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  1. Eze, 18:30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways,” says the Lord God. “Repent, and turn from all your transgressions, so that iniquity will not be your ruin. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O house of Israel? 32 For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!” The concept of casual determinism is no new debate. Fate. A predetermined life in which we have no choice. A life dictated by extrinsic motivation, biological physiological and religious constraints has been kicked back and forth on the field between supporters and detractors for centuries with cheerleaders leaping up and down on both sidelines. What the unbelieving heart professes is of no consequence to me with the exception of when Christians attempt to inject it into scripture. The Atlantic; There’s No Such Thing as Free Will The sciences have grown steadily bolder in their claim that all human behavior can be explained through the clockwork laws of cause and effect. This shift in perception is the continuation of an intellectual revolution that began about 150 years ago, when Charles Darwin first published On the Origin of Species. Shortly after Darwin put forth his theory of evolution, his cousin Sir Francis Galton began to draw out the implications: If we have evolved, then mental faculties like intelligence must be hereditary. But we use those faculties—which some people have to a greater degree than others—to make decisions. So our ability to choose our fate is not free, but depends on our biological inheritance. Psychology Today: Do humans have the ability to make their own choices and determine their own fates—a concept more commonly known as free will? Or our people's futures determined solely by powers outside of their control, like the physics and biology of the brain? The question of free will has long challenged philosophers and religious thinkers, and scientists have examined the problem from psychological, biological, and genetic perspectives. Several seminal neurological studies, for instance, have concluded that the brain lights up with activity several seconds before a person becomes consciously aware of a decision, which some argue is an indication that people don’t have free will and that human actions are just the product of internal electrical activity. While I may not agree with all that is stated in this following article, it, to my thinking represents a bridge between libertarian interpretation and strict causal determinism. Roy F. Baumeister It has become fashionable to say that people have no free will. Many scientists cannot imagine how the idea of free will could be reconciled with the laws of physics and chemistry. Brain researchers say that the brain is just a bunch of nerve cells that fire as a direct result of chemical and electrical events, with no room for free will. Others note that people are unaware of some causes of their behavior, such as unconscious cues or genetic predispositions, and extrapolate to suggest that all behavior may be caused that way, so that conscious choosing is an illusion. As John Bargh put it once in a debate, “Free will means freedom from causation.” If you think of freedom as being able to do whatever you want, with no rules, you might be surprised to hear that free will is for following rules. Doing whatever you want is fully within the capability of any animal in the forest. Free will is for a far more advanced way of acting. It’s what a creature might need in order to adjust its behavior to novel situations, to get what it wants while still following the complicated rules of the society. People must inhibit impulses and desires and find ways of satisfying them within the rules. Self-control counts as a kind of freedom because it begins with not acting on every impulse. The simple brain acts whenever something triggers a response: A hungry creature sees food and eats it. The most recently evolved parts of the human brain have an extensive mechanism for overriding those impulses, which enables us to reject food when we’re hungry, whether it’s because we’re dieting, vegetarian, keeping kosher, or mistrustful of the food. Self-control furnishes the possibility of acting from rational principles rather than acting on impulse. For full article, https://slate.com/technology/2013/09/free-will-debate-what-does-free-will-mean-and-how-did-it-evolve.html --------------------------------------------------- Self control The exercise of self control is in itself an act of will. A decision to direct and focus our thoughts on ‘whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, we are to meditate on these things.’ Phil, 4:8 Scripture consistently exhorts us to exert our will over our nature. 1 Cor, 9:27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. To make the assumption that the foreknowledge of God, relative to all things human, equates with individuals programmed with immutable, predetermined paths throughout the course of life in its entirety with regard to our relationship with God leaves nothing but empty, brain dead robots. It is equivalent to holding a gun to a husbands/wives head and demanding they swear absolute love and fealty. Unless we have the option to say no, our yes means nothing. When God commanded Adam, don’t eat this fruit, He no doubt desired Adams compliance, but he created him in His image, with the freedom to exert his individual will, and make of his own volition, a choice. 2 Tim, 1:7 For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. We are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and lean not on our own understanding. In all our ways acknowledge him, and he will make our paths straight. Prov, 3:5 This scripture speaks of self determination. Yes it is grace, but we are to trust in Gods grace. No He will never leave us, but we must acknowledge Him. Yes The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations. We must choose to take, “The way out” that He provides. Yes His Spirit will indwell us. We need to walk after the Spirit, not after our flesh. James, 1:21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. Depravity, yup. Total, eh. Yes scripture states, “There is none righteous.” And yes,,, it refers to many men as righteous. