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The Character of God Controversy Question and Answer Session

Steve Wohlberg

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Steve Wohlberg

Television producer, radio host, and international speaker

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Recorded

  • January 10, 2009
    5:00 PM
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the first question is really good yes the first question is how does this dispensation of Grace exempt Christians from the law according to some other prison you well first of all grace has always been available as soon as man sin Jesus was man's Savior so when people talk about the dispensation of grace I think generally on a lot of evangelicals talk about that because they think that the Old Testament is the dispensation of law and now they think we're in the dispensation of grace and a way to get around around the law but really grace has been around the law has been around since the beginning and grace has been around ever since named Sam is for grave Adam would have died so as Genesis Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord so I don't know that they had answered that that that way Romans is very clear that long graceful together Romans six fourteen and fifteen talks about law what then shall we continue to send because were not under law but under grace not permit so when you put along the gospel together and you see them together all throughout history well it would leave them together and it all fits together okay next question next question is how would you address the issue of the history of rejected or minimize the writings of Ellen why have you encountered and how would you address it sure you never since Ellen White's ministry began some have always rejected it and some have excessive so is the controversy over there she's always been all I can tell you like I said my story and I read a desire of ages totaling three I didn't know anything at another she was I was just completely in the world somebody handed me the book the pastor can be the book I read the book and when I was done my life changed and so I know what the Holy Spirit did through that book for me and nobody can take that away from you you just can't I just can't deny it and now it's research has shown that there is a percentage of that book that she grabbed from other sources to me that doesn't bother me to grab it from them you know the right to put it together in a way that the Holy Spirit orchestrated and it still got used to change my life and appoint me to Jesus when I was I was appointed to her house point across and I understand the purpose of the spirit of prophecy is pointless to Jesus in the Bible and I believe in her writings but I believe in the book as my final authority and when I write for the world how all these little books that I've written here that I was sharing with you these different topics on the millennium on that one hell witchcraft on the Sabbath in the market these spiritualism there's not a quote from the spirit of prophecy in these books these are just Bible books that I'm sharing with the public I also do not desire pages do we sleep cell desire pages on our website to people in the world and along with the great controversy encourage people to read those books but those books pointing to the Bible and how do you deal with someone is questioning her writings the individual situation I know there are currents within our church that question her writings and all I can say is not bread steps to Christ that renders a in a separate in North Dakota pastoring for churches way out of German prayer is out there one winter when I have a lot of time I picked up a great lovers unite read chapter call the Scriptures only safeguard and I decided I was in it was a fairly new Christian I decided I was going to look up every text that she quoted and make sure that she was quoting In re and I looked at every reference in that chapter to the Bible and I looked up all the test when I was done I thought she's quoting at length what she's saying the Bible says is really what the Bible says an interesting press immediately so I'm a believer in those books as a gay guy gave her plaintiff to Scripture and the Scriptures my final authority teachers sick the area of the character of God is she said the questions how do you address the argument that God is not above his own law that he wouldn't ask you to keep the commandment that he himself does not keep for example he'll write that we deal with data about the character got controversy that the law transcript of God 's character and the sick menaces do not feel that talking that people use that as an argument that got killed because his loss a reflection of his character but that's yet what when the manifesto scale it is talking about about murder it's not talking about the implementation of justice Romans chapter thirteen is very powerful about this issue because Romans thirteen and we just take a quick look at that sweet also in the book and hanging out you don't kill means that God can't exit will be interlaced going to them containing and execute his justice against the people that were cutting off people 's hearts sacrifice and doing all kinds of horrible things and then you have to guide telling them to break his law timing is right to break Islamic unity it can't be that way Romans thirteen is a very very significant chapter in the light of this whole issue of whether God does punish sin directly and whether it's okay for them to do that Romans thirteen is talking about the first one talks about the higher power referring to the government government house versus reasons rulers are not a terror to good works but you people will doubt not be afraid of the power and do what is good and you will have praise of the same for he referring to the ruler is the minister of God to be for good but if you do what is evil be afraid for he dared not the sword in May for he is the minister of God a real venture to execute wrath upon him that he was evil of this brings that a number of things these are civil authorities that have authority from God to execute judgment upon evil and civil authorities they did not have that authority or they didn't do that I would be a lot worse than it is right now and so civil government has a legitimate sphere of implementing justice against evildoers someone commits