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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #133185
05/03/11 05:09 AM
05/03/11 05:09 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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[“Reminder”: You have not answered the substantive and foundational key exegetical points in Post #133009]

Quote:
Tom: Ok. I'll state what I perceive to be our areas of disagreement here. This is in regards to judgments during this life, not the final judgment.

NJK:From your previous sin-organic comment such as in Post #130881 which was responding to my Capital Sins judgment view in Post #130766 it is apparent that you have believed that all judgements, whether in this life or in the Second Death (Hell), must involve an ‘organic sin’ issue. I.e., God does not have to do anything but let the result of sin take its course.

Tom: I haven't put it this way, nor would I, as this seems ambiguous.

Tom: The final judgment involves direct actions on the part of God to the point of having all be aware of the issues involved in the Great Controversy, especially in their own lives. This is necessary that they may render judgment. Every knee will bow, voluntarily, and every tongue confess, voluntarily, acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and that He (and God, or the Godhead) have been just/fair/merciful/gracious/etc. in all of their dealings throughout the Great Controversy.

Tom: Regarding judgments during this life, one could perhaps say that some aspect of sin has been allowed to run its course, but not that sin, in general, has been allowed to run its course.


I don’t have time to retrace all your statements on pointedly this issues, but it seemed/seems to me that you don’t see God needing to ever be directly involved in any judgement, especially in the executory part of Hell judgement as, as I recall, you believe this will merely be a self-combusting event, (perhaps with instantaneous consummation vs. The Bible’s and SOP’s ‘(varyingly) many days’).

Quote:
NJK: I do not see this as being realistically feasible in the sense that sin is not always allowed to reach its ‘“full life” which then results in self inflicted natural death’, indeed as an old person naturally dies of old age (James 1:15).

Tom: Again, this isn't a phrase I have used, nor a concept I have articulated (that sin is allowed to run its course).


I infer this from your consistenly expressed “reap its full reward” view of sin and death. In any case, that is what the Bible actually teaches. In a prior post you had inaccurately curtailed James 1:14, 15 to:

“temptation => sin => death”

however the Bible is exegetically clear in saying that it is rather, i.e., more fully/protractedly:

“temptation => lust => sin => fully developed/accomplished sin => death

From the Bible’s:

‘intercourse’ => “conception” (Strong’s #4815) => “birth” (#5088) => “finishing/completion” (#658) [= “fully lived and aged life”] => natural death.

Quote:
NJK (edited): God instead chooses to intervene at some stages to effectuate a death-causing judgement in order to end this manifestly, sure-to-get-worse, sin development.

Tom: This isn't very clear, but I think what you're wanting to say is that God intervenes in order to prevent something worse to occur. If that's the point, I have no qualms with this, provide that God's intervention is understood along the lines of that explained in GC 35-37.


I address your view of GC 35-37 later in indeed these intervene events, but how is it actually “intervention” as this is defined as: “the act or fact of interposing one thing between or among others”. A “withdrawal/absenteeing” action is not an interposition/intervention.

Quote:
NJK: And to do this, i.e., in this timely way, He has had to use supernatural force.

Tom: He could just remove His protection from the thousand dangers, all of them unseen, from which He protects us.


To me, on one hand, “removing” his protection in not synonymous with “intervening” and on the other hand, to me, this allowing of something dangerous to affect someone involves the same ultimate responsibility. Thus this “passive” act is still a judgement-contributing act. I.e., this judgement cannot occur unless God does this.

Quote:
T:I perceive what happens is that the judgments which occur do so because the people involved have persistently resisted the Holy Spirit, leading to God's withdrawing His protection, which is the manifestation of His wrath.

NJK:All of the examples you have tried to demonstrate for this have been transparently, exegetically shown to be acts of God.

Tom: I don't think any have.

NJK: I.e., God either actively did the action (Piel) or he caused it (Hiphil) through His pointedly commissioned angels.


I’ll, first of all, also add: “natural” actions = (Qal), which are actions that God does not have to involve any causation, but simply “allow to naturally happen”

Originally Posted By: Tom
Examples suggested include:

1.Saul's death.
2.Fiery serpents sent upon the Israelites.
3.Lying spirits sent to Ahab.
4.Job's sufferings.
5.The destruction of Jerusalem.
6.Those who received not the love of the truth being sent delusions.
7.Jesus making those who reject Him blind so they not see, and deaf so they not hear.


(A) my exegetical approach is that the Bible has the final word, and that over EGW’s comments, which again I don’t defaultly consider to be direct revelations (i.e., SOP revelations)

Thus, point by point, based on previous exegetical contributions and discussions:

1.Saul's death. The Bible uses a Hiphil to say that God would cause Saul’s death. That therefore does not mean that God has to be the agent which causes that death. As Polel tense would pointedly say, indeed be used to convey that notion, even in regards to God. Therefore Saul killing himself, perhaps by the now absence of God’s soothing/comforting/hope filling Spirit, and thus out of utter despair, fulfills this agency notion invovled with a Hiphil

2.Fiery serpents sent upon the Israelites. As it says in e.g., this Wikipedia entry:

Originally Posted By: Wikipedia (Snake Bites)
“Snakes do not ordinarily prey on humans, and most will not attack humans unless the snake is startled or injured, preferring instead to avoid contact.”


Therefore God’s “protective hand/action” here may have been to make a snake feel a peace with the passing Israelite if ever they would feel threatened. God may also have been heightening the snakes innate desire to “avoid contact”. However when Israel acted rebelliously and God wanted to punish them for this, as the Hebrew of Num 21:6 and also as seen in vs. 8 (NASB):

(a) vs. 6: the serpents were ‘made to be sent (Piel) in [the midst of] the people, as [Heb *et preposition IBHS, 195]: ‘accompaniment/companionship/fellowship’ and/or with ‘“helping” interest’, etc).

Then (b) as seen in verse 8, the request was to “remove”/cause to turn aside (Hiphil) from amongst them this companionship of these serpent.

So it was not as if Israel was walking in the midst of serpents and they were not biting them by the power of God, but that God was actually making these serpents remain naturally fearful of these humans and seeking to avoid any contact with them. Indeed as snake innately, naturally do, because they know humans can easily, and are more like to, kill them than vice versa. As a Piel tense is also used for “the serpents biting the people” (vs. 6b), it is also seen that this was a forced action. So this does not even qualify as a passive action of God. Indeed, as I see it, the serpents may have been naturally staying away, and God withdrew his protection by making them no longer naturally want to avoid contact with the Israelites. So the Bible is not saying something different than EGW when is says that God ‘made the serpents come into the midst of the people.’ Indeed this was an active action of God which involved the withdrawing of his protective hand.

As I understand it, what God does and what God permits under his ultimate control are both equally the same. It is when God allows the Devil to decide and do whatever he wants, that a judgement is not at all from/of God.

3.Lying spirits sent to Ahab.

As already present, the Bible is revelatorily clear that it was God who green lighted a suggestion of a lying spirit, and even pronounced that this lying spirit ‘will prevail.’ Given God’s omnipotence, this “prevailing guarantee” can only be involved if God is at the helm of this action. So this also is an action in which God is involved. Indeed it would be equivalent to God sending a good angel to do a deed on the earth.

4.Job's sufferings.

Also as already discussed, and like in #3 above, God was in final authority of what could and could not be done to Job, even if Satan himself was to do it. So Job was not wrong (in 1:21) to think that God was doing this as God was indeed doing so. Even a good angel could have done the same thing instead of Satan, indeed simply to test Job. Even the death of Job’s children was warranted given their blantant and personally non-repentant waywardness.

5.The destruction of Jerusalem.

Here Jesus said that it was God who would send “armies” to do this judgement (Matt 22:7), in the line of what the the Jews themselves a priorly seen fit (Matt 21:41). The Devil may have been allowed to play a part in the destruction once these God summoned agents were on the scene, however God was ultimately in control of this destruction as many (relatively righteous) people (mainly non-zealots and/or zealot-minded) survived it (=Matt 24:22), as I understand it, so that they can have another chance to seek the truth. Again, as I see it, when God is involved in a judgement, it is ultimately an act of his. That occurs in all judgements except the 7th Plague. So as I said before, EGW may have overstated this in regards to this destruction and also to the extent in which she applied it in all of the 7 Last Plagues. So, once again, since the Biblical testimony evidence, does not support the extent to which EGW sought to apply her distinct revelation in 14MR 1-3, I have to subscribe to the extent and God-implication indicated in the Bible over EGW’s comment. The fact that EGW says her “It is thus that the great deceiver seeks to conceal his own work” does not make this pass as a direct revelation of hers in regards to the Destruction of Jerusalem. This is only the case in her 14MR 1-3 revelation, but that does not mean that it must have been the case with this judgement. God only permitted Satan to play one of the parts in this destruction event, but ultimately God had remained in control of what could and could not be done here.

6.Those who received not the love of the truth being sent delusions.

As I discussed in Post #132508, there is effectively no “sending vs. withdrawing” contradiction between the Bible and the SOP on this issue. By God withdraw his countering and balancing SPirit and allowing the devil to work in order to confirm these rebellious ones into the lies and, foundationally, hatred of truth, that they already adhere to, it is tantamount to ‘allowing an evil influence to fully enter this vacated space” thus = “sending”. Also if there is a contradiction here, then I go by the would be irreconciable notion of “sending” that the Bible is saying. Furthermore, as I see it, God allowing something (=EGW’s withdrawing) is still and action of God (=The Bible’s “sending”)

7.Jesus making those who reject Him blind so they not see, and deaf so they not hear.

I am assuming that you are referring to Matt 13:7-13. My understanding here is that everyone defaultly, initially recieved the same “parables” and veiled sayings “treatment”. However for those who chose to continue to seek understanding from Jesus, He went on to reveal the meaning of these statements (= the unloking “keys” Matt 13:11). So there was a double purpose to parables and depending on how people wanted to receive/use this light, it either served to blind them in persisted opposition or enlighten them and cause them to seek out new light. So Christ actually gave everyone the same opportunity to receive His “Light”. Whether they did or not depended on how they indeed handled it when they came across it.

However in regards to the Jewish leaders, Christ made default use of veiled/cryptic sayings, even unexplained quotings of the OT. (E.g, John 2:19ff; 8:56) As Jewish leaders they should have been able to figure these out. However, in general discourse, i.e., those involving common people, parables were used, which indeed could either “illustrate” a perceivable truth or be deemed as inconclusive, as many people, especially the Jewish leaders chose to deem them.

Ironically enough, this “blinding” was probably out of their paramount pride, feeling insulted that Christ was speaking to them as little children in parables, however when Christ was more “direct” with them, even by straightforwardly quoting/alluding to Scriptures, they still could not/did not “get it.” So by not getting the Truth-illustrating, parable messages they proved that they were not Spiritually in tune with God’s (natural/basic) Truth and by not getting the Biblical allusions and quotings they proved that their great knowledge of the Scripture was actually Spiritually bankrupt.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Every one of these in the SOP was explained along the lines of what I have been asserting. None of these involves God's taking direct action to cause the thing to occur, nor His using His own angels to bring out the action described.


As the Bible says in all of these actions that God casued, made to happen, allowed, and/or was in ultimate and overuling control of all of these actions, (even with Christ making his veiled/parable statements), these were all in some form an action of God. The way I understand that you are understanding GC 35-37, GOd has to be completely uninvolved for it to be, what you consider, a “passive action”. That is however not the substantive, exegetical and/or spiritual/theoligical case in any the 7 ‘prime’ examples of yours to support your claim.

So as I had said below (next), to refute this observation, you’ll have to substantively and exegetically engage these respective elements involved in these Biblical examples/cases.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
All your ‘natural third party self-acting agents’ claims have been shown to both be exegetically not supported (including by the SOP testimony) and/or not naturally realistic. You have not provided objectively valid, if actually any, countering reasons why they should continue to be considered as you originally claimed them to be.


Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
I don't have time to repeat all of these, but here are a few.


Originally Posted By: SOP
The Jews had forged their own fetters; they had filled for themselves the cup of vengeance. In the utter destruction that befell them as a nation, and in all the woes that followed them in their dispersion, they were but reaping the harvest which their own hands had sown. 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...(GC 35)


Originally Posted By: SOP
Shielded by divine power, they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were surrounded. In their unbelief they anticipated death, and now the Lord permitted death to come upon them. The poisonous serpents that infested the wilderness were called fiery serpents, on account of their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death. As the protecting hand of God was removed, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures. {EP 301.1}


As stated before, if their is a perceived difference between the Bible and EGW’s comments, indeed non-direct revelation comments as manifestly likely for these above two statements, then they, at the very least, must be made to seek to reconcile themselves with the superior Biblical testimony. And if this cannot be done, then the Biblical testimony is to prevail.

