Concepts Reviewed

concept ReviewedConcept Reviewed

The Biblical evidences gathered so far confirms the scientific nature of the flood. The perfect arrangement of balanced heat supplied and protective mantle, producing a mild and equalized climate over the earth, was critically dependent on the uniform production of heat from the sun and the moon. When that failed, the flood was inevitable.

The question now remaining is why the sun came to be dimmed and the moon extinguished.  If this was God’s deliberate act performed at a moment dictated by Him, then God certainly was an executioner of the sentence against transgression. He did not leave the rejecters of His mercy to themselves to reap that which they had sown. He was a destroyer.  Undeniably, He departed from His stated principles and resorted to measures foreign to Him and His kingdom prior to the entrance of sin.

This is, of course, the view generally adopted together with its implications which, unfortunately, are rarely considered.  If people contemplated the full impact of what they believe, they would heartily reject many errors.

From the outset of the study of the great controversy, as it arose in heaven, it becomes increasingly and sharply clear that the struggle was not a contest instituted to prove who was physically stronger, for there could be no doubt of God’s infinite superiority in this field.  Neither Lucifer nor any other creature challenged this.  Furthermore, had that been the issue then God could have resolved it with one overwhelming demonstration of His almighty power.  It would not have been necessary to wait for almost two thousand years and then bring the flood to prove that He was physically stronger than Satan and his hosts.

The contest over the respective merits of two opposing and irreconcilable systems of government, the one long established by God versus that newly espoused by Satan. God declared that His system was perfect and needed no modifications or improvements.  He also guaranteed, for those who faithfully respected it, the permanence of eternal life, prosperity, and advancement.  Satan counterclaimed that the divine order was not all it pretended to be, a point having been reached where it had ended its effective reign.  Far from being a system designed for universal good of all, he charged that it was a master plot formulated for the special exaltation of the Father and the Son.  Because of this, he insinuated, an oppressive era was about to be introduced that would increase in severity as eternity dragged on.  While he admitted that up until that time conditions could not have been better, he declared that the future would certainly reveal the defects in the divine system.  He agitated that it was imperative that every member of the angelic hosts stand up for themselves before they were so circumscribed by bondage that they would be powerless to assert their rights.

Satan’s attack was upon the principles of God’s character and thus of His government.  The question was whether the established ways of God’s government could emerge impeccably from subjection to the most searching test Satan could give it, or whether defects would become evident.

God was confident that it could emerge immaculate, and therefore, he had no hesitation in submitting it to the ultimate test.  Let the devil attack! Let him use all the weapons of force and deception!  God knew that His system would come through vindicated and perfect.

So God entered into the great controversy for which this earth and its people became the testing ground.  It is of critical importance to understand what was under test, what was at stake, and the limitations placed upon God by His own acceptance of this challenge.  God did not permit the testing of His system of government to preserve His personal honor and word, for God is not self-centered.  He did it for the salvation of the creatures in His universe.

A clear distinction must be seen between the principles of God’s government and the personal power resident in God by which He could enforce the observance of His ways if He chose to use those methods.  When this distinction is seen, it then follows that if God’s principles are under test then they must stand or fall on their own merits.  If the Lord should find it necessary to introduce another factor, such as the use of omnipotent power, to settle the controversy, then this would depart from His original committal to leave the principles of righteousness to stand or fall on their own merits.  It would also be an admission that they were defective and could not stand by virtue of their own intrinsic qualities.  It would give Satan a whole argument, for this action would prove the adversary corrected in his charges.

The question may be asked where it is recorded that Satan brought forth the challenge that God would resort to force, even lethal force, if His subjects should choose to reject Him and His governance. It is a most important question.

Although we may extrapolate the answer by all of the testimony of Scripture and especially of the life of Christ, who said He did not come to destroy but to save and that He came to show us the Father, there is given to us the key proof of this challenge right in the words of the old serpent who spoke from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

There, he issued the statement that laid bare the fundamental charges against God and His government.  He said that in the day that they ate of the forbidden tree they would not die as God had said, but rather that their eyes would be opened, and they would see the true nature of their existence – that they were actually gods, implying that they could function perfectly on their own without Him.

Therefore, God was charged with being a thief, for in restricting their innate natural tendency to progress to godhood, he was stealing their destiny. God was so charged with being a liar, because He said they would die if they were against His command. In this Satan also charged God with being a murderer.  He did not say so directly, but it was there by implication in his “you shall not surely die” retort. Obviously, Satan did not want them to suspect that he had anything to do with death.  He was presenting himself as a great benefactor to humans.  Rather, it was his suggestion that if they did die it would come by another means than the natural result of transgression.  He was not willing that they should understand the nature of sin, that it would disconnect them from God, the Source of life, and result in death. He did not want them to fear and shun sin, for his philosophy was and is that we can have an innate righteousness and can do our own will, even contrary to God’s will, and live in it.

