As a physical Jew and a human being I can think of nothing more repugnant and anger-generating than the scenes I watched, as a child with my parents, in the TV series ‘World at War’ with bulldozers moving thousands of corpses ten-deep or more around the confines of the Nazi concentration camps of the second world war. Those horrifying images have haunted me ever since to the extent that I cannot bring myself to look upon such memorabilia ever again. I do not need to in order to retain the horror of those events in my mind’s eye.
For the acceptance of mankind into the Kingdom of God, the wicked ones of this world will have to demonstrate genuine contrition in regard to the evil things they have perpetrated on this earth. That will include all the concentration camp guards and SS officials associated with the annihilation of European Jewry. How such people could ever demonstrate contrition is beyond me but no doubt our God knows how to make that judgement. Acts 26 describes the prospective contrition of the Nazis very aptly:
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me. (Acts 26)
God gave Christ the power of forgiveness:
31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. (Acts 5)
Early in Christ’s ministry on Earth, He advised the crowds that came to listen to Him to prepare themselves for the Kingdom through repentance:
17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4)
John the Baptist prepared the way for our Messiah’s message of repentance:
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. (Mark 1)
That ministry continues after His death through His faithful servants down to this day:
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; (Acts 3)
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24)
Also there is the lesson that Christ is more interested in sinners than in the innocent, for it is with the sinners that His work resides:
13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9)
7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.
10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth. (Luke 15)
Q: Why is He more interested in sinners than the righteous?
A: Because God’s plan is eventually to save all human souls:
9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2Peter 3)
The result of non-repentance will be to miss out on the benefits of Kingdom citizenship:
3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. (Luke 13)
The wise King Solomon understood God’s powers of judgement and forgiveness:
39 Then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;) (1Kings 8)
God has given some clues as to the kind of behaviour he is looking for in those that he is prepared to forgive:
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2Chronicles 7)
Christ has already made such a judgement of one of the criminals crucified alongside Him; the one that accepted his punishment as a wrong-doer and who called Him Lord. Jesus’ promise to that one was that he would be with Him in paradise; a clear promise of the Kingdom to come:
39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. (Luke 23)
Earlier in the gospels we are told that Jesus had the same powers on Earth to forgive mankind’s sins as His Father has in heaven. This power is based on the ability of our Lords to read men’s hearts and minds. It will clearly not be possible for anyone’s spirit to go unhidden to a full examination. Each one of us, hero and villain alike, must prepare our very spirits for that test before our entry visas to the Kingdom will be granted. This will be a fool-proof test that none of us will pass without a true and willing heart condition towards our two Gods and our fellow men:
3 And, behold, certain of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth.
4 And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
5 For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk?
6 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. (Matthew 9)
The Lords’ Witnesses understand that 50% of mankind will be saved at Armageddon into the Kingdom (True Bible Code web-site Understanding  ‘50% Survive Armageddon and 50% do not’: http://www.truebiblecode.com/understanding43.html ). If this is the case then, although there are only the two results arising from our Gods’ test of pass or fail, there is a likely pass-mark of say 50% that will need to be achieved to receive a Kingdom visa. This would seem to leave considerable room for those around the pass-mark at least to move from the Kingdom to Gehenna and vice versa during the course of the next millennium dependent on their behaviour and continuing heart condition in this next system of things.
One Villain About to Add to His Tally of Victims.
It struck me while watching the movie ‘The Reader’, that the quality of true forgiveness could be one of immense difficulty to attain. This paper compares what is expected of the heroes (victims) and the villains of this world in the Kingdom to come. Who has the tougher role to exercise and who is the potential winner of the greater blessing in the next system?
Heroes and Villains
Beyond the Kingdom
So it will likely be that the tormentors of this world cannot themselves attain to godliness until they have also suffered (probably only emotionally I expect) at the hands of their previous victims in the next system and, in the process, demonstrated their ability to forgive others. Quite how this will operate in the next system and what this then means for the system(s) to come beyond that still remain to be seen. Our God knows how difficult all this is for mere mankind and does not want to overwhelm us at this time with more knowledge of our glorious fate than we could currently handle. Needless to say the Lords' Witnesses have some insight through God' s Holy Word of the states that await us in future systems as touched on in the True Bible Code web-site at Understanding  Will Humans Really Rule Over Angels (http://www.truebiblecode.com/understanding511.html). It would seem that we will have to wait for the Kingdom when the seals will be broken and the Kingdom rules will be laid out to us leading, no doubt, into detailed knowledge of the system that will follow after the next millennium:
1 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.
2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?
3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.
4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.
