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The Devil, Called Satan, Unveiled

05 Aug
Satan - 2

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This study is the fourth in a series beginning with The Invincible, Omnipresent Satan. In them we have found no reason to believe Satan is an angel or an archangel. We have looked at him as the Serpent of Eden, but found he is not as powerful as tradition would have us believe. In the present study, we shall look at him as he is called the Devil.

Satan is referred to as the Devil or as his name is defined, the slanderer. He is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). Scripture often connects certain men with the devil or the accuser of God’s people. Paul called Elymas bar Jesus, a child of the devil (Acts 13:3-10). Jesus said that the one who would betray him is a devil, someone who slanders or falsely accused him, turning him over to those who desired his life (John 6:70-71; cf. John 13:2). He also claimed that the religious leaders who would not receive him were children of the devil (John 8:44). Moreover, Jesus said that all those who claim to be Christian are not necessarily so. Though they dwell among his people claiming his name, they are really the children of the devil. They bring slander and accusation upon Christ and his Body, the Church (Matthew 13:24-25, 37-39; cf. Revelation 2:9; 3:9; 2Peter 2:2)

In John 8:44; Jesus says that his accusers were children of the devil. Notice that Jesus says that the devil lusts! What does he lust after? What does he desire to do? Well, here he is described as desiring to murder. Why do people murder? They murder over jealousy, hatred, envy, fear, greed, anger and the like. Jesus also says that the devil was a liar from the beginning. Why do people lie? People lie because they are afraid of someone or something. They lie just to be different, or because they despise the truth. They lie to get something they desire but to which they have no right. They even lie for the fun of it or for glory. If one would read Galatians 5:19-21, one would see that all these things are the works of the flesh, which war or battle against the works of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). If Satan, the devil, is not an archangel or even an angel, who can he be? If his desires are according to the lusts of sinful flesh, could he be anything but flesh? I know that this may be difficult for some to believe. However, by what authority can anyone claim that Satan is anything but a man? Where is the Biblical proof that he had ever been a spirit being on the level of an angel or archangel? If Satan is indeed a man, and was given great authority by God over his creation, then Satan could be none other than Adam!

Before rejecting this viewpoint, consider this thought a bit further. Remember Adam veiled his sin (Job 31:33). Most people believe that Eve sinned first, but that is not what Scripture says. God says that sin entered our world through Adam (Romans 5:12). The question is, if Eve gave the fruit to Adam after she ate of it, and he ate after she did (Genesis 3:6), how could sin enter into the world through Adam (Romans 5:12)? Remember, if Genesis 3:6 tells the whole story, then sin would have had to enter our world through Eve! The Scripture shows that Adam was with Eve throughout the proceedings (Genesis 3:6). Had there really been a third party, Adam could have contradicted what was said at any time, but he didn’t!

All of creation was affected by Adam’s sin. Death entered our race because of sin. Men prey upon animals, and animals fear man. Once, while I was driving on a country road with my family, we saw a small herd of deer near the edge of the road. We slowed to a stop, and I watched the buck and his doe. He moved his head and two doe went across the road, but the buck didn’t sense that it was safe. He turned and with him the other three or four doe who remained on that side of the road and scampered off into the wooded area. The two doe that crossed the road went off the other way and presumably waited for the buck and the rest of the herd to follow later. My point in telling this story is this: I perceive Adam’s sin is portrayed in the buck’s behavior. He would not risk the danger of the road, but was willing to place the lives of two doe in danger! Adam, personified as the serpent, lied to his wife and murdered her (cf. John 8:44), by convincing her that she would become like God, if she ate of the forbidden fruit. When he saw that she did not immediately die, then and only then did Adam take the risk and eat as well. He was responsible for it all, but hid his crime (Job 31:33; cf. Genesis 3:12), suggesting in his reply that God was ultimately to blame for giving him the woman. The slanderer veils his sin by accusing everyone else and excusing himself! But isn’t it wonderful that God never passes the buck. He accepted the blame when Adam accused him in Eden, and in the fullness of time Jesus came and died—taking the blame for it all upon himself, accepting the slander of the Serpent, the Devil, called Satan.

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30 Comments

Posted by on August 5, 2009 in Religion, Satan

 

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30 responses to “The Devil, Called Satan, Unveiled

  1. NDUMI

    October 18, 2012 at 02:31

    Dear man of God. one man of God once told me there was a first eden, where God put lucifer which was not dressed like that of adam. it was decorated with gems. he quoted the words from Ezekiel 28:12… but after the “attempt to establish his throne” above God, he was thrown to the earth like “thunder” together with his angels, which brought the earth to its deformity found in Gen 1:2, which indicates the fall being before adam. then God reformed the earth and this time placed adam and put green to make it beautifull. now, as the spirits that are called demons these days have the ability to possess people, isn’t it possible that the serpent was under their influence? I am just a child of God trying to learn more about Him, which is how i came across this site and i am also still trying to understand the scenario above but i would love to know what’s your take on this? Peace be with you brother

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      October 18, 2012 at 08:55

      Dear Brother in Christ, I am as you are — simply a man trying to understand all I can about our wonderful God.

      Once I believed just as this man of God had told you, namely, that Genesis 1:2 represented an age long before he created man, when God had created angels but some rebelled making the earth without form and void and the support for this comes from Jeremiah 4:22-23. However, this picture painted a picture of God that doesn’t seem true. First, it seems he had another idea before creating man and changed his mind. God doesn’t do that. Secondly, it painted a picture of God who was not almighty in that he was unable to change what had been done — i.e. he could not save this “Satan” from the evil he committed. Third, this teaching paints a picture of God willing to place those whom he refers to as his children in harms way. The end result is some will be saved and some lost forever. This ultimately produced fear in the hearts of those who love him — but if God is truly almighty, we have nothing to fear.

      Folks today give this “Satan” godly powers like making him present everywhere; giving him strength and wisdom second only to that of God. Moreover, if we judge the spiritual battle by what we see around us, this “Satan” is winning the war against God. Does this seem possible to you? It didn’t to me, so I began to look a little deeper, beyond what I had been taught — by good men of God. Remember, I have nothing evil to say about these men. They did not think up this doctrine. They simply believed, just as you and I do.

      I don’t know if you read other blogs of mine concerning this subject, but I wrote a series showing “Satan” is Adam. I discussed the King of Tyre of Ezekiel 28 HERE, perhaps you would like to read what I said there about Ezekiel 28:12. I cannot explain everything. I am but a man, but I do know this in my heart of hearts: “Satan” is not God, and he is not present everywhere (unless he is man — then he is everywhere on the face of the earth); he is not all powerful, and God did not create him to make me afraid. God is a Being who is full of love for you and me, and we have nothing to fear. He will provide for our needs and strengthen us in time of trouble. He has always been faithful to me, and I hope to be faithful to him to my dying breath.

      Lord bless you, my Brother in Christ.

       
    • Joe

      April 10, 2013 at 15:28

      Ed-

      I was reading your comments and you said this:

      “Concerning the people God cuts off and saying they **force** him to do this, how can anyone “force” God to act against his own desires (1Timothy 2:4). Now (temporary) punishment is one thing, but if what God desires is for good (and he always desires to do good) how can anyone “force” him to do something he doesn’t consider “good” for us in the first place? Either God loves the (whole) world (John 3:16) or he doesn’t. Either Jesus died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6) or he didn’t. Either his death is the payment of all mankind’s sin (1John 2:2) or it isn’t. And, if it is payment for all, why would God act like it is not by punishment (some) forever?”

      The Bible says:
      Psalm 19
      7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yes, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is your servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse you me from secret faults. 13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

      So the Lords judgements are true and righteous all toghether, they are “good”; he punishes the wicked for thier wicked deeds, and for what they have done to Gods people. No one forces God to do this, this is simply the consequense of the path they chose which God has clearly laid out. If he didn’t punish them there would be no justice; and God is just no?

      But God pleads with us to choose life in Deut 30 to choose life:

      11 For this commandment which I command you this day, it is not hidden from you, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that you should say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very near to you, in your mouth, and in your heart, that you may do it.

      15 See, I have set before you this day life and good, and death and evil; 16 In that I command you this day to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that you may live and multiply: and the LORD your God shall bless you in the land where you go to possess it. 17 But if your heart turn away, so that you will not hear, but shall be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them; 18 I denounce to you this day, that you shall surely perish, and that you shall not prolong your days on the land, where you pass over Jordan to go to possess it. 19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live: 20 That you may love the LORD your God, and that you may obey his voice, and that you may hold to him: for he is your life, and the length of your days: that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

      Therefore choose life! that both you and your seed may live.

      And it is clear in Daniel 12:2 that some will not choose death, but will die and be gone forever.

      2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

      Some are risen to everlasting life and some to everlasting abhorrence or death.

      Because after all “There is no peace, saith the Lord, unto the wicked” Is 48:22.

       
      • Eddie

        April 10, 2013 at 17:50

        Greetings Joe, and thanks again for stopping by. I am uncertain as to what you are taking issue with. I can presume you are disagreeing with me concerning eternal punishment, but you don’t say for sure.

        If this is the issue, you left out the rest of the paragraph you quoted above that came from my comments, and it puts my understanding in perspective. That is:

        If I played with matches against the command of my father and burned our house down, but was saved from the fire by my father risking his life to save me, punishment might very well be in order, but why would he take my life which he saved? That doesn’t make sense!

        I agree that the wicked will be punished. One cannot read the Bible and come away with any other point of view, unless one isn’t really considering what one is reading. Therefore, the issue between you and me would be the length of that punishment. Is it eternal in the sense of never ending, or is it temporal and would end at some unspecified time. According to my understanding the Hebrew and Greek words that are translated into the English word “forever” or “everlasting” etc., they refer to an “age” that can be without end, or they can refer to several thousand years (the age before the Flood is described with this word), or it can be the length of a man’s life or as little as three days and three nights.

        Therefore, I determine the meaning of the word as it applies to man’s punishment by what God’s word says about what Jesus did. He paid the price of sin, and the wages of sin is death, according to Romans 6. Some will describe “death” as eternal fire, or eternal separation from God, or maybe they would give it another definition, like “eternal blackness of darkness — no consciousness”. The point is “death” however one may describe it is the last enemy to be destroyed by Jesus, according to 1Corinthians 15. The only way there can be **no death** is if everyone is alive. Therefore, Jesus sacrifice eventually reaches the most hardened sinner and brings him to repentance, if not today, then in the judgment.

        Lord bless you,

        Eddie

         
  2. NDUMI

    October 17, 2012 at 12:55

    dear ed, i would rather you keep an open mind towards the “serpent being able to talk” issue, after all a donkey talked to balaam.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      October 17, 2012 at 16:01

      Greetings, and thanks for stopping by and letting me know how you understand the matter. I know that God could do anything he pleased. Certainly, he was the one who opened the mouth of the donkey to check the madness of the prophet. However, is this how we should understand Genesis 3? Was it God who opened the mouth of the serpent? If that is so, then it is God who tempted those folks to sin. I don’t believe that for one second, and what is more, I don’t think you do either once you think it through. The only way the “serpent” could talk is if God opened his mouth. The Bible doesn’t reveal any other being who is able to act against what is normal in creation. All things work according to how they were created in Genesis 1.

      Therefore, unless God is the tempter, which James says is wrong (James 1:13), then all we have left is Adam. Man is as sly as a serpent and is able to find out the weakness of any animal. We are the wisest in that regard (Genesis 3:1). Nevertheless, this is not a salvation issue. You can believe as you please and I can as well, and we can both be brothers in Christ. Hope that sits well with you.

      Lord bless.

       
  3. avery

    March 6, 2012 at 02:20

    Ed this is a nice theory with one problem:

    Genesis 5:5 (KJV 1900)
    5 And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died.

    Matthew 4:1–11 (KJV 1900)
    Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. 5 Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7 Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. 8 Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. 10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. 11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

    If Adam is dead, how can he possibly talk to Jesus several thousand years later?

