JOB: The Historical Example of Suffering to the Glory of God (Part-6)

The Doctrine of Christian Suffering (Introduction)

Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

Job 14:1 KJV
1. To feel pain, or distress; sustain loss, injury, harm, or punishment.
2. To tolerate or endure evil, injury, pain, or death.
3. To appear at a disadvantage.
1.The act or condition of one who suffers.
2. Something that causes pain or distress.
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (1969)
1. deserved, used by God to discipline, reprove, and correct believers in carnality and/or reversionism;
2. undeserved, that which comes upon the children of God as targets in the Angelic Conflict; super—grace status gives us the strength and wisdom to be victorious through it.
—Ken L. Jensen, Vocabulary Notebook (1985)

After alluding to the dealings of God with himself in particular, Job passes on to the condition of man in general (cf. Job 7:1, 2)...Life is envisaged as a measure, which may be either long (cf. 6:11b) or short. But for man it is always too short (Gen. 47:9).

—Edouard Dhorme, A Commentary on the Book of Job (1967)

Adam was created by God (cf. Gen. 1:27 with 2:7) and given a perfect home in the Garden of Eden (cf. Gen. 2:8). He was given only one negative command. God forbade him to eat of the tree of the knowledge of (human) good and (Satanic) evil (cf. Gen. 2:17). Adam’s very existence, along with all of the bountiful blessings that he found in the Garden of Eden, were manifestations of divine good (cf. Gen. 2:3). To obey God was divine good! To disobey God was sin! When Adam made the volitional decision to knowingly disregard God’s warning and consciously disobey the Father’s directive will (cf. Gen. 3:6 with I Tim. 2:13, 14), he sinned (cf. Rom. 5:12). He brought judgment upon himself and his posterity (cf. I Cor. 15:22a). Every member of the Adamic (human) race was born in sin (cf. Ps. 51:5 with Rom. 3:23). Christ died for our sins (cf. I John 2:2 with I Cor. 15:3); and the Father has rejected our human good (cf. Isa. 64:6 with Rom. 8:8). Evil is Satan’s policy. It stands in opposition to the Father’s grace policy (cf. Gen. 3:1-5 with John 8:44).

Normal Human Suffering for Believers and Unbelievers Alike is the Direct Results of Adam’s Original Sin!

At some time in his life every member of the human race suffers and the suffering is as varied as the individuals themselves. However, there are some general causes for human suffering which apply to both believer and unbeliever.

—R.B. Thieme, Jr., Why Christians Suffer (1966))

Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

Genesis 3:16 KJV

When the Son judged Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He placed them under the curse of human suffering The suffering of a woman in childbirth is a part of normal human suffering that can be traced back to Eve’s participation in Adam’s original sin (cf. I Tim. 2:13-15) He also placed within Eve (and through her genes into all women) the insatiable desire to marry their right man and submit to his leadership. This can provide temporal life soul and body fulfillment (cf. Jer. 31:22b).

And unto Adam He said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Genesis 3:17-19 KJV

What then does this passage mean? Truly God pronounced, as from His judgment-seat, that the life of man shall henceforth be miserable, because Adam had proven himself unworthy of that tranquil, happy and joyful state for which he had been created.

—John Calvin, Commentary on the First Book of Moses Called Genesis (John King English Translation—1847)

The Need to Work

Adam had begun life living in Paradise. It was the power of God that caused the trees and plants to spring forth from the ground and produce the wonderful fruits and vegetables that Eve and he had feasted upon in the Garden (cf. Gen. 1:10, 11 with 2:8, 9). Adam was free to eat of that which God had provided for him (cf. Gen. 2:16). Now, it was true that Adam was commanded to till (KJ: dress Heb. ‘abad) the Garden (cf. Gen. 2:15a) and to guard (KJ: keep Heb. shamar) it. Work in the Garden was a pleasant and enjoyable experience. The Father’s perfect protocol plan included the fact that before Adam’s original sin man was to work. Therefore, work in and of itself was not designed for punishment. Sin caused work to become a trial and test to the Adamic race to remind us that we are lost and in need of a Redeemer. Even in this sin-sick world, an unbeliever can find some satisfaction in working (Ecc. 9:9). The influence of sin in the work place will cause problems and produce sorrow.

