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#131437 - 03/04/11 07:58 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
Tom Offline
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Posts: 14795
Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
NJK, thank you very much for the quotes on the Tree of Life.

You commented:

Quote:
The following SOP quotes may seem to validate your view however these are only “pastoral”/practical applications by EGW and not a ‘Theological redifining of the realities involved in the Tree of Life seen in her above statements.


Why do you make this distinction? For example, when she says that Jesus Christ is life everlasting to us, why would this be only a "pastoral"/practical application as opposed to a Theological redefining of reality?

To my way of thinking, Jesus Christ's being everlasting life to us is *THE* Theological redefining of reality. That is to say, if this isn't a Theological redefining of reality, nothing is.
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#131448 - 03/04/11 11:24 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Hello Tom. I appreciate your reply to my latest comments. Here are some responses however, though somewhat detailed here, with most of these, you’ll also need to read up on my previous comments that you apparently had not yet read and/or answered in order to get my fuller/complete view and the greater context.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I see this differently. I think Christ spoke things which He Himself thought, which thoughts He obtained through His study of Scripture under the illumination of the Holy Spirit.


I can see your view here. I have no problem with it, however I understand my view to also allow for this. I see that such Spirit-guided/illuminated understandings of Christ all stemmed from such key/anchoring I was shown” revelations, many could have been when He as He was growing up (i.e., 12-30+(start of ministry)), but they also could all have been in the revelations, learned from Mary, surrounding His birth. These served to make Him see/read/place the Scriptures in/from a completely different perspective than a regular man would. That is why by 12, He had realized that He was to be the Lamb of God for Israel. Such direct, anchoring and extra-biblical revelations forever guided His later expositions of Scripture and if only limited to His birth events, required great faith from Him. The (confirming) revelation at the Jordan during His baptism was also an example of such anchoring, direct extra-biblical revelation that guided Christ understanding of Scripture. I.e., ‘he was then (maybe for the first time in His life, confirmedly) shown/told that ‘He was the Son of God’. Hence the then permitted temptation of the Devil around this point immediately after that. Also with Christ being sinless, the assistance of the Holy Spirit for this was literally unlimited, as it potentially can be for any man.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I'm very familiar with this passage. I asked because I was interested in your thoughts regarding it.
---
I'd like to know why you think the Father was reluctant.


While it could be argued that the relating “pleading” of Jesus with the Father in EW 149-153, apparently in three sessions, was ‘so that man could be spared this death sentence,’ the fact that an angel later related to EGW: “Think ye that the Father yielded up His dearly beloved Son without a struggle? No, no. It was even a struggle with the God of heaven, whether to let guilty man perish, or to give His beloved Son to die for him.” Given the fact that this plan of redemption was apparently Jesus’ voluntary idea and could have been suggested at the first enclosed, ‘pleading meeting’ with the Father. Apparently, God making known to Him the requirements involved in this (only) plan had caused Jesus to become “perplexed” and “troubled/doubtful”. So since the agreement with this Plan was a “struggle” for God [who, quite significantly, according to Classical Foreknowledge, should have known that it was going to perfectly work out], I therefore understand a hesitancy and reluctance of God in accepting to send Jesus to carry out this only possible redemptive plan.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I'd say it's "necessary" as breathing is.


We can only work here with how God has actually created us and not a limitless potential of other “possibilities”. So for mortal (the only other option for not being immortal) Man, as God created them, to (normatively) live perpetually, eating of the Tree was essential and necessary. If we go down a, though possible, road of all the other ways that man could die, then other possibilities than just “breathing” could be posited here. However, to simply demonstrate the shortcoming in your (factually “straw man”) breathing analogy, if Adam had decided that he was only going to focus on breathing and not eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life, He would have died. So the Fruit of the Tree of Life is indeed indispensable, even if viewed solely in an ultimate standpoint, to Man Living forever.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I agree with this, but disagree that the best that things can be means that beings must be created to naturally die.


Again, and it should be logically and Theologically clear that this is the only other option for God’s created Beings not being immortal as He only is (1 Tim 6:16).

Originally Posted By: Tom
Clearly wings are not necessary for angels to move around. They can go from heaven, which is, I don't know, billions of light years away(?) (maybe only millions) to earth instantaneously, so this can't be a function of wings.


That is not such a “clear” correlation wings on creatures cause them to fly. How fast is entirely dependent upon the strength involved. An eagle will fly faster than a dove because they have more strength in their wings. So the wings of angels can have enough strength to make the fly that fast.

