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Thread: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    The propositions of Zanchius all go back to the Augustinian argument re: God is not the author of sin--which has become orthodoxy to most Protestants (and all Roman Catholics/Eastern).

    I guess I am confused then Bob. How could God who is holy dispense sin from His nature? If there is no sin in Him to dispense.

    I guess because this being new to me I am not comfortable with this explination. Earlier I stated that God Reprobates from nothing outside of Himself. Sin is outside of God, so how can it be both outside, yet from Him?

    As an aside, I thought JZ did a commendable job regardcless where it comes from. Much better than many I have read.


    Is there anyone who believes as you appear to Bob? This is not asked in sarcasm, I am just hoping that you are not alone in this opinion.



    Joe

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Is there anyone who believes as you appear to Bob? This is not asked in sarcasm, I am just hoping that you are not alone in this opinion.

    I am very much in agreement with Bob on this issue. He asked the question: If God didn't creat evil, from where did it come from? I suggest thinking about that. Did satan create it? Did Adam or Eve create it? Or did it just appear out of nowhere?

    Those who assert, 'That makes God the author of sin!' are really judging God. For God to predestin sin as part of His plan does not make Him sinful. What makes Him sinful? Is there a Law above God that He is bound to obey? Can the creation point the fingure back at God and accuse Him of any wrong?

    Some stuff to think about.

    Mike


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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    LIon,

    God is holy-you are right. How can he dispense sin???? EVERYTHING God does is good. He is the law. He does not operate outside of himself in some universal law. For example, if he predestined to wipe out all of North America, then it is good. What law is he breaking? What bad thing is he doing? Who is to say anything God does is not good? HE is the law. The ultimate. Now, you sound like you are an infra, but who knows all of your thoughts. Scripture never seems to talk about God restraining/allowing, or being passive. Yet, it does talk about him creating all things. If you believe otherwise, then I must logically conclude that you do not believe God is sovereign. If he didn't want sin, he would not have created it. Hopefully you see what I am saying. I do not have the time to write as the others do, but maybe someone can put some scripture out to lion. see ya

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday
    Restraining grace? I do not know how else to put it Brandan. Perhaps witholding His Spirit?

    Joe, because this is pretty much the same thing as Milt addressed I will repost what he said:



    The reason this relates is because when someone refers to withholding or restraining it implies there is an opposing impulse or force that would have it otherwise. Or it implies that God is only 'allowing' dead sinners to continue in their blind state, when really He predestined them to be His enemy forever. God's relationship to His creation is always active, never passive. He actively elects and actively damns. He actively creates and He actively destroys. He actively bestows grace and He actively curses. All things have been actively predestined.

    Mike. How come I see a distinction here? For instance, ALL by nature are sinners correct? But as I mentioned before sin is not the reason God reprobates because we sin and He does not sin for us. So therefore He reprobates and Elects because of His Sovereignty.

    FOr instance, the regenerate have a constant fight between the flesh and the Spirit. These are 2 opposing forces. God will not fight against Himself. So the fleshly desires that fight against His spirit are ours by nature, not because He infuses them into us. How could this be?

    God would never be divided upon Himself. Man is either Reprobate or Elect. Once The decree was made, there is nothing that can prevent the final outcome. So why would God have to constantly actively continue to reprobate someone? Am I making any sense here?

    When it is said that God has left them to their own lustful desires, does that actually mean God infuses these lustful desires? SInce they are reprobate, what else needs to be done actively?

    I do not see my distinction as bare permission as if God is not aware or not in Control.

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday
    Is there anyone who believes as you appear to Bob? This is not asked in sarcasm, I am just hoping that you are not alone in this opinion.

    I am very much in agreement with Bob on this issue. He asked the question: If God didn't creat evil, from where did it come from? I suggest thinking about that. Did satan create it? Did Adam or Eve create it? Or did it just appear out of nowhere?

    Those who assert, 'That makes God the author of sin!' are really judging God. For God to predestin sin as part of His plan does not make Him sinful. What makes Him sinful? Is there a Law above God that He is bound to obey? Can the creation point the fingure back at God and accuse Him of any wrong?

