Matthew 3:16-When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.(New King James Version of the Bible).

The Protestant sects of Lutheranism, Calvinism, Zwinglianism, Anglicanism or Episcopalianism in The Thirty Nine Articles of 1563 and 1571, and the Roman Catholic heretical sect known as Jansenism, argue that the Bible supports the doctrine of predestination. According to the Lutherans, God predestines or chooses beforehand who will be worthy to go to heaven, and those not selected for heaven are abandoned to go to Hell. Martin Luther set forth his views on predestination in his theological treatise called On the Bondage of the Will, published in 1525, which was written in response to Desiderius Erasmus's publication On the Freedom of the Will (1524). Luther wrote that salvation comes from faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ as the Messiah, rather than good works, and that faith is a gift of God's grace, i.e. which can only be given by God to those whom He chooses beforehand. When a person receives the gift of faith, then he or she becomes capable to do good works for the motive of loving and serving the goodness and glory of God, and for the love of one's neighbour. Luther based his doctrine of predestination on Saint Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians 2:8-10, and Saint Paul's Epistle to the Romans chapter 9. In Ephesians 2:8-10 it is written: "8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 Not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them." (The New King James Version of the Bible). Saint Paul in Romans 2:5-11 and Galatians 2:10 stressed the importance of good deeds or good works. People who do not believe in Jesus as the Messiah will not be saved, and that is one of the reasons why Luther hated the Jews so much, condemning them in his publication On the Jews and Their Lies (1543), and basing his stance towards them on The First Epistle of John 2:22-23, I John 4:1-3, The Gospel of John 14:6, II Thessalonians 2, Revelation 12-13, Revelation 17-18, Galatians 4, Revelation 11:8, Matthew 21:42-46, Revelation 2:9, Revelation 3:9, I Thessalonians 2:14-16, Romans 9:6-7, and Mark 16:15-16. Unlike Erasmus, Luther denied Christ had died on the cross to offer salvation as a choice for all, even though Saint Paul wrote in his Second Epistle to the Corinthians 5:15 that Christ died for everyone. The Lutherans believe in single predestination, i.e. that God predestines some persons to heaven and abandons the others to hell. The Calvinists and Zwinglians preach double predestination, saying that God predestines beforehand some people to go to Heaven, and that He predestines others to go to Hell, basing their position on The Acts of the Apostles 15:18, which says that God knows from eternity all His works. If God the all-powerful has the power to predestine some people to heaven, then why should he not have the power to predestine everyone to heaven? The Lutherans, Calvinists, and Zwinglians argue that this is just another mystery of God, which is an implicit admission on their part that they do not know, and that the whole theory of predestination might be wrong. The Eastern Orthodox churches believe that God forsees since eternity what choices people will make in the future, since He is all-knowing and lives in an eternal present where time does not exist. Old Testament Judaism generally did not believe in predestination. In Islam, the Sunni sects believe that what happens in the future is allowed to happen by God or Allah in accordance with His will, although the Shiite sects believe in free will. The Jansenists were a heretical sect of Roman Catholicism in the 1600's and 1700's who believed in predestination, which is not part of official Roman Catholic theology. Nevertheless, unlike the Calvinists, the Jansenists argued that even the Elect, that is those predestined to go to Heaven, could lose their election and become members of the reprobate or damned, as written in the Old Testament Book of Ezekiel chapter 18, which also says that the damned can be saved if they stop sinning and start doing what is good. Jeremiah 18:7-10 summarizes what is said in Ezekiel 18. The Jansenists also said that repentance out of contrition or sorrow for causing hurt to God and neighbors was the only kind of valid repentance, and that repentance out of attrition or fear of God's punishment made the sinner a hypocrite, even though attrition is acceptable according to Proverbs 13:13, Proverbs 14:26-27, Proverbs 19:23, and Philippians 2:12. There is also the example of the Assyrian Ninevites repenting out of fear in response to the warnings of the Prophet Jonah, and as a result avoiding God's punishment, even though Nineveh was to later on be destroyed when the Assyrian Empire fell to a combined assault from the Iranian Medes and the "Central Iraqi" Babylonians in 614 and 612 B.C. Presumably Assyria committed fresh crimes after the time of Jonah. Supralapsarianism is a Calvinist doctrine of double predestination which states that God divided human beings into the saved and the damned before Adam and Eve fell from grace in the Garden of Eden, and that the fall, brought about by Satan's temptation when he was disguised as a snake, was part of God's plan. Infralapsarianism is the doctrine held by those Calvinists who believe that God divided human beings into the saved and the damned after the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. The Apostle Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, chapter 9, says that God is like a potter, with the power to make some pots (i.e. humans) for salvation, and to make other pots for destruction, i.e. damnation. In chapter 7 of his Epistle to the Romans, Saint Paul talks about the conflict between the body or genetics and heredity with the soul. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 26:41 that the spirit or soul is willing but the flesh is weak towards temptation. It could then be argued that those homosexuals whose genes made them become homosexuals have been made by God that way in order to predestine them to damnation, because Saint Paul in I Corinthians 6:9-10 says that homosexuals will not enter heaven. It could also be argued that those Jews who do not convert to Christianity are also predestined by God to go to hell, since I John 2:22-23 says that whoever does not believe in Jesus as the Son of God does not have the favour of God the Father. However, according to Saint Paul in Romans 11, the generation of Jews who will be around at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ as the Parousia will convert to Christianity and will therefore be saved from hell, although not the generations of Jews who died before the Second Coming. According to Mark 16:15-16, Jesus is purported to have told His Apostles to preach His Gospel to all nations, and that whoever does not believe in His teachings will be condemned. The theory of Evolution and the genetic evidence to support it has disproved the story of Adam and Eve, and of the survivors of Noah's Flood, which raises the question of what other parts of the Bible are not literally and fundamentally true? Jesus Himself did not write a word of the New Testament, and many of the books of The New Testament were written decades after the crucifixion of Jesus.

There are several passages in the Bible which support the democratic concept of free will. They include the following: Jeremiah 18:7-10, I Timothy 2:3-4, II Peter 3:9, I John 4:8, Ezekiel 18:32, Ezekiel 33:11, Deuteronomy 30:19, Joshua 24:15, II Corinthians 5:15, and Revelation 2:5;2:16;2:21;3:3;3:19. Erasmus wrote in his On the Freedom of the Will that the dictatorial concept of predestination would make God a cruel tyrant if He sent to Hell those persons whom He had made evil in the first place. The doctrine of predestination, which says that God either abandons some people to Hell or indeed makes them evil and therefore chooses beforehand to go to hell, implies that God rather than Satan is the author of evil. In the First Epistle of John 1:5 it is written "that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all." To attribute evil to God is blaspheming the Holy Spirit, and for this sin there is no forgiveness in either this earthly life or in the afterlife as Jesus Christ warned the scribes of Jerusalem in the Gospel of Mark 3:28-30. A Catholic priest once told me that the only way to avoid eternal condemnation when one blasphemes the Holy Spirit is to renounce the idea that God is the author of evil, rather than Satan, for Saint Paul wrote in his First epistle to the Corinthians 12:3 "that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit." The same Catholic priest also told me that in order to be forgiven the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit one must believe that Jesus Christ has a clean spirit and that He casts out demons in the name of His Heavenly Father Yahweh. Saint Paul wrote in Romans 9:22 "what if" when speaking of predestination, which shows that the idea of God making people evil and therefore bound for Hell was a hypothetical arguing point rather than belief by Saint Paul. Jesus Christ said in John 5:24 that whoever heard His teachings and believed in God His father who sent Him would be saved, and Saint Paul wrote in Romans 10:9 that whoever confessed Jesus Christ with his mouth and believed in his heart that God raised Him from the dead would be saved. However, simply believing in Jesus and God is not sufficient, for Christ said in Matthew 7:21 that "not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." We should pray what the father of the demon possessed child said to Christ in Mark 9:24, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!" Another allegedly unforgiveable sin is abandoning Christianity for atheism or another religion, according to The Epistle to the Hebrews 6:4-6 in the New Testament, unless the apostate returns to Christianity as the prodigal son, as was once told to me by a Catholic priest (see Luke 15).

