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The Sacrifice of Christ

The Sacrifice of Christ - A Deeper Muse {Isa 53:5b, 10a, 11a}
                                   
            When the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is preached upon, it is a commonality to hear being expounded a focus on the concrete/tangible penalty for the “wages of sin”, which is Death (Rom 6:23), and even the “Second Death”, which is the end result of Hell fire punishment (e.g., Rev 20:14-15). It may also be, essentially, glibly said that ‘Christ died of a broken heart’ yet there has yet to be a sound substantiation and/or Biblical defence of this assumption; i.e., can it really be concluded that just because ‘Christ died before the two crucified thieves that it was a result of His heart having been “broken.”’ Such a statement may be commonly viewed as being “poetical”, but is it really Biblical. From what the Bible has to say in relation to this most pivotal topic, we can arrive at the proper Biblical View of the depth/extent of what actually happened at the Cross.

A (Contributing) Recollection
            To start with, the following individual reflection may best set up this consideration. The saying that “Ignorance is bliss” is indeed so true. For the most part, this is because the one who has such a true “ignorance” also defaultly has a guilt-free conscious. (Cf. 1 Tim 1:12-15). However when the “unknown” facts/knowledge are encountered and/or understood, for the truly honest person, this bliss, especially in situations where an undesired wrong was being committed, quickly gives way to some degree of proportionally agonizing guilt. It also seems that when this ignorant bliss is mixed with some sort of nonchalant disregard to ascertain what the truth and facts really are, the greater is this sorrow for past hurtful attitudes and actions. As a probable case in point, consider the following (and this mental probing and excursion does have a spiritual purpose). Think back on your everyday, Christian life journey as, hopefully, a Christian believer who has been “born from above.” (John 3:3). To the degree that your experience has been genuine and personally highly valued, to the same degree will be your revulsion for anything that is contrary to God’s will, namely sin. However, as fallen human beings, living in a world that increasingly aims to defiantly be even more and more openly ungodly, there indeed may have been occurrences in your life where you also ‘sinned and fell short of the glory of God.’ (Rom 3:23; cf. 1 John 1:8; Eccl 7:20). Now do think back on a most abhorred occurrence. Think back on how awful, dejected and helpless you felt inwardly. As a Christian Believer, you probably knew that the Sacrifice of Christ had already, fully provided for even this sin to be completely forgiven, yet you probably still felt quite disappointed with yourself. Even worst, this may not have been a situation where you may have, really undesiredly, fell into sin, but when you actually struggled not to commit a sin in the first place, but you lost that inner struggle. Following this, as the Christian Faith provides for, you no doubt bounced back, but this was probably after a proportionally genuine season of heartfelt confession and repentance to God.
            It would be beneficial for this exercise to here, momentarily close your eyes and fully recollect that episode.
            Now, keeping in mind that this tangibly felt guilt, despair, remorse and sorrow for that sin was probably indeed for a sin that you really did not want at all to commit; apply these felt emotions on the following extension.
            Think of what you truly consider to be the worst of sins. This is the one sin that if ever faced with these circumstances, you would virtually rather suffer, and/or even die, than commit it. Maybe, to make this consideration more concrete, think back on a horrifying historical/news story, e.g., the reporting of an historical event or crime that made you genuinely cringe. All that you probably could think of at the time was: ‘How could someone do such a thing?’ 
            Now, indeed just as this sudden shift here, imagine that you yourself committed that personally abhorred act. Not only that, but you committed it, not in the “ignorance bliss,” defined above, but as a “born from above” Christian believer and in full knowledge of how disgusting and contrary to the will of God it indeed is; i.e., on a “Conspirative/Premeditated, First Degree” level. I.e., You not only “fell from grace”, but actually jumped into shameless disgrace, denying your God, your Saviour and Your Faith and Christian Experience before everyone. If you are now still saying to yourself, “well I cannot even imagine myself doing any such thing,” well do just so insistently, forcefully consider that you actually did. (cf. 2 Cor 5:21; Rom 8:3; Gal 3:13; Eph 5:2; 1 Pet 3:18; 2:24).
            Now take that “appropriated” state of mind, and any currently, naturally experienced psychological, physiological and physical feelings, reactions and emotions, and multiply them by... oh let’s say: 6.7 billion, nay 70 billion, nay an indefinite past|(then) present|future trillion.... 
           
            It is then, and only then, that you would have begun to really understand the depth of what Jesus Christ had to go through, at heretofore, really an under appreciated mental/psychological level on the Cross in order to really pay the tangibly existing penalty for the sin of everyone who has lived, and may ever live, (1 John 2:2; cf. John 3:16) in this fallen world, as it may be seen below.[1]

Sin: A Matter of the Heart Mind
            As stated earlier, we are commonly presented with the theology that the sacrifice of Christ paid for the death penalty. Indeed because Christ died for us, God can one day grant the opportunity for His repenting and faithful created beings to live eternally,[2] but there is much more than “merely” a physical death that is a consequence of sin, which must also be dealt with. In true tangible science, sin is ultimately, if not entirely/solely a matter of the “conscious mind”[3].[4] Jesus’ teachings in regards to the mental aspects of sin (e.g., Matt 5:27, 28) fully anchors this deeper understanding.[5] Indeed when we consciously/knowingly sin, there is an occurrence of various mental affectations that are also triggered, and played out, within us. As the above individual reflection may have shown, it involves several, and various, tangible feelings, all originating from the mind. The fact that e.g., our heart may be pounding, our body may be shaking, our brow may be dripping with sweat and/or our legs may no longer support our weight, all are the direct result of what has taken place in the mind.
            Now if we indeed enter into Eternity, due to the physical penalty of ours sins having been fully paid, and then graciously imputed to us, we therefore will not pay for, i.e.,“suffer”, that penalty again. But if we are going to, effectively, in essence, cognisantly be the same person in Eternity that we are now, meaning that God is not going to “brainwash” us into other beings, then what about the adverse effects upon our mind and conscious that sin variously has had on us. If indeed God is going to cause that “the former thing not be remembered, nor come to mind” (Isa 65:17), which comes to include all sinful things, and we also will then have brand new, perfect and unblemished physical bodies;[6] what about our minds? Current modern science has shown that virtually any part of the body is exchangeable through various organ transplants, but the “mind” i.e., what makes you, you, if not defaulty/actually, the physical brain, certainly is not. Case in point, every part of the body can today be “reactivate” back to full operation when done within pertinent reasonable boundaries, but once the brain dies, that is indeed not capable of being overturn (a.k.a. clinical death). God indeed can and will wipe away every bad scar and trace that sin had left on our mind, but as He has shown, especially in the types of Old Testament Sanctuary Service, He deliberately operates in quite concrete, representative terms and acts. Therefore, this suggests that there must correspondingly be/have been a tangible expiation for the mentally incurred consequences/wages that sin parallely has inflicted, in addition to the physical, and visibly observed. Indeed, this is what the Bible actually infers that Christ, our Passover Lamb, also had to most fully and tangibly also atone for at the Cross; -actually starting from Gethsemane [which, “working-thesisly”, arguably there could have been pointedly in relation to the (confessed) sins of relatively righteous people (cf. Heb 12:4)...i.e., subsequently also suffering for the outrightly unrighteous on the Cross (when Christ then felt “forsaken”) was an entirely distinct “bonus”].

Deliberate Types
            In instituting the various sacrifices for sins, including the burnt sacrifice of Passover, one of the common acts that the priests repeatedly had to do was to was to place their hand upon the head of the animal about to be offered up. (Lev 1:4; cf. Exod 29:15, 19; Lev 3:2; 8:14, 18; 16:21). This was done to clearly depict a transfer of sin upon that animal; but why, quite specifically, the head; (and, apparently quite specifically, two hands for the Day of Atonement sacrifice (compare Lev 1:4 and 16:21)).[7] Why not just a tangible contact anywhere on the body of the animal. Such particular specificity here is especially seen when multiple people, e.g., “Aaron and his sons” (Lev 8:22) or “the elders of the congregation” (Lev 4:15), had to do this laying of hands, in exactly this way. It is not certain whether this (collective) action was to be done simultaneously, or in turn, but, if the first, it would then visibly be quite overtly deliberate, and if the latter case, it would show that this was indeed what was expected to be complied with by all. With either case, this action could have easily been more convenient, and expedited, if the collective ones who had to lay hands on that animal could simply place their hands anywhere on the body of the animal, just as long as they made certain contact here in order to substantiate the needed typological physical transference. But God deliberately specified “the head.” Interestingly this is where the mental faculties of these animals is located. Surely God does not instruct or stipulate things out of mere empty formality. Therefore, could this “head transference” indeed be a tangible representation of the (prominent) mental aspects of sin also being here transferred from the sinner to the sacrifice? If so, then, by Anti-typical correspondence: Did God similarly have the sins of the world specifically laid upon the very mind of Jesus on the Cross? This would imply that Jesus would have then tangibly felt every anguishing mental effect that sin has, which includes the full guilt anguish of having sinned against Holy God; and that for, but more properly: (Biblically|Theologically (e.g. Isa 5:7b), correctingly (as per 1 Thess 5:21; 3SM 29.1), contra. EGW’s: “every descendant of Adam” DA 753.1a), merely, categorically (cf. in 4T 384.3-385.1) representatively from/for, every single individual that has, and may, ever live. For the “measure” of this experienced anguish “was the guilt of His nation, of His accusers and betrayer, the guilt of a world lying in wickedness. The sins of men weighed heavily upon Christ, and the sense of God's wrath against sin was crushing out His life.” (DA 687). In fact, this “mental crushing” notion was actually typologically incorporated in the sacrificial system, as this laying on of hands was not merely, gently being done, but, as inherent in the Hebrew word used here for “laying”, Strongs #05564, the notion of ‘fully supporting/sustaining oneself (i.e., weight/strength) upon the object’, (see these figurative and literal uses of it in e.g., Gen 27:37; 2 Kgs 18:21|Isa 36:6; 2 Chr 32:8; Psa 37:24; 88:7; Isa 48:2; 59:16; 63:5; Ezek 24:2; 30:6; Amos 5:19), was to be involved here. The actual Hebrew word for ‘a gentle, non-full load/weight/strength laying/leaning’ is #08172 (see e.g., Gen 18:4; Num 21:15; 2 Kgs 5:18) even merely involving (more shallow) “trust” and “reliance”, rather than ‘life-supporting/sustaining “dependence”’ (see e.g., 2 Chr 13:18; 14:11; 16:7-8; Pro 3:5). An excellent example of the difference between the notions in those two terms is seen in the final action of Samson. In Jdg 16:25-26 (see also PP 566.3-4), he asked to be brought into contact with the building’s two middle pillars which he was “displayingly” placed in the middle of, and keyly ‘pretending to be weary of having stood there for a while’, so that he could just ‘(gently/casually) “lean” on them’ (Strongs #08172). However when he was allowed and helped to do this, it then says in Jdg 16:29-30 that he ‘grasped the pillars, and then ‘made himself to be “braced” against them’’ (#05564), thus putting his full weight, and then his injunctively, Divinely-permitted strength, against/into them, and so causing them to bend and completely fail. Surely with Samson’s hair having grown back by then, and the Philistines now fully knowing of this secret for his strength, if he had then instead asked, and also while not feigning to be tired, to place him in contact with those middle pillars so that he can ‘brace himself, and thus all of his weight/force/strength, against them’, the Philistines would have immediately become cognitive and alarmed of what he actually most destructively intended to, and then could easily, do.
            So the #05564 term (Heb. samak) involved ‘forcefully putting one’s entire weight/strength/force on an object’; while the #08172 term (Heb. shaan) rather merely involves ‘a more gentle passive resting/leaning on an object’. (And perhaps for this ‘full weight/strength  bearing, hands laying’ to be safely done in the sanctuary services on an unaware, and thus no doubt resistingly jittery, sacrificial animal, (versus a knowing human (Deu 34:9)), that animal, and its head would probably have first been laid flat on the ground.).
            Indeed, here would tangibly be the unfathomable mental anguish of Christ on the Cross. However it must be distinguishingly pointed out that, since the term samak (#05564) was also used for regular/good laying on of hands ceremonies (Num 8:10, 12; 27:18, 23), then it merely “generically” connoted ‘a full “taking on/supporting” of another spirit. In the case of “good” laying on of hands, that was a good, and thus beneficial, spirit that was being figuratively transferred. (e.g., Deut 34:9) However in the case of the sacrificial system, and thus antitypical Jesus Christ, it was the spirit of a sinful/evil person that was being transferred. And thus was the pointed detrimental source of Christ’s mental anguish, as He then had to fully support, and resultingly bodily suffer from/for their evil spirit which became the painted target for God’s pent up wrath against the sinner (cf. Psa 88:7). Furthermore, most humans have committed their sins in a personally painless/care-free “ignorant bliss”; not mentally factoring in the fact that they were acting in effective rebellion against God. But for Jesus Christ to fully also offer up a sin offering for them, He would have to Himself experience the depth of this notion for them.[8]

A Deeper Muse of Calvary
            As it may have been personally, tangibly experienced in, even solely, the earlier individual recollection, this mental aspect of sin can readily cause many adverse psychological, physiological and physical effect on the body as a whole. Based on such an adverse experience, one can indeed now begin to imagine just how Christ felt at the cross as he underwent this most tangible transference. In fact, just as the Passover Lamb had to be taken in by the offering family some 4 inclusive days before being sacrificed (Exod 12:3; 6), in the same way, Christ (1) actively ministered an inclusive 4 years (from a specific 3.5 years) before His own sacrifice, and similarly (2) began to feel the burden of the world sins, its “load of guilt” (AA 47), for 3 full, and the parts of 4 (inclusive) days, i.e., Thursday-Sunday, when He was in the process taking on the sins of the world.[9]
            With such a general notion in mind, Christ statement while in Gethsemane that ‘His “psyche” was exceedingly sorrowful/deeply grieved even to the point of death’ can be more tangibly understood as He then ‘began to feel extreme grief and distress’ (Matt 26:36-38ff). In fact, just prior to this anguish beginning, while in the Upper Room, Jesus, probably having been given an advance indication by the Father of what was to come upon Him (as Jesus would do with Peter (Luke 22:31), (literally) said: “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his psyche for his friends.” (John 15:13) which indeed is even greater than any physically felt pain and destruction that can be unleashed upon one’s body as it more deeply involves a person sacrificially laying down whatever has made them “tick”/feel great about themselves, thus, as colloquially/non-literally/figuratively commonly said today: “their (interestingly enough) “life”, -the accrued sum total of one’s lifetime personal/social/character/emotional/psychological upbuildings, for the good of someone else. And in Christ case, that had been a well-enjoyed life of not having had to deal with anything of the detrimental psychological impacts of sin as He had diligently lived his “life” in perfect, sinless obedience and harmony to God, but now, He was going to allow God to completely imbue that stainless “life” of His with all of the, also most vilest, sin of fallen humanity, -to the point where it would seem that even God Himself was utterly disgusted with Jesus. (Matt 27:46). So in that period of anguishing suffering, the strongly anchor psychological confidence in, and communion with, God which Christ had built up over His sinless living was then also, and most costly/hurtingly/depressingly “destroyed”. -(See Matt 10:28 - i.e., ‘do not let your spirit from which one’s faith in God is centered to be also destroyed during trials and persecutions.’).
            Furthermore, no slight intended, God may have kept Christ “assistively/artificially” fully conscious and alive on the Cross until this mental transference, and full “bearing”, was, in every detail, complete, (and/or His inherent, incorporated Divine nature may itself have assured this survivability.) Whatever the case, when it was indeed ‘All Finished’ Christ then indicated, in a “loud voice”, that it was indeed acceptable for Him to breathe His last, and entrust this “Breath of Life” to God. (Luke 23:46).
            Such a conscious, forceful and deliberate statement here, also does not suggest that Christ died of a consequential/natural cause, e.g., ‘a cardiac arrest due to excessive physical and/or psychological stress,’ but that, just like the sacrificial offering was presented in the fullness of life, and that following the laying on of hands upon its head, its life was actively taken by the priest, it may indeed very well be that it is God who effectuated the [temporally, relatively, early] death of Christ.[10][11] This would also show that Christ did not, nor did He have to, suffer any more than He actually had to, - and for that matter, also any less - a type that would have been repeatedly depicted by the fact that e.g., a one year old sacrificial animal had to be offered for the Annual Passover Offering (Exod 12:5). Thus it in essence proportionally bore the sins committed during its actual presence/existence; and correspondingly so must the Eternal God the Son.
            Additionally, it is rightly said that Christ experienced a great, tangible separation from the Father while on the Cross and indeed, with Christ having been in perfect, concrete communion with His Father throughout His Earthly Life, He indeed would have felt on the Cross the correspondingly sudden and concrete void of the Father’s withdrawal as He underwent this burdensome bearing of sins. This most probably precisely occurred at the time if His intense and poignant “Forsaken” statement. (Mar 15:34) So unlike sinners in their instances of grief for committed sins, Jesus did not have God’s sustaining Presence|Spirit to ‘Help/“Comfort”/Advocate for’ Him (cf. John 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7; 1 John 2:1, 2).
            Furthermore, just to even heightened this mental/emotional feeling to the point where is most likely indeed was, also take into consideration here the fact of the suddenness of this imputed condition upon the unblemished Christ.[12] This can be tangibly seen in one’s personal sudden fall into sin, or even by the relative suddenness in the recollection exercise above, which may have instantly, abruptly, brought back an abhorred episode that one had decidedly filed away in their mind, hopefully, as much as it is possible, forever. Hopefully the recollection of it here will solely serve to help realize what Christ has indeed done on the Cross.

Isa 53:5b, 10a, 11a
            Indeed with this Biblical View of the inner depth of Christ’s sacrifice, the incomparable depiction of this act prophetically related in Isaiah 53 can be better understood; particularly the passages which allude explicitly to a mental anguish (e.g., 5b, 10a & 11a). Indeed ‘He was crushed/oppressed for our iniquities, by the chastening for our peace being upon Him’; For “the LORD was pleased to crush/oppress Him; causing Him to become sick/weakened/afflicted/grieved; if He would render Himself as a guilt offering[13] (Isa 53:5b & 10a; cf. Isa 53:4 = Matt 8:17).”[14]
            And, in conclusion, and just to Biblically cap off this mental pondering here, additionally, also just think of the fact that all that Jesus had to do to make all of this “excruciating, imputed mental anguish and suffering, (as well as physical)” cease was to stop (lit.) “constraining|holding Himself back” (Luke 12:50; cf. vs. 49) and heed what was so impishly insistently and incitingly, blaringly being intimated in the “mobbish rabble’s” Cross-surrounding, ‘ignorance’&‘unwised’-based (1 Cor 2:6-8ff), “demons-laced” voices (Matt 27:35-44; Luke 23:39; DA 746.3-749.2; cf. Rev 11:7-10), thus surely also echoing what had been “inspired” to, and then explicitly expressed through/by, Peter (Matt 16:21-23) effectively, if not literally, “friendly” and/or disparagingly saying/suggesting: “‘No... enough’|‘It’s not worth it/necessary’|‘Just save yourself already’|‘Whatever....’|‘(Evidently) Suits you right’|‘What a (“preferred”) waste’|‘You’re not dying for me...Look at me...I’m “blessedly” doing just fine’|‘We don’t want/need that’|‘etc.’” (Heb 4:15; cf. Luke 12:49-50; Matt 26:39-44); (Phil 2:5-11; Heb 12:1-4; Isa 53:10b-12; Isa 3:1-4:6).[15]


“Christ was treated as we deserve, that we might be treated as He deserves. He was condemned for our sins, in which He had no share, that we might be justified by His righteousness, in which we had no share. He suffered the death which was ours, that we might receive the life which was His. "With His stripes we are healed."” {DA 25.2} =1 Pet 2:24


Theological Post Script
            Further musings on this topic of the Sacrifice of Christ has led to the following couple of additional key Theological observations. These will be tersely/succinctly stated here however links to a discussion forum where they have been discussed and hashed out in much greater detail and Biblical/SOP corroboration is supplied.

The Necessary Fullness of Christ’s Sacrifice
            First of all, it is manifest in the account of the Cross that God, surprisingly to Jesus, actually also sacrificially put to death, had removed/(unwittingly) bestowed the, then sin-imbued, Divine Nature of Christ, on top of putting to death His Human Nature. That is pointedly why, and purposefully surprisingly contrary to Christ’s own expectation, Jesus, as the Bible consistently states, (-contra DA 785.2; -see the many, clear/unequivocal Bible verses listed here (see also in Note below)), was not able to ‘exercise the “authority” (Gr. exousia #1849 = “lawful/legal right to act/do something” vs. “power to effectuate something” Gr. dunamis #1411) which He had priorly stated in John 10:18; and Jesus probably fully understood what unforetoldly just had, and was to then submissively so, transpire, on the Cross after He evidently noticed this “sudden death sacrificial removal of His now sin-imbued Divine Nature, when He then deferentially, yet, (as shown in Note #10), with a most faith-groping, angstfully quasi-pleadingly ‘shrieking, shrilling and agonizing outcry’ ‘commended His Spirit/Breath to God the Father’ (Matt 27:50|Mark 15:37|Luke 23:46|ST, April 14, 1898 par. 10), thus for God to instead resurrect Him in due time, -which is indeed how the resurrection occurred. Manifestly the Sacrifice of Christ’s sinless Human Nature was to pay for the First Death Penalty, and the Sacrifice of His Divine Nature was to pay for the Second Death Penalty. And leading up to that Second Death’s process’s “Life Cessation”, as exposited upon above in this blog post, Jesus’ torment accounted for the guilt mental anguish and torment that all men must feel in order to truly feel the due guilt penitence for their sins/sinfulness. Much more is said in this Note[16] to substantiate this summarized point. Also see the following series of forum thread posts on this issue.





A “Plan B” For the Plan of Redemption
            A second Theological observation is that, contrary to the assumed understanding that: if Jesus had sinned, as He easily could have, and thus failed to be ‘a spotless sacrificial lamb’, everyone who ever lived would have been doomed to death, it can be argued that the OT sacrifices and their atoning shedding of blood which took the place of the life blood that should have been shed from the sinning person (cf. The same principle in Gen 9:4-6) would have paid for the First Death penalty, which is the physical death penalty due to be suffered by all (cf. GC 544.1). However the Second Death penalty, which is discussed above in this post, of: ‘fully incurring and inculcating the mental guilt for sins’ would still have to be fully undergone by any and all redeemed person, probably also with the physical suffering in a fire, as it will be in Hell,[17] though their lives would be preserved in the end, as that endpoint of Death then (4SP 364.2), is actually nothing different than the First Death. The ‘separation from God’ (cf. RH, June 20, 1893 par. 5) feeling actually transpires during the mental and physical sufferings prior to that. So once that guilt penalty is painfully, fully paid by person who could, and would be redeemed, they would then indeed have been saved.
            This “Plan B” would however require that the full OT Sanctuary and Sacrificial system be fully continued, as is, in the “A.D./C.E.” era, and also through the post-exilic Plan laid out by God in the revelations given to Ezekiel and that enhanced Temple Plans. However those Plans were never implemented by Israel, and it is highly “humanly” quite likely that the OT Sacrificial system would have failed to continue through to our day, indeed there probably would not be an Israel movement today, and it is for such tangible reasons that: ‘man after the time of Christ (who in this “Plan B” scenario would have sinned, and therefore not be a fitting Sacrificial offering), would surely have been doomed to eternal death, not having any “life blood Sacrifice” to be a substitute for them and their due death penalty.
            This “Plan B” view here would also explain why God was so meticulous about the implementation of the OT Sanctuary Service and its Sacrifices, and required strict obedience and observance of it. It was because it quite significantly was for our own good, i.e., in the possible case that His “Plan A”: the full, First and Second, anti-typical, Atoning Death of Jesus Christ, would not be successful, again, as it indeed could have been the case. [The above Forum discussion links also address this second point.] [18]


Notes
[1] It would be tempting to extend this and say here that Christ’s sacrifice also paid a price for even unfallen beings, however if there is no sin to be atoned for need there be a sacrifice for it.

[2] More specifically here these redeemed ones will have access to the fruits of the Tree of Life so that they may thus be able to live eternally. (See Gen 2:9; 3:22-24; Rev 2:7; 22:2, 14, 19). - I.e., Eternal Life is not an inherent quality of created beings, even redeemed ones - ‘only God possesses immortality’ (1 Tim 6:16; cf. 1 Tim 1:17).
[3] An excellent exposition that I have come across that helps to “flesh out” this matter of pointedly ‘the conscious mind’ is the sermon by David Asscherick: “The Idol Brain” [video]. Related to the overall/general event/theme of this blog post, see this sermon by Asscherick; -as well as the “Our Suffering Messiah” and “Our Victorious Messiah” -Portraits of Jesus series sermons by Adrian Webster.
            See also this sermon [34:35ff] by Stephen Bohr which comes to hone in on ‘the great Love and Sacrifice by God the Father’ as emphasized (by Jesus) in the statement in John 3:16. Francis Chan makes a similar presentation as Asscherick’s and Bohr’s, [of course, Bible account only; -i.e., vs. +SOP], about ‘the agony and sacrifice of Christ and God the Father’ in a (South Korea) “Absolute Disciple” Conference presentation (Part 1|Part 2), but Chan makes an excellent derived application, -which is much more expounded upon and fleshed out than Bohr’s similar application at the end [01:22:06-01:25:28-01:31:20] of his sermon, on what the understanding of the Sacrifice of Christ should tangibly mean to the believer (=1 John 3:18).

