Continued from part thirteen.
for behold [2 Ne. 27:23]
i am god
and i am a god of miracles
for behold [Mosiah 3:5]
the time cometh
and is not far distant
that with power the lord omnipotent
who was and is from all eternity to all eternity
shall come down from heaven among the children of men
and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay
and shall go forth amongst men
working mighty miracles
Omnipotent defined by Webster
Here is the definition of omnipotent from Webster’s 1828 dictionary:
OMNIPOTENT, a. [supra.]
1. Almighty; possessing unlimited power; all powerful.
The being that can create worlds must be omnipotent.
2. Having unlimited power of a particular kind; as omnipotent love.
The more scholarly 1913 edition defines it in the following manner:
omnipotent, a. [F., fr. L. omnipotens, -entis; omnis all + potens powerful, potent. See POTENT.]
1. Able in every respect and for every work; unlimited, or indefinitely great, in power, ability, or authority; all-powerful; almighty.
God’s will…and his omnipotent power. Sir T. More.
2. Unequaled; arrant; mighty.
Webster (apparently) corrected
On Sunday, October 1st, 2000, m_turner wrote the following:
Time and time again, throughout philosophy and everything, people challenge the omnipotence of the Christian God. Being such a public figure, I am certain that He gets this a lot.
The standard argument against the omnipotence of God runs as follows:
1. If God is omnipotent, then He can do anything.
2. Therefore, God can create a rock so heavy that he cannot lift it.
3. But if He cannot lift it, then He is not omnipotent.
4. Likewise, if He cannot create such a rock, He is not omnipotent.
5. Therefore, God cannot be omnipotent.
This paradox of omnipotence seems unsolvable. The main problem with this argument is the vagueness of the first premise – the definition of omnipotence.
The second premise of the argument is the main problem. It asks us to pit God’s omnipotence to create rocks against His ability to lift those rocks. For any rock that can be created it can be lifted. The existence of a rock too heavy for an omnipotent being to lift is a logical impossibility.
Some object that the nature of omnipotence allows one to create logical impossibility. If He cannot, then He is not omnipotent. Consider the following argument:
a. If God is omnipotent, then God can create a square circle.
b. God cannot create a square circle (according to theists).
c. Therefore, God is not omnipotent.
Of course, premise (a) can be any logical paradox from round triangles to impossible rocks. This argument has the form:p -> q ~q ------ ~p
This is a valid argument known as modus tollens, hence, we must turn to the soundness of the premises to see if the argument fails. Premise (x) is fair, and it is the one that is agreed upon. Premise (a) must therefore to be examined. Premise (a) can be broken into the following:
I. God is omnipotent (according to theists).
II. Thus God can create or do anything.
III. A square circle is a thing.
IV. Thus God can create a square circle.
Please note that draws a conclusion from the premises of theism. If theists do not accept these premises, then the reduction ad absurdum of theism fails. The only objection to this is that theists have weakened the concept of omnipotence.
First off, theists overwhelming agree with (I). The problems begin with (II). What is omnipotence? The ability to create or do anything? Contrary to Webster, when a theist asserts that God is omnipotent, they claim that
God is a maximally powerful being
This means that God is the most powerful being that can exist—He can do anything that can be done.
What about premise (III)? Can God create a square circle? A circle is a “plane curve at all points equidistant from a fixed point”, while a square is “a rectangle having four equal sides”. Let us now look at this again.
God can create a square circle.
A maximally powerful being can create a four equal sided curve at all points equidistant from a fixed point.
It is obvious to all that such a thing cannot exist. If such a thing cannot exist, then it cannot be created.
God cannot create that which cannot be created.
This is a contradiction of (IV) above and (1) from the original argument, thus they are unsound and the argument fails. Clearly (III) is false—it is not a thing, nor is it even a valid abstraction.
Returning to the nature of a maximally powerful being, this means that God can do anything that can be done. God can create things that exist now such as people, rocks, trees, stars, planets. God can create things which do not exist now, such as Martians—as long as their existence does not involve a contradiction.
Once again, returning to a previous topic, the maximally powerful nature might be seen as a weakened version of omnipotence. The question is on what grounds? Is being maximally powerful and having the ability to create logical impossibilities more powerful than just maximally powerful? This objection just returns back to the being that reasserts square circles which has been shown as unsound. No being can create logical impossibilities simply because they cannot be created.
Does this limit omnipotence? If a being cannot create that which cannot exist, is He limited? This question is suspect, it does not assert anything that is not evident by logical analysis, nor does it assert anything about the nature of the being. It is trivially true. While it does not assert anything about the nature of God, it fails to show a contradiction from the theistic premises and is itself reducible to absurdity. Simply, a Being cannot be faulted for creating that which cannot exist, because that which cannot exist cannot be created. God does not lack any ability to create things that cannot exist, because there is no such ability.
To sum it up:
God is a maximally powerful being.
That which cannot exist, cannot be created.
There is no contradiction from these two assertions, neither has the omnipotence of God been demonstrated to be a paradox, rather the arguments against omnipotence have been shown to rest on absurdity.
The traditional, dictionary defined view says,
God is omnipotent, meaning that He can create or do anything at all, no matter how impossible.
This means that God can create and do all things that are possible to create or do within the laws of nature, as well as all things that are impossible to create or do within those same laws, without limitations. In other words, His power is not constrained by natural law, whatsoever. This view corresponds to the Webster’s definition but runs into paradoxes.
…or a maximally powerful being?
To skirt around these problems, a new view of God’s power has emerged, which says,
God is omnipotent, meaning that He is a maximally powerful being. This means that there are things that are impossible for even God to create or do, or that His power has limits.
Thus, God is as powerful as it is possible to be within the laws of nature and can create and do all things that it is possible to create and do within the laws of nature, but cannot create or do things which are impossible to create and do within the laws of nature. In other words, God’s power operates solely within, and is constrained by, the laws of nature. This view discards the dictionary definition of omnipotent and wherever the word appears in scripture it re-assigns to it the meaning, “maximally powerful (within the laws of nature).”
The scientist and the miracle worker
The modern perspective corresponds to, and is represented by, man, who works within an already established body of natural laws, who we will call the scientist. For the scientist some things are possible and some things are impossible, according to the laws of nature he is working within. The power of the scientist is limited only by his knowledge of the natural laws and the limits those laws inherently possess.
The miracle worker
The former perspective is that of (the traditional) God, which we will designate as that of the miracle worker. For the miracle worker, natural law imposes no limitations, whatsoever, therefore there is no such thing as an impossibility from His perspective, all things being possible. The miracle worker, then, can work both within the bounds of natural law, in contradiction of them, as well as in areas where law is completely non-existent. He is limited only by His faith, by which He works His miracles.
God as an advanced scientist
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
At least since 1869, the LDS have been taught that God’s omnipotence only means that He is maximally powerful; that He operates only within natural law (including natural laws which preceded Him and constrain Him); that because He knows all the higher laws which are unknown to us, His miracles are just advanced science, but to us they appear to be magic because we are ignorant of these higher, natural laws He operates under. Therefore, in reality, there is no such thing as a miracle.
And so God has become a scientist to the modern Mormon.
