PDA

View Full Version : a can of worms



jhamrick
02-06-02, 12:13 PM
2 Cor:3) And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
(4) in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.


SO, who is the God of this world?


If it is Satan, it kind of sheds new light on the idea of predestination.
This makes it seem that Satan keeps people from knowing God's grace, and therefore are not saved. Yes, they are still powerless over their Salvation, but it is not that God has chosen to codemn them.
Now, God obviously would still have to allow this, but it does make the intent look different.

...just a thought.

countrymouse
02-07-02, 01:38 PM
Hi, jhamrick!

Are you proposing that there is a difference between what God determines and what he permits?

jhamrick
02-07-02, 02:22 PM
Ummm..... Not sure, I'm really just questioning and thinking "out loud".

But yes, if Satan is the God of this world, and he causes people not to be saved, then it would seem that he determines it, not God.

Of course, God must allow it, but he also allows sin, but he doesn't neccessarily cause it.....right?

countrymouse
02-07-02, 10:24 PM
It's a good question! Boy, nobody around here asks any easy ones, do they?! :)

Since I read the Bible from a covenant perspective, I would say that "this world" in that reference may mean the world of apostate Judaism, the earthly Jerusalem that had rejected her Messiah having failed to correctly interpret the signs of the times.

The word "satan" itself means enemy. I was reading Genesis 3 yesterday and thinking about its implications. Have you noticed that God told the serpent that he would put enmity between the woman's seed and the serpent's seed? Did you ever wonder who the serpent's seed was or is? It set me thinking...

Every time God judged Israel for her sins, he did it by bringing another nation to conquer Israel (in which I'm including Judah) and make her subject. Then, when Israel repented, he judged that nation, sometimes by ending it's existence entirely (as in the neo-Babylonian empire). My point is that Satan was almost always "hosted" or embodied in a nation, empire or king. All the demonic activity among the Jews in Jesus' day was a sign that God had given them over to their ultimate enemy himself. There's no record of such activity among them preceding that time, at least none that I'm aware of.

Of course, God also, at the same time, sent their promised Messiah, the only one in whom they could hope for deliverance. Those whom God had appointed to eternal life believed, so that God would have a remnant for whom to fulfill his promises to Israel. It was Israel to whom God had promised a new covenant, and gentiles were "grafted" into her, also in fulfillment of promises.


=====

I realize I've just told you a whole lot of stuff you already knew :o , but back to the question. Does God cause some people not to believe? Is it a matter of permission or causation? I believe God chose to give saving grace to some and not others. We were all already locked up under sin; it's not a matter of forbidding some, but of effectively enabling some to believe and not others. It's a little like asking whether the glass is half full or half empty. He has chosen to leave some in the state they're already in. I think Scripture makes that very clear.

Why? We don't understand everything about God's purposes. But he has revealed a little of his reason for this:


Romans 9 (NASB, 1995 update)
22. What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?
23. And {He did so} to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory ...


I think that God always intended this earthly existance to be a testing ground. His initial provision for Adam and Eve was less than his provision for us. He will allow us to stumble, perhaps to weed out self-righteousness. But under the New Covenant, God will not allow us to break covenant as Adam and Eve did. Our covenant condition is belief, and he has made it our nature to believe in him, through the grace of regeneration.

That's the limit of my understanding of the issue, anyway!


Blessings,
cm

gsr
02-07-02, 10:34 PM
Well Lucifer may be the god of this world and he may influence events. Total control though belongs to the GOD of this universe. And there is a battle fought every moment for every living soul this side of eternity. The die is cast in something harder than stone after this side of eternity.

jhamrick
02-07-02, 11:29 PM
cm said:
"I realize I've just told you a whole lot of stuff you already knew"

Hey, don't assume too much, I may be dumber than you think :D
Seriously though, that was a very interesting perspective.


Also, I'm not absolutely disagreeing with your view, and the quote from Romans 9, I'm asking, "Is it possible that the way God has set up to do this is by allowing the enemy to blind us, instead of blinding us Himself?"

