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8. Gospel Ministry

15 February 2018

Jacob Zuma resigns as South Africa's president amid string of scandals

Krista Mahr
The Telegraph

Jacob Zuma resigned as president of South Africa on Wednesday night in an extraordinary turnaround of events, having earlier insisted he would be defying pressure from within his own party for him to step down.

In a televised live address to the nation he said he had to accept the ruling ANC party's wishes for him to leave office a day before a no confidence motion was set to bring his nine-year tenure to a premature end amid a cloud of corruption allegations.

Mr Zuma's announcement came after he appeared defiant in front of the cameras earlier in the day, telling reporters he didn't believe it was "fair" that the ANC had requested he step down.

His resignation ended a 30-minute speech in his second television appearance of the day, in which the 75-year-old said he still disagreed with the way the ANC had shoved him towards an early exit after the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as party president in December.

“I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability. I am forever grateful they trusted me with their highest office of the land,” Mr Zuma said.

South African President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses the nation - Credit: Themba Hadebe/AP
South African President Jacob Zuma gestures as he addresses the nation Credit: Themba Hadebe/AP

Mr Zuma added that he was concerned about violence breaking out between ANC members as the party grew more divided.

“No life should be lost in my name, and also the ANC should never be divided in my name,” he said. “I have therefore come to the decision to resign as President of the Republic with immediate effect.”

At his earlier television appearance he had said he didn’t know why South Africa’s ruling party had ordered him to step down from his job before his term is up next year, and warned that the leaders forcing him out would come to regret their actions.

“It’s the first time I’ve felt an African National Congress decision is not right,” the long-time ANC member and anti-apartheid struggle veteran said in a televised interview on the public broadcaster on Wednesday. “I don’t think it is fair.”

On Tuesday, the ANC announced they had ordered Mr Zuma to leave his office, and that party officials expected the president to respond the next day.

But as Wednesday morning passed with no word from the Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa’s ruling party issued an ultimatum: Mr Zuma could resign voluntarily by the end of the day, or the party planned to vote him out in humiliating motion of no confidence on Thursday.

“We are all in agreement that the president must go,” said Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said after a meeting of ANC lawmakers in Cape Town.  

Mr Zuma, who had not spoken on the matter of his recall for more than a week, gave the unexpected interview to South Africa’s public broadcaster SABC at a moment many were expecting him to resign.

Profile | Jacob Zuma

He didn’t. Sitting with a near-silent interviewer, Mr Zuma sat in a clinically lit room and instead gave a lengthy narrative of his discussions with the party’s top brass leading up to the day of his recall.

He appeared relaxed, but complained repeatedly that the party never told him why, exactly, it was asking him to resign before the end of his second term next year.

“My problem is that nobody has provided me what have I done,” Mr Zuma said. “There is nothing I’ve done wrong… What is the problem? I don’t understand.”

Though many South Africans could point to a long list of problems they have with Zuma, from multiple corruption scandals to high unemployment, the ruling party has been mum about why, exactly, it decided to recall its long-time member, instead saying the party wished to resolve the matter of his exit quickly to bring “certainty” to the nation.


About | National Assembly of South Africa

Mr Zuma said the ANC leaders told him that “people were saying ‘Zuma must go’.” But, Mr Zuma said, “It wasn’t a new thing. People have been saying this all year.”

“What is this hurry?” he recalled asking his colleagues. “What are you rushing for?”

Mr Zuma said he had agreed to resign, but on the condition that he was given a few more months in office to introduce Cyril Ramaphosa to important contacts and help the party to be more united.

Zuma analysis

However, the ANC leadership rejected his deal, and demanded he step aside immediately.

“I presented a package. You can’t dismantle that,” Mr Zuma said. “I don’t think it is fair. I think it’s unfair.”

Mr Zuma said he would make a statement on Wednesday, but as of late evening, he had yet to do so as pressure piled on him throughout the day.

