This is the second post in a series on the Great Controversy. For the previous post please click HERE. Each post builds on themes and arguments presented so if you have not read my others I recommend starting with the first by clicking HERE.
A key element of the Great Controversy is that we are not alone in the universe and that the on-going conflict between God and Satan is a cosmic affair. The writings of Ellen White and other Church teachers make it obvious that this is one of the primary components of the Great Controversy motif. To prove this I am going to quote a few reputable sources.
“It is necessary that the truth about God, Christ and Satan be made manifest. The real story of all three is involved in the cosmic controversy. The revelation of who they really are must be made so that all created beings, angelic (fallen and unfallen), humans (redeemed and lost) and the unfallen inhabitants of worlds afar, may all vote unanimously on who is right and who is wrong. Only one side can win, yet all from both sides must vote, and vote the same. This is done with complete freedom, and is done purely on the evidence given by both sides.” The Cosmic Controversy: World View for Theology and Life. , Norman R. Gulley, p. 85
“The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes; they were noble, majestic, and lovely. They bore the express image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy…I asked one of them why they were so much more lovely than those on the earth. The reply was, “We have lived in strict obedience to the commandments of God, and have not fallen by disobedience, like those on the earth.” Ellen White, The Adventist Home, Review and Herald Publishing Assoc., p. 543.
“Men living in this little atom of a world are finite; God has unnumbered worlds that are obedient to His laws and are conducted with reference to His glory.” Ellen White, Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, Pacific Press Publishing Assoc., p.66.
“The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds, being unprepared to comprehend the nature or consequences of sin, could not then have seen the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan.” Ellen White, The Great Controversy, p. 498
To address this I am going to ask and then answer two questions.
- Does the Bible teach that aliens DO exist on far off worlds?
- Does the Bible teach that aliens DO NOT exist on far off worlds?
It is important to ask and answer both of these questions, if the Bible allows for other beings on far off worlds SDA could simply claim extra Biblical revelation. This is another matter all in itself and not the focus of this post. However, if the Bible excludes the possibility of aliens on other worlds then the belief in such would be objectively false at best and rebellion with the Word at worst.
Does the Bible teach that aliens DO exist on far off worlds?
Below is the preeminent proof-text used by SDA to prove that un-fallen beings exist on other worlds. In fact, this was the very verse that I used as an SDA to make the argument with people who had never heard of it.
“Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan came also among them.” Job 1:6 KJV
The term “sons of God” (beney elohim) is ultimately what is in question here. Below is a breakdown of how the term is translated in various versions.
angels – NIV
angels – CEV
sons of God – ESV
members of the heavenly court – NLT
sons of God – YLT
Not a single translation renders this as “un-fallen beings on other worlds”. Another popular place where we see this term is found in Genesis.
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.” Gen 6:4 KJV
There are a few more passages where the same term can be found. What exactly does the “sons of God” mean? Does the text identify this as un-fallen beings in other worlds? To help answer this I am going to quote a reputable source.
“there is no indication in these passages that the sons of God are anything exotic. Satan was a fallen angel who was permitted to appear before the Lord with other angels, as he had always done. We know he was permitted because he had access to God’s presence on other occasions as well (Zech. 3:2) (Luke 10:18).
If the sons of God in the Old Testament are angels, we can make better sense of all the references to them. Knox’s alien beings get into trouble in Genesis 6:6, where “…the sons of God went to the daughters of men and had children by them.” White finds a more mundane identity for the Genesis beings, and states that the children of Seth who worshipped God intermarried with the worldly children of Cain. Probably most biblical scholars also believe the Genesis sons of God to be the sons of Seth; others hold that they were fallen angels, or that this was a general term for worshippers of God. There are arguments for each view, but the Christian commentaries don’t see the sons of God as physical beings from other worlds.
Other passages with sons of God also appear to describe angels. Deuteronomy 32:8 has an enigmatic statement in some translations, “…he fixed the bounds of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” Again, this is not likely a reference to residents of distant planets. We know that elsewhere in scripture angels with authority are called princes, principalities, authorities, powers, or rulers, as in Daniel 10 where Gabriel contends with the prince of Persia. In Daniel 3:25, the being who accompanied Daniel’s three friends in the furnace resembled a “son of the gods” and was later called an angel by king Nebuchadnezzar.
