They had not been taught to respect the authority of their father, and they did not realize the necessity of exact obedience to the requirements of God. Aaron's mistaken indulgence of his sons prepared them to become the subjects of the divine judgments."
God works by the manifestation of His Spirit to reprove and convict the sinner; and if the Spirit's work is finally rejected, there is no more that God can do for the soul. The last resource of divine mercy has been employed. The transgressor has cut himself off from God, and sin has no remedy to cure itself. There is no reserved power by which God can work to convict and convert the sinner. "Let him alone"
Hard references, personal applications, charging upon an opponent, are not the work given to any mortal who is in Christ's service. We must be true as steel to principle, true to our loyalty to God, all the while considering that he who opposes the truth is opposing the counsel of God against himself. Let your heart melt with pity for the one whose heart is enclosed with the meshes of Satan. While supposing that he is doing God service, he is fighting against the truth. He cannot discern this to be truth, because he will not come to the truth to search for the truth with unprejudiced mind. The love of Christ should be in our hearts.
All who advocate the truth should have that faith that works by love and purifies the soul. There is to be no compromise of the truth. Steadfast principle is to be maintained by Christ's followers who love the truth. They must show what the truth has done for them in transformation of character, making them kind and courteous peace lovers and peacemakers. Such shall be called the children of God."
"God destroyed the inhabitants of the old world by a flood, because they refused to obey His commandments. The record states: "God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them." Had man not eaten of the tree of knowledge and every kind of wickedness, God would not have destroyed him. And God "looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth."
"In mercy to the world, God blotted out its wicked inhabitants in Noah's time. In mercy he destroyed the corrupt dwellers in Sodom. Through the deceptive power of Satan, the workers of iniquity obtain sympathy and admiration, and are thus constantly leading others to rebellion. It was so in Cain's and in Noah's day, and in the time of Abraham and Lot; it is so in our time. It is in mercy to the universe that God will finally destroy the rejecters of his grace."
"The history of Israel was to be placed on record for the instruction and warning of coming generations. Men of all future time must see the God of heaven as an impartial ruler, in no case justifying sin. But few realize the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Men flatter themselves that God is too good to punish the transgressor. But in the light of Bible history it is evident that God's goodness and His love engage Him to deal with sin as an evil fatal to the peace and happiness of the universe."
Surely if these statements were not true God would have given Ellen G. White information to the contrary. I can't believe that God is willing that we be allowed to continue in ignorance as to His nature. Is God so powerless that He can't set this straight? God is all powerful and He has revealed to us exactly what He has done and what He will do. The question is, are we going to believe what is written or are we "wise above what is written."
God destroys no man. Everyone who is destroyed will have destroyed himself. Everyone who stifles the admonitions of conscience is sowing the seeds of unbelief, and these will produce a sure harvest. By rejecting the first warning from God, Pharaoh of old sowed the seeds of obstinacy, and he reaped obstinacy.
Each actor in history stands in his lot and place; for God's great work after His own plan will be carried out by men who have prepared themselves to fill positions for good or evil. In opposition to righteousness, men become instruments of unrighteousness. But they are not forced to take this course of action. They need not become instruments of unrighteousness, any more than Cain needed to.
The above Spirit of Prophecy statements appear six times and in all six cases they are found in the same context. This statement is used to support the idea that God does not destroy. And at first glance it would appear to contradict all the previous quotes. If we look at it closely we will see that it doesn't really contradict them at all. It says that those who are destroyed are totally responsible for there own destruction. They have so connected themselves with sin that they are spiritually dead in their sins and trespasses already. So when God cleanses the earth of sin they are "cleansed" along with it. They have chosen to be destroyed along with their sins for they are unwilling to forsake them. God has "cleansed" peoples and places of sin in the past as well. (ie. The flood, Sodom and Gomorrah, Korah, Nadab and Abihu ) God also allows Satan to destroy, and even man to destroy himself and others, but God is ultimately in control and nothing happens without His consent.
Let me tell you a little story to illustrate this. An 84-year old innkeeper who had lived near Mt. Saint Helens for over 50 years became nationally famous when he declined to evacuate before the 1980 impending eruption, despite repeated pleas by local authorities. The body of Harry R. Truman was never found. What happened to him? People could come to two conclusions. He was killed (destroyed) by Mt. Saint Helens when it erupted. Or they may say that he killed (destroyed) himself. Both conclusions would be correct. He destroyed himself because he would not avail himself of the opportunity to flee the impending doom. And he was destroyed by the impending doom. God has given us ample warning that He is going to destroy the earth and sin with fire. He has told us how to escape the destruction. And if we refuse to take the way of escape we will be responsible for our destruction and it could honestly be said that we destroyed ourselves because we refused to take the way of escape. We have only ourselves to blame. When the above quotes are looked at in this context they are in perfect agreement and there is no conflict. But if one believes that God doesn't destroy there is definitely a conflict in the previous statements.