[4] Succinctly/Summarily said here, in an ASI 2011 seminar presentation the interesting observation is made that the Bible indeed differentiates “the heart” and “the mind” in Jesus’ statement in Matt 22:37|Mar 12:30|Luke 10:27. There the ‘“heart”, ‘psyche’ (a.k.a. “soul”), “strength/might”’ = Deu 6:5 are indeed distinctly stated as ‘‘capacities’ of/for loving God’ (cf. Heb 8:10), however in the Mark’s and Luke’s citing of the expositional statement by Jesus on that OT statement, it is recorded that Jesus lastly also said/added “the mind”. (= Strong’s #1271 = Gr. dianoia = literally: ‘through thought/thinking’). As Jesus patently did throughout His ministry, He brought out the full/ultimate meanings of OT statements (cf. Isa 42:21), and apparently He also did the same here by adding this previously not said/understood ultimate aspect/capacity of the “mind”. What is indeed interesting here is that the ‘thinking human mind’ actually controls what occurs/is expressed in those other ‘human action taking capacities.’ Therefore with one’s: “heart”, ‘psyche’ and “strength” arguably being capable of being readily and rightly understood as: one’s ‘feelings’, ‘character’ and ‘will power’, it can be clearly seen that all these capacities are/can be controlled to “(truly/fully) love God” by what one’s “thinking mind” thoughtfully/rationally decides to act out/upon. Based on these correspondences, EGW’s statement in 5T 310.1 would be understood as:

‘If the thoughts (from the mind) are wrong the feelings (bodily felt/expressed) will (thus the resulting, ‘stronger’|‘mightier’|overwhelming “will power”) be wrong, and the thoughts and feelings combined make up the moral character (= the psyche (a.ka. “soul”).’  
            Interestingly enough, not listed with these other ‘human capacities for loving God’ is the distinct “flesh” (cf. Eph 2:3). It seems that this is because the “flesh” has to do with ‘what is inherited/hereditary human/fallen nature’ (Rom 7:8), [which Jesus Himself also had inherited (Rom 8:3; however Matt 16:24)], and its inherent base “passions” and “desires” (Gal 5:24; cf. 2 Pet 2:10), which in this life will never be made “holy” (Rom 7:25; cf. 8:7). 
            In fact, in Rom 7:21-25 Paul give a comprehensive corroborating demonstration on these five distinct elements implicated/involved in “loving God” as he relates that:

1. He ‘mentally knows’ what he rightly/lawfully ought to do = “mind
2. He “joyfully” wants to do it = “heart
3. But the pull of his humaness is warring against him = “flesh
4. And He just can’t find the empowering will do overcome it = “strength
5. And so all this causes him to be “wretched/miserable” = “psyche*

            Yet this is actually where something very interesting, as it, in its potent/empowering self, is entirely supernatural, (i.e., from, and only of, God), takes place to provide this ‘otherwise humanly, factually, impossible’ victory over this hereditary flesh (cf. Matt 26:41; -extreme case: 1 Cor 5:5), and that is the aiding infused power from/of God’s own (and not man’s sole) Spirit (cf. ~Gal 4:29), the Holy Spirit. (John 6:63; 3:3-8; Gal 5:16-25; 6:8; Phil 3:3; Rom 8:1-17ff; cf. Gal 3:3).
            Indeed the antidote to this ‘persisting fallen/sinful flesh’ is the ‘renewed life’ that can be obtained through/by God’s Spirit. And with this “Spirit” (Gr. pneuma) being another capacity through which one can love God, it can be seen that the only way, or really, the “easiest” way, -(“easiest” as in: ‘a substitute is the best way to break a habit’), in which this is achieved is, not necessarily by ‘willing our “spirit” to conform itself to God’s will’, but rather by wholly, substitutionarily, allowing God’s ‘(New) Life Creating/Sustaining Breath/Spirit to continually in-fill us, indeed just as vitally as normal respiration is. Indeed what this ‘striving-for-righteousness’ man really need to do is: “(remember to) [constantly] breathe in”, indeed ‘consciously so’, if necessary. (cf. John 15:5; Phil 4:13). And an optimal re-source of this Spirit is found in what is already stated in the Bible (Eph 6:17b; 2 Tim 3:16), just as it was good enough for Jesus and His temptations (Matt 4:4, 7, 10 = Psa 119:11), as this allows one to strengthen their faith in God since, typically when one sins, it is their faith in God that has in some way weakened and faltered. So, as involved in the similar: “just breathe” advice given to a frantically panicked person “fighting” for their life during certain traumatic incidents, just deferentially doing this “(substitutionary) Spirit breathing in” instead of variously trusting in oneself and one’s abilities (cf. Pro 3:5-8ff) can itself be quite ‘self-denying and cross-bearing’ (Matt 16:24-25; 1 Cor 15:31). (See also here [ca. 26:47-30:11] from Acts 24:16). This all will thus provide, with resulting/increasing, perceptively effortless ease, the needed “oxygenating” Vitality and Life to all of the four ‘human-controlled aspects/capacities for truly/fully loving God’ cited by Jesus. Indeed just as one can easily begin to become physically incapacitated, increasingly suffer irreparable injury, and even ultimately die, by having their oxygen cut off, one will likewise gradually lose their spiritual health, vitality, and ultimately, life by having momentarily stopped their spiritual breathing. The “work” that the believer is required to put into their salvation (e.g., Phil 2:12 - Strongs #2716) is actually a conscientiousness of letting God keep providing this indispensably key ‘sustaining/fueling/vitalizing spiritual “energy” (Phil 2:13 - Gr. energeo #1754) into them. And when one is spiritually healthy/fit that “work” then becomes as reflex/effortless/imperceptible as normal physical breathing. And as Jesus said in Luke 9:23, it will all be involving the humble self-abasement which just delineated by Paul in Phil 2:5-11. Indeed you can have a super-souped up 500 Horsepower engine in a cool/sleek/“blinged-out” sports car, but without that “fuel”, it just won’t go anywhere, and will even lose a race to a Pinto. Hence, from all of this, the vital/crucial need for the, especially professing, Christian to be truly be ‘born from above’ in order to ‘begin to “perceive” what the Kingdom of God is all about’. (John 3:3).
            And in the, at least initially, ever-present context of ‘man’s spirit being willing, but his flesh being weak’ (Matt 26:41), the empowering by God’s Spirit actually is tailored to whatever the actual need of aid is then for a person in a given situation. Some may, after having genuinely demonstrated/desired to be willing to be obedient to God (which may most basically be mere (genuine) belief in Jesus/God (John 14:12-18; 16:26-28; cf. John 11:40)), require, more than others, more assistance from God’s Spirit to complete that desire and/or obedience, and so God’s Spirit comes in an earlier stage to so help them. Indeed, as relatedly expounded in the 10-20-12 sermon here [ca. 17:17ff] (see more in the 10-27-12 sermon), prior to receiving that empowering ‘Spiritual aid’ (according to the actual need), one has to be ‘believingly obedient’ to what God variously requires of us (=Acts 5:32; John 14:15-17a), and as stated above, this obedience may simply be in the form of an inceptive genuine believing desire to do what is right. It is then that the Spirit literally swoops in initially aids (=Early Rain) and then helps completes (=Latter Rain) this belief/desire, thus ultimately “sealing” them (in that persisted/sustained righteous choice and act). (2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30).

            And in all of this light is seen the crux of Paul’s ministry message (See Rom 8:1-4ff) as he chiefly tried to show how Christ, through faith, had superceded the Law in regards to what now was the indicator of what sin and righteousness were. (Gal 3:23-27). And of course, that does not now make spiritually void the requirements law (e.g., Rom 3:31; 6:1-2, 15; 7:7-12, 13-17; Gal 3:19-21a).  For example, in this New Covenant, it no longer was the physical, fleshly work of the law, such as with circumcision which relatively/circumstantially made someone righteous before God, but rather spiritual, spirit works, -e.g., circumcision of the heart. (Rom 2:29; Gal 2:15-21; 3:21b; 6:11-12 = OT Deut 10:16; 30:6; Jer 4:4). So as the advent of Christ and also a perfect victory over sin (Rom 8:3-4) was first needed in order to have a different model to which God’s Spirit can point to instead of the codified Law, prior to that successfully established New Covenant and its Spirit/Heart transition (Jer 31:31-34), there indeed was no other perfect model/template than the Law given by God. So now, to those who are truly “born from above” =born of God’s Spirit (John 3:3-8; 2 Cor 3:12-18), having a full understanding of Christ’s Gospel (PP 330.2; 6BC 1053.8 = EW 285.2), God’s Spirit no longer points (merely) to the letter of the Law, but to its Spirit, -to its “ministry of righteousness” (2 Cor 3:9), and straightly does so by simply pointing to Christ (=John 15:26; 16:7-15) who had perfectly taught/upheld/modelled/fulfilled both. (Matt 5:17-20ff; 2 Cor 3:4-11)

*Some interesting Biblical light on the striking distinctness between the “mind” (mental/intellectual understanding) and the “heart” (emotional/passionate feelings) is done in this PDF document [pp. 17-26] which is a repost of a May 10-17, 2012 discussion on a Facebook Open Theist group. (See clarifying and furthering comments on that discussion here).

** Interestingly enough, with mental (=physical) “strength” being needed to ‘war against the opposite pull of the flesh’, in the case of the, by God’s doing, physically strongest man who ever lived: Samson, the Bible states that he was able to exert such physical strength when the Spirit of God came upon him (Judge 14:6, 19; 15:14; 16:28; cf. 13:24-25), perhaps in a mind-of-matter, hyper-martial arts, type of way. Still, as seen with Samson, that Spirit-borne physical strength did not give him victory over his flesh.

[5] Incidently, the Bible, based upon the conventional understanding of the times, speaks most times, even “anthropomorphically”, of the “heart”, when in fact what is really involved is the mind; an “expressive convention” that still is still frequently used today despite the scientifically observed/confirmed discrepancy here between these two organs of the body. Much of what is emotionally processed in the mind does have an almost direct effect of the heart muscle, but of course the mind is what is in actuating prominence, and full control, here.
[6] It also may quite literally, correspondingly be the case that because of the actual physical (non-lethal) wounds that Christ suffered in the process of His trial, judgement and execution that He thus also atoned/provided for the possibility for God to also redeem fallen beings from this tangibly distinct effects of sin, and thus, in this way, indeed one day allow us to have whole, restored and unblemished physical bodies (1 Cor 15:51-54 - notice, in reference to note [2] above that ‘our mortal body must “be cover/clothed” in “immortality” and not “substantively become immortal”). Thus ‘by his bruises/wounds we are indeed (physically) healed’ (1 Pet 2:24b; Isa 53:5c).

[7] This understanding can help grasp the prophesied personal mental anguish that each one who comprises the 144,000, i.e, the true “final generation” will experience at the consummation of the Investigative Judgement. (E.g. EW 37, 272, 283; PP 201; GC 614, 618-622, 630, 649) - Cf. TM 116.1.
[8] In support of this, the fact that the, e.g., Passover Sacrifice had to be both burnt, and partly eaten [and ‘one always is what one “eat”’] by the priest, depicted that sin had to either be burnt up (= Hell fire) or taken upon (i.e., for redeemed Believers), by the ministering priest in order to “bear the iniquity of the congregation” (Lev 6:24, 25; 10:17; cf. M.L. Andreasen, The Sanctuary Service, [2nd Revised edition] pp.136-137).
-Related to the 2 Cor 5:21 notion here, see the personal illustration for that passage in this sermon by Chester Clark III [27:38-33:35ff].
            (He also makes therein, in passing (but which he said he would preached upon at another time), the intriguing observation that one’s conscience is not necessarily only the voice of God’s Spirit speaking to people, but also the inner “voice” from the product of the various things that one has encountered and inculcated over the course of their lives. I see that ‘thesis’ as being supportedly related to Rom 14:22-23; however when God has stated a Law (cf. Rom 7:6-9ff) or their inherently exists a “natural” Law, then “ignorance” cannot genuinely, i.e., “conscientiously”, be claimed, and related “bliss” cannot honestly really be experienced.).

[9] Could be seen as fulfilling Christ’s “being in the heart [mind(?)] of the earth [world(?)]” (Matt 12:40); however a study of the Biblical use of the “X day and X nights” formula reveals that it depicts actions that are not necessarily done for every single hour of a ‘day and night,’ but also even if only partially done during that time. So with the Biblical (i.e., not merely “Jewish”) method of inclusive reckoning, this period was understood to have been fully fulfilled from the crucifixion on late Friday afternoon until the resurrection early Sunday morning. (The spuriously derived ‘Wednesday Crucifixion’ theory is refuted in greater detail in the forthcoming ‘70 Weeks’ book.)

[10] In this sermon [10:29-16:16ff], Dwight Nelson, citing the SOP and this ‘corroborating (though self-admittedly ‘hypothetical’)’ Washington Post medical science article, makes the claim that someone may die of a ‘functionally, helplessly rendered heart’ = “broken heart”, which is triggered by some adverse and intensely, psycho-ingested, mind-processed, emotional event. Again this is, as stated in the article, merely a ‘medical hypothesis’, however the statements in the SOP that Nelson cites would seem to support the claim that the cause of death itself was pointedly a “broken heart”. These are citely:

ST, April 14, 1898 par. 10 = “When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, He said, It is finished." There was a shriek, shrill and agonizing, and the Son of God expired. He died of a broken heart. When the spear was thrust into His side, there flowed forth blood and water. His heart was broken by His mental agony. And the hearts of all who seek the Lord and find Him will be broken as they see the result of sin.”

DA 772.2 - “But it was not the spear thrust, it was not the pain of the cross, that caused the death of Jesus. That cry, uttered "with a loud voice" (Matthew 27:50; Luke 23:46), at the moment of death, the stream of blood and water that flowed from His side, declared that He died of a broken heart. His heart was broken by mental anguish. He was slain by the sin of the world.” 
(The highlighted statements in those quotes comprehensively reflect what is expounded upon in this post.)
            As EGW points out in DA 772.2, “that cry”, -the ‘second “unrecorded cry”’ that Nelson claims looking solely at Matthew’s account, was the ‘“loud”, shrieking and shrilling’ cry: “Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT’ as recorded in Luke 23:46. (Cf. DA 756.2). As noted by the NASB with these caps, it reflected what was written in Psa 31:1-5, where David, feeling entrapped, and also not aided, manifestly both also not by God, thus pleadingly, but faith-fully, cried out to God. Confirming here with the “reedemed/ransomed” notion in that Psalms (vs. 31:5) that Jesus had fully been substituted for the helpless sinner, having wholly, especially mentally = “knowingly” (2 Cor 5:21), inculcated the world’s sins over those past 3 hours of extreme mental anguish.
            From the account in all of the Gospels (Matt 27:45-50; Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46; John 19:28-30) as inclusively recounted in the DA 752.4-756.2, the following outline of what transpired is as follows:

-Christ suffers mental anguish/agony for 3 hours (Matt 27:54: ‘from Noon (6th) to 3 P.M. (9th)’) of “oppressive gloom” [DA 752.4-754.3a]
-While He himself is still enveloped in gloom, He cries out: “Eloi! Eloi!...” [DA 754.3b]
-The mentally agonizing gloom then lifts from Christ, physical suffering paramountly takes over again [DA 754.4a-1]
-Christ refuses the mixture of alcoholic wine and vinegar [DA 754.4a-2]
(DA 754.4b-756.1 - recounts the above 4 events [=DA 752.4-754.4a-2])
-Then shortly after the gloom had been lifted on the Cross, Jesus loudly cries: “It is Finished!” [DA 756.2a]
-Shortly after, He loudly cries out: “Father into thy hands...” (=Psa 31:1-5) [DA 756.2a]
-Then “a light encircled the cross, and the face of the Saviour shone with a glory like the sun.” [DA 756.2b]
-And then bowing His head, He breathes His last/yields (“betrays”) His Spirit [DA 756.2c]

            So pertinently here, this theological conclusion ‘that it was God Himself who actively took the life of Jesus, just as it was actively, typologically done by the Old Covenant Priests to the “full of life” Paschal Lamb, and that this is contrary to the common claim that it was pointedly “a broken heart” that was the cause of death.’ However, what is said in the SOP seemingly pointedly to the sort, and now seemingly corroborated by medical hypothesis, does not actually contradict that typological Theological observation. From what is prophetically said in Isa 53:5, 10a using the word “crushed/oppressed” #01792; cf. e.g., Job 4:19, 6:9, 34:25; Psa 89:10; 94:5; 143:3, it can be seen that these two views are indeed not contradictory, but complimentary. It was this ‘crushing/oppressing’, quasi-slaying act of God done to Christ in the 3 hours of extreme mental anguish and agony on the Cross that had ‘made Christ so vitally/grievously “sick” (Isa 53:10a = #02470a)’.
            And so, just like the Priest actively took the life of an otherwise healthy Lamb, God in this way came to cause this evident ‘physical, heart-damaged death.’ As the SOP states ‘Christ heart was broken by mental anguish’. And so it was God who had so directly “taken the life of Christ, technically, and attributively, comparable to, e.g., someone being held responsible for a murder though it was actually the bullet from the gun he had fired into the victim’s heart that had pointedly caused that death. As it is said in DA 753.1: 

            “The withdrawal of the divine countenance from the Saviour in this hour of supreme anguish pierced His heart with a sorrow that can never be fully understood by man. So great was this agony that His physical pain was hardly felt. ... It was the sense of sin, bringing the Father's wrath upon Him as man's substitute, that made the cup He drank so bitter, and broke the heart of the Son of God.” (Cf. Psa 69:20, 21).

[11] As it was, in a right sense, seemingly pointed out in this 2010 Annual Council devotional sermon by Dwight Nelson [09:43-10:26], the way in which Jesus came to die indicated that it was a deliberate/intentional rendering of His life and not an “accident”. This is actually strongly exegetically indicated in the Greek of that passage as an (aorist) participle is used to say “bowing his head...”. Succinctly said here this aorist participle used in conjunction with an aorist main verb (commonly: “gave up”) is an adverbial participle with antecedent and/or contemporary time to the main verb, and as such can also indicate “cause, condition or concession” (See Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basic, 624-626). This thus shows that Christ’s action here of ‘maintainedly bowing his head during this giving up of the spirit’ would have been either the necessarily tangible ‘cause, condition and/or concession’ (or even means or manner) for Him to come to “give up His spirit. Furthermore, the word for “gave up” here (Strongs #3860) is the term that is used for ‘a legal/judicial handing over.’ It is in this sense that Judas (honestly thinking that he was doing what was best for Jesus) “handed over/betrayed” Christ to the priests. (Matt 10:4, 26:16). So the use of this term shows that it was Christ who had “green-lighted” this final life-taking act, indeed with even an understood notion of ‘“betraying” His own spirit’ which evidently did not want/need to die, after, as he had just deliberately done for (John 19:28-30), he had seen to it that ‘all had been finished’ (vs. 30). Matthew’s terming of this instance as ‘yielded up His Spirit’ (27:50) further reinforces this point, as his term Gr. aphiemi (#863) literally means ‘(away) from [apo] having been sent away [hiemi]’ and more colloquially: ‘since/because it was permitted/allowed’, it was here also being indicated that Jesus had deliberately “allowed” this dying to take place.
           And so it was probably here, furthermore God who made Christ’s, though already weakened and enfeebled heart by that point, now suddenly stop. Christ having thus indicated that ‘He was spiritually okay for this to be done now at any appropriate time.’
           Also with Christ’s Mental Anguish Suffering and Death to be substitutionary for the Hell Suffering and Second Death, which, when it will occur, will involve God supernaturally sustaining the lives of people in the Lake of Fire for “days”, even an ‘age(s) within the ages’, -proportionate to their sinfulness, and also in full “health” thus feeling this suffering, it can be typically (or is it “anti-typically”) see here that God would similarly have been acting to fully sustain the life, consciousness and senses of Jesus during this “passion [commonly/also (though inaccurately) known as: “wrath”] of God” outpouring at the Cross.* (Perhaps the wicked in Hell, just before God allows to die the death they should have died within seconds of being thrown in the Lake of Fire, will, even more than their prior bowing to Jesus as God, will have a moment of personal acknowledgement to God that He has indeed been fair in this Hell tormenting judgement of them.)


* It is interesting to deductively observe here that, the use of fire by God during this guilt-inculcating period is manifestly not arbitrary. It is quite possible that those who come into this Hell Fire judgement will still not truly/fully be sorrowful for their sins, but perhaps just ‘sorry that have been caught’ i.e., in them clearly having resolutely (i.e., against warnings/knowledge) chosen the wrong course of: a “Faithless” life. So it apparently is strictly out of a necessity that God will indeed “torment” them with fire, with them not burning up at first, thus with them maintaining the full sensitiveness of their nervous system, to thus come to finally make them express related (e.g.,) “gut-wrenching”, mind-searing, hurt and sorrow for their sins. Thus if this is not, or cannot be, done “voluntarily” by them, God will be using fire do have this be accomplished. (Cf. the global actions of God’s Two Witnesses in Rev 11:10 in trying to get the people of the earth to variously admit God’s Truths.).
            So, unfortunately enough, but out of a tangible reality/need, just as in a torture session, a criminal is forced against their will to cooperate with the interrogating party, either through a genuine confession, or in the admittance/volunteering of keyly needed information, in Hell Fire’s torment, God will “wrathfully” be using this most optimal, and naturally ready/abundant resource of fire (i.e., vs. e.g., electrical discharges from lightning strikes, -which are much more complex/involved to produce), to bring out this keyly needed genuine inculcation and recognition of sin committed by each of these amassed tens of billions of non-saved individuals. It is Theologically, manifestly perhaps only then, and through this “self-ingesting” way by the sinner, that sin, which manifestly, as seen in its dealing with through the Bible, is (at the very least, explicitly made by God to be), most tangible, can be expunged from God’s Universe, and, also Theologically manifestly, moreoverly, can cease to detrimentally affect God Himself.  And it manifestly is only the guilt and sins of the righteous that Satan himself bears (GC 673.1), while the wicked have to bear their own guilt and sins. Apparently, the guilt that is obliviously/indifferently not inculcated by sinning man, still has a direct effect upon God Himself, even if solely by hampering his Redemptive Plans and Great Desire to implement/restore blissful perfection to this Planet and the Universe instead of this repugnantly hated current state of necessary deathly (= Gen 3:22-24|PP 60.3) affairs. And this is all a most real/tangible “Divine Affectation” that has led to this “wrathful end,” after over 6000 years of being most pent up by Him, with a partial release/relief having occurred at the Cross, but Theologically, manifestly then/there only in regards to those who had/would in believing Faith (symbolically done by OT faithful ones), accept Christ’s Sacrifice. (John 3:16-18). God will indeed then be “breaking”/ruining/destroying their rebellious “psyche” in this Hell Fire (Matt 10:28).
            Even the demons know that there will also be a period of time (cf. Jude 1:6-7) when they too will be ‘“tormented” into confessing the Truth’ (Matt 8:29|Mar 5:7|Luke 8:28), before they are “left alone” by then being (eternally) destroyed (Mar 1:24|Luke 4:34), -which is why they had readily ‘confessed Jesus as God’ in those demon possession healing incidents. And thus, by “finally” having, one way or the other, those various vindicating confessions from the wicked/lost, God will be able to ‘clear His Most Holy Place = Throne Room of all of those accumulated sins over time (see TM 157.2; cf. PP 107.1; Isa 44:22 -rainbows most clearly appear in ‘heavy mistiness’) that He thus had accepted to, effectively, ‘incur, as being “His fault”’ until that (final) “Sanctuary cleansing” time, i.e., until all of the transparent and objective, reality/evidence is in that He had been most just and fair in both punishing sin and His various dealings against it and its sinners in this permitted Great Controversy; -a GC which, as discussed in this discussion post [in my 4th response there] had as its fundamental issue: ‘Why does someone who chooses to live outside of God’s Law/Will have to die?’
            And, as discussed here, the word for “(God’s) Wrath” actually being more accurately “(God’s) Passion”, i.e., ‘His Passion to see Truth in all of its forms (i.e., Love Justice, Perfection, etc) be done’, this “Wrathful’ development in this Hell Fire “Tormenting” is evidently, by necessity, out of this Passionate Desire to have these unrepented sinners Truthfully take full responsibility of/for their committed sins, and thus genuinely confess that God and His ways were indeed right, and that Hell is indeed the due/just punishment for their wrongful course.


-Henderson’s “Hell”*
            Succinctly addressed here, in this 2011 campmeeting sermon (mp4), preacher Jonathan Henderson presents a quite unique ‘quasi-SDA’ view of Hell where he claims that there will actually be no alive/felt tormenting, but effectively just a prolonged burning of the already dead/killed bodies of the wicked. He restates many Biblical texts, particularly those mentioning ‘death in hell’ according to this view. However that view is not in (due) full exegetical harmony with all of what the Bible and SOP (i.e., esp. direct revelations to EGW) have to say on this topic. Here are some brief response to his various claims:

-“Punishment” is not ‘only for corrective/redressing purposes upon the one receiving it’... Case in point, Capital Punishments which e.g., Matt 25:46 makes an explicitly citing of! And as Henderson had initially, foundationally premised for his view, Hell Fire’s (Capital) Punishment cannot be ‘for the scaring/fearing “benefit” of the righteous’. I.e., ‘This is what happens if you disobey God... So don’t!’

-There is no logical/purposeful/rational point of burning an ‘already dead body’ in a lake of fire for days or weeks as revealed in direct revelation in the SOP (e.g,. GC 660.4-661.2ff; 671.2-673.3), for it would just take a few seconds for it to be consumed.

-God could indeed “torture” the wicked (into also admitting His Superior way) by permitting them to live in the “painfully” (to them) pure atmosphere of Heaven, however since this will only be “unbearably torturous” to them because they will still be refusing to comply to this purity, this would only be at the great risk and detriment of the redeemed and the entire universe, just as it threatened to be at the beginning of this GC (PP 60.3). So God will instead torture the wicked in Hell’s Fire.

-God’s “passionate” (a.k.a “wrathful”) entirely-disculpating “torturous” judgement of the wicked in Hell’s Fire will not, as Henderson claims, ‘only produce a fear relationship with God with the observing saved people’, because, as expounded upon in DA 764.2 (see here for a full exposition on DA’s “It Is Finished” Chapter #79), all of the GC evidence will then be in, and moreover the redeemed would have had 1000 years to detailedly review all of God’s actions, decisions, judgement, with it being them actually who will freely have set the extent of this Hell Judgement. So they then will transparently and first hand, know and understand, that God has been most loving, even in the execution of these long delayed Hell sentences, that they themselves have meted out. And again, this ‘tormenting Hell Judgement is only necessary because the wicked (still) won’t freely admit that God is right in not also letting them live eternally, for, as discussed here, the punishment of death for sin is something that has been judiciously deemed to have been worthy/necessary by God. And so to rid the universe of their accumulated sins then in God’s Throne Room, symbolized by the blood (=life) that, through deliberate sprinkling, stained the Earthly Sanctuary, and had to be annual cleansed, this forced-admitting torturous process inflicting the full realities of a life of rebellion against God, will need to be done.

-The statement in EW 294.1 which says: “Some were many days consuming, and just as long as there was a portion of them unconsumed, all the sense of suffering remained” may actually have been misunderstood by EGW, as Henderson claims in the responding part of his next day’s sermon, at the start of it, (mp4), from what the Angel may have (differently) actually said and meant, namely: “The worm of life shall not die; their fire shall not be quenched as long as there is the least particle for it to prey upon.” In other words, though EGW prefaced the statements which includes the one above here with “I saw...”, she may have misunderstood what ‘she saw in vision’, and thus misrendered it i.e., based upon her view of Hell. Or, and most likely, EGW did accurately relate ‘what she had been shown’, and the ensuing Angel’s statement was actually, an, as typical in SOP angelic pronouncements, surfacely seemingly offbeat, yet exegetically revelatory/indicative, complimentary expression. So, since ‘surviving more than a normal time in Hell’s Fire’ itself will outrightly be a supernatural act by God throughout, this ‘cognitive paining of every particle of surviving member’ may be done by God as if to most vividly make the “Truthful” point that: “if any part(icle) of the wicked was permitted to exist in the universe, without any merciful act towards them by God as granted during this 6000+ year GC (really, “Truthfully/Justly”, since it was God Himself who was purposefully permitting sin to exist to make a once and for all transparent point), they would not but be subject to eternal, most miserable tormenting’. ... And yet, for that to actually happen, it would require at least an entire galaxy where God does nothing to prevent its chaotic devolving, if God would even organize it into an habitable place for them in the first place. And so how long would that “experience”, i.e., one where the wicked were permitted to live in their corner of the universe completely apart from God, last???!! Thus this most-graciously permitted GC was their best (=“sheltered/incubated”) opportunity to come to that tangible realization before it would be too late.
            So then proper exegesis would be to allow this direct revelation, particularly in such an ultimate/anti-typical application, have controlling sway. I.e., while a direct revelation can have non literalistic typical applications/fulfilment, with pertinently here, e.g., Hell’s torment, and its guilt inculcating purpose capable of being “typically” fulfilled, if such, at least psychological, “forceful” guilt admitting is done by God/God’s People upon the wicked of the earth prior to the utter/Anti-typical end, it is not hermeneutically proper to so spiritualise an “utter end” fulfilment. As Jer 18:1-10 reveals, the only way that such a direct revelation fulfilment would not be ultimately literally fulfilled is if their priorly was a radical change in the conditions that made it necessary (as seen in the Jonah and the Ninevites episode).**
            And the manifestly concocted expression “worm of life” with an obvious allusion to the maggot worms that form upon a body only after it is dead, and thus cannot react to prevent the hatching of them, is apparently a reversed play on words to indicate ‘the very last vestige of life.’ I.e., Indicating that the wicked will remain alive in Hell’s Fire long after they should have actually naturally died, even long enough to the point where they should have been already producing ‘decomposition worms of/from death’. And so this expression would be elucidating the “worm” spoken of in the Bible in Isa 66:24 & Mar 9:44, 46, 48 to be speaking instead of: “their life” -i.e., ‘their cognitive and physical life will not die until Hell’s Fire purpose is completed.’


