Interpreting scripture according to scripture-GOD DOES NOT KILL OR DESTROY
Updated: Oct 18, 2020
Until we start seeing God as the all giving God who gives to all men and doesn't find fault, and until you start seeing the single character of God in Christ, you will continue to wallow in darkness and double mindedness and you will never receive from God.
God is light and He doesn't find fault, in Him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.
Somebody tried using verses below to confirm the erroneous doctrine that God kills, destroys and does evil because He can do anything. He went on to postulate that to say God cannot kill is blasphemous and an insult to the omnipotence of God. THIS IS A CHILDISH WAY TO INTERPRET A HARD TRUTH.
Job 42:2, “I know that thou canst do every thing…” Isaiah 45:7, “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and CREATE EVIL: I the LORD do all these things.” I always try my best not to get into vain argument with such people just like you don’t need to insult a 4-years old child who finds it difficult to understand that -1-1=-2. There is no need for offense when he keeps insisting and trying to prove that -1-1 is supposed to be equal to 0. You simply allow him to grow up and come to understand this other side of mathematics. I have come to a point in my faith walk that once I am established in a truth, after years of seeking, I am not moved an inch when I hear teachings contrary to it, irrespective of the position or influence of the minister. The truth that God will not and has not killed, is deeply ingrained in the scripture and it will take diligent searching to unravel it. Those who try to propose that God kills and destroys like the devil are victims of double mindedness and superfluity of naughtiness as a result of shallow interpretation of the following verses: Deuteronomy 32:39, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive;” Genesis 38:10, “And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also” Leviticus 10:2, And there went out fire from the LORD, and devoured them, and they died before the LORD. 1 Samuel 2:6, “The LORD killeth, and maketh alive:…” 2 Samuel 6:7, “And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for [his] error;”
1 Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.
And also from other events in the Bible such as Noah’s flood, Sodom & Gonorrhea, the "angel from the lord" smiting the Egyptian first-born, Israel’s war with other nations, king Herod's death, Ananias & Sapphira etc. But if we are mature enough to have an open mind, free from biased thought and examine the scripture again with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will know the truth which will set us free from such incorrect teaching. NOW LET’S INTRODUCE THE TRUTH
If God does kill, don’t you think the first person He would have killed is Lucifer, who became Satan the destroyer? (Ex. 12:23, 1 Cor. 10:10). Death is an enemy of God (2 Cor 15:26) and cannot be found in Him. Have it in mind that the devil became the god of this world (2 Cor. 4:4) and hath the power of death (Heb. 2:14) when he usurped man’s authority in the Garden of Eden.
Hence, every killings and death were directly done (executed) by the devil who had received the legal permission to execute the death sentence man brought upon himself and into the world through sin (Rm 5:17,18, 1 Cor 15:56, Rom 6:23) Adam’s disobedience to God’s command not to eat from the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17). We ll go into details on this in PT 3 & 4. SO HOW CAN WE ACCURATELY EXPLAIN THOSE SCRIPTURES THAT SEEMS TO TALK ABOUT GOD KILLS AND DESTROYS? In the Hebrew language, in which the Old Testament was written, God is communicated to be responsible for everything that happens on earth because He created the whole universe and ultimately is Sovereign. It was their cultural belief that as Sovereign God, nothing happens on earth without His consent, as stated in Amos 3:6 “…SHALL THERE BE EVIL IN A CITY, AND THE LORD HATH NOT DONE?
They were completely ignorant of the activities of the devil. Do you know that the word “devils” appeared only 4 times in the Old Testament and Satan, 15 times of which 11 times in the book of Job alone? This clearly indicate their ignorance of satan the killer and destroyer and therefore attributed all things to God. The events of death & devastation in Job’s life is among the clearest explanation of how the destruction of Satan is attributed to God Sovereignty because ALL THINGS ARE BEFORE HIM. And the interesting thing is that, more often than not, God concurs to this Hebrew mode of speech in confirmation of his supremacy over all things, seen and unseen (Job 1:12, 2:3b). we shall examine it in details later. NOW, were they actually wrong? No! Where their minds agitated? No! Did their statements truly mean that God Himself directly did the killings? No? The Old Testament saints, in their limited knowledge, recognized that God is ALL-POWERFUL (omnipotent) and so He can do anything.