    Some stuff to think about.

    Mike
    Thank you Mike. I should have clarified my question in regards to 6000 years of historical Witness. Not in this forum. After a brief search on google, I have yet to find anyone that claims that God actually infuses evil and sin into people. whether reprobate or elect.

    Your approach resembles entrapment. Cop pulls me over, puts some coke in my pocket, and I get busted. God is just in reprobation because He is under no obligation to save anyone. And His juidgements are based on His nature, and His nature is one that is perfect and Holy.But I will definately pray and search earnestly along this new opinion.

    I believe creating evil and infusing evil into man are distinct. If man is sinful by nature, what else does He need to do to make them "more sinful?"


    Joe

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. Gill
    LIon,

    God is holy-you are right. How can he dispense sin???? EVERYTHING God does is good. He is the law. He does not operate outside of himself in some universal law. For example, if he predestined to wipe out all of North America, then it is good. What law is he breaking? What bad thing is he doing? Who is to say anything God does is not good? HE is the law. The ultimate. Now, you sound like you are an infra, but who knows all of your thoughts. Scripture never seems to talk about God restraining/allowing, or being passive. Yet, it does talk about him creating all things. If you believe otherwise, then I must logically conclude that you do not believe God is sovereign. If he didn't want sin, he would not have created it. Hopefully you see what I am saying. I do not have the time to write as the others do, but maybe someone can put some scripture out to lion. see ya
    Angela:

    I am not questioning Gods Sovereignty at all. And I know EVERYTHING He does is good, but He is Always Just and perfectly Holy. I do not see how restraining His Spirit = being passive. Perhaos some definaitions are needed.

    When I see passive, I think of an impotent sterile person with no control. That is not what I mean when I speak of ACTIVELY restraining or Witholding His spirit. IT all comes from God and nothing from man. His actions, decrees flow from Him alone. This assertion that He actively infuses evil and sin into people seems close to Ians proposal of our sins infused to Christ.

    I will definately give this more thought and I ask for you patience...

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Joe God created a Horse! Doe's that make God a Horse?. No the thing's, all thing's Are created by Him for His purpose, see Colossians ch;1. The thing's God creates does not in any way Alter God in character or in anyway He remains Holy. Ivor Thomas...
    For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain , Phillippians 1 v21.

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    God does not create people and just "let them be". He guides all of their actions. Creation is MUCH MORE than a one time event. Creation is currently taking place right now as you read this message. God is continually creating - He is maintaining His creation by providence, and there is never a moment in time when He takes His hands off of any of His creations. In Him we live, breathe, and move. He is omnipresent and continually directing all the thoughts and motives of His creatures.

    There are many scriptures which teach that God causes men to sin. Look at these:

    Lam 3:37-38, (KJV), Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? (38) Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?

    Job 2:10, (KJV), But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.


    2 Sam 24:1, (KJV), And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

    1 Chr 21:1, (KJV), And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

    Ps 105:25, (KJV), He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal subtilly with his servants.

    Prov 16:1, (KJV), The preparations of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the LORD.

    Prov 20:24, (KJV), Man's goings are of the LORD; how can a man then understand his own way?

    Jer 10:23, (KJV), O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.

    Isa 10:5, (KJV), O Assyrian, the rod of mine anger, and the staff in their hand is mine indignation.

    Ps 17:13-14, (KJV), Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword: (14) From men which are thy hand, O LORD, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou fillest with thy hid treasure: they are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

    Acts 17:28, (KJV), For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

    Prov 21:1, (KJV), The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will.

    2 Sam 16:5-12, (KJV), And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. (6) And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. (7) And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: (8) The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man. (9) Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head. (10) And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so? (11) And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him. (12) It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.

    2 Chr 18:19-22, (KJV), And the LORD said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner. (20) Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will entice him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? (21) And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. (22) Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.


    2 Thess 2:9-12, (KJV), Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, (10) And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (11) And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: (12) That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

    Acts 2:22-23, (KJV), Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: (23) Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

    Acts 4:25-28, (KJV), Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? (26) The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. (27) For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, (28) For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.

    Isa 63:17, (KJV), O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

    Isa 26:12-13, (KJV), LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us. (13) O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.


