The Bible Answers Short Questions From Our Readers
Plain Truth Staff
My child recently asked me, "Where did God come from?" Could you please help me with the right answer? I remember asking the same question when young.
Having first proved that God DOES EXIST, a very natural subsequent question is, "Where did GOD COME FROM?" Men of all ages have pondered this question, contemplating it for endless hours in a fruitless search through all the labyrinths of their carnal minds. Yet none of them have thought to look to the only Source of true knowledge, the Holy Bible. It is not that they have not READ the Bible or looked into it in that sense; it is rather that they have refused to BELIEVE what the Bible plainly says. The almighty, everliving, all-knowing God, as Creator of heaven and earth, and the Author of His Holy Word, is certainly in a far better position to tell us where He came from, than we as His created beings are to figure it out for ourselves, apart from His Divine Revelation. So for the answer to our question of God's origin, let us turn to the BIBLE and see what it has to say. The Bible reveals to us God's attributes and character, by the dozens and scores. It tells us that God is love (I John 4:16). It tells us He is omnipotent (Rev. 19:6). It tells us God is merciful and full of wisdom. It tells us that God is everliving and eternal — the Beginning and the End (Rev. 1:8). When we begin to use words such as "ever" and "never" and "always" we are using words which our limited, finite minds cannot REALLY comprehend. When we read that God has ALWAYS BEEN and try to comprehend that, Our minds will go just so far, as we stretch our imaginations to their limit. Then we come to what seems like a concrete wall and find we cannot understand further. ETERNITY into the past is something it is impossible for us to fully comprehend. And yet, beyond the farthest reaches of our imagination. God has always been. But if God has always been, where did He COME FROM? The answer is simple — if God has ALWAYS BEEN, HE didn't come from ANYWHERE — He has just ALWAYS BEEN! If we overcome and are accounted worthy by God of being born into His Kingdom as His very own sons, composed of spirit, as He is, and VERY GOD ourselves, we will be able to understand many of the things that are mysteries to us today. Nowhere in the Bible does God reveal to us where He came from. He just tells us that life is EVERLIVING and ETERNAL. God has revealed all we need to know at this time in order to obtain salvation. The things we don't know and can't understand belong to God for Him to give to us at His Will and time. Our duty is now to act on what we DO know and to keep God's Law and grow to perfection so we can enter God's Kingdom. There God can teach us the answers to many of our human mysteries. God says through Moses, "The secret things belong unto the Lord our God; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law" (Deut. 29:29).
Why does the Bible say — "going down to Caesarea" from Jerusalem — when Caesarea was north of Jerusalem?
Because maps today are standardized — so that north is at the top of the page, and south at the bottom — we have come to think of north as being up, and south as being down. We say we are "going up" when we mean going to the north of us, and "going down" when to the south. In the Bible, however, going up and down means ascending and descending. In Palestine, the land slopes down from the mountain ridge just west of the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Caesarea was a seaport on the coastal lowlands and Jerusalem is on a high, rocky plateau in the mountains. To go from Caesarea, south to Jerusalem, would literally mean going up — going up into the mountains. You often read in the Bible about going up to Jerusalem, not just from Caesarea. It is always literally true, because Jerusalem is on a plateau 2500 feet above sea level, and from whatever direction you approach, you must climb the plateau to enter the city. In Acts 25, both Jerusalem and Caesarea are mentioned. The first verse says Festus "ascended from Caesarea to Jerusalem." So you see, "went up" from Caesarea to Jerusalem means "ascended."
Does the Bible have anything to say about gambling and horse and dog races?
Nowhere in the Bible do we find the words "horse racing" "gambling," "bingo," "slot machine" or similar words relating to gambling. However, the Bible DOES give us the principle that God wants us to follow in regard to gambling activities. God wants us to prosper (III John 2). But to attempt to prosper by being a parasite and a leech on society is NOT God's way. The principle of trying to get something for nothing is a wrong principle, bringing only trouble, heartache and emptiness to the one who practices it. Witness our nation today, Employees are crying to GET more money from their employers without GIVING the employer more in return, This get-something-for-nothing attitude has brought nothing but mounting frustration and unhappiness to our modern, increasingly materialistic society, and in the end will help to bring about its complete ruin. This ATTITUDE of getting something for nothing as well as its demoralizing effect is greatly magnified when applied to gambling. It is Satan's principle to gamble — to try to get something for nothing; it is God's principle to work diligently, GIVING of yourself, and to receive the reward of satisfaction for a job well done — in ADDITION to being paid well. God says, "He that tilleth his ground shall have plenty of bread, but he that followeth after vain things shall have POVERTY enough. A faithful man shall abound with blessings; but he that maketh haste to be rich (as in gambling) shall not be unpunished" (Pro. 28:19-20, Jewish Version). These verses PROVE that God wants us to prosper by good bard WORK, nor by trying to make a "fast buck." Verse 22 of this same chapter reads, "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that, poverty shall come upon him." How TRUE this verse is! This is how NOT to strive to become rich — or even to earn a living. The RIGHT way to become financially successful and secure is to have GOD as your partner, to obey His laws (Joshua 1:8; Ps. 1:1-3), to give God HIS tithe of your income (Mal. 3:10), and then to apply, yourself and remember that "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich" (Pro. 10:4).
"I heard on your program that the law is not done away. What about Romans 10:4 which reads: Christ is the end of the law...?"
Like many another, the questioner has probably been told from childhood that the law of God was made void and of no effect — that Christ did not set us an example of how to live — that Christian liberty allows us to follow whatever our conscience leads us to do. Those who teach this false doctrine have completely missed the point of Romans 10:4. Romans 10:4 explains the purpose of the law of God. You probably did not know that the law of God has a purpose! This purpose is to teach you God's definition of right and wrong, and to show you how to become like Christ. The Bible plainly States that Christ set us an example and that we should follow in His steps (I Pet. 2:21). Christ never sinned (Pet. 2:22 and Heb. 4:15). That means Christ never once broke the law, because to sin is to break the law (I John 3:4). So Christ set us an example, that we should do the same as He did. Those who deny God's law are ignorant of God's righteousness (Ps. 119:172), and are actually trying to establish their own righteousness! They are rebelling against the law of God. God's law has, as its aim or purpose or END, to reach us how to become like Christ. This is our end, or goal — to become like Christ. In your Webster's dictionary you will find the word "end" is defined as: "the object aimed at..." This same word is used in James 5:11 which reads: ".... and have seen the 'end' of the Lord..." — that is, the aim or purpose or goal. It certainly can't mean the cessation of the Lord for He is immortal. God's law, too, "is spiritual," and hence eternal (Rom. 7:14). How clear! Romans 10:4 reveals that the law of God expresses God's character. The law is the written form of God's character just as Christ was the human embodiment of God's character. The law then leads us, as its aim or end or purpose, to have the very character of Christ.