Nazarene Space

Freewill vs Predestination
By James Trimm


The Essenes believed strongly in Predestination:

…the sect of the Essenes affirm that fate governs all things,
and that nothing befalls men but what is according to its
determination.
(Josephus; Ant. 13:5:9)

From the God of Knowledge comes all that is and shall be.
Before ever they existed He established their whole design,
and when, as ordained for them, they come into being, it is
in accord with His glorious design that they accomplish their
task without change. …
(1QS 3:15f)

However the Pharisees had a more moderate view:

When they say that all things happen by fate,
they do not take away from men the freedom
of acting as they think fit; since their notion
is that it has pleased God to mix up the decrees
of fate and man’s will, so that man can act
virtuously or visciously.
(Josephus; Ant. 18:1:3)

The Mishna gives the Pharisaic view as follows:

All things are foreknown,
but freewill is given.
- m.Avot 3:16

One of the primary “predestination” schools in Christendom is known as “Calvanism”. "Calvanism" is actually a term which refers to all of Calvin's teachings however it has come to be used primarily to refer to Calvin's teaching of "predestination". After Calvin's death his followers formulated his teachings into five basic points called "the Five Points of Calvanism" which they compare to the five pedals of a tulip. Calvinists use the word
TULIP as a memory device for these five points by making the following acronymn:

[T]otal depravity of man
[U]nconditional election
[L]imited atonement
[I]rresistable grace
[P]erseverence of the Saints

In this paper we will discuss the first four of these in depth, though not in the same order as TULIP.

Calvanist thinking goes something like this:

Elohim is ultimately soverign and all powerful while man is totally depraved. As a result man cannot resist Elohim. Since all men are not saved, but the "elect" are saved, Elohim has only willed certain men to be saved, while others he has willed to be demned. If the all powerful irresistable Elohim has called a man to be saved, then he will be saved. By contrast if the all powerful irresistable Elohim has not called a man to be saved, then that
man will never (and can never) be saved.

OK now lets show the fault in the "TULIP logic":

The Calvinist concept of Elohim's soveregnty is that he is irresistable. That no man could ever resist the will of Elohim. This is based on a flawed interprtetation of Romans 9 as well as misunderstanding the key termes in the KJV "foreknown", "predestined" and "elect". We will discuss each of these in depth under another heading. However the scriptures plainly teach that man can and has at times resisted the will of Elohim. A prime
example appears in Acts 7:51:

"...You men are always resisting the Ruach HaKodesh."

If in fact the will of Elohim cannot be resisted by man, then all men would be saved. This is because the scriptures tell us that ALL men have been called by Him to salvation:

...by the righteousness of one [Messiah]
the free gift came upon all men
unto the justification of life.
(Rom. 5:18)

...our Eloah and Saviour;
who will have all men to be saved,...
(1Tim. 2:3-4)

[YHWH is]...not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance.
(2Pt. 3:9)

In fact it seems that these three verses, coupled with the concept of "limited atonement" (i.e. that only some men will be saved) actually disproves Calvanism. Since Elohim has willed all men to be saved, yet only some of them will be saved, it stands to reason that some of these men resist his will and are damned by their own choice.

One major problem with Calvanist thinking is that it is deeply rooted in Replacement Theology. One key term that is central to Calvanism is "the Elect". But what is the difference between the "Elect" and the "Chosen"? None at all. The KJV translates the same Hebrew and Greek words as "Chosen" or "Elect" depending on the mood of the translator, or more likey so as to imply that the "Elect" is the "Church". For example if you compare 1Pt. 2:9 with Is. 43:20 and Deut. 10:15 you swill see that the "Elect" of 1Pt. 2:9 is drawnd from Tanak passages about the "Chosen" people Israel in Is. 43:20f and Deut. 10:15.

Now if we are good Bereans (Acts 17) we will check the scriptures, the Tanak to see what Paul and other "New Testament writers" are saying. If we do so we will see that clearly the term "Elect/Chosen" refers not to "the Christian Church" but to Israel (Deut. 7:6; 10:15; 14:2; Is. 41:8-9; 42:1;43:20f; 45:4; 65:9, 22 & Ps. 135:4).

