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legoman
Oct 2nd 2008, 07:45 PM
Hi everyone,

This is really an offshoot from the predestination thread (I know, yay another predestination/free will thread - feel free to ignore this if you have no interest in these topics). I posted this in the other predestination thread but I think it got lost in the sea of posts over there.

My intent here is to come at it from a slightly different angle, and I am curious what other people think and believe on this. For me it helps to crystalize my views on predestination and choice - and I believe it can be all shown in scripture.

--------

I am proposing, because of God's foreknowledge, there is only one timeline.

What is a timeline? Well if you imagine all of the choices that people have made throughout history up till now, we would have a single timeline. This timeline is fixed - it is in the past and has already happened.

Now going forward into the future, there are potentially infinite possible timelines, based on all the possible choices everyone could make in the future. But there is only one fixed timeline in the future - this is the timeline of the choices that people will actually make.

This one timeline can be viewed as equivalent to God's foreknowledge. God can look at any point on the timeline (past or future), and see exactly what people chose to do. This is essentially saying that the future is fixed and unchangable, or already written, in the same way that the past is fixed and unchangable, and already written.

Isaiah 46:10 is talking about this timeline:

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God declared long ago, "from ancient times", the things that are not yet done. That is, he declared what will happen in the future. And he will bring it to pass.

This is the one timeline. So, does everyone agree that there is one timeline as described here? There is only one past and one future? If you don't agree, stop reading now and add a post explaining why.

--------

Ok, if you made it this far, then we all agree there is only one timeline.

Now this leads to some interesting questions:

1. Who created the timeline? Did man "create" the timeline by the actions of his own free will, and then God fit it to his plan? Or did God just declare the timeline (as in Isaiah 46:10), and it came to be that way?

2. Are the participants in the one timeline (us humans) in any way being forced to make the choices that occur in the one timeline? Remember that the whole timeline (including the future portion) already exists, because God has that knowledge.

3. If there is only one timeline, doesn't that mean everything is predestined?

Thanks in advance for your answers - I appreciate it.

Legoman

Emanate
Oct 2nd 2008, 07:51 PM
Hi everyone,

This is really an offshoot from the predestination thread (I know, yay another predestination/free will thread - feel free to ignore this if you have no interest in these topics). I posted this in the other predestination thread but I think it got lost in the sea of posts over there.

My intent here is to come at it from a slightly different angle, and I am curious what other people think and believe on this. For me it helps to crystalize my views on predestination and choice - and I believe it can be all shown in scripture.

--------

I am proposing, because of God's foreknowledge, there is only one timeline.

What is a timeline? Well if you imagine all of the choices that people have made throughout history up till now, we would have a single timeline. This timeline is fixed - it is in the past and has already happened.

Now going forward into the future, there are potentially infinite possible timelines, based on all the possible choices everyone could make in the future. But there is only one fixed timeline in the future - this is the timeline of the choices that people will actually make.

This one timeline can be viewed as equivalent to God's foreknowledge. God can look at any point on the timeline (past or future), and see exactly what people chose to do. This is essentially saying that the future is fixed and unchangable, or already written, in the same way that the past is fixed and unchangable, and already written.

Isaiah 46:10 is talking about this timeline:

10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

God declared long ago, "from ancient times", the things that are not yet done. That is, he declared what will happen in the future. And he will bring it to pass.

This is the one timeline. So, does everyone agree that there is one timeline as described here? There is only one past and one future? If you don't agree, stop reading now and add a post explaining why.

--------

Ok, if you made it this far, then we all agree there is only one timeline.

Now this leads to some interesting questions:

1. Who created the timeline? Did man "create" the timeline by the actions of his own free will, and then God fit it to his plan? Or did God just declare the timeline (as in Isaiah 46:10), and it came to be that way?

2. Are the participants in the one timeline (us humans) in any way being forced to make the choices that occur in the one timeline? Remember that the whole timeline (including the future portion) already exists, because God has that knowledge.

3. If there is only one timeline, doesn't that mean everything is predestined?

Thanks in advance for your answers - I appreciate it.

Legoman


This is great, if God is truly bound by time.

legoman
Oct 2nd 2008, 08:02 PM
This is great, if God is truly bound by time.


Well, obviously God is not bound by time, right? :) He is outside of time. Perhaps I should have stated that at the top.

But what is wrong with the one timeline theory, if God is not bound by time?

Emanate
Oct 2nd 2008, 08:22 PM
Well, obviously God is not bound by time, right? :) He is outside of time. Perhaps I should have stated that at the top.

But what is wrong with the one timeline theory, if God is not bound by time?


My view is that Scripture does not paint a time "line." It is more of a circle. Times and Seasons which move from the begininning to the end to the begininning.

BrckBrln
Oct 2nd 2008, 08:34 PM
I completely agree legoman. All events are fixed in time, it seems.

legoman
Oct 2nd 2008, 09:23 PM
I completely agree legoman. All events are fixed in time, it seems.


Hi BrckBrln,

I figured you would agree :) To me it seems obvious. If God has perfect foreknowledge of the choices we make, then there can only be one path forward.

BrckBrln, how would you answer the secondary questions I posed? This is what I would suggest:

1. God created the timeline. If he didn't it is a paradox. It implies he created us, with his foreknowledge, but not knowing what we would do (the timeline)

2. No one is forced to make the choices that bring the timeline to pass. All the participants do it willingly.

3. A single timeline is essentally the definition of predestination.


It seems to prove this, all we need to know is:

1. God is sovereign (100's of verses in the bible state this, Gen 15:2, 15:8, etc)

2. God is omniscient, with perfect foreknowledge (God knows the beginning and the end, God is the alpha and the omega, Rev 1:8, Rev 21:6, Rev 22:13, and many other places speak of God's foreknowledge)

3. Isaiah 46:10 says sums it up clearly: God declared the timeline and brings it to pass.

Cheers,
Legoman

BrckBrln
Oct 2nd 2008, 10:04 PM
Hi BrckBrln,

I figured you would agree :) To me it seems obvious. If God has perfect foreknowledge of the choices we make, then there can only be one path forward.

BrckBrln, how would you answer the secondary questions I posed? This is what I would suggest:

1. God created the timeline. If he didn't it is a paradox. It implies he created us, with his foreknowledge, but not knowing what we would do (the timeline)

2. No one is forced to make the choices that bring the timeline to pass. All the participants do it willingly.

3. A single timeline is essentally the definition of predestination.


It seems to prove this, all we need to know is:

1. God is sovereign (100's of verses in the bible state this, Gen 15:2, 15:8, etc)

2. God is omniscient, with perfect foreknowledge (God knows the beginning and the end, God is the alpha and the omega, Rev 1:8, Rev 21:6, Rev 22:13, and many other places speak of God's foreknowledge)

3. Isaiah 46:10 says sums it up clearly: God declared the timeline and brings it to pass.

Cheers,
Legoman

I just can't agree more, my friend. To me, you have a great understanding of the issue. Proverbs 16 has some great verses about the sovereignty of God by the way.

crush
Oct 2nd 2008, 10:19 PM
Very thoughtful post and enjoyable read legoman. I don't completely agree however.

It seems as if you believe that God takes some kind of "future" record of the choices that we "independently" make and this is his timeline.

But it seems like more to me that God actively "creates" this timeline himself, despite us and our "choices".

Even the Isaiah verse you quote would seem to say this.

11 ...... yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it

where would our choices be in this? God speaks it, brings it to pass, purposes it and does it....

markedward
Oct 2nd 2008, 10:30 PM
I am proposing, because of God's foreknowledge, there is only one timeline.Just want to check something:

You know that knowing something in advance (foreknowledge) is not the same thing as making something happen before it happens (predestination), correct?

God knowing how the "timeline" will play out, or Him making specific events come to fulfillment is not necessarily the same thing as everything being predestined.

legoman
Oct 2nd 2008, 11:34 PM
Very thoughtful post and enjoyable read legoman. I don't completely agree however.

It seems as if you believe that God takes some kind of "future" record of the choices that we "independently" make and this is his timeline.

But it seems like more to me that God actively "creates" this timeline himself, despite us and our "choices".

Even the Isaiah verse you quote would seem to say this.

11 ...... yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it

where would our choices be in this? God speaks it, brings it to pass, purposes it and does it....

Hi crush,

Perhaps I gave the wrong impression... I was just trying to present both sides, but I believe exactly as you stated.

I concur, it seems very likely that God created the timeline and we cannot make a choice that would be independent of that timeline or what God foreknew. That's what I mean when I say we still make choices. We make choices everyday, but they are choices that conform to exactly what God knew and exactly what the timeline shows.

If we look into the scriptures, I believe they confirm this. Especially verse 11 as you pointed out.

So I think perhaps we are in complete agreement :) (please correct me if I am wrong)

Cheers,
Legoman

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 01:06 AM
Just want to check something:

You know that knowing something in advance (foreknowledge) is not the same thing as making something happen before it happens (predestination), correct?

God knowing how the "timeline" will play out, or Him making specific events come to fulfillment is not necessarily the same thing as everything being predestined.

Hi markedward,

Well, this is what I am trying to show:

If God has perfect foreknowledge, then there must be one and only one timeline that represents all choices through-out time. Do you disagree? If you do disagree, please explain.

Now I realize that foreknowledge is not exactly the same as predestination, but I am trying to make the case that it is effectively the same.

If there is only one timeline, we can then say that we are effectively predestined. We can do nothing different that what the timeline shows. That sounds like predestination to me. In fact if one could somehow gain access to the knowledge of this timeline, they could find out what their destiny is.

Essentially: God's perfect foreknowledge = One Timeline = Predestination

The really cool thing about this is there are all sorts of examples in the bible that show this.

Cheers,
Legoman

crush
Oct 3rd 2008, 03:18 AM
Hi crush,

Perhaps I gave the wrong impression... I was just trying to present both sides, but I believe exactly as you stated.

I concur, it seems very likely that God created the timeline and we cannot make a choice that would be independent of that timeline or what God foreknew. That's what I mean when I say we still make choices. We make choices everyday, but they are choices that conform to exactly what God knew and exactly what the timeline shows.

If we look into the scriptures, I believe they confirm this. Especially verse 11 as you pointed out.

So I think perhaps we are in complete agreement :) (please correct me if I am wrong)

Cheers,
Legoman

I think we both agree that God has already watched the movie of the history of the Universe, from beginning to end, I think we disagree on how the movie is made though.

I think that this is a good scripture to analyze to determine your POV on whether the movie is made by "man's choice" or "God's choice"

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

So what's the answer to the question? What must we do?

If you answer "believe in Jesus" - you think it's "man's choice"

If you answer correctly "us believing in Jesus is the work of God (not our work at all)" - you think it's "God's choice"

so really the answer to "What shall we do?" is nothing LOL

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 04:14 AM
I think we both agree that God has already watched the movie of the history of the Universe, from beginning to end, I think we disagree on how the movie is made though.

I think that this is a good scripture to analyze to determine your POV on whether the movie is made by "man's choice" or "God's choice"

Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

So what's the answer to the question? What must we do?

If you answer "believe in Jesus" - you think it's "man's choice"

If you answer correctly "us believing in Jesus is the work of God (not our work at all)" - you think it's "God's choice"

so really the answer to "What shall we do?" is nothing LOL

Your response is baffling me a bit, because I still think we are in agreement. :hmm: Makes me wonder if I did not express myself clearly, or if you didn't completely read what I said...

Crush, you are saying God created the timeline right? So am I! It is all part of his plan. I'm not quite sure how you got the idea that I think man creates the timeline...

No argument from me on John 6.

John 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

We can't choose Christ until God draws (drags) us to him. And when God does drag us, we will choose him. We can do nothing else at that point. Perhaps that is where you are confusing my position in the word "choice". When God reveals himself to someone, that person willingly chooses God - not because of that person's "free will" (its not really free will), but because God has opened their eyes.

And this will happen according to God's timeline (his plan).

Cheers,
Legoman

crush
Oct 3rd 2008, 04:30 AM
We can't choose Christ until God draws (drags) us to him. And when God does drag us, we will choose him. We can do nothing else at that point. Perhaps that is where you are confusing my position in the word "choice". When God reveals himself to someone, that person willingly chooses God - not because of that person's "free will" (its not really free will), but because God has opened their eyes.


Ok, sorry 'bout that legoman. What you say here makes a lot of sense :pp And I agree 100%

I got the impression from your OP that God was simply looking at the "timeline" and basing his "choices" of persons, on persons that "choose" him


Originally Posted by legoman http://bibleforums.org/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?p=1810231#post1810231)
God can look at any point on the timeline (past or future), and see exactly what people chose to doIDK, it's a very deep subject and strong arguments can be made for each POV. I think it's best to err on the safe side....that God has complete control over everything

RogerW
Oct 3rd 2008, 04:34 AM
Hi Legoman,

Great thread! I like to define redemptive history as His..story! In other words in eternity past God determined to have a people for Himself. So He created all things with all of redemptive history in mind. To bring about what He has determined in eternity past, He MUST govern His creation with the purpose of bringing into His eternal Kingdom those He determined to redeem. Everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen are all means to His determined end. What appears from human perspective as freely making choices, must be at the very least guided by His providence, or His determined will might not come to pass. So, I believe, like you, that God didn't simply create all things, and then stand back to see what man in his free will would do. If He had we would have long ago destroyed His glorious creation. No, God is actively orchastrating all things that come to pass to accomplish His redemptive plan which was determined in heaven before the world began.

Many Blessings,
RW

Ethnikos
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:45 AM
I am proposing, because of God's foreknowledge, there is only one timeline...
...So, does everyone agree that there is one timeline as described here? There is only one past and one future? If you don't agree, stop reading now and add a post explaining why.
I just do not go for the whole notion about foreknowledge. Things happen in the present because in the past, God planned for it and did things to help bring those things into existence. This is God's very nature.

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 12:31 PM
Ok, sorry 'bout that legoman. What you say here makes a lot of sense :pp And I agree 100%

I got the impression from your OP that God was simply looking at the "timeline" and basing his "choices" of persons, on persons that "choose" him

IDK, it's a very deep subject and strong arguments can be made for each POV. I think it's best to err on the safe side....that God has complete control over everything

Hey, no problem :)

Yes it is a very deep subject. I have to admit, until I really thought about it (for several months on end), I used to think we have free will like most people. I used to figure yep, we have free will, and we choose our own destiny, but I didn't really try to reconcile that with God's foreknowledge and sovereignty.

But if you really think about it logically, I believe the only way that God can have perfect foreknowledge and sovereignty, is if there is only one timeline, and in fact God created and causes the timeline to come about.

That is what I am trying to show here, in a logical step by step manner. I will present more scripture on this as well.

Cheers,
Legoman

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 12:43 PM
Hi Legoman,

Great thread! I like to define redemptive history as His..story! In other words in eternity past God determined to have a people for Himself. So He created all things with all of redemptive history in mind. To bring about what He has determined in eternity past, He MUST govern His creation with the purpose of bringing into His eternal Kingdom those He determined to redeem. Everything that has happened, is happening, and will happen are all means to His determined end. What appears from human perspective as freely making choices, must be at the very least guided by His providence, or His determined will might not come to pass. So, I believe, like you, that God didn't simply create all things, and then stand back to see what man in his free will would do. If He had we would have long ago destroyed His glorious creation. No, God is actively orchastrating all things that come to pass to accomplish His redemptive plan which was determined in heaven before the world began.

Many Blessings,
RW

Hi Roger,

Yes you could define the timeline as God's "story" - the greatest story ever told :)

It seems in the other threads we always get bogged down debating if Fred is predestined to be saved, or if Joe is predestined to tell Fred about the Gospel, or if Israel is predestined, or if Peter was predestined to deny Jesus, or blah blah blah... ;)

What I am trying to show is that these arguments are a moot point, because if we think this through logically and look at the basic scriptures, everything must be predestined. This must be so because of God's foreknowledge and the existence of the one timeline (Isaiah 46:10-11).