In the New Testament, the term “sons of God” very plainly refers to believers, since their new life created by the Spirit has no physical genealogy. In fact, in Luke 20:36, Jesus describes how humans in the life of the age to come “…neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection.” (NKJV). Lewis Chafer wrote that in the Old Testament terminology, angels are called sons of God while men are called servants of God. In the New Testament this identification is reversed. Angels are the servants and Christians are the sons of God.” Proclamation Magazine, Are Worlds Watching? Martin L Carey
I would argue that there is no reason from the text to understand the “sons of God” as aliens. The only way to do that is to read Ellen Whites teachings into the text. The very concept is foreign to scripture, I would go so far as to say that scripture teaches the opposite, there is no possibility of sentient life on other planets.
Does the Bible teach that aliens DO NOT exist on far off worlds?
On this the Bible is actually a great deal more clear. While it is true that the concept of Aliens is never brought up, due to the teaching on the nature of man, the purpose of the Earth, and the fall it can be asserted with Biblical certainty that Aliens are a modern myth.
First of all the Bible teaches that our planet is unique among all of creation with the purpose of being inhabited. This next verse alone makes void the whole SDA argument simply because we would expect to find other worlds un-inhabited.
“For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.” Isa 45:18 KJV
Second we see the pre-eminence of Earth in the eyes of God with regards to his creation. This is the place that he calls his footstool and where God dwelt in the Tabernacle, and where he now dwells in us.
“Thus saith the Lord, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?” Isa 66:1 KJV
In this next verse the scripture refers to the planet we live on as a gift that was given to us.
“The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” Psa 115:16 KJV
It is fair to assert at this point that our planet is not only unique among all others in creation but it is the only one that is even inhabited. This only gets easier going forward though. The Bible teaches that ALL of creation was affected by the fall of man in Genesis 3.
“For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.” Rom 8:22 KJV
So even if there were other worlds with inhabitants we would expect to find them sinners impacted by the fall as well. That would mean that the following verse would apply to them:
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Rom 3:23 KJV
Read the above verse again, if you expand the scope of created sentient beings you expand the scope of the word “all” right along with it.
This would be a real problem for aliens on other worlds as the promise for salvation came through man not through any other sentient beings.
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Rom 5:18-19 KJV
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God.” Heb 10:12 KJV
If it were true that Aliens exist they would not be descendants of Adam. Because of this the promise associated with the lineage of Adam would not apply to them and they are going to hell. I am not the only one who has come to this conclusion. Ken Ham argues for this very well on his blog, he actually took a lot of public ridicule for this teaching but I agree with him 100%.
“And I do believe there can’t be other intelligent beings in outer space because of the meaning of the gospel. You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation. One day, the whole universe will be judged by fire, and there will be a new heavens and earth. God’s Son stepped into history to be Jesus Christ, the “Godman,” to be our relative, and to be the perfect sacrifice for sin—the Savior of mankind.
Jesus did not become the “God-Klingon” or the “God-Martian”! Only descendants of Adam can be saved. God’s Son remains the “Godman” as our Savior. In fact, the Bible makes it clear that we see the Father through the Son (and we see the Son through His Word). To suggest that aliens could respond to the gospel is just totally wrong.” Ken Ham, “We’ll find a new earth within 20 years, Answers In Genesis
To answer my question above the Bible is incredibly clear that there is no possibility of sentient life on far off worlds. The preeminent purpose of heavenly bodies cited in scripture is that they were created for us.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” Gen 1:14 KJV
What would I do if a flying saucer landed in my town tomorrow? To quote Luther I would go and plant an apple tree. In my mind such a thing could only be a deception from hell. This is because the scripture is so clear on teachings that exclude such a possibility.
Without un-fallen beings on other worlds the Great Controversy doesn’t work. To hold to the Great Controversy without aliens SDA would have to confess that part of their belief system is untrue. If such a significant cornerstone of the doctrine can be proven false what about the others? Please keep reading my series on this as I continue my studies.
One final note for those that are interested. There are many reasons not to believe in Aliens, not just Biblical ones. A really good secular argument against the existence of Aliens is called Fermi’s Paradox. It is not as popular as it should be which is probably because today secular science needs alien life to explain the origin of life on this planet.
I am not going to cover Fermi’s Paradox but if you want to read more I recommend a good blog post on the topic by a family member of mine which you can find HERE.
