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#132352 - 04/04/11 05:30 PM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: NJK Project]
Tom Offline
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Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
Quote:
“Clearly God considers His Characteristic Attribute to be in His Power and Ability to (ultimately) accomplish His will against any odds, or human obstacles. And still He does this without violating the free will of any of His intelligently created free moral agents, i.e., human beings.”


I believe it's clear that God consider His Characteristic Attribute to be Love (agape). "God is love."

Quote:
So in summary, my point is that human choices can, and have, frustrate and delay God’s plans.


I completely agree. I think this is the key to understanding the Great Controversy.

God is sovereign, but He has chosen to share His sovereignty. People, and other beings, have the free will to choose not to do that which God wishes, and when they do so, bad things happen.
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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#132361 - 04/04/11 07:33 PM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: Tom]
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Quote:
NJK (blog): “Clearly God considers His Characteristic Attribute to be in His Power and Ability to (ultimately) accomplish His will against any odds, or human obstacles. And still He does this without violating the free will of any of His intelligently created free moral agents, i.e., human beings.”

Tom: I believe it's clear that God consider His Characteristic Attribute to be Love (agape). "God is love."

I can readily see your, at least, Theo-logical point here Tom (i.e., derived from one’s theological observations), for God indeed is love, however my view here is based upon the fact that, as enumerated in my blog post (see e.g., this discussion comment and its continued next one), most of the names for God found in the Bible point to this unmatchable Power and Might. As a name defines one character, especially in the Bible, show me a name for God in the Bible that says/means: “God is Love”!? I can really only call and consider God by the name(s) He has explicitly chosen to be known by.

Perhaps this is for our good, because He saw that it would be easier to readily begin to have faith in His strength than out of Love since, this attribute is not so prominently discernable in this GC, indeed one has to be permitted to ‘look behind the scene’ as in the SOP’s Conflict of the Ages series to clearly see and understand that also present Characteristic fact. That is why I see that “fear of God” is often most acceptably mentioned as a way to enter in, and sustain a relationship with God. E.g., did Abraham accept to kill Isaac, as He knew this was going to be the case, out of a profuse Love for God, or was it, as God saw and stated it, because He “feared” God. (Gen 22:12; cf. Job 1:8; 2:3). So in this GC this Strength and Might is most prominent that God’s Love.

Also is “Agape” Love actually “unconditional” or “reciprocal, but also merciful”?
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#132363 - 04/05/11 02:52 AM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: NJK Project]
Tom Offline
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Registered: 08/11/04
Posts: 14795
Loc: Lawrence, Kansas
"God is love" is stated by John, twice.

The best known verse in the world, explains that it was God's love that led to the sacrifice of His Son, which is the greatest event in the plan of redemption, the greatest event in all history.

The love chapter explains that "the greatest of these is love," and explains that all of our actions are fruitless apart from love.

Everybody knows God is powerful, but that power, apart from a knowledge of His love, can only lead to an "obedience" of fear, which is of no value.

Returning to the cross, it is the cross that reveals God's character as no other act. In the cross, and, indeed, in all of Christ's life and teachings, we see that it is not God's power that most clearly defines His character, but His love.

When we consider Christ, whose "whole purpose" was "the revelation of God," what is it that stands out? Is it His power? Or is it His love?
_________________________
Those who wait for the Bridegroom's coming are to say to the people, "Behold your God." The last rays of merciful light, the last message of mercy to be given to the world, is a revelation of His character of love.
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#132383 - 04/05/11 07:03 PM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: NJK Project]
Elle Offline
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Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: NJK
Hi Elle. Appreciate your thoughtful comments. That is an interesting point your bring up. I did not think my statement there could be perceived wrongly. I meant for it to say that God will, at times, ultimately, not violate our free will in order to accomplish His Will for something favoring. I do not see that it is too hard for Him to “summons” (Isa 46:11) an evil person to do a work of destruction. In fact, not much convincing is usually needed there. Thus this is limited to finding people to do His “Good will.”


Thx for your respond NJK, however, I didn’t deserve the compliment of being a good observer. I knew your statement was a general statement and I was disagreeing with your “freewill” idea. According to my biblical and health science studies, I just view the “freewill” concept as unbiblical.

I agree with you that God can summon an evil person more easily to execute His judgments, than have a saints to do His good work. With the evil person who is made a vessel of destruction(Rom 9:21) he simply does what is “natural”(1Cor 2:14) versus the saint, who was made to be a vessel of honor, needs lots of tutelage via tribulations throught the judgments(Lev 26:14-46) and when matured enough, then still needs supernatural powers to accomplish God’s good works. Whether it is “natural” or by “supernatural” powers, in both cases God “worked all things after the counsel of his own will” Ep 1:11(see also 1Cor 12:6) Because all powers comes from God(Jn 3:27) in either to have the evil works done, or to bring a saint to be born again to be used for His good works. We cannot be born again by our own choosing, the Bible makes this very clear in John 1

Jn 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (see also jn 3:5; jm 1:17; 1Pe 1:23) It’s totally a gift from God “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, which whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Jm 1:17; Jn 3:27; 1Co 4:6-7; Heb 5:4

Paul’s Conversion
Originally Posted By: NJK
There are many Bible examples that can be cited where, when God even uses supernatural manifestation to get someone to do His will (e.g, Paul on the Road to Damascus), that person always has the choice to obey or not.


Paul was literally knocked off his horse with the brightness of the light, blinded for 3 days, and the Lord made His voice clearly and directly heard to him. All of these is a clear example of God’s will above a person’s will. Paul was heading to persecute Christians. That was Paul’s will. Then Jesus didn’t ask him “if you choose you can go into the city and choose to follow me afterwards”. No Jesus commanded him saying “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Act 9:6 Paul was totally blinded. He couldn’t go anywhere anyway, plus God put Paul in a total dependency on Him to wait to have His vision back. So God put him in a very vulnerable situation on top of all of this to plainly overruled Paul’s will. In God’s wisdom to give us another witness of His Sovereignty, God chose to do all the above to get Paul’s attention and set him on a totally new direction against Paul’s will at that time.

I find quite interesting how we fight so fervently to preserve this illusion of “freewill”. Freedom is described by Newton’s Laws of Motion. An object can be moved “freely” by an exterior force and that’s the closest to the truth as to the Freedom we possess. Our “Will” part is inappropriately added to this freedom word when the Bible clearly states that we are either slaves to sin or slaves to Christ. There’s no middle ground as EGW stated also. When we are in Christ, that’s when we are truly “free” for He will move us to where we should go and do what we according to our design in the perfect season to the Will of His Father. Never it is according to Jesus’ will nor to our will, but always to the Will of His Father. For sure Jesus is in harmony and agrees with His Father’s will so it is also Jesus’s will, however let’s not stepped out from the ordained order of God described in 1Co 11:3. And we will come to agree with Jesus’s will also so that God can be the all in all. All will be brought into subjection to Christ as it was ordained to be in the beginning. What’s the emphasis here is that God the Father is Sovereign over all and has made Jesus the rightful ruler over all.

Here’s an interesting word study of Helkuo G#1670

John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw (helkuo) him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

G1670 helkuo; probably akin to G138; to drag (literally or figuratively).

You will find this same word used in:

John 21:6 “And he said unto them, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw (helkuo) it for the multitude of fishes.”

So this same word is used when fishermen drag their nets. The fishes caught in the net do not have a whole lot of free will in this. The same meaning is used with the same word in James 2:6,

James 2:6 “But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw (helkuo) you before the judgment seats?”

Those rich people with power in our world don’t give you much choice when they want to bring you to court. In James’ time probably it was much worst and they dragged you into court. In this text you have the same implication that you don’t have much free will in the matter. Someone higher and more powerful than you has made the decision, and you are forced to comply.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (helkuo) all men unto me.


The same word helkuo is used in this well used text. If we recall that the rich and powerful are dragging you into court and the net is dragging fish into the boat, then the ones being dragged are having their “freewill” overruled by a higher will. Therefore we can say that Jesus was lifted up and He will drag all men unto Himself.

John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”

Whomever the Father has given to Christ will come to Him. In other words, those who decide to come to Christ by their own “freewill” are really the people whom the Father has already given Him. The Father “who worketh all things” is behind the scenes who has called these people, and therefore their response is, “I want to follow Christ.” They think it is all by their own “freewill”, but in reality it is God who has brought them to Christ, choosing to remain anonymous.

God has first chosen them and dragged them to Christ, so that they will later seemingly choose God in return out of their “own free will”. I think God chooses to let us believe this illusion of “freewill” in our immaturity. God is patient and He continues to nurture us and teach us. However, once we mature and start to understand who God really is, and see His sovereignty over all things in the universe which he move all things by His power; we will come to understand that we are not much different than the animals and inanimate objects and begin to see that “our will” is merely a response to His will.

No Delays in God’s Plans
Originally Posted By: NJK
So in summary, my point is that human choices can, and have, frustrate and delay God’s plans. (Prime example: His Chosen People Israel, repeatedly, as they were until the New Covenant, His only means through which to duly advance and establish the Plan of Redemption).


From what I understand right now, there are no delays and what happened to the Children of Israel worked according to His plans to establish for us the “TYPE” so we can learn from it and come to know the “ANTITYPE” to come. I believe there’s nothing that catches God offguard(James 1:17; Jn 6:6) that He didn’t know what would happen. He knows what stages the nations or a people need to go through just as much a parent has an understanding of the stages their newborn child has to go through to reach maturity,( if by all means the child does get there in this lifetime for there are many immature adult walking around).

God working with Saints Vs. Wicked
Originally Posted By: NJK
Indeed as seen with Ancient Israel, He cannot work with a faithless people. However I believe that God will not, though He can, force someone to do His will. He can however make it even life threateningly clear that they should, as with Moses. Indeed He instead uses such compelling, also favoring, evidence to strongly convince that person to do this will (e.g,. Paul), however that has greater consequences if that person becomes ‘unfaithful to so great a revelation.’


I agree that God cannot work with a faithless people and what I’m understanding now, he has worked this past 6000 years to bring forth a mature faithful people to establish on earth His kingdom. Angels cannot do this work and it has to be done by the “sons of God” only for they are His ordained witness on earth. He uses the angels as messengers in this, but not to establish things on earth. This authority was given to Adam and passed down through the firstborn or the birthright son holder. Christ was the birthright holder from the line of Judah and has passed on this authority right to his disciples and His church. We will soon see a holy priesthood stand up which God is working his biddings which I believe is happening right now.

I do agree with you that force is not God’s preferred way to work, however I am now starting to see that it is often needed to be used on immature CHILDREN. I think it is used in the same fashion a parent will force a child into some behavior with correction(Judgments Lev 26) and by overruling the child’s will oftentimes, however, it is always done with the purpose to instruct and to mold the child mind and heart to His image.

Just because “force” is not generally his way, doesn’t mean nor prove we have “freewill”. We do have a mind with the ability to reason, but this reasoning was never design to conduct our own life. That’s what Satan was promoting at the tree of knowledge. Nor does this “freewill” determine whether or not we are saved like most Christianity says that it is the determining factor.

We were design to be “moved” by His Spirit at all time by having His Spirit perpetually indwell in us. The big deception lies in the realm of the purpose of the intelligence and our perception of the source of our powers. Most of the time we are moved from the inside out. That’s why it is so hard to distinguish contrary if we saw a physical big hand from heaven guiding us at all time. God’s presence is very hard to distinguish and we can be easily deceived in believing that what we do see our self doing, come from us versus the reality it comes from God; therefore we oftentimes “steal” God’s glory and change the truth into a lie.(Rom 1:21,22,25)

The Turning of the Farmer’s Ox
Quote:
In regards to Jer 31:18, 19, I exegetically see that the most accurate reading should be:
‘After I turned [active verb - Qal], my ‘mind was changed’ [passive verb - Niphal] and after that I was instructed... [passive verb - Niphal]...’ (cf. NASB).

This shows that the active “turning” action was first done, then their my was (passively) “changed” and then “instructed” by God.


Well, I did check the verbs in my interlinear/ literal translation software, I’m not at that level in my Hebrew to distinguish the accuracy of it, and my literal translation seem to agree in an active verb for “to-turn-away-of me”, however the remaining 5 verbs seems to be all in passive along that texts. I cannot comment on that more than that. But taken that verse into context and deriving it’s meaning from the context, I understand the following :
Ephraim (nation whom the birthright is rightly his, and not to Judah) is symbolized “as a bullock” that was plowing a field. God the farmer, is the one to turn his bullock. We know that “to turn” also means to repent, as to go in another direction. It is not the ox place to turn himself, but it is the responsibility of the farmer/God. The problem is that this “bullock” was not accustomed to being obedient to the Farmer.

