I Have Questions

I have questions.

Why does God let evil exist?

Why does He permit pain?

How can He sit by while His creations, His children, suffer?

There are apologetics and theologians with quick answers. Most sound pretty good. But outside the Mind of God, responses to such questions are grossly inadequate and unsatisfying.

Apologetic work is so dangerous to one’s faith. A doctrine never seems dimmer to me than when I have just successfully defended it. – C.S. Lewis

But that’s okay.

I’m not interested in second-rate faith characterized by an obsession with answers to specific questions. Because that defeats the purpose, doesn’t it?

I used to think that seeking God’s knowledge was the same as seeking Him.

It’s not.

Seeking to know what God knows is nothing more than a sly prideful attempt to elevate ourselves to a level that was never intended for us.

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. (Isaiah 40:28)

My faith needs no justification outside of Christ. And the only answers I need are the inevitable ones that accompany an intimate relationship with the Lord.

That may sound like a cop out. An easy response to the hard questions of Christianity.

Maybe it is.

All I can do is humbly accept my limited understanding, trust God, and go forward in full confidence of Him.

*Rae

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55 thoughts on “I Have Questions

  1. Haha, I feel your pain. It’s rough being a Christian because once you tell someone you’re a believer, they demand the answers of life. As if any man can provide such.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Awesome post Rae..
    God allows evil because he has no desire to destroy man.. Luke 9 54-56 And besides that man allows evil more then God ever could!! Genesis 6:5
    God does not permit pain he heals it .. Psalms 147:3
    Suffering is caused by man and not God , God gives man the power to correct it.. Philippians 4:13 God empowers man on so many levels to correct these errors all man has to do is Believe..
    GOD BLESS

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Thanks for your comment, Warren. The Bible is a great source for insight and instruction, but my post was mainly to demonstrate that when we encounter things we don’t understand- that’s when faith comes in. No one knows the mind of God. The Bible only shows what God has deemed appropriate to share with us.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I agree with you Rae. I used to be sufficiently well-versed in the Bible I was asked to be a Sunday School teacher when I was only fourteen. I declined because in 1964 England, some children were sent to church against their will and they tended to disrupt the classes. I did not feel that I could manage the unruly children, even if I managed to present the lessons to an acceptable standard.

    As I got older, I realised another truth. There is so much in the Bible it is easy to find passages that support one position and its opposite. If you read the Bible without guidance, you could be excused for thinking that God not only permits pain but causes it:

    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+3%3A16&version=KJV

    Becoming adept at explaining away the apparent contradictions is not necessarily a demonstration that you understand God better than others; those who can follow the two Great Commandments, some without knowing they’re doing it, should be commended for being in tune with God.

    Peace and love to all,

    Dinos

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Well put! When we really seek to know the real God and His character we find the unexpected harmony of things like grace and truth, justice and mercy, royalty and humility, and so on. Thankful to hear your thoughts and journey 🙌🏼

    Liked by 2 people

  6. “I used to think that seeking God’s knowledge was the same as seeking Him.”

    This! That’s an excellent distinction.

    I also had trouble with the fact that there were questions with no answers. But eventually I realized that it really was OK to love and fear a God I didn’t completely understand. My goal should always be to know Him better, but since he is infinite and I am finite, that is a “course” I will never be done with. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Good perspective. I get tired of people always trying to discredit God because of a lack in understanding. Mainly people who are lost in faith and have no idea what they believe, but are determined to destroy your faith. Mankind has attempted the to be as God since the first bite of the fruit. I don’t think we can handle what God knows or even the sight and live. Even Moses was only exposed to his glory. Thank you for giving me a thought for the day. Blessings.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this….I have been reading a book by Beth Moore: “So Long Insecurity: You’ve been a bad friend to us.” In it she discusses this same thing. Why do we want to know what God knows, like eating from the tree of truth and knowledge…as human’s we try to know but really can’t handle it. I know I don’t want to know unless He chooses to show it to me. I’ve learned the hard way delving deep into His knowledge and trying to know what He knows about a person or a situation is never a good idea. Thanks for this. It is a great read and reaffirming to me!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Paul Roberts Abernathy says:

    Ah, Rae, you raise the questions/issues that the field of theodicy – dealing with the reality of evil in a world created by an omnipotent and benevolent God – has wrestled with for centuries unending and continuing. Verily, you raise the questions that have arisen and continue to arise in my mind and heart, my soul and spirit. That said, in the end (and the beginning and middle) of the proverbial day, living/walking by faith, I rest in Isaiah’s word of/from God: My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways…as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts (55.8-9).

