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question from agnostic

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by Jim1999, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Ok so I ask about the issue in Genesis 6 for Calvinists to answer...

    Answer: "no answer" -- dead silence on Gen 6 question.

    That just has to make you wonder what they are thinking as they dodge the question in post after post.

    As it turns out on this thread - I was the one to ask the question on GEnesis 6 and James - you are the one who reponds with dodge after dodge.

    Care to answer "yet"?
     
  2. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    That is another version of the same question going unnanswered in post after post from James.

    And let's not forget all those "details" From Dan 4 going ignored by James as he first pretends to be interested in what Daniel says about the Sovereignty of God and then proceeds to ignore what Daniel says when the inconvenient facts are brought to light here - http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/28/3752/3.html#000037

    kinda funny if you ask me.
     
  3. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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    Hold your shorts on Bob...i said i would adress it. I really did not see it the 1st time around. You will have to wait till i get home...tonight. now before i can adress it...you post many others as if i'm dodging. hummm you always did like that word. this reminds me another passage you went on about. I have always tried to adress your post. I said tonight..and indeed it will be tonight.

    now....how about this..

    He does as he pleases
           with the powers of heaven
           and the peoples of the earth.
           No one can hold back his hand
           or say to him: "What have you done.

    being that you have more time on your hands...maybe you can adress the dan 4 passage without side stepping ...and stopping before you get to the point of the sorry. BTW..the point...

    GOD IS IN CONTROL

    In Christ...James
     
  4. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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    Bob says........

    And let's not forget all those "details" From Dan 4 going ignored by James as he first pretends to be interested in what Daniel says about the Sovereignty of God and then proceeds to ignore what Daniel says when the inconvenient facts are brought to light here - http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/28/3752/3.html#000037

    kinda funny if you ask me.

    *******************

    As it turns out Bob, we do not have to wonder what the point is in dan 4. We do not have to have you (BOB) tells us what it means. All we need to do is read it. lets do that again...

    He does as he pleases
           with the powers of heaven
           and the peoples of the earth.
           No one can hold back his hand
           or say to him: "What have you done.

    I do not need to add one word. I do not need to twist...and say...BUT BUT BUT...look above...if you take one word from verse 13 and two from 4...and move it to verse 5...and remove 34...and read it backwards....well.....then you will see. this is what it says.

    nope....no need to do that.

    BANG...there it is.

    He does as he pleases
           with the powers of heaven
           and the peoples of the earth.
           No one can hold back his hand
           or say to him: "What have you done

    And that is the point.

    Now how about Gen 6??? tonight..we will look at it.

    I'll give you this Bob...it is hard to understand. But it can be understood. Your works based faith is not of the Bible. This is why you always attach Grace. For if you can do away with Grace...you can have salvation your way ...and all can save themselives....based on what they do.

    Its not what we do....its what God has done. And guess what Bob? Salvation is finished....he said so on the tree. humm how about those apples?

    Its all about GOD

    In Christ...James
     
  5. Eric B

    Eric B Active Member
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    I don't think anyone is really arguing against God doing as He pleases. The debate is to what exactly it is He pleases. So that verse in itself does not prove Calvinism. Romans 9, for instance, is taken out of its context of God's dealing with Israel, as opposed to opening up to the Gentiles, so just taking that, and pasting this verse from Dan.4 to it does not prove unconditional reprobation.

    As far as people 'bashing' because "it doesn't make sense", that goes both ways, because Calvinism also assumes that if God is "sovereign in salvation", He MUST be choosing only some and rejecting the rest (hence accusing those who deny this of not believing God is in control). That is just as much man's limited deduction as anything else we may criticize.
     
  6. webdog

    webdog Active Member
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    Oh please! Plenty of threads where the calvinist's chime in with their own "pejoratives". The only thing "irrational" or "ugly" is redefinition of words, word twisting and context lifting. My quote is neither irrational or ugly - but the truth:

    "A choice is between two or more things. You eliminate choice when you state that fallemn man has only one choice...which by definition is no longer a choice. This is nonsense."
     
  7. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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    Hi Ya Bob,

    and others too.

    Malachi 3:6

    "I the LORD do not change".

    yet...

    Genesis 6:6

    "God repented"

    Is God Immutable or not? A unchanging God is one thing that believers hold on to. It is His character that He will never change as the whole world around us does change. Yet this passage in Gen says God repented. There are other passages like this.

    Exodus 32:14 says God relented and did not bring His people the disaster He had threatened. This is the same Hebrew word as found in Gen 6

    1 Samuel 15:11 says..God grieved that He made Saul king. Again same word.

    Jeremiah 26:3...God will relent

    Jonah 4:1-2 God relents....

    What do all these verse do to a Immutable God? Many more verses to prove He is unchanging.....but what about these? Some have tried to say that God has 2 wills. A secret will and a declared will. There is a long argument that goes with this. I do not hold to this, for I see many holes. What is the use of a 2nd will if the 1st will is not really His will?

    I see it this way. This passage and others like it is undoubtedly an anthropomorphism. A depiction of God in human words and understanding. We can only know of God though our limited human mind. In some passages God is shown only as we can understand as humans. We all know that God is much more than what he has shown himself to be.

