Free Will and the Bible
Debate Rounds (5)
Cause and Effect
One thing that cannot be denied is that God exist. The very fact that there is the universe is undeniable proof that something must have "Caused" it into existence. There has never been an Effect without a Cause since the beginning, and these are fundamental Laws that govern the universe (of course, God Himself has decreed this, so He [and He alone] is not bound by these Laws.) We could not laugh (effect) at a joke before we even hear it (cause). In order to have free will, the very fabric of space and time would collapse. Although Quantum Physics may appear to have random properties, the fact that the physical is made up of the quantum proves that there are specific Laws the quantum must obey in order to hold everything together. If perhaps the universe is random and chaotic, then even still our Wills are not free from choosing that which is random. Every action we take is determined by past Causes that eventually Cause our Will to choose a specific Effect. If we must decide between cereal or cooking eggs, and we choose cereal, something Caused us to make that decision; whether it be convenience, our taste buds and preferences, or the fact that the last eggs we had made us a little gassy. We did not freely choose our parents, our community, our government, our financial status, our gender, and most important, we didn't choose to have life. These all came about without our prior knowledge, and each of these (among many other things) Cause us to become who we are. God is the initial Cause of it all.
God is Omniscient. He knows all things, whether it be the past, present, or future. The Scriptures tell us that before the beginning, God had already planned to send His Son into the world to reconcile it back to Him, and that we are even predestined to believe (Ephesians 1:4). This means that He knew Adam and Eve would transgress against Him, and He knows what's going to happen in the end. Adam did not have a free will to thwart the plans of God. God planted the Tree in the middle of the Garden and He created the Serpent more crafty than any other creature, for the specific purpose of tempting Eve. The Garden episode could not have gone any other way. If a child must choose between ice cream and celery, everyone knows they will choose the ice cream. However, if the choice is ice cream or cake, even the child may have trouble deciding, but I assure you that God knows all.
The Scriptures Tell Us Our Will Isn't Free
Probably the most blatant verse telling us our Will is not free is Phillipians 2:3 "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure." That's pretty straight forward. Our Will is not even a little free. Not only does God work in us to "will", He is also the very reason we "do". He does all things simply for His good pleasure.
Peter believed he had free will and swore not to deny the Messiah, even unto death. But God had different plans for Peter, and before the crock crowed, Peter denied Him three times. (Matthew 26:33)
Paul believed he had free will when he was on the road to Damascus to persecute the Church. Before he completed his journey, our Lord appeared to him, and Paul immediately fell to the ground asking "What shall I do, Lord? (Acts 22:10, Acts 9:6). It took Yeshua less than a second to convert Paul.
King Nebuchadnezzar thought he had free will and that he had accomplished all the splendor of Babylon. At that time a voice proclaimed that his kingdom was taken from him and that he would do strange things such as eat grass. He did eat grass until the time was fufilled, then lifted his eyes to heaven and said "..all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" (Daniel 4:30).
The king of Assyria thought the same, and God doesn't refute the king for all the murder and wrongdoing he had done. God's anger is toward the king's boasting about his supposed free will, calling the king the "rod of mine anger" and saying "Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? or shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? as if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself, as if it were no wood." Isaiah 10:13
The Pharoah of Egypt is probably the most direct example of God working within our Will. God continously hardened the Pharaoh's heart (Exodus 4:21, Exodus 14:3). I'll let Paul explain this as he's much better with words than I am.
"What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 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. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?"
You see, we are not mere robots, we are simply pottery formed from the dust in the ground; a vapor in the wind (James 4:14). We do all things according to His perfect and beautiful purpose. This of course brings us to the problem of that pagan "eternal hell", but I strongly urge you to study the true purpose of Aionios Zoe (Age-enduring Life (John 17:3) and Gehenna Fire. However that is another discussion for another time. Thank you and God bless you.
I have read officially the text.
Allow me to ask.
As you said at your text before that, ... ".. and these are [ fundamental laws ] that govern the universe" , and i know God who made it. But can you tell me specifically what the fundamental laws are? And why isn't God bound with the Law? Which Law? I'm sorry but i just can't get it.
I have different point of view about free will.
Not all 'free will' which God rule.
If you take story of Paul who want to persecute the Church, then we know the next story is God thwart the Paul's mission. But you can check the Judas' story. God let Judas betray Jesus, and didn't thwart what Judas did.
You can check this verse John 15:16 16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
I'd like to emphasize the statement "But I [God] have chosen you"
Honestly, i still don't understand about this.
Why God chose Peter and not Judas?
Why God let Judas and didn't punish Judas and let him death before apologize to God.
You know what i mean. Judas didn't have chance to reconcile his self with God.
Ya ofc, the next tour for him was hell.
Overall. I don't let my self 'confuse' about that.
The most important is to live as like what God want to, so we can be saved.
God bless us.
You're correct that God thwarted Paul's mission, but because of the way Judas is spoken of in the Gospel, it is assumed that God "let" Judas betray Yeshua. God did not "let" Judas betray Yeshua, Judas was predestined to do so. In Zachariah 11:12, the Father is explaining the Great Judgement and the coming Messiah
"And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver."