"I saw the mercy and compassion of God in giving his Son to die for guilty man. Those who will not choose to accept salvation which has been so dearly purchased for them, must be punished. Beings whom God created have chosen to rebel against his government; but I saw that God did not shut them up in hell to endure endless misery. He could not take them to heaven; for to bring them into the company of the pure and holy would make them perfectly miserable. God will not take them to heaven, neither will he cause them to suffer eternally. He will destroy them utterly, and cause them to be as though they had not been, and then his justice will be satisfied. He formed man out of the dust of the earth, and the disobedient and unholy will be consumed by fire, and return to dust again. I saw that the benevolence and compassion of God in this, should lead all to admire his character, and to adore him; and after the wicked shall be destroyed from off the earth, all the heavenly host will say, Amen!"
Chapter Title: God's Protecting Power Removed From Those Who Refuse His Warnings
"I was shown that the judgments of God would not come directly out from the Lord upon them, but in this way: They place themselves beyond His protection. He warns, corrects, reproves, and points out the only path of safety; then if those who have been the objects of His special care will follow their own course independent of the Spirit of God, after repeated warnings, if they choose their own way, then He does not commission His angels to prevent Satan's decided attacks upon them.
These statements and others like them are said to prove that God doesn't destroy. But if one looks at them carefully it will be realized that they are talking about today, not the final judgment. At the final judgment Satan and all the evil hosts will be destroyed by God. It is true Satan wants to destroy everyone, and he would if God were to allow him to, he would even destroy God if he could. Satan proved this when he used the Jews & Romans to kill Jesus. It is true that God allows Satan to have his way with sinners when they continue to spurn Him even after He has given them great light. But this fact can't be used as evidence that Satan and not God will be the one to finally destroy sin and those who refuse to separate from sin. This is the duty of a just God. If God isn't in total control of this universe and can't destroy sin and cleanse the universe of it then who can?
To murder is to kill in cold blood with no legitimate reason for doing so. "...the murderer shall surely be put to death."
Some say that to kill is not a part of the character of God since one of the commandments says, "Thou shalt not kill" and the commandments are a transcript of God's character. But these and other texts make it plain that it is a part of God's character to kill. "Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee."
"But few realize the sinfulness of sin; they flatter themselves that God is too good to punish the offender. The cases of Moses and Aaron, of David, and numerous others, show that it is not a safe thing to sin in word or thought or deed. God is a Being of infinite love and compassion. In the parting address which Moses gave to the children of Israel he said: "For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God." The touching plea made by Moses that he might be privileged to enter Canaan was steadfastly refused. The transgression at Kadesh had been open and marked; and the more exalted the position of the offender, the more distinguished the man, the firmer was the decree and the more certain the punishment."
"This is not an act of arbitrary power on the part of God. The rejecters of His mercy reap that which they have sown. God is the fountain of life; and when one chooses the service of sin, he separates from God, and thus cuts himself off from life. He is "alienated from the life of God." Christ says, "All they that hate Me love death."
"A single angel destroyed all the first-born of the Egyptians and filled the land with mourning. When David offended against God by numbering the people, one angel caused that terrible destruction by which his sin was punished. The same destructive power exercised by holy angels when God commands, will be exercised by evil angels when He permits. There are forces now ready, and only waiting the divine permission, to spread desolation everywhere."
Jesus told His followers to, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Mathew 10:28. Only God can destroy both the body and the soul. We, including Satan, have no power over the destruction of the soul. God alone has the ability to destroy the soul. Until the soul is destroyed the individual is not truly destroyed, he is only sleeping.
The death that God allows Satan and humans to bring about is the "First Death". Even righteous people fall under this death. The "Second Death" is the final death. God has reserved full control of the "Second Death" to Himself. He doesn't even give it to Jesus. He takes full responsibility for deciding who will die this death and it is He who carries it out. God gives no one else the responsibility for carrying it out since it was He who allowed for sin to begin with, when He gave created beings the power of choice. So it is His responsibility to deal with sin, not Satan. God does not shirk from His responsibility and give it to Satan. He deals with it Himself in a fair and just manner and all, including Satan and us, will acknowledge His fairness and justice no matter which side we are on.
God's love is represented in our day as being of such a character as would forbid His destroying the sinner. Men reason from their own low standard of right and justice. "Thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself"
In no kingdom or government is it left to the lawbreakers to say what punishment is to be executed against those who have broken the law. All we have, all the bounties of His grace which we possess, we owe to God. The aggravating character of sin against such a God cannot be estimated any more than the heavens can be measured with a span. God is a moral governor as well as a Father. He is the Lawgiver. He makes and executes His laws. Law that has no penalty is of no force.
