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August 12, 1998

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Q/A Topics:
Theo-logy: (Covenants: "Perfection/Innocence")

Comment:

God bless you. Just a short remark...

You wrote "The very word "theo" (God) "logy" (study of) indicates the existence of God."

This is the popular etymology like geology astrology biology etc. however the title "theologos" was originally given to "Saint John, the Divine" (Read the title of the Book of Revelation in any older Bible), whose writings were intended to prove "theotheti tou Logou" - "divinity of the Logos", that is Christ.

So a good theologian should believe Jesus Christ is God, equal with the Father yet humbling himself and becoming flesh in order to save us. Sad to say this cardinal doctrine is often rejected today. ...

Just FYI, as I agree with your message anyway. I simply thought you may find it interesting.

Regards, and keep pressing on.

A.
Right you are. However, we were only considering "In the beginning God..." ...in amongst this "more-extended" study on "Covenants." But yes, thanks for including this. 'One way we can expand, a bit, the passing thoughts that merely receive brief mentions in the series.

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Why the tree? (Covenants: "Perfection/Innocence")

READER QUESTION:
I have often wondered this but never asked, can you tell me why God put the forbidden tree in the garden of Eden?

VW ANSWER:
How is the quality of something known, if it is not tested? The tensile strength of wire is not known, unless it is stretched till it breaks. How is someone's fidelity and commitment to another tested, unless a potential for failure is also part of the equation? A couple might pledge their love and devotion to each other, but the man might not be 100% sure until/unless there is occasion that some other man shows an interest in his wife, and he sees how she reacts to that attention. Or conversely, the wife sees how the husband reacts towards other women.

Then, if one of them failed the other, and then came back and asked forgiveness, how are they received? Or does the one doing the failing just go off, and abandon their spouse? Their -true- heart is manifest to everyone: 1) themself 2) their spouse, and 3) all else who might be observing. That is, the heart of the one who failed, as well as the heart and character of the one who was wronged.

At what point did the "anointed chrub" (Ezk28:14) become satan? According to vs13 it would seem that he was in Eden, originally, still in his perfection. How much time elapsed before "iniquity was found" in him? (vs15)

We also know that we are surrounded by a great "cloud of witnesses" (Heb12:1) The Heavenly beings are witnessing mankind, just as God does. e.g. God asks satan, "have you set your heart on My servant Job?" (Job1:8) How much of creation was 'discussed' and 'announced' to the Heavenly beings -before- Gen1:1 where God began the creation? At creation they "shouted for joy" (Job38:6-7)

An awful lot of stuff we are not told....because we live "by faith" (Rom1:17), "not by sight" (2Co5:7)

Perhaps God knew man's heart....but the angels needed something they could see, by which to judge man's existence? If nothing else, when Adam and Eve sinned, they could not hide behind lies. They could not claim unwavering loyalty to God, whilst deviating; and then if God confronted them, to retort, how do You claim to know my heart? The tree/fruit provided physical 'evidence' of their lapse in fidelity to God. See...here it is....look at this....you -did- it....now what do you have to say for yourself?

At the least, in the end, once all is said and done....nobody can claim that they didn't have a 'choice'. God did not create automatons...pre-programmed like robots to think and do everything on queue. How does a man know his wife loves -only- him, if there were not 'opportunities' for her to choose somebody else? Does her love for him not mean a lot more if it comes from free will, than if she is forced to love him?

And if somebody fails the other, and then is received back with forgiveness, is their love not stronger for the one they failed. (Lk7:47)

I don't know if Scripture spells out this question quite in the way you've asked it, but these are thoughts that would seem to make Scriptural and common sense. Yes?

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Human Prior-existence?

Q.
Some christian friends of mine read the book "Embraced by the light" by Betty Eadie and wanted me to read it too. So I did. (I suppose you are familiar with it) Well I found it everything but christian (in the biblical/evangelical sence of the word).