    Is God a he or a she..i have been asked before. God is more then a he or a she, but God chose to be known to us as a He, for it says HE made the world not she or it. Try to tell others about God with NO human forms. You can't Yet we know he is much higher than a man but we do not have the words to tell of Him that way. The Bible says God is a ROCK. Is this used to say God is simple as a rock? In no way. A rock is used to show that our God is unmoving. Rock firm. Good ground. All of these things we can relate to, for we know of a large rock. We know also if we build our house on a good firm rock, it will not move. This is wise. This is another way that the Bible tells us about God and what he His like so that we can understand.

    Num 23:19...God is not a man that he should lie...nor change His mind.

    1 Sam 15:29...He does not lie or change His mind.
    This is the God of the Bible.

    But why would I say these other passages are anthropomorphisms? Well one reason is the word used here.

    nhm

    nhm or nacham in its root reflects the idea of breathing deeply or a sigh. It is a way to show us that God expressed a feeling. That feeling as we would know it would be sorrow, compassion or something else. I and others that hold to this view are not saying that God was sorry he made man. We are saying that the only feeling that man can relate to and understand is that God expressed His will in this sigh that we would understand as sorry.


    If viewed this way, God is not changing at all, but rather expressing anger, or in other passages love. This holds with other passages and up holds the doctrine of Immutibility

    In Christ...James
     
  8. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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  9. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    The "problem" with Calvinism is that it "needs to BE God".

    It claims that if we were actually just "humans" we would NEED to believe God as He presents Himself as loving, relenting, sorrowful etc. That these depictions of a dynamic, interactive, "relationship" oriented God who responds to the good news and bad news of earth with powerful emotion - are "the best" and most accurate views of God possible for a mere "human".

    James says "We can only know of God though our limited human mind."

    Thus in the mind of a Calvinist - the Arminian texts of scriptures are just for 'mere humans'.

    So Calvlinism insists that we "go beyond" that and "BE GOD" enough to conclude that there is REALLY NO interaction with the sovereign God! Calvinisms says "Lets forget all those texts" and look instead at the all-knowing, infallible, sovereignty of God APART from those Arminian texts and as little gods "no longer bound to the human limits that necessitated those Arminian texts of scripture -- let's imagine HOW GOD does it!"

    Speaking from that new god-context Calvinism claims that "in fact" whatever God "ALWAYS KNEW" He simply "did" and this now helps us "as little gods" to finally know HOW God is being "Sovereign" -- He does it by not really allowing choice so He CAN be sovereign "after all that is how WE would do it if WE needed to be sovereign!!".

    But Calvinism's god-imagination can not fathom the ability of an infinite God to create and allow for free will as he stated in His Word - while STILL being sovereign.

    It struggles in it's attempts to stop "being human" and to just "be God" at that point.

    The Arminian simply allows for BOTH views of God presented in scripture to be fully true at the same time - never rejecting either one!!

    The Arminian will accept that God "SO LOVED THE WORLD" and even dies for ALL the sins of the entire world "Not for our sins only BUT ALSO For the sins of the WHOLE WORLD" even though we KNOW that God always KNEW WHO would accept when He "STANDS at the door and knocks" on the OUTSIDE saying "IF ANYONE hears AND OPENS the door I WILL COME IN"!!

    By accepting all of scripture we get to the Arminian view. In that system the question asked in Genesis 6 is easy - God really IS "responding" with sorrow, and anger to the choices of mankind - relenting/repenting that he had made mankind and so NOW DESTROYING what He previously made!

    By sifting through scripture and playing at "being God" we end up with Calvinism. At system that says of God at the flood "I will destroy mankind just as I PURPOSED TO DO when I made mankind".

    The Calvinist view of God - does not survive Genesis 6!!

    (In fact it does not survive Genesis 3)

    http://www.baptistboard.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/28/3752/4.html#000048

    In Christ,

    Bob

    [ April 01, 2006, 05:40 AM: Message edited by: BobRyan ]
     
  10. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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    Bob says….
    The "problem" with Calvinism is that it "needs to BE God".


    James…

    I know of no Calvinist that would ever say this Bob. Calvinist place all things in the hands of God and man as nothing but a sinner. May I remind you of the phrase “Total Depraved Man”. Calvinist lift up God saying none is like him. God is holy…set apart from Man. God is in FULL control, not man. How could a Calvinist say they are gods too? Little gods? This soulds like mormans to me. Calvinist say …Man on the other hand is fallen. In a sin nature that unslaves him in sin. Man can never reach God on His own. Tis God that reaches out to save man. Now, I’m not trying to force my views on you with this post. All i'm doing is telling you what a Calvinist believes sence you have no idea. or at best ...It seems as if you have a bad understanding of Calvinist and what they really believe. This part is not just to you Bob. I have posted here for nearly a year. I do not mind when others disagree with me, this is only part of the debate. What does get under my skin is, I spend most of my time writing post in reply to others that TELL ME what I believe and they are way off base. I think it would help if others would just ask me or others, if they do not understand my views.


    The fact is God is Holy.
    Man is a sinner.

