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Re: does God punish? [Re: Bobryan] #109533
03/07/09 03:49 PM
03/07/09 03:49 PM
Mountain Man  Offline
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20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Originally Posted By: Tom
M: There is a sense in which the radiant firelight emanating from God's presence and physical being causes sinners to feel shame and guilt for the sins they have committed. This experience is likened to fire. This is, of course, symbolic fire. It doesn't cause them or anything else to burst into flames or to burn up and turn into ashes.

There is also a sense, however, in which the radiant firelight emanating from God's presence and physical being causes the "elements of the fire to melt with fervent heat". So, this is how I harmonize the quotes in question, namely, the context makes it clear whether or not the radiant firelight emanating from God's presence and physical being is literal or symbolic. There are other sources of fire God employs to execute justice and judgment. He uses lava, coal, oil, and lightening as fuel and fire.

T: Thanks for your answer. So it looks like you see what's happening as a purely physical thing. Is that correct? For example, you didn't address that the same thing which slays the wicked gives like to the righteous. I take it you see this as some sort of physical thing, that the righteous somehow receive life from the warmth or light of the "radiant firelight"?

Purely physical? Please note the following answer posted above: “There is a sense in which the radiant firelight emanating from God's presence and physical being causes sinners to feel shame and guilt for the sins they have committed. This experience is likened to fire. This is, of course, symbolic fire. It doesn't cause them or anything else to burst into flames or to burn up and turn into ashes.” I intended for this to be understood as emotional as opposed to physical.

Spiritual photosynthesis? I do not pretend to understand how the radiant firelight emanating from God’s physical being and presence can take or give life. The fact that it does suggests something physical is happening. But this isn’t to say it is purely physical as if nothing about it is symbolic or spiritual.

Quote:
T: Your answer here addresses DA 108, but I don't see how it addresses DA 764. The point in DA 764 is that the death of the wicked is not due to something God does to them, but is rather a result of their own choice, something which the angels did not understand until the cross. Had God left Satan to reap the results of his sin, he would have died, as death is the inevitable result of sin. After the cross, the angels understood this, so when the wicked die at last, this won't be mistaken. This is all in the two paragraphs of DA 764 under discussion. How does this tie in to your view of things?

That’s certainly one interpretation of the facts, Tom. It just so happens I disagree with your interpretation. I do not disagree, however, with the facts. I believe law and justice requires God to punish and kill sinners in proportion and in duration to their sinfulness. This is the inevitable consequence of sin. This is what is meant by reaping and sowing. You sow sin; you reap capital punishment. That’s the law. It's the way God established things. In the beginning the angels did not understand the relationship between justice and judgment, thus the immediate punishment and execution of evil angels would have caused them to fear God.

Yes, I realize that you wholeheartedly reject this interpretation, that you think it is dangerous and rebellious, that it grossly misrepresents the character and kingdom of God, and that it must refuted at all cost. I’m sorry you feel this way, but I am convinced the evidence supports it.

Quote:
T:2. Why do you think God is capable of acting in accordance with the viewpoint you hold? (i.e. burn people alive for many hours or days).

M: The fact God has used literal sources of fire to burn full-cup sinners alive in the past makes it very clear it is right and righteous.

T: But in these events in the past, you see the wicked who were attacked by fire to have died instantly, don't you? I'm asking how you perceive that God would have it in Him to torture, or torment, people with literal fire for hours or days at a time.

I appreciate the fact you understand that your use of the word “torture” in this context is insulting and counterproductive, thus, you can imagine my flinching every time you use it. It would mean much to me if you would be sensitive and show some restraint and stop using it. Thank you.

Are you saying it is humane to burn sinners alive so long as it happens quickly or instantaneously, and that it is inhumane if it takes longer for them to die? If so, please explain to me how it is possible to burn someone alive longer than is humanely necessary. I don’t see how it can happen, do you?

Quote:
M: God is perfect and sinless and altogether holy, just, and good, therefore, He can do no wrong. Whatever He does is right and righteous by virtue of the fact He did it (and will do it).

T: He hasn't done the judgment yet. We're not discussing something God did, but something God will do. If we want to best understand the judgment in terms of something God has done in the past, the best thing to look at would be the cross, which is precisely what Ellen White does in DA 764.

Do you agree with the premise of my point?

Re: does God punish? [Re: Tom] #109534
03/07/09 06:00 PM
03/07/09 06:00 PM
B
Bobryan  Offline
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Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 793
Georgia, USA

Originally Posted By: Tom


In order to understand what "the full penalty of sin" is, we *must* consider what the author has written elsewhere. In DA 764, we learn this is death (the second death).


Originally Posted By: Bob

True. And in GC 672 we have several PAGES of DETAIL describing just HOW that 2nd death takes place.

How instructive then - that you find the need to avoid it.


By contrast I went to your DA764 providing the entire context and content and showed that at NO POINT did it address the questions in the list for GC672 -- though you keep insisting that to go to DA 764 when answering questions about GC 672 is better than going to GC 672 for questions about GC 672. (As innexplicable as that solution is).

