7. The more we follow the divine design in the way we live, the more we receive power against evil and falsity from God’s omnipotence, receive wisdom about goodness and truth from God’s omniscience, and are in God because of God’s omnipresence. (Continued): The Second Memorable Occurance

Once I heard a strange murmur from far away. In my spirit I followed the path of the sound and moved closer to its source. When I reached it, to my surprise it was a group of spirits debating predestination and the [divine] assignment of spiritual credit or blame. They were Dutch and English, with a few spirits from other countries. At the end of each piece of reasoning they were shouting, “We’re amazed! We’re amazed!”

The topic of the debate was this: “Why doesn’t God assign his Son’s merit and justice to all the people he has created and treat them all as redeemed? He is omnipotent. If he wants, can’t he make Lucifer, the dragon, and all the goats into archangels? He is omnipotent. Why does he let the Devil’s injustice and ungodliness triumph over his Son’s justice and the piety of those who worship God? It would be very easy for God to see all people as worthy of faith and therefore salvation. What would it take except a little word to that effect? If he doesn’t do this, isn’t he acting against his own words, which are that he wants the salvation of all and the death of none [Ezekiel 33:11]? Tell us, then: Where and what is the cause of damnation for those who perish?”

Then some Dutch person who believed in predestination, including the predestination of the fall of Adam [Genesis 3], said, “That decision is simply up to the Omnipotent One. Does the clay complain to the potter when he makes a chamber pot out of it?”

Another one said, “The decision regarding everyone’s salvation is in God’s hand, as a pair of scales is in the hand of someone weighing something.”

At the sides stood a number of people who were simple in faith and upright at heart. Some of these bystanders had bloodshot eyes, some seemed stunned, some seemed drunk, and some seemed to be suffocating. They were muttering to each other, “What have we to do with all this deliriousness? They believe that God the Father attributes his Son’s justice to whomever he wants, whenever he wants, and sends his Holy Spirit to give the rewards of that justice. This belief has made them stupid. To them it seems that in order to avoid claiming for ourselves even a speck of contribution to our own salvation, we must act in every way like a stone when we undertake to become justified, and like a piece of dead wood in matters spiritual.”

Then one of these bystanders pushed his way into the group and said in a loud voice, “Oh, you demented people! You are debating about goat’s wool! Obviously you don’t realize that God Almighty is the divine design itself and that the laws of the divine design are countless. Their number, of course, is the number of truths in the Word. God cannot act against those laws, because acting against them would be acting against himself. It would be acting not only against justice but also against his own omnipotence.”

The bystander looked over to the right and saw in the distance what looked like a sheep and a lamb, as well as a dove in flight. To the left he saw a goat, a wolf, and a vulture. He said, “You believe that God in his omnipotence could turn that goat into a sheep, that wolf into a lamb, and that vulture into a dove, or the reverse. Not so. Doing that is against the laws of his divine design, of which not even the tip of one letter can fall to the ground, according to his own words [Luke 16:17]. How then could God put the justice of his Son’s redemption into someone who is rebelling against the laws of his justice? How can justice itself commit the injustice of predestining anyone to hell, and throwing anyone into the fire beside which the Devil stands, lighting the torches that he holds? Oh, you demented people, empty of spirit! Your faith has led you astray. In your hands faith is like a trap for catching doves.”

When he finished saying this, some sorcerer of the opposite belief made a kind of trap. He hung it in a tree and said, “Watch me catch that dove!” Soon a hawk flew to the trap, stuck its neck in, and hung limp. The dove saw the hawk and flew away. The bystanders were amazed and shouted, “That is impressive—a just reward!”

from True Christianity, Volume 1, Section 72

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