There are many accounts of people who have had a near death experience (NDE), i.e. where they have reported to have visited the afterlife while clinically dead before being resuscitated back to life, who have come back affirming that free will exists. They were told this fact by angels or beings of light, and by no less an authority than that of Jesus Christ and Yahweh, the Hebrew name for God, i.e. Allah to the Muslims. According to Jeremiah 18:7-10, God decides what the future will be or allow to be based on the choices that people make. The future is like a choose-your-own adventure novel, not fixed unalterably in advance, but dependent on human choices. God foresees the possibilities. Near death experiencers (NDErs) who are morally upright but who happen to be non-Christians, including the Jews, as well as atheists, agnostics, homosexuals, lesbians, and bisexuals have reported having visited heaven while clinically dead before being resuscitated back to life, in addition to Christians of different denominations. Suicides do not necessarily go to hell, but to a temporary, extremely unpleasant purgatory, depending upon the reasons why they committed suicide. The current official position of the Roman Catholic Church is to pray for the souls of suicides in purgatory, basing its position on The Second Book of Maccabees 12:38-45 in the Greek rather than Hebrew version of the Old Testament. Personally, I believe that there is no early release from purgatory by means of prayers for the dead, but that the persons in purgatory stay there until they have paid in full by their mental sufferings the debts of their sins. See Suicide: Catholic Encylopedia in Google Search. No where in the Bible does it say that all suicides automatically go to hell. NDErs come back saying that not all of the Bible is literally and fundamentally true, and that the Bible, because it was written by fallible human beings, can contradict itself on occasions, for example when II Kings Chapters 9-10 says one thing and Hosea 1:4-5 says another thing. Many parts of the Bible were written decades, sometimes even centuries after the historical events which they describe, and other parts of the Bible are legendary and mythological in origin. There are also accounts of NDErs being greeted by their dead pets in the afterlife, and of visits to an animal and plant heaven, which proves that animals and plants also have souls, and which is stated in Psalm 104:29-30. See and NDEs of Pets in Google Search and Q & A With PMH Atwater: Pets Seen During NDEs in Google Search. People who are born blind or have become blind have reported seeing during an out-of-body experience (OBE) and a near-death experience (NDE), and of undergoing a life review, where they re-view or see again every moment of their lives. During the life review, the near-death experiencer fully experiences being every other person with whom they interacted. The near-death experiencer feels what it is like to be on the receiving end of their actions, including those that caused others pain. The near-death experiencer usually reports feeling profound remorse, along with extreme regret that the harm cannot be undone. (God nevertheless can undo the harm, for nothing is impossible with God according to Matthew 19:26, Mark 10:27, and Luke 18:27. For example, a person who suffered poverty in their earthly life could experience in the afterlife what it would have been like to have lived as a rich person ; a person who was murdered could experience in their afterlife what it would have been like to have lived out their remaining years, or an innocent person who was imprisoned could experience in the afterlife what it would have been like to have lived as a free person in the lost years on Earth). Although this understanding is likely to be extremely painful, it is said to be more a corrective than punishment for its own sake, for at the same time, near death experiencers report that the ultimate purpose of life is to be a more loving person. This karmic life review somewhat resembles purgatory. See IANDS (International Association of Near-Death Studies) in Impact of the Near-Death Experience on Grief and Loss; The Life Review and the Near-Death Experience in Google Search, Life Review in Wikipedia, and Near-Death Experiences and the Afterlife in Google Search. All this makes the near-death experience a genuinely supernatural phenomenon. If God could not do the impossible, such as undo the harm caused to others by sin, then we would have the impossible situation arising of God being damned forever with Satan in the lake of fire at the end of time because God allowed a situation to develop where the harm done by sin could not be undone. The ones who sinned would also be damned forever if their victims refused to forgive their sins from their heart.

From accounts of persons who have had near-death experiences there is various evidence to suggest that hell is temporary, i.e. with a time limit, rather like purgatory, rather than eternal. Of course, a temporary hell could last anywhere from one day to ten million years for example. Passages in the Bible which imply the existence of purgatory are as follows: Colossians 3:25, I John 5:16-17, I Corinthians 11:20-34, Hebrews 12:5-11, I Corinthians 3:10-15, Revelation 8:5, Luke 3:16, Mark 9:49, Matthew 18:34-35, Matthew 5:25-26, Luke 12:58-59, Matthew 6:14-15, Matthew 18:18, John 20:19-23, Luke 12:47-50, II Peter 3:7-13, Acts 2:22-36, Matthew 27:50-54, Revelation 20:11-15, Matthew 13:10-17, and I Peter 3:18-20. The last reference in I Peter 3:18-20 refers to Noah's flood, which probably affected the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the then known world of Syria, Iraq, and Kuwait as told in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, caused by the rapid melting of snow in the Caucasus mountains around 3000 B.C. There is evidence to suggest that a hellish or distressing near death experience is an incomplete experience and if allowed to run their full course resolve themselves into the healing, euphoric kind. See Impact of the Near-Death Experience on Grief and Loss in Google Search. According to NDE researcher Dr. Ken Vincent, a retired psychology teacher, NDES of a hellish nature that ran their full course ended up as being heavenly in experience, and that there are certain passages in the Bible which suggest eventual eternal salvation for all. See NDEs and Universal Salvation in Google Search. Various passages in the Bible which suggest eventual eternal salvation for all are: I Peter 3:18-20, I Peter 4:6, John 12:32, I Corinthians 15:28, I Timothy 4:10, Ephesians 1:9-10, Titus 2:11, and Luke 3:6. The scholar, early Christian theologian and Church father Origen Adamantius (184/185-253/254 A.D.) taught universal salvation in a doctrine known as Apokatastasis. The Christian Universalists believe that hell is temporary, rather like purgatory, and not eternal. The Reverend Juliet Nightingale, who passed away on February 28, 2009, had a near death experience in the mid-1970's while in a coma in a hospital. Although legally blind, she was able to see in her NDE, and a being of light or an angel told her that eventually all departed souls would be saved and admitted into heaven, even those in hell. Of course a temporary stay in hell could last anywhere from one day to a 100 million years for example. See Toward the Light: Reverend Juliet Nightingale's Near-Death Experience in Google Search. Reverend Nightingale also claimed to have had telepathic conversations with angels in her NDE. Presumably Satan's fallen angels or demons also have the ability to communicate telepathically, should they choose to do so. Satan's fallen angels can disguise themselves as angels of light according to II Corinthians 11:14. See also Revelation 12 for the fall of Satan's angels from Heaven to Earth. Reverend Nightingale also claimed to have seen a sea in heaven teeming with life, and of being able to breathe underwater and move effortlessly through it.

I personally believe that for hell to be eternal, people would have to have perfect, uninfluenced free will. Humans have influenced free will, that is free will affected by heredity or genes and the environment. This idea of influenced free will is known in philosophy as compatibilism, in literature as naturalism, or in legal doctrine as diminished responsibility. It is like playing a game of Craps with loaded dice, and even with perfectly balanced dice some numbers are more likely to come up than others. This raises the question of what caused the rebellion of Satan and his fallen angels or demons when Jesus Christ was born on Earth, as told in the New Testament Book of Revelation 12:1-9, since they are spirits and have no body, and therefore no genetic predisposition to tempt them to sin? Perhaps as God's prosecutor and tester/tempter of sinful humans in The Old Testament, Satan in The New Testament was trying to prove to God that humans because of their evolutionary genetic predisposition to fall into sin and crime all too often were not worthy of eternal salvation. I do remember reading somewhere on a website that one near death experiencer was told by Jesus Christ that He was battling against powerful fallen rebel angels or demons led by Satan, and that Jesus was worried that He might lose the apocalyptic battle against them because of the increasing number of agnostic, atheist, or indifferent nominal Christians in the modern world. Jesus also told the near death experiencers that the impact of His crucifixion and resurrection from the dead upon sinful humanity was largely a failure. Although travel from Earth to other planets with intelligent life is impossible within a single human lifetime because of the vast distances between stars or suns and the planets which orbit them, and because it is impossible according to the theory of relativity in physics to travel faster than the speed of light, there is intelligent life on other solar systems in the Milky Way Galaxy and in solar systems in other galaxies in the universe, as well as universes with intelligent life in different dimensions, according to Howard Storm, who had a near death experience in 1985 while still an atheist, although now he is a pastor. This knowledge of intelligent life on other planets in the universe was revealed to him by God's angels while he had a near death experience that began as hellish in nature but ended up as redemptive and heavenly. Mr. Storm said that on many planets with intelligent life, Jesus Christ did not have to be crucified for their sins, because their genetic predisposition was towards morality, unlike with humans on Earth, whose genes give them a tendency to sin. See Aliens-By Stephen Muires in SwedenborgStudy.com. Mr. Storm also was told by Jesus Christ that the future is not fixed in advance, but can change according to the decisions we humans make, however much our choices may be influenced by our genes and natural environment. This unfixed, changeable future is in accordance with what is written in Jeremiah 18:7-10. God, who exists in an eternal present outside of time, knows what all the possibilities of the ever changing future will be. Time began with the Big Bang explosion which led to the beginning of the universe. See The Future and the Near-Death Experience in Google Search. According to Richard Deem, author of the web page UFO'S and Extraterrestrial Aliens: Why Earth Has Never Been Visited, which can be found in Google Search, the following limitations for travel beyond the speed of light are expounded:

