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THE LOVE OF TRUTH DOES NOT LIE:
DOUBLE PREDESTINATION is a simple fact, clearly affirmed in the Bible, and necessarily implied in it. It arouses such passions (and MOST understandably) on BOTH sides (those who want to 'protect' God's sovereignty, and those who want to 'protect' man's liberty or God's love), that it may be best first to consider some of the realities in the field, so that a more analytical bent may be roused and more hope be found that prejudice, based on error itself, does not preclude clear acceptance of what is written.
To achieve this, let us address
a number of preliminary issues, by means of short quotations from elsewhere
on site. Then we may be better placed to look further into things, and
thus find the select marvel of the realities of these things; for double
predestination is merely one ASPECT of a total sphere of divine operations,
which are so wonderful that ONLY HERE is there found the solution to the
human secular problem of freedom and determinism, and ONLY HERE is found
the realisation that both the love and the sovereignty of God are fully
realised, neither of them in the least limited or compromised. To do this,
you really need to find the solution from the word of God, but as a reasonable
preliminary where such raucous caucus so often meets, let us consider some
STEP ONE - INITIAL SURVEYS IN SHORT ORDER
1. THE NEED OF HISTORY: versus no PRE-SELECTION OF SOULS without bothering to have history at all! (THAT possibility was raised by an experienced nurse.)
Amongst the things to be said about this latter plan is simply that without the 'rest', where is the test ? What is of the light comes into it, we learn from the word of God; and the OPPORTUNITY by being alive, to be Christ's is not lost in thought, but found in reality. Since God is not willing that any should perish, we know that it is impossible for anyone of His to be lost, that there is NO BETTER OUTCOME available, only the restraint of love (for God is love) leaving the fatal 'loophole' for a lost eternity. It is moreover, all foreknown (see Predestination and Freewill, esp. Sections 1,3), and there is not even a possibility of any error. History gains much in realms and open attestation of truth, in a system open to the light, forceful in darkness; and loses none, for God finds and keeps His own. (Cf. A Spiritual Potpourri,The Flashing Falls of Freedom.)
Should the wonder of coming to know God, receiving the gift of eternal life, the consummation of creation, and more, the treasure of finding the inexhaustible store of divine love be lost to some because some do not want it ? What sort of love is that ? No one is ever going to be in hell without preferring darkness, and with such a preference, without finding the light intolerable, where it is!
Where then is that ? In Christ; and where is He and where is He to continue when all is done ? In heaven, that haven of light, where He IS the light (Revelation 21:23 cf. John 12:35-36, 8:12).
Hell ? Light is not there (cf. Psalm 49:19, John 3:20-21, Matthew 8:20). As to its denizens: What they are belongs to where they are. They are evacuated like tooth decay from the teeth which remain. Unlike the case of tooth decay, this is their preference. Results may not please, but realities are thus.
Anyone can pretend, or find consequences foul; but when it comes to the heart, that is the way it is.
Indeed, and further, if the realities of faith were not tested, then the declaration in the laboratory of history could not be made. This way, there is an open book; the saints are tried and purified, and yes, made white. The ungodly fight for their dis-faith and die in and for it: without reason, without cause but not without liberty so to do. The qualities are evil, so unspeakably malign in such intensity in its highest crucibles and potions, as exposed in such lowlights as Communism, Nazism, Statism, opportunism, sadism, sensualism and avarice, proceeding darkly to exhibit their wares.
Every ploy and practice of man shows itself, with its true teeth protruding from its verbal lips; and the ineffectuality of any substitute for God is shown in the practice of the idiocies - perhaps sometimes blithe, of rejecting God (in the spiritual sense, for as the word of God says, it is the FOOL who has said in his heart that there is no God, and reason sings its amens from generation to generation); while the little gods they make like trinkets for the neck, they sink into the mist of time, without power, without a word to be tested or if with words, without test, if with test - most exceptionally - then without anything remotely like confirmation. The eternities of God will NOT be filled with the grimace of those calling, "Authoritarian!" and "Prejudice!"; for God has made all things open, even the face of Christ to having the hair pulled from it, and His back for the floggers whose interest was envy, and survival.
No, heaven is not for notions but people, not for nostrums but for the redeemed, people to whom the Christ is given, and who receive Him. He was crucified and delivered up for us, and we are required to be crucified with Him; and if the first is true (as in Romans 8:32) for anyone, the other assuredly will be, for "those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its lusts and affections" (Galatians 5:24).
(Drawn from STEPPING OUT FOR
CHRIST, Ch. 3, p. 27: Lament for the Robot.)
2. THE REALITY THAT GOD DRAWS HIS OWN IRRESISTIBLY TO SALVATION
So John shows this word of Christ: "ALL whom the Father gives me will COME to me" -John 6:37, while he who SEES the Son and believes HAS eternal life (6:40), and as to that, "No man knows the Son except the Father, and no man knows the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son will reveal him" - and the "will" is 'wills'. See The Kingdom of Heaven 4, and SMR Appendix B.
These things are GIVEN, by determination
from above. That does not evacuate Christ from predestination (I Timothy
2:1-6), or predestination from love (I John 4:77-8); but it does mean that
sin is not a reagent in salvation
(I Cor. 2:14).
(FROM STEPPING OUT FOR CHRIST,
p. 69 Ch. 5.)
3. THE ACTUALITY OF THE LOVE
OF GOD TOWARDS ALL IN ITS VAST YEARNING AND PURE HOLINESS
The penal guilt for sin, the sin of others ? All of it however He took from every place that would be found in the hearts of those who should ever come to Him, from any part in the world, place in history, race or space (cf. Colossians 1:19-23 in its profound parameters). For in His predestining power, His own have already been chosen in Him BEFORE HISTORY BEGAN, AND BEFORE OUR SERIAL TIME MADE ITS STACCATO START IN THE DAYS AND THE EVENINGS OF EARTHLY CHRONOLOGY (Ephesians 1:4, Hebrews 13:8, John 8:58, 14:1-14, Micah 5:1-3).
Suffering is therefore not the end of man or for all men; for the God who made man has endured suffering as man, that man might be delivered from merely penal suffering, judicial blighting, however righteous in itself; that through grace by faith many should come, and become, one by one, children of God, accepted in the beloved, engraced in His powers and performance, adopted through Him, and given by Him visa to The Kingdom of Heaven (Ephesians 1:5-14).
On predestination, and the vast scale of the operations of God in the field of salvation and suffering, before our time and in it, see Predestination and Freewill, especially Section III, and in that, the end. Never however forget, that PRECISELY what Christ was on earth, so in His character and heart He has always been, for GOD does NOT change; and in predestining, God therefore had just that love in heart which was later shown in history; so that none ever manages to find hell, however worthy of it, except DESPITE the love of God (see The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.4).
FROM pp. 68-9 , *2, News 71 in
BENEVOLENT BRIGHTNESS OR BROTHY BANE
4. ON GRACIOUS REALITIES OF GOD, WHO IS PERSONAL AND NO MERE SUBJECT FOR SEIZURE
Truth, life ? Truth in life, life in truth ? It is NOT an option. It is a gift. It is an invitation. It is a gracious deliverance. For as to what avoids Him, the Lord, Creator and Redeemer, darkness is its domain; light it cannot bear. Would you imagine, then, that if someone asked you to a party, in December, you could answer with confidence in February - next! It is important to be clear. God is not mocked, and while He IS near is the time to seek Him! It is NOT all the time.
(FROM p. 196, BENEVOLENT BRIGHTNESS
OR BROTHY BANE).
5. THE GLORY IN THE WHOLE ENACTMENT, PERFORMANCE AND RESULT IN PREDESTINATION IS TO GOD ONLY
The will of man, as we have often shown (see Indexes on predestination, foreknowledge, and in particular, The Kingdom of Heaven, Ch.4) is not irrelevant, as he is made in God's image, but it is most decidedly NOT able to do the choosing, which is God's prerogative, who has foreknown His own (Romans 8:28ff.) and this (Romans 9:11), not on the basis of a forwarded looking assessment of performance or faith, but through His own all-loving but chaste ways in a predestination which after all, is that of the One who WOULD HAVE all men to be saved, as far as loving attitude goes (I Timothy 2).
Those issues are deep but essentially very clear; and the principles as shown in my Predestination and Freewill are straightforward. The technique of the final arbiter is His own, though there has been shown in the work cited, ONE way how it can quite readily be conceived, simply for the sake of Christian Apologetics. This is done however, in careful relation to the Biblical revelation on the point, which breathes harmony in unique distinction from all the thoughts of mankind in philosophy over the ages, on the topic.
No, it is a God of glory and greatness who alone does wonderful things with whom we have to do, the God who acts for the one who waits for Him (Isaiah 64:4, Psalm 57:2, 34:6-7, 72:18); and a man, a child, a woman must cast himself or herself upon the Lord and appeal for mercy that life may be KNOWN and life abundant may be FOUND where it IS! There is only one way divulged in all history, and as shown (SMR Chs.6,10), it has simply zero rational competitors: that is - those to be based on actual test and performance. Because the only God who performs is neglected, the only available life is spoiled. It is as simple as that.
