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Category Archives: Freedom

Being Selective

Breathing-Fragile-Life change choice conscientious-ness control courage education Freedom God humility insights Joan Winifred knowledge logic mind food motivation power questions spiritual food study Truth

Greetings:) Truth-Seeking-Reader.

Truth is a value i hold nearanddear (Not a typo). Since youth “Truth” (pursuing/acquiring/living it) has been my main objective, purpose, vocation, occupation!…obsession?-lol;)

For me, and obvious to any Regular Readers (Thanks for Your Time!:)), my priority is Spiritual/Biblical Truth…which trickles to other Truth topics…i.e., Science, health, etc.

Through the years, have had countless conversations with various Folks (the 🙂 and the 🙁 the pleasant, the disagreeable) from all walks of life, all walks of education, culture, religion including Agnostics and Atheists.

Every One is a teacher; for sure. Both positive and negative…conversations aka transmissions of knowledge…teach…(and possible mold).

Who is molding me?

A reocurring concern/cluster…family of spiritual questions bubbling to the surface among thinking, caring, loving people…seems to be:

Why is there evil?

Why would God allow suffering? When will it end?

IF God is all knowing and all powerful, did God “create” evil?

IF my life is predestined…why bother? (changing, trying, etc.)

Hoping this reading i’ve enJOYed (in the past) will help You now (and in the future)…resolve/reconcile…touch these seemingly tough topics of discussion.

Is Your Future Predestined?

Many people believe that their life and future are predestined by a higher power. They feel that from conception to death, we all follow a script already written in the mind of God. ‘After all,’ they say, ‘God is all-powerful and all-knowing, or omniscient, so surely he must know every detail about the past, the present, and the future.’

WHAT do you think? Does God foreordain our life course and ultimate destiny? In other words, is free will genuine or just an illusion? What does the Bible say?

Total or Selective Foreknowledge?

The Bible leaves us in no doubt as to God’s having foreknowledge. He knows “from the beginning the finale,” says Isaiah 46:10. He even used human secretaries to record many prophecies. (2 Peter 1:21) What is more, those prophecies always come true because God has both the wisdom and the power to fulfill them in every detail. Hence, God can not only foreknow but also foreordain events whenever he chooses to do so. However, does God foreordain the destiny of every human or even the total number who will gain salvation? Not according to the Bible.

The Bible teaches that God is selective when it comes to foreordaining the future. For example, God foretold that “a great crowd” of righteous humans would survive the destruction of the wicked at the end of the present system of things. (Revelation 7:9, 14) Note, though, that God did not give a specific number for that great crowd. The reason? He does not predestinate individuals. God is like the loving father of a large family. He knows that at least some of His children will reciprocate His love, but He does not predetermine the number.

Compare God’s use of foreordination with the way he uses his power. As the Almighty, God has absolute power. (Psalm 91:1; Isaiah 40:26, 28) But does he use his power in an uncontrolled manner? No. For instance, he held back from acting against Babylon, an enemy of ancient Israel, until the time was right. “I kept exercising self-control,” God said. (Isaiah 42:14) The same principle applies to his use of foreknowledge and foreordination. Jehovah exercises self-control in order to respect the free will that he gave us.

God’s control of his powers does not limit  him or render him imperfect. In fact, it magnifies his greatness, and it endears him to us, for it shows that his sovereignty truly is exercised not only with omniscience and power but also with love and respect for the free will of his intelligent creation.

Is God to Blame??

On the other hand, if God predetermines everything, including every nasty accident and vile deed that has ever happened, could we not rightly blame him for all the misery and suffering in the world? Thus, upon closer inspection, the teaching of predestination does not honor God, but casts a pall over him. It paints him as cruel, unjust, and unloving​—the very opposite of what the Bible says about him.​—Deuteronomy 32:4.

The Choice Is Yours

By means of his servant Moses, God said to the nation of Israel: “I have put life and death before you, . . . and you must choose life . . . by loving Jehovah your God, by listening to his voice and by sticking to him; for he is your life and the length of your days.” (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20) Had God predestinated each Israelite either to love him and gain life or to disregard him and merit death, His words would have been both meaningless and insincere. Do you believe that God, “a lover of justice” and the very personification of love, would act in such an arbitrary way?​—Psalm 37:28; 1 John 4:8.

More Questions:

HAVE YOU WONDERED?

▪ To what extent does God exercise foreknowledge?​—Deuteronomy 30:19, 20; Isaiah 46:10.

▪ Why would God not predetermine everything, including the bad things that happen to people?​—Deuteronomy 32:4.

▪ What will ultimately determine our future?​—John 17:3.

God’s purpose and man’s plan(s)…

By means of the Bible, God is, in effect, saying to us: ‘This is my purpose for mankind and the earth, and this is what you should do to gain everlasting life. It is now up to you to decide whether to listen to me or disregard me.’ Yes, how perfectly God balances his powers of foreordination with his respect for our free will! Will you choose life “by listening to [God’s] voice and by sticking to him”? [excerpted reading AWAKE! 2009, Is Your Future Predestined?]

Tackling evil…

Normally, people want to be peaceable, honest, and kind. Why, then, do we often see violence, injustice, and cruelty? Horrific news reports are common. Is there someone trying to make people act badly?Read 1 John 5:19.

Did God make humans with an evil tendency? No, Jehovah God created humans in his image, with a tendency to imitate God’s love. (Genesis 1:27; Job 34:10) But God also dignified humans with free choice. When our first parents chose to act badly, they rejected God’s example and became imperfect. We inherited the tendency to sin from them.Read Deuteronomy 32:4, 5.

God wants us to resist our bad tendencies. (Proverbs 27:11) So he teaches us how to avoid doing wrong and how to find real happiness. At present, though, we cannot imitate God’s love perfectly.Read Psalm 32:8.

