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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #132239
03/31/11 10:45 PM
03/31/11 10:45 PM
Tom  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Quote:
Moses believed God wanted him to intercede on behalf of Israel. He knew God wasn't serious about wanting to destroy Israel.


Huh? The first part is fine, but the second is a head-scratcher. What makes you think Moses thought God was kidding?


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] #132240
03/31/11 11:01 PM
03/31/11 11:01 PM
Tom  Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK
I had read that wider SOP context. It was clear to me that Moses did not see that “God was not serious” but merely that God had deliberately left a way of averting His judgement. And the humble and unselfish Moses took advantage of that opportunity. EGW’s statements of: “discerned ground for hope”; “not to forbid but to encourage”, “if thus entreated, God would spare His people.” Otherwise, as shown in the other verse I referenced, if no one was found to intercede here, God would have carried out that judgement. (cf. e.g., Jer 5:1; Ezek 22:30, 31). So God was indeed most serious here, but also merciful, indeed, of His own initiative (= Isa 59:16), working to orchestrate this chance for Israel to come to have this crucially needed, intercessor from amongst them, and that through an honest and candid act of Moses, hence the utilized veiledness here. Indeed, as “implied” by God, “nothing but. the prayers of Moses could save Israel.”


I think this is the right way of looking at this, especially in conjunction with the comments from GC 35-37. That is:

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. By stubborn rejection of divine love and mercy, the Jews had caused the protection of God to be withdrawn from them, and Satan was permitted to rule them according to his will. The horrible cruelties enacted in the destruction of Jerusalem are a demonstration of Satan's vindictive power over those who yield to his control.

We cannot know how much we owe to Christ for the peace and protection which we enjoy. It is the restraining power of God that prevents mankind from passing fully under the control of Satan. The disobedient and unthankful have great reason for gratitude for God's mercy and long-suffering in holding in check the cruel, malignant power of the evil one. But when men pass the limits of divine forbearance, that restraint is removed. God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown.


Combining your insight with this one, what we see is that the Great Controversy is a real war. It's not that God destroys people because He gets angry at them, but there are rules of engagement, and if there is no one to intercede, or not enough interest in righteousness, I suppose one could put it, then God withdraws, and allows the destroyer to do his work.

God is in a quandary. On the one hand, if God never allowed sin/Satan to have any sway, no one would be able to discern their malignant effects. Indeed, from the discussion of "It Is Finished," we can see that even holy angels had trouble discerning this until the cross, so clever is Satan in camouflaging his purposes and actions.

One the other hand, if God did not intervene at all, Satan/sin would destroy everyone, so their wouldn't even be a Great Controversy. So God needs to allow sin/Satan to have some sway, so that the cause/effect relationship of sin and its results can be seen, but not too much sway. So where to draw the line? That requires divine wisdom. One thing we know is that our prayers have a lot to do with God's decisions, which is an awesome thing.


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] #132241
03/31/11 11:23 PM
03/31/11 11:23 PM
APL  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom
Sin is not "material" at all, let alone "self-combustible material." Sin is in the mind. It involves thoughts, decisions and actions one undertakes.
I very much appreciate what you have written. I use to believe that sin was just in the mind. However, explain to me how sin causes cancer in animals, and thorns on leaves. The is a real physical aspect to sin. NJK wants to say that these things are a result of the extraction of the Tree of Life, however he has produced no evidence to that fact. The Tree was in Eden for a long time after the fall. There also has been multiple falls! Yes, Eve believed the lies of Satan, and that is what led to her fall. It was not her fall. Eating the fruit was her fall. Sin is hereditary and cultivated.
Originally Posted By: EGW
By taking upon Himself man's nature in its fallen condition, Christ did not in the least participate in its sin. {16MR 116.3}
Christ took on fallen nature, but did not "participate in its sin". She often refers to sinful human nature. The nature of sin is one thing that Satan has lied about. Christ was "made to be sin", yet we know in His mind, He never lost faith in His Father. If sin is in the mind only, then Christ could not be made to be sin. And while many diseases can have their start in the mind, there are many diseases for which we have clear genetic causes.