(From p. 255 of News 51 in SCOOP
OF THE UNIVERSE.)
STEP 2: CONSIDERING FURTHER
In fact, there is nothing else that covers ALL the facts about man in this arena of freedom, responsibility, liberty, limits, licence, life, pollution, capacities, but this which is found in the Bible. NOTHING else DOES OR EVEN COULD perform what is needed to explain and expound it all from ONE BASIS.
Let us review these things, then, a little, as we move towards our stated object, double predestination, to see that it is so far from being obnoxious, that its omission is devastating and absurd; and indeed, wholly unbiblical!
If you have liberty, then it is YOURS, and then YOUR comparative advantages advance you, so that your cultural superiority is for evermore made the crown of your glory, the advantaged having advanced not only to power, position or prestige on this earth it may be, but to heaven itself on the basis of nothing more than an idiom of birth. This makes freedom a delusion, and hence as reasoned in detail in Predestination and Freewill, and elsewhere, is false.
If on the other hand, God in fact did deploy a sovereignty that merely selected for His own advantage, or wish, or caprice, and there is nothing at all to do with the fact that human beings have an image of God status with wills, then man is to be selected as he is, not as he is not. What then ? it becomes some X-factor in man, some X-feature, or focus, which relates NOT to what is NOT there, but to what IS there; for man is said to be FOREKNOWN, and hence it would be the flattest of contradictions, to make the flat earth society look positively mountainous by comparison, to assert that it is NOT something known. Of man, in such a scenario, there is something known, and being known, he is selected.
If it be maintained that it is something, which - while assuredly THERE in the man chosen, or elected, or selected, or to be 'one of the elect' - is NOT at all meritorious, then the doctrine is sound in so saying, but the consistency is lost in having to say it. For if there be something desired and chosen, which is NOTHING to do with human will, which, that is, omits the fact that this basic feature of being in the image of God is THERE, then it relates to something ELSE, and that ? It is the evaluable reality of what the thing is, which is so chosen.
If then you are SUPERIOR in acceptability to God, by virtue of what you ARE, then superior indeed you are, for who better knows what is good, Himself being the criterion, than God! But if you yet say, But no! there is NO merit, it must be something which He does NOT appreciate, or desire, then this is mere contradiction in terms. Further what possible MERIT is found in the beings described in Ephesians 2 and 4! Such would be a contradiction of these things AS WELL! We are not dealing with social niceties here, but with TRUTH, what God says, and investigating what it means. We are not like some judges in the US, in one phase of their history, it seems, deciding what is meant by the law (in their case), and then adapting it to what it is deemed would be the will of culturally sensitive people NOW, with the same intention!
That becomes judicial amendment to law in the interests of interpreted culture. This is wholly removed from the Biblical position (not surprisingly, since God is God and man is His highly mobile... creation, attending to many things illicit, confused and confusing, awry from his Maker).
What is WRITTEN is the criterion here. It is the Bible which is being considered, not considerations about what it would mean if it were adapted to this or that.
So, looking at both the cases above, the anti-predestinarians (of this KIND) maintain their cause; and the autonomous man pugilists, those averse to any such concept, maintain theirs, and there is no resolution. Nor should there be.
BOTH are astray from the word of
God and are merely echoing, or paralleling in religion, the antinomy justly
found in secular thought (and it is justly found because
what omits the atmosphere when studying meteorology could not be sound,
unless there were none! and GOD is the subject looming above all others,
so how would His omission lead to anything but confusion, which is in fact,
over millenia, there the case!).
STEP 3: THE
ANTINOMY IN SECULAR THOUGHT
HOW DETERMINATE IS DETERMINISM ?
In secular thought, determinism cannot live any more than in religious thought. First, in the latter case, starting with God: were HE determined, we should simply have to find the notation expert adequate to invent such a program, who in the ultimate, is the actual God, not some robotic device. Determinism in monism, on the other hand, normally found in materialism, is - if it were possible, even more ridiculous.
If it all were determined (as by determinism for all things that are), then it could not again BE determined by assessment of validity or right and wrong, for from what source would things other than what occurs find mandate, relevance or even existence! What it is, it is; and that is it. That which has happened cannot on such a basis, be assessed on right or wrong, for
Or how COULD what could not be otherwise, be invalid ? in the model concerned, it happens, exists and knows no contrary. It is immune from validity considerations in principle, but in practice it supplies thought for its validity, in seeking to establish itself; and hence it is self-contradictory, logically being forced to employ for its sustenance, what it abuses.
If however this sort of systematic event of a deterministic universe is NOT the summit and the substance of all that is, so that things are, indeed, assessable, categorisable as correct and incorrect, right and wrong and so on, subject to logical assessment as wrong, whether or not they happen to happen: then there must be at least a dualism, not a monism, for monism's assessment and grading! It cannot be matched to standards which cannot be there; for if what is, is all, then what is not, is not. From what is not there, you put right what is there, so that what is there is left as right. Obviously, this is thin air, vaporous, and nugatory, deploying non-existence in order to shape what exists, a threadbare theory.
In other words, illicitly, you come to a more realistic conception, by force of what is being done, in the midst of what is happening!
You then allow
b) an assessive capacity, capable
of error and detecting it, drawing principles or positions, from another
source, which hence becomes a second rank in reality: second in kind, not
in importance. This however is not determined; and the case is not
determinism, but dualism or other.
Moreover, there must be error in the world of this system (called determinism). Thus if the system is right, the contrary to it, is and must be wrong. If, on the other hand, at the outset, the system is wrong, that is error in itself.
Put differently: if the system be true, it MUST be false, for it implies error by its very assertion of a contra-distinct view from the range available. If then error be objectively present, the theory is false, for objective error is a separate reality from a one tier system where what is, is all there is. If on the other hand, it should be asserted in defence of the system (of determinism) that the error is not objective, but a merely some kind of delusive subjectivity through which one does not attain to what is real, then the theory works on things that do not hold objectively, without being able to differentiate, and so fails as truth, masking and not representing reality. It aborts logic in order to operate, while depending on logic in order to be accepted: if however the abortion is correct, then the theory CANNOT be logically established, for it denies the universe of discourse essential to its establishment.
Wherever error is, and it is inevitable as shown: what happens is not the end of the matter, but a mere entry to what might be, and could become actual, if critical assessment so determines, determining what is determined by means subject to error, to thought, to invention in a multi-system reality, not monism.
If then the theory is taken to be objectively true, it results in its being objectively false. If however it be acknowledged to be objectively false at the outset, the same result arrives! The falsity is universal in type, inevitable. If moreover, it is a theory which operates on delusion, so be it. It is not delusion which we are seeking, but truth.
Error is an exhaust gas of the theory, if it be right; yet wrongness is proscribed by the theory, nor can it accommodate it. If then it be true, it must be false. If it be false, it is abandoned. That is all.
Further, without absolute truth in existence*2, you cannot find it, with which to make any statement concerning the nature of things; and indeed, mere existence of it does not suffice, as your own limits and relativistic involvement in the system, on this model of thought, make your responses mere reactions, resultants of the interchange of things, banal confinements for any communication, on the nature of what is the totality of which these events would then all be mere particulate activities.
A RESPONDER capable of discriminating truth, even when it exists and is presented, not an activist capable of reacting to happenings, is then needed. Further, the responder needs to be an adequate one, equipped with heavy capacities to discriminate standards of assessment as a base for thought, outside the happenings themselves. Again, he/she ALSO needs to be TOLD, since the tele-psychiatrising of God by finite means is a contradiction in terms. Even with one another, people with their spirits, are the despair of psychiatry, which advisedly has in practice more and more abandoned its illusory imaginations, and is moving to less expensive ... drugs. (See SMR Ch. 4, Part 1.)
In short, you need man as well as God, and man who is possessed of capacities which overview happenings, not in a series of actions, but in a standpoint of understanding beyond any understanding. You need, in short, man's spirit. Since you have it, when God sees fit to communicate to it, on His own basis, that is fine. On the theory of determinism, however, you do not have it, and so cannot illicitly, on such a model, use what you do not have!
It is thus pleasurable to see, when
examining such contrivances as determinism, that they may help focus on
the whole necessities for truth, which they are found wholly to abandon.
As we see in Ch. 3 of SMR and indeed
Ch.1, these are found in one place only, the self-revealing God of
creation, whose communication is there seen as required on the one hand
by logic, and admired on the other by unique verification, to which none
can begin to compare.
Equally, determinism makes a mockery
of guilt, a folly of accusations of the same, as when those holding this
viewpoint attack others as ... wrong by standards that are not identical
with mere eventuation, or are even ... moral; and is constantly at war
with all the actual activities and stirred responses of man to man. These
things we have seen in detail in such places as Predestination and Freewill,
and here merely note for conspectus.
