Received by Belief: An EVERLASTING Covenant to Israel

Just as our salvation is eternal, God’s promises to Israel are irrevocable and eternal.

The same unconditional and everlasting covenant God made with Israel carries on through the blood of Christ upon all who believe, and will continue when Christ returns to reign over the house of Jacob forever.

“And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end” (Luke 1:31-33).

As true Christians can add nothing more than wholehearted belief to receive eternal life, Abraham added nothing more than belief to receive the promises of God’s covenant with Israel.

“Then He brought him outside and said, ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:5-6).

The believer prepares the place of their heart through believe to receive the promise of God’s Holy Spirit whereby they are sealed until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13). Just as we are eternally sealed with salvation, Abraham’s descendants cannot undo the promises God made to Abraham. God’s promises are based upon the faith and obedience of Abraham to God’s voice when He tested his faith by the prefiguration of the sacrifice of Isaac atop Mount Moriah:

“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only son— blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice'” (Genesis 22:15-18).

Abraham’s actions were based upon his faith; they were not based upon an attempt at self-righteousness. How much more humble and heartbreaking can a work be than to offer your only living son, chosen by the Lord to inherit the promises, as a living sacrifice?

In the same way that God obviously did not have to prove His own righteousness by offering His only begotten Son as a sacrifice, Abraham did not offer up his only son Isaac as a sacrifice to prove himself righteous either. He did it because he was being faithful to God’s commandment.

Abraham’s precedent of justification by faith is repeated as a testimony to those of us who trust in Christ for our salvation (Romans 4:3, Galatians 3:6, and James 2:23).

After Abraham prepared the place that God would make the covenant with him, he was in a deep sleep when God performed the pledge of the covenant, ALONE.

“And he said, ‘Lord God, how shall I know that I will inherit it?’ So He said to him, ‘Bring Me a three-year-old heifer, a three-year-old female goat, a three-year-old ram, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.’ Then he brought all these to Him and cut them in two, down the middle, and placed each piece opposite the other; but he did not cut the birds in two. Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. And it came to pass, when the sun went down and it was dark, that behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a burning torch that passed between those pieces. On the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying: ‘To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the River Euphrates (Genesis 15:8-10, 12, 17-18).

As opposed to God, when man attempts to perform the pledge of a covenant, he will ultimately transgress it:

“And I will give the men who have transgressed My covenant, who have not performed the words of the covenant which they made before Me, when they cut the calf in two and passed between the parts of it” (Jeremiah 34:18).

Many of those who adhere to the gospel of “live your best life here and now” and those who use God’s abundant grace as an excuse to hold hands with the world,

also adhere to the doctrine of Replacement Theology. They claim that God’s promises to Israel were not an EVERLASTING covenant, contrary to what the World of God says:

“And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you” (Genesis 17:7).

These folks are the same ones who say that you can lose your salvation if you sin too much… oh, wait a minute. They don’t believe that, do they? Well, maybe they should because it makes about as much sense as believing that Israel has lost the everlasting promises God made to them based upon the sins of other generations.

Satan wants everyone to believe that God has rendered His own promises to Israel null and void, because it was through Israel that the world received its Messiah, who provides everlasting life to all. If God’s everlasting promise to Israel can be broken, then perhaps God’s promise of everlasting life to all who believe in Jesus (John 3:16) can be broken too.

However, there is an important concept that proves that God’s promises to both Israel and to all who believe in His salvation are irrevocable:

When God made the promise to bless the descendants of Israel forever (Genesis 17:7), God was the One who performed the work of the covenant, not Abraham (Genesis 15:17).

When God made the promise that eternal life would come through belief (John 3:16), God was the One who performed the work of that covenant too, not us (John 20:24-31).

God’s covenant to Israel is alive and well and it can be traced directly from Abraham to Israel.

God reconfirmed His covenant to Abraham through his son Isaac:

“Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father” (Genesis 26:3).

Then God reconfirmed the covenant with Isaac’s son Jacob, and God called his name Israel:

“And God said to him, ‘Your name is Jacob; your name shall not be called Jacob anymore, but Israel shall be your name.’ So He called his name Israel. Also God said to him: ‘I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall proceed from you, and kings shall come from your body. The land which I gave Abraham and Isaac I give to you; and to your descendants after you I give this land'” (Genesis 35:10-12).

So there we have it, directly from God to Abraham–to Isaac–to Jacob; an everlasting covenant has been made with Israel.