5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. (Revelation 5)
How Difficult Will Genuine Forgiveness be for the Victims of the Holocaust?
The Blessings for Hero and Villain
So what are the prizes at stake for each category of individual, the victim and the villain. Genuine contrition (as can only be measured by our God) by the villains should win a place for them in the Kingdom. Assuming the victims are already citizens or even perhaps lords in the Kingdom, the prize for their forgiveness must surely be to ascend to the next stage of their spiritual development, i.e. their eventual god-ship. That, after all, was the very example our Messiah demonstrated when he died on the cross whilst requesting that His Father forgave those that sent him to His death. It was that preparedness to suffer but also to forgive those very ones that caused His suffering to enable Him to become God’s only begotten son at that time. The one true son of God attained the status of a god Himself (check out Introduction #26 on the True Bible Code web-site: ‘ When Jesus gave his life for us, he became the second God to be worshipped like his father Jehovah’ http://www.biblecodeintro.com/intro26.html). Through His unimaginable forgiveness, Jesus is showing us the path that all sons of God can eventually take:
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14)
So forgiveness provides the greater blessing than contrition. Contrition is a first spiritual step which may bring us back to true humanity but true forgiveness will progress each of us eventually to god-ship.
The three states of ascension to god-ship are illustrated in the symbolism of the two men crucified alongside Jesus, a scripture already referenced in this paper perhaps indicating the scene's importance in God's grand plan. Here we have two miscreants on either side of Christ. One of them is an unrepentant sinner and the second is a sinner who accepts what he is and his punishment for it and who also accepts Jesus Christ as his saviour. So in the one scene we have three men dying together on their respective crosses. The first to be resurrected into Gehenna where he will learn contrition to enable him to enter the Kingdom at some point during the millenium; the second to be resurrected straight into the Kingdom to learn how to become a god and the third going straight into heaven where He will be accepted by His Holy Father as His truly begotten Son with the power and all else that goes with the status of being a god like His Father:
39 But one of the hung evildoers began to say abusively to him: “You are the Christ, are you not? Save yourself and us.”
40 In reply the other rebuked him and said: “Do you not fear God at all, now that you are in the same judgment?
41 And we, indeed, justly so, for we are receiving in full what we deserve for things we did; but this [man] did nothing out of the way.”
42 And he went on to say: “Jesus, remember me when you get into your kingdom.”
43 And he said to him: “Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23)
How Difficult Will Genuine Repentance be for the Perpetrators of the Holocaust?
Jewish Lords' Witness
1. Even the perpetrators of the Nazi holocaust have the opportunity to seek God’s forgiveness through the genuine repentance of their sins with the consequent prize of a place in the Kingdom.
2. God’s forgiveness has been delegated to His only-begotten son, Jesus Christ
3. No-one will escape our God’s intimate examination of his heart condition to determine if each one of us is worthy of being saved into the Kingdom.
4. One’s behaviour in the Kingdom or Gehenna will allow for movement of one’s spirit between the two. Being saved or condemned into the next system is not a guarantee of continuance in either state, subject to future conduct, once in the next system.
5. The task for the holocaust victims who make it into the Kingdom will be the unimaginable difficulty of forgiving their Nazi tormentors or perhaps their hatred of the latter may cause them to co-exist in Gehenna with their murderers. That is some prospect for both victim and villain but perhaps that is the sharp lesson that our God intends for those exposed to extreme circumstances in this world?
6. The next system will be a lengthy and necessary healing process.
7. Repentance wins a place in the Kingdom; forgiveness gives one the chance of god-ship into the next system(s).
Image provided by www.BiblePictureGallery.com
God's Blessings for Hero and Villain Alike
The Heroes (Victims)
Notwithstanding the discourse above regarding the villains, the particular thought that crossed my mind while watching ‘The Reader’ was more the status in God’s Kingdom of the victims rather than that of the perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity. There is some irony here in that I am sure that not all of the holocaust victims were completely innocent and faithful citizens who themselves may not make it into the Kingdom, whereas there may be some of the perpetrators of the most evil war crimes that sought Christ’s mercy before their deaths. As we have seen already, this latter behaviour may well have qualified the villains for a place in the Kingdom without the ignominy of a spell in Gehenna. It seems to me that the victims in the Kingdom will have an enormous job on their hands to find it in themselves to forgive the perpetrators of such an evil policy even given one thousand years to prepare for this state of mind. Perhaps the previously evil ones will have a thousand years to suffer at least emotionally at the hands of their Kingdom-qualified victims and this may be seen as some form of ‘payback’ for their past misdemeanours.