a crime commits murder civil government has the right to lock him up and in this verse tells us that civil authorities to do this as it says to actually execute wrath upon him to do evil that they are doing this because they are reviewing they are reflecting God doing their ministers of God in the implementation of justice inside and it also tells us that the implementation of the justice of God in society is not always passing where she just withdraws the last natural consequence to take place these this is an active act of justice in the part of civil rulers against evil and it's a reflection of God because the ministers of God and the Bible says that the new and they have a right to do it and so when McManus is don't feel it's not talking about implementing justice against individuals talking about murder which is what got you okay description since I read someplace in the fifth volume of the testimonies that quote God does not destroy and that he lets nature take its course consequences how do we explain this to others since elsewhere inspiration obviously says that he does destroy awareness and the statement says God is no man ever to destroy what destroys the is ultimately saying that people are responsible for what happens to them God is not one that makes the choice for people to do wrong that is the individuals we if I lost if I destroy it's my own fault I made the decisions and gone that direction it doesn't mean that God himself can never acting judge because it's very clear in the Bible that he does sometimes he does not like a certain natural consequences there are women's obvious that he does that in the Bible does teach that he doesn't but there's also constantly asked directly and in the book the character got controversy there's many statements are Scriptures readers to need to get around them such as son in acts chapter twelve I believe is researching one of those were talked about here help here was Herod had arrested and he is in prison and here is get ready getting ready for you and then an angel comes in the peters out in his cell like the evidence as a viable industry that we would get that this is pretty significant income tax chapter twelve is a very significant section I just visit after twelve years in prison and in verse seven actual sentences behold the angel of the Lord came upon him and a light shining in the prison and he smote Peter the angel smote Peter and raised him up saying arise up quickly change the lot of his hands this was obviously an angel of God right this was God 's angel and he struck Peter to get and then he went out he escaped when Harry found out what happened peacefully regardless merciless was in the north of the Angels seven percent Peter three and he just shall and then sometime right after that he's giving a speech he goes to Caesarea and he gives a big speech on reverse twenty one it says on a Saturday hearing was in his royal apparel and sitting upon the throne is giving a speech verse twenty two said the people shouted with the voice of God a man there praising and this is God talking but Aaron was as far away from being like God is anybody and then in verse twenty three it says immediately the angel of the Lord did what he smoking the angel of the Lord smote him because he gave not God glory and he was eaten by worms we give up the ghost now in verse seven says the angel of the Lord smote Peter and in verse twenty three said the angel of the Lord smote here and when you read this in the book acts of the apostles describing this incident she says unlike says that it was the same age swimming adventures that was the difference from previous depression expression of different strokes for different folks some people think some people say that that ought essential characters just cannot be that he will not execute judgment directly because it's just not the way he is I don't believe that I think that's part of the controversy in fact if you read page at approximately with page ninety five one of the arguments of the people before the flood of Noah's building your their philosophers in the wife never say never in their candy is it can have an and one of the reasons they gave was a sad because it is contrary to the character of God to punish them he can't do it it's just not his character to do it that was one of their arguments and in the water came down and examine what some people say well guy just doesn't do it administratively just as well the way he does this by just withdrawing his hand to let the water come down whatever happened and they look to God 's judgments all throughout history as just him just allowing these things to happen but they don't think it's a think it's contrary to his character to directly do this himself I don't buy that and when you look at the angel in action chapter twelve it was God 's angel that struck leaders and said let's go and it was God 's angel that structure and he got no wife said it was the same angel but it was a different and so that's very clear that there are times when God does send his angels to directly punishment and issues in the big issue is if he does do that is he still collected in doing that the issue can God still be a loving good God were every of our worship and our loyalty if please directly punish his people my contention is yes he is still good definitely don't have to change the Bible in order to make him still be good he is good and his justice is good and he does it for reason okay the chief discretion was talking to a person and discussion about how God destroys him I pointed out Revelation twenty responses God 's inspired from God from heaven devours the wicked and they pointed me to June one that sends a serving came and so got some fire from heaven to write a present before wrestling with her that's right even when the Bible talks about them in Genesis nineteen fire from heaven shortstop Mora Revelation twenty the keys and fire and he destroyed people in a thousand years it will say but it's not really God 's doing it is the devil although why would you bring fire down on himself in a thousand years and that's the dilemma let's abandon the way they support that is they go to Job wine and they say that well Satan went up to the Lord and said and God said okay Satan using your hands you do it and then it talks about enjoy one of fire came down in and consumed some of Joe's I guess his servants orders certain people