I also went to your suggested GC 535 showing that IT was talking about "Immortal soul" And "Eternal Hell" INSTEAD of addressing any of the GC672 questions dealing with such GC672 "Details" as "Satan burns for much longer period of time" and some of the wicked "burn for many days" while others are consumed in an instant.

It was simply a nice detour away from details in GC 672 NOT FOUND in DA 764 or GC 635. Hence my agreement to quote those detours of yours 'in detail" and highlight the details in those references showing that they are NOT speaking to "Satan shall LIVE and suffer on" and "Some burn for many days" details of GC672.


Originally Posted By: Tom


DA 764 mentions the details in great detail. So does GC 541-543.


Oh really? It is funny that when I quoted the PAGES of context for GC 535 and DA 764 not ONCE did you point to a SINGLE reference to "Satan burns much longer" ... not ONCE did you point to "some burn for MANY DAYS" in those references... not ONCE did you point to any DETAIL listed in the GC 672 question list as being found IN DA 764 or GC 635.

Did you simply forget to point it out?

Quote:

These passages are dealing directly with the subject of the judgment.


DA 764 is dealing with the cross making no mention at ALL of the "many DAYS" of suffering for SOME of the wicked -- a detail that IS addressed in GC 672.

GC 635 is dealing with the false doctrines of Immortal Soul and Eternal hell - as we saw when I provided the "details" for the pages of content and context around GC 635.

Instructive that not ONCE did GC 635 address the inconvenient GC 672 "Details" regarding "Satan is to live and suffer on" and regarding "some suffer for many days" and "the rocks are on fire" or in fact ANY of the details LISTED in the GC 672 list of questions.

Quote:

We have counsel to consider all that has been written on the subject.


How wonderful it "would have been" had your "Consider all that has been written" on the subject of the questions for GC 672-673 -- actually INCLUDED GC 672-673.

Surely you see that we all "notice" that?

Simply arguing that we should look at texts that speak of "Immortal soul" instead -- does nothing to hide the problem that you are ignoring the PAGES of detail in GC672-673 on "Satan suffering on" and some "Suffering for many days" and "The very rocks are on fire" and the "unmingled wrath of God" unmixed with mercy and the subject of "punishement of the wicked" and the subject of "Demands of the law" fully met in the fires of the 2nd death etc.

None of which are mentioned either in GC 635 or in DA 764 as we all saw when I provided the DETAILED quotes and highlights of that content and context.

Originally Posted By: Tom


I'm not understanding your reluctance to do so.


My reluctance to go to and quote and highlight the details of DA 764 is a myth. I have already done that.

My reluctance to go to and quote and highlight the details of GC 635 is a myth. I have already done that showing that it is speaking directly to the subject of the false doctrine on "immortal sou" and does not ever mention the details of GC 672 included in the list of GC672 questions you are avoiding.

This is glaringly apparent in your never-quote-GC672 and address it's content -- style solution.

How do you expect us not to "notice"??

in Christ,

Bob

Re: does God punish? [Re: Mountain Man] #109536
03/07/09 06:11 PM
03/07/09 06:11 PM
B
Bobryan  Offline
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Active Member 2015
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 793
Georgia, USA
Tom --

Here is the post you keep arguing is the "Answer" to GC672 question list.

http://www.maritime-sda-online.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=109070#Post109070


Originally Posted By: Bob

Quote:
1. What does the phrase “His fury upon all their armies” refer too in the text above”?


Originally Posted By: Tom

This refers to the principles discussed previously in the GC 35, 36, 14 MR 3 quotes and so forth.


A good example of NOT showing anything at all "in the text" of GC 672.

A good example of no reference at all to "his fury upon all their armies" being mentioned

Originally Posted By: Bob

Quote:
2. What does the phrase “Suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires” refer to – in the text above?


Originally Posted By: Tom

This was discussed previously as well.


Just not showing anything "in the text" of GC 672 for an answer.

-----

The pattern we have been seeing - was still being used even then.

in Christ,

Bob

Last edited by Bobryan; 03/07/09 06:17 PM.
Re: does God punish? [Re: Bobryan] #109537
03/07/09 06:13 PM
03/07/09 06:13 PM
B
Bobryan  Offline
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Active Member 2015
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 793
Georgia, USA
Tom since you agreed that in this list -- the answer to the "many days of suffering" in the fires of the lake of fire (2nd death) is in payment and in punishment for sin with the fully "penalty of the law visited" ...

How did you reconcile that with your views to the contrary?

================================================

Questions for the reader.

1. What does the phrase “His fury upon all their armies” refer too in the text above”?
2. What does the phrase “Suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires” refer to – in the text above?
3. Is it the same as the phrase above “The full penalty of the LAW has been visited ”??
4. When the text speaks of those who “suffer for many days” does this mean all or just some?
5. When the text says that by comparison “he is still to live and suffer on” after all others have perished… is that fair?
6. In the text the argument is made that in this way “the demands of justice have been met” is that really true as you see it?
7. In the text above when it is said that ”punishment is far greater” for Satan than for others suffering there – are ALL punished??

