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#132212 - 03/30/11 05:01 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man]
NJK Project Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mountan Man
This doesn't sound to me as though Moses failed the test or that God truly wanted to start over with Moses and his descendants.


I rather see it, as EGW states in PP 318.1 that this was going to be an act out of Justice by God, however He mercifully was seeking for an excuse not to “justly” do so. So He was hoping that Moses might be found, and that worthy, to avert the execution of that just judgement, and so proceeded to candidly test him. If Moses had any trace of selfishness in him, not only would Israel would have been destroyed because no intercessor would have been found for them, but maybe also Moses. However Moses sincerely prevail, indeed, as EGW states in PP 318.3 quibbling for anything in God’s pronouncement that he could use as an entrance to plead for an overturning of Judgement.

It also seems to me that despite that worthy intercession of Moses, God still had to option to execute the judgement and start over with Moses as He had said, but now He truly had two options to choose from, and out of mercy, opted for the merciful, and actually, though respectfully, well-put, plea (Exod 32:13, 14) of Moses.

So I see that God, though quite sadly, did intend to execute that judgement, but was also hoping for someone to worthily intercede for Israel. (cf. Jer 5:1; Ezek 22:30, 31; Isa 59:16a) The same issues transpired in the redemption of man. So it seems that God, even in the face of due justice, still seeks as a final option for at least one worthy person to “stand in the gap.”
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“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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#132213 - 03/30/11 05:22 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
NJK Project Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK Project
And also, so as not to have people do His will simply out of a fear of bringing about another Flood, He expressedly removed that threat of punishment, with the threat of the Second Coming destruction not being mentioned until the time of the New Covenant. The rainbow also served to remove this fear. (Cf. PP 106.1) So man, especially “Atheistic man” was again free of any external influence to freely choose to follow God or not, or else every rain fall would produce a spurious and insincere mass repentance around the earth.

It must be also, clarifyingly added that the “threat” of a Flood is much greater than the, indeed “threat” of the future Second Coming destruction, because the Flood already occurred, and thus could be used as a reference point by most. The Second Coming, and other future “judgement threats/warnings” (e.g., Rev 14:9-11 cf. GC 627.3-628.2) on the other hand is still wholly in the realm of faith. As such it is not a compelling force or threat.

Perhaps the ‘Flood judgement’ would have been understood as a “threat” (if it had been allowed to be perceived as such - i.e., without the Rainbow Covenant Promise), due to its concrete, prior demonstration, while the Second Coming and other judgements are “lesserly” in the realm of “warnings” as they are not tangibly made to be known to be ‘clear and present.’ So God is not using any compellation in either past/present or future case.
_________________________
“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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#132220 - 03/31/11 11:33 AM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland]
Tom Offline
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Originally Posted By: GC
And who did Abraham see?

When did Jesus become "alive?" Did He truly live only 33 years?

You see, the subtle switch here is from the word "character" to "ministry," implying only those 3.5 years of Jesus' principal work while incarnate upon this earth. That is what invalidates the "inspiration" of Tom's statement, and which has no backing in Mrs. White's writings nor those of the Bible.

If you can find one single statement from Mrs. White where she says what Tom said, then I might adjust my own view on this matter.


The statement was quoted for you. If you'll read the statement in it's context, you'll see its specifically speaking of Jesus Christ's ministry here on earth.

Also, if you want a more detailed explanation, the Signs of the Times article "God Made Manifest in Christ" discusses the "whole purpose" of Christ's earthly mission in detail:

http://www.msc1888.org/egw/godmademanifestinchrist.htm

Quote:
Until then, I am careful to understand what she expressly said, and not what someone else thinks she said or should have said instead.


Consider the context, and the idea being presented from the perspective of the point she was wishing to make.
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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#132225 - 03/31/11 12:48 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
Tom Offline
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Quote:
APL:Sure, I will clarify that. In fact, the word "shift" is more suitable there. Basically, Tom has taken the quote which speaks of Jesus' "life" and "character" and applied those terms to His "earthly ministry." But Mrs. White did not use the term "earthly ministry" anywhere in connection with this statement.


