Adrian Rogers – Satan’s choice for evil and man’s free will (1)

Interviewer- While we’re talking about evil, why does God allow evil on the earth?

Adrian Rogers-

Do you know? That’s a great question and I’ve seen today that more people are perplexed with that question (the problem of evil) than the problem of science. When I started the ministry, people were talking about evolution and whether or not man was created, and they’re not that interested in that question today. They say if there is a God, how can he allow, for example, what happened in New York, on Sept. the 11th? How could God allow the atrocities of war and the devastation we have in the world today?

What about the problem of evil? And people have a little syllogism (conclusion or logical appeal). Before God there was nothing, God created everything, evil is something, so God created evil, so God must be evil. That’s faulty syllogism.

When God made the devil, the Bible says,…and by the way- God created the devil. The devil is not self existent as God is. Only One is self existent. That is God. When God created Satan, he created him in perfection. God did not create evil, God created a perfect being. In Ezekiel chapter 28, God said of Satan, „You were perfect in beauty and the day that you were created, you were perfect.” He’s created, created in perfection.

God did not create evil. He created a perfect being, but now listen. He gave that perfect being, perfect freedom. Now, why did God give the angels  freedom and why does God give us freedom?

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Because God wants worship and God wants love. If God made me, where I were not free, why couldn’t I choose to do evil? Then, correspondently, I couldn’t choose to do good. If I can not choose not to love God, I can’t choose to love God. If I can’t choose to be loyal to God, I cannot choose to be disloyal. I would only choose to be an inanimate object, a robot or whatever. So, God created a being, perfect in wisdom and perfect in beauty and that being chose to sin. Now, what is the highest good? The highest good, the greatest commandment is to love God. That is the greatest commandment. This is the first and great commandment. Therefore, that is the highest good- to love God. Well, in order to love God, I have to have a choice. And, so, God gave us a choice that we might attain the highest good. And, Satan had that choice and he blew it, he ruined it through pride.

Ben Witherington – The Freedom of God and the Free Will of Human Beings

Bible scholar Ben Witherington is Amos Professor of New Testament for Doctoral Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and on the doctoral faculty at St. Andrews University in Scotland. A graduate of UNC, Chapel Hill, he went on to receive the M.Div. degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Durham in England. He is now considered one of the top evangelical scholars in the world, and is an elected member of the prestigious SNTS, a society dedicated to New Testament studies.

Witherington has written over forty books, including The Jesus Quest and The Paul Quest, both of which were selected as top biblical studies works by Christianity Today. He also writes for many church and scholarly publications, and is a frequent contributor to the Beliefnet website.

Here are some excerpts from his post:

One of the more interesting subjects to discuss is the freedom of God. What exactly is God free to do or not to do? Is God’s will the primary and controlling divine attribute such that even God’s knowledge is dependent on God’s will in the first place? Are there things that a sovereign God cannot do? For example, is God free to sin? Or is God’s behavior determined by the unalterable divine nature? That is, is God subject to the same sort of determinism some Christians believe applies to human beings? These sorts of questions and their answers all have a bearing on how we ask and answer the question about human freedom and its nature.

…….I assume that when human beings were created in the image of God this meant, among other things that Adam had libertarian freedom to either obey God or not. It is not appropriate to judge this matter on the basis of the attributes of fallen human beings who indeed in various ways can be said to be in bondage to sin or addicted to sinful behaviors. No the question is, how did God make us in the first place, and how in Christ does God restore us in Christ as we are renewed in the image of Christ? Does grace restore the power of contrary choice in redemption or not?

…..In short, the discussion of the freedom of human beings should never be undertaken in isolation from the discussion of the freedom of God, and the ways God has chosen to limit himself in order to allow us to be beings with a limited measure of freedom, and so a small reflection of the divine character.