Although evil abounds now, God is permitting it for a limited time to allow all to see its sad consequences. (2 Peter 3:7-9) Soon, however, the earth will be filled with happy people who obey God.Read Psalm 37:9-11

[excerpted Where Did Evil Come From? Bible Questions Answered]

Humans:) we have the power of selection. We can choose to use…any talent, gift, knowledge, circumstance…for the good, better, best.

9/30/18 @ 10:56 a.m.

Peace & Purpose:)..to You Reader.

Published by:

Plate of Words

appreciation attitude book clean communication conscientious-ness courage education forgiveness Freedom healing heart humility insights Joan Winifred justice kindness knowledge love mind food respect science & spirituality spiritual food study things i learned True v. False Religion trust Truth wisdom

This post/piece of writing is serving up words like food on a plate, huh?

What food do You:) like to eat??

What food is personally healthy for You and any particular/specific dietary needs You may have??

Personally, my palate does NOT prefer rotten food nor excrement on a plate (aka profanity, etc.)

DISGUSTING!!

Yucky Yuckiness:(

I don’t serve nastiness and bitterness for mind nor body food.

I “try” to treat Others and speak to Others in the respectful, truthful manner with which I would like to be treated or spoken to/of…no, I am NOT perfect; obviously. Just trying to be just and kind.

Oh, and not be disgustingly…repulsive.

And No! I don’t avoid difficult nor taboo topics. Nor does that mean wimpingly nor limpingly lightly treading on egg shells.

Yeah, i do laugh ..at “funny” jokes…and I do like dark/light humor.

“Does not the ear itself test out words as the palate tastes food?” (Job 12:11)

My personal palate prefers rich, healthy YUMMY food!:) Aka high-quality content.

P.Q.C.

For all the choosers of palatable/delicious/truthful words, this song You’ll appreciate:)

Let your words always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should answer each person. (Colossians 4:6)

9/24/18 @ 12:21 p.m.

Further reading: excerpted:  chapter 17 (from another Fav book): (my highlghts blue)

“Can You Trust the Bible? Life—How Did It Get Here? By Evolution or by Creation?”

[…], Isaac Newton, said: “No sciences are better attested than the religion of the Bible.”⁠9

The Bible and Health

12. How did a physician contrast common superstitions regarding health with statements in the Bible?

12 Throughout the centuries there has been great ignorance on matters of health. A physician even observed: “Many superstitions are still believed by large numbers of people such as, that a buckeye in the pocket will prevent rheumatism; that handling toads will cause warts; that wearing red flannel around the neck will cure a sore throat,” and others. Yet he explained: “No such statements are found in the Bible. This in itself is remarkable.”⁠10

13. What hazardous medical treatment was prescribed by ancient Egyptians?

13 It is also remarkable when one compares hazardous medical treatments used in the past with what the Bible says. For example, the Papyrus Ebers, a medical document of the ancient Egyptians, prescribed the use of excrement to treat various conditions. It directed that human excrement mixed with fresh milk be applied as a poultice to lesions that remain after scabs fall off. And a remedy for drawing out splinters reads: “Worms’ blood, cook and crush in oil; mole, kill, cook, and drain in oil; ass’s dung, mix in fresh milk. Apply to the opening.”⁠11 Such treatment, it is now known, can result in serious infections.

14. What does the Bible say about waste disposal, and how has this been a protection?

14 What does the Bible say about excrement? It directed: “When you squat outside, you must also dig a hole with [a digging instrument] and turn and cover your excrement.” (Deuteronomy 23:13) So, far from prescribing excrement in medical treatment, the Bible directed the safe disposal of sewage. Up until the present century the danger of leaving excrement exposed to flies was generally not known. This resulted in the spread of serious fly-borne diseases and the death of many people. Yet the simple remedy was on record in the Bible all the time, and it was followed by the Israelites over 3,000 years ago.

15. If Bible advice regarding touching dead persons had been followed, what medical practice resulting in many deaths would have been avoided?

15 During the last century medical personnel would go directly from handling the dead in the dissecting room to conducting examinations in the maternity ward, and they would not even wash their hands. Infection was thus transferred from the dead, and many others died. Even when the value of hand washing was demonstrated, many in the medical community resisted such hygienic measures. Doubtless unknown to them, they were rejecting the wisdom in the Bible, since Jehovah’s law to the Israelites decreed that anyone touching a dead person became unclean and must wash himself and his garments.​—Numbers 19:11-22.

16. How was wisdom beyond human knowledge shown in directing that circumcision be performed on the eighth day?

16 As a sign of a covenant with Abraham, Jehovah God said: “Every male of yours eight days old must be circumcised.” Later this requirement was repeated to the nation of Israel. (Genesis 17:12; Leviticus 12:2, 3No explanation was given why the eighth day was specified, but now we understand. Medical research has discovered that the blood-clotting element vitamin K rises to an adequate level only by then. Another essential clotting element, prothrombin, seems to be higher on the eighth day than at any other time during a child’s life. Based on this evidence, Dr. S. I. McMillen concluded: “The perfect day to perform a circumcision is the eighth day.”⁠12 Was this mere coincidence? Not at all. It was knowledge passed on by a God who knew.

17. What is another discovery of science that confirms the Bible?

17 Another discovery of modern science is the degree to which mental attitude and emotions affect health. An encyclopedia explains: “Since 1940 it has become more and more apparent that the physiologic function of organs and the organs systems are closely allied to the state of mind of the individual and that even tissue changes may occur in an organ so affected.”⁠13However, this close connection between mental attitude and physical health was long ago referred to in the Bible. For instance, it says: “A calm heart is the life of the fleshly organism, but jealousy is rottenness to the bones.”​—Proverbs 14:30; 17:22.

