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Re: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Tom] #94718
01/16/08 06:39 PM
01/16/08 06:39 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
 Quote:
I don’t know how this works. We are just telling you what we read in the Bible and in Ellen White.


Well if your reading leads to a position that has God acting like a medieval torturer, perhaps that reading should be reconsidered.

 Quote:
Let’s suppose, however, that this fire refers first to the mental suffering the wicked will experience, and only afterwards, after they are dead, to the literal fire (as you seem to believe). You seem to consider that mental suffering hurts less than physical suffering. There is mental torture ("torture" in the sense I explained previously) in the lake of fire, and although it’s not inflicted, it’s permitted by God. We have evidence that the suffering involved in this mental torture is worse than in the physical torture (Ellen White says Christ’s agony was so great He barely felt the pain on the cross), or at least similar to it:

He (the sinner) will realize that because of transgression, his soul is cut off from God, and that God's wrath abides on him. This is a fire unquenchable, and by it every unrepentant sinner will be destroyed. {ST, April 14, 1898 par. 13}

Obviously this experience is very different from Satan’s reflection about his acts during the 1,000 years, which you consider a “humane punishment.” How do you see this?


It looks to me that you are skirting the issue. You have suggested that God takes the initiative to burn people alive for their bad deeds, and that somehow this is "justice" as opposed to barbarism. How so? I don't see how this is possible. That God, the one we see perfectly revealed in Jesus Christ, would burn people alive, and supernaturally do something to either them or the fire He is burning them with so that they don't die so that He can continue to do it longer is unthinkable.

Can we imagine Jesus Christ saying to the woman caught in adultery, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more, so I won't have to burn you alive to make you pay for your bad deeds?"

In regards to your question, the agony that the wicked go through is not imposed upon them by God. He does not inflict them with pain. This is all due to the working of Satan, and sin. EGW writes that Satan is the author of sin and *all* of its results. The agony that the wicked suffer is one of those results. As such, Satan, and not God, is its author, meaning that Satan, and not God, causes it to happen.

What is it that causes the agony, described by Jesus as weeping and gnashing of teeth? It is the recognition of the truth. It is the recognition that they could have had heaven, and the opening of the conscience to the evil that they have committed.

There is no arbitrarily imposed pain upon the wicked by God, either physically or mentally. God simply is not like that, not in the least, which was wonderfully and completely demonstrated by Jesus Christ. Just look how He treated those who were torturing and killing Him. That's how God is. Not as a show, or temporary demonstration, but all the time.

If we would only recognize what an awful, terrible, destructive, hideous thing sin is, we wouldn't need to ascribe to God actions which would have Him imposing tortures, either physical or mental, upon those who choose another way than His.


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: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Tom] #94756
01/17/08 09:59 PM
01/17/08 09:59 PM
Rosangela  Offline
5500+ Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,154
Brazil
 Quote:
The assertion that sin will not destroy itself is contrary to logic.

Well, it’s according to the logic of inspiration:

God has declared that sin must be destroyed as an evil ruinous to the universe. Those who cling to sin will perish in its destruction. {COL 123.3}

To sin, wherever found, "our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). In all who submit to His power the Spirit of God will consume sin. But if men cling to sin, they become identified with it. Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. {DA 107}

 Quote:
You have suggested that God takes the initiative to burn people alive for their bad deeds, and that somehow this is "justice" as opposed to barbarism.

Where have I suggested that God takes the initiative to burn people alive? Where have I said that it is God who inflicts the wicked with pain?

Re: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Rosangela] #94757
01/18/08 12:54 AM
01/18/08 12:54 AM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
God destroys sin by allowing it to reap its fruit. Inspiration indicates this by saying that if Satan and his hosts were "left" to reap the results of their sin, they would perish, and just a little later inspiration also describes death as "the inevitable result of sin" having just earlier pointed out that it is not due to an arbitrary (imposed, from the context) act of God.

This sort of issue cannot be solved by simply citing a simple sentence "from inspiration." There are deep issues that need to be carefully considered. My post was a lengthly one, which went into several of these issues.

There are two issues in particular that it would be good to deal with. One has to do with whether the law of God is arbitrary, and it's penalties arbitrary (or "imposed" or "external" -- not "capricious" or "without a purpose").

