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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: APL] #132104
03/25/11 06:02 PM
03/25/11 06:02 PM
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Jesus here was made to bear the full wrath of God so that no human, if they so chose, -by living according to God’s ways, would themselves not have to be subject to it, however it clearly was not here preventing it from being inflicted upon any human who would trample upon this provided mercy. And it was the unbelieving Jewish nation who first got a taste of part of this wrath in their 70 A.D. national destruction, with the rest due at the Hell Fire execution of the final judgement. So this “ministry of wrath” is evidently two-part, one that can be tangibly felt in the ‘here and now’, if God deems it to be just and necessary (= OT temporal judgements) and another part at the end of this GC.

So here I was referring to this “here and now” part in this wrath, which was to be executed on the enemies/obstructors of God’s people, (who ever they may/came to, be), and that Jesus clearly put on hold for ca. 3.5 years, before ‘firmly determining it’ (=Dan 9:26b) at the manifestation of Israel’s intent on rejecting him. Still they were mercifully given 3.5 more years to change their mind and receive this provided, wrath-averting mercy.


“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] #132105
03/25/11 06:19 PM
03/25/11 06:19 PM
Tom  Offline
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Another difference I thought of in terms of how MM and I see things has to do with the approach one should take to understanding the incidents in Scripture where God apparently acts out of character.

What I mean by "out of character" is apparently violently. For example, when Christ cursed the fig tree, the disciples were taken aback, but this looked so different than Christ's normal behavior. They understood Christ not to be a violent person, so when Christ acted apparently violently, this was confusing to them. It turns out that the cursing of the fig tree was an acted out parable, acting out what would happen to Israel, if they didn't repent.

Quote:
Christ's act in cursing the fig tree had astonished the disciples. It seemed to them unlike His ways and works. Often they had heard Him declare that He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. They remembered His words, "The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Luke 9:56. His wonderful works had been done to restore, never to destroy. The disciples had known Him only as the Restorer, the Healer. This act stood alone. What was its purpose? they questioned.

God "delighteth in mercy." "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." Micah 7:18; Ezek. 33:11. To Him the work of destruction and the denunciation of judgment is a "strange work." Isa. 28:21. But it is in mercy and love that He lifts the veil from the future, and reveals to men the results of a course of sin.

The cursing of the fig tree was an acted parable. That barren tree, flaunting its pretentious foliage in the very face of Christ, was a symbol of the Jewish nation. The Saviour desired to make plain to His disciples the cause and the certainty of Israel's doom. For this purpose He invested the tree with moral qualities, and made it the expositor of divine truth. (DA 582)


Quote:
That day had come to Jerusalem. Jesus wept in anguish over the doomed city, but He could not deliver her. He had exhausted every resource. In rejecting the warnings of God's Spirit, Israel had rejected the only means of help. There was no other power by which they could be delivered.

The Jewish nation was a symbol of the people of all ages who scorn the pleadings of Infinite Love. The tears of Christ when He wept over Jerusalem were for the sins of all time. In the judgments pronounced upon Israel, those who reject the reproofs and warnings of God's Holy Spirit, may read their own condemnation.


The point that I wanted to get at is the following. There are scores of violent episodes in Scripture, many of which appear to portray God as acting "out of character" (unless we wish to view violence as not out of God's character). Do we need to go through these one by one, looking at each one, to determine if in a given particular case God is really acting violently? Or is it enough to make a case study of a particular incident in which God has given us a great deal of information?

In Scripture, in regards to the destruction of Jerusalem, God is portrayed as acting violently.

Quote:
But the tenants said to one another, 'This is the heir. Come, let's kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.' So they took him and killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others. (Mark 12)


Quote:
"But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire." (Matt. 22:7)


Here we see God portrayed in a normal human way. Things don't go His way, so He gets enraged, and takes vengeance with violence. This seems normal to us, so we have no problem interpreting God as acting in such a way, because that's the way we are. There are many incidents in Scripture which appear to portray God acting in such a manner.

In the chapter "The Destruction of Jerusalem" in "The Great Controversy" we have great detail as to what actually happened.

It seems to me this is sufficient to understanding God's acting "out of character" in general. The solution is that God isn't really acting the way it appears. God isn't really "enraged" to "send armies" to "destroy" nor "burn cities." He didn't really "come to kill" the Jews.

