Sunday, August 24, 2008

Children Punished for a Parent's Sins

Introduction

Some folks who hold to a nearly dogmatic form of rugged individualism do not like the idea of federal headship, especially when it comes to punishments. I much more rarely hear people complain that they will be judged righteous for the deeds of their federal head. It is when guilt and punishment are concerned that the objections seem to come in. There are several rebuttals.

1. General Revelation - Nature Itself

a. Nourishment

The general revelation of nature should make it apparent that the children receive what comes from their parents, as a general rule. An unborn child (fetus, if you will, though that sounds so dehumanizing) obtains nourishment from its mother via the marvelously designed placenta. The infant obtains nourishment from the mother's breast. The children generally eat the grown/hunted/gathered or purchased by their parents even once they could hypothetically fend for themselves.

b. Class

Children of poor parents are usually also poor, and children of rich parents are usually well off. To describe it in statistical terms, there is a high correlation between the state of a child and the state of a child's parents - not only socioeconomically, but genetically. A child of two short parents is unlikely to be tall, and a child of two tall parents is unlikely to be short.

c. Human Justice

The laws of men too bare testimony to the fact that children are punished for their parents' sins. Most societies have laws whereby evildoers are punished in their persons or property. If a father is imprisoned or fined for a crime, his children generally suffer financially: even more so if justice is rendered against the father in a capital case. It is not that the law sets out to punish the children of law-breakers: it just happens that way.

d. Fornication / Adultery

When men and women engage in extramarital sexual relationships, it often results in procreation. The children of such unions are often stigmatized, but even more significantly they often come into the world without a father to provide for them, or without a mother that wants them. In ancient Rome, such children were sometimes murdered through exposure to the elements after birth. In modern societies, such children are often murdered by their mothers in ways that sicken at least this author. Even if a child survives birth, its a statistical observation that such children tend to have a more difficult time in life.

2. Special Revelation - Scripture


a. Examples of Children being punished for the sins of their parents.

(i) The Great Deluge

We are not specifically told that there were any infants in Noah's day, but God brought the Flood on account of the sinfulness of the world 120 years prior to the Flood. Men lived longer in those days, but they did have children, and they did not give up their usual marital relations in view of Noah's preaching.

Luke 17:27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.


Genesis 6:1-7
1And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, 2That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. 3And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. 4There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown. 5And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.


(ii) Sodom and Gomorrah

Especially considering the form of sexual immorality for which Sodom is famous, we cannot be absolutely sure that there were young infants in the city, nevertheless, there is no particular reason to suppose that they had been so exclusively consumed by illicit lust that there were none. The fire God sent against the city, however, did not discriminate according to age.

Genesis 19:24
24Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven; 25And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.


(iii) Firstborn of Egypt - 10th Plague

You may recall that the tenth plague, the plague that permitted the Israelites not only to leave but to plunder the Egyptians, was the death of the firstborn of all the Egyptians. This plague is couched in such universal terms that we may safely assume that it included infants and not only the firstborn that had grown somewhat.

Exodus 11:4-6
4And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: 5And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts. 6And there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as there was none like it, nor shall be like it any more.


(iv) Ham's Mockery

As you may recall, our grandfather Noah got drunk and lay naked in his tent. His son Ham found him in this inebriated condition and mocked him, calling his brothers Shem and Japheth. They, however, did not join his mockery but took a sheet with them and walked backwards into the tent covering Noah in the process. When Noah discovered what had happened, he cursed Ham, but especially Ham's son, Canaan.

Genesis 9:24-27
24And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. 27God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.


(v) The Unborn Child of the Middianitish Woman

You may recall that the women of Moab were a temptation to the men of Israel. So much so that they began to go after the false gods of Moab. God was angry against Israel for this unfaithfulness to Him, and smote them with a plague. But what stopped the plague was the action of Phinehas, the grandson of Aaron, who killed one of the most open philanderers with a javelin. He skewered the man and the woman - in her case, the Bible specifies that it was through her belly, from which may infer that she had a belly - i.e. was pregnant.

Numbers 25:1-9
1And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. 2And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods. 3And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. 4And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. 5And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. 6And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 7And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. 9And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand.


