Dear Associates, Students and Friends:
In this time of reflection on why God allows great and outlandish evils to exist (as the tragedy that we all witnessed in New York City on Tuesday, September 11), I want to quote one paragraph from my brand new Second Edition book "The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine." The paragraph is found on page 199. It can serve as an explanatory reason for Godís use of evil (Isaiah 45:7) at times of sorrow and in our periods of mysterious wonderment regarding His divine purposes. How do such things fit in with God's divine plan for mankindís salvation, redemption and our ultimate happiness beyond compare? The quote follows:
"Christ experienced the most ignominious kind of judgment that could be meted out to man, and His death was the most cruel. God and Christ allowed this judgment and death to be meted out to Christ because many people have experienced terrible deaths and sufferings of loved ones, and many hold God responsible for those great sufferings. And so He is. Some even hate God for allowing such things to happen. But God the Father Himself cried his heart out when He saw His own Son (voluntarily and submissively) undergo such sufferings and disdain by the world. There could have been a million other ways for God to show His love to humans by rescuing them from such misery and degradation without having His own Son undergo such extremities. But God and Christ voluntarily submitted to such torture when they did not have to, in order to show their deep concern for us humans who have been subjected to the same things. God promises, however, that he will make up for the sufferings with glories beyond compare (see Romans 8:18-39). Sufferings are only temporary in the plan of God and are necessary to show forth His divine love and grace" (page 199 from chapter 14, titled "The Theology of Godís Grace" on how "The Crucifixion is Godís Example of Grace").
Though "evil" has its part in God's plan for the present (and it is used by God for a purpose), the time is coming when its need will be subdued and it will be made to be irrelevant. It will be conquered by our utter victory that we have all secured by being "in Christ" and being touched by His divine power and the Father's grace.
TIME FOR A NEW ANNOUNCEMENT: Amidst this period of individual and national sadness, there can be (and should be) some glistening dew for all of us to witness and in which we can express real hope and joy. In the Bible, dew is a symbol of life and the resurrection from the dead (Isaiah 26:19). So, it is a point of joy for me (after so many months of waiting) to announce that my Second Edition (1999/2001) of "The Essentials of New Testament Doctrine," published by Century One Publishing (that contains the above quote), is now ready for distribution. Our ASK office received the new book from the printers on Friday. All of you who want to know what the full and total Gospel of Christ is all about (and how God uses evils to accomplish His plan for the salvation of the human race), should order this new edition. It is much better in every way than the first edition. I want to thank David Sielaff for his fine editing and composition assistance and also Robert Ellsworth (of Century One Publishing) for the handsome cover and the overall supervision of its production. Your can order this book from ASK by clicking into the Order Form on the ASK Web site Home Page or by regular mail. If ordered through ASK, the cost for this book including postage and handling is: Domestic, $23.95 USD; Canadian, $28.95 USD; and $38.95 USD for all other countries. The article for November is one of the most interesting I have ever written. It is called "Water Management in Herodís Temple." Get ready for some outstanding scientific facts.
In closing, let me state my sincere appreciation to all of you who support our activities of getting out the Gospel each month. It takes your generous offerings and contributions to keep this message going out to the world. I truly hope that all of you will continue your support to allow us to provide these biblical teachings as a public service to all in the world who will listen. Thank you from my heart. Until next month
Ernest L. Martin
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