I did some recearch and found out that Betty Eadie is half native american indian, and an active member of the Mormon Church (LDS). She doesn't tell it planely in her book, but for someone who is a little familiar with mormon doctrine, it is quite obvious. The book, however, is not a mormon book, it's about her so called "near death experience" where she, among other things, alledgedly met Jesus and received deeper knowledge about many things concerning life and death.

One of the fundamental ideas, which the whole matter hangs upon, is the consept of all humans being spirit children of God from eternity, now going through mortal life as a testing period to grow spiritually, and then returning back to Him when time on earth is done. This means to say that all humans have existed in the spirit world (for eons) before being born into this world, knowing God, Jesus and eachother, we have just forgot it - by the will of God, as part of the plan.

I find this pure nonsence, totally outside, and contrary to biblical truth. However, my burden is to be able to convince my dear brethren in the Lord (who was intrigued by the book) of the same.

My question, which I hope you can answer, is therefore as follows: How can I show from the Bible that men and women are not "pre-existent spirit beings" who has chosen to come from "heaven" or "the spirit world" down to this earth to learn and grow, but rather are coming into existence (from nonexistence) the moment of conception in our mothers woumb (if this is how it is). It might be hard to show it from the Scriptures, leaving no shadow of a dubt, but if you could help me off, I would be very thankful indeed!

The brethren are lovers of truth, so there is hope, they are just a bit to open for (alledged) "new revelations" - "visions" - "dreams", and so on. If I just could show them from the Bible, I believe they would reject this satanic lies and endorse Gods simple truth.

Well, to put it simple: Do human beings exist as conscious, personal, spirit beings prior to our birth on earth, or not?

(ed. shortened a bit to conserve space, but hopefully retains the meat of the question)

A.
Well...what a bunch of "interesting" concepts! First of all, I am not familiar with the book you mentioned. I don't specifically make it my goal to know every piece of nonesense that's out there. It is more my desire to know God's Word...so that is where my time is spent. Other things I learn about as people, such as yourself, tell me about them. And in such a manner, even, there is more than I can keep up with.

Yes...as I understand it, the concept that there are all these "souls" out there in limbo someplace, waiting for bodies to inhabit, is part of Mormonism's complexities...along with attaining godhood, and becoming gods and goddesses...and that the woman's desire is perpetual state of pregnancy so as to create more god-beings...or something like that...

Any of these variations are not found in Scripture, however. And I would not try to disprove something like that by saying that "Scripture says" it doesn't exist. Why would Scripture even address a non-existent issue?

But, using God-given abilities in reasoning (Acts17:2), I think we can figure a few of these things out from what Scripture DOES say.

First of all, the only thing that I can think of that existed "prior to" our present human existance, regarding our existence, was God's "foreknowledge of" this existence.

Anyone who is to come to faith in Christ, God knew about "before the foundation of the world" (Eph1:4) The Book of Life apparently existed "from the foundation of the world." (Rev17:8) So, if He knew of their "faith" THEN, He obviously will have known of their "humanity" THEN, also.

We were "conceived in sin" (Ps51:5) That was our point of origination. And God's foreknowledge of us includes conception, before the embryo became developed. (Ps139:16)

Let's go back to Gen2:7. God made man of dust, and breathed the "breath of life" and at that moment man became a "living soul." It doesn't say that a soul and/or spirit "came and joined" the body...but that this entity God formed from dust "became" a soul...a living being...at that moment.

In addition, there is a covenant doctrine which these teachings try to circumvent. "And as it is appointed to men once to die, but after this the judgment, (Heb9:27) If Satan can have people believing that they are first spirits, then bodies, then something else...let's add "reincarnation" to this. God had promised..."in the day you eat of it you shall SURELY die." (Gen2:17) And Satan's lie is "you shall not surely die." (3:4) And this is one way he gets around it...that there are multiple chances...that death is not "final." However, Scripture is quite clear: Death is an "appointment" ...a "reservation" ...a specific "scheduled event" for each person (Job14:5,30:23,Eccl12:7) as he meets his Maker.

