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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man] #132490
04/09/11 12:20 AM
04/09/11 12:20 AM
Tom  Offline
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Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: MM
M: What were Jesus' options in cases like the Holocaust?

T: That's a pretty tall order for me, isn't it? That is, you're asking me to enumerate the options of divinity? I don't think I'm qualified to do that.

1. What factors does God weigh when choosing to allow things to play out the way they do?

T: All the factors there are.

M:What are Jesus' options in cases like the Holocaust?

That's a pretty tall order for me, isn't it? That is, you're asking me to enumerate the options of divinity? I don't think I'm qualified to do that.

Is He free to intercede, without violating freedom of choice, and prevent such things? Or, is He forced to allow it?

Same answer.

2. Is God free to allow or disallow things like N&A being burned alive and the two bands of fifty being burned alive?

T: Did you think through this question? Aren't you asking if God was free to allow something to happen which He allowed to happen? That's not a question that makes sense, is it?

M:Before it happens, is He free to allow it? Or, is He forced to allow it? Does He have any say so in such things? Are they going to happen with or without His consent?

Same answer I gave. God allowed it to happen. Obviously He was free to do so, since He did. Not sure what you're wanting to ask here, since the question you're asking seems to be obviously true on the face of it.


3. Or, are His hands tied?

T: His hands can be tied, in general.

M:Are His hands tied in the sense He isn’t free to prevent things like N&A being burned alive? Do such things happen with or without His consent?

Mike, God allowed it to happen. So obviously he was able to do so. Instead of asking questions like this which have only one answer, which is obvious, perhaps you could just write out what you're thinking.


4. Is Satan free to do as he pleases without limits?

T: Satan would destroy everyone, and there wouldn't be any Great Controversy, which is a point I've made many times, which you are aware of.

M:Does Satan exercise self-control? Does he work to restrain himself? Who or what establishes and enforces the limits Satan does not exceed?

We get some idea of how this works from Job. I don't know that I'm aware of how things work beyond what's revealed there.


5. Did Jesus, while here in the flesh (as opposed to after He returned to heaven), choose to allow things like ungodly people being burned alive?

T: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen [doth gather] her brood under [her] wings, and ye would not! (Luke 13:34)

M:You seem to be suggesting Jesus allowed ungodly people to be killed while He was here in the flesh. Who was killed?

In what Jesus said, He expressed that He was willing, desiring even, to protect Jerusalem as a chicken would protect its chicks. He was very sorry they did not permit Him to do so. This is the principle enunciated in GC 35-37.

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: Mountain Man] #132491
04/09/11 12:23 AM
04/09/11 12:23 AM
Tom  Offline
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M: "But we have never had a message that the Lord would disorganize the church." Which implies Jesus did not intend to destroy Israel and start over with Moses, not any more than Jesus intends to reject the SDA church and start over with another church.

T: God never intended to destroy Israel. Israel destroyed itself by persistently rejecting the Holy Spirit (GC 35-37).

M:Have you changed your mind?

No. I was speaking in direct voice here.

All along it has sounded like you are saying Jesus was very serious about destroying Israel and starting over with Moses. Now it sounds like you're saying it was never His intention to destroy Israel.

Passive voice before; active voice previously. Should have been clear by the context, I think.

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: kland] #132505
04/09/11 11:36 AM
04/09/11 11:36 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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Originally Posted By: kland
NJK, that was quite a fascinating analogy. I'm glad you clarified the sharpness of the knife, but still, I will assume you do not know much about cutting off heads and assume that I presume I do. I do not know that one could cut one's head off with a knife. I hear deer hunters use a saw or chainsaw to cut deer's heads off. But, needless to say, I do understand your attempt at illustration.

From the start, in making that specific knife decapitation, I always knew that it would take decided and great effort to effectuate. From solely what I’ve heard, as others watching only main stream news media (vs. uncensored internet video full postings), as repeatedly demonstrated by the acts of Al-Quaeda, cutting a person’s head off, even when they are not offering any resistance, it still is a recursive “hack” job vs. an easy and smooth motion, and that using a machete. Hence my added specific point, though indeed still not perfect. Nonetheless, in my illustration, as this police-issued knife was meant as a back-up, capable defensive weapon, indeed directly replacing for that police agency, the common back up gun they usually carry on the side of their shin, and given the adrenaline rush of ultimate fear, for the near death instances with each near fired grazing gunshot from the perpetrator, probably having deafened the officer, making his use of force judgement become more impaired, he could have used “hacked” off that person’s head with that indeed sharp and capable knife. The whole point I was making in adding this was not that the decapitation was normative to happen, but that, always knowing the extra efforts that are needed to do this, the officer was indeed put under investigation to see if this full decapitation act was warranted or excusable as an “heat of the moment”, and/or a legally acceptable temporary ‘out-of-mindness’ defense. I think this all pointedly addresses your priorly stated underlying objecting comments/questions responded to here (post #132183) which foundationally explicitly and implicitly, implicated the issues of: ‘was the flood destruction, and scale-of-destruction, warranted, beneficial and not excessive.

Also, in the SOP made a statement that further showed me that God’s use of force here to effectuate this destruction was most judicious, fair and non-excessive as she states that he made it that areas of the earth that were not inhabited/populated suffered much less destruction than others that were. (See in 3SG 79). That indeed logically implies that the areas that were more populated required more burying of dead bodies after the Flood waters subsided, and this was done throne the use of earth relief overturning winds. (PP 107.4). That ‘weighted-destruction’ SOP point, unknown by me before, had priorly led me to defend a view, with several other independently quite conclusive points on themselves, that the flood was a locally restricted event and not a global one which explained why e.g., the Middle East and North Africa was this massive, barren, sand and crude oil abundant desert region vs. e.g., the fertile and green Americas, however the SOP’s point in 3SG 79 with a specific Bible statement served to make me switch back to the Global View. (see here).