There is a common belief that people are basically good, and that humanity is now evolving to a higher level of consciousness through the realization of “who we really are.”  This is the New Age spiritualism that is taking hold of many minds today.  The prevalence of this philosophy is evidence that ‘god within you’ doctrine is alive and well, There are still two trees from which we may choose to eat.

So, if Satan disavows any notion that he is the destroyer or that sin is the destroyer, there is only one other place to look for the cause of any such death as God would have warned them about.  Satan did not have to overtly develop the idea at this time, as he would later put his lying interpretation on the consequences of sin as he well knew that the progression of ages to come would reveal them.  For now, he left it to the simple implication that God, being jealous for His authority and sole proprietorship of the universe, was wielding the threat of destructive power by His own hand in order to maintain His position unchallenged.  So, in all of this it s seen that Satan was attributing to God all that was within his own character.  Jesus made this clear when He said, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly (John 10:10).  “He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he speaks a lie, he speaks it from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44).

So, as we settle into the proper understanding of the nature of the contest between God and Satan and come to view what happened in the flood, we find that the traditionally – held view is in sharp conflict with the principles of God’s position in the great controversy.

On one side we see clearly that the Father and Son have allowed the conflict to play itself out upon the stage of this earth.  They declared that the victory of the cause of righteousness must and would come by the application of its own power and rightness – not because of the interposition of omnipotent power on God’s part being used to destroy the nonconforming.

But, on the other hand, it is clear that as time passed, and people began to multiply upon the face of the earth things went from bad to worse for God’s cause.  Continually, in increasing numbers, the inhabitants of the earth joined Satan, while God’s accounting finally showed only eight to His credit. Yet even among them, the loyalty was far from absolute, as demonstrated by Ham’s behavior after the flood.

There are no record in Holy Writ showing just how many inhabitants the earth then supported, but we can safely assume that the eight that boarded the ark would have been a very small fraction of a percent.  Every appearance then suggested that Satan was about emerge as the outright winner in the great controversy, that his ways were so superior to the ways of God that everyone on the earth was for them except for the eight.  In time these few would either die or possibly defect anyway.

It was desperately important to God that the situation not be allowed to continue to the point where there was no one left on His side because it was essential to the ultimate success of His plan that the Redeemer be born through the righteous line.  Should the righteous line be cut off, then God’s plan would have failed.

It could have failed, not simply because the intention of God to save the human family would be frustrated, but because God would be deprived of the means of removing the cause of rebellion.  That cause, as has been demonstrably proved earlier in this series was the misrepresentation of the character of God, first in the mind of Lucifer and later through him to the other creatures.

The only satisfactory and successful way to solve a problem is to remove the cause of it.  Once the problem of sin, which is rebellion against the principles of God’s government, entered the universe all the resources of heaven were devoted to its solution.  It is a mistake to limit the solution to the cleansing of sin from those who will be saved while the rest are simply left to their annihilation.  The problem will not be solved until the cause has been removed from the mind of every creature who has ever come into existence, including all those who will, in the end, be eternally lost.

Since the cause of all the trouble is the misrepresentation of God’s character, so long as that misconception remains in the minds of angels and human beings, the rebellion must continue.  Therefore, to end it, that misconception must be corrected.  This cannot be done merely be declarations on God’s part or by the use of force. There is only one way to accomplish it.  The character of God must be manifested by One who was equal with God.  Only Christ could do the work.

But it was impossible for Him to do it successfully in the perfect environment of heaven.  It could be done there to a certain extent but not wholly.  There is a very valid reason for this.  In heaven, Satan had not developed the fullness of his attack against the character of God.  It remained for him to do that on this earth.  This imposed on Christ’ the necessity of coming right to the place where Satan was perpetrating the fullness of his lies against God and there, side by side with the character of Satan, provide the contrasting revelation of God’s character.  Only as humans and angels were able to see both of them side by side could the revelation of God and Satan be so fully given that the cause of the struggle could be erased from angelic and human minds.

For Jesus Christ to come into this position, He must be born into the human family.  He could and would not force any woman to be His mother.  The only through whom he would enter the earthly arena must be absolutely willing to perform this office.  We can be assured that no one who was on Satan’s side would undertake such a commission. Satan knew this.  Therefore, he realized that one way to secure the victory in the contest was to either win every human being over to his side or to win all he could and then use them to exterminate the rest.

