We read three statements in 1 John 5:5-13 that appear to contradict the teachings of Jesus the Messiah from Matthew 8:10-11 & Matthew 22:30-22 regarding requirements of receiving eternal life.

In 1 John 5, we read :

[5] Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"

[12] He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

[13] These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

But the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 8:10-11 and Matthew 22:30-32 state something different about who received eternal life. Yeshua of Nazareth specifically names three people (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) who are eternally living in Heaven & never knew the name of "Jesus" as the Son of God.

In Matthew 8:10-11 :

[10] Now when Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. [11] And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven

In Matthew 22:30-32 - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob received eternal life by recognizing YHVH as God :

[30] For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. [31] But regarding the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God: [32] ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

Exodus 3:6

And He said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Avraham, the God of Yitschaq, and the God of Yaqov." And Moshe hid his face because he was afraid to look toward God. ( וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אָֽנֹכִי֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י אָבִ֔יךָ אֱלֹהֵ֧י אַבְרָהָ֛ם אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִצְחָ֖ק וֵֽאלֹהֵ֣י יַֽעֲקֹ֑ב וַיַּסְתֵּ֤ר משֶׁה֙ פָּנָ֔יו כִּ֣י יָרֵ֔א מֵֽהַבִּ֖יט אֶל־הָֽאֱלֹהִֽים )

Yeshua of Nazareth is quoting Exodus 3:6 when describing the eternal life of God's people in Matthew 22:30-33.

How could 'Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob' be living eternally in Heaven if they never believed the requirement in 1 John 5:5-13 to receive eternal life?

  • Why are you making this conclusion: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob' is living in Heaven and did not overcome the world? Nov 3 '20 at 4:10
  • 1
    This question has been reopened as it is now clear enough in its intent, is focused on one passage (1 John 5) and does not need further clarification from that point. However, the thread from Matthew is so specific, so there may not be a way to answer this question without getting drawn into primarily 'opinion based' or 'theological' territory. I'd suggest the question may be cleaner by just stripping out Matthew altogether and asking "what does this mean for people who lived before Jesus?".
    – Steve Taylor
    Nov 3 '20 at 12:37

A South Korean General says to his troops: fight valiantly on a battlefield with our outdated weapons, only thus we can stop the enemy, without, though hope to defeat them; but in few days USA, our ally, will give us superior weaponry that will help us not only stop the enemy, but to easily defeat them!" Now, some soldiers obey and fight valiantly, others act like cowards and defectors. When the USA weaponry arrives, the S. Korean soldiers take it and defeat the enemy. Now, many of valiant soldiers were killed before the new weaponry arrived, but the General says at a victory parade speech: "All those soldiers who valiantly fought with older weaponry and died without tasting this victory, deserve the same as you, who now rejoice, because they did their available best in view of this victory, and it is through their feats that you are now able to stand here victorious!" And all army applauded and shouted "hurrah!"

The same here: those prophets mentioned by Jesus did their deeds in view of the future coming of Messiah and future redemption, desiring it and not having it (Luke 10:24), but they thus prepared the coming of Messiah and therefore are deserving the same as those to whom Messiah, the incarnate God, arrived.


Yeshua of Nazareth specifically names three people (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) who are eternally living in Heaven

There is nothing in the quoted passages (or elsewhere in the Bible) that indicates anyone is currently "living in heaven".

There are references to "in the resurrection", but there is no reason to think that the resurrection of the dead has happened yet. The first general resurrection is supposed to happen at Jesus's return, and others a thousand years later.

There are references to the "Kingdom of Heaven", but again, the Kingdom of God is to be established after Jesus's return, and it is to be here on Earth, not in heaven. (Unlike the other gospels, Matthew's was written for a Jewish audience. He therefore uses the term "Kingdom of Heaven" rather than "Kingdom of God" as a euphemism to avoid saying the Name.)

There is no contradiction about this in the scriptures. The only contradiction here is caused by the incorrect assumption (which is taught by many denominations) that people go to heaven immediately after death rather than waiting unconsciously until their eventual resurrection.


That these patriarchs didn’t know about Jesus, the son of God is an assumption you are taking. But,one that is not correct - let’s look a little closer.

We have the well known ‘shadow’ of the sacrifice of Jesus through that test of faith, when Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son. We often read that as a ‘story’, but looking at That closely reveals that Abraham knew without doubt that Isaac would not ‘die’, that a sacrifice would be provided. How?

We are told ‘by faith’, but you need ‘something’ to have faith ‘in’, you need to have something be able to ‘see’ - because there is no such thing as ‘blind faith’.

Now, to understand what Abraham had as his foundation for his faith, you need to consider this passage ... (and also GEN 22)

GEN 15:5 Then God led Abram outside and said, “Look at the sky. See the many stars. There are so many you cannot count them. Your family will be like that.”

And, you need to interpret this using Jewish hermeneutics - because if you don’t, then you’ll end up coming to conclusions like ‘Abraham’s descendants will be as many as the stars’.

In summary, Abraham knew the story of the Gospel, because the story is ‘named’, or ‘written/displayed’ in the heavens. The reference to ‘stars’ reflects reunion with God, and man being re-established as Gods ‘image’ on earth. In other words, this is allegorical, but, importantly, is easily interpreted if? you use Hebrew hermeneutics (and if you do, several other Old Testament passages will support the view as well).

The point being, Abraham knew the Gospel - but he realised it was at that time a ‘future’ event - but, by faith, he could ‘see’ it. And, this gospel message was passed on down through the generations.

When Mary had the encounter with the angel Gabriel, she knew exactly what it was all about, that is, the fulfilment of what that which was prophecied.

Summary, the Gospel message was always ‘known’ right from the start. And, there is a lot more in the Old Testament than many realise. Hidden? Not really, more so that we have been ‘blinded’ to it.

(Finally, an amendment - Matthew’s reference was regarding Abraham (etc) in relation to the Kingdom of Heaven. This is not Heaven. This is/will be a literal kingdom here on earth. I didn’t go into this because it isn’t the question but, needs to be clarified.)

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