and some people say take a look at JavaOne this is a a misuse of Scripture I remember talking to somebody about this recently through show we know that Satan was doing all right verse sixteen says the fire goddess from Elsie takes a look at the Bible says was the fire I really wasn't the fire got them through the fire Satan and so then they'll say that every time the Bible talks of the fire of God it really is in the fire of God through the piracy and it is Job one as they are pretext to support that but the fact is that when you look at this the Bible doesn't really say he was the fire God it says that while her sixties as while he was yet speaking there came another also and he set the fire of God 's fallen from heaven the people that saw backfired as an baseball it was gunfire but it really wasn't it was just what they saw not the Bible says it was the fire of God from heaven it's what the people saw and they didn't know it he knows going on behind-the-scenes video know about the dialogue between Satan and the Lord and have so to use this verse as an interpretive not hermeneutical or a way of understanding every verse in the Bible where liking Genesis says the Lord rained fire from heaven and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah to say it wasn't really the Lord it was really the devil you know based on this verse is not sound but that's based on the logic that God use the Levites to execute his wrath can see or will he executes his wrath through people in the present day or in the future I would say that he has the right to do that if he chooses to do he did it at the Golden calf and a Leica life says in her comments on that men should be aware about how they judge and condemn their fellow man but when God himself issues a command now I certainly don't believe that never taught or not looking forward to the time expecting the time when God is going to use us to go out and implement implement some kind of action against the world I don't think he's getting do that but I know he certainly has the right to do it if he wants to do because he's God and he did any of the golden calf but I don't think that that's going to happen it was an emergency situation dealing with the people of God with Israel as his chosen people there is no sign went when his presence was right there on the mountain invisibly in front of it was that a unique situation and I don't think that we were not looking forward second something like that to happen today people can hear voices and think those kind of things and you know we can get enough people get into a lot of trouble wherever the Levites the civil authority at that time I I'm not sure maybe they were maybe they were but we do know that God can bless them for what they did and it was a direct actors a few times in the Bible where there just directs that direct access to me kicking around another one is always half the insidious when they were inside the temple and says the fire of God came out from within the temple in consumer now I don't think the devil was inside Festival doing that it was it was God there are times when God does and again issue is is he good in doing can we trust him that behind that hand is a hard that is motivated by love that's the issue can we trust God to do to do what they did God and believe that he's good at doing you Romans eight four and Revelation fourteen one and a key that the saints will have attained this date of some months before Jesus returns if we stick to biblical definitions first John three four says that is breaking God 's law and Romans eight four and Revelation fourteen twelve describe God having the people who keep his commandments and so we define it then biblically of breaking God 's law and then we see the Scripture describe people who are keeping God 's law and I would just stick with that and I would say that's what the Scripture says and ended I believe in but I would also say that the only way to get to keep God 's law is by having faith in Christ the more faith you have inside of you morning and bring us all and the more you focus on yourself the more you focus outside of yourself and look at Jesus the more power you are going to have to keep God 's command the focus has got to be right forward to the water it doesn't work we heard your chart of the China are blessed can you tell us how that door open to you and what kind of response you got there the applicant by talking the Pentagon we think is a ticket on our website where people could listen to that time I received an e-mail couple summers ago from a man who is one of the chaplains in the Pentagon and he e-mailed me asking if I'd be willing to come to the Pentagon and give a Bible study on prophecy to a group of military leaders and again I was one of those things like they call the history channel you don't really have to pray too much about that I saw this big open door and so the two of us together dialogue and the chaplain because of church state issues had been very careful and so he brought in a number of speakers to talk about different topics concerning prophecy has symposium on prophecy schedule Rosenberg come in the well-known evangelical novelist and then he had me and he said it's up to you whatever you want to talk about talk about prophecy and so I felt left out why I did read on the subject my one chance and I decided to talk about United States and Bible prophecy so I I prepared an outline and we went to Washington DC and as I was to the Metro going up the escalator into the Pentagon building which has twenty five thousand people it was a woman that was right on the escalator with and she looked at me and she said is what I said yes and she said I came here and here is your you speak I saw a note on your website you can be speaking in the Pentagon and she didn't realize you just don't go into the Pentagon here is high-security place and because she was with me she got right in I saw the chaplain had they have surprisingly there's a lot of that going on in Washington and in the Pentagon may have a Wednesday morning prayer breakfast every Wednesday and different speakers address however many choose to come and it was about a hundred people that were there another twenty five thousand people the Pentagon so some people think I addressed Congress did not address Congress I spoke to the crowd was quite an esteemed looking brown and some of the men had quite a few no