The midi-chlorian menace
Remember the wonderful, mystical force of Star Wars, which had every kid from 9 to 90 giddy with excitement, imagining that they could wield light sabers and use the force? Remember the scene in Star Wars when Obi-Wan Kenobi feels, through the force, the death of a billion souls who were just killed by the Death Star? Even the atheists were enchanted by the mystical, spiritual force of Star Wars that permeated all things.
Now fast-forward to The Phantom Menace, when Qui-Gon Jinn reveals that the ability to use the force was based on the midi-chlorian count that people had in their bodies (i.e., on science) and not on something mystical. Well, that scene in The Phantom Menace caused the billion or so people who ended up seeing it to feel the death of their childhood romance with the Star Wars saga. The mystical, magical force had been converted into mere science and George Lucus caused a billion imaginations to die, killed in one fell swoop by The Phantom (Midi-chlorian) Menace.
The same collective death of the marvels of God can be said to have occurred fairly early in the Restoration due to speculative Mormonism, whose gung-ho leadership downgraded God’s wondrous, impossible omnipotence due to His faith into mere maximum, possible power due to His knowledge. I suppose their speculations were understandable, since they were trying to present a knowable God to people, so they tried to bring God down and package Him as something a bit more understandable to the common man. Thus, we got the following, “scientific” teachings:
Mormon speculations running rampant
Beginning, apparently, with Brigham Young in 1869, latter-day saints began speculating that God was a scientist operating under higher laws of nature, which were as yet unknown to mankind.
Brigham Young taught that “there is no such thing” as a miracle, and that “God is a scientific character, … he lives by science or strict law.” (Testimony of David H. Bailey)
According to Brigham Young, “there is no such thing” as a miracle and only “the ignorant” see the works of God as miracles. In 1869 he taught the following:
Yet I will say with regard to miracles, there is no such thing save to the ignorant — that is, there never was a result wrought out by God or by any of His creatures without there being a cause for it. There may be results, the causes of which we do not see or understand, and what we call miracles are no more than this — they are the results or effects of causes hidden from our understandings.
A year later, in 1870, Brigham taught that “God is a scientific character, that he lives by science or strict law,” that He exists by this science or strict law and that “by law (science) he was made what He is,” which would mean that God was made a God by a science which preceded (existed prior to) His existence, and thus God is a scientific creation.
It is hard to get the people to believe that God is a scientific character, that He lives by science or strict law, that by this He is, and by law he was made what He is; and will remain to all eternity because of His faithful adherence to law. It is a most difficult thing to make the people believe that every art and science and all wisdom comes from Him, and that He is their Author.
James E. Talmage, in his book The Articles of Faith, wrote that “Miracles are commonly regarded as occurrences in opposition to the laws of nature. Such a conception is plainly erroneous, for the laws of nature are inviolable.” (Testimony of David H. Bailey)
Talmage made the above statement in 1899. More leaders followed suit on these speculations.
Several LDS leaders have expressed that miracles are part of higher natural laws. In a 1928 conference, for instance, Elder Orson Whitney said, “Miracles are not contrary to law; they are simply extraordinary results flowing from superior means and methods of doing things.” (Conference Reports, Oct. 1928, pp. 64-65.) Likewise, James Talmage once said:
Miracles are commonly regarded as occurrences in opposition to the laws of nature. Such a conception is plainly erroneous, for the laws of nature are inviolable. However, as human understanding of these laws is at best but imperfect, events strictly in accordance with natural law may appear contrary thereto. The entire constitution of nature is founded on system and order; the laws of nature, however, are graded as are the laws of man. The operation of a higher law in any particular case does not destroy the actuality of an inferior one. (Talmage, 200.)
In a similar vein, LDS researchers, Smith & Sjodhal, have written:
It is assumed that the so-called laws of nature are immutable, and that nothing can take place that appears to be contrary to such laws. To this objection the answer is, that we do not know all the laws of nature. We can, therefore, not maintain that the miracles performed by the servants of the Lord are not in perfect accord with some law of which we are ignorant. All we can say is that they do not belong to any of the classes of ordinary events with which men are familiar. But that is far from saying that they are impossible. As a matter of fact, violations of the best established laws of nature appear to be occurring constantly. We raise a weight from the ground. That seems to be contrary to the law of gravitation. …God directs and controls His universe and all that pertains thereto, not contrary to, but in conformity with, laws and forces known to Him, even though unknown to us. (Smith and Sjodahl, 516.)
Lastly, to quote Parley P. Pratt:
Among the popular errors of modern times, an opinion prevails that miracles are events which transpire contrary to the laws of nature, that they are effects without a cause.
If such is the fact, then, there never has been a miracle, and there never will be one. The laws of nature are the laws of truth. Truth is unchangeable, and independent in its own sphere.
That which, at first sight, appears to be contrary to the known laws of nature, will always be found, on investigation, to be in perfect accordance with those laws. For instance, had a sailor of the last century been running before the wind, and met with a vessel running at a good rate of speed, directly in opposition to the wind and current, this sight would have presented, to his understanding, a miracle in the highest possible sense of the term, that is, an event entirely contrary to the laws of nature as known to him. Or if a train of cars, loaded with hundreds of passengers or scores of tons of freight had been seen passing over the surface of the earth, at the rate of sixty miles per hour, and propelled seemingly, by its own inherent powers of locomotion, our fathers would have beheld a miracle—an event which would have appeared, to them to break those very laws of nature with which they were the most familiar.
If the last generation had witnessed the conveyance of news from London to Paris, in an instant, while they knew nothing of the late invention of the electric telegraph, they would have testified, in all candor, and with the utmost assurance, that a miracle had been performed, in open violation of the well known laws of nature, and contrary to all human knowledge of cause and effect.
…The terms miracle and mystery must become obsolete, and finally disappear from the vocabulary of intelligences, as they advance in the higher spheres of intellectual consistency. Even now they should be used only in a relative or limited sense, as applicable to those things which are not yet within reach of our powers or means of comprehension. (Pratt, 103 – 104.)
Btw, Pratt wrote the above in 1891.
According to this view, God is just a really smart scientist who does everything according to some higher natural laws, which are as yet unknown to man, and He performs these feats through His knowledge of all things. Therefore, there is no such thing as a miracle and anyone that calls the things that God does a miracle is simply ignorant themselves of the knowledge it took to do such things. God, then, is a God of miracles only insofar as the audience witnessing the miracle is ignorant. Also, nothing He does contradicts natural law and therefore, is not impossible. This, of course, precludes creatio ex nihilo, since that would clearly contradict natural law, thus making creatio ex materia the only Mormon standard.
who shall say [Morm. 9:17]
that it was not a miracle
that by his word the heaven and the earth should be
and by the power of his word man was created of the dust of the earth
and by the power of his word have miracles been wrought
and who shall say [Marm. 9:18]
that jesus christ did not do many mighty miracles
The answer to Moroni’s questions is: Brigham Young, James E. Talmage, Orson Whitney, Smith & Sjodhal, Parley P. Pratt and many other Mormons who believe what these men have taught on this issue.