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Exactly, Dinos! Anyone can explain anything with a quick Scripture which seems like a prideful way of using religion to make one look like they know. The truth is we don’t know even a tiny portion of what God knows. Great comment, Dinos. Well put!
    *Rae

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes, she’s amazing. Especially this book. It is the reason I made the initial decision to make some changes in my life. God can uses any tool and He used her book for me. She is raw, real and will make you think. I love her! ❤☺

    Like

  12. Hi Paul!

    Thank you for your considered comments which are very much in tune with the thoughts that I’ve had.

    I confess that I’ve gone a step further in my thinking about The Word. Language is a human construct and the meanings of the words used are personal to the writers and to God. When certain passages strike a chord with us, I believe that any understanding we may gain is with God’s help, or with the grace of the Holy Spirit. I don’t think we can understand their true meaning with our own minds alone.

    Further, I think the texts that have gained acceptance as canonical are the words inspired by experiences of God through participation with Persons of the Trinity who are not limited to using language to communicate with their participants – why should they be? Does a mother need to tell her infant, “I love you baby,” or can she tell her with her smiles and cuddles?

    I believe that God communicated with the prophets and other writers, like Paul, without using language, and the words of the scriptures are written accounts of the messages they perceived. I think we should not expect to gain too much insight about God through them alone.

    Peace and love to all,

    Dinos

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Rae

    Beautiful post, and I think for a certain percentage what you stated should be enough on the topic. The ideas of seeking God and seeking His knowledge, do overlap somewhat, and seeking His knowledge as revealed in Scripture helps us seek Him.

    But seeking His knowledge does have its place for some. Apologetics can be helpful in strengthening our faith and help us discuss the things of God to a dark world.

    But you are correct in seeking Him is always first and foremost and the important thing.

    I know I recommended If God is Good by Randy Alcorn – it is a great source of apologetic for those questions presented.

    George

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I agree. More about words as human constructs…

    Words, I believe, also function as symbols. As symbols, words always point beyond themselves to truths or realities of which we humans seek to articulate and communicate with ourselves and others and which, perhaps in a roundabout and ironic way, we need and use the words to express. In this, I also do not believe that any two humans – no matter how similar in background, experience, and worldview – ever do OR can mean the same thing when using the same words. Hence the necessity of ongoing discourse and interpretation.

    When I apply this thinking/reasoning to scripture, I approach a text with a 3-fold set of questions: What did the writer mean to convey when the word originally was spoken/given? (Even then, a multivalent consideration.) What does or might the word mean in this day and time? (Also polyvalent in its application.) What does or might the word mean to me in my concrete, daily circumstances? (As I believe God always is speaking to me, to us.)

    And, when I engage scripture and these or similar questions in community, given my hunches about words as symbols, the conversations always expand, even explode (in a good way!).

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi, *Rae~

    Because you were kind enough to read and like my blog post today, I was moved to check you out. When I saw this post, I was moved to reply.

    Last summer, my cousin’s son unexpectedly fell ill after what should have been routine surgery, and died. The former pastor in me was moved to write. As part of the essay I wrote – https://eilerspizza.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/when-god-says-no/ – was this snippet which speaks, at least in part, to questions you posed.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    This question fills the air: “Why does God let bad things happen?” When I had to bury a young mother of four who had been murdered, I needed to answer this as clearly as ever. I came up with this.

    When our children hit the teenage years, because we love them and we don’t want anything bad to happen to them, and we don’t want them to do anything wrong, we lock them in the basement. That’s what love does, right? It protects at all costs.

    Wrong.

    While we long to protect our loved ones, taking away freedom is not love. We rear our children well, then we send them into the world. We hope for good things. We pray for them. But they are free, and the world is filled with accidents and evildoers and temptation and you-name-it, all of which might bring us down.

    As it is with us, so it is with God. He loves us so thoroughly that He gives us lives in which we get to exercise freedom. Indeed, His love is so profound that if we don’t return His love, He still lets us live and enjoy life.

    But He does not remove every obstacle, every possible bad thing from our path. If He did—if this were His job, to stop every last thing which is not good—then not only would He keep young men from falling ill during routine surgery but He also would zap us when we gossip, and slap our hand when we put it where it does not belong, and on and on to where He would constantly be on our case, to where we would have no freedom at all.

    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    Thanks for reading my blog and keep up the nice work with yours!

