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Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #134079
06/03/11 05:16 AM
06/03/11 05:16 AM
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T:Just to be clear here, you're saying that the "evil angels" of Psalm 78 were actually "holy angels," correct? (i.e., God's own angels).

NJK: As shown in my detailing, I said that ‘evil angels” was not a fitting translation and that these were indeed ‘destroying angels of God’ as functionally attested in the Bible and SOP.

Tom: It looks like the word is used over 200 times, and only once translated "destroying" by the NASB. Overwhelmingly the word is translated "evil."

That’s how they say it best fit in context. I prefer ‘angels of calamity”. Indeed in reading through the Theological Wordbook OT explanation, I perceive/deduce that the terms involves at its root some sort/form of “adversity.” Here are some translational usages in the NASB of related forms of this root.

#07451a - 228X - bad(23), bad*(2), badly(1), deadly(1), defamed*(1), defames*(1), defect*(1), destroying(1), displease*(1), displeased(1), displeasing(1), distressing(1), evil(124), evil man(3), evil men(4), evil things(4), evildoer(1), evildoers*(1), evils(1), great(1), grievous(4), harm*(1), harmful(3), man(1), miserable(1), misfortune*(1), sad(4), selfish*(1), serious(1), severe(2), sore(2), threats*(1), treacherous(1), trouble*(1), troubled(1), ugly(6), unpleasant(1), what is evil(2), what was evil(5), which is evil(3), wicked(15), wicked women(1), wild(5), worst(1), wretched(1).

#07451b - 117X = adversity(7), calamity(4), disaster(2), evil(94), harm(2), harmful(1), hurt(1), ruin(3), surely(1), trouble(2), unpleasant(1), wickedly(1), wickedness(1).

#07455 - 19X = evil(10), rottenness(4), sad(1), sadness(1), ugliness(1), wickedness(2).

Though the common translation is (simply) evil, it is evident that it has various nuances. So “destroying angels” or “angels of calamity/adversity” is evidently what the context, including the Bible and SOP account of who was doing this Plague destruction necessitate that translation/understanding. (Cf. Exod 23:23; 2 Sam 24:16; 1 Chr 21:12, 15; 2 Chr 32:21). This may be a band of angels who ‘excel in destruction’ (= God’s “Special Force” for destruction; vs. ‘angels that excel in strength’ Psa 103:20; TA 70.3; 262.1; HP 188.6; CC 336.5; RH, September 30, 1873 par. 7, etc. Not all angels necessarily have this capability.)

Originally Posted By: Tom
You referenced the Word Critical Commentary. What does it say?

That’s “Word Biblical Commentary” (WBC)

Translation: “He sent his burning anger against them: fury and indignation and distress; a band of angels* of calamity,”

*Note: lit., “a sending of messengers/angels” (construct of משלחת), a word that refers to “sending out/ discharge” (Eccl 8:8); thus it means “detachment/deputation/band.” Exod 12:23.

Comment: The death of the Egyptian firstborn in v 51 is the climax of the dramatic description of the sending of a band of angels to prepare the way for the anger of God )vv 45–50(. This passage has similarities to the account of the Destroyer (המשחית) who is not allowed to enter houses with blood on the lintel and doorposts in Exod 12:23 (Exod 12:13; 2 Sam 24:16; 2 Kgs 19:35; Ezek 9:1–7; Heb 11:28).

Tom: Regarding "send," you wrote:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
(1) the “send” verb is in the Piel Stem, so it was a forceful and direct action by God;

Tom: So does this mean "send" (in the Piel Stem) is never used in conjunction with evil angels?

Not necessarily though I don’t see such an explicit use this “send” notion at all in the Bible. However I presume that this is involved in some actions, as seen with the lying Spirits permissively ‘sent/given’ (by God) to Ahab. (1 Kgs 22:22, 23)

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #134080
06/03/11 05:18 AM
06/03/11 05:18 AM
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NJK: I am $1,000,000 richer because I bet with myself that you would make this spurious claim.

Tom: It sounds like you knew your comment was bogus as you made it. You must have been aware of what you were doing, or why would have made yourself a bet?

(Another $1,000,000 for you commenting on this.) You are the one who is thinking that it was bogus. You should have rather focused on actually answering the question where it still needed to be. This is quite typical of you, you get all flustered and “distracted” by the peripherals and do not address the pointed substance, particularly when you don’t have an answer for this substantive.

Here's the post:

T:Until the cross, even holy angels were impacted by Satan's misrepresentations.

NJK:What are you basing this on?

Tom: The SOP.

NJK: I rather see that they were not yet convinced that the alternate way that Satan had proposed was deserving of the completely eradicating judgement that God wanted to effectuate on it.

Tom: I haven't seen any evidence this was ever an issue for the angels. Can you quote anything to substantiate this idea?

Tom: Here's a statement from the SOP speaking to the impact of the cross on the angels:

Originally Posted By: SOP
That which alone can effectually restrain from sin in this world of darkness, will prevent sin in heaven. The significance of the death of Christ will be seen by saints and angels. Fallen men could not have a home in the paradise of God without the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Shall we not then exalt the cross of Christ? The angels ascribe honor and glory to Christ, for even they are not secure except by looking to the sufferings of the Son of God. It is through the efficacy of the cross that the angels of heaven are guarded from apostasy. Without the cross they would be no more secure against evil than were the angels before the fall of Satan.(ST 12/30/89)

Tom: How could you have missed, "Here's a statement from the SOP speaking to the impact of the cross on the angels:" along with the cite?

(Again, retracing the history of this discussion abruptly ends to be just a matter of clicking a link at Post #133985 due to your past wrong post reply linking.)

I didn’t miss anything, I pointedly made that statement in regards to your general reference to the DA chapter. Having discussed as a whole before, I did not see how what was said was in contextual harmony with your original point namely:

Originally Posted By: Tom Post #133790
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.

I relatedly understood this to be in reference to your view. That is why I could not/cannot see how the angels would have need a revelation of God’s character through Jesus Christ. I see that their questioned all revolved on whether or not Satan’s “No Law” alternate way should be allowed to exist. As I said, I see that the question with the last 6 Commandments was fully demonstrated by the Flood; the first 3 through OT Israel and the Fourth will be when these years since the Cross end. So I see that their issue was not with misrepresentations of God by Satan but pointedly with the validity of His view. In other words, these angels who had remained loyal to God always believed that God was just a He said He was, however they just found Satan suggested way itself to have some plausibility. At the Cross I see that they suddenly saw that Satan was actually mainly acting out of murderous hatred and jealousy for Christ, something that Satan had carefully concealed from them, and for that reason alone they chose to no longer interact with him. However the GC issues he had brought up still remained, not more than ever focusing on the Fourth Commandment, and so it still remains. Indeed the real answer lies with humans. I.e., can (now) people live a truly righteous life while disregarding God’s Sabbath, which actually includes much more than just observing the correct day in the correct way.