Travelling near the speed of light is no simple problem. Running into small particles (like the size of a grain of sand) would punch major holes in any spacecraft, due to the high speed of impact. According to Frank Drake, "At relativistic speeds, even a collision with a particle of a few grams results in something close in energy to a nuclear bomb blast. Not good news for the space travelers." A major biological problem seldom mentioned in the press is the blue shifting of the light from ordinary stars when traveling near the speed of light. The Doppler effect of traveling at such speeds would blue shift ordinary visible light all the way to the wavelength of gamma and x-rays. Shielding gamma rays is next to impossible (they can even travel through many feet of solid metal). When they do strike matter (like space traveler's bodies), the results are devastating. This problem alone might restrict the speed of space travel to a fraction of the speed of light.
If space travel by UFO's from another solar system in our Milky Way Galaxy was possible, or from a solar system in another galaxy, then Earth should have been invaded thousands of times by now, and from more than one planet. It takes an infinite amount of energy to travel at the speed of light, let alone to surpass that speed many times over. See Postscript. There are an estimated 100 billion stars or suns in our Milky Way Galaxy, and at least 100 billion galaxies in the Universe (1). The Hubble Telescope, placed in Earth orbit in 1990 by the Space Shuttle, has found an estimated one trillion galaxies in the visible universe. Many galaxies have even more stars than our own Milky Way. Many of the stars or suns have planets orbiting them, and some of the planets have intelligent life. Jesus Christ told His disciples that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41), and Saint Paul in his Epistle to the Romans chapter 7 wrote about the conflict between the mind and the body. The Persian or Iranian prophet Mani, who lived from c.a. 216-276 A.D., founded a Gnostic sect "compounded of Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Buddhistic beliefs known as Manichaeism. This sect maintained that there is a theological dualism in which the body is identified with darkness and evil, and the soul, striving to liberate itself, is identified with light and goodness."(2) Would our genetic predisposition to sin matter if there was no Satan and his fallen angels to tempt us to sin, or does our heredity simply make it easier for the demons to tempt us into sin? The body can contaminate the soul. Those people who argue unfairly and unjustly that the genetically predestined sinner should go to eternal hell hate their brother, and whoever hates their brother is a murderer with no eternal life abiding in him according to I John 3:15. Matthew 6:14-15 says that those people who forgive men their trespasses will be forgiven their own trespasses, and those people who do not forgive men their trespasses will not be forgiven their own trespasses. Matthew 18:34-35 says that if people do not forgive from their heart the trespasses of their brother they will have to undergo the pains of purgatory until the debt of their sins is paid in full. One may forgive a trespasser on the conscious level yet refuse to forgive them on the unconscious level. People who have had a hellish or distressing near death experience have reported visiting a hell populated by either lifeless or threatening demons, as documented by the research of the late cardiologist Maurice Rawlings and PMH Atwater, the latter of whom had three near death experiences herself in 1977. The number of hellish NDEs is often under-reported, because those who have had them are often too ashamed to confess to them, and because doctors and NDE researchers often do not want to know about them. See Is There a Hell? Surprising Observations About the Near-Death Experience in Google Search, originally published in the spring 1992 Journal of Near-Death Studies Vol.10, No.3. There is also a website published by the International Association of Near Death Studies (IANDS) called Distressing Near-Death Experiences which corroborates the research conclusions of P.M.H. Atwater into the nature of distressing or hellish near death experiences. If people were 100% controlled by their genetic instincts, then it would be unfair to have any kind of hell, whether eternal or temporary in duration. The only justification for a temporary hell if we are 100% controlled by genetic instinct would be to provide some kind of justice to the victims of sin. Quantum Physics says that at the subatomic level there is probability rather than certainty, and that subatomic particles can come into or out of existence by the chance fluctuations in vacuum energy. Random genetic mutations, sometimes caused by radiation or chemical reactions, can determine or predestine heredity. It seems that God gave the universe and life to be governed by chance, luck, and a democratic free will, for one cannot argue that an all good God, as opposed to a now pure evil Satan, would desire people to be born congenitally handicapped in their physical or mental faculties for the term of their natural lives, or to die an accidental death. This chance theory of the universe does not rule out miracles, but miracles since Jesus Christ ascended back to Heaven happen so far and few in between on Earth that one cannot rely on them. Theologians say that people need a totally undoubting faith to receive miracles (James 1:5-8; Mark 9:17-29), but one must then ask why God would not grant someone a perfect undoubting faith in order to receive a miracle? One may believe on a conscious level yet doubt on an unconscious level. It seems that God gave the universe and nature the free will to make mistakes and accidents via evolution, random genetic mutation, heredity, and natural selection, where the weak and handicapped at worst die and at best merely exist for a while, rather than thrive and live. Those born handicapped are the sacrafice to cosmic democracy, cosmic chance, cosmic luck. Physicists say that the laws of physics disappear once an object enters into a black hole. The laws of physics only began after the chaos following the Big Bang event, which in turn led to the beginning of the creation of the universe. The Big Bang resulted from a fluctuation in vacuum energy, and vacuum energy has its origins in an act of creation caused by God (see In the Beginning God Created-Or Was It a Quantum Fluctuation? by Dr. Jonathan D. Sarfati, and A Universe From Nothing? by Jake Herbert, Ph.D.). This is why nothing is impossible with God (Mark 10:27). Near death experiencers have said that God or Jesus Christ revealed to them that they live by spiritual laws, and that is why it is in God's nature to be a cosmic democrat. Viruses and bacteria which cause epidemics are the result of random genetic mutation and natural selection, and earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, floods, droughts, wildfires or bushfires, tornadoes, cyclones, and hurricanes are not willed by God, but simply God allowing nature to take its course.

"The belief in a rational human will was challenged in the early 1900's by the Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, who stated that what we like to consider as "sound reasons" for our actions are only excuses or rationalizations. We act the way we do, Freud said, because of unconscious drives arising from a part of our subconscious mind called the id"(3). "The id is the mental representation of biological instincts determined by heredity or genetics that each person is born with, such as the desire to satisfy hunger and sexual needs", the latter of which is a primitive unconscious urge to continue one's species by having children. We attribute socially acceptable motives to ourselves to please another part of our subconscious called the superego, which represents our conscience. The superego governs moral behaviour, and it is the representation of society's moral code. The superego seeks to limit behaviour based on the drives of the id. The ego is our reasoning, logical or rational faculty, and it distinguishes between the internal mind and external reality. It controls behaviour that bridges the gap between mental images and the outside world. For example, the ego directs a hungry person to look for and to eat real food. The id on the other hand does not distinguish between the internal mind and external reality. For example, the id stimulates the eating drives, but it makes no distinction between a mental image of food and the food itself. In mentally healthy individuals, the three parts of the mind work in harmony. But in others, the parts may conflict. For example, the superego might oppose all sexual behaviour, thus preventing fulfillment of the id's sexual drives. If the parts of the mind oppose one another, psychological disturbances can result"(4). The three Freudian parts of the mind work something like this: the id might urge a man to rape a sexually attractive woman who refuses his advances, the ego would tell him that he might get into trouble with the law, and the superego would tell him that rape is morally wrong.

As previously mentioned in this web site, there are near death experiencers who have claimed to have been greeted by their dead pets in the afterlife, and to have visited an animal and plant heaven. Children who have had a near death experience report visiting an animal heaven before they visit a human heaven. Horses in heaven are mentioned in Revelation 19:11-14, and trees in Revelation 22:1-2. Animals, unlike humans and fallen angels or demons, are in a state of innocence, ignorant of the existence of the Holy Trinity and of Satan. The Biblical passages which support the doctrine of the Holy Trinity can be found in John 1:1-15, John 20:19-23, The Acts of the Apostles chapter 2, and Matthew 3:16-17. According to Revelation 21:1 the new heaven and the new earth which will replace the first heaven and earth will have no sea. However, according to Ezekiel 47:1-12, the extremely salty Dead Sea salt lake will be transformed into a freshwater lake with as many kinds of fish as there are in the open sea, and the Dead Sea will be connected to the threshold in the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem by a river. Ezekiel 47:12 says that near the river on both banks there will be all kinds of fruit trees with foliage that will not wither and fruit that will never fail, and that each month they will bear a fresh crop because the water comes from the Temple. The fruit will be good to eat and the leaves will be used for healing. Revelation 22:1-2 mirrors what is written in Ezekiel 47:12, saying that the river of life, clear as crystal, will gush forth from the throne of God and of the Lamb, and that in the middle of the city of the New Jerusalem, on both sides of the river, will be the trees of life producing fruit twelve times, once each month, and its leaves will be used for healing the nations. In Zechariah 14:8 it is written that in the New Jerusalem fresh water will flow from it, half to the Dead Sea and the other half to the Mediterranean Sea, all year long, in the dry season as well as the wet. Revelation 4:6 says that before the throne in heaven there is a sea of glass, like crystal. This might mean that in heaven there is a large transparent sea, through which one can see to the bottom of. "The Greek word 'hualinos' translated 'glass' is an adjective, descriptive of the sea; meaning that the sea was translucent, like glass. The Greek word translated crystal 'krustallos' is derived from 'kruos'(frost) and is perhaps intended to indicate as clear as ice." The New Testament was originally written in Greek, the language of the educated classes of the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, which was the result of the conquests made by Alexander the Great of Macedon from 336-323 B.C. See What is the sea of glass?-This is Your Bible.Com in Google Search.

"For the ancient Hebrews the sea was a daily reminder of primitive chaos or of the abyss, in other words hell, for it was there that the marine monsters Leviathan and Rahab moved around, monsters which only God the all powerful can challenge and ultimately defeat at the end of time"(5). So when the Bible says that there will be no more sea in the new heaven and earth at the end of time according to Revelation 21:1, this figuratively means by way of parable that there will be no more evil at the end of time, rather than that there will be no more sea. See The Sea as a Symbol of the Powers of Chaos in the Hebrew Scriptures or The OT uses the sea as a symbol of chaos by Pastor Mark Johnson in Google Search. The sea monster Leviathan, often imagined to be a serpent according to Isaiah 27:1, and which some Biblical commentators believe refers to Assyria and Babylon, was to later become identified with Satan, the fallen angel. The sea monster Rahab was the symbol of Egypt (Isaiah 51:9-10). The ancient empires of Assyria, Babylon, Egypt, along with Persia/Iran, Macedon, and Rome, were the nations which invaded Israel in Old Testament times. In Isaiah 27:1 it is written that the Lord God Yahweh will in the end times slay with his sword Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent, the monster of the sea. Saint John wrote in Revelation 13:1 that as he stood upon the sand of the sea, he saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. The beast is the symbol of the Antichrist, upon whom the Whore of Babylon rides according to Revelation 17-18, and whom the dragon, i.e. Satan, gives power and authority to (Revelation 12:1-9). When Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation in the New Testament, the Whore of Babylon was the city and port of pagan Rome, and the Antichrist was the pagan Roman Emperor Nero, the first emperor to persecute the Christians. In the end of days it is thought that a new superpower like that of ancient Rome will arise to persecute the saints, i.e. true Christians as opposed to nominal Christians, whom the Antichrist will defeat initially in war (Revelation 13:7). According to Saint Paul the Antichrist will come when faith in Christianity is at its weakest (II Thessalonians 2:3-12), and who will sit in the temple of God and demand to be worshipped as God. At the end of the 1000 year reign which begins with the Second Coming of Jesus the Messiah, the Parousia, it is written that there will be no more sea according to Revelation 21:1 in the new heaven and new earth. This is not to say that the old heaven and old earth are literally and physically replaced, but that a new order of government and governed arises, where all are immortal and God dwells among them. In this sense there is no more sea, meaning no more ungodly nations or wickedness of mankind on the earth. Psalm 65 equates the "roaring of the seas" with the "turmoil of the nations" (verse 7). The Old Testament Hebrew prophet Daniel sees, in his vision at night, "the great winds of heaven, churning up the seas" out of which four beasts emerge (Daniel 7:2-3). These beasts are later identified as four nations which invade and persecute the people of Israel (Daniel 7:17). The Book of Daniel is now believed to have been written in the 100's B.C. during the rule of the Jewish Hasmonean dynasty, founded by Simon, the brother of Judah Maccabee, in the aftermath of the successful Maccabean revolt against the Syrian King Antiochus Epiphanes, who was a member of the Seleucid dynasty. The dynasty was named after one of the generals of Alexander the Great, known as Seleucus I. The language of the dynasty was Greek, although their more humble subjects spoke Aramaic and Syriac. The Romans conquered the dynasty in 64 B.C, followed by the conquest of Palestine the following year. The four nations mentioned in the Book of Daniel were the Babylonians, Persians or Iranians, Greek Macedonians, and their offshoot the Syrian Seleucids. King Antiochus Epiphanes had tried to force the ancient pagan Greek religion onto the Jews. When Saint John wrote the Book of Revelation on the Greek Aegean island of Patmos, he compared the pagan Roman Emperor Nero, who was then persecuting the Christians, and whom he regarded as the Antichrist of his times, to Antiochus Epiphanes. The Old Testament writers often used the sea as a symbol of turmoil and chaos. Psalm 93 uses this imagery to describe forces of chaos that would challenge the rule of Yahweh: "The seas have lifted up, O Lord, the seas have lifted up their voice; the seas have lifted up their pounding waves" (verse 3). Yet, as mighty as the waves seem, Yahweh is sovereign over them: "Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea--the Lord on high is mighty" (verse 4).

