Wednesday, February 17, 2016

On Beliefs, Jesus, God, Life After Death, etc...

by Diane M. Hoffmann

I received another email on the subjects of Beliefs, Jesus, God, Life after death, etc. which I post here below. I've separated the sender's email into comments that I answer in green:

"There are countless religions that have come and gone....some way older than Christianity..."

>>>But only one where God Himself came in the flesh who’s name was Jesus (Joshua in Hebrew which means Jehovah-saved) and who loved the world so much that "he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)

"I know exactly where I will go ... nowhere like all the other zillion lives that came and went ..."

>>>Science and apostate churches propagate this but we will go either to be with the Lord or to hell which was prepared for the devil and his followers.

"... Science has proven that matter cannot be created nor destroyed ... it only changes -- time is the illusion ..."

>>>Well, matter was created by God and will be changed into a new universe after this temporary era dealing with sin has come to an end (Revelation 6:16).  The universe is real and includes time (time and light are vectors for cosmic space). God dwells in a different dimension—the spirit realm—beyond the perception of our physical senses. Time is a duration. Physics tell us that time is a property resulting from the existence of matter. Time exists when matter exists. Time began when God created the universe. God is Spirit in the realm of timelessness -- rather than flesh in the sphere of time ((except momentarily when he visited the earth). As Spirit, though timeless and eternal, God is in time with us right now.

"... being conscious is a great thing but it lasts as long as the body does ..."

>>>Well, being conscious is great when things around us are good but not when things around us are evil! However in the next life - the spiritual life - all will be good for those who will be in God's Kingdom.

"... there is no such thing as “cold”... it is the absence of heat that exists ... same with light ... darkness is the absence of light ..."

>>> Yes cold and hot, light and darkness are opposites…. ”In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day (Hebrew: yowm—to be hot), and the darkness (Hebrew: choshek—away from the light, opposite of the light), he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.”

"... people have been brainwashed for so long about good and evil that it dominates the thinking..."

>>>good and evil is as real as cold and hot, light and dark, straight and crooked… God and Satan. But we are free to choose between good and evil.
"... maybe evil is only the absence of good!"

>>>Well, good was in Creation first. At the beginning, (Genesis chapters 1-2) all was good. Then evil quickly entered into the picture (Chapter 3) through the Serpent (the Devil) when Adam and Eve disobeyed the command from God the Creator to not eat of the tree of Good and Evil!

Here, the word ‘good’ in Hebrew is ‘towb’ which means ‘to be, do and make good, pleasing'.

In the ‘tree of good and evil’, the word ‘evil’ in Hebrew is ‘ra’’ (r-a-apostrophy, pronounced ‘rah’), which means ‘adversity’… the opposite of good.

When we say or hear ‘evil’ we tend to apply it to the wickedness we see around us, and we say that God created those horrible things. He is not the creator of sin. Sin came into the world through the disobedience of the first parents).

But the scripture that is used by people to say that God created evil, Isaiah 45:7,  “…I make peace and create evil”, actually says, “I make peace and create ra’ – adversity”.

In Jeremiah 4:6, “I will bring evil (ra’ – adversity) from the North.

The full scripture of Isaiah 45:7, in context, actually says, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create ra’—adversity: I the Lord do all these things.”

The whole context of this passage of scripture is about God speaking to Cyrus, a man God used as instrument to deliver the Jews around 600 B.C. where God shows Himself as the one and only God of Israel – He is not a god (small g) of rain, and a god of storm and of harvest and of war… He is the God of everything that takes place. Albeit, He is not removing responsibility from man for the evil that comes into the world, but is merely saying there is no other god besides Yahveh. He is the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel. The “I Am”. Always existing.

Further in Isaiah 45, verse 9-10, God declares two woes on those who reject Him, likening them as the clay that rejects the potter:

 “Woe to him who strives with his Maker! the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth! Shall the clay say to him who forms it, ‘What are you making? Or shall your handiwork say, ‘He has no hands’? Woe to him who says to his father, ‘What are you begetting? Or to the woman, ‘What have you brought forth?”

The message behind this scripture is that this is as ridiculous as a man questioning his father or mother as to why they have begotten him looking as he does. God is here pictured as man’s father or Creator.

In other words, all of this says that God the Creator is sovereign over all Creation, including mankind.

We read in Matthew 19:16-17:  “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he (Jesus) said unto him, Why do you call me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.” /DMH

Diane M. Hoffmann, B.Th., M.Th., Ph.D./Th.
Author of "24 Hot Potatoes in the Church Today"
Xulon Press, a div. of Salem Media.
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