Author Topic: Will  (Read 21895 times)

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Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #50 on: November 28, 2012, 08:48:58 PM »
Free is a state of mind, as much as anything else.

If you are married and adore your wife, you feel free, whereas if you don't, you might feel like a prisoner.  But in both cases, your physical situation is the same.

In one case, the limitations that marriage imposes is a delight, in the other a burden.

I like that.  And it seems to me to tie into how I'm suggesting..not free of any influence, boundaries, guidance etc. (even in a good marriage there's PLENTY of that :).  But rather freed to enjoy, delight in the presence, love spending time with the (P)person; being "protected"(freed) from the consequences of breaking those bonds in unfaithfulness and rebellion.   :thumbsup:
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #51 on: November 28, 2012, 09:46:24 PM »
I mentioned that about Aaron and Moses because I thought you might understand.   But, you didn't so I am at a loss to explain it easily.   Let's just say although it might have looked as though Moses was less free once God came into his life directly, and on some level that might be argued, he was in fact more free, as would anyone be in the position of talking to his Creator face to face as a friend.

I'm sorry, where is that written?

Yes I don't understand, that is why I am here: 'to try to understand'.  Am I in the wrong discussion?  Is there maybe a UR for Dummies board where those whose questions are too simple to be answered here can be addressed without having them dragged through jargon?

Offline Lazarus Short

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Re: Will
« Reply #52 on: November 28, 2012, 10:14:02 PM »
So, in our sense of the word, Moses was no longer 'free' after that, he no longer belonged to himself.

When God finally decided to step in, Moses had no doubt in his mind what his mission was going forward.

I kinda think he did ...

Moses balked and said his speech wasn't up to the task.  He said God could sent Aaron, and God sent Aaron with him.  So, was that then Moses exercising his will?  Scripture never said God wanted Aaron, yet lo and behold, because Moses broached the subject, Aaron went along.  If God wanted Aaron along from the start Moses wasn't indeed "'free' after that...".

Maybe it's all a matter of point-of-view.  Maybe God wanted Aaron along all the time, but He waited for Moses to suggest it.  We really see so little of what's going on, and until we attain a higher outlook on the whole thing, such questions will never be settled.

Take a look at this paragraph from the manuscript of the book I am working on, for it shows more of Moses' will:

"Moses was up on Horeb, communing with God, getting the blueprint for a new society, and the people, thinking he was not coming back, demanded other Gods.  This is told in the 32nd chapter of Exodus.  Why, they still had the presence of the true God in front of them on the mountain!  Given what Moses had said to them, the miracles in Egypt, the miracles along the way, the very presence of God Himself, it is difficult to imagine the motivation of these people.  Too much contact with Egyptian idolatry?  Fear?  Whatever possessed them, even Aaron was taken in, and made them a golden calf.  God knew what was going on, told Moses to get down off the mountain, and proposed destroying Israel and making a new nation from Moses and his family.  Moses talked God out of this, and this part is interesting, for he said, "Turn from Thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against Thy people."  [Exodus 32:12]  Verse 14 goes on to say that, "And the Lord repented of the evil which He thought to do unto His people."  This is very interesting, for two reasons.  First, this is the second time we see God repenting – the first time was before the Flood, when He repented that He had made man, and determined to destroy man with a flood.  I'm sure a theologian would say that that was all in God's plan, and perhaps "His repenting" is a way for Him to communicate with us on our own level, where we can understand.  Second, God was about to do evil, and there is just no getting around this:  good and evil both come from God.  After all, this is the God who planted both the tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  We all have a ways to go to understand some of the deeper things of God."

The wonders of the things of God are. in one respect, twofold:  the basics are so simple that a child can grasp them, but the deeper things of God are such that they cannot be comprehended in this life, for we are too limited to grasp them.  Truly, our reach exceeds our grasp!  We must be patient with God's teaching - remember that Jesus said to His disciples that He had much more to say to them, but they could not bear it in the here-and-now.

« Last Edit: November 28, 2012, 10:22:22 PM by Lazarus Short »
Socrates taught Plato.  Plato taught Aristotle.  Aristotle tutored the son of Philip of Macedon.  This boy grew up to become Alexander the Great, largely by slaughtering a lot of people.  That's philosophy.

Jesus spoke the Truth.  He blessed the poor.  He healed the sick.  He even raised the dead.  He died on a cross for us, lived again, and came back long enough to tell us to love one another.  That's religion.

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #53 on: November 28, 2012, 10:25:53 PM »
It is impossible for God to do evil and he never needs to repent.
That language was put in from mans point of view. It's as if God didn't
know what would happen all along. I believe God USES evil (just as he uses the devil)
but never himself commits evil. Evil is against love which is the very nature of God.
It's who He is, it's what he does.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline Lazarus Short

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Re: Will
« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2012, 10:36:29 PM »
It is impossible for God to do evil and he never needs to repent.
That language was put in from mans point of view. It's as if God didn't
know what would happen all along. I believe God USES evil (just as he uses the devil)
but never himself commits evil. Evil is against love which is the very nature of God.
It's who He is, it's what he does.