So I wanted/want you to specify where exactly in that DA chapter you were seeing the support for your ‘misrepresentations’ view. And I also did/do not see it in your ST quote. It is merely saying, as I understand it, that what transpired at the cross is efficacious enough to keep angels from ever going the way of Satan. The depth of Satan evil was indeed manifest at the Cross and it shocked the angels. (Can’t wait to see that video.)

Originally Posted By: Tom
This could hardly have been more immediate, and so, hardly a "spurious" claim.

Your response was “plausible but false” because only one of your claimed supporting sources was precisely referenced. You should have specifically documented both, especially in/by your follow up reply here.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #134081
06/03/11 05:24 AM
06/03/11 05:24 AM
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T:Much of what is written here is redundant.

NJK:Due mainly to your blind repetitions of already disproven claims.

Tom: No, this is totally on you. I have many conversations with many people, and this has never been an issue. You're not organizing your thoughts in any systematic way.

NJK:Just repsonding to your arguments as they come. Indeed that is all because I have to answer the same arguments that you keep remaking such as your pervasive ‘God permits’ one. I aim to address all your objections head on and if you had actually fully taken into consideration what I had said, I would need to spin my tires and repeat myself but rather build upon those already made points. The discussion so far with you is e.g., ‘we reach level 4 and then all of a sudden as you cannot make additional countering arguments, you return back to level 1’. It is that reoccurrence that is causing me to have to repeat myself.

Tom: I'll just repeat myself and say that I've had a great deal of conversations with many people, and this has never been an issue with anyone else. Others follow the same technique of responding to comments, without this being a problem.

I am just addressing the defective parts of your sum, as they come, to point out exactly why your ending conclusion is false. I can easily do this at the end of a post but you’ll have more trouble retracing what I am referring to. And unlike I didn’t come into this discussion with a systematic view. I just let each text say what it says for itself and contribute as the do to the theology in general. Your approach is to selectively take some thoughts expressed by EGW and then view the Bible through what you think it means. I work from collective concrete Biblical examples and individual texts (and their (if) non-contradicting SOP statements) towards a theology, your work from a selective and isolative particularly SOP quote and if it harmonizes with your view then you use it as a template to literally (exegetically) reword the Biblical text. The Biblie is my “canon” i.e., rule of faith and doctrine, not EGW. However sincere she was, she was not inerrant and infallible in regards to, nor had complete understanding of, the Bible.

T:If you could come up with a list of what you see to be the important principles involved, the could be helpful.

NJK:Really I don’t have a creedal set of principles. Indeed this can only be done from SOP statements. I let the text itself and pertinent wider exegesis guide me to what the understanding should be knowingly trusting that God and His Spirit does not and will not contradict itself. Still if you want my pointed response to your listing of “principles” look back in earlier posts. (I had already referenced them twice for you.)

Tom: I think your not thinking in terms of principles leads to the sort of rambling disorganized posts I've pointed out. Indeed, your thinking of principles as "creedal" seems to indicate a sort of bias against thinking in terms of principles.

It is “creedal”, and I am indeed against this sort of approach, in the sense, and for the reasons, that: (1) these are paramountly SOP statements which need to be verified by the Bible and (2) they impose an artificial limitation on what exegesis can reveal. You have the fundamental view and need to “fix” what is said in the Bible, I on the other hand have the view that there is nothing to fix in the Bible, but just to exegetically bring out and build a theology from those building blocks.

T: Also a list of what you see to be the differences in our points of view that has to do with content rather than methodology, that would be helpful (i.e., don't write something like, "I just accept what the Bible teaches, while you hold to your own ideas regardless of what Scripture says").

NJK: Chiefly in this discussion, I believe that, if necessary, God directly does actions of judgement through whatever method the texts says occurs. Only when there is a situation of no mercy, even intermediarily, God then allows Satan to do this judgement, one which Satan actually wants to do out of personal incentive. I let you explain for yourself what you think in regards to this.

Tom: You're saying there are two situations, one of mercy, and one of no mercy. Only in the latter case will God allow Satan to do the judgment indicated.

Tom: So never in a "mercy" situation is Satan involved. This is your contention?

That’s not an accurate understanding on your part. Satan is never given full unrestricted control of a judgement in a judgement, or part of a judgement, intend for, or involving, mercy.

Originally Posted By: Tom
How does one determine a "mercy" situation?

By looking at how things transpire and/or what the stated object-lesson objective is.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Can you define it in some other way than a situation in which Satan is not involved?

When people who are deserving capital judgement are incomprehensibly spared. For if God declares death to all the rebellious ones, if whenthe judgement comes some are spared, as with Jerusalem, then surely it is not Satan overpowering God, but God allowing it. Similary (and my approach necesitates that I work from what is exegetically revealed in cocnrete examples) in the last plagues, not all, though all deserving, are made universally subject to them. I see in the Bible/SOP that out of e.g, 100 large scale judgements, God was somehow involved in 98 of them. Hence they were judgements, that at least in some part involved God control. In fact the only two exceptions I see are Jerusalem and the Last Plagues, however only for the utter end part of those judgements. So I see that God is involved in all judgements in the Bible. In regards to individual, as the revelation in 14MR 1-3 was pointedly for, I see that EGW was shown what occurs when God no longer has mercy, thus an utter end judgement, as prior to that it can be seen that God was mercifully striviing for the person to repent even if threatening judgement.

In short/summary you can illustratively compare all of this to a police pulling out his gun in order to subdue a life threatening criminal (= mercy part of a judgements) and when that person refuses and continues to tangibly threaten life, the office has no other choice left but to use deadly force (= no more mercy part).

So all of God’s judgements are evidently at first all merciful but when the person being judged persists in continuing in rebellion, then the judgement shifts to its no more mercy phase.

Originally Posted By: Tom
In the "no mercy" situations, is it your contention that God always acts indirectly, and that the text indicates this is taking place?

It all depends on if God has a present and organic way of doing that phase of judgement, including Satan’s willingness to do the judgement. If He does not, as with the Flood, Sodom and Gomorrah and Egypt’s plague, then He acts to do it. In thoses case He directly and/or indirectly did so, i.e., through His angels, as the Bible (and the SOP) say/reveal. Satan was not used for those judgements.

Originally Posted By: Tom
We haven't discussed the cross, I don't think. What do think God's action was here? Was it a direct one of judgment, or an indirect one of permitting Christ's suffering?

I don’t see the cross as a judgement, per se. It was a process to atone for sin through the “sacrifice” of a blameless person. Jesus just was paying a penalty not being judged. Those who refuse this payment will have their sins remain and thus be judged for them. Nonetheless, as expounded on in this blog post, I see in e.g, Isa 53 that it was God who was exacting the various penalties for sin upon the ransoming Christ.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #134082
06/03/11 05:27 AM
06/03/11 05:27 AM
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Tom: How do you understand this verse, particularly in reference to the Lord creating evil?