    ******************
    Bob says…
    It claims that if we were actually just "humans" we would NEED to believe God as He presents Himself as loving, relenting, sorrowful etc.

    James…

    “It” from above is Calvinism. Every Calvinist that I know believe we are actually just sinful humans and we as Calvinist believe God is in full control. This view does not limit God. Placing God in a box at any level is wrong. A study of the doctrine of sin would help us understand this. You may have this saved somewhere Bob. I have posted this many times. I’ll not post this again, I do not have the time. I bring this up at this point because if you study sin you can see where God is in full control, and yet he can do things outside the box. God can do this in any arena. God is not frozen impervious being that can not see our actions. God can show anger, and can show love if He so wants to. But God is not in control only from our actions and does not change based soley on what we do. God saves, and for him to save, which is a action from God we would have to be unsaved. I (james) forsee a election question coming because of what I just said. [​IMG]

    In other words, God can do as he pleases, even if He sees our actions and is sorry He is still in full control. This does not change His plan. Is God surprised when He sees sin and is angry? Not at all. God knows it before hand, He did not just walk upon someone sinning and respend with angry.

    Nineteen years ago I watched my dad go from a strong man to nothing and then die. I saw him dieing for over a year. I knew his time of death was coming. The last day I was at the hospital, I knew it was the last day of his life on earth. I was ready. He had lived a good life. He was a godly man. He was going home to his father in heaven. In the last few hours we as a family made plans of his death. When he died…when that moment happen…I cried. I have only cried 2-3 times in my life. Why this time? I knew it was coming…I was ready, death comes to all men…yet it still made me sad.

    I in no way want to place myself in God’s shoes. I only try to show that as a human, and I knew in this case what will happen at any moment. It did not scare me. I did not try to change things. We that God would give dad peace in death. Still it moved me. God likewise in full control, knowing what we will do will still get angry over our sins. This changes nothing in who He is.
    *********************

    Bob says….


    Thus in the mind of a Calvinist - the Arminian texts of scriptures are just for 'mere humans'.

    James….

    Lets not split the Bible. There are no Arminian text or Calvinist text. There are text that both groups like to use, but all should be used. I do not follow the point of this line so i need help so i may reply.
    *******************

    Bob says..


    So Calvlinism insists that we "go beyond" that and "BE GOD" enough to conclude that there is REALLY NO interaction with the sovereign God!

    James….

    Where in the world do you get this? This is not what Calvinist do…or none that I know of. Strange stuff.


    God is there always wanting man to come. Yet..they will not come. Whosoever will....yet no one will. No man seeks after God. Does God know they will not come? Yes…so we have election. Welcome to Calvinism 101
    ****************


    Bob says….

    Calvinisms says "Lets forget all those texts"

    James…

    That is just not so. That is a lie Bob.
    **************


    Bob says…

    and look instead at the all-knowing, infallible, sovereignty of God APART from those Arminian texts and as little gods

    James…

    Little gods? I need to see a clip or a page number of a book or something on this. Did you just make this up?
    ***************

    Bob says….

    "no longer bound to the human limits that necessitated those Arminian texts of scripture -- let's imagine HOW GOD does it!"

    James..

    Hummm
    ***************

    Bob….

    Speaking from that new god-context Calvinism claims that "in fact" whatever God "ALWAYS KNEW" He simply "did" and this now helps us "as little gods" to finally know HOW God is being "Sovereign" -- He does it by not really allowing choice so He CAN be sovereign "after all that is how WE would do it if WE needed to be sovereign!!".

    But Calvinism's god-imagination can not fathom the ability of an infinite God to create and allow for free will as he stated in His Word - while STILL being sovereign.

    It struggles in it's attempts to stop "being human" and to just "be God" at that point.

    James….

    God-imagination??? New god-context? Little gods?

    Again…did you just dream this up in your understanding of Calvinist…or did a Calvinist say this?

    I want clips…and I want them NOW [​IMG]


    In Christ....yet only a sinner saved my grace...James

    [ April 01, 2006, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: Jarthur001 ]
     
  11. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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    Above is posted a bit..that needs to be changed [​IMG]

    Please read this inplace of what was said above. I think this is in the 2nd point...but not sure

    James…

    “It” from above is Calvinism. Every Calvinist that I know believe we are actually just sinful humans and we as Calvinist believe God is in full control. This view does not limit God. Placing God in a box at any level is wrong. A study of the doctrine of sin would help us understand this. You may have this saved somewhere Bob. I have posted this many times. I’ll not post this again, I do not have the time. I bring this up at this point because if you study sin you can see where God is in full control, and yet he can do things outside the box. God can do this in any arena. God is not frozen impervious being that can not see our actions. God can show anger, and can show love if He so wants to. But God is not in control only from our actions and does not respond based soley on what we do and NEVER changes His will. If God only reponded to our actions, it would be man that had God on a string. In other words, if we wanted God to bless us with a new car, we could force God to give it to us, by doing good and asking God for that car. This is called health and welfare gospel, or name it claim it faith. This is WRONG. This would make MAN God and in control. God can and does respond to man, but this is based on His plan and will. God saves, and for him to save, which is a action from God we would have to be unsaved. I (james) forsee a election question coming because of what I just said. [​IMG]


    In Christ..James
     
  12. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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    Hi ya Eric, nice to meet you.