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] #132247
04/01/11 01:18 AM
04/01/11 01:18 AM
Tom  Offline
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Lawrence, Kansas
I don't disagree with what you're saying, APL. There certainly are physical effects to sin. You mentioned the impact on the animal kingdom, and one could add even inanimate objects. Consider the moon, for example. It seems unlikely that what it looks like now is how God created it. Destructive weather is another item that comes to mind.

But these things can be explained in terms of actions, thoughts, decisions, I think. For example, if I make the decision to harm or kill you physically, then that has a physical impact. But it's still true that sin is a thing of the mind.

In the case of Satan, I'd still say sin is a thing of the mind. Satan has a great mind (in terms of intellect), and is able to do the genetic things you mentioned, and cause havoc in all sorts of ways.

The point I was making deals with how to get rid of sin. If sin is a matter of the mind, then you get rid of sin by changing the way people think, the decisions they make, and the actions they perform. Of course, there are physical aspects as well, such as sinful nature vs. resurrected sinless nature, but the real essence of the sin problem is one of the mind is my belief and was my point.

To deal with sin in a final "once and forever" way involves every sentient being in the universe being convinced that God was correct, and has acted virtuously, in harmony with His character of love, benevolence, justice, mercy, etc. This, I believe, is the primary purpose of the final judgment. Everyone else will have been convinced by that point in time, so only rebel humans remain.


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] #132253
04/01/11 04:45 AM
04/01/11 04:45 AM
APL  Offline
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Tom,
How do we get rid of sin - we also need to know what sin is. If sin is only in the mind, then we need to explain what happened to Satan. He was lying in heaven about God. Yet, he had not gone so far that if he would have confessed and submitted to God, he would have been reinstated into his office. There was a point of no return for him. Man on the other hand, ate the fruit, and there was no return. Satan was telling lies, and had not gone too far. Man believed the lie, then ate the fruit. Believing the lie, was not the fall, it led to the fall.
Originally Posted By: EGW
She disbelieved the words of God, and this was what led to her fall. {PP 55.2}
The disbelief of God was not the fall, it led to the fall. And there were multiple falls.
Originally Posted By: EGW
A succession of falls has occurred since Adam's day. {PHJ, February 1, 1902 par. 8}
And in the plan of redemption, we need to explain how what Jesus achieved, is applied to us. Is it just that we see the life of Christ and that influences us? (Moral Influence). Or is it more?
Originally Posted By: EGW
The atonement of Christ is not a mere skillful way to have our sins pardoned; it is a divine remedy for the cure of transgression and the restoration of spiritual health. It is the Heaven-ordained means by which the righteousness of Christ may be not only upon us but in our hearts and characters (Letter 406, 1906).
So the righteousness of Christ is a cure for transgression AND restoration of spiritual health. His righteousness in upon us, AND in our hearts and characters. It is physical and spiritual.


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: Tom] #132254
04/01/11 07:36 AM
04/01/11 07:36 AM
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Quote:
NJK: -From here it is introductorily, and thus not in full details, chiefly stated that ‘what was “victoriously finished’ at the Cross was the “great work of redemption. (Thus no notion here of ‘a understood knowledge that sin results in death.’)

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


As this is one of those purely commentary Chapters in the DA vs. the narrative ones, I would see that EGW would be stating what the chief issues in this “It is Finished” topic will be from the start. And so I find it striking that she does not state in the introductory paragraph in question (DA 758.3) this chief issue for this “It Is Finished” chapter that; ‘the angels did not understand that death being the inevitable result of sin, especially if this had been a crucial understanding of that statement. It thus seems clear to me that it is the ‘character of Satan’, ‘his proposed principles’ and the nature of his rebellion that are what was pointedly understood at the Cross. Indeed simply by understanding these completely, it can then be seen that ‘“death was the inevitable result of” this proposed ‘lawlessness’ [= “sin” - 1 John 3:4] course of life, that Satan had proposed, and cunningly concealed and defended all of this time.’...

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


...So while the whole chapter deals with that theme, I see the latter mention that ‘death in the inevitable result of sin’ (i.e., this proposed “Law transgressing/lawless course”), as being a sub-statement to these chief ones. What had to be understood so that this conclusion could be understood was the true nature, character and principles of Satan’s proposed course and of Satan himself, as candidly self-exposed during his all-out murderous efforts at Calvary.