Early that morning, the luxurious Johannesburg home of the Guptas, a wealthy business family whose relationship to Mr Zuma has been under national scrutiny, was raided by the Hawks, a special police unit.

Profile | Cyril Ramaphosa

In January, a commission of inquiry was set up to look into whether the Guptas used their ties to Mr Zuma and his allies to further the family’s business interests in South Africa.

Three people were arrested in the raid in connection with an ongoing Hawks probe into the alleged funneling of state funds meant to go to a project benefiting poor black farmers that ended up paying for an over-the-top Gupta family wedding.

Mr Zuma said last night he did "not fear exiting office".


August 3, 2017

This is my favorite verse for this week.

Psalm 121 New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 121

A song of ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—     where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord,     the Maker of heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—     he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel     will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—     the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day,     nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—     he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going     both now and forevermore.



23 JULY 2017

  1. I must tell Jesus all of my trials, I cannot bear these burdens alone; In my distress He kindly will help me, He ever loves and cares for His own.

    • Refrain: I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! I cannot bear my burdens alone; I must tell Jesus! I must tell Jesus! Jesus can help me, Jesus alone.

  2. I must tell Jesus all of my troubles, He is a kind, compassionate Friend; If I but ask Him He will deliver, Make of my troubles quickly an end.

  3. Tempted and tried I need a great Savior, One who can help my burdens to bear; I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus: He all my cares and sorrows will share.

  4. What must I do when worldliness calls me? What must I do when tempted to sin? I must tell Jesus, and He will help me Over the world the vict’ry to win.




Psalm 36:6-9 New International Version (NIV)

Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,     your justice like the great deep.     You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.

7 How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!     People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.

They feast on the abundance of your house;     you give them drink from your river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;     in your light we see light.


22 July 2017

S.I.C. IS ASKING….????



If I will have a great chance to go to heaven and meet God, I will ask Him these puzzling questions.

My God, I have 5 questions:

  1.  Why did you create Lucifer, knowing that he would sin and become Satan and bring all the troubles to this planet earth?

  2. After Lucifer sinned, why did you send him to planet earth?  You could not create another world or planet for him and his angels?

  3. Why did you let Satan go and tempt Adam and Eve, knowing very well that they would sin?  You did not see the suffering all us would go through from this sin?

  4. Why did you bring a harsh punishment of death to mankind and all other living creatures on this planet earth?

  5. Why Satan lives for many years while he is the author of evil, but mankind lives a short life yet full of sorrow and suffering, and later on dies, and in the end be resuscitated to be burn with Satan who has enjoyed life from the time your created him.

    If anyone has answers to the above questions, please help me.



If God knew that Satan would rebel, why did He create him?


Question: "If God knew that Satan would rebel, why did He create him?"

Answer: This is a two-part question. The first part is “Did God know Satan would rebel?” We know from Scripture that God is omniscient, which literally means “all-knowing.” Job 37:16Psalm 139:2–4147:5Proverbs 5:21Isaiah 46:9-10; and 1 John 3:19–20 leave no doubt that God’s knowledge is infinite and that He knows everything that has happened in the past, is happening now, and will happen in the future.

Looking at some of the superlatives in these verses—“perfect in knowledge”; “his understanding has no limit”; “he knows everything”—it is clear that God’s knowledge is not merely greater than our own, but it is infinitely greater. He knows all things in totality. If God’s knowledge is not perfect, then there is a deficiency in His nature. Any deficiency in God’s nature means He cannot be God, for God’s very essence requires the perfection of all His attributes. Therefore, the answer to the first question is “yes, God knew that Satan would rebel.”

Moving on to the second part of the question, “Why did God create Satan knowing ahead of time he was going to rebel?” This question is a little trickier because we are asking a “why” question to which the Bible does not usually provide comprehensive answers. Despite that, we should be able to come to a limited understanding. We have already seen that God is omniscient. So, if God knew that Satan would rebel and fall from heaven, yet He created him anyway, it must mean that the fall of Satan was part of God’s sovereign plan from the beginning. No other answer makes sense given what we’ve seen thus far.