Originally Posted By: kland
...Except for one issue. I understand you to say the police officer stabbed and decapitated the killer as a means of self defense. Second, you used "killer" or "deadly menace" as opposed to someone who just disagrees with you. Does God feel threatened (with His life, even) and considers those who disagree with Him a deadly menace?

The original reason why I had posted a comment on this thread was that I straightforwardly understood the title question of: “Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death?” as ‘For what reasons did God...’ as manifestly was the point of the thread starter Mountain Man, however that question has since become somewhat “loaded” to now mean: ‘Why did the OT God do this while the ‘NT God’ (= Jesus) did not?’ when Tom suggested that ‘the character of Jesus was the answer’ more pointedly around this post. My initial answer addressed your question here (see also in here. Indeed my Biblical/Theological understanding here was that God only effectuated such capital deaths/destruction only when a threat to life was occurring or sure/most likely to occur and not, as you have said here and apparently believe ‘when someone just disagrees with God and moreover, He feels ‘life threatened’ (as if that is even realistic/possible!) by that. (Then why did he not destroy the disagreeing and beligerent Lucifer in Heaven??? That was the most ‘clear and present “danger(??)”’ to God in this GC.

So my point has been from the start that God only uses the sentence of death when sin threatens life. Of course Tom (unbiblically, in my understanding) said and says that ‘sin organically always is life threatening’ however I see that, as God Himself has said, sinners can live forever if they had access to the Fruit of the Life (Gen 3:22-24; PP 60.3). So in the Flood destruction, as God said in Gen 6:5, 11, 12 that an extreme sinful state had been reached where ‘the sinners ‘ wickedness was great and their thoughts was towards evil continually, all flesh had corrupted their ways and the earth was filled with violence.’ We do not even see that in our world today, and largely due to various degree of, and derived forms of, Judeo-Christian civil values enforced in world societies. So God’s destruction at the Flood was because of a most tangible life threat to the righteous then and the possibility of prolonged civilization for the future, in the remaining needed time for this GC. That is indeed all fair since God did not even have to allow a GC period of 6000+ years, but could have destroyed sinners immediately, indeed for that ‘simply disagreeing reason of yours’.

k: So, would you say God used violence to stop violence?

NJK: ...case in point, what is your question here, e.g., ‘does God use (physical? or supernatural?) force to stop the use of (physical? or supernatural?) force.’

kland [Bible]: From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and violent men take it by force. Mat 11:12

kland; So if we whitewash it as in your definition we have:
From the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers use of force, and forceful men take it by force.

It is not a matter of ‘“whitewashing” anything’ but using the proper meaning, especially as colloquially understood today. (See in this post for Matt 11:12)

Originally Posted By: kland
I don't know, but sounds watered down and kind of like it disputes your definition. As in, can things be taken by force without violence? But if force and violence are the same thing, is that just like what you imply God doing? What is violence? Could all cases be whitewashed with "force"?

I understand the difference between ‘use of force’ and violence to be in the object one is seeking to arrive at. If that object is itself just righteous, then the use of force is not categorized as violence, (e.g., self-defense, just war, justified capital punishment), if not then it is (e.g., robbery, rape, terrorism). This is even distinct from your previously cited “motives” as e.g., a homeless person who is hungry may decide that taken the purse/wallet of a passer by to get money to eat, even if he is only going to take money for that immediate meal and drop the wallet/purse as he is running away, is justified since he is hungry, even now ‘dying of hunger’ as he has not eaten in ca. 3 weeks. Though the object: ‘eat to save his life’ is independently justified, the motive of ‘robbing a passer by’ is not. If however that passer by had stolen money from that man, then using such “force” to get it, and that exactly, back, would be justified and not “violence”.

Originally Posted By: kland
Why do you and/or MM feel the need to whitewash it -- is it because you do indeed see a problem?

Since, as with the difference between ‘murder and killing’ (e.g., 6th Commandment), I understand the realistic difference between ‘violence and force’, as e.g., further explained above, then I personally do not (a) again, see any “whitewashing” here, nor (b) that there is any problem with God making use of force to effectuate judgement. (And not even to “compel” faith in/love of Him).

Originally Posted By: kland
It what way is your view of God's character different from other denominations'?

I assume that you are referring to Hell judgement. As it will be justly limited and post judgement, I see it as being full just. Also EGW states in 4SP 475.2/GC 660.4 that it is the redeemed righteous who will ‘mete out’ the punishment that the wicked will receive in their Hell judgement! How much fairer can that be. An Eternal, Perfect and Holy God who had never sinned, nor, in the likewise Jesus, succumbed to sin, (though Christ did feel the mental guilt anguish of man - cf. this post -that comment could open up a whole other side discussion. I think it is already treated elsewhere in this forum.), and thus does not know or understand why man has chosen to sin, would be likely to defaulty, automatically mete out eternally lasting punishment to any and all.

“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] #132506
04/09/11 11:37 AM
04/09/11 11:37 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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Originally Posted By: kland
Originally Posted By: SOP: RH, June 21, 1892 par. 3
There are many who have but an imperfect understanding of the character of God. They think of him as stern and arbitrary, and when the fact is presented that God is love, it is a difficult matter for these souls to lay aside their false conceptions of God. But if they do not let the word of truth in, rooting out the thorns, the briers will start up afresh, and choke out the good word of God; their religious experience will be dwarfed, for the evil of their hearts will overtop the tender plant of truth, and shut away the spiritual atmosphere. {RH, June 21, 1892 par. 3}

Since the operative terms here are indeed: “sternof a stern or strict bearing or demeanor; forbidding in aspect; not to be placated or appeased or moved by entreaty; severe and unremitting in making demands and “arbitrarybased on or subject to individual discretion or preference or sometimes impulse or caprice and I do not see, nor have ever seen, God as these term and what they actually mean, then I do not begin to see that, or how, this SOP counsel applies to my actual view of God. The Bible is filled with examples and verse that opposes such an understanding/view of God, starting with, e.g., Isa 1:18. In the Bible God is instead seen as: in pertinent traits here: fair, patient, just and understanding, (when non-hypocritically and non-rebelliously applicable).