(vi) Achan's Theft

You may recall Achan. He was passing through the wreckage and rubble of Jericho, a city that was cursed by God. He decided that despite God's specific prohibition, he would take several items of value that he found in Jericho. He took the items and hid them in his tent. God then defeated Israel at the hands of the tiny forces of Ai.

The fact that others were punished for Achan's sin became a sort of by-word among Israel, at least for a time:

Joshua 22:20 Did not Achan the son of Zerah commit a trespass in the accursed thing, and wrath fell on all the congregation of Israel? and that man perished not alone in his iniquity.


More to the point, however, when Joshua had discovered that Achan the son of Zerah had disobeyed God, the punishment was his death, but not only his death. Also executed were his family, and even his cattle.

Joshua 7:24-26
24And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. 26And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.


His children were killed with him, though we are not explicitly told that any of them were infants.

(vii) Solomon's Older Brother

Solomon's older brother is not named in Scripture. He is the child of the adultery of David with Bathsheba. As you may recall, David's seduction of Bathsheba and murder of her husband greatly displeased God, and God punished David for this. God spared David's own life, but he cursed David's line, such the sword would not depart from it, and more relevant to the point of this article, he slew David's infant son.

2 Samuel 12:7-23
7And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 15And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 16David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 17And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. 18And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? 19But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 20Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 21Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 22And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.



This list of examples is not exhaustive. For example, we could also add Korah (Numbers 16), Saul's sons (2 Samuel 21), or Jericho both a first (Joshua 6) and a second time (1 Kings 16), but perhaps the seven examples above suffice to prove the point.

b. God's Own Self-Description

God does not hesitate to describe himself as a God who punishes the fathers by also punishing their children. We may subsume within that description of course the specific instances where God killed or had killed the children of those who sinned, for the sins of their fathers.

On top of those, we may list the four times God specifically states that he visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children:

(i) Exodus 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

(ii) Exodus 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

(iii) Numbers 14:18 The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation.

(iv) Deuteronomy 5:9 Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me,

3. General Revelation 2 - Conscience, Culture, and Reason

Perhaps this is a bit redundant, but children generally feel responsible for their parent's failures. Some children respond to this by working twice as hard to avoid doing what their parents did, and other children respond to this by fatalistically resigning themselves to follow in their parents' footsteps. While the latter approach is wrong, both approaches implicitly recognize a principle of the children being in some way held responsible for what their parents have done.

Culture to a degree reinforces this. The sometimes popular "reparations" movement among descendants of former slaves in America has it its roots a view that the descendants of slave owners should be responsible for what their ancestors did. Slavery itself (in many cultures the result of some personal failure) was passed on to children in many places. Likewise, a degree of cultural opposition to Jews (especially religious Jews) is based on (in some places and at some times in history) on the fact that their ancestors killed Christ (who, in fact, did call down God's wrath on themselves and their children, Matthew 27:25).

Furthermore, Reason applying itself to culture commends the same. For culture generally permits inheritances of goods to children (as Scripture confirms to be proper). Reason, favoring symmetry, suggests that not only positive things but negative things should be transmitted from parents to children, thus favoring the idea that guilt too may be inherited.

Conclusion

For all these reasons, it should be clear that it is just for children to be punished for their parents' sins. It may violate the principles on which modern pluralistic society is built - specifically the value of rugged individualism - but it is Scriptural, it is in accordance with the light of nature, and it is in accordance with the light of conscience and reason. Thus, we properly affirm it.

-TurretinFan

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

You never dealt with a very important passage, Ezek. 18.

Godith said...

Scripture should explain Scripture. The Bible at first often seems to give only a little information
which it later supplements. Thus, Genesis 11:31 is not explicit,so we must understand it in the light of Genesis 14:14. So, too, when I John 4:8 says that God is love, we do not find here the complete Scripture doctrine of God. We must supplement this verse with what the remainder of Scripture says about God. Our method of study should be to find out what ALL Scripture says upon any given subject. E.J. Young from the opc website historical articles under publications.
--Godith

natamllc said...

TF,

might I add one obvious punishment of a Son, albeit, it's a stretch?