The Bible Dictionary on miracles
Such speculations have systemically affected the entire membership. As evidence of this, consider the Bible Dictionary entry on Miracles:
“Miracles should not be regarded as deviations from the ordinary course of nature so much as manifestations of divine or spiritual power. Some lower law was in each case superseded by the action of a higher.”
The scientific trap: creation by knowledge
Thus, Mormons have fallen into what might be termed, the scientific trap, which glorifies the acquisition of knowledge over all other principles. We have wrested the scriptures and converted the pure doctrine of creation and miracles by faith
for it is by faith that miracles are wrought [Moro. 7:37]
into a false gospel of creation and miracles by knowledge.
The scientific age has brought out fantastic discoveries, fanciful theories and marvelous new inventions, and this age, coupled with the wonderful new revelations God has given during the Restoration, has inspired the Mormon man to wonder about God’s vast knowledge, whether perhaps His knowledge of all things could be the cause of these miracles. This wondering has led to speculation, which has led to indoctrination, and now all Mormons are taught the satanic gospel of knowledge, leaving aside the divine gospel of faith.
First things first: some definitions
The adjective potential means “existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality” and also “expressing possibility,” while the noun potential means “something that can develop or become actual.”
The adjective impossible means “incapable of being or of occurring.” An impossibility, then, is “the quality or state of being impossible” and also “something impossible”.
With all of this in mind, let’s go back in time, to before the creation of all things.
Creatio ex nihilo
In the beginning, prior to the creation of all things, there was a compound-in-one Nothing, from which we came into existence. In the compound-in-one, non-existent state, the Nothing was without purpose and perfectly useless. So, to make it (the Nothing) have a purpose, God caused an opposition in all things by dividing the compound-in-one into two parts.
This division was impossible to do, but God did it anyway.
Now, the impossibility of the division cannot be stressed enough. Non-existence has no potential, whatsoever. The Nothing wasn’t merely something with untapped potential, like a gaseous plasma which is inert in its natural state but when a voltage is applied, it suddenly lights up. A gaseous plasma is something, and may react to external stimuli, but the Nothing was, quite literally, the lack of any sort of something. External stimuli does not elicit a response from absolutely nothing.
Nevertheless, God shone in the darkness and the Nothing began to split. This was not based upon knowledge of any laws, for laws did not apply to the Nothing. In other words, laws were non-existent at this point but also, even if they could exist at this point, they could not apply to the Nothing, for laws do not work on non-existence, only on things that exist. This division, then, was an impossibility, yet it occurred anyway. Under what principle did it occur? Under the principle of faith, for God had faith that the Nothing would begin to divide if He shone a light; He shone a light and the Nothing began to split. It was a bona fide miracle, beyond the scope of any natural law, and like all miracles, was accomplished by faith, not knowledge.
Inner sphere of light=unnatural state of existence;
outer darkness=natural state of non-existence
The non-existent, uncreated, compound-in-one, Nothing state we were in prior to the creation of all things is our natural state. God, through the creation of all things took us out of our natural, non-existing state and placed us in a sphere of light, even the created Universe.
all truth is independent in that sphere [D&C 93:30]
in which god has placed it
to act for itself
as all intelligence also
otherwise there is no existence
However, the created Universe is not a natural state for us. It is an unnatural state. As we all are still living within the confines of the created Universe, what we today call the natural state is in reality an unnatural state.
Everything in the Universe is kept within this unnaturally existing, created, divided or split or opposition-in-all-things state by the power of God.
as also he is in the sun [D&C 88:7]
and the light of the sun
and the power thereof
by which it was made
as also he is in the moon [D&C 88:8]
and is the light of the moon
and the power thereof
by which it was made
as also the light of the stars [D&C 88:9]
and the power thereof
by which they were made
and the earth also [D&C 88:10]
and the power thereof
even the earth upon which you stand
and the light which shineth [D&C 88:11]
which giveth you light
is through him
who enlighteneth your eyes
which is the same light
that quickeneth your understandings
which light proceedeth forth from the presence of god [D&C 88:12]
to fill the immensity of space
the light which is in all things [D&C 88:13]
which giveth life to all things
which is the law
by which all things are governed
even the power of god
who sitteth upon his throne
who is in the bosom of eternity
who is in the midst of all things
Should God ever withdraw His power, or cease to exist, all things in the Universe would revert back to their natural state and vanish away back into the Nothing.
and if there is no god [2 Ne. 2:13]
we are not
neither the earth
for there could have been no creation of things
neither to act
nor to be acted upon
all things must have vanished away
This short prayer, given by the Savior in the Garden of Gethsemane, embodies the omnipotence and nature of God:
and he said [Mark 14:36]
all things are possible unto thee
take away this cup from me
not what i will
but what thou wilt
It stands to reason that if all things are possible to God, then nothing is impossible to Him. But I will go further than that and say that:
God is omnipotent, according to His will and pleasure
By this I mean both that God is omnipotent because it is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent and that God’s omnipotence is dispersed according to His will and pleasure, which dispersal reveals the very will and pleasure of God, or His nature. (I will elaborate on this later.)
Suffice it to say that this prayer shows that God had power to take the bitter cup away from Christ, which is why Jesus asked Him to do so. In other words, God had power to work out the atonement through Christ, thus preparing the way for our salvation, or to work out the atonement in some other way without Christ having to suffer. His power is omnipotent, or unlimited, therefore, Christ’s sacrifice was chosen not because it was the only way, but because it was the appointed way, according to God’s will and pleasure.
Nothing is impossible with God
God’s miraculous power does not come from His knowledge, but from His faith. He is omnipotent because He has a fullness (infinite amount) of perfect, unshaken faith. His knowledge is finite, but His faith is infinite. I will quote the scripture again in case you missed this fact.
all truth is independent in that sphere [D&C 93:30]
in which god has placed it
to act for itself
as all intelligence also
otherwise there is no existence
God has placed all truth—which is all knowledge, for
truth is knowledge of things [D&C 93:24]
as they are
and as they were
and as they are to come
—into a finite sphere. But His infinite faith extends beyond the boundaries of the sphere of light, into the infinite, eternal regions of outer darkness, where the non-existing, compound-in-one Nothing is found. Because of this, there are no limitations to His power, nor can there be. The only impossible thing to God, then, is a limitation to His power.
The greatest feat God can do
If you are purporting to be omnipotent and want to demonstrate your matchless strength, how do you do this? Is it by lifting more weight than any man can lift? No. Is it by lifting more weight than any group of men working together and pooling all their resources and technology could lift? No. Is it by lifting all the weight there is or was or will be? No. If you have unlimited strength, then all of these feats are well within your strength (non-)limits. No, the only way to truly demonstrate your omnipotence is to go beyond your limitations. That’s impossible, right? And that’s the point.
In order for God to demonstrate His omnipotence, He must do the impossible.
Because the scriptures call God the Lord God Omnipotent—which, according to Webster’s 1828 and 1913 dictionary editions does not mean “maximally powered” but literally possessing unlimited power—the only way for God to demonstrate His omnipotent power is by performing a feat which is impossible for Him to perform. Nevertheless, even such a feat would be easy for an omnipotent God.
ah lord god [Jer. 32:17]
thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm
and there is nothing too hard for thee
Regardless of its ease, though, going beyond His own limitations would most definitely demonstrate the full extent of His matchless power. Now, we must ask, what is impossible to a God that has unlimited power? The answer: a limitation on His power.