It is known by geologists that all the continents were once joined together into a supercontinent known as Pangaea, which existed 200 million years ago, and which in turn was surrounded by a world ocean called Panthalassa. This global geography might be referred to in II Peter 3:5"...that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water." In the new heaven and new earth which comes into existence after the Last Judgement, Pangaea and Panthalassa might come into existence again. "The ancient Hebrews thought that the Earth was a round table whose pillars descended into the all encompassing ocean. In the uppermost part were the Heavens among the Heavens, or the Highest Heavens, the dwelling place of God. The sun, the moon and the stars hung from a canopy called ceiling. The rain flowed from waters from above, on the ceiling or firmament. Psalm 148:4 says "praise Him, you heavens of heavens, and you waters above the heavens!" The place of the dead, or Sheol, was under the earth, and was connected to the world of the living through openings which were the tombs of the dead."(6)

Some Christians claim that animals are without a soul, although nowhere in the Bible is this written. In Psalm 104:29-30 God is shown as either taking or giving breath or spirit to the animals, in other words He has the power of life and death over them. The Hebrew word for "spirit" is "ruah," and translated literally it means "breath," "wind," or "air." The Hebrew words for the Holy Spirit is Ruah Ha-Kodesh. Genesis 2:7 says that Adam became alive when God breathed into his nostrils a breath of life. Throughout Genesis chapter one it says that God was pleased with His creation, including the animals, finding them to be good. In Acts 10:9-16 Saint Peter was told by God that no animal is unclean, which meant that the Jewish Old Testament prohibition of the eating of so-called unclean animals such as pigs, reptiles, and shellfish was wrong. According to Revelation 19:11-14 there are horses in heaven, which implies that animals, like humans, have immortal souls. Animals, unlike humans, are innocent and ignorant of the knowledge of the difference between right and wrong, and of the knowledge of the existence of the Holy Trinity and Satan, the fallen angel (Revelation 12:7-9). After all, it was not the animals, but Adam and Eve who ate of the forbidden fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and thereby lost their innocence, becoming ashamed of their nakedness. Personally, I do not believe in the story of Adam and Eve literally, but interpret it as a parable. Somewhere in the millions of years of evolution from the apes, humans became aware of God. According to DNA tests, humans are 99% genetically identical with the chimpanzees, and what a difference 1% has made! We humans have a duty to treat our animals with kindness, according to Proverbs 12:10. St. Francis of Assisi, the Roman Catholic patron saint of animals, was an example of treating God's creatures with kindness. In the end times however, animals will praise God their creator and Jesus the Lamb of God (Revelation 5:13). Perhaps the reason why children who have had a near death experience have reported visiting an animal heaven before seeing a human heaven is because they are the closest to a state of innocence, although even as children humans have as yet an incomplete idea of right and wrong.

According to Isaiah 11:6-9, the nature of fauna will be changed in the end times. Animals will live together with each other and with humans in peace, and carnivorous animals will become herbivores. On Zion, God's holy hill, there will be nothing harmful or evil, and the land will be as full of knowledge of the Lord as the seas are full of water. Isaiah 65:25 reiterates this revelation, and goes on to say that Satan, disguised as a serpent, will eat dust. Compare Genesis 3:14-15 with Revelation 12. Genesis 1:29-30 says that God originally intended for humans and all animals, before the fall of Adam and Eve, to be vegetarians, in other words, to live in a world without violence and killing.

The Nazis believed in a form of predestination known as eugenics, Social Darwinism, and geopolitical determinism, where the fit survive and the weak die in the struggle for life and space, while the Communists believed in economic determinism, or in the inevitability of class conflict. The Nazis believed that the Jews were predestined by their heredity or genes to be an evil, immoral people who could not be morally reformed, and therefore were worthy of genocide. That is why the Nazis even persecuted those German Christians of Jewish descent, despite the fact that the earliest converts to Christianity were Jews. Hitler at one point in his political manifesto known as Mein Kampf (My Struggle), published originally in two volumes in 1925-1926, wrote that "the born criminal is and remains a criminal."(7) In Mein Kampf Hitler on several occasions refers to predestined Fate and the role of heredity or genetic predestination in forming character(8). Hitler believed that all of the Jews were born criminals, for he writes "Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it?. If you cut even cautiously into such an abscess, you find, like a maggot in a rotting body, often bedazzled by the sudden light-a kike!"(9) Although Hitler was baptized a Catholic, and Catholicism believes in free will, there was a heretical sect within Catholicism called Jansenism which believed in predestination. Hitler claimed that in defending himself against the Jew, he was "fighting for the work of the Lord."(10) On several occasions Hitler quotes passages from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible in Mein Kampf, and on one occasion he mentions that Jesus Christ, the founder of Christianity, was strongly opposed to those Jews who refused to convert to Christianity, and found it necessary to drive out the Jewish moneylenders from the Temple in Jerusalem with a whip, which Hitler regarded as one of the reasons why the Jews handed Him over to the then pagan Romans to be crucified(11). Hitler wrote that Protestantism in Germany was a better defender of the interests of Germanism than Catholicism, and was also a strong opponent of the Jews. He also classed Martin Luther as one of the great reformers of Germany, along with Frederick the Great and Richard Wagner(12). The Nazi pseudo-sciences of Social Darwinism and Eugenics as applied to racial politics showed that National Socialism or Nazism, in other words German Fascism, was the twentieth century version of emotional, irrational Romanticism hiding behind the facade of scientific rationalism.

Martin Luther published in 1543 a 65,000 word treatise called On the Jews and Their Lies in which he advocated setting synagogues on fire, destroying Jewish prayerbooks, forbidding rabbis from preaching, seizing Jews' property and money, and smashing up their homes, so that these "poisonous envenomed worms" would be forced into labour or expelled "for all time"(13). In Robert Michael's view, Luther's words "We are at fault in not slaying them" amounted to a sanction for genocide, a sanction which the Nazis adopted in their Final Solution aimed at the Jews during the Holocaust(14). According to Robert Michael, just about every anti-Jewish book printed in the Nazi Third Reich (1933-1945) contained references to and quotations from Luther(15). This is part of what Martin Luther wrote in the conclusion to his treatise On the Jews and Their Lies (1543):

