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God's foreknowledge or God's election, or God's something else?

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Written By, Byfaith.

As Christians we hear lots of things. Doctrines, teachings, songs, more teaching and Doctrines. We also catch people's catch phrases as they pass by or hear them speaking in the background. After several years of these sounds coming in our ears unknowing to us, it builds reasoning and understandings about God. Bad or Good, they get stuck in us and we don't even know it.
When I first Heard the phrase "They were slain by the Holy Spirit" my first visual was Ananias after talking to Peter. It was a conversation I overheard, and man, glad I was not them folks. I guess God don't play around. Back in those days I had heard lots of stuff, not knowing these would be ingrained in me to effect what I believed later. Now of course I figured out the Holy Spirit did not off someone, I guess it meant they fell out under the Power of the Holy Spirit. Least I hope that is what they meant.

God knows the End from the Beginning:

One thing I always heard is God knows the end from the beginning. I guess all those tongue talking Pentecostal folks were full of Arminianism. I had no idea what Arminianism was at the time, never heard of it, but it sounded very reasonable that God would know all things from start to finish about everyone. After all, God is God, and God has to fit my belief of what a God should be. I never questioned this expression, and everyone knows God lives outside of time, right? Who don't know that? Common knowledge. I had no idea about Calvinism or even what that was. God forces by election the end from the Begging for everyone. Never heard that until much later.

My Issue with God:

A few years went by and I learned how to hear the Holy Spirit. great thing to get that all worked out, everyone should. It gets stronger and stronger as long as you grow and keep word minded and not flesh ruled.
I had a situation where someone had to come through for me or else bad things would happen not in my favor. This person said they would do something for me, promised and they just were not getting around to doing it fast enough. So, I went to pray about it, and asked God if this person was going to keep their word. Now I was still pretty stupid back then concerning a whole bunch of things, and I hope 10 years from now I can look back and see how dumb I am today concerning scriptures. We need to keep growing, changing and learning. I was counting on a person to come through, my faith was in that instead of God coming through. I was trusting in the arm of man. It's extremely bad to count on man or pull on man for needs, it brings a curse, but as i said, I did not know.

So after asking God how many times if this person was going to keep their Word the Lord finally spoke to me. Ever have the Lord sound irritated at you? He said, "How would I know if he will keep his Word, I created man like me."

For someone that lives outside of time and knows the end from the Begging that was not the answer I was expecting. The guy never did keep his Word, and God did something amazing to fix everything, that I remember. However his comment baffled me for a very long time, I am talking years.

Years later I was believing God for something and he sent me to a store, at the store I met someone who told me about these places that sell used goods.Then the Holy Spirit told me to take my wife there that next Saturday. We got ready to go that Saturday morning and the Holy Spirit said wait.................wait....... So I waited and then the Holy Spirit said go.

We all piled in the car and were on our way to these stores. I had 3 of them written down, but which one first? As I was glancing at the list and address, one jumped out at me so we went there first. We pulled up, and went in the Store. As we were leaving a truck pulls up and in the back of this guys truck was the very thing I had asked God for weeks before. It turned out that he just gave it to us, and it worked great. Several years great in fact.

Now that took knowing, pinpoint timing, I had to be at the exact place at the right time on 3 occasions as directed by the Holy Spirit for all that to come together. This brought back to my mind years ago when the Lord said, "How would I know if he will keep his Word, I created man like me."

Best I could come up with is that I did not Hear God right at that time, or at all. After all, Jesus knew when Peter would deny him, Knew how to get me to a place to get something awesome I asked God for. I was still not settled on it though.

Years pass...............

The whole problem was that stupid doctrine that God knows the end from the beginning. Blinded my understanding and seeing things in scripture. The Lord could not even have showed me until I had the foundation to understand anyway.

God is patience, I can say that for sure. It boils down to answering the question, did God plan and cause Adam to sin, or did Adam have a free choice and God knew what the Choice would be?

Or............................ it's neither.

If you read this far, you know it was long enough.

blessings to everyone.
 