This may seem very similar, and possibly trivial, but to me it makes a world of difference. It could be used to explain why some of the "all"s and "world"s are used in the often quoted texts. Because it wasn't God's intent to condemn these people, it was Satan's, and God allowed it.

Once again, I am making no real theological statement here, I'm just thinking through these verses for the first time.

HIS
02-08-02, 05:13 AM
jhamrick,

2 Cor 4:3-4 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

Note: Keep in mind that this “god” above is lower case ‘g.’ The one true God is always in upper case. :)

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

John 8:23 And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

1 John 2:15-16 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Rev 12:9 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.

countrymouse
02-08-02, 08:04 AM
Originally posted by jhamrick
Also, I'm not absolutely disagreeing with your view, and the quote from Romans 9, I'm asking, "Is it possible that the way God has set up to do this is by allowing the enemy to blind us, instead of blinding us Himself?"

First, as the verses quoted by HIS plainly show, Satan was God's instrument in blinding the people. or actually, keeping them bound under their own blindness. By the way, the enemy has not blinded US! Thanks be to God! What you're almost asking here, although I don't think you know it, is whether it is God who elects, or Satan.

Clearly it is God who has decided. Let's look at this passage from Matthew 13: (NASB, update)


10. And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"
11. Jesus answered them, "To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.
12. "For whoever has, to him {more} shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.
13. "Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.
14. "In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, 'YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;
15. FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.'
16. "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.
17. "For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see {it,} and to hear what you hear, and did not hear {it.}

It looks as though understanding was given to the disciples as a gift. Surely we recognize that God gave them understanding, not Satan. Israel, as a group, had become dull of understanding. So why did God choose these particular people to whom to give insight? Was it because they were superior, in and of themselves? No, they proved to be pretty dull-minded themselves, several times. How many times did Jesus say to them, (my paraphrased version) "You still don't get it, do you?" Even they thought Jesus was going to, at any moment, gather an army and take down the Roman empire. They didn't understand that Jesus had come to establish Israel as a spiritual kingdom under a new covenant. They were looking for earthly blessings, when God wanted to give them heavenly ones!

Notice also that Israel bore responsibility for her own blindness and dullness.

So, Satan does the actual dirty work, but only to those God has chosen to leave in his hands. The decision belongs to God.


Blessings,
cm

jhamrick
02-08-02, 08:20 AM
cm, thanks for your responses, they have been very helpful.

"So, Satan does the actual dirty work, but only to those God has chosen to leave in his hands. The decision belongs to God."

That still somehow to me makes it more understandable. However another problem arises; how can God and Satan work together towards a common goal?

Brandan
02-08-02, 09:03 AM
Josh,

Good question...

Some insight into this can be found here...


Job 1:7-12, (NIV)
7 The LORD said to Satan, "Where have you come from?" Satan answered the LORD, "From roaming through the earth and going to and fro in it."
8 Then the LORD said to Satan, "Have you considered my servant Job? There is no-one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil."
9 "Does Job fear God for nothing?" Satan replied.
10 "Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.
11 But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face."
12 The LORD said to Satan, "Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger." Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.

Notice here that Satan is coming to God and receiving permission to strike Job.

Here is another passage that might give you some insight:
Acts 26:16-18, (NASB)
16 'But get up and stand on your feet; for this purpose I have appeared to you, to appoint you a minister and a witness not only to the things which you have seen, but also to the things in which I will appear to you;
17 rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,
18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me.'

Here we have Satan asking God for permission to tempt Peter:
Lk 22:31-32, (WEB)
31 The Lord said, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan asked to have you, that he might sift you as wheat,
32 but I prayed for you, that your faith wouldn't fail. You, when once you have turned again, establish your brothers."

countrymouse
02-08-02, 09:17 AM
Good morning, Kermie!

jhamrick, as Kermie demonstrated, it's not a friendly arrangement; nor is it an arrangement between equals.

Odyssey
02-09-02, 12:46 PM
To make this really interesting:

'But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them' (KJV).

Now for something intersting. The term used for 'god' is 'theos (theh’-os)' and according to Strong's it means, 'of uncertain affinity; a deity, especially (with 3558) the supreme Divinity' and it translated in the KJV as 'God 1320, god 13, godly 3, God-ward (+ 4214) 2.'

