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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #133739
05/23/11 10:16 PM
05/23/11 10:16 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: MM
1. Did the father of the hunter son command his son to do the things he told him to do? No.
2. What would neighbors who overheard their conversation have thought? They would have been impressed the father was willing to help his son hunt humanely even though the father was not in favor of it.

T: Or they might have thought the son was doing the father's will by hunting.

M: I don’t think so.

T: Assuming they didn't already know the father's feelings in regards to hunting, it would certainly be a natural conclusion that the father was in favor of hunting, if they heard him giving counsel on how to hunt.

M:I doubt it. His distaste of hunting would have been written all over his face and demeanor.

T: That would be rather hard to hear.

Good one. It would have also been obvious in the tone of his voice (for those listening but who could not see his face). What is your point?


I was giving this as an analogy to the counsels given by God. God has given counsels in relation to things which were not His idea will. God's giving this counsel can be misconstrued as His giving approval to the given event. For example, we are having discussions in this forum regarding polygamy on this very point.

Quote:
M:I assume you agree.

T: Only in a secondary sense. This wasn't the purpose of the list of beliefs.

M: If so, then to get a clear picture of God we must necessarily understand the 28 fundamental beliefs.

T: This logic is not valid. If A is a type of X, it does not follow that to get a clear picture of X, you must necessarily understand A, which is what you are asserting. For example, Clemente was a composer in the Classical era. It doesn't follow that to understand Classical music, one must understand Clemente.

M:To do this, we must view Jesus’ complete revelation of God including the OT and the NT and not limit ourselves to the Gospels.

T: I've already pointed out the weak link in this argument. Here's a valid argument:

1.All that man can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son.
2.Therefore understanding the life and character of His Son is sufficient to understanding God's character.

M:Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” I hear you saying the truths Jesus did not share with the disciples did not lessen His revelation of God’s character. If this is what you believe, I strongly disagree. I believe “all truth” is essential to a full and complete understanding of the character and kingdom of God.


When you make an invalid argument, and this is pointed out to you, it would be good form to recognize this fact.

Given that what Sister White wrote is true, that all that we need to know or can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son, then it would have to follow that this applies to the disciples. So the things which they could not bear for Christ to tell them at that time would have had to have been included in other things Christ did tell them. Otherwise what Ellen White wrote would be false, rather than true.

It seems to me you are simply putting forth an argument as to why you don't agree with the Ellen White wrote.

We disagree on this point.

In regards to what Christ could not tell them at that point, don't you think it is evident this had to do with the cross? They witnessed Christ's death on the cross, so what they could not bear at the point referenced by Christ, He did in fact reveal to them. So nothing necessary for them to know was left out, and there's no reason to doubt that what Ellen White wrote, that all they needed to know or could know of God was revealed by the life and character of Jesus Christ, is true.

Quote:
M: Tom, I don’t understand how your response answers my questions. Here they are again:

1. Do you believe it when it says in the Bible that Jesus commanded Moses to stone the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer to death?

2. Or, do you suspect Moses misunderstood what Jesus said? For example, in the Bible it says: “And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.” “And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.”

T: Your first two questions I addressed in my response.

I have no idea what you believe. Please answer the two questions above in the simplest terms possible. Thank you.


I've got several responses going on this. Please choose one of them to respond to, and state whatever it is you're not understanding or have a question about.

Quote:
T: I think the issue is similar to other incidents where God's ideal is not that to which the counsel applies, such as polygamy and slavery. God had to deal with the people's mindset as it was. We see little glimpses of the people acting in harmony with God's will, and when this happened, there was no killing involved, but for the most part, it was a stubborn "stiff-necked" people God was dealing with, and we don't see His ideal will expressed. If we take the point of view that God is pleased to have Sabbath-breakers killed, why wouldn't we kill them now? Is it just because we're not living in a theocracy? The question of killing law-breakers is an important issue coming up in the last days before Christ's second coming. We know that Satan will use this very argument against those who keep God's commandments, that they should be killed.

M:God always fulfills His “ideal will”.


No He doesn't. For example, His ideal will is that none should perish, but all come to a knowledge of the truth.

Quote:
M:He never sits back and allows the chips to fall wherever they may helter-skelter.


It's true He never "sits back," if that implies doing nothing, but it's not true that He doesn't allow things to happen contrary to His ideal will. Anytime someone suffers is an example of this.

Quote:
M:Keep in mind I’m talking about what God Himself chooses to do based on the time and circumstances in response to the choices FMAs make. That is, God never causes or permits anything to happen in response to the choices FMAs make that isn’t His will.


Sure He does. The holocaust is an example. The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is another.

Quote:
M:To say otherwise suggests there are times when God causes or permits something to happen in response to the choices FMAs make that is evil or wrong or less than ideal (under the time and circumstances).


Of course God allows evil things to happen in response to the choices FMA's make. That's the whole point of GC 35-37. Evil, in general, is *always* contrary to God's will, and always in response to choices FMA's have made contrary to God's will. How could it be otherwise?

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M:The fact Satan will influence Sunday-keepers in future to kill Sabbath-keepers is not an argument against the fact Jesus commanded godly people to kill ungodly people.


I didn't ask this. Here's what I asked:

Quote:
If we take the point of view that God is pleased to have Sabbath-breakers killed, why wouldn't we kill them now? Is it just because we're not living in a theocracy? The question of killing law-breakers is an important issue coming up in the last days before Christ's second coming. We know that Satan will use this very argument against those who keep God's commandments, that they should be killed.


Quote:
M:I don’t even know if you believe Jesus did indeed command Moses to stone to death the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer, so, how can I determine what you believe?

T: I don't think it matters what I believe about this incident to understand what I believe. I believe the following:

1.All that we need to know or can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son.
2.God is often portrayed in inspiration as doing that which He permits.
3.God in the OT acted similarly (actually identically) to how Jesus Christ acted while here in the flesh, when the whole purpose of His mission was the revelation of God.
4.Jesus Christ revealed what He heard and saw in the OT in His life, character, and teachings. If we perceive some disconnect between the two (i.e., between some incident in the OT involving behavior on the part of God) and Jesus Christ's life/teaching/character, we should defer to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
5.Force is contrary to the principles of God's government. Compelling power is found only under the government of the enemy.
6.Satan is hard at work seeking to vest God with his own attributes of character, and to make it appear that God's principles of government are like his.
7.There are a thousand dangers, all of them unseen, from which God protects us. It is sufficient for God to effect an judgments desires simply by withdrawing that protection. There is no need for God to do otherwise.

I've been saying all along that I disagree with the road you insist on taking, which is to examiner Old Testament incidents and ask questions about this. You've been doing this for years. I've answered hundreds, if not thousands, of these questions, all the time under protest. I've spent a thousand times longer discussing this issue according to how you think it should be studied as opposed to how I think it should.

M:Thank you for succinctly summarizing your view of God. However, nothing you said about God actually addresses my questions about God.


Yes it does. That you don't see this is probably the problem we're having.

Quote:
M:Again, do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?


It doesn't appear that you read what I just wrote above.

Quote:
M:Nothing you’ve said about God thus far provides enough insight or information for me to deduce your answer to this question.


I suggest re-reading what I just wrote.

Quote:
M:I have in the past attempted to draw a conclusion based on what you’ve said about God (as it relates to this question) but with fatal results and strong disapproval from you.


Why not conclude what I wrote?

Quote:
M:By the way, there appears to be a contradiction between point 2 and points 3 and 4. For example, did the Gospels ever portray Jesus causing death and destruction that in reality He merely permitted others to do? I make this observation and ask this question because you say the Father behaved in the OT in the exact same way Jesus did in the Gospels and vice versa. But where in the Gospels did Jesus ever command godly people to kill ungodly people?


Exactly!!!

Quote:
Again, I’m sorry you found the question so disturbing; but, thank you for answering it so emphatically. You leave no doubt in my mind what you believe about it. And, no, I don’t know of anyone who believes God views killing animals and humans as equal.


So why ask the question?

Quote:
I only wish you would answer the following question with as much emphasis and enthusiasm - Do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?


I've responded to this at great, great length. The many posts in regards to the father/hunter relate to this question.

Quote:
M:Also, I don’t see a legitimate comparison between Jesus commanding godly people to kill ungodly people and the anti-hunting father commanding his pro-hunting son to kill animals humanely.


Ok, this is a good follow-up. The reason it is a legitimate comparison is because in both cases there is the question of the will of the person speaking being misunderstood.

Quote:
Are you somehow hinting at the idea that Jesus did indeed command Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?


There's no hinting here at anything.

Quote:
5. Did the father command his son to hunt humanely?

T: The father gave counsel to the son regarding how to hunt, but it was not his will that his son should hunt. Given he was going to hunt, the father commanded he should hunt humanely.

M:How does this compare to Jesus commanding godly people to kill ungodly people?

T: It's analogous.

M:I don’t understand what you mean. Please elaborate. Thank you.


It was not the father's ideal will that his son should hunt. But if his son was determined to hunt, the father would give him counsel on how to do so in a way that was in harmony with his will. Similarly God has given counsel in regards to many things which are not according to His ideal will. He still does so today.

Quote:
T: If we take the point of view that God is pleased to have Sabbath-breakers killed, why wouldn't we kill them now?

M:Interesting you bring this point up. Ellen wrote, “In our day there are many who reject the creation Sabbath as a Jewish institution and urge that if it is to be kept, the penalty of death must be inflicted for its violation; but we see that blasphemy received the same punishment as did Sabbathbreaking. Shall we therefore conclude that the third commandment also is to be set aside as applicable only to the Jews? Yet the argument drawn from the death penalty applies to the third, the fifth, and indeed to nearly all the ten precepts, equally with the fourth. Though God may not now punish the transgression of His law with temporal penalties, yet His word declares that the wages of sin is death; and in the final execution of the judgment it will be found that death is the portion of those who violate His sacred precepts. {PP 409.2}

T: This doesn't address my question. I haven't made the argument if the Sabbath needs to be kept, then Sabbath-breakers should be killed.

M:Your question seems to imply God isn’t in favor of executing Sabbath-breakers in accordance with the laws regulating and requiring capital punishment.


God isn't in favor of executing anybody. He is in favor of saving them. He gave His Son to save them.

Quote:
However, the passage quoted above makes it clear that He is.


Jesus Christ made clear God's will was to save.

Quote:
M:Also, the point begs the question, a question you have thus far refused to answer, namely, do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?


I pointed out to you that you didn't address my question, and you utter falsehoods, and continue not to address the question.


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] #133746
05/24/11 02:23 PM
05/24/11 02:23 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
[Your “Reply” Posting is incorrect here again. Your are again replying to yourself. It can be a great time waster to someone not familiar with this thread sequence.]


It's a lot more work to do it this way, but I'll try to do it the way you like.

Quote:
NJK: There is also the issue that I see that it is wrongly believed that Biblical writers themselves had a wrong view of the character of God while it seems evident to me that this statement speaks of how Israel in general came to view God.

Tom: They certainly didn't have as clear a view of the character of God as Jesus Christ.

NJK: That is besides the point.

Tom: No it's not. The point is that the whole purpose of Christ's earthly mission was the revelation of God, and that had this revelation already been accomplished, Christ need not have come. That's the context of the discussion. So that the Bible writers did not has a clear a view of God's character as Christ did is to the point.

NJK:It substantively is besides the point for the substantiating reasons that went on to state.


From what you are saying here, it looks right on point, getting to the critical issue (at least, a critical issue).

Quote:
NJK:The OT revelation was perfect in itself.


Only as they left God's mind. Once human beings got involved, they were no longer perfect, as the Scriptures neither represent the logic nor the language of God. (See Selected Messages on inspiration).

Quote:
NJK:The people’s added misconceptions are what need to be addressed and Christ added furthering and fulfilling revelations. The Inspired Bible writers got God’s revelation right. It was the people who misunderstood that revelation. And to say that these Bible writers got it wrong, implies that God Himself wrongly expressed, legislated and/or otherwise reveal it.


It dosn't imply this.

Quote:
The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen. {1SM 21.1}


On the other hand, Jesus Christ was God's pen! Jesus Christ was God's thought expressed audible, the perfect representation of God. His was the greatest revelation.

Quote:
1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. (Hebrews 1:1,2;KJV)


Quote:
I am not going down that slippery slope!


I think you're going down a different one. Namely, replacing the revelation of Jesus Christ with ideas which are not in harmony with what He lived and taught.

Quote:
NJK: The revelation of these (OT) Bible writers, set out in writing under the inspiration of God’s Spirit was precisely what God wanted to be fully understood then. Later in Jesus Christ, God only ‘made more full’ what He had previously said, legislated and inspired. And again, as per the focus of this thread, this fuller revelation in Christ did not change the actual substance of “historical” OT episodes, indeed as they are properly recorded. To make this apply to your view, you need to show statements from Christ which e.g., change the substantive/historical records of OT events. And again, the misperception of people in Christ day was not on what had occurred, but the wrong conclusion they drew from what had occurred.

Tom: On what do you base this assertion? How do you know there wasn't a misunderstanding as to what had occurred?

NJK:Seriously???


??? What is is you think we're disagreeing about???

Quote:
NJK:Well then, simply said, because these OT writers would copiously preface their statements with qualifiers along the lines of: ‘The Lord said’; by Jesus’ full endorsement of the OT as well as other NT writers, never engaging to correct its accounts, and passages like 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20. I’ll go by these: “Thus says the Lord” than by anything man may fancifully suppose.


So when you said, "this fuller revelation in Christ did not change the actual substance of 'historical' OT episodes," you had only specifically the actual words of God in mind? If so, that's not very clear.

If you had more than the actual words of God in mind, then we are dealing with what actually happened, right? And even with the words of God, there are questions, as God often presented Himself as doing what He permits. For example, consider the episode of the fiery serpents. What happened there? Isn't this was our disagreement entails? I believe the serpents were already there, and that God had been protecting the Israelites from them the whole time, and He merely ceased doing so for a time. This is despite the direct language used.

Quote:
NJK: As in your case, you read of Nadab and Abihu being burnt alive by a Fire from God and you, effectively, wrongly conclude that this “would” show/mean that God is violent. The principles in Christ’s revelation, which profusely included the teaching of Hell Fire judgement by Him/God (e.g., sLuke 12: 49, 50; cf. Rev 20:14) and its “fiery” physical torment (e.g., Matt 10:28; Mark 9:42-50/Matt 18:7-11).

NJK: So like these misguided first century Jews, you need to allow/trust Jesus’ teaching and revelations that the OT was not “violent” in doing those judgement, nor in doing them again in the NT Era through the end of this GC. God was rather quite Just and indeed, all things taken into proper consideration, Loving. Indeed many will be eternally saved because of these most strikingly, deserving, warning, ‘object lesson actions/judgement of God. (Cf. 2 Pet 2:5, 6).

Tom: When Christ was urged to destroy the Samaritans, how did He respond?


A simple exegetical Biblical study here clearly shows that Jesus’ rebuking answer was in the light of the fact that the Gospel had deliberately not been preached, as it duly, fully, should be, throughout Samaria (cf. Matt 10:5; Acts 1:8; cf. Matt 1:22-24); (perhaps only in Sychar (John 4:4, 5, 28, 39-42)). So calling fire down from Heaven to destroy these probably Gospel unaware Samaritans of Luke 9:52 who were indeed only surfacely rejecting Christ because He was traveling towards Jerusalem (vs. 53) was in keeping with the OT God who did not execute a destruction until relatively sufficient “saving/sparing” light had first be properly given. So that action would indeed be against God’s Spirit, indeed including the OT God.


This is in inadequate response for two reasons. One is that the Jews were in at least as great a darkness as the Samaritans, as Elijah couldn't even think of anyone else besides himself who was a follower of God. Secondly, and more importantly, it's missing the whole point of Christ's sadness!

Quote:
It is no part of Christ’s mission to compel men to receive Him. It is Satan, and men actuated by his spirit, that seek to compel the conscience. Under a pretense of zeal for righteousness, men who are confederate with evil angels bring suffering upon their fellow men, in order to convert them to their ideas of religion; but Christ is ever showing mercy, ever seeking to win by the revealing of His love. He can admit no rival in the soul, nor accept of partial service; but He desires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love. There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas. {DA 487.3}


It was the spirit that would have one destroy another, that would seek to compel another, to use force; this spirit is what Christ condemned.