Here's the statement in context:

Quote:
All that man needs to know or can know of God has been revealed in the life and character of His Son. {8T 286.1}
Testimonies for the Church Volume 8, p. 286.2 (EGW)
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only-begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him.” John 1:18. {8T 286.2}
Testimonies for the Church Volume 8, p. 286.3 (EGW)
Taking humanity upon Him, Christ came to be one with humanity and at the same time to reveal our heavenly Father to sinful human beings. He was in all things made like unto His brethren. He became flesh, even as we are. He was hungry and thirsty and weary. He was sustained by food and refreshed by sleep. He shared the lot of men, and yet He was the blameless Son of God. He was a stranger and sojourner on the earth—in the world, but not of the world; tempted and tried as men and women today are tempted and tried, yet living a life free from sin. {8T 286.3}
Testimonies for the Church Volume 8, p. 286.4 (EGW)
Tender, compassionate, sympathetic, ever considerate of others, He represented the character of God, and was constantly engaged in service for God and man. {8T 286.4}
Testimonies for the Church Volume 8, p. 286.5 (EGW)
“The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ...full of grace and truth.” Verse 14. {8T 286.5}
Testimonies for the Church Volume 8, p. 286.6 (EGW)
“Unto the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world,” He said, “I manifested Thy name,” “that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them.” John 17:6, A. R. V., 26. {8T 286.6}
Testimonies for the Church Volume 8, p. 286.7 (EGW)
“Love your enemies,” He bade them; “bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven;” “for He is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” “He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” “Be ye therefore merciful, as 287your Father also is merciful.” Matthew 5:44, 45; Luke 6:35, 36. {8T 286.7}


So it is clear that this is dealing with Jesus Christ during His earthly mission. By the way, to be clear, I never limited Christ's earthly mission to 3.5 years, nor do I think in these terms.
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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#132227 - 03/31/11 01:14 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom]
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In case this it may be the subconscious, underlying case, as expressed to some degree by some in this discussion, I would warn against a popular “Evangelical”, knee-jerk, OT-disparaging view that the God of the OT was violent, spiteful, vengeful, made ‘character mistakes,’ was not loving, etc. but Jesus was somehow a different and “better” God, or at least, a better demonstration/example of God. Many tangible factors leading to that false and dichotomic conclusion are obliviously and/or indifferently, summarily taken out of popular “Evangelical” tenet. And that chiefly is, among other factors, that in the OT, God was dealing with a national Israel, that was facing an ever present, imminent physical threat from surrounding nations. However for God to be able to defend them, even, as it would mostly require, given Israel’s tangible, natural limitations: supernaturally, -especially open and high-handed sin could not be tolerated in their midst. And so it had to be completely and wholly eradicated whenever it manifested itself. Also God tangibly lived in their midst in the Most Holy Place; and Israel also had abundant demonstrations of God’s power through mighty miracles. So they, compared to NT Believers, were living much more by sight than by faith, and as such, God’s tolerance of waywardness and sin was relatively considerably lower.

Nonetheless, in the NT, the episode of Annanias and Sapphira shows, at least to me, that whenever the clear revelation of God is more tangibly made manifest, this same low tolerance for waywardness and rebellion will naturally and inevitably be revived. So I see this all as God being proportionately fair in His dealing with His professed people corresponding to the level of revelation, including its tangibleness that they have received. So in summary the closer God physically get’s to His People the higher will be the expected level of holiness.

Also, I do not see that, as Jesus also said in Matt 5:17-19, that He abolished any aspect of the OT Law given to God’s Israel, spiritually covering various aspects of Believers lives, except for the ceremonial laws which were types of Christ’s Atoning sacrifice. It seems to me that this is the common SDA argument when trying to show that dietary laws from the OT are still bindng today!

Also, in many ways, we still observe many, if not all of the various other types of OT Laws, particularly civil ones, however, we (i.e., Christian Believers) have “abdicated” the authority to establish these laws to democratic civil powers, (e.g., in Judeo-Christian societies) rather than go straight to what God had wisely and perfectly said. So it is not surprising that many of these OT Civil laws, if emulated in our civil societies are found in a watered down form.

So all this to say that, the God of the OT, which most tangibly was Jesus, is not in any way, including character wise, than the Revelation that was demonstrated by Jesus. And since Jesus did indeed do only what He saw the Father had done (i.e., in OT dealings) than they are not at all different. As I stated before, Jesus works of reform in the Law and social dealings was to elevate the level of righteousness when applying these laws and close the spiritual “loopholes” that the Israelites in His day, particularly the leaders had basely created.