Then there is the following:

1) a god or goddess, a general name of deities or divinities

2) the Godhead, trinity
2a) God the Father, the first person in the trinity
2b) Christ, the second person of the trinity
2c) Holy Spirit, the third person in the trinity

3) spoken of the only and true God
3a) refers to the things of God
3b) his counsels, interests, things due to him

4) whatever can in any respect be likened unto God, or resemble him in any way
4a) God’s representative or viceregent
4a1) of magistrates and judges

It seems to me that the most comman way of translating this term is 'God' with a capital 'G.'

Grace to you,

jak

countrymouse
02-10-02, 08:34 PM
This will take some time, brother jak!

Blessings,

cm

Brandan
02-11-02, 07:24 AM
Here are some passages that apply to this conversation...

Romans 11:5-10, (NASB), In the same way then, there has also come to be at the present time a remnant according to God's gracious choice. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. What then? What Israel is seeking, it has not obtained, but those who were chosen obtained it, and the rest were hardened; just as it is written, "God gave them a spirit of stupor, Eyes to see not and ears to hear not, Down to this very day." And David says, "Let their table become a snare and a trap, And a stumbling block and a retribution to them. "Let their eyes be darkened to see not, And bend their backs forever."

2 Peter 2:10-13, (NASB), and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they do not tremble when they revile angelic majesties, whereas angels who are greater in might and power do not bring a reviling judgment against them before the Lord. But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you,

Jude 1:4, (NASB), For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation, ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Matthew 11:25-27, (NASB), At that time Jesus said, "I praise You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. "Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.

John 8:42-44, (NASB), Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. "Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word. "You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

HIS
02-11-02, 11:12 AM
Kermie presents a great text (among the others) to consider:


Originally posted by kermie
You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

James 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:

James 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

*********

Odyssey...If it were "common" to translate 'god' of this world with an upper-case 'G' then you would think some of the tanslations of the Scripture would do this. Is there even one translation that does? If not, I would not assume your thinking is absolute.

The 'god' of this world is the devil...

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Christ (who was God) said that His kingdom was not of this world...

I do agree that God Himself does allow people to be 'blinded' to the truth. But, that is primarily because they do not have a love for wanting to know it...

Grace and peace,
HIS

Odyssey
02-11-02, 12:27 PM
HIS,

My comments were not my own. I was just quoting from Stong's and how the AV translators translated 'theos' as 'God' more than 'god.'

Concerning the 'god of this world': I never stated it was common for the phrase 'god of this world' to be translated as 'God of this world.' I wrote that the term 'theos' was more consistantly translated as 'God' (1320 times) instead of 'god' (13 times).

Furthermore, the correct term for 'world' is 'age' and that would be the OC Jewish age. 'Satan' was the 'god' of that age, but has never, at any time, been the 'god of the world.'

Lastly, I believe that god himself does the blinding.

Grace to you,

jak

Starfleet
02-11-02, 12:48 PM
Originally posted by jhamrick

But yes, if Satan is the God of this world, and he causes people not to be saved, then it would seem that he determines it, not God.

Of course, God must allow it, but he also allows sin, but he doesn't neccessarily cause it.....right?

I will take a quite crack at this topic as well. Satan does not 'cause' in the sense of forces people not to be saved. He tempts, encourages, soothes people away from God. Therefore he does not determine it.

Satan is called 'god' of this world. The translators use the lower case 'g' because he is not God. All the 'gods' that are not Jehovah mentioned in the OT and NT are false gods. They do not exist in actuality. People made them up. But Satan does exist. Does that mean he is a god? If I call myself a god, then am I? NO! He is the god of this world in the sense that he the main bad guy. He has some control over the worldly things, but not ultimate control. He is a false god, just as much as anyone calling themselves a god.

In regard to your second part, God is 'indirectly' responsible to allow bad things to happen usually for the purpose of good.

Well, I am all thought for now.

God bless you jhamrick.

Starfleet :D
Home of the Maple Leafs

jhamrick
02-11-02, 01:38 PM
Hey guys,
Just wanted to let you know that my reason for not commenting. It isn't for lack of interest, quite the opposite. I have been reading all the posts and found them all to be very enlightening and helpful.

