Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
In this month’s article, “Judgment On Man and God,” Dr. Martin questions whether God is guilty regarding the evils that befall mankind. God Himself causes some of those evils. Dr. Martin also asks whether we have a right to judge God. In fact, most people do judge God when they consider the problem of evil. They ask the question why do bad things happen? While examining these issues, God’s complete involvement in “the problem of evil” is again seriously considered. The experiences of Abraham, Job, Moses, Joshua, Christ, Paul, you, and me, are all set in evidence concerning the judgments and “fairness” of God. This article examines the subject of evil in the world from a different approach than I did in my article “Forgiving God,” yet Dr. Martin comes to the same biblical understanding and conclusion.
Never forget that God knows what He is doing in the world, even when He appears to be absent from it: “Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world” (Acts 15:18). In a sense God, through Christ, was put on trial by mankind, represented by the Jewish leaders and people (Matthew 26:57–67) when Jesus, as Immanuel, was brought before the Sanhedrin for condemnation.
Evil and sin in the world cause a person to cry out for the Kingdom of God. They were not an oversight on God’s part; they are intentional:
“For the creature [the creation] was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him [because of God] who has subjected the same in hope, Because the creature [the creation] itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
We know, however, that Jesus Christ is the solution to the problem of sin and evil, but that solution will not be realized, for us, until our personal resurrection, and it will not be realized for mankind until the last person is resurrected to spiritual life at the consummation of time (1 Corinthians 15:20–28; Ephesians 1:10; Hebrews 2:14–15; 2 Timothy 1:9–10). The rest of mankind is wandering about without that knowledge and without hope.
Jesus in His time spoke of evil overtaking innocent people. These were people who did not suffer and die because of specific sins:
“There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. And Jesus answering said unto them, ‘Suppose you that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, Nay: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish. Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think you that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, Nay: but, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.’”
God’s judgments take into account the circumstances of a person’s life. Everyone is responsible for the abilities and opportunities they have been given in life. Read the context of Luke 12:42–48, yet note the lesson within that passage:
“That servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.”
We must endure in the suffering of life, although this does not seem fair. Job, whose situation Dr. Martin examines in detail in this month’s article, is an example to the many who at present are suffering. James states that Christ in His suffering is also an example of endurance to us:
“Behold, we count them happy which endure. You have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy. But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest you fall into condemnation. Is any among you afflicted? let him pray [citing Elihu in Job 33:26]. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.”
This month we return to the same production values that we normally provide. The double size and time factors of last month’s article “The Location and Future Discovery of King David’s Tomb” required a change in our print and mail procedures, forcing us to use a different printing firm than usual.
As always, content is the important element in anything ASK publishes, and that content must expand your knowledge and understanding of the Holy Scriptures. For the “David’s Tomb” article, we received many, many compliments on the content and scope of the information within the article. Some of you have even said that this article gave them something specific to pray about that is exciting as well as interesting. That article would not have been written, or made sense, without Dr. Martin’s intense research about the proper location of the Jerusalem Temples. Read all of Psalm 122, particularly verses 5–6, with the understanding that (in context) the “House of David” refers to the Tombs of David.
We continue to need your regular financial and prayerful help. We are reaching new people who are directed to the ASK website from around the world, and they express to us that they feel privileged to finally begin to understand the truths of God’s Word; and that they are doing so for the first time in their lives. They quickly study to become “independent learners” of Scripture, as many of you are, teaching themselves from the Bible. These new people express shock and wonder that the Holy Scriptures make sense — finally — and they do not have to “join” a group, an organization, a movement, or “follow the leader.” I have no doubt there are some who do not communicate with us because it is not safe for them to do so, yet God reaches them with the best biblical teaching in the world. We strive to present simple but in-depth teaching about the Bible for grownups.
One service we do not discuss often is that we have inmates in various prisons around the United States who actively read our material and tell us they are growing in grace and knowledge. We see from their communications to us that many do in fact understand the mature teachings of Christ as expressed in the final revelations of God, the Mystery. This must be a free service to them, by necessity, but the means to do this for them must come from you who can financially support the work of ASK.
People around the world are receiving ASK material free through the internet. You help us to continue that service, and we need your contributions over and beyond what you send for your own Commentaries, Newsletters and Articles. We thank God and we thank all of you for your financial support, your prayers, and your encouragements to us always.
David W. Sielaff
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