Having said that, I, from a recent exegetical study, do not think that Angels fly that fast. As far as I see the only passage that leads people to that assumption/conclusion is in Dan 9:21 & 23 where Gabriel was seemingly dispatched from Heaven at the beginning of Daniel’s prayer and “was caused to fly swiftly to Daniel’s side on earth, reaching him in the time it takes to read that prayers in vs. 4-19 (ca. 2 minutes). However, as the NASB rightly reads, vs. 21 is actually saying that Daniel was in extreme weariness (lit. ‘weary with weariness’) when Gabriel reached him. This literal statement has apparently been understood an reworded by most Bible translators as ‘Gabriel being tired from having flown swiftly’ however that is incorrect. It was Daniel who was “extremely weak”. Also, Gabriel did not necessarily have to be in heaven when “the command went forth” apparently to make Daniel understand the vision of Dan 8 started 13 years before. Given that 13 years had past since the interruption of that prior vision explanation, God had manifestly stepped in to delay the resumption of that explanation. So a ‘command for God’ indeed had to be issued for it to be taken up again. It was probably decided that it would be best to wait until the 70 years were about to end vs. an explanation in the ca. 57th year. So Gabriel may already have been on earth, around Daniel, when that command was given. Still I see a better understanding.

Daniel in vs. 3 says that he was ‘fasting with sackcloths’. Later Daniel says that he was ‘extremely weary’ . So he may have started this “season of fasting and prayer” many days before he uttered that prayer. And it would have been when he began that season of prayer, i.e., from the ‘beginning point’ That Gabriel was dispatched to go to him, even starting his trip from Heaven. Since Daniel was extremely weary, He may have reached him several days after Daniel had started to pray. However it may just be that only the command went forth at that beginning time and Gabriel only later started this trip. All this to say that I do not see Biblical Support that Angel fly at warp speed.

Here also is an unappreciated reality with God, Divine things and Angels, which, if SDA’s took the time to thoroughly study would remove all objections to particularly the Investigative Judgement issue. To succinctly illustrate these realities, this is why angels record things in books, they use a gold card to validate their access into the Heavenly realm, they did not fully see the evil of Satan’s plan until the cross, etc. I.e., Angels are not science fiction superheroes, but just higher forms of human and which do need wings to fly. Humans do not, and will not in heaven, since it is not our “mission in life” to be God’s envoys/messengers throughout his universe. However when we will want to fly to other worlds, I see that we will either use a cloud (as Jesus used to ascend to heaven (Acts 1:9); be temporarily given a set of wings, like a “jet-pack”; or have an angel carry us.

So for these Biblical/Exegetical reasons I see and understand that angels need and pertinently related to this discussion, that in God creating them with this, it was also an indispensable necessity as was the Tree of Life for Man’s perpetual life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
It seems to me your being very selective in how you view "literal" vs. "spiritual." It seems to be this:

1.My point of view = "literal."
2.Any other point of view = "spiritualizing."

For example, Jesus Christ said, "Take, eat, for this is my body and blood." My guess is that you don't take this literally. So is this not taking Christ at His word?

We're told that spiritual things are spiritually discerned. Also Christ told us that His words are spirit, and life. We need the Holy Spirit to understand Scripture. If it were not a spiritual book, why would we need the Holy Spirit?


I certainly do not see it as such. No need to “muddy up”/confuse the issues here. I fully understand the distinction between something that is literal, spiritual and figurative/symbolic. Christ’s statement was clearly “figurative” with a spiritual understanding; and not meant to be taken literal in any way. Indeed only those with spiritual discernment here would grasp the meaning in this veiled, figurative statement.

On the other hand, I think, at least to me, that it is very easy to see when something is meant literally and not to be given a spiritual meaning that renders null the literal reality. And this is what EGW strongly cautions against. So, I guess, spiritual discernment is also needed to do this and this is largely dependent upon one’s Theological Views of God. As I said, I have decided to give God the benefit the doubt and so when e.g., he says to Abraham “for now I know...” Gen 22:12, among many such examples, that this is indeed what He literally meant and not, as e.g., Classical Foreknowledge people falsely rationalize, ‘God did not really mean that because He always knew that Abraham would faithfully follow through in obeying this request.’ To defaulty impose spiritual understanding on passages that are literal is to engage in esiogesis and can, and will, only lead to false, deficient, inaccurate and/or imcomplete understandings.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
.... Increasingly this will more overtly also become the effort of the Devil. He is only staying in the shadows for now because if he manifested himself as he really is, he would just prove that the Bible is right....So now he prefers to let man follow their own course, which he at times subtly influences, since this self-worshipping spirit also serves his purpose.