I think my view on both of these achieve this non-contradictory reconciliation/harmonization, whereas your view makes you claim that “the Bible says one thing, but EGW reveals something else’, indeed “else” as it can exegetically only be concluded, because to “make/cause something to happen” (=Piel/Hiphil) can only involve, “involved” action either as truly actively or passively, and not “absently” (= your understanding of “withdrawn”) as in/for your view.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The first sentence in particular echoes the point I've been making. We do not realize the countless dangers which surround us, from which we are protected. When God's protection is removed, that may be perceived as God's taking direct action to cause the given thing.


As Biblically seen in the fiery serpent example, these countless dangers do not necessarily meant that they are self acting. God had to forcefully “send” the serpents in the midst of the people. A “countless danger” may indeed be a dormant one until GOd awakens/stimulates/stirs its “dangerous” aspect. Case in point, God calling Babylon to destroy Judah (Jer 1:13-16; 4:16) who may not have had any interest/desire to attack them. The same thing can be seen with Titus who, as Josephus records was most reluctant to inflict damage on Jerusalem throughout the War.

Originally Posted By: SOP
Especially solemn is the apostle’s statement regarding those who should refuse to receive “the love of the truth.” “For this cause,” he declared of all who should deliberately reject the messages of truth, “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Men cannot with impunity reject the warnings that God in mercy sends them. From those who persist in turning from these warnings, God withdraws His Spirit, leaving them to the deceptions that they love. {AA 266.2}


As explained above, God’s ‘Spirit withdrawing’ act is tantamount to sending, as it creates a vacuum that naturally is “filled in” by the Devil. Indeed by God’s implied permission. In actuality, just the absence of a countering Godly influence is sufficient.


“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] #133188
05/03/11 01:59 PM
05/03/11 01:59 PM
K
kland  Offline
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Active Member 2020

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Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,877
Midland
Click to reveal.. (NJK)
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
[“Reminder”: You have not answered the substantive and foundational key exegetical points in Post #133009]

Quote:
Tom: Ok. I'll state what I perceive to be our areas of disagreement here. This is in regards to judgments during this life, not the final judgment.

NJK:From your previous sin-organic comment such as in Post #130881 which was responding to my Capital Sins judgment view in Post #130766 it is apparent that you have believed that all judgements, whether in this life or in the Second Death (Hell), must involve an ‘organic sin’ issue. I.e., God does not have to do anything but let the result of sin take its course.

Tom: I haven't put it this way, nor would I, as this seems ambiguous.

Tom: The final judgment involves direct actions on the part of God to the point of having all be aware of the issues involved in the Great Controversy, especially in their own lives. This is necessary that they may render judgment. Every knee will bow, voluntarily, and every tongue confess, voluntarily, acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and that He (and God, or the Godhead) have been just/fair/merciful/gracious/etc. in all of their dealings throughout the Great Controversy.

Tom: Regarding judgments during this life, one could perhaps say that some aspect of sin has been allowed to run its course, but not that sin, in general, has been allowed to run its course.


I don’t have time to retrace all your statements on pointedly this issues, but it seemed/seems to me that you don’t see God needing to ever be directly involved in any judgement, especially in the executory part of Hell judgement as, as I recall, you believe this will merely be a self-combusting event, (perhaps with instantaneous consummation vs. The Bible’s and SOP’s ‘(varyingly) many days’).

Quote:
NJK: I do not see this as being realistically feasible in the sense that sin is not always allowed to reach its ‘“full life” which then results in self inflicted natural death’, indeed as an old person naturally dies of old age (James 1:15).

Tom: Again, this isn't a phrase I have used, nor a concept I have articulated (that sin is allowed to run its course).


I infer this from your consistenly expressed “reap its full reward” view of sin and death. In any case, that is what the Bible actually teaches. In a prior post you had inaccurately curtailed James 1:14, 15 to:

“temptation => sin => death”

however the Bible is exegetically clear in saying that it is rather, i.e., more fully/protractedly:

“temptation => lust => sin => fully developed/accomplished sin => death

From the Bible’s:

‘intercourse’ => “conception” (Strong’s #4815) => “birth” (#5088) => “finishing/completion” (#658) [= “fully lived and aged life”] => natural death.

Quote:
NJK (edited): God instead chooses to intervene at some stages to effectuate a death-causing judgement in order to end this manifestly, sure-to-get-worse, sin development.

Tom: This isn't very clear, but I think what you're wanting to say is that God intervenes in order to prevent something worse to occur. If that's the point, I have no qualms with this, provide that God's intervention is understood along the lines of that explained in GC 35-37.


I address your view of GC 35-37 later in indeed these intervene events, but how is it actually “intervention” as this is defined as: “the act or fact of interposing one thing between or among others”. A “withdrawal/absenteeing” action is not an interposition/intervention.

Quote:
NJK: And to do this, i.e., in this timely way, He has had to use supernatural force.

Tom: He could just remove His protection from the thousand dangers, all of them unseen, from which He protects us.


To me, on one hand, “removing” his protection in not synonymous with “intervening” and on the other hand, to me, this allowing of something dangerous to affect someone involves the same ultimate responsibility. Thus this “passive” act is still a judgement-contributing act. I.e., this judgement cannot occur unless God does this.

Quote:
T:I perceive what happens is that the judgments which occur do so because the people involved have persistently resisted the Holy Spirit, leading to God's withdrawing His protection, which is the manifestation of His wrath.

NJK:All of the examples you have tried to demonstrate for this have been transparently, exegetically shown to be acts of God.

Tom: I don't think any have.

NJK: I.e., God either actively did the action (Piel) or he caused it (Hiphil) through His pointedly commissioned angels.


I’ll, first of all, also add: “natural” actions = (Qal), which are actions that God does not have to involve any causation, but simply “allow to naturally happen”

Originally Posted By: Tom
Examples suggested include:

1.Saul's death.
2.Fiery serpents sent upon the Israelites.
3.Lying spirits sent to Ahab.
4.Job's sufferings.
5.The destruction of Jerusalem.
6.Those who received not the love of the truth being sent delusions.
7.Jesus making those who reject Him blind so they not see, and deaf so they not hear.


(A) my exegetical approach is that the Bible has the final word, and that over EGW’s comments, which again I don’t defaultly consider to be direct revelations (i.e., SOP revelations)

Thus, point by point, based on previous exegetical contributions and discussions:

1.Saul's death. The Bible uses a Hiphil to say that God would cause Saul’s death. That therefore does not mean that God has to be the agent which causes that death. As Polel tense would pointedly say, indeed be used to convey that notion, even in regards to God. Therefore Saul killing himself, perhaps by the now absence of God’s soothing/comforting/hope filling Spirit, and thus out of utter despair, fulfills this agency notion invovled with a Hiphil

2.Fiery serpents sent upon the Israelites. As it says in e.g., this Wikipedia entry:

Originally Posted By: Wikipedia (Snake Bites)
“Snakes do not ordinarily prey on humans, and most will not attack humans unless the snake is startled or injured, preferring instead to avoid contact.”


Therefore God’s “protective hand/action” here may have been to make a snake feel a peace with the passing Israelite if ever they would feel threatened. God may also have been heightening the snakes innate desire to “avoid contact”. However when Israel acted rebelliously and God wanted to punish them for this, as the Hebrew of Num 21:6 and also as seen in vs. 8 (NASB):

(a) vs. 6: the serpents were ‘made to be sent (Piel) in [the midst of] the people, as [Heb *et preposition IBHS, 195]: ‘accompaniment/companionship/fellowship’ and/or with ‘“helping” interest’, etc).

Then (b) as seen in verse 8, the request was to “remove”/cause to turn aside (Hiphil) from amongst them this companionship of these serpent.

So it was not as if Israel was walking in the midst of serpents and they were not biting them by the power of God, but that God was actually making these serpents remain naturally fearful of these humans and seeking to avoid any contact with them. Indeed as snake innately, naturally do, because they know humans can easily, and are more like to, kill them than vice versa. As a Piel tense is also used for “the serpents biting the people” (vs. 6b), it is also seen that this was a forced action. So this does not even qualify as a passive action of God. Indeed, as I see it, the serpents may have been naturally staying away, and God withdrew his protection by making them no longer naturally want to avoid contact with the Israelites. So the Bible is not saying something different than EGW when is says that God ‘made the serpents come into the midst of the people.’ Indeed this was an active action of God which involved the withdrawing of his protective hand.

As I understand it, what God does and what God permits under his ultimate control are both equally the same. It is when God allows the Devil to decide and do whatever he wants, that a judgement is not at all from/of God.

3.Lying spirits sent to Ahab.

As already present, the Bible is revelatorily clear that it was God who green lighted a suggestion of a lying spirit, and even pronounced that this lying spirit ‘will prevail.’ Given God’s omnipotence, this “prevailing guarantee” can only be involved if God is at the helm of this action. So this also is an action in which God is involved. Indeed it would be equivalent to God sending a good angel to do a deed on the earth.

4.Job's sufferings.

Also as already discussed, and like in #3 above, God was in final authority of what could and could not be done to Job, even if Satan himself was to do it. So Job was not wrong (in 1:21) to think that God was doing this as God was indeed doing so. Even a good angel could have done the same thing instead of Satan, indeed simply to test Job. Even the death of Job’s children was warranted given their blantant and personally non-repentant waywardness.

5.The destruction of Jerusalem.

Here Jesus said that it was God who would send “armies” to do this judgement (Matt 22:7), in the line of what the the Jews themselves a priorly seen fit (Matt 21:41). The Devil may have been allowed to play a part in the destruction once these God summoned agents were on the scene, however God was ultimately in control of this destruction as many (relatively righteous) people (mainly non-zealots and/or zealot-minded) survived it (=Matt 24:22), as I understand it, so that they can have another chance to seek the truth. Again, as I see it, when God is involved in a judgement, it is ultimately an act of his. That occurs in all judgements except the 7th Plague. So as I said before, EGW may have overstated this in regards to this destruction and also to the extent in which she applied it in all of the 7 Last Plagues. So, once again, since the Biblical testimony evidence, does not support the extent to which EGW sought to apply her distinct revelation in 14MR 1-3, I have to subscribe to the extent and God-implication indicated in the Bible over EGW’s comment. The fact that EGW says her “It is thus that the great deceiver seeks to conceal his own work” does not make this pass as a direct revelation of hers in regards to the Destruction of Jerusalem. This is only the case in her 14MR 1-3 revelation, but that does not mean that it must have been the case with this judgement. God only permitted Satan to play one of the parts in this destruction event, but ultimately God had remained in control of what could and could not be done here.

6.Those who received not the love of the truth being sent delusions.

As I discussed in Post #132508, there is effectively no “sending vs. withdrawing” contradiction between the Bible and the SOP on this issue. By God withdraw his countering and balancing SPirit and allowing the devil to work in order to confirm these rebellious ones into the lies and, foundationally, hatred of truth, that they already adhere to, it is tantamount to ‘allowing an evil influence to fully enter this vacated space” thus = “sending”. Also if there is a contradiction here, then I go by the would be irreconciable notion of “sending” that the Bible is saying. Furthermore, as I see it, God allowing something (=EGW’s withdrawing) is still and action of God (=The Bible’s “sending”)

7.Jesus making those who reject Him blind so they not see, and deaf so they not hear.

I am assuming that you are referring to Matt 13:7-13. My understanding here is that everyone defaultly, initially recieved the same “parables” and veiled sayings “treatment”. However for those who chose to continue to seek understanding from Jesus, He went on to reveal the meaning of these statements (= the unloking “keys” Matt 13:11). So there was a double purpose to parables and depending on how people wanted to receive/use this light, it either served to blind them in persisted opposition or enlighten them and cause them to seek out new light. So Christ actually gave everyone the same opportunity to receive His “Light”. Whether they did or not depended on how they indeed handled it when they came across it.

However in regards to the Jewish leaders, Christ made default use of veiled/cryptic sayings, even unexplained quotings of the OT. (E.g, John 2:19ff; 8:56) As Jewish leaders they should have been able to figure these out. However, in general discourse, i.e., those involving common people, parables were used, which indeed could either “illustrate” a perceivable truth or be deemed as inconclusive, as many people, especially the Jewish leaders chose to deem them.

Ironically enough, this “blinding” was probably out of their paramount pride, feeling insulted that Christ was speaking to them as little children in parables, however when Christ was more “direct” with them, even by straightforwardly quoting/alluding to Scriptures, they still could not/did not “get it.” So by not getting the Truth-illustrating, parable messages they proved that they were not Spiritually in tune with God’s (natural/basic) Truth and by not getting the Biblical allusions and quotings they proved that their great knowledge of the Scripture was actually Spiritually bankrupt.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Every one of these in the SOP was explained along the lines of what I have been asserting. None of these involves God's taking direct action to cause the thing to occur, nor His using His own angels to bring out the action described.


As the Bible says in all of these actions that God casued, made to happen, allowed, and/or was in ultimate and overuling control of all of these actions, (even with Christ making his veiled/parable statements), these were all in some form an action of God. The way I understand that you are understanding GC 35-37, GOd has to be completely uninvolved for it to be, what you consider, a “passive action”. That is however not the substantive, exegetical and/or spiritual/theoligical case in any the 7 ‘prime’ examples of yours to support your claim.