NJK:I already explained my view here earlier in this thread. See that response.

Tom: I assume you're referring to this:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
However, I understand God as “creating the evil” through what He permits the Devil to do. (Cf. James 1:13).

Tom: So you see here that God is presented as doing that which He permits. Ok.

(When you make a reference to a post other than the current one you are responding to, do state that other post’s reference number so it can be easily relocated)

No I did not. He would have had ultimate say in what was to be created as e.g., with Ahab’s lying Spirit episode. So Satan would have been His employed agency and thus this would ultimately be a work of God.

However, upon further revision of the word translated here as “evil” as I now understand it as “adversity/calamity/ruin|destruction”, I pun intended, no longer see anything “evil” in it. And so I see that God can and does create such actions, indeed as pertinently seen in His judgement actions.

Originally Posted By: Tom
How do you see that James 1:13 ties into this?

My relatable view here was that God would not use something that was inherently of Satan, however God acts of judgement and what is necessary to do it are different from the gratuitous “Sickness, suffering and death” that Satan does and takes pleasure in doing in non-judgement situations.

NJK:Simply said Saul had passed the point of no return. His delving in necromancy was probably the nail in the coffin as legislated by law. So since Saul survived the next days fighting, God took it into his own hands execute that capital punishment sentence.

Tom: By driving Saul to suicide? How? Going inside of Saul's head and manipulating his thoughts?

No. As I had suggested by reinforcing Saul’s (life long) psychological troubles and also not offering an appeasing alternative.

NJK: And who says God took pleasure in doing this.

Tom: That God does not take pleasure in the death of the wicked means that their death is not His will, in which case one could hardly expect Him to drive one to suicide.

It is not His will that the sinner dies, but God still puts them to death when circumstances justly necessitates it. (Cf. Ee.g., Exod 23:23)

NJK: It certainly grieved Him, however, for the good of Israel it was something that had to be done and God indeed waited until there was such a Capital sin to thus justly do this. All the while mercy was being extended to Saul. However the committance of this inexcusable and moreover, God/Israel-shaming, Capital Sin could not be left unpunished. That all what proper exegesis reveals, i.e., letting the Scriptures speak for themselves, which includes the fact that “God, through an agency, caused Saul to die.”

Tom: There's something suspect with your exegetical methodology if it leads you to conclusions such as this.

Really??? That is only your ‘only conclusion’ as you do not include full/proper exegesis in/for your view. Case in point, have you never read the pertinently related Law in Lev 20:6, 27; cf. 1 Sam 28:9? And who in Israel would volunteer/dare execute this Capital Punishment on the King, the one selected and anointed by God Himself, through His prophet, unlike most later kings. Even David fully understood this. God indeed would have to somehow see that this is done Himself.

Given how you don’t give weight to even the words of Jesus if they do not harmonize with your view, it is surely not surprising that you could think that God would not be justified in enforcing His own laws, as if He is expecting people to do something that He knows is wrong.

Originally Posted By: SOP
All through his course of rebellion Saul had been flattered and deceived by Satan. It is the tempter’s work to belittle sin, to make the path of transgression easy and inviting, to blind the mind to the warnings and threatenings of the Lord. Satan, by his bewitching power, had led Saul to justify himself in defiance of Samuel’s reproofs and warning. But now, in his extremity, he turned upon him, presenting the enormity of his sin and the hopelessness of pardon, that he might goad him to desperation. Nothing could have been better chosen to destroy his courage 681and confuse his judgment, or to drive him to despair and self-destruction. {PP 680.4}
Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 681.1 (EGW)

Tom: It was Satan driving Saul to despair, not God!

Great!!! Now it can be known through such Biblical corroboration what agency God had used to effectuate this killing, as the Bible had been exegetically indicating.

Originally Posted By: SOP
Oppressed by the horror of despair, it would be impossible for him to inspire his army with courage. Separated from the Source of strength, he could not lead the minds of Israel to look to God as their helper. Thus the prediction of evil would work its own accomplishment. {PP 681.3}

Tom: Saul brought about his problems by separating himself from God.

From what is stated in 1 Sam 16:14, 15, I see that God acted to sent this consequence for Saul rebellious attitude. Evidently all to set up the transition to David, (vss. 16ff) allowing David to come to the palace and gain valuable experience while he was waiting in the wings. (Cf. PP 643.1) That evil spirit also made it more likely for an earlier self-inflicted or caused death by Saul, thus a quicker transition to the anointed David.

Originally Posted By: SOP
Escape was impossible, and determined not to be taken alive by the Philistines, he bade his armor-bearer, “Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith.” When the man refused to lift his hand 682against the Lord’s anointed, Saul took his own life by falling upon his sword. {PP 681.4} Patriarchs and Prophets, p. 682.1 (EGW)

Thus the first king of Israel perished, with the guilt of self-murder upon his soul. His life had been a failure, and he went down in dishonor and despair, because he had set up his own perverse will against the will of God. {PP 682.1}

Tom: Saul would hardly have been guilty of self-murder if his death were due to an action on God's part.

As the Bible specifies that the agency God used was Satan, then, as in most other case of suicide, then he was indeed guilty of this act. Yet if a good angel had been responsible for this acts, the SOP would have an incorrect understanding here. So what she reveals in indeed in full harmony with the agency notion in the Bible.

NJK: Since I do not know the GC/Behind the Scene details with the Haiti earthquake I do not know if God simply allow it or He e.g., sent an angel to move that fault line for some deemed deserved judgement.

Tom: Or allowed Satan to do so?

Quite possible, if necessary.

NJK: However in the Bible, as well as in the SOP we do see those behind the scenes details and thus know how directly/deliberately involve God was or not. So again, in regards to the Bible, I can only make such comments as the Bible/SOP exegetical supply those unseen developments.

Tom: It seems wherever the SOP suggests God permitted an action (except for Job), you take issue with this and say you take the Bible over her words.

No. I take issue with what you are understanding by this “permitting.” I actually see that EGW is not contradicting the Bible in those instances as God can actively do what he has decided to permit, if the judgement action requires that assistance. No need there to view EGW as being in error vs. what the Bible says. It is only you who does not understand and thus cannot reconcile those two notion. Both are involved in certain actions, as the effectuating need is.

Originally Posted By: Tom
In the Bible you say this only occurred in Job (or perhaps you amended this slightly).

I don’t see this at all involved in Job. Indeed even Job’s 1:21 statement does not seem to be descriptive of what (he thought) was happening but only proverbial/philosophical: I.e., ‘God can do whatever He wants for all things are his anyway’. Indeed with this view, Job is expressing that He would not even care if God Himself was doing this to him.

Originally Posted By: Tom
So it sounds rather more like you have a mind-set that leads you in a certain direction, and causes you to interpret/harmonize different statements in a certain way (the way that agrees with your mind set).