Another issue, closely related is if sin, which is disobedience to the law, is a principle that leads or tends to life. There are two options, life and death. If it doesn't tend to life, then it tends to death.

The "law of life" is described as the law of giving, of self-sacrificing love, which would be contrary to the "law of death," right? So if the "law of life" is one of unselfish giving, then what would the "law of death" be? Clearly, selfish taking.

Now is the law of life a life of life simply because God rewards those who unselfishly give with life? Is that what EGW has in mind in DA chapter 1 where she discusses the circuit of beneficence? Or is there a principle involved where agape, the love of God, manifested in Christ, is a principle which tends to life? The context surely indicates the latter.

 Quote:
God loves His creatures with a love that is both tender and strong. He has established the laws of nature, but His laws are not arbitrary exactions. Every "Thou shalt not," whether in physical or moral law, contains or implies a promise. If it is obeyed, blessings will attend our steps; if it is disobeyed, the result is danger and unhappiness. The laws of God are designed to bring His people closer to Himself. He will save them from the evil and lead them to the good if they will be led, but force them He never will. We cannot discern God's plans, but we must trust Him and show our faith by our works.--5T 444, 445


 Quote:
So far from making arbitrary requirements, God's law is given to men as a hedge, a shield. Whoever accepts its principles is preserved from evil. Fidelity to God involves fidelity to man. Thus the law guards the rights, the individuality, of every human being. It restrains the superior from oppression, and the subordinate from disobedience. It ensures man's well-being, both for this world and for the world to come. To the obedient it is the pledge of eternal life, for it expresses the principles that endure forever. (Ed 77)


 Quote:
Christ pledged himself to keep the law which Adam transgressed, and to magnify that law and make it honorable by demonstrating that it was not arbitrary, and could be kept inviolate by man. Christ showed by his life that the law of God is faultless, and that man, by disobeying it, brings upon himself the evils which its restrictions seek to avert from him. (3SP 257)


The penalty of breaking the law in inherent in the breaking of it.


 Quote:
Where have I suggested that God takes the initiative to burn people alive? Where have I said that it is God who inflicts the wicked with pain?


If I recall, when we had this discussion before, you talked about God's regulating the fire that burns the wicked alive so that it wouldn't kill them right away. Am I remembering this incorrectly?


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: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Tom] #94759
01/18/08 11:09 AM
01/18/08 11:09 AM
Rosangela  Offline
5500+ Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,154
Brazil
 Quote:
This sort of issue cannot be solved by simply citing a simple sentence "from inspiration."


What happens is that the sentence from inspiration is very clear:

To sin, wherever found, "our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). ... Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. {DA 107}

Are you denying that the glory of God destroys sin?

 Quote:
R: Where have I suggested that God takes the initiative to burn people alive? Where have I said that it is God who inflicts the wicked with pain?
T: If I recall, when we had this discussion before, you talked about God's regulating the fire that burns the wicked alive so that it wouldn't kill them right away. Am I remembering this incorrectly?

First, I don't believe that God will have to send fire upon people, so I didn't suggest that God takes the initiative to burn people alive. Second, I've said clearly that it is not God who inflicts the wicked with pain, although He permits this to happen.
Third, I don't remember my exact words in previous discussions but, according to GC 673.1 obviously the suffering will last shorter or longer according to the gravity of the person's sins. And "after all have perished who fell by his deceptions, [Satan] is still to live and suffer on." But if God doesn't send the fire, He also doesn't regulate it.
Fourth, the fire which consumes the wicked is said to consume both soul and body, so it will also be physical:

"Against every evildoer God's law utters condemnation. He may disregard that voice, he may seek to drown its warning, but in vain. It follows him. It makes itself heard. It destroys his peace. If unheeded, it pursues him to the grave. It bears witness against him at the judgement. A quenchless fire, it consumes at last soul and body. {Ed 144.5}

Another interesting passage says:

[Christ was] the only One who could bear the strokes in behalf of the sinner and because of His innocence not be consumed. {HP 42.4}

So, although Christ died under the agony of the weight of sin, He was not consumed, which means that the word "consumed" does not refer only to an agony which leads to death. So, one hypothesis would be that the suffering of the wicked begins with this agony, but finally sets the the body itself in flames (a kind of spontaneous combustion?), consuming both soul and body. This is just a hypothesis for, as I have said, I can't know how things will work.