To glorify God
The purpose of the creation of all things was to glorify God. God, in the midst of the Nothing, took His unlimited power and created a limitation to His power, in the shape of a sphere of light. His power extends beyond the sphere (for it is faith-based power, which extends into the Nothing), but by creating the Universal sphere, He “gathered up” a portion of His unlimited power and created divisions and limitations on what He could and could not do within the sphere.
Prior to the creation, from God’s perspective, there were only possible things, for His power was unlimited. After the creation, His power was divided between the infinite Nothing, in which His power was still unlimited, and the sphere of light, in which He created limitations. In regards to the sphere, God created an unnatural state in which now there were unnatural laws (what we call the laws of nature) and according to these unnaturally made laws, there were now things that were possible and things that were impossible, both for God and man and beast and all other things.
These limitations on His power were His way of demonstrating that His power was so great that He could even bind Himself, an absolutely impossible feat. Binding God, or creating limitations on His own unlimited power was the greatest feat that God could do, hence the creation of the Universal sphere. It was meant to cause all that was in the Universe to wonder at His greatness, and to give glory to Him.
Giving impossible purpose to the impossible Nothing
wherefore [2 Ne. 2:12]
it must needs have been created for a thing of naught
there would have been no purpose in the end of its creation
this thing must needs destroy the wisdom of god and his eternal purposes
and also the power and the mercy and the justice of god
The genius of God is that He does the impossible. The Nothing is “a thing of naught” with no apparent purpose, therefore, God could not have created it, for He creates all things with a designated purpose in mind, which shows His great wisdom, power, mercy and justice. If God had created the Nothing, a thing with no purpose, whatsoever, its very creation (by God) would have destroyed God. As God still exists, we know that He did not create the Nothing, therefore the Nothing must be in its natural state of purposeless, impossible to use, non-existence. Nevertheless, even though God did not create the Nothing, and even though in its current state of non-existence, it is impossibly useless stuff, He still thought up a use for it, anyway.
wherefore [D&C 76:44]
he saves all except them
they shall go away into everlasting punishment
which is endless punishment
which is eternal punishment
to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity
where their worm dieth not
and the fire is not quenched
which is their torment
and the end thereof [D&C 76:45]
neither the place thereof
nor their torment
no man knows
neither was it revealed [D&C 76:46]
neither will be revealed unto man
except to them who are made partakers thereof
nevertheless [D&C 76:47]
i the lord show it by vision unto many
but straightway shut it up again
wherefore [D&C 76:48]
and the misery thereof
they understand not
neither any man
except those who are ordained unto this condemnation
wherefore [D&C 29:28]
i will say unto them
depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire
prepared for the devil and his angels
and now [D&C 29:29]
i say unto you
never at any time have I declared from mine own mouth
that they should return
for where i am they cannot come
for they have no power
but remember [D&C 29:30]
that all my judgments are not given unto men
These scriptures show that God uses the Nothing as a holding place for the devil, his angels and the sons of perdition. This is, of course, impossible, for where is the Nothing? It is nowhere and everywhere at the same time. The most we can say is that it is outside of the sphere of light, but it contains no “end, width, height or depth” that man can understand, for outer darkness is a true eternal or infinite expanse. God can comprehend it, but we cannot.
Three impossible things, so far, and He’s just getting started
We see from this that God has accomplished, so far, three impossible feats. He created something from Nothing. He limited His own unlimited power by dividing it between within and without the sphere, and He has made use of the useless Nothing which He did not create.
None of these impossible miracles were accomplished by His knowledge, which remains in the sphere, but by His faith, which not only permeates the sphere but also penetrates into the darkness beyond.
But God doesn’t stop there, for He offers His children who now reside within the sphere the promise of eternal life, of receiving all He has. That includes His unlimited power. Now, this is entirely impossible, for how can we, who started out as the Nothing, go from the singular, undifferentiated, infinite Nothing to plural, differentiated, finite somethings to possessing unlimited power? We are finite beings in our current (unnatural) state, therefore it is impossible for us to comprehend the infinite.
and no man putteth new wine into old bottles [Mark 2:22]
else the new wine doth burst the bottles
and the wine is spilled
and the bottles will be marred
but new wine must be put into new bottles
neither do men put new wine into old bottles [Matt. 9:17]
else the bottles break
and the wine runneth out
and the bottles perish
but they put new wine into new bottles
and both are preserved
Thus, finite man must be made infinite again before the unlimited power of God can be put into him. Yet, such a conversion is also impossible, nevertheless, this is exactly what God intends to do, regardless.
To solve these impossibilities in our doctrine, those who have fallen into the scientific trap have opted to imagine that God’s power is finite, that He is merely maximally powered according to His knowledge, thus allowing for the possibility of man becoming like Him. According to this thinking, it will take a really long time and a lot of learning, but eventually we will be able to learn all that God knows, too, and become maximally powerful beings like Him.
The limitations created by God
Prior to the creation, all things were to God a set of infinite possibilities, a completely blank slate from which to do anything He desired. During the creation, God made a new set of possibles and also a set of impossibles, both for Himself and all created things.
Insofar as He Himself is concerned, the new set of impossibles consists of things in which He doesn’t exercise faith. Insofar as everything else is concerned, the impossibles set also follows the same principle and thus accord to the faith of God, meaning:
that the limitations of all things are the limitations that He has set by His faith upon all things;
that all things that we say God is able to do are still impossibilities made possible by His faith, meaning that it is all still a miracle;
that all things we say God is unable to do (or powerless to do) is another manifestation of his matchless power in creating impossible limitations in which there originally were no limitations; in other words, that the limitations of the Universal sphere and the laws given by God—along with all their bounds and conditions—are, themselves, miracles;
and that all talk of God being literally limited in what He can do comes from a limited understanding of how He wields His power, for He has all the power that exists in the Universe and uses all those powers according to the purposes He has given them, vicariously through agents, etc.
Now, having a power serves no purpose unless it is used. Therefore, God uses all of His powers, but not all of them Himself, for some of them He has delegated to agents who desire to use them, to further His many purposes. For example, God has the power to deceive and to destroy agency, but He has delegated this power to Satan and other agents. Because He has delegated these powers, we say and also read in the scriptures that God “cannot lie.” Or that God cannot make slaves of people by destroying their agency, like Satan does. These are true statements, but it merely attests to the delegated nature of these powers, they having been given to Satan and others inspired by the devil. This does not mean that God never had them, nor that He will never get them back, nor that He does not have power at this very moment to retrieve or take back these powers from Satan. He most certainly did, will and does. But it is the nature of God to use many agents to serve His many purposes.