No. Exegesis does. By you not giving the Bible (even through the Gospel and also Jesus) and (its) exegesis its proper place and weight you clearly have a, non-pejoratively speaking, mind-set. Which is, the Bible in general is not an accurate documentation of God and His will, even when “prophetic” utterances are made.

NJK: That is indeed why I don’t aim to have a set of ‘creedal principles’ that dictate how I should be interpreting a passage (such as you not given exegesis its due indicative weight). Exegesis requires that the text itself speak for itself.

Tom: Clearly there are principles that guide how you interpret things, you just don't know how to articulate them.

Not principles, but proper exegesis which bring out building block points from all pertinent verses on an issue and thus self-construct the Theology to be drawn. That is also how I arrived at my “God and the Future” Theological understanding. So it is proper exegesis that is guiding my view and since I cannot unbiasedly say what a not yet studied text will exegetically reveal, I do not approach it with, and impose upon it, a set of principles, but let it speak for itself and take that puzzle piece” and insert it my Theological puzzle, wherever it fits allowing it to complete the part of the picture that it was intended to do. You on the other hand first cut your puzzle pieces into a preferred shape and build a puzzle this way. As you leave out many piece, and cut parts of the pieces you have selected out, it is not surprising that your puzzle is full of various holes, with large missing portions and thus does not reveal a ‘Biblically recognizable’ picture of God. Only your preferred picture is being shown.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #134083
06/03/11 05:35 AM
06/03/11 05:35 AM
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T:Value comes from a discourse like this when each party can correctly represent the view of the other. If you correctly represent my view, and offer arguments against that view, I can strengthen my view in meeting the arguments, or adjust the view, or disregard it, in response to counter arguments. But you if misrepresent my view, then there's no value in your arguments, since they aren't hitting anything I'm saying. So I keep repeating the same things in the hope that you'll address what I'm actually saying.

NJK: So if you really think I am misrepresenting your view then correct my supposed “misrepresentation” rather than merely repeating what you had said and which was already debunked.

Tom: First of all, I can't think of anything that has been debunked.

NJK: You will when you allow for proper exegesis. Anyone who truly does easily will.

Tom: Anyone who allows for proper exegesis will agree with you is what you're saying, right? Always?

The key/operative words are “proper” and “truly”. A person can always prefer to be dishonest in the face of exegetical facts or due/proper methodology. Given your claimed Seminary education, that is what I see in your “exegetical”, if any, treatment of the Bible.

Tom: The context here has to do with God's being presented in inspiration as doing that which He permits. You admit that there is inspired language depicting God as doing both of these things, and only differ with me, as far as I can tell, in terms of intent.

NJK:I actually reconciled EGW statements of permit to involve the actions described in the Bible.

Tom: Why would you do this?

Because that is what proper exegesis and proper exegetical methodology demands.

Originally Posted By: Tom
The Bible says God sent fiery serpents against the Israelites. Ellen White writes:

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

Tom: Why would you think that God's removing His protecting hand would involve His sending serpents?

I have already answer that question, many times. See and deal with my responses. You evidently just don’t want to accept it, as it diffuses your view and so try to reset the question here returning back to Level 1. My explanations are still the same.

NJK: In short my view is that what EGW says, rather glibly in my understanding, that ‘God permits to happen’ does not mean the He completely removes Himself but acts to effectuate this, as the Bible actually exegetically specifies.

Tom: It's clear that according to her the danger was there all along, and God simply removed His protecting hand. Indeed, He did so in order to make evident to them that the *was* danger, and that He had been protecting them from that danger. He could hardly have done so if He Himself were causing the danger.

Already answered and addressed in my prior and latest responses.

Tom: That is, both you and I agree that inspiration says regarding the same event that God is send to have permitted the act, and to have caused the act.

NJK: Again I do not see EGW’s use of “permit” to be “loaded” to mean God is no longer involved.

Tom: God was involved. His involvement consisted of His removing His protecting hand, subjecting the Israelites to the danger He had been protecting them from.

That’s your view. I see, as the Bible says, that He acted to heightened the natural danger for reasons of timely and striking judgement. He effectively had to overridingly takeover control of “nature” (i.e., the natural tendencies and behavior of the serpents) to fittingly execute a large-scale and immediate judgement.

NJK: And, by the way, I only view EGW as having made an “inspired” comment so far as it agrees with or can be reconciled with what the Bible says.

Tom: If she was inspired by the Holy Spirit, how do see her writing things contrary to the Bible?

I already addressed this. Not everything she wrote was directly inspired. E.g., her approval of eating oysters long after the Health Message revelation was contrary to what the Bible actually taught. As shown in a prior referred to post, her altering of the ascension of Christ account for DA for what she had previously written in SP is another example. Among many other.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Would the Holy Spirit inspire one write to write things contradictory to that of another writer He had inspired? A house divided against itself cannot stand.

Indeed this is not what will happen. So since error and Bible contradiction occur in EGW’s writings, which she even corrected in other/later writings, when she became aware of them then that is proof in itself that not everything EGW said was under direct inspiration. Paul also understood this (1 Cor 7:6 for “counsels” given in vs. 1-5) even while writing what others considered part of “Scripture” (2 Pet 3:16). Indeed this was not necessarily “prophecy” (2 Pet 1:20).

And if you actually believe this yourself, you would not be denying Biblical exegesis its weight as if those writer had not written things as God had impressed their thought with. Or worst even claiming that God Himself could not accurately reveal this, however preposterous that actually claim is.

NJK:That is why I don’t see her view on the hardening of Pharaoh heart as being a ‘statement by commission’ as it does not agree with what the Bible exegetically says.

Tom: There are many scholars who disagree with you on this point.

Many do not follow the Advanced Syntax Studies in Waltke and O’Connor’s books. Hte y prefer to hold on to the prior views that they have been teaching. I personally have repeatedly come across this with some scholars starting at Andrews and with the Seminary while doing my research and writing work on the 70 Weeks. So as always I believe what is demonstrated to be true and not what someone merely thinks is true.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Indeed, only Calvinists, as far as I'm aware of, take this point of view.

I do not even think that they Calvinist view here was founded, or is based on, a deep exegesis of the text, but merely a Theological view. My view is purely exegetical. Though in the end it is correct in seeing that God was acting to harden Pharaoh heart in those instances.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I believe the critical commentaries take the viewpoint that God strengthened Pharaoh to do what was already in his heart, and that's how to reconcile the 6 statements (as I recall, there are 6) that God hardened Pharaoh's heart with the 6 statements that Pharaoh hardened his own heart.

That still involves God doing something. Indeed all of those instances, which only started, and interspersely occurred during the latter part of the Plague and onward, show that Pharaoh was about to capitulate, but God stepped into harden His heart so that this Plague judgement could continue to the end.