“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] #132507
04/09/11 11:38 AM
04/09/11 11:38 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Mountain
Jesus has known from eternity every choice everyone will make. He also has known from eternity how He will work to ensure the outcome of every choice serve His ultimate will and desire.

From what I Biblically/Theologically know, and can therefrom prove, that is not a Biblically correct statement! God only plans the non-existent future, declaring in advance what it ultimately will be, all revolving around, and subjected to, his GC purposes. (Isa 46:9-11; cf. Even Act 15:18 KJV though this may be a textual addition (cf. NASB).)

So I do not see this ‘certainly-known-future’ belief being responsible for why God’s/Jesus’ judicious actions are all and always judicious. His wisdom and His acting within His perfect law make this to always be the case.

(The invitation to join/continue the ongoing Biblical discussion on this topic in is, of course, freely/openly available.)

“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] #132508
04/09/11 11:38 AM
04/09/11 11:38 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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NJK: Also Tom, do list the other places in the Bible/SOP where you (explicitly(?)) see the indirect method being used.

Tom: The Bible says that God sent fiery serpents against the Israelites, but the SOP says they were there the whole time, but God withdrew His protection.

So... by removing His hand God allowed these always present fiery serpents to come against Israel. I see not difference here. The earth was always there were God caused it to open up and swallow up the rebelling ones under Korah, Dathan and Abiram, (Num 16:1-40) indeed giving a heads up to those who lived around their houses to clear out (vs. 24). I don’t supposed that you believe that God, knowing the future, had guided these rebellious ones to establish their tents above an always present sink hole which He was keeping from opening up until that very moment! It was an “entirely new thing” from God (vs. 30) Also sink holes do not close up after they have formed (vs. 33). God also sent “fire” to consume 250 men or was that the opportune waft of a, no longer diverted, highly combustible gas in the air that was suddenly ignited by only the censer of these rebellious ones?? God, at the renewed grumblings the next day wanted to destroy the whole congregation (vs. 45) and had begun a plague for that desired instant death (vs. 46). The SOP (PP 395-405) says nothing contrary to this. What’s you non-direct rationalisation for these direct acts??

Also as Deut 8:15 (quoted in PP 428.3) states there were the wilderness was also infested with scorpions. However, evidently only the serpents were allowed to attack the Israelites. Again this is a very specific judgement act of permission of God. (Perhaps they were not of the venomous type!)

Originally Posted By: Tom
In Scripture Paul says that God would send strong delusion upon those who receive not the love of the truth, but the SOP says that God leaves them to the delusions they already have.

Here the Bible (rightly translated):

Originally Posted By: Bible 2Th 2:11
For this reason God sends [present tense and not future] them [no “upon” preposition] an erroneous influence so that they will believe what is false,

and SOP:

Originally Posted By: SOP GC 431.1
As they reject the teachings of His word, God withdraws His Spirit and leaves them to the deceptions which they [already] love.

do not contradict each other as God will withdraw his hand that was restraining Satan from influencing these people, i.e., non-Catholics, to believe all of the teachings the antichrist power. Thus they too, since they already believe in e.g., an eternal soul and Sunday Sacredness and ascended dead people, will then surely be receiving and believing apparitions from Mary and other supposed “ascended” saints and dead loved ones, and through these working of miracles, culminated by Satan’s confirming impersonation of Christ, these Protestants and other non-Catholics, will allow themselves to come under the authority of the Papacy, indeed having absolutely no problem to observe Sunday. They will thus also accept all other lies of Catholicism found also in their unbiblical traditions.

So God will not be “sending” a new ‘erroneous influence’ but allow the one already at work, indeed with some supernatural power (2 Thess 2:6-10 - e.g, now, claims of Marian Apparitions) to increase this power and so take in those who believe the lies that make these manifestations seem true and biblical.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Those are a couple that come to me off the top of my head. There are many examples like this.

As I am, as always, looking for a substantive and weighty answer rather than a quick one, then whenever you remember, relocate, find these claimed others then do post them so that they can also be concretely attested and exegetically ascertained.

“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] #132509
04/09/11 11:40 AM
04/09/11 11:40 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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NJK: And Tom has not yet addressed the many direct destruction of God in the OT as explicitly stated in both the Bible and SOP.

Tom: That's what I've been doing this whole thread.

Not the many major ones that I have cited thus far:
-Plagues of Egypt
-185,000 Assyrian
-Sodom and Gomorrah
-Jericho’s Walls
-the Egyptians in the Red Sea (God had directly acted to split it open)
-the not yet acceptably explained by you, Flood,
-Annanias and Sapphira

Originally Posted By: Tom
All that we can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son. Therefore the God of the OT acted just like Jesus did. If we have a view of things that has the God of the OT acting differently than how Jesus acted, then what we're perceiving happened must not be what happened.

That is at the very least a principle based truth and not a “episode-based” ledger. The OT principle that Jesus fully emulated was: ‘Ample warning, opportunity for change and deserved instruction’ first and then, if these are not heeded then judgement when sin has reached its fullness. (E.g., Gen 15:13, 16). So as God was not wantonly destroying people in the OT, then it is no surprised that Jesus also did not do that in the NT as their was no immediate and full, just reason to do so in His incarnate time.

Indeed according to your incorrectly limiting view due to various artificial reasons, the action of God in the NT Church with Annanias and Sapphira is of no consequence. So God is really to be limited to what was done by Christ between 27-31 A.D.!??

Originally Posted By: Tom
It's not necessary to look at each and every incident. They all follow the same principles. We can look at a few, and learn from those, and apply the principles to others.

