Suffering and the Great Controversy - Part 3
In our last two newsletters, we looked at God, how He created His intelligent creatures to function, the mysterious fall/rebellion of Lucifer, and how God responded to the crisis. Now we pick up the story after Satan was removed from heaven and mankind was created…
The Creation of Man
It was in the context of this great controversy that the creation story unfolds. God had planned for the creation of the earth and all life upon it, including a new race of intelligent creatures that could reproduce. Instead of creating many people, God created one person, Adam, from which all other people would come (even Eve came from Adam’s rib). This man and this woman, created in God’s image, created with the capacity to procreate, were given dominion over all the earth.
Just as with the angels, God created them with the ability to be loved and to love. Therefore, they had the capacity and the responsibility to govern themselves. They were created dependent upon God, bound to God as their source (by trust), taking what they need from God (by faith), and with God’s law as the standard they would use to evaluate information by to determine if it was right vs. wrong (which is a function of the conscience) and gain vs. loss (which is a function of the heart). They were accountable to God for how they governed themselves.
As they came forth in the perfection of their creation, Adam and Eve had their trust in God as their source, took their needs from Him by faith, and had His law—the Law of Life—as the standard by which they determined right and gain. They had pleasure in fulfilling their needs directly from God and through God-ordained channels, and in being a channel to pass resources to others to help support them. God created them to be the connecting link between Him and the rest of the earth—the channel through which God’s love flowed to all the other creatures on the planet. Functioning as they were created, there was never a reason that they should ever rebel and sin against their Maker as Satan had.
Adam and Eve were placed in the Garden of Eden, which had everything they needed to thrive. They were given free use of the garden and all its resources to supply their needs and derive their pleasure, including the tree of life which would perpetuate their lives indefinitely. There was only one thing withheld from them—something they did not need. That was the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
Why was the tree of knowledge of good and evil placed in the Garden of Eden? Why did God make this test for mankind? Adam and Eve had not been created independent. Only God is independent. Adam and Eve had been created dependent upon God, not only to fulfill their needs, but dependent upon His authority. The command of God—don’t eat from this tree, was the one thing in all of Earth’s new creation that was based solely upon God’s authority. Every time Adam and Eve saw that tree, they would be reminded of God’s authority and their dependence upon Him.
Their life did not come from what they ate. Their life came from God and was dependent upon their willing submission to His unselfish and reasonable authority. The tree of knowledge of good and evil was the one test of their willing submission to His authority. Would they choose His way? Or would they, like Satan, choose their own way?
The tree with its fruit was beautiful. In and of itself, it was good, for it was created by God. But Adam and Eve did not need the fruit of that tree. They had every other tree to eat from. They had the tree of life. They had the presence of God and of holy angels. They had each other and the other creatures of this planet. They had everything needed for life, pleasure, and purposeful pursuits.
Yet, the great controversy between God and Satan was still being played out. Satan had denied the authority of God as arbitrary and unnecessary. He had pursued his own will and way, and he was determined to convince others that his way was right, and God’s way was wrong. So, since God’s government and character had been called into question, everyone was given an opportunity to see and choose for themselves whom they would believe and serve. God would allow Satan to present his perspective to Adam and Eve, but God would not allow him to chase them around and constantly accost them.
Satan could only present his perspective to Adam and Eve at the tree of knowledge of good and evil. If they never went close to that tree, he would never be able to present his temptations to them. If they withstood his temptation(s) and remained loyal to God, Satan would no longer be permitted to approach them. Thus, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil served as a limit to Satan’s ability to tempt mankind.
Adam and Eve were told of Satan’s rebellion in heaven. They were warned to stay together and not go near the tree of knowledge of good and evil. They were assured that Satan could not force them into submission to himself. But they were also warned to not enter into conversation with him should they ever meet him, as he was a master deceiver. Everything that could be done to prepare them to withstand Satan’s temptations was done. But Adam and Eve were created to govern themselves from the inside, so they had a personal freedom and responsibility to choose for themselves.
