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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #131533
03/08/11 04:57 AM
03/08/11 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
What I'm trying to get at is *why* God the Father was reluctant, not *that* He was reluctant. That is, I think you're wanting to defend the point of view that God was reluctant, but I'm not questioning *that* God was reluctant. I'm asking your thoughts as to *why* God was reluctant.

I can see the ambiguity in the question. Sorry I wasn't clearer earlier, but hope that it's clear now.


Ah!! That precision indeed make a great difference here. Shortly said, Since God, as related by Jesus in EW 150ff, knew exactly how this sacrifice was going to be fully acceptable, in terms of both the type of suffering and shame that was needed to fully account for sin and also in the faith that would be needed to be demonstrated by man in order to benefit from it (i.e., faith in God having been incarnated as a humble, simple man, long after this fall), then I understand that He was reluctant both in regards to the great risk involved for Jesus, sin as a man he could have sinned and thus be eternally lost and also in the fact that this may not be worth it since man would likely, mostly fail this test of faith. Since I Biblically do not believe that the future is known, and thus this future outcome, then this was a genuinely felt emotion of God and it did indeed require a great struggle to accept to go through with it. As you say later, we may indeed agree here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Also, I've been extremely busy, so sorry I haven't been contributing more, but hope to read through all the comments and chime in some.


Absolutely no problem from me. I am personally more concerned with well thought out answers than just quick replies. This more “pensive” approach usually results in less discussion being needed to arrive at the Biblical Truth so it benefits everyone in terms of time.


“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] #131534
03/08/11 04:58 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
Another option is that creatures are not immortal of themselves, but live while God gives them life, which, without the existence of sin, is forever.


I just cannot agree with you here Tom since Gen 3:22-24 as well as many SOP statements are straightforwardly and abundantly clear on this issue. This life, which in a ultimate sense does come from God who has engineered it, is however concretely perpetuated by the “supernatural power” in the Fruit of Life, and that is something that even sinful man could have benefited from if they continued to have access to the Tree. This understanding does not at all take anything away from God since, as I said, He is the one who engineered things this way. This would be like saying that the elevator button is greater than the inventor of this elevator since I can only move about on this elevator if I press that button. That would be senseless to anyone because without that inventor who also provided this easy way of controlling the elevator, there would be no invention. However I can have Mr. Elisha Otis himself standing right next to me in one of his elevators and just staring at him or even bowing down worshipping him won’t make that elevator move. Even if I, with him still standing there, and will insulting and mocking him I decide to try to make the elevator move by jumping or kicking its wall, it still would not move. Only when I pressed the button, as designed will it work. And even if I am still insulting him! This is all similar with what is the case with the Fruit of Life and sinless or sinful man. Eating it still perpetuates life.

You have advanced that the tree of Life in heaven in entire different from the one in Eden however I have not seen any Scripture or SOP statements to support this view. That would also imply that Man then will be “more perfect” than how God originally had created and I also do not see any Biblical support for this, indeed quite to the contrary. The whole goal of this GC is to restore us to how created man was before the all.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Are you saying that angels need to have wings to fly from heaven to earth? And they can travel millions of light years because they have really powerful wings?


Yes that it what the Bible and SOP teach/depict (see e.g. Isa 6:2) I assume here that you meant speed and not merely distance in regards to the ‘billions of light years’ As I said, only from Daniel 9:21 has it been (incorrectly) assumed that it took ca. 2 minutes for angels to fly. As far as I see it from my prior explanation, it could have take Gabriel 40 days to reach Daniel during this season of prayer and fasting which had greatly weakened Daniel.
That would considerably reduce the speed that Gabriel needed. It would still be quite high, but that does not mean that this thus cannot be achieved by wings. Angels are naturally much stronger than man and so this strength can be transferred into their wings for flying at such speed. As a contemporary example, glider has a huge wingspan but cannot even come close to matching the speed of a hypersonic plane. The difference is all in the strength of “engine” that is powering that flight. This all shows me of the great reality that exists with God. In fact in Ezek 1, when a mobile throne of God is shown coming down to earth, carrying a Man, the used their wings to fly and this was apparently all tangibly “powered” something in between them that could be understood as electricity, which Ezekiel understood only a burning coal of fire. (See Ezek 1;4, 6b, 8, 13, 14, 25ff; see also my related post on these Four Living Creatures).

