1. I corrected a typo in my very first post in which I said Isaiah 25:16 when I meant to say Isaiah 65:16 in quoting a verse that tells us that our past troubles will be forgotten and hidden from the eyes of God. I surprised that nobody complained about Isaiah 25:16 being a nonexistent verse.
2. I used the word "versus" in my reply to willieH rather than the word "verses" when talking about the prophecies of Jeremiah 4:1-4 versus 5-31 and Joel 2:1-11 versus 12-32. This was intentional because I was trying to draw attention to the first group of verses in comparison to (versus) the second group of verses. The point was to highlight the explicit if/else nature of these prophecies. I didn't highlight the if/else prophecies of Malachi and Revelation to this level of detail because they were implicit or contained in a single verse.
3. I corrected the misspelling of Revelations to Revelation in my post to willieH.
4. Hi WillieH, in regard to the concern of yourself and others for scriptural support for "alternate" timelines: To start, if/else prophecies are an unambiguous affirmation of human free-will, and it is totally unreasonable to deny this obvious truth with half-baked theories of divine predestination, especially given the centrality of these if/else prophecies to Biblical eschatology. When we combine if/else prophecies with God's foreknowledge of the end from the beginning (the very idea that you yourself mention so often), the only reasonable conclusion is that God has absolute foreknowledge of both branches of an if/else prophecy, something that leads straight to the concept of "multiple timelines," "quantum many worlds," etc. In short, the simultaneous truth of these two scriptural concepts leads directly to the multiplicity of "reality" being spoken of here, and is utterly incompatible with the simple linear predestination that you have proposed. The Gospel of John says the Holy Spirit will reveal all things, and WillieH, if you or anyone has an alternate interpretation of how if/else prophecies and absolute foreknowledge can coexist, please share it, but don't deny the Biblically affirmed free-will inherent to an if/else prophecy, reduce God to a higher-dimensional clockwork, and/or hide behind an argument that we can not understand the logic of God.
This multiplicity of timelines that I propose is directly supported by the prophecy of Isaiah 65:16-17 which tells of a new heavens and earth in which the former events will not be remembered. A very strong but indirect form of support comes from the way the application of the message of Jonah chapter three to Biblical eschatology completely resolves the morass of seemingly contradictory prophecy via a multiplicity of mundane outcomes based on the choice of people in mundane time to repent or not. Another very strong but indirect form of support comes from the Bible's unambiguous affirmation of a transcendent cosmic destiny (my next big post), something that supports the core logic of time-symmetric causation. I propose that the issues discussed in this item and the upcoming article constitute systematic Biblical support, and that the more important issues are to: a) compare and reconcile the variations of this theme presented by Origen, Philip K Dick, Steward, Martin, and myself, b) receive relevant input from joyful1 and others, and c) sort out the many details.
5. In regard to the questions of Molly about doppelgδngers: We have none, and I agree with what Steward of the Word already said about this. In my own words, we have one life in the image of God in which we are transcendent to the mundane dimension of time in the same way that Jesus is transcendent the higher sideways dimensions of time, and the Father transcendent to an infinite number of temporal dimensions but because of the sin of Adam we are having to relearn the transcendence being spoken of here. In regard to alternate timelines, the past, present, and future events of our life are mere data subject to both change and "quantum superpositions" between alternate realities. But we are not living multiple lives simultaneously, just one transcendent life in which the flexibility of reality and presence of counterfactuals (i.e. the "many worlds" of quantum theory) is vastly greater than what the mundane traditions of humanity admit to.
6. In regard to the questions of Molly and WhiteWings about the multiplicity of sin and the making of choices: Yes, a person could sink deeper into sin in alternate timelines, but this is strictly temporary. A good metaphor is the molecules of air in the wind. The linear direction of the wind (the Holy Spirit) is toward the total overcoming of sin whereby the grace of God can become a fully a manifest reality, and this destiny is where we will all eventually arrive. But in the same way that the individual motion of an atom can be contrary to the overall motion of the wind, especially in the presence of macroscopic eddies, so too can individual souls move temporarily against the direction of God and deepen their sin, especially in the presence of macroscopic social forces that seek to deny the Will of God via the endemic swirls of faulty logic, handed-down tradition, and/or vengence and other forms of bad behavior.
7. In regard to Steward's comment: "The biggest reason for my reservation is the pivotal role that Jesus Christ holds in TTR, it almost nullifies the purpose of His incarnation if perfection is achieved by free-will choice over the span of multiple manifestations of the same lifetime through multiple universe/timelines. Now I understand that the answer is perfection could not be attained if it had not been for the pivotal placement of Jesus Christ which reconciled mankind to God allowing the Father's infinite grace to give us the opportunity and the ability to make these undetermined amount of choices through an undetermined amount of realities to finally make the right choice and recognize God through our own volition.
Another way to describe the purpose of His incarnation is that via the crucifixion/resurrection, His role as the Alpha and Omega of this cosmos again became a manifest reality for us, so that the Wind (Holy Spirit) which naturally flows from Alpha to Omega could again be a manifest part of our life, a crucial purpose that heals the sin of Adam. It is by His sacrifice on the cross that our trans-temporal movement is no longer random, but relentlessly guided toward salvation. And being both Alpha and Omega, He is also at One with the Holy Spirit, and is thus omnipresent across the entire array of alternate timelines in His working of Salvation.