Quote:
NJK: -It also was: “the character of Satan”, his previously deceptively concealed “principles” and “the nature of his rebellion” that were “clearly revealed to the angels or to the unfallen worlds”.
[{758.4}-{759.1}]

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


Perhaps this is indeed the case, however, as we are dealing pointed with what they angels and humans in worlds unfallen had to come to understand at/by the Cross, my statement does emphasizes this pertinent point.

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

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


Here could potentially be a reconciling of our views. You say that ‘the angels could see that there [was] death involved, but the cause wasn’t clear’ and this is pointedly what I find completely irrational, hence object wholly to your view. If first of all, as you claim, the death of Lucifer in heaven its self would have been done by the consuming glory of God because of sin being in its presence, then how/why wouldn’t these intelligent angels see the direct correlation here. I.e., Satan was killed because ‘iniquity/sin/unrighteousness was found in him’ (Ezek 28:15). Just like I can see a direct correlation to something though I do not understand how/why this is the result. That is why it seems clear to me that the issue is not surfacely that sin=death, but the deeper issue of “why”. I.e., WHY is ‘death the inevitable result of sin’, either naturally or by God’s intervene action. So it is this why that I see that the angels needed to be answered and its answer is not to be found in a scientific explanation, but by answering the GC issue of ‘why should those who choose to live outside of God’s Law must die.

I say “must” because I have now come to Theologically see that if God had not imposed the Tree of Life banning injunction on man, as He states, sinful man would have lived forever. (I think that point, which you evidently do not agree with, is amply and explicitly supported in the Bible and SOP. As I said, your view that ‘this is not true because all life comes from Jesus’ is easily reconcilable that God will manifestly, tangibly impart this life to us through the River of Life flowing from His throne. It is not by osmosis that we have perpetual life, by only by actually, physically, ingesting this “supernatural” provision of God.) So I therefore see that the angels needed to understand why God had taken such measure to make those who choose to life outside of His Law die. In other words, why didn’t He let sinful man continue to eat of the Tree of Life. Back to heaven’s fall, if He had killed Lucifer, that same question would have been asked.

I also see that angels are not immortal, so they need to also ingest a “Fruit of Life” also containing this similar “Supernatural, life perpetuating power”. So when Satan and the disloyal angels were banished from Heaven, they lost access to this Fruit, and just like man was thus limited to ca. 1000 years of existence with it, angels probably have a 10,000 life expectancy without it. That is how, Satan also knew at that first expulsion that “his time was little/few/brief”, i.e., limited. (Rev 12:12)

So... these are the underlying reasons why I have said that the issue here is: “is this eradicating death penalty for living without/outside of God’s law deserved. That is what I understand in the statement that ‘it was to be shown that “death is the inevitable result of sin”’. And so, immediately bringing about this result without the need of 6000+ years to first demonstrate this “inevitable result” would, if understood, have been seen by all as a fair and deserving act and not an arbitrary one. Again, if any sin results immediately in death then there really is nothing else to prove, and that by 6000+ years of sin. So I do only see here that it is the why sinners must die, as being the issue, as, if these sinners were allowed to eat of the fruit of life, they would have lived forever, indeed right next to righteous people. However God took measures to prevent that possibility and the ongoing GC is now to demonstrate exactly why! I.e. why must sinners be made to die. (Of course if you don’t see what Gen 3:22-24 is saying, indeed all physically stemming from the perpetual Life that Jesus/God provides to man, I do not expect you to agree here.)

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

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


This, honestly, “validly”, ongoing GC is seeking to demonstrate that God’s law, and the ultimate consequence of eternal death is indeed not an arbitrary act of God, but sinners must be made to suffer this fate. Indeed God’s presence would consume them, when, as I understand it, they reach a certain level of sinfulness, so then why not let them live apart from God’s presence, i.e., in a perfect world like ours were, with a Tree of Life, and where God never visits or without shielding His consuming glory. Somewhat like how Satan and the Fallen angels have lived for over 6000 years as vile sinners outside of God presence, though with many in person visit with God. That also implicates this GC issue of “why must sinners die”? [And the answer is not the circular maxim that “sinners can’ t but die” because, as I said, if that what the direct cause-effect, I do not think that 6000+ years of a GC, with billions of human deaths and suffering would be needed to prove that already inevitable self-reality. Angels can readily grasp that “scientific” reality. The actual issue is “why”, and not “why” this happens, but why must it be allowed to, even made to, happen.]

