The Cause of Suffering
Nobody likes to suffer. We all want comfort. That is because we were created for comfort, not suffering. When God created the world, there was no suffering. “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. And when Jesus returns, there will be no more suffering. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4. So, if we began with no suffering, and we will end with no suffering, why is there suffering now?
The simple answer to that question is: Suffering is the result of sin, and sin was not present at the beginning and will not be present at the end. But why does sin cause suffering? To answer this question, we must understand what sin is and what it does to the one it “infects.”
Sin began as an unexplainable self-deception where an intelligent creature (angel or human) deceives itself into believing the impossible—that it (a creature) can become something it isn’t (a god) (see Isaiah 14:12-14). Once that self-deception occurs, everything immediately changes in the individual. You and I were born into this deception. It has been all we have known since birth. But it was something that happened rapidly in Adam and Eve.
Instead of believing that you are a child of God, you believe that you are god. Instead of being dependent upon God for everything you need, you begin to depend upon yourself and others for what you need. Instead of having a love that takes all you need from God and freely gives what you have taken from Him to others, you have a “love” that gives from yourself to others so that you can receive for yourself what you need from them. Instead of recognizing that you belong to God and acknowledging that everything that happens to you happens to Him (See Matthew 25:40), you believe that you are your own, and you take things personally as if it was all about you. Instead of recognizing that you are simply the steward of God’s resources without anything that you can lose, you believe that you are the owner and suffer terribly when that which is yours deserts you, dies, or is damaged or destroyed. Instead of expecting good for others (to love, respect, honor, understand, pay attention to, and accept them), you expect good from others (to be loved, respected, honored, understood, paid attention to, and accepted by them). Instead of all things being God’s issues that He must resolve or fix and bring to a successful conclusion, you see all things as your issues that you must resolve or fix and bring to a successful conclusion, which is stressful. Instead of recognizing God as the standard and judge of all things and basking in His compassionate love, you see yourself as the standard and judge and bring condemnation down upon others (hatred, resentment, bitterness, etc.) and yourself (guilt, self-hatred, shame, etc.). All of this happens immediately when one deceives themselves into believing that they can be god.
This self-deception changes everything that we perceive. We perceive the truth to be a lie, while we believe lies to be true. We perceive the darkness to be light, while we believe the light is darkness. We perceive that which is dangerous to be safe, while we believe that which is safe is dangerous. We perceive freedom to be captivity, while we believe captivity is freedom. We perceive that which nourishes the soul to be unsatisfying, while we “satisfy” ourselves on that which can only leave us empty. We run from God (who loves us and only has our best interests in mind – see John 3:16-17) to Satan (who hates us and only wants to destroy us – see John 10:10 and 1 Peter 5:8). “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” Isaiah 5:20-21. “Woe unto them” is not a curse from God upon those who are deceived like this. It is simply a description of what they bring upon themselves because of their deception.
I remember watching a program on TV once where people volunteered to drive a vehicle around a challenging obstacle course in a car. The course had orange cones strategically placed to outline the boundaries of the track the drivers had to take. The drivers had to maneuver around the course as fast as they could while knocking down as few cones as possible. After going through the course, they rated themselves on how well they did at their task. After each attempt at driving around this obstacle course, each driver was given 1 cup of beer to drink, and then were sent out to repeat the task 15 minutes after drinking the beer. Each time they came back from the course, they rated how well they were doing.
With each drink of beer, the drivers clearly knocked over more and more orange cones as they attempted to drive quickly through the obstacle course. But each time, they rated their perceived performance better and better, even as they clearly performed worse after each beer. Alcohol progressively deceives the consumer, so that they perform worse while they think they are getting better. Under the influence of alcohol people do many destructive things unaware of the damage they are doing while under the influence of the alcohol. They only understand the consequences of their intoxicated actions as they recover from the influence of the alcohol.
This is just like being under the influence of sin (sinful nature). It deceives us into perceiving things backwards, so that we think, say, and do the wrong things—destroying ourselves and others—even while we think we are thinking, saying, and doing good and being helpful. This state of deception is always built upon error or lies, for deception is always in harmony with error.