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 2 Cor, 5:21 Men of faith believed and experienced God’s grace prior to the event of the sacrifice. Yes the Spirit of Christ, the Word is implanted in us and able to save our soul. But, don’t just listen. Prove yourself. Don’t fool yourself. Choices. Every day, choices. Choose this day who you will serve. If God is not willing that any should perish, then apparently He is not exerting His will over his creation. He is compelling. He is assisting. He is calling. He is loving, supporting. He has offered Himself as a bridge, giving His Son. But, He is not forcing. John,5:39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. (Free will) Isa, 65:1 “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ To a nation that was not called by My name. 2 I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in a way that is not good, According to their own thoughts; 3 A people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face; Who sacrifice in gardens, And burn incense on altars of brick; 4 Who sit among the graves, And spend the night in the tombs; Who eat swine’s flesh, And the broth of [a]abominable things is in their vessels; 5 Who say, ‘Keep to yourself, Do not come near me, For I am holier than you!’ These are smoke in My nostrils, A fire that burns all the day. 6 “Behold, it is written before Me: I will not keep silence, but will repay— Even repay into their bosom— I was sought by those who did not ask for Me. I know people today who are “spiritual seekers”. Turning over every religious stone, heads to the ground searching for clues. God stands right there calling, Here I am, here I am.’ God does not force people to himself, He bids them, Come. He reveals Himself in everything as Paul states; Rom, 1:19 Because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. ‘For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools.’ And He destroys those who choose themselves over Him. How could He judge anyone if He gives no opportunity to walk into His open arms? Acts 17:23 For as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Rom, 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. In Christ
  2. Adam and Eve were unlike their progeny in that they were formed by the hand of God. All successive generations of children of necessity are naturally concerned with themselves. Feed me, I’m cold, I don’t feel well, Clean me I’ve got a horrid rash, Hold me I feel insecure, comfort me, I’m tired, please quite down, I’m trying to sleep, etc.. Heh, sounds like some adults. ‘I want’. I’m not sure about everyone being born ‘neutral’ prior to sin since no one was born then. How can one reject “first sin,” it’s there for our reading pleasure, available in English. I’m of the mind that God desired to share His love so much, He created mankind knowing full well the ramifications of giving him a mind of his own. It is indisputable that for Adam to disobey the edict, “Thou shall not eat”, he had freedom of choice. The, I’ll decide for myself option. If given no choice but to comply, scripture would tell an entirely different story. We would not be having this discussion. And, we would not be the human God desires to “reason” with. We literally would be, baa, baa sheep,. Not capable of a entering in a love relationship, rather simply carrying out coded instructions. As an aside, and I truly have little interest in Pelagius; Due to some calling him a heretic, little of his work has come down to the present day except in the quotes of his opponents. However, more recently, some non-Orthodox Christian authors have defended Pelagius as a misunderstood “orthodox”: “Recent analysis of his thinking suggests that it was, in fact, highly orthodox, following in the tradition established by the early fathers and in keeping with the teaching of the church in both the East and the West. ... From what we are able to piece together from the few sources available... it seems that the Celtic monk held to an orthodox view of the provenience of God's grace, and did not assert that individuals could achieve salvation purely by their own efforts..” wackypedia Soteriology, the theology dealing with salvation especially as effected by Jesus Christ remains unscathed. We are saved by grace. One team says grace exclusively. One says grace plus works. And some misguided souls believe they can be so good God won’t be able to resist them. Another, grace that works. Tulips meh. Not bad but not my favorite flower. Roses may have thorns, but they are beautiful and are wonderfully scented. Enougha that. Now given that only one man ever walked the earth without sinning, Jesus the Christ,. And since no one can work or force entry into the kingdom of God, failure was unavoidable irrespective of who perpetrated the initial crime, when it occurred or how it occurred. We are saved by faith. Gal, 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Yep, but where would Israel be if old Abraham didn’t perform? Nowhere. Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith. While God supplies all we need for salvation, we must believe and in faith respond. Luke 17:5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. Faith was an attribute available to all not just the nation of Israel. Not exclusive to the “Chosen.” Or “My people”. Great faith was found in Gentiles prior to the New Testament. Faith is available to us. We must believe and exercise our faith. Hebrews 11:5,6 By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Mat, 4:5 When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6 “Lord,” he said, “my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.” 