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

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

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

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


The SOP text/narrative actually indicates otherwise. The angels had bee “sympathetic” to Satan. They thus found his arguments plausible and needed the GC to resolve the questions/doubts they had. However EGW clearly says that even at/after the Cross, they still had more doubts and questions, however they chose, for the remaining time now ca. 2000 years, to no longer give Satan the platform he had at the gates of Heaven to make known his cause, even accusations. Since the GC issues were still unresolve yet they still chose to now ban Satan, then I can only see that decision as being now based suddenly based upon having seen the true nature and character of Satan. I.e., he was not the honest being that he was portraying before, but a vile murderer. And since their casting out decision was based on that, and not on the fact that their GC questions/doubts had been resolved, then, in regards to the GC, it was obliviously arbitrary, choosing the honesty and character issues instead. (Much like what we see many times in politics where a candidate loses merely on a substantively irrelevant character flaw or past mistake. E.g., cheated on his wife.)

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


With all due respect, I baffledly hold a potential LOL laughter because I do not see how SDA’s commonly make this “wishful thinking” statement. I have exegetically dealt with this issue head on in my blog. See this post. As clearly stated in the SOP, the war in Heaven was a show of brute physical strength, even more than the resulting, forceful expulsion of the losing party.

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

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


Originally Posted By: SOP DA 764.4
Well, then, might the angels rejoice as they looked upon the Saviour's cross; for though they did not then understand all, they knew that the destruction of sin and Satan was forever made certain, that the redemption of man was assured, and that the universe was made eternally secure. Christ Himself fully comprehended the results of the sacrifice made upon Calvary. To all these He looked forward when upon the cross He cried out, "It is finished." {DA 764.4}


It seems clear to me by that SOP statement that the angels merely knew for certain that what Jesus had suffered through assured the redemption of man and doom of Satan, but they did not understand all then, i.e., all that is implicated in lawlessness, and that not until “when the great controversy shall be ended. ” (DA 764.3) So I see here that they only acted on what they had come to understand at the Cross and that was ‘the character of Satan, his principles and the nature of his rebellion’ (DA 758.3). I.e., these respectively were that he was a liar, deceiver and murderer, his principles were all crafty deceptions and the nature of his rebellion was out of jealous of Christ and desires of self-exaltation. Again they, rejected Satan before thoroughly seeing the invalidity of his proposed course, as it was still yet to be revealed in the remaining 2000 years of the GC. As prophesied, the cast out Satan was now going to continue his work through the lawless one, the anti-Christ. Just look how many people are deceived by the papacy and are somewhat sympathetic to Catholics as fellow Christians, even Sunday worshippers at large, and also the United States and its “freedom and democracy claims”, and you’ll get a taste of how the angels could be sympathetic to Satan and his similar “freedom” cause. However for true believers, the evil in these law breaking and unBiblical freedom systems will be concretely exposed, and that, when the speak as a dragon and seek to kill those who follow God and honour His Law.

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

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


Seems to me that you are backpedalling here, to only now make it ‘one of many issues’ whereas before you had said that this was the main point of the Cross and this “It Is Finished” chapter. E.g. this statement of yours:

Originally Posted By: Tom March 25, 2011 - Post #132119
The problem here is that if the problem is sin, and that's what needs to be demonstrated, then anything artificial that God does to cause pain/injury/death is not demonstrating that sin is the problem, but the opposite. Only by it being seen that sin is the problem can it be seen that sin is the problem. This is what the chapter "It Is Finished" (from which we have discussed the last page) is discussing throughout. It wasn't until the cross that this principle was clearly seen by the (loyal) angels (and unfallen worlds). This is when the Great Controversy was won, as far as they are concerned.


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

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


Only countering your previously expressed view that had needed to prove that ‘death must be shown to be the inevitable result of sin’. I surely cannot be held responsible and condemned as ‘not making sense’ if you are just subtly changing points/emphasis in mid discussion!!

