians 5:19-26).

These few biblical texts clearly show that man is a separate being, not part of the animal life, but rather an administrator of the Earth. Man is a spiritual being abble of establishing a close relationship with God. The law of sin has destroyed this spiritual, physical and mental balance of human beings. However, God will restore the good human condition that originally existed: "For I consider that the sufferings of the present time do not amount to anything in comparison with the glory that is going to be revealed in us. For the creation is waiting with eager expectation for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but through the one who subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself will also be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God "(Romans 8:18-21).

"Let us make man in our image,
according to our likeness"
(Genesis 1:26)
The sacred value of life

God Created Man in his Spiritual Image

Man and woman were created in the image of God: "Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and the domestic animals and all the earth and every creeping animal that is moving on the earth.” And God went on to create the man in his image, in God’s image he created him; male and female he created them. Further, God blessed them, and God said to them: “Be fruitful and become many, fill the earth and subdue it, and have in subjection the fish of the sea and the flying creatures of the heavens and every living creature that is moving on the earth" (Genesis 1:26-28). It was to the spiritual image of God that they were created, that is, to say, with the divine ability to "create" life (in their case procreation), by having children, but also to administer the earth, the plant life, animal and human lives, all with the help of God. The action of man and woman would be in the spiritual image of God, imbued with love and wisdom (1 Corinthians 13:1).

Since the man and the woman are in the spiritual image of God, an act of voluntary homicide, even involuntary, is a sin against the spiritual image of God. Anyone who causes the death of another human being, from a atonement point of view, must pay for it with his own life. This is what Jehovah God made clear to Noah and his family, after the flood, on leaving the ark: "Besides that, I will demand an accounting for your lifeblood. I will demand an accounting from every living creature; and from each man I will demand an accounting for the life of his brother. Anyone shedding man’s blood, by man will his own blood be shed, for in God’s image He made man" (Genesis 9:5,6).

The Avenger of Blood

For God, both voluntary or an involuntary manslayer is a very serious act. In the old Mosaïque Law, there was the law of the avenger of blood. Of course, we are no longer, as Christians, under the authority of this set of laws. Nevertheless, we can learn from God's way of thinking about the sacred value of human life:

"You should choose cities convenient for yourselves to serve as cities of refuge, where the manslayer who unintentionally kills someone should flee. These cities will serve as a refuge for you from the blood avenger, so that the manslayer will not die until he stands trial before the assembly. The six cities of refuge that you provide will serve this purpose. You will provide three cities on this side of the Jordan and three cities in the land of Caʹnaan to serve as cities of refuge. These six cities will serve as a refuge for the Israelites, for the foreign resident, and for the settler among them, for anyone to flee there who unintentionally kills someone" (Numbers 35:11-15).

Verses 16-29, it is written about the provisions that allowed to accidental manslayer to find protection in these cities of refuge.

Verses 22 to 25, especially, it is written that a court would rule whether he was a willful homicide or not. In the case of accidental manslayer, he was allowed into the city of refuge to protect himself from the blood avenger until the death of the high priest. Even if this disposition was merciful, it was a very serious obligation because it was so to speak, this man was under house arrest (city of refuge), maybe even until the end of his life, because he had to wait for the death of the high priest. In the case of a murderer, the blood avenger, the closest relative of the victim, could put him to death without incurring a bloodguilt before God (verse 19-21).

We are no longer, as Christians, under this legal procedure because Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10:4). However, these legal provisions allow us to better understand God's thinking about the sacred value of human life and blood (1 Corinthians 2:16). The Christian is no longer allowed to take revenge, especially by using violence: "Return evil for evil to no one. Take into consideration what is fine from the viewpoint of all men. If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath; for it is written: “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ says Jehovah.” But “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by doing this you will heap fiery coals on his head.” Do not let yourself be conquered by the evil, but keep conquering the evil with the good" (Romans 12:17-21).

The Human Body is a Spiritual Temple

The Apostle Paul and also the Apostle Peter emphasized that on an individual level, the human body represents a temple to worship God:

"Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that the spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, God will destroy him; for the temple of God is holy, and you are that temple" (1 Corinthians 3:16,17).

"But I consider it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you with reminders, knowing as I do that my tabernacle is soon to be removed, just as also our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me" (2 Peter 1:13,14).