The passage says that after God turned him, he turned(or repented). The context does not say that Ephraim first repented and then God turned him, as if God were reacting to His “bullock.” God holds the reins. He is the One in control of the bullock as a sovereign God and owner of the bull should be. So this places the order of how things works. God initiate things in order that it will be accomplished.
None of us will be saved unless God is behind every step. Man can not do anything without God. No man can come to the Father, except the Father drags him. If God “predestine” any events, it will still appears as if we did it all by ourselves. However, we are called to grow into maturity in understanding the reality and to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in all things.

I do agree that God often leaves the immature saints or the wicked to their own decisions (Rm 1:24, 26, 28; 2Ch 30:7; Ps 81:12 ; Act 7:42) however, there are boundaries that even Satan is well aware of them and Satan or anyone cannot do anything unless God allows them. So God is ultimately in control of everything and nothing is done without his approval.
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Blessings
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#132390 - 04/05/11 09:54 PM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: Tom]
NJK Project Offline
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Originally Posted By: Tom
God is love" is stated by John, twice.

The best known verse in the world, explains that it was God's love that led to the sacrifice of His Son, which is the greatest event in the plan of redemption, the greatest event in all history.

The love chapter explains that "the greatest of these is love," and explains that all of our actions are fruitless apart from love.


Indeed. These are all part of God’s character. Though, until Christ not prominently presented by God. My understanding is that this was not applicably appropriate at the time given the constant circumstances of having to discipline Israel early in this GC. One cannot demonstrate love where there are no genuinely applicable circumstances, or very little and not enough to make it as prominent as God’s attribute of power.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Everybody knows God is powerful, but that power, apart from a knowledge of His love, can only lead to an "obedience" of fear, which is of no value.


As the Bible repeatedly states that most important value would be that, given when everything else fails, that love would have help to begin to instill saving wisdom (See e.g., Job 28:28; Psa 111:10; Pro 1:7; 9:10; 15:33; Isa 11:2; 33:6) in turn leading to proper actions in turn leading to an achievable two-way Love relationship with God. Thus it implicitly, inceptively, it was an act of Love. Not demonstrating this power or not taken forceful corrective actions but ‘sparring the rod’ and letting that rebellious child quickly, i.e, even before the could cope, suffer the full extent of their course, would be an act of indifferent hate.

Originally Posted By: Tom
Returning to the cross, it is the cross that reveals God's character as no other act. In the cross, and, indeed, in all of Christ's life and teachings, we see that it is not God's power that most clearly defines His character, but His love.


I rather see both God’s “power”, especially in relation to how it applies to this issue of ‘Foreplanning’ and His Love. (As well as His Justice and Mercy). After the Fall of Man, as related in EW 149.2, as you manifestly correctly understand, God was most reluctant to allow His Son to come and die because of the very likely possibility that it would not succeed, as it fairly and faith-basedly needed to, and that Jesus would also be lost eternally. So I see a most prominent demonstration of God power in overcoming all of the OT obstacles and wrenches that were strewn and thrown into His Way and Plans as He endeavored to bring this Plan to full and successful completion. And all that without violating any GC rule and also not going against His Character. That indeed to great power to do. Of course His Love for falling and undeserving man is also seen in that Event. So it also took a great deal of God’s power to make the cross possible so that anything that would come in this way could be justly removed. Fairly orchestrating things to effectuate, in turn that fair/just removal also took a great deal of power, where applicable. It also took a great deal of Wisdom to make the proper decision, however wise plans without Power to implement them, even forcefully when possible is useless. Nonetheless, it also took a great amount of sustained Love for fallen man to, at any of the many explicitly stated frustrating point along these 4000+ years of GC leading up to the Cross not to “push the button” and start all over, with a perfect Creation, thus not even having to risk Jesus for this lone group of Humans in this universe who had sinned/rebelled.

So again, I do not have a mutually exclusive view here but see that God’s Justice, Wisdom, Longsuffering Patience, Compassion/Mercy, Sovereign and/or All Mighty Power and Love were all equally manifested at the Cross, the culmination of God’s plan of Redemption.

Originally Posted By: Tom
When we consider Christ, whose "whole purpose" was "the revelation of God," what is it that stands out? Is it His power? Or is it His love?


On a condensed scale all of these attributes were manifested in Christ in the 3+ years of public ministry leading up to the Cross, and then also on the Cross itself (e.g, Love to stay there, at least love for God, and the will power to do so against all opposing psychological compellations, especially as He took on the mind of all sinners. (See this blog post)

Again, God is real, and does not manifest or impose His characteristic where they are not pertinently applicable. One usually get turned of an annoyed by an individual who does this. So in the 4000 years leading up to the GC, He had very little opportunities to realistically/candidly demonstrate that Love. And this is pointedly what Jesus perceived and thus sought to emphasize in some of His pertinent public teaching and actions. This also was made the burden of EGW is many of Her writings.

In fact I Theologically believe that this understanding of God’s, previously “circumstancibly” suppressed Character of Love, will be the “name of My God” that Jesus will write on those who are faithful in the Church of Philadelphia. (Rev 3:12 - among other things that will be done). And I further see that this will only truly be the “written” case when those ones do indeed reflect perfect “brotherly love”. So a mere expression of Love will not accomplish this, but also truly having that character, and that indeed comes in, like Jesus, doing all that we can to truly Love God and others and not, especially, letting them die of curable/preventable diseases so that we can live our Crossless and selfish/self-centered lives. It can be seen that EGW was indeed commissioned to help begin to help write this name as her work towards this end started during the Philadelphia Church age.

You did not actually answer my distinct question of: “Is “Agape” Love actually “unconditional” or “reciprocal, but also merciful”?”

Also consider this if/when answering: “What did Jesus understand by “no greater love” than that of laying down their “psyche” for his friends (John 15:13), which is then immediately specified as those who will do His will?? (vs. 14). Why not say “all peoples” even “enemies”?? Are there levels of agape or is it, as I understand it “conditional” and thus inherently involves reciprocal levels. Thus punishment and opposition for those who, despising such a gift/opportunity, continue in hatred (E.g., Exo 20:5; Mal 1:3-5).

So in summary here, God’s Love does not need supercede any of His other Character Traits/Attributes as they are all equally worthy of prominence. It was just that OT circumstances caused God’s full revelation to be hindered/limited and so Jesus took deliberate measure to address and correct that ‘rebellious-men-caused’, divine slighting, even misrepresentation, especially as the Jews then themselves were only making it worst with their various false teachings.

The same reform and highlighting is tangibly needing to be done by God’s remnant, indeed as, and more, (to meet our current, post-modern/capitalistic oppositions to this Revelation), revealed in the SOP.
_________________________
“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#132406 - 04/06/11 02:15 AM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: Elle]
NJK Project Offline
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Originally Posted By: Elle
Thx for your respond NJK, however, I didn’t deserve the compliment of being a good observer. I knew your statement was a general statement and I was disagreeing with your “freewill” idea.


As you brought up a point on freewill then that I did not think would be seen as such, I saw it as a good observation, and hence made that comment. However, having read your completely opposing view on freewill here, I then can see how you wouldn’t think so, to any degree. I only commented on what I had read and understood.

Originally Posted By: Elle
According to my biblical and health science studies, I just view the “freewill” concept as unbiblical.


I think the key here in regards to the, (do illumine me if I am wrong) purely Spiritual/Theological subject of freewill and choices will be found in the Bible. So I will indeed endeavor to ascertain exactly what the Bible teaches.

As you seemingly also understand, our final Theological views are to be built upon the whole testimony of Scripture, properly, exegetically expressed and understood. So I will mostly focus on these underlying texts rather than on your expressions of your resulting views. In the end what I, or anyone else may think, really takes aback seat to what the Bible actually teaches. If I leave out a such a ‘resulting statement’ that you think should be validly addressed let me know.

Originally Posted By: Elle
Because all powers comes from God(Jn 3:27) in either to have the evil works done, or to bring a saint to be born again to be used for His good works.


John 3:27 pointedly speaks of someone having the ability to “take” away from John ministry which He and His disciples knew were of God. John always knew that He was the forerunner and so it now Jesus was “taking” followers away from him, then it surely was because that transition time had come for the recently baptize Jesus and it was God who was granting/allowing = “giving” this. So this text is not speaking of a giving of power, but a giving of followers, as allowed to be impressed by God to now go to Jesus instead of going to John. So John knew that his time to decrease had come.

Originally Posted By: Elle
We cannot be born again by our own choosing, the Bible makes this very clear in John 1

Bible: Jn 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the (base) flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. (see also jn 3:5; jm 1:17; 1Pe 1:23) It’s totally a gift from God “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, which whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Jm 1:17; Jn 3:27; 1Co 4:6-7; Heb 5:4


John 1:11-13
Keep in mind here that John is writing this introductory text for his gospel long after the events (probably in ca. 90+ A.D., and after the elucidating visions of Revelation, hence the more Theological and Christ’s Divine Nature distinct focus of His Gospel, and that in a summary way.
So in vs. 11, he is saying in summary way that the Jewish Nation in general did not receive Christ (though many did as seen in Acts).

Then in vs. 12 he turns to those who did receive Christ vs. Christ’s own people who “did not”, thus the Gentiles. These, though not ethnic Jews as ‘Christ’s own people’ thus had the “authority” to become children of God, i.e., these ones who believed in Christ’s name.

Then in vs. 13 John further explains that this full accepting of the Gentiles with “authority” as now the Children of God was done ‘not of their natural blood line rights, nor of the will of flesh (i.e., these Gentiles longing to replace the Jews); nor the will of man; e.g., someone (e.g., a Jews or Jews) wanting this be the case, but by God’s granting of this authority. So they indeed had the full rights and prerogative as the ethnic Jews, Christ’s own people, previously had.

So I do not see this passage as addressing the will of man to be born again, but to the authority to become God’s People, even taking the place of the ethnic Jews. That currently validatingly applies to over 2.3 billion “Gentile” Christians.

Originally Posted By: Elle
Paul’s Conversion
NJK: There are many Bible examples that can be cited where, when God even uses supernatural manifestation to get someone to do His will (e.g, Paul on the Road to Damascus), that person always has the choice to obey or not.

Elle: Paul was literally knocked off his horse with the brightness of the light, blinded for 3 days, and the Lord made His voice clearly and directly heard to him. All of these is a clear example of God’s will above a person’s will.


Let’s see in the sum here is not greater than its parts.

Originally Posted By: Elle
Paul was heading to persecute Christians. That was Paul’s will.


Seems to me that if God wills to and has the authority to, in this GC, fairly force men like Paul who are avowed haters of His true way, to become believers then, in solely relation to Sabbath Keeping Christians, God is failing with over 99% the world!!

As EGW points out in AA, Paul was not acting out of hypocrisy, but because He effectively was deceived. She says:

Originally Posted By: SOP AA 115.2
He saw that his convictions of right and of his own duty had been based largely on his implicit confidence in the priests and rulers. He had believed them when they told him that the story of the resurrection was an artful fabrication of the disciples.


Indeed if Paul had not personally witness or heard in cognitive details the events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, then why not respectfully trust the words and judgement of his religious superiors and teachers. If he thought they were lying then he proudly would not be a part of them but rather seeking out the truth himself. Indeed God would not so manifest Himself to a hypocritically rebellious person, and persecutively at that. If that was so, Paul would have shared in the same fate as those hypocrite leaders in Christ’s day and the same persisted blindness as those leader who had caused him to be so deceived so God could work with that sincere and zealous faith to do what was right.

Also as I say in my blog post, God needed the various key and valuable “resources” of Paul for this great work of expansively raising up God’s New Israel now among the Gentiles. So his call was as undeserving as the call of, and justifying grace shown to, Abraham, an idolater (Jos 24:2; cf. PP 125.1) but also desiring to do God’s will, when God was seeking to establish Ancient Israel. Yet God found enough in both of them to call them and entrust them with this Great opportunity. (Notice the full circle here. God calls Abraham from pagans to establish a saving Jewish nation and when that is done He similarly raised a Jew Paul to now go back to the Gentiles and save them, as it was always planned. So by that circular, borrowing and returning, action this transaction made itself a fair one in the GC.)

So it seems to me that God reserves such “Aces in the Hole” to begin to do His will, and as shown later, all through their cooperating and responsive will, and a sustained relationship and obedience. However I understand that for each of those overpowering actions that God takes, the Devil is entitled to do the same. Hence we have directly inspired evil doers to various degrees such as Darwin, Joseph Smith, Voltaire, Hitler etc.

However, according to your non-freewill-but God’s-sovereign-will view, God is then decided who will be saved or not and obviously He gladly wants and is acting so that over 99%+ of the world,, and all those who were ever born, will burn in Hell!??