    Eric says…
    I don't think anyone is really arguing against God doing as He pleases. The debate is to what exactly it is He pleases.

    James…
    Well, the short answer is..anything He wants. [​IMG]

    Or..If your asking what are the very events that God will do, This is a bit harded to address. To know this fully, we would have to have the mind of God. To look at just a VERY SMALL part of this process..would go something like this…

    Gods necessary knowledge, …the knowledge determinded by His nature …and by His causing… makes Him able to know all things …and there by..His decree..or plan..or maybe Gods will if you please….is…embracing all things which He chose…in the act of creation 1st and followed my election from all possible things made in creation and this is not only election of man....but of all things…and His free knowledge as He is..or as we see it from human standpoint…His foreknowledge…(foreknowledge is really a human concept for God simply KNOWS and always has being that He is infinity) determinds by His decree and free from any force of outside influence…Reality comes…or the very will of God is known..as things come to pass. Or something like that.

    Or…better said…Who can know the mind of the Lord?
    *******************

    Eric says..
    So that verse in itself does not prove Calvinism.

    James says..
    Nor was I trying to prove Calvinism. My point was only God is in control. How do you feel about God being in control?
    ******************

    Eric says..
    Romans 9, for instance, is taken out of its context of God's dealing with Israel, as opposed to opening up to the Gentiles, so just taking that, and pasting this verse from Dan.4 to it does not prove unconditional reprobation.


    James…
    Nor was I trying to prove unconditional reprobation. My point was God is in control...FULL CONTROL. and bobs point...that God is in control, but will change if we do the right things to make Him change...and this was what i addressed. My views are addressed in what It says this in Dan 4 and also Romans 9 which i posted. Would you not agree? God is in FULL CONTROL and NOT just in control until we as humans force Him to change by our actions of good deeds.

    Would you like to take up these subjects of unconditional election and or reprobation? Start a tread and I bit your have posters.
    *******************

    Eric….

    As far as people 'bashing' because "it doesn't make sense", that goes both ways, because Calvinism also assumes that if God is "sovereign in salvation", He MUST be choosing only some and rejecting the rest (hence accusing those who deny this of not believing God is in control). That is just as much man's limited deduction as anything else we may criticize.

    James…

    Well..lets get beyond feels for a few moments. I can take any name you want to call me other then a fan of the NY JETS. That would be going to far. [​IMG] If I bashed you in any way..i’m sorry.

    Bob does not count…for he and I go way back. He has more jabs at me…and if I may say…at times better jabs..then I at him. I know Bob can take it…and he knows I’m not hurt at his words to me.

    But lets move to the real subject. It seems that maybe you do not like election. I may be wrong, for I am wrong a lot. If this however is the case, please post what you do not like about it and let me reply. Is that fair?


    In Christ…James
     
  13. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Bob says….
    The "problem" with Calvinism is that it "needs to BE God".

    Agreed. They would never admit it - but as you post points out about "human limits" of understanding - that is exactly where they go.

    You are ignoring your own words in the previous post. You stated that GOD MAKES these statements representing Himself as "Caring" and as "responding" with emotion - since in terms of human experience it most accurately depicts God for humans.

    You did NOT say "God was promoting a sinful way to view God or a depraved way to think of God that would fit with depraved rebellious sinful thinking".

    Total Depravity as Romans 3 defines it is - every thought "evil" not every thought "at a lower intellectual level". Paul is not dealing with the idea in Romans 3 that "Draved mankind must think of God as loving and caring" as you seem to suppose.

    The argument from "Sinful nature" above does not work to explain your statement on "Humans" most accurately and at their highest level seeing God AS HE desribes Himself - loving and INTERACTING emotionally with the events on earth!

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  14. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    ******************
    Bob says…
    It claims that if we were actually just "humans" we would NEED to believe God as He presents Himself as loving, relenting, sorrowful etc.

    Highlighting the post that James made earlier about "humans" needing God to present himself as caring and dynamically responding to the events in the life of mankind.

    You are dodging the point made regarding your own confession of what God said and the fact that humanity itself only reaches to a certain level of understanding.

    Agreed as already stated. My point is that BOTH the RESPONSE of God - the emotion of God - the reaction of God in love, in anger, in sorrow AND the fact that He is all knowing - must be accepted - neither one can be rejected AS IF we have ceased to be human and no longer need "that text of scripture".


    This is the part we agree on.


    Good example. But when Calvinist see texts that do not fit their views of God "not caring" or God and "predestination" it immediately leads them to question all Bible texts that deal with mankind choosing with Lucifer choosing with Christ Choosing with Adam choosing, with Saul-Paul choosing.

    Thus in the mind of a Calvinist - the Arminian texts of scriptures are just for 'mere humans'.

    Quite frequently when an Arminian text is quoted the Calvinist response has been "I refuted that text already".

    We have seen it on this very board!!

    There is no question "CHOOSE YOU this day whom you will serve" is something Calvinists don't like to quote.