If the human body is like a spiritual temple to worship God, it is obvious that the life that animates this "temple" is sacred. This life is represented by the blood: "For the life of the flesh is in the blood" (Leviticus 17:11). The word soul means that "life" is in the blood. Jehovah asks that everyone take care of this temple: "Therefore, I appeal to you by the compassions of God, brothers, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, a sacred service with your power of reason" (Romans 12: 1). This body was conceived, from the beginning, for a sacred service to God, that is to say, to conform to the plan which he had originally foreseen at the time of the creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26-28). Therefore, we must maintain this body in a state of "holiness" according to the will of God. We will also see that we must not only care for the physical and spiritual integrity of our body and our life, but also not harm that of others. We will examine certain biblical principles that will allow us to better respect the sacred aspect of life and blood.

The Respect for the Integrity

of the Human Body

The first commandment based on love for God and the love of neighbor is the fundamental basis of all the principles that govern the sacred value of life: "On these two commandments the whole Law hangs, and the Prophets" (Matthew 22:37-40).

Deadly hatred is forbidden: "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has everlasting life remaining in him" (1 John 3:15). Murder and willful homicide are forbidden, whether for personal reasons, by religious or state patriotism: "Then Jesus said to him: “Return your sword to its place, for all those who take up the sword will perish by the sword"" (Matthew 26:52).

(The end of patriotism)

It is forbidden to put one's life in danger unnecessarily and that of others. The Christian must abstain from practicing dangerous sports, which can cause wounds, to see the death of the imprudent one and that of others (for example the life of the rescuers who would come to assist him), which would constitute a bloodguilt before God: "The shrewd person sees the danger and conceals himself, But the inexperienced keep right on going and suffer the consequences" (Proverbs 27:12).

It may be added that a careless attitude, such as driving a vehicle dangerously, which could not only put us in danger, but also endanger the lives of others, even involuntarily mortal wounds, could constitute a bloodguilt before God : "If you build a new house, you must also make a parapet for your roof, so that you may not bring bloodguilt on your house because of someone falling from it" (Deuteronomy 22: 8; Exodus 21:29). Even if we are no longer under the Mosaic Law, and therefore not allowed to apply such a sentence, this law shows God's point of view on murderous negligence...

In the introduction, we have seen that the human body is a spiritual temple to be cared of it (1 Corinthians 3:16, 2 Peter 1:13,14, Romans 12:1). Therefore, suicide is forbidden. In addition, all forms of drug use that destroy the body and its mobility, creating physical dependence is prohibited. The Bible condemns the excess of alcohol and not its moderate consumption. In the Bible, the excesses of the table are condemned: "Do not be among those who drink too much wine, Among those who gorge themselves on meat" (Proverbs 23:20 condemnation of excess; 1 Timothy 5:23: moderation in the consumption of wine).

 

(The Elementary Teaching of the Bible - What's Forbidden in the Bible (Part 2))

 

"He will render judgment among the nations And set matters straight respecting many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning shears. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, Nor will they learn war anymore" (Isaiah 2:4). To no longer learn warfare, obviously means not to practice at once, combat sports or martial arts, even tinged with religious propaganda which would be to say that it is for a "defensive" purpose. Transforming a human body into a "defensive weapon", can quickly become "an offensive weapon" that can hurt or kill... Christians should not feast on violent sports shows or films extolling gratuitous violence. This is completely detestable to Jehovah God: "Jehovah examines the righteous one as well as the wicked one; He hates anyone who loves violence" (Psalms 11:5).

According to the Bible, the voluntary abortion of an embryo or fetus is strictly forbidden. In the Bible, the child to be born, in the belly of his mother, has his own individuality before God, from conception, whether in the form of an embryo or a fetus: "Your eyes even saw me as an embryo; All its parts were written in your book Regarding the days when they were formed, Before any of them existed" (Psalms 139:16). The New World Translation of the Bible (TMN), uses the word "embryo". The comparison with other translations has confirmed the accuracy of this word. The "Interlinear Hebrew Bible" (OT), based on the Manuscript, Leningrad's Westminster Codex with vowels, translates as "embryo". According to the KJV and the YLT Bible Translations, it is translated as "Unformed Substance" or "Substance". There is no doubt that the Hebrew text describes the baby to be born from conception, as soon as it is hardly an "embryo". Here is what we read in the Mosaic Law, concerning the aggression, even accidental, of a pregnant woman:

"If men should struggle with each other and they hurt a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but no fatality results, the offender must pay the damages imposed on him by the husband of the woman; and he must pay it through the judges. But if a fatality does occur, then you must give life for life" (Exodus 21:22,23).