* Quite indicative enough indeed, Henderson repeatedly variously relates how he has come to his present view/“philosophy” about God, i.e., ‘a God that people should not fear, and that, (according to Henderson), because He actually will not do anything that is “harmful”’. (See e.g., his statement of that founding view in a 02-15-07 PUC Graduation Colloquy (mp3) [20:27ff], -pertinently enough before he goes on to passingly cite his here-presented objections to the actual/Biblical teaching of Hell.) That view is a sort of a “light”/partial/middle-of-the-road version of the erroneous Character of God View, which unbiblically teaches that: ‘God (Himself) does not destroy.’
            In subliminal and/or fully conscious ways, all believers at some point come to form a somewhat personal view of God. This typically takes place when one, as involved in Henderson’s related experience above, no longer defaultly goes by the beliefs that their parents had taught to, and variously inculcated in, them, but by what their now more indepth, personal Biblical studies about God are revealing to them. And it is almost natural that any endeavor to study out for themselves and change a prior view of God is impelled by a dislike and/or dissatisfaction in the prior “childhood view”. There is absolutely nothing wrong with such an undertaken personal examination of one’s faith, because God does want every believer to come to know Him for themselves, however there is the danger of going to the blind/over-generalizing reactionary extreme where one does not allow the Biblical text to exegetically speak for itself, but to instead eisegetically impose, in this case, the reactionary view, on Scripture. And this “new view” phenomenon is more manifest and pronounced with people who are variously, most passionately actively/personally engaged in sharing or trying to share their faith with others, particularly others who they feel were, or were probably, exposed to the same detrimental ‘childhood misunderstanding about God.’
            Relatedly/Comparatively, I similar had a ‘diverging parental, even by now, ecclesiastical, view’ experience. I personally was brought up in a, not relatively in itself wrong/detrimental, atmosphere that God’s Word is to be trusted, effectively, as is. However the problem for me came to be, as I advanced in personal knowledge of the Bible: ‘what exactly amongst all of the different Bible versions is “God’s Word”. And so, as/when I later wanted to share my faith with others, I saw that I had no other choice but to find out what the concrete exegetical “translational truth” was on this matter. At the same time came the issue of encountering various problematic text/incidents, especially beyond doctrinal ones, but more Theological and “Theodicical”. Related to that childhood view “upbringing”, I had been implicitly taught to especially not question God Himself in such matters....but, by then, I just could not believe that, more to the point, God did not have a most logical and awesome answer for such issues. (cf. SC 43.4) So I did not then hesitate to ask for ‘actual Biblical Proof’ and/or also those “Why God??” questions as I delved into those Theological studies, and thus far, I have been ever increasingly blown away by the most satisfactory Biblical answers that those studies have brought forth, most of which have been documented throughout this blog.
            All this to pertinently, introductorily state, in this discussion on “Henderson’s Hell” view, that the answer to provide an/the answer for problematic passages is not to, as Henderson patently does, literally reword or restate what God has actually, incontrovertibly said, according to his subjective/preferential view and thoughts, but to instead delve into the sincerely-probing “Why” line of questioning....I.e.: “Why God would you do this or that, and that way?? -in this present case: ‘miraculously burn people who have chosen not to love you alive in Hell Fire for varying periods of extended, non-natural time??’
            As presented here, as it was for the resolved Character of God issue, the (exegetical-borne) answer simply lies in the fact that one cannot actually be loving without also being just.

** [Relatedly here, in terms of Henderson’s patent modus operandi to interpreting ‘preferred-view-opposing’ and/or difficult/obscure/problematic passages where he commonly/typically, reversedly arrives at an interpretation from an overgeneralizing, and/or socio-psycho, anecdotally conjectured, fancifully subjective rationale/perspective, (which in the following case is that ‘Jesus, from birth, was popular, a “rock star” and widely accepted’#): (See the Q&A on this priorly brought up point in Sermon #12 (mp4) [03:39-06:49]; (see also his pointed 12-25-10 sermon [mp4])): Luke 2:7's statement which says/means that ‘Christ was born in a stable and lain in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn’ (see DA 44.2) does not rather mean as Henderson claims that: ‘Christ was instead born in a house and acceptedly/gladly surrounded by his relatives and cousins’??! and that, “exegetically” speaking, simply because the Greek word for “inn” (Strongs’s #2646) actually means “guestroom” (see Mark 14:14; Luke 22:11 vs. the actual word for “inn” in Luke 10:34 - #3829)], but rather, and still in line with what the SOP revealed, that Joseph and Mary, (=Luke 2:7's “for them”), could not (even) find a place to stay in the usual guestrooms that virtually each house had, as they had already all been taken by the migrating census crowd which had descended en mass to Bethlehem. (Probably the fact that Mary was ca. 9 months pregnant caused Joseph to travel much slower than others, and so they may have been amongst the very last ones to complete this journey.  And given the great, particularly economic disturbance that this great migration would cause, it is very unlikely that the working, carpenter, Joseph took an extended stay for this trip to Bethlehem.) So, with the (actual) inns [if there actually “dedicatedly” was any in such a “small town” (cf. Mic 5:2a); -yet from the SOP’s perhaps additional revelation here, there may have also been one (probably as this “touristically” was the famed ‘birth city of David’ which thus may have also attracted many “general/fringe/“sinful”” “total foreigners” visitors (cf. Luke 19:5, cf. 9-10), who thus were not welcome, nor privately-housed, including ‘partial Israelites’ like the hated Samaritans who surely also considered David as their father (cf. John 4:12)], long taken by the first arrivers, and then the house guestrooms put up for occupancy all gone next, Joseph and Mary had to settle for a lowly stable filled with farm animals. In fact, as revealed/stated in DA 44.2, by the ‘”homeless” Joseph and Mary travelling now traversing the entire length of the narrow street, from the gate of the city to the eastern extremity of the town, vainly seeking a resting place for the night, after having found no room in the crowded inn, this notion of going house to house to see if they had a vacant “guestroom” would have been involved. And the fact that Mary and Joseph were not shown to EGW to be inquiringly knocking on each door as they made their way across the town was most likely due to the actual fact that it was probably quite late in the night then, and, in order to avoid being repeatedly awaken throughout the night by newly arriving travellers also seeking for a place to stay, a widely known “vacancy/no vacancy” indicating system (e.g., a lit or unlit candle or a specially-colored cloth hanging from the front window (cf. Jos 2:18, 21); or the front door being shut (Luke 11:5-7; i.e., here: ‘closed for any more lodging business’)) was probably being used to indicate if the house’s guestroom was still available. It is also significant to note that, as the SOP more emphatically reveals, it was Joseph and Mary themselves who found out a stable to stay in and not someone else who redirected or guided them there. 
            And there is absolutely no Biblical indication that Joseph or Mary had any family in Bethlehem. That is just pure fanciful thinking by Henderson. Just like Joseph and Mary had moved out of their city of birth, the rest of whatever family/relatives they may have priorly had there could also have done the same. And so in this census travel, they too would have had to find an inn or guestroom to stay. There is also no implication at all that ‘Jesus was being rejected’ just because ‘there was no inn or guestroom for His parents to stay in.’ No one knew that He was the Messiah, and so they were merely just factually turning Joseph and Mary away [if actually anyone in person did so to them after the manifest initial inn inquiry] because they had no room to house them.]
            ...And yet again later, in his 03-02-13 sermon (mp4) [16:50-19:45ff], Henderson most indifferently doubles down and “resolutely” attempts to make the same spurious claim, through now laughable, as being debunked, and also inevitably self-contradictory, slightly “adjusted” argument restatement. Easy debunking here: ‘there was no room in the “guestroom(s)” in the homes of Joseph’s family (if actually he still had family there and/or they still had a home of their own in Bethlehem, -two things which are not at all hinted at in the Bible or SOP.) So Henderson here obviously believe that this claim of his must be true... because he wants/needs it to be so!!##
            And Jesus did not, as Henderson obliviously/indifferently does (see his 12-01-12 sermon [13:38-15:04]), confuse/conflate “popularity” with “actual acceptance”. As He said in John 6:26, these people were now chasing after Him in order to make Him king (John 6:15) only, and most basely, because they had eaten their physical needs (really “wants” as they could have gone home or the stores and gotten/bought food to eat) had been met. In other words, they were not now so interested in Him and following Him so because of spiritual reasons, (i.e., the “signs” he did), but only because they now saw that He could provide for their physical wants. In fact, completely contrary to Henderson’s fanciful premise and claim, when later the issue of Christ’s (Spiritual) Truth later came up, that same crowd most rapidly deserted him. (John 6:27-69) So it certainly was not Christ’s truths that had been drawing them. Furthermore that crowd knew that trying to force Jesus to be king would have triggered a conflict with Pilate and the Romans, but they then did not mind, however when they later saw Jesus arrested, beaten and on His way to die, like the “ignorant mob”, (representative of all Judah then, cf. COL 293.3-294.1) who had sheepishly enjoined the Jewish rulers to call for Christ’s crucifixion, they then did not dare do anything to come in conflict with the Romans and try to free Christ by force.
            And, LOL, also contrary to Henderson’s view, ‘having a paparazzi-like following’ certainly does not make a person accepted by those hounding followers. Indeed as repeatedly seen, the paparazzi today typically could care less about the safety and well-being of the people they are stalking. In fact they probably wish that they could trip fall and crack their head open so that they could make a killing off the photos. They too are just “in it” for what they’ll get out of it.
            The Biblical Truth is that Christ’s Gospel Truth was definitely never “popular”, and certainly not widely accepted, and it similarly still isn’t today. (Matt 7:13-14). In fact, most bafflingly of all, perhaps it was really only 120 (Acts 1:15) of 500 people (Matt 28:10; 1 Cor 15:6; DA 818.3-819.1) who Christ actually physically appeared to after His resurrection actually believed it (Matt 28:17).


# Another example is Henderson’s “belief” that since ‘“even psychologists today” counsel parents not to ask their children questions which they already know the answer to involve the child’s wrongful action, thus putting the children in a self-seen viable position to lie, then in Gen 3:9, 11 ‘God Himself’ was therefore not asking Adam and Eve questions which He already knew the answer which involved their sinful actions,’ however Jesus, (who actually was the One who had met in Person with Adam and Eve in Eden), (faultlessly) did this very thing with certain people (e.g, His disciples (Luke 9:46-47ff; Mar 9:33-34ff; Matt 18:1ff; DA 432.2ff); specifically Peter (John 21:15 & 16 (cf. John 21:17b)); cf. Judas (John 13:21-30; Luke 22:48); cf. John 4:16-18; etc.). The actual, Truth-based reason for God’s questions in Gen 3:9, 11 is discussed here.

## Relatedly, in terms of the fanciful subjectivity with which Henderson either founds and/or “supports/corroborates” certain of his Biblical claims and expositions, it is, to say the least, quite disturbing to see the quite patent way in which he defaultly, jeeringly derides Bible persons as, effectively, ‘senseless/stupid’, whenever they express a candidly genuine emotion of Divine reproach and/or anger, as if they never have a real/rational reason to honestly do so, (which also include the Bible’s statements in regards to God’s own “passionate” wrath). Fact is, they outrightly did. I.e., when (a) one has almost self-sacrificially expended their life and “psyche” to answer the direct and appointed calling of God on their life, like e.g., David [Psa 43:2], Elijah [1 Kgs 19:4 &14; see herehere], Jeremiah [Lam 3:16], and partly John the Baptist [Matt 11:3]%, indeed with none of these having actually themselves “volunteered” their life to God ‘s service, (it was God who had called them and appointed them to their pointed mission), and (b) when one knows of the All Mighty power of God, His expressed desire to see good and righteousness done; yet you are in the midnight midst of having the foes of God triumphing over you, moreover for having been most faithful to your commission, then it is most real, rational and honest to indeed question the non-favoring intervention of God. These faithful Servants were not “depressed”, they were actually “frustrated” and that, ultimately at God, namely for not acting to completely remove the already proven to be rejected evildoers. I.e., the underlying issue in those similarly related questionings of God was by those Bible characters: ‘why do I have to keep on being persecuted and suffer be these ones which you have already condemned??!’ Like Jacob, these people were not ‘merely allowedly pounding on God’s chest for relieving venting reasons’, but were actually aiming to get a, i.e, any, reaction from an apparent stoic and indifferent God, even if it, preferentially so, killed them and put them out of this seeming pointless misery. Indeed, unlike Henderson, these Bible characters did not consider their ‘work to have been done’ because: ‘they had done their due preaching, -so pass the guacamole, and leave me alone so that I can watch the ball game or a re-run of Star Wars’. They only would consider their mission to be done when they would tangibly see the changes that they were Biblically/Prophetically (personally) desiring for God’s cause. (cf. RH, January 10, 1856 par. 1-2ff; 3SM 36.4) And it was the fact that they could not see these changes through, being variously overpoweringly hampered by God’s foes, which made their plight even more agonizing. Hence the strident cry out to God to ‘do something already’!!%%
            Tellingly enough, Henderson only has no default commendation for similar God-reproaching statements of Job (Job 3:1ff). And that is manifestly, “naturally” (1 Cor 2:6-3:3ff), because he knows the behind the scenes details in that episode and thus knows that God is indeed deliberately allowing Job to go through these hardships, and that unfairly. (Similarly, in the case of John the Baptist, he knows of “part” of the deliberate non-rescuing-intervention of Jesus.) Yet, evidently, for all other situations where Henderson does not know of such details, those Bible characters have no right nor reason to make similar expressions. The fact is they do because God is indeed not intervene to end their pointedly unjust suffering, and that, in all of those cases, because God, as in Job’s case, is acting out to accomplish a much larger, object lesson GC task then, with repercussions on the salvation and psychological strength of future generations, and in order to truthfully have this done in terms of due unwavering faith in Him, He, also as with Job, is forced to keep His faithful suffering servants in the dark. In fact, as discussed in this present post, a similar thing was done to Jesus Christ on the Cross when God with prior (recalled) indication, nor warning, suddenly went ahead and unexpectedly to Jesus, sacrificed His now sin-imbued Divine Nature in this ultimately extended redemption process, which similar to those suffering Bible Characters, caused Jesus to also, openly and loudly, reproachingly question God. (I.e.: “Why have You forsaken ME’??? - Matt 27:46 - And such an expression is actually indeed non-sinful, only in a context where, as for the “ultimate and candid testing reasons” mentioned below in Note #12, Jesus did not at all see this development coming (Rom 14:23b), and was here most genuinely reacting, and actually was seeking an answer....and when you then no longer feel God ‘right inside of you’ as before (cf. John 11:41-42), the only way to then make “contact” with that now departed God is to [and obviously not for transparent demonstration as in John 11:43] ‘loudly cry out that question to Him’.)
            Henderson dismissingly also has an issue with Isa 52:14b & 53:3 as they imply that God’s “Suffering Servant” would be of a gloomy versus a cheerful/joyful/“happy-go-lucky” disposition. He also uses the common shallow argument that ‘children would not have been attracted to Jesus if He was so gloomy.’ Well the trumping fact is that God’s planned prophetic intelligence foresaw that God’s Servant would be this visibly perturbed because it also envisioned that He would surely be most sensitive and concerned about the perilous state of His Israel then and the looming utter doom pending upon them should they not quickly repent. And like a conscientious father can easily “convince” his children, who are actually processing things according to their limited knowledge, into thinking and believing that “everything is alright” when he/the family is in the midst of a most trying and serious trial, (even just like a, clown, child entertainer, mall Santa can for a brief period of time attract and entertain children into sheer joy), Jesus could have easily put aside for a moment his pressing concerns in regards to Israel when/whenever a group of children was around in order to amuse them. In fact it may have refreshingly been the presence of care free and also good/honest-hearted children that brought about this alleviation of Christ’s normatively mission-most-preoccupied demeanor. That of course did not mean that Jesus went about with a constant consternation, with such a reaction surely candidly brought about by actual, tangible actuators (i.e., hypocritical and conniving Jewish leaders, or irrationally obstinate and rejecting people (e.g, Matt 11:16-24; cf. 25-30)). Being most truthful, Jesus surely met people without any prejudice or bias mindset about them and thus was defaultly most cordial, gentle and kind to people He met along His itinerant ministry, and with children being the most innocent of all those He met, how much more would He thus be with them. (=DA 511.1). Yet that did not mean that He was simultaneously increasingly, at the Jewish people lack of understanding of the Gospel, painfully and sorrowfully hurt inside. He just self-forgettingly, (i.e., the personal aspects of Him which had repeatedly been offended), defaultly acted above this “psyche” (cf. John 15:13) to truthfully deal with everyone He met, thus giving them the best chance to believe and accept the Gospel. So the fact that Jesus was attractive to children did not mean that He was not inner “most sorrowful” and increasingly, grievingly perplexed and resultingly physiognomically “marred” as His advancing reformation efforts more and more seemed that they were not going to bring about the expected and desired temporal results in Israel, all culminating in a most convulsive outburst of this accumulating sorrow during His aborted triumphal entry (Luke 19:41-44 | DA 575.3). All this speaks of the tremendous way He had been resolutely surmounting this gloom all along to fully and properly accomplish God’s mission. (cf. Ezek 3:8-9).%%%
            And, when one, indeed self-sacrificingly, allows themselves to take in all of the “facts” in regards to the Christian’s due mission, which includes the demand of work that needs to be done, i.e., working to meet the vital needs of all those in need as Christ mandated (Matt 25:45), and not preferentially just limiting one’s duty to whatever does not require a sacrifice, then one will not help to be as concerned, perplexed, ‘marringly and agonizingly’ sorrowful as Jesus Himself presently is, particularly in the face of the resolute indifference of His People who self-servingly prefer to ignore the plight of the (actually, i.e., vitally) poor and needy, and that, so that they can obliviously have, and live, their “joyous”, and thus purportedly “happy Christian life”. (cf. Henderson’s 03-19-11 “Product Placement - Joy Banner” sermon [mp4]). The only way one can be ‘blissfully joyful’ in the face of the present situation of millions of people and infants dying of preventable, curable and/or deliberate causes, is solely by “willful [i.e., in our ubiquitously informing age] ignorance”. The only way for one to have true/full (i.e., Godly vs. self-serving) joy in this life is to fully heed Christ’s love mandate (John 15:10-12), thus fulfilling/keeping His law (Matt 22:34-40), and the only “product placement” that God has dutily “placed” before His professed people to obtain this joy, is the permitted plight of the world’s needlessly poor, suffering and dying!
            Typologically/typically enough, just like the first century Jews who did not want to minister to sinners so as to not affect their “blessing”, (SDA) Christians today patently prefer to ignore the plight of the ‘least of these’ so as to not downcast and mar the radiant facade of their (finally) achieved “blessing” and “blessed life”. That is why ‘caring for the least of the needy’ is understood to only necessitate a warm smile and “compassionate” expression, (which explains why they indifferently, resolutely consider that, (e.g.,) murdering an infant is far better than a person possibly being ‘“morally” emotionally/psychologically inconvenienced’!).

% A bible person which Henderson, (contrary to his indifferently fallacious claimings here), surfacely seemingly properly cites as having an ‘unjustified attitude towards God’ is the prophet Jonah. Indeed it seems that Jonah wrongly blamed God for ‘having thrown him overboard in the sea’ (Jonah 2:3) when it was him who (a) had fleeingly boarded that opposite-destination-sailing ship (Jon 1:3); and (b) had asked, (upon having being (not-actually-randomly) “found out” (Jon 1:7)), to be throw in the sea (Jon 1:12). However upon deeper exegetical analysis, it is evident that Jonah had actually rightly spoken of what had transpired then. Succinctly said here, lexically, Jonah, uses the Hebrew word shalak (Strongs #7993 = ‘brought down’) to say that ‘God had “cast” him into the deep; into the heart of the seas’ while in Jon 1:5, 12, 15, the word for ‘“throwing” something/someone in the sea’ is tul (#2904).@ The manifest distinctness here is that Jonah did not expect to sink into the depths of the sea, but that, once thrown overboard, (a) the sea would (manifestly, expectingly, also immediately) become peaceful (Jon 1:12b), which it indeed did (Jon 1:15), and thus (b) that he would be able to float and safely swim back to shore. He also probably had taken some sort of wooden floatation aid along, and with the Bible literally saying in Jon 1:13 that ‘the men, in order to return futilely “dug into the ground”’, which, (with this ship’s oars being probably, indeed typically, quite long (e.g., 15-25 feet, see e.g., here) in order to take some advantage provided by physic’s ‘lever arm torque boosting aid (and/or just reach the waters)), could actually imply that they could reach the, would be shallow, coastal (-indeed with the “Tarshish” destination here quite possibly being the renown trading city in Southern Asia Minor, (present-day Turkey), which was probably started to be populated by (devote) Jews around the 7th century B.C., as these were seeking to escape the Israel-kingdom overruling Assyrian Empire, -when that city then became the capital city of an (Assyrian-)independent kingdom, which was soon thereafter known as Cilicia (= the “Tarsus of Cilicia” Acts 21:39, 22:3; cf. Acts 6:9; Isa 60:9); and not necessarily, as popularly assumed, an ‘other-side-of-the-known-world’ place, -namely the Phoenician mining colony, in Spain’. [The Phoenicians named several places where they had mining operations “Tarshish (SDABD 1089) as that merely technically meant: “smelting plant, refinery”.], thus not only making this sea voyage a coastal one all the way, but one that would involve a small, shallow draught, flat keel oar-propelled, trading/merchant ship known as a navis actuaria) sea bed with their oars, and tried to get back to shore by digging into it, but could not since the storm was too strong against them, then the ship may have then (still) been in shallow enough waters. In fact the SOP implies that the storm broke out ‘not longer after they had begun sailing’ (PK 267.1), (and Jonah, then exhausted from his ‘running away to the port of Joppa’ (Jon 1:3) (present-day Yafo/Jaffa, -part of Tel-Aviv, but back then was a non-occupied city beyond the Western borders of Israel (SDABD 615)), may have actually gone straight to sleep in the lower deck, right upon boarding the ship although the ship only begun sailing a while after that (e.g., 2 hours later), so while probably still being quite close to shore. Indeed trying to swim back to shore if they were far along in their voyage, rather than waiting the storm out at sea, or also moving along, with the prevailing winds pushing them along, would have not been sensical if they were not indeed close to land, and thus is shallow waters. So Jonah’s entire “beef” with God here was that God had taken him while he was probably safely floating above/on, by then still, and manifestly also shallow, waters and had instead now, through the large fish which swallowed him, had brought him ‘low’ into the ‘Sheol-like’ (Jon 2:2) “depths/heart” of the sea (Jon 2:3a, 6), where now the waters were threateningly, drowningly engulfing him (Jon 2:3b, 5), probably slushingy so while inside the (probably still swimming around) fish’s belly, with him manifestly even then struggling to survive (Jon 2:7a). And it manifestly not until Jonah, after 3 days (Jon 1:17), seeing that he was going to surely die, and therefore confessed his sin of disobedience and also vowed to, manifestly, accomplish his mission (Jon 2:7-9), that God commanded the fish to vomit him onshore (Jon 2:10).@@
            And so it is apparent that God had punitively sent the fish to swallow up Jonah and take him away from his manifest ‘floating shallow water’ refuge into to the depth of the sea, where the fish, by periodically swallowing water, would cause Jonah to have to struggle to remain alive; -by trying to keep his head within a, probably God-insured, air pocket, so that he could breathe (which would mean that, as a person free-floating in open ocean waters for days awaiting to be found and rescued, Jonah probably did not get much sleep). Ala. a disobedient Moses in the pass (Exod 4:24-26; cf. PP 255.5) it manifestly took this most explicit/direct, life-threatening action by God for Jonah to truly have a contritely submissive and obedient disposition.@@@
            Jonah’s, self-expressed (Jon 4:1-2), larger, main problem seemed to be, not unlike Christ’s post-resurrection and post-Holy Spirit outpouring (John 20:22 & Acts 2) disciples, that he had a prideful, deep seated ethnico-religious discrimination issues against non-Israelites, seeing them as not being also deserving of God’s freely available and readily obtainable full grace (cf. Acts 10:44-11:3ff, 18). Yet, as Jesus was able to work with these bigoted disciples, God was similarly able to, through also some form of attitude-adjusting compelling, (as was Peter’s emphatically ‘tripled” and commanding dream (Acts 10:9-16)), work through Jonah.

@ An example of the pointed distinction between those two terms is seen in the use in Jer 22:28 where it is said on one hand that: ‘Coniah and his descendants had been “thrown out” (#02904) of Judah’ and had been “cast into” (=rooted in/established) a land (i.e., Babylon) that they did not know.’ (This is especially depictive if Coniah’s descendants were born while in Babylon).

@@ This textually accurate understanding of Jonah’s ordeal goes on to pointedly speak of the submission struggle  to do God’s will that Jesus went through throughout His passion starting in Gethsemane. (Matt 12:39-40; 16:4; 26:36-44; cf. Luke 12:50).