And God surely did use something within Pharaoh to do this, e.g., his pride, so that He would not tip off Pharaoh to what was really occurring. As I understand it, Pharaoh could have acted to resist this hardening influence, especially if he perceived that Moses’ God was deliberately influencing to refuse and that to cause further loss to Egypt. So only by making this seem as Pharaoh’s own/great idea and feeling a peace with it could this hardening be successful.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This point of view has the added benefit of not making one inspired writer contradict another.

While that is a great end result, it is not a paramount one. The Bible is to determined if EGW was correct in expressing a view.

NJK:That is a substantially occurring deficiency in the writing of EGW.

Tom: What is? What's a "statement of commission"?

Statements which are merely her understanding of a Bible issue/episode/teaching/subject but not actually from a direct revelation of God. That bold part is what is a “statement from commission or command” (1 Cor 7:6). I.e., ‘God revealed this to me”

Originally Posted By: Tom
You've said several times that you view "I was shown" statements differently
than other statements. Do you have this in mind here?


Originally Posted By: Tom
Do you recognize that your view her regarding her writings differs from her own?

Can’t “recognize” something that is not the actual, nor evident, case. It is clear that even if the Spirit moved her to write on a topic, he did not dictate the very words to her. And she had to do much studying in the Bible and other Biblical works for her work. And as e.g., seen with her rendering of John 20:17, the Holy Spirit also did not always tell of the exact translation/understanding of a Biblical text. Apparently this only later done for this text.

Tom: The difference between our views is that you view God's intent to be that the act occur, even when the "permit" language is used.

NJK: Not actually. Intent is secondary to whether God does the act or not. My view is even when He permits something to occur, He sometimes needs to actively act to bring it about.

Tom: This is self-contradictory. Your example doesn't fit. A parent taking a child to an event he is permitting to the child to go to isn't comparable to God's permitting a disaster to occur that He Himself is causing.

Tom: These are two contrasting concepts her. If God permits the disaster to occur, He is not causing it to occur.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
Just like a father permit his teenager to go to a school activity after much plea may require him having to drive him/her to the location of the event, particular in a last minute decision when taking public transportation will cause the teenager to be late. So e.g., God’s permitting something adverse to occur to Israel as a rectifying lesson (thus mercy is involved) may require Him to take full control of what is to transpire out of various GC realities, including the absence of no natural/organic consequence. Thus with the fiery serpents, these had to be attracted to, and then feel threatened by, the people for this permitted calamity to timely and strikingly forcely come to pass so that Israel can learn its key lesson.

I don’t see any self-contradiction in either my theological understanding or my supplied illustration (not actually an “example” as it is fictitious). Had the teenager taken public transportation then the father would not be involved in effectuating what he had permitted. But by Himself driving the child to that event, indeed as public transportation was not timeliness-wise, not adequate/“fitting” here, then the father came to do the actions needed to effectuate what he had permitted.

Tom: Israel could not learn the lesson that God had been protecting them from dangers if they weren't in danger.

They were in danger by the snakes. There was just a need to heighten that danger for properly/adequately/fittingly effectuating that judgement.

Tom: But my claim was simply that inspiration often presents God as doing that which He permits, which you are agreeing to, so that's hardly "debunking" the claim.

NJK: It is because you have not been taking my arguments into full consideration and weight, if you are even reading them, that you think that we have the same view here in regards to ‘God permitting something.’

Tom: You just said that there was a natural disaster which Satan wasn't involved in which God permitted to occur. That's an example of 'God permitting something.'

You are referring to the fiery serpents as this ‘just said natural disaster’, right? If not what exactly? If so, God both permitted (SOP contribution) and acted to do (Bible contribution) that judgement. Satan was not involved for Theological reason, namely given the sole lesson teaching and redemptive purposes of God here. God never intended to take that judgement beyond an merciful stage, though it could have if circumstances necessitated it, i.e., if Israel continued this episode of murmuring (Num 21:4, 5). (And this is all quite remarkable as God was also dealing with a generation that condemned to (somehow) die in the wilderness. However, as previously pointed out by Moses, a mass slaughter was not in God’s best interest.)

NJK:As I understand it, you then see God as completely non-involved in such claimed cases. I do not at all. See all of my prior views on this which indeed differentiatigly debunk your view of things here.

Tom: I've said that God doesn't cause these things, not that He is not involved (if "involved" means anything different than "caused.")

So then, I if I get your nuancing correctly, you would see that by God being “involved” he can “cause” something to occurred. And this is relating to being involved in the action, either by doing it Himself or permitting a agent to do it under His orders/directive and/or restrictions/control.

NJK: Address those standing points that render you view spurious and worthless. You seem to be going by the tenet that ‘your view is to be correct no matter what the facts and arguments against it are.’ And just bringing up new (yet thus far still spurious) claims is not an answer against distinct prior one. Those trees are still felled and your initial forest is not as dense as when you first presented it, if in existence now at all.

Tom: This whole thing here is totally unresponsive. What I said was this:

Originally Posted By: Tom
Value comes from a discourse like this when each party can correctly represent the view of the other. If you correctly represent my view, and offer arguments against that view, I can strengthen my view in meeting the arguments, or adjust the view, or disregard it, in response to counter arguments. But you if misrepresent my view, then there's no value in your arguments, since they aren't hitting anything I'm saying.

Tom: So what's being pointed out is the importance of being able to represent my view in a way I can agree to. You're not addressing this point.

Why won’t you accept what I say about your view as my actual understanding of your view. If you want to make sure it is agreeable to you then correct it yourself when necessary. And I won’t divorce myself for the realities and (exegetical) facts that are implicated in your view, hence I present my understanding of your views in their attached wider implications. If you don’t see that this should or correctly apply then explain why, i.e., why those factual elements don’t affect your view.

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
[Because you incorrectly link your post reply here (responding to yourself) I had to waste time just to retrace exactly where you were quoting from. If you had been doing this properly from the beginning you would find that retracing your steps to find the comments of mine that you omitted would be just a matter of a few clicks.]

In regards to your restated comment here, my answer is still the same:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
So if you really think I am misrepresenting your view then correct my supposed “misrepresentation” rather than merely repeating what you had said and which was already debunked....

You are only not seeing ‘no relevance to your points’ because you are outrightly ignoring my points. I am correcting what you had said. If you don’t think that is a valid correction then point out with, engaging the specific arguments made, rather than just repeating your prior point. And, as I said, truth is not limited to what you can or want to understand. You need to get up to speed on particularly proper exegesis.

The rest of my statement was, as I apparently need to spell this out for you, in regards to how you just ignore my points which counter your view. I am not responsible for your mistakes. Apparently you believe that when your view hits a wall, it is my fault. As if your view is not suppose to be wrong. That makes no sense to me and indeed is just stubborn bias. There no ‘discourse value’ in this mentality. Just defend your view however you think it is and you do the work needed to substantiate and present it. I’ll keep on stating why I agree or do not agree with it and you’ll make the necessary adjustments and better restate it if still applicable/valid.