HOW FREE IS AUTONOMY ?
If it be held, however, that this ludicrous, not to say extravagant extreme of determinism, is folly, that the case is the total opposite, that autonomous man has his most distinctive thought, and that he is not in the least susceptible to anyone or anything when he uses his god-like powers, THEN we run into a similar logical impasse.
Thus, if it is all a matter of what the equipment is that we so notably use, and the manner in which the wonderful will of godlike man is moving in its vast waters, then how can it ever get beyond the dimensions of what it IS, and be personal in its imagined total independence ? Independent in what ? In its glorious self, its psyche ? This given, it is free! Un-metered, it can measure … itself! It can ascribe meaning without having it ? It can know without knowing itself ? It can get past itself in order to determine itself ? To where ? Autonomy is in as much desperation as determinism for ground of thought, as empty, as epistemologically defunct!
What are the criteria, the parameters, the bases of the will relating to the preferences of the psyche, in all its fascinating givenness, to the dispositions of the heart, to the past, to the equipment for consciousness and so on, to the culture*3 ... it goes on.
Where in the causal nexus is there
liberty in that ? You see this because .. and you feel this because ...
and your causes go on in almost infinite regress and interaction. Thought
of in this way, it is but delusive, and liberty regresses like the waves
after a tsunami. Liberty in such a model is chains. If some
SELF be made to arise from the waters, then from WHAT did it come ? If
it does not exist, the case is worse for thinking in its absence, and hence
not having the personality with which to discourse at all (the folly of
Hume as in SMR Ch.3).
Thus the desire for secular liberty reaches with dragging wings, to meaninglessness that yet ascribes meaning (SMR pp. 292ff.), extending even to the conclusions of dismal dismissal of the realities of error, of guilt, of human relations, which determinism for its part, even more directly affronts in blind contradiction. Meanwhile, in the land of 'liberty' through autonomy, we find the chain-conditions or controls of inevitable containerization (the containers are like chains, but in figure, they also are themselves chained, for not only are they enveloping, but encapsulating like a prison, in a prison compound of ramifying rooms); while the desire for secular determinism entails the contradiction of itself in the attribution of mistake or even folly to those who think otherwise, by their errors, duly assessable, and indeed reaches to antinomy in unknowability of truth with which to so much as state the case, and to the removal of the validity of the person's thought who so thinks even the theory!
It is for this reason that law courts frequently seek
to absolve from any real blame, for both extremes lead to such confusion,
and society pays for its premises with ruin, now enraging, now astonishing
the wayfarers who watch such highly paid aberrations; or anon, lampoon
them in cartoons.
STEP 4: THE HARMONY WHICH IS SO ARRESTING IN TRUTH
In Christ however all this is as nothing. The WILL is relevant. Hence there is no intrinsic denial of the reality of thought. This meets the necessities of liberty. God does not evacuate these from His creation in His will. It was His will to create liberties. It was in His own image that He created. What was the nature of that creation, then, if it were not one with a will, even to the point of acquiring guilt through wilful, superficially based, disobedience! That was WILL par excellence, right in Genesis 3!
Hence man, divorced from his NATURAL relationship to the SUPERNATURAL, to God, is in a profusion of confusion which tends to dampen all clarity (hence philosophy's history) and to remove the structural soundness of all deep thought. This is symptomatic of his divorce from truth, which is found ONLY in God, from whom it comes, absolute and alone able to be such.
The spirit of unredeemed man, designed for communion and co-operation with God as Father, divorced and separated, is stunnned either into insignificance (denying itself in determinism, oblivious of logic), or into delusive aspirations with wings but no atmosphere, as in autonomy. Burrowing, buried and bewildered, now exultant, now distressed, it tries to turn into god or sod, making nothing of either... for it is more than the one and less than the other, and its actual status is not ... acceptable to renegades from reality. It is true realisation of reality hurts at first; but then, so does the beneficial drill of the dentist. Decay may be acceptable; but it has consequences.
The human will then ? This will, though present, therefore, is polluted. Further, it is without God, and in man, a naked emblem of an image, a function of a festering spirit. By Biblical statement (as in Romans 9:17, John 15), it is NOT sovereign in man. Hence man's use of it towards GOD, does not depend on his imperfections, moments of thought this way or that, inability to know God because of sin, and hence on his comparative ability derived from his equipment, environment, helpers and so on, at least to move in this direction.
How could there be liberty if all this is what you ARE, so that your exercise of it becomes a sort of historical episode! or whatever else you are, has no (operative) basis, so that you are blown like wind ?
Biblically, you DO NOT depend on that, so that you are free from that impasse. On the scriptural basis, freedom does not evaporate in comparative advance of your equipment, facilities, susceptibilities drawn from your upbringing, education, political climate and so on.
All these relate to what you MEET, and may influence what you ARE, but the two do not meet as lord and subject. You find and you are, and what you are is marred, and so often is what you find, but you have a deposit status from the creative hand of the living God. If immunised to reality in its wayward journeyings, the spirit of man is yet not immune to the operations of God. Dope is cover, not king.
Put differently: There is a structural residue amidst its functional decay. Your image of God personality may be derelict in sin, and it certainly is not competent to 'choose' God, in its exclusion by sin from His knowledge (I Corinthians 2:14 - "the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them" !)'' ...
If however such were the case, and you did have enablements here to find God in your own self, then again, your comparative conferments would lead to your comparative approach, which would lead to your superiority of disposition, of origin and consequence being enshrined for ever, as if such things produced YOU and nothing of liberty or even of meaning were the basis. This! It is not freedom but manoeuvring. It is a situation, however, categorically denied in the word of God, which thus categorically preserves and protects the reality of liberty; but NOT the reality of SOVEREIGNTY in your exercise of it, for being dead in sins (Ephesians 2), you are not alive to the issues as they really are, as shown in I Cor. above.
Thus the external impacts and the internal expressions for a given man, in his being and experience, duly related, and each with endless seeming parameters and backgrounds, are neither of them determinative. The internal ones are not because you come from God and are able to be restrained or made aware of Him, who is not determinable; and their very deficiencies are not determinative BECAUSE it is NOT all in YOUR hands, nor do they control the outcome. This is the perfect harmony of Biblical predestination with Biblical liberty, and logical liberty, such as requires treatment in any non-reductionist approach, which faces all the facts.
Liberty is not lost, and liberty is not determinative. It is in God's hands. There is the awesome actuality, which cuts across the secular delusions, the religious confusions, and settles the matter in reality and in truth, according to His making, nor our marring or sparring.
But in God's hands, does it not lose its reality, some may pursue: if He chooses without respect to man being in God's image at all ? As shown above, this too is so, for such an imagined and imaginary model is the expression of the preference of the preference expert, of the goodness who is good, and knows what is good. What is it that is chosen ... the best for His desire! What is the best, the equipment which has become so, which in all its backgrounds, historical, political, social, psychological and so on, has been the fortunate end-point of the events. Even the fabric of the soul is moved in these ways, by many influences. At what point is this or that influence determinative which, were it lacking, would have a different RESULT! There is no liberty in that.
But when and ONLY WHEN the CROSS is the selection criterion, or its equivalent in the form of God as He proceeds with principles stated, but in glory unspeakable, is there peace. Then it is the case that a NEW BEING is available (II Corinthians 5:17ff., Colossians 3:10, John 3). It is NOT the you who "chooses" which is made eternal. It is the YOU who has "NOT CHOSEN ME", and of whom He states, "BUT I HAVE CHOSEN YOU!" - John 15). With its new equipment, it has a wholly new set of realities with which it lives: CHRIST IN YOU (Col. 1:27) is assuredly not the same, or of the same order or sphere at all, as YOU! The infinite makes an infinite difference, and His sinlessness is in the sharpest possible contrast to your sinfulness, when unconverted (cf. Ephesians 2).
It is NOT your QUALITY which is selected, then, as if to confirm that you are indeed marvellous, by comparison with the riff-raff which frankly, did not come into this Olympian Selection - if one might make an implicit comparison with the selection trials for the Olympics. This is precisely contradicted moreover in Romans 3:27ff..
It is YOU! But what is this YOU, which is FOREKNOWN (Romans 8:29ff.), and hence must exist to be chosen and known. This however is so only in the mind of God, for in the creation of Genesis 1, we find the history of the creation of "the heavens and the earth" as in Genesis 2:4 - there is no creation of some other kind which one may at leisure add; and this one has kind to kind continuance, not a pre-contingent of created souls wafting about. Thus we abide in Proverbs 30:6!
But what of your destining ? It is not now your character which is the determinative, for then it is all the same thing, as before: where did it come from and what influences and so on! And this would be indeed a subject for boasting such as Paul states to be definitively excluded in Romans 3! It is not your character, but your WILL in this, that this represents your capacity to RESIST, to REJECT, despite the most marvellous influences, the best fostering this earth provides!