As the result of Adam’s original sin, we must all deal with soul-stress problems of hard work to produce the necessities of life. Now some will argue that because they inherit great wealth; the sons of the wealthy too often do not need to work hard. However, they must learn how to manage their inheritance; or they may suffer the loss of it. This may occur through waste, through the poor decision making of those they hire to manage it, and/or as the result of embezzlement, and/or through government confiscation (unjust taxes and/or eminent domain seizures), and/or for various other reasons. Believers and unbelievers make plans for the future; but God only guarantees us one day at a time (cf. Ps. 118:24 with Lu. 12:16-20; Jam. 4:13-17).

Physical Death Cannot be Evaded

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Genesis 2:17 KJV

But of the tree of the knowledge of human good and Satanic evil, you shall not eat its fruit: for on the day that you eat from it; spiritually dying immediately you will begin the process of dying physically.

Genesis 2:17 JKE Doctrinal Translation

By obedience to the divine will he would have obtained a godlike knowledge of good and evil, i.e. to one in accordance with his own likeness to God. He would have detected the evil in the approaching tempter; but instead of yielding to it, he would have resisted it, and thus have made good his own property acquired with consciousness and of his own free-will, and in a way of self-determination would gradually have advanced to the possession of the truest liberty. But as he failed to keep this divinely appointed way, and ate the forbidden fruit in opposition to the command of God, the power imparted to God by the fruit was manifested in a different way. He learned the difference between good and evil from his own guilty experience, and by receiving the evil into his soul, fell a victim to the threatened death, and that without any demonical power of destruction being conjured into the tree itself, or any fatal poison being hidden in its fruit.

—C. F. Keil & F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament Vol. I

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

Hebrews 9:27 KJV

The moment Adam ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he suffered spiritual death (cf. Gen. 3:6, 7). Spiritual death caused him to identify with the fact that Eve and he were physically naked. In their state of sinless innocence, they had been physically naked and yet, they had been free from shame (cf. Gen. 2:25). The shame of their nakedness typified the fact that their sinful state lay fully exposed to their Creator-God. Even though they manufactured loin cloths from fig leaves to cover their physical nakedness, these loin cloths could not cover their soul nakedness. Because for the first time they were afraid of Him, when they heard God’s voice, they sought to hide from Him (cf. Gen. 3:7, 8).

The Son tried Adam’s case (cf. John 5:22), found him guilty, and openly sentenced him to physical death (cf. Gen. 3:9-12). The “seed of physical death” was already in Adam (cf. Gen. 2:17 in the Hebrew), but now it was made clear to him. Thus the sentence of physical death came upon the entire Adamic (human) race (cf. I Cor. 15:22). No member of the human race has ever escaped from the sentence of physical death. Everyone living today remains under the sentence of physical death and the historical evidence is multiplied daily by all those who are dying around us. The only exception to this divinely appointed rule of law will be the believers in Christ, who are physically alive at the Rapture of the Redeemed Church Universal (i.e. the Mystical Body and the Bride of Christcf. I Cor. 15:51-54); because Christ has conquered death (cf. I Cor. 15:55-57). They will instantly be translated into their resurrection bodies (I Thess. 4:13-18).

And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

Genesis 5:5 KJV

But whence came this strange and dreaded thing—death? St. Paul gives us the answer,—“By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin” (Rom. v.12). Here we have the origin of death. It came by sin. Sin snapped asunder the link which bound the creature to God; and that being done, he was handed over to the dominion of death, which dominion he had no power whatever to shake off. And this, be it observed, is one of the many proofs of the fact of man’s total inability to meet God. There can be no fellowship between God and man, save in the power of life; but man is under the power of death; hence on natural grounds, there can be no fellowship. Life can have no fellowship with death, no more than light with darkness, or holiness with sin. Man must meet God on an entirely new ground, and on a new principle, even faith; and this faith enables him to recognize his own position as ‘sold under sin.’ And therefore subject to death; while at the same time, it enables him to apprehend God’s character, as the dispenser of new life—life beyond the power of death—a life which can never be touched by the enemy, nor forfeited by us.

—C. H. Mackintosh, Notes on the Book of Genesis (1880)

Genesis chapter five is the obituary chapter and is designed to teach us that death has truly come upon all men. No matter how hard they try and how many billions and billions of dollars they spend, medical science will never find a way to eliminate physical death. Adam, Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Methuselah, and Lamech were born, they lived and they died. The only exception to the rule was Enoch, “who walked with God”, and was suddenly not alive on the earth because “God took him" (cf. Gen. 5:24). Enoch typified all the believers who will be translated at the Rapture of the Redeemed Church. When someone dies it is normal for their loved ones to suffer grief and sorrow (cf. Gen. 23:2). When Rachel was dying following the birth of her son, she called him Benoni, which means the son of my sorrow. Rachel was saved; but evidently died in carnality and therefore without dying grace (cf. Gen. 35:18). Death can be a great or miserable experience.