Originally Posted By: Elle
Then Jesus didn’t ask him “if you choose you can go into the city and choose to follow me afterwards”. No Jesus commanded him saying “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Act 9:6


As stated in Paul other one of his account of this conversion experience in Acts 22:10. I was Paul who asked Jesus, after now having in a flood of recollections, self-convinced of the Truth merely by the words “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (see AA 114.2-116.3) “What shall I do Lord” Notice that it is here Paul who initiatingly is offering himself, even his services, to Christ. He could have just answer. ‘Oh I did not know I was persecuting you. Sorry... I’ll go back home get married and raised a godly family.’ Instead Paul new that since this was clear the Truth then something active and definite must be done about it. Paul also understood that if such an appearance and faulting of someone he now in his recollections knew was God did not destroy Him then God must want Him to do something. And so he, like Moses (at least two times) passed this unspoken will test and God immediately enjoined this success. And by thus freely (as I understand it) placing himself under the full command of Christ, Jesus did indeed proceed to command him Paul as to what he should do for Him. However notice in Paul other recounting of these events in Acts 26:9-18. In vs. 19 & 20, he says to Agrippa that: ‘he, from then on, did not come to be disobedient to the heavenly vision (cf. vs. 16-18).

So clearly Paul believed that all along this time, since His encounter before proceeding onto Damascus, he had the possibility and thus “option”, and thus choice, and thus freedom to be disobedient if he wanted. If he believe in your view, as He could have known as you refer to OT passages which he was familiar with and then later became aware of the full Gospel story. (Needless to say that He wrote most of the NT that you are also using today to prove this view), then he would have told Agrippa, at, here, this much later stage in his ministry, that ‘I had no other choice but to be to this desired will of God.’ Indeed the word “dis-obedient” #545 (a word that Paul and others repeatedly use for evildoers in danger of condemnation) would not have been use a moot. You can only “disobey” if you have a choice, and a free one at that. (If a robber hold up a gun a me and threats to blow my brains out if I don’t hand over my wallet, I cannot go around telling people I was obedient to him, since I logically did not have a free choice. I instead “complied” to that threat and command.)

Originally Posted By: Elle
Paul was totally blinded. He couldn’t go anywhere anyway,


Paul was indeed totally blind but that does not mean “he could not go anywhere”?? HE clearly says he was not alone (Acts 9:7; 22:9). And how do you think he continued, now blind, to get to Damascus?? He clearly says that ‘he was led by the hand by those who were with him. (Acts 9:8; 22:11). He emphasizes this to show that he was indeed totally made blind by that apparition/light. So Paul could just have easily gone back to Jerusalem if he wanted to. He only proceed to Damascus because, as he said (Acts 26:19, 20a), he was right from that time, faithfully endeavoring to be obedient to that vision.

Originally Posted By: Elle
plus God put Paul in a total dependency on Him to wait to have His vision back.


It rather seems to me in reading Acts 9:17 & AA 121.4 that Paul more importantly need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Just like the disciples before him (Acts 1:8; 2:4). Indeed, although Paul was highly educated, with the Holy Spirit, he could not properly do, if at all this great task.

Originally Posted By: Elle
So God put him in a very vulnerable situation...


I rather see that this blindness was a natural collateral damage of the amount of power that was used for that convincing appearance. First of all, it was noon (Acts 26:13) so that light, to be distinctly seen and not be passed of as the midday sunlight, it had to be much brighter than it. That was mainly done for those with Paul as they only heard a “sound” and saw the light (Acts 22:9), but didn’t either see the countenance of Christ (AA 115.1) or understand a voice. This was evidently done so that those assigned temple men, (probably from the Temple guard) would not then abandon, betray/deliver up, or even kill a now persecution-refusing Paul. So the blinding was by this necessary brighter than noon radiance (cf. Acts 22:11) which he, unlike the others probably had to look directly into in order to figure out exactly who was appearing to him. The others probably just looked away and/or shielded their eyes.

Originally Posted By: Elle
on top of all of this to plainly overruled Paul’s will. ... and set him on a totally new direction against Paul’s will at that time.


For the reasons cited above, I do not see any “overruling of Paul’s will,” but a free choice to obey that great revelation, a commanding action that Paul himself freely initiated by asking what Jesus wanted him to do.

Originally Posted By: Elle
In God’s wisdom to give us another witness of His Sovereignty, God chose to do all the above to get Paul’s attention


Clearly Paul did not understand this ‘overruling sovereignty’ act when recounting that testimony. Acts 26:19. The only sovereignty hear was to the extent of getting Paul’s attention, but not to force him to do anything against his now, and first (i.e., between the first statement of Jesus and the later instructions) self-rectified will of Paul based on all that He already had heard and learned about Jesus and the Christian Faith.

[Answering to be continued. BTW, you can stop me (or also, respond) at anytime.]
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“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#132446 - 04/07/11 07:00 AM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: Elle]
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[Answers cont’d]

Originally Posted By: Elle
Here’s an interesting word study of Helkuo G#1670

John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw (helkuo) him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

G1670 helkuo; probably akin to G138; to drag (literally or figuratively).

You will find this same word used in:

John 21:6 “And he said unto them, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw (helkuo) it for the multitude of fishes.”

So this same word is used when fishermen drag their nets. The fishes caught in the net do not have a whole lot of free will in this. The same meaning is used with the same word in James 2:6,

James 2:6 “But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw (helkuo) you before the judgment seats?”

Those rich people with power in our world don’t give you much choice when they want to bring you to court. In James’ time probably it was much worst and they dragged you into court. In this text you have the same implication that you don’t have much free will in the matter. Someone higher and more powerful than you has made the decision, and you are forced to comply.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (helkuo) all men unto me.

The same word helkuo is used in this well used text. If we recall that the rich and powerful are dragging you into court and the net is dragging fish into the boat, then the ones being dragged are having their “freewill” overruled by a higher will. Therefore we can say that Jesus was lifted up and He will drag all men unto Himself.


Interesting word study here, however I think you are overstating its meaning by making it include and affect free will. One simple text from that group entirely sink your ‘no free will, irresistible pulling’ claim, and that is Christ’s statement in John 12:32. If Christ “drew all to Him when He was lifted up on the Cross, the why have billions of people since that event not become Christians?? Clearly one still has the free will to accept or reject Christianity. So that “drawing” still allows one to reject that possible, when effectuate, Divine prompting/calling. As Jesus also says, Many are called but the choice ones are few (Matt 22:14) So that ‘call resisting’ possibility is how ‘God’s drawing’ in John 6:44 is to be understood. Indeed the logically irrational issue of why God does not ‘irresistibly draw’ all peoples, even all peoples, is raised up by holding your view for that verse. Also:

John 21:6 - ‘the fish’s will was a moot issue in that miracle.’ The only Theological lesson it teaches is that God knows how best to conduct the work of fishing for men, compared to our even best methods, training and knowledge. God’s guidance is what is to be crucially sought.

James 2:6 - The only way that people are ‘dragged’ before the courts is, as today, because of the penalties for not appearing, including a default judgement against them if they fail to appear. So they still have the free choice to appear or not, though with penalties if they do not.

Originally Posted By: Elle
Quote:
John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”


Originally Posted By: Elle
Whomever the Father has given to Christ will come to Him. In other words, those who decide to come to Christ by their own “freewill” are really the people whom the Father has already given Him. The Father “who worketh all things” is behind the scenes who has called these people, and therefore their response is, “I want to follow Christ.” They think it is all by their own “freewill”, but in reality it is God who has brought them to Christ, choosing to remain anonymous.


The setting up of the NT Church involved a great deal of key “election” of “choice” people as “firstfruits” = founders/pioneers. (= Rom 8:28-39). God looked around the Jewish and Gentile world and all those who were “electable” = “choice people”, he cast his vote with them and indeed “elected them” to these crucial NT Church/New Israel positions. However, like any elected individual, that did not mean that they could not fail, even completely in the future. God here had only cast their vote with them based upon their past good living and indeed offered them to Christ by drawing them to cross paths with Christ and the Gospel. Jesus fully understood this behind the scenes guiding work of God, all based upon due individual merit and that is why He said that he would not cast them out. However these were free to go away if they chose. They were not forced to stay. So just as God elected Abraham in the past to be both the Ancestral father of many, primarily, natural children to form a nation for God, and then he called Moses to be the Spiritual Father of this now great nation, in the same way, for the New Covenant Israel, and given the fact of almost total rejection by the Jewish people, God called the most sincere people to be the spiritual Children of Christ and then Paul to extend this work and family of Christ among the Gentile nations. This election does not do away with one’s freewill.

Originally Posted By: Elle
God has first chosen them and dragged them to Christ, so that they will later seemingly choose God in return out of their “own free will”. I think God chooses to let us believe this illusion of “freewill” in our immaturity. God is patient and He continues to nurture us and teach us. However, once we mature and start to understand who God really is, and see His sovereignty over all things in the universe which he move all things by His power; we will come to understand that we are not much different than the animals and inanimate objects and begin to see that “our will” is merely a response to His will.


Again the simple logical question that entirely sink this view of yours is: Why not more, and that much more, by God of so, supposedly “forced” to be faithful Christians???

Originally Posted By: Elle
No Delays in God’s Plans
Originally Posted By: NJK
So in summary, my point is that human choices can, and have, frustrate and delay God’s plans. (Prime example: His Chosen People Israel, repeatedly, as they were until the New Covenant, His only means through which to duly advance and establish the Plan of Redemption).


From what I understand right now, there are no delays and what happened to the Children of Israel worked according to His plans to establish for us the “TYPE” so we can learn from it and come to know the “ANTITYPE” to come.


In that case, as many OT prophetic statements will not, simply as most cannot, be literally fulfilled, then God, who would have been doing, (or nonchalantly allowing) all of the capital transgressions, rebellions and apostasies of Ancient Israel, actually made prophetic mistakes in his statements, by not making them literally speak of things, places events, etc of how they were “always supposed to be fulfilled at least 2000+ years after the fact. I.e., why would God not extend all prophecies in regards to Israel as literally and specifically as He did in e.g, Dan 2, 7, 8, 9 if they too were all to only be fulfilled 2000+ years later, in our day???

Originally Posted By: Elle
I believe there’s nothing that catches God offguard(James 1:17; Jn 6:6) that He didn’t know what would happen.


(A) Your supposed supporting text here do not say anything to this point so they are simply textbook “proof-texts” here.

(B) God Himself says that unexpected things happen to Him from man’s free choices and actions. (E.g., Isa 5:1-7) Indeed, many times He has to test man to find out/ascertain what is in there heart or how they will choose to act. (E.g., Gen 22:12; Deut 8:2; cf. Exod 15:25; 16:4; 2 Chr 32:31). These are unequivocal, straightforward Biblical statements.

Originally Posted By: Elle
He knows what stages the nations or a people need to go through just as much a parent has an understanding of the stages their newborn child has to go through to reach maturity,( if by all means the child does get there in this lifetime for there are many immature adult walking around).


The two OT episodes in the Bible in Exod 32 and Num 14 (discussed in greater detail e.g., here shows that God twice wanted to destroy all of Israel and start all over with one person. That clearly does not look like a God who is going by a grandly manipulative, plan.

Originally Posted By: Elle
God working with Saints Vs. Wicked
Originally Posted By: NJK
Indeed as seen with Ancient Israel, He cannot work with a faithless people. However I believe that God will not, though He can, force someone to do His will. He can however make it even life threateningly clear that they should, as with Moses. Indeed He instead uses such compelling, also favoring, evidence to strongly convince that person to do this will (e.g,. Paul), however that has greater consequences if that person becomes ‘unfaithful to so great a revelation.’


Originally Posted By: Elle
I agree that God cannot work with a faithless people and what I’m understanding now, he has worked this past 6000 years to bring forth a mature faithful people to establish on earth His kingdom.


If as you believe, God can ‘irresistibly force’ people to be obedient to him (= overiding all of their freewill) then why would He need to “work”, and that for so long to get a mature people?? Alos why not force them to instantly be mature, indeed never allowing them to take any steps back or stray aside as was the constant case in Ancient Israel. How do you explain God only being able to have at best ca. 120 ‘forced converts’ just after the resurrection, and very little of the over 2,000,000 Jewish People in Israel and the world by the 70 A.D. destruction?? Is it that God is not working enough or well or what, according to your no-free-will understanding??? It all seems to me that God is shooting himself in the foot. On one hand He is supposedly overriding the free will of people and on the other hand He is keeping most in the dark (Matt 13:10-17).