First, we should understand that knowing Satan would rebel is not the same thing as making Satan rebel. The angel Lucifer had a free will and made his own choices. God did not create Lucifer as the devil; He created him good (Genesis 1:31).

In trying to understand why God created Satan, knowing he would rebel, we should also consider the following facts:

1) Lucifer had a good and perfect purpose before his fall. Lucifer’s rebellion does not change God’s original intent from something good to something bad.

2) God’s sovereignty extends to Satan, even in his fallen condition. God is able to use Satan’s evil actions to ultimately bring about God’s holy plan (see 1 Timothy 1:20 and 1 Corinthians 5:5).

3) God’s plan of salvation was ordained from eternity past (Revelation 13:8); salvation requires something to be saved from, and so God allowed Satan’s rebellion and the spread of sin.

4) The suffering that Satan brought into the world actually became the means by which Jesus, in His humanity, was made the complete and perfect Savior of mankind: “In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered” (Hebrews 2:10).

5) From the very beginning, God’s plan in Christ included the destruction of Satan’s work (see 1 John 3:8).

Ultimately, we cannot know for sure why God created Satan, knowing he would rebel. It’s tempting to assume that things would be “better” if Satan had never been created or to declare that God should have done differently. But such assumptions and declarations are unwise. In fact, to claim we know better than God how to run the universe is to fall into the devil’s own sin of promoting himself above the Most High (Isaiah 14:13–14).


   If God is all-knowing, why did He create Satan whom He knew would fall?

At the risk of sounding flippant, why not? For what reason or reasons should God have not created the devil even if he was going to fall? Just because God knows what will happen doesn't mean that the person (or angel) isn't free to make choices. Satan freely chose to rebel against God. God knew this would happen. Nevertheless, let me offer some possible reasons why God would create Satan even though He knew he would fall and rebel.

  1. It was necessary to have the fall so that God could then have a reason to die for our sins thereby demonstrating that God can and does provide the greatest act of love which is to lay down one's life for his friend (John 15:13).

  2. The fall of Satan provides yet another method for God to be glorified in that God can use sin to prove that sin is "bad" and that God's Word about righteousness is true.

  3. If God is to have creatures with free will, then the risk of rebellion is part of that freedom.  Satan had that freedom and used it to rebel.

  4. If God had not created Satan and instead another angel fell, then we'd be asking why God made thatangel knowing he would fall.

  5. God has reasons about which we know nothing.

I know my children will act badly at times, but knowing that does not mean that I shouldn't have kids. Part of the risk of freedom is that rebellion will be a reality.

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.

Matt Slick Live Radiocan be heard at 3-4pm PST; 4-5pm MST; 6-7pm EST 7/19/2017 Call: 877-207-2276 Watch on Youtube,


Why Did God Create Lucifer?

Posted on January 2, 2016 by Inge Anderson

If God is all-knowing, He must have known that the beautiful angel Lucifer would sin and rebel against God’s government. So why did God create Him? 

Image © Review & Herald Publishing from

That’s the question someone asked on our Facebook page this week, and it’s like the similar question, “Why did God create Adam, if He knew that Adam would sin?”

Can we visualize a scenario of God starting to create Lucifer then seeing that He would start thinking of self, saying, “Oops! Not this one!” and trying another version … and another … and another … till He saw one that wouldn’t sin??

If God began to create someone but trashed that angel when He saw that he would sin, would He really be allowing free will?

Think about that for a bit.

Now let’s consider why free will is so very important. We may all be disappointed at times in the behavior of loved ones. They hurt us. They betray us. They say unkind things to us. But consider the alternative: All our family members and friends are programmed to only say kind things, to be unfailingly loyal, etc. They have no choice but to “love” us!

Is love without free choice even possible?

I don’t think so. I think love is possible only if there is a choice not to love. What about you?