Elder Chantdown recently wrote:
This is the strange act of the same Father who stood not in conflict but in conversation with Lucifer. Notice even in the super-sacred-secret, copyrighted, intellectual property of the Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Corporation Sole) video production of the Temple Drama, how cool and collect Elohim is in his correspondence with Lucifer. Lucifer ap-PARENT-ly sees his own PARENT as an enemy. But, God The Father appears to not be distressed in the slightest. Lucifer says “If you do that then I’ll do this!” God responds with a “Works for me” tone. Everything and everyone, including, yes, The Devil, works for Elohim.
and worlds without number have i created [Moses 1:33]
for behold [Moses 1:35]
many worlds have passed away by my power
Therefore the Creator possesses all power, both to create and destroy, both to enliven and to kill, both to set limits and remove limits, both to bind and unbind. And He utilizes all His powers according to His divine purposes. What we see as a “limitation on His power” is a created limitation, meaning one of His creations. So, whenever people say God can’t do this or God can’t do that, claiming that He is not omnipotent because of these limitations, they are revealing their ignorance of His very nature, for it is in His very nature to set limitations and bounds to all things. Those bounds cannot be passed because no one or no group is more powerful than He is, meaning that nobody has more faith than He does.
So, when we find scriptures that state that God can’t lie or else He will cease to be God, this doesn’t mean that some greater power than God has bound Him, but that He has bound Himself, or set a limitation even to Himself, according to His nature. This is why He is both all-powerful, but not a dictator or tyrant. All things love and obey Him voluntarily because of His magnanimity in binding Himself to all things in these ways.
Reality altering faith
God’s unlimited power (agency) comes of His infinite, perfect, unshaken faith. If God exercises His faith in any way, He has power (agency) to do whatsoever that thing is. Because of this, He cannot be backed into a corner in which He has no out. He always has an out, for if He exercises His faith, reality is altered.
The nature of His faith is such that after binding Himself with an oath and covenant that He would not lie, if so He would cease to be God, and afterward changing His mind about the oath and deciding to lie and not cease to be God, He could violate the oath and escape the penalties invoked. How? By exercising faith to that end. Because His faith alters reality, God always has an escape clause. Square circles, rocks too heavy for Him to lift, lying and not ceasing to be God, violating and destroying agency and creating slaves like Satan does, ceasing to be God and then coming back into existence as fully God, etc. None of these things pose difficulty to Him, for He does not ever lose faith and faith is where His power to alter reality comes from.
The ability to alter reality is what created the Universe, for the Nothing is the state of nature, or the original, real reality, whereas the created Universe is an unnatural, or altered reality, made real by God’s faith. Any and every time God uses His faith, the action is always the same: reality is again altered and a new reality is created. This shows that every act of God, every miracle He does, is a new creation.
they [miracles] are created now and not from the beginning [Isa. 48:7]
None of these creative acts are done by natural means, meaning by science or knowledge of natural laws and their manipulation, but are accomplished by the miraculous power of reality-altering faith. This keeps all the acts of God firmly planted in the realm of the impossible (from man’s perspective), in order to keep man and the angels wowed, wondering and marveling at God’s matchless power, that they might give glory to Him. All things that come to know God are in a continual state of astonishment because of this infinite faith of His.
The principle is this: all things that God proposes to do, He does. Whatever He exercises faith in doing, is accomplished. Therefore, God’s power isn’t really limited in any way. All His so-called limitations are self-imposed limitations.
The movie Hancock had a Greek god, played by Will Smith, arrested and incarcerated, due to drunkenness, destruction of property, etc. He stayed in prison voluntarily. At any moment he could leave, but chose not to. In like manner, only God has power to limit His power, by choosing not to exercise His faith.
The nature of God is unnatural
i the lord am bound [D&C 82:10]
when ye do
what i say
but when ye do not
what i say
ye have no promise
Given the awe-inspiring, reality-bending faith God has, it is impossible to bind Him down with a contract or covenant. He can quite easily alter reality and get out of it by exercising His faith. So, how is it that God is bound when we do what He says? It is because of His nature, in which it pleases Him to be bound and so it is His will that He be bound.
Perhaps it may seem strange that God, the quintessential anarchist, possessing untrammeled freedom and unlimited power to do anything, with no restraints upon Him, whatsoever, as His very first acts creates beings so that He can be bound to them. Yet, this should not seem so perplexing, for just as there is a pleasure that comes from unbounded freedom, represented by the eternal expanse of the Nothing, there is also a pleasure that comes from being wrapped (bound) up in a warm blanket, all cozy and warm, represented by the created Universe. God, having all power, wanted all things, for what good is having power to experience all things if you aren’t going to experience them all?
So, the nature of God (in the Nothing) is to experience everything and He has created His will (the sphere) and determined what will please Him within it, in order to utilize His power to the fullest extent, granting Him both direct and vicarious experience (through agents) in all things. In other words, He determined a plan to obtain the fullest possible experience and then created His nature (the sphere) to accomplish it, which plan also manifests that nature, both within and without the sphere.
The created aspect of His nature shows, yet again, that He is not bound by even His nature, for at any moment, should it please Him to change His nature, He can do so, and can create a new nature, merely by exercising His faith in that direction. This is the nature of godhood, to ”do what thou wilt” and to “do as you please.” He chooses, then, what will be His will and what will be His pleasure. In other words, He determines His own nature.
Again, because His nature is a creation, it is unnatural, just as the Universal sphere is unnatural, for the only natural state is the Nothing. If God’s nature was in a state of nature, it would be non-existent, like the Nothing. We see from this that God’s power is absolute in the most literal of senses, for He can recreate Himself from scratch.
jesus answered [John 2:19]
and said unto them
destroy this temple
and in three days i will raise it up
So, even if God were to be destroyed, or become non-existent, becoming one again with the Nothing, He has power to come back into existence.
no man taketh it from me [John 10:18]
but i lay it down of myself
i have power to lay it down
and i have power to take it again
this commandment have i received of my father
This is obviously impossible, yet God does it anyway. How? By exercising His infinite faith to that end. There is no science involved, there is no mechanism set up to bring Him back into existence. He merely becomes non-existent, believing that He will come back into existence at whatever appointed instant He has determined. His surety that He will awake is absolute, His faith perfect and unshaken, and so at the set moment, He comes back into being. This exercise of faith has no match, yet God can do this, has done this, and will yet do this, for this is a power that He has, even power over life and death and rebirth.
God, then, and all that pertains to Him, is unnatural, for the natural state is non-existence, or the Nothing.
Impossible any way you look at it
Now, it is just as unnatural (and impossible) to go from existence into non-existence (annihilation), as it is to go from non-existence to existence (creatio ex nihilo)—for the law of conservation of energy states that energy can be neither created nor destroyed; it merely changes form—yet the one scenario (the doctrine of annihilation) we Mormons readily accept,
and if there is no god [2 Ne. 2:13]
we are not
neither the earth
for there could have been no creation of things
neither to act
nor to be acted upon
all things must have vanished away
while the other (creatio ex nihilo) we reject. We console ourselves by saying that although God would cease to be God under that set of circumstances, which would cause all created things to also cease to be, that set of circumstances will never occur, therefore it is impossible for that to happen. Nevertheless, we assign its impossibility not to a limitation of God’s power, but to a choice that God has made. In other words, He has power to lie and cease to be God, but chooses not to, for then He and everything He created would vanish away. But we do not apply the same principle to creatio ex nihilo. With that doctrine, we say that creatio ex nihilo is impossible not because God chooses not to do it, but because He has no (and cannot possibly have any) power to do it.