You’ll first need to prove this “all follow” claim in, at the very least, the above cited episodes! Unless, seriously stated, its ‘all except these and any other examples that are not supported by that surface blanket claim!!

We will be looking at “everything” in Heaven, so why not now, especially as those who oppose our faith usually do so because they object to the fairness in most of these instances. To say to them to ‘look at Jesus’ only makes them dismiss the Bible and God (or, conveniently enough, only the OT) as the work of a out of control and mentally imbalanced God, to say the least.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The incident from the SOP that is covered in the most detail is the destruction of Jerusalem. She refers to that incident in the context of other indents, saying things like, for example, that the final scenes in earth's history will be like the destruction of Jerusalem.

[Tentatively speaking thus far for incomplete substantive reasons:

-As I indicated before, my studies thus far on the 7 Last Plagues, point to an SOP overstating of, what I also understand to be, this second indirect method that God uses to effectuate judgements, i.e., when He does not want to have mercy.

-Also I do not see that EGW was fully correct in applying what she was shown in 14MR 1-3 to this destruction of Jerusalem as God may indeed have work to send the Roman armies (as Jesus indicated) at least under Cestus, as it seems to me that He worked to cause that Cestus’s siege in 66 A.D. to suddenly and without any good reason, to so that Christians could escape Jerusalem. Also non-Christians Jews did survive the 70 A.D. destruction.

In other words, the Biblical evidence is too compelling of a direct and merciful action to be supplanted by EGW’s understanding of what is indirectly allowed to takes place when no mercy is to be shown.]

Originally Posted By: Tom
Some foundational questions come to mind:

1.What is God like?

I see the answer found in the whole Bible and not only in Jesus.

Originally Posted By: Tom
2.Does He use force to get His way?

That question is actually mootly irrelevant to me. God does not use for to “compel” anyone or anything. Miraculous signs to influence others to have faith in him and obey Him “Yes,” but “force to get His way” which implies that He surely will get His way by using this force: “Absolutely No.”)

Originally Posted By: Tom
3.Does He directly punish people by doing things like burning them alive?
Yes... as it was justified. (e.g., Sodom and Gomorrah)

Originally Posted By: Tom
(Did Jesus act like this).

No... as it was not yet justified, i.e., fully time for this. (e.g., Luke 13:6-8)

Originally Posted By: Tom
4.We know that there were certain things, like mercy and grace, which always existed in God's character, but weren't revealed until after sin came about. Should things like destruction be put in the same category?

As also being just and loving yes. “Just” because, as this GC will prove, a lawless life is not a viable alternative and put others at risk. And man apart from God cannot safely, healthily live forever. And that includes the “Supernatural God-derived” element that was removed from life and nature with the removal of the Tree of Life which contained and dispensed it. So the option of sinful man living completely apart from God, including not Tree of Life is not a viable option.

Originally Posted By: Tom
These questions involve one's whole concept about what God is like and what He wants from us. Does He want unthinking, unquestioning obedience? Does He want us to do what He says, or else?

I don’t see this as being revealed anywhere in the Bible. Quite to the contrary. Seeing otherwise is due to poor exegesis and eisegesis. So claiming a ‘Jesus only’ approach to try to avoid your suggested false understanding is also mootly irrelevant to me. So these question are factually. really just straw-men and red-herrings.

Originally Posted By: Tom
What is it that makes God happy?

Loving obedience, Faith and respect (=a healthy fear). E.g., you can really love the current U.S. President, but running up to him as he walks by and hugging him profusely may probably get you shot, or at the very least taken down by the Secret Service. God wants us to love Him but there is an inherent infinite greatness in Him that is to be respected so that we do what he says simply because he says so as he knows why it is, for real and ever present reasons, needing to be the case. Just ask Uzzah (2 Sam 6:1-11). The mindless/quibbling reader uses this episode to say that God is irrationally vindictive.

Originally Posted By: Tom
How does God act when He is not happy?

As any one who is happy will act. God however is also not hypocritical or becomes stoic when something displeases Him (e.g., Exod 4:14ff; 24-26; Num 16:41, 45). In all things God is real, and, foundationally, that is what (True) Love is all about.

“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] #132510
04/09/11 11:42 AM
04/09/11 11:42 AM
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NJK: My approach is to take passages as they exegetically read and use this a building blocks towards a Theology which will, when necessary self-produce such harmonization, so in a way, I am working from a bottom-up view.

Tom: I don't think this accurately describes what you do.

Well, I know it accurate does and what I have been using for over 13 years now. You just are not seeing/comprehending this. I have thus “overturned” many incorrectly viewed positions. The bottom-up approach also emphasizes this thorough re-examination approach.

NJK: On the other hand, I see you working from a top down view citing Jesus Christ as the top view,

Tom: I would say I use Jesus Christ as the foundation, as the building block, the corner stone, to build upon.

That may be you sincere intention however by not including all building blocks designed for that building (i.e, the entire Bible) in your construction, your “building” is literally full of holes and shaky.

NJK: seconded by EGW seemingly wholly supporting statements to the fact and thus you virtually ignore any revelation that may have been made in the OT. I do not see Jesus making such a claim, per se, of only considering what He has done to understand the Bible’s Theology.

Tom: I think you've misunderstood the point here. What I've been saying is that to correctly interpret the OT, we need to *first* have an understanding of God's character.

And my bottom up approach is to understand God’s character within each of these building block episodes asking the right question based on given a default benefit of the doubt to God on the many expression of what His character is and of course believing that He is sinless, perfect, all-knowing and all-wise. So we e.g., look at the Flood and ask these proper question and will get the right answers. Same goes for e.g., Uzzah, the Plagues, Nadab and Abihu, etc. One does not need to overlook the entire OT revelation as If the God there is so haywire and “crazy” that He cannot be understood. You indeed wrongly see e.g., that since Jesus never execute a judgement in the NT then that must mean that God never did in the OT. That is not the purpose of EGW’s counsel here. It is rather to help us to indeed understand “why” God did those judgements in the OT and not merely if He did them or not. Indeed in Jesus we see the same principles resulting in utter physical judgement. So if. e.g., Jesus had stayed longer on Earth passed 31 A.D., then He probably would have been visibly shown to be the one who struck down Annanias and Sapphira a few years after His ascension.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Otherwise, we'll get it wrong.

