The Perfection of God [YAHWEH]
(In three articles)
1 John 1:1-7 (KJV)
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us);
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
5 This then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.
We treat next of God’s perfection. Now because everything in so far as it is perfect is called good, we shall speak first of the Divine perfection; secondly of the Divine goodness. Concerning the first there are three points of inquiry.
1. Whether God is perfect?
2. Whether God is perfect universally, as having in Himself the perfections of all things?
3. Whether creatures can be said to be like God?
We proceed thus to the first article:-
Objection 1. It seems that perfection does not belong to God. For we say a thing is perfect if it is completely made. But it does not benefit God to be made. Therefore He is not perfect.
Objection 2. Further, God is the first beginning of things. But the beginnings of things seem to be imperfect, as seed is the beginning of animal and vegetable life. Therefore God is imperfect.
Objection 3. Further, as shown above (Q 3, A 4), God’s essence is existence. But existence seems most imperfect, since it is most universal and receptive of all modification. Therefore God is imperfect.
On the contrary, It is written:
Matthew 5:48 (KJV) Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
I answer that,
As the philosopher relates, some ancient philosophers, namely, the Pythagoreans, and Leucippus, did not predicate (propositional logic) best and most perfect of the first principle. The reason was that ancient philosophers considered only a material principle; and a material principle is most imperfect. For since matter as such is merely potential, and thus imperfect. Now God is the first principle, not material, but in the order of efficient cause, which must be most perfect. For just as matter, as such, is in the stage of actuality. Hence, the first active principle must needs be most actual (Spiritual), and therefore most perfect; for something is perfect in proportion to its state of actuality, because we call that perfect which lacks nothing of the mode of its perfection.
John 5:26-29 (KJV)
26 For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself;
27 And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of man.
28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Jeremiah 5:26-29 (KJV) The Tares.
26 ‘For among My people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.’
27 ‘As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.’
28 ‘They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge.’
29 ‘Shall I not visit for these things?’ saith the Lord:’ shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?’
Reply Obj 2. The material principle which with us is found to be imperfect cannot be absolutely primal (first); but must be preceded by something perfect. For seed, though it be the principle of animal life reproduced through seed (on this fallen earth), has previous to it, for seed, though it be the principle of animal or plant from which it came. Because, previous to that which is potential, must be that which is actual; since a potential being can only be reduced into act by some being already actual.
Reply Obj 3: Existence is the most perfect of all things, for it is compared to all things as that by which they are made actual; for nothing has actuality except so far as it exists. Hence existence is that which actuates all things, even their forms. Therefore it is not compared to other things as the receiver is to the received; but rather as the received to the receiver. When therefore I speak of the existence of man, or horse, or anything else, existence is considered a formal principle, and as something received; and not as that which exists.
The image on the left is a scientific chart, which ludicrously attempts to prove to those who do not know better; the evolution of man. If one believes this chart then one will believe anything that is presented to him/her, in a formal theory accompanied by a scientific chart.
Majority of schools , universities, colleges, and the like teach this format from a book by Darwin ‘The Origin of Species’, Yet has one ever really thought about origins which is explanatory in Genesis some 4004 years ago; and with greater credibility? http://www.godsplan.org.uk/Index.htm. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/2%20Peter%203.htm
‘Origin of Species’ is so incomprehensively, shallow, and incomplete, that it beggars belief how anyone at all can believe such a claim instigated by scientists and tares, who have no inclination to the true doctrine of events.
Whether the Perfection of All Things Are in God?
