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Posts Tagged ‘free will’

Predestination is conditional. If God’s promise to Abraham was foreordained, “In thee shall all families of the earth be blessed God ‘ would not have necessitated God to renew the same blessing to the son. He commanded Isaac ‘Go not down into Egypt..(Ge.26:2).’Interestingly enough God had let Abraham move to Egypt earlier in a similar circumstance ‘when there was a famine in the land’ (Ge.12:10). Consequently Isaac dwelt in Gerar in obedience to His commandment.  After Abraham was buried by his sons, God appeared unto Isaac and renewed his promise to his father. It was conditional where faith of Isaac like his father had to match with His faith. It is personal . Misconception of predestination as taught by some sects makes Atonement a feeble copy of God’s glory. SFor the same reason denying free will would be heresy. We have its perfect example in Jesus. He was God the Son and yet he obeyed God. Free will was not his personal glory but laying it for the greater glory of his Father. He did so he fitted the expression, ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re.13:8)’. So predestination of God is Obedience on the part of the Son for the glory of the father. It must be thus with every one who would be called child of God. Hunting with the dogs may be activism of the evangelicals and on Sundays running with the hares cannot be called as the hallmark of Christians.

In the parable of the Two Sons (Mt.21:28-31) the elder refused to go to the vineyard. His free will allowed him to say no to his father. But he regretted of letting down his father so he went to the vineyard after all. In his obedience he glorified his Father. His younger brother paid lip service to his father but exercised his free will. From this we have the significance of predestination and free will.

For those who are interested may I suggest a few books: Marginalia in 2 volumes The Immanuel Factor.Under Bible Study Helps I recommend my readers.

Benny

 

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“And by thy sword shall thou live, and shall serve thy brother: and it shall come to pass when thou shalt have the dominion, that shalt break his yoke from off thy neck (Ge. 27:40).”

Here we can understand that Blessings of God carry responsibility. It is between God and Man. Blessings flow from the greater to the lesser. When you examine this still further what do we get? Predestination of God and free will of man.

Predestination is a characteristic of Power and Wisdom of God and it is not completely hidden from man. God had acquainted Abraham in broad strokes at the outset how that would be in his case. His seed shall sojourn in Egypt for long and He would bring them back with a mighty hand in his Time. Time is of essence.

Having blessed Jacob what might have been his, Isaac had for Esau some consolation that would occur only in case Israel failed to live up to the promises of God, This blessing,- a left-handed blessing, enlightens us to the above concepts.

Predestination is conditional. Patriarch Isaac had to know Him as his father did. For this reason after Abraham was buried by his sons, God appeared unto Isaac and told him ‘Go not down into Egypt..(Ge.26:2)’ Interestingly enough God had let Abraham move to Egypt earlier in a similar circumstance ‘when there was a famine in the land’ (Ge.12:10). Consequently Isaac dwelt in Gerar in obedience to His commandment. Free will for a saint is to make sure the faith component is same. Obedience it is called. We have its perfect example in Jesus. He was God the Son. “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name (Phi.2:8-9).” He had free will seeing all things were made by him and through him (Jn.1:3; Col.1:16). As Son of man he set an example. Predestination in his case is explained by the expression, ‘the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re.13:8)’. Using the same reply he gave John at the water baptism by Jordan ‘For thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness (Mt.3:15) He submitted himself from the foundation of the world to reveal righteousness of God in his form. Here we have obedience in its perfect form.

In denying free will some sects are hacking at the very doctrine of Atonement. Obedience of the Son made his sacrifice perfect.

Benny

 

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If Adam in the Garden explained the ground zero of history of nations we have in Abraham the history of nations set at human terms. Faith is what separates the history of God’s people and those of nations that try to write history as series of events where man is the doer.

Abraham on the other hand let God write it for him.

God called Abraham out of his father’s house ‘to a land that I will give thee (Ge.12:1)’. When God would allow him take possession of it was not specified. The time was determined by God and not by his ‘here and now’ basis. If it were conditional it would not have been faith but merely a transaction.  By shared experience of faith God enlightens him as to the future of his family. Naturally the question arises: why He did not let him possess the Promised Land?

God said “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee (12:17).” In chapter 23 we read of Abraham buying before witnesses a burial place and it marked the burial place for himself and his wife. Having informed of his ‘seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs’ He makes a covenant saying, ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land…(Ge.15:18). Here we get a clue why God did not allow him to possess in his life time. “For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full (15:16).” Abraham accordingly lived as a stranger in the land God had promised to his seed. Through Abraham we have been blessed. Naturally children of God through their faith in the power of resurrection have to wait for God’s Time in order to inherit the kingdom. Jesus Christ promised us, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.(Lk.12:32-NIV).” How is our faith? Is it the kind of activism the Pharisees and teachers of law employed? When the Christians jump the bandwagons of political parties that is not faith but something else.

