Jesus was not seeking to present Himself as a great teacher, messenger of peace, or conveyer of wisdom. These things are a part of who Jesus is, but they are not the primary purpose of His appearance on earth. God was coming to the world in person and in vivid color.
The disciples and those who were closest to Jesus were perplexed by several statements He made, which were clear references to His assertion that He is the Eternal God. In this essay, we see the declarations Jesus made about Himself and learn His true identity.
The scriptures define the Messiah as the Great I AM. God told Moses that I AM is His name. Jesus told the Pharisees that He is I AM.
In Exodus Chapter 3, Moses asks the Lord what His name is. His reply? “I AM.”
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’ ”1
When we examine the New Testament, we see that Jesus told the Pharisees that He existed, before Abraham was born, as “I AM.”
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” At that point they picked up stones to throw at him. But Jesus was hidden from them and left the Temple.2
Jesus answers the question put forth by the Jews as to His identity, but not in a way that they expected. He also tells them that He existed before Abraham. Jesus uses the Greek past tense, γενέσθαι (πρίν with the infinitive after a positive verb, R. 977, 1091), which marks a historical point in time when Abraham came into existence against the time before Abraham existed.3 The past tense (aorist) use of the word εἰμί; which Jesus uses to establish His own existence, ἐγώ), is a finite Greek verb, and not the same connecting verb, ἤμην, He used to set a point of time for the existence of Abraham.
When Jesus said “I AM,” this establishes that Jesus’ existence had no point of beginning. If Jesus had used the imperfect verb, ἤμην, “I was”; He would be saying that He existed in time, before Abraham, who lived 2,000 years before. Jesus is making it clear that He existed independent of time, transcendent the universe, earth, or any person; He has always existed.
What Jesus is saying is that His earthly life began less than fifty years before, at Bethlehem, but His true existence as a person, ἐγώ, was independent of time, space, and matter, not dependent upon a fixed moment of time when He came into existence.
Jesus is making it clear in this statement that unlike Abraham who came into existence 2,000 years before, Jesus did not have a beginning. No matter how far back we might venture in our mind, Jesus existed. This is what the Greek demands in Jesus’ statement, “I AM.”
Who could have imagined that a tiny baby born in Bethlehem is the Great I AM of the Old Testament? In this prophecy from the Book of Exodus, we learn that Jesus is the voice from the burning bush that spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai:
Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. And he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed.4
Then Moses said to God, “Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they say to me, ‘What is His name?’ what shall I say to them?” And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.” And He said, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”5
The words I AM are the eternal name for God, as established by the Old Testament. In the Hebrew language, I AM is Ehyeh asher ehyeh. This term is usually translated into English as I am that I am, but it can also be translated as I shall be that I shall be. The idea behind this name is that the Lord will become whatever you need. “I AM whatever you need in your life. I will become whatever you need in your life.”
In the name I AM, God is stating that He has no beginning and no end; He simply exists and always has existed. All other things in the universe have a first cause in that they had a beginning at some point in time. Because God is eternal, He does not require a first cause.
When we think of an eternal Being who is described as having no beginning, this concept seems impossible to us. Everything that exists in our world had a beginning. Someone conceived an idea, assembled the components, and made the things that exist all around us. The universe had a beginning; the earth had a beginning; the stars, planets, and galaxies, all had a point in time when they began. If God exists, where did He come from? How did He come into being? When did He begin?
These are all valid questions, and they demand credible answers.
The Bible describes God as everlasting. There was no point in time when God came into existence. He has always existed and always will. God is the only self-existent, transcendent, sentient Being in existence. He is perfect and complete in every way. His intelligence and knowledge are unlimited. He is perfect in righteousness and can never do anything wrong. His very nature is Love; and all that flows out from Him are goodness, kindness, faithfulness, mercy, grace, and extreme patience. God is also Just and will not permit evil to continue forever. God is firm in establishing a set time to punish evil, unrighteousness, and rebellion against His laws. God is transcendent of time, space, and matter. He is the Creator of all that exists, and He made the universe by simply speaking.