Tom: You still aren't responding to the point, which has to do with the importance of being able to represent the view of another in such a way that that person would agree with that representation.

I see that I have been. You just don’t want to accept my stance on this issue.

Tom: I've asked you to present a summary of my view that I would agree to, and so far, you haven't done so.

Tom: Please do so.

NJK: I don’t see how that would change anything but just reset this discussion thus forcing me to have to remake the same arguments again.

Tom: You've never done so.

Who said I did?? I didn’t say: “I didn’t see how...” But “I don’t see how...” I.e., This is a present, and forward-looking, observation.

Originally Posted By: Tom
That is, you've never presented my view in a way that I would agree to. So I'm not asking you to repeat anything, but to do something you haven't done.

And my answer had been that I don’t presently or futurely see “how that would change anything but just reset this discussion thus forcing me to have to remake the same arguments again.” I have already made arguments against your view and what I think your view is and/or fully entails. Deal with those arguments which indeed are making me see no value in your and in that logical way, I’ll then actually see or better see what your view is.

You obviously are convinced that you can make you claims in a vacuum. So e.g., If Bible writer made exegetically vacuous statements with even direct revelations from God, then that does not involve the making errors. Think you claims through before making them. I am not going to, literally dumb myself down, as clearly required, for your view. Defend the integrity of your view yourself in the face of those debunking implications.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Please stated what you think my view is in a way that I would agree with it.

No matter how many times you ask this, or how surfacely “nicely” you do, it won’t fool me to go against what I see as an illogical and wasteful request. Keep making your own assertions/statements and I’ll, when applicable, keep saying why I do not see them as valid. I have not idea what you fully think, especially given your tentative approach to make your view fully known, as with the case with the irrelevance of exegesis. So I am surely not going to wsate my time in a trial and error mind-reading and guessing odyssey.

NJK: So I won’t do so.

Tom: You're "so" here doesn't apply, since you've not done what I've asked, so you wouldn't be repeating anything. So please do so.

My “so” is for the fact that I do not see this suggested/requested approach as being worthwhile, therefore I won’t indeed begin to do so.

You apparently have a “your wish is to be my command” belief here, and so you just can’t accept that I am saying that: ‘this is just not going to happen.’

NJK:You nonetheless still need to respond to all of my point which show how and why your view or methodology is deficient, improper and/or wrong. So focus on addressing those standing point if you want this discussion to constructively go on, if at all.

Tom: If you can't represent my view in a way that I agree with, then I simply don't agree with your presuppositions regarding my view, so there's nothing for me to respond to.

What is impossible to understand here?? What I say in my responses is understanding of what your view is. Deal with those statements. Substantively it is actually just what you are requesting. Which is why I see my restating then as mere repetitions because I just say the exact same things about your view.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I've been suggesting ways to make the discussion easier to pursue. If you present something organized, that's much easier to respond to. I don't have time to go hunting all over the place to look for things to respond to.

If you had been responding to all of my point as I made them you would not have to now “hunt” for anything as they would have been right in front of you, in that then current post. So you are a victim of your own ignoring and oblivious way of discussing things. That’s not to be my problem and responsibility now.

Originally Posted By: Tom
My goal here is not to convince you of anything. You have shown no indication of being capable of changing your mind regarding anything we are talking about.

If you were dealing with exegetical facts you would see that there’s nothing to change on my part from what you have posited. I do change when I am presented with valid conclusions and exegetical facts.

Originally Posted By: Tom
My goal is to try to understand your thinking.

Then engage all that I have posted. Stating them here would be merely reduplicating my already expended efforts. You should have taken measures to keep up.

Originally Posted By: Tom
This is why I'm asking you to present things in an organized fashion, and in terms of principles.

I just don’t work that way. I follow the exegetical trail of all pertinent passages to a subject.

Originally Posted By: Tom
If you are unable to do so, that helps me indirectly understand your thought process.

My thought process is an exegetical one and not a set of pre-defined (SOP) rules/principles being imposed upon the Biblical text. Deal with that actual approach of mine. I don’t have to adopt your approach, especially as I do not see it as valid. And since I don’t go by this creedal principles approach then indeed engage my approach. I know I have to in regards to you.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Tom] #134084
06/03/11 05:37 AM
06/03/11 05:37 AM
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NJK: One statement of EGW does not establish a theology and indeed sometimes it may only be an incomplete/partial expression of her understanding of that issue. Given what EGW says elsewhere about ‘God and/or His angel doing acts of destruction’ a theology cannot be made upon on Statement in regards to tithing. Indeed God action in the flood is the perfect example. That is not proper exegesis of the SOP. That is why I made a more general statement on this with a large GC view in mind rather than limiting my understanding to one quote.

Tom: It's not just one quote, but a whole bunch of quotes.

Do list the references and if you have done so before point me to that specific post. I don’t recall this.

Originally Posted By: Tom
There's a mind-set involved.

Not for me I am just reading and accepting the Bible as it exegetically reads. I see you view as externally insisting that this should not be done, even having to render exegesis as null and void.

Originally Posted By: Tom
One can guess what she's going to say about a subject without having read it.

That’s doesn’t prove anything as it does not necessarily mean that she is Biblically accurate. That may just be the limitations of what she understood. The Bible’s testimony completes the picture.

Originally Posted By: Tom
For example, I knew she would disagree with your idea regarding Saul's death, before I looked it up. She points out that Satan drove Saul to despair, not God. Of course! That reflects Satan's character, not God's.

I was only musingly speculating as to who the “agency” of God was in this killing of Saul. EGW statement only disagreed with those musings but not with fact that an agent was used. So she confirms the exegetical testimony of the Bible.

Originally Posted By: Tom
So I agree with your contention that a large view of the GC must be kept in mind, but we have very different ideas as to what that entails. I believe it entails the following:

Originally Posted By: DA 21
In heaven itself this law was broken. Sin originated in self-seeking. Lucifer, the covering cherub, desired to be first in heaven. He sought to gain control of heavenly beings, to draw them away from their Creator, and to win their homage to himself. Therefore he misrepresented God, 22attributing to Him the desire for self-exaltation. With his own evil characteristics he sought to invest the loving Creator. Thus he deceived angels. Thus he deceived men. (DA 21)

The GC is about undoing this.

That’s just part of it. As already detailed there is much, much more than just time issue. You are limiting yourself to that. I see that the Justice of God is also at issue, all stemming from the issue of why can’t sinners be allowed to perpetually live eternally.

NJK: Nonetheless, I see here that she is speaking of not necessarily judgement actions, but just day to day circumstances where God has to daily act to prevent natural calamities. The GC rules probably limit Him to only certain preventions and when His people are not faithful in tithing, He then has no justification for extraordinarily acting to protect them against an approaching calamity.

Tom: She says, "Satan is the destroyer" in the quote. That's part of the context. Also, a day to day circumstance that involves one of the thousand dangers from which God constantly protects us becomes a judgment as soon as God ceases protecting us from it. For example, the Israelites were constantly subject to danger, and as soon as God removed His protecting hand, that became a judgment.