Quote:
In the episode of Elijah (2 Kgs 1:1-16) that the disciples were seeking to use as a basis Amaziah, the son of Ahab, was acting idolatrously and thus clearly in full light, especially after the reform of Ahab. So when he, being vexed as Elijah’s original condemnatory and intercepting answer sent an army contingent to effectively force Ahab to come to him and, by implication, make a favorable prophetic pronouncement at the risk of his life, (as if it worked that way) Elijah was fully in accordance with God’s Spirit to twice call down fire upon the army contingent that came to him, innately threateningly ordering him to follow them in the name of the (already condemned) king. Evidently Amaziah haughtily thought that God’s prophet could only say something valid/binding upon him when he had first called upon “his services.” Also by calling Elijah “man of God”, the army commanders showed that they fully knew who Elijah was. Indeed, as God responded to Elijah’s request, it was all in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God.

On the other hand these Samaritans were not acting in the light of such knowledge and also not pointedly against Jesus with a general or personal knowledge that He was God’s Messiah. So a fire judgement here would-be an undeserved judgement for, moreoverly an unaware of wrong, -something that God never does. (cf. Jon 4:1,2, 4, 9-11).


This is clever theory, but it doesn't fit. Christ was saddened because the disciples did not understand God's character nor the principles of His government.

Quote:
This statement is really odd:

Originally Posted By: NJK
So like these misguided first century Jews, you need to allow/trust Jesus’ teaching and revelations that the OT was not “violent” in doing those judgement...


The misguided first century Jews needed to trust Jesus' teaching that OT was not "violent"? You think that they perceived these events like I do?


NJK:Expressional “typo.” I actually meant that: ‘like these misguided first century Jews, you need to trust the wisdom and knowledge Jesus.


This is what we've been disagreeing about. I've been advocating this very thing all along, that all we can or need to know of God was revealed in the life and teachings of His Son. It was Christ's "whole purpose" to reveal the Father, and, indeed, we need to truth His wisdom and knowledge.

Quote:
NJK:And in regards to pointedly to you that is to allow/trust Jesus’ teaching and revelations that the OT God was not “violent” in doing those judgement.


This is what I've been saying all along. The judgments were not violent. This is why I disagree with what you've been saying, as you have been presenting ideas of violence.

Quote:
NJK:Indeed Jesus never spoke anything against those OT actions.


Why would He? He understood what happened. (All for now)


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] #133753
05/24/11 07:48 PM
05/24/11 07:48 PM
NJK Project  Offline
Banned Member
Dedicated Member
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,098
Laval, Quebec

Quote:
NJK: There is also the issue that I see that it is wrongly believed that Biblical writers themselves had a wrong view of the character of God while it seems evident to me that this statement speaks of how Israel in general came to view God.

Tom: They certainly didn't have as clear a view of the character of God as Jesus Christ.

NJK: That is besides the point.

Tom: No it's not. The point is that the whole purpose of Christ's earthly mission was the revelation of God, and that had this revelation already been accomplished, Christ need not have come. That's the context of the discussion. So that the Bible writers did not has a clear a view of God's character as Christ did is to the point.

NJK:It substantively is besides the point for the substantiating reasons that I went on to state.

Tom: From what you are saying here, it looks right on point, getting to the critical issue (at least, a critical issue).


Now that I understand your point of view more clearly based on what you have finally forthrightly/clearly stated below, I can actually now see/understand how and why this is “right on point for you, in your view. That is because you believe that OT writers themselves had, actually, a wrong view of God. I would only see that this applies to the parts of the Bible, where these writers were “free” to purely express their own thoughts, derived from their own experiences with God, e.g., the “Writings” of the OT (e.g., Psa/Pro/Eccl), however I also do see that much of the “free” statements by writers was derived from things that God had actually said.

So I also only see that in some parts, Bible writers had an incomplete understanding of God, due to what God could only reveal to them, due to their own failings, revelation frustrating and other shortcomings. Yet what was revealed was quite sufficient for them to come to that full understanding of God. E.g., Moses, after his 40 days up on the mountain had a perfect understanding of God’s Law and also of the Plan of Salvation in the current OT Religious Economy symbols (PP 330.2). I believe Jesus came to this fuller and more complete revelation using this exact “text”, combined with the ever guiding help of the Spirit because of His unwavering, self-initiated, perfect walk in God’s ways and constant obedience to the various promptings of God’s Spirit. So what could not be revealed to people in the OT because of their own shortcomings, could, and was revealed to Christ, particularly as He variously “advanced” and “kept on course” in God’s will.

Israel, by necessity, indeed just as NT Believer have faith in Jesus, and are to be faithful and obedient to Him to remain in harmony with the Father’s will, OT Believers had to do the same thing with the Law.

Quote:
NJK:The OT revelation was perfect in itself.

Tom: Only as they left God's mind. Once human beings got involved, they were no longer perfect, as the Scriptures neither represent the logic nor the language of God. (See Selected Messages on inspiration).


I do see that the Inspiration of Bible writers was very much like what was seen with EGW. They primarily wrote upon what they had seen in visions and dreams and “heard” from God. Similarly most of EGW “early writings’ were such direct revelations. Then she began to derive testimony from such direct revelations and additional ones. Bible writers similarly did the same thing. However I see that they had a much closer experience with God than did EGW (e.g., Moses’ in person meetings with God.) Indeed God was tangibly in the midst of Israel for many centuries, even right through periods of apostasy, though no additional revelation and (advancing/visionary prophetic) light was given.

Quote:
NJK: The people’s added misconceptions are what need to be addressed and Christ added furthering and fulfilling revelations. The Inspired Bible writers got God’s revelation right. It was the people who misunderstood that revelation. And to say that these Bible writers got it wrong, implies that God Himself wrongly expressed, legislated and/or otherwise reveal it.

Tom: It dosn't imply this.


Previously I had said that a misunderstanding in Bible writers could have occurred in their actual “ad lib” writings, i.e., vs. writing what God had “directly” revealed. And I do not actually see an example of this “misunderstanding” in the Bible. I understand that you do with, e.g., every instance where it says that ‘God took judgement actions on someone/ a group of people.’ For the many reasons already expressed in this thread, including especially the ones that show that your understanding of what EGW revealed in 14MR 1-3|GC 35-37 was only a secondary way to effectuate judgements, namely “no (more) mercy” judgements, I indeed do see that you are quite wrongly and overreachingly misapplying that view.

Originally Posted By: SOP 1SM 21.1
The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen.


Indeed some expression may seem and are ungodly.(None come to mind actually) However I see that the substance itself is not affected by the mode of expression. I also think that the Bible is substantively perfectly revealed in what is prescritive and also, by being truthful, in what it describes. I also think that whenever it relates that God did something, then that is indeed what occurred. (Of course you do see so).

Again, I really cannot think of any theologically substantive error/wrong view in the Bible. Indeed I do not see your view on God’s judgements as being examples of a wrong view.

Quote:
Tom: On the other hand, Jesus Christ was God's pen! Jesus Christ was God's thought expressed audible, the perfect representation of God. His was the greatest revelation.

Originally Posted By: Bible Hebrews 1:1, 2 (KJV)
1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. (Hebrews 1:1, 2;KJV)


This text clearly is just saying that “in the same way God had variously spoken through prophets in the past, now spoke through His Son Jesus Christ.” Still it was God who was doing this speaking. Only a different spokesperson was used. Interestingly enough, I only see two times in the Bible where God had to correct a prophets, and that for relatively benign reasons, namely Nathan (2 Sam 7:1-17) and Samuel (1 Sam 16:6, 7). Seems to me they were quite faithful in correctly transmitting what had been revealed/said to them. So I do not see a basis here that what was recorded in the OT from God was wrongly done.

Quote:
NJK: I am not going down that slippery slope!

Tom: I think you're going down a different one. Namely, replacing the revelation of Jesus Christ with ideas which are not in harmony with what He lived and taught.


That is of course because you are viewing/judging things by your view, which I do not see what you are basing it on saying or requiring what you are doing. Even EGW who “would have” expressed it, did not do/say what you are requiring when writing her commenting books on Biblical episodes, namely the Conflict of the Ages series. As seen in e.g, GC 614.2, she also saw and understood that God had done acts of judgement and destructions in the OT and also NT.

EGW’s treatise on the “City of Refuge” in ST, January 20, 1881 is a good example of the perfect mixture of God’s justice and his mercy.

Quote:
NJK: The revelation of these (OT) Bible writers, set out in writing under the inspiration of God’s Spirit was precisely what God wanted to be fully understood then. Later in Jesus Christ, God only ‘made more full’ what He had previously said, legislated and inspired. And again, as per the focus of this thread, this fuller revelation in Christ did not change the actual substance of “historical” OT episodes, indeed as they are properly recorded. To make this apply to your view, you need to show statements from Christ which e.g., change the substantive/historical records of OT events. And again, the misperception of people in Christ day was not on what had occurred, but the wrong conclusion they drew from what had occurred.

Tom: On what do you base this assertion? How do you know there wasn't a misunderstanding as to what had occurred?

NJK: Seriously???

Tom: ??? What is is you think we're disagreeing about???


Now that I finally understand your full view of the OT, I can see why you don’t get my incredulity here. I see that the Bible writers did not have a misunderstanding with what had occurred, indeed as confirmed by the similar views of EGW. Of course, you don’t, and think that everywhere that is said that God did something was a misunderstanding and must be restated. I find no Biblical example or support, including from Jesus Himself, for this rewriting of the Biblical text. As I understand the why’s of God’s timely OT judgements, indeed as He did need to timely act to check free developments that, I believed, He did not always anticipate as a concrete possibility (cf. Isa 5:4). All of these acts of judgement are also microcosms and warnings of what the Final Hell destruction will be.

Quote:
NJK: Well then, simply said, because these OT writers would copiously preface their statements with qualifiers along the lines of: ‘The Lord said’; by Jesus’ full endorsement of the OT as well as other NT writers, never engaging to correct its accounts, and passages like 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20. I’ll go by these: “Thus says the Lord” than by anything man may fancifully suppose.

Tom: So when you said, "this fuller revelation in Christ did not change the actual substance of 'historical' OT episodes," you had only specifically the actual words of God in mind? If so, that's not very clear.


No. These “thus says the Lord” are a distinct portion of the Biblical Text, which I see a paramount in God’s revelation. Similarly to how I see the SOP’s “I was shown” statements. And in matters of history, these Bible writers straightforwardly and matter of factly related what had occurred and I do not see Jesus changing these accounts. Indeed if your view was the Truth, I would think Jesus would be systematically engaging in recorded statements of, e.g.,: ‘you have read “God rained fire on Sodom”, but I say on to you God never does a judgement Himself, and this was actually a volcano that was always supposed to erupt then.’ etc. Seems to me that this work would be quite crucial to Christ reforms, indeed as it would similarly be correcting misconceptions about the, here, History and Prophets, of the OT, just like He had done with the Law and how people came to view it.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If you had more than the actual words of God in mind, then we are dealing with what actually happened, right? And even with the words of God, there are questions, as God often presented Himself as doing what He permits. For example, consider the episode of the fiery serpents. What happened there? Isn't this was our disagreement entails? I believe the serpents were already there, and that God had been protecting the Israelites from them the whole time, and He merely ceased doing so for a time. This is despite the direct language used.


This is where I see that you are being finally being forthcoming about what you actually think of Biblical exegesis. Evidently you see it as irrelevant. Had I known this earlier it would have saved me much aggravation because I just could not understand how you would not take exegetical points into proper consider. Indeed throughout this discussion. Manifestly your outright dismissal of whatever points exegesis makes is derived from your view that these writers had it wrong. So there is really no way one can argue against this “double-whammy”, contra-Bible view. I would say that ‘EGW’s writings are effectively, your “Bible”, but as you clearly only subscribe to her statements when she agrees with your claimed view, (i.e., you understood her supposed view better than she did) then I can only see that you are really your own Bible and Biblical Authority. Can’t logically/“sanely” compete with/against that “private” method. Case in point, with the fiery serpents. Indeed rather than respond to the many substantive arguments that I have made debunking from various valid exegetical angles, your “private” view, you here simply claim that ‘exegesis is irrelevant’. Indeed now I finally, head shakingly, understand why you did not bother to answer exegetical points that completely disproved your claims and supposition. All that I can say is: Good Luck with that view. I really don’t understand why, with such an obliviously non-exegetical mindset, you would invest in attending a Seminary and ‘completing its coursework.’

Quote:
NJK: As in your case, you read of Nadab and Abihu being burnt alive by a Fire from God and you, effectively, wrongly conclude that this “would” show/mean that God is violent. The principles in Christ’s revelation, which profusely included the teaching of Hell Fire judgement by Him/God (e.g., Luke 12: 49, 50; cf. Rev 20:14) and its “fiery” physical torment (e.g., Matt 10:28; Mark 9:42-50/Matt 18:7-11).

NJK: So like these misguided first century Jews, you need to allow/trust Jesus’ teaching and revelations that the OT was not “violent” in doing those judgement, nor in doing them again in the NT Era through the end of this GC. God was rather quite Just and indeed, all things taken into proper consideration, Loving. Indeed many will be eternally saved because of these most strikingly, deserving, warning, ‘object lesson actions/judgement of God. (Cf. 2 Pet 2:5, 6).

Tom: When Christ was urged to destroy the Samaritans, how did He respond?

NJK: A simple exegetical Biblical study here clearly shows that Jesus’ rebuking answer was in the light of the fact that the Gospel had deliberately not been preached, as it duly, fully, should be, throughout Samaria (cf. Matt 10:5; Acts 1:8; cf. Matt 1:22-24); (perhaps only in Sychar (John 4:4, 5, 28, 39-42)). So calling fire down from Heaven to destroy these probably Gospel unaware Samaritans of Luke 9:52 who were indeed only surfacely rejecting Christ because He was traveling towards Jerusalem (vs. 53) was in keeping with the OT God who did not execute a destruction until relatively sufficient “saving/sparing” light had first be properly given. So that action would indeed be against God’s Spirit, indeed including the OT God.

Tom: This is in inadequate response for two reasons. One is that the Jews were in at least as great a darkness as the Samaritans, as Elijah couldn't even think of anyone else besides himself who was a follower of God.


Well given that this is what you think of Elijah, as it is popularly done, I can see why you have this “inadequacy” belief. I have debunked this popular disparaging “misconstruing” of Elijah’s character on this post in my blog (Note #5).

Indeed Elijah was not a mind reader and could not possibly be faulted for not knowing about these 7000 “silent” ones. He was indeed by now the only one openly, courageously denouncing and opposing apostasy in Israel.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Secondly, and more importantly, it's missing the whole point of Christ's sadness!


First of all, EGW actually says that Christ was “pained” (DA 487.2) which may not be necessarily out of sadness. The fact that these disciples of His had manifested a ‘Spirit of Satan’ here, as He rebuked them, was frustratingly ‘paining enough,’ given that these were the ones who were suppose to continue His work, yet they still had not understood the emphasis of His mission.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: SOP DA 487.3
It is no part of Christ’s mission to compel men to receive Him. It is Satan, and men actuated by his spirit, that seek to compel the conscience. Under a pretense of zeal for righteousness, men who are confederate with evil angels bring suffering upon their fellow men, in order to convert them to their ideas of religion; but Christ is ever showing mercy, ever seeking to win by the revealing of His love. He can admit no rival in the soul, nor accept of partial service; but He desires only voluntary service, the willing surrender of the heart under the constraint of love. There can be no more conclusive evidence that we possess the spirit of Satan than the disposition to hurt and destroy those who do not appreciate our work, or who act contrary to our ideas.

Tom: It was the spirit that would have one destroy another, that would seek to compel another, to use force; this spirit is what Christ condemned.