As I said, "I'm sure a theologian would say that that was all in God's plan, and perhaps "His repenting" is a way for Him to communicate with us on our own level, where we can understand."
I can well understand it being said for our POV and understanding, but God "repenting" and committing or even using evil not only opens up a Theological can of worms, but it informs us that we know too little about the things of God.  You might be correct that it's impossible for God to do evil, for He did not completely destroy mankind in the Flood, and He had Moses talk Him out of destroying Israel.  It is a lesson for us, I suppose.  As to the repenting part, I think for God to repent is not the same as for us to repent.  When we repent, we turn from our evil ways, but when God repents, He only changes His course of action, either of which is correct for Him to do, for He is sovereign.
Socrates taught Plato.  Plato taught Aristotle.  Aristotle tutored the son of Philip of Macedon.  This boy grew up to become Alexander the Great, largely by slaughtering a lot of people.  That's philosophy.

Jesus spoke the Truth.  He blessed the poor.  He healed the sick.  He even raised the dead.  He died on a cross for us, lived again, and came back long enough to tell us to love one another.  That's religion.

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2012, 10:51:46 PM »
oh yeah, I think the hebrew even has it different -more like God changing his mind.
Even then, I think it's impossible for an omniscient God "that changeth not" could ever really change his mind.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #56 on: November 28, 2012, 11:47:23 PM »
Vine, you're in the right discussion and a good place.  Our threads just almost always wander and meander around into different things connected to the OP, some very loosely so.  Also, some see things more literally, some more "spiritually"/metaphorical, so just take what addresses your particular questions and thoughts and some things might be best just lettin' slide on by for the present.  Those other things may be helpful to someone else, click some further thought for them, as I believe we're all at a little different places in our walk.   :thumbsup:

Blessings.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2012, 01:21:57 AM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #57 on: November 28, 2012, 11:57:58 PM »
I apologise also Vine. As a moderator I sometimes only read up the previous 1 or 2 posts and I missed your and Mollys posting. Didn't realize anything was happening till I read Jabcats post and thought Wha-a-a-?
ALL posts are supposed to contain something along the lines of I think or IMO oe :2c: This is a discussion group and everybodys opinion is welcome-as long as its their opinion and doesn't belittle someone.
I'missed the exchange and should have caught it. my bad.
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline Molly

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Re: Will
« Reply #58 on: November 29, 2012, 05:20:42 AM »
My intent, since we were talking about Moses, was simply to show that even though God had taken direct control over Moses' life at age 80--go here, say this, do that--Moses was freer than his brother Aaron, and freer than he had ever been in his life,  because Moses is a prototype of the Melchizedek priesthood.

But, if one knows nothing of the different priesthoods, then the point would mean nothing to them, so, since that didn't occur to me when I mentioned it, I apologize and am sorry I ever brought it up.

This is my opinion.  [I think I"ll make that my byline].


Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying.  Heb 2:15


one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life.  Heb 7:16

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #59 on: November 30, 2012, 05:09:24 AM »

Having read through what I could get my hands on about the Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthood (those references not connected to the LDS Church), I still don't see how Moses was freer than Aaron at the time:  Aaron wasn't a priest yet.

No need to apologise Molly, I just didn't understand.  When I taught, I found using examples went a lot further than putting a label on the table.  My pedagogy involves pointing to sources.  I have found that explanation often prevents understanding in others.

I found Kissinger's book (thanks Jabcat).  There is a lot of neat stuff in there.

Judging from the responses I take it we are using 'free' and 'free-will' to mean the same thing.  Could this be yet another linguistic road block.  I see free as situational, and free-will as absolute.  I think there is a danger of watering down the definition if we try to combine the two.  I did a lot of research into the evolution versus design debate and found when 'adaptation' and 'evolution' were combined it lead to a lot of chaos :  people trying to make one into the other.  This strikes me as being similar.

I do think however, that the UR position can't allow free-will in any form.  It would have to limit it in some way to make it fit, and free-will limited is free-will lost.  Which again leads me ask:  why bother with the middle if the end is a forgone conclusion? (Please scroll up a few responses to see the whole post.)

May I ask why a new discussion was started instead of the question being addressed here?

Offline eaglesway

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Re: Will
« Reply #60 on: November 30, 2012, 05:54:30 AM »

Having read through what I could get my hands on about the Melchizedek and Aaronic priesthood (those references not connected to the LDS Church), I still don't see how Moses was freer than Aaron at the time:  Aaron wasn't a priest yet.

No need to apologise Molly, I just didn't understand.  When I taught, I found using examples went a lot further than putting a label on the table.  My pedagogy involves pointing to sources.  I have found that explanation often prevents understanding in others.

I found Kissinger's book (thanks Jabcat).  There is a lot of neat stuff in there.