Originally Posted By: Elle
I do agree with you that force is not God’s preferred way to work, however I am now starting to see that it is often needed to be used on immature CHILDREN. I think it is used in the same fashion a parent will force a child into some behavior with correction(Judgments Lev 26) and by overruling the child’s will oftentimes, however, it is always done with the purpose to instruct and to mold the child mind and heart to His image.


You are making a different statement here. If God is overriding people will then how can they ever rebel by acting/continuing to be, immature. Indeed this view places all of the failures of people to do and be right in the world on God which makes no sense at all since God wants all to be saved. (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9, 10) People need to freely choose (= Rev 2:21) to believe to be saved (John 3:16). The Bible is so copious and clear on that fact that I do not see how such texts are ignored to build a ‘no free will doctrine’ on even a handful of seemingly supporting statements, which non have exegetically checked out!

Originally Posted By: Elle
Just because “force” is not generally his way, doesn’t mean nor prove we have “freewill”.


I thought your view was that this was the only way of God in regards to one’s will. It seems clear to me that your view is continuing to come apart at the seams here.

Originally Posted By: Elle
We do have a mind with the ability to reason, but this reasoning was never design to conduct our own life.


Reason about what then, since in your view that is pointless. Here is the 180 switch that God allows and considers in one’s “reason”: Isa 1:18-20; cf. 21ff.

Originally Posted By: Elle
That’s what Satan was promoting at the tree of knowledge. Nor does this “freewill” determine whether or not we are saved like most Christianity says that it is the determining factor.


How could God allow Satan to tempt man with something that actually is not feasible. I.e., get freewill?? And didn’t God say, when Adam and Eve sinned that they had indeed achieved what Satan was offering them (Gen 3:22a)

Originally Posted By: Elle
We were design to be “moved” by His Spirit at all time by having His Spirit perpetually indwell in us.


Clearly not over 99% of us since they are not full commandment keeping Christians!! Thus God never wired them to be saved and be moved by His Spirit, right??

Originally Posted By: Elle
The big deception lies in the realm of the purpose of the intelligence and our perception of the source of our powers. Most of the time we are moved from the inside out. That’s why it is so hard to distinguish contrary if we saw a physical big hand from heaven guiding us at all time. God’s presence is very hard to distinguish and we can be easily deceived in believing that what we do see our self doing, come from us versus the reality it comes from God; therefore we oftentimes “steal” God’s glory and change the truth into a lie.(Rom 1:21,22,25)


Again how, in your view, can man be doing anything against God’s will. And what’s the point of trying to convince anyone of this supposed “Biblical/Theological teaching”?? What actual difference will it make since God overridingly decides who will be save or not, obedient or disobedient?? And ‘overriding what? If my cruise control (= free will) does not work, then by pressing my accelerator (evil choices) or brakes (good choices), I am in no way “overriding anything at all” My cruise control was never active and controlling the speed of my car!!

Originally Posted By: Elle
The Turning of the Farmer’s Ox
Originally Posted By: NJK Project
In regards to Jer 31:18, 19, I exegetically see that the most accurate reading should be:

‘After I turned [active verb - Qal], my ‘mind was changed’ [passive verb - Niphal] and after that I was instructed... [passive verb - Niphal]...’ (cf. NASB).

This shows that the active “turning” action was first done, then their my was (passively) “changed” and then “instructed” by God.


Originally Posted By: Elle
Well, I did check the verbs in my interlinear/ literal translation software,


Good laymen’s/starter study tool!

Originally Posted By: Elle
I’m not at that level in my Hebrew to distinguish the accuracy of it, and my literal translation seem to agree in an active verb for “to-turn-away-of me”, however the remaining 5 verbs seems to be all in passive along that texts.


An Interlinear’s English text is usually based upon a major English version, hence probably the non-exact reading here for instead a reading according to the understood sense of the translators.

Originally Posted By: Elle
I cannot comment on that more than that.


I cannot find any free/freely accessible resources online to show these grammatical taggings, including the free E-Sword software. (If you have access to a university library, you probably can find the book by John J. Owens, Analytical Key of the OT which has a detailed listing of these taggings.)

Originally Posted By: Elle
But taken that verse into context and deriving it’s meaning from the context, I understand the following :
Ephraim (nation whom the birthright is rightly his, and not to Judah) is symbolized “as a bullock” that was plowing a field. God the farmer, is the one to turn his bullock. We know that “to turn” also means to repent, as to go in another direction. It is not the ox place to turn himself, but it is the responsibility of the farmer/God. The problem is that this “bullock” was not accustomed to being obedient to the Farmer.

The passage says that after God turned him, he turned(or repented). The context does not say that Ephraim first repented and then God turned him, as if God were reacting to His “bullock.” God holds the reins. He is the One in control of the bullock as a sovereign God and owner of the bull should be. So this places the order of how things works. God initiate things in order that it will be accomplished.


Agreed... in part. Indeed, Jer 31:18 the same word “turn” occurs twice in the statement:

Originally Posted By: Bible Jer 31:18 NASB
Like an untrained calf; Bring me back (Hiphil - lit. ‘cause me to turn’) that I may be restored (Qal - lit. ‘may turn’), For You are the LORD my God.


While God does initiate the turning, it is the person who is to complete it. This is just like the farmer indicating to the bulls to turn and then they, of their own force turn. So this is just like a inceptive calling of God for people to turn as seen in the Bible and once that calling is heed and people have to complete/do this act of turning themselves. Then after that have “turned” (vs. 19, continuing the non-causative Qal verbal form), then their mind was changed. Etc.

Originally Posted By: Elle
None of us will be saved unless God is behind every step. Man can not do anything without God.


Jer 31:18, 19 actually shows that while God may initiate (in mercy vs. 20b = God’s calling), man, like the bull, has to, of their own volition/strength follow through. The farmer cannot turn the 1000+ pound ox if they refuse to obey that turning prompting. Hence the need of whips as I understand to force then if necessary.

Originally Posted By: Elle
No man can come to the Father, except the Father drags him.


That direct divine calling was only initially being done whenever applicable in the early days of the small NT Church. However very early Christ sent out disciples to go and call others to the Truth, with many have the choice to obey or not (e.g, Matt 10:5-7; 14, 15). However today, this calling is mainly recursively done through Christ’s followers again according to His instruction (Matt 28:19, 20). If God was actively doing, in all cases, a ‘dragging to the truth’, and an ‘irresistible one at that’ then there would be absolutely no need for Christians to do any Evangelism. Just leave the Church doors open and wait for “forcefully dragged” people to be “dragged” in, and, of course, against their (“non”) will.

Originally Posted By: Elle
If God “predestine” any events, it will still appears as if we did it all by ourselves. However, we are called to grow into maturity in understanding the reality and to acknowledge God’s sovereignty in all things.


How do you explain the many people who backslide and abandon the faith annually who once came to the truth, clearly, according to your view, only by God forcing will. In the SDA Church alone that is ca. 1300 per day who leave the Church. In your view no Christian are actually called by God unless God is dragging people to any Christian Church instead on His only True Church? And, according to you, what ‘singular Church’ would that be (as it sequiturly/logically have to be)??

Originally Posted By: Elle
I do agree that God often leaves the immature saints or the wicked to their own decisions (Rm 1:24, 26, 28; 2Ch 30:7; Ps 81:12 ; Act 7:42)


I thought we couldn’t have or own decisions (= our “overidding” choices)

Originally Posted By: Elle
however, there are boundaries that even Satan is well aware of them and Satan or anyone cannot do anything unless God allows them.


How do they ever begin to will to go against “God’s irresistible will’ to the point here were God ‘leaves them to their own decisions’

Originally Posted By: Elle
So God is ultimately in control of everything...


(A) not really according to your sub views

(B) What force/meaning does “ultimately” means since man is not supposed to have any will??

Originally Posted By: Elle
...and nothing is done without his approval.


Approval/Approving of what??? It could only be “approving” a free choice/decision of man!!

Summary
You really need to decide how faithful your are going to be to your chief tenet that ‘freewill does not exist as not doing so causes your view to be quite incongruous. I however see then that you will have to outrightly ignore many Scriptures, indeed like your listed: “(Rm 1:24, 26, 28; 2Ch 30:7; Ps 81:12 ; Act 7:42)” as they show that God does leave people to follow their own decision, stemming from their free choices! These are all the signs of a house of teaching that is not built with/on a deeply dug foundation, indeed without any foundation at all, but merely laid upon the surface ground thus a prime candidate to be swept away like a boat by a simple torrential flooding (Luke 6:47-49).
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“Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.” Matt 25:45 NJK Project
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#132448 - 04/07/11 07:44 AM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: NJK Project]
Elle Offline
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Thx for your thorough reply NKJ of the first section. Can we take one thing at a time?
Originally Posted By: NKJ
Originally Posted By: elle
Thx for your respond NJK, however, I didn’t deserve the compliment of being a good observer. I knew your statement was a general statement and I was disagreeing with your “freewill” idea.


As you brought up a point on freewill then that I did not think would be seen as such, I saw it as a good observation, and hence made that comment. However, having read your completely opposing view on freewill here, I then can see how you wouldn’t think so, to any degree. I only commented on what I had read and understood.

That’s ok NKJ you were just caught off guard and didn’t expect it. I appreciate that you gave me the benefit of the doubt.
Originally Posted By: NKJ
I think the key here in regards to the, (do illumine me if I am wrong) purely Spiritual/Theological subject of freewill and choices will be found in the Bible. So I will indeed endeavor to ascertain exactly what the Bible teaches.

Yes, my source is totally Biblical. I only used the Newton’s law to illustrate the concept of freedom. I would appreciate you would also resort to only Biblical support and not rely on EGW statements. I believe we should be able to establish any truth from the Bible only.
Originally Posted By: NKJ
Originally Posted By: elle
Because all powers comes from God(Jn 3:27) in either to have the evil works done, or to bring a saint to be born again to be used for His good works.


John 3:27 pointedly speaks of someone having the ability to “take” away from John ministry which He and His disciples knew were of God. John always knew that He was the forerunner and so it now Jesus was “taking” followers away from him, then it surely was because that transition time had come for the recently baptize Jesus and it was God who was granting/allowing = “giving” this. So this text is not speaking of a giving of power, but a giving of followers, as allowed to be impressed by God to now go to Jesus instead of going to John. So John knew that his time to decrease had come.

Proofing vs. not proofing
NJK, I’m puzzle for the purpose of your statement above. I thought we were agreeing about God Sovereignty which to me encapsulate that He has all powers and gives it to whom He wants. Also isn’t my statement “all powers comes from God” one of those that is common knowledge? I really didn’t think this was an issue to prove and I stated John 3:27 only as a quick convenience text since I had it on hand. I hope you are not going to demand that I prove substantially things that are well known between us. I understand for things that are not common knowledge and is a crucial point needed to be backed up. Maybe your comment on John 3:27 was merely to point out to me that text was a weak proof and you were agreeing with my point in the same breath. If that’s so, in the future I would appreciate that you state it clearly and maybe give me a better text if you have one in mind.

John 3:26 “And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him. 27. John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given from heaven.
I agree with you that in the specific context it is speaking of “giving of followers”, however, John answer is by stating a general principle/law of God’s Sovereignty. So this text is very relevant, if you really believe that God is Sovereign.

God Sovereignty in Influence
We all know the Father (and His Son) is above all, owns everything, and has power over everything, because He is the King over all. This Sovereignty the Father and Jesus possess is based on the fact they have created all things. Even all the particles to make any creatures were made by them. So there’s nothing that was made that they didn’t make. Based on this ownership, they have this Supreme Authority (Rev 4:11). With this Sovereignty, they have and the fact that they are God, all the “power” comes with the package of that title.

I would like to put an emphasis on the meaning of this power as an INFLUENCE. Jesus “is before all things” (Col 1:17); “he is the head” (1Co 11:3; Col 1:18);… ”that in all things he might have the preeminence” (Col 1:18)

The word preeminence is proteuo(4409) which means to be first (in rank or influence). So Jesus is holding the highest rank or influence in the universe under God, that commands to motion all things into righteousness with his Words/ Torah (Heb 1:3) which is the voice of Wisdom stated in Prov 8. “Influence” is my preferred word to described this power because it has the emphasis of the fashion by which God “moves” all things. It’s often by that small still voice that the Lord is heard(1Ki 19:11-12). It doesn’t lessen it’s potency effect and it’s efficiency to get God’s will executed. Is 55:11 ”So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it”.
Concerning giving a better text than Jn 3:27 that states all power comes from God(the Father), here are some that I found today in a brief search only in the NT.
Originally Posted By: NT Bible Texts about God’s Power
Mat 28:18 “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.”
Luk 9:1; “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.” Jesus was able to give power and authority over the devils to the disciples because he had it to begin with.
Luk 10:18-20; ” Behold, I give unto you [u]power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” Jesus here gives the disciples(the 70) power over all the power of the enemy(Satan and devils).