Coming back to Abraham who are these Amorities? The gentiles are descendants of Noah through Ham.(Ge.10:6-16)

Core Will of God carried divine blessings that were to come upon all families of the earth through Abraham. These Amorites among other gentile nations, the Girgashites, the Jebusites to name a few, are also included but God’s Time drew distinction between the seed of Abraham through Sarah from all others and it had specific reference to the covenant that God made with Abraham (Ge.15:18-20).

History of man as we see it written down is set according to earth time. Thus we have had description of England before the beginning of 20th century as the island nation on which the sun never set. Compare her history now. Nebuchadnezzar’s dream indicated qualities of nations where gold silver brass and iron refer to world-kingdoms according to their pomp and circumstance. Despotism of the ruler, as in the example of Nebuchadnezzer has steadily degrade to a state of affairs as we see in our times. Clay and iron of governance is very much in evidence. The very lack of solutions is only matched by a nature freaked out. Drought, flash floods snow storms and tornadoes are facets of our times. The king’s vision in the book of Daniel only need the stone cut without hands to make it a reality.

Predestination is God’s Wisdom and Power overriding the free will of man. God’s Time determines the rise and fall of nations and history is simply a catalogue of blessings that would culminate when Jesus Christ as the stone cut without hands sets up ‘a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed…(Dan.2:44)’ When the holy city of God is revealed we find there shall be nations which are saved and they shall walk by the light of it (Re.21:22-24).

Benny

 

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God had called out Abraham and he departed Haran trusting in God and it was counted as righteousness unto him. He was strong in faith and he became the friend of God on account of his faith. Lot, his nephew went with him. Considering his trust was in Abraham rather than in God shall reveal the consequences in a stark contrast later on. When the land could not contain them both Abraham let Lot take precedence over him. “If thou wilt take the left hand then will I go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left (Ge.13:9).”

Consider this verse: “…Unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make thee a great nation, and I will bless thee..(Ge.121-3) We need to remember that God had already told Abraham that a land He had already in mind and yet he was willing to risk it for the sake of maintaining harmony between his nephew and him. For Abraham the promise of God to bless him was enough. What about his nephew whose faith was more tied up in a human way that of blood ties?

God had upheld Abraham despite of letting his nephew first.Lot saw the plains of Jordan most suited to his conveniences and journeyed east.We read that ‘Lot lifted up his eyes and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere. It was solid common sense that appealed to Lot.

Predestination of God is to be understood in either or choice of man. Lot exercised free will and it was based on solid common sense borne out of experience. Predestination of a Christian is based on his faith in Christ Jesus.

Benny

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Without fully touching on the nature of God one cannot understand the theological term of Predestination. Let me quickly run through what these are.

The Will of God cannot run contrary to His attributes Power and Wisdom, dimension of which is infinite. Thus  where his Wisdom touches an abstract idea of love it cannot be conceived as apart from his will. His love is evident in his creation calendar. First He made all that were needful for man and on the sixth ‘day’ He observed, “…Behold it was very good.(Ge.1:30)” God entrusted the creatures under the care of Adam after he had endowed him with his living breath. He inducted him into service as it were. Naturally we see God trusted in his stewardship when God brought His creation to him and  left choice of their names(Ge.2:19) to him.  God’s trust in his own Power and Wisdom working through him is unmistakeable( When Calvin makes Total Depravity as a central plank in his doctrine he is undermining God’s sovereign Power and Wisdom. Liberality of God in such gifts we can conclude are examples of Love in expression.

Man’s moral choice, whether killing a life form,- be it plants or animals, was not altogether any new element introduced. Adam correctly exercised it when found no helpmeet among animals. It is part of his Gift, wisdom and is entered under the divine Will. What is death to us? Dissolution of physical reality that the body holds for us. Whereas death holds altogether a different significance to Him. It cannot be otherwise, seeing Power and Wisdom are inextricably woven into the Will. Also significant is the testimony of Jesus who speaks of his Father thus. “You do err, not knowing the scriptures…God is not the God of the dead but of the living (Mt.22:29-32)”. I shall cite another example. God gave double of everything Job had lost  (Jb.42:10) He had seven sons and three daughters before Satan afflicted him. In the end when God blessed he was given the same number and not double mind you, of children. His children who were dead to him were already in the presence of God.( Jb.42:13),