This is often precisely the case
with many, and in one sense, it was pre-eminently the case with Judas Iscariot,
for was not CHRIST in amazing power and tenderness, total discernment and
compassion, his pastor! One remembers in this context, Isaiah 26:10:
It is YOU who are chosen but NOT your will which chooses (as in Romans 9:15-16), and note this, "it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy." It is no good 'interpreting' "not of him who wills" of course, in the best line of modern theological cavil, as meaning "it is of him who wills"! There are some limits, even for modern theologians, and flat contradiction like a flat tyre, does not go.
Yet it IS the case that God "would
have healed Babylon, but she is not healed" (Jeremiah
51:9), and we know because HE says so! And it is He who would have healed
Israel, when the opposite was to occur (Hosea 7:1), and as shown in Spiritual
Refreshings for the Biblical Millenium Ch.
12, SMR Appendix B, there are multiplied
cases in the Bible, where the disposition for compassion of the Lord, and
the wholly absent complacency about His creation lead on to a tenderness
and a willingness to move into more and more opportunities (as indeed implied
in II Chronicles 36 and shown in Hosea 12:10), that are exhibitive of the
most extreme love, even for what is lost. Indeed, in the case of Jonah,
even the godly prophet (evangelist extraordinary and gifted in obedience
at the last - do not forget!) was humanly lacking in the extreme profundities
of the DIVINE compassion of God towards these lost Gentiles (Jonah 4).
God "does not willingly afflict the children of men" - Lamentations 3:33.
As shown in SMR App. B there is no way of removing the meaning of Matthew 23:37, and Calvin's failure to make inroads is similarly addressed in Tender Times for Timely Truths Ch. 2, End-note 1. CHRIST WOULD have healed the current generation*4 of the Jews in Jerusalem (Luke 19:42ff.), but they were not willing. His crushing emotion is intense at this; but His truth does not deviate in what follows! This is the standard and multitudinously clear meaning of such a context as Matthew 23:37 likewise, compared with outré efforts to avoid them, or hapless failure to acknowledge them, as shown SMR Appendix B.
Misplaced desire to 'protect' this
or that may motivate such errors, but does not sustain them. It is also
necessary in view of Biblical principles, as also there shown, concerning
the guilt of the fathers and children, the one relative to the other, to
avoid anti-idiomatic efforts to make a generation division here.
It was the current people of Jerusalem who were besought and they who were unwilling. It was that express generation of the city, just as of another such it was written: "for as a young man marries a virgin, so shall your sons marry you" (Isaiah 62:5). It was of them that the willingness of the Lord was voiced and the unwillingness of the people was contrasted. WHO contrasted these ? It was the Lord who so declared.
It is God who KNOWS what He is doing and with WHOM He is doing it, but who in so sovereignly selecting, and who is acting in the full sway of His love, and not despite its absence, relative to those both chosen and not chosen. GOD IS LOVE (I John 4:7ff.), and this being so, He is not unloving in some things. He CAN HATE, but this is not without a cause, and as shown in The Kingdom of Heaven Ch.4, this love is His very being, and the results of its forfeiture do nothing to degrade it, but rather to upgrade our realisation of the intensity of that love, that He went so far to avoid for us what we deserve, that He took it Himself... selectively (as in Romans 8:32 - where those on account of whom the sins fell on Christ, are those who inherit all things).
He does not choose on the basis of merit or superiority; and man cannot choose being blinded by the circumstantial correlates of sin, culture and clouds of self-assertion, self-will, self-parameters and the like. IF MAN COULD, then he would merely BE what he IS, and this having been in the first place based on many things, would be a resultant, not liberty. IF GOD WOULD dictatorially elect what was most pleasing in His sight, in its natural circumstances, this would likewise be not liberty for man, but the tyranny of the pleasure of another, and whatever man might be or want, this would be neither interpreted nor consulted. It would be the MIND of another without reference to the nature of man in His image, a being with some independence of spirit. Freedom in both cases is simply aborted FOR MAN, either by his fall or his utilitarian selection, or subjection to preference criteria on the basis of where he got.
In Cross selection however (as profiled in Colossians 1:19ff. with I Timothy 2:1ff., Romans 8:32ff., and John 15:21ff. and other sites noted), all this is avoided. Man, as repeatedly shown in scripture, as observable in Matthew 23:37, Ezekiel 33:11 in conjunction with I Timothy 2 and John 3:16, is overall the
- loved object of His divine Creator's yearning,
- that he might be whole, as he was made in the first (cf. Colossians 3:10),
- wholesome, as his being requires for proper operation,
- loving, as God is,
- and living, as requires pardon from sin and the power of God.
In His divine splendour, the Lord implements this, not some caprice or personal hedonism. Love is not like that; God is not like that; He did not act like that; He does not act like that. That destroys the basis of love. Love enables the basis of freedom. That is the simple fact. It does not simply crush or apportion IN MIND, what is to be disposed without love. In love, it predestines with foreknowledge of what is the one predestined, but without concern for meritorious achievement as the selection basis. What follows regeneration is not the same as what precedes, even in mind; the good tree bears good fruit rather than the good fruit bearing the good tree. God plants the trees (Isaiah 61:3, Matthew15:13, Titus 3:5ff.).
Man MUST be able to OTHER than he is, to be free, or as we have seen at some length, he merely expressed his construction and environment, his history and his genes, his gender and his culture, his appetites and whatever else he has somehow obtained (cf. Predestination and Frewill Section 1).
This, if the ultimate, would be a mere puppetry in terms of liberty. Man MAY become other than he is, through the regeneration of God as in Titus 3:5, leading to his acceptance as a child of God. Man COULD NOT do this freely, if his circumstantially oriented being were the LIMIT, in the matter, this being merely the production of a product; and of course, if there were NOTHING ELSE available, or, even if there were, it were not available because it was invisible to sin, or despised because of his current nature, per force! When it is YOU who are diseased in a blindness of spirit, a pathological situation which removes the eyesight from your purvey, then choice is a matter of choosing what you will, but your will itself remains, in its sad sickness and disability, the problem! IT therefore cannot resolve for you the matter! This the Bible emphasises in Romans 9 as in I Cor. 2:14 and John 15:1ff..
Man, then, CANNOT in fact
do this at all, constitutively, constitutionally, as he is; as in I Cor.
Very naturally, however, when God and the nature of the case, in fact, move together, they combine with felicity. What man cannot do, would not, if it were done, be the functional work of someone in God's image, since he is in sin and thereby limited and distorted; and even if he could do it, in his sinful state, present since Adam, except in the incarnate Christ, then it would not be free. HOW can man escape himself, when himself is all he has ? Not at all. But then man would not exist at all, being devoid of creation itself, if he were all. The 'problem' exists only when you either ignore the CREATION OF A BEING IN GOD's IMAGE reality, and so seek, if you will, help for the sick heart of a panther, when your patient is in fact a man; or else distort or ignore what God has said that the problem is there at all.
When you consult what God has caused to be written, in His word, the Bible, and only then, is the answer clear. This explains all, enables all, ennobles all. GOD IN LOVE ACTS BEYOND MAN, and man thereby is neither the mere pivot of another's power, nor the captive of his own littleness and lostness of SPIRIT. Liberty is instituted, though sin withdrew it - not in kind, but in relevant operation at this level, it still has dim light as in the heavily polluted atmosphere, say of Gary, Indiana - but you do not see the realities in this. Love is implemented, though hate may operate if in the end, it will. Goodness is manifested in mercy, though it is not imposed. Light is everywhere, and this is our current point: it is the light of the STRUCTURE of things about man, in the SIGHT of his Creator who having made all, and provided initial freedom, both knows how to implement the same, even with the rebel, and to do so with fidelity to truth and in the very tenderness and beauty of what love is. For love ? It does not selfishly seek its own; but it DOES seek to deliver what it loves.
Such is something of that vast magnitude, the love of God, which has a sort of spatial expression in magnitude alone, and loftiness, in space, and another one in time, where so much is enabled for so long, before the last chapter of the book of sin is written, that which followed the crux of love in the Cross, provides that final burning, for our God is a consuming fire, which is the lot of what will never relent in its self-imposed littleness, never leave itself for its Lord. It is bright. Its pain is inward: the conscience that cannot speak for it is foul, the pride which cannot speak for it is exposed, the remorse which cannot act, for the heart does not last forever, the spirit would fail before the Lord, as He says in Isaiah 57. Truth is not commuted, nore is reality overthrown, while time finds its bounds as He appoints, who in the first place, made our processive time, where you MUST WAIT!
But as to what separates, as to sin (Isaiah 59:1-2), love has borne the quintessence of that already; and has provided peace with pardon and power, in the merciful love of God, which is then the milieu of one's life. How any other could be valued! But it is...
The choice of God, then is not capricious; but costly. It is not inert, but intelligent, like all of His ways. It is not an imposition, but an exposition; it does not force, and it does not relent. It does however remit, but again, not in caprice, but in capacity, bought and wrought in the Cross. This choice then is that of God.