There is no conceivable way in which any earthbound creature, though they be extremely intelligent, could ever fully comprehend this magnificent Being. In our limited knowledge, we cannot understand how God could exist apart from and independent of all the laws of physics, gravity, and nature. The reason why the Bible was given to us by God is so that we might know Him and understand His nature and existence.
God revealed Himself to Moses as “I AM.” In other words, God is Transcendent all other things.
The word transcendent is defined as incomparable, matchless, unrivaled, unparalleled, unequaled, unsurpassable, unique, perfect, rare, surpassing, or magnificent.”
If God exists, He must be a Being of incalculable complexity. If He can be known at all, our knowledge of Him will depend upon our ability to receive Him as He presents Himself. We may have our ideas about what we imagine God would be like, but we will be wrong. He is eternal, we are transient. He knows everything, we know very little. Unless we read the Bible and learn who God is, it is not possible for anyone to understand who He is.
When Solomon was nearing the completion of the first Temple, he realized that the God to whom he was dedicating this structure was beyond his ability to comprehend.
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain You. How much less this temple which I have built!6
An eternal and infinitely intelligent Being would choose a manner to make Himself known that is very likely divergent from our suppositions of such a Being.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.7
If God exists, there would be evidence of His Being. We could observe Him by the things He has made. His character and nature could be perceived by His creation so that any thinking person could understand what He is like.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead.8
The Being we are seeking is antecedent to all other things. “In the beginning, God.” Matter did not exist first, because matter cannot cause itself. The physical laws of the universe did not exist first; they are simply the course that all other things must follow. This course was planned by the One who came before all other things. He is the uncaused cause of everything.
The mistake many people make in regards to God—whether they will believe that He exists or is the creation of men—depends largely upon the mind that begins the search. By the time a person reaches a certain age, they have already determined the conclusions for many matters in life. If a person will know whether or not God exists, or more importantly know Him, they must begin with a mind that is open and sincerely seeking.
To follow the evidence where it may lead in any search for truth is an essential prerequisite to discovering truth. It is impossible to know for certain whether anything is valid when we begin with a mindset that has already determined what the outcome will be.
In matters of God, it would be wise to forget everything we have already heard from people and take a fresh journey for ourselves. The facts are, God has made Himself known, but people do not perceive Him. The reason, God does not come to us in ways we would expect to find Him. If He were to simply poke His head through the clouds and announce that He is God, there would be no faith involved in our decision to believe in Him. God has chosen a less obvious manner to reveal Himself—a subtle approach to make Himself known that requires a certain amount of faith.
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.9
It is clear that God places a special value on those who believe in Him and seek to know Him, apart from seeing Him.
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”10
There are three primary ways in which God has revealed Himself to man:
- Through Nature, by the things He has made.
- Through His Word, by the Bible—the revelation of Himself and His plan for man.
- Through His Son to whom He has revealed His entire purpose for mankind.
Because God is transcendent of time, He has the ability to pierce the linear time in which we are all living and reveal Himself in various ways. Throughout the Old Testament scriptures, we see different places where God has revealed Himself to certain individuals.
We see examples of the capacity of God to countermand the laws of physics, and pierce time, in His appearance before Abraham and Moses.
In the New Testament, Jesus fulfills this prophecy of Exodus, in John Chapter 8, where He informs the Pharisees that before Abraham existed, He existed as the Great “I AM.” In actuality, as was previously stated, Jesus is claiming to be the Great I AM who also spoke to Moses at the burning bush and the one who spoke to Abraham, in Genesis 15.
“Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”11
When God appeared to Abraham, in chapter 15 of Genesis, He made certain promises to him based on whether Abraham would believe in the coming salvation made possible by the Messiah. God had promised Abraham that it would be through his descendants—beginning with Isaac and continuing through David, all the way to Jesus—that this Messiah would come. Although Abraham did not know that Jesus would be the name of the coming Savior, he understood and believed that a Messiah was coming; and this was the basis for God to account him as righteous.
And behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, “This one (Ishmael) shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body (Isaac) shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the LORD, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.12
But God said to Abraham, … for in Isaac your seed (future Messiah) shall be called.13
This verse from Genesis 15:4-6 is the likely place Jesus was referring to, when He said to the Pharisees, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” When God asked Abraham if he understood the plan of salvation through a coming Savior, Abraham confirmed that he believed; and God accounted this belief in the coming Messiah as righteousness.
When you place your trust in Jesus today, you are really placing your confidence in the Great I AM of the Old Testament. Jesus is the One who spoke the universe into existence, in Genesis 1:1, and the One to whom all judgment for all human beings has been committed by the Father.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.14
For by Jesus all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.15
For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son.16
1 Exodus 3:13-14
2 John 8:58-59 (NLT)
3 Lenski’s Commentary on the New Testament for John 8:58
4 Exodus 3:1-2
5 Exodus 3:13-14
6 1 Kings 8:27
7 Isaiah 55:8-9
8 Romans 1:20
9 Hebrews 11:1
10 John 20:29
11 John 8:56-58
12 Genesis 15:4-6
13 Genesis 21:12
14 Genesis 1:1
15 Colossians 1:16-17
16 Colossians 1:16-17
Categories: Jesus born to die, Jesus is God, New Testament Criticism, One Way to Heaven, Religion vs. Relationship, Robert Clifton Robinson, Salvation is a free gift, Salvation through Jesus, The Claims of Jesus, The Existence of God, The Four Gospels, The Historical Jesus, The Historical Jesus
Ok Rob, let’s call it a day. Whilst I always enjoy debates such as this, an impasse is inevitably the result. As a secularist and atheist I clearly don’t accept that many Bible stories are factual at all: Evolutionary theory debunks the Adam & Eve story; geology debunks the Flood tale; and archeology clearly debunks the myth of the Exodus… that, and the fact that the ‘promised land’ of Canaan was a vassal state of Egypt at the time! I used to believe as you do, but modern technology has served to negate most Biblical ‘history’. And, whilst I acknowledge that many of the cities and towns therein existed, and indeed still do – I’ve visited the Bible lands myself – today’s science tells us a completely different story. I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled the world quite extensively, I’ve met people from all religions and none… each as convinced as you are. Who knows if any of you are right, certainly none of your gods can be disproven – but then, neither can pixies. I said earlier that I’ve no need of an afterlife, Rob. However if you do, then I sincerely hope it’ll prove as wonderful as you’ve been led to believe. It’s been great to cross paths with you btw, stay safe. 👍
Thank you Graham for expressing your thoughts and opinions. I enjoyed our exchange. You are always welcome here at my website.
Rob, you clearly believe Jesus is God. Can you explain to me how you square ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’ with the genocidal, homocidal, slavery endorcing, racist, tribalist, misogynistic, infanticidal, homophobic, monster of the OT?
First Graham, The entire Bible declares that Jesus is God. I disagree with your statement that Jesus is a “genocidal, homocidal, slavery endorcing, racist, tribalist, misogynistic, infanticidal, homophobic, monster.”
This is a fabrication of critics, but it is not the evidence we find by studying the Old Testament.
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Perhaps you can tell me what makes you believe these things, one at a time, if possible…
I will need specific examples in the Bible where you find “genocidal, homicidal, slavery endorcing, racist, tribalism, misogynistic, homophobic…”
Perhaps your objection is the the Old Testament law of God that Moses gave the Israelites?
There is a great deal of confusion for many people today, regarding the strange laws of Moses that are described in the Old Testament. This difficulty is due to a misunderstanding of who these laws were intended and what their purpose was.
When a person reads the Laws of Moses, they sometimes get the idea that God has instituted these rules for the whole world and we are required to follow them today. Many critics of the Bible scorn those who believe in the literal interpretation of the Old Testament, because of these dubious laws. Some people stumble over obscure Old Testament laws because they believe that God intends that we keep them today.