There is no other explanation for this than the one cited earlier from Moses - namely, that God has struck [the Jews] with 'madness and blindness and confusion of mind.'(Deuteronomy 28:28) So we are even at fault in not avenging all this innocent blood of our Lord and of the Christians which they shed for three hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem, and the blood of the children they have shed since then (which still shines forth from their eyes and their skin). We are at fault in not slaying them(16).
Luther is recorded for having said on other occasions that the Jews should be slain. When Luther was asked whether it would be justified to box the ears of a Jew, he said "Certainly. I for one would smack him on the jaw. Were I able, I would knock him down and stab him in my anger. It is lawful, according to both the human and the divine law, to kill a robber; then it is even more permissible to slay a blasphemer." Luther went on to say that "if I had to baptise a Jew, I would take him to the bridge of the Elbe (river), hang a stone round his neck and push him over with the words 'I baptise thee in the name of Abraham.'" Luther even declared that "the Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows seven times higher than ordinary thieves." See Peter F. Wiener, Martin Luther: Hitler's Spiritual Ancestor, Part 3: Luther's Political Doctrines - Luther and the Jews, Huthinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd, London, New York, Melbourne, Sydney, published online by Patsy Jackson for Tentmaker Ministries, Hermann, Missouri, U.S.A. Richard (Dick) Geary, Professor of Modern History at the University of Nottingham, England, and the author of Hitler and Nazism (Routledge 1993), had found in his research that the Nazis won a disproportionately larger share of the vote in Protestant than in Catholic areas of Germany in elections held from 1928 to November 1932(17). See Who voted for the Nazis?(electoral history of the National Socialist German Workers Party) by Dick Geary in Google Search. In 1878, the Lutheran court preacher to the German Kaiser, Adolf Stoecker, founded the ultra-nationalist, antiliberal, antijewish Christian Socialist Workers' Party, but unlike the Nazi Party, which flourished during the years of the Great Depression when unemployment peaked at around 44% in Germany, Stoecker's party did not succeed in winning many votes. See chapter title International Comparison of Unemployment Rates by Walter Galenson and Arnold Zellner in National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), in the volume titled The Measurement and Behavior of Unemployment, 1957, page 455 and Unemployent in Weimar Germany, November 13, 2013 by Weimar and Nazi Germany.Co.UK. On the Jews and Their Lies was publicly exhibited in a glass case at the Nazi Nuremberg rallies and quoted in a 54-page explanation of the Aryan Law by Dr. E.H. Schulz and Dr. R. Frercks(18). According to Daniel Goldhagen, Bishop Martin Sasse, a leading Protestant churchman, published a compendium of Luther's writings shortly after Kristallnacht, for which Diarmaid MacCulloch, Professor of the History of the Church in the University of Oxford, argued that Luther's writing was a "blueprint."(19) Sasse applauded the burning of the synagogues and the coincidence of the day, writing in the introduction, "On November 10, 1938, on Luther's birthday, the synagogues are burning in Germany." The German people, he urged, ought to heed these words "of the greatest antisemite of his time, the warner of his people against the Jews."(20) Christopher J. Probst, author of Demonizing the Jews: Luther and the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany, (Published by Indiana Press in association with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2012), a visiting professor of modern European history at Saint Louis University, and a former Charles H. Revson Fellow at the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, has shown in his book that "a significant number of German theologians and clergy made use of the 1500's writings by Martin Luther on Jews and Judaism to strengthen the racial antisemitism and religious anti-Judaism already present among German Protestants. Drawing attention on major persons, Probst's study shows that a large number of pastors, bishops, and theologians of varying theological and political persuasions used Luther's texts with significant effectiveness in agitating for the creation of a "de-Judaized" version of Christianity. Probst shows that even that part of the Protestant church most critical of Luther's anti-Jewish writings agreed with the antisemitic stereotyping that assisted in justifying early Nazi measures against the Jews." See Demonizing the Jews: Luther and the Protestant Church in Nazi Germany. Heinrich Himmler wrote admiringly of the writings and sermons on the Jews by Luther, and Himmler wrote: "what Luther said and wrote about the Jews. No judgement could be sharper." The city of Nuremberg presented a first edition of On the Jews and Their Lies to Julius Streicher, editor of the Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer, on his birthday in 1937; the newspaper described it as the most radically anti-Semitic tract ever published.(21) William Nichols, Professor of Religious Studies, recounts, "at his trial in Nuremberg after the Second World War, Julius Streicher, editor of the scurrilous antisemitic weekly Der Stürmer, argued that if he should be standing there arraigned on such charges, so should Martin Luther. Reading such passages, it is hard not to agree with him. Luther's proposals read like a program for the Nazis."(22) On December 17, 1941, seven Lutheran regional church confederations issued a statement agreeing with the policy of forcing Jews to wear the yellow badge, "since after his bitter experience [presumably dating to his so-called "poisoning" by kosher food] Luther had already suggested preventive measures against the Jews and their expulsion from German territory." Luther's last sermon was delivered at Eisleben, his place of birth, on 15 February 1546, three days before his death.(23) It was "entirely devoted to the obdurate Jews, whom it was a matter of great urgency to expel from all German territory," according to Léon Poliakov.(24) James Mackinnon writes that it concluded with a "fiery summons to drive the Jews bag and baggage from their midst, unless they desisted from their calumny and their usury and became Christians."(25) Luther said, "we want to practice Christian love toward them and pray that they convert," but also that they are "our public enemies...and if they could kill us all, they would gladly do so. And so often they do."(26) Jörg L. Spenkuch and Philipp Tillman in a statistical study called Elite Influence? Religion and the Electoral Success of the Nazis show that after the Catholic bishops of Germany gave up their opposition to Adolf Hitler following the passage of the Enabling Act on March 23, 1933, and the signing of a concordat between Nazi Germany and the Roman Catholic Church on July 20 1933, the Nazis saw a huge increase in votes from the Catholic regions of Germany in elections, plebiscites, and referendums held under the Third Reich. After the Reichskonkordat of July 20 1933, German cities with larger Catholic populations tended to see more attacks on synagogues, more deportations of Jews, and more letters to the official Nazi newspaper known as Der Stürmer. Before the passage of the Enabling Act, which gave Hitler dictatorial powers, and before the signing of the concordat, the Catholic ecclesiastical hierarchy in Germany was strongly opposed to both the Nazis and the Communists, while the German Protestant ministry was officially neutral towards the Nazis, although it too was opposed to the Communists. After the German federal election of March 5, 1933, in which the National Socialist German Workers' Party or Nazi Party gained 43.9% of the popular vote, the predominantly Protestant German National People's Party and the German Catholic Centre Party formed an anti-Communist, anti-Social Democratic coalition government with the Nazis which lasted until 14 July 1933, when all political parties except the Nazi Party were banned in Germany. However, Jesus also said that nothing is impossible with God, and God can save a rich man who follows the Ten Commandments, according to Matthew 19:16-26, Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27. God's grace can save the rich who do not evade their taxes, earn their money legally, invest their money legally, and give generously to charitable causes. The failure of Communism proves that God would not endorse such a politico-economic system, because God is all-wise or omniscient and is not the God of stupidity. The inefficient communist system, which ignored the free enterprise laws of supply and demand, meant that the Soviet Union until its demise in 1991 was seldom if ever self-sufficient in food production, and was dependent on imported wheat from such countries as The United States, Canada, Argentina, and Australia(27). The Communist system, because it ignored the free market laws of supply and demand, meant that Soviet industry regularly produced shortages and surpluses. The shortages led to inflation in real terms via a black market, and the surpluses led to Soviet factories running at a loss and having to be ultimately subsidized by taxpayers(28). Usury in Old Testament times was the sin of a Jew lending money on interest to a fellow Jew who lived in poverty (Proverbs 28:8, Proverbs 22:26-27, Proverbs 19:17, Exodus 22:25 and Ezekiel 18:16-17). A Jew was allowed to lend money on interest to a non-Jew according to Deuteronomy 23:20-21.

