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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #130881
02/14/11 05:34 PM
02/14/11 05:34 PM
Tom  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
NJK, the difficulty I have with the point of view you are suggesting, assuming I've understood it correctly, is it seems to view the relationship between sin and death as non-organic. That is, there is nothing inherent about sin that results in death, just like there is nothing inherent about parking in a wrong parking spot that causes an accident. If one parks in a wrong parking spot, one can receive a ticked as a penalty, but there's nothing inherently bad or dangerous about so doing (unless one obstruct a fire hydrant, or something like that).

I view death as organically related to sin, because sin is based on putting self first, which, of necessity, means separating oneself from God, who alone is the source of life.


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: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #130887
02/14/11 09:02 PM
02/14/11 09:02 PM
NJK Project  Offline
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Laval, Quebec
Tom, on one hand I was actually addressing the issue of Capital Sins, i.e., those that God said the offender should be put to death. Clearly not all sins carried that penalty as most were to be confessed annually during the Passover which would pay this penalty of death. So in these Capital Sins, I indeed see a paramount “practical” reason why they had to be punished with death and that clearly to me is because of what they could/would ultimately, inevitably lead to if not so strictly held in check. E.g., widespread adultery would lead to outbreaks of STD, even aids, let alone angry spouses seeking murderous revenge, etc. Breaking the Sabbath on thee other hand has more of a Theological though still tangible/practical consequence since observance of such “overtly” religious laws (more vs. civil ones) allowed God to, in a GC context, gracefully bless His People with various blessings that would ultimately make them the Crown Jewel Kingdom/Country of the world (cf. Isa 58:13, 14). So, as in the episode with Achan, breaking that commandment even by a single person stifled that Grand Blessing and consequently put the very lives of all Israel and by salvific implication the whole world at risk. So it too had to be strictly kept in check. However God, or rather Israel, only applied these capital sentences when they themselves were a holy society for the vast majority. When they all chose to live in disobedience and apostasy, then they naturally did not care that such laws be upheld, to their great detriment, as seen in their final, utter demise as God’s chosen people.

Now it is interesting that you make this organic/non-organic comment, because my various Theological studies have led me to understand God as a most real/practical God where everything He does, allows or commands ultimately have a most practical reason. So in this way I have come to see sin as being “non-organic” as your term puts it. That is humans surely die because of sin for practical reasons and not merely an ethereal reason. Case in point, when Adam and Eve sinned, the reason why they gradually physically degenerated and eventually surely died was because they were barred access to the Tree of Life. As God Himself knowingly put it, He did so, so that sinful man would not live eternally (Gen 3:22-24). So clearly sinful man could have continued to live healthily forever if they continued to have access to this Tree of Life, which, as stated in the book of Revelation (22:2, 14), was, in the fruits that it produced, like a cure all pharmacy for created man. Indeed this is how we will once again have eternal and healthy lives in Heaven and on the New Earth, when access to that all-healing Tree is once again allowed.

The reason why creation also died when Adam and Eve fell was (1) because the intelligently created Man had lost His granted Paradise of deserved comfort and ease, and tangibly this nature degeneration may have been caused by God withholding a key, natural “Tree of Life” type ingredient in nature and or withdrawing His preserving nature maintenance and protection.

The fall of Adam and Eve also affect them mentally/psychologically because from then one, indeed from the instance when Eve, as rightly related in the SOP (cf. this post) knowingly chose to continue to stray away from Adam towards the forbidden tree, they began subject to the direct suggestions/influence (i.e., temptations) of Satan himself. So the protection against this mental/psychological perversion that was found in obey God and staying together, a testing time which apparently would not last forever but only for a period of time. Indeed I believe that all of the created worlds of God had such a similar testing time and when the past first handedly oblivious, prior to that, to how things had turned out in other worlds, God removed this granted tempting opportunity of Satan and his views, and like a most protective parent and wholly and desiringly trusting child, knowing what is best for their child, has since then been actively, through His Spirit, shielded these worlds from temptations to disobey His Law.

So it is indeed from those Theological findings that I do see sin as ‘non-organically, tangibly, consequential’ and by correspondence, God Law as having a most practical purpose which we do not fully yet understand.


“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
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #130923
02/15/11 11:37 PM
02/15/11 11:37 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Thank you for your detailed response. Time constraints permit only touching on a couple of points right now, but hope to return later.

Originally Posted By: NJK
However God, or rather Israel, only applied these capital sentences when they themselves were a holy society for the vast majority.


This was never the case. The vast majority were never holy, but were a stubborn, stiff-necked people. How they were is demonstrated by how they treated Christ, which is how Christ would have been treated had He come earlier. If the vast majority were ever holy, God would have been more than happy to have sent Christ then, so He could have been accepted, and Israel spared, rather than rejecting Him and sealing their own doom.

Quote:
So clearly sinful man could have continued to live healthily forever if they continued to have access to this Tree of Life, which, as stated in the book of Revelation (22:2, 14), was, in the fruits that it produced, like a cure all pharmacy for created man. Indeed this is how we will once again have eternal and healthy lives in Heaven and on the New Earth, when access to that all-healing Tree is once again allowed.


We know that "forever" means "for as long as the time in question pertains" to the Hebrew mindset, and not "for all eternity" as we Westerners would think of things. This comes up in Revelation 20, for example, and in many places in Scripture.

I think the reason for prohibiting access to the tree of life was for the same reason that God allowed the eating of meat after the flood, which was to allow man's lifetime to decrease. Surely it's not possible to sin and live forever, as sin, when it has matured, brings forth death (as James puts it; a paraphrase from memory). Anyway, from a purely logical standpoint, it doesn't make sense that the principle of selfishness could sustain life forever; at least, I don't see the sense in this.

In heaven, the powers of the tree of life are another story, as there won't be any sin there.

Also there's a spiritual aspect to the tree of life, don't you think? That is, sin isn't solely, or even primarily, a physical problem. If that's the case, then a physical remedy can't be sufficient, can it?


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: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #130925
02/15/11 11:49 PM
02/15/11 11:49 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
Now it is interesting that you make this organic/non-organic comment, because my various Theological studies have led me to understand God as a most real/practical God where everything He does, allows or commands ultimately have a most practical reason. So in this way I have come to see sin as being “non-organic” as your term puts it. That is humans surely die because of sin for practical reasons and not merely an ethereal reason.


I'm not understanding this comment. "Organic," as I'm using the term, means there is an actual link between sin and death, as opposed to as arbitrary one, such as a punishment for a crime. I don't see how this could be characterized as "ethereal" as opposed to practical.

For example, one can get lung cancer from smoking. I would consider this a "practical" result, as opposed to an "ethereal" one (and "organic" as opposed to "non-organic"). It's not that God arbitrarily smites some people with lung cancer who smoke, but smoking, by its very nature, is unhealthful, and can cause unpleasant side effects. I see sin as similar to smoking in this regard. It causes death, the second death, which is final separation from God. It does this by virtue of what it does to the one who sins, wrecking his mind, causing him to believe lies, lies which destroy him.