GOD CAN and DOES DO IT, so that
man is NOT dependent on his parameters. God does it in LOVE, being LOVE
(I John 4:7-8), in precisely the way Christ depicted and showed continually
(cf. SMR Appendix B, The Kingdom
of Heaven Ch. 4 and Spiritual
Refreshing for the Digital Millenium
Chs. 9, 10, 11, 12). Hence the disposition of force, not freedom is not the case; and the decisions of farce, not liberty, are avoided. This is the ONLY POSSIBLE WAY liberty could thrive, and indeed be found for man. It must be beyond himself, but wrought in the love which knows what he cannot know, and does what it alone can do. (Cf. Predestination and Freewill pp. 121ff., in Section III.)
It is the COHESION of the principles as scripturally stated, and their harmony with ONE ANOTHER and with ALL facts of life for man, and with liberty for which man is answerable, and with the realities of responsibility, and the trials of conscience, and the servilities of sin, TOGETHER WITH their provisions in and FROM the living and PERSONAL GOD, who as a person loves persons: it is this which ALONE CAN ANSWER the facts. Here alone is harmony conceivable. And here it is found.
But where else ? In the book which resolves all problems; and in this case as in many, it does it in the only way it could be done.
But that, it is hardly surprising! After all, the 'problems' come from the interaction of man with God, of his environment with his Maker; and it will HAVE TO BE, as a verification of man's very creation by God, that the answers are found in the same God, who, creating, founded what now is to be understood FROM HIM. ONLY His knowledge could be accurate and adequate to have it; only His power could implement it, who knows the end from the beginning, alpha and omega.
His word is thus verified, not alone in answering the otherwise insoluble problem in predestination, determinism and so on, on the one side, and freewill, responsibility, on the other; but in answering it with that sovereign finesse which leaves all other efforts to 'resolve' the 'problems' of life, unspeakably little, wholly lost and without help.
What then do we find? Selective in attainment, He is not selective in amplitude of love, as in I John 2:2, for the provision of His anguish is ON BEHALF of all, though it is bearing in practical reality, only those of the ones redeemed by this bearing (as in John 8:21-24). If they did not believe Him, they would die in their sins (John 8:24), the rights of the possession of the same being undisputed! Thus too, He does not say, as seen in John 19:26-27: "But you do not beleive, because you are not of My sheep, as I said to you. My sheep hear My voice...", and again, "All that the Father gives to Me, will come to Me..." (John 6:37), and "You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you..." (John 15:16).
SELECTIVE! At that, the democratic soul may revolt! However, there is no need, whatever may be the desire (for man is not always rational in these fields, but this need not be so, either). The SELECTIVE results are to be found in meaning from Luke 19:42 where He laments for the loss of Jerusalem: IF ONLY, He muses, in THIS YOUR DAY...If only they had realised, but NOW, the opportunity is gone, and the devastation is undeterrable, for God is not mocked, and truth is not devastated. For all that, HE was devastated in the crucifixion, though still on plan and for a purpose, so that in format killed, He should in spirit be unconquered, and demonstrate this physically by rising from their desolations to His glory.
THAT is the criterion of love. The RESULT in the Cross, is the indication of how WISE the love was, that it went so far to gain what is lost. He was defaced from the form of a man, we read in Isaiah 52. Thus the garbage (and undoubtedly this is the intention of Mark 9 and its flames and worms, of Gehenna) is in that horribly intriguing but unwholesome position of being both everlastingly dealt with and destroyed*5. C.S. Lewis deals with this in his own inimitable style. The combination of these qualities, like smouldering garbage, is not hygienic in its appeal, but it is necessary in its devastation to realise that what happened to Christ, indeed depicts the lot of those for whom the love of God is not preferred, for whom the mists of darkness (as in Jude) are preferred.
As in many things, a preference
is not always DIRECT - as in the case of a man given up to the love of
money so much that - blind to it though he be - he is destroying his family
by neglect; but it is preference none the less. THAT is assuredly not his
wish, in many cases, but it IS the consequence of untamed and prior desire.
STEP 5: THE DIVINE DECLARATION
IN ITS DIRECTNESS AND PERFECTION
We have now reached the point where the normal confusions and distractions are laid to rest, and we can look at the simple realities of double predestination without imagining predestination MEANS a lack of love or IMPLIES an arbitrariness, caprice or meanness.
In fact, it ENTAILS a magnificent certainty that NOTHING is too hard for the Lord, and His roving word which subjects history in advance, by the medium of prophecy, attests His entire control, even amidst the marvellous wonders of freedom, for all things are naked before Him who made them! There will be then, NO MISTAKES, and His clearly attested love, being as broad as Colossians 1:19ff. and I John 4:7ff, declares it is, in the whole gamut of scripture, is merely the more obviously fulfilled, when to Him, time is no constraint, but merely a carrier!
What God did: It displays the EXACT OPPOSITE of not being loving. It is that wedding of truth and love, mercy and deliverance with judgment and reality, of which Psalm 85 speaks. There is and can be no pretence or pretension in heaven. GOD has done ALL the things required to make endless guilt into endless blessing, paying the difference where it counts. WHERE does it count ? It is OFFERED to all, and on behalf of all, that He did it (I John 2:2); it is received by SOME, and for the some, He accordingly has paid (the "many" of Isaiah 53:11, Matthew 26:28, those for whom, delivered up, He provides all things - Romans 8:32).
Indeed, He FOREKNEW these, and knowing all things, hence foreknew those who were NOT these, and hence foreknew the destiny of all. Did He predestine this also which is to be ? But of course, for if ANYTHING were open, NOTHING would be closed. IF some things could go where they would, then their endlessly reticulating results would destroy any knowability at all. Only if all things are known, is anything predictable. But prediction is a specialty of the God of the Bible to the point that He makes it a multiple challenge to observe its force, and to admit the hopeless incomparability of any other such thing! (Isaiah, in 41:21-24,43:8-14,44:6-8,48:2-17 is eloquent on the point.)
And what does the word of God say
in the New Testament, "And there is no creature
hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of
Him to whom we must give account" ? (Hebrews
4:13). Are some things then hidden ? Is some time unknown to Him who made
it ? Is some person !
Or is ALL some ? Does the all-inclusive really betoken the non-inclusive ? Again, even modern theology in its known proclivities, can only ADD to derive such a qualification. When you add to an overwhelming and profound attribution of a quality to God, to alter it, you add nonsense, your word to His! Biblically, ALL things are those which lie open... to Him.
In this passage we find that God who created all things, "frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad", for it is He who "makes their knowledge foolishness", and He again, who conversely "confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers." In fact, it is He who, when Jerusalem was foreseen as to be destroyed, already has in His arsenal of accomplishments to come, this:
WHOM He will, He hardens! (Romans 9:16-18). It is not of him who wills or runs, we read, but of God who shows mercy. It is HIS prerogative. His love in exercising it is indeed sovereign, but its true nature is for all that revealed as has been shown above and in the many references made elsewhere on site.
Does He not say of Pharaoh, "FOR THIS CAUSE I HAVE RAISED YOU UP!" (Romans 9:17, Exodus 9:16). What cause ? to SHOW in him, in Pharaoh, the judgments on obstructive renegacy, in the face of the light and favour and mercy of God! to make him an example! to deliver Israel in such a way that it would make world history for ever (as have, indeed, the events of this century in fulfilment of prophecy - SMR Chs. 8 - 9)!
But, one may say, is that fair ? Is this love ? Is this not tantamount to a deterministic manipulation of man, which is neither free NOR loving, for that matter! Not at all. "WHAT IF ... " says Romans 9:22, GOD WITH MUCH PATIENCE BORE.... Hence we are in consistency with all the other scriptures, reminded that God is sovereign, is gracious, is long-suffering, is love, but that love does not dangle its delightfulness before the obstructionist rejections for ever (Genesis 6:3, cf. I Timothy 4:2, II Timothy 4:3). Flesh could not bare it.
Nor, on the other hand, does the love of God violate. Sovereignly it takes that to which it relates, knowing better than man who are His (II Timothy 2:19). He takes the morally worthless in pride of their performances with the morally worthless in pollution of their products, and all one, makes them one in Christ through personal payment of the difference, and presents to each a new nature, gratis, which is the occasion of Paul crying, "all things are become new!" (II Cor. 5).
It is not glorification of determinism, nor is it glorification of autonomy, therefore which comes, but glorification of God.
Nothing else secular or religious can meet the necessities of non-reductionist FREEDOM in some arenas, escaping autonomous grandeurs, and non-reductionist trends in some things, avoiding deterministic reductionism. There is a kind of certainty (miracles apart) in some things, but it is limited; and there is a kind of independence in some things, but it is in both cases limited, and it moreover applies, as with other things, here and not there, as the case befits.
Philosophy haggles away with its vague generalisations, for millenia, about these facts, trying betimes to sweep this side or that under the carpet, but it smells of rats dying, and the carpet is therefore constantly lifted, and the smell is not pleasant.