This law does not fix a minimum number of weeks of gestation, to consider that such an accident, in case of abortion, is a proven homicide on the child. The use of abortion pills is an act of voluntary abortion. The Bible does not prohibit birth control, decided by the couple (they must not provoke the abortion). Abortive methods used as contraception, are condemned in the Bible.

God Forgives if there is Sincere Repentance

The narrative about King Manasseh, which has shed much blood, is the demonstration of how far Jehovah's mercy can be applied to sincere repentance. In the biblical narrative, it is written about wickedness of King Manasseh: "Ma·nasʹseh also shed innocent blood in very great quantity until he had filled Jerusalem from one end to the other, besides his sin of causing Judah to sin by doing what was bad in the eyes of Jehovah" (2 Kings 21:16). Because of his bad deeds, God punished him: "Jehovah kept speaking to Ma·nasʹseh and his people, but they paid no attention. So Jehovah brought against them the army chiefs of the king of As·syrʹi·a, and they captured Ma·nasʹseh with hooks and bound him with two copper fetters and took him to Babylon" (2 Chronicles 33: 10,11). However, for as incredible as it may be, this king ended up sincerely repenting of his evil deeds and obtaining Jehovah's mercy: "In his distress, he begged Jehovah his God for favor and kept humbling himself greatly before the God of his forefathers. He kept praying to Him, and He was moved by his entreaty and heard his request for favor, and He restored him to Jerusalem to his kingship. Then Ma·nasʹseh came to know that Jehovah is the true God" (2 Chronicles 33:12,13). What is the reason for this biblical example?

Many men and women have made irreversible mistakes, such as killing many humans (in the context of conflict) or taking part in abortions, sometimes even late. Many of them think that it is impossible that God would forgive them. Add to this a deep feeling of remorse and indignity. Regarding Jehovah's immense mercy, this is what it says: ""Come, now, and let us set matters straight between us,” says Jehovah. “Though your sins are like scarlet, They will be made as white as snow; Though they are as red as crimson cloth, They will become like wool"" (Isaiah 1:18). This verse is especially addressed to those men and women who sincerely repent before God, asking for forgiveness: God forgives sincere repentance on the basis of the precious blood of Jesus Christ: "My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not commit a sin. And yet, if anyone does commit a sin, we have a helper with the Father, Jesus Christ, a righteous one. And he is a propitiatory sacrifice for our sins, yet not for ours only but also for the whole world’s" (1 John 2:1,2). Moreover, Jehovah God will resurrect the millions of dead who were victims of the many genocides (John 5:28,29). What is irreversible for man, is not for God (Matthew 19:26 "to God all things are possible").

It is possible that even if the mercy of God applies to sincere repentance, a feeling of remorse and indignity will continue to harass them. However, they must know that God is greater than hearts: "By this we will know that we originate with the truth, and we will assure our hearts before him regarding whatever our hearts may condemn us in, because God is greater than our hearts and knows all things. Beloved ones, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have freeness of speech toward God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we are observing his commandments and doing what is pleasing in his eyes" (1 John 3:19-22).

(Jesus Christ is the only path to everlasting life)

 Life and Death

 Everlasting Judgment and

 Everlasting Salvation

The Life

Jehovah God is the Creator of life, He is the Source of Life: "With you is the source of life; By your light we can see light" (Psalm 36:9; Hebrews 3:4; Revelation 4:11).

Jehovah God created the first man and the first woman: "And Jehovah God went on to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living person" (Genesis 2:7,22 (creation of Eve, the first woman)).

The word "soul" applied to both man and animals, comes from the Hebrew word "neʹphesh [נֶפֶשׁ]", the Greek, "psy·kheʹ [ψυχή]" and from the Latin "aʹni·ma" (Genesis 1:20,21,24 (Bible verses where the word "soul" is applied to animals)). It is easy to understand, given the biblical context, that the soul refers to the living being itself, for both man and animal. Therefore, the soul refers to bodily shape of animal and human being.

Still in the biblical context, the word soul can be poetically applied to the "ego" (latin), that is oneself: "How long will my soul have anxious concern, With grief in my heart each day? How long will my enemy triumph over me? (…) My soul has been sleepless from grief. Strengthen me according to your word" (Psalms 13:2; 119:28).