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: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #130926
02/15/11 11:52 PM
02/15/11 11:52 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
Indeed I believe that all of the created worlds of God had such a similar testing time and when the past first handedly oblivious, prior to that, to how things had turned out in other worlds, God removed this granted tempting opportunity of Satan and his views, and like a most protective parent and wholly and desiringly trusting child, knowing what is best for their child, has since then been actively, through His Spirit, shielded these worlds from temptations to disobey His Law.


I agree with this.

Although I disagree with some of your points, I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for taking the time to write all that out.

Quote:
So it is indeed from those Theological findings that I do see sin as ‘non-organically, tangibly, consequential’ and by correspondence, God Law as having a most practical purpose which we do not fully yet understand.


I don't follow this. I don't follow why you think this paragraph would follow from the previous one. Also, I don't see why you think we don't yet fully understand the most practical purpose of God's law. I think it's quite clear and easy to understand the purpose of God's law.


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: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #130933
02/16/11 07:00 AM
02/16/11 07:00 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,098
Laval, Quebec
Hello Tom, it is readily observable that you do not understand much of what I have said because your are solely viewing/filtering it through your Theological perspective. I will however try to make some things more clear. Also, exegesis and not eisogesis, i.e., letting the text and its context speak for itself, is the key here, and, on top pf Scripture, that also applies to what I have said/written. I recommend you first take the time to carefully read what I have said.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
However God, or rather Israel, only applied these capital sentences when they themselves were a holy society for the vast majority.


Originally Posted By: Tom
This was never the case. The vast majority were never holy, but were a stubborn, stiff-necked people. How they were is demonstrated by how they treated Christ, which is how Christ would have been treated had He come earlier.


Here you have overextended what I said to cover the entire period of Ethnic Israel, through the time of Christ. (Perhaps you misunderstood “vast majority” to be referring to Israel’s years instead of the what I meant: ‘a vast majority of the people (e.g., 90%) during a given period of time (e.g., 2 years).’ I indeed never meant this in such an all-encompassing and durative way. As I next said in the context of that statement: “When they all chose to live in disobedience and apostasy, then they naturally did not care that such laws be upheld, to their great detriment, as seen in their final, utter demise as God’s chosen people.” Given their sanctuary service, Israel could, in such prescribed righteousness, become a holy society every year. It is only when they chose to persist in apostasy and either completely ignored these services and/or made them completely void because of their really non-repented of sins that they became a unholy society. That of course did not occur many times, but the Bible relates some periods of such graceful righteousness. Still the execution of capital punishments was left entirely in the hands of the people. And when they were living unrighteously, indeed as “stiff-neck” people, they naturally and/or indifferently just did not bother to enforce them. So thus Sabbath breaking was common and non-reprimanded, as was idolatry and various forms of fornication and adultery.
So while Israel was indeed for the most part of their existence as God’s Chosen People, unrighteous, they did however have brief periods of righteousness, during which such measures of capital punishment were faithfully, righteously carried out as God had directed.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If the vast majority were ever holy, God would have been more than happy to have sent Christ then, so He could have been accepted, and Israel spared, rather than rejecting Him and sealing their own doom.


That is not a Biblical, nor Theological valid concept. God was not waiting for Israel to be most holy to send Jesus, or else He would have done so, e.g., in the days of David. God instead was waiting for the most opportune time geo-politically for the Gospel message, which would have to be established and proclaimed through mainly natural means, to flourish. So this was when Rome, with its respect of Laws, Justice and Rights, was the world’s ruler, when Rome also had made travel throughout the world both most accessible to all and safe, etc, (cf. “The Fullness of the Time” in DA 32-38). God had also set a certain prophetic time for Christ’s first advent. Indeed with just this specific prophetic time Israel should have been ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
So clearly sinful man could have continued to live healthily forever if they continued to have access to this Tree of Life, which, as stated in the book of Revelation (22:2, 14), was, in the fruits that it produced, like a cure all pharmacy for created man. Indeed this is how we will once again have eternal and healthy lives in Heaven and on the New Earth, when access to that all-healing Tree is once again allowed.


Originally Posted By: Tom
We know that "forever" means "for as long as the time in question pertains" to the Hebrew mindset, and not "for all eternity" as we Westerners would think of things. This comes up in Revelation 20, for example, and in many places in Scripture.


The limits of the term “forever” in the Bible is actually defined by the context in which it is used. (E.g, Isa 9:6; 26:4; Micah 5:2; NT: Rev 4:9, 10) So it could mean a limited period of time, but if it refers to eternity, then it has this “eternal” meaning for that is the unlimited “limits” of such a period. So my comment did indeed in an “eternal” meaning. That is expressedly because that is what the Scriptures, as made clear in the SOP, say. (see Gen 3:22-24 and PP 60.3 (see below))

Originally Posted By: Tom
I think the reason for prohibiting access to the tree of life was for the same reason that God allowed the eating of meat after the flood, which was to allow man's lifetime to decrease. Surely it's not possible to sin and live forever,...


Originally Posted By: PP 60.3
In order to possess an endless existence, man must continue to partake of the tree of life. Deprived of this, his vitality would gradually diminish until life should become extinct. It was Satan's plan that Adam and Eve should by disobedience incur God's displeasure; and then, if they failed to obtain forgiveness, he hoped that they would eat of the tree of life, and thus perpetuate an existence of sin and misery. But after man's fall, holy angels were immediately commissioned to guard the tree of life. Around these angels flashed beams of light having the appearance of a glittering sword. None of the family of Adam were permitted to pass the barrier to partake of the life-giving fruit; hence there is not an immortal sinner. {PP 60.3}


Originally Posted By: Tom
...as sin, when it has matured, brings forth death (as James puts it; a paraphrase from memory).


As follows, to make my view most transparent, you can indeed go through each of the 10 Commandments and see how, ‘when their violation has been brought to their full maturity/end, then bring forth death, i.e.,:
-(1) obeying another God who does not even exist, thus effectively living by the counsels of man, and not those of the Creator, leads to making the wrong life choices and thus death
-(2) the same goes for this second commandment, which is a more tangible form of the violation of the first.
-(3) disrespecting God and also tangibly taking His name in vain, which by natural implication means that you presumptively act in the name of God, will lead people to place themselves in situations where God cannot intervene to help them, which could also involve life-threatening situations. That commandment could carry a direct judgement of God in order to preserve the holiness of His name.
-(4) Disobeying God’s Sabbatical Principles leads to the “live an let die” ways of today, which also comes to affect the ones who ignore the plight of the vitally poor, particularly in terms of strife and cut-throat competition.
-(5) A irreverent and thus also disobedient child is most likely to make even fatally wrong choices and cut significantly cut short their lives.
-(6) A “murderer” automatically becomes a person marked for death, even if it is through judicial measures. Only current laws prevent the authorized killing of murderers who have not been incarcerated or even released after serving their non-full life time.
-(7) Sexual immorality leads to deadly diseases as well as desires of murderous vengeance by some offended parties.
-(8) Thieves are usually armed with deadly weapons for a reason, because they could be killed out of self-defence or to protect one’s property, which can indeed be vital.
-(9) Lying can both get someone killed and bring back death upon such a murderous liar.
-(10) When on covets the possessions of others deeply enough, any means will be justified to obtain them, and this usually leads to recursively violation at least one of these other commandments, which as shown can all have deadly consequences.