Now the misunderstanding of the Elect as the Christian Church has created a problem in logic that has helped to support Calvanism. By must Christian theology the Christian Church is made up of all believers in “Jesus Christ”. But this seems to conflict. If the term "the Elect" refers to the Christian Church then it implies not that they chose Elohim, but that Elohim chose them. The Calvinist resolution is that Elohim chose a certain class of people who would choose Elohim because Elohim predestined them to do so. Thus they are the "Elect" because Elohim chose them to be those who would choose him. The real resolution is that replacement theology is wrong in the first place. The term “Elect/Chosen" is a euphamism for Israel and not the Christian Church at all.

A keystone to Calvanist thinking is Romans 9. Since Calvanists has so misunderstood this chapter we will cover it in detail.

The topic of Romans 9 is to reasuer Paul's readers. He has just told them that Elohim has predestined believers to be conformed to the image of the Son (which in no way indicates the doctrine of predestination as explained above). He has just been telling them about the promise of redemption. But what good is that promise. Did he not make promises to Israel? In Romans 9 thru 11 Paul will explain that YHWH will indeed be faithful in keeping his promises to Israel. However this has cause Paul to cover a paranthetical thought. This thought is to explain to his readers that Elohim had the right to Choose
Israel. Notice the term "Election" in 9:11 refers to Israel NOT the Christian Church.

In the next few verses Paul will justify Elohim's right to make Israel his chosen people.

In Rom. 9:11-16 Paul cites Gen. 25:23 and Mal. 1:2-3 to express that Elohim chose to have his chosen linage to pass through Jacob rather than Esau. It must be noted that this resulted from Esau selling his birthright to Jacob of his own freewill (Gen. 25:24-34). Elohim "hated" Esau for not cherishing his birthright.

In Rom. 9:17-18 Paul refers to God's sovergnty when he hardened Pharaoh's heart. Paul here quotes Ex. 9:16 and is referring to the material in Ex. 9:15-17. The Calvanist misunderstanding here comes from a lack of understsnding the idiom Biblical Hebrew. Ex. 4:21 & 9:16 are examples of a common Hebrew idiom in which an active verb is used to express not the doing of a thing, but permission to do it. Another example of this idiom is found in Jer. 4:10:

Then said I: 'Ah, Adonai YHWH! surely
You have greatly deceived this people and
Yerushalayim, saying: You shall have peace;
whereas the sword reaches unto the soul.'
(Jer. 4:10 HRV)

Meaning not that YHWH decieved them but that he ALLOWED them to be decieved.
(other examples of this idiom: Mt. 6:13a; 2Thes. 2:11; Rom. 1:24-26; Zech. 1:10b).

In the case of Pharaoh we have a man who was not a believer (Ex. 5:2) and who hardenened his own heart (Ex. 8:11, 15, 28; 9:7). Paul simply refers to this story to show that Elohim had the soveregn right to allow Pharaoh to harden his own heart of his own freewill. This concept is also taught in the Talmud:

In the way in which a man wishes to walk he is guided.
(b.Mak. 10b)

If one goes to defile himself, openings are made for him;
and if he goes to purify himself, help is afforded him.
(b.Shabb. 104a)

If a man defiles himself a little, he becomes much defiled:
[if he defile himself] below, he becomes defiled from above;
if he defile himself in this world,
he becomes defiled in the world to come.
Our Rabbis taught: Sanctify yourselves,
therefore, and be ye holy:
If a man sanctify himself a little,
he becomes much sanctified.
[If he sanctify himself] below,
he becomes sanctified from above;
if he sanctify himself in this world,
he becomes sanctified in the world to come.
(b.Yoma 39a)

Elohim, has the sovereign right to further harden the heart of the man who has chosen himself to harden his heart. This does not conflict with freewill, it is an amplification of freewill.

Elohim hardened Pharoah’s heart further because Elohim had made Israel his Chosen people Egypt. The point of the story here is that Elohim chose to reveal himself to Israel, typified by Moses, while allowing Egypt (typified by Pharoah) to harden their hearts.

Finally in Rom. 9:19-23 Paul recounts the parable of the potter and the clay. This is a common parable in Jewish literature. It also appears in Is. 29:16; 45:9; Jer. 18:1-10 and Wisdom 12:12, 20; 15:7). In this parable the potter is Elohim and the clay is mankind. The point of the parable is that Elohim is soveregn over mankind and therefore has the right to make the Jews his chosen people. This is revealed as the meaning of the parable in Rom. 9:24.

Some important points about this parable overall. Jeremiah reminds us that Elohim responds to our freewill in exercising soveregnty over us (Jer. 18:8, 10) and actually condemns those who ascribe this to fate/predestination by stating that we have a freewill (Jer. 18:12) a point Paul also seems to agree with in speaking of allegorical vessals in 2Tim. 2:20-21.