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      March 6, 2012 at 15:09

      Hi Avery. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      I agree that my understanding is not without its problems. However, I would rather believe in a disembodied human spirit than in a spiritual rebellion occurring in heaven about which the Bible says nothing. What are the alternatives? We have God creating and evil spiritual being, which I reject outright. We have a spirit being that rebelled before Adam and then tried to destroy humanity at the very beginning and continues to this day. The problem with this theory is (as much as I can tell) we give the spirit being, Satan, godlike powers of omnipresence, reading thoughts etc., superior knowledge and power second only to God. First of all, I find it suspicious that the Scriptures mention nothing of this rebellion. Secondly, I find it suspicious that God would permit such a being to hurt and destroy mankind (and why—what’s the purpose in doing so?). Would a good parent expose his or her child to and evil, powerful being—human or otherwise? If I cannot imagine a **good** parent doing such a thing, isn’t it even more unlikely that a **good** God would do such a thing?

      Another alternative would be God created this being that later rebelled, but God had no control over the being’s evil desires. This would presuppose that God is not Almighty. There would be powers out of his control. He may, indeed, be more powerful and defeat the evil in the end, but meanwhile, the evil is out of control until the end. I reject this position too. These things simply do not sound like the God of Scriptures. While it is true that traditionally Christians have believed in a Satanic rebellion of angelic spirits, I do not find such an idea expressed in the Bible.

      I am left with Adam is responsible for his own sin. While considering such an idea, it is simple enough to understand that he could infect the entire human race without being omnipresent. Our lives are derived from his, and he simply passes on the evil with the good as we are born. Admittedly, I do not have it worked out to my satisfaction how Adam could live as a disembodied human spirit for thousands of years, but I am more ready to believe this (which I cannot understand completely) than I am of the alternatives above, because such alternatives reflect negatively upon God. I know God is good, and he is omnipotent and abundant in mercy and gentleness. This is not reflected in the doctrines that support a Satanic, evil angel/spirit.

      If you have something better in mind, or if you can show that I’ve overlooked something in the alternatives above that would not reflect negatively upon God, I am open to read such an understanding, but I’ve got to tell you I cannot imagine what I overlooked. Nevertheless, I have been surprised before. :-)

       
      • avery

        March 8, 2012 at 14:36

        Ed,

        You have really painted yourself in a corner here, and for some reason it seems like Satan, and maybe evil itself has you questioning Gods goodness, his power, and for some reason it seems like even his plan for salvation.

        Here is what you have said:

        1) Satan is Adam who somehow became a disembodied spirit (to which there is absolutely no biblical evidence to support), and he “passes on the evil with the good as we are born.” and everything else reflects negatively upon God.

        The idea that Adam is Satan is compelling when you first think about it; but it doesn’t fit for many reasons, some of them are:
        1) Adam is dead.
        2) There is no biblical evidence to show he is somehow in the spirit.
        3) We know the dead are asleep, not in heaven. (John 11:11)
        4) It seems like three separate entities are in the garden when the fall happens. (Ge 3)
        5) God cursed three people after the fall not two; the serpent, the woman and the man.
        6) There are no biblical references that even hint to the fact that the first man is Satan.
        7) We cannot break scripture when making interpretations (John 10:35), which this theory clearly does.

        Though I have read and questioned who Lucifer is, I still dont think Adam is Satan, nor do I think Lucifer is Satan. But is it possible that Lucifer, which simply means “light bearer”, of Isaiah 14:12 is speaking of Adam? maybe, but I’m not going to get into that.

        Then you say there is no biblical evidence to support a spiritual rebellion in heaven, but I don’t know how much more evidence of a rebellion you need than this:

        Revelation 12:7–9 (KJV 1900)
        7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

        Now, maybe you are looking for a rebellion at the time of Adam or before, to which you are right there is no evidence of. But the things we are not told, we are simply not supposed to know. Although Jesus says that eventually all things will be made known to us (Luke 8:17); and I’m sure it will make sense once we do.

        Isaiah 55:9 (KJV 1900)
        9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways,
        And my thoughts than your thoughts.

        Then you said: “Another alternative would be God created this being that later rebelled, but God had no control over the being’s evil desires. This would presuppose that God is not Almighty.”

        I have to ask you an obvious question, do we have free will? Do angels have free will? Does our free will reflect negatively on the power of God as you have said? Or does it simply reflect negatively on the person who sins?

        I would say the war in heaven from Rev 12 is evidence to support the argument that yes, angels do indeed have free will. Now how would a being that has free will (which is a gift from God), that decides on its own to be evil, reflect negatively on God? And if God allowed that being to rule the world for a time and use this being to bring salvation to man, how does that make God a bad parent? Especially when WE sinned to begin with, WE fell, WE disobeyed God. He created perfection; paradise, and WE changed it, not him. I agree that Adam is responsible for his sin, and since we are responsible; here we are.

        We know that:

        Daniel 4:25 (KJV 1900)
        …the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.

        and we know that it was given to Satan for a time:

        Luke 4:5–6 (KJV 1900)
        5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

        From this we can assume that God gave the world to satan; but why?

        Isaiah 45:9 Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!
        Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.
        Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?
        Or thy work, He hath no hands?

        and again:
        9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways,
        And my thoughts than your thoughts.

        so then what do we do?

        Proverbs 3:4–8 (KJV 1900)
        5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding.
        6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, And he shall direct thy paths.
        7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: Fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

        We have to trust God, for he has promised to save us, and I for one believe Him. :)

        For with God nothing shall be impossible.(Luke 1:37)

        So then why are we here? Why did God put the tree in the Garden anyway? was he tempting us? for he must have know that we would have sinned, right?

        This is how I see it; it is all about obedience to God (Rom 6:16). Disobedience brings bad things, obedience brings prosperity. And everything that is happening right now is our own fault because we disobeyed God; i.e. you can do it the easy way or the hard way we (Adam) chose the hard way. This is why we are here:

        Isaiah 54:7–8 (KJV 1900)
        7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; But with great mercies will I gather thee.
        8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, Saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

        and to test our faith.

        1 Peter 1:3–9 (KJV 1900)
        6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

        So then, why was the tree in the garden? did God tempt them to eat the apple? God does not tempt (James 1:13) so I say absolutely not, it was about choice, and it actually shows how much God loves and respects us. Let me explain.

        God gave man FREE WILL because he WANTS us to love him and to CHOOSE to do the right thing, but he does not make us love him nor does he make us do the right thing. God literally gave the whole world to Adam and Eve (Ge 1:26) (talk about love, trust, respect) and then he allowed them to choose between obeying and disobeying Him. This is not tempting, this is free will. The tree is symbolic of choice; just think for a minute if God did not put the tree in the garden and did not give them choice, would we really have free will? I say no. Would God really respect us? I say no. Would he really love us? I say no. He let us make our own mistakes; even though he told us, actually commanded us not to do it. The extent that God loves, trust, respects us is amazing and it is embodied in the story of Adam and Eve; if you can see it.

        So before the world was created God had a plan, his plan was to create a family; God calls us sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:18), Jesus calls us friend, not servant, (John 15:15) but in order for him to give us this amazing gift, he has to be able to trust us completely; which is why our faith must be tried because it is more precious than gold.

        God cannot spend eternity with the wicked (Psalm 5:4), so he made a rule that those that disobey his law will sin, and the penalty for sin is death (Rom 6:23). And although he has done everything he can (John 3:16) to save as many that are willing to be saved, those unwilling to obey God and to repent cannot spend eternity with him.

        Ezekiel 18:25–27 (KJV 1900)
        25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? 26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. 27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

        But God does not enjoy this:

        Ezekiel 33:11 (KJV 1900)
        11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

        So did God have created a being after the fall to be evil and torment us? I don’t think so; and I know he will protect those that trust in him. But could he have? Maybe:

        Isaiah 54:16 (KJV 1900)
        16 Behold, I have created the smith
        That bloweth the coals in the fire,
        And that bringeth forth an instrument for his work;
        And I have created the waster to destroy.

        Isaiah 13:5 (KJV 1900)
        5 They come from a far country, from the end of heaven,
        Even the LORD, and the weapons of his indignation,
        To destroy the whole land.

        And why did he create evil?
        (Isaiah 45:6-13)
        I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

        Why? once again:

        (Isaiah 45:9)
        Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!
        Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth.
        Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?
        Or thy work, He hath no hands?

        and once more:
        9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are my ways higher than your ways,
        And my thoughts than your thoughts.

        So… “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13) (KJV 1900)

        With some things we just have to trust in God; and know that He knows what is right and is doing the right thing for us. But I appreciate what you have said, it seem like you have put a lot of thought into this.

        Peace,
        Avery

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          March 9, 2012 at 08:59

          Hi Avery, thank you for taking an interest in our little discussion by returning to reply. I hope it serves to help both of us in gaining a little more understanding of the Scriptures. :-)

          You have really painted yourself in a corner here, and for some reason it seems like Satan, and maybe evil itself has you questioning Gods goodness, his power, and for some reason it seems like even his plan for salvation.

          Well, I know it is apparent that one of us is misunderstanding the other. I don’t think Satan, evil or anyone else has me questioning God’s goodness or power, and I really don’t see how the outcome of whether Adam is Satan or not serves to question God’s plan of salvation, which plan is in Jesus. What I questioned was how the present doctrine of Satan reflects the goodness of God or how an alternative (held by some) allows God to be Almighty. I thought I was making it clear how such doctrines could not be true, because they deny the goodness and power of God. Either you misunderstood me, or I explained myself very poorly.

          Here is what you have said:
          1) Satan is Adam who somehow became a disembodied spirit (to which there is absolutely no biblical evidence to support), and he “passes on the evil with the good as we are born.” and everything else reflects negatively upon God.

          Well, that is not exactly what I said. Perhaps that is what you understood me to say, but again, either I explained myself very poorly, or you have misunderstood me. I did claim Adam was a disembodied spirit (and I’ll explain why presently). I also said that I have no real proof of this, but I didn’t claim there was absolutely no Scriptural support for the idea. I also claimed Adam passed on the evil with the good to all mankind. The truth of this idea is evident in modern society. The children of alcoholics have a greater tendency to abuse alcohol than their peers whose parents are not alcoholics. There is evidence of passing on genius, and poor health etc. Scripture itself says that the Lord visits the sins of the father unto the third and fourth generations.

          What reflects negatively upon God are the false doctrines about Satan that deny God’s goodness and power. But concerning the idea of a disembodied spirit, Paul speaks in 2Corinthians 5 of the dissolving of our present bodies, but he yearned not to be found naked but to be clothed upon with his heavenly body. This seems to point to the condition of Adam and Eve before their sin. They were naked and unashamed. Later when they sinned they tried to cover up, but the Lord asked “who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11). This doesn’t seem to point to nudity but to the idea that Adam and Eve, prior to their rebellion, were spirits without bodies—whether heavenly or earthly. Later God clothed them, probably by slaying an animal (Genesis 3:21).

          The idea that Adam is Satan is compelling when you first think about it; but it doesn’t fit for many reasons, some of them are:
          1) Adam is dead.
          2) There is no biblical evidence to show he is somehow in the spirit.
          3) We know the dead are asleep, not in heaven. (John 11:11)
          4) It seems like three separate entities are in the garden when the fall happens. (Ge 3)
          5) God cursed three people after the fall not two; the serpent, the woman and the man.
          6) There are no biblical references that even hint to the fact that the first man is Satan.
          7) We cannot break scripture when making interpretations (John 10:35), which this theory clearly does.

          Adam is dead. We agree on this point. What we don’t agree on is whether or not he lived as a disembodied “spirit” until about the time of Christ. If Adam is Satan (and the Scriptures have Satan tempting Jesus) then there is biblical evidence for Adam somehow “living” without a material body at least until the time of Christ. I agree that the dead slept, but there seems to be evidence later in Scripture that the resurrection has begun and continues to this day.

          Concerning the “three” entities in Genesis 3, Job claims that Adam hid his sin (Job 31:33). What is hidden must be searched out. Adam was present with his wife when she sinned. Why didn’t he stop her? Paul claims that sin entered the world through one man—Adam (Romans 5:12). If one reads the Genesis 3 account it would appear that Eve tempted Adam, but not so, if Adam is Satan. It appears good ol’ Adam wanted to see what effect, if any, rebelling had upon Eve. She didn’t apparently “die” so he ate as well. I don’t see how I am breaking Scripture here. In order to “break” Scripture, there would have to be a passage which told us clearly who Satan was and that he couldn’t be Adam.