As I also said, I see that Jesus, as it was appropriately necessary, also emulated the “ministration of judgement” (which includes “Divine wrath”) during His ministry. (Matt 23 readily comes to mind). The same principle held true here: ‘Abundant revelation first, as it was actually necessary for especially these educated and knowledgeable leaders, and then, if opposition and objection indifferently persists, then these judgements and wrath.’
_________________________
“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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#132230 - 03/31/11 03:10 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
Mountain Man Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Originally Posted By: Mountan Man
This doesn't sound to me as though Moses failed the test or that God truly wanted to start over with Moses and his descendants.

I rather see it, as EGW states in PP 318.1 that this was going to be an act out of Justice by God, however He mercifully was seeking for an excuse not to “justly” do so. So He was hoping that Moses might be found, and that worthy, to avert the execution of that just judgement, and so proceeded to candidly test him. If Moses had any trace of selfishness in him, not only would Israel would have been destroyed because no intercessor would have been found for them, but maybe also Moses. However Moses sincerely prevail, indeed, as EGW states in PP 318.3 quibbling for anything in God’s pronouncement that he could use as an entrance to plead for an overturning of Judgement.

It also seems to me that despite that worthy intercession of Moses, God still had to option to execute the judgement and start over with Moses as He had said, but now He truly had two options to choose from, and out of mercy, opted for the merciful, and actually, though respectfully, well-put, plea (Exod 32:13, 14) of Moses.

So I see that God, though quite sadly, did intend to execute that judgement, but was also hoping for someone to worthily intercede for Israel. (cf. Jer 5:1; Ezek 22:30, 31; Isa 59:16a) The same issues transpired in the redemption of man. So it seems that God, even in the face of due justice, still seeks as a final option for at least one worthy person to “stand in the gap.”

There's more to it than what i quoted above. Listen:

Quote:
"Let Me alone, . . . that I may consume them," were the words of God. If God had purposed to destroy Israel, who could plead for them? How few but would have left the sinners to their fate! How few but would have gladly exchanged a lot of toil and burden and sacrifice, repaid with ingratitude and murmuring, for a position of ease and honor, when it was God Himself that offered the release. {PP 318.2}

But Moses discerned ground for hope where there appeared only discouragement and wrath. The words of God, "Let Me alone," he understood not to forbid but to encourage intercession, implying that nothing but the prayers of Moses could save Israel, but that if thus entreated, God would spare His people. He "besought the Lord his God, and said, Lord, why doth Thy wrath wax hot against Thy people, which Thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?" {PP 318.3}

Moses believed God wanted him to intercede on behalf of Israel. He knew God wasn't serious about wanting to destroy Israel.
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#132233 - 03/31/11 05:13 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man]
NJK Project Offline
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I had read that wider SOP context. It was clear to me that Moses did not see that “God was not serious” but merely that God had deliberately left a way of averting His judgement. And the humble and unselfish Moses took advantage of that opportunity. EGW’s statements of: “discerned ground for hope”; “not to forbid but to encourage”, “if thus entreated, God would spare His people.” Otherwise, as shown in the other verse I referenced, if no one was found to intercede here, God would have carried out that judgement. (cf. e.g., Jer 5:1; Ezek 22:30, 31). So God was indeed most serious here, but also merciful, indeed, of His own initiative (= Isa 59:16), working to orchestrate this chance for Israel to come to have this crucially needed, intercessor from amongst them, and that through an honest and candid act of Moses, hence the utilized veiledness here. Indeed, as “implied” by God, “nothing but. the prayers of Moses could save Israel.”

It further seems to me, as done by Jesus in Matt 13:10-17 = Isa 6:9-13, God indeed did not prominently want to forgive Israel, but indeed bring about their destruction, (though not without an opportunity for mercy) hence the veiling of this way of escape for them, even likely to fail, given its playing upon the natural preferences of Man. As EGW puts its: “How few but would have gladly exchanged a lot of toil and burden and sacrifice, repaid with ingratitude and murmuring, for a position of ease and honor, when it was God Himself that offered the release.” God indeed could have used a much more open, straightforward and even commanding method as He would later do with Ezekiel, when He outrightly wanted to forgive the sins of Israel and Judah in order to effectuate their restoration (and thus carry out, without added delay, His GC redemptive plans). (Ezek 4:4-6 = 36:22-38; 33:21-23ff).