My brother what I don’t understand is,why would you quote EGW talking about the other worlds and when you refute it,you start using the verses “You” used to defend the teaching? Who was wrong by quoting the “Sons of God” as people from other planets? Sister White never quoted the Sons of God as the people from other planets,She is clear on that statement,saying it was the believers of God in that time. I won’t lie my brother,I don’t see your argument on this one,also EGW on the quotes you quoted of her,not even once did she use the words aliens,you did. We as adventists don’t teach aliens. I haven’t looked at this part of the teaching,but now you’ve showed me that I have to look into it,but seriously your claims don’t really make sense to me,even the verses you used don’t seem to be refuting the existence of the other worlds,until you put your own explanation or question. My brother I haven’t read the others,so I will look into them as well to see.
With respect I do not think you are being fair. For starters what would you call “un-fallen races on other worlds”? I would call them aliens but maybe you have another name? If you want me to be specific, one of the planets that she saw such people was on Jupiter. Some will argue that she never put pen to paper on that claim but the fact is her Husband was clear that she saw life on Jupiter and she never rebuked him or corrected him for writing that. This post however doesn’t go there.
I am sorry to have to tell you this but SDA do in fact use the first chapter of Job to argue for “un-fallen races on other worlds” (or you can just say aliens). They say that the Sons of God are kings of their respective worlds in the same sense that Ellen White says Adam was of ours. This is not a Biblical teaching and I didn’t feel the need to dig into it. But if you don’t believe that SDA use Job to argue for aliens, seriously, just google it! If you don’t know how to use google me ask again and I’ll give you a few sources to check it out.
The fact is that “unfallen races on other worlds” are not taught as a thing in scripture. Also there is strong scriptural evidence which would void such a possibility. I presented that evidence above. Read the verses I posted, my conclusions are drawn from them not the other way around. The fact is that the earth is taught in scripture in an exclusive sense with specific purposes. One of which was for it to be inhabited. Other heavenly bodies are only taught in scripture to be for signs and seasons etc.
So if you are going to assert that there is in fact “unfallen races on other worlds” it is fair for me to ask how you are coming to such a conclusion in the first place. Also, per the fundamental beliefs of SDA and the teachings of EGW it has to be true that such beings exist otherwise there is no relevant audience for the Great Controversy. You would have to argue that angels are the only one’s watching. If you are making that your argument then you are saying Ellen White is a false prophet because she was clear that there exists un-fallen races on other worlds.
Keep reading, the Great Controversy gets worse.
My brother I’ve just re-read the fundamental belief of the great controversy,not even once does it talk about the other worlds neither the “Sons of God” as beings from the other worlds,where did you take that adventists use that teaching to defend EGW’s vision of the other worlds?
I don’t have names for people on the other planets,but the inhabitants of the other world. If you note very well you would take note that it was elder bates who named the planets as EGW saw them in vision,because EGW didn’t even know the names of the planets she saw,why should she rebuke them?
I won’t dwell much about scriptural evidence on the other planets,but your conclusions are not pointly on the fact that other worlds do not exist or whether they are or not inhabited,because the bible doesn’t also state why they were created.
My comment would be based on what she said and that is “The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious.” The Lord gave her a view,it might have a been a priviledge to her for God to show her that. Because even when Isaiah saw God in heaven,no biblical evidence of the heavens opening had been recorded in scripture before,but because He was was a prophet,we believe He saw the heavens open.
The fundamental beliefs alludes to unfallen beings on other worlds (aka aliens) here.
“Observed by the whole creation, this world became the arena of the universal conflict, out of which the God of love will ultimately be vindicated.”
Specifically the words “this world” and “arena” and “universal”. Notice that this word is identified which allows for and even implies others. Second if one is in an arena is it not fair to say there are viewers?
Third said arena is universal. Are you saying only angels in heaven are watching or not the whole universe?
If you are saying only angels in heaven are watching then is it your belief Ellen White is wrong when she said unfallen beings on other worlds are watching?
I disagree with your assessment of Jupiter. With respect I think you are coping out. Others identified her vision as Jupiter. If she was truly a prophet she could have corrected them but she did not. She didn’t even clarify that she was unaware of the name of the planet. She let people believe it was Jupiter. The way I see it you ha e two choices.
1) you can believe there is life on Jupiter
2) you can reject her vision as made up
3) you can concede she was a false or at least irresponsible prophet for not correcting error by either identifying the planet she saw or conceding she didn’t know the name.
That is all ancillary to the fact that
1) she did in fact teach that there are unfallen beings on other worlds ( aka aliens )
2) SDA have never formally renounced this
3) the fundamental belief not only allows for but implies in the affirmative that there are unfallen beings on other worlds
4) the Bible never teaches this
5) the Bible actually teaches that aliens do not exist when other clear teachings are assembled and taken to their logical conclusions.