18. How does the Bible direct people away from damaging emotions and emphasize showing love?

18 The Bible, therefore, directs people away from damaging emotions and attitudes. “Let us walk decently,” it admonishes, “not in strife and jealousy.” It also counsels: “Let all malicious bitterness and anger and wrath and screaming and abusive speech be taken away from you along with all badness. But become kind to one another, tenderly compassionate.” (Romans 13:13; Ephesians 4:31, 32) Especially does the Bible recommend love. “Besides all these things,” it says, “clothe yourselves with love.” As the greatest proponent of love, Jesus told his disciples: “I am giving you a new commandment, that you love one another; just as I have loved you.” In his Sermon on the Mount he even said: “Continue to love your enemies.” (Colossians 3:12-15; John 13:34;Matthew 5:44) Many may scoff at this, calling it weakness, but they pay a price. Science has learned that lack of love is a major factor in many mental ills and other problems.

19. What has modern science discovered regarding love?

19 The British medical journal Lancet once noted: “By far the most significant discovery of mental science is the power of love to protect and to restore the mind.”⁠14 Similarly, a noted stress specialist, Dr. Hans Selye, said: “It is not the hated person or the frustrating boss who will get ulcers, hypertensions, and heart disease. It is the one who hates or the one who permits himself to be frustrated. ‘Love thy neighbor’ is one of the sagest bits of medical advice ever given.”⁠15

20. How did a doctor compare Christ’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount with psychiatric advice?

20 Indeed, the Bible’s wisdom is far ahead of modern discoveries. As Dr. James T. Fisher once wrote: “If you were to take the sum total of all the authoritative articles ever written by the most qualified of psychologists and psychiatrists on the subject of mental hygiene​—if you were to combine them, and refine them, and cleave out the excess verbiage—​if you were to take the whole of the meat and none of the parsley, and if you were to have these unadulterated bits of pure scientific knowledge concisely expressed by the most capable of living poets, you would have an awkward and incomplete summation of the Sermon on the Mount.”⁠16

The Bible and History

21. About a hundred years ago, how did critics view the historical value of the Bible?

21 After Darwin’s publication of his theory of evolution, the Bible’s historical record came under widespread attack. Archaeologist Leonard Woolley explained: “There arose towards the close of the nineteenth century an extreme school of critics which was ready to deny the historical foundation of practically everything related in the earlier books of the Old Testament.”⁠17 In fact, some critics even claimed that writing did not come into common usage until the time of Solomon or afterward; and, therefore, the early Bible narratives could not be relied upon since they were not put into writing until centuries after the events occurred. One of the exponents of this theory said in 1892: “The time, of which the pre-Mosaic narratives treat, is a sufficient proof of their legendary character. It was a time prior to all knowledge of writing.”⁠18

22. What has been learned about the ability of early peoples to write?

22 In recent times, however, a great deal of archaeological evidence has accumulated to show that writing was common long before the time of Moses. “We must again emphasize,” archaeologist William Foxwell Albright explained, “that alphabetic Hebrew writing was employed in Canaan and neighboring districts from the Patriarchal Age on, and that the rapidity with which forms of letters changed is clear evidence of common use.”⁠19 And another leading historian and excavator observed: “That the question should ever have been raised whether Moses could have known how to write, appears to us now absurd.”⁠20

23. What was discovered regarding King Sargon, resulting in what revision of views?

23 Time and again the Bible’s historical record has been substantiated by the uncovering of new information. The Assyrian king Sargon, for example, was for a long time known only from the Bible account at Isaiah 20:1. In fact, during the early part of the last century this Bible reference to him was discounted by critics as of no historical value. Then archaeological excavations produced the ruins of Sargon’s magnificent palace at Khorsabad, including many inscriptions regarding his rule. As a result, Sargon is now one of the best known of the Assyrian kings. Israeli historian Moshe Pearlman wrote: “Suddenly, sceptics who had doubted the authenticity even of the historical parts of the Old Testament began to revise their views.”⁠21

24. How closely does an Assyrian account of Sargon compare with the Bible account regarding the conquest of Samaria?

24 One of Sargon’s inscriptions tells of an episode that previously had been known only from the Bible. It reads: “I besieged and conquered Samaria, led away as booty 27,290 inhabitants of it.”⁠22 The Bible account of this at 2 Kings 17:6 reads: “In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria and then led Israel into exile.” Regarding the striking similarity of these two accounts, Pearlman observed: “Here, then, were two reports in the annals of the conqueror and the vanquished, one almost a mirror of the other.”⁠23

25. Why should we not expect that Biblical and secular records would agree in every respect?

25 Should we expect, then, that Biblical and secular records would agree in every detail? No, as Pearlman notes: “This kind of identical ‘war reporting’ from both sides was unusual in the Middle East of ancient times (and on occasion in modern times too). It occurred only when the countries in conflict were Israel and one of its neighbours, and only when Israel was defeated. When Israel won, no record of failure appeared in the chronicles of the enemy.”⁠24 (Italics added.) It is not surprising, therefore, that Assyrian accounts of the military campaign into Israel by Sargon’s son, Sennacherib, have a major omission. And what is that?

26. How does the account by Sennacherib compare with that found in the Bible regarding his military expedition into Israel?

26 Wall reliefs from King Sennacherib’s palace have been discovered that depict scenes of his expedition into Israel. Written descriptions of it were also found. One, a clay prism, reads: “As to Hezekiah, the Jew, he did not submit to my yoke, I laid siege to 46 of his strong cities . . . Himself I made a prisoner in Jerusalem, his royal residence, like a bird in a cage. . . . I reduced his country, but I still increased the tribute and the katrû-presents (due) to me (as his) overlord.”⁠25 So, Sennacherib’s version coincides with the Bible where Assyrian victories are concerned. But, as expected, he omits mentioning his failure to conquer Jerusalem and the fact that he was forced to return home because 185,000 of his soldiers had been killed in one night.​—2 Kings 18:13–19:36; Isaiah 36:1–37:37.

