When the Apocalypse comes, when the 7 seals are opened, when the bowls of God’s wrath are spilled on the earth, when the fecal matter hits the air circulation unit, will this be something that God does or something that God allows?
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When Noah and his family left the ark, Noah sacrificed to God. And this is what happened then (Genesis 8:21 CJB):
Adonai smelled the sweet aroma, and Adonai said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of humankind, since the imaginings of a person’s heart are evil from his youth; nor will I ever again destroy all living things, as I have done.
This is the reason I ask if God will be the one who destroys the earth. If he does, meaning that God, himself, directly performs the curses that come from the opening of the seals and the bowls of wrath, then he is breaking his covenant with Noah, isn’t he?
Yet, if God doesn’t actually do the “bad” things, but the bad things happen because of something God doesn’t do, then is that the same as actually doing something?
I know, I know…it sounds like a convoluted bit of excuse-making, but it is, I believe, important to know whether God actively destroys the world or simply doesn’t prevent it.
Regarding Deuteronomy 28, which is referred to as the Blessings and the Curses Chapter, I have often stated that the blessings we receive are actively given to us by God. He directly causes these good things to occur. However, the curses, which are the exact opposite of the blessings, aren’t actively sent to us by God, but instead are visited on us because God is not actively blessing us.
In other words, the world is already a cursed and fallen place and tsouris is what we should expect when living in a cursed and fallen world. The blessings we receive are God’s kippur, his covering, which protects us from the curses. When we are obedient to the instructions God gave us regarding how to live and worship him, he protects us from the world. That is why blessings are given and curses are sent, although they really aren’t sent because you can’t send what is already here.
I believe that when we read of the destruction of the world in the Book of Revelation that is the same sort of thing. Yes, the bowls are of God’s wrath, and yes, the 7 seals were sealed up by God, but it isn’t God who opens the seals and it isn’t God who pours the wrath upon the earth.
Revelation 6:3 says that the rider on the red horse was to take away the peace of the world and cause people to slaughter themselves; it isn’t the rider or God who is slaughtering the people, they are killing themselves.
In Revelation 7 we are told that God says to the destroying angels to wait until the servants of God have received their seals to protect them; as I said, God will not be causing the destruction to follow but is protecting those who are his own from it.
As for the rule of the Beast, it is allowed to rule. It has always been here, and since it is will be allowed to rule, that means prior to that time it was kept from ruling anything.
The seven bowls of fury are poured out on the earth, but the authorization comes from a voice from the Sanctuary (Rev.16:1) and the bowls were given to the angels by one of the living creatures. The bowls are filled with God’s wrath, which is just and correct because of all the sins of the world, but God is not pouring them out, himself, he is just allowing it to happen.
Do you see the subtle difference I am trying to point out? God has been protecting us from the consequences of our sins all this time. His wrath and judgment are correct and justified, but he has withheld the punishment we deserve. It won’t be until the end of his patience when he will no longer hold back the judgment we all deserve, and then he will allow the angels, his executioners, to do their job.
From the moment God told Noah he will not destroy life again, he has been actively protecting the world by suspending the execution of his righteous and perfect judgment of the sinners in the world. He is waiting, hoping that he can issue a reprieve from the judgment his holiness demands he makes upon the world. In Ezekiel 18:23 he says that he doesn’t get any pleasure from the death of the sinner but would rather they turn from their sin and live, and since the days of Noah he has been giving everyone as much time as he can to do just that.
God will not destroy the world any more than a judge kills a criminal found guilty of a capital crime. The judge orders the punishment, the executioner performs it, but the one who is really responsible for the death of the guilty person is the person, himself.
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Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!