In Martin Luther's Refutation of the Argument of Latomus, one of his most emphatic statements on justification by faith, Luther argued that every good work designed to attract God's favour is a sin(29). All humans are sinners by nature, Luther explained, and God's grace, which cannot be earned, alone can make them just. On 1 August 1521, Luther wrote to Philipp Melanchthon on the same theme: "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides."(30) It could be argued that the Nazis' campaign of genocide against the Jews was a case of sinning strongly, and after all Luther did write in his On the Jews and Their Lies that the Jews should be slain. Luther's recommendation to sin strongly goes against the grain of Christ's teaching to not only try to avoid sin to the best of our abilities, but also to do what is good. After all, Jesus told the woman whom He forgave for adultery to "go and sin no more" (John 8:11), not to "be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger," as Luther recommended. Did not Jesus teach in Matthew 7:21 that "not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven." The Calvinist and Lutheran predestinationist doctrine of eternal security, also known as "once saved, always saved", based allegedly on Romans 8:28-39 in The New Testament, which in my opinion really speaks about God's unconditional love rather than eternal security, is undermined by many Biblical passages which declare that people can lose God's grace if they grow weary in doing good for the glory of God and love of neighbour. These biblical passages are Ezekiel 3:20, Ezekiel 18:24-26, Ezekiel 33:13, Ezekiel 33:18, Galatians 6:9, Revelation 2:10, Galatians 6:1, James 5:19-20, I Peter 2:10, II Peter 1:5-11, Acts 20:28 and I Timothy 4:1, Revelation 2:4-5, II Peter 2:20-22, Mark 4:16, Luke 8:13, Revelation 3:5, Luke 9:62, I Corinthians 10:12, Matthew 24:13, Matthew 7:21, Romans 2:13, I Corinthians 9:26-27, Matthew 10:22, I Timothy 4:1, Hebrews 3:13-14, James 1:12, I Peter 4:17-18, Romans 11:19-23, Revelation 2:11, Revelation 3:11, Revelation 3:21, Revelation 21:7, Matthew 18:24-35, Hebrews 10:38, John 8:51, Romans 11:22, Hebrews 3:14, II Timothy 2:12, I Corinthians 15:2, Colossians 1:23, I John 3:6, and I John 1:5-10. See Once Saved Always Saved-Fact or Fiction?-Preparing For Eternity and Scriptural Refutation of "Eternal Security"-Bible.Ca. Christianity was in need of a reformation in the 1500's, but Martin Luther and John Calvin were the wrong men for it. The original aim of the Protestant Reformation movement, from Luther's protest in 1517 until the end of the Thirty Year's War in 1648, was to return Christianity to the literal, fundamental teachings of the Bible, from which the Protestants believed that the Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox had departed. The problem with this goal is that modern historical, archaeological, and genetic research has disproved the recorded facts of the Bible on many occasions, and in addition the books of the Bible were written or re-edited decades, if not centuries after the historical events which they purport to describe. Many of the Biblical stories, philosophy, and theology were in fact borrowings from the legends and myths of the Egyptians, Babylonians, Sumerians, Assyrians, and Persian Zoroastrians. Palestine or Canaan in the ancient world lay on an important intersection of trade or caravan routes of the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, linking the ancient civilizations of Egypt and Kush with Phoenicia, Assyria, Babylonia, Sumeria, and Persia. The Fertile Crescent of the Middle East comprised the valleys of the Nile, Jordan, Litani, Orontes, Euphrates, and Tigris rivers, as well as the originally forested mountains, hills, and coastal plains of the Levant. The Levant today consists of the modern nations of Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and the parts of these nations which face the Mediterranean Sea have subtropical dry climates with mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers, and are covered with such trees as Cedars of Lebanon and Cypresses on the uncleared parts of hills and mountains. See Via Maris (The Way of the Sea), The Ancient King's Highway, and The Fertile Crescent. The Samaritans who live in the former northern, ancient Jewish kingdom of Israel, have been revealed to be of mixed Jewish and Assyrian-Mesopotamian ancestry according to DNA or genetic testing. When the Assyrians conquered Israel in 721 B.C. they deported many of the wealthier Israelites and left behind the poorer Israelites, and the latter group intermarried with subject peoples of the Assyrian Empire who settled in Israel, which after 721 B.C. came to be known as Samaria (Assyrian Captivity or Exile). After the Babylonian Empire became supreme in the ancient Middle East, the southern Jewish Kingdom of Judea was conquered by the Babylonians between 597-586 B.C., and again the wealthier Jews were deported while the poorer ones were left behind. After the Babylonians were conquered by the Persian-Iranian Zoroastrians in 539 B.C., the Jews living in exile throughout the former Babylonian imperial provinces were allowed by their new Persian masters to return to Judea if they so wished (Babylonian Captivity or Exile). From 66-136 A.D. the Jews of Roman Palestine fought three failed wars of independence against their Roman masters, and at the end of each war a large part of the Palestinian Jewish population was killed in combat, died of starvation and disease, or were sold into slavery. The Jews who survived in Palestine came to form a minority in their own country, outnumbered by Samaritans, whom the Jews regarded as half-caste Jewish heretics, Greco-Roman pagans or the descendants of Jews who had converted to Greco-Roman paganism, and by Christians, many of whom were converts from Judaism or Greco-Roman paganism (Jewish-Roman Wars). The Jewish minority in Palestine came to be largely concentrated in the Galilee region, where they continued to live until the re-establishment of the Jewish state of Israel in 1948 (Continuous Jewish Presence in the Holy Land (with Maps). After Christianity was declared the official state religion of the Roman Empire in 392 A.D., Greco-Roman paganism entered into a rapid terminal decline towards extinction, especially in the East Roman or Byzantine provinces, and after the Arab Muslim conquest of Palestine in the 630's A.D., many of the Palestinian Jews, Samaritans, and Christians began to convert to Islam in increasing numbers. Some historians believe that the number of Palestinan Jews who died as a result of the Roman-Jewish wars as given by ancient sources were inaccurate exaggerations, as ancient sources often are. The Jews believed in one God, called Yahweh, who was served by a huge number of subordinate angels of various ranks, and who was opposed by a host of fallen, rebellious angels or demons led by the former archangel Satan. The Romans believed in the supreme sky god Jupiter or Diespiter/Deus-Zeus, whom the Roman Emperors claimed to be sons of, and who ruled over many gods and godessess of lower rank who had dethroned an earlier generation of deities known as the Titans. See List of Angels in Theology and List of Theological Demons or Rebel, Fallen Angels. The Jews were influenced by the Persian Zoroastrians when they ruled Palestine from 539-332 B.C. with their concept of an all-good, supreme God called Ahura Mazda (compare with Yahweh), an all-evil god called Angra Mainyu or Ahriman (compare with the archangel Satan), the war-god Mithras (compare with the archangel Michael, Revelation 12), the Saoshyant (Messiah), and the sacred fire from heaven (compare with Revelation 8:5, Luke 3:16-17, Mark 9:49, Luke 12:49-50, I Corinthians 3:10-17, II Peter 3:10-13, and Revelation 20:11-15). See Zoroastrianism, Judaism, and Christianity by Hannah M.G. Shapero, 9/6/1997. Emperor or Shah Cyrus the Great of Persia freed the Jews in exile in Babylon in 539 B.C. and the three wise men or Magi who visited the Christ Child were Zoroastrian priests. Many of the books of the Old Testament were first written or re-edited when Palestine was an imperial Persian province. In 332 B.C., the pagan or polytheist Greek southern Macedonians conquered Persian Palestine. There are nine orders of angels mentioned in both the Old and New Testament of the Bible, and they rank as follows in order of importance from first to last: seraphim, cherubim, thrones, dominations or dominions, virtues, powers, principalities, archangels, and angels.

Although it is true that the ancient Romans were the ones who actually crucified Jesus Christ, they were pagans or polytheists at the time, and unlike the large minority of Jews, they eventually all converted to Christianity during the centuries following the crucifixion. In addition, the New Testament teaches that it was the Jews who preferred to set Barabbas rather than Jesus Christ free from execution when given the choice by Pontius Pilate, and who willingly handed Him over to the Romans for crucifixion in the first place, after they refused to believe in Him when He said that He was the Messiah whose coming had been prophesied on a number of occasions throughout the Old Testament. It is true that there are several passages from the New Testament which could be used by antisemites in an an attempt to justify persecution of the Jews because of their allegedly evil nature. One of them is I John 2:22-23, which says the following:

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also. (New King James Version of the Bible).
In effect, this passage from the Bible says that the Jews who refuse to believe that Jesus is the Son of God do not have the favour of the Father either, and are therefore spiritually illegitimate. Saint John in Revelation 2:9 and Revelation 3:9 says that the Jews who refuse to believe in Jesus as the Messiah are a synagogue of Satan, and Saint Paul in Romans 9:6-7 and Galatians 3 says that only those Jews who believe in Jesus Christ are genuine Jews. Nevertheless, Jesus Christ taught according to Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31 the Golden Rule of doing to others what we would want them to do to us, thereby implying that persecution of the Jews and forced conversions to Christianity are unchristian. Jesus also told His heavenly father on the cross to forgive His crucifiers, for they did not know what they were doing (Luke 23:34). This saying by Jesus would have freed the unbelieving Jews from the curse they put on themselves when they said to Pontius Pilate that Christ's blood be on them and their children (Matthew 27:25). According to Matthew 27:24 Pilate relented to the Jewish mob's demand that Jesus be crucified, even though he personally wanted to spare Him from death, because an uncontrollable riot was beginning among them which the Roman troops could not contain. It is also interesting to note that the near death experiences of Jews and other non-Christians who have been resuscitated from clinical death do not necessarily all result in hellish experiences, thereby implying that a lack of belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ do not automatically result in everlasting damnation. Today there are Jews who belong to Hebrew Catholicism, Protestant evangelical Messianic Judaism, and the Jews for Jesus movement, observing Jewish religious holidays but acknowledging Jesus as the Messiah. Although the apostle St. Paul taught that Christians of Gentile or pagan origin were free from following the Law of the Torah in his Epistle to the Galatians 2:14, this does not necessarily mean that Christians of Jewish origin should not observe it, either in its entirety or partially. Jesus Christ Himself taught the Jews to observe whatever the scribes and the Pharisees told them to observe, because they sit in Moses' seat, even if they themselves did not do what they said (Matthew 23:1-4). St. Paul said that the doers of the Law are justified, not those who merely hear it (Romans 2:13), as well as the necessity of doing good works or good deeds (Romans 2:5-11 and Galatians 2:10). Jesus said that He had come to Earth to fulfill the Law and the Prophets, not to abolish them (Matthew 5:17-20). However, Jesus said that whoever does to others as he or she would want done to him or her, fulfills the Law and the Prophets (Matthew 7:12). Jesus also said that at His Second Coming, the Jews would acknowledge Him as the Messiah sent from God or Yahweh (Matthew 23:37-39, Luke 13:34-35). In the meantime, however, Jesus said that the kingdom of God would be taken away from the Jews and given to those nations who believe in Him (Matthew 21:42-46). In his Epistle to the Romans chapter 11, Saint Paul said that at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ all of the Jews will believe that He is the Messiah. Saint Paul wrote in Romans 11:28 that concerning the gospel the Jews are enemies of Christians, but concerning the election the Jews are beloved for the sake of the fathers. In the Acts of the Apostles chapter 21:17-29 and Acts 24:17-18 Saint Paul is written to have observed the Jewish laws of purification and almsgiving in the Temple of Herod in Jerusalem when he took under his care four Christians of Jewish background who had taken a vow. Saint Paul is written to have shaved his head at Cenchrea because of a vow he had taken (Acts 18:18), and he did the same for the four Jewish Christians in the Temple in Jerusalem (Acts 21:23-24). Jesus Christ Himself was observing the Jewish religious festival of the Passover at His last supper with the apostles on the night before His crucifixion. Saint Paul said after his conversion to Christianity that he was a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee (Acts 23:6), and the Bible writes in passing that he observed the Jewish religious holidays (Acts 18:21, Acts 20:6, Acts 20:16, I Corinthians 16:8, New King James Version of the Bible). Saint Paul said that when he was among the Jews he lived as a Jew, and when among the Gentiles he lived as a Gentile, in order to win both groups to Christianity (I Corinthians 9:19-22). In 1988 theologian Stephen Westerholm argued that Martin Luthers' attacks on the Jews were part and parcel of his attack on the Catholic Church - that Luther was applying St. Paul's critique of Phariseim as legalistic and hypocritical to the Catholic Church. Westerholm rejects Luther's interpretation of Judaism and his antisemitism but points out that whatever problems exist in Paul's and Luther's arguments against Jews, what Paul, and later Luther, were arguing for was and continues to be an important vision of Christianity.