The soul can allude to life itself: "Just as her soul was going out ​(for she was dying)" (Genesis 35:18) (This quote is according to the death of Rachel, giving birth to her son Benjamin). “Whoever finds his soul will lose it, and whoever loses his soul for my sake will find it. (…) For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. Really, what good will it do a man if he gains the whole world but loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?" (Matthew 10:39; 16:25,26). The New Testament was written in Greek, which means that the word "soul" is translated from the Greek word "ψυχή (psukhê)".

The expression "living soul" shows in itself that the soul can die or be destroyed (the opposite would have been a pleonasm in the case of the concept of "the immortal soul"): "putting to death the souls who should not die and keeping alive the souls who should not live (…) The soul who sins is the one who will die" (Ezekiel 13:19; 18:4,20). Many other biblical texts show that the soul can die and, of course, cannot survive (in an invisible way) its own death...

According to the Bible, the soul is different from the spirit ("ruach" in Hebrew and "pneuma" in Greek). The spirit (connected with the soul) refers to the "breath of life". Therefore, the breath, the air, the wind is an impersonal energy which animates the human soul and that of the animal soul. In Genesis 2:7 it is written: "And Jehovah God went on to form the man out of dust from the ground and to blow into his nostrils the breath of life". The Hebrew word for "breath of life" is "neshamah", which is synonymous with the word "ruah" or the Greek word "pneuma". Indeed, in the Septuagint (Greek biblical text, translated from Hebrew), the expression "neshamah" from Genesis 2:7 was translated as "pnoe" (spirit, breath).

The word "spirit" can refer to spirit beings like God (John 4:24), spirit creatures (1 Kings 2:21,22) and the resurrected Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:45). In Genesis (6:3), the expression "my spirit" is a way of referring to oneself.

It is important not to mix up the different meanings of the word "spirit"; the breath of life which animates the soul is an impersonal energy, while the word "spirit" applying to God, to the risen Jesus Christ and to the angels, are beings animated by a personal energy, endowed with a conscience and intelligence.

The Death

It is God himself who defines it. Comparing Genesis 2:17 with 3:19, where it is written that if Adam disobeyed the commandment regarding to the forbidden fruit, he would surely die. At end, Adam disobeyed. Here is what it is written in the judgment of God against Adam and Eve: "In the sweat of your face you will eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken. For dust you are and to dust you will return" (Genesis 3:19). Therefore, death is the opposite of life, and the return to nonexistence (Psalm 146:3,4; Ecclesiastes 3:19,20; 9:5,10). Jehovah God, in his judgment, evokes the return to dust which is more generally designated in the Bible by an expression of symbolic place such as Sheol (Hebrew) or Hades (Greek), or even the "sea" where de very many humans perished (Revelation 20:13). Therefore, it is not difficult to understand and accept this simple biblical teaching point, death is absolute inexistence. The soul dies and the spirit or the vital energy disappears: “Do not put your trust in princes Nor in a son of man, who cannot bring salvation. His spirit goes out, he returns to the ground; On that very day his thoughts perish" (Psalms 146:3,4).

The Second Death, The Fiery Lake, The Gehenna

The expressions "second death" and "fiery lake", which have been misinterpreted, have led to frightening and unbiblical human dogmas such as fiery hell and purgatory... They are in the book of Revelation: "The one who conquers will by no means be harmed by the second death" (Revelation 2:11; 20:6,14; 21:8). In Revelation 20:14, there is the connection between the second death and the fiery lake: "And death and the Grave were hurled into the lake of fire. This means the second death, the lake of fire". It should be noted that this place is just as symbolic as are (generically) the death and Hades (place of the dead). In what part of the biblical history does the "fiery lake" come from? The book of Revelation mentions both the Ten Plagues of Egypt and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, even to the point of using a cross-referenced expression such as "Sodom and Egypt" (Revelation 11: 8). The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is biblically associated with fire and everlasting judgment (Hebrews 6:2; 2 Peter 3:7).

Therefore, this  lake of fire mentioned in Revelation, probably alludes to the panoramic vision that Abraham had of the Dead Sea, after the destruction of all the cities like Sodom and Gomorrah, on its seaside perimeter (the city of Zoar having been spared by God for the sake of Lot (Genesis 19:23)). Here is the account of the awe-inspiring sight of the Dead Sea shortly after the destruction: "Now Abraham got up early in the morning and went to the place where he had stood before Jehovah. When he looked down toward Sodʹom and Go·morʹrah and all the land of the district, he saw quite a sight. There was dense smoke rising from the land like the dense smoke of a kiln! So when God destroyed the cities of the district, God kept Abraham in mind by sending Lot out from the cities he overthrew, the cities where Lot had been dwelling" (Genesis 19:27-29). Therefore, the "lake of fire" probably refers to the sight of destruction over almost the entire seaside perimeter of the Dead Sea (an inland sea as a great lake). This destruction symbolizes death, the result of everlasting judgment, that is, without the possibility of resurrection.