Our Gracious Heavenly Father punished Christ, His Own Son so that we, His Children do not have to suffer our just fate!

Here is what Moses did:

Deu 31:30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:


<.....:Deu 32:6 Do you thus repay the LORD, you foolish and senseless people? Is not he your father, who created you, who made you and established you?
Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old; consider the years of many generations; ask your father, and he will show you, your elders, and they will tell you.
Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.

It is so true the warning of the Apostle Paul then and one reading ought to take it to heart:

Gal 6:7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
Gal 6:8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Gal 6:9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.

TheoJunkie said...

Hmm...

I am reluctant to trust the appearance of the fallen Creation (and it's fallen inhabitants) as evidence about what is just and what is not. Therefore it would seem wise to stay with the words of scripture in this matter.

Do any of the scriptures you presented (or any others that you would like to add), suggest that the punished children were free of personal sin?

Thanks for your response!

TheoJunkie said...

TF,

Posting again to subscribe.

Thanks

Godith said...

John 9 is another passage to deal with in regard to this topic. The man born blind.
--Godith

Turretinfan said...

Godith:

Yes, Scripture interprets Scripture.

-TurretinFan

Turretinfan said...

Anonymous, Godith, and Theojunkie,

I have scheduled a response to your comments to be released as a separate post on my blog later today.

-TurretinFan

TheoJunkie said...

TF,

I will look for your response.

In the interim, I would like to emphasize that I affirm the federal headship of Adam.

The only thing I am not seeing in scripture is the imputation of his precise sin act (and so also the guilt for that precise sin act) to his progeny.

I'll also mention-- lest I be lumped in with those who might obviate the Gospel in their error-- that I do NOT believe that infants are innocent. We are indeed all born, even conceived, in iniquity.

I'll spare the details of my view for now. I just don't want anyone to jump to the wrong conclusions about my view in this matter.

Turretinfan said...

TJ:

Some things are more clear than others. In this case, one of the more clear passages would be Romans 5:

Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

That doesn't mean that I expect you to automatically agree now that you've read that verse. But perhaps it provides you with a reference point for the analysis.

Analytically, you cannot properly separate Adam's federal headship from the imputation of the guilt of Adam's sin to his heirs: just as you cannot properly separate Christ's federal headship from the imputation of the righteousness of Christ's active and passive obedience to his heirs.

-TurretinFan

TheoJunkie said...

TF,

I have pondered previously (and recently again this morning even) over Romans 5. I think it is saying something slightly different than "imputation of Adam's sin act and/or his personal guilt for that act".

It seems to me that Adam's federal headship is not contingent upon imputation of the guilt of his sin act. (And, it would seem also that this does not impact the dual imputation that occurs between Christ and the believer).

I may try to articulate this (how it all fits together) on my blog if I get the chance. I won't fill up your comments box with it.

Turretinfan said...

TJ:

As always, I'd be delighted to read your thoughts on how that could possibly be.

Your idea about hosting it on your own blog is also a good one: it would probably take me quite a while to think it through before approving it for publication here. :) So your blog would be the more expedient path, though I certainly wouldn't view it as filler.

-TurretinFan

natamllc said...

TheoJ,

....as to your question, I might point you to this clear verse of one's "own" sins if I understand your question? [Do any of the scriptures you presented (or any others that you would like to add), suggest that the punished children were free of personal sin?]:::>


Rev 1:5 and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood
Rev 1:6 and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

God says clearly here that Jesus is the "firstborn of the dead".

Paul writes this:

1Co 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

and

1Co 15:55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
1Co 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.


Clearly a distinction is made here when we read this at Luke's account:

Luk 2:25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.
Luk 2:26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

Apparently Simeon was so righteous and devout, God wanted us to consider that so that it is clear about this nature of death.

As for another distinction here about death and Christ being the "firstborn of the dead" I cite the other "firstborn ""of"" death":

Job 18:13 It consumes the parts of his skin; the firstborn of death consumes his limbs.

There we see that "Satan" is the "firstborn of death" and here we see Jesus, being preeminent in "everything" is the firstborn from death:

Col 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

Hope that helps? :)

TheoJunkie said...

