Tests of Our Volition and Angelic Observation

[Disclaimer: The quote below is taken from the Dictionary of Doctrine website. When I originally posted the excerpt below I purposely did not include a link to the source. The reason for this is that I recognized the materials to be taken from the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr. The Dictionary of Doctrine site provides no attribution that I know of and, knowing that R.B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries is very vigilant in protecting their copyrights, I didn’t want the site to “go away.” I ended out discovering that the owner of the Dictionary of Doctrine site had modified some of Colonel Thieme’s teaching in a way that would have made him apoplectic. I notified some people who are associated with R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries of the existence of the Dictionary of Doctrine site. The site is still there and I have no idea if any action will ever be taken by R. B. Thieme, Jr., Bible Ministries against it.]

I have been terribly busy this week and haven’t had a chance to put together any proper commentary on this week’s post about the angelic conflict. It is really a continuation of my post two weeks ago titled Resolving the Angelic Conflict. In that post the topic of how mankind’s volition was tested in perfect environment in the Garden of Eden. This weeks post continues with the testing of mankind’s volition after the fall.

If you believe that all of us have a free will and that God expects us to make good decisions then it is important to understand this material.

Here is this week’s lesson:

The Test Under Sinfulness[1]

Secondly, Adam’s positive volition was tested under sinfulness, and this too involves a tree: the cross. After he had sinned and had become separated from God, Salvation was promised to him and to the human race. (Gen 3:15)

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, And between your seed, (Satan’s) and her seed; (Christ) — He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on, (And or with the; Psa 41:9; John 13:18) the heel.”

Salvation would be provided through the virgin birth of Christ. (Gal 4:4-5) All Adam had to do to become spiritually alive again was to exercise positive volition, (Faith) toward the Lord Jesus Christ, who would provide Salvation in FULL. The moment Adam sinned, he died spiritually. We are BORN spiritually dead, (separated from God) though physically alive. However, we too can become spiritually alive by the exercise of positive volition, (Faith) toward the work, (Spiritual death and judgment) of Christ on the cross. The two tests of mankind’s volition under sinfulness occurs, (After the fall of Adam, man can only be tested under sinfulness).  (1) At the moment he becomes aware of or conscious of God and; (2) at the moment he hears the gospel. Man’s faith in Christ, which is a non-meritorious expression of positive volition toward Christ, resolves the initial phase of the angelic conflict.(Col 2:14-15; Heb 1:4-14; Heb 2:1-18)

Angelic observation

When you accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, the elect angels rejoiced while Satan’s crowd groaned. Why? Because you responded to grace from your own free will!

The issue in angelic observation is, will man, who is inferior to angels but equipped with the same free will, choose for or against the plan of God? Will man respond to grace or reject it? (John 3:17-18) The angels can understand why they are condemned when they observe human beings on the earth placing their trust in Jesus Christ. Thus demonstrating that the negative free will of man does necessarily choose against God, as Satan and the fallen angels did in eternity past. This explains the rejoicing of elect angels over the sinner, who repents, (Changes his mind about Christ and believers about believing and thinking with Truth; Luk 15:7-10).

There are many passages in the Bible that teach that angels are observing man. First of all, angels observed the Lord Jesus Christ in His humanity just prior to the Church Age. (Matt 4:11; Matt 28:2; Luk 2:13-14; Acts 1:10-11;(1Ti 3:16) Angels observe believers in Phase Two. (1Co 4:9; (1Co 6:3; (1Co 11:10; Eph 3:10; (1Ti 5:21; (1Pe 1:12) Fallen angels are organized under Satan’s Command to resist and oppose believers. They must observe believers in order to do this. (Job 1:8-12; Job 2:1-10; Eph 6:12)

Angelic observation and participation in this spiritual conflict constitute a major reason for putting the emphasis of the Christian life on learning and thinking with Truth not simply DOING something. We tend to get off into minor Concepts and to falsely think in terms of DOING something such as praying, witnessing, giving or certain other activities of the Christian life. These are legitimate and bona fide functions; (In fellowship; Psa 66:18) but because of the angelic conflict and the necessity of orienting to the grace of God and spiritually knowing His will, the great emphasis is on Thinking with Truth. (Php 4:8-9) For the believer-priest, Truth is the equipment that makes witnessing, praying, giving, etc., effective. It is only through the filling of God the Holy Spirit and Thinking with Truth that you are able to enjoy these WORSHIP activities.(John 4:23-24)

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[1] Just so no one gets the wrong idea I would like to mention once again that this is not my original work. I believe that it is based at least in part on the work of R.B. Thieme, Jr who did some brilliant studies on angels and the angelic conflict (I link to his site in the sidebar). I am providing the information here because I firmly believe it is important for it to reach a wider audience.

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