So as I had said below (next), to refute this observation, you’ll have to substantively and exegetically engage these respective elements involved in these Biblical examples/cases.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
All your ‘natural third party self-acting agents’ claims have been shown to both be exegetically not supported (including by the SOP testimony) and/or not naturally realistic. You have not provided objectively valid, if actually any, countering reasons why they should continue to be considered as you originally claimed them to be.


Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
I don't have time to repeat all of these, but here are a few.


Originally Posted By: SOP
The Jews had forged their own fetters; they had filled for themselves the cup of vengeance. In the utter destruction that befell them as a nation, and in all the woes that followed them in their dispersion, they were but reaping the harvest which their own hands had sown. 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...(GC 35)


Originally Posted By: SOP
Shielded by divine power, they had not realized the countless dangers by which they were surrounded. In their unbelief they anticipated death, and now the Lord permitted death to come upon them. The poisonous serpents that infested the wilderness were called fiery serpents, on account of their sting, it causing violent inflammation and speedy death. As the protecting hand of God was removed, great numbers of the people were attacked by these venomous creatures. {EP 301.1}


As stated before, if their is a perceived difference between the Bible and EGW’s comments, indeed non-direct revelation comments as manifestly likely for these above two statements, then they, at the very least, must be made to seek to reconcile themselves with the superior Biblical testimony. And if this cannot be done, then the Biblical testimony is to prevail.

I think my view on both of these achieve this non-contradictory reconciliation/harmonization, whereas your view makes you claim that “the Bible says one thing, but EGW reveals something else’, indeed “else” as it can exegetically only be concluded, because to “make/cause something to happen” (=Piel/Hiphil) can only involve, “involved” action either as truly actively or passively, and not “absently” (= your understanding of “withdrawn”) as in/for your view.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The first sentence in particular echoes the point I've been making. We do not realize the countless dangers which surround us, from which we are protected. When God's protection is removed, that may be perceived as God's taking direct action to cause the given thing.


As Biblically seen in the fiery serpent example, these countless dangers do not necessarily meant that they are self acting. God had to forcefully “send” the serpents in the midst of the people. A “countless danger” may indeed be a dormant one until GOd awakens/stimulates/stirs its “dangerous” aspect. Case in point, God calling Babylon to destroy Judah (Jer 1:13-16; 4:16) who may not have had any interest/desire to attack them. The same thing can be seen with Titus who, as Josephus records was most reluctant to inflict damage on Jerusalem throughout the War.

Originally Posted By: SOP
Especially solemn is the apostle’s statement regarding those who should refuse to receive “the love of the truth.” “For this cause,” he declared of all who should deliberately reject the messages of truth, “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” Men cannot with impunity reject the warnings that God in mercy sends them. From those who persist in turning from these warnings, God withdraws His Spirit, leaving them to the deceptions that they love. {AA 266.2}


As explained above, God’s ‘Spirit withdrawing’ act is tantamount to sending, as it creates a vacuum that naturally is “filled in” by the Devil. Indeed by God’s implied permission. In actuality, just the absence of a countering Godly influence is sufficient.


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1.Saul's death. The Bible uses a Hiphil to say that God would cause Saul’s death. That therefore does not mean that God has to be the agent which causes that death.
Would that be like God hardening Pharaoh's heart?


Quote:
Originally Posted By: Wikipedia (Snake Bites)
“Snakes do not ordinarily prey on humans, and most will not attack humans unless the snake is startled or injured, preferring instead to avoid contact.”

Of the land snakes, the most
dangerous is the Taipan, since it will attack unprovoked.
http://stason.org/TULARC/travel/australia/9-5-4-Venomous-Fauna.html

however, they [Bushmasters] are one of only a few snakes in the world with reputations for unprovoked attacks on people.
http://books.google.com/books?id=MOfaTpk...ked&f=false

The chief and city attorney reviewed local ordinances and determined the snake is a vicious animal because of its propensity to commit an unprovoked attack.
http://beforeitsnews.com/story/581/817/Woman_Pried_From_The_Mouth_Of_Python.html


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Indeed, as I see it, the serpents may have been naturally staying away, and God withdrew his protection by making them no longer naturally want to avoid contact with the Israelites.
Withdrew means make? Really?

Quote:
As I understand it, what God does and what God permits under his ultimate control are both equally the same. It is when God allows the Devil to decide and do whatever he wants, that a judgement is not at all from/of God.
Would you be saying that allowing the devil is different than permitting him?

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland] #133189
05/03/11 03:29 PM
05/03/11 03:29 PM
NJK Project  Offline
Banned Member
Dedicated Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,098
Laval, Quebec
Quote:
NJK: 1.Saul's death. The Bible uses a Hiphil to say that God would cause Saul’s death. That therefore does not mean that God has to be the agent which causes that death.

kland: Would that be like God hardening Pharaoh's heart?


No since, as revealed and discussed repeatedly before, a Pile stem, which involves a notion of patiency (See Post #133009) by the subject is used for all of God’s hardening of Pharaoh.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Originally Posted By: Wikipedia (Snake Bites)
“Snakes do not ordinarily prey on humans, and most will not attack humans unless the snake is startled or injured, preferring instead to avoid contact.”


Originally Posted By: kland
Of the land snakes, the most
dangerous is the Taipan, since it will attack unprovoked.
http://stason.org/TULARC/travel/australia/9-5-4-Venomous-Fauna.html

however, they [Bushmasters] are one of only a few snakes in the world with reputations for unprovoked attacks on people.
http://books.google.com/books?id=MOfaTpk...ked&f=false

The chief and city attorney reviewed local ordinances and determined the snake is a vicious animal because of its propensity to commit an unprovoked attack.
http://beforeitsnews.com/story/581/817/Woman_Pried_From_The_Mouth_Of_Python.html


Seems to me your sources are ambivalent on this issue. Probably researching and quoting the first 10 sources on this would continue this trend. Furthermore it is not known precisely what type snakes were in the Sinai wilderness.

The Hebrew contributions in Num 21:6-8, as already discussed, convince me that these were ‘defaultly a people-avoiding type of snake.’

Quote:
NJK: Indeed, as I see it, the serpents may have been naturally staying away, and God withdrew his protection by making them no longer naturally want to avoid contact with the Israelites.

kland: Withdrew means make? Really?


It does here if EGW’s comments are to be reconciled with the Bible’s exegetical Piel use in saying ‘God made to be sent’ (Num 21:6). Otherwise, if a “difference” is seen, then, according to the exegetical methodology/principles that I go by the Biblical testimony is to supercede EGW comments.

However it seems clear to me that EGW also fully was aware of this “sending” notion here as she made her “withdrawing” notion as she says:

Originally Posted By: SOP 19MR 280.2
The same Hand that kept the fiery serpents of the wilderness from entering the camp of the Israelites until God's chosen people provoked Him with their constant murmurs and complaints, is today guarding the honest in heart. Were this restraining Hand withdrawn, the enemy of our souls would at once begin the work of destruction that he has so long desired to accomplish.


Relatedly, see also:

1SP 315.1 - “To punish them for their ingratitude[/u], and complaining against God, the Lord [b]permitted fiery serpents to bite them.”

And PP 428.3 - “If with all these tokens of His love the people still continued to complain, the Lord would withdraw His protection until they should be led to appreciate His merciful care, and return to Him with repentance and humiliation.”

Seems to me, contrary to Tom’s view, that some notion of “punishment” and even “suggestive compelling” from God were also involved here. (Indeed all similar to what had happened with Moses (Exod 4:24-26 - PP 255.5))

Quote:
NJK: As I understand it, what God does and what God permits under his ultimate control are both equally the same. It is when God allows the Devil to decide and do whatever he wants, that a judgement is not at all from/of God.

kland: Would you be saying that allowing the devil is different than permitting him?


They seem to mean the same thing to me, with perhaps “permit” being more formal than “allow”.

Last edited by NJK Project; 05/03/11 04:25 PM.

“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] #133207
05/04/11 02:11 PM
05/04/11 02:11 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
NJK, thank you for bringing my attention to this post I missed. I've responded to the first part of it. I have to divide my time as best I can, so I'm not sure what I'll be responding to next. If you have some preference, you can present it (such as continuing to respond to this post, or to respond to the more recent ones).

Originally Posted By: NJK
“Save Trees”????


That was a joke, of course. Copy/paste won't save any trees. I got a kick out of it.

Quote:
Don’t buy printed Bible to “save trees” here and/or have the ones you have recycled, or sent to a poor country since you have (presumably) ready access to at least the Bible on the Internet!! I am not preventing you from looking up my references on a Bible software or the internet!?! Instead of quibbling for spurious rationales here, do yourself a favor and jsut drop that futile attempt for an issue here.


I'm hoping you'll listen to me and others and start quoting texts. Just quoting one would be good. One quoted text is better than 10 references without quotes.

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And don`t mistake me for a tree-hugger, I am to save lives and not firstly trees. As an easily naturally renewable resource, trees are not in daner of extinction. If you all would use this falsely supposed ‘saved, cumulative time’ to work to save the lives of aborted infants, as the NJK Project plans, I would consider your proposition as collectively beneficial. Just taking the time to respond to couple of supposed supporting examples to your view, which actually would not even affect the majority of opposite examples, as proper exegetical methods require, it increasingly being deemed as not worthwhile and time wasting by me. Perhaps it will help other people than you to see that actually already black-on-white clear Biblical light on this issue.


You should realize that just quoting references is pretty much a waste of time. Few people are going to look them up. After all, if you, the poster, don't feel them important enough to copy/paste, the reader is not likely to view them more important then you do.

Quote:
That is what the Hebrew Grammatical identification states and, more precisely here, what the Syntax intends to convey. For (presumably) reasons/preferences of fluency these notions are not woodenly expresses in mainstream Bible versions. People complained about the begats in the KJV, well they would complain about all of the e.g.,: “caused to” (Hiphil) and “made to” (Piel) in these verbs were rendered as they were literally meant to. The scholarship attempt to try to express this nuance by using different words in English actually has done injury to this Hebrew Language element as it can be easily seen by the fact that the Hebrew tenses, depending on the context in which they are found, actually confusedly need to use those intended distinct English words.

(Though I am fluent in French and conversant/functional in Spanish, I think we could stick to the major English version, (the NIV, RSV/NRSV, JB/NJB should also be consulted cited, though I do not see version comparison as being determinative since the underlying syntax is not always properly rendered.)

The NJB (New Jerusalem Bible (hint hint) accurately has: “He had not consulted Yahweh, who therefore caused his death”

Indeed OT Hebrew Textbooks (as well as NT Greek ones) usually makes numerous Scriptural citations where they rendered texts in ways that are not found in any Bible version. (E.g, Waltke and O’Connor’s work (IBHS) has over 4100 Scriptural references, most of these being of this unique and more precise rendition kind.


I don't know what languages you know (except for French, of course), but consulted languages I was familiar with. The point was that every translation I could find, in any language I was familiar with, translated the text the same way. God caused the death of Saul; that's the idea. Although the text states this, what actually happened is that God permitted the death of Saul. This is an example of the principle that Scripture presents God as doing that which He permits.


Quote:
(And my NJK Project plan to ‘be more efficient in regards to publishing’ is to provide an ebook/“i-Pad”-type device to NJK Citizens (see here) and in the NJK Economy, they won’t cost, or “need to cost” $500+)....


What’s your page number for the IBHS citation here??


Page 433.

Quote:
(Just a note, I personally trust the quite comprehensive and more recent work of IBHS over other printed grammars, and especially over internet sources.)

These are indeed rightly emphasizing the causative notion contained in the Hiphil. (Perhaps you do not fully understand the grammatical/syntactical implications here.) As further explained in IBHS, (which can be accessed in Google Books) this “causation” is quite distinctly in action than the Piel or the Qal, among others tenses. Indeed as expressed in IBHS, 355: ...

Piel - patiency nuance = “The semantic role of an entity that is not the agent but is directly involved in or affected by the happening denoted by the verb in the clause”

Hiphil - agency nuance - The semantic role of the animate entity that instigates or causes the happening denoted by the verb in the clause. How a result is obtained or an end is achieved

However, more than just the piel is involved when direct action is intended by the subject in regards to the verb “to kill” (#04191). The Hebrew Polel form (derived from the Piel) is used. Indeed with a notion here of pointed aim and/with endeavor, using a “special energy”, it thus speaks of ‘actively and directly putting someone to death’ (Jud 9:54; 1 Sam 14:13; 17:51; Psa 34:22; 109:16); indeed in relation to Saul himself (2 Sam 1:9, 10, 16), and also when God is to directly do it (Jer 20:17). (cf. GKC (Gesenius Hebrew Grammar) 55c: ...