@@@ Pertinently it may seem that the Bible is saying/implying, based on actually Jonah’s own (enraged) testimony, that he was only fearful to undertake this mission because he knew that God could, and would forgive the Ninevites if they “heeded” his condemnation (see Jon 4:1-2), while the SOP states that Jonah had been hesitant and then disobedient because he had understood that God was calling him to try to convert the Ninevites, as potentially inherent in simply any warning notice of coming judgement, and also that Satan pried on that ‘depressing reluctance’ to push Jonah into full disobedience (PK 266.2). This is reconciled by the actual details that God had indeed called Jonah to “cry out” against the Ninevites, thus implying an attempt to, however, Saving Faith wise: necessarily explicitly veiled if it was ever going to be viable, implicatedly convert them and thus also that they could be forgiven if they repented (Jon 1:1-2), and then in a second instruction, following Jonah’s penitence ordeal, God then gave Jonah a definite time message of condemnation (Jon 3:1-2, 4) (-a type of ‘(definite, ultimately) no (more opportunity for) mercy’ message that Jonah readily and gleefully approved of). So Jonah was indeed ‘dreadfully doubtful’ of his first commission thinking that those people would not repent. Yet, as God told him, he had no reason at all to be, especially angry, when they did repent, and God forgave them. (Jon 4:4).
            It appears that God actually took Jonah’s initial concern of ‘the Ninevites probably being beyond hope’ seriously as in the second instructions (Jon 3:1-2, 4) God instead gave this more, closed ended, condemning and timed message. He was thus going to startle the Ninevites into taking him seriously. Yet, “unexpectedly” (cf. Jon 4:11), the Ninevites repented, and thus, at that manifest genuine contrition, God could favoringly work amongst them through His Spirit (see PK 270.2) to help secure deep convictions.
            Furthermore, the SOP states that Jonah’s ordeal, (manifestly as was Christ’s in Gethsemane), was also to “revive” the prophet’s confidence in God’s power to protect/save him in this mission. (PK 266.3) And as Jonah probably very soon realized that it was God who had brought about this large fish to swallow him, especially if it non-naturally, venturedly plucked him up in shallow waters, then he should have readily again believed that God had the incredible and unstoppable power to protect him, and so his would be life-threatening drowning fighting would have been, now strictly punitively, because he was indifferently still refusing to trust God and submit to His will, indeed, as he absurdly stated in Jon 4:3 after his mission’s success, probably then also preferring to die. So God was just granting him, albeit, a taste of his wish, which he probably did not expect God to so do, and so began to fight to survive, and then eventually most penitently surrendered rather than “needlessly”, even purposelessly, die. He thus effectively came to give over his entire life to God, particularly if he still had some lingering doubts as to God’s future protection, i.e., when having to dealing with humans who could/would likely determinantly fight to resist God’s will to spare the life of this ‘insulting foreigner’.

%% Henderson contra. JosephSimilarly, Jonathan Henderson finds fault with Joseph (the son of Jacob) claiming, literally out of the most biased blue, in this 4-6-2013 sermon (mp4) [06:30-06:57ff], that ‘Joseph was (a little bit) arrogant, and this is why his brothers could not stand him’, -even, circularly, but indicatively enough, effectively citing the hateful actions of Joseph brothers in throwing him into a ditch as ‘proof’ that Joseph “must have been really messed”. Of course, as typical, Henderson distractingly prefaces this claim by saying that ‘some people can’t stand when he say this’ as if that suddenly made his restated claim true. Well anyone who is actually interested in hearing Biblical truth should indeed be annoyed by such vacuous, fancifully/subjective biased pastoral/personal claims!! Which actually are outrightly concocted lies since the actual facts about Joseph’s situation with his brothers beyond what the Bible states are clearly expressed the SOP in e.g., PP 209.1-3 with such compliment statements as: ‘Joseph was of a widely different character than his other wicked brothers’, and even his “rare personal beauty seemed but to reflect an inward beauty of mind and heart”. And that he was “pure, active, and joyous, gave evidence also of moral earnestness and firmness.” “He listened to his father's instructions, and loved to obey God.” ‘As a lad, already manifested qualities of gentleness, fidelity, and truthfulness in his daily life that afterward distinguished him in Egypt.’ So no wonder that Jacob so favored him, since as Jacob knew and had himself experienced with his own evil brother Esau, the Israel birthright blessing was a Spiritual one and not a natural/first born one, so why not greatly approve of the only grown child who had been conscientiously walking upright before God. The brothers jealousy was just that, -their jealousy and Joseph had done nothing to irritate them but be faithful. All wicked/sinful people can’t stand people who naturally show them up by being what they choose not to be. And, in regards to Joseph’s Divine dreams why not share with them what God Himself had share. In fact this was God’s direct indication that He too was approving of Joseph’s unique conduct and had effectively granted him the Israel birthright. At the very least, this sharing was done by Joseph, in his ‘gentle remonstrance efforts towards his evil acting brothers’ (PP 209.2) to get them to see and understand that God Himself was not approving of their ways. But of course, as typical with evildoers, (as seen throughout Israel’s history in regards to especially people who had such Divine/prophetic revelations against them (cf. Matt 23:34-36; Acts 7:9-10ff) , such reprimand “only aroused still further their hatred and resentment” (PP 209.2). Even him (rightly) telling his father about the waywardness of his brothers was ‘in hope that Jacob’s authority might lead them to reform’. (PP 209.2)...So I’ll go by what the Bible and SOP claim, and not by what Henderson prefers to imagine and believes...and there are probably similar issues of “vexed jealousy” involved in this oblivious/indifferent slandering on his part. See more on this issue, in the light of a personal ensuing responding by Jonathan Henderson in this dedicated post, where any other major spurious claims and theologies of his will also be addressed.
            If Henderson is so insistent on painting and presenting Bible characters according to what he subjectively and fancifully thinks of them, then I know of several Hollywood movie companies which could use his screenwriting imagination...starting with the one which produced the History Channel’s 10-episode Bible series...and the 2014 Noah Movie....What travesties!!! 


-Henderson’s Spite With David - Also similarly, Henderson likes to blanketly claim that ‘David was only “a man after God’s own heart [1 Sam 13:14]” before he became king. After that, he was also ‘all messed up’....Well, succinctly said, instead of Henderson’s indifferently/insistently unbalanced disparaging condemnation, I’ll take God’s own fully, factually, knowledgeable/informed rightly weighed “judgement” about David and his life: of/as being someone who, and also as a king: ‘kept God’s commandments, and followed Him with all his heart, to do only that which was right in God’s sight’ (1 Kgs 14:8), and ‘walked in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that God had commanded keeping His statutes and ordinances (1 Kgs 9:4; cf. 11:38)’, -everlastingly setting the standard for a monarch in God’s Israel (Ezek 34:23-24; 37:26); and really only man (vs. God, cf. Psa 51:12-13 = Jam 5:20) could “caveatly” bring up David’s chief failing (1 Kgs 15:5); -[though David, (actually others (cf. Gen 12:17; 20:17-18)), still had consequences to pay for that ‘evil sin’ (2 Sam 12:9, 10-14). Even the additional light given in the SOP on this issue does not go to Henderson’s preferred: actually non-representational/real, ‘temporally, sharply dichotomizing; ‘absolutely-always-or-else-nothing-at-all’’ extent (e.g., 4aSG 85.3; 87.1ff)).
            In/For his 04-13-2013 sermon (mp4), Jonathan Henderson, previewing the general view for his new series here on David’s life, double-downingly, confirms his blanklet claim that ‘David was all messed up.’ Well that actually is vacuously self-contradicting in the light of what he then goes on to theologically posit and claim in that sermon [at ca. 12:51ff] that: ‘he perceives that God may not actually think that the things that people do are necessarily who they are’. In that case, Henderson then should have “previewingly” claimed instead that: “David did many messed things...” And the Theological fact is that God does indeed look at the heart, and thus can see all of the pertinent issues involved in a person actions and thus can properly gauge their character.* That is also how God can differentiate between “simple/weakness sin” vs. resolute/indifferent rebellion, the latter which typically required Capital Punishment in His Israel, yet at times, such a difference is so blurred/opaque that even God has to do a candid testing, really as in a lab/bench testing, of the person to determine what is really/actually in their heart. (e.g., apparently faithless Abraham (Gen 16 vs. Gen 22)). Then there is also the promised case from God that once a person genuinely repents of their sin....He both forgives them and actually completely forgets it...indeed to humanly mind boggling tangibly amnesic point of: ‘Huhh!?? What sin(s)???” (E.g., Isa 43:25; Jer 31:34; Heb 10:17). Humans cannot (self-)perform such mind/memory excising...but apparently God can does!! And it would be one thing if David repeated, and that moreover systematically so, his previous chiefs sins...but the Biblical record shows that they were “one-off” sins, thus self-manifestly sins which were suddenly brought about by certain external “inciters”. They therefore were clearly not sins from a (cultivated) “messed up” character, and that is why God, even when He punitively brought about, or allowed, their imposed (e.g., 1 Chr 21:9-12) and/or natural consequences, did not reckon against, or representative of, David’s character and the general heading of his heart. (SC 57.2)

* At 14:20ff Henderson cites as an example, the exchange between Jesus and Peter after the resurrection (John 21:15-17), claiming, relatively strangely, -i.e., as it is by now contrarily quite a well known exegetical  fact, that ‘Peter three times insisted in response that he did indeed “love” Jesus.’ Well that ‘contrary, by now well known exegetical fact’ is that in the first two times, Peter actually did not echo the pointed expression that Jesus was asking. Jesus had asked: “do you ‘agape’ (“love”)”, and Peter instead responded that ‘he had a merely ‘fileo’ (=‘brotherly/kinly love’) for Jesus’ (John 21:15). Jesus apparently asked that same question to ascertain if Peter really felt that way, and the downgraded answer was the same from Peter. (John 21:16) It is only when Jesus also “downgraded” the question to Peter candidly/honestly confessed “fileo” level that Peter pointed out that Jesus indeed knew all things, which to me seems to be saying: ‘you (Jesus) also now see that there was no point trying to claim a higher love than fileo since you already know all things.’ (cf. Matt 9:4; John 2:25)@
            Indeed Jesus statement in John 15:13 had revealed that to, as Peter had priorly confidently claimed (Luke 22:33|John 13:37), accept to ‘give up ones life, even “psyche” (i.e., undergoing a psychological/mental agony/anguish which is painfully/hurtingly beyond even physical suffering -see DA 753.1b; 754.4a) total life, cf. Matt 10:28) for someone else’, one needs to have “agape love”, for that is the level of “love” that ‘sticks closer than a brother’s inherent “fileo love”’ (cf. Pro 18:24). Which is why I now, after several personal attempts to rightly define and understand “agape”, I merely see it as simply outright “love”, thus “love” in the only true sense of the word. Fileo love on the other hand, (-with the other type/level of love in Greek being, ‘fleshly “desire/lust” (= eros)’), is actually a quasi-legally due/obligatory consideration, even in times/circumstances of adversity (i.e., when one would actually really not want to). Which is unlike a friend where you have no (natural) “obligation” to have any type of “relationship” with. (cf. Pro 17:17).
            So Peter was candidly/honestly then confessing to Jesus that he merely fileo him, and that really on a, similarly, and even lesserly, obligatory master-slave relationship, for Jesus had already promoted his disciples to a level of friends (John 15:15) where then agape love automatically (should have) come into effect. Yet Jesus still tried to work with Peter on that, evidently, honest level of “brotherly relationship” and provided for him a pathway to eventually become Christ’s “friend” by, (at the very least), ‘doing what he had understandingly always been commanding him in His comprehending responses to: “tend His flock”. (John 15:14).

@ It is, through observation and reasonability, not deferentially believable that Henderson did not actually know at all the agape vs. fileo issue here. Rather it does indeed manifestly seem that he thought that he could get away with ignoring these specifications/details in making a (thus) glib, supposedly/(“somehow”), still supporting  “pastoral” point on that Jesus-Peter exchange. But he/it just did not. Exegesis is not a luxury, nor optional. I.e., Jesus “knew” that Peter’s action was indeed reflective of his, unknown to himself (Peter), merely fileo, instead of, agape character. [And Jesus had several intertwined reasons for producing and concretizing this (self) recognition and (open) confession from Peter, -one of them being to restore the trust of the other disciples in their unofficial leader Peter. (cf. DA 809-817)]. In a previous sermon [ref], (at a college graduation or vesper, if I recall properly), Henderson relates his experience in his first sermon where he just had not been able to come up with what to say/preach on, but when he stood up to speak, he somehow, phrase by phrase, ‘was told by God’ what to say for that entire sermon. Henderson then says that he has since then been preaching (albeit, evidently partially so|), according that ‘thought inspiration’ approach, barely preparing written notes for his sermons.
            Well the fact of the matter is that...it shows...and despite the somewhat passable claim of ‘thought inspiration from God’...thought inspiration does not preclude factual and substantiating research and preparation. EGW fully understood this. God does provide a (general) indicative idea, but properly and accurately presenting that idea still needs to be according to (obtainable) facts and truth. (Cf. my related experience e.g., here and here with instances of thought inspiration. I certainly know that such thoughts indispensably still requires much work to be properly and accurately, thus validly convey.) So if, if not since, Henderson is manifestly tinking that one’s work ends at a mere God-given idea/thought, it is objectively not surprising, as documented in this post and other places in this blog, that much of what he claims from his pulpit, from Bible/SOP claims to illustrating examples and depictions, “fluffingly”, just does not Theologically|Exegetically|Biblically|Factually check out. As per the overall constraints of this GC, God does not do for any man/person what they can do for themselves. He will indeed guidingly inspire, particularly in response to genuine endeavors in/of faith, but man still has a complimentary responsibility. Indeed somehow I doubt that God actual lesson in Henderson’s first sermon experience was ‘to not prepare his sermons, or note for them in advance’, but rather, as Henderson is clearly quite conditionedly “gifted” of doing in preaching, and that is run off with his personal/preferred/private Theological and Biblical views, even outrightly irrespective of what the Bible and/or SOP actually says. So God’s object lesson would have been, as it is patent with thought inspiration, (with actual verbal inspiration being more sparingly used in the Bible given the almost total commandeering of one’s will that this entails), “let me guide you to what you should say” but that still would not preclude studying out and preparing as due that “thought” to properly understand, develop and present it. And really, with the actual source for “thoughts” being so fuzzy, it is only through such, effectively “Spirits-testing”, corroborating substantiation that both the receiver and the audience can ascertain if the source was actually God. (Isa 8:20; cf. Acts 17:11).

            So, all pertinent and contributive things taken into consideration, did David actually even do ‘many sordid/messed up things/sins’ in his life and as a king??! Listing and weighing those seemingly sordid and messed up acts is transparently in order here:

(1) David’s 8+ Wives - (In order of marriage): (1) Michal, the second daughter of King Saul; (2) Ahinoam the Jezreelite; (3) Abigail the Carmelite, previously wife of Nabal; (4) Maachah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur; (5) Haggith; (6) Abital; (7) Eglah; and (8) Bathsheba, previously the wife of Uriah the Hittite.

The possible reasons for David marrying eight women, albeit with 6 wives during his total 13 years as a fugitive and partly King in Israel (2 Sam 2:1-4ff) may be a follows:

5.5 Years as a Fugitive:
(1a) Michal, being his first wife (1 Sam 18:20-28; cf. 17-19), marrying her would have been in obvious lawfulness. But apparently they then had only been bethrothed/engaged to each other, and had not been formally married. (See 2 Sam 3:14). Despite the bindingness of a betrothal I Israel, as she was soon separated from him when David had to flee for his life (1 Sam 19:11-17), that engagement/marriage was never valid, And as Saul actually was only trying to ensnare David by given her to him, Michal was later given in marriage to someone else (1 Sam 25:44)

(2) With it being virtually impossible to be with his betrothed Michal, David first actual marriage was with Ahinoam (1 Sam 25:43b), an Israelite from Jezreel, -a town in northern Judah (Jos 15:56). She was most obviously lawfully married to him.

(3) It is actually with Abigail, (an Israelite from Carmel in southern Judah), that things begin to be lawfully questionable with David marriages (cf. PP 668.1). Evidently seeing it as ‘God’s approving/ratifying avenging will and providence’ that Abigail’s husband had suddenly had, and ten days died of a stroke upon hearing the news of what David had, (as discussed later), really justly, planned to do to him (1 Sam 25:36-38) had it not been for Abigail’s intervention. (1 Sam 25:39-43). Overlooking Abigail’s attractiveness (1 Sam 25:3), David had probably felt some sort of duty towards the now suddenly widowed woman, (-with widows susceptible to being mistreated and exploited, and though Nabal was very rich (1 Sam 25:2), the trouble Abigail may then have had is with people undermining her authority and plundering her wealth), David thus also compensatingly, offered to redeem her, thus offering her protection, all effectively according to, at least the principle, in the Law (Deut 25:5-6; cf.  e.g., Gen 38:7-9; Ruth 4:1-10), as Abigail was moreover apparently also then childless, [and also as Nabal “household” may probably have been made up of similarly harsh/despicable/wicked (lit. “son of Belial-the devil’) brothers/family (cf. 1 Sam 25:3b, 17b), if any actually].

7.5 years as part king in Israel:
(4) Right through to the days of modern monarchies, it was seen that there was no stronger bond of friendship that could be effectuated between kingdoms than that of blood. And so (inferior) kings sought to secure the favor of rival and more powerful kings/kingdoms by, initiatingly “joining” themselves to them through marriage, e.g., giving their daughters in marriage to that king. They thus did indeed technically become family and it was thus much less likely that they would enter into conflict with each other. And so, when David, whose reputation had long preceded him, finally became installed as king, first in Judah, Talmai, the King of smaller kingdom “Aram of Geshur” (ca. present-day Golan) within the wider realm of the Kingdom of Aram (a.k.a Syria), evidently knowing that his territory lie in the not-yet-conquered area which had been promised to Israel (cf. Jos 13:13), manifestly decided to take the self-protecting initiative here and offer his daughter Maacah as a wife to David, which would thus make David his son-in-law. David accepted the offer, with a refusal probably being directly indicative of hostility, and thus likely pre-emptive attack, even from the wider Arameans Kingdom.
            So it may here have been quite against David will to marry another woman, this time completely outside permissible permissions in the Law, not to mention with this woman being a foreigner (cf. Deut 17:17), and it was probably through, akin to Abraham’s own failings, a lack of faith in both the promise and protection of God while his kingdom was just beginning to be established, and with the northern tribes of Israel not yet having also accepted David as king, even threatening and planning civil war (2 Sam 2:8-11ff), that he chose to use that opportunity to self-secure his reign. (In fact that familial bond was so tangible/enforce that the son of that wife Maacah, Absalom, had no issue fleeing to his grandfather’s kingdom when in conflict with David (2 Sam 13:37-38))

(5)-(7) It is probably due to the enduring threat from the warring house of Saul (see 2 Sam 3:1ff) that David felt a need to ‘strengthened (i.e., enlarge) his own household, as it was pointedly blood sons which could humanly ensure the survivability of his house, which the rival house of Saul wanted to completely eradicate. And so David would for that reason have married his next 3 wives, namely Haggith; Abital; and Eglah, particularly as his rival Saul then also had, at least one concubine (2 Sam 3:7). 
            It is probably also at that time, and including somewhat similar reasons that David began to take concubines (cf. 2 Sam 5:13), (-especially if in those 13 years of struggle, conflict and establishment he only had one son (or child) from each of those 6 wives -see 1 Chr 3:1-3|2 Sam 3:2-5), as part of a harem he also had, and this is all really were things became completely sinful for David.
            The citing of 9 sons of David, later born after he began to reign in Jerusalem in 2 Sam 5:15-16|1 Chr 14:5, beyond the 4 which were born of Batsheba (1 Chr 3:5), may have also been from these 7 wives (cf. 1 Chr 14:3 which merely says “wives”), and not from any of David’s concubines. In fact, as children from concubines were considered as second rank to children born of formal wives, the only son David may have (“accidentally”) had from a concubine, would be the “Jerimoth” mentioned in 2 Chr 11:18.

(1b) Evidently David was still smarting over the swindle by Saul with Michal, and probably because he really loved her (as she also (likely still) loved him -1 Sam 18:20a) and so, when a favoring opportunity presented itself when the offendedly rogue official Abner, from Saul’s household tried to secure a covenant with David (2 Sam 3:6-11ff), David then insisted as a binding condition for any meeting, that ‘Michal his betrothed wife’ be given back to him (2 Sam 3:12-14), to the sobbing dismay of her husband Palti/Paltiel then (2 Sam 3:15-16). So that marriage was really technically lawful as it was Saul’s murderous treachery which had prevented it in the first place. Palti should have known not to marry the betrothed Michal, if he actually could have refused this offer from the king....But since David had made such a refusal, with Saul then actually not wanting him to refuse that ensnaring offer (1 Sam 18:17-19), it manifestly was, a moreover “worthy” Palti who had asked/“procured” the great opportuning privilege of marrying the king’s daughter. Michal was childless all her life (2 Sam 6:23).

(8) The case of Batsheba is well known and completely inexcusable, especially given the measures which David had to undertake to merely cover up their affair. Yet for some reason, God did not also reprimand the ensuing formal marriage David and Bathsheba. I.e., He could have also stipulated that they should divorce, especially as the child they had conceived together would not survive. But as David was dichotomically responsible for Bathsheba’s widowhood, and she was apparently also childless then, he thus had effective duty to marry her, especially if the brother(s), if any, of Uriah the Hittites, was/were actually non-Israelites, i.e., not even living in Israel.
            In fact it may be that God had applicably accepted David’s reason for his adultery, which as discussed here on David’s statement in Psa 51:5, David claimed was ‘because of the fact that he himself had been born in adulterous/bastard circumstances’, (which may also extend to the total many wives David had.)

            So David was evidently in sin in taking one all of these wives, starting, or arguably after his second wive Abigail, but quite unlike Solomon who evidently took this permissiveness to an exponential and “foreign (“affairs”)” level, there actually is no statement that David’s let his wives and concubines, which may have been predominantly (i.e., except for Maacah the Aramean/Geshurite*) Israelites (cf. 1 Kgs 11:1-3ff), lead him away from otherwise being a good and faithful king. So weighing things in a judgement balance, as David’s heart actually did not here ‘“turn away” because of these many wives’ God may then have held this nonetheless sin as, compoundedly/additionally, “abominable” against him, quite contrary to what was said to the actually “turned away” Solomon. (1 Kgs 11:4-11ff)
           
* And it is probably influentially no coincidence that it was Maacah’s son Absalom which caused David the most turmoil and grief in his household, even kingdom when he rebelled and challenged his throne. (2 Sam 13-19). [Perhaps the Arameans, at least indirectly put him up to this.]

(2) Killing 100 Philistines (1 Sam 18:17-29) - Succinctly said, it most likely was not a sin to killed this avowed ever-threatening enemy of Israel, as it was, by God’s facilitated ordaining (Jdg 13:5), with Samson in the days of the recently ended judges era, indeed whenever there was an opportunity to do so. So David would here effectively be, actually continuing (i.e., from his earlier singlehanded victory over Goliath and the Philistine armies) to act as a “neo-Samson”. So I do not see anything actionably “sinful” in this effectively inherent act of paramilitary self-defense by David, no matter what the actual circumstances, which were actually abusively, schemingly unfair to David, of it were. In fact the news of this accomplishment by David probably made its way back into the land of the Philistines and probably only served to further frighten them and keep them at bay as that valiant David was in Saul’s household and army.

(3) Revenge plot against Nabal (1 Sam 25|PP 664.3ff) - Reading the account of Nabal vs. David it can be quite rightly deemed that Nabal’s baseless refusal to aid a then sorely in need David and his band of over 600 people, especially given the great good that David had done by not pillaging, but aiding to safekeep, Nabal’s goods which were in the wilderness region with him, was, all things considered, an act of war. A quite materially disposable Nabal had effectively told David, which he knew was fleeing from Saul, that he could, actually should, die in that wilderness, which evidently was the only area of safe refuge that David could stay in. So life-for-life, David was actually right in so responding to this effective death warrant and the best way to get rid of that baseless and undeserved threat, who could easily inform, even aid, the pursuing Saul of David’s whereabout, was to indeed completely eradicate the (fighting force/male composition of) that household. So it was quite lucky for Nabal that David accepted Abigail’s peace offering, and easily demonstrating that David was not merely out for blood, but just acting to secure the well-being of his group, he did not bypass Abigail’s offer and effectuate his eradicating plans against Nabal. He instead, seeing this restraint as being from the Lord (1 Sam 25:32-33), fully refrained from attacking him and thus left himself at his mercy as that meal offering of Abigail (1 Sam 25:18) was really not sufficient for even one meal for 600-1000+ people. So evidently God then intervened the next day to Himself remove that life-threat from Nabal. (PP 667.4).

            But as David had actually most magnanimously refrained from allowing his fear and passion from committing this act, however effectively justified that it nonetheless would have been, it cannot be, and is not, reckoned as a sin of David, thus not passable of judging here. In fact, that restraint, even in the face of threatened hunger, and even betrayal, is evidence that he, “at heart and in character” was not a ‘messed up scoundrel’, but as EGW inclusively rightly titled this episode in PP 660.1ff, it revealed “the magnimity of David”!

(4) David pretending to be crazy (1 Sam 21:10-15) - If deceiving an enemy in paramilitary spying is acceptable by God (i.e., pretending to be foreigners who simply wanted to obtain Rahab’s offered services Jos 2:2 as they did not go to a “hotel” as commonly rationalized, but to “the house of a harlot”), even lying to them (Jos 2:4-5), then surely deceiving an enemy by pretending to be insane is probably not reckoned as a sin by God. In other words, if the breaking of the commandment of against murdering is not accounted in cases of war and self-defense, then lying to preserve life in the face of clear and present inherent threat to life is probably equally passable. It is, with all other options exhausted, just as not a ‘lack of faith in God’ as first fatally striking an enemy who intends on fatally striking you is not murder. My personal theological thesis here is that God pointedly regards as sinful anything which in any way leads to unjustified death, including oneself. So e.g., “working” to help save someone life on the Sabbath is similarly not a violation of the Sabbath commandment. And so, in life-threatening circumstances, even a effectively deceiving non-answer could be deemed as acceptable. The best way of course is to always be truthful for simply premeditating to lie may itself be sinful. In fact, when Jesus counselled not to prepare a defense in advance to people who would be persecuted (Luke 21:14-15), this inherently left open the possibility that “if He/God did then not impress you with an answer to give, then it was God’s will that you remain silent, and thus accept whatever fate that non-response would bring whether favorable or condemnatory.

(5) Vengeance for captured wives, children and goods (1 Sam 30:1-20) - Can’t begin to fault a man and group for taking just and total action against a band who just cowardly seized their families and livelihood, and after/at God’s expressed ordering (1 Sam 30:8). And even then David evidently only killed off the war-aged men, and manifestly allowing 400 young men (perhaps younger than the military age of 20), to escape on camels (1 Sam 30:17). So here also, no guiltiness or sinning of David at all to weigh/judge.

(6) Cannot build God’s House (1 Chr 22:8; 28:3) - Jonathan Henderson finds a major/capital fault with David himself for God’s refusal here to allow David to himself “build” the Temple as his hands had shed much blood. Well the clear fact of the matter is that David had not shed any innocent blood as all of these killings of his had been in contexts of war and self-defense, and actually at God’s own commands, i.e., ‘before God’ (1 Chr 22:8b). So it is clear that God was not faulting David, it was just that David happened to have had the unfortunate lot of having had to be the leader in Israel who would have to wage many wars and shed much blood to deliver Israel from its enemies then, and God just did not want His temple to be associated with such circumstances. So he was not faulting David at all, just explaining to him that he could not qualify to do so. In fact, God had already long promised to build David and everlasting royal house instead (1 Chr 17:10-15) thus showing that God did not actually have any problem with David himself here; therefore what he had done was not sinful by David; just not the ideal testimonial basis for what God distinctly had in mind for the religious aspects of Israel. (Evidently why God does not accept a Church (e.g., the Historical Roman Catholic Church) to become physically/literally militant. That is evidently solely acceptable in the realm of a temporally establish kingdom/nation by God; which would also explain the non-opposed and permitted great martyrdoms in the New Covenant Church era as God’s Israel purposes then was mainly to conquer heart by the Truth and not to justly appropriate and defend temporal territory.
            So also here, actually nothing sinful to be reckoned against David.