Originally Posted By: Tom
Why would this be a problem? That is, why would God's proving the Bible is right be a problem?


Originally Posted By: Tom
How does it serve His purpose?


Re-read my statement carefully and properly retrace the antecedents for those subsequent pronouns. I was since referring to actions/ploys “the Devil” and not to God. That will/should answer/resolve your questions.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Is the idea you presented an original one? (about "dying thou shalt die" meaning "by reason of being a natural dying being" etc.)


As far as I know yes, without taking the time to go through other commentaries. I also never heard this being preached by any preacher. The reason for me not doing this search is that they Hebrew syntax here is clear to me. God is referring to ‘Man (2 person suffix) dying abstractly/generally.’ Indeed compare this use of the 2 person sing. suffix with the particle preposition “by reason of/because” with a similar one in Gen 3:17 that is saying that because of you [3 pers. sing.] (i.e., Adam) the ground will be cursed and ‘thus produce weeds, thistles and thorns.’ (vs. 18). So clearly in Gen 2:17b God was referring to ‘Created Man’ in general, and not to Adam, as ‘naturally dying’.

I would have brought out a potential understanding contribution of the LXX which makes a distinction in this Hebrew construction with a self-decreed/sure death (Judge 13:22; 2 Sam 14:14; Eze 3:18) vs. one that is only a potential possibility (Eze 33:8 & 33:14), pointedly revolving around the adding of a the apo preposition before the future verb “to die”, however the LXX translators who were not Theologically, thus translationally perfect, completely left out the key “He (i.e., Man in general) becuase of/by reason of...) statement expressed in the Hebrew.

Whether you understand/accept this exegetical rendering, it should be logical that non-immortal man will, at some point die. So he is inevitably and inherently/“naturally” created to (= “destined to”) die, except for eating of the Tree of Life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
We may have some agreement here. Not sure. I'll express my view in some detail when I get a chance. My view's also not the "popular" one.


Glad to hear that because many make the assumed Classical/Popular View some sort of a test of heresy. The Biblical View instead unlocks many Doctrinal and Prophetic Truths in the Bible. I believe that God, like with the October 22, 1844 test, allowed man to have the Classical View belief to test how they would act under such a belief that the future was both known and set in stone. With particularly SDA who hold this view, the more detailed and precise end time prophecies of EGW should have literally compelled them to live obedient and wholly devoted, active lives to the Gospel cause, since they, especially in EGW time, we ‘sure that the Second Coming would occur in the lifetime of at least EGW’. But it did not and still has not. And the incorrect Theological understanding here has also led many to reject the SOP and live lukewarm lives today, rather preferring to adopt a wait and see (i.e., wait for a Sunday Law) attitude, before engaging in all-out efforts to Finish the Work. That is the result of bad Theology, and it should not be a problem in our Church who has many “scholars” and higher education religious departments and seminaries.

Originally Posted By: Tom
According to the SOP, there were millions of worlds. I think any of them could have failed, as they all had the two trees. I don't think any needed to fail, nor was it intended that any should fail.
...
It sounds like your view would require the existence of entropy (the 2nd law of Thermodynamics) before man sinned.


You have overshot my “painted target” here. There are indeed millions of inhabited worlds. In the beginning the may all have begun with only one inhabited planet per Galaxy as it the case with ours. In fact all of these worlds may each be in their own galaxy. I was saying that God placed us on this planet so that if we sinned and then nature would begin to degenerate, man would then not suddenly be exposed to extreme heat because of e.g., developing holes in the Ozone layer. If man was place closer to the sun, then the atmosphere there that would have made living on this nearer planet possible would have begun to lose its efficacy and protections, even if at the same rate as our own planet’s but because we would have been closer to the sun, “Global Warming” would have begun much sooner, and creation may have been wiped out from that planet long before e.g, 6000 years had passed. Similarly, imagine post-flood winters on planets further away from the sun. Man would be wiped out in the first winter. So that is why I see that this planet was the perfect location for man during his allowed testing period. Created Humans in other Galaxies may, since they passed and (as I see it) are still passing their test, have probably been allowed, able to even develop technologies to inhabit the other planets in their Galaxies which would similarly be unevenly located away from their sun.

Originally Posted By: Tom
How could a tree, for example, on the other side of the world partake of the fruit of the Tree of Life "aromatically"?