Roger, I think yours are my views are fairly close, but I'm not sure if they are 100% identical. If one accepts the 100% predestination model (which I do), that would mean that people are predestined to choose Christ before they die, and likewise some people are predestined to not choose Christ before they die. That is to say, every single event is predestined (according to the timeline, which God created).

I think this is the "double predestination" case you talked about. For me its not really "double predestination" but "everything predestination".

As always, I'm interested in your thoughts on this.

Legoman

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 12:58 PM
I just do not go for the whole notion about foreknowledge. Things happen in the present because in the past, God planned for it and did things to help bring those things into existence. This is God's very nature.

Hi,

I guess I'm not quite understanding your point here Ethnikos.

What is the "notion" you do not get about foreknowledge?

Are you saying that God does not have complete foreknowledge? Or that his foreknowledge changes based on what we do?


If we examine the scriptures, it should be obvious that God does have complete foreknowledge:

Isaiah 46
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.

If I may take a little liberty, here is how I see these verses:

"I have declared what the timeline shall be, from the beginning to end. Long ago I did this, declaring the things that you have not done yet. My plan and purpose will come about as that is my pleasure, and I will do all that I please. For example, from the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man fulfills my purpose. Yes, I have spoken these things, and Yes, I will bring them to pass. I have planned for these things to happen, and I will make them happen."

God has perfect foreknowledge because he planned everything and is bringing it about to pass.

Cheers,
Legoman

Ethnikos
Oct 3rd 2008, 03:23 PM
Quote from Legoman:"I have declared what the timeline shall be, from the beginning to end. Long ago I did this, declaring the things that you have not done yet..."
If you took this part out, I would have no problem with the rest of that statement. Maybe to you, this would be an "of course" assumption, but I do not have a Calvinist background and I do not see it. You take this one full step beyond what I would have already rejected, if you looked at someone progressing to a predestination stance, in its most extreme version. According to this scheme, not only does God know everything that will happen but He actually planned every detail. It sounds like nothing more than a movie, to me. A lot of people choose to become atheists, rather than accept that God created all the evil and suffering in the world.

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 03:34 PM
If you took this part out, I would have no problem with the rest of that statement. Maybe to you, this would be an "of course" assumption, but I do not have a Calvinist background and I do not see it. You take this one full step beyond what I would have already rejected, if you looked at someone progressing to a predestination stance, in its most extreme version. According to this scheme, not only does God know everything that will happen but He actually planned every detail. It sounds like nothing more than a movie, to me. A lot of people choose to become atheists, rather than accept that God created all the evil and suffering in the world.

Ok fair enough, this is what I wanted to discuss in this thread.

What does Isaiah 46:10 mean then?

Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:

Specifically the bold statement is what you had issue with. What does it mean?

Legoman

RogerW
Oct 3rd 2008, 03:55 PM
Hi Roger,

Yes you could define the timeline as God's "story" - the greatest story ever told :)

It seems in the other threads we always get bogged down debating if Fred is predestined to be saved, or if Joe is predestined to tell Fred about the Gospel, or if Israel is predestined, or if Peter was predestined to deny Jesus, or blah blah blah... ;)

What I am trying to show is that these arguments are a moot point, because if we think this through logically and look at the basic scriptures, everything must be predestined. This must be so because of God's foreknowledge and the existence of the one timeline (Isaiah 46:10-11).

Roger, I think yours are my views are fairly close, but I'm not sure if they are 100% identical. If one accepts the 100% predestination model (which I do), that would mean that people are predestined to choose Christ before they die, and likewise some people are predestined to not choose Christ before they die. That is to say, every single event is predestined (according to the timeline, which God created).

I think this is the "double predestination" case you talked about. For me its not really "double predestination" but "everything predestination".

As always, I'm interested in your thoughts on this.

Legoman

Greeting Legoman,

I too feel we are very close in doctrine. That's always such a great blessing.

I recently responded to another thread "Lucifer" that I hope will help to clarify my position of double predestination. The problem, as I see it, for double predestination is that it makes God the cause of man's sin. I don't for a moment believe that is biblical.

Bear in mind as you read the following that I am responding to the doctrine of Lucifer, and whether or not he is a messenger (angel) of God.

That Satan is spirit finds much support in Scripture, but does this mean that all created spirits are angels?

Angel is defined as a messenger of God, but the spirit being called Satan is not a messenger of God, but the accuser; i.e. the devil. Now the devil is a false accuser, a slanderer; that old serpent. The serpent is a snake; an artful malicious person. You see how diverse these two spirit beings are.

We assume that Satan was created good and then in pride fell from his high angelic position, by misunderstanding Isa 14 and Eze 28. Since the Lord created all things in heaven and earth, he also created that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, and his demonic spirit messengers.

I am one who believes that sin and evil have always been used by God to accomplish His eternal covenant. There are instances where God has permitted sin and evil to demonstrate His power and glory. Consider for instance how God used Pharaoh. Therefore it is my belief that God created that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan to be subtil, crafty and cunning as we see him in the garden with Eve (Gen 3:1) as the serpent.

I don't believe Satan was ever a good or holy messenger (angel) of God, whose pride caused him to fall. I believe he is exactly what God created him to be; i.e. subtil, crafty and more cunning then any other creature. God does not make Satan, or for that matter anyone to sin, but God did create him to be subtil, crafty and cunning, and then allowed him to tempt His created humans. God knew that Adam and Eve would be deceived and fall, and is why He (God) provided an answer for the problem of sin before the foundation of the world; i.e. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8).

Why? Why would God create man very good and then allow a subtil, crafty and cunning spirit being to deceive them and cause them to disobey Him? I believe it is because mankind was chosen to bear His image. God determined to set His love upon mankind. But mankind, before the fall had no knowledge of good or evil. So how could mankind know what God's all encompassing love truly is, unless they know the evil, and what the love of God has done to save them?

People often say that God does not desire robots, but that He wants mankind to love Him freely. Could man, without knowledge of good or evil know how to love God the way He desires them to? No, it just makes sense, at least it does to me, that God, while not causing anyone to commit sin, uses sin and evil to accomplish His redemptive purposes for mankind.

Though God has permitted this evil spirit being called Satan to work his subtil, craft and cunning throughout His created universe, he will not exist in the new heavens and the new earth. In fact we find in Rev 12 how Satan has already been cast out of heaven, along with his evil messengers after Christ defeated death and sin at the cross. Satan is a defeated foe, used by God to fulfill His will, and once the Kingdom of God is complete there will be no more need for this evil adversary of God and His people.

So God is not the cause of any man sinning. Therefore no man is predestined for damnation. God predestinated His elect people to save them from damnation. Had He not predestined some for eternal life, no man could be saved. So, double predestination just doesn't work for me.

The text most often used to support double predestination in Ro 9. I have already explained what I believe "vessels fitted for destruction" means in the predestination thread, so I won't repeat myself here.

While I believe Scripture affirms the doctrine of predestination unto eternal life, I do not believe that Scripture affirms the doctrine of double predestination to eternal death.

Hope this is clear, and helps you.

Many Blessings,
RW

divaD
Oct 3rd 2008, 04:16 PM
God declared long ago, "from ancient times", the things that are not yet done. That is, he declared what will happen in the
future. And he will bring it to pass.


legoman, before I make any comments in this thread one way or the other, how do you define "from ancient times", what exactly does that mean to you?

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 06:06 PM
legoman, before I make any comments in this thread one way or the other, how do you define "from ancient times", what exactly does that mean to you?

Hi divaD,

I think it means basically what it says. From ancient times, from olden times, from times past, from the time at the beginning of time, etc. It could also possibly mean from the time when there was no time (ie. before time was even created, maybe not the best way to say it, but hopefully you get my drift).

Essentially, God declared things that are not yet done (ie. the future), and he declared this a long time ago.

I think it is just reinforcing what was said in the first half of the verse (declaring the end from the beginning).

Cheers,
Legoman

divaD
Oct 3rd 2008, 07:02 PM
Hi divaD,

I think it means basically what it says. From ancient times, from olden times, from times past, from the time at the beginning of time, etc. It could also possibly mean from the time when there was no time (ie. before time was even created, maybe not the best way to say it, but hopefully you get my drift).

Essentially, God declared things that are not yet done (ie. the future), and he declared this a long time ago.

I think it is just reinforcing what was said in the first half of the verse (declaring the end from the beginning).

Cheers,
Legoman



Hi Legoman. Thanks for taking the time to define what it means to you. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page in that regards. And it appears that we are. I just had to be sure that it didn't mean as in eternity past or something to you. Clearly God declared the ending from the beginning since this world has existed and since man has lived in it. How does that fact work with your timeline? Is it as if this timeline didn't exist until God declared it in ancient times, or was it already conceived of before God even created the earth? Even tho technically God is outside of time, there was still a point in time that He created everything. Did He originally declare the ending from the beginning before He ever created the earth, or after?

legoman
Oct 3rd 2008, 09:16 PM
Hi Legoman. Thanks for taking the time to define what it means to you. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page in that regards. And it appears that we are. I just had to be sure that it didn't mean as in eternity past or something to you. Clearly God declared the ending from the beginning since this world has existed and since man has lived in it. How does that fact work with your timeline? Is it as if this timeline didn't exist until God declared it in ancient times, or was it already conceived of before God even created the earth? Even tho technically God is outside of time, there was still a point in time that He created everything. Did He originally declare the ending from the beginning before He ever created the earth, or after?

Yes, I think we are on the same page. "Eternity past" is a funny term, how would one define it? My view is that Eternity is timelessness, and is outside of time. So there is no "Eternity past" or "Eternity Future".

The timeline must have existed from the beginning of time (day 1 of creation) to the end of time. So God could not have created the timeline after the timeline already started (that doesn't make sense).

In order for God to declare the ending from the beginning, and declare the things that are not yet done, it must have happened outside of time, or at the immediate creation point. So on further reflection "from ancient times" either means "outside of time" ie. eternity, or "the immediate beginning of creation." ie. Day "zero". I will have to research the scriptures more in this area. I admit, this area is a bit fuzzy, and requires further study.

Maybe a better question is: Did God's foreknowledge of us exist before he created us? I would have to say yes.

Anyway, as per my OP, do you agree that there must be One Timeline - based on God's perfect foreknowledge of everything?

Legoman

divaD
Oct 3rd 2008, 09:50 PM
"Eternity past" is a funny term, how would one define it? My view is that Eternity is
timelessness, and is outside of time. So there is no "Eternity past" or "Eternity Future".


LOL! You're right. I'm just trying to establish that anything before God ever created it, would techinally be in eternity past so to speak. To always speak of eternity in the present tense is bit confusing and misleading. For example, eternity exists now, but those of us that are still alive, this eternity is future. Basically I'm just looking at eternity from our perspectives as humans, or at least from my perspective as a human, and of course, not from God's perspective.

Ethnikos
Oct 3rd 2008, 11:42 PM
What does Isaiah 46:10 mean then?
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
Specifically the bold statement is what you had issue with. What does it mean?
Here is a good verse for understanding the word "declare" in the verse you quote.
Isaiah 45:19 I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth: I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain: I the LORD speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.

crush
Oct 4th 2008, 03:46 PM
That is what I am trying to show here, in a logical step by step manner. I will present more scripture on this as well.


I look forward to it


My view is that Eternity is timelessness, and is outside of time

Yes, eternity, as it pertains to God, would not be on a timeline.

It really wouldn't be possible for an "eternity" to exist before the creation event. Or, to put it another way, God couldn't exist "forever", on a timeline, before the creation event, otherwise we'd still be waiting for "forever" to end so that he could create the world. And that wouldn't happen LOL.

RogerW
Oct 4th 2008, 03:56 PM
Greetings Legoman,

I think we need to be careful to make a distinction between God's foreknowledge and His providence.

I don't think Scripture defines God's foreknowledge as Him knowing about future events in advance. Not that He does not know them, but I believe this is attributed not to foreknowledge, but rather to His omniscience. Nothing is hidden from His sight and He is not "presently learning" nor limited in His knowing (Ps 139). Foreknowledge is not used in terms of knowing or bringing about future events, times or actions (providence).

In His foreknowledge God knows His own. We are foreknown by His electing love in predestinating those He has sovereignly chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-6; 1 Pe 1:1-2). Foreknowledge is used in regards to God's electing love of His own, but not in a sense of knowing ahead of time of events and actions. Of course those who are not foreknown of God the Lord says, "depart from me, I've never known you."

Scripture also speaks of foreknowing of Christ (1Pe 1:20). There was intimacy within the Trinity before anything that was made was made. The promise for us is that He foreknew us before the world existed. Therefore what He established in eternity, He brings about in time; e.g. our salvation through Christ.

In His providence God according to His own will keeps all creatures in being, involves Himself in all events, and directs all things to there appointed end. Providence teaches Christians that they are never in the grip of blind fortune, chance, luck or fate. All that happens to them is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new summons to trust, obey, and rejoice, knowing that all is for our spiritual and eternal good (Ro 8:28).

All for His glory!

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 4th 2008, 04:04 PM
I look forward to it

Yes, eternity, as it pertains to God, would not be on a timeline.

It really wouldn't be possible for an "eternity" to exist before the creation event. Or, to put it another way, God couldn't exist "forever", on a timeline, before the creation event, otherwise we'd still be waiting for "forever" to end so that he could create the world. And that wouldn't happen LOL.

Greetings Crush,

Would you agree that God lives outside of time? I believe that eternal life begins for us when we are born again of the Spirit. Our flesh lives in time, but our eternal spirit already resides with Christ in eternity. This is why Christ says to Martha, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

Many Blessings,
RW

Ethnikos
Oct 4th 2008, 04:51 PM
...I think we need to be careful to make a distinction between God's foreknowledge and His providence...
I think this sounds very reasonable (your whole post, that I quote a small part of, to save server space). I would not argue against any of it. I would like to add a comment containing my personal opinion. In order for God to not be the originator of evil, I would say that certain contingencies were considered before creation. God would have been wise enough to know that there was a possibility that things could go wrong and planned on how to deal with it. I have to reject the idea that God knew ahead of time that it would definitely go bad, and I would violently reject the idea that God planned it to go bad.
To change subjects, considering the nature of time; It is something that exists inside the universe, or in other terms, time is a main component of creation. Before creation God and any number of non-material entities would have existed in, for the lack of any frame of reference to us mortals, eternity. Creation existed in eternity only as a concept. My question to the reader is; did God make creation from standing outside of it, or did God, once there was space (dimension), step into that space and continue with creation, from inside of it? Genesis says He planted the Garden with His own hand, so I go with the inside creation choice.
Going back-wards though all this, creation came about and existed while God was in a universe ruled by time. Once He was faced with a worse case scenario, God went ahead to put into action what was planned, ahead of time, to deal with it.

RogerW
Oct 4th 2008, 05:58 PM
I think this sounds very reasonable (your whole post, that I quote a small part of, to save server space). I would not argue against any of it. I would like to add a comment containing my personal opinion. In order for God to not be the originator of evil, I would say that certain contingencies were considered before creation. God would have been wise enough to know that there was a possibility that things could go wrong and planned on how to deal with it. I have to reject the idea that God knew ahead of time that it would definitely go bad, and I would violently reject the idea that God planned it to go bad.

To change subjects, considering the nature of time; It is something that exists inside the universe, or in other terms, time is a main component of creation. Before creation God and any number of non-material entities would have existed in, for the lack of any frame of reference to us mortals, eternity. Creation existed in eternity only as a concept. My question to the reader is; did God make creation from standing outside of it, or did God, once there was space (dimension), step into that space and continue with creation, from inside of it? Genesis says He planted the Garden with His own hand, so I go with the inside creation choice.
Going back-wards though all this, creation came about and existed while God was in a universe ruled by time. Once He was faced with a worse case scenario, God went ahead to put into action what was planned, ahead of time, to deal with it.

Greetings Ethnikos,

This is interesting. My first impulse is to ask why, if God did not know man would fall, is Christ the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world? Why is it necessary to provide an answer for sin unless God knew sin would exist?

"God would have been wise enough to know that there was a possibility that things could go wrong and planned on how to deal with it."

"Once He was faced with a worse case scenario, God went ahead to put into action what was planned, ahead of time, to deal with it."

