Thursday, February 10, 2022

How does God, Destroy?

Comment received:
 Genesis 19:14-26 and other Biblical scriptures, portray Jehovah as a God of Destruction. He sent fire to rain down on Sodom and Gomorrah.

My Reply:
Yes, we do find scriptures where God is credited with causing destruction. If we do not look below the surface, we may ascribe to God directly, that destruction and ruin. If you are willing to derive truth from the Bible, about what is really happening, I offer it to you, below.
Please consider a few points from the Bible. As you learn from all these points, you will see the truth that lays below the surface.
We know that God allows the persecution of His servants. He is the Great Judge that oversees, everything (Dan.7:9,10,21-22,26-27). Whatever He does not permit, does not happen. Yet He allows, whatever is within His justice and will. 

What God permits, includes the testing and refining of His own sons, through Satanic persecution (1Pet. 1:6; 5:10; James 1:2,12;  1Thess. 3:2-4). Satan has demanded to test out any heirs that would replace the Devil's dominion over creation (Luke 22:31). Persecution is through Satan, and God allows it. God is not the source of what His sons must endure. 

We know that it was Satan who caused great pain and trouble to the faithful man Job. 
Yet, who was credited with Job's trials?
(Job 1:8-9,10-11,12; 2:3-4,5-6)
Note especially Job 1:11 ; Job 2:5 and the end of Job 2:3
Satan said to God,
"11 But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.’"
"3c "And he still maintains his integrity, though you (Satan) incited me (God) against him to ruin him without any reason.’"
"5 But now stretch out your hand (God's hand) and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you (God) to your face.’"

In all three references; God is credited with Job's persecution
because as Sovereign Judge, God has decreed His permission for Satan to proceed to test Job.
God has "stretched out His own hand", in giving Satan permission.
Yet, Job 1:12 and Job 2:6 make crystal clear, that Satan is the one who actually caused Job's trials.

Certainly, if God can give Satan permission to cause pain, grief and trouble to the righteous and faultless man, Job (Job 1:8);
He can also, in His justice, permit Satan to destroy a thoroughly wicked city, and be credited with that decision.
I'll make the point here, that God could have used Satan to rain fire from heaven on Sodom and Gomorrah. At Job 1:12,16 we see that Satanic power, demonstrated.

Please continue...

Jeremiah 13:13 reads;
13 "then tell them, “This is what the Lord says: *I* am going to fill with drunkenness all who live in this land, including the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests, the prophets and all those living in Jerusalem."

If you compare Isa.28:7 and Micah 2:11, you will see that the drunkenness being spoken of, is the believing and teaching of lies and deceptions, false visions and unjust decisions. 

Can you see from Jer.13:13 above, that God took credit for filling the kings, priests, and prophets, with a spirit of drunkenness, so that they lead the people according to false teaching and injustice (Job 12:25)?

Is the "God of Truth" who cannot lie (John 3:33; Titus 1:2; Heb.6:18), really the source of this deception, false teaching, and injustice that the wicked leaders are practicing and promulgating? (1John 1:5-6)
How are we to understand 2Thess. 2:11,
which seems to contradict those other scriptures which assert that God is incapable of lying?
It reads;
"For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie".

All of our confusion is cleared away, when we see the simple truth of HOW the God of Truth,
"sends" out a spirit of drunkenness, deception, lies, false visions, false prophecy, and unjust decisions being rendered by the leaders of His people.

Observe, as the Great Judge, is in the process of sending out that deception that He takes credit for...
We have an insider's view, of how the drunkenness of believing and teaching falsehood (Matt.15:14), actually happens...
We have 2 Bible accounts of that court scene...

1Kings 22: "21 Then a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD, and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 
‘By what means?’ asked the LORD. 22 And he replied, ‘*I* will go out and be a lying spirit in the mouths of all his prophets.’ 
‘You will surely entice him and prevail,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’ 
23 So you see, **the LORD has put a lying spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours, and the LORD has pronounced disaster against you.”

  ----- So, "the Lord has pronounced disaster against you".....
 By the word of the Sovereign Judge, destruction decreed.
God has given His permission to the lying spirit, to deceive the leaders.

Clearly, a "lying spirit" came forward in God's court, ready to be used by God, to discipline His people with the consequence that was due for God's people's unfaithfulness toward God. 
It is the "lying spirit" that is actually putting lies into the mouth of the prophets of God's people. 
Yet who gets the credit for deciding this? 
**"The Lord".
2Chron. 18:20,21,22 is another account of this.
We also get a behind-the-scene look at this happening again, at Rev.16:13-14...<< if you'd like to see that.

According to Jesus, the "lying spirit", is Satan (John 8:44).
Satan is also the "king of the abyss" who is called the Destroyer (Rev.9:11 NIV  ).
Isaiah 33:1  tells us clearly, what the future is for the Destroyer.

Now, we can get really specific. We can go to an account that names, "the Destroying Angel".
         ("Angel" means "messenger", and this is the 'messenger of destruction' often referred to in scripture) (1Cor. 10:6-7,8-9;  1Cor. 10:10 NIV  )

Remember when "God struck the firstborn of Egypt"?
Exodus 12 reads;
"12 ‘On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt."
God is taking credit for striking/destroying the firstborn of both people and animal. Verse 12 says that God is "bringing judgment" on the gods of Egypt. Again, as Supreme Judge, God is rendering a decision/passing judgment, to punish the wicked.