27. How does the Bible’s account of Sennacherib’s assassination compare with what ancient secular accounts say about it?

27 Consider Sennacherib’s assassination and what a recent discovery reveals. The Bible says that two of his sons, Adrammelech and Sharezer, put Sennacherib to death. (2 Kings 19:36, 37) Yet both the account attributed to Babylonian King Nabonidus and that of the Babylonian priest Berossus of the third century B.C.E. mention only one son as involved in the slaying. Which was correct? Commenting on the more recent discovery of a fragmentary prism of Esar-haddon, Sennacherib’s son who succeeded him as king, historian Philip Biberfeld wrote: “Only the Biblical account proved to be correct. It was confirmed in all the minor details by the inscription of Esar-haddon and proved to be more accurate regarding this event of Babylonian-Assyrian history than the Babylonian sources themselves. This is a fact of utmost importance for the evaluation of even contemporary sources not in accord with Biblical tradition.”⁠26

28. How has the Bible been vindicated in what it says about Belshazzar?

28 At one time all known ancient sources also differed with the Bible regarding Belshazzar. The Bible presents Belshazzar as the king of Babylon when it fell. (Daniel 5:1-31) However, secular writings did not even mention Belshazzar, saying that Nabonidus was king at the time. So critics claimed that Belshazzar never existed. More recently, however, ancient writings were found that identified Belshazzar as a son of Nabonidus and coruler with his father in Babylon. For this reason, evidently, the Bible says Belshazzar offered to make Daniel “the third ruler in the kingdom,” since Belshazzar himself was the second. (Daniel 5:16, 29) Thus the Yale University professor, R. P. Dougherty, when comparing the Bible book of Daniel with other ancient writings, said: “The Scriptural account may be interpreted as excelling because it employs the name Belshazzar, because it attributes royal power to Belshazzar, and because it recognizes that a dual rulership existed in the kingdom.”⁠27

29. What confirmation has been discovered regarding what the Bible says about Pontius Pilate?

29 Another example of a discovery that confirms the historicalness of a person mentioned in the Bible is given by Michael J. Howard, who worked with the Caesarea expedition in Israel in 1979. “For 1,900 years,” he wrote, “Pilate existed only on the pages of the Gospels and in the vague recollections of Roman and Jewish historians. Next to nothing was known about his life. Some said he never even existed. But in 1961, an Italian archaeological expedition was working in the ruins of the ancient Roman theater in Caesarea. A workman overturned a stone that had been used for one of the stairways. On the reverse side was the following, partially-obscured inscription in Latin: ‘Caesariensibus Tiberium Pontius Pilatus Praefectus Iudaeae.’ (To the people of Caesarea Tiberium Pontius Pilate Prefect of Judea.) It was a fatal blow to the doubts about Pilate’s existence. . . . For the first time there was contemporary epigraphic evidence of the life of the man who ordered the crucifixion of Christ.”⁠28​John 19:13-16;Acts 4:27.

30. What has been discovered regarding the use of camels that substantiates the Bible record?

30 Modern discoveries even substantiate minor details of ancient Bible accounts. For instance, contradicting the Bible, Werner Keller wrote in 1964 that camels were not domesticated at an early date, and, therefore, the scene where “we meet Rebecca for the first time in her native city of Nahor must make do with a change of stage props. The ‘camels’ belonging to her future father-in-law, Abraham, which she watered at the well were​—donkeys.”⁠29 (Genesis 24:10) However, in 1978 Israeli military leader and archaeologist Moshe Dayan pointed to evidence that camels “served as a means of transport” in those early times, and hence that the Bible account is accurate. “An eighteenth-century BC relief found at Byblos in Phoenicia depicts a kneeling camel,” Dayan explained. “And camel riders appear on cylinder seals recently discovered in Mesopotamia belonging to the patriarchal period.”⁠30

31. What further evidence is there that the Bible is historically accurate?

31 Evidence that the Bible is historically accurate has mounted irresistibly. While it is true that secular records of Egypt’s Red Sea debacle and other such defeats have not been found, this is not surprising since it was not the practice of rulers to record their defeats. Yet, discovered on the temple walls of Karnak in Egypt is the record of Pharaoh Shishak’s successful invasion of Judah during the reign of Solomon’s son Rehoboam. The Bible tells about this at 1 Kings 14:25, 26. In addition, Moabite King Mesha’s version of his revolt against Israel has been discovered, being recorded on what is called the Moabite Stone. The account can also be read in the Bible at 2 Kings 3:4-27.

32. What can visitors to museums today see that verifies Bible accounts?

32 Visitors to many museums can see wall reliefs, inscriptions and statues that verify Bible accounts. Kings of Judah and Israel such as Hezekiah, Manasseh, Omri, Ahab, Pekah, Menahem and Hoshea appear on cuneiform records of Assyrian rulers. King Jehu or one of his emissaries is depicted on the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser as paying tribute. The decor of the Persian palace of Shushan, as the Biblical characters Mordecai and Esther knew it, has been re-created for observation today. Statues of the early Roman Caesars, Augustus, Tiberius and Claudius, who appear in Bible accounts, can also be viewed by museum visitors. (Luke 2:1; 3:1; Acts 11:28; 18:2) A silver denarius coin, in fact, has been found that bears the image of Tiberius Caesar​—a coin Jesus asked for when discussing the matter of taxes.​—Matthew 22:19-21.