          Concerning Revelation 12:7-9, why begin there? Why not begin at verse-1 to get the context? There was a sign in the heavens—a woman clothed in the sun with the moon at her feet and twelve stars around her head. Verse-2 speaks of her being with child, and verse-3 speaks of another sign—the dragon. These are constellations. According to several Christian authors the heavens declare the Gospel, but it has been abused by ignorant pagans. What we know as Virgo is the sign of the virgin, and speaks of the Virgin Birth. There is only one day in which the sun could appear to clothe the body of the heavenly virgin, while the moon appeared beneath her feet. If Jesus was born in 3 BCE (as I believe he was) then the only day this could have occurred in Virgo was September 11th, sometime between 6 and 8 PM in Jerusalem, as we reckon time. This would have been the time of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Satan (the sign of the dragon in the heavens) tried to kill the babe near the time of his birth through Herod but failed (Revelation 12:5).

          There was war in heaven (in the heavenly signs) depicting what occurred during Jesus’ ministry. For 1260 days or 3 ½ years Jesus (Michael) and his Apostles (angels or messengers) fought the dragon (Satan, serpent, devil) and his messengers (or angels) in the persons of the chief priests and Pharisees. And the end result was the dragon was cast down, and there was no more room found for him in the heavens or heavenly signs (Revelation 12:9; compare Luke 10:18). Jesus saw Satan fall from the heavens while his disciples were busy preaching the Gospel.

          The book of Revelation is a very symbolic book. We must be careful how we interpret it. Almost nothing there is literally true.

          Now, maybe you are looking for a rebellion at the time of Adam or before, to which you are right there is no evidence of. But the things we are not told, we are simply not supposed to know. Although Jesus says that eventually all things will be made known to us (Luke 8:17); and I’m sure it will make sense once we do.

          The Scriptures tell us that the secret things belong to God, but that which is revealed belongs to us (Deuteronomy 29:29). Yet, this doesn’t mean that what is revealed is clearly stated, once and for all time. No, God conceals his glory in his word, and it is the honor of men to seek it out (Proverbs 25:2). Paul spoke of the unsearchable depth and height of God’s wisdom (Revelation 11: 33), but Paul kept on reaching out to know God more and more (Philippians 3:10-13).

          Then you said: “Another alternative would be God created this being that later rebelled, but God had no control over the being’s evil desires. This would presuppose that God is not Almighty.”
          I have to ask you an obvious question, do we have free will? Do angels have free will? Does our free will reflect negatively on the power of God as you have said? Or does it simply reflect negatively on the person who sins?

          You misunderstood my statement. Our free will does not bring into question the power of God, as though our will was more powerful than his. I presented two creations—according to traditional Christian doctrine—the creation of angels and the creation of mankind. God chose mankind to ultimately become his children by adoption; the angels were to be ministering spirits according to Hebrews. Then I posed a question—would a good parent place his innocent child deliberately in harm’s way? Would a good parent place his child in the company of fierce beasts of the field or evil men? This has nothing to do with my free will or yours or even the free will of an angel. It has to do with what God would do as our good Parent. It is the doctrine that is wrong, because it has God doing what a good parent would not do. Why is that so difficult to see?

          We know that:
          Daniel 4:25 (KJV 1900)
          …the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.
          and we know that it was given to Satan for a time:
          Luke 4:5–6 (KJV 1900)
          5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
          From this we can assume that God gave the world to satan; but why?

          We agree that God rules from heaven and gives authority to whomsoever he desires; and we agree that the devil ruled the earth, but Scripture tells us that God gave rulership of the earth to Adam, no one else. There is no record in Scripture of Satan—a powerful spirit/angelic being—ever getting control of the earth. This was given to Adam alone, according to the Scriptures, but is now in the hands of Jesus. Again, you presume Adam is not Satan and believe a Scripture naming Satan defeats my understanding. It does not. If Satan is Adam, all you have done above is support my case.

          We have to trust God, for he has promised to save us, and I for one believe Him. :)

          I agree, but from what does God save us? You tell me I am wrong and offer several reasons why I am wrong (though your Scriptures don’t support your case), yet you don’t really say conclusively why we need a Savior.

          So then why are we here? Why did God put the tree in the Garden anyway? was he tempting us? for he must have know that we would have sinned, right?
          This is how I see it; it is all about obedience to God (Rom 6:16). Disobedience brings bad things, obedience brings prosperity. And everything that is happening right now is our own fault because we disobeyed God; i.e. you can do it the easy way or the hard way we (Adam) chose the hard way. This is why we are here:
          Isaiah 54:7–8 (KJV 1900)
          7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; But with great mercies will I gather thee.
          8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; But with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, Saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
          and to test our faith.

          Well, we agree that God’s desire is to build up our faith in him, but how you get from “A” to “B” above is where we differ. It is all about love, not obedience (strictly speaking). Love believes all things, trusts all things. Strictly speaking, obedience does not necessarily do that. The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil represented life our way, according to law/obedience (figuring things out for ourselves—Romans 7:7; compare Genesis 3:6-7), and the Tree of Life represented receiving Jesus, just as the Gospel message is about receiving him. God hasn’t changed his mind about anything. It is still about placing our trust in him, always has.

          So then, why was the tree in the garden? did God tempt them to eat the apple? God does not tempt (James 1:13) so I say absolutely not, it was about choice, and it actually shows how much God loves and respects us. Let me explain.
          God gave man FREE WILL because he WANTS us to love him and to CHOOSE to do the right thing, but he does not make us love him nor does he make us do the right thing. God literally gave the whole world to Adam and Eve (Ge 1:26) (talk about love, trust, respect) and then he allowed them to choose between obeying and disobeying Him. This is not tempting, this is free will. The tree is symbolic of choice; just think for a minute if God did not put the tree in the garden and did not give them choice, would we really have free will? I say no. Would God really respect us? I say no. Would he really love us? I say no. He let us make our own mistakes; even though he told us, actually commanded us not to do it. The extent that God loves, trust, respects us is amazing and it is embodied in the story of Adam and Eve; if you can see it.

          Again, we do agree that God wants us to love him, free will is a necessary ingredient for making love possible. However, just as above, how you get from “A” to “B” is where we differ. The Tree of Knowledge of good and evil is apparently the Law, because it reveals our sin, just as it was revealed to Adam and Eve when they partook of that tree. Living by the Law symbolizes rebellion, because the Law was not made for the righteous, but for the sinner (1Timothy 1:9). Jesus represents a different “Way” (John 14:6). He is our “Way” or Path in the wilderness of life (Revelation 12:6). If he is our Way, we must be placing our trust in him. We don’t **know** the way ourselves (by Law), because we have placed our trust in him. This requires a deliberate trust in God, requiring free moral agency. Living by Law does not require trust.

          So before the world was created God had a plan, his plan was to create a family; God calls us sons and daughters (2 Cor 6:18), Jesus calls us friend, not servant, (John 15:15) but in order for him to give us this amazing gift, he has to be able to trust us completely; which is why our faith must be tried because it is more precious than gold.
          God cannot spend eternity with the wicked (Psalm 5:4), so he made a rule that those that disobey his law will sin, and the penalty for sin is death (Rom 6:23). And although he has done everything he can (John 3:16) to save as many that are willing to be saved, those unwilling to obey God and to repent cannot spend eternity with him.

          We agree God had a plan. He always had a plan, still has the same one. It is that we place our trust in him—love him as he does us. While it is true that God does not intend to spend eternity with the wicked, you seem to believe he is unable to save all. God loves all (John 3:16), and sent Jesus to save all (John 3:16, compare 1John 2:2 and 1Timothy 4:10). Jesus said he has done what the Father sent him to do (John 17:4; compare John 19:30)—and, as for me and my house, we will trust in what the Lord has said. :-)

          Concerning the rest of what you claim and the Scriptures you use to support your understanding, it is all based upon “obedience” rather than “love”. Love does not seek its own way; it isn’t arrogant; it doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but in doing what is true. Against such things there is no law. “Obedience” as such is not a question of love, because love does not seek its own way, but the way of truth. So, in many things—at least the conclusions—we agree, but how we get to those conclusions is where we differ.

          Lord bless you, Avery.

           
      • avery

        March 11, 2012 at 23:35

        Hey Ed,

        I respect a lot of what you have said and I can see how you can logically come to your conclusions, even though I might not agree with them. Personally, I think when a theory can stand up to scrutiny it gives it merit; and sometimes the putting it out there is the challenging part, which you have done. The other challenging part is actually hearing the objections that may actually lead you to a different conclusion.

        You are right, I did say it was about obedience, and you made a very good point that it is all about Love; to which I agree. But still I do believe that a lot of it has to do with obedience; it seems like every time we disobey God we push ourselves away from him.

        Personally I read the Bible to understand how God wants us to do things, and how He sees things; because that is what matters. Just like Cain and Abel, it does not matter how much we want God’s approval if we ignore his instructions he will reject us as he did Cain (Ge 4:5).

        So to my point, from reading the Book, I think obedience goes deeper then just doing what one is told. Have you ever noticed the connection God makes between Love and Obedience? This is what I have found. As you probably know, the more it is repeated the more important it seems to be to God, therefore I put a lot of references in here. Let me know what you think.

        John 14:15–18 (KJV 1900)
        ‎15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.

        John 14:21 (KJV 1900)
        ‎21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

        John 14:23–24 (KJV 1900)
        ‎23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

        John 15:9–10 (KJV 1900)
        ‎9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

        John 15:12–14 (KJV 1900)
        ‎12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

        1 John 2:3–5 (KJV 1900)
        ‎3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

        1 John 3:21–24 (KJV 1900)
        ‎21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. 23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

        1 John 5:1–3 (KJV 1900)
        ‎Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

        2 John 5–6 (KJV 1900)
        ‎5 And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

        And I know that God can save everyone if He chooses; but from what I have read of the Bible it just doesn’t seem like that is his plan.

        May God bless,
        Avery

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          March 12, 2012 at 09:16

          Greetings Avery, and thank you for the tone of your response. Some of those who reply to my posts simply wish to put me in my place or correct my understanding of the Scriptures, but you admitted that there is a logic to my understanding, even if you cannot agree with my conclusion. Thank you for that.

          We do agree on many things as I said in my previous reply; it is how we get from “A” to “B” that we find we do not agree. In the Scriptures you quoted above the theme of love runs through them all. Jesus is speaking of two specific commandments: loving God and loving our brethren (neighbor). Loving God is further defined as **believing** Jesus who brought the message of God to man. If we trust Jesus, we love God who sent him. We know we love God if we love our neighbor, because we cannot love God if we don’t love our neighbor for whom Christ has shown his love by dying for him.

          Did you ever try to love someone, especially a woman, by following the points (commands) of a book? It can’t be done. You live with the desire to be near her; you trust her and want to please her at all times. You don’t really need anyone to tell you how, as long as you simply put her before yourself, trusting her and living to please her rather than yourself. That is love. Similarly, this is how we show we love God. Jesus tells us we must trust him before God will even draw us to Jesus. If we come to God with a full cup (already believing we know him) he is unable to give us anything that would draw us to his Son. If we don’t believe Jesus (what he says) then we shall be unable to love the brethren, which we are commanded to do in order to be called his followers. The commandments of which Jesus speaks is trusting (believing) Jesus and loving our neighbor (especially the brethren). Loving God with all our hearts, minds, strength, and souls and loving our neighbors as ourselves, is the foundation of the entire Law in the OT. If we do that we shall not be disobedient against any of God’s commands.

          That is the key, if we try to obey, we do it in our own strength, and we shall fail. If we simply love God with our entire being, we can look back on our lives and be surprised to have obeyed him in all he had for us to do. The Scriptures tell us that Abraham believed God and this was counted to him as righteousness. In fact, God testified that Abraham was obedient to all his laws, statutes and judgments. How, when the Law was not, as yet, given? Because he **believed** God and went about expressing his faith as best he could. On the other hand, when Moses struck the rock twice (this was after the Law was given) it is said of him that he didn’t believe God. Trying to obey God and failing results in disbelief. But trying to live out one’s faith in God, but expressing it badly, results in God covering our mistakes and testifying that we have obeyed him in all things.