Judging from the responses I take it we are using 'free' and 'free-will' to mean the same thing.  Could this be yet another linguistic road block.  I see free as situational, and free-will as absolute.  I think there is a danger of watering down the definition if we try to combine the two.  I did a lot of research into the evolution versus design debate and found when 'adaptation' and 'evolution' were combined it lead to a lot of chaos :  people trying to make one into the other.  This strikes me as being similar.

I do think however, that the UR position can't allow free-will in any form.  It would have to limit it in some way to make it fit, and free-will limited is free-will lost.  Which again leads me ask:  why bother with the middle if the end is a forgone conclusion? (Please scroll up a few responses to see the whole post.)

May I ask why a new discussion was started instead of the question being addressed here?

The term "free-will" can be very misleading by degree. Everyone I know on this board believes God is "ultimately sovereign". Some (myself for instance :o) believe that God has given man a will to learn with as a stewardship, within the ultimate sovereignty of God. The subject has been discussed at length on the forum on many threads, and for a time the topic was discouraged  because it was an occasion for strife and distraction from the purpose of the board.

There was a thread recently that was focused on the issue, if you would like to get a look at where some of the diversity represented on the forum is at.

http://tentmaker.org/forum/christian-life/god%27s-will-man%27s-will-free-willsov-discussions/

The main thing is to avoid taking a tone of absolute correctness concerning non essential discussions. The only kinds of things we should be absolute about on this forum are the Lordship of Jesus, the sufficiency of the cross and His blood to reconcile, His resurrection, the ultimate reconciliation of all, the love of God, the authority of the written word, etc. All other discussions should be kept in a friendly tone of discussion so as not to undercut the purpose of the forum, which is to spread the Victorious Gospel.

I do not believe that UR should be saddled with the free-will/sovereignty debate because I believe God's love and the cross of Jesus are glorious enough to win every sentient being in a totally free-will universe- so UR is vindicated in either paradigm, Calvinist or Arminian- as diversified in degree as the many understandings available between those polar extremes may be ;o)

"If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me".
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Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #61 on: November 30, 2012, 09:25:49 AM »
I agree it shouldn't be saddled with it:  it is the debate.  UR postulates a known conclusion.  How can that be anything but the debate itself?  I don't mean to be rude, but this would make it the ultimate 'essential' discussion.  How could it not be?  If we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose, then surely this debate must number among those all things.  Surely it cannot be reduced to the status on non essential just because some wouldn't agree.  I'm becoming more and more convinced that UR has a lot of merit.  But surely we aren't right just because we think we are.

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #62 on: November 30, 2012, 10:21:29 AM »
I found Kissinger's book (thanks Jabcat).  There is a lot of neat stuff in there.

good, yw   :thumbsup:

Judging from the responses I take it we are using 'free' and 'free-will' to mean the same thing.  I think there is a danger of watering down the definition if we try to combine the two...May I ask why a new discussion was started instead of the question being addressed here?

Yes, that's why I decided to split it.  It appeared we had 2 pretty distinct topics going in the same thread.  So I took the "freedom in Christ" issue out of the "free will" discussion (to a large degree) with the new thread.  I do think they can sort of wander back and forth, but I don't want to too radically confuse the two, when your original question/statement seemed more about will rather than condition - and I didn't want that to get lost.   :2c:

I do think however, that the UR position can't allow free-will in any form.  It would have to limit it in some way to make it fit, and free-will limited is free-will lost.  Which again leads me ask:  why bother with the middle if the end is a forgone conclusion? (Please scroll up a few responses to see the whole post.)

My view;  Probably most of Christendom, and many on these boards don't agree with me - but I personally won't even use the term "free will" when trying to make a point.  I believe it's too ambiguous, "loaded", and has to be explained anyway.  I.e., what are the varying degrees of "free"?  lol  And if constrained at all, one iota, is it then truly free?  Or "free", within certain contexts, boundaries, comparisons, etc. (ex. - yes, free from sin, but bound to God)?  That's why I believe (as eaglesway said) God is absolutely sovereign, but in His wisdom and Plan of the Ages, He has chosen to have us learn through both our experience of Him placing us here to begin with, in His creation (the earth is His and the fulness thereof Ps. 24:1);  and then through choices He requires us to make, within boundaries He sets and options He sets before us (even using satan as a tool in that regard :o.  To perhaps over-simplify, we grow by resisting satan and looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith - and, by resisting our own will, and yielding to His.

  That's where I personally go with man's will/God's will.  Because I don't think it's possible we could ever have a completely "free will" as long as God is alive.  And we know how long that will be.  Because even when we're immortal and as free as we can ever possibly be, He is still reigning, we are still subject to Him, and anything we have in us and freely flowing from us and through us, has ultimately been placed there by Him.  "For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen".  Rom. 11:36
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline jabcat

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Re: Will
« Reply #63 on: November 30, 2012, 10:51:34 AM »
You got me digging VB  :thumbsup:, and God provided.  ("it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the honor of kings to search out a matter" Pr. 25;2)  This is information I really like, even if not necessarily agreeing on every jot and tittle or exact wording.  I believe it's still very useful information.  It's from Christian Bible Students, apparently a non-denominational group.  I included part of their statement of faith for a reference point.
 