    Ps 90:1-3, (KJV), Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations. (2) Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. (3) Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men.

    All the events of men - all the doings of man - every single breath - every single thought - every single action are ALL PREDETERMINED BY GOD FOR HIS PLEASURE. These things do not occur because God ultimately "allows" them to happen, or because he ultimately "permits" them to happen, or because He ultimately "removes his Hand" - but because He ultimately determined these things to occur because it HIS PLEASURE. All the sin, and evil in this world are because He was pleased to make it such. He was pleased to submit this present creation to suffering to bring about a much better heavens and new earth. I myself think it is a glorious plan!

    Now do I believe God is the approver of sin? Of course not. But that does not mean He is not the ultimate cause of all things. He is not the guilty party. He is the Creator - the Potter - and He can do whatever He desires and who are we to dare suggest that this would make Him the author of sin? Phhht, we are just puny men who are bound by our mere faculties with no authority whatsoever.

    Brandan
    This is my signature.

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Joe, you have some parts right and some parts you are fuzzy on. I am confident that you will get this worked out though. It just takes a little bit to get all these propositions lined up to where you can see which ones don't fit and which ones do. We have a lot of scripture to sort through so it takes time. God willing this will all be put into perspective. There is more I need to learn as well so I don't claim to have it all together.

    Mike


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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    A lot of fine observations from all of you. Brandan, you sure put those scriptures together quickly!

    LJ: I guess I am confused then Bob. How could God who is holy dispense sin from His nature? If there is no sin in Him to dispense.

    This is exactly what I confessed that God does not do: dispense sin from His nature. The creation is distinct from the creator. The fact that God creates a frog does not in any way indicate that 'frogness' is dispensed from God's nature. It simply indicates that God purposed to add such a creature (which does not reflect his own nature) to his universe.

    I guess because this being new to me I am not comfortable with this explination. Earlier I stated that God Reprobates from nothing outside of Himself. Sin is outside of God, so how can it be both outside, yet from Him?

    Only elect souls bear the image and character of God; i.e., the stamp of his own nature. The rest of creation--whether animate, inanimate, or evil is designed by God but entirely separate from him. Even elect angels and men are entirely separate from God's non-communicable attributes of Deity.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Gill
    God does not create people and just "let them be". He guides all of their actions. Creation is MUCH MORE than a one time event. Creation is currently taking place right now as you read this message. God is continually creating - He is maintaining His creation by providence, and there is never a moment in time when He takes His hands off of any of His creations. In Him we live, breathe, and move. He is omnipresent and continually directing all the thoughts and motives of His creatures.

    I agree with this Brandan. I will never adhere to any thought of an open God. Please do not make my limited understanding result in that. I guess my concern is this. If we look at the historical witness we see instances of a subtle shift to go higher and higher. Augie did not go far enough, So Gottshalck comes a longer and steps up the ladder a few rings, still this is not enough, lambert, Calvin, Zanchious come along and go a little further, Gill, Philpot, Gadsby huntington go even further, but again this is not enough, Now some of you are espounsing a "higher, farther" step of not only God creating evil, but infusing this evil and infusing sin into man. THe line between Predestination / Fatalism is becoming blurred in my minute understanding. I must ask what is the difference between what this teaching espouses and a hard deterministic fatalistic understanding?

    I know the few examples you posted relate to this and I am nto denying them, but is it an absolute unilateral operation, or is it for specific purposes?

    Perhaps 200 years from now people will say, those Higbyites, Mikeites, Ivorites, Kraftites did not go far enough.

    I also ask if some of my points could be addressed because the only way I will understand this is if I pray upon answers related to my questions.

    ps: My 2 comments about reprobation were applauded, but since I have further questions, please to not consider me an "ite" of some sort!!!!!!!

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    A lot of fine observations from all of you. Brandan, you sure put those scriptures together quickly!

    LJ: I guess I am confused then Bob. How could God who is holy dispense sin from His nature? If there is no sin in Him to dispense.