Notice also when this ‘entire destruction’ episode comes up again in Num 14:11, 12. God here does not himself provide such a pleading opening. Perhaps Moses should have known by now to do so. However, Moses could easily have used this as an excuse not to, as before, do so. So here also, God was leaning much more towards this deserving destruction judgement, (as a faithless people is really, completely useless to Him (as Moses knew firsthand (Exod 4:24-26 - PP 255, 256)), than towards forgiveness. Indeed as seen then, destruction did come, though mercifully limited and drawn out. (cf. PP 391.1)


Edited by NJK Project (03/31/11 06:07 PM)
Edit Reason: Num 14:11, 12 comment
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#132234 - 03/31/11 05:31 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project]
kland Offline
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War crimes. Could you explain how war is not a crime? Have there been any such wars?

The purpose of war is to kill people. Or to get our way and killing people is a casualty. But yet, we say it isn't right to target the main perpetrator of the war, but we will kill many of his people, and destroy much property. As is relevant most recently.


Originally Posted By: NJK Project
So he is not responsible when sinful man took this blessing and turned it into an opportunity to dive headlong into unrestraint evil pursuits! What’s so hard to see here?!?
But you said he was the one who flooded the earth which would not happen other than the direct act on His part. That sounds responsible to me and more so than just allowing it to happen based upon man's choices. Neither does it answer why the eight had to suffer.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project

It’s quite telling to me that in none of the SOP examples you have cited is “killing” ever addressed.
But God's character is addressed and you say God's character include killing.

Quote:

You have to injected that notion in these passages.
Actually, I was pointing out it doesn't fit.

Quote:
As I have stated before, Jesus had a chance to completely do away with Capital Punishment in the episode of the woman caught in adultery, however He rather told the men to indeed execute this punishment, however only if they themselves were (currently(?)) without sin.
Could you give evidence that that's what He intended?

And what's this about righteous level? Do you say the past killings you speak of were not righteous, but now anyone without sin can kill? Why was it permitted in the past when the ones doing it had sin and revenge, spitefulness and injustice? Why can't in now be a "collective judgement"?
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#132237 - 03/31/11 06:57 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Green Cochoa]
Tom Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK
As a contextually accurate understanding of the DA “It is Finished” chapter (79) is key to this discussion, I have now taken the time to do a complete analysis and commentary on it to see what it is precisely saying. Here goes:

-From here it is introductorily, and thus not in full details, chiefly stated that ‘what was “victoriously finished’ at the Cross was the “great work of redemption. (Thus no notion here of ‘a understood knowledge that sin results in death.’)


This is an odd comment. She didn't discuss the aspect of death being the inevitable result of sin until the last two pages. Why comment on this here?

The point I made was that the whole chapter deals with what was accomplished at the cross. As you note, it starts right at the beginning of the chapter.

Quote:
-It also was: “the character of Satan”, his previously deceptively concealed “principles” and “the nature of his rebellion” that were “clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds”.

[{758.4}-{759.1}]


Reading the whole chapter, one sees that for the angels there's more of an emphasis on Satan's character, whereas for man, there's more of an emphasis on God's character. This makes sense, given their respective abodes.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: SOP DA 759.2

-‘Satan was given time to develop the principles which were the foundation of his system of government in order “to place things [i.e. the resolution of the issues brought forth in this GC] on an eternal basis of security”.’

-During this time the Heavenly Universe watched these “working of Satan's principles”.


There was a need for the working out of the principles of both governments, as well as the character of both protagonists, to be revealed. The parable of the wheat and the tares is a good example of this. The revelation of each protagonist reveals the other.


Quote:
Originally Posted By: SOP DA 759.3
-During that time of 4000 years (i.e., ca. Creation to the Cross), the heavenly universe were beholding the ruin and degradation being done by Satan. Surely they would see and understand here that Satan sin and government involved suffering and death. Yet for some reason they were still “sympathetic” to His cause.


They could see that there death involved, but the cause wasn't clear. We need to remember that Satan was blaming God for everything, and camouflaging what he was doing. It became clear to the angels who was responsible for what, but many non-angels still confuse the two protagonists, which is why the Great Controversy continues.

Quote:
Perhaps they were also thinking that they should be free to choose this course of life if they wanted to. Thus the option of obeying God’s Law or not, and suffering the consequences if one so chooses, should indeed be a free and also, not God condemned act for free moral agents.


One doesn't choose to suffer the consequences of God's law or not. It's not an arbitrary law.