As we study the text of these chapters in the Old Testament, we find that only the Children of Israel were given these laws. God was calling a distinct group of people out of the world to be His very own. He wanted to teach these people about who He is and what He requires. In order for the Children of Israel to belong to the Lord, they would have to live holy and separate lives from everyone else in the world. We discover in the New Testament that when Christ came into the world, He fulfilled and completed all these law—fully satisfying the demands of God’s law.
The Three Parts Of God’s Law To The Israelites:
ONE: The Ceremonial Law was specifically given to Israel for worship (Leviticus). These laws were instituted for the purpose of preparing the Israelites for the time when their Messiah would arrive, and ended with the appearance of Jesus as the Messiah. These law described and regulated the procedure for sacrifices and the requirement that were necessary because of sin. The believer in Christ today, no longer must keep the ceremonial laws of Moses because Christ has fulfilled all of these for us.
TWO: The Civil Law was applicable to the Children of Israel for their daily living (Deuteronomy 24). The body of these laws are the primary source of misunderstanding for many people today. These civil laws were only for the Israelites and are not applicable to the believer in Christ today. While the principles behind these laws still have an enduring benefit for everyone today, their actual strict observance is not required. Many of the principles of these laws are highlighted in the text of the New Testament as proper behavior for those who trust in Christ.
THREE: The Moral Law is illustrated by the Ten Commandments. They are the direct commandments of God, and demand obedience (Exodus 20:13). These laws are applicable for every generation and will never end.
The question for us today is whether God expects us to also keep the Ceremonial and Civil laws described by Leviticus and Deuteronomy. This question came up not long after the Christian church began in the first century. The Jews who observed Gentiles coming to Christ, insisted that they also keep the laws of Moses.
Acts 15:1 While Paul and Barnabas were at Antioch of Syria, some men from Judea arrived and began to teach the believers: “Unless you are circumcised as required by the law of Moses, you cannot be saved.”
Acts 15:5-6 But then some of the believers who belonged to the sect of the Pharisees stood up and insisted, “The Gentile converts must be circumcised and required to follow the law of Moses.” So the apostles and elders met together to resolve this issue.
The question of whether the Christian church was required to keep all the laws of Moses as they believed upon Jesus, was address in the Book of Acts, chapter 15. A determination was made by all the Apostles that under the New Covenant of Salvation that was made possible by Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Laws of Moses were no longer applicable to those who believe in Jesus, with the exception of four:
Do not eat meat sacrificed to idols.
Do not commit sexual sin
Do not eat meat where the blood has not been bled out.
Do not drink blood.
Acts 15:11-21 We believe that we are all saved the same way, by the undeserved grace of the Lord Jesus… And so my judgment is that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead, we should write and tell them to 1. abstain from eating food offered to idols, 2. from sexual immorality, 3. from eating the meat of strangled animals, and 4. from consuming blood. For these laws of Moses have been preached in Jewish synagogues in every city on every Sabbath for many generations.
These strange Old Testament laws of mixing fabrics, stoning people to death for sins, daughters sold into slavery, and laws regulating menstruation, genital emission, and many others, were only applicable for the Children of Israel, before Messiah arrived. The purpose of these strict laws were to establish the holiness of God in the minds of the people. Anyone who wanted to approach the God of the Hebrews, must also be holy and separate from the practices of the pagan nations that surrounded them.
The purpose of God’s laws for the Children of Israel was intended as an example to the world that those who will know and worship the God of the Bible must be separate from the traditions of this world. This is the basis of the word “Holy.”
You can spend as long as you like preaching about ‘laws’, etc, but it doesn’t alter scenario. A supreme, omnipotent, creator god was totally unaware its creation would go on to ‘sin’, so felt it necessary to wipe it out in a flood. I’ll leave the Amalekite genocide for later.
If you will be just a bit more patient, I will get to all your questions. The first answer was regarding why God has so many strange laws, which was the subject of your first post and objections.
I also answered your questions regarding the flood and the Amalekites. it’s here now for you to read…
Hello, (NakedFooty) from Twitter. Post your comments and questions here and we can continue:
Hi Rob, you clearly believe Christ is also God. Can you then explain to
me how you square, ‘gentle Jesus meek and mild’ with the genocidal, homicidal, slavery endorcing, racist, tribalism, misogynistic, homophobic, monster of the OT?