We think, in this reasoning, that there is a fundamental difference between the two impossibilities, but there really isn’t, for if God has a power to cease to be God, which would cause all creation to vanish away, so that there is nothing that acts or is acted upon, you have just described a power as impossible as creating something from nothing, for if something vanishes away, so that it neither acts nor can be acted upon, you are describing the Nothing, or non-existence, which Mormons claim is, itself, impossible.
(Again, I repeat, for the sake of those who are still locked into the creatio ex materia idea: the death of God and subsequent vanishment of all things cannot mean that all things go back into a state of primordial chaotic matter, because Lehi’s words indicate that the resulting state would be one in which it neither acts nor can be acted upon. Primordial chaos can be acted upon, therefore, Lehi is describing a state of Nothing, or non-existence.)
The truth is that the doctrines of annihilation and of creatio ex nihilo and of creatio ex materia and of creatio ex deo, are all true, but they are played out at the appointed time and in the appointed manner that God has before determined. Just because they are true doctrines does not make them any less impossible, for all the doctrines of God are as impossible and unnatural as He is. And just because they are impossible, does not make them any less true.
Ceasing to be God
How do we know that God ceases to be God from time to time? Because there is no power that He does not have and there is no power that He does not use, for to have a power and not use it would serve no purpose, which would destroy all His works. So we know, since He has all power, that He has the power to cease to be God. And we already know how this in accomplished. All He need to do is create something that has no purpose. And what has no purpose? The Nothing. How, then, does God cease to be God? By creating the Nothing, which has no purpose. This destroys Him, or annihilates Him, so that He becomes one with the Nothing again. And the cycle endlessly repeats with rebirth, life, death, rebirth, life, death, etc.
The word of God says that He is infinite and eternal.
which father son and holy ghost are one god [D&C 20:28]
infinite and eternal without end
and behold [Alma 34:14]
this is the whole meaning of the law
every whit pointing to that great and last sacrifice
and that great and last sacrifice will be the son of god
infinite and eternal
by these things we know [D&C 20:17]
that there is a god in heaven
who is infinite and eternal
As the Universal sphere is finite, the infinite nature of God must deal with the Nothing, which is infinite. So, God is connected to the Nothing, meaning that the Nothing is the infinite part of God. God, then, is all there is, and also all there isn’t. Of what, then, does God create? Of Himself. Sure this defies logic, but that’s to be expected.
Even trusting God is an impossible miracle
If a man has the entire deck stacked in his favor; if he’s holding all the cards; if he’s the only business and game in town; if there is nobody double-checking or verifying his facts; if all verification comes from him; if there is no regulatory authority over him, nobody supervising him, no external force or entity that can keep him in check, or guarantee that he will keep his word; and if he can enter into a binding contract but change or violate the terms of it whenever he wants without any consequences to him, whatsoever; if at any moment he could force you to do anything that he wanted; if such a man existed and said to you, “Hey, just trust me! I won’t let you down!”; wouldn’t you find it absolutely impossible to put your trust in him?
This is the very situation we find ourselves in with God and His omnipotent, miraculous power to alter reality. He’s got a monopoly on everything. Heck, even the Nothing belongs to Him! These omnipotent, miraculous abilities do not instill confidence in Him, for He has power to do exactly the opposite of what He says and get away with it, without us even knowing it. Those who bring themselves to trust in God do so as a leap and act of faith. God’s omnipotence, then, serves to develop faith in us by creating an environment of distrust so that He can produce the miracle of trust.
In like manner, all gospel principles are impossible miracles, God turning things upside down from what we would expect as the normative way of doing things, all so that we might praise His greatness.
The works of God defy logic
Faith is not logic-based. Therefore, the logical paradoxes to God’s omnipotence pose no problem whatsoever to Him. That we cannot understand how such-and-such a deed can be possible, given the rules of our reality, does not limit God from working miracles through His faith. Perhaps it can be asked, “Can God work miracles through knowledge alone?” The answer would be, “Yes.” In fact, the principle of God’s omnipotence can be summed up with two questions and their answers.
Question: Does God have power to do [fill in the blank]?
Answer: Yes, He does.
Question: Does He exercise this power?
Answer: Yes, He does, either personally or vicariously.
Paradoxes do not matter because reality is created on a foreseen basis. So, no matter what scenario one comes up with to test the validity of God’s omnipotence, God has already foreseen it and accounted for it in the present reality, if need be. In other words, if the test is to have God do something impossible using only current reality laws, without the exercise of reality-altering faith or any other godlike “cheat,” such as by having Him work miracles through knowledge alone, without altering reality, He could still do it because His foreknowledge of all things would have seen the test beforehand and provided a way in the current reality (by creating the reality with an “impossible law” exception that only applies to Him or to whomever the test subject is to be) to accomplish the task under the assigned rules. There is simply no way to back God into a no-way-to-escape, paradoxical corner.
It is His will and pleasure to be omnipotent
The will of God corresponds to His left-brain-mind, which is the Universal sphere, while His pleasure corresponds to His right-brain-heart, which resides in the Nothing. The one is infinite and the other finite. The one boundless and free, the other bounded and limited. Because of this dual nature to God, His omnipotence must, of necessity, please or appeal to both halves of His being, therefore, it remains unlimited outside of the sphere and limited within the sphere. The will craves confinement and limitations and conditions and bounds, by giving a law to all things, whereas the pleasure craves just the opposite. Nevertheless, the will (sphere) expands into pleasure (Nothing) territory and what occurs within the will (sphere) is always according to the pleasure, for all things that happen in the will (sphere) were pre-planned (foreordained) by God’s pleasure as He looked out into the Nothing with faith, bringing His will into existence.
God must, of necessity therefore, be omnipotent, because of His will and pleasure. His pleasure demands omnipotence because the Nothing, being a true infinity, can only be split and made into all the endless varieties of things that God sees by His eye of infinite faith, which produces unlimited power. And His will demands omnipotence because it is expanding into the Nothing in an ongoing creation of a never-ending variety of newly existent things. Also, because the exercise of God’s faith within the sphere alters its reality, which transcends the already established laws found therein, His will requires that He be able to do any impossible thing, even within the confines of the sphere.
Therefore, because it is God’s will and pleasure to be omnipotent, He exercises His faith to that end.
Dispersing His omnipotence reveals His nature
Inside of the sphere, God’s omnipotence is dispersed according to His will and pleasure. This dispersal, which we can observe or learn about through our mortal existence and also through the word of God and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, reveals the very will and pleasure of God, or His nature.
The nature of something is determined by observation of what it does. We can view lots of lions and see patterns that they all follow and then, when we see one lone lion do something different, that no other lion does, then we are justified in saying that that lion went against the nature of lions. But in the case of God, what do we have to compare Him with? He is the only God that we know of, therefore, all that He does, even when He does something different than what we’ve seen before, must all be part of His nature. We are not ever justified in saying that what He does goes against His nature.
So what do we see? We see the powers of God delegated to three groups of people: the devil and his angels, men and women, and God and His angels, with a subset of the godly powers reserved for the Supreme Being to use alone.
