Sabbath Message 090642120A
I thought that we might appreciate the exchange between Dr Arne Roaldnes of Norway and Scadnavia on the Plan of Salvation as follows.
I took myself some freedom to speculate on some of the things that your message addresses. It is not quite short so you may not have the time to read it. Maybe I also have dared to think higher than I should and above my abilities, and a mind trained in philosophy will perhaps pick it to pieces. In a way, at least, I enjoyed writing it.
Thanks for the sabbath message and paper the Plan of salvation which is a very good synopsis of everything worth thinking and saying. No one did this better that I know of!
Still, the question of how it all started, is not easy to envision, and is, I guess beyond mere human comprehension. It is for example difficult to comprehend the concept of anything having existed always. The concept of " always " belongs in itself in the structure of linear thinking- something that belongs inside of time that in itself had a beginning at a point when the Absolute being, the one who exists in pure absoluteness expanded himself in relativity, and strictly speaking can only have relevance inside of time, and to the degree that even time has an end, even " always " have both a beginning and an end and is therefore in a way self contradictory, at least the way it normally is used.
So even "always" is not really always, if so be that it is conceptually limited inside of time. But still a form of existence outside of the frame of time is at least thinkable, and we have no better word to describe it than " always " or "from ever/everlasting ". So that is perhaps why the Bible speaks in terms of aeons/ages which is maybe the only concept conceivable, at least partly, to the human mind.
[Yes God exists in another dimension outside of what we understand as time. Ed.]
It is rather self evident to me that something different from matter must be behind our physical universe and our existence. The materialist's assertion that " matter have always existed " does not seem like a reliable axiom . Even this is likewise incomprehensible ( as the concept of God having " always existed ") , but on the other hand, to hold that matter had a beginning ( which is a consequence of the big bang concept which now is generally held to be a " reliable " scientific theory ), and which admits ( if one is honest ) of a causative principle, will, on scientific grounds even, relegate us back to the concept of something immaterial existing outside of time and matter. For the materialist, if he cannot , or will not, accept the possibility of something immaterial having absolute existence, he is then forced to contemplate the concept of absolute nothingness, which is even more impossible to conceive of. If he does, the bottom will have to fall out of his mere existence since nothingness by definition cannot create or initiate even the slightest speck of dust. So if he expects himself to be anything at all, his something is still more worthless and nothingness-founded than even the least speck of slime or dust, and he knows it .
[I explain this in B5. Ed.]
The concept of God having always existed, is in spite of its correctness (apart from the linguistic and philosophical problem with describing something outside the realm of linear time experience with time bound language ),very difficult to wrap one´s mind around, but it is still logically sound and even, I think, necessitated by the undeniable fact of the existence in itself. That God must be a personal , reasoning and self-knowing entity is also rather self evident, and the fact that he can be only one, is beyond logical dispute.
[Yes. Again B5. Ed.]
If it is true that we as humans have reasoning and intelligent faculties, our first intelligent insight must be that they are still very limited.That, I think, is also self evident. Maybe we could trust that we are given enough capacity to reason and understand ( and that is the position of the Bible, of course ) that we, guided by the working and will of God himself, provided that such understanding be acted upon, would be enabled to attain to salvation - if that is the purpose of our existence, as we trust.
So if we step out of time, and " back " ( this is linear and maybe not valid ) God was there alone, and since he had not created anything, he filled the whole existence - as he in a way even does still today . This is very difficult to conceive of , but is logically valid, as far as I can see. Since he necessarily was, and is perfect, and in need of nothing, none of what he eventually decided could improve his situation or add to his happiness, abilities or fortunes. Why then did he decide to create, why did he embark on this drama of extending himself to allow all the multiplicity, included all the relatively existing beings with their suffering and the experience of evil.
Since he must of necessity be self sufficient, omnipotent and all-knowing, nothing of what he did would potentate himself or make his effort in creation make himself more magnificent than he already was. So then, why did he create? Did he do it for our sake? Did he even before the act of creation deem it better for the relative beings like us , to exist rather than not to exist? That he deemed it advantageous for anyone who did not exist to start existing? Hardly. In that case he would be obliged to just do it, and he would be under command, which is inappropriate. So in the end : will the creation have added anything to him or his universe, that he could not have been without the creation?
[The Creation stems from His own Nature. In that way He understood that He could extend life to become part of His being. He may simply have decided to do that instead of being alone. We do not as yet understand the intent and purpose of the Creation. As Paul said we see though a glass darkly. Ed.]