Quote:
Says the prophet: "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself;" "for thou hast fallen by thine iniquity." Hosea 13:9; 14:1. Their sufferings are often represented as a punishment visited upon them by the direct decree of God. It is thus that the great deceiver seeks to conceal his own work.(GC 35)


God wasn't really doing what He was portrayed as doing in Scripture. This is very common occurrence, the principle being that God presents Himself as doing that which He permits.


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] #132106
03/25/11 06:29 PM
03/25/11 06:29 PM
Tom  Offline
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Quote:
NJK:And it was the unbelieving Jewish nation who first got a taste of part of this wrath in their 70 A.D. national destruction...


And what happened here? They persistently resisted the Holy Spirit so that they had not protection against Satan. This is how they tasted God's wrath; God withdrew.

The Romans 1 passage we've been discussing (in a different context) brings this out:

Quote:
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.

20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

23 And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things.

24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:

25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: (Romans 1)


This speaks of God's "giving them up," which is the outworking of His wrath. There are lots of examples of this in Scripture.

Here's one:

Quote:
"My anger shall be aroused against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured. And many evils and troubles shall befall them, so that they will say in that day, 'Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?' And I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the [evil] which they have done, in that [they have turned to other gods]" (Deuteronomy 31:17, 18).


We see God's anger, or wrath, expressed by His withdrawal, which leads to troubles coming upon those whom He was protecting.


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] #132110
03/25/11 07:38 PM
03/25/11 07:38 PM
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I have followed that other destruction, and I say here that it really does not matter how God actually brings about this wrath. The fact remains that, as He can prevent it, He therefore is fully responsible for its occurrence. Satan cannot do anything on this planet to anyone unless God allows him do. Perhaps not at a case specific level, but certainly in a general way, probably, to some extent, since the Fall.

I see that God’s giving up of people to suffer the natural effect of their harm (e.g., contracting AIDS for a promiscuous/perverted lifestyle; overdosing on drugs), is all part of the freedom granted in this GC. Since most of these “self-inflicted” people don’t believe in God, or at least enough to fully obey Him, He is hoping that in allowing natural consequence to affect them, they will of themselves, come to acknowledge that God and His Ways are superior and out of such a free-will choice obey Him. The opposite would be God to strike people with lightning if they persisted in disobedience. How many fearful, and thus faithless, (sort of “loaves and fishes”) converts would that result in. There are however some of such “direct” judgements of God in the Bible (e.g., Sodom and Gomorrah*), however most judgement of God were done through indirect, and externally natural-looking means, e.g., Israel’s army victories, mass illnesses, even the Flood.

*(I personally believe that the perverted evil in Sodom and Gomorrah had reached the “critical mass” of having resulted in an outbreak of life threatening diseases e.g, HIV, AIDS, and/or other STD’s. So God’s capital intervention here was fully justified for imagine an outbreak of an incurable disease then, in those times. Just look at the devastating effects HIV and AIDS is having in our advanced world today, especially in poor/under developed countries. So, likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other surrounding cities may have been a tangible threat to the life of other peoples, including, even if not sexually transmitted, to Abraham’s (and thus Israel’s) family, e.g., through Lot or others. So that destruction was indeed to be, and that, in its means used, a most deterring object-lesson.)

So I see that where God has chosen to visibly directly intervene, in a that can only be attributed to Him, e.g., the freakish ‘Fire from Heaven’ destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, it was to indeed instill fear in people, in this case, so that they immoral and perverted lifestyle of the Sodomites and the other surrounding cities would not be repeated. Being fearful of this judgement and not engaging in these perverted acts however does not result in one having a saving faith in God and so does not really affect the GC Faith and Freedom that God prefers.


“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] #132111
03/25/11 07:41 PM
03/25/11 07:41 PM
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Reply to Tom’s ‘God Seeming to Act “Violently”’ Post [#132105]:

I personally think that in saying that: 'in such judgement acts God is acting violently' it is, at the very least, mislabelling God’s action here. E.g, A judge who condemned a serial killer to the electric chair is not acting “violently”. A soldier/army who defends their nation from a ‘clear and present danger’ is not acting violently. Such self-defense acts are not “violent” acts. That is why I made the initial comment on this discussion that God’s actions in the OT were for such tangible life or death implications and were not “violent”. The method used to execute these judgement is also to serve as an object lessons to others who are not, or not yet, deserving of such judgement so that they can change their ways and prevent any future death.