This is a hard concept for me to accept. It implies that God does not have absolute knowledge of all things that happen in time, even before time exists. This implies that God has a plan B in case plan A fails. Does not God always carry out His will, whatsoever He desires? Is the will of God ever thwarted by sin? God has only one redemptive plan, and all of history, the time line exists to bring about what God has ordained in eternity.

I believe the only thing that existed before creation was darkness and God. Time is part of creation, it did not exist until God spoke it into being. Time began when He divided the light from darkness creating evening and morning, the first day; the beginning of time. Therefore I believe that God exists outside of time, and He does not have to step into time to create all things.

Since God spoke the world into existence, why would it be necessary for God to enter into time to plant a garden? The Scripture tells us God planted a garden, but it does not say "with his own hand." I believe the only time that God entered into time was when He became a flesh and blood man just like us.

Adam and Eve hear the voice of God walking in the garden, but there is no mention of seeing Him. I think this is because God, the Father never enters into time, but exists in eternity. We cannot comprehend what it is to exist in eternity, because we exist in time, so eternity is not something we can fully or perhaps even begin to understand. When God has finished using time to bring about His redemptive purpose, then time will no longer exist, and eternity will be clearly understood by all who live in it.

Many Blessings,
RW

Ethnikos
Oct 4th 2008, 07:10 PM
It implies that God does not have absolute knowledge of all things that happen in time, even before time exists... a
...the time line exists to bring about what God has ordained in eternity. b
...I believe that God exists outside of time, and He does not have to step into time to create all things. c
...why would it be necessary for God to enter into time to plant a garden?d
...only time that God entered into time was when He became a flesh and blood man just like us. e
...there is no mention of seeing Him. I think this is because God, the Father never enters into time, but exists in eternity. f
...then time will no longer exist... g
It seems to be that there are two points of concept in direct opposition. God knows every minute detail of everything that will happen, ahead of time versus God is good and only creates good things. a
This idea of a time line existing in order to bring forward something ordained before time existed goes to my previous post and my saying that if this was true, God created all evil and suffering in the world. b
God does not have to do anything. God chose to do something to share what was possible to experience, with others. Those others, he did not want to share with vicariously, but directly with as partners. c
It would not it be necessary for God to enter into time to plant a garden. He wanted to, for His own enjoyment. d
There are plenty of references to God that are of an anthropomorphic nature. e Let's say there was a ladder going from heaven and earth and angels were using it to ascend and descend. Does it actually go somewhere? f
So gathering together in the new world, on new moons never really happens, since there is no time? g

RogerW
Oct 4th 2008, 07:59 PM
This idea of a time line existing in order to bring forward something ordained before time existed goes to my previous post and my saying that if this was true, God created all evil and suffering in the world.

Hi Ethnikos,

It's not that God created all evil and suffering, but that He permits evil and suffering in the world to exist for His purposes. Consider for instance how God used Joseph and his brothers to "save much people alive" (Gen 50:20). God did not force, or even ordain Joseph's brothers to sell him into slavery, but God certainly used what they intended for evil to bring about redemption for the Jews.



God does not have to do anything. God chose to do something to share what was possible to experience, with others. Those others, he did not want to share with vicariously, but directly with as partners.

Well we do become heirs, joint-heirs with Christ. We receive all of His.



It would not it be necessary for God to enter into time to plant a garden. He wanted to, for His own enjoyment.

This is possible, and may be true, but I feel safe when I stick with what the Bible actually says, rather than making assumptions from my point of view.



There are plenty of references to God that are of an anthropomorphic nature.

Yes there are, and perhaps that is how we should view "planted".



Let's say there was a ladder going from heaven and earth and angels were using it to ascend and descend. Does it actually go somewhere?
So gathering together in the new world, on new moons never really happens, since there is no time?

I'm not sure of the point you're making here.

Blessings,
RW

Ethnikos
Oct 4th 2008, 08:23 PM
I'm not sure of the point you're making here.
I mean there are messengers going back and forth between God and the inhabitants of earth. Where do they go? If God exists in eternity outside of this existence, all alone, the angels never get to where He is. So, they really would be going nowhere and if God knew everything ahead of time, why would he need all these creatures to keep Him informed?

RogerW
Oct 4th 2008, 08:54 PM
I mean there are messengers going back and forth between God and the inhabitants of earth. Where do they go? If God exists in eternity outside of this existence, all alone, the angels never get to where He is. So, they really would be going nowhere and if God knew everything ahead of time, why would he need all these creatures to keep Him informed?

Well....I suppose it could be argued that spirit beings, i.e. Satan are not bound in eternity. Consider Job. God's dwelling place is heaven, but Satan was before God, and going to and fro in the earth (Job 1:7). So the angels of God would also be going back and forth between heaven and earth. As far as angels keeping Him informed, where do you find this in Scripture? We often confuse which of God's messengers are spirit beings (angels) and which are human messengers. There is one verse that tells us that God sends ministering spirits for them who will be heirs of salvation (Heb 1:14). But I just don't find where God is not fully aware and in complete control of everything He sends His angels of heaven to do in the earth. Perhaps I have over looked something, it wouldn't be the first time.

Many Blessings,
RW

legoman
Oct 5th 2008, 12:33 AM
Greetings Legoman,

I think we need to be careful to make a distinction between God's foreknowledge and His providence.

I don't think Scripture defines God's foreknowledge as Him knowing about future events in advance. Not that He does not know them, but I believe this is attributed not to foreknowledge, but rather to His omniscience. Nothing is hidden from His sight and He is not "presently learning" nor limited in His knowing (Ps 139). Foreknowledge is not used in terms of knowing or bringing about future events, times or actions (providence).

In His foreknowledge God knows His own. We are foreknown by His electing love in predestinating those He has sovereignly chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-6; 1 Pe 1:1-2). Foreknowledge is used in regards to God's electing love of His own, but not in a sense of knowing ahead of time of events and actions. Of course those who are not foreknown of God the Lord says, "depart from me, I've never known you."

Scripture also speaks of foreknowing of Christ (1Pe 1:20). There was intimacy within the Trinity before anything that was made was made. The promise for us is that He foreknew us before the world existed. Therefore what He established in eternity, He brings about in time; e.g. our salvation through Christ.

In His providence God according to His own will keeps all creatures in being, involves Himself in all events, and directs all things to there appointed end. Providence teaches Christians that they are never in the grip of blind fortune, chance, luck or fate. All that happens to them is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new summons to trust, obey, and rejoice, knowing that all is for our spiritual and eternal good (Ro 8:28).

All for His glory!

Many Blessings,
RW

Hi Roger,

I think I get what you are saying here...

God's foreknowledge doesn't make things happen, but his providence does. They are closely integrated though, in that because he knows what he is going to do (he has a plan), he therefore has perfect foreknowledge, as his plan won't fail.

I think that is what you are saying. Took me a few readings to get that... with regard to my OP, I think that is what I was trying to say as well, in order to hopefully show people that God's foreknowledge implies he has a plan that he will execute. Its kind of a chicken and egg thing - did the foreknowledge come and God made his plan, or did God make his plan, which obviously gave him the foreknowledge. I believe it is the latter. My intent was to show people that this must be true, assuming God has perfect foreknowledge. Perfect foreknowledge implies a perfect plan.

As you say there is no luck, chance, blind fortune, etc. Even the flip of a coin is not random. There are no random events. Interesting, as some scientists say that they cannot find a truly random event in the universe. Everything has a cause.

Legoman

Dani H
Oct 5th 2008, 12:36 AM
Instead of "one timeline" I think the more correct version is there is only Plan A. However long it takes.

:)

legoman
Oct 5th 2008, 01:14 AM
I recently responded to another thread "Lucifer" that I hope will help to clarify my position of double predestination. The problem, as I see it, for double predestination is that it makes God the cause of man's sin. I don't for a moment believe that is biblical.

...

While I believe Scripture affirms the doctrine of predestination unto eternal life, I do not believe that Scripture affirms the doctrine of double predestination to eternal death.

Hope this is clear, and helps you.


Hi Roger,

Regarding the problem of whether God "caused" sin or not... no, God does not cause us to sin, directly. Satan is the one who goes out into the world, tempting and testing, and causing all to sin.

But is God "off the hook"? No, I don't think so, because he is the one that created Satan. God causes us to sin, indirectly, through Satan. Remember Satan can do nothing unless God allows it (Job 2:6). But does that mean God sinned because he created Satan? No. Can we "blame" God for sin? No. First of all, blame assumes he did something wrong. Second of all, we are the ones who choose to sin. Even though Satan tempts us, and Satan can do nothing unless God allows, it is us who responds to that temptation and choose to sin. (Not a free will choice - a caused choice.)

As I see it God setup his perfect plan (the timeline). Now in this plan, he needed adversity, evil, so that we could learn good. Because of this he created Satan.

Here is an interesting verse. Ecclesiastes 1:13

(KJV) Ecc 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Here we see that God has given a "sore travail" to the us. If you look at the concordant literal version, it gives a bit more insight:

(CLV) ECC 1:13 It is an experience of evil God has given to the sons of humanity to humble them by it.

Wow. That is something isn't it? God is giving us an experience of evil, so we will be humbled by it! He wants us to learn what is Good, and what is humility. For that we have to know evil first.

Now, back to the timeline and God's plan. Since everything is going according to the timeline, that would include Satan's actions and all of the evil things that happen in this world.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Thus God needed to introduce evil into the world. He did this via Satan. God creates evil - but there is a reason for it.

Colossians 1
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.


This should be obvious - God created all.

Legoman

crush
Oct 5th 2008, 01:17 AM
Greetings Crush,

Would you agree that God lives outside of time? I believe that eternal life begins for us when we are born again of the Spirit. Our flesh lives in time, but our eternal spirit already resides with Christ in eternity. This is why Christ says to Martha, "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die."

Many Blessings,
RW

Hi Roger, yes I agree that God lives outside of time, and has interaction with the spirits (and hearts?) of believers, I think that is what this Isaiah passage is talking about.

sa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones

I don't think that the "eternity" that God inhabits will be available for anyone, in heaven or earth, flesh or spirit, to inhabit until Rev 21:1 begins...IDK, you could be correct on this, and our "spirits" do begin to dwell with God in this timeless place at the point of salvation, and forever do *shrugs* (way over my head lol)

I think that earth and heaven are synced up as far as having historical and future references, or the passage of time. But I think that the behavior of time must be different in heaven than here on earth. That is to say, you can get a lot more done in a "heavenly" hour, than you can get done in an "earthly" hour *groans* (maybe that's why the "souls" in Rev 6:10 are crying about "how long" it's taking to get to their revenge LOL)

So as also God exists outside of the Earthly confines of time, he also exists outside the Heavenly confines - while also being able to interact with both....I guess LOL

legoman
Oct 5th 2008, 01:17 AM
Instead of "one timeline" I think the more correct version is there is only Plan A. However long it takes.

:)

Yes, agreed. :)

Unfortunately some people don't believe God has one unchanging plan, and is forever changing his plan to accommodate our "free will", thus leading to a string of plan B's.

So my intent was to show because of God's perfect foreknowledge, there is only timeline - therefore God only has one plan.

Cheers,
Legoman

legoman
Oct 5th 2008, 01:53 AM
It seems to be that there are two points of concept in direct opposition. God knows every minute detail of everything that will happen, ahead of time versus God is good and only creates good things. a
This idea of a time line existing in order to bring forward something ordained before time existed goes to my previous post and my saying that if this was true, God created all evil and suffering in the world. b
God does not have to do anything. God chose to do something to share what was possible to experience, with others. Those others, he did not want to share with vicariously, but directly with as partners. c
It would not it be necessary for God to enter into time to plant a garden. He wanted to, for His own enjoyment. d
There are plenty of references to God that are of an anthropomorphic nature. e Let's say there was a ladder going from heaven and earth and angels were using it to ascend and descend. Does it actually go somewhere? f
So gathering together in the new world, on new moons never really happens, since there is no time? g

Hi Ethnikos,

It seems you don't believe God has true foreknowledge, and only had Jesus as a contigency plan, and definitely didn't plan for anything bad to happen.

The scriptures show us otherwise. Jesus was the lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world. God is in all, creates all, and is in complete control.

Colossians 1
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Romans 11
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

2 Cor 5
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Theses verses are all saying the same thing. ALL things are of God. That means everything. God is in complete control, and all things are going according to plan.

God does creates evil.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

God uses evil to give us a sore travail, or an "experience of evil":

Ecc 1:13 And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore (evil) travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Interesting note here: the word "sore" in the above verse is the hebrew word ra, which means evil or bad. This is the same word in Isaiah 45:7 - "God created evil (ra)", and the same word in Gen 2:9 - "Tree of Knowledge of good and evil (ra)".

God wants us to know what is goodness, and to do that, we have to know what evil is. One cannot know what good is, unless you have something bad to compare it to.

Legoman

legoman
Oct 5th 2008, 02:21 AM
Now given we know God has perfect foreknowledge of everything, this leads to there being only one timeline, and one perfect plan.

But which came first, the foreknowledge or the plan? It only makes sense that the plan came first. God's will is supreme (sovereign), our will is weak.

Lets look at Peter's denial. Matthew 26:

33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Peter seems very sure he will never deny christ. But we all know what happens:

70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
...
72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
...
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.


So, where was Peter's free will? The answer: his will was never free. Not in this scenario and not ever. Just like our will.

He was only acting as the timeline (God's plan) said he would. God had already planned for this to happen. Now was it forced? No. Peter simply was reacting to his own fear/shame/emotions. He did not want to admit what was being asked of him, so he chose of his own will to deny it.

This story illustrates exactly how weak willed man is. Our will is nothing compared to God's plan.

Cheers,
Legoman

Ethnikos
Oct 5th 2008, 05:33 PM
Hi Ethnikos,

It seems you don't believe God has true foreknowledge, and only had Jesus as a contigency plan, and definitely didn't plan for anything bad to happen.
Notice your wording: "...you don't believe..." "... true foreknowledge..." "...God...only had..." "...definitely didn't plan..."
Looks like you are trying to characterize my post as negative in nature.

Let me re-quote my self to be a little more possitive: "...God is good and only creates good things..." "...God chose to...share...experience..directly with as partners." "...for God to enter into time...for His own enjoyment." "...references to God that are of an anthropomorphic nature." "...there was a ladder going from heaven and earth and angels were using it to ascend and descend." "...gathering together in the new world, on new moons..."


God does creates evil.
Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
God uses evil to give us a sore travail, or an "experience of evil":
This verse is talking about bad things happening, like the flood, that were necessary, but it is not talking about moral evil.

RogerW
Oct 5th 2008, 05:44 PM
Notice your wording: "...you don't believe..." "... true foreknowledge..." "...God...only had..." "...definitely didn't plan..."
Looks like you are trying to characterize my post as negative in nature.

Let me re-quote my self to be a little more possitive: "...God is good and only creates good things..." "...God chose to...share...experience..directly with as partners." "...for God to enter into time...for His own enjoyment." "...references to God that are of an anthropomorphic nature." "...there was a ladder going from heaven and earth and angels were using it to ascend and descend." "...gathering together in the new world, on new moons..."

Hi Ethnikos,

Are you referring to the dream that Jacob had?

Ge 28:12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.

Joh 1:51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Blessings,
RW

Ethnikos
Oct 5th 2008, 06:15 PM
Are you referring to the dream that Jacob had?

Yes, but my main point was that there is a place where the angels come from and go back to.
Here is one example from Luke 1:19 "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings."

RogerW
Oct 5th 2008, 07:09 PM
Yes, but my main point was that there is a place where the angels come from and go back to.
Here is one example from Luke 1:19 "And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings."

I'm sorry Ethnikos, I suppose I'm a little slow. But, what point are making? Scripture shows us that spirit beings are not bound by time, because they come down to earth, but they also dwell in eternity with God.

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Heb 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:

Mt 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

1Pe 1:12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.

Many Blessings,
RW

Ethnikos
Oct 5th 2008, 08:58 PM
...not bound by time, because they come down to earth, but they also dwell in eternity with God.