And, just like in the War in Heaven, my point here, as stated below, was that this was not an issue of deserved judgement, as in Elijah’s case. If it was, then I see that Jesus would not have rebuked His disciples, even if that judgement was to be delayed (e.g, Matt 11:20-24), given the actual paramount mandate He had in this present mission as expressed in Luke 12:49, 50. So I do not see that my wider exegetical point contradicts what EGW had expressed. They both contribute to the actual issues at hand here.

Quote:
NJK: In the episode of Elijah (2 Kgs 1:1-16) that the disciples were seeking to use as a basis Amaziah, the son of Ahab, was acting idolatrously and thus clearly in full light, especially after the reform of Ahab. So when he, being vexed as Elijah’s original condemnatory and intercepting answer sent an army contingent to effectively force Ahab to come to him and, by implication, make a favorable prophetic pronouncement at the risk of his life, (as if it worked that way) Elijah was fully in accordance with God’s Spirit to twice call down fire upon the army contingent that came to him, innately threateningly ordering him to follow them in the name of the (already condemned) king. Evidently Amaziah haughtily thought that God’s prophet could only say something valid/binding upon him when he had first called upon “his services.” Also by calling Elijah “man of God”, the army commanders showed that they fully knew who Elijah was. Indeed, as God responded to Elijah’s request, it was all in perfect harmony with the Spirit of God.

NJK: On the other hand these Samaritans were not acting in the light of such knowledge and also not pointedly against Jesus with a general or personal knowledge that He was God’s Messiah. So a fire judgement here would-be an undeserved judgement for, moreoverly an unaware of wrong, -something that God never does. (cf. Jon 4:1,2, 4, 9-11).

Tom: This is clever theory, but it doesn't fit. Christ was saddened because the disciples did not understand God's character nor the principles of His government.


It is not a “theory”, it is what proper and responsible Biblical exegesis fully reveals, as it takes into consider all contributive points (cf. Isa 28:10). Biblical understanding is also not limited to what EGW says. The Bible is the Greater Light. So I see that here, she only emphasized a part of the actual fuller issue involved here, as seen by Christ’s reaction just one chapter later in Matt 11:20-24|Luke 10:10-16 under different “knowledge” circumstances.

And, indeed, as EGW states, an act of “judgement” here, at this stage, would only be a ‘forceful act to compel’. However the notion of compelling is not what is at the forefront when deserved and necessary judgement is being executed. The necessity of the judgement trumps the potential compelling that can occur if those observing freely choose do use it as such.

Quote:
Tom: This statement is really odd:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
So like these misguided first century Jews, you need to allow/trust Jesus’ teaching and revelations that the OT was not “violent” in doing those judgement...


Tom: The misguided first century Jews needed to trust Jesus' teaching that OT was not "violent"? You think that they perceived these events like I do?

NJK: Expressional “typo.” I actually meant that: ‘like these misguided first century Jews, you need to trust the wisdom and knowledge Jesus.

Tom: This is what we've been disagreeing about. I've been advocating this very thing all along, that all we can or need to know of God was revealed in the life and teachings of His Son. It was Christ's "whole purpose" to reveal the Father, and, indeed, we need to truth His wisdom and knowledge.


And I do not see that Jesus revelation made it that what was expressed in the OT needed to be understood differently. The problem with you is that you cannot transparently substantiate the validity of your view. I.e., in what it fully implies and tangibly necessitate. This also includes what you are claiming for EGW’s statements. I am rather guided by transparent exegesis, which I understand can and does correct EGW. So the only choice I have with your view is to actually accept what you (privately) think and I just won’t, even really can’t do that since I instead paramountly follow the Bible. So this issue of “Actual and Final Authority” is really what we foundationally are in disagreement over.

Also my Trust of Jesus includes all of His statements, whereas, as by now copiously substantiated during this discussion, I see that you are selectively viewing some as weighty, even valid. I.e., only when they harmonize with your view. Again I cannot subscribe to what I can only factually see as, (effectively), being: “the Gospel of/according Tom”. And like other “non-canonical” gospel works E.g., the Gospel of Thomas, it only includes certain, even rephrased sayings of Jesus that harmonize with an overarching private view. In the case of the author of the Gospel of Thomas, this was Gnosticism.

Quote:
NJK: And in regards to pointedly to you that is to allow/trust Jesus’ teaching and revelations that the OT God was not “violent” in doing those judgement.

Tom: This is what I've been saying all along. The judgments were not violent. This is why I disagree with what you've been saying, as you have been presenting ideas of violence.


Of course you want to be strictly saying her that ‘they did not involve any forceful or even paining action from God Himself. This is where I am not seeing any Biblical support for you. Indeed as easily seen by the fact that God Himself legislated capital punishment. Even e.g., injunctively ordering, after apparently some tangible deliberation on the issue, that a person who had been caught violating the Sabbath be stoned to death (Num 15:32-36). To accept your view as valid and subscribe to it necessitates that any such, even direct statements of God be either outrightly ignored/dismissed or deemed as errors. One then really does not have a Bible left to have faith in. Let alone seeing it as the Inspired Word of God, containing a substantively correct message.

Quote:
NJK:Indeed Jesus never spoke anything against those OT actions.

Tom: Why would He? He understood what happened. (All for now)


Well for one thing to explicitly help people to have the proper understanding as He explicitly did with misconceptions of the Law. Indeed this would mean that even His own disciples were never privately instructed as to what really had happened in OT episodes, as they continued to refer to them just as they read in the OT. The episode with James and John would also have been te perfect occasion to set the substantive record straight as to what really happened when the OT says/implies that God granted the request of Elijah and fire came down from Heaven right then and there. Even EGW did not “understand” the correct view here, according to your understanding.

These persisted misunderstanding would contradictorily imply that Jesus did not complete the revelation of the Father that He was to do, either with His disciples, or later through EGW.

Your view is indeed full of such inconsistencies due to its subjectivity and selectiveness resulting in a one-sided stacking. That is indeed why you manifestly believe that ‘a more “attractive” view could/should be the right one vs. what is actually the Biblical truth. Again one just cannot win against such a mindset. At the very least you should have been more forthright about that, especially as you touted that you were a Seminarian, which logically/“prima facie” implies a person who takes Biblical exegesis seriously.

This “selective methodology” of yours also explains why you just don’t answer/acknowledge any type of point for which you do not have an answer. Indeed I should have long ago got the cue from your statement that you are involved in a discussion simply to bolster your view. Clearly you won’t let the facts, exegetical or scientific, get in the way of that objective.


“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man] #133772
05/25/11 02:18 PM
05/25/11 02:18 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tom
T: You wrote as if God were responsible for the things you were speaking of. I addressed that by pointing out that it would be a huge mistake to view God as responsible, and cited texts to explain why.

M: Of course Jesus was responsible for ensuring evil angels did not exceed the limits He imposed on them. That is, Jesus did not let them cause more death and destruction than He was willing to permit. Do you agree?

T: What would a disagreement to this look like? That Jesus let them cause more death and destruction than He was willing to permit? This is a question to you, asking for clarification. Actually two questions.

Why disagree with it? Just say, Yes, of course, I agree. Jesus was responsible for ensuring evil angels did not exceed the limits He imposed on them, that is, He did not let them cause more death and destruction than He was willing to permit.

Quote:
M: Do you agree Jesus worked to prevent evil men and evil angels from inflicting more death and destruction than He was willing to permit?

T: I believe that Jesus worked to prevent evil men and evil angels from inflicting death and destruction in general. I don't know what you would want me to elaborate on here. I don't see what you wouldn't be understanding here.

Your response seems to imply you believe Jesus works to prevent them from causing any and all forms of death and destruction. If so, did He fail? That is, did He fail at preventing them and it accounts for why they caused so much death and destruction? If so, why wasn’t Jesus successful?

Quote:
M: Or, do you think evil men and evil angels willingly restrained themselves in order not to displease God and exceed Jesus’ limits?

T: This can't be a serious question. This seems self-explanatory. What sense would it make for an evil person to restrain themselves in order not to displease God? Doesn't being evil presuppose that one is displeasing God? Why would you think a question like this makes sense? Better yet, why would you ask such a question? What were you thinking when you asked it? If you write out what you were thinking, perhaps we could discuss that, as what you were thinking probably makes some sense.

Do you believe Jesus worked to prevent them from exceeding His limits because otherwise they would?

Quote:
M: Also, did evil men and evil angels do anything Jesus' wasn't willing to permit?

T: I don't see the sense in this one either. God is omnipotent, right? So anything that happens can only happen if He permits it to happen, isn't that right? This seems self-explanatory too. I don't see how you could not understand what I'm saying here.

Why didn’t they exceed the limits Jesus imposed on them?

Quote:
M: Did Jesus force evil men and evil angels to inflict the death and destruction He deemed right and necessary?

T: I don't see any sense in this question either. No, of course not, to answer the question. First of all, the exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government. Secondly, Jesus would hardly force people to do something contrary to the principles of his government, like inflicting death and destruction; that's Satan's job. Satan is the destroyer, Christ is the restorer. So your question is asking if Jesus would use a principle contrary to the principles of His government to bring about more consequences also contrary to the principles of His government.

What criteria did Jesus use to determine how and what punishment would be inflicted? Did the punishment He envisioned require the involvement of evil men and evil angels?

Quote:
M: Were evil men and evil angels free to refuse to inflict the death and destruction Jesus deemed right and necessary?

T: I don't agree with your premise here. Jesus doesn't deem death and destruction as right and necessary, but as evil, which it is. This seems very clear to me. Your question has a premise, with which I disagree. I pointed out the premise in question, and why I disagree with it.

What motivated Jesus to withdraw His protection and permit evil men and evil angels to inflict the punishment He determined was appropriate and worked to ensure they did not exceed?

Quote:
M: Who would have inflicted the death and destruction Jesus deemed right and necessary if the Roman soldiers and evil angels had refused to do it?

T:Again, I disagree with the premise here. The premise is that you speak of "death and destruction" which "Jesus deemed right and necessary." I disagree with your premise that Jesus Christ was so deeming.

Who, then, if not Jesus, determined the limits of punishment to be inflicted on them?

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man] #133773
05/25/11 02:20 PM
05/25/11 02:20 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Tom, you say that in the past you have plainly stated who caused fire to blaze out from the presence of God in the most holy place and burned N&A alive. For the life of me I cannot recall what you said about it. For the record, would you please state it again here and now? I know you believe Jesus withdraws His protection and permits His enemies, within the limits He imposes on them, to punish and destroy impenitent sinners. But in the case of N&A I have absolutely no idea who you believe caused fire to blaze out from the presence of God in the most holy place and burned them alive. Regarding the punishment and death of N&A, Ellen wrote:

Quote:
"God consumed them by fire for their positive disregard of His express directions."

"This was a transgression of God's express command, and his judgment speedily followed."

"For this sin, a fire went out from the Lord, and devoured them in the sight of the people."

"Nadab and Abihu were slain by the fire of God's wrath for their intemperance in the use of wine."

"Fire from his presence destroyed them in their sin."

"By the offering of "strange fire," they disregarded God's command, and they were slain by His judgments."

"A fire blazed out from the holy of holies and consumed them."

"God visited them with His wrath; fire went forth from His presence and destroyed them."

"God forbade any manifestation of grief for Nadab and Abihu, even on the part of their nearest relatives, "lest ye die," he said, "and lest wrath come upon all the people: but let your brethren, the whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the Lord hath kindled."

Nowhere does she say or imply anyone other than Jesus burned N&A alive. And yet you seem to think she believed Jesus did not cause fire to blaze out from the presence of God in the most holy place and burned N&A alive. Isn’t it obvious to you, based on all the quotes I posted above, that she clearly, plainly said it was Jesus who employed the fire that burned N&A alive? If not, where does she specifically say otherwise?

Quote:
M: In fact, the following testimony presents a view very different than the one you are advocating:

Quote:
God is exact to mark iniquity. Sins of thoughtlessness, negligence, forgetfulness, and even ignorance, have been visited by some of the most wonderfully marked manifestations of his displeasure. Many who have suffered terrible punishment for their sins, might have pleaded as plausibly as do those of today who fall into similar errors, that they meant no harm, and some would even say that they thought they were doing God service; but the light shone on them, and they disregarded it. {ST, July 17, 1884 par. 7}

Let us look at some of the examples found in sacred history. Assisted by his sons, Aaron had offered the sacrifices that God required; and he lifted up his hands and blessed the people. All had been done as God commanded, and he accepted the sacrifice, and revealed his glory in a most remarkable manner; for fire came from the Lord, and consumed the offering upon the altar. The people looked upon this wonderful manifestation of divine power with awe and intense interest. They saw in it a token of his glory and his favor, and they raised a universal shout of praise and adoration, and fell on their faces, as if in the immediate presence of Jehovah. {ST, July 17, 1884 par. 8}

As the prayers and praise of the people were ascending before God, two of the sons of Aaron took each his censer, and burned fragrant incense thereon, to arise as a sweet odor before God. But they had partaken too freely of wine, and used strange fire, contrary to the Lord's commandment. And the wrath of God was kindled against Nadab and Abihu for their disobedience, and a fire went out from the Lord, and devoured them in the sight of the people. By this judgment God designed to teach the people that they must approach him with reverence and awe, and in his own appointed manner. He is not pleased with partial obedience. It was not enough that in this solemn season of worship nearly everything was done as he commanded. {ST, July 17, 1884 par. 9}

The Lord sent Samuel to King Saul with a special message. "Go," he said, "and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not, but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass." Saul was faithful and zealous in performing a part of his commission. He smote the Amalekites with a great slaughter; but he took the proposition of the people before the command of God, and spared Agag, the king, and "the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good." {ST, July 17, 1884 par. 10}

The Lord commanded Saul to "utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed." The Lord knew that this wicked nation would, if it were possible, blot out his people and his worship from the earth; and for this reason he had commanded that even the little children should be cut off. But Saul had spared the king, the most wicked and merciless of them all; one who had hated and destroyed the people of God, and whose influence had been strongest to promote idolatry. {ST, July 17, 1884 par. 11}

Saul thought he had done all that was essential of that which the Lord commanded him to do. Perhaps he even flattered himself that he was more merciful than his Maker, as do some unbelievers in our day. He met Samuel with the salutation, "Blessed be thou of the Lord; I have performed the commandment of the Lord." But when the prophet asked what meant the bleating of the sheep and the lowing of the oxen which he heard, Saul was obliged to confess that the people had taken of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice to the Lord in Gilgal. {ST, July 17, 1884 par. 12}

Did the Lord accept this justification of Saul's conduct? Was he pleased with this partial obedience, and willing to pass over the trifle that had been neglected out of so good a motive? Saul did what he thought was best, and would not the Lord commend such excellent judgment? No. Said Samuel, "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king." {ST, July 17, 1884 par. 13}

These instances show how God looks upon his professed people when they obey part of his commandments while in other respects they follow a course of their own choosing. Let no one flatter himself that a part of God's requirements are nonessential. He has placed no command in his word that men may obey or disobey at will, and not suffer the consequences. If men choose any other path than that of strict obedience, they will find that "the end thereof are the ways of death."
{ST, July 17, 1884 par. 14}

M: You seem to be making the same argument King Saul did, namely, that by sparing the life of Agag he was being merciful the way he imagined Jesus preferred. But Jesus punished him for being presumptuous.

T: Regarding Saul's purpose, we read: “This victory over the Amalekites was the most brilliant victory that Saul had ever gained, and it served to rekindle the pride of heart that was his greatest peril. The divine edict devoting the enemies of God to utter destruction was but partially fulfilled. Ambitious to heighten the honor of his triumphal return by the presence of a royal captive, Saul ventured to imitate the customs of the nations around him and spared Agag, the fierce and warlike king of the Amalekites. The people reserved for themselves the finest of the flocks, herds, and beasts of burden, excusing their sin on the ground that the cattle were reserved to be offered as sacrifices to the Lord. It was their purpose, however, to use these merely as a substitute, to save their own cattle. {CC 156.3} This points out that Saul's purpose was selfish and proud. To think that Saul's argument here was the same as mine would seem to indicate you're either misunderstanding Saul's argument or mine. Here is mine:

1.All that we can know of God was revealed by Jesus Christ.
2.The whole purpose of His mission was the revelation of God.
3.Jesus Christ did not reveal God as One who uses force to get His way, or compelling power, or One who burns people alive to punish them for not doing His will.