    Peace,
    Gina

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Why does GOD Permit Evil: so that humanity can experience the disastrous effects of “Adamitis” and learn to only wish to obey God’s only standard for eternal life which is RIGHTEOUSNESS. God is calling out through the Gospel Age a class (the Bride of CHRIST, which are composed of 144,000 members (see Revelation 7 and 14) who shall be completed before Armageddon (the Battle of Gog and Magog – see Ezekiel 38, 39) which will lead to the nation of Israel recognizing CHRIST Jesus ans the Messiah once the Ancient Worthies resurrect and are the “princes” of the Earth and earthly mouthpieces that God shall use to work with Christ and His Church (Bride of CHRIST). The heavenly class will also comprise of the Great Company which we read about in Revelation chapter 7 who will also be those who were of the called ones on Earth during the Gospel Age but who did not sacrifice willingly as did the “Bride” members of Christ – and are reflected in the 5 foolish virgins… in Elisha walking with Elijah up to the crossing of Jordan… the maidservants of Rebecca etc…

    By experience the consequences of sin… such as pain and death, one learns that the only way to true JOY, is by surrendering up self will and all of self, in order to be saturated with the understandings of God as one then realizes that righteousness is the only standard by which true eternal Joy can exist. Disobedience already started with the Adversary who wished to rebel against our Heavenly Father’s plan and grew in Pride. The Bible tells us that Satan and his army of fallen angels will be bound for 1000 years and then released at the end of the 1000 year Reign of Christ with the Church (in “the Little Season”) before being destroyed forever.

    By experiencing the disastrous effects of sin, one also learns to be EMPATHETIC towards all and thus those who suffer now with CHRIST shall be the empathetic high priests helping to lead all mankind up the highway of holiness in the coming kingdom.

    You will find this topic and many others discussed here: http://www.dawnbible.com/books.htm

    GOD BLESS YOU

    1 Corinthians 15:22 – “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Profound questions. I go back to Romans 5:12-17. Verse 15 it says “for it by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, unbounded to many.” And in verse 17 it says ” much more those who receive abundance of grace and the gift righteousness reign in life through the one Jesus Christ. ” I think there’s going to be a lot of unanswered questions until we get face-to-face with our Lord. And then, of course, it won’t matter!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Dear Bible Students Daily,

    Thank you for your contribution and I’m sure that some Christians will feel reassured by it, especially with your quote:

    1 Corinthians 15:22 – “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”

    I would agree that if Adam was able to condemn all humanity to mortal death, then Christ has saved all humanity by His redemptive sacrifice.

    There are thousands of denominations of Christians, each with their own set of doctrinal beliefs and evangelical aims. Below is a link to an alphabetical listing that readers may find interesting:

    http://www.seiyaku.com/reference/denominations-alpha.html

    It may surprise some readers that 7.5 million Jehovah’s Witnesses are included, but this is not a matter for humans, but for God’s concordance, or otherwise.

    Personally, I’m not a creationist Christian and there are millions like me, and the belief in the original sin of Adam and Eve is central to your piece.

    Below is a link to a piece written by Karl Giberson:

    https://www.onfaith.co/discussion/10-things-i-wish-everyone-knew-about-adam-and-eve

    I found that the link does not always work, so I hope I’m excused for pasting the whole article below:

    [The story of Adam and Eve and their fall into sin has been called the “Central Myth of the West.” In my new book, Saving the Original Sinner, I trace the story of Adam’s evolution from a minor player in ancient Jewish mythology to the most significant figure in Western culture — after Jesus, of course.

    Now Adam stands at the center of a great controversy over evolution, with geneticists saying he could not possibly have existed and many Americans insisting they are wrong.

    Here are 10 curious things about Adam (and Eve) that may surprise you:

    1. Adam is a generic Hebrew word.

    In the Hebrew language in which Genesis was written, the word “Adam” is the generic term for “man.” Our modern translations make it difficult to see this, especially since “Adam” has become a popular male name. Similarly, “Eve” means “Mother all of living.”

    2. Eve may not have been Adam’s first wife.

    There are actually two creation stories in Genesis, although most readers merge them into one. The story we tend to recall starts with the first verse in the Bible — “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” — and then describes a busy six days in which God creates something different each day, with humans last, and Eve being created from Adam’s rib, followed by a day of rest. But that’s not actually what Genesis says.

    In the first creation story — the one with six days and a creator named Yahweh — the woman is created in the same way as the man and at the same time, with no hint that she is secondary. This puzzling difference evolved into the story of Lilith, Adam’s first wife who was ejected from Eden for insisting she should be Adam’s equal.

    Lilith is a shadowy and evolving part of Jewish mythology, mentioned only once in the Bible. By the Middle Ages, however, she was a persistent demon feared by Jewish women, because she threatened the fragile lives of newborns.