Thanks guys!

HIS
02-11-02, 02:51 PM
Odyssey,

I understand what you are saying now. All I am wanting to suggest is the Satan is the great deciever of the world.

I would agree with Starfleet's posting. This whole matter goes back to the garden (in the beginning). Satan is the father of lies and a deciever of many.

HIS

disciple
03-21-02, 06:15 PM
just some other verses for consideration (parable of the soils or sower; mt 13, mk 4, lk 8):

Mt 13:19 "When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road."

Mk 4:15 "These are the ones who are beside the road where the word is sown; and when they hear, immediately Satan comes and takes away the word which has been sown in them. "

Lk 8:12 "Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved."

EndureToLive
03-21-02, 07:16 PM
Get ready for this, Disciple, I was going to post those same verses from the sower and the seed. Though we may not agree on the rest...we shall see. Heh heh.

What has been stated so far -

1. Satan is the god of this world
2. Satan can only do what he is permitted to do
3. Sometimes God allows Satan to work to achieve His purposes (though most assuredly unbeknownst to Lucifer, and not as co-workers), i.e. the death of Christ, the numbering of the Israelites by King David, Job, etc.

What I think is good to note here is that Satan takes away the seed from their hearts, "lest they should believe and be saved." When I see the elect being spoken of in these forums, it seems that it is believed that before the foundations, God elected some to be enlightened, thereby by non-election electing the others for destruction. No problem there, until you get to the part where He did this arbitrarily. What seems to be missed here is that the elect were not just elected at random or by some arbitrary method. Election was based on God's foreknowledge.

Romans 8:29 - "For whom He foreknew..."
1 Peter 1:2 - "...elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father..."

The truth is that God desires all men to be saved (1 Tim 2:4), and His gift of justification is extended to all man (Romans 5:18). Now, I pause to concede that of his own, man will never seek God, but it is the Spirit that draws a man to the Father. Man, however makes the choice to believe or not, and Satan is right on the scene to do all he can to keep man from choosing to believe and be saved. Choosing is not works, but an action taken in response to Gods call. This is the reason that when the seed of the word of God falls on a hardened heart, Satan is there to quickly take it away, "lest they believe and be saved."

Well, that's a nutshell.

Strength & Honor
:cool: :cool:

aletheo
03-26-02, 10:10 PM
Some say evil doesn't properly exist, but is the absence of good. I forgot where I heard that. So I guess to turn from God is to be in darkness, falsehood, death, hatred, destruction, etc, but it 'exists' in 'void,' or devoid of God. This is the condition of the world since the Fall, apart from God's grace entering in, and it is the condition of the devil and the demons since their 'fall from grace.'

EndureToLive
03-27-02, 12:35 AM
Originally posted by countrymouse
Since I read the Bible from a covenant perspective, I would say that "this world" in that reference may mean the world of apostate Judaism, the earthly Jerusalem that had rejected her Messiah having failed to correctly interpret the signs of the times.

Just wondering here - If Paul was addressing the Corinthians, does it make sense that he would be telling them what is going on in the world of apostate judaism? No. There really is a point at which we must set aside the colored glasses and accept the words as they are. Paul is referring to this world as a whole, in which satan has been allowed much latitude to blind and deceive.

:cool:

countrymouse
03-27-02, 07:33 AM
Let's look at the verse in question, along with verse 3:


2 Corinthians 4:3-4
3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing,
4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.


"In whose case" refers to "those who are perishing." Taking audience relevance into consideration, Paul was speaking of people throughout the Roman empire ("the habitable world") living at that time.

My conclusion regarding this particular verse (and a correction to my previous post) is that Paul was not speaking only of the Jewish world, but of the whole Roman empire, the civilized world at that time. Both Caligula and Nero, as emporers, embodied evil and symbolized "the god of this world." The pagan idolatry of the empire itself is evidence enough.

We still have to recognize that Satan's authority was derivative, granted to him by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in order to accomplish God's own righteous purposes.

Grace and Peace to you,
cm