Here's an issue I see with your way of thinking. You appear to believe that it's OK to kill people who are not doing God's will, if you believe God is telling you to do so. I think that's dangerous, especially given the fact that this is exactly what's going to happen during the last plagues (i.e., people will try to kill those whom they think are not doing God's will, and will think they are doing God's will by so doing). What in Jesus' life or character would lead you to believe that He wants to burn people alive if they don't do what He says? Where did He ever do anything even remotely similar to this? How did He respond when it was suggested He do so? Where during His mission did Jesus ever even physically harm any person, even in the slightest manner?

In the ST July 17, 1884 passage I quoted above she makes it clear it was Jesus who employed fire to burn N&A alive. Nothing she said implies it was someone else who did it. It also clear she believed it was Jesus who commanded King Saul to utterly kill every man, woman, child, and infant and then rejected him as king because he refused to obey every detail of the command. According to you, however, this isn’t something Jesus would do. To answer your questions:

1. What in Jesus' life or character would lead you to believe that He wants to burn people alive if they don't do what He says? Jesus said, “The angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

2. Where did He ever do anything even remotely similar to this? He didn’t burn anyone alive while here in the flesh.

3. How did He respond when it was suggested He do so? He rebuked them.

4. Where during His mission did Jesus ever even physically harm any person, even in the slightest manner? He didn’t. But He clearly taught He will, at the end of time, punish impenitent sinners with everlasting, unquenchable fire. “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire. I will burn you up with unquenchable fire.”

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #133774
05/25/11 03:56 PM
05/25/11 03:56 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tom
M: “What would neighbors who overheard their conversation have thought?” They would have been impressed the father was willing to help his son hunt humanely even though the father was not in favor of it.

T: Or they might have thought the son was doing the father's will by hunting.

M: I don’t think so.

T: Assuming they didn't already know the father's feelings in regards to hunting, it would certainly be a natural conclusion that the father was in favor of hunting, if they heard him giving counsel on how to hunt.

M:I doubt it. His distaste of hunting would have been written all over his face and demeanor.

T: That would be rather hard to hear.

M: Good one. It would have also been obvious in the tone of his voice (for those listening but who could not see his face). What is your point?

T: I was giving this as an analogy to the counsels given by God. God has given counsels in relation to things which were not His idea will. God's giving this counsel can be misconstrued as His giving approval to the given event. For example, we are having discussions in this forum regarding polygamy on this very point.

Actually, on this thread, I am interested in your answer as it applies to Jesus commanding Moses to kill ungodly people. What was Jesus’ ideal will in the cases of the Sabbath-breaker and the Blasphemer? Please post inspired passages to support your view, that is, passages which speak directly to these two cases (as opposed to you citing other examples and insisting the “principle” applies). Thank you.

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M:I assume you agree.

T: Only in a secondary sense. This wasn't the purpose of the list of beliefs.

M: If so, then to get a clear picture of God we must necessarily understand the 28 fundamental beliefs.

T: This logic is not valid. If A is a type of X, it does not follow that to get a clear picture of X, you must necessarily understand A, which is what you are asserting. For example, Clemente was a composer in the Classical era. It doesn't follow that to understand Classical music, one must understand Clemente.

M:To do this, we must view Jesus’ complete revelation of God including the OT and the NT and not limit ourselves to the Gospels.

T: I've already pointed out the weak link in this argument. Here's a valid argument:

1.All that man can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son.
2.Therefore understanding the life and character of His Son is sufficient to understanding God's character.

M: Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” I hear you saying the truths Jesus did not share with the disciples did not lessen His revelation of God’s character. If this is what you believe, I strongly disagree. I believe “all truth” is essential to a full and complete understanding of the character and kingdom of God.

T: When you make an invalid argument, and this is pointed out to you, it would be good form to recognize this fact. Given that what Sister White wrote is true, that all that we need to know or can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son, then it would have to follow that this applies to the disciples. So the things which they could not bear for Christ to tell them at that time would have had to have been included in other things Christ did tell them. Otherwise what Ellen White wrote would be false, rather than true. It seems to me you are simply putting forth an argument as to why you don't agree with the Ellen White wrote. We disagree on this point. In regards to what Christ could not tell them at that point, don't you think it is evident this had to do with the cross? They witnessed Christ's death on the cross, so what they could not bear at the point referenced by Christ, He did in fact reveal to them. So nothing necessary for them to know was left out, and there's no reason to doubt that what Ellen White wrote, that all they needed to know or could know of God was revealed by the life and character of Jesus Christ, is true.

“All that man needs to know or can know of God has been revealed in the life and character of His Son.” {8T 286.1} The explanation I gave regarding this insight is valid. It does not disagree with her point. The idea that “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now” should be interpreted to mean Jesus “did in fact reveal to them” everything there is to know about God’s character and kingdom seems rather contradictory.

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M: Tom, I don’t understand how your response answers my questions. Here they are again:

1. Do you believe it when it says in the Bible that Jesus commanded Moses to stone the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer to death?

2. Or, do you suspect Moses misunderstood what Jesus said? For example, in the Bible it says: “And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.” “And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.”

T: Your first two questions I addressed in my response.

M: I have no idea what you believe. Please answer the two questions above in the simplest terms possible. Thank you.

T: I've got several responses going on this. Please choose one of them to respond to, and state whatever it is you're not understanding or have a question about.

In particular, do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to stone the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer to death? Or, do you suspect Moses misunderstood what Jesus said? I ask these questions because in the Bible it says:

1. “And Moses spake to the children of Israel, that they should bring forth him that had cursed out of the camp, and stone him with stones. And the children of Israel did as the LORD commanded Moses.”

2. “And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. And all the congregation brought him without the camp, and stoned him with stones, and he died; as the LORD commanded Moses.”

Is there any reason why we cannot take the Bible as it reads? That is, are we not obligated to read these two passages and logically conclude Jesus did indeed “command” Moses to kill them? Please don’t misunderstand the question. I’m not asking what Jesus’ ideal will was in these two cases. Hopefully you will address this aspect of the situation in the first response above.

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T: I think the issue is similar to other incidents where God's ideal is not that to which the counsel applies, such as polygamy and slavery. God had to deal with the people's mindset as it was. We see little glimpses of the people acting in harmony with God's will, and when this happened, there was no killing involved, but for the most part, it was a stubborn "stiff-necked" people God was dealing with, and we don't see His ideal will expressed. If we take the point of view that God is pleased to have Sabbath-breakers killed, why wouldn't we kill them now? Is it just because we're not living in a theocracy? The question of killing law-breakers is an important issue coming up in the last days before Christ's second coming. We know that Satan will use this very argument against those who keep God's commandments, that they should be killed.

M:God always fulfills His “ideal will”.

T: No He doesn't. For example, His ideal will is that none should perish, but all come to a knowledge of the truth.

M: He never sits back and allows the chips to fall wherever they may helter-skelter.

T: It's true He never "sits back," if that implies doing nothing, but it's not true that He doesn't allow things to happen contrary to His ideal will. Anytime someone suffers is an example of this.

M: Keep in mind I’m talking about what God Himself chooses to do based on the time and circumstances in response to the choices FMAs make. That is, God never causes or permits anything to happen in response to the choices FMAs make that isn’t His will.

T: Sure He does. The holocaust is an example. The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is another.

M:To say otherwise suggests there are times when God causes or permits something to happen in response to the choices FMAs make that is evil or wrong or less than ideal (under the time and circumstances).

T: Of course God allows evil things to happen in response to the choices FMA's make. That's the whole point of GC 35-37. Evil, in general, is *always* contrary to God's will, and always in response to choices FMA's have made contrary to God's will. How could it be otherwise?

No one suffered or died in ways not permitted by Jesus in the examples you cited above. More to the point, Jesus worked hard to ensure evil men and evil angels did not exceed the limits He imposed on them. Consequently, they suffered and died in the ways they did because it was Jesus’ ideal will (under the times and circumstances) as opposed to them suffering and dying in other ways. Of all the ways people can suffer and die, Jesus chose which ways He was willing to permit evil men and evil angels to cause them to suffer and die. Which begs the question – Why didn’t Jesus work to prevent it? There are a million ways Jesus could have employed, without violating freewill, to prevent the cases of suffering and death you named above.

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M:The fact Satan will influence Sunday-keepers in future to kill Sabbath-keepers is not an argument against the fact Jesus commanded godly people to kill ungodly people.

T: I didn't ask this. Here's what I asked: “1. If we take the point of view that God is pleased to have Sabbath-breakers killed, why wouldn't we kill them now? 2. Is it just because we're not living in a theocracy? 3. The question of killing law-breakers is an important issue coming up in the last days before Christ's second coming. 4. We know that Satan will use this very argument against those who keep God's commandments, that they should be killed.”

1. Because Jesus no longer requires it. 2. I suspect that is partly why. 3. True. 4. True.

What is your point as it relates to Jesus commanding Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker?

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M:I don’t even know if you believe Jesus did indeed command Moses to stone to death the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer, so, how can I determine what you believe?

T: I don't think it matters what I believe about this incident to understand what I believe. I believe the following:

1.All that we need to know or can know of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son.
2.God is often portrayed in inspiration as doing that which He permits.
3.God in the OT acted similarly (actually identically) to how Jesus Christ acted while here in the flesh, when the whole purpose of His mission was the revelation of God.
4.Jesus Christ revealed what He heard and saw in the OT in His life, character, and teachings. If we perceive some disconnect between the two (i.e., between some incident in the OT involving behavior on the part of God) and Jesus Christ's life/teaching/character, we should defer to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
5.Force is contrary to the principles of God's government. Compelling power is found only under the government of the enemy.
6.Satan is hard at work seeking to vest God with his own attributes of character, and to make it appear that God's principles of government are like his.
7.There are a thousand dangers, all of them unseen, from which God protects us. It is sufficient for God to effect an judgments desires simply by withdrawing that protection. There is no need for God to do otherwise.

I've been saying all along that I disagree with the road you insist on taking, which is to examiner Old Testament incidents and ask questions about this. You've been doing this for years. I've answered hundreds, if not thousands, of these questions, all the time under protest. I've spent a thousand times longer discussing this issue according to how you think it should be studied as opposed to how I think it should.

M:Thank you for succinctly summarizing your view of God. However, nothing you said about God actually addresses my questions about God.

T: Yes it does. That you don't see this is probably the problem we're having.

M:Again, do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?

T: It doesn't appear that you read what I just wrote above.

M:Nothing you’ve said about God thus far provides enough insight or information for me to deduce your answer to this question.

T: I suggest re-reading what I just wrote.

M:I have in the past attempted to draw a conclusion based on what you’ve said about God (as it relates to this question) but with fatal results and strong disapproval from you.

T: Why not conclude what I wrote?

Do you really think insisting that I read between the lines will ensure I arrive at the correct conclusion? Please, Tom, for the millioneth time, do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?

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M:By the way, there appears to be a contradiction between point 2 and points 3 and 4. For example, did the Gospels ever portray Jesus causing death and destruction that in reality He merely permitted others to do? I make this observation and ask this question because you say the Father behaved in the OT in the exact same way Jesus did in the Gospels and vice versa. But where in the Gospels did Jesus ever command godly people to kill ungodly people?

T: Exactly!!!

Your enthusiatic response does not help me understand your answer to the question – Did Jesus, while here in the flesh, command godly people to kill ungodly people? If not, why did He do so in the OT?

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M: Again, I’m sorry you found the question so disturbing; but, thank you for answering it so emphatically. You leave no doubt in my mind what you believe about it. And, no, I don’t know of anyone who believes God views killing animals and humans as equal.

T: So why ask the question?

M: I only wish you would answer the following question with as much emphasis and enthusiasm - Do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?

T: I've responded to this at great, great length. The many posts in regards to the father/hunter relate to this question.

None of your responses provide enough insight for me to correctly conclude what you believe. Please plainly state what you believe. The humane hunter story does not help me understand why Jesus commanded Moses to kill ungodly people. I suspect you believe, yes, Jesus did indeed command Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer. Is this what you believe? Or, have I somehow misunderstood what you believe? Please explain. Thank you.

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M:Also, I don’t see a legitimate comparison between Jesus commanding godly people to kill ungodly people and the anti-hunting father commanding his pro-hunting son to kill animals humanely.

T: Ok, this is a good follow-up. The reason it is a legitimate comparison is because in both cases there is the question of the will of the person speaking being misunderstood.

M: Are you somehow hinting at the idea that Jesus did indeed command Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?

T: There's no hinting here at anything.

Was it Jesus’ will for Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer? If not, why, then, did He “command” Moses to kill them?

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M: Did the father command his son to hunt humanely?

T: The father gave counsel to the son regarding how to hunt, but it was not his will that his son should hunt. Given he was going to hunt, the father commanded he should hunt humanely.

M:How does this compare to Jesus commanding godly people to kill ungodly people?

T: It's analogous.

M:I don’t understand what you mean. Please elaborate. Thank you.

T: It was not the father's ideal will that his son should hunt. But if his son was determined to hunt, the father would give him counsel on how to do so in a way that was in harmony with his will. Similarly God has given counsel in regards to many things which are not according to His ideal will. He still does so today.

Was Moses determined to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the Blasphemer? If so, why did he inquire of Jesus as to the right and righteous way to punish them? And, why didn’t Jesus express His ideal will when Moses was uncertain what to do?

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T: If we take the point of view that God is pleased to have Sabbath-breakers killed, why wouldn't we kill them now?

M:Interesting you bring this point up. Ellen wrote, “In our day there are many who reject the creation Sabbath as a Jewish institution and urge that if it is to be kept, the penalty of death must be inflicted for its violation; but we see that blasphemy received the same punishment as did Sabbathbreaking. Shall we therefore conclude that the third commandment also is to be set aside as applicable only to the Jews? Yet the argument drawn from the death penalty applies to the third, the fifth, and indeed to nearly all the ten precepts, equally with the fourth. Though God may not now punish the transgression of His law with temporal penalties, yet His word declares that the wages of sin is death; and in the final execution of the judgment it will be found that death is the portion of those who violate His sacred precepts. {PP 409.2}

T: This doesn't address my question. I haven't made the argument if the Sabbath needs to be kept, then Sabbath-breakers should be killed.

M:Your question seems to imply God isn’t in favor of executing Sabbath-breakers in accordance with the laws regulating and requiring capital punishment.

T: God isn't in favor of executing anybody. He is in favor of saving them. He gave His Son to save them.

M: However, the passage quoted above makes it clear that He is.

T: Jesus Christ made clear God's will was to save.

Yes, of course, it is God’s will and desire to save everyone. "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

You and I both know and believe the majority will not be saved. What is unclear to me is if you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the Blasphemer. Jesus “will by no means clear the guilty.”

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M:Also, the point begs the question, a question you have thus far refused to answer, namely, do you believe Jesus commanded Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the blasphemer?

T: I pointed out to you that you didn't address my question, and you utter falsehoods, and continue not to address the question.

The title of this thread is – “Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death?” I have no idea what your answer is to this question. The only thing you’ve said so far is that the Bible often portrays Jesus saying or doing something which is contrary to His will and desire. From this insight you insist that I deduce your answer to the question that serves as title for this thread. It would save a lot time and energy if you would simply, clearly, plainly answer the question (rather than relying on me to deduce what you believe based on the clues you've posted thus far).

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1. Where in the OT did Jesus explain to the Jews things as you see them (as they relate to the title of this thread)?

2. Where in the NT did Jesus categorically condemn capital punishment?

Please answer the two questions posted above. Thank you.

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #133784
05/25/11 07:08 PM
05/25/11 07:08 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: NJK
NJK: E.g., there was a perfect typological law of blood sacrifices represent what God would have to do to redeem man for their sins, however the people understood this to mean that God was bloodthirsty.

Tom: Which people? Why do you think they thought that? I think they thought of the sacrifices in general very, very differently to how we, who have been very heavily influenced by Anselm, do.