Unfortunately, one day, Eve wandered from Adam’s side and found herself close to the tree of knowledge of good and evil. When she realized where she was, she had a sense of alarm, which she quickly dismissed, thinking that she was in no danger by simply looking at or being close to the tree. As she stood there, looking at the fruit and noticing how lovely it looked, she wondered why God had forbidden them from eating it. Just then, she heard someone speak.
The Serpent: “Eve, beautiful Eve, the most beautiful creature on earth. You are not only beautiful, but you are very wise. Tell me, did God really say, ‘You should not eat of every tree of the garden’? If this tree is bad, then the One who made it is bad. But if the tree is good, why is it being withheld from you?”
Eve: “We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
The Serpent: “That is quite interesting. I came to this tree a while ago and I ate its fruit, and the moment that I ate its fruit I gained powers that I didn’t even know were possible. You see that I am a snake, and snakes can’t talk. But I can. Why? Because I ate the fruit of this tree. And the moment that I ate it, I was able to think and reason and talk, just like you. And, as you can see, I’m touching the fruit right now, and I’m not dead. You won’t die either.”
“You were so much greater than me at your creation, and God knows that when you eat this fruit, you will be like God, knowing good and evil. You can’t imagine, in your current state, what kind of knowledge and power you can have if you eat this fruit. But if you eat it, you will be able to experience it—all of it. See, (he plucks the fruit and places it in the half-reluctant hand of Eve), you didn’t die by touching the fruit. You won’t die by eating it, either. In fact, you will enter a greater sphere of existence, just like God and the angels experience.”
Satan could not force Eve to believe anything. He could only present information to her. It was only she that could take the information and either accept or reject it. As long as she governed herself by the correct identity, bound herself to God by trust, and took what she needed from God by faith; as long as she adopted God’s law has the standard by which she evaluated all information to determine if it was truth or lie and gain or loss, there was no possibility of her believing Satan and eating the fruit. So, what happened?
The Fall of Eve
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate.” Genesis 3:5. What happened here? How did the devil tempt Eve into eating the fruit? Just as it is a mystery as to why Satan deceived himself into believing that he could become a god, it is equally as mysterious why Eve did the same. As with Satan’s rebellion, we cannot answer the question, “Why did it happen?” We can only answer the question, “What happened?”
Satan could not force Eve to believe the lie. He could only offer it to her as if it was a possibility. The only way Eve could accept the lie was to deceive herself into believing that she could become a god as well. With this self-deception (I am a god) in place, she immediately withdrew her trust from God as her source and placed it in Satan and others. Because she was still dependent upon power and resources outside of herself to function and live, and because she still functioned by bringing the things she needed into herself from the outside, she had to attach to another source to take from. So, she took by faith what Satan had to offer and brought it into herself. She adopted Satan’s standard of selfishness as her own, and immediately began using that standard to evaluate information by.
As her standard was now a false standard (like a compass pointing south rather than north), she now evaluated all information backwards, believing lies to the be truth, and the truth to be lies; believing loss to be gain, and gain to be loss. So in her self-deception, she pursued lies and loss, thinking she was pursuing truth and gain. The moment she determined that eating that fruit was gain, she couldn’t help but eat it because she was created to always pursue gain.
In order to trust Satan, she had to distrust God. In order to do what God told her to not do, she had to believe that she was a god, that she knew better than God did, and was able to decide for herself what was for her best good. Only with this false identity could she rebel and sin against her Creator.
From Deceived to Deceiver
As Eve ate the fruit, she felt an exhilarating sensation she had never experienced before. She truly believed that she was entering into an elevated existence similar to what she believed the angels experienced. Gathering this wonderful fruit, she hurried to find Adam and tell him all about the good news. But as she related to Adam what had just happened, his face revealed his internal distress. He knew this must be the one they were warned about. He knew that Eve had just done the one thing God had specifically warned them not to do. He knew that Eve must die as a result of her disobedience.
But how could he lose her? She was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh. She was made from his own rib and was the only human companion he had ever known. His life was bound up with hers. And here she was, repeating to him the same assurances that were spoken to her. “We won’t die. The snake isn’t dead. I’m not dead. I don’t feel the slightest negative effect from eating the fruit. The fruit is good. I love you now more than I ever have before. I feel wonderful, just like I thought the angels must feel. We will be like God. If you eat the fruit, you will gain so much, just like I have.” And with that, she offered him the fruit.
