The Evangelical Universalist Forum

The Commands Of The Monster God Of The Old Testament


#141

Genesis 2:17
“But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

In this verse, God is warning against eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God states the consequence for doing so would be death.

But God is not saying that He will bring about that consequence, or kill anyone. In fact, as I have argued elsewhere, God is never an agent of harm. The devil is an agent of harm (John 10:10); “The god of this age“ (2 Cor. 4:4) wields the power of death (Hebrews 2:14), not God.

This distinction was, and still is, lost to many believers. It is doubtful Moses, the editor of Genesis, himself distinguished that the gracious God was not threatening Adam about what He, God, would do in the event of Adam’s disobedience; rather, God was warning Adam about what the legalistic Satan would do through the open door provided to him by Adam’s disobedience: Satan would bring in death.

In Genesis 2:17, Moses got the wording right; wording that does not explicitly implicate God as the cause of death. Nevertheless, from Moses’ other misattributions of the satanic to God, we see he was virtually uninformed about Satan.


#142

No! He does not. God could have total control, but He has chosen not to. Instead, He has chosen to respect man’s free will, expecting all people eventually to choose to come under His authority.

If the armies of the King of Country A wipe out the armies of the King of Country B, then he has won a great victory. But the King of Country A would have an even greater victory if He could persuade the King of Country B to surrender and come under his authority. Likewise, God will have a GREAT victory when "every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippians 2:10,11). So eventually, all people will willingly place themselves under the authority of God.

No! Also, He doesn’t even allow wrongdoing in the sense of giving His permission. It’s just that, in His respect for man and his free will (Man was created in the image of God who has free will) , God does nothing at the present time to prevent evil acts from occurring.


#143

I think you’re on the right track.


#144


#145

I agree with everything you said except this last point. God indeed does things at the present time to prevent evil acts from occurring: He answers prayer.

Further, He has provided angels from the beginning to watch over Creation and prevent tragedy. Athenagoras (133-190 AD) summarized the early Church’s cosmology as follows:

“The Maker and Framer of the world distributed and appointed….a multitude of angels and ministers…to occupy themselves about the elements, and the heavens, and the world, and the things in it, and the godly ordering of them all…" A PLEA FOR THE CHRISTIANS, 10. (From Murray.)

I believe there is a certain measure of divine protection around every individual, including unbelievers. But we have a free will, and we, our family members, our governing officials, can, through sin, open that divine hedge of protection and let in the enemy to take further advantage of us.


#146

Fair enough… So does God (the one who gave free will) then punish the so called evil that happens, in other words the things people do that are ‘contrary’ to what God prefers?


#147

So if I look out the window and see my grandson putting lighter fluid on the neighbors cat and getting out the lighter he lifted from my work pants should I stop him or not? :pleading_face:


#148

In what way?


#149

I believe the Holy Spirit is a restraining force against evil throughout the world. As Jesus said about Him in John 16:8, “And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”

Satan is quoted as complaining about a divine hedge of protection around Job (Job 1:10). And, as I mentioned, I believe in, and am thankful for, guardian angels (see, for example, Psalm 91).


#150

Me too.


#151

You certainly have a conveniently vacillating view, so no wonder it seems unbalanced.

If a Judge (God) decrees a given consequence, i.e., ruling (death) then the matter of agency (electrocution-hanging-lethal injection-stoning-decapitation) whereby said consequence might occur becomes totally moot. The agent (whatever that be) carries no intrinsic or independent authority ONLY fulfilling the task to which that agency has been permitted by that higher authority, e.g., Job 1:12.


#152

So it is interesting David that you seemingly put ‘judge’ and God in the same place, or seeming to…

Can you expound on that thought… How is the modern justice system doing God’s will? Or maybe that is not what you were saying?


#153

God is a loving Father. He has never been anything else, and would never harm anyone, regardless of when the prophets have said otherwise. “Let God be true, and every human being a liar.” Romans 3:4, NIV.

He loves people and warns people in order to help them avoid death. He does not rule, or decree, or threaten death. He does not approve of death, send death, or utilize death as a tool. Death is His stated enemy, which will one day be brought to an end (1 Cor. 15:26). Death is under the control of the fallen archangel, Lucifer, not God:

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil. Heb. 2:14.