You actually start on a “wrong” course when you don’t let God speak for Himself in the OT and then resume this starting with the Book of Acts right through the Book of Revelation (e.g., 7 Last Plagues and the distinct “anger and passion of God”.) I am not this form of Gospel-only Christian. Furthermore, with the SOP, there really should not be a issue today of not much better understanding God actions in the OT and other places outside of the Gospels.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I've said that Jesus Christ got it right, and that what He said and what He did was precisely what He say in the OT. So if we have any picture of what happened in the OT as being different than what Jesus Christ said and did, we're getting it wrong.

The problem with your view is that you also selective choose what you’ll allow Jesus to get right. You thus obliviously, summarily dismissively and mindlessly, self-justifyingly excise any that counters that view for also Christ’s statements and teachings, So it is not really Jesus who is being the arbitrator here, but you supposition of what a God is suppose to be like. I feel like I am dealing with the Gospel of Tom instead. And the SOP however sincere and well-meaning EGW was, is not that final arbitrator.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Also, if there is a disconnect between what we perceive happening in the OT, and what Jesus Christ said and did, then we're actually disagreeing with Jesus Christ's perception of what happened in the OT. We should defer to Jesus Christ's perception.

Christ perception is only objectively discernable when explicitly expressed. Otherwise we are dealing with the reader’s subjective view. Also the context of the New Covenant is to be kept in mind if any perceived different is seen. However I really only see a heightening of what was being said in the OT in Christ’s teaching and life. Also as God is no longer most tangibly and visibly present in the midst of a people in the NT era, is a major reason why some OT law are no longer enforced by God and certain thresholds for immediate judgements have been lessened.

NJK: (e.g., John 5:39; Luke 24:27). I do not see the God of the OT, which in active form was Michael/Jesus, His actions, and statements as being mutually exclusive with the Revelation of the incarnate Christ. I rather see that both say exactly the same thing.

Tom: But you have them acting very differently. There's a disconnect here.

Basing this view also on Christ’s statement is fully valid as e.g, John 7:16; 14:10, 24 show. It is not also not opposing/contradicting Christ’s actions.

Also God had 4000 years in the OT to work with His OT people, even prior to Israel, (probably directly typologically related to the 4 days that the Passover Lamb had to live with a family before they sacrificed it (Exod 12:1, 6; 2 Pet 3:8)) Jesus had 3.5 years of ministry (4 years when Semitically inclusively reckoned), so it is not logical to expect to see, especially direct judgements for rejecting the Gospel during this short time of 3.5 years. That is what would be unlike God. Yet Jesus stated all of the pronouncement of future judgement, should this rejection of the Gospel continue, during that time. So, again, in principles, rather than the fallacious, seemingly fully-favoring, ‘actions-only’ stance, (as this also requires at least all of the same incidents from the OT to reoccur to have then been validated, -a logical and reality irrationality), is to be the guide here.

The OT Principle thus is clear in Christ’s full Revelation of both actions and words: ‘Persisted rebellion = physical destruction, temporal loss/dispossession and death.’

Jesus did not come to do away with the Law and the Prophets (=OT) but to fulfill them.

Tom: He did so by His life and teachings ("You have heard it said, 'an eye for an eye' ... but I say unto you, love your enemies," etc.).

Your are quite wrongly causing a mixed up Christ’s statement here. Also where in the OT does it say to “hate your enemies’. It just says ““Love your Neighbor” as yourself” (Lev 19:18). So Christ here was apparently correcting an added teaching of the leaders of the day for Israel to ‘hate their enemies’. As God pointedly listed in Deut 23:3-6, it was with cause that Israel had to prevent Amorites and Moabites to join them, however only for a limited time. God also instructed them not to had the Edomites nor the Egyptians, go figure! (vs. 7, 8). So the ‘hate all your enemies’ teaching in his day, and that without any cause, was completely unbiblical. Also, as I have repeatedly said (see here), Matt 5:38-42 is for an “evil” person and the instruction not to confrontingly challenge them.

NJK: He, and where it was necessary, reinstituted these OT contributions where they were always meant to be.

Tom: He tried to correct the misconceptions what people had about the law.

Indeed as you had knee-jerkly (i.e., through defaultly deferring to your paradigm) done in your objecting comments to the underlying laws addressed in Matt 5:38-47. As Christ implied in conclusion, God’s OT Law, when rightly restored to what it was always meant to be, is “”Perfect” (Matt 5:48; James 1:25) Indeed it thus “restores the soul’ (Gr. “psyche" Psa 19:7).

NJK: For example, (and correct me if I mis-restated your view) in our discussion on the Fruit of Life, I see and say that in God’s perfect plan (i.e., before sin was ever a factor in anything), we were meant to live forever by our partaking of the Fruit of Life. You categorically say no and point to the post-sin provision made by Christ on the Cross as the only means to live eternally, and that the Tree of Life was only a substantively vacuous object lesson of that.

Tom: You misunderstood my view. What I emphasized was that life comes from God, and that the Tree of Life was a means for God to teach us of our dependence upon Him. I never said that the Tree of Life was an object lesson for the post-sin provision made by Christ on the cross, and don't see that this would make any sense, since the tree of life existed before sin came about.

Fair enough, I perhaps did misunderstand your view. However you clarification that: “the Tree of Life was a means for God to teach us of our dependence upon Him” confirms and further heightens my observation of substantive vacuousness.