    There is no question "I Stand at the door and knock if anyone hears AND OPENS the door then I WILL come in an fellowship with him" is NOT a favorite of Calvinists.

    There is no question "God is NOT WILLING FOR ANY to perish but for ALL to come to repentance" is NOT something Calvinists frequently harp on as "ABSOLUTELY TRUE I really LOVE this text".

    There is no question "HE is the atoning sacrifice for OUR sins and NOT our sins only but for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD" IS NOT a text we see Calvinists frequently bringing up and exaulting.

    These "Arminian" texts are held at a great distance by Calvinists - as "texts to be refuted, bent and twisted".

    AGreed - but what "should" be happening is not what IS happening as can be seen on this thread and the old C-vs-A thread.

    I find that hard to believe. I think we have both seen the pattern just described.
     
  15. BobRyan

    BobRyan Well-Known Member

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    Here is a good thread to see that in living color --
    http://www.spurgeon.us/forums/index.php?a=topic&t=874&f=26&min=15&num=15


    James then pretends that this oft repeated line of questioning in Calvinist circles never existed (that link above debunking that conjecture before it gets started in this case)

    I am happy to have obliged.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  16. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T New Member

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    This is the Seventh Day Adventist view of why God permitted sin and suffering to enter the world (and of course it is the biblical view as well). If Christians explained this to non-believers in this way, they would then understand.

    (taken from the book Patriarchs and Prophets)


    Why was Sin Permitted?

    "God is love." 1 John 4:16. His nature, His law, is love. It ever has been; it ever will be. "The high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity," whose "ways are everlasting," changeth not. With Him "is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." Isaiah 57:15; Habakkuk 3:6; James 1:17.

    Every manifestation of creative power is an expression of infinite love. The sovereignty of God involves fullness of blessing to all created beings. The psalmist says:


    "Strong is Thy hand, and high is Thy right hand.
    Righteousness and judgment are the foundation of Thy throne:
    Mercy and truth go before Thy face.
    Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound:
    They walk, O Lord, in the light of Thy countenance.
    In Thy name do they rejoice all the day:
    And in Thy righteousness are they exalted.
    For Thou art the glory of their strength: . . .
    or our shield belongeth unto Jehovah,
    And our king to the Holy One."
    Psalm 89:13-18, R.V.
    [* In this text and in some other Bible quotations used in this book the word "Jehovah" is employed instead of "Lord," as rendered in the American Supplement to the Revised Version.]

    The history of the great conflict between good and evil, from the time it first began in heaven to the final overthrow of rebellion and the total eradication of sin, is also a demonstration of God's unchanging love.

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    The Sovereign of the universe was not alone in His work of beneficence. He had an associate--a co-worker who could appreciate His purposes, and could share His joy in giving happiness to created beings. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." John 1:1, 2. Christ, the Word, the only begotten of God, was one with the eternal Father--one in nature, in character, in purpose--the only being that could enter into all the counsels and purposes of God. "His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6. His "goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." Micah 5:2. And the Son of God declares concerning Himself: "The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His way, before His works of old. I was set up from everlasting. . . . When He appointed the foundations of the earth: then I was by Him, as one brought up with Him: and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before Him." Proverbs 8:22-30.

    The Father wrought by His Son in the creation of all heavenly beings. "By Him were all things created, . . . whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him." Colossians 1:16. Angels are God's ministers, radiant with the light ever flowing from His presence and speeding on rapid wing to execute His will. But the Son, the anointed of God, the "express image of His person," "the brightness of His glory," "upholding all things by the word of His power," holds supremacy over them all. Hebrews 1:3. "A glorious high throne from the beginning," was the place of His sanctuary (Jeremiah 17:12); "a scepter of righteousness," the scepter of His kingdom. Hebrews 1:8. "Honor and majesty are before Him: strength and beauty are in His sanctuary." Psalm 96:6. Mercy and truth go before His face. Psalm 89:14.

    The law of love being the foundation of the government of God, the happiness of all intelligent beings depends upon their perfect accord with its great principles of righteousness. God desires from all His creatures the service of love--service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service.

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    So long as all created beings acknowledged the allegiance of love, there was perfect harmony throughout the universe of God. It was the joy of the heavenly host to fulfill the purpose of their Creator. They delighted in reflecting His glory and showing forth His praise. And while love to God was supreme, love for one another was confiding and unselfish. There was no note of discord to mar the celestial harmonies. But a change came over this happy state. There was one who perverted the freedom that God had granted to His creatures. Sin originated with him who, next to Christ, had been most honored of God and was highest in power and glory among the inhabitants of heaven. Lucifer, "son of the morning," was first of the covering cherubs, holy and undefiled. He stood in the presence of the great Creator, and the ceaseless beams of glory enshrouding the eternal God rested upon him. "Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering. . . . Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee." Ezekiel 28:12-15.

    Little by little Lucifer came to indulge the desire for self-exaltation. The Scripture says, "Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness." Ezekiel 28:17. "Thou hast said in thine heart, . . . I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. . . . I will be like the Most High." Isaiah 14:13, 14. Though all his glory was from God, this mighty angel came to regard it as pertaining to himself. Not content with his position, though honored above the heavenly host, he ventured to covet homage due alone to the Creator. Instead of seeking to make God supreme in the affections and allegiance of all created beings, it was his endeavor to secure their service and loyalty to himself. And coveting the glory with which the infinite Father had invested His Son, this prince of angels aspired to power that was the prerogative of Christ alone.