=========================

Last edited by Bobryan; 03/07/09 06:14 PM.
Re: does God punish? [Re: Bobryan] #109538
03/07/09 06:42 PM
03/07/09 06:42 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Quote:
I intended for this to be understood as emotional as opposed to physical.


You suggest that the radiant firelight causes the wicked to feel shame. That doesn't make sense, if this firelight is physical. If the firelight is a revelation of God's character, then what you're saying makes sense, because when God's character is revealed to people, this indeed invokes a strong reaction (e.g. Isaiah, Zechariah, John, Daniel).

Quote:
Spiritual photosynthesis? I do not pretend to understand how the radiant firelight emanating from God’s physical being and presence can take or give life.


Why not trade your theory for one you can understand?

Quote:
The fact that it does suggests something physical is happening. But this isn’t to say it is purely physical as if nothing about it is symbolic or spiritual.


It's the other way around. We human beings are physical/emotional/spiritual. These are connected, so that what impacts us spiritually and emotionally has a physical effect. The light of the glory of God is nothing like "Raiders of the Lost Ark," but is as the context suggests:

Quote:
In the time of John the Baptist, Christ was about to appear as the revealer of the character of God. His very presence would make manifest to men their sin. Only as they were willing to be purged from sin could they enter into fellowship with Him. Only the pure in heart could abide in His presence.


Why could only the pure in heart abide in Christ's presence? Because only these could stand the light of the glory of God, which is the revelation of God's character (note underlines part).

Quote:
That’s certainly one interpretation of the facts, Tom. It just so happens I disagree with your interpretation. I do not disagree, however, with the facts.


Ok, here are the facts:

1.The destruction of the wicked is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God.

2.The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown.

3.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.

4.God gives the wicked existence for a time that they may develop their character and reveal their principles. This accomplished, they receive the results of their own choice.

5.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.

6.The glory of Him who is love will destroy them.

7.At the beginning of the great controversy, the angels did not understand this.

8.Had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin, they would have perished.

9.It would not have been apparent to heavenly beings that this was the inevitable result of sin.

This is almost word for word what I said, but I've repeated the statements here as originally stated. It looks to me like you are disagreeing with these facts. For example, this says that death, not capital punishment, is the inevitable result of sin. It says had God "left" Satan to reap the full result of sin, he would have perished. This could hardly be referring to capital punishment, because in this case God would be *causing* Satan's death. She could hardly have said God was leaving Satan to reap a consequence that God Himself was causing.

Also, there would have been nothing for the angels to misinterpret. If things were to happen the way you're suggesting, there would be no more or less doubt formed in the minds of angels then had it occurred in the beginning. There would have been nothing to be confused about, as what would be happening would be exactly what they would have perceived was happening.

I don't think you've ever caught this point. It's a bit tricky. I'll try to explain it in some more detail.

Say Satan is destroyed as you suggest; God kills him. In this case, the angels would have perceived God to be doing exactly what He would be doing -- killing Satan. This interpretation doesn't make sense.

Now suppose that Satan only appears to be being killed by God, but in reality his death is the inevitable result of sin. Suppose it takes the cross to understand this. In this case, everything makes sense.

It makes sense that Ellen White would explain these principles in a chapter dealing with what Christ's death accomplished. It makes sense that she would explain the death of Satan in terms of something God allows to happen (i.e. "left"), as opposed to causing Himself (the thrust of the 9 points above).

You see, Ellen White emphasizes over and over again that the death of the wicked is due to their own choice. Why is she emphasizing this? So that it is understood that their death occurs as the result of sin. She explains why God could have allowed Satan to die earlier in terms of this. And the whole thing is explained in the context of the cross. Everything fits together.

Quote:
I appreciate the fact you understand that your use of the word “torture” in this context is insulting and counterproductive, thus, you can imagine my flinching every time you use it.


Is "torment" OK? I can use that if you prefer. I'm going to go on the assumption that it's OK, since it's in Scripture.

Quote:
Are you saying it is humane to burn sinners alive so long as it happens quickly or instantaneously, and that it is inhumane if it takes longer for them to die?


It amazes how often you so badly you comprehend what I'm writing. Here's what I wrote:

Quote:
But in these events in the past, you see the wicked who were attacked by fire to have died instantly, don't you? I'm asking how you perceive that God would have it in Him to torment people with literal fire for hours or days at a time.


(edited slightly, removing "torture"). You notice I wrote "you see the wicked who were attacked by fire to have died instantly." How can you possibly interpret a sentence where I am discussing what "you see" to be some sort of affirmation on my part that something's OK?

MM, you completely avoided my question. Please answer it. I'll repeat it. I'm asking how you think it's OK for God to use literal fire to burn people alive for many days or many hours.