We proceed thus to the second article:-
I answer that: All created perfections are in God. Hence He is spoken of as universally perfect, because He lacks not any excellence which may be found in any genus. This may be seen from two considerations:
1. Because whatever perfection exists in an effect must be found in the effective cause: either in the same formality, if it is a univocal agent (Having only one meaning;)—as when man reproduces man; or in a more eminent degree, if it is an unequivocal agent (very strong and clear)thus—in the sun is the likeness of whatever is generated by the sun’s power. Now it is plain that the effect pre-exists virtually in the efficient cause: and although to to pre-exist in the potentiality of a material cause is to pre-exist in an imperfect way, since matter as such is imperfect (on this fallen earth), and an agent as such is perfect; still to pre-exist virtually in the efficient cause is to pre-exist in not in a more imperfect, but in a more perfect way. Since therefore God is the first effective cause of things, the perfection of all things must pre-exist in God in a more eminent way. Genesis 12:7 KJV And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/2%20Peter%203.htm http://godsplan.org.uk/serpentofgenesis3.htm http://godsplan.org.uk/fleshage.htm from what has already been proved God is existence itself, of itself subsistent (Q 3, A 4). http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earthlytabernacle.htm
2. Consequently, He must contain within Himself the whole perfection of being. For it is clear that if some hot thing has not the whole perfection of heat, this is because heat is not participated in its full perfection; however; if this heat were self-subsisting, nothing of the virtue of heat would be wanting to it. Since therefore God is a subsisting being itself, nothing of the perfection of being can be wanting to Him. Now all created perfections are included in the perfection of being; for things are perfect, precisely so far as they have being after some fashion. It follows therefore that the perfection of no one thing is wanting to God. ‘God exists not in any single mode, but embraces all being within Himself
Although existence is more perfect than life, and life than wisdom, if they are considered as distinguished in idea; nevertheless, a living thing is more perfect than what merely exists, because living things also exist and intelligent things both exist and live. Although therefore existence does not include life and wisdom, because that which participates in existence need not participate in every mode of existence; nevertheless God’s existence includes in itself life and wisdom, because nothing of the perfection of being can be wanting to Him who is subsisting being itself.
Whether to be Essentially Good belongs to God Alone?
Objection 1: It seems that to be to be essentially good does not belong to God alone. For as one is convertible with being, so is good; as we said above (Q5, A 1). But every being is one essentially, as appears from the philosopher (Metaph iv); therefore every being is good essentially.
Objection 2: Further, if good is what all things desire, since being itself is desired by all, then the being of each thing is its good. But everything is a being essentially: therefore every being is good essentially.
Objection 3: Further, everything is good by its own goodness. Therefore if there is anything which is not good essentially it is necessary to say that its goodness is not its own essence. Therefore its goodness, since it is a being, must be good; and if it is good by some other goodness, the same question applies to that goodness also; therefore we must either proceed to infinity, or come to some goodness which is not good by any other goodness. Therefore the first supposition holds good. Therefore everything is good essentially.
On the contrary, that all things but God are good by participation. Therefore they are not good essentially.
I answer that, God alone is good essentially. Now perfection of a thing is threefold:
1. According to the constitution of its own being;
2. In respect of any accidents being added as necessary for its perfect operation;
3. Perfection consists in the attaining to something else as the end. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earthlytabernacle.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/overcomer.htm http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thetransfiguration.htm
The Immutability of God
Immutable = unchangeable; = Mal 3:6 Malachi 3:6 (KJV) For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
1. Hence it is evident that it is impossible for God to be in any way changeable.
2. Because everything which is moved, remains as it was in part, and passes away in part; as what is moved from whiteness to blackness, remains the same as to substance; Thus in everything which is moved, there is some kind of composition to be found (or de-composition for this earth age).
Ecclesiastes 12:7 (KJV) Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Ezekiel 37:6 (KJV) “And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.”
But it has been shown above (Q 3. A 7), that in God there is no de-composition for He is altogether immutable. Hence it is manifest that God cannot be moved.
3. Because everything which is moved acquires something by its movement, and attains to what it had not attained previously. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earthlytabernacle.htm
Psalm 16:10-11 (KJV)
10 For thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/benefitofchrist.htm
11 Thou wilt shew Me the path of life: in Thy presence is fulness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
For as the sun is said to enter a house, or to go out, according as its rays reach the house, so God is said to approach to us, or to recede from us, when we receive the influx of Hid goodness, or decline from Him.
Whether Any Created Intellect Can See the Essence of God?
1 John 2:2 (KJV) And He (Christ) is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Propitiation = appeasement or satisfaction, specifically toward God.
Since everything is knowable according as it is actual, God, Who is pure act without any admixture of potentiality, is in Himself supremely knowable. But what is supremely knowable in itself, may not be knowable to a particular intellect, on account of the excess of the intelligible object above the intellect; as, for example, the sun, which is supremely visible, cannot be seen by the bat by reason of its excess of light.
Therefore some who considered this, held that no created intellect can see the essence of God (in the fallen state of this flesh age, which is material in nature, and not spiritual); in other words our organic bodies and eyes would be destroyed by the bright light of God while in this fallen state (flesh age).
Exodus 33:20—23 KJV
20 And He said, “Thou canst not see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live.” http://godsplan.org.uk/fleshage.htm
21 And the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place by Me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock:”
22 ‘And it shall come to pass, while My glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a cleft of the rock, and will cover thee with My hand while I pass by:’
23 ‘And I will take away Mine hand, and thou shalt see My back parts: but My face shall not be seen.’”