7 Jesus said to him, “Shall I come and heal him?” 8 The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” 10 When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, “Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment. Christ here states His mission was not to any other than the “Lost sheep of Israel”. Mat, 15:21 Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” 23 Jesus did not answer a word. So his disciples came to him and urged him, “Send her away, for she keeps crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel.” 25 The woman came and knelt before him. “Lord, help me!” she said. 26 He replied, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” 27 “Yes it is, Lord,” she said. “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.” 28 Then Jesus said to her, “Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.” And her daughter was healed at that moment. The Canaanite woman’s account closely parallels that of the centurion seeking healing for his servant (Matt. 8:5–13). In both cases, the supplicant is a Gentile advocating for someone under his or her care, the healing takes place from a distance, and the supplicant is commended for great faith. These were not Gods chosen. They wanted something they believed Christ could provide. God refers to His people, Ex, 19:5 'Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; Duet, 7:6 "For you are a holy people to the LORD your God; the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for His own possession out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth Duet, 14:2 For you are a holy people to the LORD your God, and the LORD has chosen you... Duet, 26:17 … The LORD has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession… and that you shall be a consecrated people to the LORD… (Consecrated, blessed, hallowed, sanctified, holy.) 1 Cron, 17:20 ..."And what one nation in the earth is like Your people Israel, whom God went to redeem for Himself as a people...” Isa, 43:1 “But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob, And He who formed you, O Israel, "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine!”… Just because God considered Israel His as a nation does not mean the were all saved. There are to many scriptures to place here. We get the point. Mat, 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those sent to her, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were unwilling! How can we be unwilling without free will? 2 Chron, 7:14 “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” ------ IF MY PEOPLE, humble themselves, change direction, then I will hear, forgive…… He owns the destination. He determined the course. Paved the way, has first aid stations everywhere you would possibly need one. He paid the entry fee. Will carry you when you fall, Shield you from attack and open escape route, encourage, support, comfort,, defend love and never leave you. You must believe and have faith to show up. Trust Him, repent, turn from self control and hand over the reins. Casual determinism is a philosophy the worlds scholars have kicked back and forth for centuries and with advances in science it will gain in popularity. “It’s not my fault, It’s just the way I’m wired.” Scripture tells us there will be no excuse. We can kick predestination around till Christ returns and those who believe we have no free will and chose God will enter right along with those who choose to love serve and thank Christ for His overwhelming support and work in our hearts will be there right alongside them,. Because we all make that choice every day by the grace of God. In Christ It's been sitting on computer a week or two. Could have reread a couple more times, but, There it is.
  3. No doubt. But given the human emotional characteristics/attributes of God, not His Godlike attributes: Love, 1 John, 4:8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. Compassion, Matthew 9:36 Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. Happiness, Jeremiah 32:41 I will rejoice over them to do them good and will faithfully plant them in this land with all My heart and with all My soul. Anger, Exodus 22:24 And My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless. Vengeful, Ezekiel 5:13 'Thus My anger will be spent and I will satisfy My wrath on them, and I will be appeased; then they will know that I, the LORD, have spoken in My zeal when I have spent My wrath upon them. Laughs, Psa, 2:4 4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Grief, Regret Gen, 6:6 And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. Jealous, Ex, 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Exhibited Patience, Cried, Understands laughter, Feels Pleasure, forgiving, kind etc… We have some basis for understanding Adams emotional composition, given it seems not much has changed. Adam coveted. He desired something he couldn’t/didn’t have. Already we see the prelude of, “Thou shall not covet.” I can’t say that Adams ‘unfallen’ status has so much to do with wisdom, or innocence as it did childlike simplicity. Who knows? His experience with sin was limited to non existent. Adam was naive. In a sheltered garden, with GOD. Given that the ‘Lamb was slain before the earth was made,” Jon, Billy, Running Bear, you and I most probably would have made the same mistake. Adam was not necessarily a failure, he was a human. A human whose action and the subsequent requirement for the sacrifice of Christ, was already known and planned, simply waiting for the fullness of time. It is my firm belief, that it is essential for man/woman to have first, the option for refusal if acceptance is to have any validity. True love desires no coerced, false statements of love and fealty. That is not a son, a brother nor a friend. That is a slave. In Christ John, 15:15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