So “mature/full blown/unrestrained sin” indeed results in death and that for clear tangible, consequential reasons. (Notice that the most prominent reason why God brought about the flood and destruction of all flesh was that ‘they had filled the world with violence (Gen 6:11-13; cf. 9:6) -i.e., such “mature/full blown/unrestrained sin”. The ‘thoughts of their hearts was indeed evil continually, and that was actually manifested in acts of violence, and no doubt rampant, wanton murder and bloodshed.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Anyway, from a purely logical standpoint, it doesn't make sense that the principle of selfishness could sustain life forever; at least, I don't see the sense in this.


I would need to see the Biblical support for that “selfishness = sin” Theological concept. It seems to me that this is indeed merely assumed (if not presumed) “sensical/logical” theology. You cannot base an entire Theology on mere, private assumptions.

In actuality true/full selfishness leads, as see in e.g., the individualism of Capitalism, leads one to only concern themselves with themselves thus leaving others to suffer and die, were it but fir the many Socialist “safety nets” that have been incorporated into, now “mixed economies.” All this to say that such selfishness also naturally, tangibly leads to certain death. I.e., Imagine global life today without any Socialistic (=sharing) principles.

Originally Posted By: Tom
In heaven, the powers of the tree of life are another story, as there won't be any sin there.


Biblically and SOP speaking... hardly. It was that same tree that was taken up with Eden that will be in the Heaven and New Earth. Also the Bible is clear that only God possesses immortality (1 Tim 6:16), so as the Bible and SOP say, it is only by eating of this tree and thus taking in whatever health restoring/maintaining ingredients that it has that we, and any of God’s created beings, in other worlds live eternally. (Somehow, however this is not the case with heavenly beings such as angels, as Satan and his angels surely do not have access to a Tree of Life yet they have lived for 6000+ years and will only be destroyed when God does so. Perhaps their regenerative cycle need is much greater than man’s, i.e., more than 1000 years, perhaps 10,000 years or more. However is seems to me that EGW says that she saw that Satan had diminished from his previous form/stature, which may be his degenerating process.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Also there's a spiritual aspect to the tree of life, don't you think? That is, sin isn't solely, or even primarily, a physical problem.


The psychological effects of sin certainly has its effect on the mind, which is why e.g., movies are rated by what is considered a mentally acceptable age to effectively view some sins. However I only see that sin has physical effect when it is practised, especially in a full blown way, which as seen above ultimately leads to death. Again the Bible and SOP are clear that Adam and Eve would have retained their physical longevity and by clear implication, health and vigor if they could continue to eat of the fruit of life. In such a case they, and/or their descendants, though being mentally evil would still be quite healthy. The adverse physiological effect that their corrupt mental state could have had on their body could also have been continually cured by the tree of life. Even physical wounds for various sure “violence”, be it externally or internally, would also have been “healed” by the fruit of the tree of life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If that's the case, then a physical remedy can't be sufficient, can it?


As I said before, you’ll first need to Biblically prove (i.e., Scriptures and SOP) that, this, contrary to what is it clearly said and understood their, is ‘not the case’.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Originally Posted By: NJK
Now it is interesting that you make this organic/non-organic comment, because my various Theological studies have led me to understand God as a most real/practical God where everything He does, allows or commands ultimately have a most practical reason. So in this way I have come to see sin as being “non-organic” as your term puts it. That is humans surely die because of sin for practical reasons and not merely an ethereal reason.


Originally Posted By: Tom
I'm not understanding this comment. "Organic," as I'm using the term, means there is an actual link between sin and death, as opposed to as arbitrary one, such as a punishment for a crime. I don't see how this could be characterized as "ethereal" as opposed to practical....


With this added definition, I now clearly see what you mean by organic, however that does not change the essence of my (previously “non-organic”) understanding. I think the problem here is how you are viewing sin, i.e., merely as a spiritual concept vs. the “practical”/tangible view of mine. In that sense you are understanding “organic” to also have the same spiritual “fabric”. I however now, correcting myself, use this “organic” term as “a linked, non-arbitrary result” to apply it to how I previously understood “non-organic”, namely that the “organic” result of sin is pointedly in the physical/practical outcome of various degrees of death that is surely brings about. I guess the only Spiritual application that can be made, which also is a practical one, is that this death is ultimately solely because man does not have access to God’s Tree of Life since Adam fell. So even if man lived a relatively speaking holy, righteous, 10 Commandment keeping life, as with Believers in God, they still would eventually die, simply because they do not have access to the tree of life, and not “ethereally” because they had committed a single sin. It is in that tangible sense that the wages of sin is death.

And to also address a previous point you made about life expectancy after the flood, having just studied Gen 9:5 more carefully (which EGW does not seem to have said anything about); I do not see any support that this is how God shortened the lives of men after the flood. That is commonly assumed, especially by proponents of vegetarianism, (I also had this view), however that verse seems to simply preemptively speak against the rampant, murderous violence that existed before the flood where men and animals were wantonly murdered. God was instituting capital punishment. I.e., the beast that killed man should be killed man (literally ‘“your [i.e., the] blood of your lives” will be required from the killing animal (9:5a NASB margin)) and ‘a man killing another man will, and apparently his brethern’ have to be put to death’ (9.5b). This harmonizes best with vs. 6. In the case of animals, that is why today when an animal kills a man, whether in domestication or in the wild, they are put down, because they are then more prone to do it again. So here, God was just trying to prevent the type of murderous violence that existed amongst all flesh before the flood. That also shows that God viewed sin from a more “pragmatic/practical” level and it was not until such a level of violence existed, where man and animals (=all flesh) were just going about murdering each other, evidently for any minor reason, that God intervened with the flood. This is not to say that non murderous sins are evil in the eyes of God, but apparently violence/murder (evidently as well as sexual perversion as with Sodom and Gomorrah) are God’s direcctly intervening limits.