NJK: By explicit and implicit implication, the people of God who thought that God was “pleased,” or ‘to be pleased,’ by merely offering sacrifices. Pointedly: Judah/Jerusalem (e.g., Isa 1:10-13a ff; Jer 20:6b): “Zion” (Psa 50:13, 14; 23; cf. Heb 13:16); ‘Israel’ (Mal 1:10; 1 Sam 15:20-22; cf. DA 509.1-2).

Tom: You said the blood sacrifices led the people to thing God was bloodthirsty. I asked you why you think this. You responded by saying that the people thought that God was pleased merely by offering sacrifices. I don't see why you would think this meant the people viewed God as bloodthirsty.

NJK:In the texts I cited, the shedding of blood was often, (and that incontrovertibly, synonymously) disgusteldy spoken of by God in trying to show the people that this did not please/appease Him as they thought. Indeed during feasts like the Passover, blood flowed from the Temple in streams.


What I'm saying is that it could be the case that the people were viewing the act of sacrifice (performing of some rite) as pleasing God (like going to church would, or some act of penance), and not that God was necessarily being viewed as blood-thirsty.

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Why wouldn't it mean that they viewed that God was pleased by their offering sacrifices? ... Not all sacrifices involved blood.


Indeed because all sacrifices involved the shedding of blood. An animal “offering” was not a “sacrifice”. And just like one ‘cannot make an omelet without breaking an egg’, an animal was not, and cannot be, “sacrificed” without first being killed and thus shedding its blood. Sacrificial animals were not (oxymoronically) “sacrificed alive”.


Grain could be used if an animal could not be afforded.

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T:What do you think the meaning of sacrifice was in Hebrew culture?

NJK:What the Bible teaches about/for an animal sacrifice. The question actually is what do you think???


What do you think the meaning of sacrifice was in Hebrew culture? It should be possible to express this succinctly.

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NJK: This is what probably led them to seek other gods who were not so (seemingly) death and blood “demanding” and/or even espouse gods like Molech who required child sacrifices.

Tom: You're saying they viewed Jehovah to be more bloodthirsty than Molech, who demanded child sacrifices, which is why they turned to Molech?

NJK: No actually. Molech was in a distinct ‘type of God’ context. I had said that Israel probably turned to some foreign gods which required no sacrifices compared to their own God. Indeed, as the same underlying principle is posited today, it was “economically” more logical to obey a god that e.g., did not require one to make sacrifices from quite valuable livestock. The same personal wealth amassing excuse is used by many people, e.g., in regards to tithing, or conversely going along with Capitalism vs. God’s socio-economic principles.

Tom: So you're saying that a god who would require merely the sacrifice of one's own children was preferred to One who required the heavier sacrifice of cattle? So you believe the Hebrews viewed cattle as more valuable than their children? And that's why the preferred Molech?

NJK:I don’t see what ‘heaviness’/weight has to do with it. The value of a creature was not a matter of its weight.


It doesn't sound like you're trying to make a joke here, so I take it you're not familiar with the expression. A heavier sacrifice has nothing to do with mass, but with how onerous the sacrifice is.

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NJK:Thus children were technically more valuable than a cattle,


Not "a cattle," but "cattle."

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and so, I see that in the minds of people who obviously had a ‘my god knows best view’ a God that required the extreme sacrifice of a child would be seen as being ready/willing to do much more for its worshipper than the God of Israel who require an animal.

Economically speaking, offering a child, which actually would be done ca. 1 per year vs. the panoply of sacrifices, and other offerings, that were require by the God of Israel could be seen a less costly given that all these animals would economically cost much more than a newborn child. Let alone the cost of not having to care for this newborn for next 20 years and virtually the rest of its life through the due “living inheritance” of farmland.


It can't be both ways. Either the child is a greater sacrifice, in which case Molech was demanding more, not less, or it was a lesser sacrifice, in which case Jehovah was more demanding.

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NJK: In regards to Molech, I meant that Israel, who had a wrong understanding that God was “bloodthirsty” and was merely pleased with the shedding of blood in sacrifice, probably thus surfacely saw Molech as being a “greater god” by requiring the “blood” of their own children.

Tom: Wouldn't this mean this god was requiring a greater sacrifice? But above you said they turned to foreign gods which required less sacrifice than theirs did.


NJK:When the economic realities are taken into account, it could easily be seen, as today, that sacrificing a newborn child instead of spending money and wealth on the child, and also on many livestock sacrifices and various wealth offerings every year for years, was a much better “religious deal.” That indeed is the underlying economic reason for abortions, endorsed even by professed Christians, including the SDA Church in regards to “elective” abortions. (I.e., For SDA’s: it is better to have an abortion for a woman that will not be “psychologically” be able to deal with that child, than to let it be born and take it, or give it into adoption or raise it in an orphanage.


This seems to have nothing to do with whatever point you were making in regards to Molech.

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Tom: I think they more likely turned to Molech for reasons analogous to why people turn to Catholicism.

NJK: Do elaborate/explain. I don’t see the correlation. Catholic rituals don’t include child sacrifices, in fact no (actual) sacrifices at all.

Tom: Catholicism has rites which enable the practitioner to continue in sin, while soothing the conscience. The true religion of Christ involves a doing away with sin. People will choose religions systems, which have a yoke which is heavy, over the yoke of Christ, which is light.

NJK:Understood. I get that derived view of yours here now.


Ok.

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NJK (edited): So the misunderstanding was in the mind of the people but not with the Biblical writer. Indeed God’s Spirit would not let such a misconception be recorded as Scripture/The Word of God.

Tom: Light is progressive. We need to bear in mind that at the time the OT was written, Christ had not yet come. The coming of Christ shed a great deal of light.

NJK: As this is all in relation to e.g., who actually did destructions in the OT, I see no Biblical, I.e., later OT, NT, SOP) evidence that contradict what had priorly revealed as taking place.

Tom: The contradiction is not with what had been previously been revealed, but with people's perceptions of what had been revealed. I've made this point repeatedly.

NJK:So then why are you (exegetically) ignoring and/or rewording what has been revealed.


People's perceptions is a part of exegesis; this can't be ignored.

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NJK:The facts here show that this has not been the point you have been making.


It is the same point. I summarized the main points I've been making, and that was one of the points.

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NJK: As I said before, you may think you are, with such benign assertions/statement of principles, but in actual practice that is not what you are doing, therefore, at the very least, not what your view of your claim actually, concretely means when applied by you.


I've been making this point all along. I've said that if we see something in the OT that looks different than what we see in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ while here in the flesh, then our perceptions of the OT are different than what Jesus Christ's was, since He spoke what He heard and lived what He say in the OT.

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NJK: Further revelations in such regards only confirmed, and that with greater details, what had been previously expressed by these Inspired Bible Writers.

Tom: Same comment.


Well then: same answer.

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NJK: The direct statements of God are not subject to such future enlightening as the Bible writers then just recorded what they had “heard”. This is synonymous with EGW’s “I was shown” revelations in which she many times heard direct statements from God. In fact, I see that the revelation of these OT writers were probably identical to the direct ones given to EGW in that they “heard” many of these statements in those divine visions and dreams and recorded it. They also may have more clearly “heard” the voice of God while fully awake/conscious and proceed to record verbatim, what they had heard/been told.

Tom: What a person perceives is colored by their mind-set, their world view, their paradigm, etc. No inspired writer perceived things as clearly as Christ did, and none could reveal God's character as clearly as He.

NJK:They did not have to merely write what they perceived. In many ways like it was seen with EGW, what they wrote from solely what they had perceived, was based upon the many various direct statements and revelations of God in the OT. An a historical account is not a perception.


The historical account is processed by the brain. The processing of what is recorded involves one's perceptions, world view, paradigm, etc. The inspired writers are God's penmen, not His pen.

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NJK:And Jesus did not contradict anything that these Biblical writers had written.


Indeed. Why is why if we have a view of what the Bible writers wrote which is violent, for example, or contrary to what Jesus taught in some other way, that view is suspect.

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NJK: As I said earlier, I only see Moses making a further clarification of what Job had not fully perceived as the only partially applicable incident for this claim of yours.


That's not the case. The story was meant to bring out a lesson, and that lesson would not be understood, if only applied to Job.

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Satan, the author of sin and all its results, had led men to look upon disease and death as proceeding from God,—as punishment arbitrarily inflicted on account of sin. Hence one upon whom some great affliction or calamity had fallen had the additional burden of being regarded as a great sinner. {DA 471.1}...

God had given a lesson designed to prevent this. The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. But Israel did not understand the lesson. The same error for which God had reproved the friends of Job was repeated by the Jews in their rejection of Christ. {DA 471.3}


If this was a one-time incident, it could hardly have accomplished the purpose God had intended, showing that Satan is the author of sin and all its results.

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NJK:Yet Moses Himself did that “further specifying”. Indeed this shows how faithful he was to record things exactly as they were revealed and/or told to him, as he could easily have edited Job’s statement in Job 1:21.

Quote:
NJK: You also often say that OT people had an incorrect understanding of who was doing an action in the Bible,

Tom: Actually I've never said this.

NJK: Perhaps not verbatim, but you have actually meant this.

Tom: No, this isn't what I meant, or mean.

NJK:As I substantiated with your own words, that is what, at the very least, was straightforwardly understood by what you had said.


It sounds like you're commenting before you're read what was written. You should wait to comment until the point has been made.

Quote:
Quote:
NJK: That is indeed what I understood by your repeat (though unsubstantiated) statement: that ‘the Bible often presents God doing that which He permits’ (e.g., the latest in Post #133509). Clearly that logically means to you that ‘these Bible writers had written that God had done something when He had actually only permitted it to be done, and that by someone/something else, moreover independent of His effectuating energy.’

Tom: This involves the action being done, not simply who is doing it.

NJK:As I straightforwardly/logically see it, this is just the secondary meaning to your statement.


Same comment. You'd be better off reading first. Then comment.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
For example, consider the case of God's sending fiery serpents upon the Israelites. What actually happened was God permitted the serpents who were already there to harm the Israelites,

NJK:No. The Bible, not contradicted by EGW’s “protection withdrawal” statement, says that God forcefully made the serpents go in the midst of the people, and with “forced interest”. Responsibly deal with those exegetical facts, instead of ignoring them.


This doesn't make sense. Here's the statement by Ellen White:

Quote:
How was it with the children of Israel in the wilderness?—They were protected on every side; the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night was over them; but they did not appreciate the blessings they enjoyed. They murmured and complained, and God finally permitted the serpents to bite them, that they might be brought to a realizing sense of his care and protection. It was the power of God that had before kept the venomous serpents of the wilderness from stinging them.{RH February 26, 1889, par. 9}


This is exactly what I've been saying. How is this not contrary to your view?

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
which action He had been actively preventing until that point.

NJK:Which is why ‘not preventing’ it any more is an act of His,


Sure, it's the act of withdrawing His protection, which is how God destroys. That's the point that's been made all along.

Quote:
and this scientifically would involve him putting a threatened fear of the people in these serpents even causing them in this way to go in the midst of the camp.


There's no implication of this. Please take another look at the Ellen White statement quoted above.

The serpents weren't the only danger God was protecting the people from. He was protecting them from all sorts of dangers. All He had to do was withdraw His protection. There was no need for some other action to make the snakes be more snake-like.

Quote:
However God may have distinctly done this drawing act.


God simply withdrew His protection, as stated. If you add something to this, you take away from the force of the inspired writer's point. Ellen White's point was that God withdrew His protection.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
So the problem was not with who was doing the action (clearly it was the snakes),

NJK:Clearly... but not in how you are understanding this “doing”. The doing was an active act of God.


Here's how I understand the doing:

Quote:
How was it with the children of Israel in the wilderness?—They were protected on every side; the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night was over them; but they did not appreciate the blessings they enjoyed. They murmured and complained, and God finally permitted the serpents to bite them, that they might be brought to a realizing sense of his care and protection.


I don't know how to put it any more clearly than this.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
but with what action was taking place (God was permitting them to attack the Israelites, as opposed to sending the snakes to attack them).

NJK:That was just the means for God to do this act of judgement. God actually “forcefully” made them do it.


First of all, there is no hint of this in what was written. Secondly, if what you are postulating were true, it would contradict what actually was written, which should be easy to see.

Think about it. If it was God's purpose that the Israelites recognize the protection He was constantly providing against the snakes, it makes no sense to say that God *provoked* the snakes to attack the Israelites. In this case, God would not have been protecting the Israelites against the snakes at all!

If God could remove His protection, and nothing would have happened against the Israelites, then His protection was unnecessary to begin with, and removing it would not teach the Israelites that His protection was necessary.

Quote:
Quote:
NJK: and while that substantively only applies to the episode of Job,

Tom: What is "that" here?

NJK: As I went on to (disprovingly) say (see below): “where God permitted Satan to do the destruction”, that “that” clearly refers to this notion of ‘God being said to do something which he had only permitted to be done’.

Tom: You're saying that the notion of God being said to do something which He only permitted to be done, in terms of Satan being permitted to cause destruction, applies only to the episode in Job?

NJK:Right.


This isn't a viable idea, as explained above.

Quote:
Originally Posted By: Tom
That is, at no other time did this occur?

NJK:I don’t see any other. Cite others if you can, and like I said, not the prime 7 you have cited which have been exegetically disproven/debunked.


The ones I have cited certainly haven't been debunked. We have the plain statements regarding the serpents above, so that stands. Also the destruction of Jerusalem. This is certainly clear:

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)


I'm not sure what the other 5 are. I mentioned it saying that God killed Saul, when Saul actually took his own life. That's clear.

Another one that comes to mind is God's sending strong delusion upon those who love not the truth. EGW explains this as God's turning them over to the delusions they already had.

I've quoted from Deut. 32, as I recall. There are a number of similar statements throughout Deut, in the early 30's, that are similar (regarding God's wrath viz a viz His hiding His face, and permitting troubles to come upon them).

Ellen White has statements regarding the hardening of Pharaoh's heart (e.g. "But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also ... (1T 292).

She spoke of the spies that were sent (Scripture says "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan." EGW: "Here it was proposed by the people that spies be sent to survey the country. The matter was presented before the Lord by Moses, and permission was granted." (PP 387)

In Job we read "God said to Satan, 'You incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause (Job 2:3). EGW: "The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan." (DA 471)

David's numbering of Israel is sometimes attributes to God (2 Sam. 24:1) and sometimes to Satan (1 Chron. 21:1)

Regarding Israel's being invaded: "By their transgression of God's law, the people of Judah had forfeited His protection. (5T 749)

Regarding David's punishment Scripture says "I will raise up evil against the out of thing own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto they neighbor" (2 Sam 12:11,12).

EGW: "Not that God prompted these acts of wickedness, but because of David's sin He did not exercise His power to prevent them" (PP 739).

So there are quite a few examples of God presenting Himself as doing that which He permits.

(All for now).


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] #133789
05/25/11 11:21 PM
05/25/11 11:21 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: Tom
So there are quite a few examples of God presenting Himself as doing that which He permits.

And there are quite a few accounts of Jesus actually doing what the Bible said He did (I'm referring to accounts of death and destruction). For example, Jesus really did "command" Moses to kill the Sabbath-breaker and the Blasphemer.

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #133790
05/26/11 12:42 AM
05/26/11 12:42 AM
Tom  Offline
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Originally Posted By: NJK
NJK: There is also the issue that I see that it is wrongly believed that Biblical writers themselves had a wrong view of the character of God while it seems evident to me that this statement speaks of how Israel in general came to view God.

Tom: They certainly didn't have as clear a view of the character of God as Jesus Christ.

NJK: That is besides the point.

Tom: No it's not. The point is that the whole purpose of Christ's earthly mission was the revelation of God, and that had this revelation already been accomplished, Christ need not have come. That's the context of the discussion. So that the Bible writers did not has a clear a view of God's character as Christ did is to the point.

NJK:It substantively is besides the point for the substantiating reasons that I went on to state.

Tom: From what you are saying here, it looks right on point, getting to the critical issue (at least, a critical issue).