So to recap you have not been clear on whether or not you believe aliens exist and why. First you say the fundamental belief doesn’t require it. Then you reject quotes of Ellen teaching it but then defend Ellen White. I’m confused as to your position. So far I think you’re contradicting yourself.
Allow me to share these quotes with you my dear brother,to show that EGW had no knowledge of what the planets were and who really named the planets,just like any sane person,if a specialist in a field names something,we all believe it to be just that. Brother Bates was just that. But let the quotes speak for themselves.
“Sister White was in very feeble health, and while prayers were offered in her behalf, the Spirit of God rested upon us. We soon noticed that she was insensible to earthly things. This was her first view of the planetary world. After counting aloud the moons of Jupiter, and soon after those of Saturn, she gave a beautiful description of the rings of the latter. She then said, ‘The inhabitants are a tall, majestic people, so unlike the inhabitants of earth. Sin has never entered here.’ It was evident from Brother Bates’s smiling face that his past doubts in regard to the source of her visions were fast leaving him. We all knew that Captain Bates was a great lover of astronomy, as he would often locate many of the heavenly bodies for our instruction. When Sister White replied to his questions, after the vision, saying that she had never studied or otherwise received knowledge in this direction, he was filled with joy and happiness.”
Dick’s Sidereal Heavens, page 96.
“In conversation with him, he told me how he became convinced of the divine origin of the visions. He said he tried to ta lk with Mrs. White one day about the stars, but he soon found she knew nothing about astronomy; in fact, as she told him, she did not know as she had ever looked into a book treating on that subject. She had no inclination to converse upon that topic, and turned the conversation by talking about the new earth, and what had been shown her in vision respecting it.” The great second advent movement pg 257-258
Mrs. White, while in vision, began to talk about the stars, giving a glowing description of rosy-tinted belts which she saw across the surface of some planet, and added, “I see four moons.” “Oh,” said Elder Bates, “she is viewing Jupiter!” Then having made motions as though traveling through space, she began giving a description of belts and rings in their ever-varying beauty, and said, “I see seven moons.”7 Elder Bates exclaimed, “She is describing Saturn.” Next she said, “I see six moons,” and at once began a description of the “opening heavens,” with its glory, calling it an opening into a region more enlightened. Elder Bates said that her description far surpassed any account of the opening heavens he had ever read from any author. SAME BOOK AS ABOVE pg 258
“August 30th, 1846 I was married to Elder James White. In a few months we attended a conference in Topsham, Me. Bro. J. Bates was present. He did not then fully believe that my visions were of GOD. It was a meeting of much interest. But I was suddenly taken ill and fainted. The brethren prayed for me, and I was restored to consciousness. The Spirit of GOD rested upon us in Bro. C.’s [Curtis’] humble dwelling, and I was wrapt in a vision of GOD’s glory, and for the first time had a view of other planets. After I came out of vision I related what I had seen. Bro. Bates asked if I had studied astronomy. I told him I had no recollection of ever looking into an astronomy. Said he, ‘This is of the LORD.’ I never saw Bro. Bates so free and happy before. His countenance shone with the light of Heaven, and he exhorted the church with power.”—Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 83.
Well lets take stock for a second at what you’re conceding.
1) you have just confessed that Ellen White taught that there exists unfallen races on other worlds. As you recall you rejected this in your first comment.
2) therefore you must now accept that she is a false prophet because initially you were accepting that the Bible doesn’t teach that aliens exist.
3) I read through your quote and what is clear is that when he confirmed her vision she didn’t correct his planetary identification. She could have said it was a different planet or she could have said she didn’t know the name. But she didn’t do that. Instead she gratefully accepted his endorsement of her prophetic vision and moved on. I’m sure this helped with her credibility at the time.
As I recall Jeremiah wasn’t concerned about his credibility and didn’t seek endorsement. In fact they threw him in prison as nobody liked his visions.
Just throwing that out there.
“When Sister White replied to his questions, after the vision, saying that she had never studied or otherwise received knowledge in this direction”
Dick’s Sidereal Heavens, page 96
” He said he tried to ta lk with Mrs. White one day about the stars, but he soon found she knew nothing about astronomy; in fact, as she told him, she did not know as she had ever looked into a book treating on that subject” The great second advent movement pg 257-258
“Bro. Bates asked if I had studied astronomy. I told him I had no recollection of ever looking into an astronomy.” Spiritual Gifts, vol. 2, p. 83.