The plea may be made that a loving Father would not see His children suffering the punishment of God by fire while He had the power to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before his fellow man. Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him, but God drowned the vast world. Lot would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons-in-law, but God would do it in strict justice.
Who will say God will not do what He says He will do?--"
Satan and his angels suffered long. Satan bore not only the weight and punishment of his own sins, but also of the sins of the redeemed host, which had been placed upon him; and he must also suffer for the ruin of souls which he had caused. Then I saw that Satan and all the wicked host were consumed, and the justice of God was satisfied; and all the angelic host, and all the redeemed saints, with a loud voice said, "Amen!"
Said the angel, "Satan is the root, his children are the branches. They are now consumed root and branch. They have died an everlasting death. They are never to have a resurrection, and God will have a clean universe." I then looked and saw the fire which had consumed the wicked, burning up the rubbish and purifying the earth. Again I looked and saw the earth purified. There was not a single sign of the curse. The broken, uneven surface of the earth now looked like a level, extensive plain. God's entire universe was clean, and the great controversy was forever ended. Wherever we looked, everything upon which the eye rested was beautiful and holy. And all the redeemed host, old and young, great and small, cast their glittering crowns at the feet of their Redeemer, and prostrated themselves in adoration before Him, and worshiped Him that liveth forever and ever. The beautiful new earth, with all its glory, was the eternal inheritance of the saints. The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, was then given to the saints of the Most High, who were to possess it forever, even forever and ever."
Thou (Satan) art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I (God) have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffic; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.
Surely there is no confusion that Satan has the power or the will to cause himself to suffer until there is nothing left of himself and all the other sinners, "just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering remained." When a person burns under normal conditions he loses consciousness long before his body is consumed and he has no idea what is happening. This is a supernatural act of God to meet out justice to sinners, for they must pay for their sins, otherwise there would be no just reward for what they have done. Also one would then have to believe that Satan still exists and has the power to cleanse the world of sin with his sinful fire after he has been completely consumed.
There are two kinds of fire. Fire from God and the fire that we and Satan use.
God and God alone has the power to give life and the power to take life. If it is not Gods will that someone dies it can not happen. If Satan had the power in himself to take life without God's permission then he would be who he wants to be, God.
If we are honestly looking for truth, allowing the Holy Spirit to guide our thoughts, there will be no contradictory statements. Everything will be a harmonious whole.
It is God's mercy, graciousness, and long-suffering that has allowed sin to go on for so long. He wants to give us all the time we need to see what the result of sin is and decide whose side we will take.
God allows Satan to take part in carrying out the first death. God allows and at times commands people to take part in carrying out the first death. And God takes part in carrying out the first death. But when it comes to the second death, God, and God alone carries that out. Jesus told us in Matthew 10:28 "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Satan and man are allowed to kill the body but are unable to kill the soul. It should be very clear that God is the only One who has the right and the power to destroy both the body and the soul.
One last point, for those who say God does not kill, "The plea may be made that a loving Father would not see His children suffering the punishment of God by fire while He had the power to relieve them. But God would, for the good of His subjects and for their safety, punish the transgressor. God does not work on the plan of man. He can do infinite justice that man has no right to do before his fellow man. Noah would have displeased God to have drowned one of the scoffers and mockers that harassed him, but God drowned the vast world. Lot would have had no right to inflict punishment on his sons-in-law, but God would do it in strict justice.
Who will say God will not do what He says He will do?" (Last Day Events, 241). Even if God had allowed Satan to do it by withholding His protection, wouldn't that make Him an accomplice?
I was told that those who do not believe the theory, that God does not kill/destroy, cannot be saved. My question to them is, what are they doing to spread their gospel of the kingdom into all the world for a witness to all the nations so the end can come.
I have not heard one evangelist preaching this in any evangelistic meetings. In fact I have not heard it preached publicly anywhere. It is simply a few deluded people here and there who are looking for sensational, radical ideas. They claim to believe this and that we must believe it in order to be saved but they are not preaching it to the world. When do they think that Jesus will come for them and what are they doing about it? The Bible tells us that we shall know them by their fruits. Well, where are their fruits?
This also goes for the theory that there is no individual with thoughts feelings and motives called the Holy Spirit.
2 Timothy 2:15
The Error Behind the Theory
"God Does Not Destroy"
Two books have now been written on this topic.
"Our God of Love, Mercy, and Justice"
A compilation by Margaret Davis,
"The Character of God Controversy"
Book by Steve Wohlberg and Dr. Chris Lewis.
Audio Talks by Steve Wohlberg.