It needs cleaning away, and this is done ONLY when GOD does the selection (as the Calvinists rightly insist from the Bible), and man is RELEVANT to that selection (as the Bible constantly affirms), but not the OPERATIVE agent in resolution of the issue (as John 15, Romans 9 make so very clear).
Liberty is preserved in ESSENCE when God who knows beyond all criteria of lesser kind, uses HIS power to call His own to Himself (for He knows their spirits, Romans 8:29ff., I Timothy 2:19, John 6:37, Matthew 11:27, John 10:27-28, Ephesians 1:4). That is what is written, and that is the way it is. Liberty in man does not need to turn into autonomy, which is mere myth, in order to express itself, since God can do this, and HE ? He DOES IT WITH GENUINE AUTONOMY, righteously. To Him alone does this quality even possibly, belong!
HOW we CAN be in any sense free, and NOT in any sense like little gods is thus solved.
We are free in this, that from God, we individually do relate to Him first and foremost by our spirits, at the first made in His image (Numbers 16:22, Zechariah 12:1, Genesis 2:7, Isaiah 57:16, Hebrews 12:23, I Cor. 14:14ff., Ecclesiastes 12:7, Proverbs 20:27, Colossians 3:10); and it is HE who acts in the conclusion of that liberty, not we.
We are NOT autonomous in this, that it is HE who acts relative to ourselves, and not we ourselves. God is God and we are His creation, and each acts accordingly. It is HE who preserves the integrity of the broken image in the salvation, and it is from HIM that the knowledge and the wisdom and the fulfilment comes, even from Him who being love, loves, and loving, loves chastely. It is in distance from HIM (as in Psalm 1), that the wicked are as chaff, for what else is such a disruption of such a marvellous creation. It is like a Rolls Royce trying to run on the rims. It is mere mess.
The desire to escape the capricious God which is so strong in anti-double-predestinative views, is removed in any justice even of motive, by the simple fact that the LOVE of God who SO acts is NOT limited, and that it is not through ANY deficiency or defect, or limitation in it that anyone goes to hell (cf. The Kingdom of Heaven Ch. 4, End-note 1B, Ch. 2, pp. 31ff.).
The determination of what is indeed FOREKNOWN concerning destiny of all things, but NOT foreknown in terms of works as Romans 9 makes so very clear (which would merely be the same non-free question all over again, in another form), but rather in depth and reality: this is of course the divine prerogative. Hence they STUMBLE at the word, to which they are ORDAINED, we read (I Peter 2:8 - indeed, it is written that in this they stumble, being "disobedient, to which they were ordained"!). Hence likewise, Pharaoh, fitting the case in the divine knowledge, is indeed USED: yet NOT so as to preclude his liberty, but to EXPRESS IT!
Let us take this second case now further. You cannot, simply cannot have it that the Lord RAISES UP PHARAOH, that is brings him to pass, for an historical purpose, without acknowledging that God is in charge, and He MAKES His plans happen. Nor can you ignore Paul's 'what if' (of Romans 9:22), as if God did this without respect to His often stated love and forbearance and desire that all men should come to a knowledge of the truth (I Timothy 2).
It is double predestination, as in Cyrus, whose non-knowledge of God is cited in terms of future events, and he is ONE PERSON. It is so in JUDAS, quoted in the New Testament as fulfilling a specific mission which was tagged to him a millenium before, in writing, divinely inspired! His whole situation is specific and specialised and so denoted in the Psalms, and acknowledged in John's Gospel.
God knows, God plans and God provides, counsels, purposes, states and does. That, as we see, is precisely not only what He says, but challenging, exhibits in His words as He turns history to match them, like a sculptor implementing his vision, in due time, in the stone, piece by piece.
Thus the Lord can state all things down to personal details BECAUSE He has all things in hand, has plans and programs, which of course, are not happenings, but holy travails which realise all things in terms of HIS principles and HIS foreknowledge and HIS desire, the nature of which is as stated, in this ... that He WOULD have all men to be saved. This is His disposition; but it is not a mandate to violate His values, principles, or love, as if He were some vulgar rapist, at the spiritual level! As far is the divine Lord from this, as heaven above the earth; and yet further.
Indeed, He is the EXACT opposite, and it is this which makes history possible, salvation available and heaven assured to be SUCH. It is not the place of the devious, the mistaken, the hypocrites who abhor what they servilely pretend to bless. It is the place of love.
Now it is true that "the ungodly are ... like the chaff which the wind drives away" (Psalm 1), but this too is what the Lord does in His own way, in the interests of the whirls of the worlds of things which are against the truth. All this is in His manifold knowledge, who judges and arrests, intervenes and concludes, and for conclusion, this is the way of it. There is no dignity in garbage. That is no reflection on the kitchen.
God loves, and would not have any perish, would have all come to a knowledge of the truth, and indeed, in Colossians 1:19ff., it was pleasing to Him that all might be reconciled... in heaven and on earth!
It was so at predestination and it was so at foreknowing, for HE does not change! It is always so.
As to the question (for us) of when it happens, time is no vast wall to God, but a mere terrain to be looked over at will, this way and that, from beyond it. He created this delay type of time, with which we as creations of His, are so familiar (Romans 8:38). Time is no barrier to God.
Our time ? It is the setting for the book called history.
But as to God, He knows the realities and surely they come to pass. He is not surprised, and He is not limited, as if our wills were pictures of obscurity to Him from whom nothing is hidden. How much scripture is denied when this is denied! God is free and He implements His principles with perfection of purity and restraint, being the God who is love.
Autonomy is impossible to us, but liberty is available in Him, and in love He enables this. It is His sovereignty which enables the realities of man's responsibility.
It is the same on the other side. Just as it is love which is implemented, and not some construction of man, as if divine things were harnessed at his bidding, so that divine love is not only protected, but projected. So too is sovereignty protected, and projected, for God is not some invasion plane for marvellous man, fumbling, to achieve his mighty objectives over his Maker, and to seize His territory!
Just as the denial of double predestination is a needless and unscriptural lust to protect autonomy in man, so is it in a heedless presumption to protect love in GOD! In this latter respect, Calvin's restrictive approach to love in terms of election, is quite unnecessary. Understandable indeed is his motive; but acceptable in Biblical reality, it is not! (Cf. Tender Times for Timely Truths 2, *1, and Predestination and Freewill, Ch.2.) NEITHER is the love of God restricted, whatever the eventual consequences, nor is His knowledge, His power or the culminating consummation of His will. He knows what He is doing and the responsibility of man is total, enormous.
It is time to repent, therefore,
if you have not yet done so. It is ENTIRELY YOUR FAULT, if you have not
found God. It is ENTIRELY HIS GLORY if you ever do! Such is love and such
is liberty, divinely revealed and enabled. It is NOT that He enables YOU
to choose, for He denies this! It is NOT that you
are enlightened so that you chose, since as to "the natural man", "the things of the Spirit of God are ... foolishness" (I Cor. 2:14). How could you choose what you deem foolish; ONLY when you are changed do they not appear so! It IS the case that you are chosen in the sovereign love of a loving sovereign, and chosen NOT on your performance, but on His. He does not violate; for His love is chaste, and it is sure.
ON SOME ALLIED MATERIAL,
OTHER THAN Predestination and Freewill:
The reader may now care to consult in this field:
Repent or Perish Chs. 1 and
2; and News112.
In addition, related to this is Sparkling Spirituality Ch. 7.
For a fuller account, there follow here in this field, 3 excerpts from SMR: a section of Ch. 4, EXTENSION E: ON GREAT BURIALS (1) and two from Ch.3 on SERIES and significance. Hyperlinks at the head of each enable you to find the contexts.
See also in the SMR index: thought,
and predestination, and consult That
Magnificent Rock Ch. 7, esp. Section
(1) Excerpt from SMR p. 422Eff.
(cf. Extension D, pp. 422 A-C supra)
1. Short Summary on the Mesmerism of Monism
A short outline may help some here.
Materialism, as often shown in this work, presupposes the validity of
MIND which makes the THEORY that MATTER is of this and that kind, with this and that significance
(e.g. all-there-is or whatever it may be that is proclaimed). Hence mind is the primary datum in view; and
this is really dualism, in that both mind and matter are affirmed; but mind is affirmed surreptitiously, by
smuggling in the concept, and since it is primary logically here, it is illegitimate smuggling.
Second, the concept of series, of
events of which human events are merely a set, is itself a priori quite
impossible. See here Ch. 3 on David Hume, infra (e.g. pp. 262ff., 284ff., 307ff.). If all were simply series, then the VIEWER which, that, who ? ... says so is simply series. How does a series overview itself and all series in order to rightly proclaim what they are and what their significance is ? For such an action, you see substance, a coherent viewing whole which is and has a standpoint under the countenance of which all series pass in order to be evaluated as to their real significance. You need in short, a reality-meter. This overviewer, reality-meter, if simply series, would again simply (this is in order for the whole concept is simplistic) be doing its things, acting its series, which is quite different from putting a value and a reality tag on all series, including itself. (Cf. footnote references at 422G & 422J.)