    In the second creation story — the one with Eve being created from Adam’s rib and a creator named Elohim — God clearly creates the woman for the man. In the legend of Lilith, Eve was a replacement wife, subservient to Adam and much less demanding.

    3. The story of Adam and Eve is not original to the Bible.

    In “The Epic of Gilgamesh” — dated well over 1,000 years before Genesis — we read of a talking serpent suggesting immortality and of a man divinely created from soil who lived naked among the animals.

    A temptress leads this man into sin, after which the two clothe themselves and are expelled from their garden paradise. Sound familiar?

    4. The two different stories in Genesis cannot be reconciled.

    Despite the best efforts of creationists like Ken Ham, the two stories can’t both be accurate. To reconcile the two accounts, the sixth day of creation — which Ham insists was an ordinary 24-hour day — has to include the following events: Adam is fashioned from the dust of the earth and given the breath of life; every kind of animal on the planet is brought to Adam who gives them names corresponding to their characteristics; Adam notices that every animal showed up with a mate and grows lonely as he realizes he has none; God takes sympathy on lonely Adam, puts him to sleep and fashions a woman from his side; Adam names his wife “woman” for she was taken out of “man.” Quite a busy day!

    5. Adam only appears in the beginning of Genesis.

    After his brief appearances in the first chapters of Genesis, Adam disappears from the Hebrew Scriptures (what Christians call the Old Testament).

    Even though sin is a recurring theme, with divine judgments occurring at the Flood of Noah, the Tower of Babel, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and elsewhere, Adam is never implicated as the source of that sin. That idea was invented by Saint Paul in the New Testament, with no Jewish precedent.

    6. God didn’t destroy Eden after Adam and Eve sinned.

    When Adam and Eve were expelled from Eden, God did not destroy their former paradise home. Instead, God placed cherubim and a flaming sword at the entrance so they could not reenter and eat from the tree of life.

    The continued existence of Eden was widely accepted, and intrepid explorers often took off in search of it. Christopher Columbus wrote home from South America that he had discovered a beautiful paradise he believed was the biblical Eden.

    7. Some Christians believe Cain was not Adam’s son.

    The doctrine known as the “serpent seed” claims that Cain was the offspring of Eve and the talking serpent that Christians much later identified as Satan. Sin thus entered the human race directly from Satan when he had sex with Eve.

    The most well-known church that teaches this doctrine is Sarah Palin’s home church in Wasilla, Alaska.

    8. Leading figures in the Western world took Adam very seriously.

    The great Italian poet Dante — author of The Divine Comedy — tried to figure out what language Adam spoke in Eden by inspecting existing human languages for mysterious common features.

    Francis Bacon promoted science as a way to recover the lost knowledge God had given to Adam. Only in the last couple of centuries have scholars moved away from the idea that Adam and Eve were important historical figures.

    9. Many have claimed that Adam had super-human traits.

    The incarcerated creationist who calls himself Dr.Dino, Kent Hovind, claimed that Adam and Eve had hundreds of children and did not need a car because they could run for hundreds of miles without getting tired. The prosperity evangelist Benny Hinn says Adam could fly to the moon. Many have believed Adam was 15 feet tall. Some Christians claim Adam had X-ray vision, allowing him to see into the interior of animals when he was naming them according to their essential features.

    In dramatic contrast to evolution, these views understand the history of the human race to be one of steady deterioration from a perfect beginning, rather than a rise from simpler primates.

    10. Geneticists are certain Adam and Eve didn’t begin the human race.

    Geneticists who have mapped the human genome have stated with certainty that the human race cannot have consisted of just two people a few thousand years ago. This conclusion is actually quite straightforward.

    The human gene pool simply has too many genes in it today to have ever been housed in just two humans. Geneticists estimate the human race never consisted of less than 1,000 individuals, and they lived long before the biblical Adam and Eve.]

    May we all be guided to the truth with the aid of the Holy Spirit.

    Peace and love to all,

    Dinos

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Hi Melissa!

    You said: I enjoyed the post. My first response was…”Because He has given us the choice of free will.” Insightful post and thanks for making me think!

    Perhaps God allows evil because He created it:

    Isaiah 45:7 King James Version (KJV)

    7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

    What choice does a young girl have when she is subjected to repeated acts of rape from a maladjusted father?

    I confess that I have been unable to understand why victims have to suffer repeated attacks in order to preserve the freedom of the perpetrators of crime?