Dragons of the sea, Levithians, sea monsters in the Bible

The Leviathan is mentioned six times in the Hebrew Bible, with Job 41:1-41:34 being dedicated to describing him in detail:[1]

1 Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?
2 Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?
3 Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words?
4 Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life?
5 Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?
6 Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears?
8 If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
9 Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering.
10 No-one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me?
11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
12 I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form.
13 Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle?
14 Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?
15 His back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
16 each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
17 They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
18 His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.
19 Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
21 His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.
22 Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him.
23 The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable.
24 His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
25 When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
27 Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.
28 Arrows do not make him flee, slingstones are like chaff to him.
29 A club seems to him but a piece of straw, he laughs at the rattling of the lance.
30 His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing-sledge.
31 He makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.
33 Nothing on earth is his equal— a creature without fear.
34 He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud.

In Psalm 74 Yahweh is said to „break the heads of Leviathan in pieces” before giving his flesh to the people of the wilderness; in Psalm 104 Yahweh is praised for having made all things, including Leviathan; and in Isaiah 27:1 he is called the „wriggling serpent” who will be killed at the end of time

Ken Ham from Answers in Genesis on Bible verses that mention large, strange creatures:

There are a number of places where it appears that dinosaurs or other similar creatures are mentioned in the scriptures. Remember that the Bible was translated into English long before the word „dinosaur” was coined. However, the word „dragon” appears 21 times in the Old Testament alone. „You shall tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shall you trample under feet” (Psalm 91:13). From the context it is clearly speaking about a real creature that it would be impressive and intimidating to step on! Jeremiah 51:34 tells, „he has swallowed me up like a dragon…” which brings to mind the way many carnivorous reptiles swallow their prey whole. Both dragons of the sea (Psalm 74:13) and field (Isaiah 43:20) are mentioned. Indeed, Genesis 1:21 can best be translated: „And God created great sea monsters…” One such sea monster became sufficiently well-known to the ancients to be given the special name „Rahab” (Isaiah 51:9). The prophet Ezekiel likens Pharaoh to a sea monster that invaded the Nile river and stirred up the mud (32:2). The Hebrew word, „Tannin,” is from the root meaning „to extend.” The language conjures up an image of a long-necked plesiosaur-like creature paddling up the river and stirring up mud from the Nile delta with its flippers. Just such a creature is depicted by the ancient Egyptians who may have netted one just as Ezekiel describes in verse 3.

Job is the oldest book in the Bible. This book is very interesting from a scientific perspective because of the many natural phenomena that are addressed by God, Job, and his friends. Along the way, God points Job to two special creatures. The first, mentioned in Job 40:15, is usually translated „behemoth” in the English Bible. Some commentators have suggested that behemoth was a hippo or elephant. But the passage makes clear that this herbivorous animal was „chief of the ways of God.” Certainly the hippo and elephant (which had other Hebrew names) don’t qualify as the biggest land animal, nor does their anatomy fit the clear language of verse 17. A cedar tree brings to mind a dinosaur’s huge tail! In fact, pygmy peoples in equatorial Africa tell stories of a ferocious dinosaurian creature that occupies their swamps and rivers and lashes its opponents with its tail. It becomes fascinating, as one considers the tail as an offensive weapon, to review the description of Satan as a dragon: „And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon …And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth:” (Revelation 12:3-4).

Job 41 portrays yet another awe-inspiring creature: Leviathan. While clearly one of the fiercest creatures that God made, it is difficult to establish exactly what Leviathan was. The Bible describes a sharp-toothed, scaled creature whose habitat is the mire and deep waters. Ken Ham suggests the ferocious kronosaur as a candidate. Others have suggested that this fire-breathing monster was a land-dweller that merely spent much of its time in the water. Perhaps leviathan was a dinosaur with armor or claws whose „sharp stones” were employed to destroy ancient weapons. Maybe we have yet to discover the remains of a leviathan!

Here is an example of  unbelievably huge sea creatures captured on film for this video. These are Galapagos Whale Sharks that can grow in length to 20 meters (that’s about 66 feet or the height of a 6 story building) and weigh as much as 30 tons, that live in the Galapagos Islands area, where a group of scientists are tracking their movements and studying their habits. God’s diversity in creation never ceases to amaze!

Galapagos: Realm of the Giant Sharks

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