[quote]T:There are a couple of events in Christ's life, the cursing of the fig tree and the cleansing of the temple, which are often misinterpreted as if He were acting in a manner such as you are trying to attribute to Him as a means of justifying your own actions. Reading the accounts in "The Desire of Ages" makes clear that what is being attributed to Christ doesn't correspond to the reality of what happened.

NJK:The DA account of Christ’s incontrovertible use of physical force to twice clear/cleanse the Temple moreoverly, clearly indicate to me what was really going on here.


He didn't use force on people, but on animals and chairs. This doesn't explain why the people left. Were they physically afraid of Christ? Of course not. They had Christ greatly outnumbered. It was "divinity flashing through humanity," that "forced" them away; their guilty consciences condemned them. They felt as if they were in the presence of the Great Judge.

This is what the Desire of Ages explains. It says nothing about Christ using physical force against them.

Quote:
Christ was indeed righteously indignant. That fact cannot be futilely excised/ignored from the Bible and SOP.


Righteous indignation is fine. We see, from the DA account, that Christ longed with pity over those who were ignorant of true worship. He still loved them. His anger was directed against what they were doing, in leading others away from the Plan of Salvation, but He felt no anger or malice against the individuals involved, but rather pure love, the love which led Him to be crucified at their hands.

Quote:
NJK:The fig tree could be passed off as an acted parable, however the surprised reaction of the disciples shows that this was also not within the normative action/conduct of Christ.


Of course, and this is note-worthy. The acted parable is in reference to God's removing His protection against the Israelites.

Quote:
However it is the intrinsic part of God’s Ministry of judgement/Wrath and as usually, it is always for a greater good and not out of any baseless/reactionary vindictiveness.


I think our difference in opinion in these incidents is more in terms of the mechanism used than the motivation. I believe the mechanism of removing protection is sufficient to cause any level of destruction. There is no need for God to act in any other way than this, since this mechanism is sufficient. Indeed, one would wonder why, given this mechanism is sufficient, God would act in any other way. It could only be because God wanted to be seen as a destroyer, but everything in Christ's mission argues against this idea.

Quote:
T:Even if, for the sake of argument, one were to believe that Christ acted in the unfortunate manner being suggested, it would still be the case that 99% of the time Christ acted as a gentleman, with kindness, tact, and consideration. So perhaps we could aim for that same figure here.

NJK:There is nothing “unfortunate” about ‘Righteous Indignation for a greater good’. You are the one who cannot understand this just aspect of God’s Character. I personally thank God for this judicious, even forceful, intervention especially when it so does confront the abuses of people in positions of power/leadership, especially (religious) leadership in His People/Church. (Cf. Rev 6:9, 10) And I aim to be a 100% follower of Christ. It was because it was not Christ’s mandate then to judge Israel, but to first instruct/redress them and complete the plan of salvation (cf. Luke 49, 50) that more of these deserved acts of judgement were not done.

And in regards to Christ’s expressed ‘great wish’ in Luke 12:49, if he indeed had not ‘greatly constrained himself’ but done that act of bringing about Hell Fire on the earth, that would have trumped all of the “meted” actions of judgements by God in the OT put together, including the Flood destruction.


There's no problem with Christ's righteous indignation, of course; the "unfortunate manner" being suggested, that I referred to, was your picturing Christ as acting as you have acted. Christ, in His righteous indignation, had tears in His voice when He uttered His scathing comments, and longed with pity over those He loved, willing to give His life for them.

Quote:
Tom: First of all, let's consider how Christ usually dealt with the Jewish leaders. In the beginning of Christ's ministry, Christ was open in His teachings.

NJK:Cite a couple of Examples. I rather see that he spoke veiledly to them from the start (e.g., John 2:19ff & 3:3ff), indeed, as already stated, ‘rousing their hatred’ (DA 167.2) in the first act of His ministry in the Clearing/Cleansing of the Temple (John 2:13ff).


If you wish me to respond to some reference you are citing, please quote more than 3 words (in the case of the SOP), or more than 0 words (in the case of Scripture).

You may note that when I reference things, I quote them for you. When I quote Scripture, I usually use the NASB, because that is a version you said you liked.

The healing of the paralytic comes to mind. That's at the beginning of Mark. The sermon on the mount, Matthew 5-7, also comes to mind.

Quote:
T:It was only when He met with opposition that He resorted to less direct methods, such as the parables. The whole time He was doing everything He could to reach the Jewish leaders.

NJK:Christ made himself meet with this opposition right from the start by himself initiating the confrontation in the Temple. The veiled statements also started right then. Barring an actual substantiation here, your view here would actually be wishful thinking.


What I'm sharing is by no means an idea original to myself. Indeed, I found reference to the idea in the first place I randomly looked.

Quote:
T:He did this for two reasons. The first was that He loved them, and wanted to save them. The second reason was that He knew if He could reach them, that was the secret to saving the nation.

NJK:The Biblical Truth is that Jesus wanted to judge them from the start.


You don't think He wanted to save them? You don't think He wanted to reach them that He might save the nation?

Quote:
NJK:You don’t awake love by doing actions that arouse hatred.


That depends. Consider Nicodemus. In him we see the pride of the Pharisee battling against the honest seeker of truth. If hatred comes because pride has been rebuked, that could indeed be a means of awakening love, because that's the road to repentance. Especially when one considers the character of the One doing the rebuking.

What motivated Christ was inestimable love, and those who met Him sensed that. So while pride hates to be rebuked, there's also a part of the person who wants to be healed from it.

It was never Christ's desire to arouse hatred in anyone. He wanted to provoke faith and love.

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NJK:Further Biblically speaking that was all in line with his “designs”to bring about deserved judgement on this leaders who should have known and done better, as they were pretentious purporting.


Christ's designs were the salvation of human beings. I don't understand the lack of perceiving this. Christ taught "love your enemies." He *gave His life* for those who hated Him. Look how He treated Nicodemus, Simon, the thief on the cross. Even those completely intransigent; look how He treated them.

Christ's designs were that those entrapped by sin be led to repentance, and He did all He could to bring that to pass.

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(For some reason you think that just claiming “love” resolves everything.


Resolves what? What does "claiming love" mean? Does this mean "claiming that Christ loved others," or something else?

Quote:
At best this was tough love manifested by Christ, nonetheless “tough love” explanatorily seeks to avoid sustained hatred against the disciplinary actions taken, and perhaps this was only done in the first statements made in John 2:16, yet after his overthrowing acts. Still that initial statement should have been enough to enlighten these “knowledgeable” leaders (cf. The disciples own understanding in John 2:17). I rather see that Christ had love for those who were being swindled, misled and oppressed.


Again, Christ taught: "Love your enemies." Christ had love for His enemies, otherwise His teaching would be hypocrisy.

Quote:
From the start, these Jewish leaders collectively had reach the stage of unrevokable judgement.


You don't know that. In Nicodemus the pride of the pharisee fought against the honest seeker for truth. You don't know that others weren't in the same boat as Nicodemus. Perhaps they experienced a similar fight, but chose poorly (in favor of pride), and it was only after making this choice that they had reached the stage of "unrevokable judgment."

It seems much more reasonable to assume that they were taken aback by Christ's first actions, not knowing what exactly to make of it, as they hadn't seen Him before or heard Him. Then they made decisions, one way or another. Those who chose to open their hearts were walking in the path of repentance and salvation. Those who steeled their hearts against Christ, in the path of "unrevokable judgment," but there's no reason to assume they started out this way from the beginning.

Even Judas(!), who started as poorly as one could start in relation to Christ, almost repented, as his heard thrilled within Him when Christ washed his feet.

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They effectively lost their position to Christ.


This doesn't happen in an instant. The Holy Spirit keeps trying. It takes time to harden one's heart against the Lord.

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There only solution was to align themselves with what Christ’s leadership, and they manifestly fully understood this implication, however they basely wanted an ‘external sign’ John 2:18, rather than heed the substantive Biblical truth (John 2:16, 17)


Many reacted this way, while some others repented. But even after starting out poorly, there was still time to change (e.g. Simon).

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
The majority of the time Christ treated the Jewish leaders with respect, and avoided confrontation with them.

NJK:Expressing truth, even if force has to be used is not disrespect.


How do you mean force being used? You don't mean insults and sarcasm, do you? You've been civil in recent posts, which I appreciate, but when I wrote this, some time ago, it was in reference to these sorts of comments. I don't perceive Christ ever acting in this sort of way.

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NJK:The wayward and unbiblical actions and statements of these did not deserve any respect, lest Christ be thus complicit in their waywardness, or worse, emboldened then through this “respect” in this wrong, unBiblical and vitally dangerous path.


Witness how Paul treated the high priest.

The respect with which Christ treated others was not due to their actions, but to Christ's character. This is the way our wonderful God is! We are nothing, full of wretchedness, rotting bones underneath a white-washed sepulcher, but God treats us with unbelievable kindness, patience, tact, and respect. It's unbelievable how well God treats us, who are *so* undeserving!

He doesn't treat us well because we deserve to be treated well, because we don't. He treats us well because He is God, and it is His nature, His character, to treat others well.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
Secondly, the point here is that Christ treated Simon gently and with tact not because Simon acted in one manner rather than another (i.e., by means of thinking rather than speaking), but because Christ loved him and wanted to save him.

NJK:Your underlying points did not hold up to the actual light of God’s word including the SOP.


??? Christ didn't want to save Simon? The SOP points out that Simon would have been lost, if it weren't for how well Christ treated him.

How could you possibly think that Christ was not motivated to save Simon? What is it you think Christ was doing?

Quote:
So this conclusion is thus baseless. The fact that Simon, a Pharisee had already manifested interest in Christ and had in thanks for his healing organized this public known feast was reason enough for Christ to be patient with him and his growing faith.


The public feast was something Simon did out of obligation. Simon didn't even thank Christ when he was healed. He was still filled with hypocrisy. It was he who had led his niece into sin. When she was lavishing her love for Him, by means of the perfume (a years salary being the cost) she anointed Him with, he wasn't touched.

Christ won Simon's love and devotion by how He treated him at that feast. He converted an enemy into a friend, and life-long follower by His love, tact, and gentleness.

Quote:
That mere public association, indeed vs. Nicodemus covert one, almost automatically put Simon at odds with the rest of the other Jewish leaders. As EGW says:

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 557.1
Simon of Bethany was accounted a disciple of Jesus. He was one of the few Pharisees who had openly joined Christ's followers. He acknowledged Jesus as a teacher, and hoped that He might be the Messiah, but he had not accepted Him as a Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged.


So Christ had ample tangible reasons to be most patient with this relatively brave and faith action.


You're thinking Christ would have said, "Off with you! Go ahead and be eternally damned!" if He had not had these "tangible reasons?" I really don't understand your thinking here. You think Christ works to save some, because of their actions, but others He leaves to be lost?

Consider the words of Paul: It is a saying worthy of acceptance that Christ came to save sinners, of whom I am chief. This is how I feel. I'm sure it's how Simon felt, and Nicodemus, and anyone else who has been saved by Christ. I hope it's how you feel.

Quote:
NJK:Thus Christ indeed wanted to save him and excused his wayward thought here, as he similarly repeatedly did for his own disciples. However an outspoken condemnatory denunciation would have brought a corresponding, at the very least, indicative correction. Cf. Matt 16:21-23).


So if Simon had spoken out load, instead of inwardly, Christ would have responded, "Enough of you! Be lost!" and not worked to save him?

Quote:

NJK: however he partly swallowed his pride here, which warranted this merciful treatment.

Tom: What "warranted this merciful treatment" was not any action on Simon's part, but Christ's character. Christ is merciful, so He treated Simon with mercy. Mercy is akin to grace in that it's *unmerited* (or "unwarranted") favor, given by one to another not because the other deserves it, but out of the kindness of the one granting it.

NJK:This view of your has already been disproven by how Jesus actually dealt with prideful objectors throughout his minsitry, including defaulty with Jewish leaders from the very start of his ministry.


No sir! Christ *died* for these "prideful objectors," a most horrible death. This is how He "dealt" with them. He loved them, and gave His life for them.

Quote:
In fact the only, relatively, “plain” statement I see Christ making to, inclusively some of these leaders during his ministry, before the Matt 23 plain statements, was in Luke 4:21, which was in contrast to the reading of Isa 61:1, 2 which had been ‘well received’ (vs. 22; cf. DA 236.4-237.2) however Christ immediately enjoined this spiritually glib reception with cutting words that led these people to become filled with murderous rage vss. 23-30. (Cf. DA 237.3ff)


You didn't quote anything here, so I have no comment.

How did Christ treat Saul? (who would become Paul)

Quote:

NJK: Also Christ would be dealing with unexpressed thoughts, so, as to not compel faith here, he had to veiledly address this opposition, as He mercifully deemed it necessary.

Tom: This sentence doesn't make sense. At any rate, Christ's motivation was the salvation of Simon.

NJK:It does when you carefully read it.


How so? How would Christ be compelling faith?