Member
Well, thank you for that well thought out reply. Reading over my mumbling, then pretty much WOW would be an appropriate response. What you going to do though? You say God plans all things, and is in control of all things deciding the fate of man, then you have those foreknowledge folks grabbing their pitch forks to hunt you down. If you say Man has a free will, but God already knows what your going to do anyway by his foreknowledge then them elections folks go grab their pitch forks.

If you say God does not use election or foreknowledge then you got both groups hunting their pitch forks.

No matter what, it comes up pitchforks.

Have fun :smile:
 
Member

DHC

Hello byfaith.

You asked the following question in your post.

did God plan and cause Adam to sin
One of the great historical questions that some in Christianity have wrestled with.

Let's pursue the idea of determinism, that God created Adam and prior to this creation of Adam,
determined that Adam would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In other words,
God planned that Adam would sin and Adam had no free will to exercise in regard to this act.

In the book of Genesis, it states that God created both Adam and the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil. Then in Genesis we read that God informs Adam, that he should never eat
from this tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2
17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat

If God forced Adam to eat from this tree, then the statement that God made to Adam, would
effectively be a deception in the least. For God has determined already that Adam will eat from the
tree, but at the same time God is commanding Him not to eat from the tree? If God planned that
Adam would eat from the tree, why would God deceive Adam into a line of thought, that Adam
had a choice to make, a choice about eating the fruit from that tree?

Simply stated, God commands Adam not to eat from the tree, God also commands Adam to eat
from the tree at the same time.

Determinism presents a contradiction.
 
Member
Hello byfaith.

You asked the following question in your post.



One of the great historical questions that some in Christianity have wrestled with.

Let's pursue the idea of determinism, that God created Adam and prior to this creation of Adam,
determined that Adam would eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In other words,
God planned that Adam would sin and Adam had no free will to exercise in regard to this act.

In the book of Genesis, it states that God created both Adam and the tree of the knowledge
of good and evil. Then in Genesis we read that God informs Adam, that he should never eat
from this tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2
17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat

If God forced Adam to eat from this tree, then the statement that God made to Adam, would
effectively be a deception in the least. For God has determined already that Adam will eat from the
tree, but at the same time God is commanding Him not to eat from the tree? If God planned that
Adam would eat from the tree, why would God deceive Adam into a line of thought, that Adam
had a choice to make, a choice about eating the fruit from that tree?

Simply stated, God commands Adam not to eat from the tree, God also commands Adam to eat
from the tree at the same time.

Determinism presents a contradiction.
That was really good. You presented no answer, but to answer no matter what way you sway it makes God unjust. Death reigned and effected those even who did not commit sin according to Adam's transgression, yet God is love, Spirit, and life.

God told Adam to be fruitful and Multiply the Earth knowing the whole time Adam would be forced to sin against him to bring Jesus into the World, or Just knowing what Adam's choice would be before the foundation of the World, yet set Adam with that tree in a condition that God knew (not caused ) Adam to blow it big time.

Either way, forcing by predestination for Adam to fail, is knowing a plan and going through with it. Despite saying different to Adam.

Or

Knowing the conditions set is for failure, yet going through with it is also planed predestination of failure. Despite saying different to Adam.

Determinism presents a contradiction.
You have got that right, amazing post BTW, makes you think. No religious junk in your post, for that I am thankful.

Blessings!!
 
Active
I like this passage from 'Got Questions'..

"There are problems with both systems, but Calvinism is far more biblically based than Arminianism. However, both systems fail to adequately explain the relationship between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will—due to the fact that it is impossible for a finite human mind to discern a concept only God can fully understand."
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Greetings,

What you going to do though? You say God plans all things, and is in control of all things deciding the fate of man, then you have those foreknowledge folks grabbing their pitch forks to hunt you down. If you say Man has a free will, but God already knows what your going to do anyway by his foreknowledge then them elections folks go grab their pitch forks.

If you say God does not use election or foreknowledge then you got both groups hunting their pitch forks.