Originally Posted By: Tom
Regarding literal/spiritual, can a thing be literally true, but there's still a spiritual, and more important, aspect to the thing in question? For example, in addition to the tree of life, there's also a "river of life" which proceeds from the throne of God.


I did forget to mention the water of life. And this may be another way in which God’s Tree of Life is spread throughout nature since every living thing requires water. In fact these life giving ingredients may all be in this water that flows from God’s throne and which cause the tree of life on its banks to provide these fruit. This may also have been the case in Eden. The “life” here would indeed come from God, as, as I showed earlier, it still did with the Tree of Life in Eden, nonetheless it is still a tangible “supernatural” ingredient that can only be ingested by Man through the Tree, its aromatic air or possibly that water of Life. Simply even bowing down all day and night before God’s throne at the mouth of that River won’t actually perpetuate that life. To me this inevitable reality shows how mortal man is unimprovably naturally mortal and his body needs to tangibly ingest this fruit of Life.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Jesus Christ is the "water of life." Wouldn't the deeper truth here be that Jesus Christ is what we need for life, and that water, because it is so essential to our existence, is used as a reference? This doesn't mean that we don't need water, nor that there isn't a "river of life," but the real point is that we need Jesus Christ.
...
Christ is referred to in myriad ways, and one of them is the "Tree of Life." If we think the primary or main issue is that we need access to the tree of life to live (or we need water, or bread, or air), don't we miss the real point, which is that we need Christ?


How I theological understand and reconcile these spiritual vs. literal points here is that Jesus did rightfully make that point because if we do not accept him, we will never be able to access this ingredient of life. So He is the Water of Life, which as I said may be the actual source of the Tree of Life’s capability to bear the Fruit of Life and also release it in its leaves, in that He is the one who “concocts” this life giving agent. Who knows, as see with the healing of the blind man with spit-made mud, seriously speaking, this life giving ingredient may be injected in the water of life simply by Jesus or God Himself periodically spitting into that stream of water, thus imparting some key genes of of healing from his immortality in the water.

Another pertinent question/issue that comes to my mind here is: “When Jesus died on the Cross, when, I believe God then died, did the God nature that was in him revive. I.e., did God pay an ultimate price here by allowing the God in Jesus to eternally die at that sacrifice, which is why he didn’t/couldn’t raise himself from the dead. Just as Jesus kept his incarnation body after the resurrection, this Sacrifice would have actually required the permanent death of God in Him to be complete. This would also add to the great reluctance of God to go through with this great Sacrifice. As such this source of Life for the Water of Life could only come from God the Father. Nonetheless it is only by going through Jesus Christ that we can have this Life. So that is how I Theologically, fully, understand Christ’s statements here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Immortality rests inherently only in God. Our living is dependent upon His life. God alone is the source of life, so if man is separated from Him, he dies. This doesn't mean that man was created to "naturally die," however. It simply means that man has a dependence upon God in order to live.


Again, this notion of ‘mere separation causing death’ is not attested to in the Bible. It is really a (incorrectly) derived Theological supposition. The Bible and SOP is clear that sinful man could live perpetually.

I would like to know, what would it theologically/entail mean to you if you no longer had this view?


“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: kland] #131535
03/08/11 05:00 AM
03/08/11 05:00 AM
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Originally Posted By: kland
Is the tree of life some magic herb, or does it have a deeper meaning?


Originally Posted By: SOP MM 233.5
The fruit of the tree of life in the Garden of Eden possessed supernatural virtue. To eat of it was to live forever. Its fruit was the antidote of death. Its leaves were for the sustaining of life and immortality.