We accept Christ as our personal Savior, and believe that he died not only for the Christian, but for all the world.
We accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God
, and study it in its entirety--both the Old and the New Testaments, seeking the harmony of complete Scriptural testimony (2 Timothy 3:16, 17).
------------------------
Certainly, God could have prevented Satan's temptation, but God allowed it for an enduring practical lesson for men and angels. God wanted man to experience and see the natural consequences of sin for a wise purpose. Jehovah is "not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness" (Psalm 5:4). God is permitting evil for a time, but what He has planned for man will more than compensate for all the pain and suffering this object lesson has caused.

Every right principle has an opposite wrong principle: truth and falsity, love and hatred, etc. A principle that is right ultimately produces harmony, happiness and good. A principle that is wrong produces harm, unhappiness and evil. Humans were created with an ability to choose between right and wrong—a conscience. However, man's moral sense has been affected by the fall; some more and some less.
A dog has some intelligence and can make choices based on training gained by certain rewards or punishments from his master. A dog, however, is ignorant of the moral quality of its actions. When a dog rescues or harms somebody, the action cannot be considered either virtuous or sinning; it is merely the result of instinct, not ethics. On the contrary, people do have more or less of a moral sense. When they do good, it is virtuous. When they do evil, it is sinful.

God Did Not Make Man a Robot
God could have made man a robot to always do what is right, but then he would not have been in God's "image" (Genesis 1:26, 27). God could have shielded man from Satan's temptation, but then man would still have been subject to ambitions from within. As a result, his future would always have been uncertain.

In God's wisdom, he foreknew that what is good can best be appreciated by its contrast. When God expelled disobedient Adam and Eve from His fellowship in the Garden of Eden, they began to learn the exceedingly sinfulness of sin. They began to "know good and evil" (Genesis 3:22)—and to appreciate the difference. During all the centuries thereafter, their posterity has been learning the lesson of evil. Later, during God's Kingdom, mankind will fully experience the contrasting benefits of good.

The moral sense of Adam was an important feature of his likeness to God, but after 6,000 years of degradation, man's natural moral sense has been largely reduced. Now sin is often more agreeable to people than good.
If the opportunity to sin were not permitted, man could not have resisted it, and there would be neither virtue nor merit in his right-doing. But God wishes intelligent and willing obedience, not mechanical service. God already had many animate and inanimate creations to His glory. In creating man, His design was to make an intelligent creature in his own likeness; a master for earth, whose conduct would be based on the value of right over wrong, good over evil.

The principles of right and wrong have always existed, but only the principle of right will continue to be active forever. The activity of wrong will continue only long enough to accomplish God's purpose. Then evil will forever cease (1 Corinthians 15:25, 26).

Learning by Experience
Could the knowledge of sin have come in some other way? Could the dreadful evils the human race has experienced been avoided? Not in so effective and lasting a way.
There are four ways of knowing something:

 Intuition
 Observation
 Experience
 Information

Only God has intuitive knowledge. He knows "the end from the beginning" (Isaiah 46:10). Therefore, man's knowledge of good and evil could not be intuitive. Adam had a knowledge of evil by information, but that proved insufficient to keep him from trying the experiment. Man might have learned by observation, but in order to observe the results of sin, there had to be a demonstration of it somewhere in the universe. Why shouldn't man be the illustration? The Scriptures tell us that man's experience with sin and evil is, in fact, being observed by the angels (1 Corinthians 4:9). However, the deepest learning is gained by practical experience, and that is primarily how mankind is learning—by personal experience with evil.

Adam did experience good in the garden, but his knowledge of evil was only from information: "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2:17). He had no experience of sin with which to predict the pain and suffering that would come. Consequently, he yielded to temptation when it arose.

Adam's offense may seem small compared to the penalty, but at stake was the fundamental principle of obedience. Obedience is essential to the everlasting blessing of God's creation. God above knows what is best for His creation's welfare and everlasting happiness.

Adam was induced into sin through his wife, whose communication with God was more limited than Adam's. Eve transgressed what she knew was right. But she was deceived by the serpent as to the consequences (2 Corinthians 11:3). Adam, however, was not deceived (1 Timothy 2:14). Adam willfully shared in Eve's disobedience, evidently choosing not to live without her.  Thus both Adam and Eve were "in the transgression," and both were cursed. Eve shared in the sentence which she helped bring upon Adam. "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned" (Romans 5:12).

Created with.. Choice
God created man with.. choice, even though He foresaw that man's moral nature would stray. God is permitting man's present experience with evil to teach him the exceeding sinfulness of sin. The result will develop in mankind more love and appreciation for the Creator and demonstrate the brilliance of virtue in contrast.