I don’t know if its just me or what,but my brother,let’s reason together,
1) She had no knowledge of Astrology
2) A Prophet is not an all knowing being
3) This is clear that the vision was for elder bates.
Please show me on my 1st comment your claims of question 1 and 2 from your last comment?
I will concede your point on that. Thanks for pointing out that she did state she was unaware of the worlds. I won’t be using that argument anymore. I personally think it is lame that now the vision could easily be categorized as something made up since the details cannot be identified as they originally presumed. But if that is good enough for you I won’t contest that point anymore.
Your problem still remains though, you have now openly conceded that Ellen White taught there exist far off worlds with unfallen beings on them. But in a prior comment you argued SDA dont teach this at all and were not opposing my argument that the Bible precludes such beings. So are you now saying Ellen White was a false prophet for teaching something the Bible doesn’t teach?
Mr Armchair I’m sorry for my ignorance which you clarified to me,about SDA teaching the afar worlds teaching. One thing we are sure of is that the bible does teach afar worlds,I read that from this lesson but one thing you do not agree with is there being human beings there right?
I didn’t say I disagree to such a teaching,all I said was,I had never looked into it before,of which I’m still to look into that.
One thing I can be sure off though is
The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.
To actually burst your bubble on your theory that if in the other worlds there are beings,then they are sinners too.
But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
And also the reason why He might have come specifically to this planet.
For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
I don’t see how that helps you. You seem to be assuming that beings on other worlds did not sin. Yet Rom 8:22 teaches the whole universe was impacted by the fall.
You would have to establish that
1) there are beings on other worlds in the Bible and
2) they are excluded from Rom 8:22
Also, the Bible mentions heavenly bodies, not worlds per say. But identifies their purpose which is for signs and seasons, where as the earth is singled out as created to be inhabited.
Sorry but the clearest texts are working for my argument here.
Its a pity we take this as an argument other than sharing what we know,and pray for God’s revelation in this matter,because chances are,either I’m in the wrong,or you are,so let us not fight but share upon this Subject.
Always remember this verse in all that you teach
Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:
To teach that the bible teaches this thing,then you’ll have to provide more than one bible text to prove your teaching. For line must be upon line,a little here and a little there.
Now let us address Romans 8:22,let us reason together:
For the earnest expectation of the CREATURE waiteth for the manifestation of the SONS OF GOD. For the CREATURE was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the CREATURE itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
We find the word creature in these verses consecutively,but now we need scripture to give us its own interpretation of what these “Creatures” are,let us not use our own interpretation but let us take a little here and a little there.
In Genesis 1:20,21,24 and Genesis 2:19 we find creatures to be animals created by God,that word is not used for Humans.
In Ezekiel 10:15,17,I like:
Ezekiel 10:20 This is the living creature that I saw under the God of Israel by the river of Chebar; and I knew that they were the cherubims.
But if you look at the context of Paul on all His epistles,like on 2 Corinthians 5:17,Galatians 6:15 and Colosians 1:15,23,all these verse make the word creature seem as if it presents Humans.
Judging from the epistles of Paul,we can be sure that Paul refers to Humans when He uses the Word creature,judging from a series of verses above.
Now let us go back to Romans 8,let us take a good look on these verses one by one.
For the earnest EXPECTATION of the creature WAITETH for the MANIFESTATION of the sons of God.
The above verse talks about someone who is seriously waiting for the results,and since we have established above that Paul uses the word creature for Humans,we can assume it is a Human that is earnestly waiting,we are assuming,not yet sure.
For the creature was MADE SUBJECT TO VANITY, NOT WILLINGLY, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope
Now this tests my thinking capabilities,but I don’t know if I’m seeing what I want to see in this passage or what,the creature is earnestly waiting for the manifestation of the Sons of God,he was made subject to vanity,not willingly.
Now let us check the word,subject (Luke 10:17,20 and Romans 8:7-13:1),I’m sure we get the meaning of the word,from the bible point of view.
Subject to vanity,subject to what they might not understand.
Now this comes back to the will,we have a Sinful nature,in this world we have to choose between 2 choices,we are inclined to doing evil right,but the creature is subject only to vanity,by the reason of Him who subjected the same in HOPE,who has been subjected in Hope?
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Now let me share the following verse to sum it all up
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
They shall also be delivered when the Sons of God shall be manifested,from the bondage of corruption,meaning these one are not part of the controversy,but the manifestation of the Sons of God set them free in a way,now this leaves one to wonder,who are these creatures.