Thus the purpose of Romans 9 is to justify Elohim's right to choose the Jewish people as his Chosen people (Elect) and NOT to teach the Calavanist concept of predestionation and an Elect Christian Church.

There are two words which are translated three ways in the KJV these are Strong's Greek number 4309 Translated "predestined" and Strongs's Greek number 4267 translated "foreknow/foreknew" in Rom. 8:29 and 11:2 but as "foreordained" in 1Pt. 1:20.
(this word appears in Acts 2:23; 15:18 = Amos 9:11-12; Rom. 8:29; 11:2 & 1Pt. 1:20)

First we will address the issue of "foreknowledge". Judaism mainatins this concept as the Mishna says:

All things are foreknown,
but freewill is given.
- m.Avot 3:16

Foreknowledge is simply the concept that Elohim foreknows the future, and does not require that he predestine the future.

A heathen said to Rabbi Joshua,
"You believe that God knows the future?"
"Yes," replied the Rabbi.
"Then," said the questioner, "wherefore is it written,
'The Lord said, I will destroy everything which
I have made, because it repents me that I have made
them?' Did not the Lord foresee that man would
become corrupt?"
Then said Rabbi Joshua, "Have you children?"
"Yes," was the answer.
"When a child was born, what did you?"
"I made a great rejoicing."
"What cause had you to rejoice?
Do you not know that they must die?"
"Yes, that is true; but in the time of enjoyment
I do not think of the future."
"So was it with God," said Rabbi Joshua.
"He knew that men would sin; still that
knowledge did not prevent the execution of
his beneficent purpose to create them."
(Gen. Rabba 27:4)

Next is the word "foreordain" in 1Pt. 1:20. As we have already shown this same word is elsewhere translated simply as "foreknow".

Finally we reach the keyword "predestined" This word appears five times in the KJV. However in none of its usages does it actually refer to the doctrine of "predestination" as understood in Calvanism.

Rom. 8:29-30 says only that believers are predestined to be conformed to the image of the Son, not that they were predestined to believe.

Eph. 1:5, 11 says only that beleivers are predestined to have a life in the world to come.

These passages in the KJV use the word "predestined" but do not at all teach the concept of "predestination".

It should be noted that the Aramaic of these passages actually has the phrase "marked from before" which implies only marking and not predestination.

The Calvanist concept of the total depravity of man is largely rooted in a misunderstanding of Jn. 6:44, 64-65 which states:

No man can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.

While this is true, Calvansists have totally ignored a whole series of other passages which tell us that God has called all men to him:

...by the righteousness of one [Messiah]
the free gift came upon all men
unto the justification of life.
(Rom. 5:18)

...our Eloah and Saviour;
who will have all men to be saved,...
(1Tim. 2:3-4)

[YHWH is]...not willing that any should perish,
but that all should come to repentance.
(2Pt. 3:9)

The trick is that they must respond by their own freewill.

It remains to be said that the doctrine of predestination is toally counter-Torah. Freewill is an important element of Torah as well as freedom/liberty. Without freewill there is no real freedom/liberty. The Tank tells us:

So shall I keep your Torah continually forever and ever,
And I will walk in freedom: for I seek your precepts.
(Psalm 119:44-45)

As well as by Ya'akov HaTzadik (James the Just) who called the Torah "the Torah of freedom" (James 1:25; 2:12).

Yeshua said:

... if you continue in my word,
then are you my disciples indeed.
And you shall know the truth,
and the truth shall make you free.
(John 8:31-32)

With Ps. 119:142:

...your Torah is truth.

So the Torah makes one free. Freedom requires freewill. Freewill is constantly reflected in the Torah. The following are just a few examples:

Gen. 2:16 - Adam could FREELY eat of any tree in the garden except one. Adam CHOSE to eat that fruit as well anyway.

Ex. 5:2; 8:11, 15, 28; 9:7 - Elohim allowed Pharaoh to harden his heart (see expaination of idiom under Rom. 9 above)

Lev. 1:3 - Freewill offerings

Num. 13-14 Ten of the 12 spies and the majority of the people chose not to ener the promised land. God yielded to their choice.

