There are four components of the cross principle of redemptive withdrawal:
1.God WITHDRAWS His protective hedge or hand from a person and permits the devil and his minions to attack the person usually within certain limits. Main example: God withdrew His protective hand from Jesus and allowed Satan and his earthly representatives to attack and crucify Him. This can and does happen to good believers. See Job 1:9-12; 2:1-7; Luke 22:31-33. It can also happen as a corrective to people engaging in evil acts. See 1 Cor 5:5; 1 Tim 1:19-20.
2.God always does this Withdrawal for a REDEMPTIVE PURPOSE, never for a vengeful or retaliatory purpose. In Jesus’ case, God’s purpose was the salvation of the world. In Peter’s case (Luke 22), to sift Him of his fleshly, impulsive and selfish tendencies. For the sexually immoral man in Corinth (1 Cor 5:5), that his spirit might be saved on the day of the Lord; and for Hymenaeus and Alexander (1 Tim 1), so that they would learn an important lesson.
3.God’s withdrawal of protection GRIEVES Him and He always SUFFERS WITH the sufferer. Luke 19:41-44; Col 1:23-24; 2 Cor 1:5; Ex 12:23 KJV; Gal 2:20; Dan 3:25; John 11:35-36. God never inflicts suffering. He only SUFFERS WITH the sufferer. God never causes violence to anyone. God absorbs violence for everyone, especially His enemies. Rom 5:6-9. The story of Calvary is the proof text for this principle. God loves and suffers with His enemies but never directly causes them to suffer. Rom 5:6-8.
4.Through these 3 components and the principle of the cross, God allows Satan, sin and evil to SELF-DESTRUCT in an Aikido-like fashion. The word “aikido” means “the way of peace” or “the way of the harmonious spirit.” Aikido is a martial arts technique that trains “warriors” to engage in non-resistant combat, turning the force of aggressors back on the aggressors in order to neutralize them and hopefully to enlighten them regarding the evil in their heart that fueled their aggression. The cross reveals that God wisely uses this aikido-like strategy in judging sin and overcoming evil.* Heb 2:14; Col 2:15; 1 Cor 2:6-8; Ps 37:1-3; Ps 7:15-16; Ps 9:15-16.
The redemptive purposes of God teach us the following:
1.Why bad things, things that take us to the cross, happen to good people;
2.How God can save the world with violating anyone’s freewill;
3.How God can destroy evil without doing direct violence or lifting a finger of His own anger or retribution against anyone;
4.Why God, at the cross, is both love and wrath at the same time, LOVE to those who accept and have faith in the love of God at the cross and WRATH to those who resist and reject the love of God at the cross;
5.How God makes use of Satan, sin and evil to bring about redemption, salvation and sanctification (Luke 22:31-33; 1 Cor 5:5);
6.How all things, especially the negative things that happen to us, work together for good (Rom 8:28);
7.Why all suffering (“the cross”) is always redemptive for those who receive it and embrace it in faith;
8.How God uses for good those times when we feel spiritually dry and distant from God;
9How God uses everything, good things as well as bad things, especially the bad that Satan always causes, to save the unbeliever and to grow the believer;
10.How to explain Old Testament passages that seem to be saying God is directly angry, violent, vengeful and the direct cause of evil but really speaking of His redemptive withdrawal (Ps 78:48-49). His anger and violence is actually His Redemptive Withdrawal and His allowing of Satan, the angry, violent, killer, to attack people as God did with Job in Job 1, 2 and 42;
11.How the story of the cross and resurrection (Redemptive Withdrawal) are the paradigm for all truth and the lens through which we must read the entire Bible.
12.How all negative forces in the universe proceed out from Satan and all positive forces come from God;
13.How God can be an unconditional lover always in every situation;
14.How God uses for good all the evil that Satan and his people cause against Him and His followers (Gen 50:20);
15.How God, through this doctrine, gives us 50:20 vision, a NEW way to view the world (“newness of life” or a “renewed mind”) !