I love the verse you looked at,I will add one more as well
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. AND NOT ONLY THEY, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Now it shows that 22 talks about a specific creation,because we only come in verse 23,their pain has to do because of what is happening to us,which is why we also are waiting for our adoption.
I don’t know my brother,look into it.
The reason we are both willing to slug out all these details friend is because truth matters. And it should matter. I hope you don’t misunderstand my objectivity or use of snark as disrespect. It is all intended to communicate facts without equivocation. If in our discussion you prove me wrong I would be happy to be corrected, and if the same happens to you I hope you are as objective to do the same. Emotions don’t change the meaning of words.
First let me respond to Isaiah 28. I realize this is a fundamental material principle that SDA use to interpret the entirety of the Bible. Specifically “here a little there a little”. This is done to pick and pull scriptures across the Bible that taken by themselves can catechize the teachings of Ellen White. The problem is that SDA generally rely on vague verses to do this, they will rely heavily on apocalyptic literature or poetic narrative that needs to be clarified with the systematic writings found elsewhere. Instead of doing that though the SDA will clarify them with Ellen White. Ironically Isaiah specifically warns about this in chapter 28, in the verses you quoted he is referring to scoffers who are mocking him. This is not apparent as much in English but it is in the Hebrew. If you want specifics on that breakdown let me know and I can quote a Hebrew expert.
Doing so isn’t necessary as Isaiah actually prophecies a curse on those who practice this “here a little there a little” technique, like the SDA for example, a few verses later.
“And the word of the Lord will be to them precept upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little, that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” https://www.bible.com/bible/59/ISA.28.13
It is this last line that should concern you: “that they may go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken”
See, SDA will quote for you the first half of the verse but not the associated curse that goes with it in the second half. In effect they use the “here a little there a little” principle to ignore the curse that goes with using the “here a little there a little principle”. I am sure you can see that Isaiah did indeed prophecy correctly when he placed that curse upon it.
With regards to Romans 8
I like that you identified the preceding text pointing on that the referent for creation was human beings descended from Adam. I would like to point out that in verse 22 it is expanded with the word “whole”, furthermore in the verses that come after 22 we see “whole” is clarified as set apart as distinct from “we ourselves”.
“22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” Rom 8:22-23 ESV
Notice it includes the “whole” creation but then states “not only the creation, but we ourselves,”. My point in fleshing this out is that the scope isn’t limited to our address but in fact covers the whole universe. This makes sense because later in the Bible we see that God’s judgment and righteous wrath is poured out on not just the Earth but on all of the universe.
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” 2 Peter 3:10 ESV
Please notice that he includes heavenly bodies in this verse, so we know it is not just speaking of the first heaven (the sky) but the second heaven as well (outer space). When compared to another verse in revelation we see how massive this scope is.
“1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” Rev 21:1 ESV
Notice we have a new heavens and a new earth replace and old heavens and an old earth, this is because as we saw in 2 Peter the old one is obliterated. So put the pieces together and think about it.
If the scope of the universe in Rom 8:22 were only this planet why is the whole universe being obliterated in Revelation? My logic therefore is sound, if Aliens were to exist then they are impacted by sin, and since they are not related to Adam is prophecied by the text then that means they are not covered in the atonement and therefore are damned with no hope.
That is not my primary thesis though. It only supports the one that I am arguing for even further, which is that aliens do not exist.
I find your point on the word “creature” to be moot, Romans was written in Greek and Genesis and Ezekiel were written in Hebrew. Comparing the two to draw a conclusion cannot be done in a plenary fashion but only in a topical one. If you compared the usage of “creature” in Greek with the Septuagint you might have something to go on but I see you doing this in English. Thus I call into question all your conclusions along this line of thought. Please take a look at my contextual analysis and how I have compared it to other scripture, along with my arguments above and I believe you will find it to be sound and without reliance on eisegetical assumptions.
I would like to also point out that there are no clear verses in scripture teaching that aliens do exist. To do this SDA rely on references to the “sons of God” which are never interpreted by the translators to “aliens” or “unfallen races on other worlds”. This was the strongest point in my argument in the OP and I haven’t seen it addressed. One cannot make thin arguments on vague verses and assert something as wild as aliens. This only proves SDA are pulling their beliefs from Ellen White rather than the Bible. And on that point I think we would agree.