Again, and this is not a rhetorical question: How was man to live forever before sin? By “learned dependence” osmosis??? You, uniquely in this thread, blindly and unbiblically refuse to see any ‘life-perpetuating “supernatural power” in the Fruit of Life’. Even Jesus does not endorse your view (e.g., Rev 2:7 and many other SOP statements confirm this fact.)

Do we need the Tree of life in Heaven to supposedly continue to learn dependence on God???

Originally Posted By: Tom
The real important point I was bring out, which is where the whole Tree of Life discussion began, is that there is an organic relationship between sin and death, and between faith and life. You denied this, using the Tree of Life as an argument against this idea.

Indeed I did, and still do, because the Bible and SOP are clear that sinners can live forever (Gen 3:22-24; PP 60.3). Your rationalizations trying to disprove these Biblical facts are mere human reasonings. Indeed, and especially in our day when the many lessons of sin have been learned, if sinners today had access to the Tree of Life, they of all generation would be able to live forever as they would like, as most seek to do now, and given many advances in knowledge, science and technologies, would staunchly live by at least the last 6 commandments and ignore the first 4.

[Quote]NJK: I instead have the harmonizing view that Jesus came to provide redemption to man, to those who would accept this gift, and thus once again give us access to this Tree of Life so that we can live eternally (=Rev 2:7).

Tom: Do you think that when we believe in Christ that we, at that moment, have eternal life?

The Bible [+SOP] fully teaches that with such a genuine faith, our sins are forgiven and will, in persisting in this faith, be all blotted out in the judgement, and thus we can have the unshakable assurance that Jesus will one day in the future let us enter into Heaven to access the Tree of Life so that we can ingest the life-perpetuating supernatural powers contained therein. However show the Second Coming tarry, we can and will die in this life.

NJK: You instead want to have the mutually exclusive stand of Jesus or the Tree of Life but not both.

Tom: If you mean as pre-eminent, I agree, and have stated such. I haven't made any such statement in a general sense, like you are here.

Well I Biblically see and understand that they are inextricable. God imparts life in the Tree and Jesus has now guaranteed access to that Tree so mortal would not die.

I see that you understand a pre-eminence of Jesus as His sacrifice, while I wholly see this more of the Divine Nature. Then explain how sinless man was to live forever? And also the redeemed.

NJK: As I said, the two compliment each other, and it is manifestly from the Water of Life flowing from the Father’s throne that the needed, life perpetuating “supernatural power” is injected in the Fruit of the Tree of Life. However, without accepting Jesus, Fallen Man will not have access to that physical provision and thus not life eternally. So both Jesus’ statements to this end and the tangible reality of the Tree/Fruit of Life harmonizingly present the Theological Truth of how Man, and now Fallen Man, lives eternally.

Tom: I think this is getting a bit removed from the important question. The important question is, "Is there an organic relationship between sin and death?" (and similarly between faith and life).

We’ve been down that road before. My explicitly citing Bible/SOP answer is “No”. Sinful man can live eternally with access to the Tree. So sin does not “organic” equal death. It is just a “provision/wage” (Rom 6:23 [#3800]; cf. Luke 3:14; 1 Cor 9:7; 2 Cor 11:8) (and not even a “price/cost”) that is rendered. I.e., Price/cost - “if you want to sin you have to pay this price/cost of death’ but ‘if you do the work of sin there is the option to receive a compensatory provision/monetary wage of death for those works however you,a s the worker, can potentially refuse it, but God, the employer here, will make this sin worker take this provision/wage for that done work,’ as seen since the removal of the Tree in Eden. And this ongoing GC has been to done to show that this decision of God, especially for possible (relatively) “good sinner” (i.e., last 6 commandment observers) are also supposed to be made to ‘accept this provision/wage of death.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If we don't perceive an organic relationship between sin and death, we will perceive what is happening in the final judgment very differently than if we do. We will see the second death as being the result of something God does to the wicked in justice as a punishment as opposed to something that the wicked have brought upon themselves by the choices they have made, and which God permits.

The Bible is clear that the destruction of the wicked in Hell, the Second Death, as well as the General First death at the second advent are both direct acts of God. As I say, I do not see a self-combusting death being depicted in the Bible at the end of the GC. EGW assumed this to be the case, but the Bible (e.g., Rev 19:20, 21 & 20:14). Furthermore, it is the redeemed who will be determining what the extent of the Hell punishment will be for each individual lost person. (4SP 475.2/GC 660.4)

Indeed as I have said before and as it was pointed out by Mountain Man in his subsequent comment, God will be directly acting to preserve all of the senses and life of the wicked so that they will fully be subjected to/serve their full meted out sentence.

So since your paradigm needs to go against, especially the Bible, and also in many other places the SOP, then I have absolutely no qualms with seeing it as unbiblical, no matter who you claim is at its head or foundation. (Even, e.g., Sunday-keeping churches called themselves “Christian.”)

“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] #132511
04/09/11 11:49 AM
04/09/11 11:49 AM
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NJK: That was part of my point, that was not a ‘matter-of fact account or straightforward fore-description of the destruction.

Tom:Sure it was. Anybody listening to Jesus would have understood it as such. It's obvious. He will take the vineyard away, and kill the ones that killed his son. He was angry, and sent armies to burn their city. This is very direct language.

NJK: I rather see this, and all of Christ’s parable as also being a deliberate veiled statement (Matt 13:10ff). There is nothing straightforward/literal to speak about the current Jewish Nation by instead using vineyard

Tom: They knew what the vineyard reference was (Isa. 5). There's no way they could miss this.

As the word vineyard exegetically is the same in the LXX of Isa 5 and this parable, that can lead to the conclusion that these leaders could have readily understood this. However it is still symbolic and thus liable of being not perceived. Especially if they obliviously believed, as they indeed demonstrated, that they did not think nothing wrong of their ways. So throughout the entire parable they would have remained oblivious to this relation. Indeed as seen in the SOP’s account:

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 596.3a
Jesus addressed all the people present; but the priests and rulers answered. "He will miserably destroy those wicked men," they said, "and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons." The speakers had not at first perceived the application of the parable, but they now [i.e., after vs. 41 thus vss. 42ff] saw that they had pronounced their own condemnation.