No matter what, it comes up pitchforks.
You could try putting on the full armour of God.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints
Ephesians 6:10-18

Bless you ....><>
 
Member
Greetings,
You could try putting on the full armour of God.
Bless you ....><>
Great idea there, more than enough to stop a pitchfork and a fiery dart.

I like this passage from 'Got Questions'..

"There are problems with both systems, but Calvinism is far more biblically based than Arminianism. However, both systems fail to adequately explain the relationship between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will—due to the fact that it is impossible for a finite human mind to discern a concept only God can fully understand."
Thank you Brother Taylor. Good quote there, not heard that either. Amazing that the responses are good and learned responses here. I sort of expected to draw a Calvinist or a Arminian out of the wood work, but instead I get learned and thoughtful post. Thank you very much. :smile:

The Fact Is Taylor I did not mention 2 other doctrines that is believed. they are called Molinism and Lutherenism.

Lutherenism is the same as Calvinism except man can loose his salvation, and Molinism is a bit strange as God gives man free will, and has Foreknowledge of all possible alternate realities caused by mans actions. If one of those realities move against what God wants, then God steps in and changes it, otherwise God leaves the chips where they fall.

Every single one of those ISM's were designed to keep God's Sovereignty. A Word not found in scripture. No wonder man says the human finite mind can't grasp this, because it's man who made up all the ISM'S. Man confuses himself at times, so it must be God's fault for being so mysterious.

I can assure you Brother that it's not God's fault, but mans fault for trying to view God from mans idea of Sovereignty and viewing that through mans ISM'S. If your trying to solve 3 + y =9, and all your ONLY willing to choose from a 2, 5, and 7, then the frustration is not the problems fault.

Be blessed and thank you everyone for your responses.
 
Active
Yes, we try to rationalize God and fit the eternal into the temporal, the infinite into the finite, and the Holy into our wicked minds.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And do not lean on your own understanding"

When we try to form theologies we often time end up making fools out of ourselves and painting ourselves into corners and creating false dichotomies that ought not be.
 
Loyal
If God does not know the end from the beginning, then we are all just hoping, that maybe if we are just lucky enough to be saved someday, maybe, if things go right!!!
That has got to be one of the most stupidest things I have ever heard as a Christian!!!! We have no hope at all if God does not know every single little thing that happens before it happens in this life and the next.
There are 2,500 prophecies in the Word of God, and out of 2,500 2,000 have come to pass exactly as God said it would!!! Anybody want to bet the 500 prophecies remaining will not happen exactly as God foretold?

1Jn_3:20.. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.

Psa 44:21.. would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.

Act 1:24.. And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you have chosen

Psa 147:5.. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Isa 42:8.. "I am the LORD. That is my name! I will not let any other god share my glory. I will not let statues of gods share my praise.
Isa 42:9.. What I said would happen has taken place. Now I announce new things to you. Before they even begin to happen, I announce them to you."

Isa 46:10.. Before something even happens, I announce how it will end. In fact, from times long ago I announced what was still to come. I say, 'My plan will succeed. I will do anything I want to do.'

Ecc 1:9 What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.
Ecc 1:10 Is there a thing of which it is said, "See, this is new"? It has been already in the ages before us.
 
Loyal
Greetings,

What about on the other side of the sun?

Bless you ....><>
What would be the "other" side of the sun"? Do you mean what if God does not know the outcome of every event before they happen? That is impossible, and if it was true, then we Christians would have no "guarantee" of eternal life whatsoever. We would be in jeopardy at all times without any hope, and just a wishing, that maybe we might have eternal life if we are lucky.
 
Unworthy Servant
Staff Member
Greetings,

No. I did not mean that.
Sometimes we can be so busy and keen looking for something we want to find that we overlook what is in front of us.

Bless you ....><>
 
Loyal
did God plan and cause Adam to sin, or did Adam have a free choice
God did NOT plan Adam to sin, and yes Adam had a free will to choose. There is a "huge" difference between "permit", and "commission" some thing to happen. The Lord allowed Adam to fall of his own free choice, and the Lord God did know before he created the world that Adam would fall. God allowed (permitted) it happen, but surely did not "commission" it to happen. If God stopped Adam then Adam would not have had a free choice to choose. We can go to Hell if we want to, and God will allow that to happen if that is what we want!! The Lord God knows every thing that will happen before it happens. If he did not have this knowledge then he would not be God, and we would no hope of salvation.
 