The house of Israel does not yet dwell safely in its land and is still bearing the shame of the Gentiles until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in (Romans 11:25). The prophecy contained within the following verses, which has already begun, will soon see its ultimate completion:

“‘They shall be safe in their land; and they shall know that I am the Lord, when I have broken the bands of their yoke and delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them. And they shall no longer be a prey for the nations, nor shall beasts of the land devour them; but they shall dwell safely, and no one shall make them afraid. I will raise up for them a garden of renown, and they shall no longer be consumed with hunger in the land, nor bear the shame of the Gentiles anymore. Thus they shall know that I, the Lord their God, am with them, and they, the house of Israel, are My people,’ says the Lord God” (Ezekiel 34:27b-30).

Shalom aleichem, Peace be upon you, Israel.

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Islam and Satan’s Apostate Pulpit

Many watchmen on the wall understand that the prophecies contained in the books of Daniel and Revelation point to a future one-world government and a one-world apostate religion. Currently, true Islam [1] is capturing the attention of the world at large.

The useful idiots that call themselves the Islamic State and or The Caliphate [2] are currently being used by Satan to bring about a false Islam that will be fit for a seat at the table of apostate religion. It will not be radical or fundamental Islam [1] that has a seat at the head table; it will be false Islam, aka “peaceful” Islam.

Fundamental Christianity will not join with other religions and neither will fundamental Islam. False Christianity and false Islam are another story altogether.

The powers that be, according to the will of the general public, will purge the brutal brand of extreme Islam currently seen in places like Syria and Iraq, and also on the doorstep of Israel, from public view. So called “peaceful” Islam which is really a false Islam will promptly fill its void and take its place next to false Christianity.

The main goal of this mission is to somehow unite false Islam with Israel to facilitate the signing of the false peace treaty between Israel and the rest of the world (Daniel 9:27). For Satan’s master plan of a one-world apostate religion to become a reality, a complete purge of fundamental Islam and fundamental Christianity must take place.

Fundamental Judaism has no place for other gods either so fundamental Judaism most likely will not be in control of Israel when the covenant is confirmed with the many (Daniel 9:27). I see no other way the Third Temple will be allowed to be built on the Temple Mount aside from the complete destruction of radical Islam or a false peace with a false Islam.

Recently, a British citizen who is now “fighting” in Iraq and Syria was asked by a news reporter to give his reaction to statements that were made by a certain high ranking British imam. After hearing that the imam condemned the actions of ISIS as brutal and against true Islam, the jihadist said that the imam and all of his followers are apostates. I couldn’t agree more [1].

By the way, the reporter also asked the jihadist if he agreed with the heartless and barbaric act of beheading and if he would actually participate in such a brutal act. His response was that he would be “honored” to participate in such a “blessed” act, particularly against a Syrian or an American soldier. Yes he called it an “honorable” and “blessed act” (just F.Y.I.).

Thankfully, not all people who claim to be Muslim agree with the demonically brutal actions of ISIS. I assume, although I really have no idea, that most people on earth do not have the will to <em>physically</em> participate in the brutal and cruel actions of the Islamic State. However, when demons use their strongest influences currently allowable by the Holy Spirit under this Age of Grace, Satan can move entire groups of people to do his will thereby rendering them fully capable of physically reproducing the brutality of ISIS.

Let me explain:

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10).

All of mankind is unrighteous apart from God. God declares our own “righteousness” as being like puss filled rags (Isaiah 64:6). If an individual chooses to accept the righteousness of Jesus Christ, it is only then that they are declared righteous by the Father:

“But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness” (Romans 4:5).

The believer is also sealed and protected by the Holy Spirit:

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:13-14).

It is not because of our works but because of our belief that we are declared righteous and protected by God’s Holy Spirit. Likewise, if an individual rejects the righteousness of Jesus Christ they are also rejecting the Holy Spirit and thereby they will be without His protection. All people who reject Jesus Christ are susceptible of being directly used by demonic forces.

Satan and his generals have a particular master plan and an end goal in mind. They have been and are continuing to use particular groups of people as they see fit. The larger a group’s denial of the protection of the Holy Spirit, the more useful that group is as a whole to enact the will of Satan.

There is a stark contrast between Christianity and Islam as far as being united in purpose for Satan and against God. Thankfully, due to the voice of the true church, the false church is not as usefully united in Satan’s purposes as it will be after the Rapture of the true church. When the true Christians who are currently on earth are removed, the ranks of the false church will then be able to march in lock step with their leader, unabated.