The more I think of it the tougher does the Kingdom start to appear. It is probable that many, perhaps the majority, of the victims will have gone to their graves with nothing but deep hatred for their tormentors, and who could blame them? In God’s judgement, however, that may well exclude them from a place in the Kingdom. The prospect of Nazi and Jew having to reside together, literally as soul-mates in Gehenna, may actually be the best and quickest remedy for both parties as harsh as it may seem to us mere mortals. It will not be a clean return to the Garden or a walk in the park. While we are being educated in the current system in the school of hard knocks, we will be progressing shortly to the millenium college where we will need to prepare ourselves for a thousand years of hard and serious study on how we humans need to behave towards our fellow men. We will all be tainted by our acts and memories of this world. We will all have knowledge of good and evil:
22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:
23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.
24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. (Genesis 3)
Some considerable time has passed since I originally wrote this paper and I have now subsequently seen the film 'The Railway Man'. This is a tale not of the Nazi atrocities but of the Japanese maltreatment of the Allied and Asian prisoners of war in the forced labour camps in building the Thai-Burma railway during the World War 2 Pacific campaign. It is the true story of an Englishman's (Eric Lomax's) unimaginably bad treatment and torture during those times at the hands of his heartless Japanese captors.
Many years later, long after the war had ended and he had been repatriated back to Blighty to try to pick up the pieces of his life again, he discovered that one of his tormentors (Takashi Nagase) was still alive and cynically providing holiday tours for interested visitors to the site of that self-same Thai-Burma railway building centre. Eric resolved to go see his tormentor with the intent of seeking retribution for himself and his former fellow prisoners of war. Upon their meeting Eric asked his erstwhile tormentor some hard questions about his role in their shared past. Takashi seemed prepared to accept whatever Eric required of him by way of retribution. He had suffered from guilt over the intervening years as much as Eric had suffered from the resulting trauma since the war had ended. Eric found that he could neither kill or injure Takashi by way of vengeance perhaps because Takashi accepted his just deserts.
Eric then left for home but returned, at which subsequent meeting Takashi apologised unreservedly for his previous behaviour in the labour camp and Eric forgave him for his personal treatment during the war years. From that day they became close friends till their deaths some years later. Oh if only I had that ability to forgive those that wrong me and apologise to those that I have undoubtedly wronged during my stay on this planet! There is little doubt in my mind that those two souls will find themselves in God's Kingdom soon regardless of their faith in our saviour. I think they will be able to teach all of us much about forgiveness and contrition that will set the pattern for both hero and villain in the Kingdom and Gehenna.
It will not all be ‘sweetness and light’ in the Kingdom but it seems to me that the next millenium will need to be a lengthy healing process for us all. There will be much sadness and anger in retrospect but hopefully tempered with the promise of the joy to come through a just ruler-ship which has been sadly lacking for the last six millenia thanks to Satan. Whilst God will wipe away our tears in the Kingdom, there will be tears, at least to start with:
4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Revelation 21)
But as scripture tells us in our Lord’s prayer, God will only forgive those that forgive their own tormentors:
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6)
And that forgiveness will need to be full and uncompromising:
21 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (Matthew 18)
Elsewhere in the Gospels it would appear that there should in fact be a condition attached to one’s forgiveness of one’s fellow men, that of requiring repentance from those ones:
3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him.
4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. (Luke 17)
The ultimate example of forgiveness, of course, is provided by Christ himself upon the cross, in which he asks His Father to forgive the very ones who were perpetrating their crimes against his own soul:
34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. (Luke 23)
In discussing this section with the LW Church President, Gordon, one factor he considered would make the load of forgiveness, towards the perpetrators of heinous crimes against humanity, rather lighter would be the reuniting of murdered victims with their friends and family in the Kingdom. It would likely prove a swift and effective remedy for the erstwhile anger and remorse generated in the previous system of things.
On a slightly different tack, I watched the TV programme 'Strictly Kosher' recently and was particularly touched by one poor old chap who had suffered and survived through the Nazi concentration camps. As a result of those traumatic experiences in his childhood, he claimed that he had lost his faith in God since the whole of his immediate family had been wiped out in the holocaust. Now who I am to criticise that reaction to such extreme life circumstances when I am enjoying the blessings of a safe and comfortable existance thanks to that same God? All I can say is that, with the present scriptural understandings of the Lords' Witnesses, I believe that poor chap may well make it into the Kingdom if he is adjudged to have a righteous heart regardless of any loss of faith. In the Kingdom he will be re-united with all his lost family members so, hopefully, his life will be restored to how it should have been without Satan's cruel intervention.