So the life of man may have naturally degraded and also keep in mind that the destruction of the flood had really complicated living on earth, so a more physically demanding life vs. the sure greater ease and comfort that existed before the flood came to affect the longevity of man. This also comes to adversely affect man’s genetic make up and thus becomes worse with subsequent generations. Also the long ages that we hear about before the flood, may only have been the achievement of those who lived within God’s will. The immoral and abusive lifestyle of the evil “antedelluvians” may have shorted their lives. So this ever shortening age (from which we only of righteous people) may have already been in full effect sin the fall of Adam and Eve and greatly aggravated after the flood, due to the existing harsh and life-sustaining adverse condition. Cold seasons and Winters alone, caused by the shift in the earth’s axis during the flood, probably greatly shortened man’s life. Nonetheless, a now greatly animal/meat-based diet, out of pure natural necessity, which the evil antedelluvians probably already had engaged in prior to the flood, killing animals, may have contributed to this life expectancy shortening due to the diminished nutrition, however the other alternative of not eating meat at all would have probably ended in people starving to death. So it really was the lesser of two evils.

So, in summary, in all of this, I can only see tangible, pragmatic/practical consequences/results in the relationship between sin and death.

Originally Posted By: Tom
...I see sin as similar to smoking in this regard. It causes death, the second death, which is final separation from God.


Again here seems to be a purely “assumed Theology”: Where in the Bible does it says/imply that ‘the second death (i.e., death via hell’s judgement) is “separation from God”’). The Second Death is called that in the Bible because it literally is the Second Death. I.e., all men die once, and then they are all resurrected. Some will go on to live forever, other will be cast in the Lake of fire and ultimately, die, never to be resurrected again, thus their Second Death. There is not even a felt “separation” from God because there is no consciousness or knowledge in any death.

So all of these theological points you cite seem to me to be merely circular evangelistic truism that are actually not rooted in concrete Biblical teachings.

Originally Posted By: Tom
It does this by virtue of what it does to the one who sins, wrecking his mind,
causing him to believe lies, lies which destroy him.


Apply this (also assumed theology) to the fall of Eve. When was her mind so ‘“wrecked” causing her to believe the lie of Satan, resulting eventually in her physical death years later’? According to your line of reasoning, this would have to be before she ate of the fruit. So according to this view, she sinned, not when she ate the forbidden fruit, but before that when she believed Satan and picked it and then ate it. However, if Eve had thrown the fruit away prior to eating, even biting into, it, choosing to now stop believe the Serpent and once again trusting God, she would not have sinned. She would have allowed herself to be greatly tempted, but would not have sinned. (Also had she remained/returned by Adam’s side, she would then not even have been tempted.) As the Bible states clearly in regards to Jesus, being tempted in not synonymous with committing sin (E.g,. Christ’s wilderness temptation, ordained/allowed by God (Matt 4:1); Heb 4:15). So Eve was deceived and believed Satan’s lie with a perfect and “un-wrecked” mind.

Again all of our teachings/understandings/theology have to be anchored by the word of God and not private suppositions/assumptions.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
So it is indeed from those Theological findings that I do see sin as ‘non-organically, tangibly, consequential’ and by correspondence, God Law as having a most practical purpose which we do not fully yet understand.


Originally Posted By: Tom
I don't follow this. I don't follow why you think this paragraph would follow from the previous one.


That paragraph was actually a summary of all of my findings related priorly and not just to the last paragraph.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Also, I don't see why you think we don't yet fully understand the most practical purpose of God's law. I think it's quite clear and easy to understand the purpose of God's law.


This is being said in relation to the statements in this blog post and with the vast majority in the Church either believing in, or indifferent going along with Capitalism, which is directly or remotely causing all of the adverse effects upon man in our world, all of God’s Commandments are systematically being perpetually violated. It is this practical aspect of God’s law that people do not understand, especially in relation to the first 4 Commandments. Thus with all 10, not only is the Spirit of God’s law violated, but tangible/ “practical” adverse effects are resulting from this, even deaths, such as 65 million infants every year. So it is only when, like the Pharisees of old, the Letter of the law is looked at, and not this included, even deeper spiritual aspect, all anchored in the Biblical “fuller” understanding of God’s Sabbath, that one can surfacely perceive solely a “clear and easy” understanding and say that they are in full harmony with God’s Law. That is thus how God’s Law has an even more practical aspect than many either know of, or want to admit. However sin we know to do much better than the world, even Capitalism-espousing Christians, then not doing so, which results in the suffering and death of millions of people, is sin to us (James 4:17) and thus the transgression of God’s Law. (1 John 3:4)

Originally Posted By: Tom
Although I disagree with some of your points, I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for taking the time to write all that out.


You are welcome. Although my time is greatly overloaded, I do take time to discuss topics that are pertinently related to my current projects thrust as they address certain FAQ-type of topics/issues that I will eventually have to concretely deal with. (Sorry for some typos due to a lack of proofreading time).

After these more indepth explanations and clarifications, we’ll see if you still disagree with those points. Also if you disagree with me on something, it obviously is because you think I am wrong and your right. And since I do not aim, nor want to be in error than if this is for a substantive Biblical reason, than please make that reason known so that it can be verified and ascribed to if valid.

God Bless.


“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
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #130964
02/16/11 05:33 PM
02/16/11 05:33 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tom
Originally Posted By: MM
Amen! Do you have more, or does this summarize your study?

I could try to summarize where I perceive our chief difference lies. I see my paradigm as being characterized by, "Let determine what God is like by considering the revelation of Jesus Christ while He was here in the flesh. This provides a complete revelation of God's character, which is not lacking in any particular."

I see you paradigm as being characterized by, "Considering the revelation of Jesus Christ while here in the flesh is certainly a good thing to do, but it's not enough. We also need to consider other revelations God has given us in regards to His character."

I think you misunderstood my question, Tom. You are leading this study with an objective in mind - To explain why God commanded godly people to stone, scorch, and smite ungodly people to death.

To do this, you maintain we must first understand what God is like by studying the example of Jesus while He was here in the flesh. You've been doing a wonderful job, so far, demonstrating the loving, caring, compassionate nature of Jesus.

I agree with everything you've stated about Jesus. However, you have yet to explain why God commanded godly people to stone, scorch, and smite ungodly people to death. Are you ready to do so? Or, do you more time? If so, please take all the time you need.

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man] #130971
02/16/11 07:49 PM
02/16/11 07:49 PM
Tom  Offline
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I chose to respond to several aspects of your last post. If I skipped over a point or points that you feel were particularly important, please repeat them, and I'll be happy to address them.

Originally Posted By: NJK
Hello Tom, it is readily observable that you do not understand much of what I have said because your are solely viewing/filtering it through your Theological perspective.


I don't think this is a likely explanation for lack of understanding on my part. Most of what I read comes from a different theological perspective from what I hold, so I have a lot of practice understand ideas different from my own.

Quote:
I will however try to make some things more clear. Also, exegesis and not eisogesis, i.e., letting the text and its context speak for itself, is the key here, and, on top pf Scripture, that also applies to what I have said/written. I recommend you first take the time to carefully read what I have said.


I'm carefully reading what you're writing now. I don't have time to read everything you've written, just as you don't have time to do so with me. I do appreciate you're trying to be as clear as possible.