  4. I have no desire to convince any as to yeah or nay. If you believe you have a will, draw near unto God. If you don’t believe you have free will, draw near unto God. He’s an excellent choice. The only one in fact. Adam, Eve and free will. Did Adam have the ability to choose? Did Adam have the capacity and information necessary to make an informed choice on obeying God’s command, “Do not eat”… Capacity, perhaps. Information, no. Prior to consumption of the fruit from the tree of knowledge, there was no knowledge of good and evil. What Adam and Eve had was an edict, a command with no explanation, no reason why, or why not to consume a specific fruit. Free will, Free agency. Does the free agent exercise free will? Does the agent have a specific faculty of will? Does causal determinism imply there is no free will, or does it allow for free will? The freedom to choose to act or not to act is not determined by the ability nor the casual inability to act. The will is fulfilled by the determination to act. We are addressing the will, not the action. The inability to walk does not negate the decision to do so. Remember we are discussing a relationship, specifically a relationship with God, not the decision to walk the dog or not, regardless of being incapacitated physically or prevented by external factors inhibiting physical action. We do not “wrestle against flesh and blood”. We are discussing FAITH. ‘If a man looks upon a woman with lust, he has committed adultery in his heart’. Free agents have the faculties of intellect and will. The intellect/rational faculty cognates, as a result the intellect presents various options to the will as to a course of action. If Adam had the ability to choose adherence to Gods edict, he clearly had the option to choose disobedience. Some will argue from a position that free will and free agency are separate and independent states, they are nondetachable. The agent responds and makes a decision based on the best information available, that decision within itself is an act of will. Some may assert a completely neutral heart as a prerequisite for making any decision of will. If indifference, lack of preference or bias are required attributes for the exercise of free will, human nature is replete with them. Back to Adam. God and Adam spent time walking in the garden. After an indeterminate amount of time as Adam had the task of giving names to all the animals, God noticed in Adam a pensive demeanor and recognized the loneliness for ones kind. “It is not good for man to be alone”. Adam must have in his heart and mind, in his bones, so to speak, felt something missing. These internal reflections even without the benefit of any definitive concept of what a woman, a helper, a human friend would be like, was affecting his happiness even in the presence of the Almighty, or God would not have noticed it. Enter Eve. It is interesting to note here that, we are made in the image of God. That God, for His own good pleasure desired the companionship of man. Apparently man did also. We see that inherent in the nature of man, is the desire for fellowship with his “kind”. Interestingly though the command was given to Adam not to eat from the tree. The serpent went after Eve. Back to free will. Did Adam choose to disobey God, an act of free will, or was the cause of his disobedience an overwhelming desire to please this magnificently enthralling creature. (Come on guys, it was Eve,. Personally created by the Lord God, not some toad spitting primordial muck through pursed toad lips, wearily dragging herself out of ancient slime, envisioning a future in which she would evolve into a beautiful princess worthy of such a man.) Or, was it with some degree of interest in the fruit himself, tempered with a dash of doubt, as to whether any harsh or lasting consequences would be forthcoming? Did he choose lovely Eve and some forbidden fruit in the perfect garden setting, or did he have no choice at all? No free will. Those who assert the precept of causality, that free will does not exist, have no choice but to proclaim his innocence for he was simply a small twig caught in the cascading currents of time. If he was indeed innocent, why was he punished? Was it really just a setup? A setup essential for the perfecting of the saints. The Lamb being slain before the foundations of the earth. Was it an essential process for the sanctification of the saints? For the “few chosen” whose adoption will only be realized at the redemption of the body at the return of our Lord Jesus Christ? Romans, 8:23 Abraham was the father of a nation and many of his progeny are/were lost. Adam is the father of a race, a species. Is he culpable, responsible for the fallen condition of all men? If before eating of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he was held accountable for breaking a law, was this action and resulting banishment, earth cursing, pain in childbirth a precursor to the Law? Prior to the law there was no breaking of the law, yet men were judged and destroyed. What it gets down to is this, Do we have a choice? We find that in the centuries prior to the law some men pleased God. They had the desire to know, believe and serve God without the need for written rules. We find that in Romans some still may. They have a law within themselves. Romans, 2:14 The idea that free agency and free will, provide within themselves adequate separation of purpose to constitute different entities is an exercise in a futile and never ending debate in semantics. Free will does not exist without the agent, and the agent, made in the image of God, cannot exist without free will. He is reduced to life as an android zombie. A cheap, plastic wind up toy, bouncing off the interior walls of a puppet masters cardboard box as the wagon rattles along. While God cannot lie, He exercises His will freely as evidenced in His decision to create. Is this the absolute cause, the original impetus, for all that believers do and hold. That God, our God is the driving constant in the lives of His children. Of course. The call has gone out. Attendance is free. Many have heard the call. The acceptable response is to accept. I believe we have a choice, to embrace grace. To allow the Spirit of God to graft us onto the root, the foundation of our faith that we may produce His fruit. “That He might make known the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory.” Romans 9:23 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” In Christ --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I think sometimes as we sit around the campfire of life, under a million stars, on our favorite log, we are set upon by a “gnat errant”, and as we mutter and spit in frustration, We drool in anticipation at the camel sizzling above the flames,. And curse the gnat.