Isa 57:15 For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place...
In the KJV the word "eternity" appears once. Here is a good verse that uses the same Hebrew word in the same sort of way as Isa 57:15 does:
Psalm 132:12 If thy children will keep my covenant and my testimony that I shall teach them, their children shall also sit upon thy throne for evermore.

I suppose the point I am making is that there is a place inside the universe where God exists. I think he made the universe for Him to live in. God created man in His image and there is more to it than just outward appearance. Man was to have dominion and in a certain respect, to be like a god on earth. God is God and in a limited capacity man would be like god and on this earth would be an equal in that they could commune together as friends. God did not want to be alone, the same as He recognized that it was not good for man to be alone. In order for man to be godlike, God made the universe to be semi-random in nature and gave Adam free-will. God dwells inside these parameters by choice to get the full benefit of this creation experience and his bringing into a high state, his crowning creation. Just my opinion. I do not limit God. He can be whatever He wants to be and that is his name. God chooses to be what he is and that is an active member of the universe He created. Once choosing to be fully immersed in this experience, God could follow ordinary rules of the universe that he made. That still gives Him a huge capacity of action that is beyond our comprehension. Having said all that, it gives me a basis for coming up with a concept of God just going for it and dealing with whatever happens. Only God could. For example, you could say that in the game of chess there are a few million ways a game could be played out. Someone really smart could look at an opponent's moves and calculate how things could go, and use appropriate countermeasures. So, the ultimate chess player could see the game from beginning to end, at once and in real time. The universe is so many google magnitudes of complexity, compared to chess, and only God has the capacity to see everything that could happen and take steps to deal with it.
The purpose of coming up with this explanation of the universe is to provide a way of saying that despite God knowing that bad things could happen, He did not plan it to happen. God's pan was for something good to be the result of his creation and He knew ahead of time how He would deal with it, should evil arise out of what He made.

legoman
Oct 6th 2008, 01:43 AM
Notice your wording: "...you don't believe..." "... true foreknowledge..." "...God...only had..." "...definitely didn't plan..."
Looks like you are trying to characterize my post as negative in nature.

Let me re-quote my self to be a little more possitive: "...God is good and only creates good things..." "...God chose to...share...experience..directly with as partners." "...for God to enter into time...for His own enjoyment." "...references to God that are of an anthropomorphic nature." "...there was a ladder going from heaven and earth and angels were using it to ascend and descend." "...gathering together in the new world, on new moons..."



Sorry didn't mean to characterize it as negative as you said. I will try to choose my wording more carefully in the future.

You have explained your position fairly clearly in the last post to Roger, which I thank you for. As I understand your last post, you believe God can see all possible outcomes, and takes steps to deal with things that could happen. But God did not plan for bad things to happen, but is able to deal with them as they appear.

I can see with this position, that you might not believe there is one timeline, and God in that case would be in "reactive mode", and always responding with another plan B.

The main problem I see though is it doesn't line up with the scriptures I have presented in this thread. God creates all, is in all, etc. This includes the good and bad stuff. God has one purpose that he brings to pass (Isaiah 46:11).

The seconday problem I see is that it makes God out to be a bad planner. God didn't plan for evil to happen - then why did it happen? Did God make a mistake when he created us? Did God make a mistake when he created angels? Did God make a mistake when he created Satan? Does God make mistakes at all?

BTW Isaiah 45:7 "God created evil" - the hebrew word is "ra". The same word in the "Tree of knowledge of good and evil". Its not the "tree of knowledge of good and calamity."

I'm not sure why it is a problem if we allow that God created the evil in this world - he will use it to bring about good in the end. Here is one way to sum it up: Does God make lemonade with the lemons we give him? I believe God first makes the lemons, and then uses them to make the lemonade!

Cheers,
Legoman

RogerW
Oct 6th 2008, 04:13 AM
Greetings Legoman,

I'm in almost total agreement with you on this subject. But it is impossible for me to get my heart around double predestination. No matter how I cut it, this would make God the cause of sin. While I agree God uses sin, and He created Satan more subtil, cunning and crafty then any other created being, fully intending to use him for His purposes, God is not the cause of man or Satan's sinning. No man is predestined or ordained to sin, but some men are adjusted and made thoroughly complete unto destruction.

Fitted - to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust:--fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect(-ly join together), prepare, restore.

All mankind is born in Adam spiritually dead. If man dies in this condition, then he will face condemnation. Since God has ordained that He will use some unsaved men; i.e. Pharaoh, Judas etc. for His purpose, how can this be called predestination? God did not predestine them to sin, He uses their sin, and removes all restraint, giving them up to a reprobate mind.

This passage from Ro 9 is most often used to prove that God has predestined some for destruction. If that is true than God created them to sin. That makes God the author of sin. And it causes contradiction in the Word of God.

God takes one lump of clay, and those unto honor and dishonor are made of the same lump. Is this verse telling us that God has made some unto dishonor? How can it be? Because in Genesis God says all that He made is "very good." Since all that God made was very good, He could not be saying He made some men unto dishonor. Dishonor is the exact opposite of "very good." It means infamy, i.e. (subjectively) comparative indignity, (objectively) disgrace:--dishonour, reproach, shame, vile.

God makes all mankind from the same lump, and from that lump comes two types of man, one unto honor another unto dishonor. Not because God made them dishonorable, but they became dishonorable in the fall. They became vessels of wrath fitted, thoroughly complete, or prepared to destruction.

Ro 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Ro 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

What about the vessel of honor, He makes known the riches of His glory and gives mercy? These "He had afore prepared [ordained before] unto glory." The vessel unto honor was ordained by God for mercy and glory, but the vessel unto dishonor, because of the fall, became the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.

Ro 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Ro 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

The vessels of wrath were simply "fitted for destruction" but the vessels of glory and mercy "HE had afore prepared [ordained] unto glory." This is true of all mankind, from both Jews and Gentiles.

God uses men who are not predestined elect unto eternal life to accomplish His redemptive purposes. These men, fallen in Adam, and spiritually dead, were never chosen to receive life. Fallen men, who die in unbelief, were born to die, and after this the Judgment (Heb 9:27). That God uses them for a purpose cannot be considered double predestination since they were born in sin, and will die in sin without hope of eternal life. This is the condition of every man, unless God predestines some to be saved. God's predestination (to limit in advance) is unto life, not wrath and death.

Many Blessings,
RW

Ethnikos
Oct 6th 2008, 04:13 AM
As I understand your last post, you believe God can see all possible outcomes, and takes steps to deal with things that could happen. But God did not plan for bad things to happen, but is able to deal with them as they appear.I am sure there was planning involved, ahead of time, but I think the whole thing is very complex and beyond ordinary understanding. The difficult concept for a lot of people to accept out of this scheme (meaning my scheme, I would not use that term for anything coming from God) is that there is a possible limitation to God's abilities. It makes it out to be like a form of high stakes gambling, that God would set things up to happen with a less than absolute certainty of events. The antidote is absolute ability to produce a certain outcome and God is patient and lives forever and gives us the opportunity to come out ok in the end.

The seconday problem I see is that it makes God out to be a bad planner. God didn't plan for evil to happen - then why did it happen? Did God make a mistake when he created us? Did God make a mistake when he created angels? Did God make a mistake when he created Satan? Does God make mistakes at all?There is no bad planning. That is the point for creation. God is unique in that he is perfect. Of course I do not know why but it is just so. Man was created in a perfect form, but perfect for what he was. Adam would have been very far away from what perfection God has and that explains what might be perceived by us as poor planning. I think the earth, or whatever falls under the dominion of man, was made to be manipulated and adjusted and worked, by who God put into it. I imagine God would be happier to take a vacation and not be continually taking care of us. We are supposed to be taking care of the world.
When people talk about Nixon and Watergate, they say it was not so much the crime, but the cover-up that did him in. I think Adam fell when he decided to hide his disobedience. I do not take God's warning so much as a law, but as good advice. This is my antidote to the thinking that man was set up to fail.
I came up with all this stuff from writing on forums where people run threads about how bad God is. This is how I can answer their serious questions that caused some people to reject God.

legoman
Oct 6th 2008, 05:38 PM
Greetings Legoman,

I'm in almost total agreement with you on this subject. But it is impossible for me to get my heart around double predestination. No matter how I cut it, this would make God the cause of sin. While I agree God uses sin, and He created Satan more subtil, cunning and crafty then any other created being, fully intending to use him for His purposes, God is not the cause of man or Satan's sinning. No man is predestined or ordained to sin, but some men are adjusted and made thoroughly complete unto destruction.

Fitted - to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust:--fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect(-ly join together), prepare, restore.

All mankind is born in Adam spiritually dead. If man dies in this condition, then he will face condemnation. Since God has ordained that He will use some unsaved men; i.e. Pharaoh, Judas etc. for His purpose, how can this be called predestination? God did not predestine them to sin, He uses their sin, and removes all restraint, giving them up to a reprobate mind.

This passage from Ro 9 is most often used to prove that God has predestined some for destruction. If that is true than God created them to sin. That makes God the author of sin. And it causes contradiction in the Word of God.

God takes one lump of clay, and those unto honor and dishonor are made of the same lump. Is this verse telling us that God has made some unto dishonor? How can it be? Because in Genesis God says all that He made is "very good." Since all that God made was very good, He could not be saying He made some men unto dishonor. Dishonor is the exact opposite of "very good." It means infamy, i.e. (subjectively) comparative indignity, (objectively) disgrace:--dishonour, reproach, shame, vile.

God makes all mankind from the same lump, and from that lump comes two types of man, one unto honor another unto dishonor. Not because God made them dishonorable, but they became dishonorable in the fall. They became vessels of wrath fitted, thoroughly complete, or prepared to destruction.

Ro 9:21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
Ro 9:22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

What about the vessel of honor, He makes known the riches of His glory and gives mercy? These "He had afore prepared [ordained before] unto glory." The vessel unto honor was ordained by God for mercy and glory, but the vessel unto dishonor, because of the fall, became the vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.

Ro 9:23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,
Ro 9:24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

The vessels of wrath were simply "fitted for destruction" but the vessels of glory and mercy "HE had afore prepared [ordained] unto glory." This is true of all mankind, from both Jews and Gentiles.

God uses men who are not predestined elect unto eternal life to accomplish His redemptive purposes. These men, fallen in Adam, and spiritually dead, were never chosen to receive life. Fallen men, who die in unbelief, were born to die, and after this the Judgment (Heb 9:27). That God uses them for a purpose cannot be considered double predestination since they were born in sin, and will die in sin without hope of eternal life. This is the condition of every man, unless God predestines some to be saved. God's predestination (to limit in advance) is unto life, not wrath and death.

Many Blessings,
RW


Hi Roger,

Yes I admit it is a tough subject.

But logically I can only see it this way. If some people are predestined to be saved when they die, others are predestined to enter the Lake of Fire when they die. Perhaps it is the "default" option.

As we both agree, man in his sinful carnal nature, cannot see what he is, and cannot even choose God until God opens his (spiritual) eyes. Therefore it is not man who saves himself by his own choice, but God who saves the man. By implication God is choosing some to be saved. Others he doesn't choose - we don't know his reason, but it must be according to his plan and it must be for a good reason. But they are left in the "default" carnal state - therefore they will be destined for the lake of fire.

Its helpful if we realize that being predestined doesn't mean we are forced. God sets up the circumstances, and he can set them up in such a way that he knows precisely how we will respond. He controls the circumstances so his plan is executed exactly.

An example will illustrate (any resemblance to my real life is strictly coincidental :)):

Suppose I am trying to lose weight and control my overeating. I promise to give up chocolate and deserts. I particularly have a weakness for chocolate cake. Overeating is a lust of the flesh and is therefore a sin, correct? So we get rid of all the chocolate in the house, get rid of the sweets, give away the desserts. I think I am doing great - then God throws a curveball. I come into work and someone has brought in a tripple decker chocolate cake. I cannot resist and succumb to the temptation. I have given into my lusts and broken my promise.

Now, did God force me to sin in this situation? No. I willfully (happily you might say) ate the cake, even though I had promised not to. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

So God does not need to force us to sin. We do it ourselves happily. God only sets up the circumstances. All the circumstances happen according to God's timeline.

But perhaps here is the real issue: we sin because we are spiritually weak by nature. But why did God create us that way? Again, I would say it was part of his plan.

Some would say that we are only spiritually weak because Adam sinned. But then why did Adam sin? I can't remember your position on this Roger, but as you probably gather I am of the position that God created Adam & Eve spiritually weak & and He intended for them to be deceived by Satan.

Romans 8:
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

These verses show us that God made us subject to vanity (ie. spiritually weak willed), but we should also have hope, because the creature (us) shall be delivered from the bondage of that corruption.

Its all part of the plan. God made us weak so he could deliver us from that weakness. And probably learn something about good and evil on the way.

Cheers,
Legoman

RogerW
Oct 6th 2008, 07:02 PM
But perhaps here is the real issue: we sin because we are spiritually weak by nature. But why did God create us that way? Again, I would say it was part of his plan.

Hi Legoman,

This is why I cannot accept the doctrine of double predestination. If God created mankind spiritually weak, so that they would fall, how do we reconcile this with what God says of His creation...i.e. "it was very good." How could mankind be created spiritually weak, and still be pronounced by God "very good"?



Some would say that we are only spiritually weak because Adam sinned. But then why did Adam sin? I can't remember your position on this Roger, but as you probably gather I am of the position that God created Adam & Eve spiritually weak & and He intended for them to be deceived by Satan.

Adam and Eve were deceived in a state of pure innocence. They, and Christ incarnate are the only humans to ever exist in a state of complete purity. They did not know they were sinning because they had no knowldege of good or evil prior to eating of the forbidden tree. Lacking knowledge does not excuse their disobedience, for God made good on His promise. They suffered the consquences for their disobedience, and because they represented the whole human race, every man born in Adam from that day forward is born with a fallen nature, in bondage to sin and death.

I agree, sin and evil was always included in God's redemptive plan. And the reason God made Satan more subtil, cunning and crafty then any other created being. I think you have already expressed understanding this as God's way of showing His elect His great love, compassion, and mercy. Sin was necessary for that end. But God did not force Satan to deceive, he did so willingly because he apparently did have knowledge of good and evil. God did not create Adam and Eve so they would sin.



Romans 8:
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

This passage should be interpreted:

"For the creation was made subject"...
"Because the creation itself"...



These verses show us that God made us subject to vanity (ie. spiritually weak willed), but we should also have hope, because the creature (us) shall be delivered from the bondage of that corruption.

I understand this passage to be speaking of God's whole creation, the original formation. There will be a new earth, but the revelation of the new earth awaits the resurrection of the people of God. The whole earth has become subjected to decay, disease and death because of Adam's sin. This state will not continue, for His whole creation will be delivered from bondage, just as we will be delivered from corrupt bodies of death (2Pe 3:13). The earth too will be restored to perfection as it was before the fall.



Its all part of the plan. God made us weak so he could deliver us from that weakness. And probably learn something about good and evil on the way.

Cheers,
Legoman

God made all things perfect, "very good", then allowed sin to enter His perfect creation to demostrate His power, glory and great love to His elect people. Consider this commentary by Albert Barnes - "The word vanity here (mataiothti) is descriptive of the present condition of the Christian, as frail and dying; as exposed to trials, temptations, and cares; as in the midst of conflicts, and of a world which may be emphatically pronounced vanity. More or less, the Christian is brought under this influence; his joys are marred; his peace is discomposed; his affections wander; his life is a life of vanity and vexation."

"Not willingly. Not voluntarily. It is not a matter of choice. It is not that which is congenial to his renewed nature. That would aspire to perfect holiness and peace. But this subjection is one that is contrary to it, and from which he desires to be delivered. This describes substantially the same condition as Ro 7:15-24."

"But by reason. By him, (dia). It is the appointment of God, who has chosen to place his people in this condition; and who for wise purposes retains them in it."