God does not send death, He sends salvation from death. He is not in the killing business, but in the saving business. God is a Savior.


#154

Good post, H!!


#155

Nah I’m NOT drawing that connection at all. Simply by ‘Judge’… God being the supreme honcho of creation determines (sets Adam boundaries, i.e., judges what consequence might flow from a given action) as per His command given that determines certain outcome — and contrary to Hermano’s denials, this was all via His “command/charge/directive” as per Gen 2:16.


#156

Gotta love your argument of shifting sands…

So it all comes down to the semantics of warning but not threaten — seriously, this the best you can do??

…UNLESS it be His own Son (Rev 13:8), as per…

So contrary to all you have said it still comes back to this above that really negates all your other claims. AND the reason for the sanction is NOT the issue!

What is your method of choice in explaining away and discrediting Jesus?…

Rev 2:22-23 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Rev 2:27a ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—

Rev 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

Rev 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

WHAT!? God not in control!? You missed this memo too…

Rev 1:18 I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

Notice the PRESENT TENSE of I have — NOT will have, or yet to have, but I HAVE!!


#157

Can you not appreciate the major difference between a threat and a warning, Davo?

Threat: “Fred, I am going to kill you!”
Warning: "Fred, watch out! Someone is around the corner waiting to kill you!

Davo, I don’t believe God killed His Son; but obviously you do. We radically differ in our views of God’s true nature. I subscribe to the Ransom Theory/Christus Victor, not Penal Substitution.

Here, Hades and Death are conceived as prisons where the dead are confined, and from which Christ can deliver them. We read about “the gates of death” in Psalm 9:13 and Job 38:17, and “the gates of hell” in Isaiah 38:10 and Matthew 16:18.

Christ won the keys of Hades and Death to free people, not to kill people.

By the way Davo, I don’t see myself wavering in my position about God doing no harm, and being exclusively good. As you well know, I even go so far as to challenge the prophets on this point.

But why blow a fuse? I don’t, even when you accuse the Savior Jesus of returning in 70 AD to kill all the Christ-rejecting Jews in Jerusalem–while knowing that Jesus had said, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem…how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing." Mt. 23:37, Lk. 13:34.


#158

I perceive that much of the Bible assumes this happens in various ways. E.g. I think the notion that God disciplines and chastens those he loves, and that we will all appear for judgment as well as the warning that we’ll reap what we sow assumes that we can face punishing consequences for doing evil things. Do you see God’s posture as being that we are exempt from punishment?


#159

Not really, but I’m trying to look at it from a different angle, It is an interesting situation, Men have tried to understand God, and in doing so have had to make judgments (I would say assumptions) about what the word of God means and says.

When I can break free of the ideas that have been drilled into me for years, I can see a different God, one of love and compassion, That also brings a peace with it.

I tend to see most of scripture as history, so to me the verbiage of God chastising those he loves and each one will stand in judgment as past events that have happened.

Morality or shall we say right and wrong seem to me to be at the least a moving target. I’m not sure how we can be judged if the rules are not crystal clear.

Please don’t assume that I mean anyone can do anything without repercussions… But we have societies with rules and enforcements in place. If I do something bad and go to prison, will I again have to pay for the wrong before God?


#160

These are ALL your words Hermano NOT mine… little wonder you can’t be taken seriously! If person A sanctioned the death of person B and person C carried out the sentence at person A’s behest, WHO does logic credit with passing out the sentence? — Person A.

Threat = Warning:Fred, you had better keep your mouth shut (warning)… if you don’t I will kill you! (threat)” — yawn… your forced equivocations are nothing more than simplistic detractions and most can see straight through them.

Once again, yes no doubt… 100% in lockstep with any number of atheists on that very point. :wink:

Feel free to provide a direct quote for this FALSE claim.

Yep as is becoming more evident, your preferred M/O seems to be… never let a full quote get in the way of claiming a half-truth with half a quote. And Jesus went onto say…

Mt23:38 See! Your house is left to you desolate! Cf. Jer 22:5

BTW Hermano…

What is your method of choice in explaining away and discrediting Jesus?…

Rev 2:22-23 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

Rev 2:27a ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’—

Rev 19:11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.

Rev 19:15 Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.