Holy Spirit reveals God by the generic term  Elohim in the Creation Account. From John’s account we know God the Son was also present (Jn.1:3-4,1)  God is the Father of lights. Jesus Christ is revealed as the light of men. The spirit in extending God’s attributes make the Will envelop the whole cosmos to give it space. Trust that God extended to Adam connects with Jesus symbol of which is light*. This natural phenomena is not in terms of light having to travel light years but in terms of man’s power and wisdom howsoever is limited. Inspiration of the Holy Spirit is to render a believer overcome his physical limitations. Some Bible scholars have erred in ascribing double predestination,

God’s gifts and calling are without repentance. As Just God his Power and Wisdom he scattered liberally and in sending his Son with a clear mandate (‘whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have eternal life’) is in harmony with His nature.  Just as He entrusted Adam with naming the creatures He left judgment to the Son since His Fullness is in the Son. (For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell-Col.1:19-KJV) .Jesus expressed divine Will in no uncertain terms. ’Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.’(Mt.18: 14) He also proved with his life.

Core Will is a term to explain Will of God in  totality.  This is necessary owing to our finite understanding of time. Divine Will commands certain attitudes and conduct from man. It has a finite time frame. Man is judged on this basis. Whatever judgment God determines on these has a Time frame,

In order to demonstrate predestination in working and how we are part of eternal plan of God let me quote two passages one from the Epistle to the Hebrews and the other from the Book of Job.

Speaking of Melchicedec, the King of Salem St Paul states that Abraham gave him a tenth part of all in tithes. He goes on to add, ‘And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law…’

“For he (Levi) was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchicedec met him.(He.7: 10)”.

Now for the other.

When the Lord finally confronted Job out of a whirlwind he asked, ‘…Where was thou when I laid the foundation of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding (Jb.38: 4)’. Levi was in the loins of Abraham when he paid tithes to the King of Salem. By the same token when God laid the foundation of the earth we were all dead in sins because of Adam, and without a ray of hope. We have been preordained in his Will for punishment. But in obeying the Son and by our faith we have received grace. He blotted out the writing against us and nailed to the cross. (Col.2: 14). This is what St Paul terms as ‘mystery of his Will’ (Ep.1: 9) the key to which is the atoning work of the Son.

As a result we figure as overcomers in Core Will, which ‘he hath purposed in himself’. Thus by the blood of Christ Jesus God shall establish us children of obedience in Core Will.

All that required for such a turn around was our faith, which comes from hearing the Word. “…Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God (Ro.10: 17)”. This is the kind of faith that death cannot silence.  Cain slew Abel but his blood could catch the ear of God.

God cannot deny himself. His divine Love spreads outwards through his Son and as Jn.3:15-16 makes it clear the call is to even the little ones. Predestination when man interprets it relying on authority,  as lawyers and scribes in the time of Jesus did, is narrowed. Jesus castigated them. The same spirit works still.

Consider this verse. “Notwithstanding they (sons of Eli) hearkened not the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them (1 Sa.2:25) As mentioned in the example of Job we were all under condemnation because of Adam. Also the verse in the gospel of Luke clues us in the condemnation abides with those who reject the counsel of God by rejecting the Son( Lk.7:29-30)

Because of our faith we were justified through his Son unto salvation. In rejecting the Son is tantamount to a state where we are rejecting God the Father . All authority is given to the Son (Jn.5:22,27). God is the Will while the Son is fulfillment. The Spirit in setting down two narratives from the Father and the Son respectively made the sons of Eli foreordained as it were, because they rejected the counsel of their father.

  • The Spirit tags persons with qualities in this case light. Glory of Adam in the presence of God is light. When he chose to step out of God’s Will he felt naked meaning his glory left him. It connects to Jesus in whom was the light of men. Thus the Spirit informs us of Children of light and of darkness.

benny

 

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The unconscious mind (often simply called the unconscious) is all the processes of the mind which are not available to consciousness. The term unconscious mind was coined by the 18th century German romantic philosopher Friedrich Schelling and later introduced into English by the poet and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The concept gained prominence due to the influence of Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. The unconscious mind can be seen as the source of dreams and automatic thoughts. (Wikipedia)

Some actions – like moving a finger – are initiated and processed unconsciously at first, and only after enter consciousness.