The Just Penalty for Sin
God has the power to force man to worship Him, but this is not His desire. God seeks the worship of man from a free heart, willingly, "in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24), and this is in the best interests of His creatures. During the Millennium, the world will worship God of their own choice, appreciating God for His goodness.

In the meantime, God allows man to learn by practical experience. He allows man to taste sin and its consequences. He has also planned for man's recovery by providing a Savior at great cost. In due time, the "ransom for all" will be appreciated by the world as a remarkable gift from God (1 Timothy 2:3- 6). Thus man's.. will was foreknown and overruled for their good.
Some might agree that imposing the penalty upon Adam was just, but think it unjust that all of his descendants suffer the results. The question is would we have done better if tried individually? Would not at least the majority have been tempted to disobey eventually?
By allowing Adam to pass his condemned life on to us all, God allows experience with death and dying to educate us all. Then, because we were all condemned in one man, we could all be redeemed by one Man—Jesus.

Death is a reasonable consequence for sin. Those who, after having a full experience and knowledge of sin and its suffering, do not choose to follow the wise counsels of God would be a source of unhappiness to themselves and others. There is no reason to continue their existence for the ages of eternity. The present dying process that mankind experiences is a somber lesson to impress the gravity of disobedience.

Meanwhile, life even as we have it now is a favor and is so esteemed by the vast majority. From cradle to grave, life has blessings sufficient so that nearly everyone wants to keep living. It is a small foretaste of the everlasting, wonderful and glorious life God plans for all who will accept His reasonable terms for life.

Penalty of Death—Not Torture
Sadly, many have misrepresented God's character and plan by saying that God plans to punish unbelievers with eternal torture. This is very wrong! God's penalty for sin is clearly stated: "You shall surely die" (Genesis 2:17 NAS). "The wages of sin is death" (Romans 6:23). "The soul [person, being] that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4). Only a few texts in the symbolic book of Revelation, or in the parables, suggest a torment of fire. In each of these cases it can be demonstrated that fire represents destruction. The penalty for sin is death—not life in torture.*

* The "lake of fire" in Revelation is a symbol of destruction, "second death" (Revelation 20:14). The story of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31) is acknowledged by thoughtful commentaries to be a parable. The Rich Man represents Judah and Benjamin and his "five brethren" represent the other 10 tribes, who "have Moses and the prophets." The fiery tribulation represents the fiery trials Israel experienced after rejecting their Messiah (compare Deuteronomy 32:22-26). Lazarus, received into the bosom of Abraham, represents the outcasts of Israel and the Gentiles who embraced the spiritual features of the Abrahamic Covenant by accepting Jesus, the "seed of Abraham."

Condemnation to death passed upon the whole human race by one man's disobedience. One man sinned with an unborn race in him. Thus he and all his posterity were condemned. That condemnation could only be removed by the death of one perfect man who would take the condemnation we deserve upon himself. That one unblemished man, a perfect race unborn within him, was "the man Christ Jesus" who died a ransom for all (1 Timothy 2:5) to satisfy the demands of justice against Adam and his race.

The Great Plan of Restoration
Because of God's permission of evil, His great Plan of redemption will be gloriously successful! All the misery, pain and tragedy caused by evil will be more than offset by the wonderful blessings of the Kingdom.

Mankind will benefit eternally from the experience with evil. This experience will also be a monumental demonstration to the angelic hosts of God's glorious character. All will see God's Justice in condemning disobedience. All will see God's immeasurable Love in sending His own Son to satisfy justice in order to redeem us. All will see God's Power in the perfect uniting in Christ of all His intelligent creation "both which are in heaven, and which are on earth" (Ephesians 1:10). All will see God's far-seeing Wisdom in using even unwilling agents to accomplish the glorious destiny planned for His creation.

God's law of the universe for all intelligent beings is summed up in one word: LOVE. Because "God is love" (1 John 4:8), He has chosen the very best Plan for us all.

Ultimately, when God's purpose in the temporary permission of evil is complete, everyone will appreciate what He has done. Until then, with the eye of faith we look forward to the time when all mankind will be restored, as planned since the world began (Acts 3:19-21).
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 11:15:41 AM by jabcat »
Neither should there be vulgar speech, foolish talk, or coarse jesting--all of which are out of character--but rather thanksgiving.  Eph. 5:4  **  Saved 1John 3.2, Eph. 2:8, John 1:12 - Being saved 2Cor. 4:16 2Peter 3:18 - Will be saved 1Peter 1:5 Romans 8:23

Offline eaglesway

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Re: Will
« Reply #64 on: November 30, 2012, 01:44:37 PM »
I agree it shouldn't be saddled with it:  it is the debate.  UR postulates a known conclusion.  How can that be anything but the debate itself?  I don't mean to be rude, but this would make it the ultimate 'essential' discussion.  How could it not be?  If we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose, then surely this debate must number among those all things.  Surely it cannot be reduced to the status on non essential just because some wouldn't agree.  I'm becoming more and more convinced that UR has a lot of merit.  But surely we aren't right just because we think we are.