    This is exactly what I confessed that God does not do: dispense sin from His nature. The creation is distinct from the creator. The fact that God creates a frog does not in any way indicate that 'frogness' is dispensed from God's nature. It simply indicates that God purposed to add such a creature (which does not reflect his own nature) to his universe.

    I guess because this being new to me I am not comfortable with this explination. Earlier I stated that God Reprobates from nothing outside of Himself. Sin is outside of God, so how can it be both outside, yet from Him?

    Only elect souls bear the image and character of God; i.e., the stamp of his own nature. The rest of creation--whether animate, inanimate, or evil is designed by God but entirely separate from him. Even elect angels and men are entirely separate from God's non-communicable attributes of Deity.

    Thanx Bob.

    I thought all were created with the 'image of God" whatever the 100 diffeent thoughts of that are. I agree the creation is distinct from the creator. But does not the creation flow from the nature of the creator? How can God seperate Himself from anything He creates?


    And Does the opposite side of the coin ie: election mean that God infuses good and Holiness into us? I do not believe that is the case. Does He act differently in His decree for the elect and reprobate?

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Fatalism does not involve God. It just says all things are destined to happen by some impersonal force. Absolute Predestination says that God has predestined EVERYTHING. Anything you can think of God predestined to happen by (now this is important) the cousel of His will to the praise of His glorious grace.

    Actually those who say that God looked into the future to see who would believe in Him and then called them His elect--whether they know it or not are only left with a fatalistic force that determined their choices that God was able peer in on if God wasn't the one to determine them. For a choice to be known it must be determined.


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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Holliday
    Fatalism does not involve God. It just says all things are destined to happen by some impersonal force. Absolute Predestination says that God has predestined EVERYTHING. Anything you can think of God predestined to happen by (now this is important) the cousel of His will to the praise of His glorious grace.

    Actually those who say that God looked into the future to see who would believe in Him and then called them His elect--whether they know it or not are only left with a fatalistic force that determined their choices that God was able peer in on if God wasn't the one to determine them. For a choice to be known it must be determined.

    I agree with this Mike. THere is no predestination based on forseen events done by man.

    I guess those who pepetrate the evil acts will never question God anyway because of their blindness.. That is my fear. WHat is to stop me from "blaming God" for my sinful actions because I am aware of this teaching now? As I read the Word, not one istance that brandan quoted shows these men saying, "God made me do it, dont blame me" There is something there that I am unable to grasp at this time.


    And I am not the one who Paul is speaking to in Romans 9. "Who are you to replyest against God" Because I can not find one instance of that happening in the writ.

    I will also ask again, is there any historical teachings of this found anywhere? And if not, how much weight should it carry in Christiandom if 4 people adhere to it?

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    If this understanding is taken to it's logical conclusion, we are left with no such thing as man's accountability though. At least I see no way for this truth to be present.

    I have possibly a more immature view currently. God created man for His own glory. Man is not God, and therefore is not righteous. The fact that man is not God is sufficient to explain man's wickedness. It does not need to be said that God infuses the wickedness into man. This understand keeps man as the bad guy. God created the bad guy, but He doesn't make the bad guy bad. He doesn't have to, since the bad guy is bad by nature (that of a non-God nature).

    I hope this makes sense to someone other than myself.

    I believe that saying God actively causes man's sin takes the horridness away from sin. It uses God's sovereign purpose to mask the disgusting wretchedness of man, who is such by his own filthiness (his own lack of righteousness).

    Man being inherently evil makes a situation in which Jesus Christ's alien righteousness is intrinsicly required, rather than having to simulate an environment in which Christ's righteousess has a purpose. Man becomes truly depraved on his own, rather than by God's hand.

    Proverbs 16:9 illustrates how this does not create a problem with God's absolute sovereignty in all things, including the actions of the reprobate: "The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps".

    -Kyle

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Let me attempt this approach in explaining my understanding.

    THis appraoch makes God have a hand in mans sins. Which would be against His nature. Since God cannot do an unholy action, this does not represent God IMHO. The Lord is pleased to determine it, but He cannot have a hand in it can he?

    I will also try this approach. God is light, He is not darkness. Man by nature is all darkness, it is absurd to say that the Light causes the darkness. The light revreals the darkeness but cannot infuse or cause it can it?