I answered this in a previous post…
Apologies. I clearly didn’t wait long enough for it to ‘send’ so posted it twice! I’ll take the genocidal claim first, and start with the obvious… the worldwide Flood and the Amalakites.
Give me just a minute to write my answer…
The issue of the flood and the Amalekites are similar. The premise of God is that He created laws to govern the universe, called the physical laws, or laws of physics. He also created moral laws for man. These laws are to govern and order human life. As with human laws, violations have consequences. Concerning the people before the flood, Genesis 6 states that the world was filled with wickedness, and “every thought and intent of the heart was towards sin continually.” This was a totally depraved society.
God told the people to turn from their depravity and He would forgive them and they could start anew. The people refused and mocked the message of God. God instructed Noah to build an ark, from where He would save all those who believed Him and simply got into the ark. For 100 years Noah built the ark, the people laughed and mocked God’s warning. When the flood came, Noah and his family were the only people who believed God, only they were saved. If the whole world had repented, and did what was right, God would not have sent the flood. Much like Nineveh when Jonah warned them that God’s judgment would fall in 40 days. All the people repented and God spared the entire city.
God warned the Amalekites for 900 years to cease offering their babies to their god Molech, they refused. They were the most brutal, vicious, people ever to live on earth. After 900 years, and all of God’s warning, judgment came and they all died. The reason women, children and everyone died, was the Amalekites attacked Israel from behind during their journey into the land, killing the women, children, everyone who was weak and sick. God’s judgment against the Amalekites, was equal to their crime…
In order for God to forgive sin, there must be a just basis for this forgiveness. When a person wrongs us, we may choose to forgive his error and release him from the debt he owes us.
In order for God to have a just reason to forgive, a penalty must be paid by the person who committed the wrong. According to the law of God: Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22).
Jurisprudence requires that a penalty be paid when a crime has been committed. To enact laws without the enforcement of those laws would constitute injustice. God has said, The soul that sins will die; therefore, when we sin, the law requires that we must die.
Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.”
Only God possesses the right to institute laws by virtue of His title as Creator. Since He is perfect in every regard, His law is always just and true. It is impossible that God could institute any directive which did not have a righteous basis.
Psalms 19:7 The law of the LORD is perfect…
We may not understand the laws of God but we should accept, as a basic fundamental principle: whatever God has said, is the truth—for He cannot lie.
Titus 1:2 …God, who cannot lie…
Hebrews 6:18 t… it is impossible for God to lie…
The Purpose Of God’s Law
If the Lord has commanded us to adhere to certain rules of moral conduct, these directives will always have our best interests at heart. His infinite wisdom and eternal knowledge of all things allows Him the benefit of knowing the reasons and consequences for every law that He institutes.
Every law of God is designed to order and protect human life, the animals that share this world with us, and the planet itself.
Imagine that God would declare laws by His wisdom and then fail to enforce them by His power. If God did not punish those who break His laws, then He could not be trusted to reward those who obey Him.
The Justice Of God
What kind of nation would the United States be, if the laws instituted by the executive and legislative branches of our government were not enforced by the judicial branch, with penalties exacted against those who violated these laws? This land would be unsafe and unfit for any decent person to live in.
If God cannot be trusted to do what He has said, both positively and negatively, then He cannot be trusted at all. What makes God trustworthy is the certainty that He always does what He says He will do. More importantly, since God has promised to punish sin, we can understand that there are moral absolutes in the world. We are not left to decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. All of the laws of civilized societies have, as their origin, the laws of God—defined first in the Old Testament. Each one of us understands that if we break human laws, we will suffer a penalty for our errors.