That God can also prevent anything and anyone from doing something He does not like. Therefore they concluded all things as from God. And God also spoke in such manner because, He communicates with man according to man’s level of understanding. Now that we have the Holy Spirit in us, we understand that God does all things in consistent with His character as revealed in Jesus, who is the express image of God. In Part 2 we shall examine the Hebrew mode of speech that properly explains those scriptures that seems to indicate God kills. As an example, 1 Chronicles 10:14 says God killed Saul whereas verse 4 of the same chapter had said Saul killed Himself.
1 Chronicles 10:4 Saul said to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and run me through, or these uncircumcised fellows will come and abuse me.” But his armor-bearer was terrified and would not do it; so Saul took his own sword and fell on it. PART TWO
LOVE& SOVEREIGNTY TAKES RESPONSIBILITY “The earth and everything in it, the world and its inhabitants, BELONG TO THE LORD;” (Psalm 24:1) “Aren’t two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground WITHOUT YOUR FATHER’S CONSENT.” (Matthew 10:29, HCSB)
“Two sparrows are sold for a penny, aren’t they? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground WITHOUT YOUR FATHER’S PERMISSION.” (International Standard Version) In love, God created the whole universe and invariably, according to the Hebrew belief, which is expressed in their mode of communication; God is said to be in charge and responsible for everything that exists on earth, in the sense that, He is Sovereign (supreme & above all) and Omnipotent (all-powerful). Firstly, God’s Sovereignty is not that He gives direct permission to Satan to kill & destroy but that nothing happens on earth without His knowledge, that even as worthless as two sparrows (birds) that is sold for a penny, they don’t fall to the ground without His knowing, equivalent to permission or consent as seen in the above translations of Matt. 10:29. Secondly, God is also omnipotent (all-powerful) and so He can do anything. (See Job 42:2, Jer. 32:17, LK 1:37) Therefore, He can prevent anything from happening or prevent anyone from doing something He does not like. Hence, the Hebrew culture, in which the Old Testament was written, concluded that anything that happens on earth is as done by God because being All-powerful, He could have stopped it from happening. The truth is that, the preventing, or the doing of God, must be consistent with His character. Just like God CANNOT lie (Titus 1:2). And so, God will not prevent someone from doing something if that would require God acting contrary to the principles He established (Ps. 89:34). That’s is why He didn’t stop Adam from eating the forbidden fruit, which would have violated His love principle of free-will of man to choose whatever he wants. So also, God will not stop evil, death or destruction (which are the works of the devil, 1 Peter 5:8, Jn. 10:10) from happening when it will also violate His set principle of the choice of man to receive life or death by man’s obedience or disobedience to His commands, even when the disobedience is not outright evil like that of Uzzah in 2 Sam 6:7. Listen to the covenant, in Deuteronomy 30:15-19 “See, I have set before thee this day LIFE AND GOOD, AND DEATH AND EVIL; In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments…that thou mayest live.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shall worship other gods, and serve them; I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish,…I have set before YOU LIFE AND DEATH, BLESSING AND CURSING: therefore CHOOSE LIFE, that both thou and thy seed may live:” Deuteronomy 11:26-28 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; A BLESSING, IF YE OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD, which I command you this day: And A CURSE, IF YE WILL NOT OBEY THE COMMANDMENTS OF THE LORD YOUR GOD…” Now, while love requires allowing others freedom, it can also mean taking the blame or at least a degree of responsibility for the actions of others who are your subject. Similar to how a parent takes responsibility for the actions of his child or subject. One child hits another over the head with some object & injured the child. The parent of the offending child says to the other parent “I