Easily since this could also be speaking of this aroma being airborne and thus widely dispersable. To use a crude example, the often talk about and greatly feared “biological” attacks are known to be capable of having a great radius of contamination. So in a similar way, the aroma sent into the air by the tree of live can thus reach to all living creation. EGW was probably shown man “breathing in” this aroma while being under the tree of life to help her to properly grasp this reality. If she was just shown man breathing in the air, even if she understood that this was beneficially ionized air (like in an oxygen tank), she may not have seen the crucial relation to the Tree of Life. Keep in mind that prophetic visions are, more than anything, compacted, meaningful depictions. So not everything is 100% literal but, even if literal, they could also be just pointed summaries (a sketch, outline, microcosm) of the Greater Truth involved. So that imagery help her to see the source of this beneficial aromatic air and that is, indispensably for mortal man, the Tree of Life. Indeed, surely the redeemed will not be lining up for days every months to get right under the Tree of Life to breathe in the air.

In regards specifically to trees and other vegetation “breathing”, they do intake e.g., carbon dioxide from the air through their leaves. So they indeed also “breathe” so the dispersing medicated air from the tree of life could easily reach and be taken in by it. Seems to me that all living creatures breathe in some way. Even fish breathe under water through their gills taking the oxygen out of the water.

Nonetheless a God-cursed ground, as it occurred in Eden, could, through the roots of vegetation, cause them to have die after sin, especially if they were then intaking bad elements from their roots and now did not have the tree of life’s antidote, breathe in through their foliage, to counter this.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I agree that it was an object-lesson.


Based on what I understand from your view, I do no think that our view here is identical. I understand here that, (contrary to the clear statements in the Bible and SOP, I might add) you do not think that there is anything tangibly special in the fruit of life and eating of ot, but that I was merely an “object-lesson” to teach/instill, and for Adam and Eve to demonstrate obedience and faith in God and His specific command here. So from what I see here you see man’s life being someone externally sustained by something else other than by the ingredients in the Fruit of Life and that “life-sustaining force” was maintained by God as long as Adam and Eve continued to demonstrate their obedience by obeying God and eating of that Tree.

In my understanding and view, I rather see that the “object-lesson” was in the fact that they had to eat the fruit, whereas its life perpetuating ingredients could have been taken in by them through breathing as it apparently is possible and will be in Heaven for even humans. So I see that God making Man eat of this vs. inhaling its aroma, was the object-lesson to tangibly act out their obedience and faith but also that this taken in of the fruit was indispensable to perpetuating their lives. As I also said, this eating was also done to fittingly counter them having to eat of the banned fruit.

Interestingly enough in Rev 22:2 that though the tree bears fruit, the ‘healing/therapy of the nations’ is through the leaves. This may all corroborate EGW view since the aroma of a tree in indeed in its foliage. So though the fruit will grow, the healing aroma will come from leaves and be airborne. The 12 different monthly fruits are that which give the tree its particular aroma. Each fruit/scent is probably key to different aspect of Man’s health restoration. So with the Greek word “ethnos” being also indicative of peoples living abroad (which in the Bible World, as today, are likely a different race/country), it can be seen that what is meant here is not merely that various ‘races will be “healed”’ of the factors that have caused the rifts amongst peoples, but rather that this “healing/therapy will disperse itself, through the leaves’ aroma to all of the peoples abroad from this tree which will only be in the New Jerusalem, even when it has been transposed to the renewed Earth.

Furthermore, it is interesting to see that a “therapy” as the Greek literally says (Strong’s #2322) is different from a “healing/curing” (Strong’s #2390). The latter is for an already instilled disease, while the first, as seen today, is pointedly to improve a condition which is not necessarily a disease. E.g., a person after reconstructive knee surgery to repair physical damage that had occurred, while following that repairing surgery undergo “therapy” to improve on that repair and restore their knee back to its original form. Without first undergoing that surgery, no amount to therapy would have “healed/cured” them of the physical damage. So the therapy on works to restore to optimal health or even help prevent diseases and not to do the foundational healing work. It is along these lines that exercising is understood as a form of therapy as it serves to maintain optimal health and prevent sickness, but it is not a remedy for e.g., a heart attack or stroke. A doctor here would first have to intervene to remedy that failure and then, once that person has reached a state of recovery, prescribe exercise as a “therapy” to return back to original good health.

All this shed some like upon the function of the Tree/Fruit of Life and indeed without it, Man’s condition, being mortal and thus ‘destined/subject to (eventually) die’, would gradually degenerate into fatal sickness and health failures.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
As I also state priorly, this affectation of living non-humans, including nature was apparently because of a withdrawal and limited-to-Eden, “Fruit of Life” aroma made available in the air. That is why Adam and Eve and other animals had to be expelled from the Garden that was evidently still being preserved through this ‘aromatic means.’ Such inert things as the “ground” had to be distinctly cursed.