  5. Evangelism is a gift. We don't all have it. "Whatever you do, do it heartily as unto the Lord." Paul also states that, 1, Thes, 4:10 And indeed, you are showing this love to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to excel more and more and to aspire to live quietly, to attend to your own matters, and to work with your own hands, as we instructed you.Then you will behave properly toward outsiders, without being dependent on anyone. If you are compelled by the Spirit go for it. If by men attempting to lay a guilt trip on you,,, ehh In Christ Walk with God
  6. Sabbath not instituted at creation, John Gill Make what you will of it…. In Ge 2:2,3 where it is said, that God having ended his work, "rested on the seventh day, and God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it". no mention is made of a Sabbath, and of the sanctification of it, as in the fourth command, Ex 20:11 only of the seventh day, and not of that as a Sabbath. Adam does not seem to be the law of nature written on his heart; for then, he must be bound to keep a Sabbath before the institution of it; he was created on the sixth day, after the image of God; one part of which was the law of nature, written on his heart; but the institution of the Sabbath day was not until the seventh day. We have no account of any positive law given to Adam in the state of innocence, but that which forbad eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. (And stay with his wife.) The words are a narrative of what God did himself; but do not contain a precept of what Adam should do; they only declare what God did, that he blessed and sanctified the seventh day; but do not enjoin Adam to keep it holy, as a Sabbath. At most they seem only to design a destination of that day to holy service thereafter; God "blessed" it. Upon a survey of creation, God rested on the seventh day; which he "sanctified", not by keeping it holy himself, nor by imparting any holiness to it, which a day is not capable of; but he separated, or set it apart for holy use at another time, which is a very common sense of this word: Jeremiah was sanctified before he was born; that is, appointed and ordained to be a holy prophet; which purpose was not carried into execution until some time after; and so God might be said to sanctify or set apart in his mind and purpose the seventh day to be an holy Sabbath in future time; though it was not actually executed. The words in Ge 2:2,3, are understood by many learned men proleptically, or by way of anticipation; as other things are in this same chapter; so some places are called by the names they bore in the times of Moses, which they did not have from the beginning; see Ge 2:11-14 or the words may be considered as in a parenthesis; and the rather, since had they been read, or to be read, in common with the preceding, the word "God", and the phrase the "seventh day", would have been omitted; and have been read, "and he blessed and sanctified it"; and the reason for it, which follows, seems manifestly taken from the fourth command, as given on Mount Sinai, Ex 20:11 and Moses writing his history of the creation, after this precept was given, took the opportunity of inserting this whole passage, to give the greater sanction to it with the Israelites. The other remaining proof of such a law so early is taken from Heb 4:3,4 where no mention is made of a seventh day Sabbath; and in which the apostle takes notice of the several rests which had been under the former dispensation, and shows, that neither of them was the rest promised, and had, under the gospel dispensation: not the seventh day rest from the creation, for that was God's rest: not the rest of the Israelites in the land of Canaan, which Joshua gave them; for then David, a long time after, would not have spoken of another day of rest, the gospel dispensation, into which believers now enter. The sins of men, both before and after the flood, are observed, but Sabbath breaking does not appear among them. The old world was full of violence, rapine, and oppression; and in the new world, intemperance, incest, idolatry, and other sins, men were chargeable with; but not with this: it does not appear among the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah; nor is it to be found among the abominations for which the old inhabitants of Canaan were cast out of it. But no sooner was the law of the Sabbath given to the Israelites in the wilderness, but we hear of the breach of it, and of a severe punishment of it. Some conjecture a Sabbath was observed by Noah, in the ark, Ge 8:10,12 since he is said to send out the dove again after seven days; but this number seven has respect, not to the first day of the week, but from when the days were numbered; the first sending out of the dove, on whatever day it was. The whole decalogue, or ten commands of the law of Moses, as such, were given to the Jews only, as a covenant, it was made with the Israelites in the