33. How does the land of Israel and its features provide evidence that the Bible is accurate?

33 A modern-day visitor to Israel familiar with the Bible cannot help but be impressed with the fact that the Bible describes the land and its features with great accuracy. Dr. Ze’ev Shremer, leader of a geological expedition in the Sinai Peninsula, once said: “We have our own maps and geodetic survey plans, of course, but where the Bible and the maps are at odds, we opt for The Book.”⁠31 To give an example of how one can personally experience the history presented in the Bible: In Jerusalem today a person can walk through a 1,749-foot-long tunnel that was cut through solid rock over 2,700 years ago. It was cut to protect the city’s water supply by carrying water from the hidden spring of Gihon outside the city walls to the Pool of Siloam within the city. The Bible explains how Hezekiah had this water tunnel constructed to provide water for the city in anticipation of Sennacherib’s coming siege.​—2 Kings 20:20; 2 Chronicles 32:30.

34. What have some respected scholars said about the Bible’s accuracy?

34 These are but a few examples that illustrate why it is unwise to underestimate the Bible’s accuracy. There are many, many more. So doubts about the Bible’s reliability are usually based, not on what it says or upon sound evidence, but instead upon misinformation or ignorance. The former director of the British Museum, Frederic Kenyon, wrote: “Archæology has not yet said its last word; but the results already achieved confirm what faith would suggest, that the Bible can do nothing but gain from an increase of knowledge.”⁠32 And the well-known archaeologist Nelson Glueck said: “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a Biblical reference. Scores of archaeological findings have been made which confirm in clear outline or in exact detail historical statements in the Bible.”⁠33

Honesty and Harmony

35, 36. (a) What personal shortcomings did various Bible writers acknowledge? (b) Why does the honesty of these writers add weight to their claim that the Bible is from God?

35 Something else that identifies the Bible as coming from God is the honesty of its writers. It is contrary to imperfect human nature to admit mistakes or failures, especially in writing. Most ancient writers reported only their successes and virtues. Yet Moses wrote how he had “acted undutifully,” and so was disqualified from leading Israel into the Promised Land. (Deuteronomy 32:50-52; Numbers 20:1-13) Jonah told of his own waywardness. (Jonah 1:1-3; 4:1) Paul acknowledges his former wrongdoings. (Acts 22:19, 20; Titus 3:3) And Matthew, an apostle of Christ, reported that the apostles at times showed little faith, sought prominence and even abandoned Jesus at his arrest.​—Matthew 17:18-20; 18:1-6; 20:20-28;26:56.

36 If Bible writers were going to falsify anything, would it not be unfavorable information about themselves? They would not likely reveal their own shortcomings and then make false claims about other things, would they? So, then, the honesty of the Bible writers adds weight to their claim that God guided them as they wrote.​—2 Timothy 3:16.

37. Why is the internal harmony of the Bible such strong evidence that it is inspired by God?

37 The internal harmony around a central theme also testifies to the Bible’s Divine Authorship. It is easy to state that the Bible’s 66 books were written over a period of 16 centuries by some 40 different writers. But think how remarkable that fact is! Say that the writing of a book began during the time of the Roman Empire, that the writing continued through the period of the monarchies and to modern-day republics, and that the writers were people as different as soldiers, kings, priests, fishermen, and even a herdsman as well as a medical doctor. Would you expect every part of that book to follow the same precise theme? Yet the Bible was written over a similar period of time, under various political regimes, and by men of all those categories. And it is harmonious throughout. Its basic message has the same thrust from beginning to end. Does this not lend weight to the Bible’s claim that these “men spoke from God as they were borne along by holy spirit”?​—2 Peter 1:20, 21.

38. What does it take for a person to trust the Bible?

38 Can you trust the Bible? If you really examine what it says, and do not simply accept what certain ones claim that it says, you will find reason to trust it. Yet, even stronger evidence exists that the Bible was indeed inspired by God, which is the subject of the next chapter.

[Blurb on page 202]

“The astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same”

[Blurb on page 204]

The Bible is remarkably free from superstitious expressions

[Blurb on page 206]

The close connection between mental attitude and physical health was long ago referred to in the Bible

[Blurb on page 215]

It is contrary to human nature to admit mistakes or failures, especially in writing

[Blurb on page 215]

The Bible is harmonious throughout

[Diagram on page 201]

This water cycle, generally unknown in ancient times, is described in the Bible

[Picture on page 200]

This is how some ancients believed that the earth was supported

[Picture on page 203]

Frozen-solid mammoth uncovered in Siberia. After thousands of years, vegetation was still in its mouth and stomach, and its flesh was edible when thawed out

[Picture on page 205]

In the past century, doctors did not always wash after touching the dead, causing other deaths

MORGUE

MATERNITY

[Picture on page 207]

The Bible’s emphasis on love harmonizes with sound medical advice

[Picture on page 209]

A limestone relief of King Sargon, who had long been known only from the Bible account

[Pictures on page 210]

A wall relief from King Sennacherib’s palace in Nineveh, showing him receiving booty from the Judean city of Lachish

This clay prism of King Sennacherib describes his military expedition into Israel

[Pictures on page 211]

Victory monument of Esar-haddon, son of Sennacherib, amplifies 2 Kings 19:37: “And Esar-haddon his son began to reign in place of him”

This inscription, found in Caesarea, verifies that Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea

[Pictures on page 212]

This wall relief verifies the record found in the Bible of Shishak’s victory over Judah

The Moabite Stone records the revolt of Moab’s King Mesha against Israel, described in the Bible

[Pictures on page 213]

King Jehu, or an emissary, paying tribute to King Shalmaneser III

Marble bust of Augustus, the Caesar when Jesus Christ was born

A silver denarius with Tiberius Caesar’s inscription, like the one Christ asked for

[Picture on page 214]

Interior of tunnel that King Hezekiah had hewed out to provide water for Jerusalem during Assyrian siege

The Footnotes for Ya:)

Chapter 17

Can You Trust the Bible?