And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.

Genesis 4:1, 2 KJV

Even though Eve, when she was giving birth to Cain and Abel, suffered some physical pain; she found joy in becoming a mother. Years went by and her two older sons grew up. The oldest son Cain was a religious man; but he was unsaved. By faith, Abel became a saved man. Then Cain murdered Abel, refused to repent, and forever turned his back on God (cf. Gen. 4:1-16). Have you ever stopped and considered the great sorrow that Adam and Eve suffered as the result of Cain murdering Abel? Undoubtedly Adam and Eve suffered greatly in the loss of Abel. But think of the love they must have had for their first-born son! Adam knew that he was responsible for introducing sin and evil into the human race (cf. I Tim. 2:13, 14).

Have you ever witnessed the grief of a mother, whose son has been murdered? We had that experience years ago; and we shall never forget her screaming and weeping and crying over her lost son. The sorrow in regard to Abel’s murder was multiplied by the fact that the oldest son was the killer. Just think of the added sorrow and grief that belonged to Cain’s broken-hearted mother. Eve knew that her son had refused to repent of his sins and be saved. Cain had chosen exile instead of salvation. She would never again see him in this world or in eternity. How many Christian mothers have wept over unsaved children, who have left home and never came back again? From the historical record of Cain and Abel, we learn of the grief and sorrow that can come to a mother whose son was a murderer and to a mother whose son was murdered. We also see the sorrow and grief of a mother who suffers the loss of a son who leaves home and never returns.

Remember, Cain took a wife with him; and she would have also been Eve’s daughter (cf. Gen. 4:17a). When she gave birth to a son who was named Enoch, Cain built a city (cf. Gen. 2:17b). This implied that other people accompanied Cain into exile. We do not know how many sons and daughters were born to Adam and Eve before Cain murdered Abel; but we do know that this event happened about 129 years after Adam committed his original sin and came under the curse of death. We base this on the fact that in all probability Cain was born one year after the fall and Seth was born about a year after Cain murdered Abel. Seth was born 130 years after the fall (cf. Gen. 5:3). Many sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters and perhaps even some great grandchildren could have been born during that period of time. Let also remember that Eve was under the direct curse of multiple births; so she could have had a lot of twins or triplets. We do not know how many of Adam and Eve’s children followed Cain into exile; but we do know that all of their descendents except for eight people were destroyed by God in the flood (cf. Gen. 7:13). The historical flood is proof of the total depravity of man!

We are not trying to read something into the Scripture which is not written there. Genesis is not a historical account of all that happened during that time period. However, it is truthful in all that is recorded. From its introduction into the human race, sin and evil has brought forth the fruits of mental and physical suffering to all members of our race. We cannot escape from sorrow. We must learn to live with it.

And Abraham was old, and well stricken in age: and the LORD had blessed Abraham in all things.

Genesis 24:1 KJV

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

II Corinthians 4:16 KJV

The problem of suffering in connection with our bodies goes back to the curse put on Adam, when Adam sinned. For it was the fall of the original couple, that sin, corruption, and death entered into the world. The term corruption, phtheiro, refers to the continual deteriorating of the body, which brings pain and suffering into our lives. It has nothing to do with sin, discipline, correction, self-induced misery, evidence testing, or anything else. It’s the aging process, which is really the decaying process; our bodies are decaying before our very eyes. We try to put it in a good light, by saying we’re getting older, but actually our bodies are decaying. Sickness, diseases, infections are also found in them. We can minimize or alleviate the aging process, by proper diet and exercise, but we can’t stop it.

—J.M.R. Phillips, Suffering: 27 Reasons Why Christians Suffer (nd)

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Galatians 6:7. 8 KJV

We have now seen that Adam’s original sin produced a judgment in time upon the Adamic race. We are collectively reaping the results of what Adam sowed through his original decision to disobey the directive will of the Father. This included the decaying of the human body and physical death by natural causes. It included multiple child-births and the pains that accompany a natural birth. It included the necessity to work hard and this means both mental labor and physical labor. When Adam sinned, he received a nature of corruption (i.e. old sin nature, the flesh, the natural man); and it has been passed on to each one of us (cf. Rom. 6:6; I John 1:8). The Father has imputed Adam’s original sin to each of our natures of corruption (cf. Rom. 5:12); and therefore we are nonmeritoriously condemned in Adam (cf. I Cor. 15:22). This allows the Father to nonmeritoriously redeem us in grace (cf. Eph. 2:8, 9).