bars on their uniforms and so I went down to use PowerPoint on this on the computer on the screen I went down to Revelation thirteen point by point by point by point talk about the second beast and build my case I think these is none other than the United States and that we are heading toward a crisis when this lamb like nation will speak is a Dragon use force and I tell you they roll their eyes were wide open and they just looked right at me and when I was done they lined up wanting me to sign copies of my book is so the responsible very good and I follow my center feel free to share this with the president if you are in line with to begin the CD envelopes then all times material and make it in the arrogant and the Pentagon chaplain then send an e-mail to Gary Black and said and said Steve Walker to be coming in speaking to the Pentagon why don't you have him come to your Senate Friday new Bible study is unsure so I went there on Friday and I spoke to a group of about a hundred and fifty Senate staff people and I shared my testimony with the second coming and it was really really possible that a lot of people were praying for me and then we reported that Pentagon talk and Whitehorse media .com somewhere and find that you can listen to the audio and it was just a thrilling opportunity to teach right from the Bible and what it says in Revelation and in Revelation nineteen it talks about how the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire the beast and the false rock profit art describes symbolically what makes the fire real you is questioning the Bible belt back and forth between literal and symbolic for sure Revelation twenty describes the fire falling upon a an army of people that are surrounding the new Jerusalem at the end of the thousand years which is really that verse doesn't have any symbolism in the versa describes the fire is a straight narrative any competitive with other verses like second Peter three were talked about the day of the Lord come like a thief in the night in the heavens being in a big melt with a great noise and there's other verses that describe real fire Solomon Moore was certainly destroyed by real fire they were burned to ash the Bible says now if I four describes the day of the Lord coming burning is another and all the proud and all who do wickedly will be stubble unhealthy passion so you put all the verses together is pretty clear to me that there is a real fire now what is the actual nature of the punishment that people experience of the end of the thousand years it's hard to say but the Bible does clearly state that the fire comes from God and there's other verses were clearly says that God is the one that executes the final judgment he says vengeance is mine I will repay and it also says in the Bible that he will render to every man according to his works a lot of people some people think that that sin is what implement Scott's justice have been in the time I just allows them to run its course or do whatever he does but if you really think about it I very and a time when there's a judgment and great white throne judgment relations twenty in the whole world of the local Muslims standing before God and then they receive their punishment sin is not just are smart enough or capable enough capable enough to implement God 's justice family and you never got never trust them to do it only he can do only what they can do it justly and fairly and again the issue is if he does the right is the just in doing and I believe he is getting stranger trying it's not it is strange to the Lord that he will still do it and only he can do it Satan can do it sin can't do it can't rely on anything in the medicine you to consider influences taken into consideration in the final judgment in the room to bring revival to break on a resume chapter on his last record one of the things that people are accountable for Mister and influence goes a long way beyond you and you can write about I've written books the MTV program our influence is going on all over and when I got the influence will continue and so how do you reckon that in the day of judgment and people that are pornography promoters and producers of these movies and videos etc. how you talk you later their influence the team publishers of playboy hustler how you calculate there is only God can calculate their influence and they are responsible for that info and so when you when you factor in human is more than just natural consequences of consequence inside a person don't take into account there is a influence what they've done throughout their lives and only God can factor all of that in justly and fairly at the end of the millennium at what point does probation close when probation closes that point it closes when Jesus says in Revelation twenty two eleven just let him be unjust still is filthy let him be filthy still it is right for the rest of it is holy and unholy spell that will come after the market abuses in force after the world has had a chance through the life of God 's righteousness and his Holy Spirit to make an intelligent decision one way or the other once everyone's name your choice then Jesus will throw down the center in other words the door will close out they are no one will know down here when it happens but it will happen there and he'll do it and then the place and start falling and so we all know eventually when the flakes are falling and people again the plates that were not openly were not getting in his right elbow at that point but for the moment when it closes I don't think unless God reveals it I will pay you've written a book about Harry Potter in a nutshell can you describe what are some of the greatest dangers of Harry Potter and what should we as a thousand other little one have perils of Harry Potter witchcraft as does my larger books they may talk about food tracks what is the entertainment track move movies novels Harry Potters on the fiction side as other movies TV shows like charm and supreme agony goes on and on and on the amount of occultism that is in Hollywood programming is staggering after that when it does it looks at the parallel track the growth of real wake-up among empty weight witchcraft is definitely on it's a real movement with and and other forms of occultism now they're getting into vampires and interest gets darker and darker and darker and let what my book diocese it builds a case that has entertainment