All of God’s creations use delegated powers of God to do whatsoever it is that they do, even Satan himself. The demonic powers, then, are simply a subset of God’s infinite set of powers, which He loans to the devil because of an expressed desire that he had to use them. While the devil remains within the sphere of light, he and his angels may use these powers to tempt man and destroy agency, captivating and compelling the souls of men. But once they are evicted and cast into outer darkness, their powers remain in the sphere and return back to their rightful owner: God.
The same scenario plays out with man and the angels. As long as they remain in the kingdom of light (the sphere), their delegated powers remain with them. If ever they get evicted, whatever power was lent to them stays in the kingdom.
This shows us the nature of God by which powers He reserves to Himself for personal use and which He delegates. Some powers he delegates to devils, some to men, some to angels and others He uses Himself. Even though the delegated powers are not used personally by Himself, He ends up using them vicariously through the agent to whom the power was delegated. In this way, God uses all His powers, even those that we would say are “off limits” to Him, such as the demonic powers.
So, God lies, steals, murders, breaks covenants, and does every other horrible thing it is possible to do, vicariously, through the power He has delegated to agents who have asked to receive and use such powers. Although the agents have received authorization, or priesthoods, to use these demonic powers, they have been instructed not to use them, therefore they are not on the Lord’s errand when they use them.
ADAM: What is that apron you have on?
LUCIFER: It is an emblem of my power and priesthoods.
LUCIFER: Yes, priesthoods.
Thus, the saying that “God cannot lie” does not mean that God has no power to lie. He has such a power, but has delegated it to others. Eventually, that power will return to him, but at any moment He can exercise faith and get it back immediately. Nevertheless, the nature of God is to always delegate that particular power. So, the saying, “God cannot lie” isn’t saying that God’s power is limited, but is attempting to reveal the nature of God, which is that He never, personally uses this power, or gives anyone else instruction to lie, but He does disperse this power to those who desire it. The same principle applies to other dispersed powers.
Infinite faith produces unlimited power (omnipotence)
Every dispersed or reserved power that is found within the sphere was produced first by God exercising His infinite faith to obtain it. The principle of the Nephites
having power given them to do all things by faith [2 Ne. 1:10]
equally applies to God, for the principle is patterned after Him. No power ever came into existence without God first exercising His faith to bring it into existence.
ELOHIM: I will place enmity between thee and the seed of the woman. Thou mayest have power to bruise his heal, but he shall have power to crush thy head.
LUCIFER: Then with that enmity I will take the treasures of the earth, and with gold and silver I will buy up armies and navies, popes and priests, and reign with blood and horror on the earth!
Where did the devil get the enmity? From God. Who created the gold and silver? God did.
Taking the extreme example of the demonic powers, we see that the devil received all his powers from God, who first exercised His faith to obtain these powers, and then delegated them to those who desired to use them. Thus, even though the devil has no faith, the powers he uses are of God and came of God’s faith. Should God ever exercise His faith to remove those powers, the devil would be stripped of them. This shows that all things, even the kingdom of the devil, are dependent upon the sustaining will and faith of God. The dispersed powers are lent because it serves the purposes of God, to further His plan. When it no longer serves His purposes, that is the end of the probation and everything returns back to Him, to give an accounting of what they did with what He dispersed to them.
Not restricted in the least
It is inappropriate and a misunderstanding, then, to view the limitations that God has created on how He operates within the sphere as a restriction of His matchless power. He still is not restricted in the least and He still gets to experience the exercise of every single power that He has. Also, all the powers that He disperses to others, which are then used to fight Him and His work, have no effect on frustrating Him, but actually end up serving His purposes.
the works and purposes and designs of god cannot be frustrated [D&C 3:1]
How is this possible? It isn’t. In fact, it is impossible. The whole plan of God is stacked against Him, for He works using only agency, allowing all of creation to vote Him out of existence and delegates a large portion of His powers to the devil so that he can fight and attempt to frustrate His work and then He takes a more or less hands off approach (except when men exercise faith in Christ). Logically, God’s plan ought to be easily frustrated, but it never is nor can be. Why can’t it be? Because God’s faith is absolutely infinite and is the means by which He accomplishes His miraculous works and purposes and designs.
God as a miracle worker
Agency is defined in the scriptures as “power to act and not to be acted upon.” So God’s omnipotent power is agency, which, as I explained in a previous post, comes only of faith. Since God has all power to act and nothing can act upon Him, or force Him to do something against His will, He has a fullness of agency, meaning He’s omnipotent.
Now, since the consent of the governed is needed in the kingdom of God in order for Him to remain just, which is the law of common consent, one must ask, when the vote was taken and one-third rebelled, did God lose 33% of His agency? In other words, is God’s agency tied to the agencies of the things that make up the Universal sphere?
The answer is: No.
Agency is only tied to faith. As God’s faith is infinite, anything He exercises His faith towards will come to pass, regardless of what it is. Our faith is centered externally in Him, or in His Son, but God’s faith is centered internally, in Himself. This means that His faith is independent of the environment He finds Himself in.
So, if the entire sphere should vote God off the throne, and afterward He were to exercise His faith to get them to vote Him back on, they would do it. Not because He compels them to have a new election, but because His faith causes miracles to happen.
The faith of God is equally miraculous inside the sphere, among the things which have agency, as well as outside of it, where the non-existent Nothing is (not). The Nothing does not act, nor can it be acted upon, thus it has no agency, yet when God exercises faith to make it split, it splits. If non-reacting Nothing miraculously reacts to God’s faith, how much more would somethings, which have the innate ability to react (for they have agency), react to it?
Thus we see that God is only a miracle worker. He does nothing but miracles. There is no science involved in anything He does. Although He knows all the finite things that exist within the Universal sphere, this knowledge does not translate into power, because He operates solely on faith, which produces agency.
Nevertheless, as He possesses unlimited power, He has power to work by knowledge. Does He use this power? Yes, vicariously.
The devil as an advanced scientist
Satan has no faith, therefore, he cannot obtain agency through faith. Where, then, does his agency come from? From the one-third, who voluntarily gave up their agency to him and also through all those who transgress the laws of God. He also obtains agency through force, the application of scientific principles and deceit.
The spirit of the devil is likely patterned after the spirit of the Lord, which is in the shape of a sphere or expanded toroid (a doughnut shape). Like hanging, rotten fruit, the one-third and sons of perdition are attached to it by filaments or branches. All of the light and truth these spirits once had is taken away by the devil.
and that wicked one cometh [D&C 93:39]
and taketh away light and truth
from the children of men
and because of the tradition of their fathers
Now, light is wisdom, which the devil converts, through his devilish alchemy, into dark cunning. And truth is knowledge, as explained above. (Which truth he converts into partial truth, lies and other falsehoods.) So, like a vacuum cleaner, the devil has sucked up the combined wisdom and knowledge of all the one-third and all the sons of perdition. In addition, he has collected light and truth of varying degrees of every living mortal sinner. Finally, every person who has died in their sins and gone to hell have been vacuumed, as well, of every last bit of light and truth they ever had, causing their spiritual deaths.
Given that the hosts of heaven are spoken of as being innumerable to man, just taking the one-third of them alone we arrive at a body of light and truth incomprehensibly great. If 100% of the number is innumerable, then 1/3 of “innumerable” is probably not countable, either. Added to that is the combined knowledge of all the sinners who died in their sins from the time of Adam to now, which knowledge concerns the earth and heavens, and you end up with a devil whose cunning and scientific knowledge might as well be considered godlike.