Therefore some, who considered this, held that no created intellect can see the essence of God, while in this fallen state; however; when we follow Christ and leave our flesh bodies behind we see Him as He really is
This opinion, however, is not tenable (capable of being held, maintained, or defended). For as the ultimate beatitude of man (blessedness) consists in the use of his highest function, which is the operation of his intellect; If we suppose that the created intellect could never see God, it would never attain to beatitude, or its beatitude would consist in something else besides God; which is opposed to faith http://www.godsplan.org.uk/faith.htm. For the ultimate perfection of the rational creature is to be found in that which is the principle of its being http://www.godsplan.org.uk/christianrace.htm; since a thing is perfect so far as it attains to its principle. Further the same opinion is also against reason. For there resides in every man a natural desire to know the cause of any effect which he sees; and thence arises wonder in men. But if the intellect of the rational creature could not reach so far as the first cause of things, the natural desire would remain void. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/jehovah%27sword.htm Hence it must be absolutely granted that the blessed see the essence of God http://www.godsplan.org.uk/elect.htm.
Whether the Essence of God Is Seen By the Created Intellect through An Image?
1 John 3:2 (KJV) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.
God cannot be seen in His essence by a mere human being, except he be separated from this mortal life. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earthlytabernacle.htm the reason being is that, flesh and bones on this fallen earth are corporeal (material), and therefore, could not tolerate heat or brightness; i.e. looking directly at the sun without any protection will make you blind, also the heat from the sun beating upon one for a period of time will kill this organic flesh and bone exterior.
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+3&version=KJV were three Jewish men thrown into a fiery furnace by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, when they refused to bow down to the king's image according to chapter 3 of the book of Daniel. The three are preserved from harm and the king sees four men walking in the flames, "the form of the fourth is like the Son of God".
But our soul, as long as we live in this life, has its being in corporeal matter; hence naturally it knows only what has a form in matter, or what can be known by such a form. Now it is evident that the Divine essence cannot be known through the nature of material things. The knowledge of God by means of any created similitude is not the vision of His essence. Hence it is impossible for the soul of man in this life to see the essence of God. This can be seen in in the fact that the more our soul is abstracted (removed or separated from the organic corporeal body) from corporeal things, the more it is capable of receiving abstract intelligible things. Hence in dreams and alienations of the bodily senses Divine revelations and foresight of future events are perceived the more clearly. It is not possible, therefore, that the soul in this mortal life should be raised up to the supreme of intelligible objects, that is, to the Divine essence. As God works miracles in corporeal things, so also He does supernatural wonders above the common order, raising the minds of some living in the flesh beyond the use of sense, even up to the vision of His own essence;
Genesis 12 (KJV)
1 Now the Lord had said unto Abram, “Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:2
2 ‘And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:’ http://godsplan.org.uk/fulltentribes.htm
3 ‘And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.’”
It Is Not Necessary to See The Essence of God.
Intellectual vision is of the things which are in the soul by their essence, as intelligible things are in the intellect. And thus God is in the souls of the blessed; not thus is He in our soul, but by presence, essence, and power i.e. The Holy Spirit.
Human knowledge is assisted by the revelation of grace. For the intellect’s natural light is strengthened by the infusion of gratuitous light; and sometimes also the images in the human imagination are Divinely formed, so as to express Devine things better than those do which we receive from sensible objects, as appears in prophetic visions; while sometimes sensible things, or even voices, are Divinely formed to express some Divine meaning; as in the Baptism of Christ http://www.godsplan.org.uk/nativityofjesus.htm, the Holy Ghost was seen in the shape of a dove, and the voice of the Father was heard:
Matt 3:17 KJV And lo a voice from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Although by the revelation of Grace in this life we cannot know of God what He is, and thus are united to Him as one unknown; still we know Him more fully according as many and more excellent of His effects are demonstrated to us, and according as we attribute to Him some things known by Divine revelation, to which natural reason cannot reach, as, for instance, that God is Three in One; that is The Father (Jehovah), The Son (Elohim), and The Holy Spirit. https://levendwater.org/companion/append4.html The "Triune God" manifested as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; each aspect itself being God.
From the images either received from sense in the natural order, or Divinely formed in the imagination, we have so much more the intellectual knowledge, the stronger the intelligible light is in man; and thus through the revelation given by the images a fuller knowledge is received by the infusion (introduction) of the Divine light.
Faith is a kind of knowledge, inasmuch as the intellect is determined by faith to some knowable object. But this determination to one object does not proceed from the vision of the believer, but from the vision of Him (God) who is believed. Thus, as far as faith falls short of vision, it falls short of the knowledge which belongs to science, for science determines the intellect to one object by the vision and the understanding of first principles.