    I live my life by trying to follow the two Great Commandments, which were taken from the 613 laws that the Israelites wrote during the Iron Age:

    http://www.gospeloutreach.net/613laws.html

    Notice commandment number 3 under the heading: The Worship of Yahweh –
    “Love Yahweh with all your heart, soul, and might.” (Deuteronomy 6:5)

    And commandment number 13 under the heading: Our Duties to Our Fellow Man –
    “Love your neighbour, whether a brother or an enemy, as yourself.” (Leviticus 19:18)

    The above are referred to as the Great Commandments that Christ alluded to when questioned by the Pharisees.

    Peace and love to all,

    Dinos

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you Rae!

    I’m expressing what I truly feel and because what I say is controversial to most Christians, I rarely get any positive responses. I should add that Paul Roberts Abernathy gave me an excellent response recently.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Dear Dinos,

    Thank you for your comments shared which enable one to “test all things” and “hold to that which is good” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

    Here are some words for consideration shared with you from the Booklet titled “Creation” which you will find on http://www.dawnbiblestudents.com. We do hope it may continue to inspire and provoke towards godly reasoning and the glorification of God’s holy name through son and the World’s Savior and Redeemer, Christ Jesus.

    “Freedom of Choice

    While we marvel at the immensity of the universe and the orderly arrangement of all its parts, we should not overlook the fact that divine law operates to control all things which have been made. Back of nature’s laws is nature’s Lawgiver, and the whole universe is held together and functions because of obedience imposed by the mighty power of God and correlated as between the myriads of created things by the Creator’s wisdom.

    The divine purpose in the creation of man is just as dependent upon obedience to God’s law as is his design for the stars. But man is not a machine. He was created in the image of God, with ability to think, to reason, to choose one course or another. Not only was he competent to exercise a choice, but he was given freedom to use that ability. And God, with all his power, will not overstep man’s liberty of choice; yet the divine purpose concerning man is to be fully accomplished, not through coercion, but through education based largely upon experience.

    Viewed thusly, we see that the entire seventh day of creation is set aside to complete God’s purpose as it pertains to man. And what is the method by which that purpose is being accomplished? The Bible shows it to be the testing of the entire race, representatively in the first man Adam, then the redemption and restoration of the same race through Christ.

    As each generation of Adam’s dying children has come upon the scene it has experienced its baptism of tears and has passed on into the sleep of death. Finally, this process of bringing forth the human race will have reached the point where sufficient children have been born to fill the earth comfortably.

    Then will come the closing scenes of the seventh creative day, the last thousand years of which will be devoted to the restoration of the dead race. The people will not only be awakened from the sleep of death, but will also be given an opportunity individually to experience good, in contrast to the evil they experienced before they fell asleep in death.

    Thus they will know good from evil. They will have learned the terrible consequence of disobedience to divine law, and will have learned the glorious results of obedience. Then they will be in a position to choose intelligently what course to take. There is little doubt that the vast majority will choose to obey, and it will be a willing, enthusiastic choice. This final choice of obedience on the part of the human race will result in the same order and harmony among the children of men as the obedience of the stars brings to our solar system.

    The training of man up to this point of intelligent, freewill choice to obey the divine law may be properly considered as a part of the creative process pertaining to him. When Adam was first created God pronounced him “very good.” (Gen. 1:31) But not until he had been tested, and had experienced evil, could he enthusiastically fulfill the divine purpose in his creation. This thought also applies to Adam’s entire race.

    The Scriptures indicate that already more than six thousand years have been required for this educational program, and there is still another thousand years yet to come—the thousand years of Christ’s kingdom. There is every evidence now that we are living in the early dawn of the last thousand years of the seventh creative day, or epoch.

    It will be during this last thousand years that God’s will shall be established in the hearts of the human race in answer to the Christian’s prayer, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” When the divine will or law is thus established as the ruling principle in the lives of men, the work of the seventh day will be completed. The earth will be filled with a perfect and happy race, enjoying God’s favor and blessings of eternal life.”

    The direct link to read this booklet is: http://www.dawnbible.com/booklets/creation.htm

    Could we kindly also share with you a lovely chapter from Isaiah 45 where the Prophet Isaiah writes about God’s words to King Cyrus (the Persian but who also was known as Darius the Mede –his Mother was a Mede and Father a Persian– besieged Babylon and in 538 BC allows the Jews to return back to Jerusalem freeing them from their captivity under King Nebuchadnezzar – see the Book of Daniel Chapter 6, 7) learns that GOD Yahweh is the only God — the God of the Jews– One God not a three-some trinity God… a God who “formed the light and created darkness”:-

    Isaiah chapter 45 reads as follows:

    45 Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut;

    2 I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron:

    3 And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

    4 For Jacob my servant’s sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.

    5 I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

    6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the Lord, and there is none else.

    7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

    8 Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the Lord have created it.