Part of the justice of God is to forever deal with the curse of sin and death. God did not create human beings to suffer the horrible effects of sin, sickness, and death. He made us perfect, morally upright, and eternal. The dreadful condition that the word in in, today, is due to sin. If anyone should deny that sin is a reality, they would have to be completely blind to all of the unjust actions of human beings that occur every day on the earth. Rich and prosperous people do not sin more than the poor. I have traveled a good part of the earth and the universal truth that I have discovered about people is that they are the same everywhere you go. There is selfishness, evil, corruption, and violence in every corner of this planet. One of the stunning proofs for the validity of the Bible, as the word of the Living God, is the manner in which He describes our true nature.
Genesis 6:5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (ESV)
The purpose and plan of God is to end all sin and the horrific effects that it causes. We have been robbed of the infinite blessings that God so earnestly wants to give us. Sin has ruined our lives and our planet and deprived us all of the beauty that life was meant to contain. Soon, the Lord will restore the earth to His original purpose and make all human life full of joy and perfect, forevermore.
Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
First, God must deal with our sins; then He can restore us. The method by which The Lord has dealt with all of our sins is by the death of Jesus, the Messiah. He took our place and paid the penalty that was due for the sins of the whole world.
As much as God loves us, He cannot break His own law: The soul that sins must die.
You missed my point, Rob. How is it that an OMNISCIENT deity was totally unaware what would happen? Or are you telling me the flood genocide was premeditated?
He wasn’t unaware. Before He created the universe, He knew that allowing us a choice, would result in a wrong choice and we would all be lost. This was necessary because the only way to have people who really love us, is to give them the choice to love or not love. Jesus is described in the book of Revelation as “the lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” This means that before God created the universe, earth, or humans, He knew we would need a Savior, and Jesus offered His life, to die for us, so that we could again have a choice to love God or not love Him.
Those who choose to love God and accept His gracious offer of a full pardon and eternal life, have it.
Salvation is a free gift, paid for by the death and resurrection of Jesus.
God wants the same things we want: to live with people who love Him. The only way this was possible is by this long process of creation, choice, failure, salvation, and redemption. God is gathering a family or people who genuinely love Him.
He will not force anyone to love Him, but He will also hold us responsible for our action or inaction, of rejecting the free offer of salvation in Christ.
‘He knew that allowing us a choice, would result in a wrong choice…’.
So, premeditated genocide it is.
Graham, either you are sincerely looking for answers and to understand God, or you are looking to scoff and criticize, which is it? I have no interest in insincere conversation with a scoffer. If you have honest questions that originate in a sincere desire to learn the truth, we can continue. If you only want to argue and scoff at all God has done for us, then perhaps this will not work.
You decide. I am here to answer honest people with sincere questions…
It’s entirely honest, Rob. The fact your need to believe overshadows glaring dichotomies and contradictions in your story isn’t my fault. Yes, if this creator god existed then clearly I find it abhorrent, but that’s not my point. My point is to alert you to these problems and (hopefully) get you to consider them and supply answers. So far I see nothing but the predictable apologetics of a guy wrapped in the tendrils of religious indoctrination. If you find my questions objectionable then I’m happy to call it a day whenever you are. But, however contrary you may feel they are, or how angry they make you feel, I’m simply posing questions.
Graham, notice how you asked your previous question: “‘He knew that allowing us a choice, would result in a wrong choice…’.So, premeditated genocide it is.”
You do not find this abhorrent, considering that I did answer this question with a very logical, conclusive response: “God wants the same things we want: to live with people who love Him. The only way this was possible is by this long process of creation, choice, failure, salvation, and redemption. God is gathering a family or people who genuinely love Him.”
You seem to find it repulsive that God wants people to love Him sincerely. I would guess that you want the same thing, yet you criticize God for desiring genuine love.
Certainly as an intelligent person you understand that genuine love cannot be forced. We have to give someone the right to choose not to love us. In order to gain a family of people who really love God, He had to allow us to choose, and fail. Then He comes and picks up the pieces, offers us forgiveness for our failure, and the opportunity to have a second chance. To this you say, “premeditated genocide.”
Why when human judges execute judgment against people who have broken the law, do you consider that process just, but not when the Creator and Judge of the universe does the same thing? God told us that if we choose evil over love, we will die. People choose to embrace evil anyway. God does what He said He would do, judges and pronounces the penalty, you say “genocide.” It is not genocide when a penalty is carried out for law breakers, it is called justice.