What is meant by EGW in “supernatural” is not something magical, but something that transcends what it naturally possible/achievable. E.g. Samson was not naturally so strong, but God empowered him to become “supernaturally” strong. Interestingly enough one hears of feats by, e.g., a mother who seized with fear that her child is being crushed by a car, somehow was able to lift the car and save their child, something they later cannot do again, and that may show how Samson could become so strong. God cause a similar and greater strengthening spirit to come over him, cause his muscles to be able to exert greater strength than normal. I do not believe that God does anything through “hocus pocus” but just on a much higher scientific level than we may even 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: Tom] #131536
03/08/11 05:01 AM
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Sin does involve a spiritual aspect that distinctly needs to be dealt with, but its result in bodily degeneration and eventually death is itself purely physical and its pointed antidote is the fruit of life. Christ character, mind and spirit however is the antidote for the root cause of sin, working on our minds/psyche (= “soul”).


“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] #131537
03/08/11 05:03 AM
03/08/11 05:03 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
I think the rebelling person might object.


Like Lucifer of old, I am sure he’ll put of a fight, albeit a vexatious one since all the concrete “GC proof” will be in by then, unless that person can come up with some issue of controversy that is entirely new, however, by God wisely having allowed the GC to fully play itself out, even letting the sin mastermind Satan pretty much free to suggest whatever he want to man, which he surely will do in order to somehow win this GC, I do not see this as being the case.

So if it ever comes to such a case where someone has to be “cut off” because they (most freely) chose to sin (sin Satan would not even be around to tempt them), they will surely be immediately blotted out by God, probably after a judgement session, with the GC proof speaking volumes against them.

I think this Theological point is key because many people think that they’ll be some sort of androids in Heaven, more such a belief leads them to not work on their characters on earth. God will work to remove sin from our minds/psyche but what we have not cultivated will not be suddenly injected in our psyche/character then. We will either have to work on it or not have it at all. That does not mean that one will be hateful in heaven if they never learn to love their brother on earth, but they may just not fully love their brethren as someone else who had cultivated this in their character. They will probably have the chance to grow into character perfection none the less. I am just saying that this will no supernaturally given to them simply because that would really come to violate our freedom.


“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] #131538
03/08/11 05:04 AM
03/08/11 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
This is an interesting question. I think our bodies will work much differently than they do now, and it's difficult to answer this. For example, without sin, will there be entropy? It seems to me that entropy is a by-product of sin. Everything we know about the human body depends upon entropy, however, so I don't know how we can go about addressing your question. That is, we'd have to imagine a situation completely different to what we are accustomed to.


This is where I ask you to substantiate this view that the future redeemed will be tangibly different than Pre-Fall Man. That was God’s original and perfect plan and there was no entropy then in Eden when God told Adam and Eve to eat of the Tree of Life.


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #131539
03/08/11 05:06 AM
03/08/11 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
Agreed.


I’ll add here that God really did that because He really wanted to effectuate the second coming then since, in EGW’s time he saw that an even deeper darkness, through increased knowledge and the wearing away of the Gospel through Fallen and Corrupted “Babylon” would come upon the world, and it statistically is the case today, those who would be ale to pass through Final Events would only be ca. 0.25% of all those alive at the end. So it would be better for him to end things then, rather than have ca. 99.75% of all those born thereafter eventually suffering and die in Hell.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Why do you think this is the only inhabited planet in our galaxy?


Well I guess I can assuredly speak about Mars for now given the current exploration which did not reveal habitation. Perhaps a more power space telescope will allow “Earthlings” to inspect other planets remotely, however, just because of such ready, galactical accessibility, I do not think that God created each world within reach of each other, i.e., in the same galaxy.


Originally Posted By: Tom
If breathing the aroma is sufficient, then why would man have to eat of it?


As I said, that was how God designed it in Eden to pointedly counter what was needed to sin with the banned fruit. Man himself was maybe not “enabled” to simply breathe it in then, versus the rest of name. That however does not result in a drastic different between Pre-fall man and the Redeemed since the Fruit’s ingredient still needs to be tangibly ingested to perpetuate life. As I also said, breathing it in Heaven may simply be for practical reasons, which again, speaks to me of the reality of God.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I haven't said this.