Deut. 11:26-28; 28:1; 30:15 - Elohim has set two choices before us, giving us the choice to follow his Torah or rebel against it. In the Midrash Sifre to this passage there is an interesting explanation to these passages from Deuteronomy:

‘Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse’
(Deut 11: 26). Why is this stated, since it has likewise
been said, “See, I have set before you this day life and
good, and death and evil” (Deut. 30:15)? Perhaps the
Israelites will say, “Since God has set before us two ways,
the way of life and the way of death, we can walk in
whichever of them we like.” Therefore it is taught,
“Choose life that thou may live, thou and they seed”
(Deut. 30:19). There is a Parable of a person who was
sitting at the cross-roads, before whom two paths branced
out. The beginning of one was plain and its end full
of thorns;the beginning of the other was thorny and its
latter part plain. He used to warn the passers-by and say
to them, “You see this path that its beginning is plain
and for two or three steps you walk in comfort, but
at its end you meet with thorns. You also see the other path
the beginning of which is thorny; for two or three steps
you walk through thorns, but in the end you come to a
straight road.” Similarly said Moses to Israel,
“You see the wicked prospering; for two or three days
they prosper in this world, but in the end they will be
thrust out. You also see the righteous in trouble; for two
or three days they suffer in this world, but in the end they
will have occasion for rejoicing”’
(Sifre Deut. 86a)

It is important also to cover the pagan origins of the Calvanist doctrine of predestination. According to the World Book Encyclopedia:

A belief in some form of predestination is found...
in the ancient religions of Greece, China, India and Egypt.
(Vol. 15 p. 659; 1975 edition)

The Greeks and Romans believed that reality was weaved out by three goddesses called "fates" who spun out mens lives like thread. The ancient Scandanavians believed this also calling them "norns". Predestination is in fact the Helenistic phylosphy called "Fatelism".

This doctrine was first introduced into Christianity by the Catholic writer Augustine (354-430 C.E.) (ibid vol. 15 p. 659) and was later expounded by another Catholic writer Thomas Aquinas (1226-1274 C.E.) (ibid). Protsetants initially rejected the doctrine unitil it was reintroduced by John Calvin (1509-1564 C.E.) (ibid).

Thus this pagan doctrine made its way from Paganism into Catholicism and eventually into Protestantism. Now it seems to be raising its pagan head in Messianic circles as well.

Calvanism teaches a an Elohim who creates faulty humans and then punishes them for being exactly what he forced them to be by his own irresistible will.

Calvanism makes Elohim ultimately guilty of every sin ever committed. By Calvanist thinking it would seem to be unjust to punish any person for any crime or sin since they were only following the irrestable will of Elohim.

Ask a Calvinist: "Do you believe in predestination because you chose to of your own freewill?"

In closing I quote to passages, one from the Mishna the other from the "New Testament":

All things are foreknown,
but FREEWILL is given.
- m.Avot 3:16

...that your goodness should not be as it were by compulsion,
but of your own FREEWILL.
- Phil. 1:14 New American Standard

And as we read in Ben Sira (from the Apocrypha)

Say not thou, It is through the Lord that I fell away: for thou oughtest not to do the things that he hateth.
Say not thou, He hath caused me to err: for he hath no need of the sinful man.
The Lord hateth all abomination; and they that fear God love it not.
He himself made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his free will;
If thou wilt, to keep the commandments, and to perform acceptable faithfulness.
He hath set fire and water before thee: stretch forth thy hand unto whether thou wilt.
Before man is life and death; and whether him liketh shall be given him.
For the wisdom of the Lord is great, and he is mighty in power, and beholdeth all things:
And his eyes are upon them that fear him, and he knoweth every work of man.
He hath commanded no man to do wickedly, neither hath he given any man licence to sin.
(Ben Sira 15:11-20)


James Scott Trimm
Worldwide Nazarene Assembly of Elohim
http://www.wnae.org


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Views: 1002

Comment by carltonh on September 29, 2011 at 3:54pm

Spelling note:

 “Calvanism/Calvanist” errors multiple times second “a” should be “i”

“reasure” = “reassure”

“soveregnty”= “sovereignty”

 

At least in Greek, Galatians 5:4 is strongly anti-Calvinist, fallen “out of” (ekpipto) grace.  Not sure if Aramaic is equally anti-Calvinist.

 

Here is what you might not know.  J.J. Rousseau was a professed Calvinist and based his reunification of church into state secularism on his love of Calvin’s political system.  Through Rousseau and the French Revolution, all 20th century genocidal dictatorships owe a strong derivation from Calvin.  (As do the evils in the political structure of the USA we owe mostly to the Calvinist Puritans, though a good part to the Anglicans too, but I digress.)