You haven't directly addressed this, although you've said that God burned people alive in the past, so the implication is your thinking is if God did so in the past, He could do so in the future. Because this is what you seem to be implied, I pointed out that there's a difference between being burned alive and dying instantly and being burned alive, and not allowed to die, but kept alive, to suffer excruciating pain for many hours or many days. So even if your assumption were accepted in terms of what happened in Sodom, that still wouldn't explain why you think God would be capable of tormenting people as you're suggesting for hours or days at a time.

Quote:
M: God is perfect and sinless and altogether holy, just, and good, therefore, He can do no wrong. Whatever He does is right and righteous by virtue of the fact He did it (and will do it).

T: He hasn't done the judgment yet. We're not discussing something God did, but something God will do. If we want to best understand the judgment in terms of something God has done in the past, the best thing to look at would be the cross, which is precisely what Ellen White does in DA 764.

M:Do you agree with the premise of my point?


No, not the way you're reasoning. You're reasoning like this: "Since God can do no wrong, and God will do in the future what I believe He will do, then what I believe can't be wrong, because God can do no wrong." This isn't what you said, but I believe this is what you mean.

What I think is that God can do no wrong, and your idea of what God will do is immoral, and therefore wrong, so therefore it is not possible that God will do what you believe He will do. Only an immoral God would do that.


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.
Re: does God punish? [Re: Tom] #109539
03/07/09 07:08 PM
03/07/09 07:08 PM
B
Bobryan  Offline
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Active Member 2015
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 793
Georgia, USA
God can do no wrong.

God will do exactly what GC 672-673 says He will do -- right down to the smallest detail "in the text". Wild extrapolations of DA 764 or GC 635 can not be used as a kind of "proof" against the actual explicit details found "in the text" GC 672-673.

God is not arbitrary - so that means that all who end up in the lake of fire -- have suffered that fate by not choosing the full surrender required for eternal life. God then supernaturally raises them from the dead, judges them and toss them into the lake of fire. The wicked never chose to burn in the lake of fire but they DID choose not to serve God.

God is Love and God is just. Neither attribute cancel out the other just like no reference to DA 764 cancels the details we find in GC 672-673.

God's system of justice demands the 2nd death of suffering and torment in the Lake of Fire (but not eternal or infinite torment) in which the FULL penalty demanded by His Law is visited.

God sovereignly chose NOT to immediately wipe out each sinner as they comitted their very first sin even though doing so would result in their suffering the LEAST time and torment in the lake of fire and would mean that God Himself need not suffer "anything at all" on the cross as a substiutionary atoning sacrifice.

in Christ,

Bob

Last edited by Bobryan; 03/07/09 07:12 PM.
Re: does God punish? [Re: Tom] #109541
03/07/09 07:17 PM
03/07/09 07:17 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Bob, thank you for *finally* responding to my post. Notice this is page 48. I responded on page 37. If you had simply responded to my post 11 pages ago, instead of falsely asserting that your questions hadn't been answered, we could have addressed these things 11 pages ago.

The way a dialog works is one person says something, and another responds, and the first person responds to that and so forth. If you will follow this pattern, while we may not agree with each other, at least we can have more meaningful conversations.

Quote:
B:1. What does the phrase “His fury upon all their armies” refer too in the text above”?

T:This refers to the principles discussed previously in the GC 35, 36, 14 MR 3 quotes and so forth.

B:A good example of NOT showing anything at all "in the text" of GC 672.

A good example of no reference at all to "his fury upon all their armies" being mentioned


"His fury upon all their armies" is simply a reference to Isaiah. The only conclusion one can make about this phrase, from the text, is that Ellen White felt it was applicable to the scene she was describing.

Bob, have you read the passages cited? The passages cited explain the concept of God's wrath, which is the principle this text is dealing with.

Quote:

B:2. What does the phrase “Suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires” refer to – in the text above?

T:This was discussed previously as well.

B:Just not showing anything "in the text" of GC 672 for an answer.


I don't understand what you're saying. "Suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires" is something which has been explained at length. In this text it means the same thing as it does in other texts, assuming Ellen White isn't contradicting herself. So it doesn't matter if the principle of "suffer the full penalty of sin in the fires" is discussed in the context of this text or another text. The principle is the same.

I wrote a detailed expression of this in reference to DA 107-108. Rather than repeat myself, I'll make a point I didn't make previously.

Quote:
The prophet Isaiah had declared that the Lord would cleanse His people from their iniquities "by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning." The word of the Lord to Israel was, "I will turn My hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin." Isa. 4:4; 1:25. To sin, wherever found, "our God is a consuming fire." Heb. 12:29. In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them.(DA 107)


This explains how the fires of burning destroy sin. You see that sin is consumed by the fire of God. This is not a literal fire, but a spiritual one. It represents His glory, His character. To those who cooperate, the sin is consumed, and the sinner saved. He is saved because the sin is removed from his life. To those who refuse to cooperate, the glory of God (not literal fire!) which destroys sin (which is not something literal fire can do) must destroy them.