But is it God Himself who is doing the destroying/striking?
We find the answer, at verse 22-23 of the same chapter...
Ex.12:22-23 ...
"22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the door-frame. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. 23 When the Lord goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the door-frame and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the Destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down".

Below the surface, we see the Truth.
Verse 23 shows us HOW "The Lord...strikes down the Egyptians" (Ex.12:23)
It also shows us HOW, God does the striking of the wicked, and guards the obedient of Israel (Ex.12:23).
How does the blood on the doorpost, protect God's people?
When God sees it; "He (God) will not permit the Destroyer to enter your house" (Ex.12:23).
*** Heb.11:28 ***
(see Strong's definition of "Destroyer", as a venomous serpent: LINK )(Rev.12:9)

Is the Destruction ("Abaddon") of Sodom and Gomorrah, any different from the destruction of Egypt?
It is clear from all these examples, that the Bible is teaching us, who does the destroying,
of both the wicked, and even the refining persecution of the righteous (Luke 22:31).
As 1Cor. 5:5 reads;
"5 hand this man over *to Satan* for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord."

If you are willing to simply learn about the realm of spiritual darkness and death (abyss/Hades), over which the Destroyer, is king (Rev.9:11);
I'm sure you will see with clarity, who the Destroyer, is... and that it is not the God of Love, Light, and Life (1John 4:8; Matt.5:44,45;  2Pet. 1:4; Ps.36:9)
.... nor His son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the image of God (Col.1:15). 
He said;
"10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10)

What is the expressed will of our Father in heaven?
"9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering toward us, not willing that any should be destroyed, but that all should come to repentance." (2Pet. 3:9)

"11 Say to them, “As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?” (Eze.33:11)

"15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction....17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient (Num.32:15), and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, 18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed....19 This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live" (Deut.30)

--Who becomes lord and father over those who turn to, serve, and worship, false gods? Only then, does God state that such wayward children will be abandoned by Him, and destroyed (1Chron. 28:9).

It is God's expressed will, that none should come under the power and authority of the Devil, and as a consequence, reap destruction from the Devil (Gal.6:8;  1Cor. 5:5).
Of them, 2Pet. 2:12 reads;
"12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish."

Who is it that catches, ensnares, and destroys those who blaspheme?
2Tim. 2:25-26 ...
"25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will."

1Tim. 3:7 "He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap."

--- Trapping and destroying the unwary, is not of God.
(Ps.141:9; 140:5; 38:12; 31:4; Jer.5:26; 9:8;  1Pet. 5:8;  2Cor. 2:11)
Those who are caught and destroyed (2Pet. 2:12), are done so, by the Devil.

At Deut.30:15 we read that God provides our free will, with a choice between life or destruction.
Jesus spoke of that fork in the road, at Matt.7:13-14...
"13 ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.'"

Walking the road that leads to destruction, is one of spiritual darkness... 
a mind blinded and led by, the Devil (Eph.4:18; 2:2; Col.1:21;  2Cor. 4:4). 
Destruction befalls those who are under the influence of Satan... not under the influence of God!
The way/road to life (Matt.7:14) IS the way of God, through Christ (John 14:6; 8:12) whose will it is that none be destroyed (2Pet. 3:9; John 10:10).

Those two paths and those who walk on each of them, are as children... each group as in service to and under the influence of, their own mother. 
These mothers are symbolic of covenants... 
one mother of life and freedom from sin,
one mother of death, enslaved to sin.
The children of each, are on the path of their own mother, leading to either light and life,
 or spiritual blindness and death.
(Rom.8:2; Gal.4:26,24; John 8:34)(Isa.28:15; Rev.17:5) Rom.6:16

Isa.54:16 reads God as saying;
"‘See, it is I who created the blacksmith
    who fans the coals into flame
    and who forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the Destroyer to wreak havoc."

Once again, the Great Judge decided to allow Satan to live, even after Satan caused the fall of creation into sin and death (Rom.6:23;  1John 3:8).
At Isa.54:16 above, God reveals why this is so.
God uses the Destroyer of life as a weaponto bring havok on God's enemies.
Through their practices; Sodom and Gomorrah were enemies of God.
Yet as Isa.33:1 showed us; when Satan is done with his purpose of destroying, 
the Destroyer, will be destroyed. 
Psalm 104:29 explains. 

God is not obligated to continue to bestow His life-sustaining spirit (ruach/breath), upon the wicked, after their purpose in His will, is fulfilled (Ex.9:16).

Here is a link that examines the Abyss/Hades, over which the Destroyer is king ( Rev.9:11 NIV ).
Understanding the nature of that realm, will help you to discern who is king over it.

Lastly, I will say that the projection of "Jehovah" as a god of destruction and ruin, is actually correct.
The name "Jehovah", does mean destruction, mischief, and ruin. "Jehovah", is not YHVH's name.
These posts may interest you:
What then, about the teaching of Armageddon, and that false teaching which asserts that God is going to destroy everyone? A faith based on scripture will also help to console us in that regard...

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