Jn 17:2 “As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.”
Jn 3:35 “The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand
Jn 5:26-27 The Father gaved Jesus “[u]life in himself [u] and hath [u]given him authority to execute judgment also”

1Cor 15:25,27 The Father put all things under Jesus feet.
Jhn 19:11 “Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power [at all] against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.”
Act 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: ” The power comes from the Holy Spirit.
Act 10:38 “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”
Eph 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
Col 2:10 “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
Heb 1:3 “Who being the brightness of [his] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;”


Can we be Born Again by the Will(choice) of Man or by the will of God
Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: elle

We cannot be born again by our own choosing, the Bible makes this very clear in John 1

Bible: Jn 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the (base) flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. ” (see also jn 3:5; jm 1:17; 1Pe 1:23) It’s totally a gift from God “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights, which whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.” Jm 1:17; Jn 3:27; 1Co 4:6-7; Heb 5:4

John 1:11-13
Keep in mind here that John is writing this introductory text for his gospel long after the events (probably in ca. 90+ A.D., and after the elucidating visions of Revelation, hence the more Theological and Christ’s Divine Nature distinct focus of His Gospel, and that in a summary way.
So in vs. 11, he is saying in summary way that the Jewish Nation in general did not receive Christ (though many did as seen in Acts).

Then in vs. 12 he turns to those who did receive Christ vs. Christ’s own people who “did not”, thus the Gentiles. These, though not ethnic Jews as ‘Christ’s own people’ thus had the “authority” to become children of God, i.e., these ones who believed in Christ’s name.

Then in vs. 13 John further explains that this full accepting of the Gentiles with “authority” as now the Children of God was done ‘not of their natural blood line rights, nor of the will of flesh (i.e., these Gentiles longing to replace the Jews); nor the will of man; e.g., someone (e.g., a Jews or Jews) wanting this be the case, but by God’s granting of this authority. So they indeed had the full rights and prerogative as the ethnic Jews, Christ’s own people, previously had.

So I do not see this passage as addressing the will of man to be born again, but to the authority to become God’s People, even taking the place of the ethnic Jews. That currently validatingly applies to over 2.3 billion “Gentile” Christians.


It is true that the tribe of Judah didn’t receive Jesus and it is true that the gospel was spread to the gentiles. And it is true that when we are born again, being Sons of God includes the passing the authority to them. However, you’re interpretation is narrowed while John was establishing a bigger picture in this chapter that Jesus is the Christ of God. I disagree with your narrowed interpretation and I read the text with John main emphasis that Jesus being the Christ of God is describing in v.13 how people becomes sons of God which are born of God. John emphasis was on the fact that Jesus is the Christ (the anointed) and being born of God can only be done from above through the Anointed by His Spirit as Jesus explained to Necodemus. Jn 3:5,6,8 ”Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of God. 6.That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit 8. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and wither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”

John confirm here that the Spirit dwells in us 1Jo3:24 “ And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Also James confirms by saying Jm 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father…”
Being born again is a gift and a phenomena that comes from above.

Peter further specifies what is the Spirit of God by saying 1Pet 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth fore ever.
That incorruptible seed is Jesus Christ(1Jo 3:9; Lk 8:11; Act 3:25;Gal 3:16 ) who is the word of God, that small voice of wisdom(Prv 8) that abideth in all souls and He guides them by His word that He whispers between our ears.

John also confirm that Jesus is the seed by saying 1Jo 3:9 “ Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Also John specifies further in 1Jo 5:18 “ We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.”

Also Paul confirms this by saying in Eph 2:8 “ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9. Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

Paul again emphasy that we are saved by grace and not the will of man in Rom 9:15-16 ” For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16. So then [it is] not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

Summary :
If we claim that God is Sovereign this claim extends by acknowledging that God is Sovereign over us personally which include have Sovereignty over our "will". All through the Bible God’s people are describe as SERVANTS which brings in the dimension that we serve the will of someone higher than us. Of course, Jesus calls us FRIENDS, however, that doesn’t mean we are at the same level. Jesus Himself, acknowledge that His Father is above Him and will submit Himself to His Father when this CG is over “when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” 1Co 15:28

I will stop here for now and comment on your reply of Paul’s conversion tomorrow.
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#132516 - 04/09/11 10:46 AM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: NJK Project]
Elle Offline
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Did God Fail by having the Majority going to HELL

Originally Posted By: NJK
Paul’s Conversion
Originally Posted By: Elle
Paul was heading to persecute Christians. That was Paul’s will.
Seems to me that if God wills to and has the authority to, in this GC, fairly force men like Paul who are avowed haters of His true way, to become believers then, in solely relation to Sabbath Keeping Christians, God is failing with over 99% the world!!

As it is right now according to mainstream Christianity even with the free grace doctrines 80% is going to Hell and we, SDAs via EGW, estimate is what? 95%+ Both of these are not impressive numbers either. And we claim that Love conquer all. My, we are in major denial.

The thing with mainstream Christianity doctrines is they view Jesus 2nd coming as the end of Judgment. We, SDAs, believe it happens just before Jesus second coming at the close of probation. No one is considering the millennium, and after the millennium where there are a bunch of other events that happens before the Judgment at the Great white throne. There’s no time frame depicted clearly in the Bible for when that judgment is going to be but for sure it is not finish at Jesus 2nd coming because it is written there is a Judgment at the Great white throne by which we have no clue how long it will take after the resurrection of the dead and after that war Satan initiates. That’s when the real judgment happens and Jesus talks about it in his parables. But we gloss over these texts and we fill in what we don’t understand with speculation and we call it TRUTH. Everyone has made up their mind with their pre-conceived Hell doctrine and declare they already know God’s judgment without looking for Biblical support from God’s establish foundation depicted in the type of the Laws of Moses. In the type is where God clearly made us know His mind and heart in this matter and how he will judge the world.
Originally Posted By: egw
Now, if never before we should see that where there is a type there is also an antitype, and that WHERE THERE IS NO TYPE, THERE IS NO TRUTH. 1TG 46:15


Was Paul Elected because he was not Rebellious or Hypocritical

Originally Posted By: NJK
Indeed if Paul had not personally witness or heard in cognitive details the events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, then why not respectfully trust the words and judgement of his religious superiors and teachers. If he thought they were lying then he proudly would not be a part of them but rather seeking out the truth himself. Indeed God would not so manifest Himself to a hypocritically rebellious person, and persecutively at that. If that was so, Paul would have shared in the same fate as those hypocrite leaders in Christ’s day and the same persisted blindness as those leader who had caused him to be so deceived so God could work with that sincere and zealous faith to do what was right.

The Bible makes a very big distinction between those that are born again(spiritual man) versus those that are not(natural man). The state of mind of these two are totally different. One is “open” to the things of God; whereas the other is “close”. And Paul was not an exception to the rule or endowed with any special qualities different than any others. Before he was born again, he was the same as anyone else, he was a “natural man”.

“But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know [them], because they are spiritually discerned.” 1Cr 2:14

Paul did not receive the things of God before his conversion. We are all hypocrites and rebellious to many extend especially before conversion. I believe Paul literally meant it when he said that he was the chief of sinners(1Tim 1:15). We really don’t know if he was a big hypocrite or not.

You seem to imply that Paul was better than the rest of the Pharisees and that’s why he was subject to be a candidate to be saved. With such a statement then salvation depends on the individual and not 100% on Christ. Christ has saved many who were “more” whatever it may be than others and often the “more” is what God used to show them their heart.

However, according to Rom 9, Paul was made a vessel of honor and God was preparing him for that big moment at his conversion. According to Jesus, Paul was persecuting Him. If we take the text just as it read, Paul’s heart was persecuting Jesus just like any other zealous Jews whom he probably shared the same hatred against Jesus. You persecute those you personally hate whether it is by ignorance or not.

Did Paul Ignorance make him worthy to be saved?

Paul confessed in 1Ti 1:13 that he was a blasphemer, a persecutor, and injurious “I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief”. Because of this mercy Paul received, He extends this mercy to all the Jewish nation past and present Rom 11:31 “For God hath concluded them all in unbelief, that he might have mercy upon all.”

And Paul even dared to say “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” Rom 11:29. Why can he say such a thing? Because He knows that it is God that leads us to repentance and not vice versa. God will do is job and He has all the time in the world to accomplish it. Hab 1:12.

It is not by Man’s will, but by God’s Work through His Spirit

Originally Posted By: NJK
Also as I say in my blog post, God needed the various key and valuable “resources” of Paul for this great work of expansively raising up God’s New Israel now among the Gentiles. So his call was as undeserving as the call of, and justifying grace shown to, Abraham, an idolater (Jos 24:2; cf. PP 125.1) but also desiring to do God’s will, when God was seeking to establish Ancient Israel. Yet God found enough in both of them to call them and entrust them with this Great opportunity. (Notice the full circle here. God calls Abraham from pagans to establish a saving Jewish nation and when that is done He similarly raised a Jew Paul to now go back to the Gentiles and save them, as it was always planned. So by that circular, borrowing and returning, action this transaction made itself a fair one in the GC.)

That’s an interesting circular observation.

I agree that both Paul and Abraham were undeserving of God’s special attention, and I agree that God needed ONE important man to make a difference to the world of their time. It is partly true that they chosen based on what these people already possessed at the time. However, my understading of this and yours presently is not the same. You imply that they had some type of inherit qualities that made them deem electable which partly is true but your emphasis is is contrary to the Gospel message and not biblical. Paul makes very clear in Rom 9 that God makes vessels of honor and some vessels of dishonor(Rom 9:21) and therefore has nothing to do with the person’s will or what they did that might deem them to some worthiness of the election. It all hast to do on whom God decides to show mercy on and put special attention to form that person’s character at the time according to His plan. (Rom 9:11-23). God worked on Paul and Abraham and was molding and preparing them for their task. Probably God started molding them from conception, who knows. But when the time came, all was already in place for their respond. So their “yes” was a true respond of their whole being with all those pre-preparatory work in connecting neurons together by the Holy Spirit through events God brought in their life. It is God that leads us to repentance and it is a very specific timely work that God makes beforehand which He continues after during the sanctification process.

One of my favorite EGW quote is COL 98.3. However I’m not using it to establish proof here and won’t quote it. It is a beautiful description of the work of the leaven comparing it to the work of Holy Spirit on our mind which is exactly what we all experience before conversion. Just like Jesus said to Nicodemus, you do not know where the wind came from or where it is going for it is out of our control. “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13). We can not even take 0.000001% credit of our conversion, and if we do, it is a pure boasting and a robbery of God’s glory. What happens in us is a “respond” to the planned event based on what was already in place before hand by the Holy Spirit.
Some Texts:
Originally Posted By: Scriptures How God moves Man
Jer 10:23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

Ps 37:23 A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directed his steps.

Prov 20:24 Man’s going are of the Lord; how can a man then understand his own way?

Prov 16:1 The preparations of the heart in man and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.

The Natural Man

Since the fall, the “natural man” is married with the powers of darkness—we are “ONE” with darkness/death heading for self destruction. (Texts : Darkness(Prov 4:19; Is 8:22; Is 42:7,16; Is 59:9; Is 60:2; Mat 6:23, Jhn 3:19; Jhn 12:46); self-Destruction(Rom 3:16; Hos 13:9; Ps 107:20; Pro 11:19; 2Pet 2:1); Death(Prov 24:11; 102:20; 107:10,14,18; Is 28:15)). Now thinking of it, I believe the Bible always describes this as a relationship with “lovers”, an adulteress, not a marriage because there are really only one true marriage because there are only one true Husbandman which is the Lord our God.

Regardless, it figured it as a “woman” going after her “lovers”. If you ever been in “love” you would know how strong it is and I know this in a perspective of a woman. The directions of the powers of darkness(sin or the lover) becomes our directions. So it becomes “our choices” because of the affinity we have towards our lover(or sin). When a woman is married, many experience their “desires shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over you” Gen 3:16. I believe God has built in the woman to make their husband’s desires theirs. I know it for I have experienced this. The ruling the man or the subjection of the woman is in harmony to the ordained order of God in 1Co 11:3. However, because of sin, the ruling here can be either an oppressive ruling or one out of love. Nevertheless, in both case the woman is ruled by her husband.

I believe Gen 3:16 illustrates the science behind “the choice” when man or woman is either “married” to sin, or to God. Whoever you are married to, your desires shall be to him, and he will rule over you.