          Concerning your statement that you know that God can save everyone if He chooses; but from what you have read of the Bible it just doesn’t seem like that is his plan, well, you haven’t quoted anything that would support you claim. I have quoted three Scriptures in my previous reply to you: showing God loves the world, has saved all mankind and Jesus paid the price for all. If the price is paid, God has no further demands as far as payment is concerned. He does demand we claim the payment provided (Jesus’ death), but he makes no other demand. People will be punished according to their works, but their eternal life is secure in Jesus’ payment for all. The fact is that everyone, all mankind, yearn for the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19-23). They just don’t realize it.

          Lord bless you.

          Eddie

           
      • avery

        March 13, 2012 at 15:27

        Eddie,

        No problem, personally I enjoy discussing this with people, it challenges my beliefs which I think is a good thing; it keeps me on my toes and helps me to not just accept things just because I think I know them. Which you have certainly done! As far as our beliefs are concerned, the really important ones we agree on, and I am sure I will meet you someday once this is all over. So in my opinion there is no point to try and put anyone in their place, it just hurts peoples feelings and gets you nowhere. I think there is a way to have a disagreement that is a discussion instead of a fight.

        That being said, you are right, I didn’t give any examples to support why I said that. Here are yours.

        1 John 2:1–2 (KJV 1900)
        My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

        1 Timothy 4:8–10 (KJV 1900)
        8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. 10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.

        Now I can definitely see where you get the idea from but it just doesn’t make sense to me, there are also apparent contradictions; but before I get to them I have to bring up free will again. What if someone does not want to be saved? It seems like God wants all to be saved but we have to choose it, and we have to want it.

        “This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:3-4).

        “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

        God talks about judgement, about punishment, about seprating his poeple from the other people basically throughout the entire bible. God makes the connection in Matthew 25 that punishment shall be eternal, and that those not of God (the tares) will be burned. You can make the connection this is their soul being burned, because the righteous save their soul. In Eze He makes a distinction between souls that live and souls that don’t live.

        Ezekiel 13:19 (KJV 1900)
        19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?

        Why does he call them “My people” if we are all his people?:
        Ezekiel 13:22–23 (KJV 1900)
        22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life: 23 Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

        Now here is what Jesus says:

        Matthew 13:24–30 (KJV 1900)
        24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

        The tares are burned the wheat is gather to Jesus. Why does God make this distinction if we are all saved?

        What does this passage means to you:

        Matthew 25:31–33,41-46 (KJV 1900)
        31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
        41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

        It says those things that are an abomination to the lord will not go unpunished, the above says the punishment will be everlasting

        Proverbs 16:4–5 (KJV 1900)
        4  The LORD hath made all things for himself: Yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
        5  Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD:
        Though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

        God is a God of Judgement,
        Deuteronomy 32:4–5 (KJV 1900)
        4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: For all his ways are judgment:
        A God of truth and without iniquity, Just and right is he.

        Again, why does He talk about saving our souls if they are saved?

        Proverbs 16:17 (KJV 1900)
        17  The highway of the upright is to depart from evil:
        He that keepeth his way preserveth his soul.

        Why all the talk about the elect, the chosen, why are Gods laws so strict? If you disobey parents you get put to death; I think this is a shadow of things to come symbolic of disobeying God.

        Deuteronomy 21:18–21 (KJV 1900)
        18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: 19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; 20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

        Murders etc are killed in God’s law, not saved:

        Leviticus 24:16–22 (KJV 1900)
        16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death. 17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death. 18 And he that killeth a beast shall make it good; beast for beast. 19 And if a man cause a blemish in his neighbour; as he hath done, so shall it be done to him; 20 Breach for breach, eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again. 21 And he that killeth a beast, he shall restore it: and he that killeth a man, he shall be put to death. 22 Ye shall have one manner of law, as well for the stranger, as for one of your own country: for I am the LORD your God.

        What then does it mean to be damned, if it is not everlasting punishment?

        2 Thessalonians 2:11–12 (KJV 1900)
        11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

        It says the crown of life is promised to those that love him, not to all.

        James 1:12 (KJV 1900)
        ‎12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

        If God does not make an end to the evil ones why would he say this:

        Ezekiel 33:11 (KJV 1900)
        11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

        The wicked shall surely die unless they turn from their sin:

        Ezekiel 33:13–15 (KJV 1900)
        13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it. 14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right; 15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.

        There are so many examples it seems like the whole bible is about separating his people (the wheat) from those who are not of God (the tares); who are reserved for everlasting punishment. In 1 John it says Jesus is the propitiation for the whole world and I agree because anyone who wants can be saved but they have to want it; God gives us all many chances; it doesn’t say that all will accept the offer of eternal life and it doesn’t say that God will make us accept it.

        In 1 Timothy it says “specially those that believe.” Why is that there if all will be saved? It modifies the sentence and the though, if all would be saved unconditionally I don’t believe that last part would be there and I can’t read Greek so I don’t know how to interpret it in the original language.

        Besides all of the scriptures above and the ones I did not include, I just don’t think it is right that some people who are truly evil would get the promise of everlasting life. Some people have done terrible things in this life and have affected the lives of people for generations with the evil they have done; and I think they should be punished for it. If they ask for forgiveness that is one thing; I think that they should be forgiven if they really mean it, but if they do not ask for forgiveness nor want forgiveness why do they deserve to be forgiven? I don’t see that as being right, or just; as we know God is. And if we are made in the image and likeness of God I think He might see it the same way; mainly because I see evidence of it in scriptures.

        Maybe you don’t agree with all of the scriptures I have cited, but I want to know; do you think that someone who has done a truly terrible thing, that has ruined someones life and many people around that person, deserves to be forgiven if they do not want to be nor ask to be forgiven?

        May God bless,
        Avery

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          March 14, 2012 at 14:38

          Greetings Avery, and thank you again for responding. One of the most difficult things for me to do, and still is very difficult, is to read God’s word without any preconceptions—i.e. reading it as it is, without bringing into it what men have taught me about it. This is not to say that all men are wrong, but I am saying all men cannot be correct. Many really great commentaries will disagree on many things. So approaching God’s word in such a way that I am letting him tell me what he is saying is very difficult, and often times I have to leave it alone and come back to it again later, permitting God to work in my thoughts for awhile.

          Specifically, Ezekiel 13:19-23 is speaking to God’s people, Israel; and among Israel were false prophetesses (Ezekiel 13:17) who used their charms to deceive God’s people, becoming popular while they, in effect, slew God’s people through their evil teaching. This has a parallel today in Christianity. Many people grow rich upon the name of Christ, caring nothing for God’s people, enticing some to follow their ways. This agrees with the Lord’s prophecy of the wheat and the tares, which you mention above in Matthew 13. There is, as you say, a division between the people of God and those who are not—between the clean and the unclean.

          The problem with holding a definitive outlook like this, as I see it, is that God continually forgave his people, returning to them and saving them. What we have is a cycle of blessing, rebellion, punishment, repentance, forgiveness and restoration. Now this is not to say that this was done in the individual lives of those who rebelled, but it was done for the nation as a whole. One has to consider, though, if the people lived long enough, would they have repented as the nation did? Would they have been forgiven and restored as the nation was? We don’t know, because the Scripture doesn’t say, but it is a consideration. One thing we do know in this regard is that Jesus once claimed that, if the works that were done in the cities where he preached were also done in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, they would have continued to Jesus’ day. This seems to say that even the most wicked people would repent, if God intervened in their lives—just a thought.

          Now we come to the Scriptures that have been interpreted by men so often and their understanding so widespread that it is difficult to read the Scripture in point without thinking of them in the way that our well beloved interpreters have taught. You ask what do I think of Matthew 25:31-46. Well, It is certainly different from the parable of the Ten Virgins who waited for the Bridegroom. It is also different from the parable of the Talents which each received of the Lord in order to work for him and show an increase. These people don’t seem to have known the Lord at all until they see him at the judgment (Matthew 25:38-39). They were judged for their compassion upon others. Moreover, they were one part of two of **all** nations (Matthew 25:32-33). These don’t seem to be part of the “elect” but are part of the masses who never knew Christ or simply never received him as Lord. They simply treated folks decently. Now, I don’t mean to imply that they are saved because they treated folks decently. Jesus saved one and all. Their sins are not remembered, simply because they did things out of the goodness of their hearts.

          The goats, on the other hand, are a different story. These are those who were responsible for the majority of all evil upon the earth. These are the leaders of the nations (cp. Ezekiel 34:17-22), from the local magistrate to the prince of the kingdom. They have not permitted the people to feed upon what was good but only what they mangled and half destroyed. They have not permitted the people to drink from the deep waters of the Spirit, but only what they had dirtied and made unclean. They have abused the people and hid the truth.

          Now, according to the clear teaching of Matthew 25:31-46 many from the nations who did not know or receive Jesus as Savior shall be saved, but what of those the Lord judges on his left—the goats, those largely responsible for the evil in the world? They will be judged and punished. We agree on this. You used several Scriptures above to show that many would be punished and judged. This is true, but what does this mean and how long will the punishment last? This is the question. Matthew 25:41, 46 say that the “goats” will be punished in everlasting fire, but what does this mean? While the goats have been interpreted as the wicked, the fire and “everlasting” have been taken literally! Does this do justice to God’s word? By what authority do we take one word in a paragraph symbolically, but others in the same paragraph literally?

          Elsewhere, we find that fire is a symbol of trials or persecution in the lives of the elect. Fire is meant to burn off the dross or get rid of the curse (cp. Hebrews 6:8). Yet, Matthew 25 speaks of an “eternal” or an “everlasting” fire. How could this be temporary trials meant to correct and purify? Well, Jude 1:7 speaks of and “eternal” fire that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah. Is it still burning or is it the effect of the fire that is meant to be “everlasting”? If we let Scripture do the interpreting for us, we can be free from a lot of bad teaching, and when Scripture seems to contradict, then we need to step aside and let God give us the meaning in due time.

          Avery, I can see how Matthew 25:31-46 could mean that the wicked will be punished with everlasting results—for the good, that is, they will be saved. But how can you show that Jesus didn’t pay the entire debt for all people (1John 2:2) and didn’t save **all** men (1Timothy 4:10)? At the end of the day, **all** Scripture must agree. I can make these Scriptures agree and do it logically by comparing Scripture with Scripture without abusing the meaning of any passage. Can you do the same to support your case?

          Finally, the Scripture concludes that the soul that sins will die, and those who don’t dwell in life (i.e. have placed their trust in Jesus) dwell in death (spiritually speaking). I have heard men interpret eternal punishment to mean eternal death (i.e. blackness of darkness—no light, no thoughts—dead), or a kind of **life** without God—eternally separated from him, or a kind of life that is not burned up in an eternal hellfire. Perhaps there are other interpretations but these are what I have heard. Yet, the Scripture claims that Jesus must reign until all enemies are put under his feet, and the final enemy that will be destroyed is death itself (1Corinthians 15:25-26). I don’t care what one wishes to call “eternal” death. The Scripture claims Jesus will destroy death. On can do that only by giving life. At least this is how I see it, but how do you see it?

          Lord bless you,

          Eddie

           
      • avery

        March 16, 2012 at 02:17

        Well that is the best argument that I have heard: “The Scripture claims Jesus will destroy death. One can do that only by giving life.” I don’t agree that it is the only way, but it is still a good argument.

        I also agree with you when you said:
        “the “goats” will be punished in everlasting fire, but what does this mean? While the goats have been interpreted as the wicked, the fire and “everlasting” have been taken literally! Does this do justice to God’s word? By what authority do we take one word in a paragraph symbolically, but others in the same paragraph literally?” I think you hit the nail on the head with this.

        OK so you never answered my question, and I still would like to know that answer…

        Eddie I think what it comes down to is this— in your mind God cannot be a good God and a good parent if He judges people and gives them everlasting death. It seems like you are tying to make the scriptures back up this idea; since God is good he has to save us all; but I would ask is that a presupposition on our part or is it how God sees it?

