3. In the universe and everything in it, God’s omnipotence follows and works through the laws of its design (Continued)

If, as the modern-day belief goes, God’s omnipotence was as absolute for doing evil as it is for doing good, surely it would be possible, even easy, for God to lift the whole of hell to heaven. He could turn devils and satans into angels. In a moment he could take all the ungodly people on earth, purify them from sin, make them new, holy, and reborn, and justify them, turning them from children of wrath into children of grace [Ephesians 2:3–8] solely by assigning and attributing to them the justice of his Son.

God cannot do this with his omnipotence. It is against the laws of his design for the universe. It is also against the laws of his design for human beings, which dictate that the individual and God have to form a mutual partnership. (From later sections in this book (Sections 89, 99, 100, 110:4–6, 368–372) you will see that this is the case.)

The ridiculous modern-day belief about God’s omnipotence would mean that God could turn all goat people into sheep people and move them at will from his left side to his right [Matthew 25:31–46]. He could transform the dragon’s spirits into Michael’s angels [Revelation 12:7]. He could give the sight of an eagle to someone with an intellect like a mole. In a word, he could make a dove person out of an owl person.

God cannot do these things, because doing so is against the laws of his design, although he never stops wanting to or trying. If he could have done things like this he would not have let Adam listen to the serpent, pluck a piece of fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and bring it to his mouth. If God could have avoided it, he would not have let Cain kill his brother. He would not have let David take a census of the people; he would not have let Solomon build shrines for idols, or let the kings of Judah and Israel desecrate the Temple, which they did a number of times. Indeed if he could have, he would have saved the whole human race without exception through his Son’s redemption and would have uprooted hell in its entirety.

Ancient gentiles ascribed this kind of omnipotence to their gods and goddesses, as you can see from their myths. For example, in the story of Deucalion and Pyrrha, the stones they throw behind their backs become people; in another story Apollo turns Daphne into a laurel tree; in another, Diana turns a hunter into a deer. And there is a myth that one of their gods turned the young maidens of Parnassus into magpies. The belief about divine omnipotence today is similar to these ancient myths. In every region where there is religion many fanatical and heretical ideas have been brought into the world as a result.

from True Christianity, Section 58

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