It absolutely is not the debate....because the parameters of "the debate" cannot be established and agreed on. Some believe every act is choreographed by the sovereignty of God, some believe there is wiggle room.

I can demonstrate clearly UR through the scriptures to a believer from a "free will" background and have done so , and won them.

I essentially agree with the positions presented in the post above- but many Calvinists would not, nor would many Arminians. It has the problem of being reasonable and balanced.

The issue of whether or not we are "right" about the shades of value that define our various systematic theologies is not the issue. This forum is about the salvation of all and explaining it for the benefit of seekers from across Christendom. It is not for the purpose of arguing out the differing doctrinal issue that those varying groups believe in.

The "issue" of the board is the restoration of all things. Not everyone will have the time, the inclination or the interest to refine the issues of God's will/man's will/free will/sovereignty and it is not the essential aspect of UR- beyond the fact that God has ordained and made provision within His plan of the ages that all will be saved.


One may believe and declare the restoration of all things from either a Calvinist or Arminian background.

All that is needed is to realize that the love of God, as demonstrated in the death burial and resurrection of Jesus, is sufficiently glorious to eventually win every sentient being into the "anakepalaomai"(Eph 9-11).

I have won Pentecostals, Biblical Unitarians, Lutherans and others into the UR perspective, never needing to refute any doctrine other than eternal torment and annihilation.

No other discussion should overshadow the purpose of the board which is to promote UR, the issue upon which we all agree and are here to share.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2012, 02:22:25 PM by eaglesway »
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Offline eaglesway

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Re: Will
« Reply #65 on: November 30, 2012, 02:46:35 PM »
Quote....

"God wishes intelligent and willing obedience, not mechanical service. God already had many animate and inanimate creations to His glory. In creating man, His design was to make an intelligent creature in his own likeness; a master for earth, whose conduct would be based on the value of right over wrong, good over evil."

I agree with this statement, but I would add something to it. God desired to teach man about love, which is the tree of life, and transcends good and evil. "Good and evil" are a partial revelation passing away like the glory on Moses face. Love is the "essential lesson" breaking like the dawn over the whole creation, eternal.

God is love. "This is not a new command I give to you, it is the one that you had from the beginning, love one another."

Jesus taught clearly that the essence of obedience is love. The "Masters of the earth" were to live in the same degree of harmony and unity with one another within God that Jesus and the angels have together within Him.

"That you may be one, even as I and the Father are one".

Intelligence and willingness are good. They are aspects of the loving gift of life God has bestowed upon all His creation.

Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
(1Co 13:8-10)

What is the partial? All that is not consumed with love. What is the ultimate obedience? There can be no obedience that does not spring from love. The act that seems good but does not come out of love is vanity.

The way I see it, this is the purpose of all that God has done. Jesus obeyed, "for the joy set before Him"- the salvation of all. His act came out of the love of God, and a shared love for His creation. This is the priesthood of the sons of God and the victory of the overcomers and the source of their inheritance. Love, in order to be love- must be given freely. That kind of obedience is GIVEN, not taken. Offered as a "free-will offering", an "acceptable sacrifice". That is why the law was not sufficient, merely a shadow of something better to come. The whole creation set free into the glorious liberty of the children of God- love offered freely from hearts in union with the Father. Whatever the interim means, this is what God predestined and foreknew, setting the wheels in motion according to His "kind intention" who cause all things to work according to the counsel of His will.


The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #66 on: November 30, 2012, 07:38:53 PM »
... I don't think it's possible we could ever have a completely "free will" as long as God is alive.

Now, we're talking.

So, in keeping with the universe as classroom motif:  which is what I gleaned your last post was about.  Thanks for that by the way, I'm honoured you would give so freely of your time to dig and research like that to show me from where your point comes.  As you so nicely pointed out my favourite verse in Proverbs (["it is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and the honor of kings to search out a matter" Pr. 25;2], thanks for that), could we say something like, you are free to learn and experience what is here (in that part of the universe in which God put you), but everyone will eventually graduate because the teacher is just that good?

God's sovereignty is a given in my world.  The important thing for me is that he loves me, and that is why He leads me through this.  My dad wouldn't abandon me to some cold theological principle;  His mantle over me is His love.  That's why UR didn't frighten me the way it did some of my friends when I discussed it with them.  Either God is in charge or He is not, and either that is enough for one, or it is not.  In my world God is not theology, He's my dad, and as such He has the best  patenting skills ever.

I once said on my website that if it ain't about love, it ain't about God, to me that's as true now as when I wrote it.