        I think you have made a lot of good points; I can “see” what you are saying and it makes sense to me why you would say it. But I think that God can still be “good” in our eyes even if he does something that might appear to be “evil” to some people; I believe that ultimately it is not. But I think this is the core of what we are discussing.

        As you have said, I don’t believe that people literally burn in the fire forever, but I do believe that they are cut off; to say otherwise is to not accept what the scripture says. I think the people that get cut off force God to do this; because of their free will they refuse to accept Him not matter what He does. I think they will do this no matter how long they live.

        Some interesting passages, this is from the book of Enoch,

        [Chapter 22]
        1 And thence I went to another place, and he mountain [and] of hard rock. 2 And there was in it four hollow places, deep and wide and very smooth. How smooth are the hollow places and deep and dark to look at. 3 Then Raphael answered, one of the holy angels who was with me, and said unto me: ‘These hollow places have been created for this very purpose, that the spirits of the souls of the dead should 4 assemble therein, yea that all the souls of the children of men should assemble here. And these places have been made to receive them till the day of their judgement and till their appointed period [till the period appointed], till the great judgement (comes) upon them.’ I saw (the spirit of) a dead man making suit, 5 and his voice went forth to heaven and made suit. And I asked Raphael the angel who was 6 with me, and I said unto him: ‘This spirit which maketh suit, whose is it, whose voice goeth forth and maketh suit to heaven ?’ 7 And he answered me saying: ‘This is the spirit which went forth from Abel, whom his brother Cain slew, and he makes his suit against him till his seed is destroyed from the face of the earth, and his seed is annihilated from amongst the seed of men.’ 8 The I asked regarding it, and regarding all the hollow places: ‘Why is one separated from the other?’ 9 And he answered me and said unto me: ‘These three have been made that the spirits of the dead might be separated. And such a division has been make (for) the spirits of the righteous, in which there is the bright spring of 10 water. And such has been made for sinners when they die and are buried in the earth and judgement has not been executed on them in their 11 lifetime. Here their spirits shall be set apart in this great pain till the great day of judgement and punishment and torment of those who curse for ever and retribution for their spirits. There 12 He shall bind them for ever.

        1 Samuel 2:9 (KJV 1900)
        9 He will keep the feet of his saints, And the wicked shall be silent in darkness;
        For by strength shall no man prevail.

        The wicked shall be silent in darkness, or cut off from God.

        “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” (John 10:27)

        There is another passage that I cannot find that talks about how God has a way of calling his sheep and reserving the wicked for judgement, but I can’t find it.

        But the best is this, Moses prophesied that if you do not believe in Jesus, you will be destroyed. Not punished, or tried, or put in fire, but destroyed; cut off.

        Acts 3:22–23 (KJV 1900)
        22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

        “Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
        shall be destroyed from among the people; in the Hebrew text it is, “I will require it of him”; the Hebrew word, there used, by having different points, may be rendered “of him”, or “from his people”, which seems to be the reason of this difference: and requiring often intends punishment, or a cutting off; or as Aben Ezra explains it here, “death by the hand of heaven;”
        that is, immediate destruction from God; and so Maimonides says (k), he that transgresses the words of that prophet, is guilty of death by the hand of heaven; and which was remarkably fulfilled in the Jewish nation, for their rejection of Jesus as the true Messiah, and that prophet.”

        I don’t know if you have a loved one that does not believe in God, which is why you view things this way but all I am going to say is to be careful with this belief. I say that because if what you believe is different from what actually happens, it could challenge your faith in God and I wouldn’t want to see that happen.

        So I put it to you again, think about what you would do: someone killed or raped one of your children, they do not ask to be forgiven nor want to be forgiven, they show no remorse and are not sorry for what they have done. You try to forgive them but they do not accept it and just go and kill another one of your children every time you forgive them just despite you. Every time you see them they spit in your face and curse at you. Would you give them everything you have, let them live in your house forever, clothe them, feed them, and love them? when they do nothing but hurt you and your children? What would the rest of your family think of you let this person stay in your house?

        May God bless you,
        Avery

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          March 16, 2012 at 10:32

          Greetings Avery, I can’t remember when a discussion on my blog went on this long and where I disagreed with my poster that the discussion didn’t descend into name calling etc. I do appreciate your demeanor.

          If the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:29), how is death destroyed if it reigns over a single person? We may call “death” separation from God or whatever one can imagine, but at the end of the day, the Scripture says that death will be destroyed. How is death destroyed, if people are still dead? You disagree with me, but don’t follow up with how you would show people are dead, but death is destroyed.

          Concerning the question I hadn’t answered, the only direct question I remember you asking me was what I thought of Matthew 25:31-46. I thought I did reply to this, showing who I thought the goats were, the sheep and the resulting punishment of the goats in “everlasting” (as everlasting as the fire that destroyed Sodom) “fire” like the fiery trials we go through that burns off the dross or uncleanness within us. If you desire a greater response, please tell me what you have in mind.

          Concerning God being good and my having presuppositions, I trust that I do not bring any presuppositions into my conclusions about God and what he has said in his word. I used to believe as most Christians, but I couldn’t reconcile all the Scriptures concerning a certain idea as that same idea was defined in traditional Christianity (usually post Constantine). How does one reconcile God being the Savior of all mankind and punishing the wicked in everlasting fire? Obviously, a modification of one Scripture or the other (or both) is in order. Both cannot be literally true, because they contradict on the literal plane. And, by the way, I did ask you to reply to this in my previous post and you haven’t yet. :-)

          I agree God is good no matter what he does. The problem is not in his doing, but in him setting an example for us to do likewise. God is not evil, cannot be evil, doesn’t do evil. We are his creation, and he may do what he desires with what is his, just as you and I can treat our car well or abuse it without our righteousness coming into question. Nevertheless, if we are to “image” God (Genesis 1:27; cp. Hebrews 1:3 and 1Peter 2:21), then he **must** behave a certain way in order for us to see how we need to behave ourselves. He cannot merely give us commands, while he acts contrary to how he has defined love (1Corinthians 13:1-8; cp. John 15:13). When, if ever, would love fail? If God is love (and he must embody the principles of 1Corinthians 13:1-8 if we are to understand what that means), can he ever fail?

          Concerning the people God cuts off and saying they **force** him to do this, how can anyone “force” God to act against his own desires (1Timothy 2:4). Now (temporary) punishment is one thing, but if what God desires is for good (and he always desires to do good) how can anyone “force” him to do something he doesn’t consider “good” for us in the first place? Either God loves the (whole) world (John 3:16) or he doesn’t. Either Jesus died for the ungodly (Romans 5:6) or he didn’t. Either his death is the payment of all mankind’s sin (1John 2:2) or it isn’t. And, if it is payment for all, why would God act like it is not by punishment (some) forever? If I played with matches against the command of my father and burned our house down, but was saved from the fire by my father risking his life to save me, punishment might very well be in order, but why would he take my life which he saved? That doesn’t make sense!

          Concerning the book of Enoch, I take it like I take a lot of commentaries—with a grain of salt. I don’t consider either inspired in the same manner as Scripture is. The parts about the spirits living after death contradict the Bible. The Scriptures that followed I have replied to above. The Scripture you may have been looking for is:

          The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (2 Peter 2:9 KJV)

          Yet, all this does is to say the unjust will be punished. Upon this we both agree. It is the length of this punishment where we disagree.

          Concerning what Moses said about the coming of Jesus (the Prophet) in Acts 3:22-23, this is true. Anyone not believing in Jesus will be cut off. But what does this mean? Truly, the Jewish nation was destroyed in 70 CE, showing they were “cut off” from the mercies of God. However, Paul says all Israel shall be saved (Romans 11:26), so being cut off couldn’t be forever (as we understand the term today), and if “all” Israel will be saved, why not all the gentiles, since God is not a respecter of persons? Paul also wished he could trade places with unbelieving Israel (Romans 9:3) and be accursed from Christ instead of them. This doesn’t make sense, unless truly **all** would be saved in the end, otherwise Paul shows he loves his countrymen more than God. What I see Paul doing here is to desire to be as Jesus was, being a curse for the sake of saving others. The difference is that Jesus’ life is that effective, but Paul’s could not be so, and if the trade was made, Paul’s righteousness would not save him from the grave as Jesus’ did. Yet, Paul would trade places if he could. Why, unless in the end he would also be reconciled to God?

          I believe as I do, not because of a loved one fallen from grace, but, because I desire to know God—his character, his wisdom, his almightiness etc. I want to know him out of his word and through his Spirit, not from another man—though I don’t despise what men say about God. I simply take what they say, knowing they could be wrong. So, when I find I am wrong about anything, by faith is broadened, not challenged.

          YOU SAID: “So I put it to you again, think about what you would do: someone killed or raped one of your children, they do not ask to be forgiven nor want to be forgiven, they show no remorse and are not sorry for what they have done. You try to forgive them but they do not accept it and just go and kill another one of your children every time you forgive them just despite you. Every time you see them they spit in your face and curse at you. Would you give them everything you have, let them live in your house forever, clothe them, feed them, and love them? when they do nothing but hurt you and your children? What would the rest of your family think of you let this person stay in your house?”

          I don’t remember you putting this to me in a previous post. No one has ever done such a thing to me, and it would be presumptuous of me to claim I would act like God does, because he does cause the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust alike, and often keeps from punishing the wicked until the day of judgment—giving them ample opportunity to repent. So, God already does these things today, everyday. As a member of his household, I marvel at his grace and love, something I have been unable to search out for the vastness of it all, but I continue to press on to know him in the depth, the height, the breath of his Being. On the other hand, when justice prevails over a criminal who took a life, raped a child or destroyed the life of someone that was greatly loved, it isn’t all that difficult to appreciate the justice of the end of the criminal, whose life the state takes. I understand it, and can appreciate the wisdom in removing such a wicked person from our society, so that he does no harm to other innocent people. What I find so vastly above my comprehension is God forgiving it all, sending his Son to die for just such a one I would want society to remove from our presence. This does challenge my comprehension, but I press on to know him as best I can in this life through his Spirit, which he has given me.

          Lord bless you, Avery,

          Eddie

           
      • avery

        March 22, 2012 at 16:18

        Eddie,

        No problem, I find it interesting discussing religious beliefs with people; often as you have said people will refer to name calling before they actually open their ears to try to understand what the other person is saying. For some reason many of us hold onto our beliefs and fight rather than to look at what we believe to see if it is the truth; no matter how much evidence is shown to the contrary. All I am interested in is the truth. You have certainly made me question my understanding to which I am grateful; I believe that this is the outcome of a good discussion, and if one can regularly review their beliefs in this way, they will not only learn, but often be able to discover many false beliefs and/or strengthen beliefs that have sound basis in the words of the Bible as they are written.

        As I said before, this is a very good argument: “How is death destroyed, if people are still dead?” And to be honest I really don’t have a good logical answer to counter that argument, outside of evidence that I have shown below.

        You have said you trust that you do not bring any presuppositions into your conclusions about God, but I think we all have presuppositions in our beliefs, its trying to discover them and accept them for what they are that is the hard part.

        To your question “How does one reconcile God being the Savior of all mankind and punishing the wicked in everlasting fire?”

        My answer to this question is the subject that you and I seem to differ most on; free will. I believe that all men are offered the gift of eternal life, to wit Jesus is the savior of all mankind, but not all men accept it. There is ample evidence from the bible to support this, some of which I have included; many of Jesus’s parables for example. You believe that God somehow gets all men to accept it; and that is not what I read. For example if I offered you a million dollars, but you had to drive to where I live to pick it up, whose would it be if you did not say yes and come and get it?

        Luke 11:9–10 (KJV 1900)
        9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. 10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

        So Jesus is the savior of all mankind because the gift of eternal life is offered to evey man; anyone that repents will be saved.

        In saying that people “force” God to do something; I probably shouldn’t have used the word forced to illustrate my point, all I was saying was simply that if they do not accept the gift God has given them they will be cut off; and God takes no pleasure in this as I have quoted from Eze 33:11 above.

