In the original conversations, Graham Maxwell delivered a monologue on each topic and then Lou Vended (pastor of the Loma Linda University Church at the time) followed up with his own questions triggered by the monologue and questions written down by people in the audience. The questions and answers sometimes ramble, as conversations do, but they are always interesting.
Lou Venden: Here’s a question related to the war in heaven. What about the angel who seems to start the war, the one named “Day Star” or Lucifer? If God knew that there would be all this trouble, and that Lucifer would be at the center of it, why did He create Lucifer?
Graham Maxwell: That, of course, raises the question whether God does know everything in the future. And there are good saints who wonder about that. I would rather find an explanation that would allow me to say God can see the end from the beginning. The past, the present, and the future: they’re all alike to Him. And yet I’m still free. My understanding would be that when God created Lucifer, He knew what Lucifer would do. And yet He went ahead anyway. He knew what it would cost Him. He knew what it would cost His children. And yet He went ahead. And when you think of the anguish that has been involved in solving this problem and settling this war, there must be something of infinite value at stake, or God would not have done this.
He certainly had other options that might have seemed easier. When Lucifer began to entertain these rebellious thoughts, God could have eliminated him right there and then. What damage would that have done? Well, the angels looking on might think, “I’d better not have bad thoughts or I might get eliminated, too.” But after eliminating Lucifer, God could then have blotted out all memory of the elimination so no one would know. And He could do that an infinite number of times and no one would know but God.
So why didn’t He do it? Is it that He couldn’t live with the fact that He was doing that? Or is it that He wants us to know what He did do? He definitely did not to take a shortcut. He allowed Lucifer to develop these thoughts, and to spread them among the angels, knowing what it would cost Him and cost His friends on this planet. We’ve all participated a little in the larger view. But knowing the thousands of years it would take, and all the misunderstanding and the anguish, God said “I will go ahead anyway.” And the angels understand this and tell Him, “You did this magnificently. And we’re with you for the rest of eternity.” So what was at stake in this decision? That’s the big thing.
Lou: This perspective that you’re sharing here and throughout this book includes a war, a crisis of distrust, and whether God can be trusted!
Graham: Right. It’s not about power. If it was about God’s power, He could have settled things in a second. It would be easy to show that God is more powerful than Satan. In fact, such a demonstration is hardly necessary, since even the devil is already convinced. James tells us that when the devil thinks about the power of the One who hung the whole vast universe in space, it scares him. He shudders with fear (James 2:19). So I don’t think we should spend too much time arguing about God’s power. Of course He’s infinite in majesty and power. The conflict is not over who has the power, but over who’s telling the truth. God has been accused of abusing His power.