So after the fall, God put us in direct subjection to our own mind(=corrupt heart) instead of being subjected to His Spirit as we were before. When we do not have the Spirit of God ruling our thoughts and desires, then we become “foolish”(Jer 10:8; Eze 13:3; Rom 1:21; Ps 94:8; Pro 1:22; 15:7,14;…) and “vain”(Jer 2:5; 4:14; Rom 1:21; Ps 10:7; 12:2; 39:11; 94:11; 119:37; Ecc 1:2; Is 30:28; 41:29; 59:4; Rom 3:12; 8:20; Ep 4:17) and we are led by our own “imagination”(Gen 8:21; Deu 29:19; Jer 3:17; 7:24; 9:14; 11:8; 13:10; 16:12; 18:12; 23:17;Rom 1:21). That’s the “natural man” disposition without God’s influence. And the spiritual things are very foolish to him. This “natural man” cannot seek God(Rom 3:11) because He thinks God is foolish(1Cor 2:14; 1:18, 23) for he cannot understand God(Rom 8:5-7;1Cor 2:14; 2Pet 2:12; Jud 1:10; Dn 12:10) . To understand or want spiritual things you need to be spiritual(Rom 8:5-7;1Cor 2:14); therefore the “natural man” cannot go to God by his own choosing and that’s why he needs to be “dragged” to God via multitudes corrective events that God’s brings in our lives. This process is what the Bible describes as learning Righteousness(Is 26:9; Hab 1:12; Is 29:24; Ps 94:10; Hos 2:6-10; Is 32:16,17; Hos 10:12;… )

The Hell Doctrine
Originally Posted By: NJK
However, according to your non-freewill-but God’s-sovereign-will view, God is then decided who will be saved or not and obviously He gladly wants and is acting so that over 99%+ of the world,, and all those who were ever born, will burn in Hell!??

NJK, the Hell doctrine is not even Biblical and it is totally contrary to the type establish by the Laws of Moses. “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through [the fire] to Molech, neither shalt thou profane the name of thy God: I [am] the LORD.” Lev 18:21 God abides to His own Moral Laws and this atrocity of the burning in Hell fire doctrine didn’t even come to his mind. “And they built the high places of Baal, which [are] in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through [the fire] unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” Jer 32:35 This is a man-made doctrine.

The Hell doctrine is another of those pass down pre-conceived ideas we inherited resulting from 1700+ years of darkness after the early church slowly apostatized. For this discussion sake, let’s just finish looking about the “freewill” for now. If later on you want to discuss about the inaccuracy about the Hell Doctrine with the Laws of Moses, and the Prophets and other scriptures, I will be happy to discuss.

The Conversion is like a Seed Sprouting

Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
Then Jesus didn’t ask him “if you choose you can go into the city and choose to follow me afterwards”. No Jesus commanded him saying “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.” Act 9:6
As stated in Paul other one of his account of this conversion experience in Acts 22:10. I was Paul who asked Jesus, after now having in a flood of recollections, self-convinced of the Truth merely by the words “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (see AA 114.2-116.3) “What shall I do Lord” Notice that it is here Paul who initiatingly is offering himself, even his services, to Christ.

It is true that Paul said “what shall I do Lord?”, thx for pointing it to me, I missed that one. This is the first I ever presented about Paul, so I appreciate this opportunity to study this more deeply.
Despite, you need to acknowledge according to scriptures our disposition as a “natural man” , the pre-preparatory work of the Holy Spirit beforehand(the water that swells the seed), and God waiting for the perfect timing to show Himself or to orchestrate an event to bring on the conversion(the zapping of the genetic makeup to bring about the sprout).

Paul respond is equivalent to a sprouting of a seed and it was not a “choice” phenomena but the work of the Spirit of God in you. This is the same principles how God guides the animals, or the plants, which is the same with us. The only difference is that we have a brain to understand what is happening and we can “respond” “intelligently”. The principle is the moving influences of the Spirit of God which is comparable to the invisible wind or leaven in the dough. That’s how God “worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” Phil 2:13.

Originally Posted By: NJK
And so he, like Moses (at least two times) passed this unspoken will test and God immediately enjoined this success. And by thus freely (as I understand it) placing himself under the full command of Christ, Jesus did indeed proceed to command him Paul as to what he should do for Him. However notice in Paul other recounting of these events in Acts 26:9-18. In vs. 19 & 20, he says to Agrippa that: ‘he, from then on, did not come to be disobedient to the heavenly vision (cf. vs. 16-18).

I do agree that God does test(try) us and that’s how he purifies us like a refiner who purifies metals in the fire(Mal 3:3). The fire in our life is our afflictions or tribulations(Ps 34:19; Act 14:22; Rom 5:3) that the Lord gives us to refine us. Not to punish us, but to correct us and to purify us. I never studied in dept the Moses incident you specified, so I cannot comment on it.

Correcting Strongs mistranslation of G545 apeithes

Originally Posted By: NJK
So clearly Paul believed that all along this time, since His encounter before proceeding onto Damascus, he had the possibility and thus “option”, and thus choice, and thus freedom to be disobedient if he wanted. If he believe in your view, as He could have known as you refer to OT passages which he was familiar with and then later became aware of the full Gospel story. (Needless to say that He wrote most of the NT that you are also using today to prove this view), then he would have told Agrippa, at, here, this much later stage in his ministry, that ‘I had no other choice but to be to this desired will of God.’ Indeed the word “dis-obedient” #545 (a word that Paul and others repeatedly use for evildoers in danger of condemnation) would not have been use a moot. You can only “disobey” if you have a choice, and a free one at that. (If a robber hold up a gun a me and threats to blow my brains out if I don’t hand over my wallet, I cannot go around telling people I was obedient to him, since I logically did not have a free choice. I instead “complied” to that threat and command.)

Regarding Acts 26:19, and #545, I don’t know what lexicon you are using but according to strongs :

Originally Posted By: G545
G545 apeithes ap-i-thace' from G1 (as a negative particle) and G3982;

unpersuadable, i.e. contumacious.
KJV : disobedient



The KJV has inproperly translated them all as disobedient. It is not true to the definition. Let’s also look at the root definition of G3982 to verify this :

Originally Posted By: G3982
G3982 peitho pi'-tho

a primary verb;

to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty).


KJV: agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) conflent, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.


So, Paul is actually saying that since the vision he never came unpersuaded or “unconvinced”(apeithes).

Is Disobedience a Choice according to the Bible?


Originally Posted By: NJK
You can only “disobey” if you have a choice, and a free one at that.


Our disobedience is out of ignorance which is how God describe the sins in Lev 4& 5 for the sin offerings and the trespasses offerings. All are describes as a sin of ignorance. Sin is not due to a “choice” but more accurately described as ” a missing of the mark”. The cause of sin is “unbelief”. The consequence of sin is the breaking of the Law. You cannot believe if you are not convicted first. And to be convicted you first need to hear. And To hear you first need to have your ears opened. And only God can open your ears.

The Bible describes sinners as people that have “gone astray” or are “ lost”. That’s how the Bible describes those that “sin” because they are put in subject to their own corrupt heart, or another word, they are subject to the “vanity” of their mind.

Rom 8:20 “For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope”

Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
Paul was totally blinded. He couldn’t go anywhere anyway,
Paul was indeed totally blind but that does not mean “he could not go anywhere”?? HE clearly says he was not alone (Acts 9:7; 22:9). And how do you think he continued, now blind, to get to Damascus?? He clearly says that ‘he was led by the hand by those who were with him. (Acts 9:8; 22:11). He emphasizes this to show that he was indeed totally made blind by that apparition/light. So Paul could just have easily gone back to Jerusalem if he wanted to. He only proceed to Damascus because, as he said (Acts 26:19, 20a), he was right from that time, faithfully endeavoring to be obedient to that vision.

I agree he was not alone and he could of went somewhere else with the help he had.

Did Paul Understand God’s Sovereignty

Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
In God’s wisdom to give us another witness of His Sovereignty, God chose to do all the above to get Paul’s attention
Clearly Paul did not understand this ‘overruling sovereignty’ act when recounting that testimony. Acts 26:19. The only sovereignty hear was to the extent of getting Paul’s attention, but not to force him to do anything against his now, and first (i.e., between the first statement of Jesus and the later instructions) self-rectified will of Paul based on all that He already had heard and learned about Jesus and the Christian Faith.

I believe Paul understood about the Sovereignty of God very well and that’s why he made it clear with Rom 9 and 11 and other places relating to it. I do understand that currently you do not see it as an act of overruling Paul’s will despite the fact that you know that Paul intention was to execute Christians in Damascus. If Jesus wouldn’t of intervene, Paul most likely would of continued his way and did what was ordered of him and wanted to do. He admitted that he was as “zealous toward God, as ye(Jewish Leaders) all are this day”.

Does God Rule by Force or by Influence

I do understand that you’re main objection to this is the concept that God “forces” His will on us. Force is not the proper word even when overruling measures are necessary. We see clearly that God overruled King Nebuchednezzar. He was warn a year prior, and when he boasted and took God’s glory for his own, God took away his reasoning ability and he became like a beast of the field. Don’t know if it was figurative or literal, but for sure Nebuchednezzar lost his mind. Force does not consider the individual interest, nor the laws, nor the benefit of the whole universe, but only seek it’s own interest. God considers everything and His interest is one of the last thing He’s considering. We do not view a loving parent disciplining his child like a tyrant. God “worketh all things after the counsel of His own will“ Eph 1:11. It is not force, but discipline, correction, and tutelage.

To describe the manner God works via His Spirit, it is an authoritive “Influence” given always at the perfect timing that makes us resound. God created us easily influenceable, that’s why we are the optimum “free” machine. Free to be moved in any direction according to God’s will in a fraction of a second that is. We’re like a top, spinning at high speed on its own axes that respond/move to the slightest touch. That’s why when we’re not between God’s hand, we are so vulnerable susceptible to be damaged by anything because of our super sensitivity which explain why the root word of mortal man anash H605 (to be frail, feeble, or (fig) melancholy translated as desperate, incurable, sick and woeful).

When an overruling authority is used on immature children, it is often viewed as a “force” by the child because they do not understand, nor do they know parent/God’s character very well. To me this is the real heart of the GC is us not knowing God’s character and not understanding what’s going on because God chose to start us with a blank mind at creation that didn’t have any knowledge. We had “intuition” which comes from God also, but we had no experiences and everything was new.

God is a very personal King and He doesn’t splurge out commands without pre knowledge, consideration, and care of us. He knows where we are at, how to bring us to the next step, and what is our abilities and when we are ready to receive a command. Plus He knows all the details of what is currently happening all around and where the overall needs to go next. God does impose His will and plan on all His subject, for how can a King rule a kingdom if he cannot issue commands to establish His laws and to execute His plans. His commands are important for the sake of all His subjects and the harmony of His kingdom. The King of King does not ask His subjects what He should do, nor if we want to do his commands or not. This is not the place of a subject and it is not how a King rule. However He is a responsible and sensible King that rules righteously and with mercy. Because He created beings with advance “intelligence” and saw wisdom to give them a blank memory at creation; he can and will bring them all to maturity “unto the knowledge of all truth.” 1Tim 2:4 as He promised.
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#132621 - 04/12/11 08:34 AM Re: Is Adventism absolutely Arminian (Free will)? [Re: NJK Project]
Elle Offline
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Part 1 of 2 (of NJK Part 3 post)

Using of Helkuo instead of other words available
Originally Posted By: NJK
Interesting word study here, however I think you are overstating its meaning by making it include and affect free will.

I don’t think it is overstating it, for I’m deriving the meaning of helkuo from it’s context of being used in the Bible. I agree that Strong could of have made an error in his difinition in his dictionary, but that can be verified by the usage of the word in context in the Bible which makes clear what is the definition of that word. According to the context of usage, Strong’s definition is correct and it does mean drag.

They had other words to use if they wanted to clearly express your current interpretation of the word. They could of used G1448 eggizo or G4334 proserchomai. These two words would of express your current preference, but they didn’t and they chose G1670 helkuo because that’s what they wanted to give as a meaning including Jesus.

Originally Posted By: Strongs word Definition of DRAW
G1448 eggizo : from G1451; to make near, i.e. (reflexively) approach. KJV: approach, be at hand, come (draw) near, be (come, draw) nigh.


G4334 proserchomai : from G4314 and G2064 (including its alternate); to approach, i.e. (literally) come near, visit, or (figuratively) worship, assent to. KJV: (as soon as he) come (unto), come thereunto, consent, draw near, go (near, to, unto).


G1670 helkuo : probably akin to G138; to drag (literally or figuratively). Compare G1667. KJV: draw.