As a particular brand of false Christianity is taking clearer shape each and every day, so also will a false Islam begin to take shape. Again, as the British jihadist said, they’re all apostates who disagree with the actions of ISIS, they’re not true Muslims [1]. The more than 400,000 Muslims who live in Chicago and the hundreds of thousands who live elsewhere throughout America will be turned into “peaceful” Muslims under the Antichrist’s plan for a false Islam.
It is my strongest belief that we do not have to worry about Sharia Law becoming a reality in America.

Satan knows full well where his ultimate seat will be: “sitting in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God”(2 Thessalonians 2:4). Satan has head-knowledge of the Word of God backwards and forwards and many ways in between. That is how the words of Jesus and His Apostles and prophets contained in the Old and New Testaments can be so twisted as to bring about so many false doctrines and so much confusion.

Of course, Satan has no heart knowledge of God’s precious grace and truth. However, again Satan knows he will end-up sitting in the newly built Third Temple in Jerusalem at the middle of the Tribulation. Does Satan think he can alter the outcome of God’s plan of final defeat for him? Yes, he does, but that does not change the fact that he knows he will claim to be Jesus Christ, the world’s messiah.

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Is anyone else out there wondering what exactly is up with our president? I can honestly say that sometimes I’m baffled by the actions of the Obama Administration. At times, it is beyond surreal and Orwellian. I believe in the truth of what God has already revealed to us in His Word as to what will happen during the Tribulation.

In congruence with the prophetic knowledge God has provided for us in His Word, all I can do is offer my best opinion as to what is happening right now in relation to that future prophetic truth.

Example: It may just be that Obama’s complete inaction against the Islamic State while it is still metastasizing in Iraq and Syria, is to bring about the all-out attacks prophesied against Israel as recorded in Ezekiel 38 and Psalm 83, or to bring about the Burden of Damascus prophesied in Isaiah 17 [3].

Since the Islamic State seems to be completely demon possessed it is likely that they will physically try to conquer all the way to Jerusalem, just so long as the powers that be wait long enough before wiping them out. God uses evil rulers of all stripes to fulfill His purposes.

“For the Scripture says to the Pharaoh, ‘For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I may show My power in you, and that My name may be declared in all the earth’” (Romans 9:17).

Endnotes

[1] The closer a group follows the “holy” book of Islam, the more extreme and brutal that group will be. Any Islamic group that claims to offer peace to unbelievers is actually practicing apostasy according to the Koran.

[2] ISIS vs. The Islamic State, or The Caliphate: These monsters ought to be called by their preferred name because by doing so, their evil actions are more likely be linked directly to Islam.

[3] A specific prophecy can have an original fulfillment in the past and a secondary and final fulfillment in the future.

The measure of a man

If a man has been blessed with a family, then God expects him to take care of his family, according to the strength that he has been given.

If his strength is brawn, then he should earn a living according to that strength. If his strength is brains, then likewise.

If he is especially blessed and his strength is both brawn AND brains, then he is fortunate enough to be able to choose one or the other, or a combination thereof.

Unfortunately circumstances can alter the ability of a man. Injury, sickness, or disease can remove an ability a man once had to care for his family.

In this situation, the man must do whatever he can to support his family according to whatever ability he has left. If all he has left is the ability to speak, then he should always speak well. He must put forth what ever effort afforded him to take care of those who take care of him.

The worth of a man’s ability is not according to his physical or mental strength, it is according to the weight of his actions, born from the strength of his heart.

To judge a man according to any other standard, would be tragic.

Creation Debate Bill Nye Ken Ham

Evolution Creation Debate: The only verses you need to quote in reference to this debate:

There is no debate with those who hate God. God Himself walked away from those who hated Him…

“‘A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.’ And He left them and departed” (Matthew 16:4).

Notice how God Himself walked away from those who were seeking “proof” of His own existence. The “proof” was literally staring them right in the face but yet the “proof” just turned and walked away.

God walks away from the rejection of faith and so should His sheep.

“By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:3, 6).

“Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, ‘The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,’ and ‘A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.’ They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed. But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:7-9).

“But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:23-26).

A genuine Christian should never argue over the semantics of evolution. When teaching on the spiritual matters directly related to accepting or rejecting God’s explanation of creation, a pastor or Sunday school teacher should present the message gently and humbly.

It takes faith and faith = proof.