Six Circumstances Under Which The Human Race Suffers:

  1. Health
  2. People
  3. Privation
  4. Weather
  5. Mental
  6. Justice
—Ralph G. Braun, The Categorical Notebook Vol. I (1971)

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it

I Corinthians 10:13 KJV

As we have seen, suffering is common to the entire human race. Believers and unbelievers alike suffer. The real issue is not how to avoid suffering; but how we deal with our suffering. The degree in which a person suffers will vary throughout life. The overt causes will also vary. As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we need to learn how to trust God’s Word; so that we can use our sufferings to gain tactical victories in the spiritual warfare of the angelic conflict. The Father has given us a complete portfolio of spiritual life blessings (cf. Eph. 1:3) and all of the armor and weapons necessary for us to be victorious Christian Warriors (cf. Eph. 6:10-18).

And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever;

John 14:16 KJV

It is a very blessed thing to know that there is a divine Person here to maintain us for Christ. In the first place to maintain us in affection for Christ; then to maintain us in testimony for Him in the scene of His rejection; and thirdly, to bring our hearts consciously into the knowledge and ineffable joy of the Father’s counsels.

—C. A. Coates, The Paths of Life and Other Addresses (nd)

As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are commanded to develop a spiritual understanding and appreciation for the Father’s grace and for the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. II Pet. 3:18). We are also under a mandate to daily feed Bible doctrine into our souls (cf. Matt. 4:4; Lu. 4:4); so that we possess the spiritual information necessary to live by faith (cf. Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38) under any and all circumstances. We develop our faith through the studying, understanding, believing, and applying of the doctrines that are found in the Word of God (cf. Rom. 10:17). The object of our faith must be the Father and the promises that He placed in the Word of God for every believer in the dispensation of Grace (cf. Heb. 11:6). We must be careful to “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (cf. II Tim. 2:15); because all Scripture is not to us but all Scripture has value for us (cf. II Tim. 3:16, 17).

If we are filled with the Spirit (Eph. 5:18) when we study the Word, the Spirit will help us to correctly understand it (cf. I Cor. 2:9-14) and guide us in correctly applying it to the trials and tests of daily life (cf. Rom. 8:14).

And be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Philippians 3:9-11 KJV

Now in this there is often found in us that which savours not of the wisdom of the holy and graceful ways of God; there must be suffering; there must be wrought out in the understanding of His mind. Often we have so to learn it. For the rest, the sufferings are the occasions of the perfect display of His grace in a spirit and character altogether beyond the wisdom of man.

—J.N. Darby, The Collected Writings Vol. 3 (nd)

During the Apostle Paul’s first Roman imprisonment he was under house arrest for two years (cf. Acts 28:16, 30). During this time, the Spirit led him to write Philemon, Colossians, Ephesians, and Philippians. As Paul cycled all of this Bible doctrine through his soul, he became completely occupied with the Person of our Lord Jesus Christ (cf. Phil. 1:21). Since Paul was commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ to be His special apostle to the Gentiles (cf. Acts 9:15 with Rom. 11:13; Gal. 2:7, 8), he had endured a tremendous amount of personal hardships and sufferings (cf. II Cor. 11:23-27). After all he had been through, Paul now was faced with the mental attitude test of not knowing if Caesar Nero was going to set him free or execute him (cf. Phil. 1:13 with v 27; 2:24). However, he was occupied with Christ and not with his sufferings (cf. Phil. 1:21). Not only that, he wrote the believers in Philippi and told them he wanted to enter into the “fellowship of Christ’s sufferings" (cf. Phil. 3:10). Paul had come to understand that suffering was a part of believer’s normal living conditions. They might fluctuate from time to time; but just like unbelievers Christians suffer.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

II Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV

It is God’s way to manifest His power and majesty by means of nothingness and feebleness.

Martin Luther

The Father has designed a perfect protocol plan for a believer to handle all of the suffering and sorrow that comes into our life. We must use faith in the Father’s integrity (cf. Heb. 11:6) to believe that His grace will sustain even under extreme mental and physical suffering (cf. II Cor. 12:7-9). In our suffering, we can glorify God

Historical Impact in The Spiritual Warfare of the Angelic Conflict Lesson VII