In the parables of Jesus, where such acts, which may be construed as violent are depicted, they are actually symbolic of the final judgement, even Hell judgement. So while the symbolic example may seem to be “violent”, it in its actually reality will not be. And here again this symbolic act is literally meant to instill a healthy fear in people (e.g., Wow, is God that serious for just this). Better a “violently portrayed” parable than an actual/acted out reality. Hence also the ultimate aim in the fig tree. The disciples were to take it most seriously not to trivially consider the obstinance of the Jewish leaders and people, because God certain was most seriously, eventually and surely, going to deal with it.


“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] #132112
03/25/11 08:16 PM
03/25/11 08:16 PM
Tom  Offline
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What does "violent" mean? Here's a definition:

Quote:
Effected by force or injury rather than natural causes.


Does that sound acceptable?

There's a big difference in considering man's actions and God's actions, as man can be seen as being constrained to use violence in order to protect his interests, whereas this does not apply to God. God always has other means available to accomplish His purposes, so violence on God's part would always be optional. It would mean that God chose a violent act in preference to a non-violent one. Does God ever make this choice?

Quote:
In the parables of Jesus, where such acts, which may be construed as violent are depicted, they are actually symbolic of the final judgement, even Hell judgement.


The ones I cited were dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem. The killing, and burning of cities, and sending of armies were violent acts, and actually did happen. God was portrayed as doing these things, but what really happened is He permitted them to happen.

Quote:
So while the symbolic example may seem to be “violent”, it in its actually reality will not be.


In the case cited, in its actual reality, it was violent.

Quote:
And here again this symbolic act is literally meant to instill a healthy fear in people (e.g., Wow, is God that serious for just this).


This sounds like something the enemy would do. That is, obedience by means of intimidation as opposed to being motivated by love, appreciation, or gratitude. If someone "obeys" God because they're afraid of what will happen to them if they don't, is this really obedience?

Quote:
Better a “violently portrayed” parable than an actual/acted out reality. Hence also the ultimate aim in the fig tree. The disciples were to take it most seriously not to trivially consider the obstinance of the Jewish leaders and people, because God certain was most seriously, eventually and surely, going to deal with it.


He dealt with it by permitting the things that happened to Jerusalem to happen, not by acting violently Himself.


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: NJK Project] #132113
03/25/11 08:17 PM
03/25/11 08:17 PM
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What’s the difference between God in the OT clearly telling His people [who were privileged to have his manifest presence amongst them in the Most Holy Place], and that in advance, that if you commit such and such a sin, you will be put to death, in such and such a way, and following through if/when this came to be the case vs. Jesus in the NT directly and inclusively warning people, indeed also in the Gospel Proclamation, that if they did not believe that He was God Incarnate, they would burn in the fires of Hell for some deserved time (e.g., Luke 12:49, 50)? The latter may be a more delayed judgement and wrath, and that probably solely because of the relative physical remoteness of God with man in the New Covenant vs. the Old Covenant, but both are still manifestations of God’s wrath, on both the sin and the committing sinner(s).


“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] #132114
03/25/11 08:28 PM
03/25/11 08:28 PM
Tom  Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK
I have followed that other destruction, and I say here that it really does not matter how God actually brings about this wrath.


I think it matters a great deal. The whole battle of the Great Controversy is over God's character. The enemy presents God as being a certain way, and the question is really if that's the way God is.

Quote:
The fact remains that, as He can prevent it, He therefore is fully responsible for its occurrence.


I believe this is the argument of the enemy. I believe our job as Christians is to argue the reverse, that Satan/sin is responsible for all the evil in the world, and not God. I believe the judgment will reveal that God has been completely innocent, and that the responsibility for all "bad" things ("bad" being anything less than God's ideal) is entirely because sentient beings have chosen to act differently than how God would have them act (or, equivalently, differently than how Jesus acted).

Quote:
Satan cannot do anything on this planet to anyone unless God allows him do. Perhaps not at a case specific level, but certainly in a general way, probably, to some extent, since the Fall.


One could extend this to say that a person cannot die of cancer unless God allows them to. The person may smoke 7 packs of cigarettes a day, and then contract lung cancer. Is God responsible because He permitted this to happen?