NJK:Now that I understand your point of view more clearly based on what you have finally forthrightly/clearly stated below, I can actually now see/understand how and why this is “right on point for you, in your view. That is because you believe that OT writers themselves had, actually, a wrong view of God.


I don't think this is the right way of thinking about this. God is infinite, so no human (besides Jesus Christ) could have a view of God that was complete. What I said was, "They certainly didn't have as clear a view of the character of God as Jesus Christ."

Quote:
NJK:I would only see that this applies to the parts of the Bible, where these writers were “free” to purely express their own thoughts, derived from their own experiences with God, e.g., the “Writings” of the OT (e.g., Psa/Pro/Eccl), however I also do see that much of the “free” statements by writers was derived from things that God had actually said.


All throughout the Bible the Bible writers are communicating their thoughts. They are God's penmen, not His pen.

Quote:
NJK:So I also only see that in some parts, Bible writers had an incomplete understanding of God, due to what God could only reveal to them, due to their own failings, revelation frustrating and other shortcomings. Yet what was revealed was quite sufficient for them to come to that full understanding of God. E.g., Moses, after his 40 days up on the mountain had a perfect understanding of God’s Law and also of the Plan of Salvation in the current OT Religious Economy symbols (PP 330.2). I believe Jesus came to this fuller and more complete revelation using this exact “text”, combined with the ever guiding help of the Spirit because of His unwavering, self-initiated, perfect walk in God’s ways and constant obedience to the various promptings of God’s Spirit. So what could not be revealed to people in the OT because of their own shortcomings, could, and was revealed to Christ, particularly as He variously “advanced” and “kept on course” in God’s will.

Israel, by necessity, indeed just as NT Believer have faith in Jesus, and are to be faithful and obedient to Him to remain in harmony with the Father’s will, OT Believers had to do the same thing with the Law.


I'm not sure what your point is here. It sounds like you're agreeing with me in regards to what I said about Jesus Christ.

What I have been saying is that Jesus Christ was the clearest revelation of God. It was the whole purpose of His mission to reveal God. This was necessary because of the work Satan had been doing to misrepresent God's character. Until the cross, even holy angels were impacted by Satan's misrepresentations.

Quote:
NJK:The OT revelation was perfect in itself.

Tom: Only as they left God's mind. Once human beings got involved, they were no longer perfect, as the Scriptures neither represent the logic nor the language of God. (See Selected Messages on inspiration).

NJK:I do see that the Inspiration of Bible writers was very much like what was seen with EGW. They primarily wrote upon what they had seen in visions and dreams and “heard” from God. Similarly most of EGW “early writings’ were such direct revelations. Then she began to derive testimony from such direct revelations and additional ones. Bible writers similarly did the same thing. However I see that they had a much closer experience with God than did EGW (e.g., Moses’ in person meetings with God.) Indeed God was tangibly in the midst of Israel for many centuries, even right through periods of apostasy, though no additional revelation and (advancing/visionary prophetic) light was given.


Ok.

Quote:
NJK: The people’s added misconceptions are what need to be addressed and Christ added furthering and fulfilling revelations. The Inspired Bible writers got God’s revelation right. It was the people who misunderstood that revelation. And to say that these Bible writers got it wrong, implies that God Himself wrongly expressed, legislated and/or otherwise reveal it.

Tom: It dosn't imply this.

NJK:Previously I had said that a misunderstanding in Bible writers could have occurred in their actual “ad lib” writings, i.e., vs. writing what God had “directly” revealed. And I do not actually see an example of this “misunderstanding” in the Bible.


What you wrote was stronger than this. You wrote, "to say that these Bible writers got it wrong, implies that God Himself wrongly expressed, legislated and/or otherwise reveal it." Again, I wouldn't say that the Bible writers got it wrong, but that God is infinite, and they are human. God as a writer is not expressed in Scripture in terms of rhetoric or logic is what I recall the EGW quote to say.

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NJK: I understand that you do with, e.g., every instance where it says that ‘God took judgement actions on someone/ a group of people.’ For the many reasons already expressed in this thread, including especially the ones that show that your understanding of what EGW revealed in 14MR 1-3|GC 35-37 was only a secondary way to effectuate judgements, namely “no (more) mercy” judgements, I indeed do see that you are quite wrongly and overreachingly misapplying that view.


She never said that this was a secondary way to bring about judgments. This is simply an assumption you have, and one which is contrary to various principles she articulated, including, to name a few:

1.The exercise of force is contrary to the principles of God's government.
2.Compelling power is found only under the government of Satan.
3.All that we need to know, or can know, of God was revealed in the life and character of His Son.
4.God does not stand toward the sinner as an executioner of the sentence against transgression; but He leaves the rejectors of His mercy to themselves, to reap that which they have sown.
5.Sickness, suffering, and death are work of an antagonistic power. Satan is the destroyer; God is the restorer.

You've never adduced any evidence that what she has said above is a "secondary way to effectuate judgments." That there is such a thing, as multiple ways to bring about judgments, is under dispute. The way that I have said that God brings about judgments is in harmony with the principles laid out above. If God had some other way of bringing about judgments, not in harmony with the above judgments, that would be problematic. God's character is consistent.

Quote:
EGW:The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God’s mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God’s penmen, not His pen.

NJK:Indeed some expression may seem and are ungodly.(None come to mind actually) However I see that the substance itself is not affected by the mode of expression.


Certainly one's understanding of what another communicates, which is what we're talking about, is impacted by the mode of expression.

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NJK:I also think that the Bible is substantively perfectly revealed in what is prescritive and also, by being truthful, in what it describes. I also think that whenever it relates that God did something, then that is indeed what occurred. (Of course you do see so).


The Bible often presents God as doing that which He permits. This is a principle, like "forever" does not necessarily mean "for all eternity." So when we say something occurred, like God killed Saul, what does that mean? It might mean that Saul took His own life. Or when it says that God sent fiery serpents against the Israelites, what does that mean? It might mean that God did nothing more than remove His protection. Or when God sent strong delusion against those who received not the love of the truth, that might mean that God left to them to their own delusions.

There are all sorts of examples like this.

Quote:
NJK:Again, I really cannot think of any theologically substantive error/wrong view in the Bible. Indeed I do not see your view on God’s judgements as being examples of a wrong view.


You don't see my view on God's judgments as being examples of a wrong view? So you see my view on God's judgments as being examples of a correct view?

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Tom: On the other hand, Jesus Christ was God's pen! Jesus Christ was God's thought expressed audible, the perfect representation of God. His was the greatest revelation.

Originally Posted By: Bible Hebrews 1:1, 2 (KJV)
1God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

2Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son. (Hebrews 1:1, 2;KJV)

NJK:This text clearly is just saying that “in the same way God had variously spoken through prophets in the past, now spoke through His Son Jesus Christ.”


I don't know anybody who interprets this text this way. I've never heard this idea until now.

Quote:
The Highest of All Revelations Is Given Us Now in the Son of God, Who Is Greater than the Angels, and Who, Having Completed Redemption, Sits Enthroned at God's Right Hand.(Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary)


Quote:
God spake to his ancient people at sundry times, through successive generations, and in divers manners, as he thought proper; sometimes by personal directions, sometimes by dreams, sometimes by visions, sometimes by Divine influences on the minds of the prophets. The gospel revelation is excellent above the former; in that it is a revelation which God has made by his Son. In beholding the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Lord Jesus Christ, we behold the power, wisdom, and goodness of the Father, Joh 14:7; the fulness of the Godhead dwells, not typically, or in a figure, but really, in him. (Matthew Henry)


These were chosen because they're easy to find. I hadn't read what these had said, but just looked for *any* commentary, because this explanation is the only I've ever heard, and seems clear just by reading the text.

Quote:
Still it was God who was doing this speaking. Only a different spokesperson was used.


The point is that Jesus Christ is greater. This is the theme of Hebrews in a nutshell.

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NJK:Interestingly enough, I only see two times in the Bible where God had to correct a prophets, and that for relatively benign reasons, namely Nathan (2 Sam 7:1-17) and Samuel (1 Sam 16:6, 7). Seems to me they were quite faithful in correctly transmitting what had been revealed/said to them. So I do not see a basis here that what was recorded in the OT from God was wrongly done.


What are your responding to here? Where have I said that anything was wrongly done? Haven't I been saying that the problem is with how what was written has been perceived?

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NJK: I am not going down that slippery slope!

Tom: I think you're going down a different one. Namely, replacing the revelation of Jesus Christ with ideas which are not in harmony with what He lived and taught.

NJK:That is of course because you are viewing/judging things by your view,


Of course. And you are viewing/judging things by your view, which is why you say the things you say.

Quote:
which I do not see what you are basing it on saying or requiring what you are doing. Even EGW who “would have” expressed it, did not do/say what you are requiring when writing her commenting books on Biblical episodes, namely the Conflict of the Ages series. As seen in e.g, GC 614.2, she also saw and understood that God had done acts of judgement and destructions in the OT and also NT.


From GC 614:

Quote:
When He leaves the sanctuary, darkness covers the inhabitants of the earth. In that fearful time the righteous must live in the sight of a holy God without an intercessor. The restraint which has been upon the wicked is removed, and Satan has entire control of the finally impenitent. God's long-suffering has ended. The world has rejected His mercy, despised His love, and trampled upon His law. The wicked have passed the boundary of their probation; the Spirit of God, persistently resisted, has been at last withdrawn. Unsheltered by divine grace, they have no protection from the wicked one. Satan will then plunge the inhabitants of the earth into one great, final trouble. As the angels of God cease to hold in check the fierce winds of human passion, all the elements of strife will be let loose. The whole world will be involved in ruin more terrible than that which came upon Jerusalem of old.


These are the same ideas I've been sharing. This is the context of the text you're referencing.

Quote:
EGW’s treatise on the “City of Refuge” in ST, January 20, 1881 is a good example of the perfect mixture of God’s justice and his mercy.


The most detailed explanation I've see in the first chapter of the Desire of Ages. The chapter on the revolution in France also is pretty detailed, and is along the same lines as the first chapter.

It's helpful to note principles involved. I've already articulated some. We know that at times God works as explained in GC chapter 1, and that this example has God working things out in harmony with the principles articulated before. Does He sometimes work differently, according to other principles? I don't see that you've made any such case.

Quote:
NJK: The revelation of these (OT) Bible writers, set out in writing under the inspiration of God’s Spirit was precisely what God wanted to be fully understood then. Later in Jesus Christ, God only ‘made more full’ what He had previously said, legislated and inspired. And again, as per the focus of this thread, this fuller revelation in Christ did not change the actual substance of “historical” OT episodes, indeed as they are properly recorded. To make this apply to your view, you need to show statements from Christ which e.g., change the substantive/historical records of OT events. And again, the misperception of people in Christ day was not on what had occurred, but the wrong conclusion they drew from what had occurred.

Tom: On what do you base this assertion? How do you know there wasn't a misunderstanding as to what had occurred?

NJK: Seriously???

Tom: ??? What is is you think we're disagreeing about???

NJK:Now that I finally understand your full view of the OT,


It doesn't appear that you do. If you could articulate my position in a way that I would agree with, I would agree that you understand my view. Are you able to do so?

Quote:
I can see why you don’t get my incredulity here. I see that the Bible writers did not have a misunderstanding with what had occurred,


The issue is not with the Bible writers!

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indeed as confirmed by the similar views of EGW. Of course, you don’t, and think that everywhere that is said that God did something was a misunderstanding and must be restated.


You're being inaccurate here. What I've said is that God is often presented as doing that which He permits, and I've given many examples of this, both from Scripture and the Spirit of Prophecy.

Quote:
NJK:I find no Biblical example or support, including from Jesus Himself, for this rewriting of the Biblical text.


I've given over a dozen examples of what I asserted.

Quote:
NJK:As I understand the why’s of God’s timely OT judgements, indeed as He did need to timely act to check free developments that, I believed, He did not always anticipate as a concrete possibility (cf. Isa 5:4). All of these acts of judgement are also microcosms and warnings of what the Final Hell destruction will be.


I haven't been discussing with you as to why the judgments occurred, but the mechanism involved in the judgments.

Quote:
NJK: Well then, simply said, because these OT writers would copiously preface their statements with qualifiers along the lines of: ‘The Lord said’; by Jesus’ full endorsement of the OT as well as other NT writers, never engaging to correct its accounts, and passages like 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Pet 1:20. I’ll go by these: “Thus says the Lord” than by anything man may fancifully suppose.

Tom: So when you said, "this fuller revelation in Christ did not change the actual substance of 'historical' OT episodes," you had only specifically the actual words of God in mind? If so, that's not very clear.

NJK:No. These “thus says the Lord” are a distinct portion of the Biblical Text, which I see a paramount in God’s revelation. Similarly to how I see the SOP’s “I was shown” statements. And in matters of history, these Bible writers straightforwardly and matter of factly related what had occurred and I do not see Jesus changing these accounts.


Yet again, this is not the issue.

Jesus Christ said what He heard, and lived what He saw, of God as revealed in the Old Testament. He read the same accounts as everybody else, so the problem is not with the accounts!

The problem is with one's perceptions of what was written. These perceptions are often at odds with what Jesus Christ revealed in His life and teachings.

Quote:
NJK:Indeed if your view was the Truth, I would think Jesus would be systematically engaging in recorded statements of, e.g.,: ‘you have read “God rained fire on Sodom”, but I say on to you God never does a judgement Himself, and this was actually a volcano that was always supposed to erupt then.’ etc.


Light is progressive. Jesus Christ spoke of the things which He felt were most pressing at the time. There are all sorts of things which are true of which Jesus Christ did not address directly.

Quote:
Seems to me that this work would be quite crucial to Christ reforms, indeed as it would similarly be correcting misconceptions about the, here, History and Prophets, of the OT, just like He had done with the Law and how people came to view it.


I think what Ellen White wrote here addresses the issue you are raising:

Quote:
Christ exalted the character of God, attributing to him the praise, and giving to him the credit, of the whole purpose of his own mission on earth,—to set men right through the revelation of God. In Christ was arrayed before men the paternal grace and the matchless perfections of the Father. In his prayer just before his crucifixion, he declared, “I have manifested thy name.” “I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.” When the object of his mission was attained,—the revelation of God to the world,—the Son of God announced that his work was accomplished, and that the character of the Father was made manifest to men. {ST January 20, 1890, par. 9}


The whole purpose of Christ's mission was the revelation of God. He revealed the principles I'm articulating; love your enemies, turn the other cheek, walk the second mile. Christ gave His life for His enemies. He never recommended violence, and when it was suggested He burn them, He rebuked those who thus suggested because they did not know what spirit they were of. He died the most horrible death at the hands of those who hated Him. He returned kindness for cruelty.

Quote:
T:If you had more than the actual words of God in mind, then we are dealing with what actually happened, right? And even with the words of God, there are questions, as God often presented Himself as doing what He permits. For example, consider the episode of the fiery serpents. What happened there? Isn't this was our disagreement entails? I believe the serpents were already there, and that God had been protecting the Israelites from them the whole time, and He merely ceased doing so for a time. This is despite the direct language used.

NJK:This is where I see that you are being finally being forthcoming about what you actually think of Biblical exegesis. Evidently you see it as irrelevant.


How does what you're saying here in any way tie into the points that I just made? Or questions I asked?

Quote:
NJK:Had I known this earlier it would have saved me much aggravation because I just could not understand how you would not take exegetical points into proper consider.


You're not being responsive to what I wrote.

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NJK:Indeed throughout this discussion. Manifestly your outright dismissal of whatever points exegesis makes is derived from your view that these writers had it wrong.


This is also not responsive. You're also misrepresenting my view.

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So there is really no way one can argue against this “double-whammy”, contra-Bible view.


You can argue as you are, but misrepresenting the view of the person you are discussing things with, and then argue against that.