Mr Armchair I have a request,and that is since all your verses on the post are KJV,can we please use it throughtout our conversation please?
Please note the capitalized words on the verses I quote,I capitalize them so that you’ll take note of them.
Okay now let us go to
Whom shall HE teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. FOR precept MUST be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
That is clear,read it as well,it talks about the doctrine of God. Because from verse 5 it talks about the remnant of God and verse 7 tells us that even they have erred. Then in verse 9 we find the question,who shall He teach knowledge? Whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Then in verse 10 we find these words “FOR Precept MUST”,that is a command,the word “Must” commands.
Now let go to
To whom he SAID, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: YET THEY WOULD NOT HEAR. BUT the word of the LORD WAS(Past tense) unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. Wherefore “hear the word of the LORD”, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
I don’t know if its just me,but they seem to have fell backward because they did not hear the Word of the Lord which was to them “A little here and a little there”. But now they have to hear the Word of the Lord which is simple, “A little here and a little there”
Paul even supports this in
1 Corinthians 2:13
Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; COMPARING spiritual things with spiritual.
There is no verse that’s straightly dissanules the existence of “Aliens” as you call it.
There are things about verse 22 and 23 that you really have to ignore to support that “Creation” in 22 groups all of us,even the sons of God. The word “WE” in 22 and the word “NOT ONLY THEY” “BUT OURSELVES ALSO”
Seriously my brother read Romans 8:19-23,thoroughly this time
The versions I quote in comments depend on what my Bible app has open. Feel free to cross reference if you like.
With respect, you’re just wrong about Isaiah 28. Exegesis has already been performed by Hebrew scholars. I’ll give you a quote from John MacArthur’s analysis.
“This the drunkards sarcastically mocking response to corrective advice from the prophet. Transliterated, the Hebrew monosyllables are Sav lasav, Sav lasav, Kav lakav, Ze’er sham, Ze’er sham. These immitations of a young child’s babbling ridicule Isaiah’s preaching”
Putting it bluntly these are the drunkards in verse 7. Isaiah is bemoaning them in 9 and 10, not issuing prescriptive directions to you. If anything he is advising against as clarified by verse 13.
But honestly, by advocating for a here a little there a little principal you’re functionally saying only some of the Bible is the word of God. Is that really your argument?
Should not your hermeneutic be consistent with all scriptures? And if it is, is that here a little there a little or here everything there everything?
Think about it.
You completely ignored my analysis of the other scripture and failed to present an analysis in response. I can only guess you did not understand, but that’s okay I get it. I don’t think you caught my distinction between Hebrew and Greek. We can’t cross reference words in different languages like you tried to. Doesn’t work and isn’t intellectually honest.
Paul does distinguish clearly in referents to creation and it is fair to argue that only humans are viewed in one and the universe in another as he expands to the “whole creation” when cross referenced with the judgment in the end of the whole universe being destroyed its even more clear.
To prove sons of God are aliens I insist you provide a scholarly version that translates the phrase as aliens. Or admit you’re eisegeting the very concept as derived from Ellen White.
And to be honest I’m having trouble with how many times you’re changing your argument.
You do realize you don’t have to believe in aliens to be SDA right? You would have to adopt a here a little there a little approach with Ellen White at the very least. But they won’t kick you out.
That said, thanks for commenting. It has been fun chatting.
Okay I understand on the versions part,let me use another version just this once for these verses that the topic is on.
Isaiah 28:9-10 (NLT)
9 “Who does the LORD think we are?” they ask.
“Why does he speak to us like this? Are we little children, just recently weaned? 10 He tells us everything over and over— one line at a time, one line at a time, a little here, and a little there!”
One thing is funny about this above text,1) The context is not the same as the king james version,which is why I don’t like the changing of the translations. 2) But still there is something about verse 10 that kills it,that it is the Lord that speaks to them in that way “A little here and a little there”
But now coming back to your comment:
The thing about that quote from John is that he quotes these words “Sav Lasav ……and so on” but the words used in greek on my bible are “Tsav tsav” for precept and “qav qav” for line,that is from the transliteration. Whose greek is wrong then?
Can you show me from verse 9 and 10 the mocking? Because I really wish to see what you and the hebrew scholars have seen from the text,we do believe that it is direct translation right?
And as for God’s word being partly true,I never,not even once implied that. Maybe the problem is you don’t understand the “A Little here,and a little there principle”. Let me make two examples for you:
1) For instance a beast:
Rev 13 talks about a beast,but if you just read revelation 13 without knowing what bible calls the beast,you would be doomed when reading revelation. But with the understanding that Daniel 7:17 calls the beast a king,then we start understanding that even revelation 13 the same beast applies.