Quote:
[{759.4}-{761.1}] - At Christ’s First Advent, Satan now focused his efforts to destroyed Him from His birth and that reached a climax in the frenzied efforts that took place at the Cross. It is then and there that Satan betrayed himself. His true/actual “character”, “principles” and “the nature of his rebellion” were all fully exposed for what they were:

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 761.2
Satan saw that his disguise was torn away. His administration was laid open before the unfallen angels and before the heavenly universe. He had revealed himself as a murderer. By shedding the blood of the Son of God, he had uprooted himself from the sympathies of the heavenly beings. Henceforth his work was restricted. Whatever attitude he might assume, he could no longer await the angels as they came from the heavenly courts, and before them accuse Christ's brethren of being clothed with the garments of blackness and the defilement of sin. The last link of sympathy between Satan and the heavenly world was broken. {DA 761.2}


-It is striking to me, as it will be seen in the next section, that the angels made a somewhat arbitrary decision here to no longer be sympathetic to Satan as they still did not even then fully understand the issue involved in the GC which would only be further revealed in the 2000+ years that remained in the GC.


It wasn't arbitrary at all! The whole point here is that it wasn't arbitrary. It was a non-arbitrary decision based on evidence.

You left out the preceding statement, which helps to understand the part you were commenting on:

Quote:
Christ bowed His head and died, but He held fast His faith and His submission to God. "And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night." Rev. 12:10.


There was a war in heaven, which is a war of ideas. Satan was not "cast down" by force, but by evidence. Satan's influence was curtailed because his disguise was torn away. This is how he was "cast down."

Quote:
So it is apparently simply out of allegiance to Jesus, who Satan here wanted to murder, that they decided to from then on completely shut Satan out. Yet the GC issues were still not fully resolved in their minds then.


It wasn't simply out of allegiance, but based on evidence. It was completely clear to them who was lying and who was telling the truth at that point.

Quote:
-If ‘death was then (i.e., at the Cross) “finally” understood to be the inevitable result of sin,’ as you claim Tom, then it seems to me that Satan could and should have been destroyed then, rather than simply be shut out of Heaven.


That would be good logic if death being the inevitable result of sin was the only thing the Great Controversy entails.

Quote:
However the actual issue here was that: “The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed.”


The actual issue as compared to what? I suppose you mean as opposed to death being the inevitable result of sin, but these aren't two different things which are being contrasted, so your point here doesn't make sense.

The Great Controversy encompasses many things, all under the umbrella of who is telling the truth in regards to God's character and the principles of His government. That death is the inevitable result of sin is one aspect of the Great Controversy.

Quote:
The issues involved in the free choice to serve God or Satan still needed to be ‘further “deliberated”’ and eventually resolved.


As pertains to the holy angels and unfallen worlds, these have been secured.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: SOP DA 761.4
In the opening of the great controversy, Satan had declared that the law of God could not be obeyed, that justice was inconsistent with mercy, and that, should the law be broken, it would be impossible for the sinner to be pardoned. Every sin must meet its punishment, urged Satan; and if God should remit the punishment of sin, He would not be a God of truth and justice. When men broke the law of God, and defied His will, Satan exulted. It was proved, he declared, that the law could not be obeyed; man could not be forgiven. Because he, after his rebellion, had been banished from heaven, Satan claimed that the human race must be forever shut out from God's favor. God could not be just, he urged, and yet show mercy to the sinner. {DA 761.4}


-Here EGW restates the foundational issues involved in this GC which were actually resolved at the Cross. See also [{761.5}-{762.3}]


This is more of a parenthetical statement. Contrast how much time she spends on this as opposed to what happened to Christ on the cross viz a viz Satan's actions.

Quote:
{762.5b}-{763.3} - EGW’s elaboration on these Final Conflict Implications.

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 763.4
Then the end will come[i.e., the end of time (6000+ years) and not the Cross (4000 years)]. God will vindicate His law and deliver His people. Satan and all who have joined him in rebellion will be cut off. Sin and sinners will perish, root and branch, (Malachi 4:1),--Satan the root, and his followers the branches. The word will be fulfilled to the prince of evil, "Because thou hast set thine heart as the heart of God; . . . I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. . . . Thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more." Then "the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be;" "they shall be as though they had not been." Ezekiel 28:6-19; Psalm 37:10; Obadiah 16. {DA 763.4}


-It is this (end time) destruction of Satan that will then indeed not be construed as an arbitrary act of God as all of the self-actuating evidence will be in by then. That was not possible at the begin of the GC so that destruction act would have been misunderstood as arbitrary.