    Now the perfect harmony of heaven was broken. Lucifer's disposition to serve himself instead of his Creator aroused a feeling of apprehension when observed by those who considered that the

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    glory of God should be supreme. In heavenly council the angels pleaded with Lucifer. The Son of God presented before him the greatness, the goodness, and the justice of the Creator, and the sacred, unchanging nature of His law. God Himself had established the order of heaven; and in departing from it, Lucifer would dishonor his Maker and bring ruin upon himself. But the warning, given in infinite love and mercy, only aroused a spirit of resistance. Lucifer allowed his jealousy of Christ to prevail, and became the more determined.
    To dispute the supremacy of the Son of God, thus impeaching the wisdom and love of the Creator, had become the purpose of this prince of angels. To this object he was about to bend the energies of that master mind, which, next to Christ's, was first among the hosts of God. But He who would have the will of all His creatures free, left none unguarded to the bewildering sophistry by which rebellion would seek to justify itself. Before the great contest should open, all were to have a clear presentation of His will, whose wisdom and goodness were the spring of all their joy.

    The King of the universe summoned the heavenly hosts before Him, that in their presence He might set forth the true position of His Son and show the relation He sustained to all created beings. The Son of God shared the Father's throne, and the glory of the eternal, self-existent One encircled both. About the throne gathered the holy angels, a vast, unnumbered throng--"ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands" (Revelation 5:11.), the most exalted angels, as ministers and subjects, rejoicing in the light that fell upon them from the presence of the Deity. Before the assembled inhabitants of heaven the King declared that none but Christ, the Only Begotten of God, could fully enter into His purposes, and to Him it was committed to execute the mighty counsels of His will. The Son of God had wrought the Father's will in the creation of all the hosts of heaven; and to Him, as well as to God, their homage and allegiance were due. Christ was still to exercise divine power, in the creation of the earth and its inhabitants. But in all this He would not seek power or exaltation for Himself contrary to God's plan, but would exalt the Father's glory and execute His purposes of beneficence and love.

    The angels joyfully acknowledged the supremacy of Christ, and prostrating themselves before Him, poured out their love and adoration. Lucifer bowed with them, but in his heart there was

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    a strange, fierce conflict. Truth, justice, and loyalty were struggling against envy and jealousy. The influence of the holy angels seemed for a time to carry him with them. As songs of praise ascended in melodious strains, swelled by thousands of glad voices, the spirit of evil seemed vanquished; unutterable love thrilled his entire being; his soul went out, in harmony with the sinless worshippers, in love to the Father and the Son. But again he was filled with pride in his own glory. His desire for supremacy returned, and envy of Christ was once more indulged. The high honors conferred upon Lucifer were not appreciated as God's special gift, and therefore, called forth no gratitude to his Creator. He glorified in his brightness and exaltation and aspired to be equal with God. He was beloved and reverenced by the heavenly host, angels delighted to execute his commands, and he was clothed with wisdom and glory above them all. Yet the Son of God was exalted above him, as one in power and authority with the Father. He shared the Father's counsels, while Lucifer did not thus enter into the purposes of God. "Why," questioned this mighty angel, "should Christ have the supremacy? Why is He honored above Lucifer?"
    Leaving his place in the immediate presence of the Father, Lucifer went forth to diffuse the spirit of discontent among the angels. He worked with mysterious secrecy, and for a time concealed his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God. He began to insinuate doubts concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that though laws might be necessary for the inhabitants of the worlds, angels, being more exalted, needed no such restraint, for their own wisdom was a sufficient guide. They were not beings that could bring dishonor to God; all their thoughts were holy; it was no more possible for them than for God Himself to err. The exaltation of the Son of God as equal with the Father was represented as an injustice to Lucifer, who, it was claimed, was also entitled to reverence and honor. If this prince of angels could but attain to his true, exalted position, great good would accrue to the entire host of heaven; for it was his object to secure freedom for all. But now even the liberty which they had hitherto enjoyed was at an end; for an absolute Ruler had been appointed them, and to His authority all must pay homage. Such were the subtle deceptions that through the wiles of Lucifer were fast obtaining in the heavenly courts.

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    There had been no change in the position or authority of Christ. Lucifer's envy and misrepresentation and his claims to equality with Christ had made necessary a statement of the true position of the Son of God; but this had been the same from the beginning. Many of the angels were, however, blinded by Lucifer's deceptions.

    Taking advantage of the loving, loyal trust reposed in him by the holy beings under his command, he had so artfully instilled into their minds his own distrust and discontent that his agency was not discerned. Lucifer had presented the purposes of God in a false light--misconstruing and distorting them to excite dissent and dissatisfaction. He cunningly drew his hearers on to give utterance to their feelings; then these expressions were repeated by him when it would serve his purpose, as evidence that the angels were not fully in harmony with the government of God. While claiming for himself perfect loyalty to God, he urged that changes in the order and laws of heaven were necessary for the stability of the divine government. Thus while working to excite opposition to the law of God and to instill his own discontent into the minds of the angels under him, he was ostensibly seeking to remove dissatisfaction and to reconcile disaffected angels to the order of heaven. While secretly fomenting discord and rebellion, he with consummate craft caused it to appear as his sole purpose to promote loyalty and to preserve harmony and peace.