Tom: Regarding the rest of the post, thanks for the clarifications.

You’re welcome. Wish I could likewise ‘thank you’ for having addressed/answered my standing objections to your points in/for your view.

Originally Posted By: Tom
I just have a question regarding this phrase:

Originally Posted By: NJK Project
those who act wisely enough to fearfully perceive His gracious warnings here.

Tom: What do you mean by "fearfully?" That is, what should be being feared?

That is echoing the thoughts/counsel copiously made in the Bibles such as in passages like Job 28:28; Psa 11:10; Pro 1:7; 9:10; 15:33; Isa 11:2; 33:6. ‘Those who allow themselves to ‘take God seriously’ in even those averted potential natural disasters and thus use this to set off on a path to get to know and understand this God. Thus these won’t just blow this off a natural aversion, but would allow themselves to see the gracious hand of God in this and pursue a knowledge and wisdom of Him.

“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #134146
06/04/11 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted By: NJK Project (In Post #132662 on Page 71)
As I also said there. It was because this was the execution of a judgement and not a “trial.” Pharaoh’s, even murderous, oppression and abuses of Israel was being judged and Pharaoh was not actually really given a choice to avert this.

As it can be seen with the 7 Last Plagues (see Rev 16:5-7; cf. 15:4 & 16:9b), “Plagues” are an execution of “deserved” (=Rev 16:6b) acts of judgement by God and surely, not merely acts to make people ‘sick, suffer and/or die’. Thus it can be exegetically understood that the same had been done in Egypt’s Plague as that event actually serves as the Biblical background and basis for the 7 Last Plagues.

“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] #134194
06/06/11 12:29 PM
06/06/11 12:29 PM
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Tom, please respond to 133773 and 774. Thank you.

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.

M:Why disagree with it? Just say, Yes, of course, I agree.

T: It looks like a tautology.

M: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.

T: The second part here looks like a tautology. The first part seems somewhat poorly phrased, perhaps giving the impression that the evil angels were fulfilling Christ's will, as opposed to acting contrary to His will. I would want to make clear that the evil angels are acting contrary to Christ's will.

Tautology defined means “needless repetition of an idea, statement, or word.” Isn’t it obvious we need to avoid taking anything for granted, that stating the obvious is often needed? We can’t be too careful can we? When impenitent sinners cross the line they forfeit Jesus’ protection and He gives evil angels permission to cause death and destruction within the limits He Himself establishes and enforces. The resulting death and destruction does not violate Jesus’ will. You seem to think it does. I disagree.

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.

M:Your response seems to imply you believe Jesus works to prevent them from causing any and all forms of death and destruction.

T: Yes, this is what Jesus does by default.

M: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?

T: Well, let's look at what we've been told: “Their sufferings are often represented as a punishment visited upon them by the direct decree of God. It is thus that the great deceiver seeks to conceal his own work. By stubborn rejection of divine love and mercy, the Jews had caused the protection of God to be withdrawn from them, and Satan was permitted to rule them according to his will. (GC 35) This seems clear. The Jews "cause the protection of God to be withdrawn from them."

I don’t see how the passage you quoted above address my concern and question. It sounded as though you said Jesus works to prevent evil angels from causing death and destruction. Now it sounds like you’re saying, no, Jesus doesn’t always do that, sometimes He lets it happen. Please explain.

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.

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

T: What limits are you talking about? Is this something specific, or a general question?

We are discussing the death and destruction of Jews and Jerusalem in 70 AD. Do you think evil men and evil angels exercised self-control so as not to exceed the limits Jesus imposed on them? Or, did Jesus have to work to ensure they didn’t exceed His limits?

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.

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

T: What limits are you talking about? The general concept is simple. God is constantly protecting us (and not just us, but the wicked as well) from a thousand dangers, all of them unseen. God can be caused to remove His protection. When this happens, bad things may happen (although it's also possible Satan may favor certain ones for his purposes).

You and I both believe Jesus never fully withdraws His protection. He establishes and enforces limits, perimeters within which He permits evil men and evil angels to work. In the case of Jews and Jerusalem in 70 AD the limits Jesus imposed prohibited them from causing more death and destruction than what we read about. It’s unlikely they caused less death and destruction than what Jesus was willing to permit. The point is it was Jesus, not evil men or evil angels, who determined how much death and destruction counted as just and righteous punishment.

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.

M: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?

T: What makes you think He was doing this? I don't understand how you're thinking here. Here's how I'm thinking. God protects people. They cause Him to remove His protection. Bad things may happen as a result.

Yes, bad things happen when Jesus withdraws His protection. However, you seem to think it’s up to evil men and evil angels to determine the extent of punishment. I disagree. It is entirely up to Jesus to determine the perimeters within which evil men and evil angels work to cause death and destruction. It is also entirely up to Jesus to ensure they do not exceed His limits.

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.

M: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?

T: Same question as before. Why are you thinking that Jesus is determining punishment here, as opposed to that God was caused to remove His protection?

The two go hand-in-hand, that is, impenitent sinners forfeit His protection and Jesus works to ensure the resulting punishment does not exceed the limits He Himself establishes. At what point does Jesus withdraw His protection? What criteria does He use to determine the limits of punishment? How much is too much? And, are evil men and evil angels free to withhold causing death and destruction? Again, I’m referring to Jews and Jerusalem in 70 AD.

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.

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

T: This whole concept of "punishment to be inflicted on them" is foreign to what I'm seeing in the description of the destruction that took place to Jerusalem. In all of Jesus' ministry, not once did He attribute any evil which occurred as punishment being inflicted upon the suffering person. Not one time. In every instance, every one, He attributed their suffering to either sin or Satan. I share this way of thinking. As Jesus Christ did, I also attribute all suffering to the evil one, and the consequences of sin. “...all suffering results from transgression of God's law....suffering is inflicted by Satan (DA 471). “Sickness, suffering, and death are work of an antagonistic power. Satan is the destroyer; God is the restorer....When Christ healed disease, He warned many of the afflicted ones, "Sin no more, lets a worst thing come unto thee' John 5:14. Thus He taught that they had brought disease upon themselves by transgressing the laws of God, and that health could be preserved only by obedience (MH 113). “We are to observe carefully every lesson Christ has given us throughout His life and teaching; He does not destroy. He improves whatever He touches.” I'd like to discuss this last quote a bit, because I think it hits at a heart of the difference between how we view things. I see this last quote as a condensed explanation of the main issue involved in the Great Controversy. Here's the reality:

1.Christ (or God) does not destroy.
2.Christ (or God) improves whatever He touched.

Here is Satan's claim:

1.Christ (or God) does destroy.
2.Christ (or God) does not improve whatever He touches.