Quote:
NJK:Mercy was being shown because these sharply objecting thoughts were nonetheless suppressed by Simon.


Mercy is not merited! Mercy was shown because Christ is merciful. That is His character, as proclaimed to Moses.

Quote:
NJK:Mercy is what leads to salvation for people at fault like Simon was here. And Simon, who should have known better, did not deserve this patient treatment.


Right! Simon did not deserve the treatment he received from Christ, which is why it was mercy. And neither do we deserve the treatment we receive from Christ.

Quote:
He shouldhave even inward gave deference to Christ’s judgement and wisdom inaccepting this gift of Mary. As EGW says of Simon Character: “he had not accepted Him [Jesus] as a Saviour. His character was not transformed; his principles were unchanged.” So at best he was just as deprived in character as the other Jewish leaders, hence why he could not perceive the Spiritual/Prophetic import of this accepted act by Christ.


Until one is converted, no one can understand the spiritual/prophetic import of Christ's actions.

(More later, perhaps).


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] #133210
05/04/11 03:23 PM
05/04/11 03:23 PM
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Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Quote:
NJK: 1.Saul's death. The Bible uses a Hiphil to say that God would cause Saul’s death. That therefore does not mean that God has to be the agent which causes that death.

kland: Would that be like God hardening Pharaoh's heart?


No since, as revealed and discussed repeatedly before, a Pile stem, which involves a notion of patiency (See Post #133009) by the subject is used for all of God’s hardening of Pharaoh.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Originally Posted By: Wikipedia (Snake Bites)
“Snakes do not ordinarily prey on humans, and most will not attack humans unless the snake is startled or injured, preferring instead to avoid contact.”


Originally Posted By: kland
Of the land snakes, the most
dangerous is the Taipan, since it will attack unprovoked.
http://stason.org/TULARC/travel/australia/9-5-4-Venomous-Fauna.html

however, they [Bushmasters] are one of only a few snakes in the world with reputations for unprovoked attacks on people.
http://books.google.com/books?id=MOfaTpk...ked&f=false

The chief and city attorney reviewed local ordinances and determined the snake is a vicious animal because of its propensity to commit an unprovoked attack.
http://beforeitsnews.com/story/581/817/Woman_Pried_From_The_Mouth_Of_Python.html


Seems to me your sources are ambivalent on this issue. Probably researching and quoting the first 10 sources on this would continue this trend. Furthermore it is not known precisely what type snakes were in the Sinai wilderness.

The Hebrew contributions in Num 21:6-8, as already discussed, convince me that these were ‘defaultly a people-avoiding type of snake.’

Quote:
NJK: Indeed, as I see it, the serpents may have been naturally staying away, and God withdrew his protection by making them no longer naturally want to avoid contact with the Israelites.

kland: Withdrew means make? Really?


It does here if EGW’s comments are to be reconciled with the Bible’s exegetical Piel use in saying ‘God made to be sent’ (Num 21:6). Otherwise, if a “difference” is seen, then, according to the exegetical methodology/principles that I go by the Biblical testimony is to supercede EGW comments.

However it seems clear to me that EGW also fully was aware of this “sending” notion here as she made her “withdrawing” notion as she says:

Originally Posted By: SOP 19MR 280.2
The same Hand that kept the fiery serpents of the wilderness from entering the camp of the Israelites until God's chosen people provoked Him with their constant murmurs and complaints, is today guarding the honest in heart. Were this restraining Hand withdrawn, the enemy of our souls would at once begin the work of destruction that he has so long desired to accomplish.


Relatedly, see also:

1SP 315.1 - “To punish them for their ingratitude[/u], and complaining against God, the Lord [b]permitted fiery serpents to bite them.”

And PP 428.3 - “If with all these tokens of His love the people still continued to complain, the Lord would withdraw His protection until they should be led to appreciate His merciful care, and return to Him with repentance and humiliation.”

Seems to me, contrary to Tom’s view, that some notion of “punishment” and even “suggestive compelling” from God were also involved here. (Indeed all similar to what had happened with Moses (Exod 4:24-26 - PP 255.5))

Quote:
NJK: As I understand it, what God does and what God permits under his ultimate control are both equally the same. It is when God allows the Devil to decide and do whatever he wants, that a judgement is not at all from/of God.

kland: Would you be saying that allowing the devil is different than permitting him?


They seem to mean the same thing to me, with perhaps “permit” being more formal than “allow”.



Quote:
Furthermore it is not known precisely what type snakes were in the Sinai wilderness.
The point I was making is that some snakes do attack.



Quote:
NJK: As I understand it, what God does and what God permits under his ultimate control are both equally the same. It is when God allows the Devil to decide and do whatever he wants, that a judgement is not at all from/of God.

kland: Would you be saying that allowing the devil is different than permitting him?

NJK: They seem to mean the same thing to me, with perhaps “permit” being more formal than “allow”.
So, Allow=Permit.

Substituting in we have:
As I understand it, what God does and what God allows under his ultimate control are both equally the same. It is when God allows the Devil to decide and do whatever he wants, that a judgement is not at all from/of God.

Does that lack of contrast make logical sense to you? That is, what God does and allows is from Him, but what God allows the Devil to do is not from Him?

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: kland] #133234
05/05/11 02:39 AM
05/05/11 02:39 AM
Tom  Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK
I don’t have time to retrace all your statements on pointedly this issues, but it seemed/seems to me that you don’t see God needing to ever be directly involved in any judgement, especially in the executory part of Hell judgement as, as I recall, you believe this will merely be a self-combusting event, (perhaps with instantaneous consummation vs. The Bible’s and SOP’s ‘(varyingly) many days’).


Regarding judgements in general, I believe God is involved, but the mechanism is one of withdrawal/permitting vs. directly causing suffering/death by doing things like setting people on fire.

Regarding the final judgement, I believe those who have sinned more will suffer more than those who have sinned less, according to the light they have received, as EGW explained.

Quote:
Tom: Again, this isn't a phrase I have used, nor a concept I have articulated (that sin is allowed to run its course).

NJK:I infer this from your consistenly expressed “reap its full reward” view of sin and death.

T:Regarding sin running its course, I wrote:

[quote]I haven't put it this way, nor would I, as this seems ambiguous.

The final judgment involves direct actions on the part of God to the point of having all be aware of the issues involved in the Great Controversy, especially in their own lives. This is necessary that they may render judgment. Every knee will bow, voluntarily, and every tongue confess, voluntarily, acknowledging the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and that He (and God, or the Godhead) have been just/fair/merciful/gracious/etc. in all of their dealings throughout the Great Controversy.

Regarding judgments during this life, one could perhaps say that some aspect of sin has been allowed to run its course, but not that sin, in general, has been allowed to run its course.


Quote:
NJK:In any case, that is what the Bible actually teaches.


What's "that"?

Quote:
In a prior post you had inaccurately curtailed James 1:14, 15 to:

“temptation => sin => death”

however the Bible is exegetically clear in saying that it is rather, i.e., more fully/protractedly:

“temptation => lust => sin => fully developed/accomplished sin => death

From the Bible’s:

‘intercourse’ => “conception” (Strong’s #4815) => “birth” (#5088) => “finishing/completion” (#658) [= “fully lived and aged life”] => natural death.


James described a process wherein temptation leads to sin, which, when finished, results in death. This is accurate.

Quote:
NJK (edited): God instead chooses to intervene at some stages to effectuate a death-causing judgement in order to end this manifestly, sure-to-get-worse, sin development.

Tom: This isn't very clear, but I think what you're wanting to say is that God intervenes in order to prevent something worse to occur. If that's the point, I have no qualms with this, provide that God's intervention is understood along the lines of that explained in GC 35-37.

NJK:I address your view of GC 35-37 later in indeed these intervene events, but how is it actually “intervention” as this is defined as: “the act or fact of interposing one thing between or among others”. A “withdrawal/absenteeing” action is not an interposition/intervention.


Job describes a similar circumstance. Do you see that God didn't intervene in what happened to Job?

Quote:
NJK: And to do this, i.e., in this timely way, He has had to use supernatural force.

Tom: He could just remove His protection from the thousand dangers, all of them unseen, from which He protects us.


NJK:To me, on one hand, “removing” his protection in not synonymous with “intervening” and on the other hand, to me, this allowing of something dangerous to affect someone involves the same ultimate responsibility.


Not if the person in question is caused to remove the protection. Then the responsibility lies with the one causing the protection to be removed. This is the whole point of the GC 35-37 passage. If the responsibility did not lie with the Jews, it could not be said that the Jews forged their own fetters.

Quote:
NJK:Thus this “passive” act is still a judgement-contributing act. I.e., this judgement cannot occur unless God does this.


Here's the passage in question:

Quote:
The Jews had forged their own fetters; they had filled for themselves the cup of vengeance. In the utter destruction that befell them as a nation, and in all the woes that followed them in their dispersion, they were but reaping the harvest which their own hands had sown. 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 ... (GC 35;emphasis mine)


I don't see how Ellen White could have more clearly articulated who was and was not responsible for what was happening here.

Quote:
T:I perceive what happens is that the judgments which occur do so because the people involved have persistently resisted the Holy Spirit, leading to God's withdrawing His protection, which is the manifestation of His wrath.

NJK:All of the examples you have tried to demonstrate for this have been transparently, exegetically shown to be acts of God.

Tom: I don't think any have.

NJK: I.e., God either actively did the action (Piel) or he caused it (Hiphil) through His pointedly commissioned angels.


I’ll, first of all, also add: “natural” actions = (Qal), which are actions that God does not have to involve any causation, but simply “allow to naturally happen”

Originally Posted By: Tom
Examples suggested include:

1.Saul's death.
2.Fiery serpents sent upon the Israelites.
3.Lying spirits sent to Ahab.
4.Job's sufferings.
5.The destruction of Jerusalem.
6.Those who received not the love of the truth being sent delusions.
7.Jesus making those who reject Him blind so they not see, and deaf so they not hear.


(A) my exegetical approach is that the Bible has the final word, and that over EGW’s comments, which again I don’t defaultly consider to be direct revelations (i.e., SOP revelations)


I'll get to the points your listing later, but I really don't get these comments in regards to Ellen White. If Ellen White is an inspired writer, then surely what she wrote in regards to how her writings should be used should be given weight, yet you are acting contrary to her counsel, doing what she said should not be done. In this case you might as well just reject her entirely. In another post, you argued with Elle, because she *wasn't* taking into account what Ellen White wrote.

Ellen White wrote that everything she wrote for public consumption (or spoke) was not of herself, but she only wrote what God impressed her to write (or speak). She does not allow for the selective grabbing of what she wrote that you are doing.

You have no basis from any inspired writing to treat her writings the way that you are.

What I'm arguing is that the way you are understanding Scripture is incorrect. I demonstrate this by citing inspired references from Ellen White. When you disagree with what Ellen White wrote, then, rather than modifying your view in regards to what Scripture is saying, you reject what she wrote as not inspired. That's not cricket.

I don't know if you are aware of this or not, but this is what happened in the 1888 era.


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] #133264
05/05/11 06:47 PM
05/05/11 06:47 PM
NJK Project  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom
I'll get to the points your listing later, but I really don't get these comments in regards to Ellen White.


To immediately address this apparent hang up here, I had actually addressed it earlier (see starting at the end of this post (#132576), (see also here (#132696) indeed without a pertinent need to go into the wider subject of inspiration. Again, EGW was not inerrant, did not speak/write ex-cathedra and was not infallible, so all that she claims can and must be tested, and that by the Greater light of Scripture. The proof of the veracity of her statements is if it harmonizes with the Theological nature and substantive testimony of already given Revelation (i.e., the Bible). (Isa 8:20; 1 Thess 5:19-21; cf. Acts 17:11)

Originally Posted By: Tom
If Ellen White is an inspired writer, then surely what she wrote in regards to how her writings should be used should be given weight, yet you are acting contrary to her counsel, doing what she said should not be done.


If EGW had said she was infallible, then you would have an incontrovertible argument here. But she never made such a claim for herself and made it transparently clear that she sought to complement her direct revelations with her Theological and Spiritual/Experiential understandings, which at times she corrected, even wrongly.

Originally Posted By: Tom
In this case you might as well just reject her entirely.


I have never seen nor felt that need, however, quite to the contrary, I have been implicitly impressed to ‘test what she has said and hold on to what is good’, 1 Thess 5:19-21 indeed when I first, and quite shockingly started to discover some of the exegetical deficiencies in her writings.

Originally Posted By: Tom
In another post, you argued with Elle, because she *wasn't* taking into account what Ellen White wrote.


That is indeed what I feel. I actually have a problem pointedly with how you either wrongly and/or selectively, even ignoringly, treat her writings, and that without bothering to give any explanation, and all of that, when a statement she made does not agree with the parts of her writings which you claim support your view. I on the other hand take all of her writings/statements into full consideration, and do transparently object to some for substantive reasons. I also give more weight to her direct revelations over the ones that were not from such a directly inspired source.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Ellen White wrote that everything she wrote for public consumption (or spoke) was not of herself, but she only wrote what God impressed her to write (or speak).