Truth and function are always in harmony with each other. If you have the truth, it will always result in proper function. But if you have error, it will always result in dysfunction, for error is always out of harmony with function. God created all things according to the truth (in harmony with the truth), so all things functioned properly. And God will bring all things back into harmony with the truth so that all things function properly again. (But every intelligent creature will be left to choose for themselves whether they will choose God and be restored to the truth and proper function, or whether they will choose Satan and continue in error and dysfunction. All who knowingly reject truth will finally be destroyed in harmony with the dysfunction of their chosen deception.) Suffering is the result of the deception of sin that is in harmony with error and brings dysfunction. As sin was not in the beginning and will not be at the end, so the dysfunction that causes suffering will not continue forever. It will only be present as long as sin is present.
It is clear that all who are caught in the deception of sin (Satan, his angels, people), cause and perpetuate suffering for themselves and others, for they live and act in harmony with error, which results in dysfunction. And their sin can result in the suffering of those who are not sinful (God, holy angels, etc.).
But can God and those who are living in truth originate suffering? Only in the context of justice exercised toward the sin that caused the suffering in the first place and for the purpose of limiting or ending the sin and suffering. Justice rightfully demands that the one who causes suffering experience in return the suffering they caused. “If a man causes disfigurement of his neighbor…so shall it be done to him—fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth; as he has caused disfigurement of a man, so shall it be done to him…whoever kills a man shall be put to death.” Leviticus 24:19-21. The judge (God or His delegated authority), acting in harmony with truth, would demand this justice.
Why is this the case? It is because the deception of sin, just as the intoxication of alcohol, makes the individual incapable of responding appropriately to correcting statements. The inebriated individual cannot listen to the voice of reason, for reason has been turned off under the influence of the alcohol. But they can feel and respond to pain. And sometimes pain is the only thing that will cause them to stop (at least momentarily) their inebriated course. The pain is necessary to put a check to the destruction and suffering they are causing others by their destructive course. Righteousness will allow, and will sometimes use, suffering for the purpose of bringing about peace, while sin will offer “peace” which results in ever-increasing suffering.
If we perceive things wrong because of our sinful nature, and as a result, we respond to things in a destructive way, but we believe we perceive things correctly and are responding correctly, how are we ever going to be saved from this deception? The answer is not exactly comforting. We can only be saved from this state of deception through suffering. There is no other way. “We are forming characters for heaven. No character can be complete without trial and suffering. We must be tested, we must be tried. Christ bore the test of character in our behalf that we might bear this test in our own behalf through the divine strength He has brought to us.” (This Day With God. p 427).
Was this the case before sin entered the picture? No. There was no cause of or need for suffering then. Will this be the case after sin is eradicated? No. This is the case while sin persists. And this is one of the reasons that we yearn for Jesus’ return, for we want the suffering to come to an end. We want to be restored to what God created us for in the beginning. We want to live a life of comfort in the presence of the God who loves us and created us. But, for now, suffering is our experience. Does this have to be bad news? No. It can be good news. How? We’ll find out in next month’s newsletter, as we seek to understand suffering in its proper context, where we will see that God is truly a loving God, even while suffering continues to exist.
Use Your Suffering to Help Someone Else
Do you want to be involved in helping someone else who is suffering and struggling through a particular crisis at this moment? Do you want to take your talent of suffering and put it to good use? I know that many of you have been through difficult trials. Some of you have struggled with addictions. Others of you have been abused in various ways. Others have been rejected or divorced. And others have or have had different health challenges. There are many things that we have suffered, but if we keep them to ourselves, we will not be able to bless others through them.
No one can comfort and encourage someone in a particular trial like someone else who has gone through that same trial. At New Paradigm Ministries, we have the tremendous privilege of counseling with many hurting people. There are many precious souls that we have the opportunity of counseling who are struggling in their current trials and sufferings. And what would help them tremendously is to have someone else to take interest in them and walk with them through their suffering. We are so busy with our current counseling schedule that we can’t spend the day-by-day or week-by-week time needed to consistently encourage these precious souls on to victory in their own struggles. We need you!
Have you been rejected, divorced, molested, verbally or physically abused, unappreciated, etc.? Have you struggled with and overcome tobacco, alcohol, drugs, pornography, gambling, bulimia, anorexia, or other addictions? Have you had cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, an autoimmune disease, or other health challenges? Have you suffered in some other way? If you are willing to use your sufferings to help someone else, please let us know. We would like to develop a database (kept by us and NOT made public) of individuals who have suffered different traumas and who are willing to support others who are struggling with those same traumas now. Then, when we have an appointment with someone who is suffering with a certain trial, we can contact you and see if you would be willing to walk with them through their trial.