The theory forgets its maker - man.
He is implicitly elevated to the godlike position of KNOWING
WHAT THINGS REALLY ARE, and indeed, whether they are things, and if so of what kind and of what
significance. To reach absolute truth, however, you need to evacuate the very premises to which our
materialist, monist preacher is assigning us, by an act of his will. Yet on this premise, there is no such
place to go. Hence the theory is impossible. (Cf. pp. 299-308, 997-1002C, 1012-1022.)
Those are the first three reasons
why the theory is simply a presumptuous piece of reductionist
aberration, forgetful of its maker, and useless in what is made.
The next and the fourth reason is
this. Matter is irrelevant to error. It simply does what it does, and its
actions are noted. ERROR implies purpose, so that the actuality, the target, the attainment may be
contrasted with the intention, the purpose. The term "purpose" applied to matter, is void of significance.
The term "error" applied to matter is mere anthropomorphism, and irrelevant. Hence matter and man are
as far apart as slavery and enterprise. To subsume both under one title is an abuse of words, functions
and description. (Refer Index: Error.)
The fifth reason is this. We proceeded
earlier to build up the concept of mind, matter and spirit. This
occurred in Ch. 1, and was extended somewhat on pp. 348 ff., (1995 Edition). What these logically
REQUIRE for their construction is worked out in serious detail, not in dilettante monism mesmerism. The
LEAST productive CAUSE for all is itemised, and His name given. That argument remains, and any
attempt to escape the already insuperable presentation on causality there (for it is shown to be
integumental to speech and thought as such, so that its denial as objective removes the validity of both,
and hence any ability to frame significant theories), is dealt with rigorously in Chs. 3, 5 and 10. The
careless, carefree construction therefore of hypotheses which implicitly deny the conditions of their own
discourse ... use what they abuse, or account causatively for the arrival of causation ... is merely of
psychological interest. It has no place in logic; and so falls monism, materialism once more (cf. e.g. pp.
284-290 supra, 424 ff. infra). Indeed the crux of 'causeless' flux is that it is undifferentiable from
non-existence (pp. 264-288 supra).
The sixth reason follows. Logical
positivism, positivism in general is keen on talking of description, of
what you find ... and on seeking to bury the fact that the person with procedure who is doing the
"finding" is ... there! Description requires one to describe. If ALL IS DESCRIPTION, if we know ONLY
what we describe - a sort of experientialism aligned with method - then the theory is necessarily false. The
reason ? Submerged assumptions ("we", "know", are antecedents in all this) ! Not only that, but because it
contradicts itself. The theory that all is so, is itself not a description of anything perceivable, unless a
wallowing in the pure and unordered subjectivity of what is currently flashing on the mental screen.
Even that however does not include
what everything else is! Further, description is not prescription or
proscription, ideas are not ideals, eventuation is not obligation and the resistance to such realities is not
observation. Such reductionism is like a two-dimensional model of a four-dimensional fact - except that
they do not blend. The trip back from theory to fact is like a move from stage and scenery... to actors.
They relate , but what they are in concept is not at all what they are in proximity: close (cf. p. 416 supra)!
They are not only diverse, but divergent.
In short, if all is description,
then the theory to this effect is not; so that if the theory is true, the
false. Similarly if etiology (the constraint of causal interaction) is false, so is the reasoned,
cause-conceived statement that says so. In effect, man in a sort of lunar madness from time to time would
dismiss causation causatively, insist and rely on description, undescriptively, irrationally "legislate" out
God despite the irreversibly necessary results for man and the universe, in their witness to their
Creator-origin; and then magically instil (install ?) himself or his people as a race into the negated post
of interpreter, and take up the reins again as a causally reasoning person. Having dispensed with God by
one device - the chaotic court-martial of causality by causal thought - man would use the same
(contradiction of reason and of all causation) to implant and establish himself (herself ? ...): on nothing.
(Cf. pp. 264-269, 284ff., 313, 424ff. infra.)
Then, having defied logic, to evacuate
'god', our fine friend uses it for himself and his own convenience.
For now there appears 'out of the blue' one who having defied logic, would use it to add to the logical
pandemonium. Our human god may then selectively dispense with reason (oh yes! often for reasons, and
always with the language which presupposes and uses it), in a grand sweep, like a political dictator.
Having come "in" on one platform, this potentate, this micro-missionary would act on another... then flit a
(2) Excerpt from SMR pp. 262-3
If Hume fell into the oblivion (*5) of making himself (not as a creator, but in terms of his thought and its implications) into a mere series of sequences: then there is a problem for others who make themselves in other ways into series. If you are a series of series in a space-time continuum, then you fall with Hume. There is then no you, no integral being who as one valid whole does its stuff. How could you then be either integral or valid ?
How then is a series one ? How does it perform one task relative to itself ? In mechanical things ? Why! By the purpose and design built into it, by which an integral thought for an integral purpose has a meaningful result, in terms of the integrated machinations of the maker of the machine. The series of events is co-ordinated by the architect, the designer, the thinker; the oneness of the series is derivative from the inaugurating conceptions of its contriver.
But what if you are playing coy with cause ? Why then, if you refuse with irrational charm (perhaps with a dash of existential derring-do, which possibly IS good for the liver but not for the logic), to have a cause for the consequences observable: then there IS no unitary character to the sequences in purpose, meaning or machination. There is not even any machination. Silently go the results, while the causes go to the tombs of elephants, hidden and dying with non-acknowledgement!
There is, quite simply nothing to integrate the series of series of which the orphaned human being would consist. These elbow rubbing, perchance jostling series will be serial for all they are worth, but meaning surpasses even the imagination. They just are. There is no unitary mind to assess; there is no purpose for them to satisfy, no scheme to which to refer them: their existence cannot arise from ontological actuality, to make any judgments, for the simple reason that there would be nothing to judge by.
No, not even happenstances of often-associated-series would rise above what is, to become those principles and perceptions, founded in reality and gifted with articulation, so that what is becomes what is known and what is known becomes an actuality-measurer. You can't get above it by being it. Without access to reality and its self-interpretation, you are a dancing derivative embraced by process, processed by items and constituted by nothing. You are dis-integrated happenings, that happen to occur simultaneously.
But what would it take to be an actuality measurer, to know ?
Such an actuality-measurer must, for the case, be vested with words, a being with a purpose, power and perspective for inspecting sequences - or anything else for that matter - with cognitive overview. From the series, there jumps the saviour who is not a series but a series evaluator, holding the series in an epistemological envelope which has on it the address, the I.D. specifications... of the thing called a series. (Cf. pp. 148 ff. supra, and Chapter 5, Section 1; 3 Section 5; 10, Section 1 and pp. 327 ff., infra.) Alas, on Hume's basis, and on all similar, there is simply no one to write it. As the song has it: who catches me, catches but air!
Just as ideals are not facts in the sense that the latter is what is and the former is what ought to be, so series are not significances. What goes is not how it goes, or why it goes or analysis of what goes or communication concerning what goes.
The first involves a standard of value, which mere existence cannot create, nor a chronological sequence snare. A natural world cannot have the advantage of standards by which to assess it, for it is (by the atheistic hypothesis) all there is. It just is; it has to be left morally alone for there is simply no place from which to touch whatever it is.
Similarly, in the second case just noted, what-is - acting has no place from which its action can be assessed. The play has no critical audience, for all there is, for the atheist, is in these terms, the play itself. It happens.
The hypothetical 'theatre-goer' in this case comes into the situation on a free pass, an irrationally free pass bought from... nowhere, (for there is for them nowhere to buy it), and used by no-one (for no-one can have an integral purpose when series constitutes all). There would have to be: a series-co-ordinator, a series to series-assessor interface, an interface provider, a series assessor, a series reviewer, an interpreter analyst of system or sequence - none of which could simply be series without having these ultra-serial potencies, plenary powers.
Indeed, prescribing what reality is, is not being it; except in the 'case' where it is an all-knowing self-sufficient, being; but this, if men were merely series would be - if it were possible - even more infinitely beyond their condition then, than it already is! hardly a helpful imposture.
If personality were simply a series
of series with no intrinsic powers of signification, then its products
in the area of theory have all the signification it has: zero. Participation
is not understanding and interaction is not review. Such theories therefore
destroy themselves. (See Extension 1, pp.
931-943; and pp. 1011-1026
(3) Excerpt from SMR Ch. 3, p. 307
Let us then review the broader issues. The gradual elevation of uni-series to substance, of engineered matter in its sophistication to errant human thought, of movement in a line to a concept of a line, and to the failure to draw it right... of awareness to objectivity, processive participation to plenary powers of oversight, of determinism to freedom, of interactive interfaces to supervising systems-assessors, of components to critics, containment to illimitable perspectives, of coercion to liberty and material units into error-prone persons, of forced fragments to foolish philosophising (as mutually often judged) where pundits say what is wrong and hence imply access to what is right; the elevation, I say - of elements prodded by force into persons goaded by guilt, of reagents into agents, jostled particles into judges of particularity, asserting obligation and denying it both in theory and in practice: all this may satisfy 'God' machinists.