...
Nor this! I never used words like "merely" or "only". I've said that the point of the Tree of Life is to teach sentient, spiritual beings that they receive life from God.


I have relocated your original statement, or at least what I was basing my comments on:

Quote:
The Tree of Life (and breathing) are means to teach us of our dependence upon God for life. I'm not denying that the Tree of Life has healthful benefits (as does breathing), but am pointing out that the real significant thing is that *God* is life, and is the source of life, and we have life by virtue of being united to Him, which the Tree of Life was meant to teach.


I here do not follow the association here. How does eating the fruit off tree teach that God is the source of life. It would seem to be that something more direct such as praying to him for life would be more directly “illustrative|instructive” here. I rather see that the only way for God to convey this Life to man was in the tree of life.

Furthermore, notwithstanding all that I have previously said about God injecting the ingredients of Life into the water of Life which produced the Fruits of Life in the Tree, why didn’t God simply make it that this ingredient of Life would no longer be injected in the water, thus rendering this fruit powerless. The only answer I have, is that this would have resulted in the complete destruction of the Garden of Eden itself and God apparently wanted to preserve that Garden in its state of perfection. Perhaps as reminder to the antedelluvians in hope to keep them holy or relative good. That may indeed have slowed down the moral degeneration and world corruption then.

I don't understand how there can be death without sin.

There is not death, per se, there is gradually degeneration or one that will naturally start if the Fruit of life is not eaten to prevent this. That is all because man, even if perfect, is “unimprovably” mortal. Only God cannot so self-degenerate. So, like taking vital medicine on time, there was no manifestation of the degeneration if the Fruit was timely eaten, however that inherently involves that everpresent reality. As I said, disobeying God’s health law here would constitute sin and instantaneously begin this death process. The only way that this all could be avoided was if man was immortal, but this is not the case. So this may be the difference in saying that ‘Man, without the fruit, was destined/subject to (eventually) die’ vs. Man actually daily dying until he timely ate it again. That first miss eating of it may have started that dying process.

Originally Posted By: Tom
My view is not that the Tree of Life is not that God didn't create man to eat from the Tree of Life, nor that the Tree of Life does not have special properties, but that the cause of death is not being denied access to the Tree of Life, but rather sin. I've also made the point that life comes from God, not from a Tree (except indirectly). God designed things in a certain way so that we would see that life comes from Him. If there were no tree involved (or eating in general, or breathing), it wouldn't be so obvious that we are dependent upon God for life.


As already expressed, I do see your ultimate source here, however it seems to me that the Tree of Life was more tangible than, even also, teaching a dependence upon God. As I said prayer could have better done this.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Regarding comments about Christ's healing the soul/mind, I agree with that, but would also point out that the body is connected to the soul/mind. So we obtain bodily benefits by having our mind/soul healed by Christ. Do you think the Tree of Life would fully supply these benefits, apart from Christ?

That is, if we accept that sin causes harm to the soul/mind, which also causes harm to the body, can this harm to the body be healed by the Tree of Life, independent of Christ?


Evidently Yes. The Tree of Life could heal many, if not most bodily harm, which is why God was afraid that sinful man could have access to it and life forever. Sin does indeed ultimately originate in the mind, however it took a physical act of God to prevent sinful man from being able to live forever. And, as I see it, it is only by that tangible barring act that perpetual life now comes through having faith in Christ since he then allows us this access again. (Rev 2:7). My whole point here is that if God thought that sinful man could live forever than I have to adjust my theology to include that most explicitly stated reality. Otherwise it would be a personal|private|preferred view that I would be upholding and not the Bible.

Truthfully accepting Christ serves to keep our minds from ever slipping into this state of sinfulness and thus continues to grant us access to this Life perpetuating Tree.


“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] #131540
03/08/11 05:12 AM
03/08/11 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted By: Mountain Man
Did Jesus close their 490 year probation early? Was there still a chance they might comply with the conditions and remain God's chosen people and nation? Or, was their death and destruction inevitable?