Quote:
T:This was never the case. The vast majority were never holy, but were a stubborn, stiff-necked people. How they were is demonstrated by how they treated Christ, which is how Christ would have been treated had He come earlier.

NJK:Here you have overextended what I said to cover the entire period of Ethnic Israel, through the time of Christ.


No I didn't. *I* made the comment that what you stated (that Isreal was a holy society) was never the case.

Quote:
So while Israel was indeed for the most part of their existence as God’s Chosen People, unrighteous, they did however have brief periods of righteousness, during which such measures of capital punishment were faithfully, righteously carried out as God had directed.


I disagree with this statement. I invite you to make the case that there was ever a time when it was ever the case that, as you claimed in your previous post, that the "vast majority" of Israel was a "holy society." I'm curious as to why you would think this, when there's so much evidence to the contrary. All along the way, from beginning to end, Israel fought God's will and purposes. Their society at best but very dimly reflected God's government or character. Consider the huge discrepancy between their society and the life of Christ.

Quote:
T:If the vast majority were ever holy, God would have been more than happy to have sent Christ then, so He could have been accepted, and Israel spared, rather than rejecting Him and sealing their own doom.

NJK:That is not a Biblical, nor Theological valid concept. God was not waiting for Israel to be most holy to send Jesus, or else He would have done so, e.g., in the days of David.


Sure it's a Biblical concept. God is not willing that any should perish. That's one example of the concept.

Also I didn't say anything about Israel being "most holy" but spoke in terms of the "vast majority" being holy, which I have asserted was never the case.

If you consider God's original plan for Israel, it was that they be a light to the world, spreading the Gospel, not that they would reject His Son. God bent over backwards, all along the way, to save Israel, and if it had been possible to do so, He certainly would have.

Quote:
The limits of the term “forever” in the Bible is actually defined by the context in which it is used. (E.g, Isa 9:6; 26:4; Micah 5:2; NT: Rev 4:9, 10) So it could mean a limited period of time, but if it refers to eternity, then it has this “eternal” meaning for that is the unlimited “limits” of such a period. So my comment did indeed in an “eternal” meaning. That is expressedly because that is what the Scriptures, as made clear in the SOP, say. (see Gen 3:22-24 and PP 60.3 (see below))


As James points out:

Quote:
sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:15)


Is sin merely a physical problem? Can a simple physical remedy prevent it from "bringing forth death"?

Regarding the death that sin results in, I understand this to be speaking primarily of the second death (which is what I had in mind in my comments). Your explanations (of the commandments) looked to be in reference to the first death.

Quote:
T:Anyway, from a purely logical standpoint, it doesn't make sense that the principle of selfishness could sustain life forever; at least, I don't see the sense in this.

NJK:I would need to see the Biblical support for that “selfishness = sin” Theological concept.


Here's something from the SOP which speaks to the concept I had in mind:

Quote:
The only remedy for the sins and sorrows of men is Christ. The gospel of His grace alone can cure the evils that curse society. The injustice of the rich toward the poor, the hatred of the poor toward the rich, alike have their root in selfishness, and this can be eradicated only through submission to Christ. He alone, for the selfish heart of sin, gives the new heart of love. —Christ’s Object Lessons, 254 (1900).


Quote:
It seems to me that this is indeed merely assumed (if not presumed) “sensical/logical” theology. You cannot base an entire Theology on mere, private assumptions.


I'm not sure what it is you're taking issue with. I wrote that the principle of selfishness cannot support life. Are you disagreeing with this? Also, I spoke of the principle of selfishness being the root of sin. I think this is clearly seen in the fall of Lucifer. Is it this idea you are disagreeing with?

Let's look at it this say. Is it possible for one to be selfish and yet not sin? To be selfish is to put self first, which means not putting God first, which would be breaking the first commandment, right? Also, if one considers each of the 10 Commandments, it seems easy to see that breaking any of them is only possible if one has a "me first" mentality, as opposed to having Christ first.

Regarding the further Tree of Life comments, you seem to be looking at sin as a physical problem as opposed to a mental problem. That is, the problem of sin involves not thinking in the right way. The right way is "Not I, but Christ," as is exemplified by the 10 Commandments. This is the way of life, not because God does something arbitrary to make it so, but because the principles of the 10 Commandments *are* the principles of life, the principles of agape.

Similarly, in the other direction, the principle of sin must lead to death. This isn't something that can be healed by a physical remedy, but there must be a new mind, hence a new birth. One, to live eternally, must think not "me first," but "not I, but Christ."

Quote:
With this added definition, I now clearly see what you mean by organic, however that does not change the essence of my (previously “non-organic”) understanding. I think the problem here is how you are viewing sin, i.e., merely as a spiritual concept vs. the “practical”/tangible view of mine.


Human beings have the mind, soul and body inextricably intertwined. Christ said, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he." But this isn't merely a spiritual concept, and not practical, because the practical aspects inevitably follow from what's in the mind. It cannot be otherwise. Because of how we think in our heart, we make decisions; we speak and act.

Quote:
I guess the only Spiritual application that can be made, which also is a practical one, is that this death is ultimately solely because man does not have access to God’s Tree of Life since Adam fell.


Why did Christ die? Simply because He didn't have access to the tree of life?

If one considers the entirety of Christ's life and teachings, where is the concept you have articulated to be found? That is, where did Christ teach that the only Spiritual application that can be made is that death is ultimately solely because man does not have access to the tree of life? When I see Christ teaching as spiritual reasons for death are things like unbelief and disobedience.

Quote:
And to also address a previous point you made about life expectancy after the flood, having just studied Gen 9:5 more carefully (which EGW does not seem to have said anything about); I do not see any support that this is how God shortened the lives of men after the flood.


Here's one statement that speaks to this:

Quote:
After the Flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the Flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years. 406
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373
{CCh 228.2}


Regarding your comments viz a viz the second death, I invite you to consider how Christ died. Here is a description from "The Desire of Ages"

Quote:
The guilt of every descendant of Adam was pressing upon His heart. The wrath of God against sin, the terrible manifestation of His displeasure because of iniquity, filled the soul of His Son with consternation. All His life Christ had been publishing to a fallen world the good news of the Father’s mercy and pardoning love. Salvation for the chief of sinners was His theme. But now with the terrible weight of guilt He bears, He cannot see the Father’s reconciling face. The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt. {DA 753.1}
The Desire of Ages, p. 753.2 (EGW)
Satan with his fierce temptations wrung the heart of Jesus. The Saviour could not see through the portals of the tomb. Hope did not present to Him His coming forth from the grave a conqueror, or tell Him of the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. He feared that sin was so offensive to God that Their separation was to be eternal. Christ felt the anguish which the sinner will feel when mercy shall no longer plead for the guilty race. It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father’s wrath upon Him as man’s substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.


This speaks to Christ's dying because His heart was broken, which was caused by the separation Christ was feeling from His Father, due to the effect of His taking our sin upon Him.