Quote:
3. Is it the same as the phrase above “The full penalty of the LAW has been visited ”??


The full penalty of the law being visited means the same thing here as elsewhere. She doesn't speak out of both sides of her mouth, meaning one thing in one place and one thing in another when discussing exactly the same principle.

Quote:
Instead of proclaiming the abolition of the law, Calvary's cross proclaims in thunder tones its immutable and eternal character. Could the law have been abolished, and the government of heaven and earth and the unnumbered worlds of God maintained, Christ need not have died. The death of Christ was to forever settle the question of the validity of the law of Jehovah. Having suffered the full penalty for a guilty world, Jesus became the mediator between God and man, to restore the repenting soul to favor with God by giving him grace to keep the law of the Most High.(Reflecting Christ, page 53)


The full penalty of the law is that which Christ suffered. If we would understand the destruction of the wicked, we need to understand the death of Christ.

The cross of Christ explains all other mysteries. It's the crimson thread that binds Scripture together. Christ is the alphabet of God. Only by knowing and understand that which is revealed in Christ, we may correctly divide the word of truth.

In Christ we see how the full penalty of the law was visited. We also see revealed in Him the character of God, which illuminates the question of how God treats His enemies.

Quote:
4. When the text speaks of those who “suffer for many days” does this mean all or just some?


This isn't a very clear question. Try again please.

Quote:
5. When the text says that by comparison “he is still to live and suffer on” after all others have perished… is that fair?


Yes, why wouldn't it be?

Quote:
6. In the text the argument is made that in this way “the demands of justice have been met” is that really true as you see it?


Yes.

Quote:
7. In the text above when it is said that ”punishment is far greater” for Satan than for others suffering there – are ALL punished??


You mean all of those who are being punished? This doesn't seem like a very logical question, but yes, all who are being punished are punished.


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.
Re: does God punish? [Re: Tom] #109544
03/07/09 07:52 PM
03/07/09 07:52 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Quote:
By contrast I went to your DA764 providing the entire context and content and showed that at NO POINT did it address the questions in the list for GC672 -- though you keep insisting that to go to DA 764 when answering questions about GC 672 is better than going to GC 672 for questions about GC 672. (As innexplicable as that solution is).


I don't understand you're thinking Bob, so I'll explain mine, and hopefully this will make sense.

When I'm trying to understand something, I look for the principles involved. Here we're trying to understand what will happen in the judgment. The SOP has told us that if we wish to understand her thinking on a subject, we should examine all she has written regarding it. This is just common sense, and something I would do anyway, but I'm glad she mentioned it, because for those who wouldn't naturally think of this, there it is, an explanation from the author herself on how she would like us to approach issues like this.

Ok, we're dealing with the destruction of the wicked, trying to understand what will happen by understanding the principles involved. What are the principles involved? Here are a few:

1.The suffering of the wicked is not caused by something God arbitrarily does to them, but as the result of their own choice.

2.The light of the glory of God, which gives life to the righteous, destroys the wicked.

3.God is a consuming fire, a fire which consumes sin. To those who cooperate with God, sin is consumed while the sinner lives (or, better, is transformed).

4.The glory of God, who is love, destroys the wicked.

5.The glory of God is His character.

6.The principles of God's character - kindness, mercy and love - are what's at work in the judgment.

7.The destruction of the wicked is for their own good, and voluntary with themselves.

By taking into account these principles, and others, one can form an opinion of things which has a chance of being right. Any picture which doesn't conform to these principles has no chance.

Spiritual things are spiritually discerned, and involve spiritual principles. To understand a question like this, we need to ask, "What are the principles involved?"

Quote:
I also went to your suggested GC 535 showing that IT was talking about "Immortal soul" And "Eternal Hell" INSTEAD of addressing any of the GC672 questions dealing with such GC672 "Details" as "Satan burns for much longer period of time" and some of the wicked "burn for many days" while others are consumed in an instant.

It was simply a nice detour away from details in GC 672 NOT FOUND in DA 764 or GC 635. Hence my agreement to quote those detours of yours 'in detail" and highlight the details in those references showing that they are NOT speaking to "Satan shall LIVE and suffer on" and "Some burn for many days" details of GC672.


This is because you were being rather slipshod in your perusing of it, leading to a shallow analysis. You seem to think in terms of simply some subject being considered, in a very narrow way, without looking at the underlying principles involved. Here is an explanation of a principle being enunciated:

Quote:
The religion of the Bible, full of love and goodness, and abounding in compassion, is darkened by superstition and clothed with terror. When we consider in what false colors Satan has painted the character of God, can we wonder that our merciful Creator is feared, dreaded, and even hated? The appalling views of God which have spread over the world from the teachings of the pulpit have made thousands, yes, millions, of skeptics and infidels. (GC 536)


It doesn't matter that this principle was articulated in reference to the eternal torment idea. This principle is just as true for any false doctrine predicated on a misrepresentation of God's character perpetrated by Satan.