He looked at the fruit, then at his wife. He remembered what God had said. How could he live without her? How could he lose her forever? Maybe she was right. She obviously isn’t dead, and she says she loves me more now than she ever did before….
The Fall of Adam
Eve could not force Adam to believe the lie. She could only offer it to him as if it was a possibility. The only way Adam could accept the lie was to deceive himself into believing that he could become a god as well. With this self-deception (I am a god) in place, he immediately withdrew his trust from God as his source and placed it in Eve (and in Satan who was the originator of the lies spoken by Eve). He took by faith what Eve had to offer and brought it into himself. He adopted Satan’s standard of selfishness as his own, and immediately began using that standard to evaluate information by. As his standard was now a false standard, he now evaluated all information backwards, believing lies to the be truth, and the truth to be lies; believing loss to be gain, and gain to be loss. Now that he believed that eating the fruit was a gain, he couldn’t help but eat it, because he was created to always pursue gain.
Thus, Adam joined Eve in rebellion against God. Humankind had fallen. Angelic perfection in heaven failed, and human perfection in Eden failed. How did the fall affect Adam and Eve? Find out in our next newsletter as we continue this story.
Join Us for Camp Meeting in September!
Join us in the Ozarks on our ministry property, September 20-24, 2023. Our theme is Living Free, and we will be looking at why we find ourselves captive to so many things and how we can truly be free in Christ. We plan on this camp meeting being very practical, with small group sessions and activities to encourage personal application of the Living Free principles. Speakers will be Dr. Horst Muller and Dr. Mark Sandoval, and Sherry Boettcher and Camilyn Clayvile will be leading the children’s program teaching the children about the Law of Life.
For those who are interested, vegan meals will be available. The accommodations on campus will be primitive, but the fellowship and spiritual revival will make up for the lack of comfortable accommodations. There are several RV spots available, as well as a hotel within 10 minutes of our location for those that aren’t interested in tent camping. To register, click on this link and fill out your information: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/633764184737. More of your questions will be answered on the registration page under the FAQ section. Please plan on joining us and inviting your friends and family. But register soon, as we can only accommodate a limited number of people on our property.
Camp Meeting Needs
We would appreciate it if you would pray with & for us about our additional camp meeting needs. So far, we have reroofed the pavilion, replumbed the pavilion bathrooms, finished all 10 of the RV spots, purchased about 110 chairs, and removed the mini mountain of trash by the RV section. We are planning to use our shop as the main meeting location (to save about $3,000+ on renting a tent), and the pavilion for the children’s meetings. But we need to dismantle a room in the shop to open up floor space, build a small stage at the front, and bring electricity to the shop and wire it for lights, outlets, etc. We also need to purchase speakers, mixer/amp, microphones, cords, 2 projectors and projector screens, a pulpit, another 50+ chairs, and equipment to be able to livestream the main meetings. We have received a donation toward purchasing the equipment necessary for livestreaming the meetings which we are very grateful for. We know the Lord knows all about each need and will make a way. Again, thank you for praying for and with us about this.
If you would like to be a part of our PRAYER TEAM, please send your name and email address to [email protected] and we will add you to our team. We are grateful for all who have volunteered and are always looking for more prayer warriors.
Group Session Notifications
We offer group sessions every Monday night from 6:30-8:30pm Central Time. If you would like to be notified/reminded before each group session begins, simply email us at [email protected] and let us know. We will add you to that list. Anyone can join the group sessions during those times at this link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87592054012 and prior group sessions can be viewed on our YouTube channel HERE.
Amity, Hot Springs, Red River, Revelation of Love
In June and July, we had the privilege of sharing messages of the practical gospel at the Amity and Hot Springs SDA Churches in Arkansas. We were truly privileged to meet such wonderful people and make new friends and lasting relationships. We also had the privilege, yet again, to share at the Red River camp meeting in Stanton, Kentucky, along with Med Missionary’s Joyce Choe and Mercy Ballard, Conrad Vine, and others. And for a week in June, and another week in July, Dr. Mark was happy to teach Biblical counseling at Revelation of Love Ministries’ Bible Institute. If you are looking for evangelism training with a good mixture of medical missionary training, check out the Bible Institute.