Eagle:  I'm not really interested in winning, just in understanding.  If you have won so many debates I guess you win.  Might I beg a favour though?  Could tell me what it is like for YOU to believe in UR.  How does it add to your relationship with your dad.  I'm finding that the more I come to accept the things I have learned on this site, I'm actually starting to feel closer to mine.  I always knew he would never abandon me, and now that I have more details about UR, and in a way that belief if confirmed, I like Him more as well.


Offline ded2daworld

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Re: Will
« Reply #67 on: November 30, 2012, 11:05:20 PM »
I know you asked EW but here's my :2c:
I had difficulty dealing with ET. I had grown up in a Jewish neighborhood
and almost all my friends were Jewish. I was so naive, I thought they'd
all be even more excited than I was to find out the Messiah out of the tribe of Judah had come.  NOT
I was even more confused to learn that "all Israel would be saved" but my parents would not.
The more I learned about God and his nature, the more I refused to believe it could be like the Baptist churches I was in portrayed it. To them, God loves you ONLY if you love him and trust in Jesus.
What kind of love was that?? Conditional. What was conditional love? The kind of love non-believers had.
"I love you because" or I'll love you IF (add performance here)
If we weren't saved by anything we had done (the free gift) how could the gift be withheld from anyone
because of what they did?
"Why do so many people think that the Bible is only inspired at certain points -  and that  THEY are inspired to pick out which points?"

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #68 on: November 30, 2012, 11:24:26 PM »
Ded:  I got a little chocked up when I read your post.  Thank you.  That was such a warm reply.

I've sat in many churches and relate to your confusion that anyone would think God loves some and literally just doesn't care about others.  He sent Christ when we were yet His enemies.  Yet some would have us belive He can't care about certain people, simply because they sit in another sheep pen, or another pew in another church?  You are too right.  I'm still a little teary; you talk about my dad with love in your words: to me that's the neatest thing.  God loves me cause He does;  He created me cause it pleased Him to do so.

Thanks

Offline reFORMer

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Re: Will
« Reply #69 on: December 01, 2012, 12:25:04 AM »
Perhaps in part because I was raised in a family and a church that said it was all up to man's will I didn't believe in what may be called "The Sovereignty of God" until it was revealed to me; yet, humans are held responsible to varying degrees for what they do.  Here, in Jesus own words, is the contradiction:  "For the Son of man indeed goeth, as it hath been predetermined: but woe unto that man through whom he is betrayed! (Lk2222)  Every believer should memorize this verse early in their walk with God to avoid building a wall down the middle of it, taking sides and throwing rocks at anyone on the other side.

One of the ideas in the back of may head for so long a time is a question that wonders what kind of life they must have, these people who believe in free will.  So much of my life, good or bad, cannot be the result of the manipulations of my own will.  I've suffered horrendous things over periods of years just because of the family I was born into.  It had nothing to do with anything I enacted.  There was no cause and effect with me as cause, though my dad had me convinced otherwise:  I was beaten because I was a bad boy.  I never understood until I was 30 years old that he was the one with the problem.

A very dear friend for many years, when she believed that way would say to me, "Life is what you make it.  You make up your own mind.  Even God doesn't force you into something.  It's up to you to decide what you'll do with your life."  She got degrees, good "career" status jobs and snagged a wonderful man."  Oops, I guess he turned out not so wonderful after all.  But that's what happens when you make your own choices:  some of them are wrong.  In just that horrible development -- he'd taken the kids and for several months she knew not where -- she discovered God's sovereign grace.

For my Buddhist friend, a nice man has a nice car.  His ideas of Karma have him thinking bad people look bad, have bad experiences in life and they wear ugly clothes.  Many Christians think, as I did, you must not be believing right if you have to go through bad experiences.  Such a believe justifies you in your own mind when you have so much and refuse to help others.  They're just getting what they deserve.  You wouldn't want me to go against God's chastening work, would you?

I wonder at how little experience in life some people must have to believe it's all happening according to whatever they want to believe...that God has left you to choose?
« Last Edit: December 01, 2012, 01:02:54 AM by reFORMer »
I went to church; but, the Church wasn't on the program!  JESUS WANTS HIS BODY BACK!!  MEET WITHOUT HUMAN HEADSHIP!!!

Offline eaglesway

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Re: Will
« Reply #70 on: December 01, 2012, 03:22:27 AM »
It is possible to confuse independent will with unmerited favor. They are not the same.  Because of unmerited favor I am free. The prison door is open and I may leave it, if I want to. If not, I am forgiven, but I am not free. If I leave the prison and take His yoke upon me and follow Him I will be freed progressively and will ultimately be totally free- when I am totally in agreement with God because of the final victory of Jesus Christ within my being.  Nothing I can do will earn my salvation- my deliverance from the consequences of the fall. Only the sacrifice of Christ supplied my need. But as someone posted earlier, God is not choosing automatons. He is teaching children to mature into sons and daughters through the exercise of their wills in agreement with His. What parent would want only the obedience that was given by necessity or by the greater power of the parent. Can't we see in nature how God deals with us as children- even as Christ taught us using the example of how we deal with our own?