Regarding my statement

Quote:
It does this by virtue of what it does to the one who sins, wrecking his mind,
causing him to believe lies, lies which destroy him.


I invite you to consider Lucifer and Judas as examples of this principle.


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: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #130976
02/17/11 02:58 AM
02/17/11 02:58 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom
I chose to respond to several aspects of your last post. If I skipped over a point or points that you feel were particularly important, please repeat them, and I'll be happy to address them.


In all sincerity and seriousness, Tom, I considered all points in my post to be important. Since I do not know which ones you skipped because you didn’t have a Biblical response for them or just considered to be “unimportant” then it is not expedient for me to engage in a gauging trial and error reposting here. In such discussion I logically assume that when something is not disputed/refuted, then it accepted as a valid argument. There is also a false but popular tendency, which you are factually also guilty of, for people, especially in Biblical study, to ignore Biblical passage and statements that oppose their view and for which they do not have a resolution to. I do not operate that way, instead taking into consideration all points pertinent to a topic and harmonizing them according to the clearest/most objective light. Also in this sense, I work from factual statements to Theology and not vice versa, since Theology is only rightly determined from the contribution of individual statements. The opposite course is the unbiblical method of “philosophizing”. So I’ll again address all of your points in detail and do consider my prior points to be indeed valid. So you’ll really have individually “debunk” them before so “moving pass” them.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Originally Posted By: NJK
Hello Tom, it is readily observable that you do not understand much of what I have said because your are solely viewing/filtering it through your Theological perspective.


To further clarify this statement here, it particularly involves this non-addressing of individual factual points, just ignoring them and continue on with your perspective. So the issue is not ‘what you have read or have done’, as you replied, but what you are currently doing in this discussion.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I don't have time to read everything you've written, just as you don't have time to do so with me.


I have actually read all that you have posted in response to me so far in this discussion, which, in its dealing with individual factual passages before addressing theology, is quite self-contained.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
No I didn't. *I* made the comment that what you stated (that Isreal was a holy society) was never the case.


Originally Posted By: Tom
I disagree with this statement. I invite you to make the case that there was ever a time when it was ever the case that, as you claimed in your previous post, that the "vast majority" of Israel was a "holy society." I'm curious as to why you would think this, when there's so much evidence to the contrary. All along the way, from beginning to end, Israel fought God's will and purposes. Their society at best but very dimly reflected God's government or character. Consider the huge discrepancy between their society and the life of Christ.


Originally Posted By: Tom
Also I didn't say anything about Israel being "most holy" but spoke in terms of the "vast majority" being holy, which I have asserted was never the case.


Succinctly said, I spiritually, logically take it that every time Israel conquered new territory, tangibly received God’s blessing, won a military campaign, enjoy periods of piece, etcs, they were in a period of being a holy society. “Sinless” surely not, hence the Sanctuary service. Short-lived spurts, evidently. But many surely righteous enough for a holy God to work with, and through them. Also in acts where God entered into judgement with a, usually small, part of the camp, it was because the rest the people were doing their best to live according to His Laws, thus were holy, through their Temple Ministry (= our Gospel of Grace through Faith).

And the whole point of this statement is focusedly, and most pertinent to this topic, that it was Israel who had to physically carry out their capital punishments. I.e., God did not go about the camp striking people dead. And all Israel had to representatively tangibly participate in this execution. So it seems most logical to me that if most of them enjoyed engaging in these sins, they then due to such like-mindedness did not carry out these ordained punishments.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Sure it's a Biblical concept. God is not willing that any should perish. That's one example of the concept.


Here is a perfect example of ignoring what I have said: What then do you do with the 70 Week time prophecy given ca. 600 years before Christ? What then do you do with the “fulness of the time” teaching? (Gal 4:4). If your view was true, Paul would have instead said, “when the people were, relatively, most holy...” For according to your view, God was waiting for the time when His people were most ready, so obviously the time when Jesus appeared was the best time. Why not in any of the previous period of, indeed, holiness, cited above, and that any time from the formation of Israel?? Surely the victorious and conquering generation under Joshua was a prime generation!

Originally Posted By: Tom
God bent over backwards, all along the way, to save Israel, and if it had been possible to do so, He certainly would have.


The Biblical fact and truth is that “all along the way” God was instead waiting for the best time geo-politically for His salvation to spread throughout the world and when that came, as He figured out it would and surely worked to maintain this time, He sent His world salvation irrespective of how ready the Jews were, for all that an All Mighty God really needed was a faithful remnant.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If you consider God's original plan for Israel, it was that they be a light to the world, spreading the Gospel, not that they would reject His Son.


That was indeed God’s plan, however He is realistic and does present clearly both life and death results before his people. In e.g., the 70 Weeks prophecy, he warningly presented the end result of death, and as expected, the people persisted in a course that led to that result.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Quote:
The limits of the term “forever” in the Bible is actually defined by the context in which it is used. (E.g, Isa 9:6; 26:4; Micah 5:2; NT: Rev 4:9, 10) So it could mean a limited period of time, but if it refers to eternity, then it has this “eternal” meaning for that is the unlimited “limits” of such a period. So my comment did indeed in an “eternal” meaning. That is expressedly because that is what the Scriptures, as made clear in the SOP, say. (see Gen
3:22-24 and PP 60.3 (see below))


Well... no duly direct counter argument from you here??? Just, as usual, moving on to your points... This point however completely refutes your view that the sinner could not live eternally if he continued to eat the fruit of life as clearly stated by EGW in PP 60.3. So I’ll therefore logically consider that I did disprove your previously stated objection.

Originally Posted By: Tom
As James points out:

Quote:
sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. (James 1:15)


The term “finished” is not telic but “transitive” focusing on the process. I.e., ‘Sin when it has been brought to its completion/fullness’. See literal reading in NASB margin.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Regarding the death that sin results in, I understand this to be speaking primarily of the second death (which is what I had in mind in my comments).


Here you are making a theological assumption, especially with a notion that the “Second Death” is somehow different from the pre-final resurrection one. I do not see any Biblical support that this “Second Death” involves in itself, nothing more than what is involved in the First One. The supernaturally-sustained prior punishing suffering and torment of hell is distinct from this physical death.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Your explanations (of the commandments) looked to be in reference to the first death.


Again you need to show what it the substantive difference between the first and second death. The stated violation of the spirit and letter of God’s Commandment undistinguishedly leads to both death for the unsaved.

Quote:
Quote:
T:Anyway, from a purely logical standpoint, it doesn't make sense that the principle of selfishness could sustain life forever; at least, I don't see the sense in this.

NJK:I would need to see the Biblical support for that “selfishness = sin” Theological concept.