Originally Posted By: Tom
That seems a rather fanciful interpretation to me, but thank you for the explanation.


That is rather the “fruit” of proper exegesis, as from concrete and literal understandings, such theological and unstated things can be approximated and reliably inferred. Hopefully for you, my added statements in this response post, also derived from Biblical Exegesis and SOP statements, will further validate this understanding.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I appreciate all the time you're putting into this. I'll spend some time thinking through things (i.e., from your perspective, trying to get your model in my head) and get back to you.


No problem. Do however consider/refer to all that I have posted thus far to get the full context and details.

...

Here is an added quote of the Tree of Life by EGW:

Originally Posted By: SOP EW 149
He then made known to the angelic host that a way of escape had been made for lost man. He told them that He had been pleading with His Father, and had offered to give His life a ransom, to take the sentence of death upon Himself, that through Him man might find pardon; that through the merits of His blood, and obedience to the law of God, they could have the favor of God, and be brought into the beautiful garden, and eat of the fruit of the tree of life. {EW 149.2}


Notice that the end goal of this just devised and “ratified” plan of Salvation is not complete unless man is able to once again eat of the Tree of Life. You view curtails this Biblical Theology after the “favor with God” statement, or even after the “beautiful garden” one (=Heaven/New Earth). That is why your Theology of the Cross is incomplete without this. And this Theological reality is all because it is only through this mean that God can make mortal live forever. God is dealing with real factors so we should adjust, align, calibrate our understanding to that Biblical and “Universe-al” fact.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#131449 - 03/05/11 06:36 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
NJK Project Offline
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Loc: Laval, Quebec

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
God is referring to ‘Man (2 person suffix) dying abstractly/generally.’ Indeed compare this use of the 2 person sing. suffix with the particle preposition “by reason of/because” with a similar one in Gen 3:17 that is saying that because of you [3 pers. sing.] (i.e., Adam)


Here is a slight typo fix of the above statement from the post above:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
God is referring to ‘Man (3 person suffix) dying abstractly/generally.’ Indeed compare this use of the 3 person sing. suffix with the particle preposition “by reason of/because” with a similar one in Gen 3:17 that is saying that because of you [2 pers. sing.] (i.e., Adam)
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#131450 - 03/05/11 06:39 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom
I'd like to ask MM and NJK, (and anyone reading this who'd like to respond; e.g. kland), what your view of the Great Controversy is, in brief. I'll post my view as an example of what I'm interested in seeing.

I've got an idea as to MM's view, but not to NJK's. It would be interesting to see if it's the same as MM's.

My view is that Satan desired God's position and power, so he misrepresented God's character in order to win the homage of God's creatures. This is how he deceived men and angels.

Satan raised questions regarding God, His character, and His government which could only be answered by God's permitting Satan to develop his principles, as the parable of the wheat and the tares illustrates.

I believe death (the second death) is the result of sin, and involves the damage that happens to the psyche, to the conscience, making it impossible to co-exist with God, and those who choose to live according to God's principles.

God's purpose in the Plan of Salvation is primarily to reveal the truth about Himself and His government. The Great Controversy is all about this conflict between whom God says He is, and what God says the principles of His government are, and what the enemy says these are.

The Great Controversy will be resolved when all agree that God has been right.

Jesus Christ was the primary means, and continues to be, by which God fights this battle. "Primary" doesn't do justice to Christ's primacy in this regard.


It is indeed significant to have an overview of what someone generally and also ultimately believes, because it does shed some light on where they are coming from, and even heading, in a discussion. I would say that my view is basically similar to yours except for some more in depth/“literalistic” understandings, indeed as made manifest in this discussion. Due to its length and as this was small scale part of a much grandeur project of the sort that I have planned to do, I have posted it on by blog. See here.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#131451 - 03/05/11 06:40 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom
NJK, thank you very much for the quotes on the Tree of Life.

You commented:

Quote:
The following SOP quotes may seem to validate your view however these are only “pastoral”/practical applications by EGW and not a ‘Theological redifining of the realities involved in the Tree of Life seen in her above statements.


Why do you make this distinction? For example, when she says that Jesus Christ is life everlasting to us, why would this be only a "pastoral"/practical application as opposed to a Theological redefining of reality?

To my way of thinking, Jesus Christ's being everlasting life to us is *THE* Theological redefining of reality. That is to say, if this isn't a Theological redefining of reality, nothing is.