Here is another one:

Quote:
Where, in the pages of God's word, is such teaching to be found? Will the redeemed in heaven be lost to all emotions of pity and compassion, and even to feelings of common humanity? Are these to be exchanged for the indifference of the stoic or the cruelty of the savage? No, no; such is not the teaching of the Book of God. Those who present the views expressed in the quotations given above may be learned and even honest men, but they are deluded by the sophistry of Satan. He leads them to misconstrue strong expressions of Scripture, giving to the language the coloring of bitterness and malignity which pertains to himself, but not to our Creator. "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?" Ezekiel 33:11. (GC 635)


The questions here apply just as much to your view as they do to the one she was addressing. Specifically, let's look at this:

Quote:
Will the redeemed in heaven be lost to all emotions of pity and compassion, and even to feelings of common humanity? Are these to be exchanged for the indifference of the stoic or the cruelty of the savage?


Imagine a loved one being engulfed in flames, crying out in agony. Will you be lost to all emotions of pity and compassion, and even to the feelings of common humanity?

When I bring this up, you try to set this aside as an appeal to emotions, but this is straight from the SOP. If it's valid for her to ask these questions, it's valid for me to.

What's your answer? The reason I bring this up is I don't think you've thought through the implications of what you're suggesting. You've lit upon a very literal reading of one specific passage, without considering how it interacts with other principles revealed, nor the implications of taking this view. If your worst enemy were shrieking in agony, being engulfed by flames, how long would it take for you to think, "Enough already! Put him out of his misery!" I can't imagine you holding out for even a couple of minutes of this. Now imagine a loved one. Isn't simply the thought of this horrifying? Your loved one being burned alive, and God is the One making this happen? How can this possibly be the foundation for an eternity of bliss?

Quote:
Oh really? It is funny that when I quoted the PAGES of context for GC 535 and DA 764 not ONCE did you point to a SINGLE reference to "Satan burns much longer" ... not ONCE did you point to "some burn for MANY DAYS" in those references... not ONCE did you point to any DETAIL listed in the GC 672 question list as being found IN DA 764 or GC 635.

Did you simply forget to point it out?


I think I understand some of the difficult we're having in communicating. You're a tree guy, and I'm a forest guy. That is, I'm looking at the big picture, and you're focused on isolated details.

When I see your question here, my response is "so what?" That is, who cares that one passage mentions that Satan will suffer longer and another doesn't mention it. Both passages are dealing with the same subject, which is the destruction of the wicked. We understand the subject as a whole by reading all of the passages on the subject, and putting them together, as well as by considering the underlying principles involved.

Quote:
My reluctance to go to and quote and highlight the details of DA 764 is a myth. I have already done that.

My reluctance to go to and quote and highlight the details of GC 635 is a myth. I have already done that showing that it is speaking directly to the subject of the false doctrine on "immortal sou" and does not ever mention the details of GC 672 included in the list of GC672 questions you are avoiding.


You completely didn't understand the request. All you did was quote the pages, and say "this doesn't talk about this" or "this doesn't talk about that," and completely missed the principles which were being explained.

The passages mentioned are all dealing with destruction of the wicked. The whole chapter which has both the GC 535-536 and 541-543 passages are dealing with this.

Here's an outline. This chapter deals with one of the most difficult questions which man has to deal with, which is how can a good, loving God do the things to the wicked which many teach. To confront this error, she first deals with the eternal torment doctrine. This doctrine makes God out to be cruel, sever, harsh; in general having the character of Satan.

She refutes this teaching by pointing out that God is not like Satan, but rather merciful, kind and loving. She points out that these are the principles which are used in the judgment. She points out that the exclusion from heaven of the wicked is voluntary with themselves.

As she explains this, she is also refuting the idea of universalism, which is a reaction to the first false teaching of the judgment. Because there are those who cannot conceive of God's being like Satan (which they're right about), a false doctrine is invented in which none are judged. So Ellen White explains the true principles of the judgment, which refutes both the original cruel doctrine, and the false reaction to that doctrine.

Now what you're suggesting has much in common with the first false doctrine she refutes. So the principles which she articulates which refute that first false teaching also refute yours. The same principles of misrepresentation of God's character are involved.

My purpose in asking you what the difference between your view and the view she writes against was to help you to see that the fault of the eternal torment view is not limited to, nor even primarily caused by, the question of duration. The real error of the view has to do with a misrepresentation of God's character. The true principles of judgment are not understood, which leads to God being seen in a false light.

That's where GC 541-543 comes in! Here the true principles of judgment come out, and God is seen in the right light. As she points out, God loves His enemies, acts in accordance with the principles of kindness, mercy and love, does things which are for their own benefit, things with which they agree. These are the principles of judgment, and are principles wholly at odds with the interpretation you give to GC 672.


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.
Re: does God punish? [Re: Tom] #109580
03/08/09 03:15 PM
03/08/09 03:15 PM
Mountain Man  Offline
SDA
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Originally Posted By: Tom
T: 3. What is different about the view you hold and what Ellen White describes, other than duration?