Re: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Rosangela] #94762
01/18/08 01:54 PM
01/18/08 01:54 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
 Quote:
This sort of issue cannot be solved by simply citing a simple sentence "from inspiration."


What happens is that the sentence from inspiration is very clear:

To sin, wherever found, "our God is a consuming fire" (Heb. 12:29). ... Then the glory of God, which destroys sin, must destroy them. {DA 107}

Are you denying that the glory of God destroys sin?


The question is not whether or not this sequence of words is true or not, but what it means. If the way that God destroys sin is by burning alive sinners and then killing them, how could one say that the glory of God destroys sin?

I notice that she writes, just a little later from the quote you cited, that the same thing which destroys sinners (lit. "slays the wicked") gives life to the righteous. So how does that work? This indicates that the destruction that occurs cannot be something imposed, because the *same thing* (the glory of God) which slays the wicked gives life to the righteous.

Therefore the cause of the destruction of the wicked *must* involve their having ruined themselves in some way so that something which should result in life (being in the presence of God's glory) results in death. Their death is not due to an imposed (or arbitrary) act of power by God, since the same "act" of God which slays them gives life to the righteous, but is the inevitable result of their own choices and actions, which is exactly what EGW says many times in the DA 764 passage.

 Quote:
First, I don't believe that God will have to send fire upon people, so I didn't suggest that God takes the initiative to burn people alive. Second, I've said clearly that it is not God who inflicts the wicked with pain, although He permits this to happen.
Third, I don't remember my exact words in previous discussions but, according to GC 673.1 obviously the suffering will last shorter or longer according to the gravity of the person's sins. And "after all have perished who fell by his deceptions, [Satan] is still to live and suffer on." But if God doesn't send the fire, He also doesn't regulate it.
Fourth, the fire which consumes the wicked is said to consume both soul and body, so it will also be physical:

"Against every evildoer God's law utters condemnation. He may disregard that voice, he may seek to drown its warning, but in vain. It follows him. It makes itself heard. It destroys his peace. If unheeded, it pursues him to the grave. It bears witness against him at the judgement. A quenchless fire, it consumes at last soul and body. {Ed 144.5}

Another interesting passage says:

[Christ was] the only One who could bear the strokes in behalf of the sinner and because of His innocence not be consumed. {HP 42.4}

So, although Christ died under the agony of the weight of sin, He was not consumed, which means that the word "consumed" does not refer only to an agony which leads to death. So, one hypothesis would be that the suffering of the wicked begins with this agony, but finally sets the the body itself in flames (a kind of spontaneous combustion?), consuming both soul and body. This is just a hypothesis for, as I have said, I can't know how things will work.


You took part in a discussion initiated by MM regarding the wicked's being burned, and defended his position, so, I quite naturally assumed you agreed with his position. If you disagreed with his position, then some comment along the lines of "I disagree with (whatever)" would have helped to clarify the situation.

The wicked are raised without special resurrection bodies. The fire being spoken of is very likely molten lava, at least where it speaks of the earth being a lake of fire, which is well over 1000 degrees centigrade. Regardless of the type of fire actually involved, any fire which would cause a person to catch on fire would kill that person very quickly, in a matter of seconds, not days.

The way you have laid things out sounds much more like the position I have laid out than MM's.

If you disagree with the assertion that the wicked are dead before being burned by a physical fire, and also disagree with the assertion that they only are burned by physical fire for a few seconds, then we are back to the situation I originally set out, which is that God is supernaturally keeping people alive so that He can burn them by fire in order to make them pay for their sins.


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: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Tom] #94767
01/18/08 04:32 PM
01/18/08 04:32 PM
Rosangela  Offline
5500+ Member
Joined: Nov 2004
Posts: 6,154
Brazil
 Quote:
You took part in a discussion initiated by MM regarding the wicked's being burned, and defended his position, so, I quite naturally assumed you agreed with his position.

I think my position is midway between his position and yours.

 Quote:
Therefore the cause of the destruction of the wicked *must* involve their having ruined themselves in some way so that something which should result in life (being in the presence of God's glory) results in death. Their death is not due to an imposed (or arbitrary) act of power by God...