As I said, the issue of death being the deserved result for sin, had yet to be fully and objectively proven to them, even after the Cross.

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


Well glad to hear that multi-faceted view from you. Seems like a first to me. Perhaps I had misunderstood or misread you in the past. However it does not seem so to me.

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

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


I contrarily see that DA 764.4 states that angels only understood at/by the Cross that ultimate victory was assured by Christ successful sacrifice, by anyone who would choose to accept it. However the question/issue of ‘why sinner should be made to die’ would not be fully understood until after the GC was “ended”.

Quote:
(DA 761.4 Quoted)
NJK: -Here EGW restates the foundational issues involved in this GC which were actually resolved at the Cross. See also [{761.5}-{762.3}]

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


It is parenthetical in the chapter, that easy to see, however in going back to what had first occurred in heaven to open up this GC, it is thus “foundational”, indeed stating the “foundational issues” involved.

Quote:
{762.5b}-{763.3} - EGW’s elaboration on these Final Conflict Implications.
(DA 763.4 quoted)

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

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


Your entitled to maintain your view here. I rather clearly see that it would be seen as arbitrary because it would not be understood why sinner must be made to die, (as I also stated next), indeed as in the Garden of Eden after the Fall, by the barring of access to the Tree of Life.

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

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


I think I have earlier more fully explained what I mean here and that is that the “why” God would allow this to happen, i.e., sinners die, and that immediately, at any trace presence of sin, first had to be demonstrated and self-explained by the unfolding of Satan’s plans in the GC.

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


I rather would see it as “why he had deserved to suffer that normative death”. However, I more specifically believe that such a death is only possible with a certain level of sin. Prior to that, the sinner must be actively put to death. And this premature/pre-emptive killing is indeed what needed to be demonstrated as deserving to be so done.

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

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


I do not see that I am confusing anything according to my understanding. The angels were learning through the sin outplaying lives of the “wicked rebels” why sin was indeed deserving of death, indeed as God had made it so since the Fall. Don’t you see/think that it is the sinful outplaying of sinners who can access the tree of life and thus live forever that would pointedly focus on why sin is not the course to follow vs. actually making them be subject to death by barring access to that supernatural power. This is where I see that this GC has honestly resulted in the opposing side being given a platform of plausibility. Satan’s argument being that this imposed death to humans is not fair and arbitrary. So this GC is demonstrating exactly why this was the best choice and that this penalty of death is a just imposition.

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

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


I understand this “mind thing’ as being that material. As I understand it, science (e.g, brain activity imaging/scans) easily proves that thoughts produce a tangible imprint on the brain, so thoughts themselves may indeed be tangible, even if microscopic. And whether “material” i.e, tangible or not, that is quibbling beside the point as sin is still somehow present in each human distinctly and that is what comes to be consumed by God’s glory.

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

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


I rather see it as the inherent, defaultly affronting, presumptuousness in this, i.e., fallen/sinful man thus being able to “understand/discern” the infinite God?!

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

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


I have priorly addressed that exegetically inaccurate statement of yours that God’s physical glory = His character. See here. You have/had not responded to that exposition.

As I understand it, it is because, sin has not had neither the time or spiritual unrestraint to reach that “critical mass”/self-combusting point in this GC, by God’s various limitation and spiritual influence, especially through believers.

Also though EGW repeatedly makes the claim that the wicked are slain by the brightness of God’s glory, it is actually from a misunderstanding of hers, from the mistranslation of 2 Thess 2:8 (e.g., GC 657.1) -see below. The Bible also does not indicate this in the prophecies of Revelation.

The angry multitudes are suddenly arrested. Their mocking cries die away. The objects of their murderous rage are forgotten. With fearful forebodings they gaze upon the symbol of God's covenant and long to be shielded from its overpowering brightness. {GC 635.3}

Notice also the harmony of Paul’s statement in 2 Thess 2:8a and Rev. 19:21a
Paul’s “spirit of his mouth” could be made to thematically match Revelation’s “sword of his mouth” as symbolically the sword = the word of God, which in turn is only rightly expressed through God’s Spirit, thus becoming that offensive “two-edged, Sword of the Spirit (Eph 6:17b; Heb 4:12). All this to say that that symbolism checks out, and Eschatologically indicates to me, that this antichrist kingdom and its followers will be Spiritually slain by this word of God.