Is Jesus Lifted Up Today Vs. God Lift Him up in the Future
Originally Posted By: NJK
One simple text from that group entirely sink your ‘no free will, irresistible pulling’ claim, and that is Christ’s statement in John 12:32. If Christ “drew all to Him when He was lifted up on the Cross, the why have billions of people since that event not become Christians?? Clearly one still has the free will to accept or reject Christianity.

John 12:32 saysif I be lifted up”

Currently, with our old covenant tinted Gospel, Christ is not being lifted up. Just as God willed it for the Children of Israel to have the Old Covenant for 1600 years before Christ, he allowed the old Covenant to creep back in our theology soon after the Pentecost. However, God will lift up Christ in His planned timing when He will manifest His glory via the 144K at the end time. The truth will come down as an overflowing scourge(Is 28:2-6,15-29; 30:27-33; Jer 47:2; Ez 13:10-13; Ez 38:22-23; Hab 3:10) so “that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” Jhn 17:23.

Originally Posted By: NJK
So that “drawing” still allows one to reject that possible, when effectuate, Divine prompting/calling. As Jesus also says, Many are called but the choice ones are few (Matt 22:14)

Matt 22:14 “For many are called, but few are chosen” As this verse is relating to the wedding parable to someone that didn’t have a wedding garment, I think Jesus is referring to the elects vs. those that are not. Only a few are chosen to be a vessel of honor, many are vessels of dishonor as it is very apparent today in the world. Jesus only chose 12 disciples at His 1st coming. God also only chose the nation of Israel to be a holy priesthood, and even got it reduced to the sons of Aaron. That’s the principle God chose to spread the good news. It always has been through a few chosen ones. This selected group is also called the firstfruit which is represented by the barley harvest. There are 3 harvests, Barley, wheat, and grapes. These respectively represent 3 groups of spiritual types of fruits, the overcomers, the believers, and the unbelievers, that requires different harvesting techniques and tools. Is 28:24-29.
Originally Posted By: NJK
So that ‘call resisting’ possibility is how ‘God’s drawing’ in John 6:44 is to be understood.

The popular assumed ‘call resisting’ is not according to what Paul reveals in Rom 9, Rom 3, 1Co 2:14 and so many other scriptures which I have supplied only a portion of what is there. There are other texts that support what you are saying. So the two needs to be reconciled under one Truth. I’ll come to it later on in a separate post. But now let’s focuss on what the Bible says concerning no “freewill”.

Coming back to John 12:32 “if I be lifted up…will draw all men unto me” , you need to remember, the GC is not over after Jesus 2nd coming and there’s still the great white throne where God will judge the lawless. Then we have a scene that all in heaven and all in earth bow down and confess that Jesus is Lord(Is 45:23, Phil 2:9-11, 1Cor 15:22-28).

Is 45:23 “I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear” Is 45:23

So I see that Biblically it is written that God will make John 12:32 happen and it will be via a long “dragging” (inculcating) process before they come ready for them to confess Jesus as Lord. Time is not an issue for God. He has all the time in the universe and He will take the time needed to accomplish what He has said He will do. Hab 1:12

Catching Fishes and Dragging them into the Boat

Originally Posted By: NJK
Indeed the logically irrational issue of why God does not ‘irresistibly draw’ all peoples, even all peoples, is raised up by holding your view for that verse. Also:

John 21:6 - ‘the fish’s will was a moot issue in that miracle.’ The only Theological lesson it teaches is that God knows how best to conduct the work of fishing for men, compared to our even best methods, training and knowledge. God’s guidance is what is to be crucially sought.


All of Jesus object lessons in the parables are deep and wide to ponder on. For sure God knows exactly how to best catch fishes and he showed us in that parable. He cast the net on the “right side” of the boat and drags the fishes into the boat. The choice of these words were specific to describe important dimensions. I have heard two interpretation of what the right side can mean. One says it is the mercy(right side) versus judgment being the left side. Another one said it means the right side of our brain where the intuition, emotion, creation, motivation thinking takes place; versus not by the “left” side with the logic, rational thought, problem solving, and detail oriented thinking that the fishes can be caught/convicted. So I don’t know which one is correct or if both are.

Dragging People to Court

Originally Posted By: NJK
James 2:6 - The only way that people are ‘dragged’ before the courts is, as today, because of the penalties for not appearing, including a default judgment against them if they fail to appear. So they still have the free choice to appear or not, though with penalties if they do not.

The law system was different in those days under the Roman rulership than today. Romans laws was depicted as an iron rule. I’m sure they dragged the people to court as soon they got their hands on them especially those that were unwilling were more harshly dragged in. When they came to get Jesus, Jesus didn’t have any formal warning before hand. They came in a troop and Jesus didn’t have any choices nor any chance to escape. Of course, Jesus knew before hand this was coming and did submit, yet he was totally circled(like a net circles the fishes) by a group of Jewish authorities that made sure he was brought directly to their court right away. And Jesus didn’t even do anything wrong. Just as James 2:6 says it is the Rich ones that oppresses and brings someone to court. They didn’t even had a case against Jesus and grounds didn’t matter, it is money and power and position that gives them the right. So, they “drag” Jesus over to the Jewish court and after to the Romans courts.

The Merits of Election and Salvation

Originally Posted By: Elle
Quote:
John 6:37 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.”
Originally Posted By: Elle
Whomever the Father has given to Christ will come to Him. In other words, those who decide to come to Christ by their own “freewill” are really the people whom the Father has already given Him. The Father “who worketh all things” is behind the scenes who has called these people, and therefore their response is, “I want to follow Christ.” They think it is all by their own “freewill”, but in reality it is God who has brought them to Christ, choosing to remain anonymous.
The setting up of the NT Church involved a great deal of key “election” of “choice” people as “firstfruits” = founders/pioneers. (= Rom 8:28-39). God looked around the Jewish and Gentile world and all those who were “electable” = “choice people”, he cast his vote with them and indeed “elected them” to these crucial NT Church/New Israel positions. However, like any elected individual, that did not mean that they could not fail, even completely in the future. God here had only cast their vote with them based upon their past good living and indeed offered them to Christ by drawing them to cross paths with Christ and the Gospel. Jesus fully understood this behind the scenes guiding work of God, all based upon due individual merit and that is why He said that he would not cast them out. However these were free to go away if they chose. They were not forced to stay. So just as God elected Abraham in the past to be both the Ancestral father of many, primarily, natural children to form a nation for God, and then he called Moses to be the Spiritual Father of this now great nation, in the same way, for the New Covenant Israel, and given the fact of almost total rejection by the Jewish people, God called the most sincere people to be the spiritual Children of Christ and then Paul to extend this work and family of Christ among the Gentile nations. This election does not do away with one’s freewill.

Your emphasis is on the merits of man for the election. If you hold to this view, then anyone has to be saved by the same principle/rule. Salvation hast to do on the merits of the works of Christ and the mercy of the Father. Nothing to do with man’s merits or doing. All are saved by grace.

Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
God has first chosen them and dragged them to Christ, so that they will later seemingly choose God in return out of their “own free will”. I think God chooses to let us believe this illusion of “freewill” in our immaturity. God is patient and He continues to nurture us and teach us. However, once we mature and start to understand who God really is, and see His sovereignty over all things in the universe which he move all things by His power; we will come to understand that we are not much different than the animals and inanimate objects and begin to see that “our will” is merely a response to His will.
Again the simple logical question that entirely sink this view of yours is: Why not more, and that much more, by God of so, supposedly “forced” to be faithful Christians???

I agree with your simple logic. If we stop taking the credit for our own salvation, and start to see it like the Bible says that it is 100% based on the Merits of Christ and to whom the Father shows mercy on; then this basis of salvation means “much more” are saved, even to the extend that ALL are saved ….
“And so all Israel shall be saved as it is written “ Rom 11:26
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1Ti 2:4
I have over 30 texts of this sort that the Bible says that God will save ALL.

God’s ForeKnowledge

Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
No Delays in God’s Plans
Originally Posted By: NJK
So in summary, my point is that human choices can, and have, frustrate and delay God’s plans. (Prime example: His Chosen People Israel, repeatedly, as they were until the New Covenant, His only means through which to duly advance and establish the Plan of Redemption).
From what I understand right now, there are no delays and what happened to the Children of Israel worked according to His plans to establish for us the “TYPE” so we can learn from it and come to know the “ANTITYPE” to come.
In that case, as many OT prophetic statements will not, simply as most cannot, be literally fulfilled, then God, who would have been doing, (or nonchalantly allowing) all of the capital transgressions, rebellions and apostasies of Ancient Israel, actually made prophetic mistakes in his statements, by not making them literally speak of things, places events, etc of how they were “always supposed to be fulfilled at least 2000+ years after the fact. I.e., why would God not extend all prophecies in regards to Israel as literally and specifically as He did in e.g, Dan 2, 7, 8, 9 if they too were all to only be fulfilled 2000+ years later, in our day???

I’m not fully understanding your question, but will try to answer what I think I understand. When I referred to the Type it is mainly Exodus, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, and Numbers. These are the established types by which all these Laws are prophetic and spiritual( Rom 7:14). Jesus gaved us a good example how he spiritually applied the types into antitypes at his sermon ot the mount. We have this tendency to see things literal and we need to develop the ability to understand the spiritual meanings of the laws of Moses.

God had to let the immature children of Israel learn by their mistakes for there own sake and for ours, and to establish the Type to come. 1Co 10:11 “all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.. Probably what I responded below will further support this concept and address your point above.
Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
I believe there’s nothing that catches God offguard(James 1:17; Jn 6:6) that He didn’t know what would happen.
(A) Your supposed supporting text here do not say anything to this point so they are simply textbook “proof-texts” here.

James 1:17 “… the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
To me this says God’s flow or stride is constant and straight, he’s never caught offguard. If God doesn’t know what will happen and Israel caused Him frustration and delays, then I would assume that would mean he had to changed to plan B to respond to Israel choices. So to me their would be shadow of turnings in His plans.

John 6:6 “And this he said to prove(test) him: for he himself knew what he would do.
This text says Jesus already knew what He was going to do, when he saw the great multitude coming. This is Jesus talking and not the Father. The Father’s knows everything, and I believe He tells Jesus when the time is near for we know that even Jesus doesn’t know the hour of his 2nd coming. So maybe Jesus knew about this as early when he was communing with His Father early that morning. We don’t know.

The Type in Abraham’s two Sons

Originally Posted By: NJK
(B) God Himself says that unexpected things happen to Him from man’s free choices and actions. (E.g., Isa 5:1-7)

Isa 5:1:7 God was not taken by surprise with the house of Israel and of Judah rebellion’s(Deut 31:29; 32:1-47) and wild fruits they produced(Deut 32:32). Also, it was prophesied way back with Abraham. Abraham had 2 sons by which the first one was with the bondwoman wife(Gen 16:3) whom Hagar was Egyptians(Gen 16:1). Therefore Ishmael was half Egyptian. His birth was a result of Abraham and Sarah reasoning to give God a little help to bring forth the promised seed. But through man’s works was not how the promise seed was to come. It was through faith.

At that time Abraham’s name was still Abram. The change of his name occurred around 17 years after Ishmael was born. The change of name does not signify the conversion from unbeliever to believer. Abraham was indeed a believer when he begat Ishmael. He was a believer in training like we are all at this present time. The change of name signify the Christian becoming matured = an overcomer. As an overcomer at the age of 99, Abraham was circumcised and only then did he and Sarah conceive Isaac. They conceive Isaac by faith. Hagar and Abraham conceived Ishmael by the “natural man’s” persuasion and works to bring forth God’s promise. Thus, Ishmael was born after the will of man= the flesh. “But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh, but he of the freewoman was by promise” Gal 4:23

God planned this to happen for an object lesson and also to be used as a prophecy of what was to come. What happen to Abraham’s life, happened in history. Even what happened between Ismael and Isaac was prophecy. Ismael persecuted Issac(Gal 4:29), and so did Egypt(Ishmael heritage and who knows maybe his own seeds multiplied there by which he and Hagar probably return to Egypt) put Israel(seed of Isaac) into bondage. Another prophecy fulfillment is that God took “Hagar”(the nation of Egypt) and brought forth the Children of Israel. When Egypt gave birth to Israel, they were half spiritually Egyptians. Israel had God as their father, but Egypt as their mother. That’s why all through the exodus, Israel had both loyalties. In one hand they wanted to go to the promise land; and on the other, go back to Egypt to mommy when they didn’t like daddy’s training and corrections. And so it was.

The Wild-Asses : Ishmael and Israel
The parallele between Abram&Hagar=Ismael and God&Egypt=Israel can be seen when we look at the big picture. In Gen 16:12, God told this to Hagar about her son she was carrying “And he will be a wild man; (pereh adam, “wild-ass man”) his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.