That is indeed a key and pivotal issue in this discussion. The main reason why I do not see this as Theological redefinition it the fact that EGW has made many literal comments about the Tree of Life contribution to physical Life itself extending into the Earth made new. If she was making a Theological redefinition, which I contextually can only understand to mean that all that we will need to do to live eternally in Heaven and the New Earth is to believe in Christ’s sacrifice, then she would have consistently made that point. Since she categorically does not, I therefore see these as being pastoral and practical in that she here, by a sort of Theological license, sought to make this future reality tangibly pertinent to the believer today. So she therefore makes typological applications of what will be, once again as in Eden, the tangibly reality in the age to come.

Again here, as with any Biblical/Theological analysis which seems to involve passages on two different sides. They have to be harmonized and the proper, exegetical way of doing this is to allow what is concretely literally said, as substantively applicable, to be the “canon” by which all other statements are to measure against and brought into theological harmony with. So in short EGW comments are consistent that our perpetual life depends on the Tree of Life once again made accessible by faith in the Sacrifice of Christ.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#131453 - 03/05/11 12:38 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
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Originally Posted By: Tom
1. Did Jesus ever command godly people to kill ungodly people in battle?

2. Did Jesus ever command godly people to execute capital punishment?

3. Did Jesus ever withdraw His protection and permit the forces of nature or evil men, and/or evil angels to kill men, women, and children?

M: My answer to the each of the three questions asked above is - Yes. I have no idea what your answers are. Would you mind answering them?

T: I'll address 3. Yes. For example, in regards to Jerusalem, He said, "How I long to gather you as a hen gathers its chicks, but you would not," indicating His desire to protect them, but they refused, and as a result of their refusal, Satan was permitted to treat them according to his will, and the destruction of Jerusalem happened. I'm flummoxed as to how you can say I didn't answer your question. How is this not an answer to your question? I answered "yes," and then explained why I answered yes.

Did Jesus close their 490 year probation early? Was there still a chance they might comply with the conditions and remain God's chosen people and nation? Or, was their death and destruction inevitable?

When Jesus finally withdrew His protection, what organic relation, if any, did their death and destruction at the hands of Roman soldiers in 70 AD have to do with their sins? That is, is death at the hands of enemy soldiers the natural, organic, inevitable result of rejecting Jesus? Or, is there something arbitrary about it?

Also, how is Jesus withdrawing His protection and permitting enemy soldiers to kill people different than President Truman permitting the military to drop atomic bombs on Japan?

Finally, I would appreciate it if you would take the time to answer the other two questions asked above.

PS - Love the word "flummoxed" (addle, baffle, bamboozle, beat, befog, befuddle, bemuse, bewilder, buffalo, confound, discombobulate, disorient, confuse, fox, fuddle, get, gravel, maze, muddle, muddy, mystify, perplex, pose, puzzle, vex).
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#131454 - 03/05/11 01:55 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
Mountain Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom
Quote:
T: If a person refused to breath, he would gradually die as well (although the "gradual" death would be a lot quicker). We couldn't conclude from this that God created man to naturally die, right? I haven't heard the idea that God created man to naturally die before. This concept doesn't make sense to me, as death, to my way of thinking, is dependent upon sin.

M: We are not immortal. Our immortality is conditional upon us living in harmony with natural law. If we disobey, death is immediate or gradual. For example, if we refuse to breathe, we will naturally die. That's how God designed us. I suppose it could be argued that refusing to breathe is a sin; however, the cause of death is asphyxiation.

T: This doesn't appear to be addressing the point I made. If you think it is, please explain to me how what you wrote addresses the point I made.

M:You asked, "We couldn't conclude from this that God created man to naturally die, right?" Death is natural, right?


No, it's not natural. Life is natural. Death is the result of sin, an aberration.

Quote:
It obeys natural law. God did not design us to live without breathing. If dying under this circumstance isn't natural, what is it?


Death is connected to sin. No sin = no death. That's what's natural.

Quote:
M: Does Satan have the power to create and to sustain his creations?

T: What do you think? Why are you asking this?

M:No.
Don't know what you believe.


Why would you think I think Satan has to the power to create? You don't think I know that God alone is the Creator? Why would you have any doubt about this? I really don't understand why you would question me. It would be like me asking you if you believe God exists, and you ask me why I'm asking you that, and I say it's because I don't know what you believe.

Quote:
T: To a great extent, obviously he has been given power to do so, as the quote I referenced makes clear. Think of all the noxious plants there are. Satan did all that. The same principle applies to the animal kingdom. All of nature acts differently than originally designed (in terms of animals killing each other for food, death, etc.) This is all of Satan's doing.