"What man if his son ask him for a loaf of bread would give his son a stone? In the like manner God knows how to give good gifts to His children." There is no need to fear sin. Sin has been conquered in the redeemed. We are free from sin and "alive unto Christ".

A good parent teaches their child, "As you sow, so shall you also reap". The child is loved whether he is wise or unwise.....but the good parent will allow the child to reap as he sows in order to teach the child how to direct his will, his gifts, his intellect, his life......in fruitful ways. So it is with God.

It must be so, or else to many scriptures fall by the wayside untrue. For every story of religious abuse that has driven a person into an opposing doctrinal extreme, there must indeed be an understanding and sympathetic response- but not at the expense of the scriptures, or to the extreme of demanding that everyone bow the knee to a particular doctrinal view.

In the parable of the talents, what is Jesus teaching? What of the parable of the unrighteous steward? What of the parable of the landowner and the tenants who murder his son? You might say, "God caused all these individuals to do as they did". Then, as Paul said- why does God hold anyone accountable? When Paul says, "What is it to you if....? He is saying to you., "This knowledge is to high for you on this plane....It is not for you to know.....As for you, Today if you hear His voice harden not your hearts as they did in the wilderness and saw my works forty years".

There is a paradoxical paradigm involved in the two sides of the coin that purchases the whole counsel of God and we can't toss out verses of scriptures and make the rest of them symbolic. Jesus spoke in parables to reveal mysteries hidden from the foundations of the world and few of those mysteries are sufficiently exhumed by systematic theology. The hidden wisdom is just that- wisdom, and wisdom justifies her children.

It is a mystery seen through a glass darkly even by the likes of Paul.

Love is the key to it all. the only true freedom is love, and in the end all will be in love, and IMO, that love will be free because it will be totally pure.

My point, over and over again, has been NOT to stand for free will over against God's sovereignty. God is absolutely sovereign, and as such He gives free reign when and where He wants to in the measure He desires, in order to complete His kind intention, predetermined before the foundation of the world, which is IMO to set everyone completely free within His love.

As far as I am concerned, to take God's sovereignty too far denies the scriptures just as much as taking the measure of independent will He has given men and angels to far. The Lord knows when the reigns are free and when they are tight. We won't see that until we are through the veil.

The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #71 on: December 01, 2012, 04:31:52 AM »
A good parent teaches their child, "As you sow, so shall you also reap". The child is loved whether he is wise or unwise.....but the good parent will allow the child to reap as he sows in order to teach the child how to direct his will, his gifts, his intellect, his life......in fruitful ways. So it is with God.

Thanks!
I see your point but how does knowing that, affect you, specifically eaglesway, in your day to day relationship with your dad?  How does knowing you are still protected regardless of how you live your life change or alter your life with your Father?  Over the past couple of days I've had to seriously question some of the things I believed.  As a result, I feel closer to God:  I think He brought me here to learn that.  How does knowing what YOU know impact how you go through life with God?

Offline eaglesway

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Re: Will
« Reply #72 on: December 01, 2012, 04:50:59 AM »
Yes it does. Sort of as Reformer spoke, about not building a wall and walking rite down the center of the revelation. Knowing that God loves me regardless of my failures and my faults, and that His highest hope and plan for me is that I would walk in the inheritance of His Son- causes me to fall upon my knees and seek His face, cry out for grace to believe and to love Him and be drawn into the ALL IN ALL.

As the deer pants for the steams of water, so my soul thirsts after You.

The glory of it helps me to love all kinds of people from a genuine place, not feigned, but instilled by God.

Who knows where that will lead :o)

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
(Eph 3:14-21)
The Logos is complete, but it is not completely understood. hellisamyth.com

Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #73 on: December 01, 2012, 05:17:08 AM »
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
(Eph 3:14-21)

Amen

I would like to thank you guys for something else.  I have been struggling with an issue for a while, and because of this forum I finally have the words to form the proper question.  Once I asked the question of myself, it became somewhat rhetorical.  Words are very important to me, and now I have those words and now I have an answer to a question because I finally found the right question to ask.  I have some peace about that issue now.

Again, thanks guys.


Offline VineBranch

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Re: Will
« Reply #74 on: December 01, 2012, 05:25:19 AM »
I wonder at how little experience in life some people must have to believe it's all happening according to whatever they want to believe...that God has left you to choose?

Could it be that the experience is filtered through preconceived notions?  I once wrote a paper on stigma.  My conclusion was that once a stigma was assigned, everything, even those things which contradicted each other was used to prove that the stigma was properly placed.  Nothing could remove the stigma except moving away from the environment.

I grew up in Holland. Even when I was growing up:  long after WWII ended, German children (who were born ten years after the war ended) were still being shackled with the monikers my parents called the Nazis.  Perhaps some people don't have experiences as much as they live confirmations.