1. Free Inquiry, “The Bible as a Political Weapon,” by Gerald Larue, Summer 1983, p. 39.

2. Scientific Monthly, “Geology and Health,” by Harry V. Warren, June 1954, p. 396.

3. Cook’s Commentary, edited by F. C. Cook, 1878, Vol. IV, p. 96.

4. Encyclopedia Americana, 1977, Vol. 9, p. 553.

5. The World Book Encyclopedia, 1984, Vol. 20, p. 136.

6. God and the Astronomers, by Robert Jastrow, 1978, pp. 11, 14.

7. Ibid., p. 16.

8. The Saturday Evening Post, “Riddle of the Frozen Giants,” by Ivan T. Sanderson, January 16, 1960, pp. 82, 83.

9. The New Dictionary of Thoughts, 1954, originally compiled by Tryon Edwards. Revised by C. N. Catrevas and Jonathan Edwards, p. 534.

10. The Physician Examines the Bible, by C. Raimer Smith, 1950, p. 354.

11. The Papyrus Ebers, by C. P. Bryan, 1931, pp. 73, 91, 92.

12. None of These Diseases, by S. I. McMillen, 1963, p. 23.

13. Encyclopedia Americana, 1956, Vol. 18, p. 582b.

14. The Lancet, “Mental Health and Spiritual Values,” by Geoffrey Vickers, March 12, 1955, p. 524.

15. Today’s Health, “How to Avoid Harmful Stress,” by J. D. Ratcliff, July 1970, p. 43.

16. A Few Buttons Missing, by James T. Fisher and Lowell S. Hawley, 1951, p. 273.

17. Abraham, Recent Discoveries and Hebrew Origins, by Leonard Woolley, 1935, p. 22.

18. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, “Exodus,” edited by J. H. Hertz, 1951, p. 106.

19. From the Stone Age to Christianity, by William Foxwell Albright, 1940, pp. 192, 193.

20. The Pentateuch and Haftorahs, p. 106.

21. Digging Up the Bible, by Moshe Pearlman, 1980, p. 85.

22. Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, edited by James B. Pritchard, 1969, pp. 284, 285.

23. Digging Up the Bible, p. 85.

24. Ibid.

25. Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p. 288.

26. Universal Jewish History, by Philip Biberfeld, 1948, Vol. I, p. 27.

27. Nabonidus and Belshazzar, by Raymond Philip Dougherty, 1929, p. 200.

28. The Sun, Baltimore, Maryland, March 24, 1980, “Unearthing Pontius Pilate,” by Michael J. Howard, pp. B1, B2.

29. The Bible as History, by Werner Keller, 1964 edition, p. 161.

30. Living With the Bible, by Moshe Dayan, 1978, p. 39.

31. The Sun, San Bernardino, California, October 19, 1967, p. B-12.

32. The Bible and Archæology, by Frederic Kenyon, 1940, p. 279.

33. Rivers of the Desert, by Nelson Glueck, 1959, p. 31.

(Sorry cannot include images here…only written references to such.)
Peace & Palatable Food to You:)
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Freeing Slaves

choice Freedom Joan Winifred

Am i a slave? (and to my own preferences?)

“Why should my freedom be judged by another person’s conscience?” (1 Corinthians 10:29) Although we have the freedom to make our own choices about our education and our career, we must remember that our freedom has limits and that all our decisions have consequences. That is why Paul said: “All things are permissible, but not all things are advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.” (1 Corinthians 10:23; footnote) So even though we have the freedom to make choices in personal matters, what we want is not the most important thing.

Some of us are blinded slaves…people here in the USA are celebrating supposed “freedom” when they don’t even realize/understand/comprehend/apprehend that they are NOT FREE!!…but rather enslaved by “false” religion, materialism/material things/possessions, nationalism, their own bellies/preferences, unhealthy habits (i.e. smoking, over-drinking/eating, addictions of every sort, and sin).  Some are slaves to whims and trends and/or sport(s) or fashion(s)…various forms of entertainment. People slave away for credit card bills and mounting education bills and for various unmerciful, tyrannical bosses of one type of another. People slave for political parties/numerous-flawed-human ideologies.

Yeah, i am a slave…but i’ve chosen to slave for the True God of Freedom…(and of true compassion–Yahweh)…i privately dedicated my life to Him when i was 12…and publicly when i was 16…in 1985.

This past June 29, 2018…marked 33+ years of “Freedom”…of a life dedicated to the True God of Freedom! (This dedication has tremendously impacted my life positively in numerous ways unimagined by a twelve year old girl.)

Similarities of Modern-day USA and Ancient-Roman Empire…

THE early Christians lived in the Roman Empire, where people were very proud of the laws, system of justice, and freedom that they had. Yet, that powerful empire relied on slaves to do most of the hard work. At one point, about 1 out of every 3 people in the Roman Empire was a slave. Certainly, slavery and freedom were important subjects for the common people, including Christians.

Yes, this common girl, as well as most of us appreciate the importance of “freedom” but not all of us make (or have made) the necessary distinction(s) between “relative” and “absolute” or of “real” “true” freedom…from “false” freedom(s)…nor have some of us made courageous choices indicative of these “accurate” understandings.

The apostle Paul often wrote about freedom. But he was not trying to fix this world’s problems, which many people of that time wanted to do. Instead, Paul and his fellow Christians worked hard to teach people the good news of God’s Kingdom and to help them understand how precious the ransom sacrifice of Christ Jesus was. Paul told his fellow Christians where to find the Source of true freedom. He wrote: “Jehovah is the Spirit, and where the spirit of Jehovah is, there is freedom.”​—2 Corinthians 3:17. [excerpted readings: Serve Jehovah The God of Freedom w 4/18]

Thinking about Noah & His Family…all humans trace/(our ancestry) back to them…

Think of what Noah and his family did. They lived in a violent and immoral world. But they did not get involved in the goals and activities of the people around them. They chose to stay busy doing the work Jehovah had given them to do. They built the ark, collected food for themselves and the animals, and warned others about the Flood. “Noah did according to all that God had commanded him. He did just so.” (Genesis 6:22) As a result, Noah and his family survived the end of that world.​—Hebrews 11:7.