You have not provided the reference for that claimed statement. Perhaps this dedicated thread for that purpose could help.

If true and strictly applied, that would mean that all of her writings were (directly) inspired. That would lead to several problems in regards to her corrections and errors, among other applicable problematic areas.

As I said, I only see EGW making honest mistakes, as these were based upon her actual knowledge of the Bible.

Originally Posted By: Tom
She does not allow for the selective grabbing of what she wrote that you are doing.


That is actually what you are, at least effectively, doing. E.g., the Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, The Flood, Nadab and Abihu, among many others. [“Reminder”: Don’t forget the remainder of this pertinent post (#133009b) which you have not yet fully answered (See here (#133207)) and apparently left open to not answering (= your “more later perhaps”??). Answer that part of that would/should transparently explain why you are also not seeing EGW’s view on these events as she says they occurred.]

Again, as Biblically instructed, I am ‘holding on to what actually checks of against the Greater Light of the Bible.’

Originally Posted By: Tom
You have no basis from any inspired writing to treat her writings the way that you are.


Indeed I do, OT & NT: Isa 8:20; 1 Thess 5:19-21 among others.

Originally Posted By: Tom
What I'm arguing is that the way you are understanding Scripture is incorrect. I demonstrate this by citing inspired references from Ellen White.


That is not the way it is to be done. Scripture is to be exegetically ascertained, (and that does not only involve original language) and the writings of EGW are to be subject to this exegetical light.

Originally Posted By: Tom
When you disagree with what Ellen White wrote, then, rather than modifying your view in regards to what Scripture is saying, you reject what she wrote as not inspired. That's not cricket[sic].


That is because EGW’s writing is not my Bible. The Bible is. You are the one who is opting to disregard Biblical exegesis and in those 7 prime examples of yours, except, partly in terms of extent, 5. The Destruction of Jerusalem, I do not see a difference between the Bible and SOP. In fact in regards to that destruction event, I see (as my other responses will document) that it may have partly transpired to the extent EGW says only from the time that Titus became indignant, at the very end of the war in 70 A.D. and ordered that no more mercy be shown and that the entire city be destroyed. Prior to this, throughout the first ca. 4 years of the War, God had a hand in both tempering His vessels of destruction and allowing for merciful, life sparing acts. That is similarly what I see in the Bible and SOP occurring in 6 of the 7 Last Plagues.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I don't know if you are aware of this or not, but this is what happened in the 1888 era.


As I see/understand that 1888 difference, the problems/errors their could have been averted if proper exegesis was used and/or given its proper weight. So in this way, their shortcoming is not applicable/attributable to me. Quite to the contrary. That message was also, and has also, been blown out of its actual intent/proportion.


“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] #133274
05/06/11 01:50 AM
05/06/11 01:50 AM
NJK Project  Offline
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Quote:
T:I see God as acting passively here, against His will, as He would prefer to protect, as Jesus' lamentation regarding Jerusalem -- "But ye would not!" -- illustrates.

NJK:In Jesus’s predictions of the destruction of Jerusalem, he not only speaks of God removing His protection but ‘commandingly involved in the destruction event” (Matt 22:7) indeed just as the Jews before had said it should be done (Matt 21:40, 41). As I understand it, the fact that God was involved and that this was never intended to be an action entirely controlled and achieved by the Devil, even if through the Roman armies, was that, as Jesus later pointed out, God wanted to have mercy in this event and cut these days short (cf. Matt 24:22) so that some of the Jews could survive. As I now more precisely understand it. It was because God then had planned ca. 20 more years before the Second Coming could occur and perhaps this judgement would help to make these surviving, ‘pacific Jews’ realize their sin and seek Gospel/New Covenant repentance.

NJK: EGW comments in GC 35-37 are not in opposition to these exegetical and exegetically derived facts as her point was that God does not ‘decree punishments’ in the sense that He violates the freewill of people and makes suffer a punishment that they did not unlawfully act to deserve.

Tom: This wasn't her point. Her point was that the judgments are often presented as divine decrees of God, but this is how Satan hides his own work. This also agrees with Jesus' desire to protect them as a chicken would protect its chicks. It doesn't make sense that Jesus would be desiring to protect them against God, as this would have Jesus and God working at cross purposes.

Tom: You've made this statement a couple of times (I'll put it quotes)

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
her point was that God does not ‘decree punishments’ in the sense that He violates the freewill of people and makes suffer a punishment that they did not unlawfully act to deserve.


Tom: but without any justification. If one reads what she wrote, there is nothing to suggest this interpretation. She says nothing anywhere in the context, or in the chapter, in regards to the violation of the freewill of people, nor of God's making decrees to cause people to suffer punishments they do not deserve. I've been asking you how you come to this conclusion, since there is nothing in the text which states or suggests what you are asserting. Instead, the text makes the points I've been making, which is that the Jews brought what happened upon themselves by resisting the Holy Spirit and refusing the protection God was offering them.


I am seeking to reconcile the SOP with the exegetical Biblical testimony as much as possible. And from what I also read in the SOP, indeed what EGW went on to write later in that GC book, namely GC 614.2, she did not see a need to reconsider all OT destruction/judgement events as being natural, and non-God involved acts.

In relation to her “decree statement” as I went on to say, the “fetters” and “cup of vengeance” show me that God does have a provision for rebellion against His ways, but it is only the “stubborn” persistence of evildoers that result in them suffering those punishments.

There is also an added dimension in this issue that has not been emphasized. That is that the judgement spoken of here is pointedly for people who God had actively engaged to protect. Indeed I do not see in the Bible of SOP that God equally, actively engages in protecting everyone as He does His professed People. So, e.g., if the Amalekites had wanted to sojourn and stay in the Sinai wilderness, they would have surely been defaultly bitten by these venomous creatures. Also Satan concentrates his efforts to destroy people on those who are opposing him, and God therefore has to intervene to protect His followers. However it is when they stubbornly reject him that he no longer commissions His angels to protect these rebellious ones and, unless He intends the punishment for an opportunity to change their ways (e.g., snakes in wilderness) He then permits Satan to do as he wishes. For many reasons, including the fact that hundreds of thousands may have escaped Jerusalem alive, I see God as having been quite present in that destruction. It very well may be until the utter end of the War, when then only rebellious and militaristic Jews were left in the city, that God permitted Satan to have his way as, Titus, out of “great indignation” at the prideful refusal of an offer for peace, then commanded His armies to ‘have no mercy’. He even refused to accept any deserters. (see Josephus, Wars 6:6.3 #352)

So I fully understands EGW “Divine Decree” statement to include more than just that ‘judgement is deserved’ but also that it is speaking against a notion that ‘people can’t but suffer this deserved judgement’. Her “stubborn, fetters, ‘wine poured into cup of vengeance’ are contributive to this fuller view for me. Also Satan want to make it seem that and adverse action that he does is along these lines that it is because it is God who must have it so. E.g., the Holocaust. Had the Jews believed in the Messiah Jesus Christ as they easily could have, they would not have been dispersed to all these surrounding nations. So it was this persistent rejection that, in a way, set up that 20th century evil-inspired act of Nazism, however Satan has convinced many people that this occurred was because God wanted it so.

Quote:
NJK: Hence her pivotal phrase “direct decree of God” (GC 35.3). Indeed it extends to even a judgement that was fully warranted, as with the Jews, their 70 A.D. destruction which was for the rejection and murder of their Messiah did not have to be as if God had decreed it to be irreversible. It was because they continued in unbelief and rejection during the 40 years since, and in the light and testimony of the Gospel message that they suffered the natural end results of God not protecting them. Still, as Jesus had indicated in Matt 22:7, it was God who, just like He had done with Babylon in the OT, sent the Romans against the Jews to effectuate this judgement, even though they were clearly pondered and reluctant to do so.

Tom: God neither sent the Babylonians nor the Romans. They acted on their own accord, for their own purposes, and God permitted it. Why would God send armies to attack other people? This speaks of a government which God does not have.


As posted elsewhere, because the Bible says so. God use of physical fighting and war to settle conflicts in the GC is attested from Heaven. It is your view that does not allow these incontrovertible facts of Bible and supporting SOP.

Originally Posted By: SOP
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)


The comes a point where, out of love for those who want to do what is right, that God has to utilize physical force to push back and/or eliminate and overstepping and unlawful act of the Devil and/or his followers.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Again, it doesn't make sense that Jesus would be longing to protect the Jews against an action that God was looking to undertake, as this would have Jesus and God acting at cross purposes. *Both* God and Jesus longed to protect the Jews. God's protection was *caused* to be removed by the actions of the Jews. This is the point EGW makes in the GC 35-37 passage.
Originally Posted By: SOP
By stubborn rejection of divine love and mercy, the Jews had caused the protection of God to be withdrawn from them... (GC 35)


I rather see that both God and Jesus wanted to punish the waywardness of the Jews, indeed to also serve as a lesson for those, especially new Israel, that would follow, as it was indeed typologically applicable to them. Those who were to be punished entirely depended on personal, “stubborn” choices, that brought themselves beyond these ‘bounds of God’s mercy’ and thus automatically into His ministry of wrath. And God decides, based upon His ultimate plans/intentions just how this judgement will be performed.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The Jews caused the protection of God to be withdrawn.


God also decides when this limit is reached, as it all depends on how much light and opportunities one has had.

Quote:
NJK: And as I see it, it was so that this judgement could here timely be done to allow for enough time (ca. 20 years) for the rest of Christ Olivet Discourse prophecy to be fully fulfilled and thus culminating in the Second Coming. However the Christian Church proved not faithful to this charge as seen in the messages to the 7 Churches, which was indeed based on literal developments and which God then typologically used as capital points that He would object to in the now to be Historically developed NT Church.

T:I believe your perception is that it is God's will to cause suffering, or death, to those who have disobeyed Him, and that He does so by different means, including acting both passively and actively.

NJK:I do not believe that “it is God’s will to cause suffering, or death, to those who have disobeyed Him”. That view fits in the mold of what EGW decried as ‘Satan’s claim of God’s direct decree’. By illustration, that is like a judge wanting a person who simply got a speeding ticket to get the death penalty and acting irrespective of facts to “decree” that this be the case. God instead is exercising just justice and the capital punishment death penalties that He rules through full and transparent justice are all warranted sentences. The more light and thus opportunities to avert the sin resulting in this death, the more delayed that punishment is. Still that punishment is not set in stone for those who genuinely want to repent. It is only by them persisting in their wayward course that these “forge the fetters” that cause them to indeed receive that associated or necessitated punishment and through whatever expedient or as-natural-as-possible means it needs to be done.

Tom: It is not clear to me what you are disagreeing with. It looks like you are taking odds with the idea that God would demand the death penalty for something like a speeding ticket. That is, you are arguing against the idea that it would be God's will to cause suffering and death if that were unwarranted. So let's consider the situation where such is warranted (I'm speaking from your point of view throughout here).

Tom: So, supposing that the "just justice" of God is a "warranted sentence," do you disagree that you believe that it is God's will that those who disobey Him (in this context) suffer and die? Or is your disagreement involving some other point? (It looks to me what you addressed was the concept of an unwarranted sentence).


My point was that all and any sin is fully deserving of immediate, Hell Fire obliterating, death. However God has chosen not to make this so in this life. He instead reserves this immediate capital judgement and death for high handed acts of sin and rebellion. Even in the final judgement, some committed sins will cause some people to burn more than others indeed in direct proportion to the light one had (Luke 12:47, 48).

Quote:
T:I have said that there are a thousand dangers, all of them unseen, from which God is constantly protecting us, and that it is sufficient, in terms of explaining and judgments that have occurred, for God to have simply withdrawn His protection, as explained in GC 35-37.

NJK:That is what I see as a “passive act of God”.

Tom: Agreed.

NJK:As I understand your view, you are only ‘agreeing’ with the “passive” portion but not my “of God” portion as I understand this to mean that God was actually involved in such cases.

Tom: I'm agreeing with your statement, "That is what I see as a “passive act of God”," which was in reference to my speaking of God's withdrawing His protection.


As I said elsewhere, indeed also next, I am seeing that what I understand as “passive” you understand as ‘completely absent’ in regards to God’s involvement. I therefore don’t see that my understanding agrees with yours here.

Quote:
NJK You instead think God is completely removed in such cases and natural acts, even in self-acting, even as it is required, self-directing way and/or the devil is in full control and is administering the judgement.

Tom: What do you mean by "even in self-acting," or "self-directing way"? I think the idea that the devil is in full control and administering the judgment doesn't make any sense.


“self-acting” = does not need to be caused/done by God, with which I also do not include God’s permitting of this act by removing a protection that was keeping it from occurring.

“Self-directing” = case in point, your S&G volcano which, unless it was right in the middle of that valley, would have to self-direct its eruption only towards the valley of these 5 cities.