Satan was terribly afraid that if Christ appeared on earth He would be successful in exposing the lies he had leveled against God, with the result that he would be rejected loathing by all the creatures whose support he so desperately sought. He knew that everything depended on his successfully preventing such a demonstration from being given. Therefore, he worked with fanatical and unsleeping zeal to win as many of the human family as possible to his side and to destroy the remainder.  Success in so doing would deprive God of the means whereby Christ could enter the earthly arena of battle.

Never did Satan’s goals come so close to absolute success than just prior to the flood.  God saw His forces of loyal followers dwindle down to a mere and doubtful eight while the devil numbered all the rest of civilization as his.  It was all to obvious that, but a short time would elapse before death and apostasy would wing the balance totally in Satan’s favor.

With the future of the entire kingdom of God throughout the infinite reaches of His domains at stake, such a development placed enormous pressure upon God to step in and take direct and decisive action to save the situation from total and eternal disaster.  If the traditional view of what God did at the flood is correct, then God succumbed to the pressure.  Popular theology asserts that the lord had to step in with the flood to thoroughly curb the advancement of Satan’s cause.

If this is what God did, then He made a complete farce of the original statement of willing to submit the case to fair contest and of his expression of confidence that the principles of righteousness could survive such a test.

Once it is clearly understood that God’s character and government would stand on its own merits without the interposition of arbitrary power, it will likewise be seen that should God at the last moment have resorted to the use of destructive power to wipe out the efforts of His competitor then no one would believe in Him and he would literally give the case away of Satan.

Satan would ask how he could ever fairly demonstrate his claims when the Lord lets him go until he is on the very brink of success and then, because He is the possessor of omnipotent power, uses that to wipe out all Satan has achieved.  Satan could rightfully complain that he never would have any real chance of providing anything. God would have no defense against this argument, and it would actually serve to increase the spirit of rebellion in the universe.  No fair-minded person could honestly stand on God’s side based upon any verifiable demonstration of equal   once these issues were clearly understood.

It is unacceptable to the thinking person that God, who knows all things from the beginning, would commit Himself to a position that would after get completely out of hand, forcing Him to introduce methods He had originally declared would never be used.  If God did this, He would reveal that he was governing by imperfect standards, subject to revision and change, thereby calling into question any and every other claim that could be made with regard to His character and government.

When God committed all the resources of heaven to ending the great controversy, He knew already the coming numerical imbalance at the flood.  It did not catch Him by surprise, and he had made full provision to meet the emergency.  Therefore, when He promised the ultimate triumph of truth and predicted Christ’s coming to the earth as an essential part of the plan, He was well aware how narrowly the scheme would come short of failure in Noah’s day.  Knowing all this in advance did not perturb Him in the slightest.  He made no provision for it outside of His eternal principles of truth.  He still committed Himself to a fair and open contest.

God did not send the flood to obliterate Satan’s forces. On the contrary, He did His very best to keep the flood from coming for as long as He possibly could.  When it finally came, it was not because he sent it but because He could no longer prevent it.

Two principles must be kept ever in our mind if we could find our way to forever discard the notion that God overruled with use of physical might in the contest with Satan.  The first is that God will never force His presence where it is not desired, and the second is that every power in nature is directly and continually dependent on God’s creative power to keep it on station to fulfill its appointed task.

Therefore, in the era leading up to the deluge, the sun and the moon, which were critical factors in the coming of the flood, were dependent on the presence of God’s power to keep them burning at the exactly the correct heat level and stationed at the proper distance from the earth. Let the Lords hand be removed from the control and direction of those two orbs of fire, and the flood had to follow.

Under Satan’s determined and relentless influence, humanity increasingly desired total separation from God. They wanted nothing of His ways or principles.  God knowing the dreadful consequences of such a course, sent message after message pleading with them to correct their drift, but they steadily insisted on His departure.  Because He will never force His presence where it is not desired, He had no choice but to depart. In doing so, He gave them over to their ‘vain imaginations” wherein their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:21).   Refusing to glorify God, they instead worshipped the things of nature.  Displacing their faith in the Creator as the Life-giver and Sustainer with the faith in the things of creation, they had reached their maximum in idolatry and were in essence telling God to leave.

Job 22:15-17 spells it out clearly, reminding us to see how the wicked of that time were cut down, in that they said, “Depart from us,” by asking the question, “What can the Almighty do to them?” So the Lord had to abandon them to the effects of nature itself abandoned.  Left in this state of affairs long enough, the earth and its environs would have returned to the same state as it was prior to creation week: “without form and void.”