Indeed they would not have pompously/self-righteously answered this way if they had priorly even begun to understand the 2 parables, and that they were speaking in any way against them.

So they came to this realization shortly after that answering point, probably just before Jesus started to reply, as he then ‘looked with pity upon them while continuing’ (DA 597.1). Luke 20:16b seems to indicate that sudden realization and change of mind as they evidently suddenly changed their words and said: “May it never be”.

Also EGW challenges your view of Jesus not actively endeavoring to be an instrument in dooming of these leaders, as she says:

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 597.3
Christ designed that the Pharisees should answer as they did. He designed that they should condemn themselves. His warnings, failing to arouse them to repentance, would seal their doom, and He wished them to see that they had brought ruin on themselves. He designed to show them the justice of God in the withdrawal of their national privileges, which had already begun, and which would end, not only in the destruction of their temple and their city, but in the dispersion of the nation.

It was because Jesus “designed/wished” to have this due judgement justly and deservingly come upon the Jewish Nation and these leaders that he, throughout His ministry worked to veil, until it was inevitably too late, any element in his public teaching that may help to avert that destruction. (= Matt 13:10-17 = Isa 6:9-13). There thus was no warning look of pity prior to them before they had proceeded to speak their own doom. And really, fully in keeping with this most purposeful and calculated veil approach, Jesus did indeed not begin to speak plainly to them (as in vs. 42-43-44) that until after they have first understood this own their own, indeed showing here that he was not at all wishing for them to without any faith-based sorrow and repentance escape this deserved judgement.

So Jesus had ‘removed’ His protective hand from Israel right from the start of His, actual 3 full years of public ministry (see e.g. John 2:13:24) indeed then ‘rousing their hatred from the start’ (DA 167.2), leading to Nicodemus’s potential quasi-reconciliation attempt (John 3:1ff) given his moderating stance amongs the Jewish leader (DA 167.2) (see also his “we” praising statements); which Jesus unrelentedly initially met with, manifestly to also humble Nicodemus (see e.g. John 3:10; cf. DA 171.3) (if he was really sincere in this quest for spiritual understanding) a barrage of more veiled sayings and calculated pride cutting symbolisms. (vss. 1-15).

NJK: and tenant farmers and a king’s wedding feast. The only reason why the Jewish leaders came to understand that he was speaking to them (Matt 21:45a) with the two preceding parables (Matt 21:28-32 & 33-41) was because of Christ unique public explanatory details appended to these two related parables in vss. 42-44, especially vs. 43.

Tom: Even if your assertion were true, and this was the only reason they knew, and it indeed was the fact remains that Christ did say:

Originally Posted By: Bible
Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and shall be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.(Matt. 21:43)

[That is actually vs. 42;... and thus, the plain statement in vs. 43 would then not be ‘the only reason they would have understood the parables’!]
Anyway, the SOP indicates that their understanding came after their answer in vs. 41 and before the 42-44 bloc sealing addition of Christ which, as EGW adds, though as a side comment ‘made this now no longer questionable realization no less evident’ (DA 596.3).

Originally Posted By: Tom
Therefore this is a clear declaration of the destruction of Jerusalem being accomplished by God's acting directly.

The symbolism indeed indicates this. However Christ’s actively inducing “designs” as stated by EGW in DA 597.3 in leading these leaders to pronounce and seal their own doom and future destruction mirrors in principle EGW’s understanding of how Jerusalem was going to be destroyed. I.e., by these Jewish leaders having here spoken their own doom. So the future physical destruction could indeed have been sent by God, at least, in part at first and not really contradict the SOP view here. (However for the reasons cited in a prior ost my jury is still out on EGW’s application of this Second indirect destruction method on the 70 A.D. as well as all of the the 7 Last Plagues.

NJK: Also if Christ’s words are expressing directly effectuate judgement and EGW categorically says the complete opposite then Christ’s words/the Bible should win out and EGW views as “mistaken” (Isa 8:20). She would have simply missapplied this type of judgement here. However see next answer.

Tom: This is rather ironic. I've been asserting that Christ should be the foundation, that His revelation trumps any other, but never with the idea that something "worse" that Christ said should "win out" over the better, "mistaken," good news of Ellen White. It's always been the other way around for me.

I don’t at all get your response here. A typo may have caused you to misunderstand me. I meant to say: ‘...and EGW’s view considered as “mistaken” (Isa 8:20). ” I don’t believe the SOP ever “corrects” the Bible. That “correction” element is only One Way. I.e., the Bible corrects the SOP. So if the Bible says something and the SOP says something that seems or is opposite to it, such as here that Christ indicated “direct judgement” and EGW “indirect judgement” then the SOP is always to be deemed as wrong. If that had not been the Staunch case among most SDA, they we would have had many false understandings of several Scriptures and EGW would also be above the Bible. So the subjective criteria of “better” vs. “worse” is also completely irrelevant here. On the factually substantive elements matter. Our personal preferences as to what we think God should do, should also not come to influence our arbitraring decisions in such case. As I said, the commenting application of EGW in GC 35-37 are thus highly debatable and may have been overstatingly misplaced along with its end times application, a least in ‘6/7th parts.’

T:What in Scripture suggests that the destruction of Jerusalem should be interpreted the way Ellen White did?

NJK:As I said before, the syntax of the prophetic statement in Dan 9:26b & 27b. (See also my enjoined next (priorly post) statement.)

Strange. No comment of approval from you here! The Bible here is agreeing with EGW!

NJK: And whether directly or indirectly effectuated, God ultimately did, at the very least, allow it, So this all may actually be a substantively inconsequential difference, especially as, as I see it, in either way, God is blameless.