2) Adam and Eve were married,but in Gen 2 we are only told of this
Therefore shall a man LEAVE his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his WIFE: and they shall be one flesh. But Jesus in mattew 19:3-12 you get Jesus explaining the story even further.
3) We only know Noah to be an ark builder in Gen 6-8,but by reading
2 Peter 2:5
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.
I can quote many examples,to understand the whole bible,you have to take here,and also take somewhere else where the story is covered again to understand the whole concept. Thus that is how you take “A little here and a little there”.
All scripture is inspired by God,and it contains many doctrines,to get the juice of them all,you need to gather every thing talking about that subject.
It is actually here a little of what you need,and there a little of what you need.
we couldn’t quote all of matthew 19 because some of the stuff,doesn’t deal with Adam and Eves marriage,but we took only the portion that does,just like in 2 Peter 2:5.
Okay that is fair,we can’t cross reference different languages,but my question would be,isn’t the meaning the same? Just different languages?
I don’t know if it is just me or what,but Peter on that verse is talking about the destruction of the Earth,not the universe,please break that verse down for me so that I will see what you see.
Okay I don’t remember saying that “the sons of God are aliens”,I was speaking about the creature. Of which I now know that the creature represents the whole creation,animals to be exact,because in Pauls writings,He uses “creature” for both animals and converted Humans,of which those are the sons of God because of the spirit of God working in them(Romans 8:14). I went back,talked about those texts and then I saw it that I was wrong about the creature,but I never said the aliens were the sons of God,go through my responses again and you’ll see that I was against that from the beginning of this conversation.
Thanks for the suggestion but I think I will pass. There here a little and there a little principle does not really say pick and choose,but it only means,to get the clear picture of what the bible teaches on a certain subject,you have to look on all the scriptures pertaining that subject.
Hopefully we won’t stop talking now. I’ve learnt a lot since I started talking to you,and I’m yet to learn even more from your posts. Thank you for that.
Thanks for sticking this out. I’ll be honest, I have a problem with your using Isaiah 28 but I don’t have a problem with your explanation / conclusion.
An example of my problem is how SDA will use Ecclesiastes 9:5 out of context from verse 3 which states things under the sun and never mention 2 Cor 4 & 5 which clearly contradict the hermeneutic. That would be an example of here a little there a little as I understand SDA intend it.
I was taught by SDA that you take here a little there a little that matches Ellen White and ignore the passages that contradict her.
Isaiah was written in Greek not Hebrew. I quoted a transliteration and those are not always the same. Johnny Mac isn’t the only scholar who comes to that conclusion though. It’s the only one that makes sense too because otherwise verse 13 is teaching against what you say verse 10 is telling you to do. And that’s a contradictory understanding I would certainly reject.
My argument with “whole creation” is that there is an expansion in the text. If aliens were Biblical it would include them. But as they are not Biblical you’re assessment is sound.
In Peter he is clearly speaking of the second heaven let me show you. Notice he says “heavenly bodies”
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
2 Peter 3:10 ESV
So we are not just talking about the earth but heavenly bodies too. That would be the moon, stars, solar system, galaxy, universe all of it.
I think this next verse clarifies
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Revelation 21:1 ESV
So clearly the heavens and earth, to include the universe, are destroyed and recreated.
If aliens were Biblical this would mean judgement is falling on them as well thus they would not be unfallen.
Since they would not be related to Adam they would have no atonement.
So aliens would all be going to the lake of fire aka hell.
That point is to be provocative. Obviously I don’t believe in aliens. And I don’t think you do either, at least not in a Biblical sense.
I would challenge you to admit the possibility Ellen White might just be wrong on this one.
But let’s be fair, not all SDA believe in Ellen White anyways.
As far as comparing creature in Hebrew and Greek goes. All I’m saying is I would be careful building an argument on a shaky foundation. The Bible is clear enough that you can generally discern its teachings without even going word ninja in the original languages. In fact, its generally not a good idea to go there for laity like us. One of the complications is words don’t always mean the same. Is English your first language? If not then you know what I mean. If I’m gonna go word ninja I try to rely on a few good commentaries and compare.
And I have enjoyed chatting with you as well. I will no longer be using the Jupiter thing thanks to your clarification. I want to ensure what I present is fair and accurate.