Quote:
I see that God’s giving up of people to suffer the natural effect of their harm (e.g., contracting AIDS for a promiscuous/perverted lifestyle; overdosing on drugs), is all part of the freedom granted in this GC.


I completely agree. And Satan's actions, and the choices of all sentient being, also enter into this.

Quote:
Since most of these “self-inflicted” people don’t believe in God, or at least enough to fully obey Him, He is hoping that in allowing natural consequence to affect them, they will of themselves, come to acknowledge that God and His Ways are superior and out of such a free-will choice obey Him. The opposite would be God to strike people with lightning if they persisted in disobedience. How many fearful, and thus faithless, (sort of “loaves and fishes”) converts would that result in.


Yes.

Quote:
There are however some of such “direct” judgements of God in the Bible (e.g., Sodom and Gomorrah*), however most judgement of God were done through indirect, and externally natural-looking means, e.g., Israel’s army victories, mass illnesses, even the Flood.

*(I personally believe that the perverted evil in Sodom and Gomorrah had reached the “critical mass” of having resulted in an outbreak of life threatening diseases e.g, HIV, AIDS, and/or other STD’s. So God’s capital intervention here was fully justified for imagine an outbreak of an incurable disease then, in those times. Just look at the devastating effects HIV and AIDS is having in our advanced world today, especially in poor/under developed countries. So, likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah, and the other surrounding cities may have been a tangible threat to the life of other peoples, including, even if not sexually transmitted, to Abraham’s (and thus Israel’s) family, e.g., through Lot or others. So that destruction was indeed to be, and that, in its means used, a most deterring object-lesson.)

So I see that where God has chosen to visibly directly intervene, in a that can only be attributed to Him, e.g., the freakish ‘Fire from Heaven’ destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, it was to indeed instill fear in people, in this case, so that they immoral and perverted lifestyle of the Sodomites and the other surrounding cities would not be repeated. Being fearful of this judgement and not engaging in these perverted acts however does not result in one having a saving faith in God and so does not really affect the GC Faith and Freedom that God prefers.


It could be something happened differently than what is commonly thought, and God acted according to the same principles as the destruction of Jerusalem. Is violence a part of God's government?


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] #132115
03/25/11 09:09 PM
03/25/11 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted By: Tom
What does "violent" mean? Here's a definition:
Quote: Effected by force or injury rather than natural causes.
Does that sound acceptable?


With that particular, applicable definition, i.e., using force vs. ‘malicious intent’ -it is indeed more acceptable.

Originally Posted By: Tom
There's a big difference in considering man's actions and God's actions, as man can be seen as being constrained to use violence in order to protect his interests, whereas this does not apply to God. God always has other means available to accomplish His purposes, so violence on God's part would always be optional. It would mean that God chose a violent act in preference to a non-violent one. Does God ever make this choice?


I see that God is always acting to defend His interests, whether it is to protect His people when righteous and/or preserve the invested Redemptive plans for this planet.

The “use of force” by God may all be for this needed external, deterring object lesson. Also using an alternative means would be similar to using the electric chair or lethal injection for Capital punishment. As God could also have used “life in prison” vs. these death inflicting means, it further indicates to me that death was the necessary and/or best deterring option, for the greater good of the GC, indeed perhaps serving to save the eternal life of millions of other people.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The ones I cited were dealing with the destruction of Jerusalem. The killing, and burning of cities, and sending of armies were violent acts, and actually did happen. God was portrayed as doing these things, but what really happened is He permitted them to happen.


As an example of God’s ultimate judgement, even on His former people, the destruction of Jerusalem was symbolic of the final execution of Judgement, at least, of the final religiously-based conflict that will punctuate this GC. As EGW says:

Originally Posted By: SOP GC 36.2ff
The Saviour's prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God's mercy and trampled upon His law. Dark are the records of human misery that earth has witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens, and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future. The records of the past,--the long procession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions, the "battle of the warrior . . . with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood" (Isaiah 9:5),--what are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when the restraining Spirit of God shall be wholly withdrawn from the wicked, no longer to hold in check the outburst of human passion and satanic wrath! The world will then behold, as never before, the results of Satan's rule. {GC 36.2}


To also be exegetically accurate, in reality, God did not physically dispossess national Israel to given these riches to the NT Church. Also, while the destruction punishment was indeed manifest in reality, it, to the issue of this discussion, was a “wrathful” pronouncement of Jesus Himself, which He surely may have been quite instrumental in allowing when the time came.