Tom: We're told the following:

Originally Posted By: SOP
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)

While it may seems that I am saying that the destruction was both indirect (Dan 9:26b, 27b) and direct (Matt 22:7) it is because I see them as being both applicable.

Most ironically enough in the parable of the vineyard, it is not Jesus (as Matthew’s account is corroborated by the SOP shows) who says what will happen, but the Pharisees. So Jesus was not the one hear who first decreed what their judgement will be but they indeed condemned themselves. Then in ensuing parable Jesus used this recent self-determined judgement for His depiction of what will happen. I.e., they had decreed that they should be physically dispossessed and killed and thus included how that physical judgement will be done. So the Jews, at Christ goading, indeed had decreed their own doom and God now was going to work to make sure it occurs as stated, at the very least, if it came to be necessary. I.e., the Romans were not willing to even come and forcefully collect their taxes. So as I understand it also here with the future not being known, Jesus was here simply stating the most extreme case scenario that would be neededto make sure that judgement gets done, and when the time came, it, I.e., God’s direct effort, may not have been needed. However I see that God had intervene here, also limit the destruction, (Matt 24:22) and mainly because, time was not going to end here, given the equally abhorrent failures of the NT Church then. (cf. vs. 29ff). This topic validly get deeper all the time.

All prophecy contains these ‘worst case scenario elements, that can be and are usually cut short, until the full fulfillment can be achieved.

Originally Posted By: Tom
You're saying this may actually be a "substantively inconsequential difference." I see this is the essence of the Great Controversy. Satan is attempting to present God as being one way (like himself) when in reality He is another (like Jesus Christ).

I think you are actually missing the issue by solely focusing on the physical aspects of destruction rather than the spiritual cause. GC 35.3 seems to be emphasizing the reason for a destruction rather than the means. I.e., God does not decree destruction for not reason, but people come to decree this destruction by their own chosen course. However, when allowed to do destruction, particularly on individuals, aims to remain behind the scenes (as with Job) and let God take the blame. Satan aims to make it seem that God is acting without any valid/justified reason and arbitrarily decreed such judgements. So the emphasis may here be to show that such final judgements of God which require a singular “passionate” act to deny mercy, are not without self-inflicted reasons.

Tom: Sure, you can interpret the direct statements of Christ as involving passive action on the part of God, and thus not contradicting the SOP, but this is precisely my point. Scripture portrays God's actions as direct, but the SOP portrays it as passive.

NJK:As I said above, in case of such a supposed “irreconcilable difference” the Bible should win out, even if by arbitrative decision (i.e., ‘I’ll just go by what the Bible says, despite the SOP emphasis’)

Tom: The same argument can be made straight from Scripture. Sometimes the Bible portrays God as acting directly, and portrays God as acting passively, when describing the same incident. Do we have to have the second description (the passive one) to know that God is acting passively? Do we have to decide that God is actively actively if we don't have it? What's are rule of interpretation? God is acting actively, unless somewhere else it also says that He is acting passively?[/quote]

The above cited difference in rendition of the parable of the vine dressers between Matthew and Luke may be an example of this, however that may all entirely be due to the incomplete understanding of Luke.

Still, I’ll first need to see concrete/definite examples of this claim in the Bible before making any statement on it.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Why can't we infer principles to use to apply to other circumstances?
For example, consider the Scripture that says that God will send strong delusion upon those who have not received the love of the truth. This portrays God as acting directly when the SOP tells us He is acting passively, giving them over the delusions they already had. Do we really need the Spirit of Prophecy to understand this? Or, without that comment from the SOP, would we think that God really sends strong delusion to people so that they will believe lives? Or, should we conclude this is one of the incidents where we can't trust the SOP, and Ellen White was "mistaken"?

That is a Bible vs. SOP example. And there is no need to infer any principles for such. The “Law” is that ‘the Bible is always above the SOP.’

Also, I have, I think satisfactorily, responded to this seeming contradiction in this above post.

Originally Posted By: Tom
What's your methodology here? Is it the following?

1.Determine the truth by exegetical analysis of the key passage(s).

2.If Ellen White agrees with that analysis, fine, but if not, then conclude she is mistaken.

1. Definitely, Yes. 2. Sadly, Yes.

The actual reason is not a Spiritual one (i.e., Bible writers were more inspired than EGW) but merely an impartial, pragmatic one. That is, simply said, Bible writers (obviously) lived in Bible Times, were Jews, Spoke fluent Greek, Hebrew/Aramaic, spoke and lived with Jesus, etc. Indeed most of the SOP mistakes are from these “natural” exegetical deficiencies which at times, in turn affect Theological issues: e.g., “God and the Future” Still the direct revelations EGW received from God, vs. her filling commenting, are, when accurate related, independently on the Inspirational level as the direct revelations and Divine communications Bible writers had. The rest of the writings in the Bible are of the similar commenting/historical/poetic nature, however they have the great advantage about not having to study about their own language, culture, recent/contemporary history/stories, etc. Moreover, these Bible writers actually knew what they meant, including in other “chapters” they had written. So they also have the key contextual great advantage 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: Mountain Man] #132512
04/09/11 11:49 AM
04/09/11 11:49 AM
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On: Mountain Man’s SOP quotes on ‘Fully Understanding God’:

My personal view which guides my Bible study is that we can fully understand about God what He has allowed to be revealed/recorded in Scripture and the SOP. I do not see that we have begun to either fully or rightly understand those revelation.

I also see that what has been revealed in the Bible and SOP is what is necessary for our redemption and GC victory. We are only responsible for what we can rightly ascertain about God in the Bible and not what cannot be known. So we should be diligent to understand these. The rest may come later in Heaven probably throughout eternity.

So I do not see that engaging in seeking to understand God fully according to these revelations as even being capable of making one seek to ‘understand what cannot be understood.’

“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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"And He saith unto them, follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." Matt. 4:19
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