Proof that Yeshua is the Jewish Messiah

The following is a brief but detailed study to show that Yeshua, Jesus the Christ, came out of Israel and is the Divine Jewish Messiah to the world. May it be a blessing to those of the house of Israel and of Judah. (Amen.)

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself” (Daniel 9:26a).

In the verse above, the phrase “cut off” is translated from a form of the Hebrew verb: “Karath”.

Specifically, in Daniel 9:26, the transliterated form is: “kā·raṯ”.

Karath: “to cut; by implication to destroy or consume; specifically to make a covenant (i.e. make and alliance or bargain, originally by cutting flesh and passing between the pieces).

In Genesis chapter 15 we read that God made a blood covenant with Abraham:

“And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’” (Genesis 15:17-18).

The Hebrew word translated as “made” in Genesis 15:18 is a form of the same Hebrew word translated as “cut off” in Daniel 9:26: “yik·kā·rêṯ”. In the Hebrew it reads, “Cut Jehovah with Abram a covenant”.

The Bible first explains the blood covenant in Genesis chapter 15. Later, in Exodus, we read:

“Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, ‘Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord hath made with you concerning all these words’” (Exodus 24:8).

Israel failed to keep this covenant of works, so in Jeremiah 31, God promised the institution of a new covenant of grace:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 31:31).

In case you are wondering, the Hebrew verb translated into English as “make” is a form of the same Hebrew verb translated as “made” in Genesis 15:18 and as, “cut off” in Daniel 9:26.

Specifically, in Jeremiah 31:31, the transliterated form is: “wə·ḵā·rat·tî”.

It’s also interesting to note that the Greek word transliterated as “diatheke“, and translated into English as “covenant” in the New Testament, also means “testament”.

Jesus said, “this is My blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28).

In light of the fact that the Greek word “diatheke“ can mean testament or covenant, then the verse above could also be translated as, “this is My blood of the new covenant“.

“For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:15).

This verse explains that Christ’s death was necessary to establish the new covenant of grace, or the New Testament. A new sacrifice had to be made to replace the sacrifice of the covenant God made with Abraham. Jesus had to be the new sacrifice and be “cut” off like the sacrifice that God required of Abraham in Genesis 15.

Now let’s read what Daniel says:

“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined” (Daniel 9:25-26).

So here we have Daniel, in light of the knowledge of Genesis 15:18 in the Torah, prophesying over 550 years in advance, that the Jewish Messiah would be executed according to the manner of the establishing of a blood covenant.

Daniel prophesied that the Messiah would not immediately set up His kingdom rule. The Messiah would be killed, sacrificed.

In light of this, the Pharisees had absolutely no excuse to deny that Jesus Christ was their promised Messiah, especially after the crucifixion. According to their own testimony, the Pharisees were very knowledgeable of the scriptures. The prophecies in the book of Daniel would have been very familiar to them. It would stand to reason then, that they could have very easily calculated that the period of time to elapse from “the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto Messiah the Prince” would be *483 years.

Although the Pharisees knew full well that Jesus was the Messiah, the powers of darkness did not want Yeshua to set up His kingdom, and be their Judge, so they killed His flesh. However, they could not kill Him.

I’m sure the entire meaning of the Hebrew word “karath” would have been familiar to the scribes and Pharisees, as well as the fact that the very same verb is found in Genesis 15:18 in the Torah.

Those who are still waiting for the Messiah’s first coming can trust and believe the words of Daniel. Yeshua is the Messiah who came out of Israel to the world:

“They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:1b-2).

Yeshua came the first time in humility and only His true sheep recognized Him as their Messiah:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zechariah 9:9).

The blood of Yeshua is the fulfillment of the Atonement:

“Then he shall kill the goat of the sin offering, which is for the people, bring its blood inside the veil, do with that blood as he did with the blood of the bull, and sprinkle it on the mercy seat and before the mercy seat. So he shall make atonement for the Holy Place, because of the
uncleanness of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, for all their sins; and so he shall do for the tabernacle of meeting which remains among them in the midst of their uncleanness” (Leviticus 16:15-16).

“But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here, He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption.

How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:11-12, 14-15).

“But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on Him, and by His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).

When Yeshua comes again He will be recognized by all nations as the true Jewish Messiah in great power and glory:

“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:10).

“Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him:

and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).

“Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30).