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

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


I finds these question here off-issue as they all deal with death after sin was fully instilled in the world, and that actively manufactured death. As such all of these deaths, including from an enemy in war, are all the result of the reign of sin in the world. Perhaps it just me, but is my understanding of things here.


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #131544
03/08/11 06:34 AM
03/08/11 06:34 AM
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DNA is a communication medium. It is a language, that conveys information. DNA is not the information. The particular arrangement is the information. Thus, information is independent of the medium. Also, information always, always, comes from an intelligent source. That said, transposons (TE) are DNA. They convey information also. The question is, who sent this information? Did God send this information? If so, then He is responsible for all the damage TEs do to the genome. I point to the parable of the weeds. Matthew 13:27-28 AKJV "So the servants of the householder came and said to him, Sir, did not you sow good seed in your field? from where then has it tares? (v28) He said to them, An enemy has done this."

Yes, thoughts can change epigenetic gene control. But it is a far stretch to get to total destruction of DNA by TEs.I suggest you do a little study on these things to see how really destructive they are.

As to sin being totally in the mind, again, I don't think so. How much doubt can there be and it not be called sin? The good angels had doubt right up until the cross. Doubt means you are not 100% sure. That means they were at least entertaining belief in the lies. If sin is just wrong beliefs, then if you have the truth, does this reverse the effects of sin? Truth does set us free! But we still die. Why did eating of the fruit in the Garden start an irreversible processes which only the plan of redemption could undo?


Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son! {ST, January 20, 1890}
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: APL] #131545
03/08/11 09:18 AM
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Here is a question for you APL: Could not the ‘supernatural elements’ in the Fruit of Life also serve to prevent the wrong information coding of TE’s? I.e. does science know that TE’s are not self-writable or self-corruptable? In the absence of an original/pure TE which Adam surely had it may not be possible to determine this definitely. In such a case, I cannot form a Theology on an assumption. On the other hand, I know from the Bible and SOP that the withdrawal of the Fruit of Life permitted death/mortality to take its course, so I can easily deduce that it is the withdrawal of that fruit the began this physical degeneration.

Also then, in regards to Matt 13:27, 28, since the serpent tempted Eve to sin, then is the entire derived results of sin not attributable to him. E.g., why is Osama Bin Laden being held responsible for the 9/11 attacks? All he did was green light them, but he did not physically execute these attacks. Similarly, if eating the fruit open the door to the devils ideas which result in the Tree of Life being barred which causes TE’s to misfire/mis-write themselves, then is this damage not fully attributable to the Devil even if he did not actively inject this misinformation into the DNA?

All sin originates in the mind. Simple doubt itself may indeed not be sin. Sin acted upon whether in the mind, or further through the body is sin? If the loyal angels had said, because I doubt God, I will not obey until this doubt is cleared up (which is what the evil angels did) then this would have been sin, the sin of faithlessness.

The plan of redemption made the way to the tree of life again permissible/accessible to man and in order to excise/purge our minds of all and any sinful traces/traits, Christ had to endure our mind/psyche sins. Our minds may serve as a primary and distinct obstacle to being saved through Christ sacrifice just as God had sought to prevent with sinful man in Eden.


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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Copyright 2000-Present
Maritime 2nd Advent Believers OnLine (formerly Maritime SDA OnLine).

LEGAL NOTICE:
The views expressed in this forum are those of individuals
and do not necessarily represent those of Maritime 2nd Advent Believers OnLine,
as well as the Seventh-day Adventist Church
from the local church level to the General Conference level.

Maritime 2nd Advent Believers OnLine (formerly Maritime SDA OnLine) is also a self-supporting ministry
and is not part of, or affiliated with, or endorsed by
The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland
or any of its subsidiaries.

"And He saith unto them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matt. 4:19
MARITIME 2ND ADVENT BELIEVERS ONLINE (FORMERLY MARITIME SDA ONLINE) CONSISTING MAINLY OF BOTH MEMBERS & FRIENDS
OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH,
INVITES OTHER MEMBERS & FRIENDS OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD WHO WISHES TO JOIN US!
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