Philosopher Walter Jackson Freeman III writes “our intentional actions continually flow into the world, changing the world and the relations of our bodies to it. This dynamic system is the self in each of us, it is the agency in charge, not our awareness, which is constantly trying to keep up with what we do.*” To Freeman, the power of intention and action can be independent of awareness. ( * Freeman, Walter J. How Brains Make Up Their Minds. New York: Columbia UP, 2000. Page 139.)

We think and act rationally but do we understand what it implies? One who wants to kick the habit of smoking may linger on wondering when or how to do it. He knows it is slowly incinerating his lungs and one day he quits it altogether. Suppose the coming weekend he is in company and they are headed towards a bar. If he chooses to sit with them in the smoking section he may excuse himself that he did not want to cut their pleasure of a smoke. Or was it he was craving a secondary smoke and his mind had tricked him? Our mind is a divided house. We may say we keep an open house. Only that when we want to empty our bowels we keep the door shut. Open house in short is not always what it says. Our mind is not what we like to believe. We say we are rational. Are we really? How come then we irrationally succumb to prophets and dolts alike. We accept heaven for someone else’s word. Similarly we listen to some fool’s prattle and when he says,’such and such race is subhuman’ we accept it without a murmur. It happened in Nazi Germany. Or a half-baked science fiction writer cobbles up Scientology ‘weird evil cult’ as Rupert Murdoch said the other day) celebrities are ready to join. Our rational mind knows it is a moron’s path to bliss as one who take bath salts for kicks. The nature of mind is such that people are dying to believe and ‘weirder the better.’ There has never been a proof of religion as consistently put to test and found true. Yet why people still harp on it? Our brain is a divided house.
I can make Donald Duck pass for a Deity and have churches built for worship. If so why don’t I do it? The trouble is I may in the end come to believe myself in the joke.‘ I consider that as truly tragic.
PS Philosopher Schopenhauer signified this unconscious part of mind as the Will. We seek pleasures from within ourselves and even if these are less honorable we still pursue it. Then we rationally explain our actions. We are not seeking a course because reasons are already existing outside ourselves.
benny

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What is evolution but adapting things that are already existing? Thus we have some primitive parts from lizards and jellyfish.As a result our brain at its best has to account for what it is built upon.
“Although the things it can do are very wonderful and impressive, its design is very poor engineering in many respects,” says David Linden, a professor of neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, the author of The Accidental Mind.
These parts may have been OK for their original owners, he says, but they aren’t ideal for us.
Take brain cells, for example.
“They are slow. They are inefficient. They leak signals to their neighbors,”

We’re still using a communication system developed 600 million years ago by jellyfish.
Deep Down, We’re Lizards.
Jellyfish don’t have a brain, but they were the first animal to have any sort of nervous system. It’s a loose network of nerves called a “nerve net,” says Chet Sherwood, who studies brain evolution at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Evolution’s tinkering gave lizards the brain they needed to hunt and survive in a tough world, and our brains still have that ancient wiring.
The brain of an adult human is about three times the size of a gorilla brain.
In evolutionary terms big brain gave our human ancestors bigger volume for brain and it is still evolving and at the root of it we still have the reptilian brain.
ii
Brain has two halves like walnut. These are shot through two worlds: conscious and unconscious mind. our conscious self does not initiate all behaviours. Instead, it is somehow alerted to behaviours that the rest of the brain and body are already planning and performing. Also keep in mind conscious experience does play some moderating role. We think rationally and we speak as though we understand what we speak about. But do we?
Take the matter of religion.
Religion relies on mystery and requires certain rituals and symbols to maintain this mystery. People are ready to defend their faith to death. On the other hand what about the fascination with iPad or iPhone for which people are ready to kill themselves? Or do desperate things disproportionate to the intrinsic value of objects themselves, and sell their kidneys as one did in China only last week? People queue through the night, despite the inclement weather to be the first to grab when shops are opened for business. Are we not seeing Progress masquerading religion in this case? Some Nerd who cannot do anything else makes a jargon and creates applications into program and lo and behold, he is looked upon with wonder. He is a modern shaman. Craze for latest gadgets is controlled by which part of our being? Unconscious mind or Rational mind?
Our brain evolved over some 6 millennia as I mentioned earlier is not the best,- and communication system leaks, and we have no idea which part of it is triggering us?
Brain is our thinking part but it depends how we want to interpret external impressions that we see.
In an earlier post I wrote about Cosmic Mind. We make our experience as basis and draw necessary conclusions from these events around us. If we are thinking from our unconscious mind a little and from conscious mind we cannot tell.
When we look into brain we are going down in time,
benny

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