It may seem splendid to deity manufacturers, who have nowhere from which to gain all these powers (having denied God). But their manufacture of these gods is one of the most obvious testimonies (*15) to God, manufacturer of themselves, giving them logical bases for such powers, though here they are but abused.
How beautifully scripture sums up so much:
"And just as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind ..." (Romans 1:28). and again, "Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator who is blessed for ever."(Romans 1:25).*2
Since personality is a spiritual thing involving values, assessment and enterprise, imagination, overview and access to truth as a birth-right fully exercised in constant expectations which world-view exponents of every kind cherish, it is indeed subject to its actual source. It is finally subject not to what is wholly beneath it, its 'mother', or 'nature', in fact in this affair, a mere mess-pot for resources in the building, 'clay', but to its Father, the logician, engineer, yes the Spirit of the God of eternity, whose product we are.
- Presumptuous assumptions about His easy-going acceptance of man's delusive ambitions to do what he IS doing, yet so wryly, without the direction of God, do not help!
- The testimony of reason to the Bible has been reviewed in many places, especially SMR Ch.1-3, and the God of truth who has made man for truth,
- (which indeed gives him his desire, his ground for deliverance and leads in love to the manifestation of His saviour as the Truth, as well as Way and Life),
- has not been derelict in providing it.
- Thus, the Lord did not create man a subjective subject with mere potential,
- to lose himself in the wilds of frenzy,
- thinking this and that without hope, only pride;
- but made him with access from the sin
- (into which he quickly fell, through inauspicious assertion of autonomy),
- first to the grace, then to the Guide Book and finally, in consummation, to the Redeemer of deliverance.
Thus, fully exposed in time, God has shown to man, the Guide, Jesus the Christ, whose salvation delivers from delusion, and is the only access to God. It is He who delivers from damnation by grace only, for the product called man is inoperative in this dimension, being recipient not proud producer. In His deliverances, He places mankind into categories, essentially TWO, the justified who have received the anti-damnation deliverance that is covered in Christ's sacrificial death for sin, and the unjustified.
For the unjustified, who turn from His salvation, no hope is justified, and no justification may be hoped for. Who goes where ? This is the subject of DOUBLE PREDESTINATION, and the PRINCIPLES are very simple (though the practice which opened to PLAN OF SALVATION to reality, was not, for the Christ who paid! a ransom offered to all, received by relatively few). The ATTITUDE of LOVE is universal; the ACTUALISING of the attitude is highly selective; the RESPONSIBILITY for avoiding it is wholly man's, the GRACE in providing it is wholly God's. Like a patient in an operation, man is in no position to determine these things. He is, however, accountable for God in His love leaves none through defect in His attitude!
It is still true that none gets to hell except, in a drastic sense, over Christ's dead body. It is its resurrection of that body in stunning celestial power and ultimate authentication, which opens the way for justification, just as the death paid for it (Romans 4:25), but the lengths to which He went in the latter regard, measure the responsibility of those who reject Him. HIS offer is sincere and to all; to avoid it, in His foreknowing competence, it follows, your responsibility is individual and ultimate. You get where you are going. If you do not come to Him, that is where you go, where He is not accessible. He does not force.
See SMR pp. 422 Qff., 316Dff., 374ff., Wake Up World! Your Creator is Coming... Ch. 5, pp. 104Aff..
It is only in God that there is escape from the endless round of causative devices, impacts on the human spirit which, if it were possible, would encapsulate the spirit of man, making his theories reactions, and invalidating the thought that thinks so! It is self-contradiction. (See also Predestination and Freewill, Section 1., SMR pp. 424ff..) On the other hand, without God, it would not and could not be, for this is spiritual life: it would neither be necessary, nor desired, nor available. Attempts to evacuate the spirit from man are about as effective logically as attempts to turn man's spirit into a divinity, on its own behalf, or to evacuate the God of creation (cf. SMR pp. 422Eff., Ch. 10, That Magnificent Rock Ch.1, 8, A Spiritual Potpourri Chs. 1-9).
Man ? He is neither creature of culture nor divinity at large, but creation of God, and equipped in format, for the knowing of God. Sin makes this a failure, and the redemption in Christ a triumph. Certainly this is delightful, but since when did pessimism become maestro ? Indeed cynicism and its ilk, scepticism (cf. SMR Ch.3, pp. 255ff.), relate not a little to the frustrations of unbelief, and in that setting, their acidulous verbalisings are understandable, if not right: for without the ground in God, there is only wastage, itself not an uplifting subject, to be sure!
It is the endless endeavours to
turn man into god, into nothing, into matter's slave, culture's kid, history's
servant and other deterministic or vaporous unrealities, always forgetting
the cause of the determinism, or the ground of the gods, that produces
the see-saw of pitiful pliancy, never resting, never right, each always
vulnerable to the other, a veritable tweedle-dum and tweedle-dee that ignores
reality, and hence cannot formulate it successfully.
Lamentations 4:22 shows how this form of speech, addressing the current generation in this poignant and evocative way, is so endemic in thought, that it is even used in one verse BOTH of Zion ("the daughter of Zion"), and Edom ( "O daughter of Edom"), just as Ezekiel has two daughters in an extensive allegory, representing the "children" of Israel, as the Mosaic nomenclature had it, one Judah and One ‘Israel’, separated into the North kingdom at that time (Ezekiel 16).
It is of course quite impossible
that the children in the sense of babes and little ones, be held responsible
for the sins of their parents, and this is expressly denied by Jeremiah
31:29 and Ezekiel 18:2-3. Such is not the way of the Lord, though the iniquities
of the former generations may indeed be visited on the forthcoming ones
WHO "HATE ME"
(Exodus 20), this being a continuing rebellion from first to last.
In just this way of speaking, Christ declares, "If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham" (John 8:39), and Psalm 149:4 covers the situation briefly: "Let Israel rejoice in Him who made him; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King … for the Lord takes pleasure in His people", with the normal parallelism.
Again, the concept appears in Isaiah 30 (see verses 1,10), where we find this: "Woe to the rebellious children, says the LORD, that take counsel, but not of Me…Now go, write it before them in a table… that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who will not hear the law of the LORD, who say to the seers, Do not see!" Joel has likewise this: "Be glad then, you children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God" - 2:23
So in Zechariah 9:13, "When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons,, O Greece, and made you as the sword of a mighty man…" So from the days of "the children of Israel" = the current generation with Moses their leader, a phrase all but endlessly used, to the words of Jesus, the generations are conceived as children of the body in question, and on each is the history enacted. Thus with Moses, we read with reference to the very lips of the Lord, "For the LORD has said to Moses, Tell the children of Israel, You are a stiff-necked people… and the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments" - (from Exodus 33:5-6).
So the Jews would return to their home, would be as "one whom his mother comforts" (Isaiah 66:13), and this in the actual Jerusalem; while the figure persists even beyond this realm, where Paul speaks of that heavenly Jerusalem "which is the mother of us all" (Galatians 4:26). To this he gives preface, in referring to "Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children". The "mother of us all" simply carries on the figure, and in including the apostle himself, is clearly a generational description pertinent to the whole people of Jerusalem.
Thus, positively in usage and negatively
in the principles enunciated by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, from the Lord, we
are left with the reality of a willingness of the Lord, as in principle
seen in Colossians 1:19ff., and I Timothy 2, and that categorically, and
an unwillingness on the part of the people of a place, a tribe, a city.
It is intense in Ezekiel 33:11, where the apostrophe of the Lord is most
zealous concerning His desires and willingness, as in Lamentations 3:33,
where it is unlimited in application, as in I Timothy.
But let us return to the lament of Christ in Luke 1942ff..
That He laments shows the GRACIOUSNESS
of the sovereign (as in Luke 19:42ff.), and that He comes later to destroy
this very city, as this same speech from Christ goes on to indicate,
shows the sovereignty which is neither abolished nor deposed, but operates
without hindrance, with ONE WAY ONLY TO GOD. It is there not as a suggestion
but as a command.
*5 While on this topic of everlasting destruction, let it be added that the most expert of the experts on earth can no more prophesy what is the exact temperature of hell, if one chose to be ironic, than the exact state of those in it, when destruction vies with time. Certainly they endure, and what is there the state of time, itself in our field and universe, an invention in any case ? We do not know; but that the condition is deplorable, unrelieved and interminable we do know, and the smoke ascends from the dealings as Revelation attests. Let us not however in ignorance imagine what we do not know, either to alleviate or to aggravate the position. What is sure simply is this, that an outcome of the utmost gravity, suffering and contempt is preserved, no mere extinction being in view.
Everlasting contempt is nothing
of mere inferiority: for who is to be blamed for receiving but little ?
It is rather the enduring consequence of ardent desire not to know the living God in the beauty of His holiness, to whose expense account for love, there was no limit.