Perhaps you haven’t suffered much in life, but you are willing to be an accountability partner, prayer partner, or spiritual/life mentor for someone else. Let us know that you are willing to take this role, and also what types of traumas you would feel most comfortable working with. Send an email to us at [email protected] and let us know. We truly appreciate your involvement!
Bible Promises for Freedom Book
New Paradigm Ministries is working on the book, Bible Promises for Freedom. This book will help people find freedom from negative thoughts through the promises of God’s word. The book has an index of issues that people need to resolve or to experience (like abuse, addictions, anger, anxiety, belief, belonging, bitterness, peace, etc.). There are a number of Bible verses listed for each issue. The reader can then find a promise or two related to their particular issue, struggle, or need, that they can use to help them to find freedom and fulfillment in that area.
We need your help. We are asking you to email us ( [email protected] ) a list of different topics that you believe this book should include. The list of topics that we currently have include: abandonment, abuse, acceptance, addictions, alcohol, pornography & sex, anger, anxiety, belief, belonging, bitterness, body transformed, Christ, Divine nature, human nature, Christ chose me for good, citizens of heaven, compassion, confession, confidence, confusion, contentment, control & manipulation, courage, coveting, the cross, dealing with the devil, depression, doubt, evil speaking, failure, false expectations, favoritism, fear, forgiveness, forgiven, forgiving, freedom, gain & loss, gentleness, God will finish what He started, God’s faithfulness, God’s love for me, God’s power, God’s will, grace, guilt, helpfulness, honesty, hopelessness, hospitality, humility, identity, insensitive, joy, not complaining, rejoicing, kindness, laziness, living like Christ, loneliness, longsuffering, loss, love, lust, needs met, needy, negative thoughts, overwhelmed or burdened, past (not living in it), patience, peace, people pleasing, perseverance, personal responsibility, pessimism, prayer, reasons for unanswered prayer, pride, purity, sexual purity, purpose, rejection, relationships, revenge, righteousness by faith, sacrifice, salvation, self-control , selflessness or unselfish love, shame, sources, spiritualism, stealing, stress, submission, suffering , suicidal thoughts, surrender, temptation, trust, unity, unloved, value, the value of Christ, victory or overcoming, wisdom, worry, and zealousness. Thank you for helping with this vitally important project. And, if you have Bible verses that go along with any of these topics or others that you believe should be included, email those to us as well!
We praise the Lord for His continued healing in the life of the woman we reported on last month. Here is her vehicle after it was rescued from the creek bed where it finally stopped. She is at home and is recovering well from her injuries. She will probably not be able to put weight on her fractured leg for another couple months, but the surgeons assure her that she is healing well. We keep her in our prayers, and we are grateful for you keeping her in your prayers as well.
If you don’t know what we are talking about because you have missed our previous newsletters and you would like to catch up on our newsletters, just email us ( [email protected] ) and we will send them to you. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to update our website since last summer, so we haven’t been able to put our recent newsletters on the website. Once we get access to our website again, we will post the latest newsletters there.
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. The prayer team is being organized with weekly prayer times for those who are available. If you don’t want to join the team officially, please remember the ministry and the ones we are serving in your prayers. Thank you so much!
New Paradigm Camp Meeting!
Keep September 20-24, 2023 in your calendar. That will be our first camp meeting at our property in Cabool, Missouri. We plan on this being a time of prayer, inspiration, fellowship, and preparation for Jesus’ soon return. We will be earnestly seeking a preparation so the Holy Spirit can have unhindered access to us to work out what God has been wishing to do for so long. Keep this event in your prayers and plans.
In December, we had the blessed privilege of spending a weekend with the Melbourne, SDA Church in Melbourne, Florida. It was clearly evident that the Holy Spirit was present and moving in powerful ways. For a church that is not used to having meetings past the divine hour service, we had quite a turnout all the way into Sunday. There were many thirsting souls, longing for the truth to set them free. If you would like to watch the videos from that series, you can watch them HERE.