Love is meaningful precisely because it cannot be forced. It is meaningful precisely because it is a choice. Our friends, mates or lovers don’t have to love us, but they do. And that is what is so exquisitely satisfying! My husband loves me! My daughter loves me! Conversely, no one compels me, but I choose to love my husband, my son, my friend. Etc. etc.

I believe that freedom of choice is of infinite importance to God because He wanted a love relationship with the angels and people He created. He wants a relationship with people who can reason with Him. (Isa. 1:18) That’s why He took the awful risk of giving us free will.

Furthermore, Christ’s death on the cross demonstrates how important free will is to God. It was a terrible price to pay. In the process, Christ risked heaven itself, because He could have failed. He willingly took the chance of never seeing heaven again, of never again being adored by all the holy angels, of never again feeling embraced by the Father’s love, of never again experiencing the sweet harmony of infinite love – all because He values a love relationship with you and me.

You see, God could technically have dealt with the sin problem a different way. If He had just zapped Lucifer out of existence when he began to sin, the other angels would have served Him out of fear, and that would have spoiled the love atmosphere of heaven.

But what if He zapped Lucifer out of existence and then created another beautiful angel just like Lucifer and modified all the angel memories so they wouldn’t know that He had zapped Lucifer out of existence? Technically that would have left the loving atmosphere of heaven intact, wouldn’t it? The angels wouldn’t know what God had done.

But God would know. He would know that He was not being transparent with the creatures whom He loves. He would know that He was not acting in a trustworthy manner. And God wants an open, loving, transparent relationship with His creatures. The Apostle John tells us that the essence of the character of God is love. In fact, he goes so far as to say, “God is love.” (1 John 4:8)

That should make us think seriously about what it means to be a Christian, what it means to serve God. Is a love relationship all about following a set of rules? Do you judge your relationship to a loved one by checking off a list of rules? Do you feel loved if you give your loved one a set of rules to check off, and that person checks off every rule for the day?

So how do we judge whether or not we are followers of Christ? Do we check off a list of rules? The Ten Commandments? Or do we ask these questions:

Who has the heart? With whom are our thoughts? Of whom do we love to talk? Who has our warmest affections and our best energies?

If we are followers of Christ, our thoughts will be with Him, and our sweetest thoughts will be of Him. All we have and are will be consecrated to Him. We will long to bear His image, breathe His spirit, do His will, and please Him in all things. That’s what it means to be a Christian. (Compare Steps to Christ, p. 281

As Seventh-day Adventists we have often placed much emphasis on the law and preached the law until our souls are as dry as the Atacama desert that has no dew and goes without rain for years. But the Law of God is only intended to show us what love looks like in action. If we love God supremely, we will naturally keep the first four commandments, and if we love our neighbors as ourselves, we will not harm our neighbors in any of the ways described in the last six commandments.

On the other hand, if we conform to the outward demands of God’s Law but do not love God supremely and our neighbors as ourselves, we have missed the whole point of the Law. And we are missing a relationship with Christ.

To get back to our beginning point: God created Lucifer in spite of knowing that he would sin because He values a relationship with His created beings so much that He was willing to take on the risk of eternal loss so that He could have a forever relationship with the beings He had created.

God wants a love relationship with you and with me! And we can have it this very moment by surrendering ourselves to Him and choosing to trust Him completely.


Cheryl Young on January 2, 2016 at 10:41 pm said:

I seriously needed to read all this as I'm struggling with very serious health issues and pain that's driving me to dark thoughts, angry at God for creating me or allowing me to live thru several close brushes with death. My parents both seriously crazy, taught me that God was all punishing, ready to pounce on me the moment I mess up. I was just 17 yrs old, was abandoned, rejected and tossed out to fend for self in 1969 Loma Linda after the flood, NO ONE CARED! Sexually abused at age 5 and 6 then at 14 I was kidnapped, drugged, raped by 45 yr old "man" kept for 2 nights. Each time my mom said was my fault. I didn't even receive a hug. That God was angry with me for something wrong that I did...that what she taught me about God. After that I had 3 more serious attempts on my life. Then an AVM caused severe anemia 3 yrs. Dr Ted Mackett found, fixed it, amazed I'm alive. But the stress of growing up being raised by two crazies has taken a toll on my health and I truly am suffering pain. 2 torn rotators, torn biceps, blown knees. GOD...ENOUGH already! WHY? WHY ME? Many nights my prayer is for the Lord to take me in my sleep. Not a good prayer for a woman just 63 yrs old. But I'm not handling this pain and wonder how much longer will God allow my suffering. Wasn't my having a horrible child hood enough? And every year something really bad happens. If God knew me before I was formed then WHY wasn't I one of the many miscarriages my mother had. Why did God allow me to be born? To suffer a lifetime of pain? What is the point?


 Did God Know That Adam and Eve Would Sin?

MANY people ask this question in all sincerity. When the issue of God’s permission of wickedness is raised, the sin of the first human pair in the garden of Eden quickly comes into focus. The thought that ‘God knows everything’ may easily lead some to the conclusion that God must have known beforehand that Adam and Eve would disobey him.

If God truly had foreknown that this perfect couple would sin, what would this imply? Such a notion would attribute many negative traits to God. He would seem to be unloving, unjust, and insincere. Some might label it cruel to expose the first humans to something that was foreknown to end badly. God might seem responsible for—or at least an accomplice to—all the badness and suffering that followed throughout history. To some, our Creator would even appear foolish.

Does Jehovah God, as revealed in the Scriptures, match such a negative description? To answer that, let us examine what the Bible says about the creative works and the personality of Jehovah.

“It Was Very Good”

Regarding God’s creation, including the first humans on earth, the Genesis account says: “God saw everything he had made and, look! it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Adam and Eve were perfectly made, ideally suited to their earthly environment. There was nothing deficient in their makeup. Created “very good,” they were certainly capable of the good conduct that was required of them. They were created “in God’s image.” (Genesis 1:27) So they had the capacity to demonstrate to some degree the godly qualities of wisdom, loyal love, justice, and goodness. Reflecting such qualities would help them to make decisions that would benefit them and bring pleasure to their heavenly Father.

Jehovah endowed these perfect, intelligent creatures with free will. So they were by no means preprogrammed to please God—like some sort of robot. Think about it. Which would mean more to you—a gift that is given mechanically or one that comes from the heart? The answer is obvious. Likewise, if Adam and Eve had freely chosen to obey God, their obedience would have meant all the more to him. The capacity to choose enabled the first human pair to obey Jehovah out of love.—Deuteronomy 30:19, 20.

 Righteous, Just, and Good

The Bible reveals Jehovah’s qualities to us. These qualities make it impossible for him to have anything to do with sin. Jehovah “is a lover of righteousness and justice,” says Psalm 33:5. Thus, James 1:13 notes: “With evil things God cannot be tried nor does he himself try anyone.” Out of fairness and consideration, God warned Adam: “From every tree of the garden you may eat to satisfaction. But 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 positively die.” (Genesis 2:16, 17) The first couple were given a choice between endless life and death. Would it not have been hypocritical for God to warn them against a specific sin while already knowing the bad outcome? As “a lover of righteousness and justice,” Jehovah would not have offered a choice that in reality did not exist.

Jehovah is also abundant in goodness. (Psalm 31:19) Describing God’s goodness, Jesus said: “Who is the man among you whom his son asks for bread—he will not hand him a stone, will he? Or, perhaps, he will ask for a fish—he will not hand him a serpent, will he? Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will your Father who is in the heavens give good things to those asking him?” (Matthew 7:9-11) God gives “good things” to his creatures. The way humans were created and the Paradise home prepared for them testify to God’s goodness. Would such a good Sovereign be so cruel as to provide a beautiful home that he knew would be taken away? No. Our righteous and good Maker is not to blame for man’s rebellion.