    When I say, ďGod permits sin,Ē I must clarify this. God does not allow the sinner to decide, free from His command. If He did, God would be merely an observer of a contest whose outcome is never certain. To sin or not to sin would ultimately lie in manís power of decision, and God could only react accordingly.

    Godís witholding is always a positive action, not helpless or frustrated inaction. However, positive providence does not make God the author of sin. Every act of sin is committed by a man whose life God sustains (Acts 17:28). Ananias and Sapphira were being sustained by God while they lied to Him (Acts 5:4). God restrained Abimelech from sinning against Sarah (Gen. 20:6), but He did not restrain David from sinning against Bathsheba and Uriah (II Sam. 11). Adam and many others were unrestrained, but God did restrain Laban from harming Jacob (Gen. 31:7) and prevented Balaam from cursing Israel (Num. 23).

    God suffers (allows) sin to be committed. However, suffering is not mere permission of sin. God not only allows men to walk in their own ways, He gives them up to uncleanness and vile affection and gives them over to a reprobate mind. He sends them strong delusions that they might believe a lie (II Thess. 2:11). God punishes sin with sin.

    I found this article that expresses my premature understanding.
    God is not responsible for manís sin (Is. 45:7). He did not originate moral evil. Darkness did not proceed from God who is light, nor the evil of sin from God who is holy. Two contrasts appear in Isaiah 45:7óďI form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.Ē Light is contrasted with darkness, and peace is contrasted with evil. Darkness is the privation of light, and the evil of punishment is the privation of peace.

    God forms light and creates darkness. He forms the light of nature and rational understanding. Every man who comes into the world possesses this light and understanding (John 1:9). Darkness is also Godís creature. Natural darkness results from the absence of the sun. Deprivation of divine light causes spiritual darkness.

    The Lord makes peace and creates evil (Is. 45:7). He now makes peace among His saints. When Jesus Christ comes as King of kings and Lord of lords, He will make universal peace. The Lord announced through Isaiah that He would remove the peace the Israelites were enjoying and send them the evil of punishment for their sins.

    The evil that God creates is the evil of punishment for sin, not the evil of sin itself. Sin is not found among Godís creatures in Genesis 1. Sin did not begin with Godís original creation. The Lord does not infuse any evil into men. Rather, He subjects depraved men to various providential dealings; He allows sin and overrules it for the good of His people.

    Sin began among the angelic host with Lucifer; and with mankind, it began in Adam. God purposed the fall of both. If He had not, neither could have fallen. The Lord also purposed to prepare redemption for His elect through the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ. Although evil hands were associated with the preparation of that redemptive work, those wicked hands were only instruments that God used to fulfill His purpose. God made Christís soul an offering for sin: ďYet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his handĒ (Is. 53:10).

    We must distinguish between the words purpose and author. God purposed sin; otherwise, it could not exist. According to Godís determinate counsel and foreknowledge, the sins of wicked men nailed the Lord Jesus Christ to the cross (Acts 2:23). God purposed to order events so that evil should come to pass to fulfill His eternal purpose. Nevertheless, He hates evil. To say that God is the author of sinóthat is, the agent, actor, or doer of a wicked thingówould be blasphemy. Sin had no actual existence before it was committed by creatures whom God pronounced good after His act of creating them. Therefore, sinís beginning cannot be attributed to God.

    Godís foreknowledge of sin does not make Him the author of sin; anticipated sin and actual sin are entirely different. Just as divine election or foreordination does not cause oneís actual redemption, so foreknowledge of sinís occurrence does not cause that sin.

    Sin became a reality only as Godís creatures perverted His will. It has no original substance in itself. Sin has no thesis. It has only antithesis. Since sin came by Godís creatures, it is a secondary and not a primary consideration.

    People seek to excuse their own sin by asking, ďWhy did God make Adam capable of falling?Ē They refuse to admit a personal sinful condition. For that reason, considering the origin of sin is not as innocent as it may appear.