Having reviewed some of my blog posting, I have found a most clear Biblical/SOP support for this notion that Selfishness is at the root of all sin. It is found in 4T 384ff. EGW states based on her vision selfishness at the General head of sins [of God’s professed people]; followed then by four sub heading of: Covetousness; Ambition; Jealousy; Intemperance, followed by ‘lesser [i.e., hierarchaly lower], sub sins’. The example you cited from COL 254 was really to case specific, i.e., the rich vs. the poor to be determinative of a general theology, though it did remind me of that statement from my blog post.

Now the question is: Is this general heading category of Selfishness unique at the top of sins, or is it one of several other branches. It seems to be only focusing on man-ward sins (i.e. the last 6 commandments) vs. the God-ward ones. Thus there may be another general heading under which occur sins towards God. The crux of the message in this vision seemed to be trying to show how God’s people were lacking in interpersonal relations all the while being shown to be most religious, thus seeming to be observing the first 4 commandments, (to the letter at least). So more study may flesh this out, however, I’ll go with the notion that selfishness is at the head of, specifically, all man-ward committed sins.

Perhaps it is “self-love” vs. Loving God that is at a counterparting head (Matt 22:36-40); which is not the same as selfishness which is ‘being concerned with one’s welfare and disregarding other’, whereas the first for commandments, to be broken and since it distinguishedly, inevitably is God who can provide our well being, thus straightly involves not caring about/loving God.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I'm not sure what it is you're taking issue with. I wrote that the principle of selfishness cannot support life. Are you disagreeing with this?


To a certain extent yes. As seen in Capitalism, which has selfishness as its fundamental tenet, at least some life is supported by it. Many others suffer and die, but the economically capable person (e.g, the First World) does live a comfortable and relatively speaking full life. In the end all die, again, as the Bible clearly states, because they cannot eat of the tree of life to restore their bodies and extend their life. I know that this concept goes against your “Theology” but your view is squarely at odd as to what God in the Bible has explicitly and clearly stated. So in such a stand off, it is your view that is discredited.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Also, I spoke of the principle of selfishness being the root of sin. I think this is clearly seen in the fall of Lucifer. Is it this idea you are disagreeing with?


As stated above I know see how selfishness is the root of man/peer-ward sins. In the case of Lucifer, EGW indicates that it was sins in the form of jealousy, ambition and covetousness, all initially directed at a just exalted Christ, who had, in position been his peer prior to God exalting Him. So it can be seen that these are indeed sub-sins of selfishness however, pointedly directed at his peer Michael and, at first not at God. So he here first specifically violated the ‘confiding and unselfish love for one another’ that existed among the heavenly beings, and then, after the maturation of these sins, he violated the ‘Supreme Love to God’ that existed ; -thus completely transgressing the perfect ‘allegiance of love’ that had existed in heaven. (cf. PP 35.1). So the same two parts of Love to God and Love to Peers also existed in heaven, and in violating this second part, Lucifer’s sins were then indeed begun under the tier of “selfishness” sins.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Let's look at it this say. Is it possible for one to be selfish and yet not sin?


If one “is” selfish (= your “be”) then the sins has already been concretized. One can have a thought of acting selfishly but until that concretely manifest itself, the sins has not been committed. And this manifestation will always be tangible. E.g., I can think to act selfishly and e.g., by persisting in this thought which then tangibly leads me to sit at home and not do what I should unselfishly have done I have concretized the thought. On the flipped side I really can persistently think of being selfish all while doing the unselfish act and if that thought never tangibly manifests itself, even tracely, I would not have been selfish. I instead really would have rather been greatly tempted to be selfish, but not have sinned, and that by actually having overcome such evil thoughts with the good acts that I instead chose to do.

Originally Posted By: Tom
To be selfish is to put self first, which means not putting God first, which would be breaking the first commandment, right?


For the concrete reasons cited about, I now rather see this to be more specifically, in relation to such first four commandments, self-love vs. God Love. Interestingly enough the Sabbath commandment fall in both categories with its religious aspect expressing love for God to spend devoted time with him and in its socio-economic aspects, focusing on being pointedly unselfish towards other peers.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Also, if one considers each of the 10 Commandments, it seems easy to see that breaking any of them is only possible if one has a "me first" mentality, as opposed to having Christ first.


While generally true, and with selfishness really (i.e., by definition involving the welfare of others, which is not really the case/need for God. I thus see the 1-4(a) | 4(b)-10 commandment dichotomy here under the distinct General Heading of “Self-Love” and “Selfishness” sin headings. The violation of the first heading really tries to make oneself a god, or at least independent of God, while the second heading seek to make oneself superior amongst peers. That is why you can find people who violate the first 4 commandments, but fully keep the last 6, and conversely, in EGW vision in 4T 384-387, the focus is to show God’s professed and manifestly religious people, how they are violated all of the last 6 commandments, by their “selfish” acts.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Regarding the further Tree of Life comments, you seem to be looking at sin as a physical problem as opposed to a mental problem.


I am actually working from the clear statements in Gen 3:22-24 and PP 60.3 that the sinner could have lived eternally by eating from the Tree of Life. I thus have to let this unambiguous and factually (vs. assumed theology) undisputed, concrete statement control and guide my working theology.

Originally Posted By: Tom
That is, the problem of sin involves not thinking in the right way. ... [your theology]


For a thinking to become sin it has to be concretized. In certain cases that is indeed done internally, when one chooses to dwell on this sin, however still having quite tangible physiological effects, but for the most part, it need to be physically acted out to become sin. Also hypocrisy does not prevent this from taking place, as the sin of false witness is then also committed. (That applies in the selfish thoughts example that I stated above.) So it therefore seems to me that true evil/sinful thinking is inseparable from various degrees of sinful acts, and any thinking that does not come to so manifest itself has remained in the unimpeaching realm of temptation.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Similarly, in the other direction, the principle of sin must lead to death.


I rather see that only concretized/acted out sinful thoughts come to start this causing death process, which tangibly occurs when, as James says, “brought to its completeness/fulness” (1:15). A “principle of sin” punishment would be as unfair a completely blameless being incarcerated simply because he live on a street when there are many criminal gangs. That person can only pay this penalty if they also have participated in some contributing form, in these crimes. However access to the Tree of Lie after sin would have provide the sinner with an immunity from death for their sins.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This isn't something that can be healed by a physical remedy, but there must be a new mind, hence a new birth.... [your theology]


The issue with “being tainted” by sin is that, when first committed, it lowers the human will and psyche to resist it in the future. So it is in this sense that out Spirit has to be renewed and not necessarily our physical mind. And that is tangibly done through the new birth where then God’s Spirit is, by our persisting desire, allowed to have a stronger influence on our Spirit than tempting, evil spirit. So what our spirits could not, because they did not to, resist in the past, we know with this fortified and renewed spirit and greater influence are able to resist. So here also I do not see that sin is having a physical effect on the brain, but merely a psychological one. That is thus why the sinner could eat of the Fruit of Life yet still have the desire and mentality to sin. And that is how such a mentally entrenched sinner could still live forever. The fruit, while probably physically rejuvenating the health and vigor of the brain, did not “brainwash” the person, when his sinful mentality was purged. If that was the case, then that would have been the method of redemption and not Christ mentally and physically sin bearing atonement. I believe that through this mental atonement of Christ, God will then be able, and allowed, to expunge any sinful traces from the Heavenly redeemed person’s mind from his prior, lived life on earth. So I further see the Tree of life solely focusing on the physical aspects of man and Christ sacrifice dealing with the mental/psychological aspects.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Human beings have the mind, soul and body inextricably intertwined.