“Wise Alone”

The Scriptures also show that Jehovah is “wise alone.” (Romans 16:27) God’s heavenly angels witnessed many manifestations of this boundless wisdom. They began “shouting in applause” when Jehovah brought forth his earthly creations. (Job 38:4-7) No doubt these intelligent spirit creatures followed events in the garden of Eden with great interest. Would it, then, make sense for a wise God, after creating an awe-inspiring universe and an array of marvelous earthly works, to bring forth under the eyes of his angelic sons two unique creatures who he knew were bound to fail? Clearly, to plan such a calamity would not stand to reason.

Still, someone may object, ‘But how could an all-wise God not have known?’ Granted, a facet of Jehovah’s great wisdom is his capability to know “from the beginning the finale.” (Isaiah 46:9, 10) However, he does not have to use this capability, just as he does not always have to use his immense power to the full. Jehovah wisely uses his ability of foreknowledge selectively. He uses it when it makes sense to do so and fits the circumstances.

The ability to refrain from using foreknowledge can be illustrated with a feature of modern technology. Someone watching a prerecorded sports match has the option to watch the final minutes first in order to know the outcome. But he does not have to start that way. Who could criticize him if he chose to watch the entire match from the beginning? Similarly, the Creator evidently chose not to see how things would turn out. Rather, he chose to wait and, as events unfolded, see how his earthly children would conduct themselves.

As mentioned earlier, Jehovah in his wisdom did not create the first humans as automatons programmed for a fixed course. Instead, he lovingly endowed them with free will. By choosing the right course, they could manifest their love, gratitude, and obedience, thereby bringing added delight to themselves and to Jehovah as their heavenly Father.—Proverbs 27:11; Isaiah 48:18.

The Scriptures show that on many occasions God did not make use of his ability of foreknowledge. For example, when faithful Abraham went to the point of attempting to sacrifice his son, Jehovah could say: “Now I do know that you are God-fearing in that you have not withheld your son, your only one, from me.” (Genesis 22:12) On the other hand, there were also occasions when the bad conduct of certain individuals caused God to “feel hurt.” Would he have felt such pain if he had long known what they would do?—Psalm 78:40, 41; 1 Kings 11:9, 10.

Thus, it is only reasonable to conclude that the all-wise God did not exercise his ability of foreknowledge to know in advance that our first parents would sin. He was not so foolish as to embark on a bizarre venture, using his ability to know the outcome in advance and then staging a mere rerun of what he already knew.

“God Is Love”

God’s adversary, Satan, initiated the rebellion in Eden that resulted in negative consequences, including sin and death. Satan thus was “a manslayer.” He also proved to be “a liar and the father of the lie.” (John 8:44) Driven by bad motives himself, he strives to attribute bad motives to our loving Creator. It suits him well to shift the blame for man’s sin to Jehovah.

The quality of love is the strongest reason why Jehovah chose not to know in advance that Adam and Eve would sin. Love is God’s main attribute. “God is love,” says 1 John 4:8. Love is positive, not negative. It looks for the good in others. Yes, motivated by love, Jehovah God wanted the best for the first human pair.

Even though God’s earthly children had the option of making an unwise choice, our loving God was not inclined to be pessimistic or to be suspicious of his perfect creatures. He had amply provided for them and had equipped them well. It was only appropriate that God should expect, not rebellion, but loving obedience in return. He knew that Adam and Eve had the ability to act loyally, as was later proved even by imperfect men, such as Abraham, Job, Daniel, and many others.

“With God all things are possible,” said Jesus. (Matthew 19:26) That is a comforting thought. Jehovah’s love, along with his other dominant attributes of justice, wisdom, and power, guarantees that in due time he can and will remove all the effects of sin and death.—Revelation 21:3-5.

Clearly, Jehovah did not know beforehand that the first couple would sin. While he was pained by the disobedience of man and the ensuing suffering, God knew that this temporary situation would not prevent the fulfillment of his eternal purpose for the earth and humans upon it. Why not find out more about that purpose and how you may benefit from its glorious fulfillment?*


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