    The spirit of dissatisfaction thus kindled was doing its baleful work. While there was no open outbreak, division of feeling imperceptibly grew up among the angels. There were some who looked with favor upon Lucifer's insinuations against the government of God. Although they had heretofore been in perfect harmony with the order which God had established, they were now discontented and unhappy because they could not penetrate His unsearchable counsels; they were dissatisfied with His purpose in exalting Christ. These stood ready to second Lucifer's demand for equal authority with the Son of God. But angels who were loyal and true maintained the wisdom and justice of the divine decree and endeavored to reconcile this disaffected being to the will of God. Christ was the Son of God; He had been one with Him before the angels were called into existence. He had ever stood at the right hand of the Father; His supremacy, so full of blessing to all who came under its benignant control, had not heretofore

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    been questioned. The harmony of heaven had never been interrupted; wherefore should there now be discord? The loyal angels could see only terrible consequences from this dissension, and with earnest entreaty they counseled the disaffected ones to renounce their purpose and prove themselves loyal to God by fidelity to His government.
    In great mercy, according to His divine character, God bore long with Lucifer. The spirit of discontent and disaffection had never before been known in heaven. It was a new element, strange, mysterious, unaccountable. Lucifer himself had not at first been acquainted with the real nature of his feelings; for a time he had feared to express the workings and imaginings of his mind; yet he did not dismiss them. He did not see whither he was drifting. But such efforts as infinite love and wisdom only could devise, were made to convince him of his error. His disaffection was proved to be without cause, and he was made to see what would be the result of persisting in revolt. Lucifer was convinced that he was in the wrong. He saw that "the Lord is righteous in all His ways, and holy in all His works" (Psalm 145:17); that the divine statutes are just, and that he ought to acknowledge them as such before all heaven. Had he done this, he might have saved himself and many angels. He had not at that time fully cast off his allegiance to God. Though he had left his position as covering cherub, yet if he had been willing to return to God, acknowledging the Creator's wisdom, and satisfied to fill the place appointed him in God's great plan, he would have been reinstated in his office. The time had come for a final decision; he must fully yield to the divine sovereignty or place himself in open rebellion. He nearly reached the decision to return, but pride forbade him. It was too great a sacrifice for one who had been so highly honored to confess that he had been in error, that his imaginings were false, and to yield to the authority which he had been working to prove unjust.

    A compassionate Creator, in yearning pity for Lucifer and his followers, was seeking to draw them back from the abyss of ruin into which they were about to plunge. But His mercy was misinterpreted. Lucifer pointed to the long-suffering of God as an evidence of his own superiority, an indication that the King of the universe would yet accede to his terms. If the angels would stand firmly with him, he declared, they could yet gain all that

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    they desired. He persistently defended his own course, and fully committed himself to the great controversy against his Maker. Thus it was that Lucifer, "the light bearer," the sharer of God's glory, the attendant of His throne, by transgression became Satan, "the adversary" of God and holy beings and the destroyer of those whom Heaven had committed to his guidance and guardianship.
    Rejecting with disdain the arguments and entreaties of the loyal angels, he denounced them as deluded slaves. The preference shown to Christ he declared an act of injustice both to himself and to all the heavenly host, and announced that he would no longer submit to this invasion of his rights and theirs. He would never again acknowledge the supremacy of Christ. He had determined to claim the honor which should have been given him, and take command of all who would become his followers; and he promised those would enter his ranks a new and better government, under which all would enjoy freedom. Great numbers of the angels signified their purpose to accept him as their leader. Flattered by the favor with which his advances were received, he hoped to win all the angels to his side, to become equal with God Himself, and to be obeyed by the entire host of heaven.

    Still the loyal angels urged him and his sympathizers to submit to God; and they set before them the inevitable result should they refuse: He who had created them could overthrow their power and signally punish their rebellious daring. No angel could successfully oppose the law of God, which was as sacred as Himself. They warned all to close their ears against Lucifer's deceptive reasoning, and urged him and his followers to seek the presence of God without delay and confess the error of questioning His wisdom and authority.

    Many were disposed to heed this counsel, to repent of their disaffection, and seek to be again received into favor with the Father and His Son. But Lucifer had another deception ready. The mighty revolter now declared that the angels who had united with him had gone too far to return; that he was acquainted with the divine law, and knew that God would not forgive. He declared that all who should submit to the authority of Heaven would be stripped of their honor, degraded from their position. For himself, he was determined never again to acknowledge the

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    authority of Christ. The only course remaining for him and his followers, he said, was to assert their liberty, and gain by force the rights which had not been willingly accorded them.
    So far as Satan himself was concerned, it was true that he had now gone too far to return. But not so with those who had been blinded by his deceptions. To them the counsel and entreaties of the loyal angels opened a door of hope; and had they heeded the warning, they might have broken away from the snare of Satan. But pride, love for their leader, and the desire for unrestricted freedom were permitted to bear sway, and the pleadings of divine love and mercy were finally rejected.

