Why does God makes things so confusing?

Dear Ralph,

I have seen your website and am intrigued to know more about God. I always thought Jesus to be exactly what was written in the Bible: "...God's ONLY begotten son..." (John 3:16). I can't understand why God would try to make it so confusing for one who wants to serve him. Why would he be 2 individuals? Or 3 if you want to include the Trinity doctrine (which happened to be created by either Constantine or Charlemagne and is NOT mentioned at all in the Holy Scriptures) However, God's voice was hear 3 times in the Gospels... and all in front of eye-witnesses. Thus, if God said: "this (Jesus) is my son, the beloved, listen to him." why would he call him his son? NO SENSE... obviously he wasn't 2, 3, or 76 people but one single individual... just as Christ was. I hope I'm not offending you, I am a Christian myself. I belive that Christ was God's son, who came to earth, preached God's Kingdom for 3 and a half years, was impaled, and then resurrected to heaven where he cleaned out heaven and casted Satan to the earth (in 1914 A.D.) and is now reigning as King over his father's kingdom ready to come to this earth, cleanse it of Satan and the rest of the wicked elements, and bring peace and paradise to the earth. I do not believe that those to just have faith in Christ will get to heaven because Revelation 14 I believe said that only "144,000" will receive that blessed hope. The "other sheep" will remain on earth and cleanse it. Thus, "a new heavens and a new earth" will come about. And after 1,000 years of Christ's reign, God (Yahweh) will take over and rule gloriously, having his name sanctified. I would like to know what your thoughts are on all of this? Write back.

My response is in Green:

Thanks for writing. You asked some good questions and I will try to answer them for you. I don't think that God tried to make it hard for us to understand, in fact I think that He uses relationships that we understand so that we can more clearly understand Him.

Let me start by saying that I believe in the Trinity. I believe that it is clearly shown in the Bible. Let's look at the baptism of Jesus for starters: (Matthew 3:16-17 NIV) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. {17} And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." We can see all three of the Trinity in this passage; Jesus was there being baptized of course, then the Spirit (the Holy Spirit) descended on Him like a dove; and finally God the Father spoke. See all three were present and are shown as distinct individuals.

The Trinity is hard for us to understand but God is not like us, He is one being but yet three distinct individuals. I have heard people try to explain it by saying it is like a person; one is your physical body, two is your spirit and three is your soul. But to me that is not much easier to understand. It is one of those things that we just have to accept even if we don't quite understand. People attack me for saying that, but yet they do the same thing in everyday life without giving it another thought. How many people really understand how a microwave oven works? Yet they accept that it works. How many people understand the computer they use everyday? Yet again they accept that it works and they use it. That is my view of this doctrine and God. I don't claim to understand Him or the Trinity but I accept it.

As far as God talking about Jesus being His Son, I think that is done so that we can better understand the relationship. The Trinity is hard enough to understand without God trying to explain it using relationships we don't understand. Everyone can understand the relationship between a Father and his son. Even people who don't have a good relationship understand what that relationship is suppose to be like.

There is a pitfall when we think of the Trinity; that is that we tend to think of God as three individuals who do whatever they want. Well they are one being and they always act together. They don't go off on their own direction.

Okay now for some of the other things you said. I wonder have you been or are you now a Jehovah's Witness? I ask that because of your statements about the 144.000 and Jesus. Either way I will try my best to tell you what I believe the Bible says.

You said that you believe that Jesus is in heaven. I too believe that. You said you believe that Jesus cast Satan out of heaven in 1914. Sorry I don't believe that. This is too detailed for me to go into in this message but anyway, there are two theories on this. Both say that Michael the Archangel is the one who either did or will do battle with Satan and cast him out of heaven. That was one reason I asked if you were a JW, because they believe that Jesus is Michael. The problem with that is it denies that Jesus is and always was God. If Jesus was not God, then He could not have died for our sins and we are still lost.