    God created man capable of falling because He could make him in no other condition. God cannot create God. Whatever He creates must be inferior to Himself. Man was created upright (Eccl. 7:29), but he was created with two principles: inferior and superior. The inferior principle was related to manís flesh, and the superior principle was related to his fellowship with God. When Adam fell, he lost the superior principle and retained the inferior (which had become corrupted). Adam could no longer fellowship with God; so he fled to the wilderness, seeking to hide himself from God. The inferior principle became the reigning principle in the lives of Adam and his descendants. When the superior principle was forfeited through sin, man was alienated from the life of God. Every person since Adam comes into the world dead in trespasses and sins.


    But I will continue to earnestly study bobs, brandans and mikes thoughts. But in my premature reading of it, It appears to leave satan and his temptings out of the puicture and this war that Paul says we all face between the flesh and Spirit divides God and has Him fighting against Himself.



    Joe

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    This is a great thread. I would like to thank all invloved thus far. I only pray for clarity on the issue at hand and rely on the Spirit and Word of God.

    Thank you all for your charity..
    \
    Joe

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    I guess those who pepetrate the evil acts will never question God anyway because of their blindness.. That is my fear. WHat is to stop me from "blaming God" for my sinful actions because I am aware of this teaching now?

    The fact that you know you are still accountable. The rebel will blame God, and continue in there rebelion. The child of God is humbled and praises God for His mercy and grace.

    how much weight should it carry in Christiandom if 4 people adhere to it?

    This is something you will have to discide for yourself.


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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    To say that Isa. 45:7 is contrasting SPIRITUAL light vs. mere PHYSICAL darkness--this does not need comment; it violates all Hebrew parallelism.

    Joe, you have not answered the earlier question--if God does not create and sustain evil, who does? The solution you have provided is an appeal to paradox.

    I will also ask again, is there any historical teachings of this found anywhere?

    The Teacher of Righteousness referred to in the Dead Sea Scrolls, who was the archenemy of the Pharisees. The Pharisees followed the free-will philosophy of Plato and killed all who were predestinarians (until the invasion of the Romans stopped them from doing so any more).

    And if not, how much weight should it carry in Christiandom if 4 people adhere to it?

    You are claiming that we are the only ones, well, . . . I won't get into others that I know who don't post on this forum.

    Augustine followed Plotinus, the neo-Platonist. His philosophy is very explicit on a belief in predestination but a denial that God created evil. This is the philosophy followed by all who follow Augustine on this question.
    I got four things to live by: don't say nothin' that will hurt anybody; don't give advice--no one will take it anyway; don't complain; don't explain. Walter Scott

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    Re: God's Sovereignty in Hardening Reprobate Hearts

    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse
    To say that Isa. 45:7 is contrasting SPIRITUAL light vs. mere PHYSICAL darkness--this does not need comment; it violates all Hebrew parallelism.
    Quote Originally Posted by BillTwisse

    Joe, you have not answered the earlier question--if God does not create and sustain evil, who does? The solution you have provided is an appeal to paradox.

    I will also ask again, is there any historical teachings of this found anywhere?

    The Teacher of Righteousness referred to in the Dead Sea Scrolls, who was the archenemy of the Pharisees. The Pharisees followed the free-will philosophy of Plato and killed all who were predestinarians (until the invasion of the Romans stopped them from doing so any more).

    And if not, how much weight should it carry in Christiandom if 4 people adhere to it?

    You are claiming that we are the only ones, well, . . . I won't get into others that I know who don't post on this forum.

    Augustine followed Plotinus, the neo-Platonist. His philosophy is very explicit on a belief in predestination but a denial that God created evil. This is the philosophy followed by all who follow Augustine on this question.






    Bob, THis topic has me extremely attentive. SO perhaps we can appraoch it in smaller bites, without general sweepings of some fictional mile wide broom. I ask too many questions and make too many comments at one time, and the ones I need answers on or responses to get glossed over and I am answered with a question.

    1) As I mentioned earlier, The Cause of reprobation does not lie in anything outside of God, not even in sin, but in Godís absolute sovereignty. If sin were the cause of reprobation, then God would be dependent upon manís actions in His decrees. Moreover, then all men would be reprobated, because all have sinned.