Our oldest daughter, Amalee, held a hydrotherapy class for our local church and community in July. Everyone enjoyed the information, demonstrations, and antics of the hydrotherapy victims (volunteers). We pray these contacts will result in longer-term relationships with our community. 😊
We are blessed to now have a new roof on the pavilion. We really needed this to be done before camp meeting and before we had further damage to the pavilion itself that would require additional expenses to fix. Thank you for your prayers and support that made this possible! If you want to see video of how bad it was getting (as well as a rooftop view of the RV area and how it is coming along, click HERE.
Trash, Trash, and More Trash!
Our ministry property came with years and years of accumulated trash from previous owners who dumped their trash in the woods behind the RV campground. For months, when our trash can wasn’t completely full, I would drag it out to the trash pile and fill it with as much trash as I could put in there. At that rate, it would have taken many years for me to take away all the trash that could fit in a trash can. Then there would have been all the remaining trash that was too big for a trash can. Thankfully, our new neighbors, Jonathan & Angela Peoples, who had a lot of trash left on their property as well, rented two 30-yard dumpsters, and we rented a skid steer so both of us could be rid of our trash. We are so glad that the trash is now gone. Thank you, Jonathan and Angela!
Since we had already rented the skid steer to clean up the trash pile, we decided to have two more loads of gravel delivered so we could finish the last 2 RV spots and start graveling part of the circle drive for the campground. We weren’t able to finish the circle drive completely, but at least we were able to put a thin layer of gravel in the areas that had no rocky ground. God is so good! Again, thank you for your support. We are getting closer to being ready for camp meeting.
Keep your eye out for new videos on our YouTube channel youtube.com/@NewParadigmMinistries Recent videos have covered such topics as Health by Faith, The Bible on Autoimmune Disease, The Bible on Infectious Diseases, The Bible vs. Science on Infectious Diseases, False Concepts in Health & Healing, Righteousness by Faith, Fundamentals of Parenting, and this Sabbath, Getting Along with Others will be available.
Counseling or Health Consultations
If you are struggling with personal, relationship, or health challenges, we are available to counsel with you. Virtual appointments can be scheduled through our website at https://npmin.org/appointments
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking for the Family Camp in Pearland, Texas.
We plan to have a booth at the international ASI convention in Kansas City, so come see us.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the Houston SDA Church in Houston, Missouri.
August 30 – September 2
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the MEET Ministry camp meeting in Huntingdon, Tennessee.
Join us in Cabool, Missouri for our first New Paradigm Ministries camp meeting! We will have RV sites available as well as tent camping. There are also some local hotels that can be used for housing. Register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/633764184737
New Paradigm Ministries plans to join the North American Outpost Centers International leadership retreat in Wildwood, Georgia.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking for the Orange City/Debary SDA Church in Debary, Florida.
Dr. Sandoval plans to be in Brazil promoting the Law of Life book, which has been translated into Portuguese.
Dr. Sandoval will be sharing the Law of Life at the Post Falls Idaho SDA Church.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the SDA Church in Champaigne, Illinois.
Dr. Sandoval will be sharing the Law of Life in St. Louis, Missouri.
Dr. Sandoval will be conducting a mental health seminar at the Hayden Lake SDA Church north of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking for the Red River Camp Meeting in Stanton, Kentucky.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking for the Pathway to Paradise camp meeting in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the West Salem Mission camp meeting in West Salem, Ohio.
We will have our 2nd annual New Paradigm Ministries camp meeting at our ministry location in Cabool, Missouri.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking in New Zealand and Australia. If you are in Australia and you would like Dr. Sandoval to speak in your area, please email us at [email protected].
If the Lord is laying it upon your heart to support the work of New Paradigm Ministries financially, we would be most appreciative. We still have much work that needs to be done at our ministry before our camp meeting. Your tax-deductible donations can be given via check to:
New Paradigm Ministries
14527 Berry Rd.
Cabool, MO 65689
Or you can donate on our website HERE. Also, consider including New Paradigm Ministries in your will or estate planning.