Quote:
NJK:I would say that ‘EGW’s writings are effectively, your “Bible”, but as you clearly only subscribe to her statements when she agrees with your claimed view, (i.e., you understood her supposed view better than she did) then I can only see that you are really your own Bible and Biblical Authority. Can’t logically/“sanely” compete with/against that “private” method. Case in point, with the fiery serpents. Indeed rather than respond to the many substantive arguments that I have made debunking from various valid exegetical angles, your “private” view, you here simply claim that ‘exegesis is irrelevant’. Indeed now I finally, head shakingly, understand why you did not bother to answer exegetical points that completely disproved your claims and supposition. All that I can say is: Good Luck with that view. I really don’t understand why, with such an obliviously non-exegetical mindset, you would invest in attending a Seminary and ‘completing its coursework.’


These are just insults and name-calling. I've surprised you either don't recognize this, or don't realize there is no value in this. You're not addressing points made, nor answering questions. You're simply misrepresenting my view and hurling insults my way.

I'll stop here.

If you wish to dialog regarding ideas, I'm happy to do so, but I don't have a desire to engage in mud-slinging.


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] #133807
05/26/11 08:00 PM
05/26/11 08:00 PM
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Quote:
NJK: E.g., there was a perfect typological law of blood sacrifices represent what God would have to do to redeem man for their sins, however the people understood this to mean that God was bloodthirsty.

Tom: Which people? Why do you think they thought that? I think they thought of the sacrifices in general very, very differently to how we, who have been very heavily influenced by Anselm, do.

NJK: By explicit and implicit implication, the people of God who thought that God was “pleased,” or ‘to be pleased,’ by merely offering sacrifices. Pointedly: Judah/Jerusalem (e.g., Isa 1:10-13a ff; Jer 20:6b): “Zion” (Psa 50:13, 14; 23; cf. Heb 13:16); ‘Israel’ (Mal 1:10; 1 Sam 15:20-22; cf. DA 509.1-2).

Tom: You said the blood sacrifices led the people to thing God was bloodthirsty. I asked you why you think this. You responded by saying that the people thought that God was pleased merely by offering sacrifices. I don't see why you would think this meant the people viewed God as bloodthirsty.

NJK: In the texts I cited, the shedding of blood was often, (and that incontrovertibly, synonymously) disgusteldy spoken of by God in trying to show the people that this did not please/appease Him as they thought. Indeed during feasts like the Passover, blood flowed from the Temple in streams.

Tom: What I'm saying is that it could be the case that the people were viewing the act of sacrifice (performing of some rite) as pleasing God (like going to church would, or some act of penance), and not that God was necessarily being viewed as blood-thirsty.


And my point is that since sacrifices involved blood, and as shown in those cited verses, God pointedly objected to this shedding of blood, He evidently perceived this thought amongst His people continuing to offer these sacrifices. I’ll exegetically go by what God noticed.

Quote:
Why wouldn't it mean that they viewed that God was pleased by their offering sacrifices? ... Not all sacrifices involved blood.

NJK: Indeed because all sacrifices involved the shedding of blood. An animal “offering” was not a “sacrifice”. And just like one ‘cannot make an omelet without breaking an egg’, an animal was not, and cannot be, “sacrificed” without first being killed and thus shedding its blood. Sacrificial animals were not (oxymoronically) “sacrificed alive”.


Grain could be used if an animal could not be afforded.

(1) Cite the (some key) references.

(2) Then (a) it was not a “sacrifice” and (b) given the socio-economic laws of Israel, there was not many poor amongst them. So the vast majority of these religious (generally speaking) offerings were “sacrifices”. So the objecting statements were made in the factual light of that ‘vast majority reality and norm.’

Quote:
T:What do you think the meaning of sacrifice was in Hebrew culture?

NJK:What the Bible teaches about/for an animal sacrifice. The question actually is what do you think???

Tom: What do you think the meaning of sacrifice was in Hebrew culture? It should be possible to express this succinctly.


It actually is not since sacrifices had different meanings and purposes. Furthermore, what I think their meanings were is actually irrelevant to the fact that blood was being shed when they were offered and also to the point that God abhorred the mindlessness and mere routine way in which this was being done, as if this physically and Theologically prominently involved ‘shedding of blood’ (Heb 9:22) is what God wanted.

Indeed still today, people most prominently and disgustedly notice blood in deaths. Which is a major reason why crime scenes are so visibly restricted and non-mediatized, but funeral viewings are widely “acceptable”. It’s the same dead body, minus especially, the spilt and splattered blood.

Quote:
NJK: This is what probably led them to seek other gods who were not so (seemingly) death and blood “demanding” and/or even espouse gods like Molech who required child sacrifices.

Tom: You're saying they viewed Jehovah to be more bloodthirsty than Molech, who demanded child sacrifices, which is why they turned to Molech?

NJK: No actually. Molech was in a distinct ‘type of God’ context. I had said that Israel probably turned to some foreign gods which required no sacrifices compared to their own God. Indeed, as the same underlying principle is posited today, it was “economically” more logical to obey a god that e.g., did not require one to make sacrifices from quite valuable livestock. The same personal wealth amassing excuse is used by many people, e.g., in regards to tithing, or conversely going along with Capitalism vs. God’s socio-economic principles.

Tom: So you're saying that a god who would require merely the sacrifice of one's own children was preferred to One who required the heavier sacrifice of cattle? So you believe the Hebrews viewed cattle as more valuable than their children? And that's why the preferred Molech?

NJK: I don’t see what ‘heaviness’/weight has to do with it. The value of a creature was not a matter of its weight.

Tom: It doesn't sound like you're trying to make a joke here, so I take it you're not familiar with the expression. A heavier sacrifice has nothing to do with mass, but with how onerous the sacrifice is.


Well in context, your choice of word here was, and actually still itself remains, indeed quite confusing to me, indeed given the involved pun. Can’t blame me for straightforwardly seeing that a “heavier” sacrifice has everything to do with mass.

Quote:
NJK:Thus children were technically more valuable than a cattle,

Tom: Not "a cattle," but "cattle."


Great! A million thanks! My Biblical understanding on this topic is assured now!?? Wish you were so particular about what substantively matters such as proper Biblical Exegesis, which you, as “claimed” should “completely” know about.

Quote:
NJK: and so, I see that in the minds of people who obviously had a ‘my god knows best view’ a God that required the extreme sacrifice of a child would be seen as being ready/willing to do much more for its worshipper than the God of Israel who require an animal.

NJK: Economically speaking, offering a child, which actually would be done ca. 1 per year vs. the panoply of sacrifices, and other offerings, that were require by the God of Israel could be seen a less costly given that all these animals would economically cost much more than a newborn child. Let alone the cost of not having to care for this newborn for next 20 years and virtually the rest of its life through the due “living inheritance” of farmland.

Tom: It can't be both ways. Either the child is a greater sacrifice, in which case Molech was demanding more, not less, or it was a lesser sacrifice, in which case Jehovah was more demanding.


My statement does not imply that ‘it is both ways’. Since the life of a human/child was “technically” though intangibly understood to be more valuable than cattle, and since a single sacrifice of this life was tangibly less costly than that of animals per year on top of tangibly caring for that still alive child then it was synonymously seen that a child sacrifice was a better and more valuable sacrifice than an animal. Indeed both cases, it would be understood that the sacrifice of the child was evidently more valuable than what God required.

Quote:
NJK: In regards to Molech, I meant that Israel, who had a wrong understanding that God was “bloodthirsty” and was merely pleased with the shedding of blood in sacrifice, probably thus surfacely saw Molech as being a “greater god” by requiring the “blood” of their own children.

Tom: Wouldn't this mean this god was requiring a greater sacrifice? But above you said they turned to foreign gods which required less sacrifice than theirs did.


NJK: When the economic realities are taken into account, it could easily be seen, as today, that sacrificing a newborn child instead of spending money and wealth on the child, and also on many livestock sacrifices and various wealth offerings every year for years, was a much better “religious deal.” That indeed is the underlying economic reason for abortions, endorsed even by professed Christians, including the SDA Church in regards to “elective” abortions. (I.e., For SDA’s: it is better to have an abortion for a woman that will not be “psychologically” be able to deal with that child, than to let it be born and take it, or give it into adoption or raise it in an orphanage.

Tom: This seems to have nothing to do with whatever point you were making in regards to Molech.


Only if you must not see so. And such spiritual things are only spiritually discerned.

Quote:
NJK (edited): So the misunderstanding was in the mind of the people but not with the Biblical writer. Indeed God’s Spirit would not let such a misconception be recorded as Scripture/The Word of God.

Tom: Light is progressive. We need to bear in mind that at the time the OT was written, Christ had not yet come. The coming of Christ shed a great deal of light.

NJK: As this is all in relation to e.g., who actually did destructions in the OT, I see no Biblical, I.e., later OT, NT, SOP) evidence that contradict what had priorly revealed as taking place.

Tom: The contradiction is not with what had been previously been revealed, but with people's perceptions of what had been revealed. I've made this point repeatedly.

NJK:So then why are you (exegetically) ignoring and/or rewording what has been revealed.

Tom: People's perceptions is a part of exegesis; this can't be ignored.


So, as I said, you are here saying that what these Bible writers “exegetically” wrote down, (i.e., using various Hebrew grammatical forms and syntactical arrangements), needs to be corrected because they wrongly perceived things. So in that case the Bible really cannot be exegetically studied. It instead has to be ideologically reconsidered. That inclusively clearly changes much more than the ‘jots and tittles’ of the OT text that Jesus had approvingly spoken of. (Matt 5:17, 18).

Indeed with Jesus saying here that He would not change what had been written, and then going on to address the misconceptions of people prove to me that the OT is to be textually exegetically studied. And that includes proper contextualizing, which indeed is the basis of Christ’s ‘perception correcting’ work.

Furthermore, the copious use of the LXX by NT writers is proof to me what was recorded in the OT was not in any way seen as misperceived and misrecorded by these post Christ NT Writers, because they then were primarily working from what had been perceived of the OT Hebrew text than additionally what had also been textually recorded.

Quote:
NJK: The facts here show that this has not been the point you have been making.

Tom: It is the same point. I summarized the main points I've been making, and that was one of the points.


Well I do not see your supposed ‘ideology over textual exegesis’ to be Biblically valid/validated.

Quote:
NJK: As I said before, you may think you are, with such benign assertions/statement of principles, but in actual practice that is not what you are doing, therefore, at the very least, not what your view of your claim actually, concretely means when applied by you.

Tom: I've been making this point all along. I've said that if we see something in the OT that looks different than what we see in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ while here in the flesh, then our perceptions of the OT are different than what Jesus Christ's was, since He spoke what He heard and lived what He say in the OT.


For the many reasons and examples that I have stated from the Life of Christ most of which you have either completely ignored or stopped responding to when your latest objections/arguments were disproven/debunked, then I indeed do not see that Jesus did not ever act in any way that they OT God did as it is straightforwardly, exegetically read. And like I have also said many times before, it was not in Christ’s mandate to effectuate physical judgements, however justified they would have been (Luke 12:49, 50; Matt 11:20-24; 23.)

Furthermore, as seen in my Greek New Testament (Nestle-Aland 27th|UBS 4), the following non-bold portion of Luke 9:55, 56 is disputed and did not appear in early NT Greek manuscripts. (Cf. NIV, NJB, RSV/NRSV which do not include them at all. NASB only includes it in square brackets with an doubtfulness note):

Originally Posted By: Bible Luke 9:55, 56
But He turned and rebuked them, and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." And they went on to another village.


And EGW’s copious commenting on this disputed portion in her writings (e.g,. DA 487.2; 582.2; COL 212.1) is not a necessarily proof that it was valid. Still if, similarly as the NASB’s bracketed inclusion (vs. a complete non-inclusion) is allowing as a possibility, this is only saying and substantiating that it was not in Christ’s mission then to ‘destroy the life of men’. However that will be different when He puts on the robe of vengeance (cf. Isa 63:1-6).

So for such exegetical reasons, I do not at all see here your “perceived difference-caused” need for reconsidering the OT.

Quote:
NJK: Further revelations in such regards only confirmed, and that with greater details, what had been previously expressed by these Inspired Bible Writers.

Tom: Same comment.

Tom: Well then: same answer.

NJK: The direct statements of God are not subject to such future enlightening as the Bible writers then just recorded what they had “heard”. This is synonymous with EGW’s “I was shown” revelations in which she many times heard direct statements from God. In fact, I see that the revelation of these OT writers were probably identical to the direct ones given to EGW in that they “heard” many of these statements in those divine visions and dreams and recorded it. They also may have more clearly “heard” the voice of God while fully awake/conscious and proceed to record verbatim, what they had heard/been told.

Tom: What a person perceives is colored by their mind-set, their world view, their paradigm, etc. No inspired writer perceived things as clearly as Christ did, and none could reveal God's character as clearly as He.

NJK: They did not have to merely write what they perceived. In many ways like it was seen with EGW, what they wrote from solely what they had perceived, was based upon the many various direct statements and revelations of God in the OT. An a historical account is not a perception.

Tom: The historical account is processed by the brain. The processing of what is recorded involves one's perceptions, world view, paradigm, etc. The inspired writers are God's penmen, not His pen.


That would potentially only apply in cases where they say ‘God did or said something’ in their historical writings. However those accounts were based on first hand observations that were significantly enough reinforced by God’s prophetic voices then. I.e., by men under direct inspiration of God. Indeed the writing of OT Biblical books are typically the putting into a historical/story context the first hand memoirs of people who were known to be directly/prophetically inspired and quoting verbatim what they had said and heard from God. (E.g., the composition of the book of Daniel in here (Section: The Sealed Scroll of Daniel)).

Moreover, many of these related acts of God were fulfillment so what God had revealed to such inspired prophets that He would do. So even in Historical portions, your supposition does not check out.

And as seen in the book of Job and Genesis which Moses wrote, it was God Himself who gave Moses visions and inspirations of what had occurred. So, e.g., in the case of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Moses was not shown a volcano as you do/claim.

Quote:
NJK: And Jesus did not contradict anything that these Biblical writers had written.

Tom: Indeed. Why is why if we have a view of what the Bible writers wrote which is violent, for example, or contrary to what Jesus taught in some other way, that view is suspect.


This ‘violent viewing’ is only a supposition of yours. The OT Bible, as confirmed by Jesus is clear that God uses force, and that to any deemed just extent, to effectuate judgements.

You simply do let all of Jesus’ statements contribute to what taught/said/did. Perhaps you here also believe that NT Gospel writers such as Matthew, Mark/Peter, Luke and John also had the similar misperception problem as OT writers did in recording what Jesus said and did??

Quote:
NJK: As I said earlier, I only see Moses making a further clarification of what Job had not fully perceived as the only partially applicable incident for this claim of yours.

Tom: That's not the case. The story was meant to bring out a lesson, and that lesson would not be understood, if only applied to Job.

Originally Posted By: SOP DA 471.1 & 471.3
Satan, the author of sin and all its results, had led men to look upon disease and death as proceeding from God,—as punishment arbitrarily inflicted on account of sin. Hence one upon whom some great affliction or calamity had fallen had the additional burden of being regarded as a great sinner. {DA 471.1}...

God had given a lesson designed to prevent this. The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan, and is overruled by God for purposes of mercy. But Israel did not understand the lesson. The same error for which God had reproved the friends of Job was repeated by the Jews in their rejection of Christ. {DA 471.3}


Your point does not address my remark. I was not speaking of why Moses wrote the book of Job, or what is to be the purpose of the book, but said that Moses’ independently copiously supplied accounts in pointedly chapters 1 & 2 served to prefacingly give the Historical/GC background context for the rest of the book which is mostly the direct words of Job and his friends.

What is understandably/pastorally derived, as done by EGW, from what Moses had supplied is a distinct issue. What God revealed to Moses served to make this clarification, showing us what really happened, and from their such Theological understanding of purpose can then be made.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If this was a one-time incident, it could hardly have accomplished the purpose God had intended, showing that Satan is the author of sin and all its results.


Job’s case was indeed a situation of “suffering” as Job did not do anything deserving of judgement. So that example indeed shows, and clearly at that, even if it is the only demonstration of that (as EGW “a lesson” seems to imply), showing that God indeed does not cause “sufferings”. However an act of judgement is not ‘causing sufferings’ even if it involves physical sufferings. It is because you cannot see the Justice of God’s character in what He either did or commanded to be done in judgement that you are not making any difference here. The lesson of Job is not that God does not (actively and forcefully) do judgements.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Yet Moses Himself did that “further specifying”. Indeed this shows how faithful he was to record things exactly as they were revealed and/or told to him, as he could easily have edited Job’s statement in Job 1:21.