Michael,

I'm seeing a lot of information about death... and not a lot of information about imputed guilt for another's sin acts.

As I know we would agree, there are two ways that the bible speaks of "death/being dead". One of them is the consequences of sin (i.e., the just punishment, the wages, of sin).

But the other concept of "death/being dead" deals with our natures.... Ephesians 2, Romans 7... etc. Indeed I think we could argue that when God said to Adam that he would die "in that day" that he eats of the fruit, God was referring as much to the depravity of Adam's nature that would instantly result (and as head of the species, the depravity that his progeny would be born into), even as he was referring to the fact that Adam's body would become mortal and begin to die.

Romans 3 (and 7) shows that -- by nature-- no one is righteous and no one does good... and indeed, that everyone is individually sinful. Further, that one does not need the law to make one sinful-- that the law merely reveals sin in sinful man.

In short, we need not have committed a sin act to be guilty of sin... rather, to be guilty of sin we merely need to have NOT committed righteous acts. Committing outright sin incurs even more guilt, of course. But we stand guilty merely by NOT turning to God.

As Hebrews 11 articulates, basically we are committing sin simply by existing... if we don't have faith.

Thoughts?

natamllc said...

Yes TheoJ, that is why I cited Simeon.

Job would be another example of this righteous and devout characterization of one of Adam's race.

Daniel another, and, and, and.

The point is, we were all born of Adam and what happened to Adam comes upon us the moment of our own conception and that not of ourselves. I embrace your idea of infancy here.

Just as I had no say in my own formation I have no say in my reformation. Without God first doing something, i.e. forming me in my mother's womb, there would be no reformation for me. I had to exist first to reexist second.

It's all one way.

I know we are not in dispute with each other lest any one should think that?

As for repentance, to disgress, I was struck this morning during my morning personal reading of Scripture with these words and would ask for your comments on them?

The verses:

Rev 1:10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet
Rev 1:11 saying, "Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea."
Rev 1:12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands,
Rev 1:13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.

That struck me oddly this morning and got me thinking anew the thoughts I originally had the first time I read these words of Scripture over 35 years ago:

Mat 4:12 Now when he heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew into Galilee.
Mat 4:13 And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali,
Mat 4:14 so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
Mat 4:15 "The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
Mat 4:16 the people dwelling in darkness have seen a great light, and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death, on them a light has dawned."
Mat 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
Mat 4:18 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
Mat 4:19 And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

Here the characterization is this, that "these" Jews, supposedly are in their own minds already "facing" towards God being a part of the Jewish nation, naturally born into this nation. I guess one is to believe they were "following" Them but are somewhat turned away from Them and in need of help getting "turned" back around to face Them and serve Them walking out their national heritage. After all these are Jewish fishermen of the Nation of Israel!

Even John, caught up in the Spirit on the Lord's day was not facing Christ! hmmmmm?

I believe after Adam, no one was facing Them, no one could face them after Adam's fall. It always takes God's Sovereign Act to get us repenting, i.e., in this case, turning back around towards God and walking after His Christ, following Him, even though, if you were to be a news reporter with a video camera focused on those guys from Galilee and doing a live interview of them asking them who they "are" they would answer, we are God's chosen special race and we are following after God. We just wish God would do something about these Roman occupiers! Well I would say the reason for this occupation is because of the sins of the fathers previously committed and these Jewish fishermen are the unhappy recipients of those sins.

How in the world did I get here from there? :)

TheoJunkie said...

Michael,

I'm not quite sure I follow where you are going with your recent comment.

It appears to me that the issue with the 7 churches in Revelation is one of sanctification (i.e., correcting corporate direction/ doctrine/ leadership/ etc)... but is not primarily an issue of their regenerated state (if at all). It seems to me that Christ is addressing Christians (real ones, though distracted and in error) in Revelation.

The issue of unconverted Jews is more complex, but I think it is fair to say that they are just as unregenerated as the unconverted Gentiles were/are.

When I used the term "turn to God", I was speaking with reference to one's spiritual regard for the One True God... does one want Him and trust Him... as He is. I would not say that someone who is involved in various forms of "spiritual practices" or "spiritualism" or other "deistic beliefs" has turned to God in the sense that I meant it.