(7) Taking a (Military) Census of Israel (2 Sam 24|1 Chr 21) - It is quite telling to me to read in this account of David taking the Census to see how God immediately, explicitly/directly and severely visited this sin of David, which, moreover, Satan had “incited” him to do. Since the taking of a census was actually not illegal if done according to the Law (Exod 30:11-16), it thus was indeed the ‘prideful and ambitious’ (PP 746.3), which led to David actually tinkering with Theocratic standards for Israel military (PP 747.1). But a king “multiplying wives” (with David having 8+, was also against the Law (Deut 17:17), yet God did not so enter into such direct judgement with David for that violation. Whatever the adjudged reason, the Census-taking sin of David could arguably, relatively, be said to not have been heinous (i.e., Henderson’s “messed up (character)”)...however it was arguably was the most severely Divinely punished sin of David.

(8) David’s Strategic Association with the Philistines (1 Sam 27; 29) - In his 10-12-13 sermon (mp4) [26:37-28:45] Jonathan Henderson again renews his Theologically-indifferent spite with King David by claiming that he was a “knuckle-head” [which is technically defined as: “A stupid person; these words are used to express a low opinion of someone's intelligence”] in joining with the Philistines. But, faith in God issues aside, that was, as David calculated, a strategically intelligent, and a last gap, move by David and his 600 men. (1 Sam 27:1, 4). In fact David from there continued to fight squarely against Israel’s (other) enemies (1 Sam 27:8-11*). Sure it, from an outside, more informed and hindsight perspective, was an “error” (PP 690.2) [which is not necessarily a sin, let alone a capital/‘rebellious’ sin; -nor was David’s momentary defeat in 1 Sam 30 because, as Henderson factually mishmashes, of him living with the Philistines, but rather it was a retaliatory act by the Amalekites for David’s raid in 1 Sam 27:8-11. God had long already delivered David from his prior jam (1 Sam 29:3ff|PP 690.2b)] for David to have agreed to fight against Saul and his army. (1 Sam 28:1-2) In fact God was then planning to deliver and slay Saul and his main royal inheritors, and inherently other Israel soldiers, in that war, as Satan had figured out (1 Sam 29:14-19) and was here reversedly, desperately trying to get Saul to not fight that war, thus prolonging his detrimental reign on God’s Israel. So it would only have been a “sin” here for David, by him not having from trusted in God’s protection by finding refuge in mountains instead of this less hardships arrangement with the Philistines (PP 690.1), if it perhaps was not done in, initially, a genuine “faith”/belief (=Rom 14:22-23), that either God, which clearly had long abandoned Saul, would not allow the physically/naturally/humanly more strong Philistines to have a war with Israel, and if they did, then it was just God’s will that Saul be defeated then, and so why not, as David honestly did, now be an active part in that manifest Divine judgement against Saul. Indeed it is quite telling that the SOP does not say that it would have been a sin to defeat Saul in that war, but focused more on the hindering stigma that would naturally be placed on David by the rest of Israel, if he was to here fight against Israel. (PP 690.1b). So God intervened here and supernaturally provided a way out of this double-jam for David. (PP 690.2b; =PK 162.1)

* -For (1) the Amalekites: explicitly according to the perpetually standing (Exod 17:14-16), and recently re-expressed, (Saul-selectively-neglected) command of God (1 Sam 15:2-3, 8-9, 18-19); (2) the Geshurites and Girzites, David evidently knew that they  were both “inhabitants of the land from ancient times” (1 Sam 27:8; Deut 3:14), and so were probably also long under, by now inherent, total extermination orders (e.g. Deut 20:16-18), (-and with no excusable/redeemable quality/achievement (1 Sam 15:6)), which the Joshua Conquests had failed to do (Jos 13:1-2ff); and which David would later have to do in order to fully possess Israel’s promised land as God had long ordered and expected. So the Divinely-obedient David, and that despite his smallest and precarious position at that time, was certainly not “murdering people” as Henderson biasedly quasi-obliviously, ignoramusly, spitefully, Blasphemously, defaultly “slanders” him.


David Conclusion
            I cannot find/think of any other considerable issue in this listing of supposed faults/sins in David’s life, (if there are actually any other cited in the Bible), so really I only find fault with him for having taken wives beyond his official first Ahinoam, with the later marrying of the firstly betrothed Michal being debatable, (indeed even if as a second wife, as it was the similar “treacherous/defrauded” case with Jacob and Leah and Rachel), and marrying Abigail may also be debatable/defensible. So, like I said above, God may have forgiven this sin of “multiplying wives” because of the possible, particular attenuating circumstance with each ones. Not sure about the harem of concubines, unless David, unlike Solomon was purely doing all of this merely to build up his household, unlike Solomon who was acting out of lust (Eccl 2:8b) and also, effectively, politically correct deference to the enemies of Israel (cf. PK 53.1ff), which not surprisingly naturally entailed his “turning away” from God and His Truth.
            Again, God searches and knows the motives of the heart and thus could rightly adjudge the relatively culpable situations here (cf. Rom 14:23b). So I’ll continue to defer to God’s own summary pronouncement about the whole life 1 Kgs 9:4; 11:38; 14:8; =SC 57.2|PP 690.2b), and thus likewise, even (if) “amnesicly” due to complete purifying forgiveness for effectively shortcomings, not see/deem that David was neither “messed up”, i.e. in inherent character; nor had actually done any “messed up thing’, i.e., any abominable, rebellious, evil act...“except, (depravely-wise, possibly), in the [cold-blooded, murderous and adulterous] case of Uriah the Hittite” (1 Kgs 15:5; -indeed the only such sinful acts which he ever committed, and thus was guilty, of)...if not despite that act since God Himself had also completely both judged/exacted and purged that sin. (Psa 51:7). Perhaps quasi-legally having had Uriah killed, i.e., in war by lawfully ordering him, a great fighter, to be placed with the other frontline soldiers, was deemed an attenuating circumstance. Perhaps David then had in genuine “faith” placed Uriah’s fate squarely in the hands of God. (See more on this, and also David ‘emblematic worthiness’, here; -which manifestly would, much earlier on also have, most honoringly/rewardingly, later involved Jesus the (Jews-accepted) Messiah raising David from the dead (cf. Acts 2:29, 34) to make him the King in God’s then Messianically restored, temporally everlasting, Israel!! (Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25)).


Update 05-20-14: As usual with/from Jonathan Henderson, when faced with contradicting facts, he rather much prefers to double-down on his God, Bible, Bible People and/or SOP “blasphemous slandering” hobbyhorse. And thus here, in his 05-17-14 sermon (mp4) [at 04:23ff; 08:20-08:36], he reclaims his patent, baseless and gleefully self-obtused (=slandering) lying claims, purporting that: (1) God never wanted Israel to have a king; (2) David had “hundreds” of wives; (3) David was a rampant murderer of thousands.
            Succinctly addressed here, and also as already debunked above:

(1) Contrary to his, (and others), popular assumption, as the SOP implies in PP 603.1-2, an earthly king over Israel was not actually contrary to God’s will for Israel. As God always foresaw in the Bible (see Gen 17:16; 35:11; 49:9-12; Num 24:7, 17), that day would indeed come according to His own plan and will (=Deut 17:15-20). It was just that when Israel made that request, it just was not yet the right time for this, and probably only because God had not yet found someone, prior to His Messiah (cf. Luke 1:32), who perceivingly seemed to Him (cf. 1 Chr 28:9) that He could entrust with that “vicegerent” (PP 603.2) position, role and function. However with David, who was not yet born when Israel was clamouring for a king, God did find ‘someone according to His own heart’. And thus, even despite the various mistakes of David in his reign, not only, as discussed earlier, does God fully, explicitly exonerate him, but He also made the quite unique promise that ‘when Israel would (as supposed to), enter its Zionistic triumph, God would not merely restore this role of earthly kingship, but would set David again as that, then eternal, king (=Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25ff), -which, as this was to be accomplished with Ethnic Israel, would involve God resurrecting David, but also would meant that not even God’s Messiah, Jesus would hold that Earthly position instead of David. Really that would more widely involve that when all things are restored on this Earth, David, and not even Adam, Moses or Jesus would be eternally set as king over this planet for eternity. (Of course Moses and Jesus would have higher position/roles in God’s Universal Government to fulfill.)
            In the theologically wider perspective, God Himself ruling as King over Israel, thus being the one to make sure that His Laws are being enforced amongst them, was really an interim function taken upon by God. God has much more important things to do in His Universe than that, but given the special circumstance of this fallen world and His struggling baby Israel, He chose to Himself fulfill that function for them (cf. 1 Sam 8:7; 12:12) until they were ready to do it for themselves, through someone who God could fully entrust with that responsibility.

(2) Of course there is no factual basis, beyond mere biased wishfulness, as does Henderson here, to assertive claim that ‘David had “hundreds” of wives’. In fact, the Biblical (circumstantial) evidence points merely to David only taking on a few more wives than the 8 he already had. That evidence is that: (a) David only took wives from only women in Hebron (2 Sam 5:13). This is unlike Solomon, who (“diplomatically”) took (also foreign) wives from probably most of all of the existing kingdoms of the world, as far as his greatness and influence went, all in order to “seal” alliances with those (fearful) foreign kings/kingdoms. In fact, the Bible only mentions David taking wives in Hebron, i.e., not also when he went to Jerusalem, and then in 2 Sam 5:14 and 1 Chr 3:5-9, the Bible also only documentedly mentions David having 6+13/17 which were born when in Jerusalem from his wives (i.e. not counting the children which he provided for his concubines). So, with the (perhaps only male) children of King David indeed being and important thing to exactly document, that small total of 19/23 does not at corroborate a claim that David had hundreds of wives. It instead seems that he only took on ca. 5 more women (from Hebron) as his wives.

(3) It was already Biblically shown that in going about an warring and killing peoples, pointedly before David was made King over Israel, he was just rightly and dutifully, carrying out the Saul|Israel-cowardly/indifferently-neglected Zionistic will of God. So these killings were surely not “murders”. God only had an objection with David, and in relation to building a Temple for God, because he had (necessarily/dutifully) shed blood in his life/reign (1 Chr 28:3); but God does not say that this was ‘criminal/murderous/innocent’ bloodshedding’ (cf. 1 Sam 25:31). ‘It was only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite that David had (caused to be) shed innocent blood.’ (1 Kgs 15:5).
            So it indeed here also is just Henderson still ‘psycho-vexatiously/desperately’ needing to “blasphemously”, clingingly claim otherwise...: “Freudianly”-clearly all manifestly to feel better about his own “self”....I.e., with Henderson repeatedly, exaggeratedly faulting David for supposedly: ‘having let his regnal position/power ‘scoundrelly’ “corrupt” him’, -again a slanderous claim which neither God, the Bible, nor the SOP ever state (1 Kgs 11:33, 38; 14:8; 15:5a; 1SP 379.1); tellingly enough, when he, Henderson, takes/is given a platform, he patently engages in his variously sinful, guileful/indifferent pompous, pridefully self-aggrandizing, lies and slanders about: God, the Bible, Bible characters and/or the SOP.... All evidence of Henderson’s, variously clearly evident, Spiritual ir-responsibilities...

            ...Frankly I LOL just can’t decide who is more stupidly at fault here: his indifferently leaders who tacitly, indifferently give/grant him his various platform unimpeded; his congregation or various audiences which/for (mostly) sheepish just swallowing these lies from him, -(must be because he ‘oh so “humorously/caricaturishly/entertainly does couch” his lying pills’); and/or himself for thinking that his unbiblical and factless all-impeaching obtuse, slanderous claims is ‘rightly dividing God’s word of Truth’.


Update 05-25-14: Not at all surprising, in, and throughout, his next/follow up sermon [05-24-14] (mp4) Henderson, as entrenchedly patent by now from him: pridefully pompously; subjectively biased and ignoramusly novicely, continues his Biblically baseless/indifferent and blasphemous spitefully-blind vendetta against King David. I personally don’t have time to clean up his “grown up child” (1SM 110.1) antics, and so I’ll not be debunking in detail the various fallacious and slanderous points as due. Therefore, succinctly said:
                                               
-First of all, as priorly done here, then updated here, when exegetically, properly analyzed, there is no textual, thus no theological, contradiction between 2 Sam 24:1 and 1 Chr 21:1. The writer of 2 Sam 24:1 had left room for knowing/understanding that someone other than God was “inciting” here and the writer of 1 Chr 21:1 specified that other figure as Satan, as, (updatedly) shown below:

2 Sam 24:1                             

‘And he (i.e., Satan (1 Chr 21:1) caused to be added [Hiphil] the anger of the LORD for (naturally/duly) even a burning [Qal infinitive construct] in Israel, when he, (along with [David himself]), moved/persuaded/incited/instigated David against them to say, "Go, number Israel and Judah."’

1 Chr 21:1

‘Then he, Satan, stood up against Israel when he, (along with [David himself]),     moved/persuaded/incited/instigated David to number Israel.

            So these passages are not, as Henderson desperately/ignoramusly ‘foundationally’ claims, an example of bad/misleading theology in the Bible. It is his own ignorance, persisted by bias, pride  and irresponsibility which can only read/see and think this. Frankly his superiors should invest in sending him to seminary already* instead of letting him run around and feeding (young) people with empty, -even cyanide-laced,  (“but entertaining”) calories...which, actually unlike EGW’s directly inspired ‘in personal point of view’ style relating, is neither ‘“here” (in the present Biblical text) nor “there” (in what more fully/also had happened in Biblical times)’....And also then would he be able to come anything close to actually/competently “teaching”!...But, thus, no wonder he, and the many others “naturally” “idiotic/moronic”, just like him, -from indeed the very top, to the bottomless bottom, of, pointedly, the SDA “leadership”, are such ‘well-accepted/appreciated’ license-carrying, clique-leading members of the SDA’s Synagogue of Satan (Rev 3:9 = EW 54-56 = GC 615.1)!!!

*...as if, and as typically patent with SDAs, that will make any difference (=Ezek 34:17-19 = EW 36.2; Matt 15:13-14; Isa 42:18-19ff)...for: he himself ‘already surely knows so much more than God#, the Bible, and also the Holy Spirit’(2 Tim 3:16|Matt 12:31-32)...Cracked-psycho-psyche-“physician”, heal thyself already...No (also here, self-righteously wishful) “depression” at all involved in Solomon’s composing of Ecclesiastes, but instead clear-minded object-lesson contriteful recording (=3BC 1164.6-7)...But: Got to keep moronically feeding the sheeple what you think they, likewise “self-righteously”, want!!...I.e., clearly, from what he “Freudianly” self-cites, his “pastoral” response to feeble-minded people who think to use the wrong actions of certain Bible people as justification for their waywardness, is for him to moronically, slanderously quack/pseudo-diagnose as many people in the Bible with a clinical mental issue; just as done for his litany of other likewise psycho-defensively, subjectively-spunned pompously heretical reactionary/+“winged” claims....LOL ‘“Physician” (first) heal your own cracked self!!’ (Jer 6:14)...

# E.g.: ‘Vegetarianism = (ala. PETA A-P; cf. here[11:26-13:46ff] ): “God’s eye is also on the chicken nugget”’ ...-contra e.g., Gen 9:3; Lev 3-7; Num 11:31-34; Luke 5:6-7; John 21:6. {“Jon 4:11c” would have involved an utter waste (cf. Matt 10:31)!!}

-Not choosing Punishment #2 in 2 Sam 24:13|1 Chr 21:12 was not out of ‘comfort preservation’ by David. Even that punishment of Israel’s leadership being subjugated for 3 months would likewise bring great harm to all the people. It was clearly rather the third option of (comparatively) merely 3 days of pestilence, and directly at the hand of the Lord, which seemed to be the best of the three options for all as David recognized.

-There is nothing sinful, conceited or selfish in David praying for complete forgiveness in 1 Chr 21:8. Indeed with that occurring after God had begun to strike Israel (indeed not even actually/personally David) (1 Chr 21:7), then it was most right for David to plead for this complete forgiveness for him as he knew he was responsible for this. But for Henderson’s jealous vendetta here, David cannot, or rather must not, “win” at/with anything he says or does. Indeed he Freudianly admits in that sermon that he just cannot stand the way that God was so merciful with David....LOL, it is all exactly like the ‘angrily jealous’, ‘malignantly prideful’, “self-righteous” brother in the parable of the prodigal son. (Luke 15:25-32|COL 207.2-210.1ff)....And then one wonders why there needs to be, indeed will be, a Pre-Advent Investigative Judgement (Dan 7:10b), and then a Post-Advent Millennial Review/Sentencing one (Rev 20:12), all so that the Redeemed won’t have to spend eternity being bothered by such vain, self-righteous “Luciferian” (actually “Azazel” =“arrogant to/towards God”) egos second-guessingly & slanderingly campaigning, at any chance, and in any gathering, that they can muster, likewise against the Mercy-contexted,  Judicious Decisions of God...and who clearly also won’t be submitting to David’s eternal vicegerent-monarchial rule over them then (Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25)!!!.

-Unlike Saul, David indeed never got from God the ‘you were humble before you became king, but now you are an evil doing scoundrel’ (1 Sam 15:17-19)...But Henderson has blindly made that lying claim the cornerstone of his slanderous vendetta preaching against David.

-The “angel of the Lord” who did the destroying in this episode was not ‘the “angel” Satan’, nor does the lying spirit permitted to speak to Israel’s king in 1 Kgs 22:21, 23 provide a corroboration for that whimsical claim. That angel, if not Michael Himself,  was rather most likely the very same one from God which had e.g., killed 185,000 Assyrians in one night. (2Kgs 19:35|Isa 37:36). Indeed (1) David had chosen this option of “falling into hands of lord” for judgement and (2) proper studying shows that when God does want to involve mercy, He then does not turn over the reins of the judgement execution to Satan.

-Relatedly, as presented here, there is no escaping the exegetically concrete fact that in the Plagues of Egypt, God did harden Pharaoh’s heart from the Sixth Plague onward (except in one instance), and that was all for the purpose mentioned by God of wanting to (1) execute all judgement plagues, pointedly to avenge the slaughter of Israel’s infants and (2) cause Israel to come out with much, slavery-reparation due, possessions from Egypt. Had God ended these plagues when Pharaoh wanted, these just and tangibly key things would not have either at all, or naturally, occurred. So it is not, as ususal from him, Henderson fanciful claims caricaturish or “Superheros” examples which influence the issue here, but, firstly sound Biblical exegesis guided by an actually Spiritual Theological understanding, which certainly is not based on Henderson’s own whimsically unrighteous humanistically-defensive immaturity. Seriously send him to seminary to at least disabuse him of this ministry-long inculcated belief that his subjective whims determine Biblical truth.

-Quite telling that he relates an atheist being (actually) peripherally impressed by his fluff antics rather than substantively by the content of the sermon (if it was even Biblical). Just what the Church needs, merely entertained “converts”, and who don’t actually care about what was said..

-etc...

- Henderson’s Indictment of “Father Abraham & (grand-)son” - So now, i.e., in his following (05-04-13 at 43:31-43:51) sermon (mp4), Jonathan Henderson is itching to redirectingly “project” his spite Uzi on the Patriarchs Abraham and his grandson Jacob, alleging that: ‘honestly/real-ly, according to Levitical Laws, they were “all(???) off”’. ‘Surely they must be the “great, “messed up”, hypocritical sinners” of the Bible’. (Who is, disparagingly, next...Paul (1 Tim 1:15)?!!). Well since something is not true just because Jonathan Henderson has claimed it to be, then lets examine the available evidence to see if these allegations and charges are true and legitimate.
            I gather that Henderson has a problem with Abraham and Jacob supposedly, unlawfully. having both familial and multiple wives. But lets fully examine, and thus fully exonerate Abraham, -Yes “exonerate”, because my guiding/biased angle here is from God’s approving post-perspective on these Patriarchs (e.g., Gen 26:5; Isa 41:8|2 Chr 20:7; James 2:23 & “my servant Jacob” (e.g., Isa 45:4; Ezek 28:25; 37:35)) which indeed is not vacuously/glibly expressed by Him (cf. 1 Kgs 3:10-15; 9:1-5ff vs. 1 Kgs 11:9-14ff).
            Abraham’s two episodes of lying - These two incidents in Gen 12:10-20 (vs. Pharaoh) & Gen 20 (Abimelech) are, (as I recall), the only two recorded, supposed sins of Abraham other than the unlawful wives assumption. So did Abraham actually lie and thus sin in these cases. On one hand, there would indeed have been an issue of a lack of faith in God’s power to deliver him (PP 130.1), but on the other hand, in either of those episode, God does not at all even begin to reprimand Abraham himself, but rather reproaches and inflicts serious harm on the people to which Abraham had told a half-truth about Sarah. My understanding here is that, as Abraham assumed with Abimelech, he did not think that (1) he was dealing with people who had any fear of God (Gen 20:11); they did have an unlawful practice of forcefully taking the wives of other people; and (3) Abraham life was indeed at risk, so it was effectively a state of war vs. heathen, and the reality is that “all’s fair” in such ‘self-defending’ situations. In a very similar situation vs. an increasingly demon-possessed King Saul, it was God Himself who instructed the prophet Samuel to only tell Saul half of the truth. (See 1 Sam 16:1-2ff).* So my further theological understanding here is that in Abraham’s vital situations, since Abraham would surely have to defend his life against armed soldiers, it would have taken a Supernatural act by God to protect Him but as that quite evident, open Act, probably needed many times, would have served to compel the will of these heathens, God chose to allow Abraham’s life preserving measure instead. I hear [i.e., from here 41:00-43:19] that there is a Jewish Oral Tradition that says that ‘any Law of the Torah can be broken if a life is going to be saved’ and we do see this variously reflected in the ministry of Jesus (cf. Mar 2:23-28), as well as God allowing for Self-Defense killing and also pre-emptively punitive Capital Punishment. And this further substantiate the reason why people who opt to die for God instead of seeking to “lawfully” preserving their life, which could including pre-emptive/defensive killing or misleading/lying to a murderous attack, are given a martyr’s reward.
            So from this, I do not see that Abraham actually acted sinfully. At the very least, God never reprimanded him, at all, for using these defensive tactics/measures.


* In fact, it can be perceived and argued that in his defending statement in John 10:33-36, Jesus Himself, ‘just like His Father did/does’ (cf. John 5:19; 10:37-38), manifestly told those Jews, who were about to stone him to death (John 10:31; cf. 5:18), a confusing-foiling (cf. Acts 23:4-10) half-truth which led to them believe that a human who is faithfully revered and obeyed as a “god” is on the same level as someone who actually is of the Divine Nature of the One and Only True God. Jesus similarly used this confusion tactic to “Theologically” foil the deadly (false-)entrapment plots of the Jews (e.g. Matt 21:23-27; 22:41-45; -though there, not with half-truths). But in the John 10 episode, God manifestly had to perform another supernatural act as (in Luke 4:28-30|DA 239.4-240.1) to get Jesus safely out of the grasped of this murder-intending mob. (John 10:39|(DA 470.1)). But when the (prophetic time) “hour”# came for the ministry of Jesus to end by his atoning death, Jesus then was boldly forthcoming as to who He really was, and that indeed serve to (spuriously) convict Him. (Matt 26:63-66)

# See John 2:4; 7:6, 8, 30; 8:20; 12:23, 27; 13:1; 17:1; Matt 26:45, Mar 14:41.


            Now in regards to Abraham’s wives. Henderson alleges that it was unlawful for Abraham, (and Jacob), to have multiple wives. However the “legal” fact is that in “the Law”, in Deut 21:15-17, God actually regulated, vs. condemned, a man having more than one wife, but, evidently only in cases where the first wife(s) evidently could not have children. The knee-jerk rebuttal here of course is that Abraham was supposed to have faith in God that it was Sarah who was supposed to (miraculously) have the promised child. And there may also here be an issue of a failure in faith, however, I actually did not find any specification by God to Abraham and Sarah prior to their Hagar attempt that their promised ‘great posterity’ could only be through a child of Sarah herself (cf. Gen 15:2-5). Which is why when Sarah, after apparently 10 years of trying (Gen 16:3),  matter of factly told Abraham that she clearly could not have children, and was getting advanced in age, so why not take a younger, fertile wife in Hagar (Gen 16:1-2ff), he readily accepted. It is until some 14 years after Ishmael was born (Gen 16:15; 17:17) that God specified that it was through Sarah herself that Abraham’s Promised Child would be born (Gen 17:15-19ff). It could very well be that God saw the manifested character of Ishmael from the womb and decided, as later similarly chosen between the twins Esau and Jacob (Gen 25:22-27) that God did not want such a “wild/stubborn” character trait (Gen 16:12) to found His Israel. (Perhaps later, as e.g., in Jer 1:5, God prerogatively took the right to sovereignly/overrullingly “shape/fashion/form” the characters of certain special vessel he needed from the womb.) So God may have decided to “scrap” the Ishmael development when He saw from the womb what kind of person he would “naturally” be. That would also explain the great compensation that was granted to Ishmael (Gen 16:10; 17:20; 21:18), -something that is not said in regards to Abraham other, later sons, pertinently born to Abraham from Keturah after Sarah had died  (Gen 25:1-4)
            So I am not seeing that Abraham acted sinfully/unlawfully in, neededly, taking Hagar as second wife and trying to have a child with her instead. As he was not told before, if it was even God’s only acceptable condition, that it was Sarah who was to have the Promised Child, Abraham may then have been righteously acting ‘within faith’ (Rom 14:23b).
            Now it is really only from the statement in Gen 25:6 which literally says “the concubines belonging to Abraham” that one can find fault with Abraham. I am not too sure about what was the rationale behind several righteous Bible characters having concubines (Jdg 8:30-31; 2 Sam 5:13; -and actually, effectively, though conversely, also with (earlier) Abraham (Gen 16:1-2ff) and Jacob (Gen 30:1-4ff & Gen 30:9ff)), but it may have something to do with merely providing these women, who probably were full time servant workers in a prominent household and were probably discouraged from bringing in other men into that household, a posterity, of even as many children as desired by that woman, and also a compensatorily “worthy” one by being of the great name of that prominent person. Others, i.e., non-Israelites, as perhaps imitated by Solomon, went on to make a “sexual harem” out of this provision. But as levirate marriages are permitted in the Law (Deut 25:5-6), having children with “concubines” was perhaps an application of that earlier form of permissible levirate-type practices. It can be also argued that offspring and national “life” was being preserved through such practices, and so that paramountly made it lawful. In fact, as unrighteously involved in Gen 38:8-10, sexual gratification versus ‘the providing of offspring’ was greatly “displeasing” to God. (Interesting that today, such Biblical Laws would, now capably, most likely instead be done through “artificial insemination” (or even validly through the adoption of a [foreign/orphaned] child).
            In regards to Jacob, I have already explained here and here why him marrying up to 4 women were all, individually lawful given the treachery and honestly assumed barreness involved in these cases.
            -Perhaps another alleged charge of Henderson vs. Abraham and Jacob was with them marrying such near kin with Abraham marrying his half-sister and Jacob marrying two cousins, which would be against Lev 18:6, 9, 11. But, on one hand, these were specifications which were given ca. 430 years after Abraham’s era, and prior to that, starting with the sons of Adam, it was not unlawful for them to marry their (full) sister. So it is probably over time that, with God seeing the health issues that this would have due to gene degradation, that he forbid this in Law, on top of Israel then providing a much larger pool of righteous people from which spouses could be selected, versus the very limited pool that the Patriarchs had to select from. And if we are going to fault Abraham for everything that God would only later specify in the Law given to Israel, then he would also be guilty of not observing most of the laws in regards to sacrifices, offerings, feasts, and sanctuary services, amongst many other. All this to say that it was not actually unlawful for these Patriarchs to marry within their family.