8. In regard to the question of WhiteWings about the multiplicity of timelines and the Bible: I'm not choosing sides but if I understood Willie's reply correctly I have a question along that line. Let's keep it simple and just look at the genealogy. If things are totally scrambled then for example David possibly never have been born because his pregnant mother fell of a cliff. Does God guard/control (sorry Willie....) all timelines in such a way they are forced into one Bible concept? If not there are many different Bibles too?
[/i] Along with salvation in Jesus, I see the message of the Bible and the divine themes therein to be a factor common to all timelines, for the Bible itself is anchored in this deeper reality, and thus the best testament that exists to the existence and structure of this reality. But given the transcendence of Jesus to both the mundane and higher sideways dimensions of time, I see no reason that Jesus could not tweak the Bible's message for each and every timeline. In short, I feel that the Bible is not a constraint on the sovereignty of Jesus, but a testament thereto. If the genealogies are different, the Bible will be different in a corresponding way, and if we shift timelines via the Power of the Holy Spirit our memories of the Bible will shift accordingly. In short, God is in control, and it is not our place to questions the actions of God, especially a timeline different than our own.
9. In regard to Steward's reservations and his reference to the resurrection of the dead. I'm not quite sure what he is referring to with this, but I see the resurrection of the dead best explained via a two step metaphor. In the same way that we see the tip of the iceberg while the bulk of the iceberg resides out of sight under the water, so too do we see the tip of quantum reality in the known science of quantum-mechanics, while out of sight under the "waters of time" is the much deeper reality of quantum-thermodynamics. In this deeper reality, I see the resurrection of the dead happening one of two ways, with the tip of the iceberg being those miraculously raised from the dead in the mundane realm like Jesus and those raised from the dead by the prayers of the Saints (or by the intervention of God in a "near-death experience"). Out of sight under the "waters of time" is the much greater number of people raised from the dead by their appearance on alternate timelines in which the cause of death was in some way delayed or averted, a process that will recover those who were aborted, and will eventually regenerate the multi-century lifespan of the patriarchs for the whole of humanity, as per Isaiah 65:20. The final resurrection body of I Corinthians 15 is beyond even this.
10. In regard to Molly's question about the desolation or emptiness of Genesis 1:2, her later comment about the herding of sinners onto their own timeline, and Steward's comment about the meaning of Genesis 1:2. I agree with Steward about the spiritual meaning of this passage, but like so many places in scripture, I see a literal physical meaning too. In short, those who fail to overcome the spiritual desolation of their own heart will tend to have very little sideways in time movement during their life, and will tend be stuck and/or congregate on timelines headed toward total apocalyptic destruction as explicitly warned in Isaiah 34, Joel 2:1-11, Malachi 4:6 (and implicitly warned via a relatively literal interpretation of Revelation). Those timelines will experience hell on earth and end up physically in the state of Genesis 1:2 which is the root for the spawning of a new version of history (and the souls therein will suffer mightily). This dovetails perfectly with the "cyclic time" of the Pagans, with the caveat that this cycling of mundane history is not an inexorable reality, but something we specifically want to escape via the grace of God.
For those who overcome the desolation of the heart (and mind) via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we gain a freedom to migrate sideways in time during the course of our life, and even though we are not normally aware of this sideways movement, we can end up on an entirely different timeline in which destructive prophecies are all metaphors for an apocalypse of the heart. I distinguish the fate of the wicked and righteous a bit differently than Steward, and to slightly misquote one of his lines, I hold it as a possible option for the wicked in their resurrection to experience a Trans-Temporal Redemption, while the righteous
are reign infinitely transcendent in manifest transcendence with the Father and the Son.
I do not believe that we will be infinitely transcendent in any finite length of mundane or sideways in time movement, but will become manifestly transcendent in having: a) the final deathless body of I Corinthians 15, b) manifest dominion over a physical universe transformed into a Garden of Eden, or at least the portion thereof assigned to humanity, and c) a past that is vastly more mutable than is currently the case. We will receive this destiny while the wicked suffer in Hell (i.e. the Fire of God), but via the increased mutability of the past, we will pass through timeline after timeline until eventually every single person (e.g. Hitler) that now suffers in Hell is spliced into a timeline where they receive the fullness of God's Grace.
P.S. Willie, about your complaint re the "Armor of God:" I waxed poetic by referring to the writing of God's laws on both heart and mind as the "Full Armor of God" in a different thread. Since the Bible defines the Armor of God explicitly, it was a poor choice of metaphor. None the less, the writing of God's laws on both heart and mind are crucial if we are going to deepen out understanding of the Bible and UR, and if we are to avoid foaming at the mouth and crying "wolf" with every new perspective that comes along.
P.P.S. Thanks Steward for the heads up about the history of ideas along these lines, and opposition thereto.
P.P.P.S Martin, I too am interested in your definition of Ultra-Universalism. I could easily use that term to describe my belief, but I'm not sure I would be using it in the exact same way that you do.