I believe you are mistaken about the 144,000 too. Revelation mentions the 144,000 in both chapters 7 and 14. Here is the one you mentioned: (Revelation 14:1-3 NIV) Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads. {2} And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. {3} And they sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders. No one could learn the song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. Notice that it mentions that they were the redeemed from the earth, but it does not say they were the only redeemed from the earth. Second you said that they were the ones in heaven and everyone else was on the earth, but if you look they are standing on Mt. Zion which is on the earth. To understand this you need to look at the other passage that talks about these people, which is in chapter 7. (Revelation 7:4-8 NIV) Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel. {5} From the tribe of Judah 12,000 were sealed, from the tribe of Reuben 12,000, from the tribe of Gad 12,000, {6} from the tribe of Asher 12,000, from the tribe of Naphtali 12,000, from the tribe of Manasseh 12,000, {7} from the tribe of Simeon 12,000, from the tribe of Levi 12,000, from the tribe of Issachar 12,000, {8} from the tribe of Zebulun 12,000, from the tribe of Joseph 12,000, from the tribe of Benjamin 12,000. As you see this is a number of people from the 12 tribes of Israel who were sealed. But again you have to look back further to see why they were sealed.

Let's go back to the beginning of chapter 7: (Revelation 7:1-3 NIV) After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree. {2} Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: {3} "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God." During the tribulation many people will be killed by violence, by disease, natural disasters, etc... But God protects these 144,000 with His seal, so that nothing can harm them.

So why would God seal these people? The answer is later in the next few verses which occur just after the ones which tell us about the 144,000: (Revelation 7:9-14 NIV) After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. {10} And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." {11} All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, {12} saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" {13} Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?" {14} I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. As you see John saw a whole multitude of people in heaven who had been redeemed during the tribulation. The 144,000 that God seals are His evangelist during this period, they are preaching the gospel and bringing people to faith in Jesus Christ. Many of those who accept Christ will die and these are those who are seen here by John.

So you see the 144,000 are not the only people who make it to heaven, there is a great multitude of others also. As far as the new heaven and the new earth, no one other than God will do the cleansing. There are again a couple of passages to consider: (Revelation 21:1 NIV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. This passage does not tell us much other than there will be another heaven and another earth. But if we go back to 2 Peter we see another reference to it: (2 Peter 3:10-13 NIV) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. {11} Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives {12} as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. {13} But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. This all takes place after the tribulation and after the 1,000 year rein of Christ on the earth. All the dead will be raised and already judged. Those who had accepted Christ will be with God and those who had not will be in hell.

There is nothing that believers have to do to get the earth ready for Christ. God is in control. Back in Revelation 21 it says: (Revelation 21:1-3 NIV) Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. {2} I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. {3} And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. You see that after all of this has taken place, and the new heaven and the new earth are made by God, then God will be with us who have been redeemed.

Let me give you a real short description of the time line as I understand it. At any time Christ could return to take those who believe in Him from the earth. This is what is called the rapture. After the rapture the tribulation will start, which will last for 7 years. This is the time period where the 144,000 witnesses are sealed by God. This is also when the great multitude of people who were seen in heaven by John are redeemed and martyred. After the 7 year tribulation Christ and His Saints (those of us who have believed in Him since His death on the cross) will return to earth and conquer the inhabitants. Satan will be placed in chains for 1,000 years. Christ and His Saints will rein on earth for that 1,000 years. Things will be much more like what they should be, any sin will be dealt with immediately. Disease and violent death will be stopped. This is the time the prophet Isaiah spoke about: (Isaiah 65:19-20 NIV) I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. {20} "Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

After that 1,000 years Satan will be released again and will fool the inhabitants of the earth who will rebel against Christ. Christ will destroy them. At this time all those who have died will be raised and judged. Anyone whose name is not written in the Lamb's book of life; meaning anyone who has not believed and served Christ as their Lord and Savior, will be thrown into hell and hell will be thrown into the lake of fire. That is when God will destroy this heaven and this earth, which have been defiled and will make the new heaven and new earth where we will live with Him for eternity.

As I said in the beginning this can be somewhat confusing, so if you have more questions please feel free to let me know.

Ralph

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