"Who hath subjected the same. Who has appointed his people to this condition. It is his wise arrangement. Here we may observe,
(1.) that the instinctive feelings of Christians lead them to desire a purer and a happier world, Php 1:23.
(2.) That it is not what they desire, to be subjected to the toils of this life, and to the temptations and vanities of this world. They sigh for deliverance.
(3.) Their lot in Life; their being subjected to this state of vanity, is the arrangement of God. Why it is, he has not seen fit to inform us fully. He might have taken his people at once to heaven as soon as they are converted. But though we know not all the reasons why they are continued here in this state of vanity, we can see some of them."

a) Christians are subjected to this state to do good to
their fellow-sinners. They remain on earth for this
purpose; and this should be their leading aim.
(b) By their remaining here, the power of the gospel is shown
in overcoming their sin; in meeting their temptations; in
sustaining them in trial; and in thus furnishing living
evidence to the world of the power and excellency of
that gospel. This could not be attained if they were
removed at once to heaven.
(c) It furnishes occasion for some interesting exhibitions
of character--for hope, and faith, and love, and for
increasing and progressive excellence.
(d) It is a proper training for heaven. It brings out the
Christian character, and fits it for the skies. There may
be inestimable advantages, all of which we may not see, in
subjecting the Christian to a process of training in
overcoming his sins, and in producing confidence in
God, before he is admitted to his state of final rest.
(e) It is fit and proper that he should engage here in the
service of Him who has redeemed him. He has been ransomed
by the blood of Christ, and God has the highest claim on him
in all the conflicts and toils, in all the labours and
services, to which he may be subjected in this life.
In hope. Hope has reference to the future; and in this state of the Christian, he sighs for deliverance, and expects it.

Many Blessings,
RW

legoman
Oct 6th 2008, 08:37 PM
Hi Legoman,

This is why I cannot accept the doctrine of double predestination. If God created mankind spiritually weak, so that they would fall, how do we reconcile this with what God says of His creation...i.e. "it was very good." How could mankind be created spiritually weak, and still be pronounced by God "very good"?


Hi Roger,

Ah ok. Now we are getting to the heart of the matter :)

Here we see that Adam was natural (ie. carnal), contrasted with Christ. So I believe Christ was the only pure man. Adam was as sinful as the rest of us.

1 Cor 15:
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

The natural body is carnal - it comes first, and then the spiritual body.

What does it mean when it says "very good" in Genesis 1? I don't think it means they were perfect or even very good in the sense you are saying. I believe they were very good, in the sense that they were very good for what God intended. They were very good for the purposes of God's plan.

We know God said the whole creation was very good. Were poisionous snakes very good? Were scorpions very good? Were mosquitos very good? I believe it was all very good, even perfect - perfect for what God intended according to his plan.

Here's the real kicker. When was Satan created? I don't think you go for the "fallen angel" theory. If we take that Satan was created along with the rest of creation (Gen 3:1 "the serpent... which God had made"), then can we say Satan was also "very good"? Yes, Satan was very good - very good for what God intended him to be!

In other words, all of creation is functioning exactly as God intended it to, and that was very good, because it functioned as God specified.

In regards to Romans 8:20, yes it could be creation or creature, but the 2nd part of verse 20 gives it away:

"For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope"

The "not willingly" is clearly referring to the part of creation that has a will (not a free will though) - namely us, including Adam & Eve. Of course all of creation is in bondage as well, and will be replaced by the new earth as you stated.

Anyway, back to my original premise of "the one timeline" - logically since God foreknows all, and planned all, the timeline extends from day 1 of creation to the end of time. This would include the fall of Adam & Eve. So since God has declared all and brings it to pass (Isaiah 46:10), this would include the fall of man. God planned for Adam & Eve to fall. But it was for his purpose, as Romans 8:20 shows.

Many blessing to you as well,
Legoman

John146
Oct 6th 2008, 09:55 PM
Just want to check something:

You know that knowing something in advance (foreknowledge) is not the same thing as making something happen before it happens (predestination), correct?

God knowing how the "timeline" will play out, or Him making specific events come to fulfillment is not necessarily the same thing as everything being predestined.Exactly. I believe this doctrine that's being discussed here, sometimes known as hyper-Calvinism, is utterly absurd. If it was true then it means that people murder, rape, have abortions and so on because that's what God wanted them to do. This would contradict pretty much the entire Bible. It would make God look silly for punishing people for doing the very things He supposedly predestined them to do.

John146
Oct 6th 2008, 10:06 PM
Sorry didn't mean to characterize it as negative as you said. I will try to choose my wording more carefully in the future.

You have explained your position fairly clearly in the last post to Roger, which I thank you for. As I understand your last post, you believe God can see all possible outcomes, and takes steps to deal with things that could happen. But God did not plan for bad things to happen, but is able to deal with them as they appear.

I can see with this position, that you might not believe there is one timeline, and God in that case would be in "reactive mode", and always responding with another plan B.

The main problem I see though is it doesn't line up with the scriptures I have presented in this thread. God creates all, is in all, etc. This includes the good and bad stuff. God has one purpose that he brings to pass (Isaiah 46:11).

The seconday problem I see is that it makes God out to be a bad planner. God didn't plan for evil to happen - then why did it happen? Did God make a mistake when he created us? Did God make a mistake when he created angels? Did God make a mistake when he created Satan? Does God make mistakes at all?

BTW Isaiah 45:7 "God created evil" - the hebrew word is "ra". The same word in the "Tree of knowledge of good and evil". Its not the "tree of knowledge of good and calamity."

I'm not sure why it is a problem if we allow that God created the evil in this world - he will use it to bring about good in the end. Here is one way to sum it up: Does God make lemonade with the lemons we give him? I believe God first makes the lemons, and then uses them to make the lemonade!

Cheers,
LegomanYour doctrine has no answer for passages like these and cannot be reconciled with them:

Matthew 23
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Jonah 3
8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

The two passages above, as well as several others, show that God, despite being outside the realm of time, does indeed enter into the realm of time and react to the actions of man.

Genesis 6
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.

The passage above shows clearly that it was not God's intention for man to almost entirely (except for Noah and his family) rebel against Him and He was grieved that the vast majority of mankind had rejected Him. If it was all His plan from the beginning then it makes no sense that anything would have "grieved him at his heart".

Also, it makes no sense whatsoever for God to condemn anyone to eternal punishment and damnation if all they are doing is exactly what He predetermined for them to do.

legoman
Oct 6th 2008, 11:14 PM
Hi Eric (John146),

I will get to your comments, but first, can you answer the question in the original post (post #1).

Do you agree, because of God's foreknowledge, there is only one timeline? And that Isaiah 46:10-11 is essentially describing this?

If you don't agree, please explain why.

Thanks,
Legoman

RogerW
Oct 7th 2008, 05:51 PM
Exactly. I believe this doctrine that's being discussed here, sometimes known as hyper-Calvinism, is utterly absurd. If it was true then it means that people murder, rape, have abortions and so on because that's what God wanted them to do. This would contradict pretty much the entire Bible. It would make God look silly for punishing people for doing the very things He supposedly predestined them to do.

Greetings Eric,

I know some things are very difficult to understand and embrace when we see man as having a free will. Would you deny, according to the Bible, that God is often shown to use sin and evil to accomplish His will? We may not like it, but Scripture does affirm that sinful evil people are used to show God's glory. Sometimes, as with Pharaoh God shows us this, but often times we don't have any understanding of why God would allow murder, rape and abortions. But this much I know with assurance that all things are for the glory of God, and all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

If the only light of truth man is ever given comes from creation, history and conscience, it is enough light to render them inexcusable before God. No man can say to God, you made me this way, it's your fault because you did not choose me for salvation. God makes no man sin, we sin from our own wicked hearts. Every man is equally guilty before God, if God had not chosen to drag some men from the lake of fire, then no man would be saved. We don't know why God chose some men, and leaves the rest, and we have no right to ponder such a question. God will have mercy and compassion on whomsoever He desires.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 7th 2008, 06:04 PM
Your doctrine has no answer for passages like these and cannot be reconciled with them:

Matthew 23
37O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
38Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.

Eric, are the Hebrews any different than any other man born in Adam?



Jonah 3
8But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.
9Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?
10And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

The two passages above, as well as several others, show that God, despite being outside the realm of time, does indeed enter into the realm of time and react to the actions of man.

Why does God extend mercy to the Ninevites, and extended none to Jerusalem?

Jon 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.



Genesis 6
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.

The passage above shows clearly that it was not God's intention for man to almost entirely (except for Noah and his family) rebel against Him and He was grieved that the vast majority of mankind had rejected Him. If it was all His plan from the beginning then it makes no sense that anything would have "grieved him at his heart".

What was different about Noah? Why would God destroy all mankind, and spare Noah? Was it because Noah was better than they?

Ge 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Was God surprised by the wickedness of man on the earth? He must not have been because He had already provided an answer for the problem of sin before any sin existed...Christ the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. This shows us that God not only expected mankind to sin, but He provided a way of escape for some of them.



Also, it makes no sense whatsoever for God to condemn anyone to eternal punishment and damnation if all they are doing is exactly what He predetermined for them to do.

Eric, God causes no man to sin. We all willfully choose to sin, because we love our sin. Man is not condemned because he sins, man is condemned because he has no covering for his sin. All men sin, even after salvation we continue to struggle against the world, our flesh and Satan, but we are not condemned when we are in Christ, for He is our righteousness. But if we sin without Christ we are condemned without Christ.

Many Blessings,
RW

legoman
Oct 8th 2008, 05:06 AM
Exactly. I believe this doctrine that's being discussed here, sometimes known as hyper-Calvinism, is utterly absurd. If it was true then it means that people murder, rape, have abortions and so on because that's what God wanted them to do. This would contradict pretty much the entire Bible. It would make God look silly for punishing people for doing the very things He supposedly predestined them to do.

Eric,

Here is the problem. If God does not intend for murder, rape, abortions, and other misc bad stuff to happen, then why do those things happen? God created humans, not realizing they would sin? Maybe he hoped they would choose of their own free will not to sin? Or he just resigned himself to the fact that his creation would sin and there was nothing he could do about it for now? This makes God out to be a very weak image of his true self. Did God screw up when he made his creation? He has to adjust his plans around our will?

I can see it now. God thinks to himself "Man what was I thinking giving humans free will. They just can't stop sinning! First I had to wipe most of them out with a flood. Now it looks like I'll have to burn up Sodom & Gomorrah. What will they do next... oh well hopefully a few of them will be on my side at the end, even though the devil (whom I created - man that was another BIG mistake) will probably end up with 90% of the souls out there. Too bad they all have free will and my hands are tied. I mean its not like I'm all-powerful or anything. Well, actually I am, but that free will thing has got me stumped."

Doesn't that seem silly? Sorry for the silliness, but you need to acknowledge the absurdity of your own position. You claim that the idea of God's one plan/timeline/purpose is completely contradictory to the bible, yet you ignore the plain scriptures.

Isaiah 45:7 God creates evil (hebrew: ra) - same word in tree of knowledge of good and evil (ra)

Isaiah 46:10-11 God declares the end from the beginning and brings it to pass. He says what will happen and MAKES IT HAPPEN! IT SAYS IT RIGHT HERE IN VERSE 11!

Isaiah 55:11 Anything God speaks will accomplish what he desires and purposes. Just in case you weren't sure about Isaiah 46:11.

Proverbs 16, Psalm 139, Romans 8-9, Eccl 3, all talking about God knowing us completely, directing our steps, the timing of everything, according to his purpose. He sets us in unbelief so he can show his mercy. God set the creation subject to its own vanity. We can go through specific verses if you want.

etc. etc. etc.

If God did not intend for all this to happen, then I fear for the state of the universe. If God did not intend for it all to happen, then God is not in control. Man is in control. And God would not really be God.

But luckily the bible says otherwise. God is in complete control. He created all, is in all, and all things work through him (2 Cor 5:18, Heb 2:10, Col 1:16). All things even consist (are held together) by him (Col 1:17). All things work for his purpose (Eph 1:11).

I know we've talked about some of these verses in the past. But look at them all together. They all support each other. God works all for his purpose, his plan. The one timeline. Its all of God.

You need to look at the bigger picture. God created evil for a purpose. God intended people to sin. God does not force people to sin. We do that ourselves, just as God intended. And we happily do it because we are spiritually weak. God is giving an experience of evil to us, so that we will know what good is. He is creating us in the image of God. That is a process that takes time and experience.

Legoman

John146
Oct 10th 2008, 03:04 AM
Greetings Eric,

I know some things are very difficult to understand and embrace when we see man as having a free will. Would you deny, according to the Bible, that God is often shown to use sin and evil to accomplish His will?No, I don't deny that. But that isn't the issue I'm speaking about here. What I was addressing was whether or not every single evil thing that happens in the world was God's plan or not. I certainly don't believe that is the case, do you? If you did, then if have a daughter and she was brutally raped and murdered then you would have say that was part of God's plan from the beginning for that to happen?

I suppose it would be possible for that to be the case, as hard as that would be to imagine, but would that be the case every single time something like that happened? If that was the case, then there would have been no reason for God to ever punish people because they would merely be doing exactly what He wanted them to do.

Eric

John146
Oct 10th 2008, 03:15 AM
Eric, are the Hebrews any different than any other man born in Adam? No. Therefore, Matthew 23:37-38 applies to all unbelievers. If they only would freely choose to accept Christ rather than reject Him, then He would refrain from punishing them. Why aren't you willing to address what Jesus taught in Matthew 23:37-38 specifically? Do you deny that the only reason that Jesus did not bless the people of Jerusalem by gathering their children together as a hen would gather her chicks under her wings was because they freely and willingly refused to accept Him?


Why does God extend mercy to the Ninevites, and extended none to Jerusalem?

Jon 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. What makes you say He did not extend mercy to Jerusalem. Read Matthew 23:37-38 again. He extended mercy to them, but they (as a whole, not all) didn't believe. The people of Nineveh, on the other hand, did repent and believe.


What was different about Noah? Why would God destroy all mankind, and spare Noah? Was it because Noah was better than they? No, he chose to believe while they didn't. Since I don't know Noah or anyone else who was alive back then personally, I can't tell you exactly why he believed and they didn't. But I can tell you that it wouldn't have grieved God that He made mankind if it was His will from the beginning to not give anyone but Noah and his family the ability to believe in Him.


Was God surprised by the wickedness of man on the earth? He must not have been because He had already provided an answer for the problem of sin before any sin existed...Christ the Lamb slain from before the foundation of the world. This shows us that God not only expected mankind to sin, but He provided a way of escape for some of them. It's obvious that God knew that man would sin. And He provided a way of escape for ALL of them but all people are made responsible to either accept His way or reject it.


Eric, God causes no man to sin. We all willfully choose to sin, because we love our sin. Man is not condemned because he sins, man is condemned because he has no covering for his sin. All men sin, even after salvation we continue to struggle against the world, our flesh and Satan, but we are not condemned when we are in Christ, for He is our righteousness. But if we sin without Christ we are condemned without Christ.

Many Blessings,
RWJohn 3:18 says that man is condemned for not believing in Christ. Are you ever going to answer the question as to why man would be condemned for not doing something that he supposedly never even has the ability to do?

John146
Oct 10th 2008, 03:16 AM
But perhaps here is the real issue: we sin because we are spiritually weak by nature. But why did God create us that way? Again, I would say it was part of his plan.If it was His plan from the beginning for people to sin then why was the lake of fire originally only prepared for the devil and his angels (Matt 25:41)?


Hi Roger,

Yes I admit it is a tough subject.

But logically I can only see it this way. If some people are predestined to be saved when they die, others are predestined to enter the Lake of Fire when they die. Perhaps it is the "default" option.