M:Since we agree nature is not self-acting, and since we agree Satan cannot create or sustain the things of creation, can we also agree God acts to enable noxious plants and animals to live and behave they way they do?


I would feel more comfortable stating this in the way the referenced quote does. I think it needs to made as clear as possible who (Satan) is responsible for the plans having the noxious quality.

Quote:
M: Does God ever employ the forces of nature to cause death and destruction?

T: God permits things to happen.

M:Since we agree nature is not self-acting, can we agree God acts to enable the forces of nature to behave the way it does when it causes death and destruction?


Same point. I think it's important that responsibility be made clear. "Enable" can give a false impression of responsibility. God is not responsible for sin or its results. The SOP makes this clear in saying that Satan is the author of sin and all its results.

Good. We agree Satan cannot create or sustain creation. Jesus allows Satan to tamper with the laws of nature resulting in noxious plants and animals. But Satan isn't free to do as he pleases. He is limited by the constraints imposed upon him by Jesus. Satan is prohibited to exceed the limits established and enforced by Jesus.

Nevertheless, the noxious plants and animals Jesus permits Satan to develop are not self-acting. Nor is Satan able to give them life or the ability to function as they do. They are totally and completely dependent upon Jesus for their existence and for their ability to act and behave the way they do. True, Satan may influence them to harm people, but their ability to act and harm people is derived solely from Jesus.

So, whenever Satan desires to cause death and destruction, he must first obtain permission from Jesus. Jesus considers the request and then establishes the perimeters within which Satan is allowed to work. Jesus also enforces His limitations by commanding holy angels to ensure evil angels do not exceed His restrictions. Satan is then dependent upon Jesus to work to uphold the laws that give life and vitality to whatever resources he intends to use to wreak havoc on humanity.

With these things in mind it is proper to ask - Who or what acts when sinners are punished and killed? For example, when fire "went out from the LORD" and killed Nadab and Abihu, who or what acted to kill them? We both agree the fire did not act on its own. Please understand I'm not asking you to explain why they deserved to die. Obviously they are responsible for the fact they died. The question is - Who or what employed the fire that killed them?

PS - Do you believe in the New Earth we will be dependent upon the regular intake of food, water, air, and the fruit of the tree of life in order to live forever? If so, what do you think would theoretically happen if we were unable to partake of them for an extended period of time?
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#131468 - 03/06/11 01:18 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
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Here are more of my comments in a private conversation on this topic which may be helpful to this discussion. The main issue in that conversation is: Did the tree of life have a tangible, active “sin” ingredient in it which “poisoned” the perfection of man or did sin and the adverse physical effect come from just this first hand “knowledge” of evil.

I certainly understand your “reverse engineering” of how sinful propensities and diseases stem from abnormalities that have come to be part of fallen man’s DNA, here is my question to you based on this SOP quote:

Originally Posted By: SOP
The tree of knowledge became a curse to them, not because of its poisonous qualities, but because of their act of disobedience. It was attractive to them; and in their great desire for it, they partook of it, and lost their purity and their allegiance to God. But Christ presents himself as the Life-giver, the tree of life for the world. By feeding upon his flesh, and drinking his blood, our spiritual life is perfected. {GCDB, March 6, 1899 par. 6}


Obviously EGW is not meaning “poison” as merely something that could cause sudden death, but in spiritual reference to the origin of diseases and also the root of sin. As science shows that one’s mental state can affect the cells of the body even causing diseases, I am inclined to think God knew that if man began to entertain sinful thoughts, this would affect their DNA and cause various mutations in it. This inceptive, root, thought process in itself, is entirely within the possibility of man and his/her free will. So the harmful effects of sin could have simply started with this altering of the mind/thoughts from priorly solely good to now also include evil. The perfect that existed before that was complete void of such evil thoughts and that is how God knew that His creation could remain perfect.

As seen in my exegesis on Gen 2:17b, I see that Man was non the less subject to death unless he ate of the Fruit of Life and took in its “therapeutic” qualities. Man’s DNA could also begin to degenerate and adversely mutate from the absence of the Fruit of Life.