It would have been misunderstood as arbitrary because Jesus Christ had not died on the cross.

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I.e. there was no evidence that Satan’s sin was deserving of death, indeed this natural, self-combusting death.


If it's self-combusing, then it's not something which is deserved. So there's no question of its being deserved.

The problem would not have been whether or not Satan deserved to die, but *why* he died. That's where the confusion would have been.

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Originally Posted By: SOP DA 764.1
This is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God. The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown. God is the fountain of life; and when one chooses the service of sin, he separates from God, and thus cuts himself off from life. He is "alienated from the life of God." Christ says, "All they that hate Me love death." Ephesians 4:18; Proverbs 8:36. God gives them existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles. This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice. By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him place themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire. The glory of Him who is love will destroy them. {DA 764.1}


-Time is given for opposers of God’s Law to “ develop their character and reveal their principles” and not to learn that sin results in death.


The angels were the ones who learned that sin resulted in death. Your confusing two different groups here; holy angels and wicked rebels. The wicked rebels were given time to develop their principles. The holy angels were the ones who needed to see that the inevitable result of sin is death. This was so when God permitted the wicked to reap the full result of their sin, their death would not be misunderstood.

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When this is accomplished, indeed by the faultiness of their own, now fully developed course, which now, as such, indeed ‘itself brings death’ (James 1:15), “they receive the results of their own choice”. Can’t better restate/explain EGW’s statement that it is: “By a life of rebellion, Satan and all who unite with him place themselves so out of harmony with God that His very presence is to them a consuming fire. ” So it seems clear to me here that it is a most advanced level of sin that comes to be “self-combustible material in the presence of God’s presence, and not, as commonly assumed, ‘just a trace presence of sin.’ That would explain many instances in the Bible and SOP where sinful people were not immediately consumed by just being in the presence of God (e.g., as previously discussed, Satan in the Job episode).


Sin is not "material" at all, let alone "self-combustible material." Sin is in the mind. It involves thoughts, decisions and actions one undertakes.

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-Seeing the face of God on the other hand, which is distinct from His presence, and which also symbolically implicates “fully understanding”/discerning God, evidently instantly results in that immediate destruction. (Exod 33:20-22).


This is because of what's happening in the mind. "Understanding," "Discerning God," are indications of this.

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-I however do not see in the Bible that even the wicked at the end will be self-combustibly destroyed just by the presence of God. This further, and in this context here, says to me that though they will have unforgiven sins on their ledger, they may not have reached this “self-combustible” level. That is why they will have to variously be “forcefully” destroyed in the end by being actively thrown into the Lake of Fire vs. merely being destroyed by the glory of God, even before the Second Death judgement, at the pre-millennium appearing of Christ.


If they're destroyed by the glory of God (which is His character), they obviously cannot subsequently be destroyed by physically being cast into a lake of fire. Their destruction by the glory of Him who is love *is* their act of being destroyed by being cast into the lake of fire. Note she says, in the sentence immediately preceding, that the wicked develop characters so out of harmony with God's character that His very presence is to them a consuming fire.

Once we understand this is not a physical issue, but a spiritual one (i.e., involves the mind, acts/thoughts/decisions -- that's what sin is), then everything fits together.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: SOP DA 764.2
At the beginning of the great controversy, the angels did not understand this. Had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin, they would have perished; but it would not have been apparent to heavenly beings that this was the inevitable result of sin. A doubt of God's goodness would have remained in their minds as evil seed, to produce its deadly fruit of sin and woe. {DA 764.2}

So then what would the angels did not have understood had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin (i.e., the “inevitable” consuming destruction merely at God’s glory) at the beginning of the great controversy??


What she was explaining when she said this is what they would not have understood.

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That this, effectively pre-emptively accelerated judgement on Satan for his suggested contra-Law ways, was deserved.


Sir, there's not one mention of "deserved," nor any synonym, anywhere to be seen either in this paragraph or in any nearby one. This wasn't the issue being discussed.

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So he had to be given time to himself develop this sin to its fulness and thus, of himself bring about this then inevitable result. Hence this 6000+ year GC. For as seen in the next paragraph, the 4000 years leading up to the Cross were not even sufficient to make this “inevitable result” self-evident.