Comment by James Trimm on September 29, 2011 at 4:09pm

Freewill did play an important part in the concepts of freedom behind the American revolution.

 

The idea was fostering in the Colonies that the Creator had Endowed men with a freewill and therefore He intended men to be free.  This was at odds with the doctrine of the divine right of Kings which derived directly from predestination.  However the wrong concept of "manifest destiny" was tied to predestination and used to slaughter American Indians.

Comment by Edwin Brain on September 29, 2011 at 5:13pm

Thank you James for your Topic, here for what it is worth are my thoughts on this subject.


Reconciling free will, with
predestination.

Have a look at the three verses bellow, and tell me do
you think that Enoch, Noah, and Job were demonstrating free will, or
not?

Gen 5:24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took
him
Gen 6:9 This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in
his generations. Noah walked with God.
Job 1:8 Then the LORD said to Satan,
"Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a
blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?"

And what
about the following seven verses. Why do you think that the word, "choose", is
used if man is incapable of making a choice which is acceptable to the Lord, if
as some say, man does not have a free will?

Deu 30:19 I call heaven and
earth as witnesses today against you, [that] I have set before you life and
death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your
descendants may live;
Jos 24:15 And if it seems evil to you to serve the
LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which
your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the River, or the gods of
the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve
the LORD."
Pro 1:29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear
of the LORD,
Pro 3:31 Do not envy the oppressor, And choose none of his
ways;
Pro 12:26 The righteous should choose his friends carefully, For the
way of the wicked leads them astray.
Isa 7:15 Curds and honey He shall eat,
that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.
Isa 56:4 For thus
says the LORD: "To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, And choose what pleases Me,
And hold fast My covenant,

Oh, and by the way, why does our Lord Jesus
say.

Mat 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I
will give you rest.

If as some say, man does not have a free
will?

Free will, yes, but now the other side of the coin. Our Lord Jesus
who said.

Mat 11:28 "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.

Jhn 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has
everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but
the wrath of God abides on him."

Jhn 3:14 "And as Moses lifted up the
serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,
Jhn 3:15
"that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[fn2] have eternal life. 3:15
NU-Text omits not perish but.

Also said.

Jhn 6:44 "No one can come
to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him;

Jhn 6:65 And He said,
"Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been
granted to him by My Father."

Mat 16:16 Simon Peter answered and said,
"You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Mat 16:17 Jesus answered and
said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not
revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.

Mat 19:25 When His
disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be
saved?"
Mat 19:26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this
is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

Jhn 3:27 John
answered and said, "A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him
from heaven.

Allow me to suggest a possible solution to the problem of
reconciling, "Free will, with Pred
Comment by James Trimm on September 29, 2011 at 7:34pm
Likewise Islam is radially predestnationalism.  As a result they do not see any concept that the Creator endowerd us with freewill and thus no implication that the Creator intended man to be free.  This is why Sharia Law is totalitarianism.
Comment by Mikha El on October 2, 2011 at 10:58am

    I've recently been looking into the teaching that some within the predestinationalism crowd go so far as to say concerning, "While it is true not all are "saved" before the beginning of the Millennial Reign, they will be by the time the great white throne judgement is completed". Some say this is where the bible ends so there is no proof this teaching is false. I truly wish this could be the case since I would rather all come to the way of the truth, however I don't see it when all scripture pertaining to this subject are closely examined.

Consider these verses....


Rev 21:6  And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment.
Rev 21:7  “The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son.
Rev 21:8  “But as for the cowardly, and untrustworthy, and abominable, and murderers, and those who whore, and drug sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the false, their part is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.” (ISR)

Being objective we could say the above is happening just prior to the beginning of the Millennial Reign, unless we look further to determine the timing of the "second death".

Consider this...

Rev 20:11  And I saw a great white throne and Him who was sitting on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and no place was found for them.
Rev 20:12  And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before the throne, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged from what was written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13  And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
Rev 20:14  And the death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
Rev 20:15  And if anyone was not found written in the Book of Life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. (ISR)

Clearly here we have the events described concerning the final judgement.  Unfortunately what I have come to call Hyper-Predestinationalism is false. The "second death" is also mentioned here...

 

Rev 2:11  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the assemblies. He who overcomes shall by no means be harmed by the second death.

 

Hmmmm, there is something to be "overcomed" in order to qualify for eternal life. Could that be sin?