Robe of Light - From what I understand, the robe of light was a supernatural thing and was manifestly only possible as man remained sinless. I also do not see it as being an automatic thing in the sense that as soon as they sinned it disappeared because Eve sinned before Adam and she did not mention being nor feel ‘naked and ashamed’. Adam also did not mention or see that. So she no doubt returned to him still having the robe of light. As EGW says, Adam saw nothing unusual or different from Eve, in fact she seems to be more delighted. It was only when they both sinned that their robe disappeared. Manifestly, when God saw that they both sinned He removed the robe of light. I think this was allowed by Him with Eve so as not to provide a tangible influence for Adam not to sin if he wanted to. He was to make his choice entirely based upon a faith in, and trusting obedience to, God.

Animal and Plant Suffering - For the same reasons mentioned above for man, animals now also deprived of the Tree of Life, which may have been “aromatically” accessible to them (vs. Man which God apparently deliberately made them to eat of the fruit, for reasons I have already stated), could have also begun this gradual DNA degeneration and mutation process. Your argument does not answer how nature and Animals could have been physically infected by the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and evil since they did not eat or partake of it in any way. This degenerative mutation in DNA may have come to cause animals to have ill feelings towards each other. Also with Adam having now to kill animals, this may have instilled this notion of killing in them, though that is not necessarily the main root of this change of behavior in animals.

Gen 3:17 shows that thrones, thistles and weeds came because the ground was cursed by God. So he may have removed a “Tree of Life” type of nutrient in it. Furthermore, if, as I see it, the Tree of life was dispersed through the air in nature then for non humans, and since the ground is essentially also composed of air/oxygen in order to be fruitful, the absence to this ingredient in the air could produce the formation of weed/thistle/thorn seeds and also provide bad nourishment to the roots of other vegetation like trees, causing their leaves to die and fall periodically.

So in summary here, your view is mainly dealing with the outgrowth of physical sinful effects, which includes some thoughts and psychological problems It is easily and logically understandable that this is from bad DNA. However what I am seeing as the root cause is a degeneration and mutation that started with the free-will choice of Man when they came to know of themselves what evil was and the resulting evil thoughts. Satan probably add complete access to their minds from the time of their fall and surely injected many evil thoughts in their heads which He had already developed. These are such thoughts and emotions as distrust, anger, fear, etc, all of which cause tangible adverse consequences to the physical body including at the cellular/DNA level.

Plan of Redemption - I think it is easy and simple to see that at the resurrection and translation we will again have perfect bodies, just like Man had prior to the Fall and then by access to the Tree of Life this perfect body and DNA will be “upkept” by the therapeutic Tree of Life.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#131471 - 03/06/11 04:46 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
NJK Project Offline
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After a closer examination, I am going to have to make a retraction here, though it really does not make much of a difference overall given the observable evidence that still supports the point made on that issue.

No (major) English translation, except, arguably, for the KJV (with its secondary “thereof” for “from it”) has accurately (i.e., fully) rendered Gen 2:17 as it is (fully) saying:

Originally Posted By: Gen 2:17 NASB
“but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat from it, for in the day that you eat from it, you will surely die. (Gen 2:17 NASB)”


That first “from it” is the same expression just before the infinitive absolute “dying”. The 3 person suffix could be he|she|it and in this case “it”, actually being in the masc. form, is referring back to the Tree (of Evil) which is also in the masculine.

I also now agree that “(you) surely die” is an acceptable way of rendering the literal Hebrew which is “dying (you) will (naturally) die” in English. However the fact that the expression “will die” is in the uncaused verbal Qal form as opposed to a Causative (Hiphil/Hophal = “cause to die” e.g., Gen 26:11) shows that this would be an inherently due death, thus a “natural death”. I.e, by not eating the of the Tree of Life, death would follow its course to this end.

There is really no major change, if any to the observation that Man was always subject to death, which is why they had to eat of the Tree of Life.


Edited by NJK Project (03/06/11 05:56 AM)
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#131472 - 03/06/11 05:32 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
NJK Project Offline
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Added PM Comment:

Adam and Eve Communicating with God - As far as I see it, no one can communicate with God the Father who dwells in “unapproachable light” and actually “no man has seen” (1 Tim 6:16). The person Adam and Eve were communicating with prior to their fall was Michael =Jesus Christ. He also appears elsewhere in the OT, post the Fall as “the Angel of the Lord”. It was also this same presence that came looking for Adam and Eve after they had sinned and they interacted with Him without dying (Gen 3:8ff). So man could talk with God directly before and after the fall. Even Moses talked with God directly long after the fall, yet without see His Face/Front Side (Exod 33:17-23. The same ma have been the case with Adam in terms of simply talking with God the Father. They could however see Michael in Personal manifestation. So the perfection of one’s DNA (i.e., pre-fall Man) has nothing to do with this paramount reality about the unapproachable glory/front side of God.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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