            As seen e.g., in that sermon at 44:41, Henderson revels in caricaturing an assumed infantile whining tone of Peter when he asked Jesus what was his plan for John (John 21:21), but the projecting irony here is that it is Henderson who is conversely doing this with Bible people, as discussed above here, who God moreover has already fully adjudged as having been most faithful to Him and His Will. On top of not seeing from that context that Peter actually had a “childishly whining” tone in his question to Jesus, seeing it more as a derived, matter of fact, question in regards to: ‘what would then be the fate of someone who, unlike him, (Peter), did not merely “fileo” love Jesus, but was (reciprocatingly) moreover “agape” loved by Jesus (John 21:20a)’, it is manifestly Jonathan Henderson who does have a “problem” [cf. in video at 22:54] with God now strictly limiting marriages to one wife/spouse (lawfully, at a time). Relatedly [at 23:10], God knows that, for especially a minister, a “Halle-lujah” wife is more likely to be much best than “Halle Berry”.

Abraham & Jacob Conclusion
            As in any such matters of defamation, it would behoove Henderson who is moreover supposed to be dealing with Biblical Truth, to first properly do his studying before engaging in slandering from his pulpit people which God Himself found no enduring nor inherent fault with. And in the rare cases where they may have done something wrong, which God actually promptly and explicitly clearly rebuked them for, therefore differentiatingly pointing out that God did indeed find fault with those actions vs. the other non-reproved ones, there moreover is the added grace granted when the overall life of that person has actually been dedicated to both serving God, being in great and sacrificial faith obedient to His calling, and endeavoring to glorify God’s name amongst unbelievers and/or heathens (cf. Psa 51:13; James 5:20), where which God deems it just to “correspondingly”, be more merciful when applicable, to them due to their paramount acts of non-selfishness (=Love cf. 1 Pet 4:8).

            So the scope that Henderson has been using on his ‘pompous “spiteful Uzi”’ to try to “remotely”, obliviously/indifferently/resolutely/blanketly “paint up” various Bible characters, may really just have mirrors as lens!! Taking a life’s journey in their ‘faith walk shoes’ is a soberingly great elucidating cure for such spitefulness! (cf. Gen 15:6)


%%% Quite obviously, the self-foundational ministry objective of Jonathan Henderson is to ‘reveal a supposedly neglected aspect of God’s character’ (see e.g., his 09-24-11 sermonWhat I Learned About God on His Way to Sodom”), i.e., e.g., that ‘God is: happy, joyful, misunderstood, repeatedly misconstrued, even non-severe/judgmental [e.g., his claim that ‘it was Joshua, and not at all God, who outrightly had required that the entire clan of Achan should be put to death (see in his 02-02-11 sermon [28:58-35:06ff]); - yet (1) Joshua actually spoke forth the sentence in God’s name (Jos 7:25) and (2) God, at the very least, tacitly, fully approved of that thorough cleansing of the camp. (Jos 7:26)’. Indeed the only ‘blame’ in regards to the extent to which things had to be dealt with here was by the compounding sin of Achan to also conceal his sin, and most likely to the full knowledge of his family, who may have already told of this loot to other family members. Thus they were all, at the very least, “accessories after the fact”, actually ‘during the fact’ as Israelites were being slaughtered while they knowingly were concealing this forbidden loot, and as involved in today’s justice, they were thus also passable of the same sentence as the prime perpetrator. And so Joshua was Spiritually keen enough to, indeed under the proper Spirit of the Lord, not allow that compounding sin to go duly and justly unpunished. So Joshua certainly did not at all “fail” in this matter; nor, contrary to what Henderson goes on to wishfully claim, will any of those knowing (and also silently concealing) participants who suffered this divinely Hell-representational Capital Punishment will be saved in the end.], etc., however, succinctly said here, trying to present the “character of God” (as the proponents of that self-assumed view do) in a manner that is divorced from the realities of the Great Controversy, and particularly way in which a truthful and so loving God has had to inevitably genuinely/candidly (vs. hypocritically/uninteretestedly/callously/indifferently/stoically) deal with it makes such a theological endeavor inherently flawed for being fundamentally and subjectively artificial. Henderson’s constant subjective views in such matters, which is patently based on what he can personally accept and is obliviously advanced over the Bible and/or SOP, just does not pass proper exegetical scrutiny.


-If God were to ‘give the wicked what they want in th end’, then He would have given them what He withheld from them since the beginning: possible perpetual sinful life by having access to Tree of Life. By simply regularly consuming this supernaturally therapeutically healing fruit, they would be able to have most damages caused by sinful living, except possibly for deathly blows, be completely healed. And so God will act in Hell Fire’s torment to make this then still completely unrepentant once to, if absolutely necessary, forcefully admit that they have been wrong in their course, and so God can finally vacate His Most Holy Place Throne Room of this sin guilt that He had up to then been taken upon Himself, indeed by letting sinning men live out a “normal” lifetime.*

*It is pertinently interesting to note here that when, as described in GC 662.1-673.3, Satan manages to convince the lost/wicked to make a final assault on the New Jerusalem, it is actually not an outrageous, mindless, “pipe dream”, the wicked will surely vastly outnumber the righteous, also now having been armed with battle implements. Surely the world’s modern weapon manufacturing industries (= “skillful artisans”) will be rebuilt and made operational in this, manifestly, Divinely-allotted ‘short regrouping and arming time’ (GC 664.2), indeed to fully make manifest to what extent these wicked ones are intending to oppose God. So they will then, according to our current technological knowledge, probably have rebuilt, in order to securely remotely, targetedly breach the walls and destroy the city’s inhabitants, e.g., infantry weaponry, tanks, fighter planes, (non-neededly stealth) bombers, cruise missiles, Weapons of Mass Destruction (i.e., Tactical Nuclear and Biological), etc. Satan will here be attempting to pick up right where it had all ended for him in Heaven, in trying to now win this GC by sheer/brute force again (see this post), this time, knowing for a fact that he cannot beat the two-thirds of good angels, not involving angelic force, and thus also banking that God will thus be force to do the same, and thus leave this brute force conflict to be fought amongst humans only. However, by these wicked ones having resorted to mechanized power, most likely by having seen that they “bear the traces of disease and death”, not to mention with many of them who did natural, long life deaths, being old, weak and brittle, while the righteous who have been recreated and been eating of the Tree of Life for now 1000 years have “immortal youth and beauty”, and thus great strength and vigor (GC 662.1), and probably then have all grown in stature and size to the height that Adam was (see GC 644.3; -which was perhaps ca. 12-15ft and thus, according to a healthy BMI range of 18.5-25, could weigh between 545/738 & 853-1153 lbs, and thus, merely based on current (free-standing, thus wholly unsupported) Olympic fitness/strength feats which is around ‘one lifting around twice their weight’, could each easily handle weights of as much as 2306 lbs), then it is no wonder that the wicked will not dare take them on solely a brute strength basis, not to mention the wall structure, though unprotected/undefended of the Holy City. (GC 664.3) And thus will be the tangible impetus for the wicked to go to this “war implement” extreme. However as there manifestly is not natural protection against the deathly blows that their various, most potent, war implements can successfully inflict upon the righteous, God will fairly intervene in time to fight for the righteous, however through causing the wicked to turn upon Satan and themselves after they have gone through the revelations of the Great White Throne Judgement. (GC 664.3-672.2a) It is however interesting to note that after this judgement the wicked will still not be sorry for their sins. They will simply concretely see, for the first time in their lives, that they were wrong, and exactly why. And they will then be “filled with the same hatred of God that inspires Satan” and it is only because they realize that directing this rage against God as they would prefer is completely futile that they instead turn it upon Satan and each other. (GC 671.2) And then will be the start of Hell’s Fire, as it will be ignited in part by fire and brimstones that come down from heaven upon them. [A “raining” down of fiery elements, which, (to also address one of Henderson’s (shallowly) objecting arguments), as through normative rainfall, poolingly forms into a (self-contained) ‘non-flowing, lava-like basin’ lake.] And it will actually be in that Hell Fire that God will deliberately act to duly, forcefully change that great anger and rage, which is actually (still) again Him, into a vindicating admittance of guilt. Clearly no amount of time would otherwise ever produced this sin-expunging needed state.

             (See Henderson’s futile, due to not being properly exegetical (i.e., not ‘according to an assumed view’ as he has done, but rather from clear Bible and SOP texts to the less clear, even symbolic ones, including parables, [which, by being “purposely encrypted” (=Matt 13:10-17), are thus ‘secondarily clear sources’, as they actually firstly/“keyly” necessitate a faith-based acknowledging/accepting understanding of a primarily clear Divine source of Truth to accurately and “unlock”/decipher them, (even discriminatively so, -i.e., between what is actually insubstantively illustrative vs. pedagogic/didactive), and then rightly apply them], (with SOP revelations (of Hell’s Fire) actually not being depictively symbolic)), attempt to justify his ‘no torment Hell’ view in the Q&A in his 12th presentation (mp4) [32:18-44:52] (Similarly (spuriously) reclaimed during this Feb. 2013 series sermon). In fact it is Henderson’s view which makes God to seem like a wild-eyed, irrational and vindictive mad man by His, would be, preserving of dead bodies intact in Hell’s Fire so that he can merely prolongedly watch them burn. Henderson’s view is all due to the fact that he is not Theologically understanding why God will need to torture the wicked in Hell Fire’s (i.e., His indeed ‘higher way/purpose’ (cf. Isa 55:8-9)* in this), and , thus also God’s indeed miracle work to keep the wicked alive for a while in Hell’s Fire. It is so that, and for the full benefit of the redeemed, He can (finally) completely rid the entire universe, pointedly His own Throne Room, of sin, which, as in the OT Sanctuary (e.g., Lev 4:5-8; 13-18; TM 157.2; cf. PP 107.1; Isa 44:22), is blamingly stained with the blood (=life) of every one whom He has had to preemptively make suffer the punishment of Death, until this time, when all will freely or, by no other way, forcefully admit that this was the right thing to do. (Which is the tangible reason why the Sanctuary had to be “cleansed/vindicated” each year (cf. Dan 8:14) and that through an Investigating Judgement which ended up showing that God had indeed be just in His judgment; and a session which thus only the truly penitent, i.e., all-guilt-recognizing and then sins-forsaking sinner could pass.) I’ll even relatedly, addedly state here that, Satan, by himself not having been destroyed when he sinned, actually genuinely believed in his Gen 3:4-5 statement that God was not actually going to kill man if they too sinned, but was merely trying to ‘scare them away from sinning’.)

* Henderson cites Isa 55:8-9 in defense of his stance on Hell, however the proper (contextual) exegesis of that passage shows that it actually support a view that ‘God will not torture/torment wicked’: Isa 55:7 clearly states that the wicked/rebellious need to forsake their way and return to God so that He, then may have “compassion” on them.’ But this is far from the attitude of the wicked as presciently anticipated in prophecy. They are opposed to God to the very end, and so God cannot even then begin to ‘feel sorry with/for them’ for they themselves are not sorrowful of their sinful course. And God will probably be more upset that He has no other alternative but to torture the wicked in order have this necessary admission of guilt for them, than actually being upset at the wicked per se.
            Indeed, foundational to someone ever beginning to truly/actually feel guilty about something, there has to have been and/or come to be an innate feeling that what they had done and/or were responsible for, was not at all what they had desired. In other words, one will not begin to feel guilty about something that they actually really wanted to do. Even adverse consequences may not be able to bring about this genuine guilt, e.g., a person committing first degree mass-murder fully knowing that they will be caught and, at the very least, imprisoned for life or capitally executed. So that realistic fact alone shows that Hell’s Torment by God is not at all “vindictive”, in the pointed, even retributive, sense of that word, as the pain of punishment/consequences alone, even if most painful, is not capable of making someone feel sorry for their action, especially if they known, as with Hell, that it will eventually come to an end. So God’s purpose with Hell is not to merely cause pain, but to, as due, give the wicked what He had actually always been mercifully been shielding from even while they were most wickedly living, which is indeed much worse than mere death, and that is a symbolized taste of what a life resolutely lived apart from God and outside of His Will, actually produces. It will thus be the sensation of a life which is diametrically opposed to the Most Blissful Life, as it can be perceived in the Holy City that will then be just before the wicked. And, as stated before, at that point, with the rebellion of the wicked having reached such an extreme that they will then still not actually voluntarily confess this Truth and admit their fault and guilt, Hell’s Torment is the only means by which this needed Divine vindication can be done. Indeed after all of the clear and conclusive evidence of a trial has been presented, the then declared/proven guilty party can still object all of they want, but they still have to justly, duly pay their penalty. In fact, as normative in the Judicial Process, an appeal from a trial court’s decision to a Higher Court can only be made on technical and/or procedural violation grounds, (i.e., a violation of Rules or Law which led to a thus wrongful decision), and not merely on a claim that the decision was not agreed with.

            So in summary here, I see that on this topic/issue of God’s Justice which in involved in Hell, Jonathan Henderson has made the same mistake as those who hold the so-called “Character of God” View which namely is that they have sought to arrive at a Theological Understanding, not from a standard of Truth, -let alone proper exegesis which objectively takes all related texts into consideration, and that according to a proper perspective (i.e., from the directly inspired to the not actually/necessarily directly inspired, (e.g., SOP, and also possibly, Bible “statements of permission” [cf. 1 Cor 7:6 - which actually only imply that ‘you do not have to do this, but it would be much better if you did’])), but that he has rather engaged this topic from a subjective view where he has first set out what he wants/prefers God to be. The fact is that God only deals with/in Truth, and so His indeed “strange act” in Hell’s Torment, is all done on this basis of Truth where here, the wicked have to, in here the actually only way possible, since they still did not freely want to, don’t want. Indeed, now, after the White Throne Judgement, ‘being filled with the same (i.e., obliviously rebellious) hatred of God as Satan has, they too would only have ‘been constrained to acknowledge God’s justice and to bow to the supremacy of Christ’ yet their character will most likely also ‘remains unchanged’ as seen in their ensuing, also (effectively) constrained, ‘misdirected’ burst of frenzied anger. (GC 670.2/671.2). So God will have no other choice but to exact this confession from them through Hell’s Fire, which indeed is giving them what they fully deserve, i.e., the unmixed wrath of God, which is what their life should have most painfully been like if God had not been acting mercifully to provide them “good things” (e.g., Matt 5:45). In other words, that is what a ‘life completely separated from God’ (as they want) would/should truly feels like’.
            And with now it having been finally concretely shown that the wicked are deserving to not be permitted to live eternally by not being given access to the Tree of Life, God will thus be able to vindicatedly discard this main GC issue of Death and so it is that “Death and the Grave” will also been destroyed in Hell through the wicked who had made it necessary having been cast in it and tormented until they admitted that, even pre-emptively terminative, act of God to also be just (Rev 20:13-15).
            And, again, God’s “convenient, easy/readily” use of fire to “tormentingly/torturously” produce this concrete/tangible “notion/feeling” is again and also here out of a basis of Truth, for if He was instead making all of these people live out their full life in an alternate reality where they then fully feel all of the detrimental effects of “living completely separated from God”, it will not only take much various resources, but it will also require much time (e.g., up to 1000 years for unsaved Antedelluvians), as well as the need to virtually recreate the contextualizing world of their own lifetimes. So God much prefers to not waste such time, effort and resources on these non-willing repenting ones, and instead goes about this necessary guilt admitting process according to His own terms and ready resource, which is fire, especially as this Hell Fire also serves to purify the Earth (GC 674.1), thus God manages to “kill two birds with one stone”. Really He just wants to get this over with as fast and as efficiently easily as possible.
            And still the great mercy of God is seen here as these wicked ones will at most last a few days in this Truth (= Due True Life) reckoning torment (perhaps none more than a year), instead of a literal time that equates their full lifetime. And the, also, “Truth” in this may actually be that without their mercifully allowed, Divinely-sheltered existence, none of them would have actually lasted/lived more than a few days, perhaps all e.g., 2 days at the most, yet in also God’s Truth-anchored justice, those who lived more sinful lives than others will be made to live much longer in this Hell’s Torment than those who were less sinful (=Luke 12:47-48). Indeed, and also based in Truth, the less vile/bold/indifferent, “good”, sinner will probably more quickly, even if still forcefully, admit that God was indeed right than the recalcitrant, “hell-bent”, rebel who actually fully acted out their sins (= “deeds done in the body” (EW 294.1)).

Henderson’s: ‘Darkness vs. Light’ Argument
            Jonathan Henderson makes the quite shallow/surface argument that ‘Hell in the end cannot be involving fire because fire produces great light and Hell on the other hand is often spoken of a ‘great outer darkness’. The actually deeper spiritual truth here is, as seen in the type of “fireless” Hell Anguish that was used upon Jesus, darkness, that, and that for those who will be redeemed, which is pointedly the major part of the Second Death penalty that Jesus paid on the Cross, is the perfect substitute for the Truth Obtaining that will be exacted by fire in Hell. This “Darkness” through which Jesus Himself could not see through starting in Gethsemane, is God preferred “Hell” torturing means which exacted the candid Truth from Jesus that He indeed was a most willing and fully self-sacrificially, (i.e., even if it meant the very/eternal end of Him), Intercessor for anyone who had wanted to/may want to be saved. The sudden abandonment by God which cause Jesus to cried out at the Cross was either deliberately done by God or an inevitable, natural, yet not forewarned to Christ, occurrence which sealed that resolution by Christ. This also proved to God that Jesus was not only going through with Calvary because he was sure to be resurrected at the end. The anguish of Christ soul was that paying this price could literally be the very end of Him. In a spiritually related way the similar darkness and anguish that will be permitted to enshroud the 144,000 in the Shaking and then the Final Conflict will demonstrably prove to God that they too would rather die to this life than not in any way live outside of His full and perfect will. They too will thus prove that they are not in this simply for the promised reward or victory. And in an also related way to both of these “Hell like” anguishes Jacob’s night of wrestling in the dark, in a first phase when he taught he was fighting an enemy, and then when he understood that he was physically fighting God Himself, and thus could most easily be completely and eternally wiped out by this most obviously incredibly angry God at him, most concretely proved to God (and needfully, concretely also to himself) that he too had not sought to secure the Birthright’s Blessing, and that by deceitfulness, merely for temporal/honorary reasons, but because he really wanted to, as it was promised, advance God’s purposes and plans, and was now willing to strivingly fight for this blessing with God Himself, even if it blotted him out right then and there, as it (inherently) easily should have, and with thus absolutely no blessing being giving to him. Indeed Jacob’s second phase persistence for the Blessing showed that he was not in this merely to appease himself/his psyche, but to help assure the fulfilment of God’s purposes. Yet, in a way, by refusing to let God (=Jesus) go without blessing him, Jacob, manifestly feeling that his desires, though at times faithless, were indeed genuine and true, did not want to have another moment of anguish and feeling abandoned by God despite God’s promise (Gen 25:23b) (which indeed is what had contributed to him resort to guile and fraud), and so he here, most literally forced God to confirm that promise to him. Indeed Jacob needed a much more tangible promise of blessing than what God had already, and quite pointedly, promised him (see Gen 28:10-22), and that, so that he would not again act faithlessly towards God and engendered another time of life-threatening trial and anguish as the one he had, though out of relative (i.e., earth/man -wise sincerity), had brought upon himself and was  now in the midst of dealing with. And by changing his name, thus indicating that he would no longer be considered as a “supplanter” but a deserving one, both in regards to his fellow men and also with God [i.e., had God actually expected too much, faith-wise [cf. Gen 4:11-15; Isa 1:18a], of the completely left-alone human Jacob himself given his overall circumstances?? (cf. Hos 12:2-4a) (and really/honestly c/sh-ouldn’t this all be Rebekah’s ‘commanding’ fault!! (Gen 27:5-8ff)); -which may have contributed to God later sending an angel to comfort/strengthen the also left-alone Jesus in His similar ‘confrontational/warring’ ordeal (cf. Isa 63:1-6 -also involving Esau (“from Edom; -thus at the point when God’s True “Israel” nation is to be formed”)), and that before its apexing end (Luke 22:42-43; DA 693.3-694.1)], as a “prince/ruler with God” (=Israel) (Gen 32:27-29), God granted him that most tangible, and quasi-demonstrable (to others), reassurance.
            So, similar to Abraham before (Gen 22:12), Jacob then concretely proved to God that his action to secure blessing for the (actually previously justly/righteously “obtained” (=Gen 25:27-34)) birthright was, though faithless, and thus resultingly sinfully, guilefully fraudulent, was really/chiefly/inceptively/controlling because he had really been indignant at how his brother Esau had indifferently and basely “despised” it; -and, justifying to him, God, by not intervening, manifestly was not. However nothing than genuinely full faithfulness (cf. Rom 14:23b) could be, even if then supernaturally (i.e., a direct revelation telling Isaac to bless Jacob), honored by God.*
            And so the “darkness” of Hell’s anguish for the righteous, -an anguish borne from vitally ‘not knowing for sure’, transparently and concretely demonstrates the genuineness of their faith. I.e., what they actually do believe even if they cannot “see” anything. And as light, indeed a product of fire can be just as blinding as darkness (e.g., the sun/light in one’s eyes, oncoming hi-beam headlights), however, because the wicked in Hell will not freely confess that God is right when then in the full, most glorious “light” of His revealed truth, thus effectively choosing to close/cover their eyes to this light, God will then instead have to resort to the painful effect of His Fire judgement to extricate this confession from them. (=John 3:16-21) And with the Fire’s heat being great (and great thirst inducing, cf. Luke 16:23-24) though not painful enough to produce this confession, God will allow the bodily more searing pain of the fire do this necessary work.
            And it is beneficial to see that God will grant the wicked in Hell to have the same burning survivability as the 3 Hebrews in the fiery furnace, but without the pain numbing (=a general anaesthetics) ability and also the certain ability to not pass out (nor die) merely from the great heat (as did the Babylonian soldiers who threw them in the furnace) (=anti-heat stroke) so as to not diminish the sensory effect. And the also transpiring and anguishing “darkness” in this Hell Torment, which unlike certain groups of righteous, will, on top of also fiery pain, be in ‘not knowing/being in the dark’ as to when their meted out judgment will end. Their painful, (finally) pensive, recollecting and pondering thoughts will then, however futilely, be: ‘how bad and unrighteous did God and His righteous ones considered/judged/sentenced me to be.’ They’ll find out (though, because of the deathly suddenness then, without (any time for) any appeasing understanding) only when it’s all over.

* With the conception of twins manifestly being an “out-of-the-blue” natural development that God then had to take into just account, and with God, at the very least, surely seeing from the womb that Esau did not have the genetic stem for character that He wanted for His Israel, yet with it becoming evident, barring a supernatural intervention, that Esau was in the position to be born first, and thus naturally have that birthright, God, [incidently here clearly showing that He is not at all in favor of deliberately terminating a pregnancy (i.e., at any point after conception)], chose instead to go with what nature had dealt here and let Esau himself disqualify himself, through his manifestly spiritually rogue character, of that promise as his characteristic actions in the womb were manifestly indicating to God. And so God opted here, anticipatively, probably for a most beneficial object lesson reason, to let Jacob and Esau naturally live out their lives, yet with a promise to the more spiritually disposed Jacob that (if faithful, as his natural character favored him to be), he would be the superior/ruling and thus naturally blessed “nation” compared to his older brother. (prophetically = Dan 11:5; cf. 11:6, 41). So, as God indeed did not intervene to do, He had not planned to Bless Jacob when Isaac was about to die, but was going to allow Esau to be blessed, but by continuing on his already spiritually wanton course, Esau would surely, probably sooner and later, “crash and burn”, despite having been blessed, and Jacob would then naturally become that (perhaps even physically lone remaining) blessed nation between the two. So, manifestly, through God’s course of (non-)action here, He actually wanted His nation of Israel to be born out of an ancestor who did not remain faithful because he either had the natural birthright, or its spiritual blessing, but because he had remained faithful to God. And the promise made to the second-born Jacob from birth was enough to establish that needed faith so that he would not (justly) give up this struggle because their was not chance/hope of him ever being blessed. So God was acting to show that it was actions which determined if He could bless someone as promised and not any natural (=birthright), or even inheritedly spiritual (birthright blessing), advantage.
            And so this typologically, similarly applies to the end time Jacob vs. Esau struggle of God’s faithful ones vs. those who have taken the Mark of the Beast either in their hand or in their forehead, for, as firstly seen in the Shaking of the SDA Church, it also will not be any natural, nor inheritedly spiritual “birthright and its blessing”, (i.e., ‘we are/have been the prophetically-established and guided Remnant Church for at least 168 years’), which will determine who is part of God’s Church Triumphant then, the Church of the 144,000, but whom ever has striven, even through their non-perfections (as Jacob was, -which results in them not sweating blood in their anguish as the sinless Jesus naturally did. (See EW 269.1 vs. Heb 12:2-4)). And that was a honest striving-for-God’s-promises-and-glory-despite-faults that Esau variously did not bother to do.