This is a prophecy concerning the betrayal of Yeshua.
Matthew 26:15 "And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver."
Yeshua knew that He had to be betrayed, and He knew who would betray Him. John 6:64 tells us
"But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him."
Judas could not have done otherwise. If Judas had not betrayed Yeshua, He wouldn't have died, God couldn't have rose Him from the dead, and we would still be in our sins. Even if Judas didn't really want to betray Yeshua, John 13:27 says that there was another entity influencing his will,
"And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly."
You asked "Why did God choose Peter and not Judas?" This is a very valid question as it appears to bring unrighteousness to God. However this is not the case. I will repeat what Paul says in Romans chapter 9. This time I will capitalize words that I would like to emphasize.
"As it is written, Jacob have I LOVED, but Esau have I HATED.
What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
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.
So then it is NOT of him that WILLITH, nor of him that runneth, but OF GOD that sheweth mercy.
For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same PURPOSE HAVE I RAISED THEE UP, that I might SHEW MY POWER in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
Therefore hath he mercy ON WHOM he will have mercy, and WHOM HE WILL HE HARDENED.
Thou wilt say then unto me, WHY DOTH HE YET FIND FAULT? For WHO hath resisted HIS WILL?
Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing FORMED say to him THAT FORMED IT, Why hast thou made me thus?
Hath not the POTTER power over the CLAY, of the same lump to make one vessel unto HONOR, and another unto DISHONOR?
What (the word 'what' is not in the original Greek and this word is italicized to confirm this; this verse is a statement and not a question) IF GOD, willing to shew his WRATH, and to make his POWER known, endured with much longsuffering the VESSELS of wrath FITTED TO DESTRUCTION:
And that he might make known the RICHES of his GLORY on the VESSELS of mercy, which he had AFORE prepared unto glory,"
God will choose whomever He wishes, and they will do whatever He wants to happen. To believe we have free will is to exalt ones self above God, to say that we could somehow thwart His intentions. Paul warns us of this in 2 Thessalonians 2:3
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come] (not in original Greek), except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (We are the "man of sin", and our 'free will' sits in the temple of God [Paul always refers to the Temple of God as our bodies] and calls itself a god)
God is completely Sovereign. Isaiah 14:24 says "The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand". God has a very beautiful "purpose" for mankind, however Fundamental Christianity teaches us otherwise. The question of why God would allow Judas to die before he repented is tough to answer, but only because of our misconceptions about "hell".
Hell is of course a very valid topic for this discussion, but we cannot let our reasonings contradict with clear Scripture. I will explain "hell" in the final round and share with you the beautiful Gospel (Good News) of our Lord and Messiah Yeshua (Jesus the Christ). For now here are a few verses to consider.
"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." Isaiah 55:7
"And the WORD was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of GRACE and TRUTH." John 1:114
"Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the WILL OF HIM that sent me, and to FINISH HIS WORK." John 4:34
"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." Isaiah 45:23
"That at the name of Jesus EVERY knee should bow, of things IN HEAVEN, and things IN EARTH, and things UNDER the EARTH; And that EVERY tongue should CONFESS that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the GLORY OF GOD the Father." Philippians 2:9
"And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw (Greek helkuo- literally 'drag') ALL men unto me." John 12:32
"For as in Adam ALL die, even so in Christ shall ALL be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:22
"For this is GOOD and ACCEPTABLE in the sight of God our Saviour; Who WILL HAVE ALL men to be SAVED, and to come unto the KNOWLEDGE of the TRUTH. For there is ONE God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for ALL, to be testified in DUE TIME." 1 Timothy 2:3
The Gospel is so much more beautiful and amazing than any of us could ever imagine. Our Carnal minds hate the Gospel, "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18
God does all things and His plan is perfect. Thank you and God bless you.
OK i get what you mean about The Fundamental Law, and i do believe that God is above all that.
But, i believe God is also bound in the law that i will tell you. It's about purification from sin. The reason Jesus have to be crucified is also because of the law.
If we look at the story how the people of Israel purified themselves from sin, at that time, they are obligated to sacrifice their best bullocks.
But because of the Jesus [Jesus' blood], we don't need to do such a thing like Israel did before. Because Jesus have done the law.
I think you're correct that Judas is predestined to do.
But i'm sorry i don't get your point about .
"God has a very beautiful "purpose" for mankind, however Fundamental Christianity teaches us otherwise."
Why did you say that Fundamental Christianity teaches us [otherwise] ?
Considering about all the verses that you have shown to me.
I believe you have a perception that "Only believe in Christ (because God is love, and has mercy) so, i will repeat, who only believe and receive and recognize Jesus as God so they will be saved.
But you must look at this verses
Matthew 7 : 21
NOT EVERY ONE that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
I believe we have to live like Jesus live. Thank you. God bless us.
"Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, IF any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD...."