The moon, being nearer to the earth was the first to feel the effect of God’s departure.  It went out entirely.  The sun, much further away from the earth and much larger than the moon, took longer to diminish completely.  Before it could do so, the wicked had perished and suddenly the situation was reversed.  Whereas the majority had been against God, now the changed situation placed the majority on His side. They were only eight in number but still the majority.

These of course, desired the Lord to fill His office and do His work of sustaining the powers of heaven and earth.  Thus the returning Spirit of God was able to arrest any further decay in the sun and maintain it at the diminished level.  It has remained that way ever since.

With the moon out and the sun at diminished output, there were neither the heat energy to return the water to its proper place nor the energy to maintain it there.  Nor was it possible for the surviving remnant to live on an ocean without a shoreline.  The water had to be relocated to expose sufficient land to produce food for people and beast.  This was accomplished by the violent up thrusts of landmasses that formed the great mountain chains and peaks found in the Himalayas, Andes, Alps, Rockies, and so on.  Additionally, enormous quantities of water were held in cold storage at the poles.

Artists’ representations of condition experienced by the disembarking voyagers give the impression that the water gently subsided and Noah and his family emerged to a scarred but peaceful earth.  This has to be far from true.  We have no concept of the titanic convulsions that all but tore this earth apart.  There were no great mountain chains between the creation and the cataclysm.  The earth was beautifully formed with pleasant undulating land, low hills, verdant valleys, and slowly moving rivers.  Think, then, of the energy necessary to open up the almost bottomless ocean depths and thrust those huge mountain chains into the air as high as 29,000 feet.

During the cataclysm, the mantle of the earth broke apart.  This allowed the molten interior of the earth to find pathways to the surface in explosions and fiery issues.  Volcanoes circled the globe.  It also created the conditions of geological instability that lead to earthquakes and ocean disturbances which have destroyed many thousands of lives since that time.

It was not God’s direct act by which the moon was extinguished and the sun dimmed.  This happened not because God caused it but because He could not stop it.  Those who believe that there are two side to the character of God – the loving side and “His strange act” – see the flood coming as a result of Gods changing from the former to the latter.  The real truth is that the flood proved inevitable not because God changed his tactics but because He remained undeviatingly the same.  With Him, the use of force has ever been excluded.  Therefore, to have prevented the flood once His final appeals had been rejected would have required Him to change to forcing His presence where it was emphatically not desired.  This He could not do, thus leaving nothing to prevent the onset of disaster.

Again there is absolutely no difference between God’s conduct at the flood and His conduct during the plagues on Egypt. In both cases the rod of power had to be relinquished before it became a serpent of destruction.

Next we will explore Sodom and Gomorrah.

We will discus the rainbow, was it arbitrary sign? What a rainbow?

The time of the flood introduced vast changes that brought a curse to the earth in many ways. We will describe these ways.

How is it that the earth is now hold in reserve for destruction by fire as pointed out by Peter?

Why would the sovereign and omnipotent God choose fire to punish the wicked? Do nations that allow Christian freedoms exercise the death penalty by torturous means?

Did God specially create the molten fire that rained on Sodom and Gomorrah?

Can we find any modern histories of fiery destruction that would give us a parallel to what happened in the cities of the plains.



01 He Wanted to Teach Respect 05 Approaching the Study of God
02 Why a Tree to Teach Respect 06 The Constitution of the Government of God
03 The End of the Great Controversy 07 A Perfect Law
04 Isaiah’s Wonderful Prophecy 08 God’s Principles Tested
09 A Summary of God’s Constitution 13 The Supreme Revelation
10 Contrasting Statements 14 Urged to Destroy
11 Statements and Principles 15 Magnifying the Law
12 Does God Destroy – But How 16 Go the Second Mile
17a An Eye for an Eye 18 The Mystery of Iniquity
17b An Eye for an Eye 19 The Mystery-Unfolding Cross
17c An Eye for an Eye 20 The Way of the Cross
17d An Eye for an Eye 21 God Is Not a Criminal
22 Rods and Serpents 26 Great Changes
23 The Upraised Rod 27 Concepts Reviewed
24 The Showing of God’s Power 28 Sodom and Gomorrah
25 The Flood 29 An Execution


Published by The Bible In Your Hand

Hi, I am Pastor Lester Bentley, a devoted husband, father, and Pastor for the Northeastern Wyoming District of the Rocky Mountain Conference of Seventh-day Adventist. I am committed to the great gospel commission as stated in Matthew 28:19, 20.

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