is focusing on it on occultism Harry Potter is one of the biggest workings casting spells and going to school to learn about developing his occult powers when you look at the entertainment track and you look at the parallel track the growth of real witchcraft among young people I feel the case and I think it's a valid case to this day I still believe it that the inner treatment track is contributing to the reality track that as people are becoming more and more familiar with the idea of casting spells having magical powers that that is contributing to the interest in the real things that were seeing all around us and I think you can build a strong case that even though it's fiction it still contributes to the interest among a lot of people thought everybody I don't contend the everywhere girl that reads a hairy Potter book is one of the last joint cut but the reality is there's a lot of people there do yes I have a friend of mine whose daughter works at Barnes & Noble are you still in Nashville and she said that when Harry Potter books come out that she would stand right there the cash when you register and the young people would line up nominal and many of them not all that many of us have a hairy Potter book in one hand and a window looking the other hand reminds both books I was on a radio show and a lot of radio interviews call the show was called live from Seattle Seattle and in July Sean at the host happy on for almost an hour and half because the phone line is that we were discussing here on earth and pros and cons and all kinds of opinions were flying and one woman called energy savings Melissa and I still remember her phone call she said here's my story my daughter I'm a mother my daughter is fourteen my daughter went out and read the first report about Kerry Potter and the sorcerers Stone and then she went back to the bookstore the gun and began buying books on witchcraft so this girl went from here water rights which you talk about struggles that she had family and find the girl gave up those books and read you did give her life she was a Christian family and that's just one example of many that young people who read his books and become interested their planting seeds seeds of matching in people 's hearts and magic is very accessible these days through the Internet books etc. and I just think that it's dangerous to expose yourself to these things related to the final question here can you give us an update about your ministry and where you're headed and some of the perhaps exciting new projects that you're working on and also perhaps how things got started how you may forward in faith and how got some boss warhead and for ever today is a thirty year journey starting with becoming a Christian and writing a little track him hand-in-hand with somebody to now where I am today with a ministry that has a TV we have our television and seventy was a big donation we bought a hundred thousand off to be remembered in producing programs for a couple of years in art and as part of White horse media we've recently moved up to Washington just to get into a lower-cost environment and to get our families are more into the country we have we produced TV programs on a lot of subjects if you go on from website White horse media .com you can actually watch your programs right on right on online now one of the exciting things that happened was a number of months ago we got an e-mail from the secretary to the president of the Trinity broadcast network in Russia and this woman had gone on your website calendar website and was watching a program 's right online and she was so moved by what she saw that she contacted our producer and set on what we want to hear your people programs on TV and Russia in two hundred and forty million homes for free and so I we were just amazed by this and when I went to Norway last summer I was speaking at Kennedy and I told the crowd and the cost is about ten thousand dollars to do the translation of the English programs into Russian to put them on TV today when Gary for free but it still cost do the translation and so went when I talk was over a man walked up to me right out of the crowd and when the meeting was over to set up to ten thousand dollars to pay for his translations so we're getting e-mails we just got a couple days ago from somebody immediately and someone in Russia that had a writing the Trinity broadcast network in the same wow we really like these programs and so now they are they are sending the e-mails to us letting us know that yes installations are airing their doing it and so that's that's very site history Channel I mentioned that before that's a real exciting thing were just waiting any day now for the official date when that one year of our series on creating an Islam revisited thirteen part TV series that's a I really do need the rest of ours to try to reach the Muslim community and in the ultimate Passover which is designed to reduce self and I just keep writing and I'm just investing in public is live to keep on going for a small ministry that we're having a big reach our website has a new webmaster and it's just about ready to the point we can a lot more things on it keep in touch with people regularly new information right on the homepage were almost there so that's really exciting sure you have a great controversy the same destructive power exercised by holy Angels when God commands will be exercised by evil angels when that show sometimes the permit sometimes he permissions he commands and sometimes utilizes you and sometimes holy angels doing so that's what great controversy page six fourteen right now thank you very much plus Robert I think that's all the questions we have a view on how much clothing John is okay when you and your heavenly father father thank you so much for for this gathering today thank you for bringing me here to Loma Linda and really breast-feeding your and we just pray you help us to turn our eyes away from him to look to Jesus Jesus you are your everything you love us in spite of our failures just pray that you will continue to your work in our lives that you will come in more and more and fill us with your loving presence and help us to reflect your character of love and compassion to a lost world please bless this group and bless you thank you for what has happened today when you've done here in Jesus name

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