The Names of God
(In twelve articles)
After the consideration of those things which belong to Divine knowledge, we now proceed to the consideration of the Divine names. For everything is named by us according to our knowledge of it. Under this head there are twelve points:
1. Whether God can be named by us?
2. Whether any names applied to God are predicated (proclaimed) of Him substantially?
3. Whether any names applied to God are said of Him literally, or are all to be taken metaphorically?
4. Whether any names applied to God are synonymous (having the same meaning)?
5. Whether some names are applied to God and to creatures univocally (having only one meaning) or equivocally (very strong and clear)?
6. Whether, supposing they are applied analogically, they are applied first to God or to creatures?
7. Whether any names are applicable to God from the beginning of time?
8. Whether this name God is a name of nature, or of the operation?
9. Whether this name God is a communicable name?
10. Whether it is taken unequivocally or equivocally as signifying God, by nature, by participation, and by opinion?
11. Whether this name, Who is, is the supremely appropriate name of God?
12. Whether affirmative propositions can be formed about God?
Proverbs 30:4 (KJV) Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in His fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is His name, and what is His Son's name, if thou canst tell? https://levendwater.org/companion/append4.html The Divine Names and Titles.
Of God’s Knowledge
Having considered what belongs to the Divine substance, we have now to treat of God’s operation. And since one kind of operation is immanent, and another kind of operation proceeds to the exterior effect, we treat first of knowledge and of will (for understanding abides in the intelligent agent, and will is in the one who wills); and afterwards of the power of God, the principle of the Divine operation as proceeding to the exterior effect. Now because to understand is a kind of life, after treating of the Divine knowledge, we consider the Divine life. And as knowledge concerns TRUTH, we consider TRUTH and falsehood, Further, as everything known is in the knower, and the types of things as existing in the knowledge of God are called ideas, to the consideration of knowledge will be added the treatment of ideas. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/knowledge.htm
Whether the Knowledge of God is the Cause of Things
For the knowledge of God is cause of things. For the knowledge of God is to all creatures what the knowledge of the potter is to things made by his art. Now the knowledge of the potter is the cause of the things made by his art from the fact that the potter works by intellect. Hence the form of the intellect must be the principle of action; as heat is the principle of heating. Nevertheless, we must observe that a natural form, being a form that remains in that to which it gives existence, Genesis 2:7 KJV And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. denotes a principle of action according only as it has an inclination to an effect; and likewise, the intelligible form does not denote a principle of action in so far as it resides in the one who understands unless there is added to it the inclination to an effect, which inclination is through the will.
For since the intelligible form has a relation to opposite things (inasmuch as the same knowledge relates to opposites), it would not produce a determinate effect unless it were determined to one thing by the appetite. Now it is manifest that God causes things by His intellect, since His being is His act of understanding; and hence His knowledge must be the cause of things, in so far as His will is joined to it. Hence the knowledge of God as the cause of things is usually called the knowledge of approbation (approval). http://www.godsplan.org.uk/earthlytabernacle.htm
Jeremiah 18 (KJV)
01 The word which came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
02 ‘Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.’
03 Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
04 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.
05 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
06 ‘O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter?’ saith the Lord. ‘Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in Mine hand, O house of Israel.’ http://godsplan.org.uk/fulltentribes.htm
07 ‘At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;’ http://godsplan.org.uk/greattribulation2.htm
08 ‘If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them.’ http://www.godsplan.org.uk/existence.htm
09 ‘And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;’
10 ‘If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them.’ http://www.godsplan.org.uk/benefitofchrist.htm
11 ‘Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, [Jews] and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, [Christians] saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now everyone from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good’. http://www.godsplan.org.uk/christianrace.htm
12 And they said, ‘There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart.’ http://www.godsplan.org.uk/greatapostasy.htm
13 Therefore thus saith the Lord; ‘Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing.’ http://www.godsplan.org.uk/markofcain.htm
14 Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?
15 ‘Because My people hath forgotten Me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;’ http://www.godsplan.org.uk/whatmessiah.htm
16 ‘To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head.’
17 ‘I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.’ http://www.godsplan.org.uk/thenumbernine.htm
18 Then said they, ‘Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.’
19 ‘Give heed to me, O Lord, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me.’
20 ‘Shall evil be recompensed for good? For they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them.’
21 ‘Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle.’
22 ‘Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet.’
23 ‘Yet, Lord, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger.’