Using my free will to BUILD UP Others & myself…some past readings…

“All things are lawful; but not all things are advantageous,” noted the apostle Paul. He added: “All things are lawful; but not all things build up.” (1 Corinthians 10:23) Paul obviously did not mean that it is lawful to do things that God’s Word expressly condemns. Compared to the some 600 laws given to ancient Israel, there are comparatively few explicit commands regulating Christian life. Hence, many matters are left to individual conscience. A person who has made a dedication to Jehovah enjoys the freedom that results from guidance by God’s spirit. Having made the truth his own, a Christian follows his Bible-trained conscience and relies on God’s direction by holy spirit. This helps the dedicated Christian to determine what will “build up” and be “advantageous” for himself and others. He realizes that the decisions he makes will affect his personal relationship with God, to whom he is dedicated. [Living Up to Christian Dedication in Freedom w ’98]

Choices (based on accuracy (Biblical & other))…that build up and are advantageous (for myself and others)…enable True Freedom!:)

some further context IF needed…

July 4th, 2017: a FREE day??

I want YOU

chikungunya…OUCH!

July 4th, 2018 @ 3:00 p.m.

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Out of Hiding

Freedom insights Joan Winifred

There must be a pellucid distinction made between Absolute Freedom & Relative Freedom. Aka so-called life and REAL life… and not some unattainable feeble fantasy.

Let me preface post by saying: (1) I am Politically Neutral. I do not put my trust nor hope nor vote in humans’ misguided attempts of self-rule. Don’t be deceived: All forms of government by Man are epic fails and mostly an apparatus/a torturous machine of suffering (including Democracy). (Of which history and modern-story LOUDLY/SCREAMINGLY attest!) Neither do I support nor endorse Anarchy.((2) Nor am I endorsing the above-referenced movie. The clip is a teaching tool.)(3) Nor am I endorsing violence as a viable option for attaining so-called “freedom.” (4) Yes, I want You Reader:) to enjoy REAL Freedom… and fight for it spiritually speaking.

It especially takes a brave heart to fight for real freedom… when…
So many people are in the wrong fight and fighting for what results in only (more) senseless suffering and (more) deep disappointment!:(

Okay, so that’s out in the Open. A summation of compounded suffering is the so-called quest for so-called “Freedom”… which in actuality is a mere guise for the pursuit or license to… (you name it)…. aka “selfishness” (in hiding)…

Studied & Recently Read this… may be this excerpt will help You get Your thoughts together about Freedom (which hopefully may help lessen any of Your suffering:))…

“TODAY, there is much talk about equality, liberty, and freedom. People in many parts of the world want to be free from oppression, discrimination, and poverty. Others demand to have freedom of speech, of choice, and of self-determination. To be able to do what one wants to do or to live the way one wants to live seems to be much desired by people everywhere.”

2 How to satisfy those desires, however, is quite another matter. On the social or political level, many resort to protests, demonstrations, revolts, even revolutions. But do such confrontations achieve the desired results? On the contrary, they often lead to tragedies and loss of life. All of this once again testifies to the truthfulness of King Solomon’s inspired observation: “Man has dominated man to his harm.”​—Eccl. 8:9.

3. What can we do to find true happiness and satisfaction?

3 The Christian disciple James pointed out the key to finding true happiness and satisfaction. He wrote: “The one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it . . . will be happy in what he does.” (Jas. 1:25) Jehovah, who gave that perfect law, knows best the things humans need in order to be completely happy and satisfied. He gave the first human couple everything that they needed to be happy​—including true freedom.

WHEN HUMANS WERE TRULY FREE

4. What freedom did Adam and Eve enjoy?

4 When reading the first two chapters of Genesis, we can easily see that Adam and Eve enjoyed the kind of freedom that people today can only hope for​—freedom from want, from fear, and from oppression. The first couple’s life was completely free from worries about food, work, sickness, and death. (Gen. 1:27-29; 2:8, 9, 15) Does this mean that the freedom that Adam and Eve enjoyed was absolute? Let us see.

(Us humans… tend toward cockiness… when we actually do something good, are we actually “good?” and when we exercises our “freedoms” in a “free” country, are we actually “free?”)

Freedom: Are You Free?

“If the Son sets you free, you will be truly free.”​—JOHN 8:36.

5. Contrary to what many think, what is needed for people to enjoy freedom?

5 Many today think that to be truly free, they must be able to do anything and everything they want to do, regardless of the consequences. The World Book Encyclopedia defines freedom as “the ability to make choices and to carry them out.” However, it adds: “From a legal point of view, people are free if society imposes no unjust, unnecessary, or unreasonable limits on them.” This implies that, in practice, certain limits are necessary so that everyone in that society can benefit from the freedom granted. The question, then, is: Who has the right to determine what limits are just, necessary, and reasonable?

6. (a) Why does Jehovah alone possess absolute freedom? (b) What sort of freedom can humans enjoy, and why?

6 When it comes to freedom, a key point for us to bear in mind is that Jehovah God alone has what can be called absolute and unlimited freedom. Why? Because he is the Creator of all things and the almighty Sovereign of the universe. (1 Tim. 1:17; Rev. 4:11) Recall the beautiful words of King David in describing the unique and lofty position that Jehovah alone occupies. (Read 1 Chronicles 29:11, 12.) Accordingly, all creatures in heaven and on earth have freedom in only a relative sense. They must recognize that Jehovah God has the ultimate authority to impose what he determines to be just, necessary, and reasonable limits. That, in fact, was what Jehovah God did with his human creation right from the beginning.