Note what we are exhorted to do: “We are to observe carefully every lesson Christ has given us throughout His life and teaching(1SM 118).” Why are we exhorted to do so? To learn that:

1.Christ (or God) does not destroy.
2.Christ (or God) improves whatever He touched.

How I see you to perceive things is that Christ (or God) does destroy, and we could not observe carefully every lesson Christ has given us throughout His life and teaching to see that He does not destroy, nor improves everything He touches, because that isn't the case. I'd like to bring into to attention that we are exhorted to "observe carefully *every lesson* Christ has given us throughout His life. Every lesson. Why every lesson? Because the whole purpose of His mission was the revelation of God. *Everything* He did was for this purpose, and so it follows that *every lesson* should be observed, to learn two things:

1.God does not destroy.
2.God improves everything He touches.

And this is wonderful and beautiful truth. When these truths dawn on our consciousness, it changes our whole paradigm! As Acts says, Christ went about doing good. This is how He revealed the Father. He improved everything He touched, thus revealing that God improves everything He touches. So all we need to is allow God to touch us, and He will improve us. Understanding that God improves everything He touches takes our fear away. We don't need to worry about what God will do to us if we don't do what He says, because God improves everything He touches; He does not destroy. Our fear should only be what will happen to us if we do not allow God to touch us. This is because we need improvement, and that is because of how Satan and sin have wrecked us.

Amen. Jesus does not destroy; He restores. The death and destruction of Jews and Jerusalem in 70 AD is an example of this truth. There was nothing arbitrary or random about the death and destruction they suffered. It was an act of punishment. Jesus visited vengeance and retribution upon them. He executed justice and vindicated the kingdom and character of God. He didn’t merely withdraw His protection and allow things to run its natural course as if sin metes out justice in defense of the honor and glory of God. "In the retribution inflicted upon the ungrateful husbandmen was portrayed the doom of those who should put Christ to death." {DA 596.3} Ellen wrote:

God's judgments will be visited upon those who are seeking to oppress and destroy His people. His long forbearance with the wicked emboldens men in transgression, but their punishment is nonetheless certain and terrible because it is long delayed. "The Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act." Isaiah 28:21. To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked." Ezekiel 33:11. The Lord is "merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, . . . forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin." Yet He will "by no means clear the guilty." "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked." Exodus 34:6, 7; Nahum 1:3. By terrible things in righteousness He will vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. The severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor may be judged by the Lord's reluctance to execute justice. The nation with which He bears long, and which He will not smite until it has filled up the measure of its iniquity in God's account, will finally drink the cup of wrath unmixed with mercy. {GC 627.2}

The forbearance that God has exercised toward the wicked, emboldens men in transgression; but their punishment will be none the less certain and terrible for being long delayed. "The Lord shall rise up as in Mount Perazim, He shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that He may do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act, His strange act." Isaiah 28:21. To our merciful God the act of punishment is a strange act. "As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live." Ezekiel 33:11. The Lord is "merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, . . . forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin." Yet He will "by no means clear the guilty." Exodus 34:6, 7. While He does not delight in vengeance, He will execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law. He is forced to do this, to preserve the inhabitants of the earth from utter depravity and ruin. In order to save some He must cut off those who have become hardened in sin. "The Lord is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked." Nahum 1:3. By terrible things in righteousness He will vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law. And the very fact of His reluctance to execute justice testifies to the enormity of the sins that call forth His judgments and to the severity of the retribution awaiting the transgressor. {PP 628.1}

The execution of justice and judgment is an act of punishment Jesus metes out in vengeance and retribution. “While He does not delight in vengeance, He will execute judgment upon the transgressors of His law.” “By terrible things in righteousness He will vindicate the authority of His downtrodden law.”

There are those who will question God's love and His justice in visiting so severe punishment for words spoken in the heat of passion. But both love and justice require it to be shown that utterances prompted by malice against God are a great sin. The retribution visited upon the first offender would be a warning to others, that God's name is to be held in reverence. {PP 408.2}

We need just such lessons as the Bible gives us, for with the revelation of sin is recorded the retribution which follows. The sorrow and penitence of the guilty, and the wailing of the sin-sick soul, come to us from the past, telling us that man was then, as now, in need of the pardoning mercy of God. It teaches us that while He is a punisher of crime, He pities and forgives the repenting sinner. {4T 12.3}

Though the Lord in mercy withholds for a time the retribution of their sin, as in the days of Jeremiah, He will not always stay His hand, but will visit iniquity with righteous judgment. {4T 165.1}

The retribution to come upon Jerusalem could be delayed only a short time; and as Christ's eye rested upon the doomed city, he saw not merely its destruction, but the destruction of a world. He saw that as Jerusalem was given up to destruction, so the world will be given up to its doom. He saw the retribution that will be visited on the adversaries of God. The scenes that were transacted at the destruction of Jerusalem will be repeated at the great and terrible day of the Lord, but in a more fearful manner. {RH, December 7, 1897 par. 9}

While [Jesus] tells us of the love of God, he also pictures the awful scenes of the Judgment and the retribution that shall be visited upon the wicked. In all the Bible, God is presented not only as a being of mercy and benevolence, but as a God of strict and impartial justice. {ST, March 24, 1881 par. 2}

You, on the other hand, seem to think Jesus accomplishes all these things by simply withdrawing His protection and allowing sin to run its course. Such an idea credits sin with vindicating the law and kingdom and character of God.

Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: NJK Project] #134195
06/06/11 12:46 PM
06/06/11 12:46 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
Originally Posted By: MM
T:So there are quite a few examples of God presenting Himself as doing that which He permits.

M:And there are quite a few accounts of Jesus actually doing what the Bible said He did...

You mean as a contrast to the accounts where Jesus *didn't* actually do what the Bible said He did?!

If not, it's difficult to understand what you mean here. If this is indeed your intent, I don't think this is well put. I think always Jesus did what the Bible says He did, and that often He is said to have done that which He permits is a better way of putting this.

Perhaps what you mean is sometimes God does these things directly (by permission), whereas other times it's directly (God does them Himself, or by means of angels). If this is what you mean, how would you distinguish between these two incidents? (direct ones and indirect ones).

Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
Re: Why did God command people to stone, scorch, and smite sinners to death? [Re: Mountain Man] #134196
06/06/11 12:48 PM
06/06/11 12:48 PM
Mountain Man  Offline OP
Charter Member
Active Member 2019

20000+ Member
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 22,256
Southwest USA
Tom, I was thinking and praying about these things this morning and the following came to mind. When time and circumstances force Jesus to withdraw His protection and permit His enemies to cause death and destruction (within the limits He Himself establishes and and works to ensure is not exceeded) it raises questions:

1. Is it a form of "justice and judgment" when Jesus implements the withdraw and permit principle of punishment?

2. Were the enemies of God guilty of evildoing when they meted out the punishment Jesus was willing to permit?

3. Was Moses guilty of evildoing when he meted out the punishment Jesus was willing to command?

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