Yeshua is the Son of God and He will rule the earth as the King of Israel. The inauguration of His kingdom on earth to rule the nations was delayed because His people rejected Him as their Messiah. He will soon return at the closing of the Jacob’s Trouble during the Day of the Lord to rule all nations:

“The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. He rebukes them in His anger and terrifies them in His wrath, saying, ‘I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.’

I will proclaim the Lord’s decree: He said to me, ‘You are My Son; today I have become your Father. Ask Me, and I will make the nations Your inheritance, the ends of the earth Your possession. You will break them with a rod of iron; You will dash them to pieces like pottery.’

Kiss His Son, or He will be angry and your way will lead to your destruction, for His wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in Him” (Psalms 2:4-9, 12).

Shalom b’Yeshua haMashiach. (Peace in Yeshua the Messiah.)

getraptureready@gmail.com

*Note: The key to understanding the 483 years relates to the fact that Daniel said, “to build Jerusalem”, not just the temple, as was the case with other decrees.

The decrees of Cyrus in 539 B.C., (Ezra 1:1-14), of Darius I in 518 B.C., (Ezra 6), and of Artaxerxes I to Ezra in 457 B.C., (Ezra 7:11-26) did not concern the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

Only the decree of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah in 445 B.C. (Nehemiah 2:1-8) refers to the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

Over a century ago, Sir Robert Anderson gave detailed calculations of the 69 weeks prophecy in his book, “The Coming Prince”, first published in 1894. He worked out the calculation by allowing for errors in the calendar, leap years, and the change from B.C. to A.D. He estimated that the 69 weeks ended on the same day as the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, five days before His crucifixion.

http://www.raptureready.com/resource/anderson/chapter8.html

Why Does God Allow People to Suffer?

This is possibly the most asked question of all time. Although there have been many correct and effective answers provided by godly believers, the following offers yet another attempt to present a response from a different angle.

Whose hand is it?

When tragedy strikes, unbelievers usually point their fingers and scoff, “How can you worship a God who would do something like this? How can a ‘good’ God allow ‘innocent’ people to suffer?” Then we believers are faced with answering a loaded and seemingly unanswerable question.

The majority of my experience has been that when people lament a tragedy, they usually envision the actual hand of God as the instrument used for the destruction. To find clues that will help solve the mystery of whose hand is really the instrument of harm, we will turn to the story of a man famous for pain and suffering: Job.

Satan brought the winds of destruction to Job’s family:

“And the Lord said to Satan, ‘Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.’ So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord…’and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead’” (Job 1:12, 19a).

Satan inflicted Job with disease on his body:

“And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life. So went Satan forth from the presence of the LORD, and smote Job with sore boils from the sole of his foot unto his crown” (Job 2:6-7).

God may allow Satan to cause earthly suffering but He will never allow Satan to cause eternal suffering. Although Satan can cause temporary affliction for believers, he has no authority over our spiritual eternity. God’s sovereign hand of restraint limits the total amount of harm that Satan wishes to inflict upon mankind. God will soon punish Satan with everlasting destruction.

The Adversary

The name Satan means “adversary”. Satan opposes, contends with, and resists God and His true children at all costs. He is our accuser and our enemy. (People who openly identify with Satan actually hate God more than they like Satan. Some may make a proud profession of their service to Satan with occult symbols tattooed on their bodies and the like, but someday they will realize that their anger should have been directed toward Satan.)

According to the Book of Job, all of the forces of nature are under the complete authority of Almighty God:

“By the breath of God frost is given: and the breadth of the waters is straitened. Also by watering He wearieth the thick cloud: He scattereth his bright cloud: And it is turned round about by his counsels: that they may do whatsoever He commandeth them upon the face of the world in the earth. He causeth it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy. Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God” (Job 37:10-14).

However, we can only imagine that Satan has desired to destroy God’s creation as we know it, since it was first created. Although all the forces of nature are under the complete authority of God, also according to the Book of Job, Satan has the power to manipulate weather patterns for destruction. I believe Satan is always at the ready to wreak havoc upon the coastlines and plains, upon the mountains and valleys of the world, when granted the authority to do so by the Lord.

Satan desires destruction, but God desires deliverance. Satan enslaves, but God frees. It was the mercy of God that rebuked the storm raging on the sea:

“And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm” (Luke 8:24).

Free will of mankind

However, the most dangerous and effective tool of all lies within Satan’s control: Mankind. All human beings, regardless of race or gender, are open to the control of Satan unless possessed by the Spirit of God. Nothing causes more harm to human beings than other human beings.