So I only see that the antichrist power will be ‘put to an end by the appearance of Christ’s Return’ (2 Thess 2:8 NASB & GC 635.5) and not be ‘slain by His glory’s brightness’ as EGW incorrectly understood and stated.

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


I neither see it as a ‘purely spiritual issue’ nor that it will be a ‘brightness-caused destruction’, but an actively done, Lake of Fire casting and “sword of God” act of God. Historically, this would have been a more literal sword, however Eschatologicallly, it will be more spiritual, i.e., by the Zionistic Gospel/Word work that would have been done by God’s Triumphant Church. (E.g., Isa 60:12). That will also be part of this GC resolution.
Again, the non self-combustion destruction is out of tangibly necessity because of not yet fully ripened sin in man despite these permitted 6000+ years.

Quote:
(DA 764.2 quoted)
NJK: So then what would the angels not have understood had Satan and his host then been left to reap the full result of their sin (i.e., the “inevitable” consuming destruction merely at God’s glory) at the beginning of the great controversy??

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


(That may be a cute/curt answer but I do not see what you actually understand by it).
My answer:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
That this, effectively pre-emptively accelerated judgement on Satan for his suggested contra-Law ways, was deserved.


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


What’s with the “Sir”?!? Perhaps you think I am not serious in my “deserving” view here. I know I am! As explained at the top, that is what I have understood to be underlyingly, clearly and incontrovertibly implied.

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

(DA 764.3 quoted)

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


As also, as stated in DA 764.3, the character of Satan (perhaps ‘more fully’) all in relation to the remaining GC issues, which indicates to me that the decision of the angels to cast him out at the Cross was indeed done with a not yet full understanding of even him. However they had seen enough about him through what he had endeavored to do to Christ. This revelation to “all created intelligences” includes the angels and other unfallen beings and not only fallen humans or else that surely would have been pointedly said.

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


If that could all been done at the Cross, as you had claimed, even for people living after the Cross, the EGW would be writing about this full demonstration and vindication of God and His Character at the Cross and we would be reading of exactly how this is the case, indeed just like we learn a lot from what was revealed about the GC in the SOP, some of these being things that Angels had learned at the Cross. However the remaining 2000 years of this GC are first needed to be fulfilled to completely resolve the remaining issue. That is why all will have this revelation/understanding only at the end of the GC.

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

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

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


Though I pointedly believe sin to inceptively originate its harmful effects in the mind, combined with physical degenerations due to the absence of Fruit of Life, I really do not begin to at all see the validity of your remaining notions from the statements in that chapter. The issue to me is clearly the deserving of the effected punishment of death which prior to a certain point of full sin maturity has to be actively/forcefully done by God, as repeatedly seen in the Bible

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

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


My countering argument here again, on top of a mistranslation issue, is that I do not see it depicted in the Prophecies of Revelation. And any EGW claim to this was influenced by the mistranslation of 2 Thess 2:8

Also that God's action is passive is made clear by the statement that had God "left" Satan and his follower to "reap the full result of their sin" they would have perished.

It is indeed passive when the full result of sin is being reap. However here, there was no evidentiary ground allow or even, naturally cause this passive action, so it would have had to be a forced act of God, even if passive and that is what the angels would not have understood. Instead they would have thought that the punishment didn’t fit the crime and that this had to be forced by God. Hence the time to let it naturally fully mature to naturally reap this result. However, as I see it in th Bible and SOP, that natural result, by God limitations and intervenings, will not be achieved in these 6000 years. Perhaps the resetting flood destruction also prevented this from become the case.


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #132256
04/01/11 01:35 PM
04/01/11 01:35 PM
K
kland  Offline
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Posts: 5,672
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Originally Posted By: NJK Project

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


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

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


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

"to rid the world of the Nazi Regime and its lesser evil Axis Allies"
Evil? In whose mind? Aren't all wars done to eliminate "evil" in someone's mind? Who says the International Conventions are "right"? What was Hitler's purpose? Wasn't it to eliminate "evil" danger? Are you hearing what I'm saying?