The Hebrew word pereh is always translated as “wild-ass” in the KJV except in this verse. That’s too bad that the translator didn’t see the importance and the spiritual correlation because in Jer 2:24 Jerusalem is identified as a “wild ass” : A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? All they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.

It is evident that Ishmael and Jerusalem were not literal “wild-ass”, but figuratively they were both spiritually wild-asses whose affinity was to the “wild life” or the “natural life” instead of the life of servanthood in God’s house. Jerusalem loved her sexual freedom, who was married to God, but still was quite attracted to her lovers(idols/sin). Israel played the harlot openly in public(like the Catholic), while Judah played the harlot in secret(like the SDAs). Jer 3:4-11 “And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah

So the evidences are there that God knew way beforehand about Israel spiritual wild-ass condition. He even gave them a song to memorize what was to come before they enter the promise land.(Deut 32). Moses even confirmed God preknowledge of Israel rebellion in Deut 31:29 he said For I know that after my death ye will utterly corrupt yourselves, and turn aside from the way….and evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger through the work of your hands.

It is the works of man’s hand that provokes God to anger. It is the little help of Abram and Sarai that through Hagar a son was birthed via the works of the flesh which was by nature a “wild-ass”(natural man) that could not inherit the kingdom of God. We’re all wild-asses and that’s why Jesus said we need to be reborn from above. Paul said to cast out that bondwoman(that old covenant wild-ass spiritual immature mentality that makes us say silly things like “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” Ex 19:8.

God’s Reason to Test Man

Originally Posted By: NJK
Indeed, many times He has to test man to find out/ascertain what is in there heart or how they will choose to act. (E.g., Gen 22:12; Deut 8:2; cf. Exod 15:25; 16:4; 2 Chr 32:31). These are unequivocal, straightforward Biblical statements.

God test individuals not because He doesn’t know what they will do, but to humble the individual so they can see their own heart(Deut 8:2 “And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments or no. ”) or for other purposes.

Gen 22:12, Here, I believe the test was for Abraham sake to understand more deeply the sacrificial services contrary to the pagans. Through that experience, Abraham saw Jesus’ sacrifice, which Jesus confirmed this experience by saying “your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw [it], and was glad. ” John 8:56

Exod 15:25 Was another plain example of showing their heart. God brought them to some bitter waters and let the immature people complain about it. God knew they were going to complain as always, but if God had brought them to sweet water directly, the people wouldn’t had the opportunity to see their heart condition. So God created this situation to teach the people what is the nature of their natural heart so to create an opportunity of a need for Jesus. Thus God cast a tree which represented Jesus in the bitter water, and made it sweet. So it was an object lesson for them to see what God can do with Jesus in them. This complaining habit is the result of a heart of unbelief. That’s what the GC is all about.

Exod 16:4 Is another teaching tools God gaved the Israelite an opportunity to exercise their trust in God by receiving their daily needs of manna. This is the Type that we should eat our daily bread whom Jesus is the body. However, even thought they had their physical belly full, they still complained. Again, so they could see the nature of their heart there also,

2Ch 32:31 Hezekiah’s story, well I was reading about him just two weeks ago, and I failed to study it in dept. So I cannot comment on it right now. But superficially just the way the text reads, it’s another case that God is showing Hezekiah’s heart. If God doesn’t create incidences for us to see our own heart, we won’t know where we are at and how far we are from him and our need of Jesus.
Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
He knows what stages the nations or a people need to go through just as much a parent has an understanding of the stages their newborn child has to go through to reach maturity,( if by all means the child does get there in this lifetime for there are many immature adult walking around).
The two OT episodes in the Bible in Exod 32 and Num 14 (discussed in greater detail e.g., here shows that God twice wanted to destroy all of Israel and start all over with one person. That clearly does not look like a God who is going by a grandly manipulative, plan.

I like your view and thx for sharing this. So probably God created a situation for the purpose of Moses to step up to be an intercessor. Moses taking this “decision” doesn’t mean that God didn’t prepare him for it before hand, and didn’t create the situation, for him to stand up for what He was made for. Yes, God needed an intercessor on earth and Moses was His man. This requirement/need is according to the law of redemption and the duty of the priesthood. Moses was indeed the ga’al/intercessor needed for the people. So all went according to plan while fulfilling God’s Laws.

God working with Saints Vs. Wicked
Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
I agree that God cannot work with a faithless people and what I’m understanding now, he has worked this past 6000 years to bring forth a mature faithful people to establish on earth His kingdom.
If as you believe, God can ‘irresistibly force’ people to be obedient to him (= overiding all of their freewill) then why would He need to “work”, and that for so long to get a mature people?? Alos why not force them to instantly be mature, indeed never allowing them to take any steps back or stray aside as was the constant case in Ancient Israel.

I have described in the previous post just above this one under the header “Does God Rule by Force or by Influence”. Basically, God does not force but “move” people with His influences those he has chosen. Most are left subject to their corrupt heart, however, always to a certain limit and within his plans. If the wicked or immature saints way stand in the way of God’s will, God will overruled them and divert their path to another direction.

Why does it take Time to Mature Man?

So why does God need to work so long to get a mature people? Because it takes time for God’s Laws to be written on our heart(mind). First of all, in His wisdom, God chose to close our ears(Deut 29:4-5) and even till today most Christianity don’t even know God’s Laws because they don’t study them as they see them as nailed to the cross. Even SDAs are guilty of this. For sure we know about the Sabbath, but there are many more laws that are needed to be learned and acknowledge, and put into our daily life practice. He is letting the people learn Righteousness Is 26:9 via trials as stated in the previous post. He is correcting, disciplining, humbling, and forming the minds of his people so that His laws will be properly written there and not on an exterior piece of paper or on stones like it was with the Israelites at Mt Sinai with the old convenant. With the “new” covenant the laws are written on our heart(Jer 31). This was always God’s pursuit from the very beginning of creation. And that requires much much time. This is to show that he doesn’t force it, but rather let us learn it within our abilities with him beside us teaching us His ways and showing us His heart, just like any parent does with their own children. We all know these principles with our own children. It takes time to bring a child to full maturity. It took 99 years to bring Abraham to full maturity when he became an overcomer an received his new name of victory.
Originally Posted By: NJK
How do you explain God only being able to have at best ca. 120 ‘forced converts’ just after the resurrection, and very little of the over 2,000,000 Jewish People in Israel and the world by the 70 A.D. destruction?? Is it that God is not working enough or well or what, according to your no-free-will understanding??? It all seems to me that God is shooting himself in the foot. On one hand He is supposedly overriding the free will of people and on the other hand He is keeping most in the dark (Matt 13:10-17).

It was basically not the time. At Pentecost the believers only had a down payment of the Spirit of God. There are 3 levels of Maturity depicted by the Feasts: Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. The Passover was fulfilled by the Israelites when they left Egypt. They had the basic faith of Justification by which it is the blood of the Lamb that Justified them. But, they did not enter the Pentecost level at Mt Sinai. They couldn’t handle hearing God’s voice and they stepped back. They couldn’t handle it because they were not ready and God knew that. So the Pentecost level of faith was only fulfilled at Pentecost, but Pentecost is only a transition between Passover and the Tabernacles Level of faith. So why so little converted then? Because they didn’t have the full measure of the Spirit, and only a downpayment that only could convert a little. Then after that, many reverted back to the Passover Level of faith and took that Old covenant life again.

Concerning the Jews destruction in AD 70, it is the same as the destruction before. It is based on the same Laws of God. Whatever get puffed up, must come down. It happened twice, and it will happen again as most are quite puffed up today.

God knows where we are in maturity and is not going to force anyone into conversion. He prepares the heart before hands. God keeps our ears closed until we are ready to hear. The opening of the ears happens after the heart is ready to hear. So God kept the Israelites ears closed, kept the new Church after the Pentecost experience ears closed, till today. However, He still holds us accountable for all the laws we personally break. God will take His level of accountability, but God will also hold the individuals to their own liabilities. All the guilty will be judged at the big white throne according to the Laws of God and justice will be served properly and thoroughly.

The Cause of Immaturity

Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
I do agree with you that force is not God’s preferred way to work, however I am now starting to see that it is often needed to be used on immature CHILDREN. I think it is used in the same fashion a parent will force a child into some behavior with correction(Judgments Lev 26) and by overruling the child’s will oftentimes, however, it is always done with the purpose to instruct and to mold the child mind and heart to His image.
You are making a different statement here. If God is overriding people will then how can they ever rebel by acting/continuing to be, immature.

The immaturity is due to our unbelief and the fact that our mind were blank at creation. The fact that our mind was blank at creation, there was the necessity to write the laws of God in our mind as the opportunity came through living and walking with God. After the fall our minds has now corruptness embedded in it which makes the task even harder since the corruptness needs to be removed before the rewriting of God Laws.

The writing is not done by force, but by living and growing with God and Him teaching us His Righteousness meaning His ways, His mind, His heart, etc...

A teacher is the one that is in control of its class. He chooses the material to teach, the techniques at times is tailored to the case and the individuals, he repeats material in many ways and via practicum until the student learns it well and the lesson taught becomes second to nature. The students do not learn what he chooses, but rather what the teacher sees is important for the student to learn. A good teacher will also let the student learn by their mistakes because you learn more effectively that way and that’s why God chose to let us go to the imagination of our hearts when we fell, however, he’s there with us all along the way correcting us through our trials and pulling our attention to the needed lessons. God’s will is to save all His children and to do that He needs to teach them Righteousness(Is 26:9; Hab 1:12).

Unbelief is the root of sin. You cannot force a person into believing in you. Trust is built with time with the person and seeing the teacher in action and receiving his corrective kindness builds trust. This is what the Lord is doing when He is teaching us. You cannot have true “obedience” with an outward form of Baalim(MasterSlave) type of worship. True “obedience” and worship comes from the heart of faith that comes with a marriage type relationship where we call Him Ishi(Husband) Hos 2. This is the maturity God is working on Israel, His future bride to be.

Does God Sovereignty over Man’s will make Him Responsible for Sin?

Originally Posted By: NJK
Indeed this view places all of the failures of people to do and be right in the world on God which makes no sense at all since God wants all to be saved. (1 Tim 2:4; 2 Pet 3:9, 10) People need to freely choose (= Rev 2:21) to believe to be saved (John 3:16). The Bible is so copious and clear on that fact that I do not see how such texts are ignored to build a ‘no free will doctrine’ on even a handful of seemingly supporting statements, which non have exegetically checked out!

The Bible is very clear in the law of Jubilee that God’s mind in the matter is to restore all back to their inheritance(Lev25:8-13) which means our inheritance which was given initially to mankind at the garden of Eden. All will be saved because all debts(sin is equated as a debt…see the Lord’s prayer) are erase regardless if they are paid in full or not at the Jubilee. The Laws of Liabilities states that God is ultimately responsible for all sins(Ex 21:28-34; Deut 22:8) and He must die. The Laws of redemption states that the next of kin have the right to redeem his brother(Lev25:49) which Jesus had that right by becoming a man. All these laws and the others, lay out clearly the truth about God’s Plan of Salvation. This is the Type that God establish in the Laws of Moses which is the foundation of all truth. The Prophets prophecied according to this Type, therefore Prophecies are an application of the Type, and if they are not in harmony with the Type, then it is not coming from God. Without understanding the Type, true prophecies cannot be understood properly, and the false prophets cannot be discerned. If the Type is not studied and understood, then there’s no way anyone can come to understand the Truth about the Plan of Salvation.

Sovereignty & FreeWill & Force & Sevanthood

Originally Posted By: NJK
Originally Posted By: Elle
Just because “force” is not generally his way, doesn’t mean nor prove we have “freewill”.
I thought your view was that this was the only way of God in regards to one’s will. It seems clear to me that your view is continuing to come apart at the seams here.

You seem to not understand how God works via the power of love. I think that’s why you only see “force” possible with no freewill. Animals don’t have our ability of reason, but they do know love and they respond to it very well. With Love, you can better train a dog or any animals. Plants even respond to Love. Even water molecules crystallizes differently with Love versus hatred. This is how God moves all things it is with His character(His Laws) which reflect His name that John describes – Agape.

You are being dualist in your own belief because in one side you claim God is Sovereign and in the other side, you claim we have free choice, and our free choice over rules God’s. The two doesn’t go together and it is not what the Bible teaches either. We are servants and always will be servants. Servants serves the will of their masters. Plus the Bible depicts God’s people as a wife, a good wife always serves her husband. It’s not the other way around when it comes to setting up the plans and directions. God does serve us, because He is our provider. But He is not under our will to be manipulated and telling Him what to do.

_________________________
Blessings
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