    9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

    10 Woe unto him that saith unto his father, What begettest thou? or to the woman, What hast thou brought forth?

    11 Thus saith the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask me of things to come concerning my sons, and concerning the work of my hands command ye me.

    12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded.

    13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways: he shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, saith the Lord of hosts.

    14 Thus saith the Lord, The labour of Egypt, and merchandise of Ethiopia and of the Sabeans, men of stature, shall come over unto thee, and they shall be thine: they shall come after thee; in chains they shall come over, and they shall fall down unto thee, they shall make supplication unto thee, saying, Surely God is in thee; and there is none else, there is no God.

    15 Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself, O God of Israel, the Saviour.

    16 They shall be ashamed, and also confounded, all of them: they shall go to confusion together that are makers of idols.

    17 But Israel shall be saved in the Lord with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end.

    18 For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.

    19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

    20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save.

    21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.

    22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.

    23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

    24 Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed.

    25 In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory.

    And what is most incredible about GOD in the Book of Daniel for instance is this:

    Daniel’s prophecies predict exact time periods in God’s Plan.

    • Daniel recorded in advance the name of the country which would later succeed Persia as an empire, namely Greece (Daniel 8:21). This is remarkable, because when Daniel wrote, Greece was a disunited gathering of city states which only united 200 years after Daniel died during the era of King Philip—(the father of Alexander the Great who succeeded his father)—who reigned from 360 to 336 BC. Daniel predicted the king which made Greece into an empire (i.e. Alexander the Great) was represented by a great horn on the head of a goat (Daniel 8:21) which represented Greece. In Daniel’s vision that horn was broken and in its place four horns rose up. Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 8:21, 22 accurately predicted that after Alexander the empire would not endure whole, but would split into four parts.

    A succeeding prophecy in Daniel 11:4 specified that Alexander’s son would not rule any of those new kingdoms: “When he [Alexander] shall stand up [become king], his kingdom shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven; and not to his posterity.”

    • These unexpected twists in the affairs of history could not be guessed at by Daniel. It was God who foreknew these things, and God who caused his angelic ministers to communicate these visions to Daniel. This type of prophecy sets the Bible apart from all other writings. These unique prophecies are an evidence of divine inspiration.

    “I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done.” (Isaiah 46:9, 10).

    • Another example of a precise time prophecy prediction in the Book of Daniel is the coming and death of Messiah, fulfilled by Jesus.

    “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city [Jerusalem], to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity … from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem. … Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself.” (Daniel 9:24, 25).

    Christians have long recognized this to be a time prophecy pointing to our Lord Jesus and his death as our atonement for sin. The “seventy weeks” refers to weeks of years, which would be 70 x 7 = 490 years.

    Jesus died on Calvary’s cross in the spring of 33 AD. The precise Julian date was April 3, 33 AD. The Gospel narratives record that Jesus died on Friday, the day before the Jewish Sabbath. That Friday was also the “preparation of the Passover”—the day the Israelites killed their Passover lambs at the temple in Jerusalem (John 19:14). This was Nisan 14 on the Jewish calendar. It was not common for Nisan 14 to fall on a Friday, but this did occur on April 3, 33 AD.

    Counting 490 years earlier brings us to 458 BC as the commencement of the prophecy,

    i.e. 490 – 33 AD = 457 + 1 (to account for the absence of a year “zero” between BC and AD years) = 458 BC in the spring of the year.

    At this time Persia ruled the world, and in particular Artaxerxes was king of that empire. Today, the history of those times is known with clarity from a network of ancient records. The uncertainty of past years is no more. The spring of the year 458 BC commenced the seventh year of the reign of Artaxerxes (Ezra 7:7)—which the Bible identifies was the year of a decree from this king, given to Ezra the scribe, to return to Jerusalem to enquire concerning Judah and Jerusalem. (Ezra 7:14). The time from the decree given to Ezra to restore and rebuild Jerusalem, until the death of Jesus on the cross, was predicted to the very year, 490 years exactly.

    This is firm evidence for our faith that the Scriptures are the inspired word of God. They are a trustworthy and reliable guide to the Plan of God, because they were written through the Spirit of God.
    “The prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:21).