Many of the earliest converts to Christianity were Jews, although many Palestinian Christians later on converted to Islam when the Arab Muslims conquered Jerusalem in 638 A.D. Until then, Palestine had been a part of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire. The Roman Empire had split into an Eastern and Western half in 395 A.D., with the Western half ending in 476 A.D. and the Eastern half in 1453 A.D. Christianity had gained toleration from the hitherto pagan Roman Empire in 313 A.D, and was declared the state religion of the empire in 392 A.D. One of the reasons why the West Roman Empire fell to Germanic invaders was because it was in a disunited state, embroiled in civil wars from 383-388, 392-394, 397-398, 407-413, 409-417 (Gaulish or Roman French Bagaudae peasant revolt), 421, 423-425, 427, 432, 435-437 (another Gaulish Bagaudae peasant revolt), 454-457, 463-465 and 468-472 A.D. In addition, the Mongolian Huns with their long range bow proved to be quite effective in their tactics as horse archers, although they were vulnerable to mounted infantry or foot archers armed with crossbows or longbows and protected by anti-cavalry wooden stakes driven into the ground (Mounted Archery). See Adrian Goldsworthy, The Fall of the West: The Slow Death of the Roman Superpower, first published in Great Britain in 2009 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paperback edition published in 2010 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London. Published in the U.S.A. as How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower; Adrian Goldsworthy, The Complete Roman Army, Thames & Hudson Ltd, London, 2003, first paperback edition 2011. See also Roger Collins, Early Medieval Europe: 300-1000, The Macmillan Press Ltd, London, The United Kingdom, 1991. The Romans controlled German territory from the Rhine to the Elbe rivers from 12 B.C. to 9 A.D., until the Roman general Varus was defeated in an ambush in the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest at the hands of a Germanic tribal coalition led by the chieftain Arminius (Battle of the Teutoburg Forest). The Romans avenged this defeat by their victories against Arminius' coalition at the Battles of Idistaviso or the Weser River and the Angivarian Wall in 16 A.D., led by the Roman general Germanicus Caesar (Battle of the Weser River; Angrivarii). However, Germanicus was ordered to withdraw Roman troops to the Rhine and Danube rivers in 17 A.D. by the Emperor Tiberius. The Rhine was a much more practical boundary for the Roman Empire than any other river in Germania because logistically Roman armies on the Rhine could be supplied from the Mediterranean Sea via the Rhône, Saône, and Moselle (Mosel) rivers, with a brief stretch of portage. Armies on the Elbe river, on the other hand, would have to have been supplied either by extensive overland routes or ships travelling the hazardous Atlantic seas. Economically, the Rhine was already supporting towns and sizeable villages at the time of the Gallic (Roman French) conquest. Northern Germania, however, was far less developed, possessed fewer villages, and had little food surplus. Thus the Rhine was both significantly more accessible from Rome and better equipped to supply sizeable garrisons than the regions beyond. See Peter Heather, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (2006). In addition, Roman senatorial aristocrats and emperors distrusted generals who won great victories over foreign and internal enemies, since they could use their popularity with the Roman army to overthrow them. See Adrian Goldswothy, In the Name of Rome: The Men Who Won the Roman Empire, first published in Great Britain in 2003 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003, paperback edition published in 2004 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London, 2004 and Adrian Goldsworthy, Caesar: The Life of a Colossus, first published in Great Britain in 2006 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, paberback edition published in 2007 by Phoenix, an imprint of Orion Books Ltd, London. Sometimes the Romans launched punitive military expeditions east of the Rhine and north of the Danube rivers into unoccupied German territory. One of them reached as far deep into Germany as the Harzhorn Hill, located in the German state of Lower Saxony, east of the Weser River, between the towns of Kalefeld and Bad Gandersheim, where the Romans won a victory over Germanic tribes at the Battle of the Harzhorn in 235 A.D. Archaeological remains of the battle were first discovered in December 2008, and excavation of the site has continued since then. The battle was fought during either the reigns of the Roman Emperors Severus Alexander or Maximinus Thrax (Battle at the Harzhorn). As the Roman Empire expanded outside of the Italian peninsula, more and more of its soldiers and sailors came to be recruited from the provinces, and after the frontiers stabilized, many persons living outside the Roman imperial borders joined the Roman military. To return to Roman Palestine and the fact that many of the earliest converts to Christianity were Jews, and several centuries later many of the converts to Islam were Palestinian Christians, another fact is that from ancient times until the re-establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, there existed a minority of Jews in Palestine, especially in the Galilee region. The other regions of Roman Palestine were Samaria, Judea, and Idumea. The numbers of Jews killed or sold overseas into slavery during the revolt against Roman rule from 66-70 A.D. and 132-135 A.D. as given by Roman sources are an exaggeration, as is usual for ancient written sources. One example is Herodotus on the history of the Persian invasions of Greece in 490 and 480-479 B.C., who gives figures for the entire armies of the Persian Empire as being present in the invasions! Similarly, the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations of Israelites was not total, but only aimed at the upper ruling classes, and many of the Babylonian captives later returned to Israel. DNA testing among Jewish Israelites, Samaritans, and Palestinian Muslims and Christians reveal a common ancestry, although foreign minorities from other parts of the Middle East has also been found. By way of comparison, it has been found through DNA testing that most of the peoples of Britain and Ireland are of prehistoric Basque descent, and that the non-Indo-European Basque language was widespread throughout Stone Age western Europe. Subsequent invasions by the Indo-European speaking Celts, Germanic Belgae, Romans, Germanic Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavian Vikings, and Norman French, were largely of male elite minority types, although the cultural and linguistic impact of these latter groups on the indigenous peoples of Britain and Ireland was great. See Stephen Oppenheimer, The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story, Constable & Robinson Ltd, London, 2006, paperback edition 2007; and Bryan Sykes, Saxons, Vikings, and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland, first American edition 2006, first published as a paperback by W.W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 2007, published in The United Kingdom as Blood of the Isles: Exploring the Genetic Roots of Our Tribal History. See Myths of British Ancestry. There are several Old Testament prophecies of the Jews returning from exile to Israel, and evangelical Christians in particular argue that the creation of the modern state of Israel is a necessary prelude to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 12:10, John 19:37, Revelation 1:7, Zechariah 12-14, Ezekiel 38-39, Ezekiel 47-48, Revelation 22, Revelation 4:6, Romans 9-11). Pope Paul VI (reign 1963-1978), the first pope to visit the Holy Land in 1964, expressed his opinion that the Israeli victory in the 1967 Six Day War might be the fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. The last few Popes have argued against efforts to convert the Jews voluntarily to Christianity, saying that God will make it happen when He chooses to do so, even though Jesus Christ told His apostles to make converts to Christianity from all the peoples of the Earth (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Romans 10:11-17). American Baptists believe in trying to voluntarily convert Jews to Christianity.

"According to the Polish-born anthropolgist Bronislaw Malinowski, who was active in the early 1900's, all people recognize that a frontier exists between what people can and cannot explain logically. Malinowski said people create myths when they reach this frontier. For example, early human beings lacked the scientific knowledge to explain thunder logically, and so they decided it was caused by a god using a hammer. Malinowski believed that people had to create such myths in order to relieve the tension brought on by their not knowing why something happens" (31). It seems that when it comes to human psychology it is better to have an answer than not to have one. Fortunately with today's medical technology many people can be resuscitated from clinical death before brain damage sets in, and they often bring back accounts of visits to a heaven, an apparently temporary hell, and a karmic life review or purgatory. Near death experiencers often claim to gain complete knowledge of the universe while in the afterlife, and the message that the purpose of life is to learn how to love. However, like having a dream, not every detail of a visit to the afterlife can be remembered. Nevertheless, some near death experiencers have brought back scientific discoveries which have proved to be of practical benefit to humanity. See Scientific discoveries come from NDEs in Google Search. According to medical consultant Dr. T. Lee Baumann M.D., quantum physics which includes the study of light or photons might be able to explain near death experiences. The Bible speaks of light when talking about God, saying that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all (I John 1:5). Near-death experiencers have described going to a light that is welcoming, intelligent, and loving. Could it be that light and God are one and the same? As the speed of light is approached, time itself slows down, stopping completely when the speed of light itself is reached. Near-death experiencers often describe an absence of time in their visits to heaven, and theologians often say that God is in an eternal present, knowing what the past was and what the future potentially will be, depending upon the influenced choices, (i.e. heredity and evironment, diminished responsibility), that people will make according to Jeremiah 18:7-10. In other words, the future is like a choose-your-own adventure novel, contingent upon the decisions we make, and not fixed unalterably in advance. See Quantum physics can explain NDEs in Google Search. There is some evidence which proves that a near death experience is a genuinely supernatural phenomena. Blind people have reported veridical perception in out-of-body (OBE) experiences while clinically dead according to Dutch cardiologist Pim van Lommel. See Dutch NDE Study Attracts Worldwide Attention by Jeffrey Long, MD & Paul Bernstein, PhD. in Google Search. In the same source, Dr. Bruce Greyson in a statistically precise study of near-death experiencers, found that psychic abilities are more common after a core NDE. Near death-experiencers often become much more empathic and accepting of others as a result of their experience. Dr. Michael Sabom, a noted cardiologist and professor of medicine, once put a patient by the name of Pam Reynolds into a state of clinical and brain death in a surgical procedure known as hypothermic cardiac arrest, and during this stage of being Mrs. Reynolds had detailed veridical out-of-body observations during her surgery which were later verified to be very accurate. During her near death experience Mrs. Reynolds also went up a tunnel with a light at the end of it were she met dead relatives. See People Have NDEs While Brain Dead in Google Search. According to Dr. Kenneth Ring, a NDE researcher, people born blind report having NDEs were they can see. See People Born Blind Can See During a NDE in Google Search. One person born blind who Dr. Ring interviewed, Mrs. Vicki Umipeg, reported conversing telepathically with Jesus Christ in her NDE. People who have had hellish NDEs have reported talking telepathically with Satan's fallen angels or demons (Revelation 12:1-9). NDE researcher Dr. Raymond Moody has interviewed patients who became blind at a young age regaining their sight in an out-of-body and near-death experience, and other patients who while in an OBE state visited other rooms in a hospital where their bodies were not present, gaining access to the conversations and actions of other people who later confirmed them to be true. See People See Verified Events While Out-Of-Body in Google Search.