Originally Posted By: Tom
What I see as happening is that God's protection has been rejected, so God permits some danger, from the thousand unseen dangers from which God protects us, to occur. I see that when this happens, it is not God's will that anyone suffer or die, but Satan desires these things. Satan likes to cause suffering and death because that is in harmony with his character and the principles of his government.


If God permits Satan to effectuate death, then it is God’s will. That is an incontrovertible and also non-impeaching fact in regards to God. It is his “strange act” as that is not what he would prefer if circumstances (e.g., genuine repentance of the guilty party) had permitted him to “rule”/act otherwise. God does not “like” these judgement that he either himself does or allows, however his love for those who want to live righteously is, and with substantively validating reasons, greater. Why let someone who is wantonly murdering people freely live. That would not be “love” at all. Indeed as mootly inapplicable to the killer (i.e., a blatant offender), unless God “loves” murder, and especially not to the victims or potential future victims. So since the only way to make these serial murder stop is to have that murderer either incarcerated or put to death, then God Love here makes him act to bring about this result. Also, as with God’s other Capital Punishment provisions, this will serve to prevent others from engaging in this blatant and life threatening sin, and thus preserve the life of many others.

Quote:
NJK: I, on the other hand, have yet to see a Biblical/SOP case where the devil has been given this green light, even, a particularly in, the Destruction of Jerusalem, and only see that this will be the case in the 7th and Final Plague.

Tom: I'm not sure what you're trying to say here. From "The Destruction of Jerusalem":

Originally Posted By: SOP
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. (GC 35)


Tom: Why doesn't this qualify as the type of statement you say you have not seen?


As I substantively see that there substantively was a mixture of mercy and judgement in the ca. 4 year War and Destruction of Jerusalem, then I do not see that Satan was entirely in control of it. God played a part to temper these developments where he could. If not, the city would have been destroyed from the very first siege of Cestius in 66 A.D. and not a single Jew would have escaped/survived. Surely Satan wanted to kill all of the Jews, however I see that God made it possible for those who surrendered to this manifest judgement, were spared (cf. Jer 27:7-11). Like I said above, Satan, (like in the final Plague) was permitted to have full control when Titus became indignant. As expressed in that Josephus passage, it was indeed out of Religious pride, which implied that God had not entered in judgement against them that was fueling that continued rebellion. Of course the ultimate purpose in the preservation of the lives of Jews who did not want to continue to oppose the Romans, was the potential and quite possible chance that they would then find and accept the Gospel Message. It is also similar to the 7 Last plagues where God aims to not have all flesh perish before the end, though of course, there then would not be a chance to change sides. Or perhaps there can/may be; hence the imperative “wish” of Rev 22:11.


“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] #133275
05/06/11 01:54 AM
05/06/11 01:54 AM
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Quote:
T:There is no need for God to have acted in any way different than how Jesus Christ acted while here with us in the flesh.

NJK:That view of yours is easily refuted by e.g., the fact that Jesus twice did use physical force to clear/cleanse His Temple of ‘merchandising robbers and thieves’.

Tom: I disagree with this for two reasons. One is logical, and the other factual.

Tom: The logical objection is that what I stated is there is no necessity for God to act any differently than how Jesus Christ acted while here in the flesh. To adduce an action of Jesus Christ's which involves physical force is not a logical thing to do here. If your assertion were true, this would only serve to broaden the things which God can do, making it more likely, not less, that my assertion is true.

Tom: You put "NJK:" in front of this last paragraph, but I actually wrote that paragraph.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
I see this as a circular argument, especially as (1) it is entirely based on your view, (which, in my view is reversedly making ‘the OT God act like the incarnate Jesus’ (which is chronologically not possible), instead of the logical vice versa, and (2) it is being stated here as the first reasons instead of a second one. I.e., logic must be based upon/flow out of concrete facts.


Tom: You appear to have missed the point. I said:

Originally Posted By: Tom
There is no need for God to have acted in any way different than how Jesus Christ acted while here with us in the flesh.


Tom: You replied:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
That view of yours is easily refuted by e.g., the fact that Jesus twice did use physical force to clear/cleanse His Temple of ‘merchandising robbers and thieves’.


Tom: Even if you were correct in your view of how Jesus were acting, this would not serve to prove that there was no need for God to act contrary to how Jesus Christ were acting. Indeed, it would serve to prove the reverse.


You have actually lost me in the rationalizing, which again I see as Theologically circular. And I indeed see it as circular because in saying “God to have acted” you are manifestly leaving an opening to actually exegetically reword the OT according to this understanding. That is probably why you manifestly see no contribution by the various Hebrew tenses being used to variously relate God’s actions in to OT. I don’t both see this exegesis-overstepping reconsideration or substantive episode re-viewing, as I sequiturly see that Jesus, as realistically possible, fully emulated that OT actions.

Indeed I linearly see that Jesus was incarnated with a “empty slate” indeed having “emptied Himself” (Phil 2:7). And he ‘filled in that slate’ by reading the OT Scriptures along with/in the light of the various revelations, especially surrounding His birth. Christ then saw that there was no need to change a jot or tittle from the OT record but that the righteousness in this recorded acts and laws had to be upheld and/or restored.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The more Jesus acts like your view of how God acted, the *less* need there is for God to act differently than how Jesus acted.


I don’t get what you are trying to say here. Please restate/rephrase/explain.

Originally Posted By: NJK
T:The factual objection is that Christ did not use physical force to drive out the money changers. It was their consciences which forced them to leave, both times.

NJK:This is not a realistic nor logical conclusion. Had Jesus just walked into the Temple and simply looked at these thieves and robbers and they and then suddenly scurriedly bolted out of the Temple leaving most, if not all of their commodities behind, or even taking them with them, then that would have been a passive act or Jesus. (Indeed “passive” as He was physically present but had just looked at them). But the account didn’t end with Jesus just looking at them as seen in DA 157.4. That only caused a hushed silence. The Bible and SOP then clearly say that:

-divinity flash through the garb of humanity (DA 158.1a = a “stern and godlike demeanor” DA 589.1)
-a divine light illuminates His countenance (DA 158.1b)
-to the sellers of doves He (first) tells them to “take these things hence” (DA 158.1c cf. John 2:16)
-He then, effectively menacingly, and as a “flaming sword”, raises his scourge of cords (DA 158.2)
-and then begins over thrown the money-changer’s table
-it is then, after these physical acts that “Officers of the temple, speculating priests, brokers and cattle traders, with their sheep and oxen, rush from the place, with the one thought of escaping from the condemnation of His presence. {DA 158.2}”

NJK: To say that Jesus did not use force here is not exegetically realistic. It was a degree of force, and proportional/reasonable force at that, but by incontrovertible definition, force non the less. To say the contrary is like saying that a police officer does not use force at all to do a traffic stop.

NJK: By merely flicking on his lights, a first stage/degree of law enforcing force is used. If that is being resisted by the law violator, then that forces is increased namely to a siren blasting, a parallel/side visible indication, a police chase, a spin out, a nail carpet, shooting out the tires, and so on. In fact the first stage of force to comply to the law is, if that was the case, to immediately slow down to the speed limit particularly when passing a police office who is engaged in speeding control. Furthermore, more pertinently, complete non-force with the effectuation of a judgement here, would that law offender pulling over on their own at the mere noticing of a police car and then convincing the police officer to write them a ticket because they had exceeded the speeding limit, even 10 miles before.

NJK: Similarly, in the case of Christ, the inceptive stage of force was when He stepped into the Temple and began to glare at them. As they immediately knew something was wrong, they should have immediately complied with what God’s Law/principle actually was for this circumstance, which they fully knew of. Instead subsequent degrees of force came to be used as listed above with:

-divinity flashing through the garb of humanity (stern and godlike) = revealing that Jesus was a Divine “Law Enforcer” here and means to end this violation of the Law.
-a divine light illuminates His countenance = Jesus was flashing His “pull over lights”
-Orders to “take these things hence” = visible/audible “command/indication to comply”
-A raised his scourge of cords = Christ menacingly “chasing them out”
-and then begins over thrown the money-changer’s table = Christ physically removing/ending the elements that made the resistance “possible or justified”
-then the object of this Law Enforcing intervention was begun to be realized with the violators having been “neutralized”

Second Clearing/Cleansing
NJK: The second clearing cleansing (Matt 21:12, 13; Mar 11:15-17; Luke 19:45, 46; DA 589.1-591.1) similarly also involved all of the degrees of force as in the first one, including physical overturnings (Matt 21:12b/Mark 11:15b which EGW does not mention in her account DA (590.4-591.1)).


Originally Posted By: Tom
This is from the Desire of Ages:

Originally Posted By: SOP
Overpowered with terror, the priests and rulers had fled from the temple court, and from the searching glance that read their hearts. In their flight they met others on their way to the temple, and bade them turn back, telling them what they had seen and heard. Christ looked upon the fleeing men with yearning pity for their fear, and their ignorance of what constituted true worship. In this scene He saw symbolized the dispersion of the whole Jewish nation for their wickedness and impenitence.

And why did the priests flee from the temple? Why did they not stand their ground? He who commanded them to go was a carpenter's son, a poor Galilean, without earthly rank or power. Why did they not resist Him? Why did they leave the gain so ill acquired, and flee at the command of One whose outward appearance was so humble?

Christ spoke with the authority of a king, and in His appearance, and in the tones of His voice, there was that which they had no power to resist. At the word of command they realized, as they had never realized before, their true position as hypocrites and robbers. (DA 162)


Originally Posted By: Tom
Note: 1.Overpowered with terror, the priests and rulers had fled from the temple court, and from the searching glance that read their hearts.

2.At the word of command they realized, as they had never realized before, their true position as hypocrites and robbers.

Here is the definition of "physical force":

[Quote=USCA]The plain meaning of physical force is power, violence, or pressure directed against a person consisting in a physical act. A person cannot make physical contact — particularly of an insulting or provoking nature — with another without exerting some level of physical force. (United States Court of Appeals)


Clearly this is not what happened in the cleansing of the temple.

Those who fled did so in terror. Why? Because of "the searching glance that read their hearts." This is in harmony with I asserted, that it was their consciences which caused them to flee.


My entire point was that a degree of force of force was used by Christ and it did include physical force. (Religious) Psychological Force (i.e., guilt-convicting force) was also used by Jesus,

In (case) law there indeed is a valid Tort provision for e.g., “Psychological False/Wrongful Imprisonment” where you do not even have to physical restrain someone to be found guilty but merely use something that you know can effectuate this physically realized confinement.

[See e.g., R. v. Mann, 2004 SCC 52,: ‘the constitutional right recognized in Section 9 of the Charter is engaged in situations that involve significant psychological restraints.’]

This included type of force was addedly stemming from Christ’s ‘indignant demeanor’ which was enjoined by physical acts of this vehement opposition. All of this contributed to the fear that was both instilled and developed in these offenders resulting in their choice to flee.


“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] #133276
05/06/11 02:03 AM
05/06/11 02:03 AM
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Quote:
T: Those who hold the point of view that you do regarding God's character most often cite two incidents: 1)The cleansing of the temple 2)The cursing of the fig tree. [...]
However, these incidents do not involve Jesus Christ acting in a manner contrary to the principles I, and kland, have been bringing up. If you look at the descriptions of these events in "The Desire of Ages," this is very clear.

NJK: Ironically enough, for either ones of these to fit within your ‘natural (third-party) self-acting’ view Jesus would have to not have even condemningly looked at these offenders but even just walk into the Temple mid his own business and these offenders would still have bolted out overturning their own tables and leaving being their money (= causing damage to themselves).

Tom: The following states how Christ looked at them:

Originally Posted By: SOP
Christ looked upon the fleeing men with yearning pity for their fear, and their ignorance of what constituted true worship. (DA 162)


That was sequentially, Christ’s look when they reacted by fleeing, after he had finished applying his (religiously) psychological and physical force on them and this situation. The “piercing” look before this was no doubt in full congruence with his stern, indignant demeanor. This pity was manifestly that they had chosen to flee rather than stay and seek to be corrected. Indeed a merely a sincere and whole look of “pity” does ‘strike one with terror’ And while these offenders felt guilty, they manifestly did not feel sorry, as their future recommitting of this showed. And so this is what Jesus was ‘yearningly pitying’ for rather than have them flee, he would have preferred them to stay, right their wrongs and seek to find out what should indeed be done here. Indeed as EGW says, and as Christ was surely fully aware of, ‘they did not yield to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit here and repent, but rather chose to run.’ DA 162.3-4.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Nothing says Christ looked at them "condemningly". It says that felt condemned by His presence. This is the result of sin. It acts upon our conscience, causing us to feel condemned in the presence of God.


That is implied in the initial way that Christ was manifestly looking at them prior to them choosing to flee. When a perceived “Judge” has a ‘stern and indignant demeanor’ towards you because of what you are doing, it is normatively and non-hypocritically conveyed through a “condemning” look.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Christ could not leave the scene without addressing the situation because, as the Scripture says, zeal for God's house consumed Him. The whole temple was meant as an object lesson of Christ. What was going on was leading would be followers of God away from Christ, rather than to Him.