Generation Youth Christ (GYC) Conference
Over the Christmas/New Year’s break, our family drove to Phoenix, Arizona to attend GYC. Thousands of youth come together at GYC to be encouraged in their walk with Christ and to network and participate in outreach together. We went for our children’s sake, and while we were going to attend, we decided to have a ministry booth exhibit. This was the first time we got to use our new booth. Thank you, Elena, for your beautiful design! As you can see in the last picture, running a booth can be exhausting! But it was worth it!
In January, our family spent the weekend in Pearland, Texas with the Pearland International SDA Church and Dr. Bill Sweatt’s patients at his medical practice. The series for the weekend focused heavily upon health from a Biblical perspective. Again, the Holy Spirit was moving, and many precious souls were convicted and uplifted during the weekend. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your family!
Adventist Agricultural Association (AdAgrA) Conference
From Pearland, our family traveled to Glen Rose, Texas to attend the 9th annual AdAgrA conference. There were over 800 attending on the weekend, the largest in AdAgrA’s history. Our girls were able to have a booth of their own to sell the products they make, and we parents ran the New Paradigm Ministries’ booth. We met so many wonderful people who are interested in learning how they can be better gardeners or farmers. The conference was a wonderful experience. If you haven’t attended one, we recommend you do.
Eden Valley Institute
The AdAgrA conference ended on Sunday morning, and we drove almost 10 hours home. On the way, our trusty van passed the 300,000-mile mark. When we first purchased it, I prayed that the Lord would allow it to run for 400,000 miles. So, we have 100,000 miles to go. 😊 Getting home in the late afternoon, we unpacked the van, went shopping, repacked, and at 3am the following morning, half of us left for Eden Valley Institute in Loveland, Colorado. We arrived after 13.5 hours of driving in time to barely get settled, changed, and speak for the first of 7 presentations for their week of prayer. We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Eden Valley. We are grateful for meeting more of God’s children and sharing about God’s wonderful love. While we were there, we were blessed to be able to visit the Rocky Mountain National Park, which was very windy and miserably cold, but very majestically beautiful. And on the way home, we ran into freezing rain which covered our windshield. The defrost could only keep the lower portion of the windshield clear, so I had to lay my seat back and drive while watching through the cleared space at the bottom of the windshield. That was interesting. We finally made it home safely after encountering snow, freezing rain, and dense fog. God is so good! It will be good to be home for a while before we hit the road again.
Group SessionsMonday evening group sessions will continue weekly from 6:30-8:30pm Central Time on Zoom. The link for each meeting is: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/87592054012, which will be the same link for every group session. If you can’t join the meetings in person, you can watch them later on our YouTube channel HERE.
Lessons From Covid
Lessons From Covid is a 11-part series that Dr. Sandoval developed to look at what happened in the Covid pandemic from a scriptural standpoint. The 17 lessons outlined in these 11 presentations are important for us today as we consider other infections, future epidemics or pandemics, vaccine mandates, and other coercive measures of enforcement that will recur in the future and how we are to relate to these things from a scriptural standpoint. Lessons From Covid is now available in HD on flash drive, with 9 hours of video, 11 presentations, and all the PowerPoint slides and PDF files for the entire series—all for only $45 (with free shipping in the US). To get an idea of what the series is like, watch this trailer. To order yours, please email us at [email protected].
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
If you would like to schedule Dr. Sandoval to speak for your church or community, you can contact us at [email protected]. Schedule soon, because he is already booked through 2023 and is taking appointments beginning in April, 2024.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at Oklahoma Academy for a health/mental health weekend.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the SDA Church in Augusta, Georgia.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking in Bowling Green, Ohio.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking for Wildwood Health Retreat’s Diabetes Seminar in Wildwood, Georgia.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the SDA church in Landsdale, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking for the Amity SDA Church in Amity, Arkansas.
June 28-July 2
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the Red River Camp Meeting in Stanton, Kentucky.
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the Hot Springs, SDA Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
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.
August 30 – September 2
Dr. Sandoval will be speaking at the MEET Ministry camp meeting in Huntingdon, Tennessee.
Plan to 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.
New Paradigm Ministries plans to join the North American Outpost Centers International leadership retreat in Rapidan, Virginia.
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 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.
We will have our 2nd annual New Paradigm Ministries camp meeting at our ministry location in Cabool, Missouri.
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 some work that needs to be done in our campground before the camp meeting next September, including a new roof on our pavilion as well as gravel work on the road. 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.