The expression Gehenna of fire, used by Jesus Christ, has exactly the same meaning of everlasting destruction or death without the possibility of resurrection. Where was Gehenna? It was located in the south of Jerusalem, outside the city walls. It was simply the dumping ground for the city of Jerusalem, which existed in the time of Jesus Christ and was called, the Valley of Hinnon (Ge Hinnom) or Gehenna. The rubbish of the city were thrown and burned there, as well as the corpses of animals and criminals after their execution, unworthy of a burial (even, in the biblical collective imagination, unworthy of a resurrection ("With the burial of a donkey he will be buried, Dragged about and thrown away, Outside the gates of Jerusalem"(Jeremiah 22:19)).

The translation of the Bible into Latin has created confusion in the understanding of the condition of the dead. As we have seen, it is important to differentiate between the Hebrew word Sheol and the Greek word Hades, on the one hand, with Gehenna on the other. In some translations of the Bible, these three words have been translated as the original Latin word hell (infernus). In doing so, it created confusion in the understanding of the word gehenna, becoming an unbiblical teaching of the existence of a fiery hell.

Jesus Christ used the word "Gehenna" or "Gehenna of fire," as a real place known to all his contemporaries, to illustrate the everlasting judgment and the idea of ​​destruction without the possibility of resurrection, the second death. In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus Christ referred to this place three times, without necessarily specifying its meaning. Why ? Quite simply, even in Galilee 100 km north of Jerusalem, this place of destruction was well known and did not require any description or explanation (Matthew 5:22,29,30). Gehenna is associated with a fire that does not put out, why? For the obvious reason that such a place, near a city would have represented a danger to the health of most inhabitants, if it had not been fueled by a permanent or constant fire, based on sulfur, in order to decompose all the waste of the city more quickly (Mark 9:47,48).

Does the lake of fire mentioned in Revelation represent the place of Gehenna? Yes, as to its symbolism of everlasting destruction. No, as to the geographical allusion to this place; Gehenna was not a place like a lake or an inland sea. Moreover, this expression does not appear directly, or even in an enigmatic way, in the book of Revelation.

Salvation By Coming Out Of The Great Tribulation

And By The Resurrection

The Great crowd, in Revelation 7:9-17, are peoples who will come out of the Great Tribulation and will live forever in the Earthly Paradise: "After this I saw, and look! a great crowd, which no man was able to number, out of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes; and there were palm branches in their hands. And they keep shouting with a loud voice, saying: “Salvation we owe to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb.” All the angels were standing around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell facedown before the throne and worshipped God, saying: “Amen! Let the praise and the glory and the wisdom and the thanksgiving and the honor and the power and the strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” In response one of the elders said to me: “These who are dressed in the white robes, who are they and where did they come from?” So right away I said to him: “My lord, you are the one who knows.” And he said to me: “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. That is why they are before the throne of God, and they are rendering him sacred service day and night in his temple; and the One seated on the throne will spread his tent over them. They will hunger no more nor thirst anymore, neither will the sun beat down on them nor any scorching heat, because the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, will shepherd them and will guide them to springs of waters of life. And God will wipe out every tear from their eyes”" (Revelation 7:9-17).

There will be a heavenly resurrection.  Only 144000 people will go to heaven with Jesus Christ (Revelation 7: 3-8; 14:1-5): "Then I saw, and look! the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who have his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads. I heard a sound coming out of heaven like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder; and the sound that I heard was like singers who accompany themselves by playing on their harps. And they are singing what seems to be a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders, and no one was able to master that song except the 144,000, who have been bought from the earth. These are the ones who did not defile themselves with women; in fact, they are virgins. These are the ones who keep following the Lamb no matter where he goes. These were bought from among mankind as firstfruits to God and to the Lamb, and no deceit was found in their mouths; they are without blemish" (Revelation 14:1-5).

There will be an earthly resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous after the Great Tribulation, during the 1000 years reign: "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 judgment" (John 5:28,29; Acts 24:15). The unrighteous resurrected will be judged on the basis of their behavior (AFTER their resurrection) during the 1000 years reign (and not on the basis of their past life) (Revelation 20:11-13).