I didn’t say his other option was to do nothing. I said that according your not-any-force view, Christ would have effectuated this desired cleansing result by merely walking in the Temple and, as if completely unconcerned, just look about and not even ever directly at these offenders and the exact same terror-struck guilt and frantic fleeing would have occurred.

Quote:
NJK: Clearly that is not the case. Thus this was a direct judgement of Jesus/God and thus emulates the similar acts of intervening judgement of God found throughout the Bible, pointedly with the OT God that Jesus was here perfectly emulating, especially by using the reasonable force needed to fully effectuate that judgement and its desired outcome. The money remaining behind was indeed rightfully to be made available from those who had been defrauded.

Tom: The "force" that was used was that sinners felt condemned by the presence of Christ, and so fled in terror. This was the result of sin acting upon their mind. Not everybody fled. Only those with a guilty conscience fled.


I rather see in the Bible and SOP that it was also Christ’s words, demeanor and action that caused them to flee and not resist/stand their ground. Indeed in DA 162, EGW answers here questions on this by saying:

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 162.3
Christ spoke with the authority of a king, and in His appearance, and in the tones of His voice, there was that which they had no power to resist. At the word of command they realized, as they had never realized before, their true position as hypocrites and robbers. When divinity flashed through humanity, not only did they see indignation on Christ's countenance; they realized the import of His words. They felt as if before the throne of the eternal Judge, with their sentence passed on them for time and for eternity. For a time they were convinced that Christ was a prophet; and many believed Him to be the Messiah. The Holy Spirit flashed into their minds the utterances of the prophets concerning Christ. Would they yield to this conviction?


It was the factual case that they were also (i.e., additionally, and not your impliedly understood ‘solely’) trying to flee from ‘Christ’s heart searching glance’. That thus all does not mean that they fled ‘solely because they felt guilty.’ Christ many acts and degrees of force contributed to their felt need to run.

Quote:
NJK: Furthermore that persistent “reverse Theology” of ‘the OT God (which was also Jesus Himself as Michael/The Angel of the Lord) acting like the incarnate Jesus’ is substantively illogical to me. I rather see that Jesus, upon reading and studying the scrolls of the OT for at least up to 35 years (8 B.C. birth) came to understand how God had justly acted in those inspired records and sought out to emulate God as He had read.

Tom: This has been my point, as I've explained several times. Christ both said and did the things He perceived the OT God to be doing. To put that another way, what He perceived the OT God to have done is what He did. Therefore if you postulate the OT God to have acted contrary to how Christ acted, you're creating a contradiction.

NJK: The problem with the enjoined full extent/implication of “your point” (= your view of this emulating) is that it does not, even manifestly, must not, involve all of the exegetically actual/realistic elements in Christ actions. E.g.:

Tom: You wrote this (above):

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
I rather see that Jesus, upon reading and studying the scrolls of the OT for at least up to 35 years (8 B.C. birth) came to understand how God had justly acted in those inspired records and sought out to emulate God as He had read.


Tom: So if Jesus was emulating how God acted, then it must have been the case that what Jesus said and did corresponded to what He perceived the OT God to have been saying and doing, correct?


The problem with this is that (1) you somehow think that this will include all of the actions of God from the OT, which is not the realistic case for 3.5 years of Christ public ministry which was moreoverly only limitedly recorded in the Gospels. (2) only re-manifested events from the OT can be explicitly compared.

Like I said many times before, I do not see Christ acting differently from the OT God in especially terms of Justice and Judgement in the Gospel, as His paramount mandate allowed (Luke 12:49, 50).

So e.g., in the case of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus acted exactly like the OT God Spiritually fully intended, and effectively said that ‘she indeed should stoned for this sin of adultery by worthy witnesses and executioners.’ As this was not done only because their was not such a worthy witness/executioner. They were probably all guilty of unconfessed or even confessed but not punished, capital sins.

Quote:
NJK: -As shown above, a degree of force was used in the clearing of the Temple, indeed with Christ himself being the one who actively administered that Law Enforcing force.

Tom: As shown above, the money-changers fled in terror because of the impact upon their conscience.


That claim has been disproven by what the Bible and SOP fully and actually say. Indeed they fled because of the various ‘terror-striking’ visible and physical manifestation of Christ blended with, if not directly causing this Religious psychological force. A simple sternly condemning look towards a person, whereas no one else is doing so, indeed doing the exact opposite, automatically leads one to believe that your are reading their thoughts and wrong intentions. And a resulting fear of being publicly exposed and thus humiliated can cause someone to flee.

Quote:
NJK: -Jesus greatly wished to interveningly bring about Hell Fire to end the GC Luke 12:49-50 in the light of all of the pervasive abuses taking place (12:1-48).

Tom: The Godhead longs for sin to come to an end.


Indeed it does, which is why Jesus wanted to bring Hell Fire right then and there in judgement of all of those sins and waywardness He had just spoken against. That would have doomed everyone to Hell as the Plan of Salvation would have not been complete. And these were not just empty expressions by Christ as He said He had to ‘greatly constrain Himself so that this desired immediate judgement is not done.’

Quote:
NJK: -Jesus said that God would be the one to cause the destruction event of Jerusalem (Matt 22:7)

Tom: Which was my point! We know, from the SOP, that what happened was that God *permitted* Satan to do his work, and that Satan was responsible for what happened. So even though the language was direct, the actions were not. God is often presented in Scripture as doing that which He permits.


That ‘doing what he permit’ rationalization of yours actually does not have actual Biblical substantiation as the refutation of your 7 prime examples show. God is either direct or indirectly (=actively or passively) rather involved in his judgement and not “absent”. He either ‘“makes” these happen” or ‘“causes” them to happen’. Or, when possible, “naturally” (“Qal”) allows something to occur. However, I have thus far see only Hiphil and Piel type of actions.

Quote:
NJK: -Like the OT God (Isa 6:9-13) Christ veiled the things that would have facilitated the averting of Jerusalem’s physical destruction, only providing the explanatory keys to His disciples.

Tom: As the SOP explained, the blindness was due to the rejection on the part of those who rejected Christ refusing to heed the light that Christ shed their way. Christ is the light that lightens everyone who comes into the world. The SOP makes the explicit point that those who rejected Christ were given light, and their blindness was of their own choosing.


That may be the chosen case, but Jesus still use veiled language and statements, especially with the Jewish leaders.

Quote:
NJK: (Matt 13:10-17) All that everyone else heard was a story which they had to then, at their own peril precisely figure out what actual reality they were conveying. Clearly most of these people never came to accurately decipher and understand these veiled sayings.

Tom: Because they resisted the Holy Spirit who was drawing them to repentance, and longing to give them understanding.


Again they were still deliberate veiled sayings of Christ. He withheld the keys.

Quote:
NJK: -Jesus defaultly acted to rouse the hatred of Jewish leaders, e.g., in the first temple cleansing (DA 167.2) and in His synagogue sermon (DA 237.3ff).

Tom: Christ was not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to a knowledge of the truth. He didn't seek to arouse hatred from anyone, but only love.

Tom: God so loved the world, including those who reject Him, that He gave the greatest possible gift of His Son. Christ reflected the same spirit.


Those citings actually circumvents the actual issue, (=my intended point) here. In doing this ‘hatred rousing’ Christ was acting out of deserved judgement upon these Jewish leaders. However, like Nicodemus went on to do, they could have taken this deserved rebuke and seek correcting light. But most preferred to continue in prideful opposition.


Furthermore it was out of Christ’s justified greater love for those who were being misled, oppressed and entrenched in unrighteousness that Christ was acting to openly and publicly rebuke and destroy this false religious platform of these Jewish leaders. That was a tangible overturning work of reform that had to be done, regardless of whoever it came to clingingly implicate. In fact Christ’s public denunciation acts was more to show the people that these leaders were not beyond any reproach nor should they be blindly believed.

Quote:
NJK: Your claim of ‘only later resorting to this is both Biblically unsubstantiated, and also opposing your view since in your view, God is not supposed to do anything to contribute to the demise of those who oppose him.

Tom: God contributes to the demise of those who oppose Him by being good and loving them.

Originally Posted By: Bible
17Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

18If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.(Romans 12)


Tom: This describes how God acts. He asks us to do no differently than He Himself does. "Love your enemy, and do go to those who despitefully treat you." This is Christ's teaching, and how Christ acted.


That is an eisegetical view of this passage. Paul, quoting Solomon (Pro 25:21, 22) had said to leave all vengeance to God and not repay evil with evil but honest deeds. Therefore this is not a method for how either man or God is to take vengeance upon an evil person. The Bible is copiously clear that when God takes vengeance for a wrong done to His people, it is definitely not, and far from, in favoring acts. But rather through deserved acts of Justice. I.e., whatever is deserved/required to exact just vengeance.

This counselled “doing good” response for men is only an intermediary step until God acts in vengeance. And its purpose is actually, calculatedly practical as such acts of ‘good towards evil ones’ will either cause that evil person to “melt” and thus cease their evil, or become so furiously “hot under the collar” that they cannot “get to you” that they would much prefer to completely avoid you. (Indeed, from the probable real life circumstance from which this illustration was drawn, in that hot and arid desert climate, the last thing one wanted was even more heat. Also ‘ice to cool them down’ vs. ‘coal to melt them’ was not a known possibility and/or ready feasibility in those days. Hence thus the use of ‘coal to melt’).

This ‘good-for-evil’ method was also an opportunity for these evil persons to save themselves, if they so chose, from God’s pending and sure vengeance judgement.

Quote:
Tom: SO Jesus was suppose to continue to speak “plainly” to them vs. this “veiled” approach and they were to then knowingly reject what he was teaching and not believe in Him.

Tom: What does this mean?


As seen in the sequitur context, I was here expressing what your view is suppose to entail. I.e., Jesus was only suppose to always speak plainly to people and never in any veiled way and they were to knowingly reject those plain statements.

Quote:
NJK: In fact, as John 16:25-31 shows that Christ figurative/veiled speaking even caused his own disciples to doubt him.

Tom: The disciples had unbelief on a number of occasions, but in no case was this due to a desire or action on Christ's part.


I did not say that this is what Jesus wanted to do, though he indeed did deliberately use figurative language (John 16:25). And that naturally, repeatedly caused confusion in the disciples leading them to ask many questions (vs. 30) as indeed seen through the Gospels (e.g., Matt 13:36|Mar 4:13; 15:15; cf. 24:32)

Quote:
T:Jesus said, "When you've seen Me, you've seen the Father," and that means fully/completely. God is *always* like Jesus Christ was; He knows no other way to act than by agape. God is far more gentle, kind, patient, humble, merciful and compassionate than we can imagine. The enemy is Satan and sin, which is far more powerful to corrupt and destroy than people have any idea of. Not having an idea of sin's power, people feel the necessity to attribute the bad things that happen due to that people to the power of another.

NJK:It is God’s Love for primarily the just and righteous which leads Him to, when absolutely necessary, to do supernatural acts to beneficially, timely, protectively and efficiently effectuate a deserved judgement.

Tom: God loves both the just and the unjust. God loves righteousness (or justice), and hates unrighteousness (injustice), but it is God's love, while unjust, that draws us to Him and leads us to repentance.

NJK:The non-glib fact that, as the Bible clearly teaches, God acts to destroy the wicked when they reach a certain point of sinfulness, even favoring, tangibly aiding Israel in wars, shows that He loves those who a faithful to Him more than those who reject him and indeed tangibly acts upon, and towards to effectuating of, those emotions. (E.g., Jacob vs. Esau - Mal 1:1-5). God’s love for people is not stoically indifferent to their response. I.e., e.g., He indeed does not bless those who don’t return that love by obey Him and His Law (e.g., Exod 20:5, 6; Deut 7:9, 10 (Neh 1:5; Dan 9:4); John 14:15; 21; 15:10)]

Tom: God loves those who are faithful to Him more than those who reject Him? Really? That would make an interesting topic of discussion. I'd be interested to see if anyone else shares this point of view.


As I documented, that’s what the Bible says. And other probably will if the take the Bible as it clearly says in such passages. E.g., what don’t you accept what God said and did in Mal 1:1-5??

Originally Posted By: Tom
So, evidently, you believe that when you are obedient to God, He loves you more than when you are not.


According to the ‘Law and the Testimony’ (Isa 8:20), Yes.

Originally Posted By: Tom
So you, in effect, earn His love by your obedience.


You don’t earn God love, you come to benefit from His available/obtainable love. God does not dispense more than the basic life necessities upon those who hate and/or rebel against him. And, as seen in the Egypt Plagues, He could make darkness come upon only some people and not others close by, then that manifestly could be such basic natural aspects. But not, e.g., abundant rain, fertile soil, tempered winds, etc.


“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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