M: Unlike the burning bush, the sources of fire God will employ will actually burns things to ashes. Sinners will suffer mental anguish and physical pain much like Jesus did on the cross.

T: Considering Jesus' death on the cross is a good way to go. You remember how Jesus said, "My heart melts like wax"? This is due to the fire that was burning Him. This isn't a literal fire, but the fire represents what was happening to Christ, what He felt like. The pain was due to feeling a relationship breaking up. We humans are emotional, social beings, and the breaking up of a close personal relationship is extremely painful.

Yes, I have already articulated this insight. There is a sense in which the firelight of God’s glory and presence will cause the wicked to suffer emotional agony in proportion and in duration to their sinfulness. Please bear this in mind as we study the physical aspect of punishment. We do not disagree on the emotional aspect of punishment. I realize it is easy to forget we agree on this aspect as we discuss the physical aspect, but please try hard and pray hard to remember we agree on this aspect. Thank you.

Quote:
M: The source of their physical pain is the literal fire that will engulf the earth and melts things with fervent heat. God will not have to do something supernatural to prevent them from dying naturally so that they can suffer in proportion and in duration to their sinfulness. Obviously, then, they will not be engulfed in flames.

T: How does the fire engulf the earth without engulfing them? Previously you spoke of flames covering the wicked, so I guess you've changed how you conceptualize this.

Yes, my understanding of it has changed. I can thank you for that. I no longer believe the Bible or the SOP describes them being engulfed in flames. Instead the earth is engulfed in flames and the wicked are allowed to suffer physically in proportion and in duration to their sinfulness. However, as with Jesus, their physical suffering will be nothing in comparison to their emotional agony.

Satan rushes into the midst of his followers and tries to stir up the multitude to action. But fire from God out of heaven is rained upon them, and the great men, and mighty men, the noble, the poor and miserable, are all consumed together. I saw that some were quickly destroyed, while others suffered longer. They were punished according to the deeds done in the body. Some were many days consuming, and just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering remained. Said the angel, "The worm of life shall not die; their fire shall not be quenched as long as there is the least particle for it to prey upon." {EW 294.1}

Quote:
T: Are thinking more in terms of the wicked's being roasted by fire, like on a spit?

We don’t have to use absurd analogies like roasted on a spit to discuss the truth about the physical aspect of punishment. Why? Because the Bible provides us with inspired analogies. For example:

Quote:
Luke
17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
17:29 But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all.
17:30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

2 Peter
2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast [them] down to hell, and delivered [them] into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment;
2:5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth [person], a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2:6 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned [them] with an overthrow, making [them] an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;

Jude
1:6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Do you think these passages are referring to literal fire and brimstone? Or, do you think they are speaking about symbolic fire and brimstone? Do you think God has ever permitted literal fire to burn sinners alive? Or, do you think all such OT stories are describing symbolic fire?

Also, do you think the following descriptions of fire are talking about literal fire? Or, do you think they are speaking about symbolic fire?

Quote:
1. Contrary to God's express direction, they dishonored Him by offering common instead of sacred fire. God visited them with His wrath; fire went forth from His presence and destroyed them. {CC 102.3}

2. 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}

3. Jacob had been guilty of a great sin in his conduct toward Esau; but he had repented. His transgression had been forgiven, and his sin purged; therefore he could endure the revelation of God's presence. But wherever men came before God while willfully cherishing evil, they were destroyed. At the second advent of Christ the wicked shall be consumed "with the Spirit of His mouth," and destroyed "with the brightness of His coming." 2 Thess. 2:8. The light of the glory of God, which imparts life to the righteous, will slay the wicked. {DA 107.4}

4. 2 Thessalonians
1:6 Seeing [it is] a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
1:10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

5. When He shall come to the earth again, He will shake "not the earth only, but also heaven." "The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage." "The heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll;" "the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." But "the Lord will be the hope of His people, and the strength of the children of Israel." Heb. 12:26; Isa. 24:20; 34:4; 2 Peter 3:10; Joel 3:16. {DA 780.1}

6. [Enoch] saw the righteous crowned with glory and honor, and the wicked banished from the presence of the Lord, and destroyed by fire. {PP 85.6}

7. Of all who receive this mark, God says, "The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb." {7BC 979.12}

8. When the divine Presence was manifested upon Sinai, the glory of the Lord was like devouring fire in the sight of all Israel. But when Christ shall come in glory with His holy angels the whole earth shall be ablaze with the terrible light of His presence. "Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before Him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about Him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that He may judge His people." Psalm 50:3, 4. A fiery stream shall issue and come forth from before Him, which shall cause the elements to melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burned up. "The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel." 2 Thessalonians 1:7, 8. {PP 339.2}