Originally Posted By: Tom
In the case cited, in its actual reality, it was violent.


It could also be argued, as you apparently already understand, that God’s acted non-violently by simply not permitting His “wisening” Spirit to influence (in this case of rebellion, “compel”) these Jews to do the right things. So, as it degeneratively developed as told by Josephus, they, around 66 A.D., in nationalistic ambitions, decided to no longer pay Rome its taxes, which casued Rome to send a military detachment to, at least, visually compel payment. When the Jews further refused, Rome moved in to physically collect these overdue taxes, and then the Jews saw it ‘wise in their own eyes’ to take refuge in the Temple (evidently counting on God’s protection there), when it did not occur as expected, they literally went nuts and the utter physical destruction of the city and great amount of death “naturally” resulted from now more direct confrontations with the Romans, and also by the Roman soldiers also correspondingly “losing it” in the face of this madness, where even the Generals such as Titus could not bring things back under control before it was way too late.

So here God did not actually do anything “violent” here at all. Indeed if they had just heeded Christ counsel to ‘pay Caesar what belongs to him’, this whole catastrophe would probably have been averted.

Quote:

N:And here again this symbolic act is literally meant to instill a healthy fear in people (e.g., Wow, is God that serious for just this).

T:This sounds like something the enemy would do. That is, obedience by means of intimidation as opposed to being motivated by love, appreciation, or gratitude. If someone "obeys" God because they're afraid of what will happen to them if they don't, is this really obedience?


A) It seems that doing, an even cursory, word study on the word “fear” in relation to God in the Bible (OT #03372a & NT #5399) will corroborate exactly what “healthy fear” I am referring to. (E.g, OT: Gen 22:12; Job 1:1; 8, 9; 2 Chr 6:31; - NT: Matt 10:28; Heb 4:1; Rev 11:18; 14:7; 19:5, etc)

B) I think my other comments on this issue showed how this fear is a most loving kind, indeed just as parent would have to deal with a rebellious child if they do want to save them as much as they are able to. According to the Bible such ‘sparing of the rod’ (manifestly when this is the best remaining option) is not an act of love, but quite to the contrary.

Originally Posted By: Tom
He dealt with it by permitting the things that happened to Jerusalem to happen, not by acting violently Himself.


As I had said, this is manifestly how you understand this in terms of “violence” vs. “a natural act”. I also agree with this understanding to some extent. However, it must also be taken into consideration that God could, in many ways, still have prevented the “violent” outcome, e.g., the Roman armies suddenly becoming too sick to fight. Indeed with the sudden withdrawal of the first Siege attempt under Cestus in ca. 66 A.D., God had worked to delay this violence. He therefore could similarly have entirely prevented it. So to another extent, He is ultimately responsible for its occurrence, as He was in the OT when the Assyrians, then Babylon took the kingdoms of Israel, the Judah away into captivity. The same level of indirect implication of God is equally involved in both Testament acts.

Last edited by NJK Project; 03/25/11 10:13 PM. Reason: OT Fear # and examples

“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] #132116
03/25/11 09:16 PM
03/25/11 09:16 PM
Tom  Offline
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Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
What’s the difference between God in the OT clearly telling His people [who were privileged to have his manifest presence amongst them in the Most Holy Place], and that in advance, that if you commit such and such a sin, you will be put to death, in such and such a way, and following through if/when this came to be the case vs. Jesus in the NT directly and inclusively warning people, indeed also in the Gospel Proclamation, that if they did not believe that He was God Incarnate, they would burn in the fires of Hell for some deserved time (e.g., Luke 12:49, 50)?


What's the mechanism that causes death? If death is organic to sin, then the fires of hell happen when God permits people to experience the result of their choice, as DA 764 explains. If the mechanism in the OT is the same, then there's no difference.

Quote:
The latter may be a more delayed judgement and wrath, and that probably solely because of the relative physical remoteness of God with man in the New Covenant vs. the Old Covenant, but both are still manifestations of God’s wrath, on both the sin and the committing sinner(s).


God's wrath is His permitting the sinner to experience the result of his choice, as DA 764 outlines (for the judgment), and GC 35-37 (for retribution in this life). From Scripture, Romans 1 and the Deut. passage, respectively (for judgment and this life) apply as well.


Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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