    Dear friend, one could write on and on as GOD is so amazingly just, merciful and loving, wise and powerful in ALL is ways…and to share God’s Divine Beauties of Truth about HIS merciful goodness and love as displayed in his marvelous works and the sending of His only begotten Son to set mankind free from the Prison house of death soon to be testified in due time when the final members of the Bride of Christ (the 144,000) are complete, is like passing one the keys to the greatest treasure that any human could ever have — yet also knowing that it is GOD who calls and one can only be a vessel like clay through which the Heavenly Father can mould in any way he so desires, so that HIS WILL is accomplished as HIS ways are PERFECT since GOD has no beginning or end — he is from everlasting to everlasting — and who obeys HIM shall have everlasting life and the highest level of everlasting JOY which man can only now comprehend in carnal bodies imperfectly through the eyes of Divine understanding as permitted through the holy Spirit — that is, through the understanding that God gives in his own best ways.

    Peace unto you.

    The Olszewski family

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  22. p.s. Dinos – on the list you provided.. there is nothing listed for “Bible Students.” Why? because we are not part of any denomination. They are hidden to the world in many ways. But GOD leads people to such who strive to diligently search the Scriptures and understand how to work out one’s salvation with reverence to GOD…

    Hence we are not Jehovah’s Witnesses (I do not know if your comments about them means you thought we may be associated with them … The founder of the Jehovah’s Witnesses was not Br. Charles T. Russell but rather Br. Rutherford while the Bible Students believe that ALL mankind (and not just a selected few) shall resurrect – We have a series of 3 posts on this if this should interest you:
    1.
    https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/03/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-a-what-is-jesus-all-about/
    2.
    https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/05/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-b-will-mankind-resurrect-with-the-same-mind/
    3.
    https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/11/11/acts-236-hope-resurrection-part-c-the-order-of-the-resurrection-process/

    Thank you for your kind considerations upon the above should you choose to do so.

    We do appreciate your ending with words of “peace” — a lovely sentiment of words — PEACE unto you likewise.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Dear Bible Students Daily and the Olszewski family,

    Please understand that I am a full-time Carer to my 94-year-old mother with ailing physical health and dementia. Her needs demand much of my time and if you send me too much to read at once, you will succeed only to put me off replying altogether. I hope that you have not done this intentionally?

    I am a direct and honest person and I hope you will excuse me if I appear blunt or rude at times; please consider my circumstances. I do not understand why you are not categorised. Do you actively seek to prevent website builders from classifying you as Evangelists? [Evangelist: a person who seeks to convert others to the Christian faith].

    The alphabetical list of Christian denominations that I supplied to only listed 300 of many thousands, according to the number of members, and was not a meant to be a comprehensive list. I was not trying to classify your organisation, but seeking to illustrate the multifarious nature of Christian organisations, sometimes referred to as denominations or sects. Each classification has declared their doctrinal beliefs with considerable overlap in some instances and stark differences in others!

    At the time I posted my comments to you I had made no attempt to find out your doctrines or evangelical aims. I highlighted the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses who were classified as a Christian denomination. This was certainly a surprise to me and I thought it might be to other readers too.

    An old friend of mine, John Middleton, who died a few months ago, was a Jehovah’s Witness. We had many in-depth discussions about Christianity and his understanding of what it meant to be a Jehovah’s Witness. I was surprised when he explained to me that they believe, as I do, that Christ was considered to be God’s eternally begotten Son. They differ with mainstream Christianity in that each of the three Divine Persons is considered to be separate and not part of the Holy Trinity!

    I had several meals at John’s house with him and his wife and he always said grace before we ate, ending, “And we ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.” I asked him why they chose to call themselves Jehovah’s Witnesses as this is off-putting to Christians who meet them at the doors of their houses. I suggested that they should call themselves, “Jehovah’s Christians” instead, as this would be more appealing. He replied, “Oh no, no, no, no, we couldn’t do that.” Do you see now that I found it surprising that 7.5 million JWs are classified as a denomination of Christianity? It was not an attempt to classify your organisation!

    There are other denominations that also consider that God, Christ and the Holy Spirit, are considered to be separate, for example, Unitarian Universalist Association, or Unitarian Universalist (200,000 members)

    I don’t know if you have any other issues you want me to address, but bombarding me with lengthy posts is counter-productive, to my addressing them, in view of my Caring duties.

    Please review your last two posts and re-submit to me any issues you’d like me to respond to. I am assuming that you want a response from me, but perhaps you wrote solely for the benefit of other readers?

    Peace and love to all,
    Dinos, a staunch pacifist

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  24. All it takes for evil to exist is for good people to do nothing. We are the hands and feet of God. He gave us Jesus so we know what we must do. Evil will exist because while you can lead some to the living water, you cannot make them drink.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Dear Dinos,

    Peace and grace unto you from our Father through Jesus CHRIST our Head.

    Thank you for all your good points raised…

    Please forgive us for the lengthy reply given — over-excitement about DIVINE TRUTHS is often the reason for one’s weaknesses!