The Cross vs. Hell Fire
            In his view on Hell, Jonathan Henderson also makes the questioning argument that: ‘If the Cross paid the “Second Death” penalty of Hell, then where was the Fire (Rev 20:6, 10, 14-15)??!’ Well in the above light of the proper understanding of (1) the purpose of Hell (= ‘a person fully admitting guilt of, and responsibility for, sins’) and (2) the tangible, last resort, necessity of God using fire for the then needed torment to have this done, then it can be properly, theologically seen and understood that: because Jesus was most submissive to the will of God (see Phil 2:8) to have this ‘guilt admission and responsibility’ be vicariously done upon him, starting in Gethsemane (Matt 26:37-44), which all led to His great mental anguish, and which was compounded by God’s remaining completely silent then, hence the symbolically visibly manifested unusual great darkness at the cross (Matt 27:45), indeed indicating that God had absolutely no responsibility, nor, particularly explanatory, duty/obligation to intervene for/towards the “guilty sinner” here (see e.g., Deut 31:16-18; 32:20), then it can be sequiturly seen that God then did not, at all, have to make use of “Fire” with Jesus Christ to have this needed “Hell end result” be fully and acceptably done. That self-submission won’t be the case with the guilty sinners in the end, and so God will have no other option then but to use “fire”.  And, moreover, as Christ’s death on the Cross will actually only be applicable to ‘people who will have believed in Him, and wholly/truly accepted this gift’ (John 3:16; cf. 15:13), then this “merely” ‘mental anguish and gnawing darkness’ penalty ordeal that Jesus went through on the Cross is perfectly representative of the penalty that they too would, as faithful believers, nonetheless, have to go through in order to be saved. (Indeed, “nonetheless”, in regards to them, due to the same necessity that came to be because of the faithless abandonment of Christ’s own disciples. So that ordeal upon them would serve to prove their profession and faith. Case in point, the ‘non-abandoning’ 144,000 in the end, (who will not experience the First Death penalty), will themselves have to endure a samplely applicable Second Death-like ordeal (see e.g., EW 282.2-284.2).)
            With this understanding, it can be reservedly said, as it was counter-advanced by “Mountain Man” in this discussion thread, but more precisely, that, while Jesus did experience (=“taste”) the Second Death, indeed ‘drinking the cup of wrath of His Father to the dreg’ (e.g., 5BC 1108.3), because of His obedience, it was actually the “easy way”, as compared to the ‘hard way of Hell Fire’ that the wicked will stubbornly “prefer” to suffer. So Jesus did not physically die that Second Death (i.e., the one of the wicked), but the one of the Righteous, where their anguishing mental guilt for sins was contritely fully inculcated, and Christ’s “Righteous” victory is equally available to all who will procure it. (RH, April 29, 1909 par. 2). Case in point, (and contrary to what James Tierney (a.k.a. “jamesonofthunder”) adamantly is surfacely assuming from his (“superimposed heifer”) dream on the Gethsemane episode (which, as I said before, I see as having been inspired in itself), as indeed pointed out here: (1) Jesus did not physically die in Gethsemane, and (2) as mentioned in Note #10 in regards to DA 754.4a, the gloom of Christ’s mental anguish torment came to an end just before He died. So what Tierney’s dream is actually and only revealing is that the type of suffering that the fully obedient Jesus went through was acceptable enough to pass, even as, the due Hell Fire judgement (without Him literally, physically experiencing it) that all, particularly the persistent wicked, deserve. (See more in my comment here.) Indeed a ‘free and genuine admission of one’s guilt for transgressions’ (see DD 16.4) along with a faith-based desire for God to rescue them is all that God requires for a someone to be saved. ...
            ... And yet, it very well may be, as the Bible points out in Rev 20:14b ‘the lake of fire itself is the Second Death’. I.e. it is that tormenting in the lake of fire which is, for the wicked, their Second Death, with, as stated below in Note #16 there being no tangible difference between the actual Death at the end of the “Second Death” tormenting, than with the First Death. It is commonly assumedly claimed (see e.g., here) that ‘the Second Death is different from the First Death because it is final, whereas the First Death is not, however, (1) God has the power over any Death, and, conversely, (2) that First Death can be final if God would chose not to resurrect someone, and so it apparently is as the Bible specially stated in Rev 20:14b, that the Hell Tormenting itself is the Second Death. Indeed it is thus different than the First Death which does not have this preluding Hell Tormenting. But in the end, both end in a similar death that can be final or nor if God chose either way. And so in that sense, it can be seen that Jesus did die the type of Second Death, (though, again, due to His obedience, it was the relatively simplest of ways in which a guilty sinner could suffer), by suffering a Hell like mental anguish torment, and then dying. And because He was faithful through his life and this atoning ordeal, He was raised from the Dead. On the other hand, the wicked in the end go into the tormenting of Hell stained with theirs sins and then do not voluntarily confess their guilt during Hell’s torment. So they do not even begin to have any redeemable qualities and that is why their death is never undone, and thus final.


Henderson’s “Loveless” Calvary
(See especially his March 31, 2012 sermon in here; (cf. his July 25-26, 2011 campmeeting sermons #6 “To the Highest Bidder” [mp4] continued in most of  #7 “Climbing the Tree” [mp4]). See more on this topic in Henderson’s ensuingly following up sermons in that 2012 series. Relatedly, though Henderson, assumedly, does not “explicitly state so, his underlying theme that ‘sacrifices and the Cross were God’s gift to Man, and not vice versa (which is heathenistic/paganistic), is pointedly so stated in the SOP in the last sentence in DA 112.5.)
            While I see as Biblical Henderson’s view that ‘Jesus Christ did not necessarily have to die’ to restore the world, (however, as stated above, that would have to take, at the most extreme, a complete conversion of the entire world, because any kingdom, starting with the Romans, if the Jews had all accepted Christ, would easily have the opportunity to Capitally reject Jesus), I certainly do not see as Biblical Henderson’s extended view that ‘the Cross was not an expression of God’s Love or of His outpoured Wrath’. As the Bible and SOP show Justice (which includes Wrath) and Mercy (which includes Love) met at the Cross, and as also seen in the following corroborating points, what God went on to “harmfully” psychologically do at the Cross to Christ, way beyond what humans were variously physically doing became then a “necessary evil” so to speak. In fact it very well may have been all derived on the sudden welling up of wrath that God incurred right then and there at what man was doing to the sinless and righteous Jesus, (including in some part from Christ deserted, professing disciples), and thus by implication Him, and/or representative of how he came to summatively feel about how sinners would emblematically treat righteous people, such as then Christ. And so it was best for mankind that He take out this “sudden” wrath on Christ Himself, rather than, right then and there, on those around the Cross, and other likely pre-resurrection-“testimony/evidence” rejecting sinners.

-As gleaned from the SOP’s revelatory account, Satan could be forgiven without the simple death of Christ, nor even a Divine wrathful outpouring upon Him because up to a certain point Satan had not yet “rebelled” against God, but simply, somewhat understandly by God, went off course (=”missed the mark”). However when he allowed his pride to make him persist in now baseless opposition to God, he quite literally started his pending “wrath meter”, because it is then that God began to get upset at this senseless opposition. Satan’s sin then morphed into a capital sin, indeed now a “rebellion”.

-In endeavoring to have Christ murdered the Jews, and anyone who has rejected this sacrifice of Christ has come to commit a Capital sin, which is one, as seen in the Bible distinct degree of punishment for certain sins, is punishable by deliberately painful/searing/agonizing death.

-Because of the way that sinful man has continually spurned all of the good that God has done and tried to for them, He most normatively, for any sane/truthful person (vs. an indifferent stoic) has become quite wrathfully incensed/enraged at the rejecters. And that is the wrath spoken of many times throughout the Bible that God has had, and has been penting up, against these people (e.g, John 3:36) who are most detrimentally opposing and hating Him for not just reason, -a reason which He will forcefully extricate from them in Hell’s Wrathful Torment. Any other (non-)emotional response from God would actually be real, and thus an outright hypocritical lie. A God of Love cannot be indifferent, particularly in the face of such wide reaching injustice. It is only when one sees the overall damaging impact of such rebellious living as God does, particularly in regards to sinning that directly leads to violence and death, as it quickly became the case with the Antediluvians, and thus the need for God forceful intervention, that they can begin to understand God’s Just and Truthful Passionate/Wrathful reaction. And that pented up wrath was pour out on Christ at Calvary, and that for the sinful actions of those who would come to accept Christ. And given that forced/now incontrovertible circumstance, it did ‘please God to take it out on Christ’ rather than on passed, and potentially future, repenting and believing people, indeed since that would incur the indifferently outstanding guilt, even by those who claimed to believe in Christ (Isa 53:10a). The other half of this wrath will be pour out in Hell’s Judgement.

-Calvary proved that persisting (thus rebellious) sinners are irreparably opposed to righteousness and thus a mortal existential threat to those who obediently want to live righteously, and by extension to even God Himself by resulting in Him having to permanently, and that indifferently so, change from His perfect character. Thus the need to bring those sinners to an utter end. And those who, like the repenting thief of the cross, have resolutely, substantially believed in Jesus, despite the surface “shame” of the Cross, thus by essentially merely taking Him at His Word, and in that way living by Faith (Rom 1:17; Gal 3:11; Heb 10:38), even in our day, have most concretely proven that they are worthy to be trusted to be allowed to live eternally.

-Christ Disciples themselves, as seen in Gethsemane, contributed perhaps most hurtfully, to the Second Death anguish of Christ, and so ‘His body [distinct from His “psyche” (John 15:13 - aka “soul” (cf. Matt 10:28))] was indeed also (to be) ‘broken’ for them.’ (1 Cor 11:24)

-Summarily stated, in regards to how Christ’s mental anguish fulfills the Hell torment of all, but actually only in the way/extent that a righteous person would have it be done to him, Jesus had to actually freely and genuinely admit, in an internal struggle that evidently lasted from beginning (Matt 26:39ff) to the very end (Matt 27:46) of His psychologically tormenting ordeal, that God was right in treating Him, the Sinless One, in that most painful way, and as seen by Christ’s opening questionings in Gethsemane (Matt 26:39ff), that was pointedly in regards to whether or not salvation required this action. In other words, was God absolutely sure that there was no other way to save mankind than to treat Him (Jesus) in this way. And since Jesus may have much preferred a quick and painless death, which would not then have involved him not seeing any hope of resurrection beyond the grave, the whole question here was: ‘was this pre-death “hellish” tormenting really necessary.’ And as the wicked won’t be able to have Christ’s hellish ordeal be substituted for their due ordeal, they’ll also have to anguishingly ponder that question.


“Henderson’s Hell” - Part Deux [06-16-12 Sermon] (mp4)
            Well apparently Jonathan Henderson either believes that simply restating something often enough (i.e., ‘now, at least, four times’ [since 2007]) comes to make it so and/or that he has a truth on his view of hell irrespective of what the Bible and SOP (i.e., direct visions of EGW - e.g., GC 673.1; EW 294.1-2) actually and/or fully says on the various passages that he has cited from them. While I would normative treat such indifferent restatements with the Pro 26:5 treatment with a detailed and specific, point-by-point refutation of, as in this case, a sermon, as I do not have the time right now to do so, (even if I wanted to), because I actually do not want to, and that, because most of Henderson’s now isolatively “dangling” claims have already been comprehensively refuted in what has been said on this topic throughout this blog post, particularly in what is stated in this very, lengthy, note, and, thus, in accordance to my commission not being to ‘“babysit” SDA teenagers’, I indeed won’t do so any more than the following succinct bullet point refuting statements:

-“Fear” in the Bible is just, and only, that “fear”. Whether it is reverential fear, or “phobic” fear it is exactly the same end result of fear. It involves obeying God merely because you fear what he will do if you do not. The issue of difference then is not in/with the word “fear” itself, but in the fact that there exists another way to enter into/have a relationship with God, and that is “love”. It is only then, when one has “perfect love” that “fear” is cast out of a relationship with God. SDA’s should know this because it is usually fear of Final Events and Christ’ soon return which typically first draws someone into the Church. In fact, that is indeed what is reflected in the First Angel’s message. (Rev 14:6) And all of this is due to the fact that God deals with truth, and here, He is being realistic knowing that, because of all of the fallout of the GC, and the fact that He cannot fully reveal himself to people, most people who have never known of Him before, will only begin to take Him seriously enough if they come to fear His power and, at the very least, conversely understand what can happen to them if they do not. That is how Moses was convicted by Him when called to go and deliver Israel. That is in turn how Israel came to have faith in Moses and obey God and leave Egypt in faith. However God does not want this relationship starting point to be the end point, and actually only those who will have come to love God will actually remain faithful to the end, because when then all of the “signs” will now be against them, even seeming that God Himself is an avenging enemy, it will only be an understanding love of God, i.e., that He is silently allowing this for a wider greater purpose and good, that will help them endure to the end.... Just ask Jesus on the Cross. And even (Henderson’s cited and wrongly explain away) Jesus’ recommendation in Matt 10:28 won’t get a person through physical/psychological persecution, because if one does not then deeply and truly “love” God, ‘even if He slays you’ (Job 13:15), they’ll actually then just think, along the lines of what Job’s wife insinuated, that: “God must actually really hate them... so what’s the point’, and “selfishly” act upon that belief. (That is indeed the “life motto” of the wicked.)
            So you cannot “subjectively/selectively” get around this exegetical, lexical fact that: ‘fear only means fear’ in the Bible. And God actually subtly acts that both that “fear” and “love” relational aspect, still involve salvific faith, because both require a certain faith in God in order to ever begin to lead, or end up in, any kind of relationship with Him.

-At least the most advanced/updated Grammars textbooks show that the Greek preposition “apo”, as found in 2 Thess 1:9, only means a notion of “away from” and not what Henderson has spuriously tried to Theologically wordily extrapolate from it according to actually pseudo- (if not quasi-“voodoo”-) “exegesis” (I.e., completely fabricated out of thin air.... [Is that really/actually what they taught him in University??!]) Any “epexegetical/relative/qualifying” notion here in the Greek would most likely have been substantively introduced by a Greek (definite) relative pronoun. (Greek: hoswhich is...’- Strongs’ #3739; e.g, Rev 14:17; 20:12; 21:8).
            Interestingly enough, that text is actually (literalistically vs. metaphorially) saying something quite interesting here when compared with Rev 14:10, which is, summarily stated here, that God will completely turn away from that final Hell torment phase of judgement and allow “the Lamb” and the holy angels to oversee it instead. So Hell judgement will indeed be with God having (literally) ‘turned His face and restricted His life giving power’ away from the sinner, and leaving this judgement entirely in the discretionary hands of the Lamb.

-God giving the sinner “their wish” and thus letting them live on another planet would actually only be “their wish” if they were also permitted to have access to a Tree of Life. Thus God would have to “sponsor” them in their lawless and sinful lifestyle, and even continually resurrect them when it might come to that. So it is only because God, as demonstrated in this GC, cannot eternally “sponsor” a sinful course, that the sinner will be eternally put to death, but not before first, in some valid way, i.e., either freely [not], or under duress (i.e., in Hell’s torment) [most probable], fully admitting this, so that God can be most objectively vindicated of the fact that He  had to allow sinful man to die from the very beginning and that that is not an arbitrary decision/act. Problem is, and thus indeed, hence Hell, the sinners will never want to freely/voluntarily admit that. In fact they will probably then be further claiming in Hell that God actually wanted them/people to be lost, die, and suffer in hell and that is why He never clearly revealed Himself. God’s anticipative response to that: The revelatory Great White Throne judgement (Rev 20:11-12; GC 666.1ff). And yet the sinner then will still only express “devilish” rancour hatred toward God. (GC 662.2 & 671.2)

-It is only the physical and mental anguish/suffering that precedes the final death of the wicked which produces their “gnashing of teeth” reaction, and not, as Henderson whimsically concocts”: ‘their death itself’. The also contributing “outer darkness” is methaphorical for ‘the wicked not exactly knowing their fate’, i.e., how long will their punishment last.

-Since even ‘well and persistently connected branches to the Vine (Christ)’ still do physically die, then the achieved “dried up” state of disconnect branches in John 15:6 cannot be referring to physical death. It instead is referring to a spiritual death when then there is no chance at all to revive that branch. Just like, if you keep a branch too long out of water or away from a source of sap, then it is impossible to successfully graft it into a main stock, those disconnected branches would then have reached a state of closed probation. Then the only option is to burn them up. Of course, this close of probation of the wicked occurs sometime during their lifetime, and is irrevocably sealed at their physical first death, and so this “drying up” is not speaking of them first physically dying after they had been resurrected after the Millennium. It instead is solely referring to the state that they had arrived at during their prior life (i.e., before their first death).

-It may seem “politically correct” to say that God will weep at the fate of the wicked, however the notion involved in ‘God hiding His face’ from someone in need/distress is complete indifference at the time, indeed all of God’s tears have been pleadingly, exhaustedly shed by then, and then it is His righteous and just vengeance which consumes him. When/If a judge hands a criminal over to the victims of their crime for punishment, then that can easily result in “whatever that victim wants to do in revenge to person”. And as seen in Hell fire’s protracted torment which no one should be able to live in for more than a few seconds, evidently, the righteous have mete out much longer “death” sentences on the wicked then they can literally bear. It would be like, e.g., condemning someone to the rounds of the firing squad made up of 2000 sets of 5 shooters each when just one bullet, even “painlessly”-targeted, would have done. So Biblical Inspiration is perceptively and/or “journalistically” quite correct and accurate when it describes/relates God as ‘belly-laughing’ and mockingly scoffing at the wicked (“finally”) reaping, or on course to reap, their deserved punishment (e.g., Pro 1:26; 3:34; Isa 42:14-16; Psa 2:4-5; 37:13; 59:8).

-Quite contrary to Henderson’s chief premise, Rev 19:20; cf. 20:10b; states that people, at least those who had made up the “two” ring leading entities of the Beast and the False Prophet are “thrown alive” in the ‘Lake of Fire”; as also is anyone who’s had not been found written in the book of life (cf. Rev 20:15). That logically does not mean that ‘from those who had been struck by the devouring fire falling from the sky in Rev 20:9', only those who have not been written in the Book of Life will then be thrown in a “distinct” Lake of Fire, but rather that all the lost, who all had also hostilely encircled the New Jerusalem, will be thrown in the Lake of Fire, and by simple comparison, evidently while also still alive. The distinguished classes in those passages merely are emphasizing that God will deal more severely with the ring leaders in this whole GC apostasy, particularly the initiator (Satan) and the final rebelling, Mark of the Beast, camp.

-Henderson’s (truth-wisely: “straw-manly”) acted out, Textually mishmashed, claim that ‘in the very end (i.e., at the time of the Hell judgement) God will no longer shield the sinner from the ‘four winds(??!) wrath of Satan’ actually implies, as many believe, that ‘Satan is in charge of Hell.’ That is actually the only sequitur claim that someone can knowingly or subconsciously make when they cannot personally accept that Hell itself is a (“strange”) act of God, starting from the fact that the sinner will be supernaturally enabled to intactly live in it for quite a while. Henderson just can’t accept that Biblical and SOP fact, i.e., ‘no matter what the Bible and SOP actually, clearly say in this regard.’

-People, especially ‘people claiming to be Christians/Good’, will “distinctly/addedly” fear the “wrath of the Lamb” in the end (=Rev 6:16), pointedly because it is distinctly ‘finding damning fault with them’ for, as revealed in DA 825.4 (=Matt 25:41-46), having indifferently neglected the plight of those who had been in various, vital, physical and/or spiritual need.


            So the only viable way to arrive at actual Biblical Truth is to indeed allow Truth, and not personal/subjective/anecdotal issues, be the determinative compass.

[12] The suddenness and extent of that imputation was quite apparently demonstrated by Christ “loud Cry” in Matt 27:46 which unequivocally was asking God ‘Why He had forsaken Him.’ This statement has generally been treated “poetically as if Christ was just saying this just to fulfill prophecy, namely Psa 22:1 (i.e. like in John 19:28ff (not Matt 27:34 drink)). However if Jesus had said this, and that loudly, ‘out-side of faith’, i.e., ‘without genuinely believing that this is what was going on, then it really would have been a ‘false witnessing’ act and that ‘out of  faithlessness’, and thus sin (cf. Rom 14:23).  It may not be possible to tell exactly when Christ began to feel this ‘abandonment’ however it may be that He had been enduring it for a while, maybe from the start of the crucifixion at 9:00 A.M. early that day (cf. Mar 15:25); or probably from the days in the Garden of Gethsemane. And so, now after six hours on the cross and ‘having already “perceived” that all had been accomplished’ (John 19:28), but clearly still not having had an approving sign from God, (e.g., as Stephen, later would receive in his martyr’s death by “being filled with the Holy Spirit at that point,” (Acts 7:55, 56) and whose ministry, testimony and death had greatly mirror Christ’s owns); it is then that Jesus made this genuine outcry. Perhaps Jesus wanted to actually know ‘why God had indeed left Him all alone during this entire ordeal’, clearly not having expected this extent of this necessary denouement.

[13] The “guilt offering” (Heb. asham (Strong’s #0817), see in Lev 5-7 [related to the English “ashame”(??)]) was a distinct offering (e.g., Lev 7:1), and thus not synonymous in purpose with the “sin offering” (Heb. chattah (Strong’s #02403b); cf. e.g., 6:17; 7:7). It was for sins committed unintentionally and/or unfaithful acts (see e.g., 5:4-6, 15, 18) which still needed to be confessed and atoned for when the person became aware of its unrighteousness. (See also in this sermon by Jeffrey Rosario which rightly emphasizes the pivotal guilt aspect of/in sin.)

[14] It should not be surprising that guilt plays such an important, and even prominent, role in Sin Atonement as it can be seen, even in modern-day judicial proceedings, that for a judge to partially, or wholly, pardon a law breaker, and/or lessen their sentence, or a board to grant a convicted prisoner “Parole”, a confession of genuine and sorrowful guilt for the committed crime has to first be candidly and honestly professed. Similarly without a repentful manifestation from an acknowledged and confessed guilt, a person’s sins are not, and cannot be, forgiven. So for Christ to have been able to die for the sins of the whole world, past, present and future, He indeed would have had to bear this “load of guilt” for all of these people, thus clearing the way for God the Father to wholly forgiven them of their “law breaking” (1 John 3:4).

            And succinctly stated here: (1) this was all the “price” to pay, and that by God (=God the Son, Jesus) Himself, as it literally made God fairly/duly pay for having allowed this most costly and painfully GC to prove His point that a life of sin was not viable, and, as it is discussed in the Hell aspects of Christ’s Second Death sufferings here, that due “payment/price” included Second Death penalties, but/albeit solely for the ones who will be redeemed, for all have equivalently had a fair chance to avoid the Second Death Penalty; and (2) as it is also discussed in the Hell aspects, just a God will be supernaturally keeping the wicked alive for the duration of their Hell tormenting, He evidently had to supernaturally do the same with Jesus on the Cross so that Jesus could actually endure bearing the guilt, sufferings/pain, and sicknesses/diseases, First and (partial) Second Deaths of all people.
            So no wonder it ‘“pleased God” to do to Christ’ because it indeed then/finally meant that He would have an opportunity to redeem fallen man. (Isa 53:10) So even then it was Divine Love and not Divine Sadisticism that was involved in that outpouring of Divine Wrath, as it is the case will all of God’s Wrathful actions (e.g., Rev 14:9-11) because there is always a greater, necessary good to accomplish, even if it regrettingly is at the sacrificial expense of some recalcitrant/non-remorseful ones. (E.g., Ezek 7:1-4ff; 9:1-11).

[15] As seen in this exegetical harmonization/reconstruction of the temptation of Christ which showed that the ‘bowing down to regain the world’ temptation was repeated twice by Satan (as the 2nd and 4th temptation, it is indeed seen that just because Jesus had refused a temptation of Satan before, that did/does not mean that Satan left never to return, and that, even with that same temptation again, and this time in/through an even more heightened, subtle, deceptive and more “appealing” form. So despite the fact that Jesus may have, in Gethsemane, ultimately become resolute to see this Redemption Plan to its dreadful end, it does not mean that Satan (if he was, and manifestly not, actually involved at all in the Gethsemane struggle, thus it would not even have been a “temptation” (cf. James 1:13) - in fact, DA 693.3 says that: “Satan and his confederacy of evil, the legions of apostasy, watched intently this great crisis in the work of redemption.” and “The powers of good and evil waited to see what answer would come to Christ's thrice-repeated prayer.”), “honoringly gives up” tempting someone, especially if he sees that there is actually a better way for him to succeed.
            So it is apparently only after Jesus had passed an exclusive “testing” with God Himself (which, probably like Jacob of old, was used to Spiritually/psychologically/mentally prepare and strengthen Him), that Satan and his cohorts were then given a full, almost unlimited, “green light” into harassing Jesus from then on, and until a then only potentially successful end by Christ on the Cross. Indeed DA 746.4 is quite clear on this in saying, e.g., that “Satan with his angels, in human form, was present at the cross.” And these were indeed (also) all mockingly, pleadingly encouraging a seemingly abandoned Jesus to ‘just come down from the cross.’ So Jesus was most definitely, and quite logically, harassed by Satan until the very end of the Redemption/Cross Ordeal, and that most subtly, hence coming to him in human forms so as to show that the vast majority of people thought that ‘this was all unnecessary and they surely would not believe in Him, especially if He stayed there and died this “counterintuitive” guilty man’s/criminal’s death.’ Indeed this would have been one of Satan’s opportune “set (kairos) time/season” (Luke 4:13; versus e.g., Matt 16:21-23; cf. e.g., RH, September 3, 1903 par. 8), at also another time of extreme stressing, giving his all in this final onslaught, thus why he and his aids took on human forms instead of keeping angelic, even spirit-speaking, forms, which Jesus would have readily recognized and rejected, indeed all mirroring Satan’s quite plausible ‘good angel disguise’ tactic for the wilderness temptations. (DA 118.2-119.2ff).

[16] As the substantiation for my view that Christ Eternally Sacrificed His Divinity on the Cross is actually strewn all over my blog and other Forum discussions I have participated in, I’ll succinctly summarize them here [expanding on what had initially been said here+here]. The mention EGW’s statement can be viewed as most objective because, though her direct revelations are cited as substantiation and corroboration, she herself actually did not have that Theological view/understanding, indeed explicitly to the contrary as seen below, yet evidently not from direct inspiration:

-Jesus had confidently said to challenging Jews/Leaders (John 8:13ff, 22ff), and in the context of his upcoming death on the Cross, that “the Father is always with Him because He (Jesus) always does the things that please Him’, (including in allowing Himself to be put to death, ‘as commanded’ (John 10:18b)), with many newly believing in Him on that point. (John 8:28-30ff; (cf. John 8:58-59))

-However on the Cross Jesus questionedly cried out in the hearing of (probably) also those same scoffing Jewish leaders that “God had forsaken Him” (Matt 27:46-47; see 2T 210.2)

-Simple equating: God had found something in Jesus that did not “please” Him. That of course was sin. (2 Cor 5:21; Rom 8:3; Gal 3:13; Eph 5:2; 1 Pet 3:18). However that was surely to be expected (Isa 53:4-7, 10). So it apparently was something that occurred that Jesus was not expecting, indeed even beyond the great agony of Gethsemane (Luke 22:43-44) and that God evidently did not forewarn Jesus about. And as stated in DA 754.3, it was the lingering great darkness and gloom which was still pointedly on Christ, but had been lifted from the rest of the people around Him which led Him to make this cry. (=Matt 27:46's “around/about the ninth hour...)