... even if they think they are worshipping The True God, if what they worship is not the God revealed in the Bible in all his aspects (including the Incarnation of the Son), then they are as-yet unregenerated and still in their original natures.

I don't take John's "turning" toward Christ who appeared "behind him" in Revelation to be related to any of the above-- rather, I think it is a way to say that Christ suddenly appeared to him. (And I don't consider one's physical orientation with respect to Christ to be indicative of a person's spiritual condition).

As for the Roman occupation of the Jews... I certainly do affirm that children suffer for the sins of their parents. There are numerous examples, from alcoholism to issues surrounding divorce, ... really numerous things.

Indeed also, because God is sovereign (and could prevent such suffering but does not), we must conclude that he has ordained this suffering-- this curse, even-- to fall on the children (even though they did not do the sin in question but their parents did).

If that were the sole purpose of the current thread-- to affirm that children suffer (and Godly ordained no less) for the sins of a parent-- I wouldn't be commenting except to say Amen.

natamllc said...

TheoJ

your comment is: ....[[It seems to me that Christ is addressing Christians (real ones, though distracted and in error) in Revelation.]]....

....To which I heartily say, AMEN!

The devils believe and are going to be tormented in the everpresent everlasting wrath of God in what we know as "hell" once they get there.

Christ mentions more about hell and that judgment in the Gospel writings than Heaven. He speaks more about being deceived. I guess its clear, deceit, deceived and being deceived, when you are Truth, right? :), even among the "real ones"?

So as we are sounding it out through this thread, thanks to TF, it is becoming clear that children do suffer punishment for their parents sins. I am beginning to grasp a healthy understanding of what that means, or at least I believe I am?

It is a particular of God's Ways, that is, children suffering for the sins of their parents, which I hasten to add, as you do too, are not man's ways.

Paul says in Romans that not all Israel, of the national kind are "Spiritual" Israel of the Divine kind.

Moses wrote here this about the "sons of God":

Deu 32:8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.
Deu 32:9 But the LORD's portion is his people, Jacob his allotted heritage.


Scripture does interpret Scripture and for those whose senses have not been trained to discern between good and evil it is a most difficult thing to understand or comprehend that God does hate Esau's line and love Jacob's.

Now here is a "New Testament" interpretation of this:

Mat 11:27 All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.


and here too:

Heb 2:10 For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Heb 2:11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers,
Heb 2:12 saying, "I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise."
Heb 2:13 And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again, "Behold, I and the children God has given me."
Heb 2:14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil,
Heb 2:15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

It is mysterious to say that the "children" partake of flesh and blood too.

What does this mean?

I have a sense of what it means so I am unwilling to embrace the universal offer of Salvation to all mankind in this sense by way of a question:

Do I offer the forgiveness of sins to all mankind now that I am affirmed and comfirmed a Royal Priest after the line of Melchizedek? Yes.

Will all mankind respond to this Faith once delivered to the Saints? No.

Why and why not? I don't know. This message of the Gospel of the "Kingdom" is to be preached though to all nations for a witness and then shall come the end, the close of this age.

Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.


As for Adam and all mankind inheriting his nature, I agree that all mankind, of Adam's flesh and blood, have his nature at conception, therefore his sin is passed onto them and the death he suffered so that I too concur with Scripture that all that have sinned shall therefore suffer death even if they are as righteous and devout as Simeon or Job or Daniel or Noah.

As for this idea of the devil sowing weeds among the wheat, well that's another interesting idea and so I would say about that that as Jesus said it by way of explanation, when the last trumpet is blown, the Elect Angels of God will go forth and gather out of this world those weeds first: Matthew 13:36-42.

These verses there standing alone bring me no comfort and much trembling and they trouble my soul because I heartily agree that I have sinned and fall way way short of His perfect Life in this life. I find myself to be a lawbreaker and until I was set free from the curse of the Law, the curse was working just fine in and on me!

Before My Redeemer ransomed my soul from my own sinful ways, I looked just like a weed!

TheoJunkie said...

Michael,

Note that even believing, redeemed, children may still suffer the consequences of another's sin. Until God remakes the earth, believers remain in the soup...