wilderness, and not even with their fathers, which were before them; and in which respect they had the preference to all other nations on earth, as Moses affirms, De 5:2-21 4:6-8 and as is affirmed by David, Ps 147:19,20 and by the apostle Paul, Ro 9:4 and which appears from the preface to the decalogue; "I am the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt"; which cannot be said of any other nation. The fourth command is particularly and expressly declared as peculiar to them; "My Sabbaths shall ye keep", saith the Lord; "for it is a sign between me and you", and not others, Ex 31:13 that is, of the national covenant between them. The same is repeated, Ex 31:16,17 where the children of Israel, as distinct from all other nations to whom it was no sign, are directed to keep the Sabbath. So Nehemiah says, that when God spoke to the Israelites in the wilderness, he made "known to them his holy Sabbath"; which it seems had not been made known unto them before; but now was made known to them, and not to others; and is mentioned along with peculiar precepts, statutes, and laws commanded them, Ne 9:14 and the prophet Ezekiel, from the Lord, tells the Jews, that the Lord had "given", to their fathers in the wilderness, his "Sabbaths, to be a sign between him and them"; it is not said he restored them, but "gave" them, denoting a new institution, and as peculiarly belonging to them: and this is the sense of the Jewish nation in general, that the Sabbath only belongs to them, and that the Gentiles are not obliged to keep it; for though a Gentile proselyte or stranger within the gate, for the sake of national decorum, and to avoid offence and scandal, was to do no work on it for an Israelite, yet he might for himself, as the Jews interpret it; but then this supposes, that a stranger not within the gate, was not obliged to observe it. Besides, some of the Jewish writers understand this stranger, or proselyte, of a proselyte of righteousness, who was under equal obligation to the commands of the law as a Jew. The time and place when and where this precept was given, with the reason of it, show that it was peculiar to the Jews; it was given them in the wilderness, after they were come out of Egypt; and their deliverance from thence is expressly observed, as the reason why it was commanded them, De 5:15. The Lord's resting on the seventh day from his works of creation, is used as an argument to enforce the keeping of the seventh day Sabbath, now enjoined; but not as a reason of the institution of it. None but Jews were ever charged with the breach of the seventh day Sabbath; the children of Israel were charged with it in the wilderness, soon after it was enjoined them, Eze 20:20,21,23,24 so in Nehemiah's time, though the Tyrians, who sold fish to the Jews on Sabbath days, were threatened, and shut out of the city, and forbid to come there with their goods; yet it was the Jews who bought them, who are charged with the profanation of the Sabbath, Ne 13:15-20 and it was the sense of the Jews, that the Gentiles are not to be punished for the breach of it; yea, rather, that they are punishable for keeping it; they having no other laws binding upon them: but the seven laws they speak of, as given to the sons of Noah. The law of observing the seventh day Sabbath is not of a moral nature; if it were, it would be binding on all mankind, Jews and Gentiles; and could not have been dispensed with, nor abolished, as it is, Mt 12:1-12, Col 2:16,17 and if such, as has been observed, it must have been written on the heart of Adam, when created; and would be, not only reinscribed on the hearts of regenerate men, but even the work of it would appear to be written on the hearts of Gentiles, as their consciences would bear witness; whereas it does not appear. In Christ Source, http://members.toast.net/puritan/Articles/Articles.htm Abbreviated and somewhat modified for readablity, was old/er English
  7. Becoming a Christian does not automatically make us evangelists, nor does it mean that we have a duty to engage in evangelism. However, all believers are called to be prepared to give a defense of their faith: ‘But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear’ (1 Pet. 3:15). The word here translated ‘reason’ is apologian, and it means a verbal defense or a speech in defense. We are all thus required by scripture to be ready to give a reasonable argument in defence of our faith. From the Greek word apologia we get the English word apology, and also the word apologetics. Apologetics is the task of explaining and defending the faith, and it is a very important part of our Christian witness, for we are all required to be ready to do this to some degree. This is a significant requirement of scripture, since if we are to give a reasonable defense of our faith we must first understand the faith. We must therefore begin growing in our knowledge and understanding of the word of God from the moment we become Christians if we are to be in a position to give an adequate defense of our faith to those who ask it of us. There is this wrong idea of Christianity as a heart religion as opposed to a head religion. It is considered ‘fleshly’ to engage in an argument about the faith because this involves the intellect and the intellect is deemed to be in opposition to the ‘spirit.’ This kind of thinking is really an extreme form of pietism. It is a wrong understanding of what spirituality is. To be spiritual in the biblical sense involves most definitely the intellect. Our minds must be subject to Christ and engaged for his service. Indeed this is an aspect of the first commandment. We are to serve the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind (Mat. 22:37), in other words in the totality of our beings. Those who discourage Christians from engaging in apologetics because they believe such reasoning to be of the flesh do not believe that the gospel is intellectually defensible. But of course it is. Furthermore, Christians need to understand that Christianity is the only intellectually defensible position there is, that there is only Christian truth, and that all that does not conform to that truth is in error. excerpts https://graceonlinelibrary.org/salvation/evangelism/evangelism-and-apologetics-by-stephen-c-perks/ In Christ
  8. Link is dead end. Found this searching his name. michael r butler apologetics Apologetics MEMBERS.TOAST.NET I found nothing on copyright on this site. Have emailed them for their position on use. Looks like a lotta info. Gonna be fun. In Christ
  9. Fun read William, I copy pasted on a word processor as I will need to read several times to retain it. Thanks In Christ
  10. I don’t know if you think I’m Catholic, I’m not. I grew up in the Church of Christ. Don’t know the thread. Couldn’t care any less what dead Catholic leaders claimed. I don’t know this nun Francis, nor any of the other names that seem to be popular to reference here. Not interested in the opinions or interpretations of “esteemed scholars”. I prefer scripture. We can find people arguing both sides of everything online, and some very convincingly. I prefer scripture, because God wrote it. So no offense, but my eyes skip over links to, or quotes from some “heavy hitter” in history. In my mind He says, “Search the scripture.” I consider you a brother William and respect your knowledge and dedication, your countless hours of labor on this site as others here on this forum. In a way you are already a teacher, and in the position of a shepherd watching out for the welfare of assorted and sometimes difficult sheep. Many here seem to have a heart for God. We may not agree entirely on all points, we don’t have to. But, if we insist they eat meat or worship on the same day we do, we are not loving, nor putting our brothers welfare first. I don’t get the sense that any here believe keeping the Sabbath saves them. Regardless of what I stated above about Catholics, God can have people wherever He chooses. My instinct would be to get out. He however, has His reasons for having His children wherever. In my mind it is clear and I’ve made it clear what I believe on the sabbath, without the assistance of “scholars”. I’m content to let others “seek out their own salvation with fear and trembling”. I realize this kind of debate on assorted topics can be an excellent motivation for the study of scripture and must say I have benefited from being challenged here. I’ve been correct, I’ve been incorrect. It is fun and educational. Stone sharpens stone. There is a point however when I no longer feel as if I have anything new to contribute on a topic, so for now hopefully I can stay out of it. At times it seems we simply, “Preach to the choir”, though even that can be a beneficial exercise. In Christ
  11. I'm used to100 -200, After that I've found it's to easy to remain anonymous. I like getting to know my family. Haha, Gotta love Paul, again. He goes through this whole spiel just to say, well we don't, nor do the churches of God have any such practice. 1 Cor, 11:13 Judge for yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God uncovered? 14 Does even nature itself not teach you that if a man has long hair it is a shame to him? 15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given her for a covering. 16 But if anyone seems to be contentious, we have no such custom, nor have the churches of God. He also asks, "doesn't nature itself teach you, long hair on a man is a shame?" 1 Cor, 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. God is looking for a home in men. Men with a heart for God, literally. Jer, 17:10 I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. I don't think God is concerned with long haired men or bald headed women. But, I've been wrong before... In Christ Just having fun with you Faber. First, judge for yourself Second, Well what is nature telling you Third, We have no such custom. Huh?.