    Thank you for all your clarifications and for sharing about John Middleton.

    When you mentioned of the “witness” part of your words… one’s mind went straight to a verse of Divine Scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

    Here the “cloud of witnesses” are in reference to the Ancient Worthies — the Heros of Faith like Abraham, Isaac and Moses etc… some of whom are mentioned in the 11th chapter of the book of Hebrews. These were examples of “perseverence” = patience, cheerful endurance with constancy…. who shall resurrect in the Armageddon period this Gospel Age shall end in, to bring peace to the earth and start the process of teaching the world Godly righteousness up the highway of holiness…

    The Glorious Kingdom of Peace is so wonderfully described in the Book of Isaiah, chapter 35:

    E.g. Isaiah 35:8 – “And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”

    Forgive also the late response — we have been on a Bible Students Camp on the topic of THE BOOK OF DANIEL.

    GOD BLESS YOU.
    Psalm 118

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I love the line, “Seeking to know what God knows is nothing more than a sly prideful attempt to elevate ourselves to a level that was never intended for us.” I recently suffered a miscarriage and it has devastated me to my core. I don’t know how to return to the person I was before this happened. And I ask God daily to tell me why He took that baby from me. And I get mad and angry that I’ll never know that answer. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I’m still a little mad, but that line really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Your statement reminds me of the verse: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16) and also the parable of the tares and the wheat. Why God allowed the enemy to remain on earth, we will only find out once we are with Him for then all things will be made known to us. As Paul said: “I will know as I am known.” In the meantime, He has not left us orphans but has given us power (authority) over the all the power (ability) of the enemy (Luke 10:19). But we must exercise that authority which He bought and paid for with His blood to restore our dominion to us (John 14:12).
    One thing in reading the above post, Ruby, rest assured that God did not “take” your baby, the enemy did that and it is he who deserves your anger.
    But that is all he could do in this world. Once your baby left this world, he/she immediately went into God’s arms and is in heaven right now in His perfect care. They could not be in a better or safer place or in better hands. They will never have to suffer the evils of this world with the possibility of being seduced by the enemy and being lost. They are secure forever and you will see him/her again when you are reunited again. You will get to know them then. In Jesus, nothing is ever lost. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
    PS: Not sure if your baby has a name but one thing that has been revealed to me is that many babies who have been miscarried do not have a name. Their parents did not give them one and in heaven they will not have a name until they are named by one or both of their parents. You cannot pray to them for they cannot hear you, nor are we allowed to pray to the departed, but you can always ask Jesus to pass along anything you would like them to know or to say to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hey Dino, sorry for posting this so late. I was just perusing and found this response and I wanted to say that God’s hand in the creation of evil or sin is what I’ve been working on.
    That the source of sin is an irrational response to fear, yet fear is an innate human reaction from birth, and thus a natural part of the human condition. That God created us with complete free will and showed us the love to let us act that out, even if it breaks his heart in the process. Such as murdering his anointed human.
    We were created exactly as we are, perfectly imperfect. God understands all of the motivations, narcissistic wounds, defensive lashings, and can love even the most heinous murderer because he sees all cause and effect.
    I’m sorry if this sounds like rambling, I just wanted to say that I agree, and I found it pleasant to hear someone else propose that God created sin on purpose.

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Hello Turtle Royalty,
    Thank you for your response.
    I guess it should be clear from God’s attributes of omnipotence and omniscience, how could sin come about spontaneously without God’s involvement? Also, we were created in their image suggests the Holy Trinity, so we were created as good beings with the ability to sin.
    I could say a lot more but time does not permit these days due to increasing demands of my time to tend my mother whose dementia is worsening.
    Peace and love to all,
    Dinos

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I enjoyed this quick reminder! Though we should pursue understanding who God is and exploring the answers to our challenging questions, at the end of the day we have to remember Jesus is Lord. And ultimately, we aren’t supposed to or able to know ALL the answers in this life. I actually wrote about the why God allows suffering in a recent article. If you want to check it out, here’s the link! https://jakebyrd.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/bridging-the-gap-pt-2-a-common-grief/

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I am thankful that there are apologists and theologians researching answers to these difficult questions for the off-chance that a doubter will surrender their objections and turn towards Christ. Like you said though, if we seek knowledge alone we will never be satisfied because we can’t possibly hope to seek a level of comprehension even remotely close to God. Take trying to picture God before creation, for example. How can we – bound by space, time, and matter – attempt to comprehend anything beyond it? My soul rests much more easily when I lean back and breathe, “Ok God, I don’t understand why this is happening, but You got this – even if it doesn’t look like I think it should.”

    Liked by 2 people

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