End Notes

(1). Universe, The World Book Encyclopedia, Vol.20, U.V, 1987, page 135, by A.G.W. Cameron.

(2). The World Book Dictionary, Vol. L-Z, Edited by Clarence L. Barnhart and Robert K. Barnhart, Chicago, U.S.A., 1986, Doubleday & Company, Inc, Manichean or Manichaean, page 1265.

(3). Jones, W.T., "Age of Reason," The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume A, No.1, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 130.

(4). Pollock, George H., "Freud, Sigmund," The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume F, No.7, Chicago, U.S.A, 1987, page 457.

(5). Hurault, Bernardo, Christian Community Bible, Catholic Pastoral Edition, Twenty Sixth Edition, Claretian Publications, Philippines and India, Imprimatur: Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines, 1998, New Testament, note 35, pages 83-84.

(6). Ibid, Old Testament, page 8.

(7) Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf (My Struggle), Translated by Ralph Manheim, with an introduction by D. Cameron Watt, Pimlico, London, 1992 Edition, 2007 Reprint, page 377.

(8) Mein Kampf, pages 34, 307, 320, 377, 386, 391, 395, 406, 464, 527, 531, 549, and 553.

(9) Ibid, page 53.

(10) Ibid, page 60.

(11) Ibid, page 278.

(12) Ibid, pages 103 and 194.

(13) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, in Luther's Works. Jaroslav Jan Pelikan, Hilton C. Oswald and Helmut T. Lehmann (eds), Vol 47:268-271, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1999.

(14) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, quoted in Robert Michael, "Luther, Luther Scholars, and the Jews," Encounter 46 (Autumn 1985) No. 4:343-344.

(15) Ibid, Robert Michael, passim.

(16) Luther, Martin. On the Jews and Their Lies, Translated by Martin H. Bertram, in Luther's Works (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1971), 47:267.

(17) Geary, Dick (Richard), Who voted for the Nazis? (electoral history of the National Socialist German Workers' Party), History Today, October 1998, Vol.48, Issue 10, pages 8-14.

(18) Noble, Graham. "Martin Luther and German anti-Semitism," History Review (2002) No.42:1-2

(19) Diarmaid MacCulloch, Reformation: Europe's House Divided, 1490-1700. New York: Penguin Books Ltd, 2044, pp.666-667.

(20) Bernd Nellesen, "Die schweigende Kirche: Katholiken und Judenverfolgung," in Büttner (ed), Die Deutchschen und die Jugendverfolg im Dritten Reich, p.265, cited in Daniel Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners (Vintage, 1997).

(21) Ellis, Marc H."Hitler and the Holocaust, Christian Anti-Semitism" http://www3.baylor.edu/American_Jewish/everythingthatusedtobehere/resources/PowerPoints20Anti-Semitism%20(part%202).ppt, (NP: Baylor Center for American and Jewish Studies, Spring 2004), Slide 14.

(22) Nichols, William. Christian Antisemitism: A History of Hate (Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson, 1995), p.271.

(23) Luther, Martin. Sermon No.8, "Predigt über Mat. 11:25, Eisleben gehalten," 15 February 1546, Luthers Werke, Weimar 1914, 51:196-197.

(24) Poliakov, Léon. History of Anti-Semitism: From the Time of Christ to the Court Jews, (N.P: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003), p.220

(25) Mackinnon, James. Luther and the Reformation. Vol.IV, (New York: Russell&Russell, 1962), p.204.

(26) Luther, Martin. Admonition Against the Jews, added to his final sermon, cited in Oberman, Heiko. Luther: Man Between God and the Devil, New York: Image Books, 1989, p.294.

(27) Robert O. Paxton, Europe in the Twentieth Century, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, Orlando, Florida, U.S.A., Second Edition, Updated Printing, 1991, pages 599 and 642.

(28) William G. Dewald, Capitalism, page 157, The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume C-ch, No.3, 1987, Chicago, U.S.A.

(29) Brecht, Martin, Martin Luther, translated by James L. Schaaf, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1985-1993, 2:7-9; Marius, Richard, Luther, London: Quartet, 1975, 161-162; Marty, Martin, Martin Luther. Viking Penguin, 2004, 77-79.

(30) Luther, Martin, "Let Yor Sins Be Strong," a letter from Luther to Melanchthon.

(31) Littleton, C. Scott, "Mythology," The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume M, No.13, Chicago, U.S.A., 1987, page 828.

Postscript

Although space travel at speeds beyond that of light is impossible according to the laws of physics, there is nevertheless some benefits from human exploration of space. Research on the International Space Station into the effects of microgravity in materials science has shown how manufacturing techniques on Earth could make products which are more pure and powerful, i.e. efficient, in the fields of pharmaceuticals, optical glasses, metallurgical alloys, industrial tools, and microelectronics (i.e. semiconductors, magnets, and ceramics) (32). The importance of satellites for the present world is another example. The Apollo Lunar program saw many technological spin-offs which contributed to the development and advancement of medical monitoring equipment and microelectronics (33). The race for the moon which dominated the space program from 1961-1972 was itself part of the Cold War rivalry between The United States of America and the fomer Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, i.e. the Soviet Union. The race for the moon assisted in the development of the guidance and contol of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM's) capable of delivering nuclear warheads between continents. The 1967 Outer Space Treaty prohibits the deployment of anti-satellite weapons and nuclear weapon launchers in Earth orbit and on the Moon (34). According to the physicist Bernhard Philberth a nuclear armed missile launched from a satellite in orbit above the Earth's atmosphere would give practically no warning for a target on Earth lying beneath that orbit (35).

Some people believe that UFO's or intelligent aliens from another planet in a different solar system, maybe one even in a different galaxy from the Milky Way, maybe responsible for mental telepathy on Earth, but according to the physicist Bernhard Philberth, it is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, which is necessary for space travel outside our solar system. People who have had a near death experience while clinically dead have said after they were resuscitated back to life that they communicated telepathically with God's angels in a heavenly near death experience, and with Satan's fallen angels or demons in a hellish near death experience. One near death experiencer in particular, Arthur Yensen, has written that there are "earthbound spirits of low vibrations, whom we may regard as devils because they annoy us through mental telepathy. These demons tune in on us through our low vibrations of hate, fear and greed. They can be tuned out with unselfish love, or if necessary be chased away by the stronger spirit of Jesus Christ." See The NDE and Mental Telepathy: Kevin Williams' research conclusions in Google Search. Arthur Yensen had his near death experience in a car crash which occurred during the early 1930's in the United States. His description of spiritual vibrations in the afterlife has some parallels with the String Theory of Quantum Physics. Yensen's description of earth-bound spirits of low vibrations corresponds with Revelation 12:1-9, which says that Satan and his fallen angels were ejected out of heaven and thrown down to Earth by the loyal angels of God led by the Archangel Michael, because Satan tried to destroy Jesus Christ, the Word of God made flesh (John 1:1-5), as soon as he was born of the Virgin Mary. That is why accounts of demonic possession are more common in the New Testament than in the Old Testament of the Bible. Demons or Satan's fallen angels seen in near death experiences might refuse to communicate telepathically on occasions, or might refuse to communicate at all, in order to try to shift the blame for mental telepathy on Earth to God's angels. Bernhard Philberth, Christian Prophecy and Nuclear Power, 28th Edition. First English Translation. Translated from the German by Werner Haarburger. Christian Catholic Bookshop. Melbourne, Australia, 1994, pages 51-52:
In order to be able to reach the closest fixed star (i.e. sun) to earth in as little (!) as 100 years, which is more than 4 light years distant, the fantastic speed of more than 12,000 kilometres per second would be required, involving a kinetic energy of more than 17x10 to the power of 9 cal/g (similar to the reaction of an atomic bomb). That would be equivalent to more than 2x10 to the power of 7 times that of TNT. This is a speed which could not even be attained with space ships powered by nuclear energy (ionic power plants). If a spaceship with this kinetic energy collided with a meteorite the size of a grain of sand, an event which could be expected with certainty, the strongest spaceship armour would be explosively pierced and the interior of the spaceship would be destroyed as if it had struck a mine.
Ibid, Page 13:
The physics of invariance (Theory of Relativity) reveals a space-time structure based on the existence of an invariant speed of 299,792,458 meters per second or approximately 300,000 kilometers per second. This is the speed of light in a vacuum for all systems, independently of their state of motion. This invariant speed proves to be of a "quasi-infinite" nature. It is the fundamental limit of locomotion which cannot be exceeded by any form of energy or by any material process or signal.
Ibid, Page 49:
There is one thing which emerges with certainty from this structure of the universe: Although man has the ability to destroy the Earth as a biosphere by means of nuclear energy, under no circumstances would this represent an "End of the Universe." The fixed stars (i.e. suns) and the planets which might orbit around them, are and remain situated at an unbridgeable distance.

(32). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space Technology, Principal Author Kenneth Gatland, Foreword by Arthur C. Clarke, Salamander Books Ltd 1981, London, England, Chapter 17, The Space Factory, by David Dooling, pages 218-219, and The World Book Encyclopedia Year Book 1995 (events of 1994), Space Exploration, pages 385, 407, and 409.

(33). The World Book Encyclopedia Year Book 1995, Space Exploration, pages 400-401.

(34). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Space Technology, Chapter 5, Military Space Systems, by Farooq Hussain and Curtis Peebles, pages 72-74.

(35). Bernhard Philberth, Christian Prophecy and Nuclear Power, 28th Edition. First English Translation. Translated from the German by Werner Haarburger. Christian Catholic Bookshop. Melbourne, Australia, 1994, pages 54-55.

By Ardent Seeker.