    God permitted Satan to carry forward his work until the spirit of disaffection ripened into active revolt. It was necessary for his plans to be fully developed, that their true nature and tendency might be seen by all. Lucifer, as the anointed cherub, had been highly exalted; he was greatly loved by the heavenly beings, and his influence over them was strong. God's government included not only the inhabitants of heaven, but of all the worlds that He had created; and Lucifer had concluded that if he could carry the angels of heaven with him in rebellion, he could carry also all the worlds. He had artfully presented his side of the question, employing sophistry and fraud to secure his objects. His power to deceive was very great. By disguising himself in a cloak of falsehood, he had gained an advantage. All his acts were so clothed with mystery that it was difficult to disclose to the angels the true nature of his work. Until fully developed, it could not be made to appear the evil thing it was; his disaffection would not be seen to be rebellion. Even the loyal angels could not fully discern his character or see to what his work was leading.

    Lucifer had at first so conducted his temptations that he himself stood uncommitted. The angels whom he could not bring fully to his side, he accused of indifference to the interests of heavenly beings. The very work which he himself was doing, he charged upon the loyal angels. It was his policy to perplex with subtle arguments concerning the purposes of God. Everything that was simple he shrouded in mystery, and by artful perversion cast doubt upon the plainest statements of Jehovah. And his high position, so closely connected with the divine government, gave greater force to his representations.

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    God could employ only such means as were consistent with truth and righteousness. Satan could use what God could not-- flattery and deceit. He had sought to falsify the word of God and had misrepresented His plan of government, claiming that God was not just in imposing laws upon the angels; that in requiring submission and obedience from His creatures, He was seeking merely the exaltation of Himself. It was therefore necessary to demonstrate before the inhabitants of heaven, and of all the worlds, that God's government is just, His law perfect. Satan had made it appear that he himself was seeking to promote the good of the universe. The true character of the usurper and his real object must be understood by all. He must have time to manifest himself by his wicked works.

    The discord which his own course had caused in heaven, Satan charged upon the government of God. All evil he declared to be the result of the divine administration. He claimed that it was his own object to improve upon the statutes of Jehovah. Therefore God permitted him to demonstrate the nature of his claims, to show the working out of his proposed changes in the divine law. His own work must condemn him. Satan had claimed from the first that he was not in rebellion. The whole universe must see deceiver unmasked.

    Even when he was cast out of heaven. Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. Since only the service of love can be acceptable to God, the allegiance of His creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice and benevolence. The inhabitants of heaven and of the worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted out of existence, some would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would be the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, he must more fully developed his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, and that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might be forever placed beyond all question.

    Satan's rebellion was to be a lesson to the universe through all coming ages--a perpetual testimony to the nature of sin and its

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    terrible results. The working out of Satan's rule, its effects upon both men and angels, would show what must be the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. It would testify that with the existence of God's government is bound up the well-being of all the creatures He has made. Thus the history of this terrible experiment of rebellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy beings, to prevent them from being deceived as to the nature of transgression, to save them from committing sin, and suffering its penalty.
    He that ruleth in the heavens is the one who sees the end from the beginning--the one before whom the mysteries of the past and the future are alike outspread, and who, beyond the woe and darkness and ruin that sin has wrought, beholds the accomplishment of His own purposes of love and blessing. Though "clouds and darkness are round about Him: righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne." Psalm 97:2, R.V. And this the inhabitants of the universe, both loyal and disloyal, will one day understand. "His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He." Deuteronomy 32:4.
     
  17. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T New Member

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    and of course, as we have tried to point out over and over again, Christians do a HUGE disservice to non-believers by presenting God to them in a false light to begin with, telling them that He tortures people forever, a false doctrine which came from the Catholic Church.

    It is a great stumbling block to non-believers and there is no telling just how many thousands of people have been turned away from believing in God because of it.

    They cant reconcile in their minds a God who would be so unjust and so unloving as to do that, and they SHOULDN'T HAVE TO, since it isnt true to start with.

    ...its just such a shame that so many Christians wont bother to rethink this through.

    Claudia
     
  18. Claudia_T

    Claudia_T New Member

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  19. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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    Hi ya Claudia...it is very very good to meet you.

    I will not reply to your post today in proper form, yet I think you so much for posting this. I do have some pointed questions for you and Bob, that is if Bob also agrees with 100% of what you just posted, and being that he too is SDA.

    Let me drop just one question on you with this short post, before I ask a few others. Not more then 3-4 all together, before I address your post proper.

    Where is my question to you. What think ya of Christ?

    What was posted above seems to come from a book that you hold dear to your faith. In your post there was a hint of who Christ is. I would like to have a short or long if you wish, post of the doctrine of Christology from this same book or from any book that you wish that holds to the SDA faith.

    Ok, while your doing this lets do one more. A overview of the doctrine of Paterology also.

    Thanks so much

    In Christ.....James
     
  20. Jarthur001

    Jarthur001 Active Member

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