        Look the bottom line is that I can see where your coming from, there are passages in the bible that “leave the door open” to the possibility of all not being destroyed but when you look at the overall picture of what the entire bible is saying I believe it is quite clear that some people will be “cut off”. The connection the Bible makes between death and “cut off” is clear, and I interpret death to mean the same thing it means now; the person is gone forever. The Bible mentions how the soul will be cut off in Ge 17 below.

        Really made me search for this answer so I went to the beginning of the Bible. The first thing I saw was that when Adam and Eve sinned, they were cast out of the Garden and were no longer in the presence of God; this is the state that we are still currently in.

        When Cain killed Able, God drove Cain out

        Genesis 4:10–15 (KJV 1900)
        10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground. 11 And now art thou cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thy hand; 12 When thou tillest the ground, it shall not henceforth yield unto thee her strength; a fugitive and a vagabond shalt thou be in the earth. 13 And Cain said unto the Lord, My punishment is greater than I can bear. 14 Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth;

        When all men were evil on the earth He destroyed it with a flood:

        Genesis 6:5–8 (KJV 1900)
        5 And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6 And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7 And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

        When the cities Sodom and Ghomorra became evil, God destroyed them too.

        Genesis 18:20–33 (KJV 1900)
        20 And the Lord said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; 21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
        Genesis 19:24–29 (KJV 1900)
        24 Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; 25 And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.

        There is a theme here of disobeying God, or sinning and being cast away from him, or being destroyed.

        Then when God made a covenant with Abraham he promised to “cut off” those people who broke his covenant.

        Genesis 17:10–14 (KJV 1900)
        10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant.

        Then Moses Prophesied that those who did not harken to Jesus would be cut off

        Acts 3:22–23 (KJV 1900)
        22 For Moses truly said unto the fathers, A prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me; him shall ye hear in all things whatsoever he shall say unto you. 23 And it shall come to pass, that every soul, which will not hear that prophet, shall be destroyed from among the people.

        And repentance is a prerequisite for the forgiveness of sins, therefore you can conclude that you cannot be forgiven if you do not repent!
        Acts 3:19 (KJV 1900)
        19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

        Next we look at Gods law because it is a shadow of good things to come. Personally I would say that if all evil is cut off that would be a good thing…

        Leviticus 24:16–22 (KJV 1900)
        16 And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him:

        17 And he that killeth any man shall surely be put to death.

        Deuteronomy 21:18–21 (KJV 1900)
        20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

        Deuteronomy 21:22 (KJV 1900)
        22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree:

        Deuteronomy 22:22 (KJV 1900)
        22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to an husband, then they shall both of them die, both the man that lay with the woman, and the woman: so shalt thou put away evil from Israel.

        Deuteronomy 22:25–26 (KJV 1900)
        25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die: 26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:

        As you can see from these examples, God’s law destroys those that sin; now through Jesus you can repent of your sins and you will be saved. The lynchpin here is that you MUST repent to be saved; does it say anything to the contrary anywhere in the bible?

        Some may say, and I am sure that all of your concordances along with the NIV if that is your bible of choice, say that the law was “fulfilled” or done away with. But that is not what the Bible says nor is it what Jesus said:

        Matthew 5:17–18 (KJV 1900)
        ‎17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

        Luke 16:17–18 (KJV 1900)
        ‎17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail. 18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

        The book of Luke has many examples of what Jesus said pertaining to eternal life:

        Luke 13:5–9 (KJV 1900)
        5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

        But we all get ample chances to do so.

        6 He spake also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none. 7 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? 8 And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: 9 And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.

        Luke 13:23–24 (KJV 1900)
        23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

        This clearly states not all will enter the kingdom.

        Luke 12:8–9 (KJV 1900)
        8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

        Luke 12:4–5 (KJV 1900)
        4 And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.

        Luke 10:25–28 (KJV 1900)
        25 And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? 26 He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. 28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

        Luke 9:62 (KJV 1900)
        62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

        Luke 9:24–25 (KJV 1900)
        24 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. 25 For what is a man advantaged, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away?

        This next passages is a good example of free will, all are called to the feast but not all accept the invitation.

        Luke 14:15–24 (KJV 1900)
        15 And when one of them that sat at meat with him heard these things, he said unto him, Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. 16 Then said he unto him, A certain man made a great supper, and bade many: 17 And sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. 18 And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. 19 And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. 20 And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. 21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. 22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. 23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. 24 For I say unto you, That none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.

        Revelation 21:8 (KJV 1900)
        8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

        Now as I said your argument is very good, and the best argument I have back is what is the second death then? How do we know death now? How can this second death be different in form then what we know now?

        For all intents and purposes if someone dies now, they are gone forever; as far as the world we know is concerned and there is no coming back. How can people who die in the second death be gone in a different way? The bible has made a connection between “cut off” and death, how can this second death only be punishment? How can you somehow come back from the second death when the bible does not mention this? There is no symbolism in many of the passages that quote this.

        Your argument is a very good logical argument but it is based in human understanding not the words of the Bible. It raises too many questions and contradictions for me. Can people be dead if God defeats death? If no one dies ever again would death not be defeated? would not the power of death be defeated if it could not longer influence anyone? All life is given the choice to live forever; not all accept that gift and God does not force them to. If God did not give us free will, we would resent him for it and we get to live with Him forever, would some not see that as a burden if they did not choose it?

        No God cannot ever fail, but He will only do that which He has said He will do.

        As far as the book of Enoch is concerned, it was quoted in Jude 14, so the writers of the New Testament relied on it to some extent; whether you want to accept this as inspired is up to you, but this fact cannot be refuted.

        As you have said we agree on many things it is how we get from A to B, but can you refute the scriptures that I have provided to show that somehow evil people will be saved despite all of this evidence? Namely can you show that someone can be forgiven without repentance? As Spock one said “When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

        And thank you, this was the scripture I was looking for!

        The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (2 Peter 2:9 KJV)

        May God Bless You,
        Avery

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          March 23, 2012 at 14:01

          Concerning presuppositions, I said I “trust” I have brought none to our discussion. I was brought up Roman Catholic, and I was made to question my faith and fell into the company of a cultist. After I understood that I was deceived by a man, I had to beg God to help me, because I couldn’t go to another man for assistance. So, I studied God’s word, allowing him do direct me. I had to know about salvation and who would be condemned for eternity. According to the cultist I left, I was condemned, and according to the church of my youth, my salvation was suspect. The conclusions I came to were my own—taken from no one. I **trust** I haven’t brought any preconceived notions to our discussion. What I’ve written in my blog is a result of that study and studies afterward.

          Concerning Jesus as the Savior of all men and you offering me a million dollars, the two do not fit well together. For example, if I saved a man from drowning, he is saved, period. If I asked a drowning man if he wished me to save him and he said no, I couldn’t be his savior, if I let him drown. It is illogical to say Jesus is the Savior of all men, if he doesn’t save all men. The Scriptures are not meant to offer us a mysterious language that cannot be understood in our native tongue, but God has always intended for us to understand him—even if he hides things about himself within the Scriptures, they are intended to be understood once we find them. So, to say Jesus is the Savior of all men, when he doesn’t save all men is illogical and not understandable without a new meaning placed upon the words. God speaks clearly—to be understood, not mysteriously to trip us up.

          Now, you can put whatever condition you wish upon your million dollars, but it is not a true gift if it is conditional. God gave us life in the beginning. He didn’t ask anyone’s permission—there was no one to ask—he simply created the heavens and the earth and all therein. No free will about that, unless you apply it to God. Certainly he has freedom of will, and it is unlimited, except for those limitations he places upon himself. But, concerning human free will, it is has always been limited. We do not have unlimited free will. For example, I could desire to be like a fish and swim and live underwater, but I’ll die if I try. I simply cannot breathe underwater like a fish. To will to be like one would be folly, and I could give a number of other examples to show that our free will is limited. We could say that Israel had “free will”, and they used their will to rebel endlessly against God, and God had them “cut off” from the land. He brought some of the Jews back to Palestine under Joshua and Zerubbabel, but their descendents were also rebellious, and they rejected Jesus and in the end were “cut off” from the land. Yet, we read in Paul’s letter to the Romans that all Israel will be saved (Romans 11:26). The context of Paul’s remarks is that Israel had rejected Jesus. God has chosen that the cutting off and casting away of his people would be the reconciliation of the whole world (Romans 11:15). Paul continues showing that if the casting away of God’s people is blessing to the world, the receiving of his people (the Jews) will bring the resurrection from the dead (same verse—Romans 11:15). So, we see that the “cutting off” is not a **forever** matter, at least not when it comes to God saving the lost.

          Certainly, we can see that the Jews (as a whole) have exercised their own free will to the point of rejecting Jesus throughout the past 20 centuries. Yet, the word of God says **all** Israel will be saved! How can this be if “free will” is unlimited and a man’s rejection of Jesus is a permanent matter? Therefore, if this Scripture (Romans 11:26) is true, then we must conclude that though a man rejects Jesus in this life, there will come a time in the resurrection that this will be forgiven and all men will be brought to the place where they can recognize their evil and cry out to God for mercy. And God will hear them.

          Concerning what the Law destroys, the Law was never meant to bring us into a right relationship with God. It was meant to (a) expose our sins to us and the world—i.e. call sin a sin—evil; and (b) clean up our society from the greatest corrupting evils. Consider for a moment the limitations of law. You could live by a law and wish to have a wife, and many women might be willing to submit to your law and dwell with you as your wife. Yet, how would you know that any love you? If all you have between one another is law, where is love? Your children (presuming you are married and have children) are raised under your law (and presumably mercy), but there will come a day when they are no longer under your law. They will live totally free of you and your law. The success or failure of your labor with them will be proved through their love for you and respect for all you have done or their repudiation of it. In other words, if they love you when there is no law between you and them, then you have been successful as a parent. God is no different. His success as God—a loving and merciful Father God—is proved by our love for him in the end. God is not a failure.

          Concerning our repentance, let me ask you a question. Do you know how to play a musical instrument? I don’t know how, but I’ve always wished I could, but I never really labored to obtain that ability. If you do know how to play a musical instrument, are you **gifted** like those with a passion to make the use thereof the theme of their lives? I assume not, but you can tell me if I am wrong in your reply. Most of us are not really gifted in music. We can appreciate it by listening, but the actual practice escapes most of us. Repentance is like playing a musical instrument. It is a gift from God (Acts 5:31; 11:18). We are all called to repent (Acts 26:20) and to do the works of repentance, but all are not given the gift (Hebrews 12:17). It is not in mankind to repent from evil; it simply is not a part of our fleshy makeup. Oh, we can try and with limited success like Saul repented when he saw how righteous David was in preserving his life, when in fact Saul sought to kill David. Saul was repentant for a time, but soon nourished his hatred of David and sought to kill him once more. Godly repentance is a gift from God and we must nourish it when we have it or it will be taken away. It is God’s own goodness that leads us to repent, and therefore is nourished by our own goodness (nourished in the Spirit of God) toward all men this exemplifies our own repentance. In other words we must act like God toward all men in order to bear the fruit of repentance.

          Concerning the “lake of fire” or the second death, first of all let me acknowledge that you have admitted that you don’t know what this death is, for you claim it is unlike the death that occurs to all men today. Before we get into this, I would like to ask a question. If the fate of unrepentant men is death—pure and simple, i.e. blackness of darkness etc. where no thoughts exist, why raise men up in order to kill them again? What purpose does this raising up serve, if their fate is to merely die once more and stay dead? Wouldn’t it be more logical and even more merciful to simply let them stay dead in the first place?

          We have four Scriptures which point specifically to this **lake of fire**: Revelation 19:20 and Revelation 20:10, 14-15. The beast and the false prophet were cast into this lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). The Devil was cast into this lake of fire (Revelation 20:10). Those whose names were not written in the Book of Life were cast into this lake of fire (Revelation 20:15). But the problem is that both death and the grave were cast into this lake of fire (Revelation 20:14). If there were no verse-14 we could probably conclude that the fate of the people in v.15 was simply to be resurrected and cast into a lake of fire as punishment before going off to an eternity of darkness and thoughtlessness. However, we do have a verse-14, and we must deal with what it says. It says that the death we are familiar with will be cast into this lake burning with fire, and the grave (hades) will be put there too. In other words the fate of all therein is not “blackness of darkness” where no thoughts reside. They will have no grave, because both death and the grave are destroyed. Whatever the second death is, it has no graves and it does not separate those therein from the living, at least not in the same manner that the death with which we are familiar does.