[No answer here?]

Quote:
NJK: You also often say that OT people had an incorrect understanding of who was doing an action in the Bible,

Tom: Actually I've never said this.

NJK: Perhaps not verbatim, but you have actually meant this.

Tom: No, this isn't what I meant, or mean.

NJK: As I substantiated with your own words, that is what, at the very least, was straightforwardly understood by what you had said.

Tom: It sounds like you're commenting before you're read what was written. You should wait to comment until the point has been made.


As shown above and as I already understood from your view, that is what your view entails especially as it also includes direct statements and actions of God. Your view is simply not Biblically realistic.

Quote:
NJK: That is indeed what I understood by your repeat (though unsubstantiated) statement: that ‘the Bible often presents God doing that which He permits’ (e.g., the latest in Post #133509). Clearly that logically means to you that ‘these Bible writers had written that God had done something when He had actually only permitted it to be done, and that by someone/something else, moreover independent of His effectuating energy.’

Tom: This involves the action being done, not simply who is doing it.

NJK: As I straightforwardly/logically see it, this is just the secondary meaning to your statement.

Tom: Same comment. You'd be better off reading first. Then comment.


Same answer as above.

You actually need to be more forthcoming with what you believe instead of dodging and ignoring direct questions on points that would plainly explain/state your view. It is clear to me that you are not comfortable with what your view actually necessitates and thus either defensively, partially and/or diversionarily address, when you actually do, questions on it and/or comments that rebutt/disprove it.

As your approach is not at all exegetical, but (spuriously) merely ideological, it is quite normal that you do not consider all contributive points and implications involved with your view.

Quote:
Tom: For example, consider the case of God's sending fiery serpents upon the Israelites. What actually happened was God permitted the serpents who were already there to harm the Israelites,

NJK: No. The Bible, is not contradicted by EGW’s “protection withdrawal” statement, says that God forcefully made the serpents go in the midst of the people, and with “forced interest”. Responsibly deal with those exegetical facts, instead of ignoring them.

Tom: This doesn't make sense.


Really only through/in your non-exegetical approach and resulting “world”.

Quote:
Tom: Here's the statement by Ellen White:

Originally Posted By: SOP RH February 26, 1889, par. 9
How was it with the children of Israel in the wilderness?—They were protected on every side; the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night was over them; but they did not appreciate the blessings they enjoyed. They murmured and complained, and God finally permitted the serpents to bite them, that they might be brought to a realizing sense of his care and protection. It was the power of God that had before kept the venomous serpents of the wilderness from stinging them.


Tom: This is exactly what I've been saying. How is this not contrary to your view?


(1) One because for me EGW is not the final authority here. Biblical Exegesis is.

(2) God’s permitting can also involve Him acting to do what He permits. So this removal of protection, naturally and scientifically, as corroborated by Biblical Exegesis was manifestly an act of both attracting these snakes within the camp and “making” to be feel threatened. The snakes just coming into the camp did not guarantee that they would be fearful of the people walking by/around them. God’s power was probably simply to appease any sense of threat that these serpents may have developed, whenever He saw that they arose.

Furthermore, this is only a part of what EGW fully said on the topic and, as shown before, what she said then agrees with the exegetical notions of the Bible.

Quote:
Tom: which action He had been actively preventing until that point.

NJK:Which is why ‘not preventing’ it any more is an act of His,

Tom: Sure, it's the act of withdrawing His protection, which is how God destroys. That's the point that's been made all along.


And I have said all along in response to this view of yours is that I only see an action where Satan is tangibly doing something as not being an action of God. Satan was not involved at all in this judgement and as the Bible says God sent these snakes amongst the people and that to bite them. I just do not ascribe to either your non-exegetical view here nor seeking to, and that partially, make EGW the final authority here.

Because of your non-exegetical approach which self-justifies your repeating of exegetically debunked points, you are just causing me to go around in circles here on those already discussed points.

Quote:
NJK: and this scientifically would involve him putting a threatened fear of the people in these serpents even causing them in this way to go in the midst of the camp.

Tom: There's no implication of this. Please take another look at the Ellen White statement quoted above.


There exegetically is in the Bible Of course your approach does not require that you ever take such exegetical points into consideration. How convenient.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The serpents weren't the only danger God was protecting the people from. He was protecting them from all sorts of dangers. All He had to do was withdraw His protection.


That’s besides the points since snakes was the method of punishment chosen by God. Indeed why not also scorpions? I understand the reason to be because of the object lesson that He wanted to teach Israel. Fire from Heaven, as in other cases, would not make this lesson that they needed to depend on Him for protection from such existing dangers clear.

Originally Posted By: Tom
There was no need for some other action to make the snakes be more snake-like.


As stated before, there scientifically is as most snakes “naturally” do not attack humans, or even venture near them, if they could avoid this.

Quote:
NJK: However God may have distinctly done this drawing act.

Tom: God simply withdrew His protection, as stated. If you add something to this, you take away from the force of the inspired writer's point. Ellen White's point was that God withdrew His protection.


And my point, using the Bible as the final authority in such matters of seeming difference with the SOP, is that the Bible pointedly indicates otherwise. So I harmonize the SOP revelation with what the Bible says and indeed do not see a contradiction between those two testimonies. So I indeed see that this ‘withdrawal of protection’ involved the forcefully ‘drawing’ and ‘interesting’ (i.e., feelings of an imminent threat) with these snakes. I do not have an either or approach with the Bible and SOP, especially when it means that what the Bible exegetically reveals has to be discounted in any way or outrightly ignored.

Quote:
Tom: So the problem was not with who was doing the action (clearly it was the snakes),

NJK: Clearly... but not in how you are understanding this “doing”. The doing was an active act of God.

Tom: Here's how I understand the doing:

Originally Posted By: SOP RH February 26, 1889, par. 9
How was it with the children of Israel in the wilderness?—They were protected on every side; the pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night was over them; but they did not appreciate the blessings they enjoyed. They murmured and complained, and God finally permitted the serpents to bite them, that they might be brought to a realizing sense of his care and protection.


Already/also answered above.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I don't know how to put it any more clearly than this.


Use an exegetical approach, and subject this EGW statement to the Greater (exegetical) Light of the Bible, indeed as counseled by EGW herself.

Quote:
Tom: but with what action was taking place (God was permitting them to attack the Israelites, as opposed to sending the snakes to attack them).

NJK: That was just the means for God to do this act of judgement. God actually “forcefully” made them do it.

Tom: First of all, there is no hint of this in what was written.


Then EGW did not have/state the full Biblical revelation here. She was just given additional details of what had occurred. Her other statement however do involved the Bible’s “sent” notions though she does not make exegetical explanations. However she did not see a need to not quote the/her Bible as it read here, indeed as she did with Jesus’ statement in John 20:17.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Secondly, if what you are postulating were true, it would contradict what actually was written, which should be easy to see.


It does not if/since the protection involved was manifestly ‘keeping these snakes from feeling threatened whenever this became necessary.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Think about it. If it was God's purpose that the Israelites recognize the protection He was constantly providing against the snakes, it makes no sense to say that God *provoked* the snakes to attack the Israelites.


Israel would not know this difference. All they saw was that there was no snakes around them. So just making these snake come and bit them would have conveyed that notion irrespective of how God went about to do it. The Bible writers did not have this problem in rightly indicating that God had forcefully done this. Indeed Israel still learned the lesson through this accurate depiction of what had occurred. You are the one who does think this can be done.

Originally Posted By: Tom
In this case, God would not have been protecting the Israelites against the snakes at all!


He was doing so as the natural need was.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If God could remove His protection, and nothing would have happened against the Israelites, then His protection was unnecessary to begin with, and removing it would not teach the Israelites that His protection was necessary.


As I said, the removal of His protection involved both no longer appeasing those feelings of fear when they would now naturally occur and also forcefully injecting it in them Himself with those that did not naturally develop them.

Indeed God manifestly may conversely first have made the snakes feel perfectly comfortable with these humans, thus resulting them in now coming into the camp, and no longer staying away as before, but then also then feeling threatened once in the midst of the
people “defensively” beginning to attack the people.


Quote:
NJK: and while that substantively only applies to the episode of Job,

Tom: What is "that" here?

NJK: As I went on to (disprovingly) say (see below): “where God permitted Satan to do the destruction”, that “that” clearly refers to this notion of ‘God being said to do something which he had only permitted to be done’.

Tom: You're saying that the notion of God being said to do something which He only permitted to be done, in terms of Satan being permitted to cause destruction, applies only to the episode in Job?

NJK: Right.

Tom: This isn't a viable idea, as explained above.


It substantively is, as explained above, for a matter of “sufferings” (vs. judgement) which dobly is not your ‘no pain at all, even in Divine judgements’ view.

Quote:
Tom: That is, at no other time did this occur?

NJK: I don’t see any other. Cite others if you can, and like I said, not the prime 7 you have cited which have been exegetically disproven/debunked.


The ones I have cited certainly haven't been debunked.[/quote]

Yes they have. It is only your non-exegetical method that circularly enables them to be impervious to the Biblical exegesis that debunks them.

Originally Posted By: Tom
We have the plain statements regarding the serpents above, so that stands.


And I have the more authoritative statements of the Bible. And it is your partializing view that does not “stand”, as I indeed do not see that EGW’s statement is contradicting the Bible.

Quote:
Tom: Also the destruction of Jerusalem. This is certainly clear:

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)


Already fully dealt with, and again your, factually speaking partializing and exegetically-indifferent view is what does not stand here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I'm not sure what the other 5 are.


Look them up. It there in this threads record.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I mentioned it saying that God killed Saul, when Saul actually took his own life. That's clear.


Only through/in your non-exegetical view with its supposed ‘incorrect understanding’ basis. I see that this writer God it right and God somehow indirectly psychologically acted to cause Saul to kill himself on that very day as He wanted it to timely occur.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Another one that comes to mind is God's sending strong delusion upon those who love not the truth. EGW explains this as God's turning them over to the delusions they already had.


Already explained. Why won’t you address what I have said in response??

Originally Posted By: Tom
I've quoted from Deut. 32, as I recall.


I neither retrace nor recall. Indeed state precisely the post, and/or even which one of the 52 verses of Deut 32 you have in mind.

Originally Posted By: Tom
There are a number of similar statements throughout Deut, in the early 30's, that are similar (regarding God's wrath viz a viz His hiding His face, and permitting troubles to come upon them).


I already commented on your ‘hiding face’ comments. You just stopped discussing it when you manifestly did not have an answer to my latest comment against your claimed view here.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Ellen White has statements regarding the hardening of Pharaoh's heart (e.g. "But Pharaoh hardened his heart at this time also ... (1T 292).


Already addressed. Obviously exegesis means nothing substantive to you and you also believe that Moses understood God wrong when God said that this is what He was going to deliberately do to Pharoah. Indeed this was a warning to Moses so that Moses would not lose heart when God would make Pharaoh refuse to obey Him.

Originally Posted By: Tom
She spoke of the spies that were sent (Scripture says "And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, "Send men to spy out the land of Canaan." EGW: "Here it was proposed by the people that spies be sent to survey the country. The matter was presented before the Lord by Moses, and permission was granted." (PP 387)


And???? How does this support your view??

Originally Posted By: Tom
In Job we read "God said to Satan, 'You incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause (Job 2:3).


The word “incite” (#05496) has the basic meaning of: ‘move, persuade’. Nothing in it is ineherently evil. Also the NASB reading of “to ruin him without cause” is more accurate here. From the more literal reading is “to engulf him (in ruin) without cause.”

It indeed proves that this was not an act of judgement by God. God’s judgements are, even through postponing (Gen 15:13, 16) always ‘with (fully corresponding) cause’.

Originally Posted By: Tom
EGW: "The history of Job had shown that suffering is inflicted by Satan." (DA 471)


Again this is non-judgement sufferings.

Originally Posted By: Tom
David's numbering of Israel is sometimes attributes to God (2 Sam. 24:1) and sometimes to Satan (1 Chron. 21:1)


I have addressed those passages in this post. I’ll further exegetically amend that 2 Sam 24:1 should accurately read as:

Originally Posted By: Bible 2 Sam 24:1
And he (i.e., Satan (2 Chr 21:1) caused to be added (Hiphil) the anger of the LORD for even a burning (infinitive construct) in Israel, when he moved/persuaded/incited/instigated David against them to say, "Go, number Israel and Judah."


Indeed it is not logical for God to be both the object and subject of this sentence. The statement would have then rather said: The LORD caused His (possessive pronoun) anger to be added....”

Also it may have been those non-specified, but known, “he’s” in the prior 2 Sam 24:1 account that prompted the writer of 2 Chr to editorially specify this person as Satan.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Regarding Israel's being invaded: "By their transgression of God's law, the people of Judah had forfeited His protection. (5T 749)


Full EGW statement:

Originally Posted By: SOP 5T 749.2
Disaster was threatening his country. By their transgression of God's law the people of Judah had forfeited His protection, and the Assyrian forces were about to come against the kingdom of Judah. But the danger from their enemies was not the greatest trouble. It was the perversity of the people that brought upon the Lord's servant the deepest depression. By their apostasy and rebellion they were inviting the judgments of God.


(1) That is only one instance of invasion vs. the many others that occurred by God’s drawing/stirring up action. E.g., Babylon.

(2) Assyria apparently had of themselves decided to go and invade Israel and Judah and God seeing this risen threat sent Isaiah to Judah to seek to get them back in state where they can be protected by Him in warfare and thus avert this looming disaster. The Kingdom of Israel did not survive this ever present Assyrian threat. (2 Kgs 17:6, 23)

Also, as seen in Isaiah 10:1-19; God evidently sees no difference in his ‘forfeiting/withdrawing’ His protection in regards to the Assyrians and Him doing acts of destruction through them.

Still based on what EGW fully said in 5T 749 in regards to ‘judgement of God due to perversity’ and God indicating in e.g, Isa 10:5, 6, 12, 15 that He was variously sending and using Assyria at will and for His purposes, I see that God could easily force Assyria, through rumors/insinuations (e.g, Isa 37:7), to attack Judah in judgement. So either way, i.e., either through an “organic” self-willed attack by Assyria or by a Divinely-caused one, God could have effectuate a judgement when He saw fit.

And as seen in Isaiah 36 & 37 it was only because God, apparently chose to have mercy on Judah, and that for the sake of David (Isa 37:35) that He, at the last minute used Hezekiah’s prayer as a reason to have mercy on the entire kingdom (Isa 37:21ff).

And as seen in Isa 37:36 & in the SOP (GC 614.2) God sent an angel to kill these Assyrians.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Regarding David's punishment Scripture says "I will raise up evil against the out of thing own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto they neighbor" (2 Sam 12:11,12).

EGW: "Not that God prompted these acts of wickedness, but because of David's sin He did not exercise His power to prevent them" (PP 739).


This indirect notion is indicated in the Bible by the use of a Hiphil. Had a Piel stem been used here, this would have proven your point. Simply by God not quenching a desire for such evil by His Spirit, would have accomplished this. The same thing may have occurred with Saul if organically possible/present. As with the lying spirit sent to King Ahab, an evil spirit may have also been allowed and/or left unchecked to influence this wrong course with Absalom. EGW may not have had the full/visionary light on this and may just have made this comment in passing, as it were, based upon what she thought might have occurred here. But the Bible reveals that God could have Himself greenlighted a judgement-feasing agency, even if from the side of the adversary, as it probably would be for this tempting.

Originally Posted By: Tom
So there are quite a few examples of God presenting Himself as doing that which He permits.


For all of the previous reasons I stated against your prime 7 (just restating them does not suddenly make them valid) and these added examples of yours here, I do not see that your claim is either Biblically sound, nor that it serves to overrule the many clear examples where both the SOP and the Bible say that God did an act of judgement Himself.


“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
Page 97 of 105 1 2 95 96 97 98 99 104 105

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