BTW...I have yet to hear/read of any "near death experience" where the person came back preaching Scriptural doctrine, telling people to "repent" and receive Christ. They are always of "love" and that there isn't really a judgment...because there isn't really sin. ...and all the variations on these themes. And...of course they're going to "see Jesus" and all such rubbish. It's not called the "spirit of antichrist" for nothing. (1Jn2:18) He "marvelously transforms himself into an angel of light.." (2Cor11:14) Remember, Paul warned that "Even if..an angel from heaven preach[es] a gospel to you beside what we preach[ED]" (Gal1:8) Past tense. It's been "once delivered to the saints."(Jude3) Nothing "new" is needed! Paul says, "let him be accursed."

In terms of the spirits interacting with God, and being purified, and all that nonesense...well, that was Lucifer's downfall. "I will be like the Most High." (Is14:14) And told Eve, "you shall be as God.."(Gen3:5) And to go through implied "processes" of purification is to reject the work Jesus did when He died on the cross "once" to "bear the sins of many." (Heb9:28) They are rejecting the "righteousness of God" (Rom10:3) which becomes appropriated for the Believer as we "become the righteousness of God in Him." (2Cor5:21) Which comes about by the "faith of Christ" (Phil3:9) since it is a gift (Eph2:8)

Well...I'm sure there are other Scriptures...but these are the main ones that come to mind at the moment. 'Hope this helps...

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Giving towards VW?

Q.
is it appropriate to financially support your ministry; should we be helping with some of your expenses? God placed that on my heart and I just thought I better ask.

Q.
I am thoroughly enjoying your commentary. I have to wonder how you are making a living while keeping up with this. Are you receiving any kind of financial support in addition to your "tent-making"?

A.
Here's a subject I don't like to talk about. But the time has come, and it is necessary. When I worked in "christian" radio years ago, I used to utterly despise the 10-15 minutes of a half-hour program spent by some of the "preachers" in fund-raising. One reason I never seriously considered missionary service was because of the typical organizational requirements to raise funds (solicit) for "one's own" support. But, obviously, the Lord had other plans for me.

Many organizations will publish public financial statements. I suppose that is for government IRS purposes. I determined from the beginning that VW would not be connected to the government by becoming a "tax exempt" entity. (If you have ever read the questions on the application forms, it might make you shudder a bit into wondering how "your" church was able to justify their "registration" with the government! That's a little American "sleeping dog" just waiting to come out growling and snapping when the Antichrist hits the scene! Let those who remain in 'that day', understand.) Let "Caesar be Caesar." The Church has no part with Caesar. (Mt22:21)

The Lord has put me in a most unique position. "Tent-making" (signs & banners) provides all my needs. Since my life has changed in the last few years, my desires and purposes are now unidirectional. I am not "encumbered" by a family which would require my "cares." (1Cor7:32) The sole purpose of my existence right now is to "spend and be spent" for the Lord, and you who read what comes from VW. (2Cor12:15) The Lord's return is imminent. There is no other purpose right now than to proclaim "prepare the way of the Lord!" Thus, "I [don't] speak according to need, for I [am] content [in the] state I am." (Phil4:11)

In this "unique position" business is "slow." But, the bills get paid. Sometimes I don't quite know "how" they do. But they do. But the slowness allows me to do much of VW's writing at "work." And being self-employed...I'm the "boss" so I am able to use the free time in this manner.

The one person asked if it's "appropriate" to give towards VW. I answered, "only if the Lord burdens a person to do so." This ministry is provided to people "freely." A few people have started giving in 1998, so an account has been set up to manage those funds. As envelopes, stamps and ISP time is purchased, if there is money in that account, it is used. But this is something I prefer to "let not the left hand know what the right hand is doing." (Mt6:3) But, just as I give "to the Lord" in a couple of places, I can understand that the Lord might burden some to help in this direction, also. And such a gift is "to the Lord" and given from the heart, accordingly.

"Each one, as he purposes in his heart, let him give; not of grief, or of necessity...for God loves a cheerful giver." (2Cor9:7)

Amen!

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