And do you say God told them to eliminate the Nazi's?

Quote:

Originally Posted By: kland
As is relevant most recently.


Especially in our technologically advanced day and age of various, smart/guided/precision ordnance, I am against using the claim of “collateral damage” as an excuse to killing non-combatants/civilian. The recent, relatively-just, UN intervention in Libya started of as such with ca. 65 civilian deaths on the first day from these the UN forces hands, however I have heard of news reports, (from, proudly, participating Canadian forces) that a destruction mission was aborted because of the risk of civilian casualties. (Pertinently to this discussion, it was Canada who came up with the concept of UN peace keeping mission (the “blue helmets”) during the Suez Canal Crisis to prevent the outbreak of war or instill and/or assure a cease fire so that peaceful resolutions can be (fairly) pursued instead.
What I was referring to was eliminating a specific person or leader. Not civilians.

Quote:

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


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

What lesser of two evils? It doesn't answer the question of why the earth had to be flooded then but not at later times (or earlier times).

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland] #132257
04/01/11 01:37 PM
04/01/11 01:37 PM
K
kland  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,672
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Quote:
NJK: It’s quite telling to me that in none of the SOP examples you have cited is “killing” ever addressed.

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

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

NJK, is killing part of God's character?

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland] #132258
04/01/11 01:52 PM
04/01/11 01:52 PM
K
kland  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,672
Midland
Quote:
Those who have experienced the blessing of God should be the most grateful of persons. They should send up to God words of thanksgiving because Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, clothing his divinity with humanity, in order that he might bring before the world the perfection of God in his own character. He came to represent God, not as a stern judge, but as a loving father. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." God is love. This was the great truth that Christ came to the world to reveal. Satan had so misrepresented the character of God to the world, that man stood remote from God; but Christ came to display to the world the Father's attributes, to represent the express image of his person. "As the Father gave me commandment, even so I do." "This commandment have I received of my Father." The object of Christ's mission to the world was to reveal the Father. {Signs of the Times, April 11, 1895 par. 2}

Quote:
The Lord Jesus is an example in all things. By the works which he did he made it plain that he was in council with the Father, and that he was in every move fulfilling the eternal purposes of God. In spirit, in works, in his whole earthly history, he revealed the mind and purpose of God toward his heritage among men. In his obedience to the law of God, he exemplified in his human nature the fact that the law is a transcript of divine perfection. In the gift of Christ to the world God would overwhelm fallen man with a marvelous manifestation of his great love wherewith he has loved us; but while he would that all should come to repentance, the declaration no less expresses his character, that he will by no means clear the guilty.

"but"
Maybe that's what you're looking for. As in some say, God is a god of love but (which means, negate everything I just said), but He is a god of hate, too.

"But", what does it say. It says He will by no means clear the guilty. What does that mean? It doesn't say He will kill them. Just not clear them. Next sentence:
Quote:
Should he give the least sanction to sin, his throne would be corrupted.
To me, that means not clearing them means not sanctioning them. If He doesn't sanction them, it doesn't mean He has to kill them.

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #132263
04/01/11 05:40 PM
04/01/11 05:40 PM
APL  Offline
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Posts: 6,112
Western, USA
Originally Posted By: NJK
With all due respect, I baffledly hold a potential LOL laughter because I do not see how SDA’s commonly make this “wishful thinking” statement. I have exegetically dealt with this issue head on in my blog. See this post. As clearly stated in the SOP, the war in Heaven was a show of brute physical strength, even more than the resulting, forceful expulsion of the losing party.
Talk about suppressing LOL!!! The war was about brute strength??? I don't think so.
Originally Posted By: EGW in DA
God could have destroyed Satan and his sympathizers as easily as one can cast a pebble to the earth; but He did not do this. Rebellion was not to be overcome by force. Compelling power is found only under Satan's government. The Lord's principles are not of this order. His authority rests upon goodness, mercy, and love; and the presentation of these principles is the means to be used. God's government is moral, and truth and love are to be the prevailing power. {DA 759.1}


Oh, that men might open their minds to know God as he is revealed in his Son! {ST, January 20, 1890}
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