7. What are some instinctive actions that contribute to one’s happiness?

7 Even though Adam and Eve initially enjoyed freedom in many ways, there were limits imposed on them. Some of them were instinctive, but they were limits nonetheless. For example, our first parents knew that to keep on living, they had to breathe, eat, sleep, and so on. Would they feel a loss of freedom for having to do these things? No, for Jehovah saw to it that even in doing such routine things, they could find enjoyment and contentment. (Ps. 104:14, 15; Eccl. 3:12, 13) Who would not delight in taking an invigorating breath of fresh air, eating his favorite food, or awakening from a restful night of sleep? We happily do these necessary things without any feeling of constraint or burden. Adam and Eve no doubt felt the same.

8. What specific command did God give our first human parents, and for what purpose?

8 Jehovah specifically commanded Adam and Eve to populate the earth and to take care of it. (Gen. 1:28) Did this command in some way deprive them of their freedom? Of course not! It was given to enable humans to participate in their Creator’s purpose​—to make the earth into a global paradise home for a race of perfect humans forever. (Isa. 45:18) Today, it is not against Jehovah’s will for people to choose to be single or to be married but remain childless. Still, by and large, people marry and raise children in spite of the challenges such choices bring. (1 Cor. 7:36-38) Why? Because under normal circumstances, people find happiness and satisfaction in doing so. (Ps. 127:3) Enjoying their marriage and family for all eternity could have been Adam and Eve’s happy lot in life.

HOW TRUE FREEDOM WAS LOST
. Why was God’s command found at Genesis 2:17 not unjust, unnecessary, or unreasonable?

9 Jehovah gave Adam and Eve another command, which included a clear statement of the penalty if violated: “As for the tree of the knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat from it, for in the day you eat from it you will certainly die.” (Gen. 2:17) Was this command in any way unjust, unnecessary, or unreasonable? Did it rob Adam and Eve of their freedom? Certainly not. In fact, a number of Bible scholars comment on the logic and good sense of the command. For example, one scholar observes: “The inference of God’s commands in [Genesis 2:16, 17] is that only God knows what is good . . . for humanity and only God knows what is not good . . . for them. To enjoy the ‘good,’ humankind must trust God and obey him. If they disobey, they will be left to decide for themselves what is good . . . and what is not good.” That is a burden that humans could not carry successfully on their own.

Piloting Life… destination? “True” “Relative” “Freedom” 🙂

10. Why should we not equate free will with the right to decide what is good and what is bad?

10 Upon reading Jehovah’s command to Adam, many today would say that Adam was denied the freedom to do what he wanted. In saying so, they are confusing the exercise of one’s free will with the right to decide what is good and what is bad. Adam and Eve did have the freedom to choose whether they would obey God or not. However, only Jehovah has the right to decide in the absolute sense what is good and what is bad, as symbolized by “the tree of the knowledge of good and bad” in the garden of Eden. (Gen. 2:9) We have to admit that we do not always know what the outcome of our choices will be; nor do we know whether they will turn out for our good every time. That is why we so often see people make choices or decisions with all good intentions​—only to have them result in suffering, disaster, or tragedy. (Prov. 14:12) Human limitations play a large role. By means of his command, Jehovah lovingly taught Adam and Eve the way to exercise true freedom. How is that so, and did that first couple respond?

11, 12. Why did Adam and Eve’s choice prove to be disastrous? Illustrate.

11 As it turned out, our first parents chose to disobey. Satan’s tempting promise​—“your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and bad”—​proved to be irresistible for Eve. (Gen. 3:5) Did Adam and Eve’s choice eventually enhance their freedom in any way? Sadly, it did not. Their choice did not bring them what Satan said it would. In fact, they soon learned that rejecting Jehovah’s direction and going their own way resulted in disaster. (Gen. 3:16-19) Why? Simply because Jehovah did not give humans the freedom to determine for themselves what is good and what is bad.​—Read Proverbs 20:24 and footnote; Jeremiah 10:23.

12 This can be illustrated with a pilot flying an airplane. To reach a certain destination safely, he usually must follow a preapproved flight path. Modern aviation equipment allows a pilot to use onboard navigation instruments and to keep in touch with air traffic controllers along the way so as to reach his planned destination. However, if the pilot chose to disregard that guidance and fly any route he desired, the result could be disastrous. Like that pilot, Adam and Eve wanted to do things their own way. They rejected the guidance God had provided. The result? They ended, as it were, in a tragic crash, resulting in sin and death for themselves and for their future offspring. (Rom. 5:12) In striving for self-determination, they lost the true freedom they had been given.

HOW TO GAIN TRUE FREEDOM

13, 14. How can we gain true freedom?

13 People may think that the more freedom they have, the better off they will be, but the reality is that having unbounded freedom is a two-edged sword. True, freedom does bring many benefits; yet, we shudder to imagine what the world would be like if there were no restraints at all. For this reason, The World Book Encyclopedia states: “The laws of every organized society form a complicated pattern of balanced freedoms and restrictions.” “Complicated” is surely the right word. Just think of the volumes and volumes of laws written by man, let alone the armies of lawyers and judges needed to interpret and administer them.

14 In contrast, Jesus Christ pointed out a simple way to enjoy true freedom. He said: “If you remain in my word, you are really my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31, 32) Jesus’ direction for gaining true freedom involves two requirements: First, accept the truth that he taught, and second, become his disciple. Doing so will lead to true freedom. But freedom from what? Jesus went on to explain: “Every doer of sin is a slave of sin. . . . If the Son sets you free, you will be truly free.”​—John 8:34, 36. (excerpted “The Way to True Freedom” w 4/18)

Free Will–a gift with instructions–about consequence(s). 🙂 Hey, the last time i checked… found fresh-air breathing, fine food dining (aka healthy eating), peaceful-sleeping and love not war making…enJOY–able.

Be Brave! Be Free…(for real) Reader:)

6/11/18 @ 7:13 p.m.

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