As we both agree, man in his sinful carnal nature, cannot see what he is, and cannot even choose God until God opens his (spiritual) eyes. Therefore it is not man who saves himself by his own choice, but God who saves the man. By implication God is choosing some to be saved. Others he doesn't choose - we don't know his reason, but it must be according to his plan and it must be for a good reason. But they are left in the "default" carnal state - therefore they will be destined for the lake of fire. I'm not sure why you say we don't know the reason God chooses people to either be saved or not. It's spelled out for us in scripture:

John 3
16For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

John146
Oct 10th 2008, 04:33 AM
Eric,

Here is the problem. If God does not intend for murder, rape, abortions, and other misc bad stuff to happen, then why do those things happen? Because man chooses to rebel against God. Now here's a question for you. Why did it grieve God in Noah's day that He had made mankind? In other words, for what reason would God grieve over mankind rebelling against Him if it was His will from the beginning for them to do so? Also, why did Jesus need to die for anyone's sins if all of those sins were predetermined to happen by God Himself?


God created humans, not realizing they would sin? Maybe he hoped they would choose of their own free will not to sin? Or he just resigned himself to the fact that his creation would sin and there was nothing he could do about it for now? This makes God out to be a very weak image of his true self. Did God screw up when he made his creation? He has to adjust his plans around our will?

I can see it now. God thinks to himself "Man what was I thinking giving humans free will. They just can't stop sinning! First I had to wipe most of them out with a flood. Now it looks like I'll have to burn up Sodom & Gomorrah. What will they do next... oh well hopefully a few of them will be on my side at the end, even though the devil (whom I created - man that was another BIG mistake) will probably end up with 90% of the souls out there. Too bad they all have free will and my hands are tied. I mean its not like I'm all-powerful or anything. Well, actually I am, but that free will thing has got me stumped."

Doesn't that seem silly? Sorry for the silliness, but you need to acknowledge the absurdity of your own position. You claim that the idea of God's one plan/timeline/purpose is completely contradictory to the bible, yet you ignore the plain scriptures.It doesn't seem silly to me at all that God would not force anyone to repent and believe since His relationship with man is not analogous to a puppet master's relationship (or lack thereof) with his puppets.


Isaiah 45:7 God creates evil (hebrew: ra) - same word in tree of knowledge of good and evil (ra)Same word that can have different meanings. Several versions translate it as "calamity" rather than evil and I believe that is the most accurate translation. Here is why:

7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Notice that first light is contrasted with darkness. They are direct opposites. Is the opposite of peace evil? No. Evil is the opposite of good. It makes much more sense that it should be translated as calamity because that would be the opposite of peace. God didn't create evil. He created both the angels and humans with the capacity to choose to do evil (and they obviously did so) but that doesn't mean He created evil. Instead, regarding everything He created, He "saw that it was good".


Isaiah 46:10-11 God declares the end from the beginning and brings it to pass. He says what will happen and MAKES IT HAPPEN! IT SAYS IT RIGHT HERE IN VERSE 11!You have to read the surrounding verses for the context. That passage is not saying that God predetermines every single thing that happens in the world. That is quite a stretch. Let's look at the context:


9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
12Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: 13I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

There it is. He is not speaking of literally all things here. What God was saying that He would do and bring to pass is seen in verse 13. He was saying that He would "bring near my righteousness" and "place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.".


Isaiah 55:11 Anything God speaks will accomplish what he desires and purposes. Just in case you weren't sure about Isaiah 46:11.11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

That verse says absolutely nothing about God predermining every single thing that would happen throughout history.


Proverbs 16, Psalm 139, Romans 8-9, Eccl 3, all talking about God knowing us completely, directing our steps, the timing of everything, according to his purpose. He sets us in unbelief so he can show his mercy. God set the creation subject to its own vanity. We can go through specific verses if you want.That's fine with me, but let's finish discussing these other verses first.


If God did not intend for all this to happen, then I fear for the state of the universe. If God did not intend for it all to happen, then God is not in control. Man is in control. And God would not really be God.If God intended for all the murders, rapes, abortions, etc. that happen then that would mean the Bible does not describe God accurately. It also would make no sense that He once grieved over having made mankind.


But luckily the bible says otherwise. God is in complete control. He created all, is in all, and all things work through him (2 Cor 5:18, Heb 2:10, Col 1:16). All things even consist (are held together) by him (Col 1:17). All things work for his purpose (Eph 1:11).

I know we've talked about some of these verses in the past. But look at them all together. They all support each other. God works all for his purpose, his plan. The one timeline. Its all of God.I believe you take them all out of context. For example, do you really believe that God is in all people? If so, what does that mean? Because we know not all people have the Spirit of God dwelling in them.


You need to look at the bigger picture.That's funny, I was thinking the same about you. ;)


God created evil for a purpose.He didn't create evil for any purpose because He didn't even create evil. Don't you understand that if He created evil then He would be partly evil Himself?


God intended people to sin.If that's the case can you explain why God gets angry and is saddened when people sin?


God does not force people to sin. We do that ourselves, just as God intended.God knew people would sin and I suppose it can be argued that he made Adam and Eve in such a way that it was inevitable that they would eventually sin (that's debatable) if they were tempted to do so. This doesn't mean that God purposely wanted anyone to completely reject Him, as evidenced by the fact that it grieved Him when most of mankind did completely reject Him in Noah's day.


And we happily do it because we are spiritually weak. God is giving an experience of evil to us, so that we will know what good is. He is creating us in the image of God. That is a process that takes time and experience.

LegomanWe certainly have a tendency to sin from the start. That's pretty obvious. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It's not as if it's possible for anyone to go an entire lifetime without sinning. No one here would try to argue that.

But that's not the issue you originally brought up in this thread, right? From what I can tell, what you are trying to claim in this thread is not just that all people are sinners and that God made people in such a way that they were weak and were inevitably going to sin because of that. You are taking it far beyond that by suggesting that all sins that people commit were predetermined or foreordained by God. I completely disagree with that and don't see that taught anywhere in scripture.

RogerW
Oct 10th 2008, 05:55 PM
No, I don't deny that. But that isn't the issue I'm speaking about here. What I was addressing was whether or not every single evil thing that happens in the world was God's plan or not. I certainly don't believe that is the case, do you? If you did, then if have a daughter and she was brutally raped and murdered then you would have say that was part of God's plan from the beginning for that to happen?

I suppose it would be possible for that to be the case, as hard as that would be to imagine, but would that be the case every single time something like that happened? If that was the case, then there would have been no reason for God to ever punish people because they would merely be doing exactly what He wanted them to do.

Eric

Eric,

God does not plan sin! But He does use sin and evil to accomplish His purpose. When people sin, they are not doing what God wants them to do. They are doing what is in their own evil hearts to do. That God permits, or allows sin to exist is for a purpose. For instance look at the example of how Joseph's brothers used sin (from their own evil hearts, not because God willed it), to get rid of him. How does God USE the evil THEY, NOT GOD committed? God took their evil and used it to accomplish good for His people.

Ge 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.

Just because we don't understand how God uses sin and evil for our good and His glory, and in our finite minds we want God to rid the world of all sin and evil NOW, does not mean that sin and evil does not show the glory of God, and is not worked out for the good of His people.

Many Blessings,
RW

RogerW
Oct 10th 2008, 07:10 PM
No. Therefore, Matthew 23:37-38 applies to all unbelievers. If they only would freely choose to accept Christ rather than reject Him, then He would refrain from punishing them. Why aren't you willing to address what Jesus taught in Matthew 23:37-38 specifically? Do you deny that the only reason that Jesus did not bless the people of Jerusalem by gathering their children together as a hen would gather her chicks under her wings was because they freely and willingly refused to accept Him?

No Eric, I don't deny that Christ is willing at all. What I deny is that any natural, fallen, spiritually dead man has the ability to accept Him. I agree that Mt 23:37-38 tells us that they would not come to Christ for life! You say its because they chose to reject Him instead of accepting Him, I say its because they could not choose Him because they were spiritually dead, and slaves of Satan, and in bondage to sin and death.

Christ would have gathered them under His wings IF they had been willing. But they were not willing...why? Because they did not believe! Why didn't they believe? You say its because they freely and willingly refused to...I say AMEN, that is exactly why they did not believe. They are in unbelief, therefore, like all men in unbelief, they will not believe, because they are slaves of Satan, and in spiritual bondage to sin and death. Unless the Holy Spirit opens our ears through the Word of truth; the gospel of salvation, we cannot hear, and cannot believe.



What makes you say He did not extend mercy to Jerusalem. Read Matthew 23:37-38 again. He extended mercy to them, but they (as a whole, not all) didn't believe. The people of Nineveh, on the other hand, did repent and believe.

Eric, the nation, like all men have no excuse for rejecting Christ. They, above all peoples of the world, because they had received the oracles of God, the prophets, and the law, are held to even greater accountability. They had received more light than any other peoples of the earth. This is why their house was left altogether desolate.

Every man born of Adam is without excuse, you know this from Ro 1. All men should believe God when He came to earth as a man, because all men know that God is the Creator of all things, and able to do whatsoever He desires. Though the nation as a whole remain in unbelief, still a small remnant, saved by grace through faith believes. Why? Why a remnant?

Why Nineveh, a pagan nation, and enemies of God's people? Because the remnant and the people of Nineveh believed! Are they better? Isn't every man born in Adam, fallen? Some fallen men, hear and believe, while the rest remain spiritually dead? Aren't all men spiritually dead in trespasses and sins? If some can freely choose Christ, and the rest reject Him..why? Free will? None seek God, none understand, none will choose...Christ tells us, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you."



No, he chose to believe while they didn't. Since I don't know Noah or anyone else who was alive back then personally, I can't tell you exactly why he believed and they didn't. But I can tell you that it wouldn't have grieved God that He made mankind if it was His will from the beginning to not give anyone but Noah and his family the ability to believe in Him.

Eric, I can tell you why Noah believed and the rest did not. Because God extended grace to Noah alone. Through Noah we truly understand, "there but by the grace of God go I." God is grieved over the evil that is in man's heart. God uses the evil man commits, but He is still grieved that His creation has become so vile and evil, and that it is necessary He starts all over again with Noah. God knew from the foundation of the world, that this would come to pass, and is why Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. The wonder of it all is that God did not simply wipe out the whole lot of mankind. But in His great love for His people, God extends mercy and grace to Noah, and through his seed the Messiah would be born. Is the wickedness of man something God desired to happen, or does God use this wickedness for His purpose?



It's obvious that God knew that man would sin. And He provided a way of escape for ALL of them but all people are made responsible to either accept His way or reject it.

Yes, people are responsible, and held accountable. Ro 1 teaches us how and why they are responsible and accountable. To accept or reject implies free will, but this is foreign to Scripture. If natural, fallen man has free will, why does Scripture tell us that every man is in bondage to sin and death? It makes no sense to argue our will is free if it is in bondage. How can one be in bondage and free at the same time?



John 3:18 says that man is condemned for not believing in Christ. Are you ever going to answer the question as to why man would be condemned for not doing something that he supposedly never even has the ability to do?

Man does have the ability Eric. You and I both know we are enabled to believe upon "hearing" the gospel of salvation through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit. The greatest error in free will doctrine is thinking we are condemned because we sin. Of course, not believing in Christ is sin. But, we are not condemned because we sin. We are condemned because we have no covering for our sins. We are condemned because we are not clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and therefore we are left in our sins. If we are condemned because we sin, there is no hope for any man, because no man can live in this body of flesh; of death, without sin. Even as believers we still sin in thought, word and deed. It is not our sin that condemns us, but we are condemned when we are left in our sins without Christ, because only a perfect man can pay the great debt our sins deserve.

Every man born of Adam is born in sin. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are born sinners. And all sin separates us from God. This separation is the condition of every man born of flesh. If God did not desire to save a people for Himself, predestinating them from the foundation of the world, then no man would be saved. All of God's timeline, the whole of human history, why God created mankind, has always been for His glory! Redemptive history HIS STORY it's about God desiring a people to pour His love upon, a people to worship Him and give Him Alone all the glory. God will not share with any man (free will) the glory that belongs to Him alone!

Many Blessings,
RW

John146
Oct 11th 2008, 06:00 AM
No Eric, I don't deny that Christ is willing at all. What I deny is that any natural, fallen, spiritually dead man has the ability to accept Him. I agree that Mt 23:37-38 tells us that they would not come to Christ for life! You say its because they chose to reject Him instead of accepting Him, I say its because they could not choose Him because they were spiritually dead, and slaves of Satan, and in bondage to sin and death.

Christ would have gathered them under His wings IF they had been willing. But they were not willing...why? Because they did not believe! Why didn't they believe? You say its because they freely and willingly refused to...I say AMEN, that is exactly why they did not believe. They are in unbelief, therefore, like all men in unbelief, they will not believe, because they are slaves of Satan, and in spiritual bondage to sin and death. Unless the Holy Spirit opens our ears through the Word of truth; the gospel of salvation, we cannot hear, and cannot believe. You read it as if Jesus said "Ye could not!" or "Ye would not because ye could not!", but He said "Ye would not!" and He said what He would have done had they not rejected Him. That is very clear. Why would He have told them what He would have done for them if that was never possible? That makes no sense at all. I completely disagree with you on this.


Eric, the nation, like all men have no excuse for rejecting Christ. They, above all peoples of the world, because they had received the oracles of God, the prophets, and the law, are held to even greater accountability. They had received more light than any other peoples of the earth. This is why their house was left altogether desolate.

Every man born of Adam is without excuse, you know this from Ro 1. All men should believe God when He came to earth as a man, because all men know that God is the Creator of all things, and able to do whatsoever He desires. Though the nation as a whole remain in unbelief, still a small remnant, saved by grace through faith believes. Why? Why a remnant?

Why Nineveh, a pagan nation, and enemies of God's people? Because the remnant and the people of Nineveh believed! Are they better? Isn't every man born in Adam, fallen? Some fallen men, hear and believe, while the rest remain spiritually dead? Aren't all men spiritually dead in trespasses and sins? If some can freely choose Christ, and the rest reject Him..why? Free will?Yes


None seek God, none understand, none will choose...Until they hear the word of God, feel the convicting power of the Spirit and choose to respond with repentance and faith rather than a stubborn refusal to humble themselves and acknowledge that they are sinners in need of mercy and salvation.


Christ tells us, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." He told that to His twelve disciples, which, in case you forgot, included Judas Iscariot. He chose who would be His closest disciples and they did not choose to be His disciples. When He said that, He wasn't speaking in terms of choosing them to salvation. Otherwise, Judas Iscariot would not have been one of the disciples.

John 6
70Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.


Eric, I can tell you why Noah believed and the rest did not. Because God extended grace to Noah alone.This really illustrates the difference in our views. I say God extended grace to Noah because Noah had faith. You say God extended grace only to Noah and Noah then believed. Based on the text from Genesis 6 alone, neither of us can prove our views beyond the shadow of a doubt. But I believe my view, by far, more reflects the true character of God, who is impartial and wants all men to repent and be saved. When they don't, it grieves Him that they choose not to turn to Him for mercy and salvation.


Through Noah we truly understand, "there but by the grace of God go I." God is grieved over the evil that is in man's heart. God uses the evil man commits, but He is still grieved that His creation has become so vile and evil, and that it is necessary He starts all over again with Noah. God knew from the foundation of the world, that this would come to pass, and is why Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world. The wonder of it all is that God did not simply wipe out the whole lot of mankind. But in His great love for His people, God extends mercy and grace to Noah, and through his seed the Messiah would be born. Is the wickedness of man something God desired to happen, or does God use this wickedness for His purpose? God desires all people to repent (Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9), so when they don't, it grieves Him. If He didn't give them any ability to repent and turn to Him in the first place then there would be no reason for it to grieve Him when they did not repent and turn to Him.


Yes, people are responsible, and held accountable. Ro 1 teaches us how and why they are responsible and accountable. To accept or reject implies free will, but this is foreign to Scripture. If natural, fallen man has free will, why does Scripture tell us that every man is in bondage to sin and death? It makes no sense to argue our will is free if it is in bondage. How can one be in bondage and free at the same time? Where does it say that one being in bondage to sin means they have no ability to decide that they no longer want to be in bondage to sin?

Where does it say that one can't come to the realization that their pursuit of satisfaction through the cravings of the flesh has turned out to not be satisfying to them, so they then seek something beyond what this world has to offer? If they then hear the gospel, they have the opportunity to acknowledge that it is what they want and is the truth rather than what they previously pursued and believed, which did not satisfy them and left them in discontent with their lives.