Loyal
I like this passage from 'Got Questions'..

"There are problems with both systems, but Calvinism is far more biblically based than Arminianism. However, both systems fail to adequately explain the relationship between God’s sovereignty and mankind’s free will—due to the fact that it is impossible for a finite human mind to discern a concept only God can fully understand."
Man's free will and God's sovereignty are tied together. What is God's sovereignty? God's sovereignty is that what man decides to do of his own free will choice, God will allow, and the consequences of his decisions and actions man will suffer for.
What would you say if God gave man the mind of Christ, and then filled this man with the Holy Spirit, which are the thoughts of God, would man be able to understand his creator?
 
Active
Man's free will and God's sovereignty are tied together. What is God's sovereignty? God's sovereignty is that what man decides to do of his own free will choice, God will allow, and the consequences of his decisions and actions man will suffer for.
What would you say if God gave man the mind of Christ, and then filled this man with the Holy Spirit, which are the thoughts of God, would man be able to understand his creator?
The born-again, spirit-filled believer can understand only what God reveals to them. But, being finite, we cannot comprehend the infinite. Just speaking logically here, it would seem to me that even once we get to Heaven and have spend 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years with God; we still would have only an infinitesimal understanding of God's infinite nature and perfection. There is no amount of time or learning that can make the finite infinite. That being said, we can never completely understand God. Although, we can more fully experience Him through His Spirit.

(these are my human thoughts)
 
Loyal
The born-again, spirit-filled believer can understand only what God reveals to them. But, being finite, we cannot comprehend the infinite. Just speaking logically here, it would seem to me that even once we get to Heaven and have spend 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years with God; we still would have only an infinitesimal understanding of God's infinite nature and perfection. There is no amount of time or learning that can make the finite infinite. That being said, we can never completely understand God. Although, we can more fully experience Him through His Spirit.

(these are my human thoughts)
I think that would be true if we were using man's carnal physical mind to understand God. We have the mind of Christ who is God, which has the capacity to know his Father in every way. In fact the scripture tells us that we can once we get rooted and ground in love......As the Apostle Paul prayed for the Church

Eph 3:14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
Eph 3:15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,
Eph 3:16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Eph 3:17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,
Eph 3:19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

The word, "comprehend" means "to understand". To understand what?
"what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ"
The "love of Christ" is God that is beyond knowledge. This understanding is way beyond what our mind can conceive, but our hearts can.

If we do not believe we can understand God, then we will never even come close to being able to in this life.
 
Active
I am not sure that your interpretation of that passage you have quoted is the correct one. I certainly understand what you are trying to say, and to an extent I agree with what you are saying. But, I do not think it relates to comprehending the relationship between the sovereignty of God and the free-will of man. Here is Matthew Henry's commentary on the verse you have quoted (Ephesians 3:14-19)

"If the law of Christ is written in our hearts, and the love of Christ is shed abroad there, then Christ dwells there. Where his Spirit dwells, there he dwells. We should desire that good affections may be fixed in us. And how desirable to have a fixed sense of the love of God in Christ to our souls! How powerfully the apostle speaks of the love of Christ! The breadth shows its extent to all nations and ranks; the length, that it continues from everlasting to everlasting; the depth, its saving those who are sunk into the depths of sin and misery; the height, its raising them up to heavenly happiness and glory. Those who receive grace for grace from Christ's fulness, may be said to be filled with the fulness of God. Should not this satisfy man?"

I would say that while we can experience God through His Spirit, we can never fully comprehend Him.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7
 
Active

RJ

I would say that while we can experience God through His Spirit, we can never fully comprehend Him.
Not through the human mind.
But when we are fully spiritual, it is a totally different matter: 1 Corinthians 13:12 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known
 
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