God always warns us first, then gives us lots of time to decide what we will do. In the matter of our wrong choice to disobey His laws, He didn’t say “hey that’s it, you broke the law, I’m going to punish you.” No he sent His only Son to pay the penalty for us and die in our place, why? LOVE.
The people who died in the flood of Noah had 100 years to change their minds and obey the moral laws of God, they refused, and they all died. Why? Justice.
The people of Nineveh also received a warning from God. They believed Him, obeyed, repented and ceased their evil, and God spared the entire city. Why? LOVE
He is a Great God of Love, but He is equally a Great God of Justice. He will punish sin. Either we let Jesus pay the penalty for our sins, or we will pay for them ourselves.
Why should Jesus, who is God, perfect in every way, has no need of anything to make Himself happier or more complete, offer to come to earth and fix our mistakes, by dying for us? He shouldn’t have done it, if you asked me. He wanted to do it because He loves us and doesn’t want you, me, or anyone else to be lost.
Your response to His love is to criticize His judgement of evil and the penalty these people inflicted upon themselves for their disobedience, and accuse God of genocide. These responses Graham are uncalled for, and they show that your intentions are not honorable.
So before you decide that God and the reasons He does what He does is evil, may I suggest you look in the mirror and then examine your own heart. God has done everything He could possibly do to save you from your own mistakes and give you an eternal existence that is beyond your ability to comprehend in it’s beauty and perfection, and all you can do is to accuse Him of genocide for executing judgement against evil.
I hope that in the future, you might be a little more respectful in your comments, and ask sincere questions. Believe me, I have many other things I could be doing while I am talking to you. I am here for you because, like Jesus, I also care about you… I have no other reason to spend this time and write what I am placing here. You matter, and I care about your life.
Finally, it is important to say that although you have asked very important and relevant questions regarding “why God created us, knowing we would sin and require judgment,” when you received a very logical and reasonable answer: “This is the only way that God could have a family who loves Him, if we are given a choice,” you did not accept this answer and scoffed at what God has done, and said that God had committed: “premeditated genocide.”
This comment in the face of a reasonable answer to your question, defines your motives as not seeking knowledge so that you might know God and understand Him, but rebellion against God, with no desire to know or understand Him.
There is a difference between unbelief and doubt:
Unbelief is a matter of the will; it causes people to rebel against God and say, “No matter what the Lord says or does, I will not believe and obey!”
Doubt is a matter of the heart and the emotions; it is what people experience when they waver between fear and faith (Matt. 14:31; James 1:5-8).
The doubter says, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” The Lord seeks to encourage doubters and help them believe, but the only thing He can do with the unbelief of rebels is bring judgment.
Understanding that nothing I say to you when you pose a question, will affect you in any way (as it appears), how can I continue to answer your questions understanding that you real difficulty is that you are in rebellion against God and nothing that is said regarding Him will impact you. In this state, as many atheists are, it is impossible to engage in fruitful discussion.
As you pose future questions or objections, you will be doing so with the sole purpose of trying to impeach the Christian Gospel, and those who love Christ, not to gain knowledge for the purpose of finding out who God is so that you might know Him.
I have no interest in these types of debate. They are only for show and they do not achieve the real purpose of debate in matters of God: to help people learn who God is so they can find faith to trust Him and be saved. All other reasons are irrelevant and needless, in my estimation.
I mean these things sincerely, Graham. I have no other motive for answering your questions, except to lead you to Christ. While you remain in rebellion to God, you will not be ready to receive anything I say. There remains no point, wouldn’t you agree?
If you are honestly seeking information and answers to questions you personally have about God and the Bible, so that you might know Him, then we can continue, and I am perfectly willing to continue and answer any question you present.
I would appreciate your honesty in this regard.
Postscript: It may also be that you are pretending to be an adversary of God and the Bible, but in your heart you really want to find answers to questions you have not thus far found…
I Twittered and Facebooked this!