am Sorry.” Why would they say that? They didn’t do it. We take responsibility for our children’s actions and feel responsible because they are under us & subject to us. Likewise, in many cases, God also takes responsibility for the things that happens to man as in Exodus 4:11, where He said to Moses, “…Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?” See Isaiah 45:5-7; “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me…From the rising of the sun, and from the west…there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. For those who still find it difficult to accept, Please kindly go through Part 1 & 2 again. PART THREE LOVE& SOVEREIGNTY TAKES RESPONSIBILITY-(interpreting scripture according to scripture). Now let's look at some incidence where God takes responsibility for the actions of others because He is sovereign. IN THE DEATH OF SAUL 1. God killed King Saul (1 Chron 10:14) but interpreting scripture with scripture; 2. King Saul killed himself (1 Chron 10:4) ...................................................................... HARDENING OF PHAROAH'S HEART 1. God harden Pharaoh’s heart (Exo 7:3) but; 2. Pharaoh hardened his own heart (Exo 9:34) ...................................................................... DAVID NUMBERING ISRAEL 1. God made David to number Israel (2 Sam 24:1-2) but interpreting scripture with scripture; 2. Satan actually made David to number Israel (1 Chron 21:1) .................................................................... God also demonstrates His supremacy by taking responsibility over the disaster of Naoh's flood & fire of Sodom & Gomorrah. ...................................................................... NOAH'S FLOOD 1. God destroyed the earth with a flood (Genesis 6:17) but interpreting scripture according to scripture; 2. The earth was overflown with a flood: when men demanded God Depart from them by their gross sinfulness (Job 22:15-17, 2Pet 3:6, Rm 1:26 - 32)(We will expatiate on this later). ...................................................................... SODOM & GOMORRAH 1. God destroyed Sodom & Gomorrah (Gen 19:24) but interpreting scripture according to scripture; 2. The cities were destroyed when God gave them up by withdrawing His protection, in response to their willful rejection of Him through their sinfulness & were subjected to the forces of nature from which God had been protecting them from (Jude 1:7, Rm 1:24-32, Hosea 11:7-9) ...................................................................... THE FIERY SERPENTS 1. God sent fiery serpent and bit them to death (Numbers 21:4-6) but comparing scripture with scripture; 2. God actually protected them in the terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents until they tempted Christ and were destroyed of serpent (Deut 8:15, 1 Cor 10:9) ...................................................................... This mode of Hebrew communication also includes death & destruction which the devil (who goes about seeking whom to destroy) inflicts upon man in executing the death sentence hanging over man. ...................................................................... See the following verses; WHEN THEY MURMURED AGAINST MOSES 1. God consumed 14,700 lsraelite when they murmured against Moses (Num 16:42-49) but comparing Scripture with Scripture; 2. They were destroyed of the destroyer (1 Cor 10:10) ...................................................................... DEATH OF EGYPTIAN FIRSTBORN 1. God smite the firstborn of Egypt (Exo 12:12) but interpreting scripture with scripture; 2. The destroyer smite the firstborn of Egypt.” (Exo 12:23) ...................................................................... JOB'S CALAMITY 1. God destroyed Job (Job 2:3) but interpreting scripture with scripture; 2. Satan actually destroyed Job (Job 1:12, 2:7) 1. The fire of God from heaven (Job 1:16) but interpreting scripture with scripture; 2. It was actually from Satan (Job 1:12, 2:7) ...................................................................... You can see that WE DON'T UNDERSTAND GOD BY EVENTS BUT WE INTERPRET & UNDERSTAND EVENTS BY GOD ...................................................................... Conclusively, let's see the scripture that says GOD CREATES EVIL in Isaiah 45:7 1."I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" This is