9. Said the prophets of old, referring to scenes like these: "Oh that Thou wouldest rend the heavens, that Thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at Thy presence, as when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boil, to make Thy name known to Thine adversaries, that the nations may tremble at Thy presence! When Thou didst terrible things which we looked not for, Thou camest down, the mountains flowed down at Thy presence." Isaiah 64:1-3. "The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet. He rebuketh the sea, and maketh it dry, and drieth up all the rivers." Nahum 1:3, 4. {PP 109.2}

More terrible manifestations than the world has ever yet beheld, will be witnessed at the second advent of Christ. "The mountains quake at Him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at His presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before His indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of His anger?" Nahum 1:5, 6. "Bow Thy heavens, O Lord, and come down: touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. Cast forth lightning, and scatter them: shoot out Thine arrows, and destroy them." Psalm 144:5, 6. {PP 109.3}

"I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke." Acts 2:19. "And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great." "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent." Revelation 16:18, 20, 21. {PP 110.1}

As lightnings from heaven unite with the fire in the earth, the mountains will burn like a furnace, and will pour forth terrific streams of lava, overwhelming gardens and fields, villages and cities. Seething molten masses thrown into the rivers will cause the waters to boil, sending forth massive rocks with indescribable violence and scattering their broken fragments upon the land. Rivers will be dried up. The earth will be convulsed; everywhere there will be dreadful earthquakes and eruptions. {PP 110.2}

10. In the day of the Lord, just before the coming of Christ, God will send lightnings from Heaven in his wrath, which will unite with fire in the earth. The mountains will burn like a furnace, and will pour forth terrible streams of lava, destroying gardens and fields, villages and cities; and as they pour their melted ore, rocks and heated mud into the rivers, will cause them to boil like a pot, and send forth massive rocks and scatter their broken fragments upon the land with indescribable violence. Whole rivers will be dried up. The earth will be convulsed, and there will be dreadful eruptions and earthquakes everywhere. God will plague the wicked inhabitants of the earth until they are destroyed from off it. {3SG 82.3}

Please address the 10 passages above and tell me if your think the fire described is literal or symbolic. Follow my example below:

1. Literal
2. Symbolic
3. Symbolic
4. Literal
5. Literal
6. Literal
7. Symbolic
8. Literal
9. Literal
10. Literal

Do you agree with how I labeled each passage? Please elaborate.

Re: does God punish? [Re: Mountain Man] #109584
03/08/09 04:54 PM
03/08/09 04:54 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Quote:
Yes, I have already articulated this insight. There is a sense in which the firelight of God’s glory and presence will cause the wicked to suffer emotional agony in proportion and in duration to their sinfulness.


Not "firelight" but "character." The glory of God is His character, not firelight. That a revelation of God's character would cause the wicked to suffer emotional agony in proportion and in duration to their sinfulness makes sense. That a "firelight" would do so doesn't.

Quote:
Please bear this in mind as we study the physical aspect of punishment. We do not disagree on the emotional aspect of punishment.


We do if you disassociate the emotional aspect of the wicked's suffering from a revelation of God's character.

Quote:
I realize it is easy to forget we agree on this aspect as we discuss the physical aspect, but please try hard and pray hard to remember we agree on this aspect. Thank you.


It doesn't seem to me that we do. It seems like you think the following:

1.It is a "firelight" which causes the wicked to suffer both physically and emotionally. Physically it is akin to "Raiders of the lost ark," which sinful flesh cannot bear this firelight. Emotionally there's something that happens which causes them to suffer in proportion to their sinfulness, but you don't know why. In addition to the "firelight," which is what you perceive God's glory to be here, the physical are also tormented by God with literal fire which you used to say engulfs them, but now you may have a different conception of it (not sure on this; waiting for clarification).

Whereas I believe:

2.The glory of God is His character. The light of the glory of God is the revelation of God's character, which is the revelation of Jesus Christ. It is this revelation which causes the suffering of the wicked in proportion to their sin, suffering which is primarily emotional, although there is a physical element to it as well.

Quote:
Yes, my understanding of it has changed. I can thank you for that. I no longer believe the Bible or the SOP describes them being engulfed in flames. Instead the earth is engulfed in flames and the wicked are allowed to suffer physically in proportion and in duration to their sinfulness. However, as with Jesus, their physical suffering will be nothing in comparison to their emotional agony.


Well, glad to hear this! I agree with much of this, particularly with the last sentence. I think the comparison to Jesus is apt. The better we understand the hell He went through, the better we'll understand the hell the wicked will go through.

I don't know what you're saying in regards to literal fire. How does this literal fire enter into things? Does it cause pain to the wicked? If so, how much? Just a little, like being hot (to close to a hot flame, for example). Or much more, like being burned alive? (it seems like you're rejecting this idea).

Regarding the list, I think 4 and 8 are symbolic, although their may be a physical element to it as well. It's primarily symbolic, however, as DA 108 brings out.

Regarding what prophets have seen in vision, what they see in vision is a literal fire, but it's a symbolic vision, so the fire is a symbol. However, there is also a physical fire involved as well, as the earth will be engulfed by a literal fire. So both physical and literal fire is involved in the judgement scene.


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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