I believe the IF means that this was never actually a part of the Law to begin with. It was a option as opposed to a responsibility. God tells us over and over again
"For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6
"To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the LORD: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed
beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats. When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?" Isaiah 1:11
"Indeed, you do not delight in sacrifices, or I would give them, nor do you desire burnt offerings.
True sacrifice to God is a broken spirit. A broken and chastened heart, God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:16
"For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices:
But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you." Jerimiah 7:22
Now I do believe the sacrificial system was a shadow of Messiah, but I believe God made such strict requirements for the sacrifices as to make it impractical, especially requiring that the Isrealites only have one temple to offer. Today the Jewish people do not have a temple, nor did they have one when David was King (Solomon built the new temple), but they understood what God really required of them, such as prayer and repentance.
I also must disagree that God is bound by any law, other than the Law of Love, since He Himself is Love. Honestly that is the whole reason I'm bringing up the free will issue. There are two major positions in the churches that teach on this subject, Arminianism and Calvinism.
Arminianism teaches that man has a "free will" that allows them to thwart the Will of God so that they themselves must decide whether to follow Yeshua. Many, many unscriptural terms are accepted as truth, such as "age of accountability", "winning souls for Jesus", "God is 'trying' everything He can to get you to love Him", and even the term "free will" itself. Those who refuse the "offer" are subjected to "eternal torture" in hell.
Calvinism teaches that man does not have free will, but that God has chosen everyone who would be saved before He made the world. This is by far the most scriptural view. The Scriptures tell us over and over that God chose us.
"For BY grace are ye saved THROUGH faith; and that NOT of yourselves: it is the GIFT of God:
NOT of works, lest any man should BOAST." Ephesians 2:8
We have absolutely nothing to boast about. We only believe because of the simple fact that God has chosen us to believe. We could not have decided from our own free will.
"Because the carnal mind is ENMITY (hatred) against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, NEITHER INDEED CAN BE" Romans 8:7
However, the Calvinist contradict themselves. They teach that God chose us from the beginning, but that the unbelievers have no excuse, because even though they were not chosen (nor do they have free will) they are supposed to somehow understand the truth and repent. Those who don't believe are subjected to an "eternal torment" in hell. They call this Compatibilism, even though this shatters every rule of Logic.
Yes, Matthew 7:21 is one of my favorite verses. Because of that verse (and many others) I believe we should strive to follow the whole Law as best we can. This is only the part of the Law that is sin. The sacrifices and tithes to the temple cannot be required as there is no temple, and stoning is no longer required as Yeshua fulfilled the Law and did away with the wages of sin, which is death (Romans 6:23). Of course the Law cannot save us; only God through His Son Yeshua is able to save us. However,
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law." 1 John 3:4
What I'm saying is that we only do these things because God chose us and has given us His Spirit, that we may be able to succeed at His purpose. We do these things because we LOVE Him. Not because we are afraid of "hell". And that is the beautiful purpose that the churches do not teach us. Please take some time to reread the verses that I provided. I am not saying "only believe in God and you will be saved", I'm saying
"...for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness." Isaiah 26:9
I'm asking you to look into your heart and ask yourself
"Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Genesis 18:25
We are called to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, to forgive an unlimited amount of offences, and in Matthew chapter 5, we are commanded to "love our enemies" and by doing so, Yeshua says "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."
God forgives His enemies. He loves every person He has ever created. He is both powerful enough and willing that every person who has ever lived should come to the knowledge of the truth. He has chosen us for now, but after the Final Judgement, the inhabitants of the earth will learn rightousness, and this is so important that God says "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" Isaiah 45:23.
God "worketh ALL things after the counsel of his OWN will" and if we can be sure of anything, it is that God is going to be good on His Word. He is going to save the entire world, and neither man's fabled free will, nor that weak pawn the Devil can do anything about it. There is so much more to this, and I'd love to share it with you. If this wasn't the most Scriptural Truth, my carnal mind could never believe it. But thanks be to God who has given to us to know all things.
"Having made known unto us the MYSTERY of HIS WILL, according to HIS GOOD PLEASURE which he hath purposed in himself:
That in the dispensation of the FULNESS of TIMES he might gather together in one ALL things in Christ, both which are IN HEAVEN, and which are ON EARTH; even in him: In whom ALSO WE have obtained an inheritance, being PREDESTINATED according to the purpose of him who worketh ALL THINGS after the COUNSEL of HIS OWN WILL: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who FIRST trusted in Christ."
That is the Gospel my friend. God "created" us in His Image, but He isn't finished "making" us in His Image. In the end, He will teach all people and restore ALL things
""For the Lord will not cast off forever. For though he causes grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his loving
kindnesses." Laminations 3:31
GOD IS LOVE AND GOD NEVER FAILS AT ANYTHING. If He tells us He wants something to happen, then regardless of what our mistranslated Bibles say or what the wicked wisdom of man teaches, God is going to reconcile the entire world to Himself and in the end, He will be "ALL IN ALL" (1 Corinthians 15:28)
"O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Romans 11:33
God bless you my friend.
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