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 764.3
But not so when the great controversy shall be ended. Then, the plan of redemption having been completed, the character of God is revealed to all created intelligences. The precepts of His law are seen to be perfect and immutable. Then sin has made manifest its nature, Satan his character. Then the extermination of sin will vindicate God's love and establish His honor before a universe of beings who delight to do His will, and in whose heart is His law. {DA 764.3}


It is the “plan of redemption” that needs to be “completed” to self-reveal the true nature of sin.


She wrote, "the character of God is revealed to all created intelligences." This cannot happen until the final judgment, because the character of God is not revealed to all created intelligences until then.

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Not merely that sin (i.e., living outside of God’s Laws) results in death, as it can easily be seen, but that God’s destruction of sin and sinner is fully justified because their suggested course has no just, true nor redemptive qualities. So it was the immediate ending of a sinful course and the death of the sinner that were to be proven to not be an arbitrary act and this act was that sin, in its fullness would indeed itself result in this self-combusting end. If God had done this earlier in the GC instead of at the very end of it as stated here by EGW, it would have to be a forced act in the light of the not yet fully developed sin (=James 1:15) and not the natural one that it will be when this sin is indeed fully developed as allowed in the GC.

-However, and seriously, I still would need to see where this self-combustible destruction is said/envisioned to actually occur in the Bible or GC. It seems to me that much more time than what is found in a ca. 6000 year GC would be necessary to achieve this ‘critical mass’ stage.


Sin impacts the mind. It causes the sinner to believe things about God which is not true. This is why the sinner cannot bear to be in God's presence. What happens here wasn't seen or understood by onlooking holy angels or unfallen worlds until the cross. That's why all these comments are in the context of the chapter "It is Finished."

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Also combined with the complete withdrawal of God’s restraining influence. So it very well may be that sinners will have to be actively destroyed in the end by God (vs. passively, merely by His glorious presence),because of a still not yet full matured level of sin.


This isn't the issue. She explains that the wicked are given time to fully develop, and that they develop characters so out of harmony that the very presence of God is to them a consuming fire, that the glory of Him who is love will destroy them. This makes clear what causes their destruction. There's no mention of "critical mass" or any similar idea.

Also that God's action is passive is made clear by the statement that had God "left" Satan and his follower to "reap the full result of their sin" they would have perished.
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#132238 - 03/31/11 07:37 PM Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland]
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kland, I’ll give you a partial benefit of the doubt here that you are being sincere, and not mischievously quibbling here, and that it is a sincere (though I believe, actually irrational) opposition to any killing that is preventing you to “see any light” here. However that other part of me that can comprehend this incomprehension here will only allow me to make, as succinct as possible, summary indicative answers. I.e., you can think the Theological/Spiritual/Logical/Legal/Rational underlying reasons through, if you actually want to.

Originally Posted By: kland
War crimes. Could you explain how war is not a crime? Have there been any such wars?


Defensive self-defense of corresponding force in any form is not a crime. Thus the God-ordained wars of Israel in the Bible were not crimes, GC context and issues included.
And in secularly speaking, e.g, the Allies effort in WWII to rid the world of the Nazi Regime and its lesser evil Axis Allies was not a criminal act.

Originally Posted By: kland
The purpose of war is to kill people. Or to get our way and killing people is a casualty. But yet, we say it isn't right to target the main perpetrator of the war, but we will kill many of his people, and destroy much property.


That is what is done by those who start an unjust war. And really, unless God Himself tells you to, attacking another country for no “clear and present” danger reason, and/or using excessive force is a crime, indeed as stated in International Conventions. So I am clearly not saying that all/any war is acceptable.

Originally Posted By: kland
As is relevant most recently.


Especially in our technologically advanced day and age of various, smart/guided/precision ordnance, I am against using the claim of “collateral damage” as an excuse to killing non-combatants/civilian. The recent, relatively-just, UN intervention in Libya started of as such with ca. 65 civilian deaths on the first day from these the UN forces hands, however I have heard of news reports, (from, proudly, participating Canadian forces) that a destruction mission was aborted because of the risk of civilian casualties. (Pertinently to this discussion, it was Canada who came up with the concept of UN peace keeping mission (the “blue helmets”) during the Suez Canal Crisis to prevent the outbreak of war or instill and/or assure a cease fire so that peaceful resolutions can be (fairly) pursued instead.

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NJK: So he is not responsible when sinful man took this blessing and turned it into an opportunity to dive headlong into unrestraint evil pursuits!

kland: But you said he was the one who flooded the earth which would not happen other than the direct act on His part. That sounds responsible to me and more so than just allowing it to happen based upon man's choices.