          Is there anything else we can say of this “second death” that would shed a bit of light upon what it really is? In Revelation 21:8 we find that all the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie shall have their place in this second death which still exists after the new heavens and new earth have taken form (Revelation 21:1; cp. Revelation 20:11). Revelation 21:27 seems to imply that those who dwell in the lake of fire, shall not enter into the New Jerusalem, the city of God. So, this second death or lake of fire co-exists with those who have their reward in Christ. But, what is this lake of fire and where is it located? Is there an actual place for it?

          The Temple of Jerusalem was built according to the model of what was revealed about heaven and God’s throne. The earthly Temple had a sea contained in a large brass container. In the book of revelation we find this sea before the throne of God (Revelation 4:6 and 15:2), just as the sea contained in the brass was before the Temple of God at Jerusalem. In Revelation 15:2 we see that this sea was mingled with fire and those who had overcome the world were able to walk upon this sea just as Jesus had walked upon the Sea of Galilee in John 6. Is this glassy sea mingled with fire the same as the lake of fire found in Revelation 19:20; 20:10, 14-15 and implied in Revelation 21:8?

          First of all, we find that the earthly sea was used to purify everything that was used in the Temple for the purposes of God. Even the priests washed there. The sea of brass was intended to purify. Therefore, if we can see that the lake of fire is really the glassy sea mingled with fire that is situated before the throne of God, then whatever and whoever is cast therein **must** by reason of perfect imagery be placed there for purification purposes. In other words, there will come a time when the beast and false prophet, the Devil (Adam) and all the cowards, unbelievers, detestable persons, murderers, the sexually immoral, and those who practice magic spells, idol worshipers, and all those who lie (Revelation 21:8) will be purified before God. This would be the logical purpose of the lake of fire, if, indeed, it can be shown to be the glassy sea mingled with fire.

          First of all, the word for sea in Revelation 15:2 is not the same as that translated lake in Revelation 19, 20 and 21. Lake is limne (G3041), while the word “sea” in Revelation 15:2 is thalassa (G2281). Does this mean the two cannot be the same? No, it does not. Notice how both words are used in the Gospel accounts. Lake (limne – G3041) is used in Luke 5:1-2 and Luke 8:22-23, 33 to describe the Lake of Gennesaret, which is also the Sea of Galilee translated so in Matthew 4:18; 15:29; Mark 1:16; 7:31; and John 6:1. The point is that sea and lake are synonyms and are used interchangeably at the discretion of the writers of the Gospel narratives. This being so, it is reasonable to assume it is likewise used in Revelation to express two different points of view. The righteous are able to walk upon this sea (Revelation 15:2) unharmed (cp. Revelation 2:11 and 20:6). However, it is different for the unrighteous, for there is “torment” with their being cast into the midst of this lake of fire.

          What does it mean to be “tormented” (basanizo – G928). The same word is used in Matthew 8:6 for the torment of a paralyzed person who can’t move. In Matthew 8:29, Mark 5:7 and Luke 8:28 it is used for the demoniac asking Jesus not to torment him before the “time” – meaning before the set time of the judgment. In Matthew 14:24 and Mark 6:48 it is used for the toil of the Apostles rowing against the winds on the Sea of Galilee and of the labor of the boat against the winds just before Jesus came walking to them on the water; in 2Peter 2:8 it is used for Lot being troubled in his spirit over the sins of Sodom. Finally in Revelation 12:2 it has to do with the labor of a woman during childbirth. The word seems to have to do with a struggle that one is made to endure due to one’s present circumstance: childbirth, storms at sea, a present condition of health, or even the knowing of coming punishment. On struggles with one’s present circumstance and this struggle is the torment one must endure. The difference in all of these with those in the lake of fire is that birth pains turn to joy, Jesus comforted his disciples and calmed the sea, Jesus had mercy on the demoniac and the paralyzed man, and they were healed. But those in the lake of fire shall struggle with their circumstance until they have paid the last farthing (Matthew 5:26). Their punishment will be without mercy, for they have shown no mercy to others during their lives.

          The lake of fire has a very intimate relationship with God, himself, because in this lake both death (as we know it) and the grave are destroyed. However, in Hosea 13:14 it is God who destroys both death and the grave. He **is** their “death”! In Jeremiah 2:13 he is the Fountain of Living Waters. We are told to come to Jesus if we thirst (John 7:37), because he is that Rock out of which comes rivers of living water (1Corinthians 10:4). This is spoken of in John 7:37 by Jesus to indicate the Holy Spirit that came after Pentecost (John 7:38-39). For us it is meant for healing (Revelation 22:2; cp. Zechariah 14:8-11). On the other hand this fountain-sea-lake will be for punishment of the wicked, for it is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the Living God (Hebrews 10:30-31). Nevertheless, it is still better to fall into his hands than into the hands of men or the uncertain circumstance of nature (2Samuel 24:13-14), for ultimately there is a merciful end (2Samuel 24:15-16). By the way, it was upon this very spot that the Altar of God was built in the Temple (2Samuel 24:17-19). Ultimately, the death of Christ buys mercy for those in the lake of fire, which is really the glassy sea before his throne (Revelation 4:6), which has its likeness in the brassy sea in the Temple of God at Jerusalem, used to purify all the things used in the Temple, including the priests who ministered there.

          You have claimed of me “Your argument is a very good logical argument but it is based in human understanding not the words of the Bible.” However, I have based everything I believe upon the Scriptures. Certainly, my argument is also based upon logic, but the Scriptures are not illogical. Thinking reasonably is a gift of God. Certainly the irrational suffer from a plague from which they need to be delivered. Therefore, if irrationality is a curse or a disease, then reasonableness is something godlike (Isaiah 1:18). Logical reasoning is something we need to use with the Scriptures to gain understanding.

          Concerning the book of Enoch, I told you I considered it inspired in the same manner I might consider my pastor’s sermon, or a good commentary on the Bible. They are inspired, but not in the same manner in which the writers of the Bible were inspired. Enoch is not a book that made it into the Bible. Therefore, I don’t believe it is entirely accurate. Certainly, like all inspired literature, some truth lies within, but we must discover that truth by comparing such literature with Scripture. You may believe as you wish about the book.

          Concerning Spock and my “refuting” the Scriptures you mentioned, I have not sought to refute Scripture, only the meaning you have placed upon that Scripture. Remember, our disagreement is not with the Scriptures but how we get from A to B. It is our interpretation that differs, and I don’t place much stock in the conclusions of Hollywood or TV programs, but I do agree with you that Spock is made to utter a truism—“When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” I believe I have at least come closer to doing this than you have.

          Lord bless you, Avery,

          Eddie

           
      • avery

        March 26, 2012 at 15:37

        2 John 6 (KJV 1900)
        6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          March 26, 2012 at 19:37

          Hi Avery,

          I am uncertain as to what you mean by replying with a single verse and that without any commentary. In its context:

          I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father. And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. (2 John 1:4-6 KJV)

          Jesus gave us this commandment just before he died (John 13:34), and John referred to it in his first epistle. It is not a new commandment, but it is new as far as how it is practiced is concerned (1John 2:7-8). We are in fellowship with Jesus if we keep his commandments which are (1) believe him and (2) love one another as he commanded us–i.e. as he loved us and gave himself for us (1John 3:22-23; cp. John 13:34).

          Again, I am uncertain as to why there is no explanation with this single verse, but this is how I understand the verse you quoted. Hope all is well.

          Lord bless,

          Eddie

           
  4. Vlad

    December 12, 2011 at 00:41

    I think that both of you should familiarize yourselves with scientific evidences for literal six days creation, the flood, etc… Whole organization (actually more then one) exists that uses evidences to scientifically back up all Biblical statements. You don’t need to rely on some weird and inconclusive ideas, like string theory, to justify Bible, we have facts. It is just a matter of how interpret them, – in light of evolution (which some people confuse for science) or the creation (which is also a believe system).
    Answers in Genesis (www.answersingenesis.org)
    Institute fro Creation Research (www.icr.org)

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      December 12, 2011 at 08:57

      Hi Vlad. It is good to speak with you again. I don’t believe in evolution, so I don’t know where you got that idea. I no longer believe in a literal six days for creation, but I’m willing to believe if it could be shown without making God look like a magician. I believe he created the laws of the universe and operated within those laws. How could he say the heavens declare his glory, if we couldn’t understand **how** they glorified him. I think in order for us to really appreciate truth of or from God, we must do so in a manner that does not take away reason. Reason is a gift from God to be used for his honor and glory. But how can this be done if we cannot understand what God has done for us.

      Lord bless you.

       
  5. AMG

    July 6, 2011 at 16:58

    You said, “Well, I think this subject may be good for another discussion. Certainly many believe the universe is older than the Biblical account says. Even if we use days allegorically, we have trouble fitting things in with science. ”

    You do not understand, Satan falling from heaven could have happened after the literal 6-day creation.

    You said, “Jesus said he beheld Satan fall from heaven while the Apostles were on their two-by-two mission to the cities of Israel. Adam’s fall in Eden was a spiritual fall—a fall from grace. Satan’s fall is described in Revelation as a literal fall. He was at one point permitted to appear before God.”

    As I said before, Jesus said Satan fell from heaven.

    You said, “This does not preclude Satan being Adam. If it would, why wouldn’t a presumed angelic rebellion before human creation preclude Satan returning to heaven—out of which he again fell?”

    I do not understand what you mean. Satan is Satan, and Adam is the first man. Satan and Adam were in the Garden of Eden together, as separate entities. You go beyond the written word when you say they are the same.

    You said, “Actually, the Bible has Eve speaking with the Serpent and Adam is beside or with Eve. There is nothing in Scripture that says Adam was beside or with Satan. If Eve spoke with Satan and the only one Scriptures say she was with is Adam, then Satan = Adam.”

    With that kind of logic, it makes me want to discontinue discussion with you.

    You said, “On the contrary, Christ was slain **from**, that is immediately after the foundations of the world were broken up. That is, the plan of salvation did not exist until Adam rebelled.”

    You are in error. I know the scripture about Jesus slain from the foundation of the world, but that is NOT what I am saying. God made the plan for salvation BEFORE the creation of the world. I was listening to Joyce Meyers not too long ago, and she made that same mistake as you. Here are scriptures that tell us God made the plan for creation before the creation of the world: 1 Peter 1:20; Matthew 25:34; and, Ephesians 1:4.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      July 7, 2011 at 01:01

      You do not understand, Satan falling from heaven could have happened after the literal 6-day creation.

      When would you suggest that he fell?

      As I said before, Jesus said Satan fell from heaven.

      I agree Jesus saw Satan fall. When did he fall?

      I do not understand what you mean. Satan is Satan, and Adam is the first man. Satan and Adam were in the Garden of Eden together, as separate entities. You go beyond the written word when you say they are the same.

      Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (Genesis 3:1-6 KJV)

      Notice that the Serpent is mentioned in verse-1 without any further introduction. After verse-1 he is referred to by the pronoun “he” and that is all. Unless you presume someone other than Adam is in Eden, no one is able to speak to the woman other than Adam who is right there beside her in verse-6. We all know serpents cannot speak, so this word must be used allegorically for someone other than the literal creature. If you say it refers to a spiritual entity then who is it? When did this entity rebel against God? Why aren’t we given more information about him? The only rebellion we are privy to is that of Adam in the garden. Only the sins of humanity are recorded here. If a spiritual entity needs to be added to this scene, then who is he and from where does he come, and what Scriptures will you use to identify him?

      With that kind of logic, it makes me want to discontinue discussion with you.

      You have stayed with me longer than most. I admire your willingness to continue, but even more than this I admire the fact that you have thus far refrained from name calling and personal character judgments etc.

      You are in error. I know the scripture about Jesus slain from the foundation of the world, but that is NOT what I am saying. God made the plan for salvation BEFORE the creation of the world. I was listening to Joyce Meyers not too long ago, and she made that same mistake as you. Here are scriptures that tell us God made the plan for creation before the creation of the world: 1 Peter 1:20; Matthew 25:34; and, Ephesians 1:4.

      Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34 KJV)

      According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (Ephesians 1:4 KJV)

      Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (1 Peter 1:20 KJV)

      First, let me point out that the term “foundation of the world” should not be so translated. The noun is katabole (G2602). It occurs in Matthew 13:35; 25:34; Luke 11:50; John 17:24; Ephesians 1:4; Hebrews 4:3; 9:26; 11:11; 1Peter 1:20; Revelation 13:8 and 17:8. According to the Companion Bible Appendix 146 it should be changed to “casting down” or “overthrow” of the world. It points to the rebellion rather than creation. The reason it takes this position is that the verb form of the Greek word is kataballo (G2598) and means to cast or throw down. It is used in 2Corinthians 4:9; Hebrews 6:1 and Revelation 12:10. The 2Corinthians and Revelation Scriptures especially show this “casting down” or “overthrow”, but Hebrew 6:1 says “not laying again”, but it too should be translated “casting down” because the foundation of repentance must not be destroyed; it must remain. So, the translators here are in error. Now, I don’t presume to say this on my own authority, but I do see the logic behind the argument of the Companion Bible, Appendix 146.

      Returning to your Scriptures above, right away we can eliminate Matthew 25:34 from the argument because of the preposition “from”. The Kingdom was prepared for them “from” or since the time of the rebellion, so the plan of salvation was in place at least from that time and Genesis 3:15 agrees.

      Ephesians 1:4 and 1Peter 1:20 show that they speak of something “before” the rebellion or casting down of the world (God’s judgment in Genesis 3). So, what do they tell us? Do they speak of a plan of salvation “before” the rebellion? No they do not. We, the called or elect, have been chosen in Christ for a particular responsibility “before” the rebellion (Ephesians 1:4). Peter tells us the same thing in 1Peter 1:20 where the context shows it is **we** the redeemed (1Peter 1:18) were foreknown (G4267) [KJV says ‘foreordained’] before the rebellion (1Peter 1:20). This says nothing about ‘salvation’ being in place, only that we who have been called at this time (the elect) or those foreknown before the rebellion are in view.

      You need to understand this argument. Had God foreknown the rebellion, then Adam would have had no choice but to act exactly as God had foreknown. He would have been guiltless. If the plan of salvation had been in place **before** the rebellion, then the rebellion would have been foreknown and Adam (and we) would have had no choice in the matter. Our rebellion would have fulfilled what God had foreknown. God, not we, would be guilty of our rebellion, for we would be as automatons merely acting out a scene that God had foreseen would occur.

      I hope you can see this.

      Lord bless,

      Eddie

       
      • AMG

        July 7, 2011 at 02:38

        You said, “When would you suggest that he fell?”

        Satan could have fallen sometime after the 6-day creation.

        You said, “If a spiritual entity needs to be added to this scene, then who is he and from where does he come, and what Scriptures will you use to identify him?”

        I do not agree with you that Satan is Adam. The bible tells us who and what Adam is, and the bible tells us who and what Satan is, enough so that we should not confuse the two for each other.

        You said, “You have stayed with me longer than most. I admire your willingness to continue, but even more than this I admire the fact that you have thus far refrained from name calling and personal character judgments etc.”

        I was thinking the same thing about you. I have discussed, debated, and argued with many and most attack me personally. I am always careful how I speak to others.

        Here you bring up KJV to go against my beliefs. It is a blessing the bible is in understandable English. It is a mistake on the KJV only group to not study from other translations.

        Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: (Matthew 25:34 KJV)

        According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (Ephesians 1:4 KJV)

        Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, (1 Peter 1:20 KJV

        You said, “First, let me point out that the term “foundation of the world” should not be so translated. The noun is katabole (G2602).”

        As I said before, your Greek has gotten you into a swirl. For you to deny the scriptures telling us that God made the plan of salvation before the creation of the world is to your detriment. God knows all. For you to think that God made the plan for salvation after something humans did is almost laughable.

        You said, “You need to understand this argument. Had God foreknown the rebellion, then Adam would have had no choice but to act exactly as God had foreknown.”

        That argument of yours, does not make sense, it has no merit. God foreknowing something does not make someone do something.

        You said, “He would have been guiltless. If the plan of salvation had been in place **before** the rebellion, then the rebellion would have been foreknown and Adam (and we) would have had no choice in the matter. Our rebellion would have fulfilled what God had foreknown. God, not we, would be guilty of our rebellion, for we would be as automatons merely acting out a scene that God had foreseen would occur.”

        That reasoning is false as false can be. It makes no sense whatsoever. If I can see what you will do before you do it, how does that make me the guilty one? Before I had my children, I pretty much new all the mistakes that they were going to do in life. How does that make me guilty? God has given us a choice.

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          July 7, 2011 at 16:35

          Satan could have fallen sometime after the 6-day creation.

          According to all the myths I’ve read about a presumed satanic fall there were great ages substituted for literal days in Genesis 1. What Scriptures would you present to support your understanding?

          I do not agree with you that Satan is Adam. The bible tells us who and what Adam is, and the bible tells us who and what Satan is, enough so that we should not confuse the two for each other.

          Who and what is Satan, and can you support a reasonable reply with appropriate Scriptures?

          Here you bring up KJV to go against my beliefs. It is a blessing the bible is in understandable English. It is a mistake on the KJV only group to not study from other translations.

          The KJV is my favorite translation. I am not a KJV only person. I have numerous other translations—something like 60 or 70.

          As I said before, your Greek has gotten you into a swirl. For you to deny the scriptures telling us that God made the plan of salvation before the creation of the world is to your detriment. God knows all. For you to think that God made the plan for salvation after something humans did is almost laughable.

          What is the alternative, my friend? Trust the Bible translator? Which one?

          How have I denied the Scriptures? Is it because my understanding does not agree with your favorite English translation? Let me remind you that my understanding is based upon the scholars who gave us the Companion Bible. We all need to trust scholarly works at some time or another. The difference is that I have studied what these men have done and found their work on this phrase very reasonable. I find it unreasonable that a verb in the Greek would be so different from its sister noun. Things simply don’t work that way in languages, but the translators have erred. The question is, was it deliberate in order to support a favorite doctrine of their own devising or that of the denomination they represent?

          You may find their work on this subject HERE and decide for yourself concerning its reasonability.

          That argument of yours, does not make sense, it has no merit. God foreknowing something does not make someone do something.

          Are you saying that if God foreknew something that it is possible for that ‘something’ not to occur?

          That reasoning is false as false can be. It makes no sense whatsoever. If I can see what you will do before you do it, how does that make me the guilty one? Before I had my children, I pretty much new all the mistakes that they were going to do in life. How does that make me guilty? God has given us a choice.

          You could never be guilty of anything you are able to foresee. What makes you different is that you have no power to change what you foresee. God does. If salvation is everything the “partial salvation” advocates claim, why would God create anyone he foreknew would reject Christ and rebel in such a manner that God would be unable to save him? What does this have to do with an Almighty God who is able to do anything? How powerful is God—really? Is his will that the wicked don’t perish more powerful that the wicked’s will to continue to rebel? Who gets the final say—the wicked or God? Is it possible for the wicked to stay the hand of a merciful, loving God?

          Lord bless,

          Eddie

           
  6. AMG

    July 6, 2011 at 00:53

    I can hardly believe that you actually believe Adam is the devil. I think you have gone too far beyond God’s written word. From the scriptures, we might be able to see that Satan was at one time an angel, but later he is a serpent, and also a dragon. However, please give up the belief that Satan is Adam. Adam was a man whom God breathed into his nostrils and made Adam a living soul.

     
    • Ed Bromfield

      July 6, 2011 at 10:20

      The word of God specifically states that Adam introduced death and sin into our world (Romans 5:12). This couldn’t occur if Satan had organized an angelic rebellion prior to human creation as is supposed by many Christian brethren. Where does this doctrine come from, if you wish to speak of going beyond the written word? Where does the doctrine of an angelic rebellion come from prior to the creation of mankind?

      If creation took 6 literal days as the Scriptures seem to conclude, where was there time for an angelic rebellion? Why would anyone believe that God is such a poor Creator, that once he created everything, it all began to fall apart and those with mental capacity rebelled against him? As far as I can see, the Scriptures show that only mankind rebelled and that through our father Adam. He is the Enemy #1, and brought all mankind with him.

      Lord bless,

      Eddie

       
      • AMG

        July 6, 2011 at 11:07

        Eddie,
        We really do not know how long it was from the time Adam was created to the time the serpent deceived Eve, correct? Therefore, I do not think that there is a problem with time for things to be going on heaven as far as rebellion.
        Jesus said he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Surely, Adam’s fall was while he was on earth and not from heaven. The bible says the serpent was WITH Adam in the Garden of Eden. You saying that the serpent was with Adam and is Adam are just not right.

        You say, “Why would anyone believe that God is such a poor Creator, that once he created everything, it all began to fall apart and those with mental capacity rebelled against him?” Are you discounting the fact that God made the plan for salvation BEFORE the creation of the world? God wants us to choose to love and obey Him. Again, the plan for salvation came before the creation of the world, so that means God knew the evil that would come.

        God bless.

         
        • Ed Bromfield

          July 6, 2011 at 12:30

          Eddie,
          We really do not know how long it was from the time Adam was created to the time the serpent deceived Eve, correct? Therefore, I do not think that there is a problem with time for things to be going on heaven as far as rebellion.

          Well, I think this subject may be good for another discussion. Certainly many believe the universe is older than the Biblical account says. Even if we use days allegorically, we have trouble fitting things in with science. :-)

          Anyway, I, presently, don’t see anything wrong with the literal 6 day creation understanding, especially with the advent of the String Theory. We know that things could travel instantly over vast areas of space through things like worm holes etc. If there are something like 11 different dimensions, but we know and labor in understanding only 4 of them (if time is a dimension), then I think it is pretty adolescent of mankind to presume God couldn’t have created this universe in 6 literal days. So do we have time for an angelic rebellion? If we do (assuming an allegorical meaning for the “days”) the Scriptures mention nothing about such a rebellion.

          Jesus said he saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Surely, Adam’s fall was while he was on earth and not from heaven.

          Jesus said he beheld Satan fall from heaven while the Apostles were on their two-by-two mission to the cities of Israel. Adam’s fall in Eden was a spiritual fall—a fall from grace. Satan’s fall is described in Revelation as a literal fall. He was at one point permitted to appear before God. After a specific time implied by the war in heaven between Michael and his angels (messengers), revealed on earth by Jesus and his messengers (the Apostles), there was no room found for Satan in heaven. This does not preclude Satan being Adam. If it would, why wouldn’t a presumed angelic rebellion before human creation preclude Satan returning to heaven—out of which he again fell?

          The bible says the serpent was WITH Adam in the Garden of Eden. You saying that the serpent was with Adam and is Adam are just not right.

          Actually, the Bible has Eve speaking with the Serpent and Adam is beside or with Eve. There is nothing in Scripture that says Adam was beside or with Satan. If Eve spoke with Satan and the only one Scriptures say she was with is Adam, then Satan = Adam.

          You say, “Why would anyone believe that God is such a poor Creator, that once he created everything, it all began to fall apart and those with mental capacity rebelled against him?” Are you discounting the fact that God made the plan for salvation BEFORE the creation of the world? God wants us to choose to love and obey Him. Again, the plan for salvation came before the creation of the world, so that means God knew the evil that would come.
          God bless.

          On the contrary, Christ was slain **from**, that is immediately after the foundations of the world were broken up. That is, the plan of salvation did not exist until Adam rebelled.

          Concerning what God knows, if God created the **ages** (time) through the One who became Jesus (Hebrews 1:2), then God is not subject to time. He is timeless and doesn’t have a future or a past. He lives in an eternal present. Our whole lives are before him at any given ‘time’ as we know it. In a very real sense, this means God doesn’t know anything beforehand. Only when he communicates to us does he mention the future or the past. He knows all—all at once. His plan of salvation exists to keep all things in their original location in the will of God. God doesn’t change. His will doesn’t change. He never had a better idea. He continually causes the original idea to work out in our time.

          Lord bless,

          Eddie

           

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