God allows human beings to make their own choices. People suffer at the hands of others who choose hate and violence instead of love and mercy.

As another RR writer recently and wisely answered in his own article, which was written before this article, that it was mankind’s choice to know good and evil, not God’s. The choice of death was made back in the Garden of Eden. (http://www.raptureready.com/soap/twobears111.html)

“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17).

Logical reasoning

Those that hate God will continue to do so regardless of the quality of logic and reason for the merit of truth that is presented to them, so that they can continue to blame God for the evil of Satan and mankind.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are Spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

The verse above carries a mountain of weight according to the mighty impact of its truth. For believers, it’s as easy as a child’s understanding of the love of a mother’s smile. For unbelievers, it’s as impossible as a 90 year-old man growing wings and flying to the moon.

The unsaved will never come to the knowledge of the truth of God’s grace unless they first come to repentance.

“In humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth” (2 Timothy 2:25).

God will defeat Satan

“And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night” (Revelation 12:10).

“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever” (Revelation 20:10).

Stay heavenly minded

When tragedy strikes on earth, you can ease your pain and sorrow by placing your hope in heaven. Heavenly hope understands and accepts that whatever is happening, whatever the circumstance, it is not God’s final plan. While you are here on earth, God will help you through the sickness, the storm, or the struggle.

“For He hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear’” (Hebrews 13:5b-6a).

God’s plans for us are heavenly and eternal. Although we cannot possibly conceive of all the joy His future plans hold for us, we can start with the assurance that “there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4b).

Job prosperity was restored

The Lord lovingly restored Job to double the prosperity he had before.

“And the Lord returned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before” (Job 42:10).

We too, as children of God, will inherit future glory.

“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:16-18).

Abortion Pro-Choice or Pro-Life

This article contains some interesting medical facts and philosophical pondering. I hope they can be of some use to you as you make your own decision of whether you are pro-choice or pro-life.

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*In 1996, investigators at Harvard and Tufts universities, and at the New England Medical Center in Boston, detected fetal cells in mothers’ bodies decades after pregnancy. Furthermore, the fetal cells could infiltrate maternal tissues and differentiate into liver, blood, skin, and other cell types. Originally, it was thought that such fetal cells in the mothers caused many of the autoimmune diseases that afflict women.

But in 2002, Tufts investigators demonstrated that the fetal cells may play a critical role in repairing a mother’s damaged tissue. In one case, a woman suffering from hepatitis, a serious liver disease, stopped her treatment against medical advice. Surprisingly, she recovered. Her own body could not regenerate healthy liver cells, so the investigators were baffled. When they tested a specimen of her liver, though, they discovered it incorporated thousands of male cells still left in her circulation from a pregnancy nearly two decades before her illness. Those leftover fetal cells had generated new liver cells, and thereby saved the mother’s life.

*Pregnancy Reconceived: what keeps a mother’s immune system from treating her baby as foreign tissue? A new theory resolves the paradox.
Article from: Natural History | May 1, 2007 | Mor, Gil | Copyright American Museum of Natural History Dec 2008/Jan 2009

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As we all learn in basic biology, a female is actually born with all of the eggs she will ever need to reproduce. The number will not increase. She is born with a specific number.

The following is an excerpt from Women lose 90 percent of ‘eggs’ by 30, published in the Health News section of The Telegraph By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent.

The new research by the University of St Andrews and Edinburgh University is the first to collate the actual decline of the “ovarian reserve” – the potential number of eggs women are born with – from conception to menopause.
It shows that on average women are born with 300,000 potential egg cells but this pool declines at a much faster rate than first thought.

By the age of 30 there is only 12 percent left on average and by the age of 40 just three percent.

When a women dies, all of her dies, including all of the eggs that could have developed into a baby. Even while she is still alive, nearly 90% of her eggs have died by age 30. However, one living egg from the ovarian reserve can be joined at fertilization (or conception) and a zygote (or baby) is formed. A process of life and death begins. No matter how young a fertilized life-form is, it will only get older until it dies. Even if it was conceived last week, it has already begun the dying process.

Our bodies start to wear down from the moment of fertilization. We usually just call it “growing” when the person is a child and “getting old” when the person is over 30. Whatever, it is all part of growing older. Just look at young athletes. Look at the game of tennis for instance. It is stunning to see just how fast a professional tennis player’s body wears down. A tennis player is considered “past their prime” physically if they’re only in their mid-twenties.

Something cannot begin dying unless it was first living.

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