That is what fallen/sinful man did before the Fall. Again: “What’s so hard to see here?!?”

The Fall also naturally complicated man’s work long before the fall. As EGW’s revelation shows, God indirectly allowed it to be further complicated in His action to bury all the dead bodies after the flood, which also buried mineral resource and much damaged the earths surface. It was not the Flood itself/per se that did this.

Originally Posted By: kland
Neither does it answer why the eight had to suffer.


As I said, that was the lesser of two evils, and God has worked with His faithful people in the future to give them wisdom and even supernaturally intervene to lessen the effects of this damage on them, however only when they are faithful.

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NJK: It’s quite telling to me that in none of the SOP examples you have cited is “killing” ever addressed.

kland: But God's character is addressed and you say God's character include killing.


I did not say that, the Bible amply states that God ordained judicious killing, including in war. So the onus is on you to show how this act of justice is contrary to God’s character. Letting e.g., a serial killer roam about and go unpunished, as deserved and deterrently essential given the irreparability of a murder, is what is not an act of love for those who are living right.

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NJK: You have to injected that notion in these passages.

kland: Actually, I was pointing out it doesn't fit.


Again, given the copious Biblical testimony involving God in judicious killing, you need to show how/why.

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NJK: As I have stated before, Jesus had a chance to completely do away with Capital Punishment in the episode of the woman caught in adultery, however He rather told the men to indeed execute this punishment, however only if they themselves were (currently(?)) without sin.

kland: Could you give evidence that that's what He intended?


He did say: “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her
(Cf. Deut 17:2-8ff) Also He could have instead easily said: “You have heard it said.... but I say (otherwise)”.
Also:

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 461.3-4
With all their professions of reverence for the law, these rabbis, in bringing the charge against the woman, were disregarding its provisions. It was the husband's duty to take action against her, and the guilty parties were to be punished equally. The action of the accusers was wholly unauthorized. Jesus, however, met them on their own ground. The law specified that in punishment by stoning, the witnesses in the case should be the first to cast a stone. Now rising, and fixing His eyes upon the plotting elders, Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her." And stooping down, He continued writing on the ground. {461.3}
He had not set aside the law given through Moses, nor infringed upon the authority of Rome. The accusers had been defeated. {DA 461.4}


Jesus indeed raised the standard here of the Law of Deut 17:7 here to make, at least this first witness, to be clean of any sin himself. He thus closed this loophole where, manifestly unholy people where “hypocritically” accusing and condemning others of sins, possibly/probably, even the same ones. So He indeed ‘did not do away with the Law, but fulfilled it’, -‘magnifying it and making it honourable.’ (= Matt 5:17-20; Isa 42:21).

Originally Posted By: kland
And what's this about righteous level? Do you say the past killings you speak of were not righteous, but now anyone without sin can kill? Why was it permitted in the past when the ones doing it had sin and revenge, spitefulness and injustice?


I did not make that blanket statement. Probably most of these past capital punishment executions were indeed righteous, i.e., the accusers and executors themselves were righteous. As I see it in the OT, when Israel was not righteous, such sins were not even condemned, nor adjudged, including at the highest levels. However by Christ day, and maybe only in that single “ensnaring” attempt case, the accusers were hypocritically not righteous. Indeed hypocrisy had become an entrenched loophole in Israel by Christ advent, which He copiously, variously addressed throughout His all-restoring ministry. So Jesus addressed that fact head on, and if applicable, set the standard for that Law on an even higher level, an amendment that He, the Lawgiver, can freely do.

Also “revenge” and partly “spitefulness” was likely to occur in cases of murder where the next of kin had the authority to seek out the murderer and kill him. However to ensure that this was not done injustly, the system of city of refuge was established by God so that if there really was any disculpating issue (i.e., ‘it was an accident’) that could be thoroughly investigated and judicially deliberated. However God clearly allowed this instant death provision from the next of kin to further deter the committance of murder, as sure and instant death of the murderer was assured. Again this is because a murder cannot begin to be adequately compensated.

Originally Posted By: kland
Why can't in now be a "collective judgement"?


You are really mixing up my statements here... however, as Jesus now elevated it, at the very least, the accuser/witness had to be righteous. If that witness or any other were not righteous, then the capital punishment could not be executed by anyone else, as there then would not have been a (worthy = credible) witness to establish the crime. Only when the case was “righteously established” could the collective judgement, expressing the will of an in turn righteous society be expressed.
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