For the reasons explained above, I do not agree with this. And the “soul” really is the combination of mind consciousness and the body. I.e., the life giving breath and the body. I also think Paul’s expressed dilemma in Rom 7 further challenges that notion. (See especially vss. 21-25).

Originally Posted By: Tom
Christ said, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."


(That Bible quote was actually said in Proverbs 23:7). To “think in one’s heart involves a desired ingestation. (I.e., the (emotional) heart). Also this verse is best translated as ‘as a man reckons in his soul...’ (NASB marginal reading). In the soul means also denotes this total ingestation by involving both the body and the spirit.

Originally Posted By: Tom
But this isn't merely a spiritual concept, and not practical, because the practical aspects inevitably follow from what's in the mind. It cannot be otherwise. Because of how we think in our heart, we make decisions; we speak and act.


I agree in part with this, however seeing a significant difference in what is actually concretely entertained in the mind as constituting sin, and not the mere presence of this sinful thought, which is then just at the stage of temptation. Case in point, when Christ heard and mentally processed the evil suggestions of Satan during his wilderness temptations, that thought had to be internalized by Him for him to hear and understand it. However it did not take a acting out root in him and thus was never sin. Had Satan never spoken these words to him, that evil thought would have never been so internalized for processing. So the inner presence of an evil- thought in itself does not constitute a sin. Thus not even in a thought did Christ not seen even if so tempted.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Why did Christ die? Simply because He didn't have access to the tree of life?
If one considers the entirety of Christ's life and teachings, where is the concept you have articulated to be found? That is, where did Christ teach that the only Spiritual application that can be made is that death is ultimately solely because man does not have access to the tree of life? When I see Christ teaching as spiritual reasons for death are things like unbelief and disobedience.


I think I have already resolved that issue above, however I’ll add that Christ die to bear our sins and by doing so, give us access to the tree of life in heaven so that we can live eternally. (Cf. Rev 2:7) If we do not eat of this tree, will we live eternally?? The unequivocal answer is no!. So the spiritual aspects of Christ and sin are in the substitutionary bearing of them for us so that He can pay our death penalty.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Here's one statement that speaks to this:

Quote:
After the Flood the people ate largely of animal food. God saw that the ways of man were corrupt, and that he was disposed to exalt himself proudly against his Creator and to follow the inclinations of his own heart. And He permitted that long-lived race to eat animal food to shorten their sinful lives. Soon after the Flood the race began to rapidly decrease in size, and in length of years. 406
Counsels on Diet and Foods, 373
{CCh 228.2}


Having studied that text exegetically prior to answering before, indeed for time ever, I rather see that it is clearly as I have said: namely speaking in regards to capital punishment penalties (cf. vs. 6). So as much as I hate to do it, I’ll have to disagree with EGW here, and actually follow her counsel to let the Bible be the final authority here. In Alden Thompson book “Inspiration”, (pp. 290-295) he cites several major examples where EGW herself had to revise and complete change prior statements which she had made, and which similarly, seemingly had an air of “direct revelation”. I think the Biblical evidence is more conclusive and like I said in the prior post, the reduction in man’s life was seemingly a natural result of the now harsh life on earth following the flood, nonetheless including a much less healthy diet. So, as it usually is the case, EGW may not have been totally of the mark here. She just did not have the complete light on this.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Regarding your comments viz a viz the second death, I invite you to consider how Christ died. Here is a description from "The Desire of Ages" [DA 753]


Succinctly said here, first of all, again, that notion that the Second Death is something distinct in its essence needs to be more concretely supported before I can accept as valid. I am willing to concede (based upon Rev 2:11; 20:6, 14; 21:18) that it contains an element of suffering, in that God supernaturally sustains the sinner in those conditions which were suppose to bring instant death, however once that Death occurs, there not longer is any experienced notions (e.g., a felt separation from God.)

Originally Posted By: Tom
This speaks to Christ's dying because His heart was broken, which was caused by the separation Christ was feeling from His Father, due to the effect of His taking our sin upon Him.


This concept is interesting as I discuss it on my blog, however in reading what EGW relates on the crucifixion in this DA chapter, I can only more convincingly see that this notion of ‘Christ dying of a broken heart’ is not implied something physical, but something psychological (and in a poetic sense). In that chapter EGW relates a period of mental anguish suffering by Christ. She then punctuates it with this broken heart statement. However Christ did not die then. Following that period accompanied by greater darkness, Christ again became aware of his surroundings and his own physical pain, as this overwhelming mental anguish had been completed and subsided. It is after that, that He later cries “It is finished” and soon after that “yields up his life”. So he did not physically die of a broken heart, but during the prior period of mental anguish his spirit/psyche broke for the first time since this mental anguish of guilt all began back in Gethsemane. He was broken in his hope just as sinful man will when their sins combined with a hopelessness of being able to overcome them, so overwhelms them while in the flames of Hell. So it was Christ’s spirit that momentarily became fully broken and not as popularly thought and said, his heart that physically ruptured itself, because that is the only way that someone can actually dies from a broken heart.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I invite you to consider Lucifer and Judas as examples of this principle.


There is indeed an observable physical degeneration in a person who persists in sin and “brings it to its fulness/completeness” however, as stated before, the mere naturally-speaking presence sinful thoughts in one’s processing mental faculties, when not entertained, cannot begin this degeneration process, which again end in death when that thought is taken to its full, physically tangible extreme/end.


“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
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man] #130978
02/17/11 01:12 PM
02/17/11 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
Originally Posted By: Tom
Originally Posted By: MM
Amen! Do you have more, or does this summarize your study?

I could try to summarize where I perceive our chief difference lies. I see my paradigm as being characterized by, "Let determine what God is like by considering the revelation of Jesus Christ while He was here in the flesh. This provides a complete revelation of God's character, which is not lacking in any particular."

I see you paradigm as being characterized by, "Considering the revelation of Jesus Christ while here in the flesh is certainly a good thing to do, but it's not enough. We also need to consider other revelations God has given us in regards to His character."

I think you misunderstood my question, Tom. You are leading this study with an objective in mind - To explain why God commanded godly people to stone, scorch, and smite ungodly people to death.

I'm sorry, but I did not understand Tom as doing that. I had thought his objective was that to understand what God is like, one must see what Jesus was like. I must have missed where he made the objective you suggest. Could you show where he did that?

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