The creation will of course result in millions of creatures that honor him and worship him. I guess we will all do it because we prefer to exist rather than not. This I think, may even be a kind of response he has built into us. [Yes. There is a desire in all mankind to find and worship God. In the same way that we seek family. Ed.]
He did by no means need us to be created, but when we first were on stage, and physical life was effected, he put us under an obligation to keep onto our lives the best we could. We instinctively ( even the brute animals are hardwired for living ) fear and try to avoid death and nonexistence at whatever cost. This the creator obviously have built into our very fabric. All his creation is geared towards upholding one's own life ( even sometimes to the violent expense of others) . And we love it and adore it and feel thankful for the possibility of being and living. We are so hardwired to this that we cannot even conceive of non existence, and shun even the slightest thought of its possibility.
[Yes. Hence Satan could invent the immortal soul and we swallowed the bait. Ed]
But for the creator himself, who is not dependent on anyone, who does not need anything what we can give him; who owns everything and who is able to rise up worshippers from the pebbles on the ground? Why did he start this unless also he himself saw that there was something to gain?
[Gratitude and obedience in the creation seems to be what He has asked for. Ed]
But in that case, must we not admit that God in his pre-creative state at least must be described as being in a state of unrealized potentiality and as such not complete or perfect? [Omniscience and Omnipotence obviate this as a weakness. It is merely His realisation of His own potentiality as an extended being. Ed]
Could this be a blow then to the concept of the perfect being- the Almighty God ? Unless ,maybe , we incorporate into this concept also the potenciality as part of his absoluteness. [Yes this is achieved through His omniscience. Ed] This would then mean that this absolute being also have the absolute potensiality to be, or even become whatever he wills. And it must entail that he was of such a perfect composition and comprehensiveness that whatever he did , it was perfect and came out with what was perfect and in a way then, what came out was also " unavoidable ". [Yes. From the Logic of His own nature. Ed] If so, then God creates because it is part of the concept of his perfectness. [Yes. Ed] The reason for the creation then is that it came out as display of a quality of and the innate status of his perfectness and omniality ( this is a word I think I have invented - it does not exist in Norwegian, and even not in English ), and not for anything that can be described as a gain to him in the meaning that it adds anything to his value, his wellbeing or his power. [Perhaps the term is better as Omnipotence of an all powerful being. Ed]
As such the creation was in a way " unavoidable" as it is then , at least possibly, if not necessarily, just the grand display of his omniality and personality.
If this be so, then God could also, in principle, have gone on without a creation, and it would not have been a loss to himself or anything that could give anyone ( then of course there would have been no one to not have any reason.....) any reason of accusing him for not having created.
[ Yes it follows as a necessity of His existence that He would extend himself as the Centre of a larger entity of Elohim as part of a close knit family that sacrifices and controls itself for the good of all. Ed]
On the other hand, when he did create, the fact that he did so is also the main reason for his creation to honor him and worship him. The act of creation only underscores the fact of who and how our God is. He is a God who creates and makes wonders! He is apparently full of ingenuity and creative energy! It was of no necessity, he was prompted by no one, but it was a sheer display of his magnificence, his omniality and perfectness that he did do this, and everyone who is a product of this process must necessarily give him his due honor.
In the end : this is then what is the meaning of YHVH: the one who is, or" the one who is what he will become". This cannot mean that we accept the notion of evolution in the godhead, as that would be to say that our God was not perfect sometime. But maybe it is a different matter to acknowledge that this being as part of his perfectness ,also has the perfectness in potentiality: that whatever he plans to do in the part of the existence that is bound within the frame of time and matter, will be perfect, or perfected at a certain stage, from beginning to the end. In principle, this being could , if he willed, also create , maybe different worlds and creations. Still it would all the time have to be then as a display of his perfectness, and not of necessity. He is not served by human hands as if he needed anything. He just created us out of his superfluousness and his innate drive of perfectness and love. It is for us then to align ourselves to this central superfluousness in the universe, his light and love. He is actually the perpetuum mobile who will never wind down or go empty. So by seeking him who gives to all freely and without evil words we will never more go empty of anything. His creation to which we as individuals belong, is part of the display of the essential core of the existence: the God who is.
Therefore He, the Father of the spirits can say with all confidence and truthfulness: I am YHVH, and I am the Alfa and the Omega, the Pantocrator. And we can say: we exist in you - all our fountains are in you. Then God’s absoluteness is in a way dispersed and expanded, not to his own gain, but as a display of himself, and our relativeness is, in a way extinguished, so that the gain for us is all the more undeniable. In deed: we took the water of life freely given, and unmerited!
Good work Arne. Only when we see and understand the Omnipotence of God can we really understand the creation.