-EGW had, (controversially to some), originally said in 1898 that: “[Christ’s] Deity suffered and sank under the agonies of Calvary.” (MS 153, 1898 = 7BC 907.2), but other/later she made opposing statements such as in:

-DA 785.2, published that same year: “the Saviour came forth from the grave by the life that was in Himself”

-YI Aug. 4, 1898: “Humanity died; divinity did not die. In His divinity, Christ possessed the power to break the bonds of death.” (=5BC 1113.4, 6)

-MS 140, 1903: “The Deity did not sink under the agonizing torture of Calvary”. (5BC 1129.7)

-Letter 280, 1904: When Christ was crucified, it was His human nature that died. Deity did not sink and die; that would have been impossible. (= 5BC 1113.2; 21MR 418.5) 

-What then would have happened if Jesus had sin, as He could being tempted like all men (Heb 4:15). He certainly would not go on living eternally as a “sinner”. Seems theo-logical to me that God at least would have to kill Him, and that eternally as no one could save Him then. Cf. ST, May 10, 1899 par. 11 - “His Deity could not be lost while He stood faithful and true to His loyalty”.

-The contradiction in EGW’s statements considered together here cannot be reconciled, and must be understood as her having changed her mind upon later theological pondering. But none of these statements themselves were statements from direct inspiration (“I was shown”), but merely statements based upon EGW’s own theological knowledge/understanding of this issue.

-And, upon further thought myself, I am willing to see/understand, as will be explained later, that Christ’s Divinity may actually/indeed not have died, as I had previously thought, (= partly as EGW went on to say), but that God instead removed it from Christ (=Jesus feeling/being “forsaken”) and the reason is that that Divine Nature contains a Divine/Life Energy that God (cf. in here) would then use to restore all the redeemable life (~5BC 1113.5) that had been lost because of the sin sentence of death (Gen 3:22-24). However that would have to be a complete sacrifice by Jesus meaning He could not later retrieve it.

-As already stated in the main text above, Jesus said He had the “authority” (not “power”) to bring Himself back to life...however/and it tangibly stated/seen in the Bible (also in the SOP) (see passages posted below for easier reading access and some slight editing* (cf. here)) that it was God who raised Him by the Holy Spirit, and (SOP:) through the (probably necessarily (i.e. to avoid a global, major, earthquake (3SP 192.1 versus GC 636.3a; 637.1a; cf. Heb 12:26))) targeted means of a tangibly-delivered Divinely-authoritative statement by a pertinently investedly empowered Mighty Angel, (perhaps the one ‘next in rank to Christ’, Gabriel).

-As discussed here, upon His resurrection Jesus (literally & exegetically) said to Mary who was actually attempting to worship Him: ‘I prohibit you to even begin to so worshipfully/affectionate embrace Me because I have not yet ascended to the Father’.

-As corroborated by exegesis, the SOP reveals that Jesus raised his hand to stop Mary who was about to plunge at his feet to worship him (DA 790.2; cf. e.g., Matt 28:9).

-Jesus specially refers to God then as “My God” (John 20:17 -which is a statement that is fodder for those who claim that ‘Jesus was never God’) and the only other time that I see [in the Greek; and in the Gospels] He ever referred to God that way was, most interestingly/pertinently enough, when He had cried out upon the cross feeling He had been forsaken (Matt 27:46). See the manifest pointed continuation of this understanding in here on Rev 3:12. To me that all reveals that at that moment at the Cross Jesus felt and knew that (for some unforewarned reason) His Divine Nature had been removed from Him. So He then, pertinently enough, was, seriously, asking “Why”??!!

-So upon His resurrection, Jesus manifestly recalled what had transpired at the Cross, and probably then not being able to communicate with God as before (and keep in mind the Holy Spirit had not yet been sent, and perhaps could not even be sent as long as Jesus was on Earth (John 16:7 -perhaps in ‘GC rules of fairness’ fallen man cannot be given such a direct, double-team Divine advantage)), Jesus therefore refused worship from even men until He would first verified “why” His Divine nature was gone. I.e., was it because He had done something wrong (and probably knew that probably was not the case since He had been resurrected (cf. 5BC 1114.1)). So He knew He was still in good standing with God (John 14:30-31 & Heb 2:18), and/but first wanted to find out exactly why.

-The SOP reveals that while being ascended to Heaven, a throng of ‘exuberant’ angels came to meet Jesus somewhere in space and were about to celebratorily welcome Him (1SG 74.1 [=EW 187.2]; 3SP 201.2-202.1; cf. DA 833-835)..., but Jesus was still unsure of what exactly had transpired at the Cross. Was His sacrifice really/fully accepted, and so wave them back and refused worship from them until He first met with the Father.

-The angels obeyed and upon arriving in Heaven Jesus straightly went to the father for, literally, a “closed door meeting”. (DA 834.2)

-He was manifestly then told all that was involved in His sacrifice and after some time He came out and before the assembly of Heavenly Beings, the Father then said “Let all the angels of God worship Him”. (3SP 203.1a; DA 834.3) (=Heb 1:6)

-This is where I see Paul’s understanding that Jesus was honorarily adored, i.e., by being exalted and given a “new name” (Phil 2:9-10|Heb 1:4 = Rev 3:12) that honored what He had successfully gone through, applies.

-In fact, the SOP corroborates this by saying that, unlike before, upon returning to Earth from that confirming meeting, Christ then allowed Himself to be touched (later (exegetically) understood to be part of an act of worship) because “He had received power” (1SG 74.1b|EW 187.2b), which actually is the rightly translated “authority” mentioned during the Galilee meeting of Matt 28:18 (-which was not the Mount of Olives (ca. 80-90 miles south), final (40 days later) ascension of Acts 1:9-13a -see at end in here). So manifestly, the then merely Human Jesus had been given Divine “Authority” during that first ascension meeting with God and from then on had, once again, full Divine prerogatives, which included of course worship (cf. Rev 19:10; 22:8-9)

-Jesus then returned to Earth now freely accepted worship. And was then still in Human form “flesh and blood”. EGW adds that Jesus forever has kept His incarnation Human Nature (DA 25.3; cf. here), though as seen next, I don’t see that He also kept His mere Human Form.

-I.e., in relation to this EGW relates that she saw in vision that one of the sealing “forehead” understanding that the 144,000 will have is in regards to a “Glorious Star” containing Jesus’ New name. I see that this “new name” would be that new honorary name that He had been given which is emblematic of His regained Divine prerogatives, and with a “star” being symbolic of an angel (e.g., Rev 1:20; 12:4), I see a “Glorious” star being symbolic of a “Mighty” Angel and, as Angels evidently have more physical vitality than human as seen from Satan and his angels still being alive some 6000 years after they fell/sin, while Adam died within 1000 years, then I see that Jesus’, then merely human form, was “upgraded” to, or enjoined by, that of a Mighty Angel’s (=Heb 2:6-9) which actually was the prior, pre-human incarnation form that He had as Michael the Archangel, the OT “Angel of the Lord”.

Hence my view here, in summary, that:
=the Divine Nature of Jesus was removed forever from Him at the Cross to be expended on providing life to humans who have died, (included the wicked for their final judgement), all so that God would not have to expend more Divine Energy on this Fallen Planet...and by that Divine Nature/Energy sacrifice by Jesus, God would thus not have actually lost anything from the ordeal of sin that He moreover had permitted.** So it would really be back to square one, and God could resume with expending Divine Energy for Creating and Populating this vast, probably still expanding, Universe as Creation’s 7-Day requirement mathematically works out that God would have “only” organized for habitable human life ca. 312,000 new worlds like this Earth since the Creation of this planet which apparently was the very first world to be organized for habitation by humans. (cf. Gen 2:1-3; John 5:17)

* In regards to more ‘direct revelation SOP quote(s)’, in DA 779.3 it is says that: the ‘(Mighty) Angel Clothed in the panoply [=“complete armor or defense” -Webster 1828] of God (DA 779.2) relayingly cries out: “Son of God, come forth; Thy Father calls Thee.” (=3SP 191.2-192.1) As I see it is that relayed Divine Word is what ‘made Jesus come (back) to life” (1 Pet 3:18)

The Full Biblical Testimony:
(The Resurrection Angel): Matt 28:6 (“raised” in Greek passive voice = Rom 6:4; 1 Cor 15:4, 16-17).
(Peter): Acts 2:24, 32; 3:15, 26; 4:8, 10; 5:30; 10:40; 1 Pet 1:21; 3:18.
(Paul): Acts 13:30, 33 (= Psa 2:7), Acts 13:34, 37; 17:31; Rom 4:24; 6:4 (passive voice); Rom 8:11; 10:9; 1 Cor 6:14; 15:15 (cf. 1 Cor 15:4, 16-17); 2 Cor 4:14;  Eph 2:6.

One does not pervasively and copious make this singular notion, (and that while, at least
in one instance, ‘being full of Holy Spirit’ (Acts 4:8, 10); in stating this fundamental faith tenet, unless they know for a fact what they are talking about. And I am seeing here that this post death/resurrection event most accurate fact came from God (for the Angel) and Jesus (for Peter and Paul) either directly, or indirectly through the Holy Spirit.

** And here I find most (corroboratingly, even spiritually “confirmingly”(?)) interesting the statement/claim made by Joyce Meyer along this line (see in 11/28 - Stop Complaining Pt. 1 @ 13:53ff) that ‘she believes that God “showed” her that’: ‘everyone has a certain amount of energy assigned to them for life. And so wasting it on sinful/sin-related things only prevents it from being expended on Godly things.’ That would perfectly harmonize with the understanding here that every and any sin does tangibly cost God something, energy-wise, pointedly in regards to having to expend energy to overcome the tangible detrimental effect that it has on the human psyche, and then in inevitable turn body/life. That is because, since the physically healing/restoring and life perpetuating Tree of Life is supplied by the River of Life which flows from God’s throne (Rev 22:1-2 (=Ezek 47:1-12), God then would have to supply a much higher dosage of energy towards the fruit of the tree of life to succor sinners, and thus take away from the energy available to attend to the fullest development and creation of perfect and new life.

[17] As seen in this forum thread, it is the belief of some (also SDA’s) that ‘the required Sacrifice for Atonement was fully complete before Jesus death on the Cross. That is: ‘Jesus did not die the Second Death, but instead ‘Triumphantly overcame it by not actually dying during His mental anguish suffering on the Cross.’ It is thus claimed that since Jesus said: “It is Finished” before dying, then He paid the full price of sin before actually physically dying, even citing DA 758.1 as proof. That teaching may surfacely seem plausible however, given the actual/historical developments, it does not bear true under full Biblical/Exegetical scrutiny as it is pointedly claimed. I.e., the Atonement on the Cross, (i.e., as discussed above, the actually “non-necessary extreme extent to which God’s Atonement provision was taken to”) was then/therefore not complete until Christ’s death, -which, interestingly enough, came to atone for that “murder of Christ” on the Cross. Interestingly enough, this is all typologically analogous to, indeed, the Bronze Serpent in the wilderness (Num 21:4-9 & John 3:14-15; cf. PP 428.1-432.2), because God could have brought Israel through that wilderness, which was infested with various dangers, without them being smitten by its “fiery serpents”, but because they chose to ‘indulged the spirit of discontent, and thus were disposed to find fault even with their blessings’, (indeed just like the First Century Jews would later resolutely chose to put Jesus after they had witnessed the incontrovertible miracle of the raising of Lazarus (John 11:45-50), which they clearly and fully understood to have been a miracle from God), then the only hope for their salvation then was in providing a direct [and much harder/offending to swallow/accept, yet which indeed now fully reflected their own cursed state] remedial sacrifice for this now murderous sin, and that was the physical death of Christ, for them and for pointedly that very murderous sinful extent, on the Cross. Hence the pointed prayer Christ for, really, ‘forgiveness of that sin here of murder’ Luke 23:34 (Acts 7:60) or else His prayer would instead have been: “Father forgive them for (all of) their sins”. Only in a completely alternative historical scenario (cf. here) where the Jews actually fully accepted Christ would an ‘atonement through His blood shedding/death’ vs. faith in Him, would have been averted. However on the Jews embarked on a path to reject Christ, the inevitable end would be His, albeit permissively willing, death. And since a murder can only be atoned for by the death of the murderer (Gen 9:6), Christ’s death was pointedly paying for this ‘murderous extent of death’ to which the Jews’ rebellious obstinacy had ended up in. Indeed just like the serpents in the wilderness would cause the death of the Israelites then, and thus this is what was put on the Cross to atoningly save them, the murderous rejection of the Messiah would pointedly cause the death of the First Century Jews, and any other person who would also reject Christ, and so He similarly had to be put up on a cross in order to save them, i.e., pointedly from/for that “extent of sin” which Dan 9:27b calls the “most extreme of abominations” (see in here). (See more on the far reaching tangible realities involved in this extent of the Atonement here.).
            Indeed, succinctly expounded here, the Bible is clear that physical death is a penalty for sin. (Rom 6:23; Gen 2:17); for as the Cross went on to tangibly, objectively and transparently demonstrate, indeed to resolve this most pivotal issue of the GC, sin would only end up in the murderous death of even the most righteous, for which that murder would have to be atoned for by taking the life of the murderer. Thus the Gen 3:22-24 presciently pre-emptive death imperative. And moreover, after that First Death, there is also another, post-execution-of-final-judgement-penalties, Death to be paid by those who are not saved. Therefore, after those sufferings penalties are paid in Hell’s fire, then comes the ‘life-cessation’ part of that “Second Death” process.
            In regards to Jesus on the Cross, there is a quite simple, and most logical, realism that those who hold the above-mentioned view are not taking into obvious consideration, and that is that Jesus could not have physically died twice on the Cross. I.e., He could not have died the physical “Second Death” to end His Hell’s-judgement-like mental anguish, and then be resurrected by God, and then made to die the, purely physical, “First Death”. So God had to combined those two “deaths”, that is: the two physical aspects of those deaths, into one. Indeed as there is absolutely no difference in the physical aspects involved in the First Death vs. the Second Death, they thus could indeed be seamlessly incorporated into a single dying event, and indeed still fully pay their distinct penalty (i.e., “distinct” form the guilt inculcating, mental anguish aspect of the full “Second Death” process.)
            Finally, it must relatedly be emphasized that, contrary to a popular belief, the “Second Death” is not ‘an enduring feeling of being separated from God’. That notion will, notwithstanding, probably be naturally, mentally felt during the Hell Fire Judgement, as a natural result of fully understanding the results of choosing a life/character of sin, however when the punctuating physical death aspect of that Second Death judgement will have come to pass, as with what the Bible integrally teaches on the State of the Dead (e.g., Eccl 9:6-7), the thoughts/feelings/consciousness, etc., of the wicked will, from that instant on, completely cease. The First Death is, and Second “Death” ends in, the same type/state of physical death.

[18] For a quite thought-provoking, [as are the other sermons in that series on Zaccheus], ‘other perspective’ of the Cross, see this sermon (#6) and this one (#7) from the summer 2011 campmeeting series by Jonathan Henderson. Mainly, his ‘different perspective of the Cross’ is that: it did not have to unravel the way it did, but merely, unravelled out as it gruesomely did solely due to the preferred choices (for wrong/unrighteousness) of the various parties involved, from the People, to the Religious leaders, to the Civil authorities. As seen here, I also, share this (now tweakly updated) view: I.e., the Jewish People themselves did not have to reject Christ for Him to die, and that His due (“if then still necessary”) atoning death. (See e.g., here for the prophetic implications (e.g., Dan 9:26b, 27b)).
            I’ll even, as now Biblically substantiated here, second Henderson’s view that ‘Jesus did not actually have to die (at the very least, not pointedly by the will of the Jewish people (John 18:38))) for Fallen Man to be redeemed. (cf. Mar 1:14-15)) Indeed see the pivotal turning point towards that not necessary fate of death in Christ’s ministry around Luke 10:1-16, 17-24|DA 489.1-4 here. That death aspect merely most objectively demonstrated, and that once and for all, that God was right all along that ‘sin can and will only end up resulting in death, for even the most righteous of persons’. Indeed even to God Himself, if He would try, as the Incarnated Jesus did, “come down” to man’s level to redressingly deal with allowed sinning rather than having had immediately destroyed sinners from afar. Hence the need of the drastic measure from the start in the barring of access to the Tree of Life to prevent sinful man from being able to live for ever (Gen 3:22-24; PP 60.3), a move which in itself was most controversial as it is really at the root of this Great Controversy as it loudly poses the question of: “why can’t a person be permitted by God to live forever even if they do not want to obey His Law??” And the sacrificial offerings and system of God’s people itself merely depictedly, remindedly, re-emphasized that eventual sure fact that sinful living will surely result in death. And in Heb 9:22 Paul did actually say that: ‘“almost/nearly” all things are cleansed, thus forgiven, by blood’, which, by such “disclamatory” qualifying leaves an opening for an exemption, which I also see, as Henderson points out based on the SOP (PP 39.1-2), that even when Satan sinned in Heaven, he did not have to die, (nor, for that matter, did God/Christ have to die to redeem him), if he only had just soon enough repented. This understanding dually corroborates, and is in turn corroborated by, the Theologically almost self-evident view that the systematic shedding of blood in the meticulously arranged and carried out Old Covenant was not for no insubstantive/inconsequential/non-contributive reason. (Cf. Heb 9:13) And yet only, ultimately, and potentially solely, believing faith in the Perfect Christ/Messiah would provide the actual “eternal” cleansing/redemption. (Heb 9:12, 14, 10:1-4ff).
            When this issue and the above understanding is studied out in detail, it can soundly be seen, and summarily stated here, that: just as ‘water baptism takes/“washes” away the confessed guilt of sin’ (DA 110.1b), -which is distinct from the “forgiveness” aspect in sin, Jesus “deathless redemption” could have been done, i.e., if the Jews had wholly accepted Him, through solely His symbolic ‘guilt washing away’ water baptism by John, which so came to indeed “fulfill all righteousness” (Matt 3:15). In other words, that ministry preceding act of Christ washed away in advance the guilt of Israel. It was then supposed to be followed by the ‘baptism by fire’ (see Matt 3:12) which was in God’s outpouring of His Holy Spirit on Israel. All that they then had to do was to, by faith accept this “repentance” (cf. Matt 3:11), by simply repenting of their waywardness and believing Christ’s ‘possible Kingdom of God establishment’ Gospel (Mark 1:15). But the Jewish people went on to reject that message and as a result, their guilt remained upon them, and then, the only way that they could then be saved, since that previous “righteousness-dependent” plan did not work with them, was through Christ’s “baptism by/of blood”. (Heb 13:12; Luke 12:50; cf. Mark 10:38). Indeed the distinct and additional Capital Sin of rejection the Messiah necessitated a whole new level of redemption plan, and one which Jesus had the option of implementing or not. This “Second Level” plan was the one symbolized by the Red Heifer ceremony (Num 19). (See more details on this sacrifice and its Christological implications here). So, as the blood (of Lambs) forgive sins, it is water which purifies people from their still pending guilt. That is why ‘the blood of lambs and goats does not take away sin’ (Heb 10:4), it simply forgives them. Yet there is still a ‘defiling death element’ which duly accompanies sin that has to be dealt with, and that is done through water purification. That could have either be done through Christ’s Baptism or through the (“outside of the camp” (Heb 13:10-13)) Red Heifer-like “baptism of blood”, which necessarily implicated Hell-typifying “ashes”. It could even be rightly understood that the blood of Lambs/Sacrifice accounted for the First Death Penalty, while the Life Offering of Christ went on to account for the Second Death Penalty of Hell. And it was by rejecting Jesus as their Messiah that Israel became guilty of this Hell punishment. (See Matt 23:32).
            And the theological reason why simple faith in the solely water-baptized Sinless Jesus would have been sufficient to fully redeem any who came to believe in Him, also those who had done so by faith under the Old Covenant, is that Jesus was the Water of Life/Living Water (John 4:10; 7:37), and that Life was found in the eternal words that He spoke. (Matt 4:4; Luke 6:47-48) And these effectively would, mootly so, nullify/abort (=“wash away”) the pending Hell penalty that persisted sinful living led to (Heb 10:26-27). That is how Satan could have initially been mercifully forgiven and fully restored in Heaven without the shedding of any blood, but when he indifferently persisted disobedience, he contracted the full Hell penalty of rebellion. So any who heeded these words of His would surely have life (John 7:38), a more abundant life (John 10:10; Rev 7:17), and even eternal life (John 4:14).
            This Biblically sound understanding also then all speaks to the issue of ‘how “potentially possible sinning in Heaven in the future” may initially be dealt with by God. In other words, as with Satan before the Fall, it manifestly will not be a “one strike your out” policy. However, as stated here, God will indeed justly act to completely/eternally eradicate any (persistent) sinner if another Great Controversy is attempted to be marshalled, as Satan resolutely and indifferently, “proudly” chose to do.

            From the exposition made here which explains how the Jews may have ultimately have to concretely demonstrate their faith in God and Christ by obediently offering Him as a sacrifice but with God stopping them when He saw that they were fully willing to most sacrificially do so, it is relatedly significant to see that in Abraham’s test of faith, God did not provide a lamb like he and Isaac expect but a ram. (Gen 22:7-8, 13). Surfacely said here, with a ram being used as part of the consecration of the priesthood (Exod 29:19) and also serve as a guilt offering for unintentional sins (Lev 5:15-19), then this could symbolize that a fully Messiah accepting Israel would have had any guilt from unintentional sins removed in another way than the sacrificial death of Christ and also this would serve to officially consecrate them as a “nation/kingdom of priests” (Exod 19:5-6; 1 Pet 2:9; Rev 1:6) with now their mandate to, defaultly peacefully, spread God’s Gospel and Righteous Kingdom throughout the earth, and just like it was the priest who were key in sacking Jericho, any militaristic opposition would most likely have been, initiatingly, supernaturally defeated by God. Leaving wide open the way for Israel to conquer these opponents. (E.g., Isa 60:12; 61:6)


            And this whole understanding here that ‘Christ’s death on the Cross was not a default necessity, but a wrongly necessitated, last resort option’, comes to make Moses’s bronze serpent symbol (Num 21:6-9 & John 3:14-15) more perfectly/accurately understood. As discussed here, “bronze” in the Bible was symbolic of something that was outwardly lackluster, (as compared to gold or silver), but functionally most performant as being durably ideal. And so, both that wilderness serpent symbol and the Cross were last resort options by God in order to have His people understand the great mercy He actually had for them and was already fully providing for them in the faith and obedience they had to His previous simple commands.  When Israel refused to obey these commands, they then faced the full consequences of God’s abandonment and only that representative serpent could save them. Similarly, the Jews in the time of Christ could have avoided their whole national debacle if they had simply by faith accepted the simple terms upon which God was going to save them through Christ. And when they did not, they then precipitated the Cross. While it was not God’s ideal, just a gold and silver is valuably preferable to bronze, for a predominant faithless existence of humans, it would come to be the most durable object lesson of God’s great love for fallen man, whereas even the simpler Triumph of God through a most obedient Jewish people, may not have had such salvific potential, particularly then for Gentiles.


            In fact, it can further be seen that just as John 3:14; 8:28; 12:32-34's term “lift up” (Strongs’ #5312) can also, most positively, mean: “to exalt” (see e.g., Luke 1:52; 10:15; 14:11; Acts 2:33; 5:31; 13:17; James 4:10; 1 Pet 5:6), Jesus was knowingly using a “double-entendre” with people knowing that they would either, properly acceptingly, “exalt” to His place as their Messiah, or, put him to death, yet, either way, He would still accomplish His Mission (cf. John 12:32). The “bronze” and, moreover concealed “serpent”, option of the Cross was God’s third rate, yet most durable option to redeem the world. And so Jesus, perfectly understanding this, did not shy away from it.


-In regards to a possible derivable argument from Henderson’s point that ‘it was merely Christ’s human blood, and not, (as stated earlier in this post), the ‘actual, sudden, unforewarned, sacrificial death of (also) His divinity that paid the “ransom” price for fallen man’: as the Bible is clear, ‘the life of, (pointedly) the flesh is in the blood’ (Gen 9:4; Lev 17:14), so the shedding of Christ’s “blood” also involved His “life”, which in turn inextricably involved His Divine Nature.
            In regards to my related illustrative “ransoming” argument made in here that: ‘if Christ’s Divine Nature had not been eternally sacrificed then (in paying the price of death that was then “set”), then it would be like ‘paying a $2 Million ransom with monopoly money, and having that fictitious form of payment be accepted’, I more fine tunedly say that, since a death would have been involved, as, as most believe, merely Christ’s human nature died then, then it would have been like (“acceptedly”) paying that $2,000,000 ransom with only $1,000,000. Or, moreover, to factor in the vast gulf between the Divine Nature vs. the Human Nature, it would have been like “acceptedly” paying that ransom price with a single dollar bill!! Since “only God” (see e.g., EW 150.1) could pay that ransoming death price, as stated above, solely in order to most conclusively resolve this GC, then realistically, God (i.e., Christ’s Divine Nature) had to die on the Cross, and as stated above, that fact was concealed by God the Father to, at least the Incarnated Christ. (I.e., Jesus may have been made aware of this implication during the Plan of Redemption deliberations (EW 149-153) prior to His Incarnation, but God did not then reveal this to Him while He was here on earth, and that transpiring and felt death completely shocked Christ at the Cross (Matt 27:46)

-Henderson also mentions that God made a ransoming deal with Satan who set the price at the death of Christ, however, as stated here at Rev 9:19 in regards to Rev 12:1-4's GC Spiritual implication, I instead see that Satan had no idea at all until the Earthly Incarnation of Christ of the full details of the Plan of Redemption, i.e., that God the Son Himself would come to possibly die to redeem man. And so when he then acted to influence men to (not neededly) kill Christ, including His Divine Nature, which at the Cross he then realized was duly possible, then it was this actually unnecessary extreme that would have severed any sympathy for his cause that the angels in Heaven had for him. I.e., They saw that Satan took things to a actually completely unnecessary, most gruesome and vendetta extreme that completely discredited him and his prior (hypocritical) pretenses. They then saw that all that Satan had all along been interested in was to get Jesus out of the way, and as Henderson points out, God, permissively acted here to expose this craftily, and most deceptively, concealed motivation and intention of Satan. So my view here is that it was God’s own permitting here which allowed for this gruesome death end of Christ and not any actual ransoming agreement that He had made with Satan. (Cf. Rom 3:25-26ff; See the related “Christ Died for God” sermon of John MacArthur of the Grace to You ministry: Part 1 & Part 2). And as Paul perceptively said, and contrary to Henderson’s subjective short cutting view of this claim, the is indeed ‘ample reason to, (all GC things fully taken into consideration), “Glory in the Cross”’ i.e., in what God permitted to be done, to essentially Himself, in order to forever, and surely, defeat all of the arguments of Satan’s GC cause; for as Jesus Life and eventual Death revealed, not even the most perfect obedience to God’s Law could ever guarantee man that they could live a peaceful and eternal life in a world/universe where sinners are also permitted to live forever. Sin would somehow inevitably lead to death for any and all. (=Gal 6:13-16). So God’s own prescience superceded, as usual, even what Satan himself could perceive and understand about his own GC cause and views.



2 comments:

  1. Nice post... I really like the reflection on the cross from this aspect. I like the depth in which you covered the "broken heart" theory and how you used a plethora of bible text to back up what you believe is the correct understanding. Nice post again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. The subject of the Cross is indeed an unfathomable topic, even from solely what can be gleaned from the Bible, how much more when we get to Heaven.

    ReplyDelete

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