  12. Thanks William, No not every Jew was or will be saved. And no I'm not saying God did not divorce the Jewish nation? Absolutely not. Paul inspired by God said it. All Jews of the nation of Israel were not saved or in a proper relationship with God in the old testament and neither are all gentiles, he has made a new covenant with them. Abraham 1996 bc 12 sons of Jacob; 1750 bc Moses 1504 bc Elijah 900 bc Isaiah 700 bc Jeremiah 650 bc Malachi 445 bc After Jeremiah speaks of divorce then why all the other prophets up until Christ? Who were they addressing? What was the point? The elect were never divorced. Why would God divorce a faithful bride? I do not know if there ever was a time when every Israelite was married to God. Never a time when all Gentiles were either. God made a promise to Abraham that he would make a great nation of his progeny, He did not say all of them would be saved or in His will. So if we are looking for evidence that Israel as a nation was ever saved, hmmm. He has always had a remnant. Many came into the new covenant and still do. We are the bride of Christ. It has always been as a part of the body of Christ from Adam forward. If the Lamb was slain before the foundations of the earth, the plan was determined before Christ formed the earth. God never needed the sacrifice of burnt food, so it must have been a way for man to relate to Him. For them, not for Him as was the Sabbath. The sacrifices of the Lord are, Psalms 122:16 For You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; You take no pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. God has always looked at our hearts, not the alter. Those with faith in Him, those who believed then as do now were/are His people. Rom, 11:19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. What exactly is he saying? Some Branches were broken off? We know that does not refer to all Jews because there were Jewish believers. Nor will all Gentiles be no longer the “Bride of Christ” if some do not believe and are broken off. Every natural Jew will not be saved. Christ spoke to the leaders of the Jewish nation many times. He had some very unflattering words for them. They killed Him. We also know that is the circumcision of the heart, not the flesh. So did He divorce the Nation of Israel? I say he was never married to some, they refused to sign the marriage certificate, though He asked for their Hands in marriage many times. Just as He does today with us. In Christ
  13. God did not divorce the Jewish nation. Abraham was the first Jew. Christ was an old testament Jew. The disciples were old testament Jews, they were new testament Jews. Paul claimed to be a pretty good one. Many in the new testament were Jews I have friends who are Christian Jews Christ simply opened it up to all, and all who choose to come along. The Jews were just like people today, stubborn, self serving and adulterous. He set Hosea up to show his commitment and faithfulness, his love for them. To bring them back not to destroy or abandon them. Christ did not divorce Jews, he made it possible to have a better relationship. He sacrificed himself for them and for us. Rom, 11:1 I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Yes Hosea is a good example of God’s love and enduring commitment to all men not just Jews to this day. In Christ
  14. 1 Cor, 16:2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. Acts 20:7 Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. Lev, 23:15 You shall also count for yourselves from the day after the sabbath, from the day when you brought in the sheaf of the wave offering; there shall be seven complete sabbaths. 16‘You shall count fifty days to the day after the seventh sabbath; then you shall present a new grain offering to the LORD. Acts, 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. The law continued in force until Jesus Christ died on the cross. Col, 2:17 Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ. Mat, 5:17-18 I came not to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law, till all things be accomplished. Notice, “ till all things be accomplished.” John, 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. The purpose of the Law which was given to Israel at Mt. Sinai, the Law of Moses, is clearly seen in the book of Galatians. What then is the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise hath been made; and it was ordained through angels by the hand of a mediator. The Law was to be in effect till the Seed should come. The promised Seed was Jesus Christ Gal, 3:16 Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as of many, but as of one, “And to your Seed,” who is Christ. Gal, 3;24-25 So that the law is become our tutor to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith is come, we are no longer under a tutor. 1 Tim, 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 2 Cor, 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. New Testament believers are not under the Old Testament Law (Romans 6:14; Galatians 3:24-25; 2 Corinthians 3:7, 11, 13; Hebrews 7:12). Jesus was resurrected upon the first day of the week. Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; and John 20:1 Eph, 2:13-15 But now in Christ Jesus ye that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both one, and brake down the middle wall of partition, having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace. In Christ And I still see no reason to prefer one day over another.
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