This would give the devil an almost perfect knowledge of the earth, as well as of the heavens. Although he is trapped here, he is, for all intents and purposes, the god of this world. Using scientific principles of knowledge, the devil would be able to imitate, to a degree, many of the miraculous works of God done by faith.
For example, whereas God has power to prophesy of the future using His eye of faith, whereby he sees all possible futures and chooses the future He has faith in, the devil has power to predict the future, using his knowledge of all the variables that make up the past and present, and also the prophecies of the Lord concerning the future. One causes the appointed future to come to pass by His faith and the other predicts the most logical future, given all the facts. One creates a miracle contrary to the facts or science, while the other predicts the logical outcome based on the facts or science alone.
The way the devil makes it appear that he “performs miracles” is by keeping his knowledge hidden. This occult knowledge is the great secret that allows the audience to remain ignorant, like a magician’s trick. The audience is not aware that a natural or technological occurrence has happened and the event is presented as a miracle, thus allowing them to be deceived.
Because of his vast knowledge of the earth sciences, the devil can send forth false prophets to predict many things with uncanny accuracy. For example, the devil can use his knowledge to predict earthquakes, eruptions, and other disasters, because he has been working with a full data set since the time of Adam and has been tracking all of the patterns and systems of this planet. Coupled with secret, advanced technology, that his servants in sin have been fervently working to develop, the “miracles” the servants of Satan will perform at the appointed times are sure to deceive the masses and almost even the very elect.
These deceptions come of science, not faith working miracles, for the god of this world is not a god of miracles. He’s a phony baloney, a pretender. Nevertheless, the cunning mind of the devil is so smart that he could best all the men who ever lived on this planet, and all the computing power on it, combined, in a test of logic, strategy or knowledge, for he draws on the combined brain power of an innumerable host of captured spirits, making his IQ beyond measure.
Demonic and divine technologies
Whenever God gives a “technological” device or “technological” instructions to mankind, He does so after a patterned manner. First, the commandments to build (by the hand of man), when accompanied by detailed, revealed instructions, always produce something remarkable, curious (skillful) and “not after the manner of men.” Second, whatever the build is, it only ever works according to the faith of the children of men using it. So, ships designed by God (Noah’s ark, Jaredite barges, Nephi’s ship) work by faith. Have faith and they float. Lose faith and they sink. Temples designed by God also work by faith. Have faith, and the presence of the Lord and angels and other manifestations of His glory attends and the ordinances are accepted. Lose faith, and the miracles cease, the ordinances are rejected and the temple is eventually destroyed. (Not every commanded edifice comes with such detailed building instructions, so I’m only talking of those things which God, Himself, designs from start to finish.) Then, there are the devices that God, Himself, prepares by His own hand. For example, the Liahona, which operated according to the faith and heed and diligence Lehi’s party gave to it. When they were slothful, it ceased working.
All these divine “technologies” were faith-based, created by the hand of man through miraculously-given revelations, which contained the divine building instructions, or by the hand of the Lord, through His faith, creating the miracle object,
the miraculous directors [D&C 17:1]
which were given to lehi while in the wilderness
and also the ball or compass [2 Ne. 5:12]
which was prepared for my father by the hand of the lord
according to that which is written
which, in turn, produced a structure or an object that operated contrary to the laws of nature. The temples produced sealings that reached beyond death, the ships floated miraculously, the Liahona guided in a way that wasn’t possible, the Urim and Thummim allowed the seers to read languages that they didn’t know, etc. Faith was required in their making and in their use. The object, then, in all these divine “technologies” was and is always the development of faith.
The devices and edifices of man have no such faith-to-work-miracles requirement to build or design, nor require such faith to work, nor necessarily produce or develop faith in God when used. So the bulk of all technology can only be ascribed as either human ingenuity or satanic inspiration.
Keeping in mind that the devil is this world’s resident scientific expert on all subjects, we can presume that at least some of today’s technologies have been inspired directly of the devil, either entirely or partially. It plays into the devil’s hands if every device or technology spiritually or physically harms us in some way, even if the harm is minimal. Devices that poison by degrees, through radiation, or that hypnotize, or that distract, or that create pride in man’s genius, all such technologies are useful to the devil’s plans and so we must expect him to take an active part in guiding man’s ingenuity in directions he would like it to go.
Among the LDS, there is an idea that the upswing in technological inventions and scientific knowledge corresponds with the restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, as if this was abundant evidence that the Spirit of the Lord was being poured out upon the people. Another possibility, though, is that this apparent increase in technology may have been the devil’s response to the restoration. The restoration restored the possibility of faith and miracles to the earth. How does a devil respond to that? Through imitations, by giving them “technological miracles” and thus keeping them firmly grounded and relying upon the arm of the flesh.
The scientific age in which we currently live may be a time when the spirit of the devil is poured out upon the people, giving them non faith-based technologies and precepts, in order to keep the masses turned away from faith. Although we tend to idolize science as noble and pure, if this age has had as its main inspirational source that quintessential scientist, the devil, that assessment might be misguided. Suffice it to say that God does not appear to be overly concerned about science or knowledge, only about faith and miracles. It might not be entirely correct to ascribe God, the miracle worker, as the author of all this scientific knowledge and all these technological marvels.
But enough talk about the devil. Let’s return to the topic of God’s faith.
Faith exercises faith
God corresponds to each man according to what He perceives. When He sees a man seeking faith in Christ, He corresponds by giving him a portion of His own faith. The faith obtained is a gift of God, had through His mercy, kindness and generosity, and not through the man’s own efforts. This takes away all cause a man might have to boast and allows him to fully acknowledge the greatness and hand of God in all things, which is one of the purposes of our creation, even that we might glorify His name. And when He sees a man seeking to exercise that given portion, He corresponds by exercising a portion of His own faith in their behalf so that they obtain the witness that they seek. The result is that God ends up doing everything, both supplying the needed faith and exercising it, too. All we are required to do is to show our own willingness. This principle is demonstrated by the following scriptures:
draw near unto me [D&C 88:63]
and i will draw near unto you
seek me diligently
and ye shall find me
and ye shall receive
and it shall be opened unto you
for intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence [D&C 88:40]
wisdom receiveth wisdom
truth embraceth truth
virtue loveth virtue
light cleaveth unto light
mercy hath compassion on mercy
and claimeth her own
justice continueth its course
and claimeth its own
judgment goeth before the face of him
who sitteth upon the throne
and executeth all things
o god the eternal father [Moro. 4:3]
we ask thee in the name of thy son jesus christ
to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those
who partake of it
that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy son
and witness unto thee o god the eternal father
that they are willing
to take upon them the name of thy son
and always remember him
and keep his commandments
which he hath given them
that they may always have his spirit to be with them
Knowledge (or law) requires existence, which requires a sphere, which did not exist before the creation, therefore God must not have created the Universe using knowledge, but by faith. This shows that God is a miracle worker, capable of working outside of established law, and not a scientist, and also that God has faith.
Previous Faith of God article: The faith of God, part thirteen: How charity fits in