Romans 6
17But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

It is a decision of the heart that everyone must make to either accept or reject the gospel.


Man does have the ability Eric. You and I both know we are enabled to believe upon "hearing" the gospel of salvation through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit. The greatest error in free will doctrine is thinking we are condemned because we sin.Hello, Roger? Are you there? You're talking to me, not someone named "Free Will Doctrine". I don't believe we are condemned because we sin. I believe man is condemned for not believing in Christ (John 3:18).


Of course, not believing in Christ is sin. But, we are not condemned because we sin. We are condemned because we have no covering for our sins. We are condemned because we are not clothed in the righteousness of Christ, and therefore we are left in our sins.John 3:18 says very clearly that people are condemned for not believing in Christ. It is one's choice to believe in Christ or not.


If we are condemned because we sin, there is no hope for any man, because no man can live in this body of flesh; of death, without sin. Even as believers we still sin in thought, word and deed. It is not our sin that condemns us, but we are condemned when we are left in our sins without Christ, because only a perfect man can pay the great debt our sins deserve.I guess you're having a discussion with someone else, because I never denied any of this.


Every man born of Adam is born in sin. We are not sinners because we sin, we sin because we are born sinners. And all sin separates us from God. This separation is the condition of every man born of flesh. If God did not desire to save a people for Himself, predestinating them from the foundation of the world, then no man would be saved.Where does scripture teach this? Instead, scripture teaches that God wants all people to repent and be saved (Acts 17:30, 2 Peter 3:9, 1 Tim 2:3-6).


All of God's timeline, the whole of human history, why God created mankind, has always been for His glory! Redemptive history HIS STORY it's about God desiring a people to pour His love upon, a people to worship Him and give Him Alone all the glory. God will not share with any man (free will) the glory that belongs to Him alone!My view takes no glory away from God. Instead, it requires that man humble himself and acknowledge that he has no reason to glory in himself. That's what you miss because you make no attempt to properly understand my viewpoint.

Take the publican from Luke 18:9-14, for example. For the sake of argument, assume that the publican freely chose to acknowledge that he was a sinner and needed God's mercy and forgiveness. As a result of his repentance and faith, he was justified rather than the Pharisee who acted as if he was righteous. Now, tell me exactly how the publican, by freely choosing to humble himself and acknowledge that he was a hopeless sinner in need of God's mercy, was taking any glory away from God by freely choosing to acknowledge to God that he was in a a hopeless and sinful state without God's mercy?

RogerW
Oct 11th 2008, 01:05 PM
Good Morning Eric,

Let me begin by saying I am blessed to call you brother!

As I read over these discussions between you and I, I find myself wondering exactly where we disagree on the doctrine of salvation by grace alone. Are we simply speaking past one another, or is there REAL disagreement?

You believe we are born again after hearing the gospel through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit.

So do I.

You believe when we hear and believe it is because we freely received the truth proclaimed about Christ and His ability to save us.

So do I.

You believe when we hear and are left in unbelief it is because we freely reject the truth proclaimed about Christ and His ability to save us.

So do I.

You would explain that salvation is by grace through faith. All we need do is choose to put our faith in Christ.

I would not disagree with this, but I would add that the faith we have to put in Christ came from "hearing" through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit.

You liken this as freedom to choose to accept or reject the Word preached.

I would not disagree with this either. But I would also add, that if we "hear" through the power of the Word and Holy Spirit, we will ALWAYS freely accept or receive the truth. If we turn away, and reject, this we also freely choose, because we have not "heard" through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit. In either situation we freely choose one or the other, and have no power of ourselves to do anything else.

Does this mean the power of the Word and Holy Spirit is limited? Can this power sent from above not penetrate the most stubborn and rebellious harden heart imaginable?

Paul anticipates this question. He asks what advantage has the Jew? He says much advantage, because they had the oracles of God. Yet some of them remained in unbelief. Will their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? (Ro 3:1-3)

This is basically the question I too am pondering. Why can some, who are all in the same fallen condition, "hear" through the power of the Word and the Holy Spirit, and freely receive what they hear, and yet some freely reject what they hear, and remain in unbelief? Is the fault with God's Word, or with the fallen heart? In the case of freely rejecting what is heard, is this the fault of the Word because they did not receive its power through the Holy Spirit?

Evil cannot of itself produce anything but evil. The fact that God's glory is manifested through grace to the worst of sinners is not the work of men, but the work of God, Who, through the righteousness of His Son, turns even our sins to the promotion of His own glory. Since believing is the work of God, how can the fact that some remain in unbelief after hearing the Word not be attributed to God leaving them in unbelief?

The Lord calls us to a work we have never heard before "faith". We must freely own and acknowledge Him to be the Messiah, and embrace and receive Him as the only Redeemer, trusting Him with our souls. God requires this of sinners, that they believe on the One whom He has sent into the world to save. When we do believe it is because we have received power from on high, and when we refuse to believe it is because we have freely chosen to turn away from the One Who saves. It is the faith of Christ, His righteousness imputed to the sinner that saves (Ro 4:20-25).

God is just in His judgments, upright in all He does, and will prevail to have a people unto Himself regardless of what sinful men say and do with the truth and light they are given through the Gospel.

Many Blessings,
RW

legoman
Oct 19th 2008, 03:13 AM
If God does not intend for murder, rape, abortions, and other misc bad stuff to happen, then why do those things happen?Because man chooses to rebel against God.


Yes, this is the typical answer when one believes in free will.

But think it through rationally.

God is: All-powerful, all-knowing, supreme, sovereign, and has complete knowledge of good and evil.
Man is: Created by God, weak willed, sinful, created for God's purpose.

If free will is true:
God created his creation, yet it somehow backfired. God allegedly created us perfect, but then first chance we have we sin. God didn't see it coming. Well ok, he has perfect foreknowledge, so he did see it coming, but he went ahead with the plan anyway knowing his own creation would not do what he wanted. Even though God is all-powerful and all-knowing, God didn't want the world to be in the mess it is in. Hmm. With this thinking, do you really think God is all-powerful then? His plan seems to be somewhat flawed if he didn't intend for everything to happen that does happen. At least his plan included Jesus though.

If predestination is true: the scriptures make sense, and we can rest easy that God is in control and has a purpose for all of the evil that happens.



Now here's a question for you.
Why did it grieve God in Noah's day that He had made mankind? In other words, for what reason would God grieve over mankind rebelling against Him if it was His will from the beginning for them to do so? Also, why did Jesus need to die for anyone's sins if all of those sins were predetermined to happen by God Himself?
There is another thread on this topic:
http://bibleforums.org/showthread.php?t=138943

We can discuss more there if you want, but I will give the short answer.

God is love. He has a plan. It involves mankind rebelling so he can eventually show them the way (romans 11:32). He is creating us in his image. That means we have to learn and experience good and evil.

However this doesn't mean God could not have emotion, feel sorry or grieve when some parts of his plan must come to pass. He grieves in the same way a parent grieves when the child must be discplined. The discipline is necessary. His plan has times of joy and times of sadness, times of good and times of evil. They are all necessary for his plan and ultimate purpose.

Jesus dying on the cross was God's plan for saving the world. There was a purpose for him doing it that way, instead of him magically snapping his fingers and having us all be saved instantly.



It doesn't seem silly to me at all that God would not force anyone to repent and believe since His relationship with man is not analogous to a puppet master's relationship (or lack thereof) with his puppets.
God does not need to force anyone. If you think predestination means we are puppets, then you do not realize what we are. We are God-created breathing human beings who are self aware and can learn and make decisions.

Look at reality. Are people truly free? Most people are slaves to something. Slave to their wife, slave to their boss, slave to work, slave to addiction, slave to their own vanity, and more generally, a slave to Satan, or a slave to Christ. Now slave/puppet may not always be the right word, just like "force" is not the right word.

We could say God forces something, but we could also say God causes something, or God inspires something, or God leads something, etc. Its all the same thing. Call it forcing if you want, but the truth is everything we do is forced/caused/influenced/inspired/lead by something else.

legoman
Oct 19th 2008, 03:46 AM
Isaiah 45:7 God creates evil (hebrew: ra) - same word in tree of knowledge of good and evil (ra)
Same word that can have different meanings. Several versions translate it as "calamity" rather than evil and I believe that is the most accurate translation. Here is why:

7I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.

Notice that first light is contrasted with darkness. They are direct opposites. Is the opposite of peace evil? No. Evil is the opposite of good. It makes much more sense that it should be translated as calamity because that would be the opposite of peace. God didn't create evil. He created both the angels and humans with the capacity to choose to do evil (and they obviously did so) but that doesn't mean He created evil. Instead, regarding everything He created, He "saw that it was good".


Unfortunately the versions that translate it as "calamity" are incorrect. There is another hebrew word (eyd) which means calamity. See Jer 18:17 for an example.

But suppose your "direct opposites" premise was true. Isn't war the opposite of peace? You would at least have to conceed that God creates war.

Exodus 15:3
The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.

Jer 21:6
And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast: they shall die of a great pestilence.

Isa 34:2
For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter.

These verses show God is not afraid to send evil and/or calamity against us.

But regard to evil specifically, here are a few more verses:

2 Sam 12:11
Thus 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.

Jer 4:6
Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

Jer 6:19
Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it.

Jer 18:11
Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good.

Job 2:10
What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.




Regarding Isaiah 46:10-13You have to read the surrounding verses for the context. That passage is not saying that God predetermines every single thing that happens in the world. That is quite a stretch. Let's look at the context:


9Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,
10Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
11Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
12Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: 13I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

There it is. He is not speaking of literally all things here. What God was saying that He would do and bring to pass is seen in verse 13. He was saying that He would "bring near my righteousness" and "place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.".
So your opinion is that "I will do all my pleasure" and "I have purposed it, I will also do it" is only with respect to his plan for Israel?

Note verse 10: He is declaring the beginning from the end. Or is that only with respect to Israel as well? I don't think so. He says what is going to happen. He is stating it as fact.



Isaiah 55:11So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

That verse says absolutely nothing about God predermining every single thing that would happen throughout history.
Isaiah 55:11 is stating that whatever God says, it shall happen and accomplish what God intended it to. Now go back to Isaiah 46:10. God is saying everything that will happen, from the beginning to end. Therefore it shall happen as God pleases, according to his plan. This is not only talking about Israel, but everything.



If God intended for all the murders, rapes, abortions, etc. that happen then that would mean the Bible does not describe God accurately.
Take another look at the verses I posted above. Quite clearly God is capable of causing wars, smiting people, causing slaughter etc. There are many other verses which show God causing death and destruction for his purpose.

Here are a few more:

Josh 10:10
And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.

Ex 22:24
And my wrath shall wax hot, and I will kill you with the sword; and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless.

Ecclesiastes 3:3
A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

etc.

Make no mistake, there is a purpose for all of the evil in this world. It is part of God's plan.

legoman
Oct 19th 2008, 04:08 AM
But luckily the bible says otherwise. God is in complete control. He created all, is in all, and all things work through him (2 Cor 5:18, Heb 2:10, Col 1:16). All things even consist (are held together) by him (Col 1:17). All things work for his purpose (Eph 1:11).

I know we've talked about some of these verses in the past. But look at them all together. They all support each other. God works all for his purpose, his plan. The one timeline. Its all of God.
I believe you take them all out of context. For example, do you really believe that God is in all people? If so, what does that mean? Because we know not all people have the Spirit of God dwelling in them.


I apologize, when I said "in all" I was thinking of the all things consist by him verse. It doesn't actually say "in all" there, but eventually God will be All in All (1 Cor 15:28).

But how can you say these verses are out of context? Let me present one more which sums it all up:

1 Cor 12:6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.

Yet again, another verse which says God is operating everything. Just like Eph 1:11. Just like Isa 46:11.

Numbers 23:19
God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Anything he speaks he shall do. Just like Isaiah 46:10 and Isa 55:11.



He didn't create evil for any purpose because He didn't even create evil. Don't you understand that if He created evil then He would be partly evil Himself?
The scriptures show that he did create evil. Just because he created evil doesn't mean he is evil. It means he has a knowledge of evil.



We certainly have a tendency to sin from the start. That's pretty obvious. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. It's not as if it's possible for anyone to go an entire lifetime without sinning. No one here would try to argue that.

But that's not the issue you originally brought up in this thread, right? From what I can tell, what you are trying to claim in this thread is not just that all people are sinners and that God made people in such a way that they were weak and were inevitably going to sin because of that. You are taking it far beyond that by suggesting that all sins that people commit were predetermined or foreordained by God. I completely disagree with that and don't see that taught anywhere in scripture.Sorry, but the scriptures don't agree with you. This is not something I'm making up off the top of my head. This is actually what the scriptures say. God creates evil. God is operating everything according to his plan. Don't worry, it is a good plan and it will all work out in the end. Eventually God will be all in all (1 Cor 15:28).

petepet
Oct 19th 2008, 08:40 AM
Legoman said: Isaiah 45:7 God creates evil (hebrew: ra) - same word in tree of knowledge of good and evil (ra)


Sorry Legoman but in translation you cannot just assume that the same word always means exactly the same thing.

Consider our own language.

You can say that all men are 'perishing' meaning that they will one day die.

You can be freezing cold and say, 'I'm perishing', simply meaning you are cold.

Your tyre can be 'perishing', simply meaning it is wasting away.

You can say to your child, 'You are a perishing nuisance'

Thus you cannot say that ra always means the same thing in the Old Testament.

Isaiah was referring to evil circumstances, compare 'shall evil come on a city and the Lord has not done it'. Evil that men do in the sense of sin is not created, it occurs as a result of freewill. The freewill was of course created. But not the evil. Othewise it would not be of freewill.

Veretax
Oct 19th 2008, 01:52 PM
Well, obviously God is not bound by time, right? :) He is outside of time. Perhaps I should have stated that at the top.

But what is wrong with the one timeline theory, if God is not bound by time?


Hi BrckBrln,

I figured you would agree :) To me it seems obvious. If God has perfect foreknowledge of the choices we make, then there can only be one path forward.

BrckBrln, how would you answer the secondary questions I posed? This is what I would suggest:

1. God created the timeline. If he didn't it is a paradox. It implies he created us, with his foreknowledge, but not knowing what we would do (the timeline)

2. No one is forced to make the choices that bring the timeline to pass. All the participants do it willingly.

3. A single timeline is essentally the definition of predestination.


It seems to prove this, all we need to know is:

1. God is sovereign (100's of verses in the bible state this, Gen 15:2, 15:8, etc)

2. God is omniscient, with perfect foreknowledge (God knows the beginning and the end, God is the alpha and the omega, Rev 1:8, Rev 21:6, Rev 22:13, and many other places speak of God's foreknowledge)

3. Isaiah 46:10 says sums it up clearly: God declared the timeline and brings it to pass.

Cheers,
Legoman

I've always had the idea that God exists outside of our concept of time A thousand years are as a day to the Lord scripture says. Is it not more likely that God is merely an observer who has the ability to see all points of time, but does not necessarily exist within our own timeline? To assume that he created us and the timeline though, is to say he determined who would live, who would die, who would suffer etc. Which is interesting, doesn't Isaiah say somewhere that God created evil? (I'm not sure that's the correct wording without my bible handy, but that's what I am thinking. However, I do believe that it is likely that given how we are created, the situations we are in, that many of our choics are in fact dictated by how and where we are born. Example:

I am a graduate with a Computer Engineering Degree.
My Father has a Degree in Chemical Engineering
My Grandfather on the one side also has an Engineering degree (but can't remember what the exact discipline is). My other grand father had a technical degree, but it was not Engineering.

Now this is something I've always wondered. Was I born with the gifts of being good with math and physical sciences, and that's what made me make the choice of taking a similar path to my father and grandfather? Or was it predestined that because of who I am, how I grew up, that I would be an Engineer? It an interesting point.

Here's a passage from Romans:

From Suffering to Glory
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. 24 For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. 26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

This is how I understood predestination. That God knew ahead of time who would take that step of Faith, and those he fore new he called and planned that we would be conformed to Christ's image (to become like him). And they he called he also justified.

now... earlier in Romans 3 it says the following:
God's Righteousness Through Faith
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,
22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Boasting Excluded
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.