    THis has been agreed with by some, of which I am not patting myself on the back, because I am not looking for handshakes from men.


    2) Bob, you state that evil is designed by God, but seperate from Him. I do not understand this. He is the source of all, so how can He create anything from outside of Himself? This on the surface almost points to exactly what He was speaking to Cyrus about in the Isaiah Passage. God was speaking to refute the Magian religion of the persians. This was a form of Gnosticism which taught there were two supreme beings, an evil one, represented by darkness and a good one represented by light.
    Isaiah tells Cyrus that these two opposite exhibitions are actually the operation of the Almighty God. That The verse was written to address something the Persians understood very well, war. The word 'evil' used originally meant the evil and calamities associated with war.


    3) GOd did create evil. the word "evil" that is in question here, comes from the Hebrew word "ra" (Strong's #7451). The following are some English words used to translate it: adversity, affliction, bad, calamity, displease, distress, evil, misery. Still other words used to translate it are grief, harm, hurt, noisome, sore, sorrow, trouble, vex, wickedness, wretchedness, and wrong. The word "ra" comes from a primary root "raa," which properly means "to spoil" (literally by breaking to pieces). It figuratively means "TO make (or be) good for nothing, i.e. bad (Strong's #7489). A Hebrew dictionary says this word means, "to smash, crush, or break in pieces" (TWOT). Is this correct thus far? IT is NEVER defined as SIN.

    I also believe to translate evil as sin is incorrect, and this is where I believe you are saying they are the same. If not I apologise for my conclusion. Understanding the difference that exists between "sin" and "evil" is very important. Scriptures never imply, state, nor hint that God created sin. And we become presumptious to conclude this. Bob, If you are saying that God created evil in regards to the above definitions, I have no issue, if you are equating it with sin, that is my contention.

    John defined sin in his letter to the church. He said, Sin is lawlessness" (1Jo. 3:4). Since God is the lawgiver, He is not under any law, but is above His own Law. Therefore, when God does what would be sin in man, it is no longer sin. Look at the example found in the book of Deuteronomy, where God says He "kills" (De. 32:39). When man kills it is a grievous sin. However when the institution of law kills it is no longer sin, but it is lawful. That is, when God kills it is far from being sin. God is not a man and to judge Him by human standards is impossible.

    When man does evil he normally sins, yet God, who creates, plans, and causes evil remains righteous. Evil, by itself, has absolutely no moral bias or slant like we usually associate with it. If evil accomplishes the Lord's purpose it is no longer immoral. God Himself still calls it evil, but claims He is the real source of the power behind it (Isa. 10:5). No evil created by God can have the least taint of moral depravity. This is because He always directs it toward the reconciliation of His creation. Again, this leads me to question of what you think is the reason for evil from the hand of God? It appears to me, and again I apologize if this is not the case, that you are saying that God has some pleasure in this, when Scripture never hints at this. In fact it says the exact opposite. "For He afflicts, yet He has compassion according to the abundance of His kindness" (Lam. 3:32).

    It is very clear that Scripture nowhere shows God as directly doing anything evil but rather as bringing about evil deeds through the willing actions of moral creatures. Scripture never blames God for evil or shows God as taking pleasure in evil and Scripture never excuses human beings for the wrong they do. However we understand God's relationship to evil, we must never come to the point where we think that we are not responsible for the evil that we do, or that God takes pleasure in evil or is to be blamed for it. Such a conclusion is clearly contrary to Scripture.


    4) You ask where does evil come from, The answer is spoken by Christ in MArk 7. "There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him...For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders...pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within and defile the man" The idea that there is something sinful outside of us which enters us and causes us to sin is incompatible with the plain teaching of Jesus here. From within, out of the heart of man, come all these evil things. So since all are born with the propensity to sin, a rotten heart from the beginning, why would God have to "do something extra" to infuse something that already exists?


    5) You mention the teacher of Righteousness and the DSS. I honestly have no comment other than I did not know these were inspired. And your answer above almost sounds like the Jewish Mafia conspired to kill all who adhered to this veiw. They were going to "rat" on the pharisees, and needed to be silinced!!!! Perhaps a new conspiracy theory movie may be concocted..

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