not speaking of moral evil but evil in terms of bad events. In interpreting scripture with scripture, let's see: 2.James 1:13 "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man (with evil):" (emphasis mine) ...................................................................... Therefore, How could God create darkness? Simply by withdrawing His light. The absence of light creates darkness. By definition darkness is the absence of light. Similarly the absence of life is death, the absence of goodness creates evil. When God, (who is light and in Him is no darkness) departs, the result is darkness, death and evil. As seen in 1 Samuel 16:14 which reads, "But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him." Failing to understand this principle leaves us with contradictions in scripture that seems otherwise impossible to resolve or else it will lead us to erroneously conclude like some grace believers are now teaching that their God kills and have ignorantly caption it as "righteous killing" They say when God kills, it is righteous but when man kills it is evil. These are contradictory teaching due to ignorance of this truth & can hinder believers from enjoying a perfect, loving father-son relationship with God through Christ PART FOUR The origin of death, what is the biblical meaning of THE WRATH AND ANGER OF GOD? A large part of the misunderstanding over the character of God result from the fact that one important principle of interpreting scriptures is being neglected, which is interpreting scripture with scripture. That is, letting the scriptures interpret itself. It involves, searching other portions of the scriptures that relates to a particular verse or event in order to arrive at an accurate understanding of that verse or event. Someone who spent hours to write about 15 articles to prove that God kills & destroy said that “we should take scripture just as it reads”. That when it says, “and God smote” “and God Killed” or “and God destroyed”, that it is clear that God is a “righteous killer & holy destroyer”. Another childish way to interpret hard truth!!!! This error is due to ignoring this simple principle of comparing scriptures with scriptures. A good example to prove that we shouldn't just take scriptures on surface value alone is: 1. John 3:22; “After these things came Jesus and his disciples into the land of Judaea; and there HE TARRIED WITH THEM AND BAPTIZED.”
It clearly says that Jesus remained with them and he himself baptized the people that came to him. But let’s see the next chapter where this verse was properly explained in:
2. John 4:1,2 “When therefore the LORD knew how the Pharisees had heard that JESUS MADE AND BAPTIZED more disciples than John, 2 (THOUGH JESUS HIMSELF BAPTIZED NOT, but his disciples,) Did you see that? Verse 1 repeated Jn 3:22 that Jesus made and baptized more disciples. But the Holy Spirit knew that many who don’t understand this mode of Hebrew communication that was carried into the new testament from the old testament, will conclude that Jesus himself baptized with his own hands and quickly added verse 2 in bracket; “Although Jesus Himself did not baptized, but His disciples” So is John 3:22 & 4:1 wrong? Not at all. The same way the old testament saints were not wrong (nor agitated) when they said God kills, although they were ignorant of Satan. Like I said in PART THREE, there is the Hebrew mode of communication that ascribe the doing of a subject as that of the master or the one in charge. This is a form of Hebrew idiomatic usage in scripture whereby a person is said to have personally done something when they only allowed or permitted it. It portrays Supremacy & Lordship. This is called idiom of permission (or Hebrew phraseology) and it is used in all those scriptures that seems to indicate God kills and destroys. But note that God's permission was obtained when Adam willingly disobeyed God's command not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good & evil or else he will SURELY DIE (Gen 2:17). It was man's sin (disobedience) that brought death & destruction into the world (Rm 6:23, 5:17-18) and Satan who became the god of this world was always at standby to execute the judgement of sin and death until Christ came & destroyed him that HATH THE POWER OF DEATH (Heb 2:14). God didn’t share the power of death with the devil.