True, I agree that the wicked ruined themselves in some way so that the presence of God’s glory results in death to them (instead of life). I also don’t think this is an arbitrary act of God. This will bring Him infinite sadness. But it is God who decides when this will occur. He knows that bringing the wicked to the presence of His glory will result in their death, but He must judge and destroy sin. His objective is not to destroy people, however He knows people will inevitably perish in the destruction of sin.

 Quote:
If you disagree with the assertion that the wicked are dead before being burned by a physical fire, and also disagree with the assertion that they only are burned by physical fire for a few seconds, then we are back to the situation I originally set out, which is that God is supernaturally keeping people alive so that He can burn them by fire in order to make them pay for their sins.

Please analyze this quote again:

[Christ was] the only One who could bear the strokes in behalf of the sinner and because of His innocence not be consumed. {HP 42.4}

What does “not be consumed” here means? It must mean something different from experiencing the agony of the separation of God which leads to death, because Christ experienced this. If He experienced this and was not consumed, I understand that “consumed” here means not that God would rain fire upon Christ, but that, if Christ hadn’t been innocent, He would have experienced a physical reaction to God’s glory which would have led to His extinction (what else could this refer to?). It seems to me that this physical reaction would occur while the person is still alive, as the last part of the process, would involve fire, and would last what it commonly lasts in a physical body. But, as I said, this is just a hypothesis.

Re: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Rosangela] #94769
01/18/08 05:45 PM
01/18/08 05:45 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
 Quote:
I think my position is midway between his position and yours.


I don't think so. At least, from what you're writing here, it seems not much different from mine, but very much different than his.

 Quote:
True, I agree that the wicked ruined themselves in some way so that the presence of God’s glory results in death to them (instead of life). I also don’t think this is an arbitrary act of God. This will bring Him infinite sadness.


Good! I'm glad we agree on this. I'm glad you pointed out that it will bring God infinite sadness.

 Quote:
But it is God who decides when this will occur.


Who else would it be? Why write "but"? Have I somehow been arguing that it is not God, but someone else, who decides when the judgment will take place?

 Quote:
He knows that bringing the wicked to the presence of His glory will result in their death, but He must judge and destroy sin.


I think I disagree with this. That is, if you're saying *the* reason that the wicked are destroyed is that He must judge and destroy sin. This judge begs the question, why? That is, why must God judge and destroy sin. It's certainly true that sin cannot go on forever, but why not?

One of the things EGW points out is that it is in mercy that God does what He does, and that the decision to be excluded from heaven is voluntary with the wicked. It is in the wicked's own best interest that they not continue to exist. They would just be miserable. There would be no point in continuing their existence, and so God doesn't. Not because "sin must be judged" but because God's acting in such a way is in the best interest for all concerned, not the least of which are the wicked themselves.

 Quote:
His objective is not to destroy people, however He knows people will inevitably perish in the destruction of sin.


I agree with this completely, and would just add that it is the revelation of the truth, not literal fire, which brings out the destruction of sin.


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: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Tom] #94997
01/27/08 01:01 PM
01/27/08 01:01 PM
Darius  Offline
Dedicated Member
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,163
Muncie, IN
What is this about "my position is between his and yours?" Do we think we are developing a theory here? Do we think that what we conclude determines what God must do? I don't get this discussion.


Darius A. Lecointe, J.D., Ph.D.
No weapon formed against me shall prosper.
Re: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Darius] #95012
01/27/08 04:51 PM
01/27/08 04:51 PM
Tom  Offline
Active Member 2012
14500+ Member
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 14,795
Lawrence, Kansas
How is this different than any other discussion, Darius? No discussion determines what God will do, of course, but we discuss things to try to better understand them.

"My position" and "your position" is simply short-hand for not having to write out something like "the position I have been presenting during this thread."


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: To whom or what did Jesus "pay the price" for our redemption? [Re: Tom] #95016
01/28/08 11:51 AM
01/28/08 11:51 AM
Darius  Offline
Dedicated Member
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,163
Muncie, IN
I thought we were searching for truth when it comes to the gospel? I must be mistaken.


Darius A. Lecointe, J.D., Ph.D.
No weapon formed against me shall prosper.
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