It is clear though that we are justified through Faith, not works. Which is interesting in the prior passage it talks about hope. We hope for things we cannot see, for if we could see it it is not hope. Very interesting. In verse 5 though it says the same thing that by Grace have we been saved.

John 1:12-13
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:
13 who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Interesting. We receive him, and in so doing are granted the Right by God to be counted as his Child, and then we are born not of our Will, or Blood or Flesh, but of God.

Now.
Ephesians Chapter 2 is often used to prove faith, and grace but not of works for salvation. There is an interesting interplay here. In verse 1 it says he made us alive (but this is in italics, and that means it was added right?)
By Grace Through Faith
1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.


Verse 8 and 9 are often memorized together, but look at verse 10. I think this is key to understanding what exactly it is that God predestined us for:

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

It seems to me, that we are predestined to be conformed to Christ's image, not just to be made righteous. He predestined us that we would walk in his footsteps in doing good works. That to me is what predestination means.

God knew whom he would call, because he knew who would accept and receive Christ. And he knew that he would conform us to the Image of Christ and then set us on the path of doing Good works. Now knowing this, we come back to the question of the timeline. Was man forced to make this choice by God? or did God know the choice, and determine what to do with the outcome?

Now here' an interesting Passage from 2 Peter Chapter 3:

1 Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), 2 that you may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, 3 knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, 4 and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, 6 by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. 7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

This is interesting. It says the Lord is not Slack in his promise. His word is a boolean as my Friend John says, it always returns true. He is long suffering and patient with us, but he's not willing that any should perih, but that all should come to repentance? This is interesting. We know that God spoke and the world became as it was. Jesus spoke and the wind and waves calmed. So if Lord has the power, why does he not just make us all saved? Can God force or compell everyone to repent?

I had to look up the Strongs number for Willing here: (thanks crosswalk.com)

Strong's Number: 1014 Browse Lexicon (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/browse.cgi?number=1014&version=kjv) Original WordWord Origin bouvlomaimiddle voice of a primary verb Transliterated WordTDNT (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=1014&version=kjv#Legend) Entry Boulomai1:629,108 Phonetic SpellingParts of Speech boo'-lom-ahee http://bible.crosswalk.com/images/audio.gif (http://bible.crosswalk.com/cgi-bin/lexicon.pl?id=1014g) Verb Definition

to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded
of willing as an affection, to desire

King James Word Usage - Total: 34 will 15, would 11, be minded 2, intend 2, be disposed 1, be willing 1, list 1, of his own will 1
So this word could mean desire which fits better with scripture, cause we know some are judged and thrown into the lake of fire. Okay, so by this, it seems that God has a Will, but he does not necessarily impose it onto every man or woman.

divaD
Oct 19th 2008, 02:12 PM
The scriptures show that he did create evil. Just because he created evil doesn't mean he is evil. It means he has a
knowledge of evil




legoman, here's one of the problems I see with your interpretation of Isaiah 45:7.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.



What do we notice here? God is talking in a continual sense, and not just a past tense, otherwise the verse would have rendered something such as this:

I formED the light, and createD darkness: I maDe peace, and createD evil: I the LORD did all these things


Do you see how that completely changes the meaning? Since God rested from all of His creating abilities on the 7th day, we can be assured that God is still not creating new things, as in the same sense as what He created in 6
days, and even before that, when He created all the angels, etc.



This verse can't be interpreted like you want it to be. To further illustrate my point, look at these verses in the same chapter.


12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded

18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else


God is clearly speaking in the past here. A whole lot different from verse 7, where God is clearly speaking in the past, present, and future so to speak.

Also verse 7 has to be interpreted according to context in order to come up with the correct understanding. You need to keep that in mind also.

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 02:00 AM
Legoman said: Isaiah 45:7 God creates evil (hebrew: ra) - same word in tree of knowledge of good and evil (ra)


Sorry Legoman but in translation you cannot just assume that the same word always means exactly the same thing.

Consider our own language.

You can say that all men are 'perishing' meaning that they will one day die.

You can be freezing cold and say, 'I'm perishing', simply meaning you are cold.

Your tyre can be 'perishing', simply meaning it is wasting away.

You can say to your child, 'You are a perishing nuisance'

Thus you cannot say that ra always means the same thing in the Old Testament.


Hi Petepet,

Agreed, ra doesn't always necessarily mean the same thing, but in this case the evidence seems to point to God causing evil.

I can see the possibility of multiple meanings for one word, as in English - however as I understand it Greek & Hebrew are much more precise than English.

In this case we have 'ra' which is used to mean 'evil' in many other verses, and the word 'eyd' which means calamity, so this is the first clue. Why was the word 'eyd' not used in Isa 45:7?

The second clue is all the other verses which seem to confirm that God does indeed cause evil along with many other things (see my previous posts). Many of them don't use the word 'ra', but say directly what God causes (ie. war, slaughter, disaster, disease, famine, plagues, etc). Also the verse you quoted seems to suggest it as well:

Amos 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil (ra) in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?



Isaiah was referring to evil circumstances, compare 'shall evil come on a city and the Lord has not done it'. Evil that men do in the sense of sin is not created, it occurs as a result of freewill. The freewill was of course created. But not the evil. Othewise it would not be of freewill.Agreed that Isaiah 45:7 is probably talking about evil circumstances. That could be another whole debate: did God create the very concept of evil, or just the evil of this world (ie. the evil circumstances). And did he create it directly, or cause it through Satan and man? In topic with this thread (the one timeline) I am suggesting God causes (not necessarily directly) the evil we see in this world. God uses Satan for his purpose.

If you read the rest of this thread, you will see my arguments against man's will being "free". Man's will is "caused". Man's will is caused (or forced/influenced/inspired/detemined if you prefer) by the circumstances and experiences the man has faced.

Petepet, I'm curious, how would you answer my question in post #1 of this thread. Do you think there is only one timeline, and Isaiah 46:10 is describing this?

Thanks,
Legoman

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 02:11 AM
legoman, here's one of the problems I see with your interpretation of Isaiah 45:7.

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.



What do we notice here? God is talking in a continual sense, and not just a past tense, otherwise the verse would have rendered something such as this:

I formED the light, and createD darkness: I maDe peace, and createD evil: I the LORD did all these things


Do you see how that completely changes the meaning? Since God rested from all of His creating abilities on the 7th day, we can be assured that God is still not creating new things, as in the same sense as what He created in 6
days, and even before that, when He created all the angels, etc.



This verse can't be interpreted like you want it to be. To further illustrate my point, look at these verses in the same chapter.


12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded

18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else


God is clearly speaking in the past here. A whole lot different from verse 7, where God is clearly speaking in the past, present, and future so to speak.

Also verse 7 has to be interpreted according to context in order to come up with the correct understanding. You need to keep that in mind also.

Hi divaD,

I am curious then, what is your interpretation of the verse and the words "create evil", and specifically the word "create". Agreed that Isa 45:7 is clearly talking about the present and all times. In general he creates evil (past, present and future). Not sure what you are getting at though with your "God doesn't create anymore" argument, because the verse clearly says he does create - darkness and evil.

Also, in keeping in topic, I am interested in everyone's response (including yours :)) to the question in post #1. Is there only one timeline as described by Isa 46:10?

Thanks,
Legoman

legoman
Oct 20th 2008, 03:00 AM
Hi Veretax,

Wow, great post (and lengthy), I think we have some agreement on some things. I won't comment on everything (due to length)...


I've always had the idea that God exists outside of our concept of time A thousand years are as a day to the Lord scripture says. Is it not more likely that God is merely an observer who has the ability to see all points of time, but does not necessarily exist within our own timeline? To assume that he created us and the timeline though, is to say he determined who would live, who would die, who would suffer etc. Which is interesting, doesn't Isaiah say somewhere that God created evil? (I'm not sure that's the correct wording without my bible handy, but that's what I am thinking.


Hehe :), you need to read the last few posts. Isaiah 45:7 (God created evil) is talked about extensively.

God knows the time of birth and death of everyone (see psalm 139:16). In fact they have been determined.

Job 14:5 Man's days are determined;
you have decreed the number of his months
and have set limits he cannot exceed.

And of course we all know the suffering that Job went through. Is Job a one off case? God wouldn't do what he did to Job to anyone else would he? Well, actually, yes he does. Job is the model of every trial in our lives.



However, I do believe that it is likely that given how we are created, the situations we are in, that many of our choics are in fact dictated by how and where we are born.

Example:

I am a graduate with a Computer Engineering Degree.
My Father has a Degree in Chemical Engineering
My Grandfather on the one side also has an Engineering degree (but can't remember what the exact discipline is). My other grand father had a technical degree, but it was not Engineering.

Now this is something I've always wondered. Was I born with the gifts of being good with math and physical sciences, and that's what made me make the choice of taking a similar path to my father and grandfather? Or was it predestined that because of who I am, how I grew up, that I would be an Engineer? It an interesting point.
Yes, exactly! This is what I have been trying to explain. We are who we are because of circumstances. We make choices based on those circumstances. You were born with certain gifts. They influenced your decisions. When we make a decision, we actually base it on hundreds or thousands of variables - many we don't even realize are influencing us. But God of course knows all those variables, and knows exactly how we would respond.



This is how I understood predestination. That God knew ahead of time who would take that step of Faith, and those he fore new he called and planned that we would be conformed to Christ's image (to become like him). And they he called he also justified.
Kind of a chicken and the egg problem.
1. Does God foreknow what we do because we do it? or
2. Do we do what we do because God foreknew it?

In effect, does God influence us or do we influence God? Does God make the plan or does God plan around us?


It seems to me, that we are predestined to be conformed to Christ's image, not just to be made righteous. He predestined us that we would walk in his footsteps in doing good works. That to me is what predestination means.

God knew whom he would call, because he knew who would accept and receive Christ. And he knew that he would conform us to the Image of Christ and then set us on the path of doing Good works. Now knowing this, we come back to the question of the timeline. Was man forced to make this choice by God? or did God know the choice, and determine what to do with the outcome?
Yep, chicken and egg problem again. Scripture shows God is in control, his plan is unchanging, therefore we are the ones who are subjected to God's purpose.



Now here' an interesting Passage from 2 Peter Chapter 3:
...
8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

This is interesting. It says the Lord is not Slack in his promise. His word is a boolean as my Friend John says, it always returns true. He is long suffering and patient with us, but he's not willing that any should perih, but that all should come to repentance? This is interesting. We know that God spoke and the world became as it was. Jesus spoke and the wind and waves calmed. So if Lord has the power, why does he not just make us all saved? Can God force or compell everyone to repent?
Yes interesting question... it deserves further study. God is certainly powerful enough (all powerful) and good enough (infinitely good). He is also holy and just.



I had to look up the Strongs number for Willing here: (thanks crosswalk.com)

Strong's Number: 1014 Browse Lexicon (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/browse.cgi?number=1014&version=kjv) Original WordWord Origin bouvlomaimiddle voice of a primary verb Transliterated WordTDNT (http://bible.crosswalk.com/Lexicons/Greek/grk.cgi?number=1014&version=kjv#Legend) Entry Boulomai1:629,108 Phonetic SpellingParts of Speech boo'-lom-ahee http://bible.crosswalk.com/images/audio.gif (http://bible.crosswalk.com/cgi-bin/lexicon.pl?id=1014g) Verb Definition


to will deliberately, have a purpose, be minded
of willing as an affection, to desire

King James Word Usage - Total: 34 will 15, would 11, be minded 2, intend 2, be disposed 1, be willing 1, list 1, of his own will 1
So this word could mean desire which fits better with scripture, cause we know some are judged and thrown into the lake of fire. Okay, so by this, it seems that God has a Will, but he does not necessarily impose it onto every man or woman.Yes, even some versions of the bible use "desire" instead of "will" in 2 Peter 3:9. But is God's desire somehow weaker than his will?

Phil 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Isaiah 46:10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure

This is such a great verse. There is so much packed in there - do you see it? Anything that pleases God, he will do. That should cover anything he desires.

But of course this is a predicament since we do know people are thrown into the lake of fire. Probably subject for another thread...

Cheers,
Legoman

Veretax
Oct 20th 2008, 12:33 PM
Yes, this has been a very interesting Discussion. Is God the Prime Mover? Is he the Cause? Or is he the Reaction to the Cause? Or an effect? Hrms, we know from revelation that he is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end:

Rev 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Rev 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.”

I wish I had my study bible with me cause I'd love to see what verses it references. In Any case, this is interesting, because I've always believed that God is actively involved in History. We know he created the earth and all that is in it. John says that Christ, the Word was there.

John 1:1-3

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

So in an interesting twist, if nothing was created that was not created by him, that would seem to infer that he did in fact create the timeline right? As you have said he determined when we will be born, when we will die etc.

(btw sorry about the Isaiah reference, was working on the post and had to step away and didn't realize it had already been discussed)

I agree, Job is an example of how even the righteous can suffer trial, and should not lose hope or faith because God will bring us through.

Here's the somewhat crazy thing. If we believe all things were created by God including time and the timeline, that he fashioned the circumstances of our lives which resulted in us making the choices that we make. Did we really have the Free Will to make this choice? Or was it pre-determined? But as we saw in that verse from 2 Peter, if that's true that God predetermined our choices by the circumstances, why did he not determine the circumstances to drive everyone to Christ? Its a puzzling question if that is true.


Now let me let a nother kink into the hose. I've always understood that there is a difference between God's "Soverign Will", and "God's Moral Will". That when the law was given, it was intended to show forth sin as sin, that God desired that all men walk in his ways, yet they didn't. It is perplexing, unless you consider the biggest question of the beginning.

Why?

Why did God Create everything? Why didn't God prevent the first sin and strike the serpent dead in the Garden? If we believe God does know everything, he knew what was going on, had to have. So why did he allow this spawn a billion and more suffering in man?

There can be only one reason. For his express Glory. As I'm often found saying, God could have created us as mindless machines. Lacking Free Will, we'd be constrained to the bounds of our programing with no programmed deviation from the laws that governed our motions. However, how much Glory can God derive from a creation that is programmed to automatically act in his desired manner? It almost seems a paradox, for greater is the glory when a creation that has the ability to reason and of his own volition choose to glorify his name, yet as we know he created everything are we not thus programmed to reason in this matter?

Then again how many fail to Glorify his name? Does God even need us to do his will for him to take Glory from our circumstances? The only answer I can make is that when man was first formed in God's image, that God intended a special fellowship with mankind. Yet in order for man to have the ability to be more than a 'pet' so to speak was to allow the possibility that he might choose evil.

We know the end result. Adam sinned and was thrust out of the Garden, and we've struggled with sin since then. It would seem against God's imperatives that this happened, yet we know from the bible that even through the suffering of Israel, that God drew Glory from it.

I suspect that part of the problem is even though mankind was created in the image of God, we are still in effect finite beings. Our understanding is limited compared to the immenseness of God.

Emanate
Oct 21st 2008, 04:42 PM
Again I will state, we err when we see time on a line. time is not linear, it is circular.

legoman
Oct 21st 2008, 04:46 PM
Again I will state, we err when we see time on a line. time is not linear, it is circular.

Hi Emanate, perhaps you could explain further and elaborate more on your position, as I don't understand what you mean when you say its circular.

Feel free to start a new thread!

Legoman

Veretax
Oct 21st 2008, 04:57 PM
Hi Emanate, perhaps you could explain further and elaborate more on your position, as I don't understand what you mean when you say its circular.

Feel free to start a new thread!

Legoman


I think what he's saying is that time comes in cycles. 29-30 days in a lunar cycle 360-365 days in a year etc. That history also has a tendency to repeat itself in some fashion or another.

Emanate
Oct 21st 2008, 06:23 PM
Hi Emanate, perhaps you could explain further and elaborate more on your position, as I don't understand what you mean when you say its circular.

Feel free to start a new thread!

Legoman


That does make sense. I will collect my thoughts and work on an abbreviated post of what I am attempting to convey.