Now we can better understand when it says in 2 Samuel 6:7, “… and the Lord smote Uzah”. Before I discovered this truth, I had always wondered why will God kill a man who was trying to help the ark of God from falling? We were told God was very angry because he touched it with his sinful hand, nobody should try to help God and bla bla bla!!! It actually means Uzzah was smitten by the destroyer who goes about seeking to destroy anyone who disobey God's command (1 Pet.5:8). Uzzah disobeyed God's command by touching the ark: See the instruction Uzzah disobeyed in Numbers 4:15; “And when Aaron and his sons have made an end of covering the sanctuary...as the camp is to set forward; after that, the sons of Kohath shall come to bear it:BUT THEY SHALL NOT TOUCH ANY HOLY THING, LEAST THEY DIE. These things are the burden of the sons of Kohath in the tabernacle...” PART FIVE
Noah’s flood & see the demonstration of God's love. Whenever we read scriptures that seems to talk about God directly killing or destroying lives and property like the devil who goes about looking for whom to destroy, understand that it’s a scriptural principle of the Hebrew mode of communication in which GOD IS SAID TO DO WHAT HE DOES NOT PREVENT FROM HAPPENING Because He is the LORD of the heavens & the earth (Isa 45:7,18, 44:8, 43:10, Ps 24:1, Job 41:11, Ex 19:5, PS 89:11, Lk 12:6 etc) In the Hebrew permissive idiom, God is said to do all things in the sense that He allows it because He could have prevented it but to do so would interfere with the free will of man. God will never break His own laws (Ps 89:34). The Lordship of God is described in Isaiah 45:5, “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me… 6 That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. 7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things. Can you see how the words, I AM THE LORD, THERE IS NO ONE ELSE, THERE IS NONE BESIDES ME, is emphasized? Not only in this verses but throughout the OT. For Example God said to Satan concerning Job, “thou moved ME AGAINST HIM TO DESTROY HIM without a cause” Job 2:3b. However, the careful reader, comparing scripture with scripture, will understand that it was Satan who actually brought the destruction upon Job (See Job 1:10-12). I have explained this truth in PART 1-4 of this series. And until we get it clearly that when the Bible says, God destroys or kills, it is in the PERMISSIVE and Not CAUSATIVE, we won't be able to understand Noah's flood, Sodom & Gomorrah & other similar events. He is merely said to do that which He is alleged to do by removing His protective presence from the recipient of destruction (PS 145:20, Isa 64:6-7, 43:27,28, 2 Kg 13:23, Prov 1:24-28, Hos 5:6) Let’s read 2 Kings 13:23, “And the LORD was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, and had respect unto them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and WOULD NOT DESTROY THEM, neither CAST HE THEM FROM HIS PRESENCE AS YET” Destruction comes when a man/place is cut off from God's presence, just as food will surely rotten if not preserved. GOD'S PERMISSIVE WILL IS EQUIVALENT TO THE REMOVAL OF HIS PROTECTIVE PRESENCE. God is also said to destroy when “He gives people up” by withdrawing His presence and allowing their enemies to destroy them because of their willful rejection of His will. Isaiah 34:2 “For the indignation of the LORD is upon all... he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter". How did God destroy them? By delivering them to the slaughter. (See also 2 Chron 12:5-7, Hosea 11:8-9) Remember what Moses told the Israelites in Num 14:41, where he said, "Wherefore now do ye transgress the commandment of the LORD?.... Go not up, for the LORD IS NOT AMONG YOU; that ye be not smitten before your enemies" They refused to listen to Moses, went ahead to fight with the Amalekites and where destroyed because the presence of God was not among them. Therefore, when reading any Bible passage that appears to say that God personally engaged in destructive behaviour, it is best to interpret it in the permissive rather than the CAUSATIVE. E.g in Isa 64:7, it reads, “for thou hast HID THY FACE from us, and HAST CONSUMED US, because of our iniquities. Isaiah complained that they were consumed because God hast hid his face from them. The “hiding” of God's face is an idiomatic expression that mean in scripture as the removal of His protective presence, thus allowing whatever forces of evil already set to destroy to have their way (Num 6:24-27, Deut 31:16-18, Isa 59:1-2) I love the New Century Version which is a better translation of Isa 64:7 as; “… because you have turned away from us and have let our sins destroy us”. SIN BRINGS ITS OWN DESTRUCTION. That is why Jesus came and set us free from sin and all it's consequences. Glory to God!