 

Rev 21:6  And He said to me, “It is done! I am the ‘Aleph’ and the ‘Taw’, the Beginning and the End. To the one who thirsts I shall give of the fountain of the water of life without payment.
Rev 21:7  “The one who overcomes shall inherit all this, and I shall be his Elohim and he shall be My son.
Rev 21:8  “But as for the cowardly, and untrustworthy, and abominable, and murderers, and those who whore, and drug sorcerers, and idolaters, and all the false, their part is in the lake which burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death.”(ISR)

 

It is obvious that even "hyper-predestination" while being well meaning...contradicts scripture.

 


Comment by Edwin Brain on October 3, 2011 at 4:10am
For some reason I do not understand, the last portion of my post on,

"Free will, with Predestination"

Reads,

“Allow me to suggest a possible solution to the problem of
reconciling, "Free will, with Pred”

Whereas it should have read,

Allow me to suggest a possible solution to the problem of reconciling, "Free will, with Predestination".

Rom 8:28 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.
Rom 8:29 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.
Rom 8:30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

I believe Scripture shows, as I have attempted to indicate with the above verses, that man not only has a free will, but is also able to exercise it in a correct way from a divine point of view, and that the Lord our God knows that such persons would, if exposed to the Gospel respond positively. For his reason therefore, He predestines them to hear the good news, and thereby get saved.

May the Lord bless you, and keep you safe.

Edwin.
Comment by James Trimm on October 3, 2011 at 2:13pm

Predestination is one of the Articles of Faith of Islam and is plainy stated in the Quran:

Surah 9:51


YUSUFALI: Say: "Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our protector": and on Allah let the Believers put their trust.
PICKTHAL: Say: Naught befalleth us save that which Allah hath decreed for us. He is our Protecting Friend. In Allah let believers put their trust!
SHAKIR: Say: Nothing will afflict us save what Allah has ordained for us; He is our Patron; and on Allah let the believers rely.

 

Comment by James Trimm on October 3, 2011 at 4:36pm

My point is that our founding fathers rejected the doctrine of the divine right of kings (rooted in predestination) and believed:

 

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. —

(Declaration of Independence)

 

That is that by examining the Laws of Nature and Nature's God it is self evident that man was endowed by his Creator with Liberty (Freedom).

 

The fact that man could be seen to have a freewill implied that the Creator intended man to be free. 

 

By contrast Islam is not conducive to this line of reasoning, and Sharia law is not compatible with freedom.

 

As my father used to say, I can explain it to you and I can explain it to you, but I cannot understand it for you.

Comment by James Trimm on October 3, 2011 at 4:41pm

I did not say Articles of Faith of the Bible, I refer to the Articles of Faith of Islam.

 

As for the Bible I have dealt with every relevant passage above, and shown that those who teach predestination, misunderstand and often mistranslate those passages.

Comment by Chris Harris on October 6, 2011 at 1:57am

 I read your brutally long and drawn out post. I found that you disagree w/ the Calvinist's. But where is the phrase "free will" in any scripture? Another thing to ponder is, why would YHVH send His "only begotten" Son Jehoshua to shed his precious blood for simply a "potential" for salvation by those who would make a wise choice? Is it not true that "the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin.. ." Gal. 3:22?   Besides, if all it took was a wise choice, would'nt it then have be un-necessary for Him to have died? Or do you subscribe that the crucifixion was simply for Adamic original sin only? The other scripture that He is reminding me of is that "..not all who are descended from Israel are Israel" Rom. 9:6 Salvation is not for the believer only but is given to all, especially to those who believe.

I can't believe that YHVH is so reckless as to leave our after life in the dominion of our own "free will." The God of Ishmael, Rahab and even Nebuchadnezzar is also the God who creates ALL life. Our ability to choose in no way gives humans the "free will" you speak of. It is YHVH who is sovereign and without that sovereignty He is not God at all, but a benign creator who is powerless against our "free will." Knowing something before hand and being unable to in some way insure the outcome is chaos. Even if I didn't believe in Him, I would serve Him and His purposes because He is Lord, not my "free will." Any sense of justice or comprehension of scripture I might have cannot supersede His power and might. The ant in an ant farm believes it's life is normal. A captive bird will die if released suddenly into the wild. We humans believe that because we have great choice available that we have no influence in those choices because of our sin nature. What arrogance and foolishness. No wonder there is judgment in the land, it is to separate us from our independent "free will" thought process that we may turn and repent and draw nigh unto YHVH. 

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